Please note: I can attest from my long experience as the National leader in Norway of the Sai Organisation that there were, despite all, many good and doubtless well-intentioned persons who were members of the Sathya Sai Organization or who worked for it or within it, though without realising its true nature and without having been able to access the facts about it and Sathya Sai Baba's many nefarious and deceptive activities. This is because he was so well protected at the highest levels in the Indian government and so was altogether extremely difficult to investigate. The followers were mostly not responsible for - or aware of - most of the following facts, it is the top leaders and passive office-bearers who have the responsibility for the situation and the secrecy and unaccountability - as did Sathya Sai Baba himself, of coursef.
1) The Sathya Sai Organisation is entirely authoritarian
in its Charter, directives and administration. It allows of no feedback
from members other than what supports the top-down
decisions of the leaders. It excludes even members who ask highly reasonable
questions of virtually anything that might involve the slightest criticism
of Sai Baba, his teachings or any of his various institutions and his Organisation.
A few out of many examples: Dr. Michael Goldstein's total refusal to investigate serious allegations of crimes by Sai Baba, Also illumining here are the cases of the banishment from the organisation of Al Drucker (by Sai Baba himself), and two Central Coordinators in UK Lucas Ralli and Aime Levy (by former International Chairman Indulal Shah) and South Australian Central Coordinator Stephen Carthew among many others (search for any of these names in the search box at http://www.exbaba.com/)
2) The total censorship in all publications, films and all the hundreds of pro-Sai websites of ANY critical comments whatever. This is the sign of a totally unaccountable cult with hidden agendas and much to cover up. This is shown in the complete refusal of office-bearers in the Sai Organisation to reply to letters by deeply concerned families of sexually abused minors, sometimes even the returning of letters unopened. The cover-up of this by former President of the US Sathya Sai organisation, Dr. John Hislop as shown by his letters from 1982. (see http://www.exbaba.com/articles/hislop/hislop.html)
3) The organisation still always refuses to reply to reasonable questions which are critical of any aspects of Sai Baba or his Organisation. Not will they forward such to higher authority in the Organisation, to the Prashanthi Council or the Sathya Sai Central Trust. It will answer no searching questions by any of the media, and a directive was circulated by Dr. Goldstein, while he was In ternational Chairman to all office-bearers enforcing this. Its blanket policy is to remain silent before any kind of criticism, however valid. This includes silencing members by their automatic exclusion if they air disagreement with its top officials on any matter - for example the draconian treatment of Serguei Badaev Moscow Centre President, see here.
4) The Organisation has covered-up all information about the murders in his bedroom while Sathya Sai Baba was nearby and conferring with officials the while (four of the killings having been literal executions by many rifle shots by the police after a long stand-off during which Sai Baba had conferred with his younger brother, Janaki Ramiah, Colonel Joga Rao and other ashram and Sathya Sai Central Trust officials who were discussing (evidently about what to do) with the police.
5) Numerous gross exaggerations (eg. of attendance figures for festivals and membership in the Sai Organisation) and false propaganda repeatedly published by the Sai Organisation through many years are never corrected, even though pointed out on websites and proven by documentation of their publications. Eg. the false claim of an ancient prophesy fulfilled in Sai Baba's existence that the world saviour of Islam, 'the Mehdi Moud' or "Mahdi" describes Sathya Sai Baba as its fulfillment, as publicised in the costly 'Chaitanya Jyoti' museum built to honour Sathya Sai Baba.
6) The Sai Organisation and movement generally funneling massive donations and testaments worldwide to Sai Baba's projects, which were always actually unaccountable. Once money is given to the Central Trus - which presents no details of accounts or dispositions, no minutes of its meetings etc. - all trace of it is lost and its use is completely unknown to the donor, except in the case of truly massive single donations for a college or a mandir building.
7) Promotion of huge and expensive building projects simply to glorify Sathya Sai Baba who claimed he wanted no name or fame, yet who revelled in both! His photos and sayings are plastered throughout all his educational and health institutions, which were designed so as largely to promote his image and increase his influence.
8) Publication on a huge scale in books, journals, newspapers, films, tapes, internet sites etc. of totally unchecked accounts of amazing miracles, healings etc. as being real events (far too many to list here). Virtually anything anyone reports which is positive or enhances the mystery and name of Sai Baba is taken on trust and accepted. Yet none of the hundreds of registered failures of healings, exposed fraudulence of the 'manifestations' or the claims made for the value of the objects so produced are ever mentioned. Add to this the systematic avoidance of any mention of numerous murders, accidental deaths and suicides, of which mention in any Sai Baba meeting or other official connection is forbidden!
9) The Sai Organisation promotes a voluntary system of value education (under the names Educare and/or Education in Human Values') which - though partly laudable in its aims, is based on an absolutistic set of values (claimed as divinely-instated by God qua Sai Baba), which are mostly defined in simplistic ways and in terms of Sai Baba's rigid and fundamentalist religious moralism. More important, actual human values such as justice (i.e. human and not divine justice) are specifically omitted and human rights and social equality are rejected in favour of human duties. Moreover, no serious debate or criticism of these values is permitted within the organisation and the system is totally impervious to from world education researches and practices and most modern educational issues of deep concern. It is simply a cultish 'teaching'.
Further, the monolithic-hierarchical structure of the Sathya Sai Organisation - with its top-down chain of command and lack of feedback or any stakeholder involvements - makes all discussions at meetings and conferences very largely futile and time-wasting from the volunteer workers point of view. The model would have to change very basically if it were ever to become acceptable to free citizens in the modern world, not just to India or other patriarchal, authoritarian and class-ridden cultures. It is little wonder that many well-qualified persons with experience of democratic values in modern management principles (most usually being Westerners) often leave after some time, even though they do not necessarily thereby lose faith in Sathya Sai Baba as a divine incarnation.
The Sathya Sai Organisation's main function is evidently the channeling of funds to the Sathya Sai Central Trusts, even though the collection of monetary donations is formally against the regulations of the SSO and is actually seldom openly allowed except among members. Neither entrance money nor membership fees of any kind are allowed, but many centres operate with pledges of monthly financial support from members. However, the SSO provides a very broad network which functions as a channel for money and property from those who wish to donate, so providing a very wide catchment area among followers worldwide. Without the SSO the channel would certainly not have been so broad and productive. Many members leave very considerable legacies to Sai Baba's Trust, often contested by family members and often without success. However, the directives and activities of the Overseas Chairman and Central Coordinators increasingly belied the ideal of not soliciting funds (as documented in earmarking persons as potential large donors to be approached privately by CCs). The call for donations to Sathya Sai's hospitals, the water project and ashram buildings became common in internal directives, and even in some public journals, all mostly to increase the exclusively one-way flow of enormous sums of money to India, via the Sathya Sai Central Trust and its subsidiaries. This accumulated wealth (several billions of dollars minimum) is increasingly used to build imposing structures and institutions in honour of SSB personally, as well as on major publicity projects, while large amounts are still also used to benefit (mainly Hindu) worshippers through facilities at the Prashanthi Nilayam ashram, schools, colleges and hospitals.Click here to see a broad and detailed analysis of the Sathya Sai Organisation's actions and functions