Guardian newspaper, UK. questions The Duke of Edinburgh Award
- an award made out by subterfuge in the name of Sathya Sai Baba
The rest of the world can only view with hilarity an absurd spectacle - that of these devotees of this self-proclaimed God Creator of the Universe, Sathya Sai who pretends he is the Father who sent Jesus etc. etc., eagerly seeking for their guru the endorsement (and blessings?) of the Duke of Edinburgh through getting a certificate from his award scheme for youth!
Sai Baba Youth UK was a minor local project by a few youth in London who received
a certificate for the awards at a Buckingham Palace garden party. This
kind of award has been made to countless thousands of participants around
the world. A news story which appeared on the official International
Sai Organisation website exaggerated the significance of this small
local award at length, even claiming that it was made to Sathya Sai
Sathya Sai Baba has been credibly accused by many young men from around the world for decades of sexual abuses. Sai Baba's alleged role in the murder of four of his young male followers in his own bedroom on June 6, 1993 was never cleared up since the Central Bureau of Investigation's case was quashed by the Sai-devoted government of the day (see the BBC's 'The Secret Swami' documentary).
The Duke of Edinburgh
Award executive, Peter Westgarth, reportedly stated that this is just
another "religion accused of paedophilia" and that young people
(many from a North London Sai-oriented school) "choose" to
visit Sai Baba, but their devotee parents and more Sai Baba indoctrination
at school have surely conditioned most of them. His comparison of this
secretive cult to harmless "Church Lads" is tendentious and
his failure to take proper action when warned about this cult makes
The Duke of Edinburgh appear to be endorsing a charlatan guru. A vital
issue in the current faith debate is raised: Should extreme fundamentalist
'Godmen' and unaccountable cults be given any oxygen by British institutions?
The rest of the world can only view with hilarity an absurd spectacle - that of these devotees of this self-proclaimed God Creator of the Universe, Sathya Sai Baba, who pretends he is the Father who sent Jesus etc. etc., eagerly seeking for their guru the endorsement (and blessings?) of the Duke of Edinburgh through getting a certificate from his award scheme for youth!
Only one unfortunate myth is perpetuated in the Guardian article: that the number of Sai followers is an 'estimated 30 million. However, having been a leader within the organisation 18 years with privileged access to internal memoranda, I can state authoritatively that there is absolutely no public statistical information of any kind available which gives anywhere near this figure; it is simply the inflated propagandising of Sai Baba and his officials who, already in the 1960s, made it the official line that he had 60 million followers! Even 600 million has since been claimed by some! I would reckon the total to be between 10 and 15 million through all the 65 or so years he has been a guru.
The Guardian article has
been referenced by several websites around the world, including Wikipedia
and /'wiki news', The
Taipei Times and The
Kuwait Times http://www.kuwaittimes.net/analysis.asp?dismode=article&artid=794040449 (removed URL)
See also: "A Holy Furore Rages in Britain", (Link not available anymore? Click here!);
also the website of the cult expert Rick Ross and on diverse bulletin boards and blogs.
Wikipedia's 'wiki news' also carries this information
and see here Cybernoon - Superstition, a crutch
Robert Priddy, Oslo, Norway. 9/12/06
(Retired lecturer in philosophy, University of Oslo. Former national leader (resigned) of the Sathya Sai Organisation in Norway, 1986-2000)
An irrational attempt by a pro-Sai fanatic on the Internet to make The Guardian's Staff Reporter, Paul Lewis, appear to have been subjective and biased has been throughly refuted.