Note: The Supreme Court of India covered up the fact that a petition against Sathya Sai Baba was dealt with summarily and the court documents subsequently destroyed. However, a transcript was kept by the lawyer Kamini Jaiswal, which was later lodged with an affidavit formally proving its genuineness. See transcript here.
Below is the full text of the petition:-
Formal Criminal complaint against Sathya Sai Baba - March 12, 2001
March 12, 2001 The Director, Central Bureau of Investigation, New Delhi, India,
Sub: Criminal complaint against Sathya Sai Baba of Puttaparthi, AP, India:
My name is Hari Sampath, 35 years old, and I am an Indian National, living and working as a software engineer in Chicago, USA. I am herewith making a formal criminal complaint against the individual named Sathyanarayana Raju, alias Sathya Sai Baba of Puttaparthi, Andhra Pradesh, India, who is a self proclaimed "godman".
The complaints relate to crimes of various types and nature, that have been committed by Sai Baba over a period of at least 30-40 years. Sai Baba has never been investigated by any official investigative agency in India.
1. Claims to being an "incarnation of God" and possessing "supernatural powers":
Sai Baba has been claiming for 60 years that he is "god incarnate" with all kinds of "divine" and "supernatural powers". These powers, as claimed by Sai Baba, include the abilities to "produce" objects out of thin air by so called "miraculous means", like gold chains, rings, diamonds, watches etc. Sai Baba also claims to be able to "produce" vibhuti or holy ash that has the potency to heal people suffering even from terminal diseases like AIDS, cancer, etc. Sai Baba has, on hundreds of occasions, asked his followers to abandon conventional medical treatment for such diseases, and take his vibhuti, saying that it would cure the disease. This had led many people to believe these claims, and upon following Sai Baba’s advice, the diseases had worsened considerably, never been cured, and had led to death in many instances.
There have been numerous accounts in leading Indian newspapers like "The Hindu" and "Indian Express" over several years that many people had been fraudulently led to believe in Sai Baba’s so called abilities to perform these miraculous cures, by Sai Baba himself and by publications through his Sathya Sai books and publications Trust, and on such "promised" cures failing to take place, several individuals had committed suicide. These type of incidents have been happening every year for several years.
Additionally, Sai Baba has claimed to have performed medical procedures like surgery for tonsillitis, appendicitis etc. Such practices are prohibited by Law as Sai Baba is not a qualified medical practitioner. Yet, he promotes these things actively through his publications and journals. Sai Baba has also been claiming for several years that he has the ability to resurrect dead people, has done so in the past, a claim that has befooled many innocent believers into believing in these claims and undergoing suffering as a result. These claims are also actively promoted through his websites, books, videos, and other journals.
All these crimes come under the sections 415 IPC (Cr. Pr), 420 IPC (Cr. Pr) as well as the Drugs and Magical remedies act 1954.
In 1997, The Supreme Court of India gave a judgement in a case relating to another godman from Andhra Pradesh. I reproduce here news reports from the Indian Express and The Hindu:
SC slaps cheating charge on 'godman'
PRESS TRUST OF INDIA
NEW DELHI, JULY 18: A 'godman', claiming to have spiritual powers, collected money from his devotee assuring the latter that he would grant his dumb daughter the power to hear. However, his failure to cure the girl of hearing impairment amounted to cheating the devotee and the godman was liable to be prosecuted under section 420 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), the Supreme Court held in a recent judgement. A division bench comprising Justices K T Thomas and M B Shah dismissed the petition filed by the godman Sri Bhagwan Samardha Sreepada Vallabha Venkata Vishwanadha Maharaj challenging the decision of the trial court to take cognizance of the offence as alleged by police.
'If somebody offers his prayer to God for healing the sick, there cannot normally be any element of fraud. But if he represents that he has divine powers and whether directly or indirectly makes another person believe that he has such divine powers, it is inducement referred to in section 415 of the IPC,' Justice Thomas, who wrote the judgement for the bench, said.
He sai, 'Anybody who responds to such inducement pursuant to it and gives the inducer money or any other article and does not get the desired result is a victim of the fraudulent representation.'
The Hindu: SC upholds order against 'godman':
By T. Padmanabha Rao
NEW DELHI, JULY 16. The Supreme Court has upheld a Nellore Magistrate's order which took cognizance' of an alleged offence of 'cheating' against a `godman' (appellant) and issued warrant of arrest against him after the police filed the 'report' on completion of the 'reinvestigation of the case' - which was earlier ordered by the Magistrate.
"If somebody offers his prayers to God for healing the sick, there cannot normally be any element of fraud, but if he represents to another that he has divine powers and either directly or indirectly makes that another person believe that he has such divine powers, it is 'inducement' referred to Section 415 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC),'' the Supreme Court ruled.
Mr. Justice K. T. Thomas, delivering the judgment, dismissed an appeal from Sri Bhagwan Samardha Sreepada Vallabha Vishwandadha Maharaj (appellant) against an order of the Andhra Pradesh High Court rejecting his (appellant's) plea for quashing the proceedings before the Magistrate. The police "first'' investigated into a complaint (FIR) lodged by a former devotee (complainant) which alleged that the appellant deprived him of a few thousands of rupees in installments after representing to him that he would cure his (complainant's) "dumb child'' by his ''divine healing powers through his touches''. The appellant also allegedly demanded Rs. 1 lakh as consideration to be paid in installments. The complainant, later, came to know in a publication that the appellant had allegedly collected a crore of rupees through such methods.
The police in its 'final report' before the Magistrate after the 'first investigation', referred the case as ''mistake of fact'' - mainly on the ground that this was ''a kind of religious belief prevalent in India among devotees of God''.
Following an order made by the Magistrate on August 2, 1995 for ''reinvestigation of the case'', the police after due 'reinvestigation' filed a 'report' before the Magistrate on September 19, 1997 stating that the appellant had allegedly committed offence of 'cheating' under Section 420 of the IPC.
As can be seen, Sai Baba has been making fraudulent claims of "divine powers" on a much more staggering scale over a period of 40 years.
The effect of such false and fraudulent claims can bee seen by the following reports in newspapers:
Two women devotees of Sai Baba commit suicide
By Our Staff Reporter
BANGALORE, APRIL 20. Two members of a family from Chennai, said to be devotees of Sri Satya Sai Baba, reportedly committed suicide in a City hotel as they were unable to get his "darshan."
The dead were identified as Seethamal (58) and her daughter Usharani (35). Usharani's son, Srikrishna (17), who attempted to commit suicide, is in a serious condition in Victoria Hospital here, according to the police.
The Assistant Commissioner of Police (Chikpet), Mr. G. A. Bava, said the police found a suicide note in Tamil in which the three persons gave the reason for their action.
According to the police, the three came to Bangalore on April 17 for a "darshan" of Sri Satya Sai Baba at Whitefield. On reportedly failing to get a "darshan" they consumed an excess dose of sleeping pills in a bid to end their life.
The incident came to light on Tuesday afternoon when the room boys noticed blood from one of the rooms. They informed the police who broke open the doors to find the decomposed body of Seethamal. Usharani and Srikrishna were alive. The police made arrangements to shift them to Victoria Hospital but Usharani died en route. Police suspect the three to have consumed sleeping pills on Monday.
Police found more than 50 strips of tablets and empty beer bottles in the room and suspect that the pills were consumed after mixing them with beer. Usharani, who was a member of an institution run by Satya Sai Baba's Ashram, possessed an identity card issued by the institutions. The dead left behind Rs. 2,000 for distribution among the poor.
The address of the victims was given as No.9, Vigneshwaranagar, I Main Road, Vadapalani, Chennai-28. In the suicide note, they said that information of their death was to be given on telephone 4844417, which is said to be that of one Mr. Rajeshwar. Upparpet police have registered a case.
Ramesh aged 42 an Industrialist in Tiruchirappally was the owner of RMH Corporation at Main Guard Gate. He and his wife Umamaheshwari (38) had 2 children, the first a daughter Sri Devi aged 15, and the 2nd a son named Sathya aged 12 named after Sathya Sai Baba. A Multimillionaire, Ramesh believed that his prosperity and affluence was because of the Blessings of the Baba. So a good portion of his wealth was gifted to the Baba and his whole family was dedicated to the service of Sathya Sai Baba.
His happiness suffered a jolt when the Doctors diagnosed that his daughter had Brain Tumor. She was rushed immediately to Puttaparthi and got her admitted in the Baba's Super Specialty Hospital. Ramesh's wife, uncle, aunt and a brother stayed at Puttaparthi to take care of Sri Devi. He had full faith in Sai Baba and believed that the Baba would cure her.
On Wednesday 2-12-1998 night Ramesh was informed that the state of his daughter was precarious. So he along with his son rushed to Puttaparthi only to know that his daughter Sri Devi succumbed to the Tumor and had died. His faith in the Baba shattered when he found that his assurance to his devotees "Why fear when I am here" was fraudulent and with his daughter's body on his lap he broke into painful mourning.
Later he took his daughter's body to his room in a Hotel near the Air Port informing the management that he wanted her to be buried in the Chitravathi River bank.
That they could not save the life of Sri Devi in spite of Sai Baba's grace and the wealth lead them to mental agony.
Next day 4th December when the hotel management found that the door of the room rented to Ramesh was not opened, they became suspicious and broke open the door. They were shocked to see Ramesh and eight other members lying on the floor unconscious with froth from their mouth. Near them was the body of Sri Devi. Two of them were struggling for life. The hotel staff rushed them to the hospital to save their life. One of them died in the early morning and the other in the afternoon. They were Ramesh, his wife Umamaheshwari, their son Sathya, father Subbaramani, mother Sri Lakshmi, daughter Latha, sons Rajaraman and Sekar.
When the Hotel staff phoned to the police, they came to the Hotel for investigation. The police came to the conclusion that the whole family committed suicide because of Sri Devi's death. Ramesh people in Trichy were informed by the police of the suicide. Ramesh's elder brother Srinivasan, his mother and other relations rushed to Puttaparthi the same night. The police, found a letter alleged to have written by Ramesh. The letter said:
"God has forsaken us. I had great affection and love for my daughter. So we are going to the place where she has gone. No one is responsible for our death. I myself have influenced all the members to commit suicide to become one with Sai Baba. We are offering ourselves at his feet. All our properties has to be transferred to the Sathya Sai Trust. The Shraddha ceremony should be done by my friend Ramakrishnan." One person Sankar survived.
Times of India 20.09.1996
He came looking for peace in India but chose to die
BANGALORE: In a bizarre incident shrouded in mystery, a South Africa-born British national, A.G. Richardson, jumped to his death from the eighth floor of the State Bank of Mysore building on Kempe Gowda Road on Thursday afternoon.
Deputy Commissioner of police (West) Praveen Sood told The Times of India that Richardson (33) went up the SBM building, shattered the eighth-floor window, and leapt out in full view of horrified public and bank staff, 85 feet below, around 3.25 p.m. He died instantly.
The police found his foot mark on the sofa and table next to the window in the lounge of the eighth floor, which houses the office of the managing director and chief general manager of the bank, and the shares department. Though public entry to this floor is not restricted, few people go there on a normal working day apart from the staff, SBM security officers said.
The foreigner left a note in which he described, though incoherently, about his misery that drove him to suicide. "I was confused, I came to India in search of peace, but could not find it," he has said. He apparently visited the Sai Ashram earlier and had seen Sai Baba, as it was mentioned in his suicide note. But the police have not confirmed whether it refers to the one in Whitefield here in Bangalore or the one in Puttaparthi.
Mr. Sood said the letter was barely legible, but stated that he was in deep depression. The police have contacted the British High Commission to trace Richardson's kin and send the body back to England.
Preliminary investigations have revealed that Richardson arrived in Bangalore by train on Thursday morning and hired a taxi and went round the city. He arrived in Mumbai from Durban on September 9, Mr. Sood added. Richardson asked the driver to stop at a hotel for sometime, but later decided to continue. When he reached the Mysore Bank Circle, he got out of the taxi and threw into the air all the money he had by encashing his Thomas Cook travellers' cheques in the morning and hurried into the SBM premises. He signed the visitors register and ran up the stairs to the eighth floor from where he jumped.
The police suspect that Richardson must have had a deathwish since he came to Bangalore and the purpose of his tour round the city was to find a high-rise building from he could jump.
Sai Baba’s general claim to complete divine powers and doing so publicly for several decades has resulted in many people believing such powers and in several instances losing their lives even, as a result of disappointments of various natures.
Apart from a few such incidents reported, there are thousands of unreported incidents over the last 40 years, where there had been suspicious deaths in Sai Baba’s ashrams in Puttaparthi, Andhra Pradesh, and Whitefield, Karnataka.
Even after such occurrences, and Supreme court verdicts clearly outlining and restating the concerned sections of the law Sec 415 IPC (Inducement), and Sec 420 IPC (cheating), the Andhra Pradesh State police has done nothing at all to investigate Sai Baba. The entire government machinery of Andhra Pradesh is influenced by Sai Baba, with the Director General of Police and the Chief Minister too being Sai Baba followers.
2. Sexual molestation of minor boys and young men:
There have been several reports of Sai Baba sexually molesting minor boys from his schools and colleges, over the last 40 years. Hundreds of incidents of Sai Baba forcibly molesting young men, and making them perform sexual acts, have been reported in the mainstream Indian media, like the INDIA TODAY, The Pioneer, Tehelca, and various other newspapers and magazines. Some of the molestation victims of Sai Baba are even 11 years of age or younger. The sexual abuse crimes of this individual has resulted in severe emotional and mental trauma for the victims and their families, leading even to suicides in some instances.
The International media has been extensively carrying such accounts over the last one year. The London Telegraph, The BBC, The Vancouver Sun, The Ottawa Citizen, People, The Age, Nexus, Spiegelbeeld, Focus, and a host of other international newspapers/magazines/radio/TV stations etc have been carrying prominent stories in countries like Australia, Sweden, Holland, Denmark, Germany, UK, Canada, USA, and many countries, where so many overseas followers of Sai Baba have openly spoken about the sexual molestations by Sai Baba, both personal accounts as well as the accounts given to them by young boys/men who were molested by Sai Baba in the course of private meetings with him, in Sai Baba’s Puttaparthi Ashram and Whitefield Ashrams.
From my own time spent in the Ashram of Sai Baba,working in a voluntary capacity as a member of the Ashram intelligence and inner security wing between 1992 and 1995, I heard from several Sai Baba school and college students that he regularly abuses students sexually. These boys were afraid of telling anyone for two reasons. One, their parents themselves being followers would never believe, and also no one outside would ever believe them as Sai Baba has such a "powerful and holy" reputation outwardly. Secondly, considering the enormity of the inside facts and the impossibility of proving these things, they did not want to jeopardize their educational/professional careers.
Sickened by all this, I left the Sai Baba movement in 1995. Later, after I returned to the USA and was working in San Francisco, I came to know several individuals who had been sexually molested by Sai Baba, in inner meetings with him. These people were from various countries like USA, Germany, Sweden, France, Australia, Canada, UK, Malaysia etc. The molestations almost always followed a pattern of initial encounters where Sai Baba, under the pretext of some kundalini ritual, would oil and handle the genitals of these boys/young men. After that in subsequent encounters the molestations always progressively took on an explicit sexual pattern which included Sai Baba forcing the young men to perform oral sex. Psychologists dealing with these areas of crime call this "grooming" and it is considered typical behavioral pattern of serial and habitual offenders who molest younger people.
I have heard numerous instances of boys as young as 7 years old and usually 11-16 years old being slowly brainwashed into having sex with this godman Sai Baba until they almost believe it is good for them. This has been apparently happening as far back in 1960's and I know of people who had been similarly abused in 1968 and thereabouts. The most unhappy part of the whole thing is that these people do not have a source to turn to and seek assistance. The hostel officials of the Sai Baba institutions like B N Narasimha Murthy and other staff/lecturers have known it all along, and many of them even "feed" young boys to Sai Baba.
Over the last 18 months, however, due to the prevalence of the internet, sexually abused victims from various countries had been able to connect to each other, and I have been actively coordinating an international effort to expose this phony godman and bring him to justice. Some of the activities that I had helped coordinate include petitioning various Govt. agencies in several countries to initiate investigations into the Sai Baba crimes committed against their nationals.
The UNESCO was scheduled to sponsor and participate in an educational conference for teachers in Sai Baba's Ashram in Puttaparthi, in September 2000. As a result of several of us petitioning the UNESCO with affidavits from the victims of sexual abuse, the UNESCO headquarters in Paris, consulted with the French Govt. and the Surety, who were able to provide the UNESCO firm evidence of sexual abuse by Sai Baba. It resulted in the UNESCO withdrawing from the conference and issuing an international media release citing "sexual abuse of children and minors" by Sai Baba as the reason.
UNESCO WITHDRAWS FROM CONFERENCE
Paris, September 15 - UNESCO has decided it will no longer sponsor nor take part in a conference it had been due to co-organize with the Institute of Sathya Sai Education (ISSE, Thailand) and The Flinders University Institute of International Education (Australia), in Puttaparthi, India, from September 25 to 29. The decision means UNESCO is no longer associated in any way – through sponsorship, organization or participation of any kind – with the conference on Strengthening Values Education: Innovative Approaches to Teacher Education for Peace and International Understanding.
UNESCO’s withdrawal was prompted by several factors. Certain decisions were taken by the ISSE without consultation, such as plans to hold some of the sessions at the Ashram of the Sathya Sai movement in Puttaparthi, and the inclusion of some speakers in the conference program without their previous consent. Furthermore, the Organization is deeply concerned about widely-reported allegations of sexual abuse involving youths and children that have been leveled at the leader of the movement in question, Sathya Sai Baba. Whilst it is not for UNESCO to pronounce itself in this regard, the Organization restates its firm moral and practical commitment to combating the sexual exploitation of children, in application of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, which requires States to protect children from all forms of sexual exploitation and violence.
The sexual molestations by Sai Baba has resulted in severe emotional and mental trauma for hundreds of individuals, leading to suicides in several instances.
Several international law enforcement agencies like the US Dept of State, the FBI, the German office of Prosecutions, The French Surety, and other agencies have officially acknowledged receiving complaints from several people about the sexual molestations by Sai Baba. Investigations are on in various stages in different agencies, but all these agencies feel that as the crimes were committed in India, it is for the appropriate law enforcement agency in India to investigate .
I am also attaching more than 20 signed statements from former followers of Sai Baba, that detail personal experiences of sexual molestations, as well as the accounts given by the victims to others about their experiences.
3. Financial scams, fakery and inducing public to give donations:
Sai Baba’s financial empire is worth Rs 6000 Crores in India alone according to declared assets. Additionally, his organizations are registered in more than 150 countries, enjoying tax exempt status, and under various ancillary trusts in those countries that are estimated to be in the range of Rs 60,000 to 70,000 Crores.
Over a period of 40 years, millions of people from all over the world have been lured to Sai Baba by a clever mixture of "spiritual teachings", a few welfare projects done to enhance his image, and by a large dose of "miracles" of the most extraordinary nature. It is no secret that Sai Baba has openly been stating that he has "divine powers", as well as demonstrates these "powers" by public performances of "miracles" like producing "lingams" through his mouth, producing vibhuti from an upturned "empty" jar, "materialize" gold chains and necklaces for presenting to VIPs like Presidents, Prime Ministers, and Chief Ministers.
There have been thousands of instances of wealthy and aged people from overseas being influenced by Sai Baba in very crafty and cunning ways to make huge donations to his trusts in India and abroad. These people, many of whom are terminally sick, and lured by his statements and publications claiming "miraculous powers" spend many months in Sai Baba’s ashrams, and are led to believe by Sai Baba that by donating huge amounts of money/properties to god (that is he himself) they can escape the sins of previous births and get cured completely. As most overseas people are generally ignorant of Indian religious beliefs, they tend to accept whatever Sai Baba says, as they are all fooled by Sai Baba’s so called "miracles".
The promised cures never take place and the followers are told that it is their "karma", they all live in hope and die in despair, as they had been asked to discontinue conventional means of medical treatment, by Sai Baba. As a result, millions of dollars worth assets and properties are bequeathed to the Sai Baba trusts, worldwide, and accumulate in value, and appreciate in worth for years together.
Sai Baba uses a very small portion of these assets in building hospitals, schools or colleges, both to enhance his image as well as to keep the donations coming in for "good causes". Also as an organization registered as a charitable trust, Sai Baba organizations are required by law to spend the donations on charitable activities.
But instead, Sai Baba uses most of the wealth acquired through unscrupulous means for personal aggrandisation as well as possession of luxury items like a fleet of imported cars etc. Sai Baba has two Mercedes limousines,two BMW cars, one Daimler, one Jaguar, and a lot more Indian automobiles just for personal use. He has the roof of his mandir lined with solid gold . He has chandeliers worth Rs 1500 Crores in his mandir hall alone.
In 1995, in course of his birthday celebrations in Puttaparthi, in the presence of Prime Minister Narasimha Rao, followers of Sai Baba "gifted" 20 kilograms of gold to sai Baba. Sai Baba then announced publicly that he was conducting an "auction" of the gold donated, and was going to use the proceeds for his welfare projects. It is a well known fact that all such gifts have to be declared to the government along with their values, but was never done so. The donated gold was "sold" for twice its market value to followers, in the presence of the Prime Minister, and all of which was reported in leading newspapers.
This by itself is a criminal offence, as Sai Baba has no license to do any business in gold or to set his own price and frame his own laws. But enjoying the patronage of top level politicians, Sai Baba has managed to avoid any enquiry into his activities. His trusts have been exempted from publishing any public accounting of its assets/expenditures by the Narasimha Rao govt..
There have been considerable reports in many sections of the media for several years that the Sai baba trusts worldwide were in fact being used in many money laundering operations by several politicians, cutting across party lines. The status enjoyed by these trusts as well as avenues of easily getting the money from abroad into Sai Baba’s Indian trusts, lend themselves very comfortably for such illegal scams of staggering proportions, running into thousands of Crores of rupees.
Also, as several thousands of Sai Baba’s followers from all over the world simply mail him cash in dollars, pounds, French francs, Swiss Francs etc, usually a few hundreds at a time, all these cash donations are turned over to the bank by Sai Baba’s organization, and deposited in the Trust accounts. This situation is perfectly exploited by Sai Baba and his helpers, and all they have to do to convert "black money" into white money is by arranging to mail thousands of such "mails from devotees" with cash in them, and all of it gets converted to official money at the banks. No questions are ever asked who sent them, and how much, as all these banks are dependent on Sai Baba trust and its accounts running into hundreds of Crores of rupees.
Sai Baba Central Trust members like Indulal Shah, (who is a Chartered accountant from Bombay and has been with Sai Baba for 40 years, Kulwant Rai, the Industrialist from Delhi, GK Raman, Managing director of Sundaram Finance, Hejmadi, and so many others are all aware of what has been happening for so many years, and all of them stand to gain and to profit from the Sai Baba trusts.
To summarize the Sai Baba scam, here is how it works:
I would like to share with you all a few things I observed about the whole Sai Baba setup, during my years there as a member of the Ashram intelligence and security detail.
First of all, let me say those things that I know for a fact. Sai Baba is a HUGE fraud and has quite a few people helping him at various levels. Most of the serious help and active assistance comes from a very close inner coterie of not more than 6 to 10 individuals, almost all Indians, and been with Sai Baba for several decades. It is this group that has total control over the trust funds and report directly and only to Sai Baba.
There is second level of people probably numbering between 12 to 20 persons, and this includes a few overseas people. These people also sometimes report directly to Sai Baba, but mostly have to go through one of the inner coterie. This group does not control trust funds, but have limited access to funds based on Sai Baba and the inner coterie sanctioning it. It is from this section that very loyal and committed people are appointed to the inner coterie.
NOTE: ALL the people in the Inner coterie and the second circle KNOW for a fact that Sai Baba is hardly Divine but deliberately promote the belief among lower levels of followers.
Some functions of the Inner coterie: Overall organization of the Sai Baba funds, investing the money, interacting with Government agencies, politicians etc.
Some functions of the second group: Support layer for inner group, keeping the Sai Baba myth alive overseas, promoting activity among foreign devotees, subtly organizing big donations, and MOST IMPORTANTLY promoting the "miracles" part of the show, both among Indian nationals as well as foreign devotees. Most of the second layer people might be presidents of Sai councils in various countries, or big states in India.
HIGH LEVEL OVERVIEW
Having given a brief summary of the setup at the very top, here is a high level overview of how it all works. Remember that there are thousands of details attended to by hundreds of people at various levels on a daily basis, all with different levels of beliefs, loyalties and power.
The very innermost coterie are usually members of the Sai Baba central trust, and are rarely changed. This trust also includes very eminent men from high positions, but these "public figures" are never given any funds handling authority, but more to act as an effective link to the corridors of power, to add respectability to the Sai Baba org, and they have their own vested interests by way of career advancements, for gaining political favors in exchange for helping money laundering etc. These people usually are direct contacts of other members of the inner coterie who directly report to Sai Baba and have been "recruited" as a result of continuous visits over several years and having publicly committed themselves as "Sai Baba devotees".
These members of the central trust would probably have their partial or total involvement in all trust related activities and it would always be in their own interests to keep the "Sai Baba myth" floating, failing which they themselves would be in serious trouble. In fact, they happily go on, given the advantages of doing so, and the disaster of not doing so. ALL these people KNOW that Sai Baba is a fraud, but NEVER discuss it even among themselves. They compete among themselves to be Sai Baba's "right hand" and Sai Baba uses the policy of divide and rule and no one dares to even convey the impression that he believes Sai Baba to be a hoax.
One of the most reliable sources of information about these people is their immediate family members as I found out. Upon carefully cultivating relationships with some of their family members, I found that these people hardly had any respect for Sai Baba in private, were least worried about Sai Baba's "omniscience" or "powers" and NEVER relied upon Sai Baba's divinity when it came to matters concerning themselves. Also, whenever ANY report of a "miracle" was mentioned in their presence, they always had a "knowing" and cynical expression on their faces, something very strange for those who were very close to "god". Sai Baba, of course knows that they all know, but also that they are circumstantially in his power, often by choice.
Examples of these top level "recruits" would be eminent jurists, top judges, high level govt. officials etc . Examples of the "real in bred top coterie" would be very close members of Sai Baba's family, acquaintances from Sai Baba's early days, and also those "devotees" who had been demonstrating their "loyalty" after knowing everything about Sai Baba. NO ONE at this level ever believes Sai Baba's divinity because they all know he is NOT god, which is why they have been appointed.
The members of the second level, usually comprising national level presidents of Sai Baba organizations and state level presidents of large states in India, have their own set of authorities and responsibilities. They completely control state level funds and country level finances in the case of overseas organizations. There are several smaller level trusts in all the countries, and also all the states in India. These trusts are supposedly meant for channeling money easily to the main Sai Baba central trust and they do that too, but the second level people are given ample opportunity to bag some money as a reward for "loyalty". All the accountants of the foreign councils, and state level trusts are appointed by these second level "presidents", most of whom are businessmen in their own lives.
Another common trick all these people do is to simply divert interest coming from the various trust investments into their own private funds and businesses, all with Sai Baba's "blessings". Also, they use the trust funds and huge investments as guarantees for raising loans for their businesses, and get favors from financial institutions for putting the trust funds in those institutions.
Now, it is easy to understand why a Trust with known assets of around $ 15 billion has only ever contributed around Rs 1000 millions over its entire history. MONEY, very simply put, the same old weakness BIG MONEY, that is what makes the whole thing go around. Most people, even long time devotees, have absolutely NO IDEA of the kind of big money involved. The value of huge estates and properties donated by wealthy devotees, long dead, is simply too much, and hardly a few people will ever have an accurate estimate. I have talked to a few second level accountants' families and what I have quoted above is from that source.
These national presidents and trust members keep their junior level officials of the Sai Baba org on a tight leash. The reward for these smaller level officials, for their "loyalty" is an annual interview with Sai Baba arranged by the second level trust members. Most of these people do not know the entire Sai Baba story, some of them even believe he is "divine" and powerful and act in misguided beliefs. Others know exactly what is happening, and are just playing their parts to get "promoted" as they would in any business. These people arrange all the conferences, delegations, devotee groups, seva dals, various activities of promoting the Sai Baba org like service activities, educational activities all over the world etc.
But it is usually only people from the second layer who get plum responsibilities like positions in the University, hospital etc.
The trust members are the ones with maximum access to Sai Baba apart from the "special" students. Most of the college activities, welfare activities and Ashram administration is carried on by members of the second layer. The central trust members are also ruled by an iron hand and ALL checks would have to be signed by Sai Baba and one more member of the central trust.
Practically all the contracts and Ashram related businesses are given to members of the inner coterie and the second layer. The members of the second layer like presidents of councils overseas are ever on the lookout for "influential" and wealthy devotees from their countries. Whenever anyone like that comes along, a complete history of that person is gathered by the top official of that particular country and submitted to some member of the inner coterie.
When the unsuspecting wealthy devotee arrives in PN for the first time, he/she is given an apartment by "Swami's Grace" and worked on by members of the inner coterie. All that the devotee will ever hear is stories of "Swami's miracles", "Swami's healing powers" etc, especially if that person has a health problem etc. And then Sai Baba will make that person wait for a reasonable time and "Grant" an interview, usually a short group meeting and promise another one soon. Sai Baba will tell them details of their personal lives from his "powers", actually what they would have told fellow group members or someone else. Later, they will get a private interview in which they will be given a "watch", "materialized ring" etc and asked to do sadhana, i.e. not talk to anyone about anything, especially Indian devotees and people in the village.
The devotee will be encouraged by Sai Baba to read only spiritual teachings (Sai Baba stories) and helped by the odd coincidence, interpretation of coincidences, "materialization" and the "spiritual atmosphere" would become completely brainwashed into thinking that Sai Baba has specially chosen them. After more talks about "seva", "charity", "ceiling on desires", "material detachment" etc, they will feel "blessed" enough by Swami to be "allowed" to make a donation, will ask him, and he will say " I don't want your money, only your heart" and refuse to take any money.
They will leave after their first trip, fully convinced about Sai Baba's Divinity, and also his sincerity. The overseas council president will keep a careful eye on them and ensure that they really think that Sai Baba does not want money. The wealthy devotee will feel they are not "pure" enough at that stage to give the Lord, and will patiently wait their turn and accumulate the money.
Later, after a couple of visits, and a lot of "pleading" with Swami to allow them to help his mission, they will be blessed with "purity" and "allowed to give without ego".
Result: One more fish bites the bait .
All these above activities of Sai Baba and his coterie involve trickery, inducements, making false representations, bribery and connivance of government officials, political leaders, and in some instances there have been reports of crimes like murder too, in the ashrams.
4. Crimes of serious nature:
Over the last 30-40 years there have been hundreds of instances of suspicious deaths at the ashrams of Sai Baba. Many of these instances are young men "committing suicides", elderly overseas wealthy men/women "found dead", just a few days after they had made wills giving all their properties to the Sai Baba trusts. As there are hospitals and doctors well within the control of Sai Baba, people who would do anything for Sai Baba, all these deaths are accounted for as "natural means".
A report from another newspaper:
Praja Shakti, Telugu Daily, Hyderabad Edition dated 11.2.1995, page 2
UNSOLVED MYSTERY OF PERSONS MISSING IN PUTTAPARTHI
Dharmavaram, Feb.10: People are worried about the sudden vanishing of 3 persons in Puttaparthi, the well known spiritual center of Sathya Sai Baba. One lady and a foreigner are amongst the missing people. Facts on these missing people are not yet revealed. These are the details. Mr.Sanjay Yadav (31) belonging to Babulgan Town of Yavathmal district in Maharashtra visited Puttaparthi on 19th November 1994. His wife Mrs. Jyothi and his brother-in-law Tharkeshwar reported to the police station that he was missing since November 21st.
Similarly on 19.12.1994, Mahamaya Sadhuka (24) belonging to North Jowpore Dahee area of Howrah District of West Bengal, had vanished all of a sudden while making purchases in Puttaparthi with her friends. Her friends N.Gangoolee and M. Supritimanna reported this to the local police station.
While the above two cases worried the devotees visiting Puttaparthi, an incident of a Russian citizen missing took place. On 16th January 1995 Atancherg and his friend Alexander from Russia came to Puttaparthi. On 22nd January they registered their names in the male Ward Shed No.21 at Prashanti Nilayam and stayed over there. They got introduced to Slacheko and Cheksplier Vadimir of Moscow also staying in the same shed. These four Russians on 25.1.1995 visited Erra Kondalu (Red Hills) on the east of Puttaparthi.
At 12.30 noon, an unknown youth came there and took away Mr. Atancherg along with him. Since he never returned back, his friends Alexander Slacheko and Checksplier Vadimir reported the same to Puttaparthi Police Station. It is understood that Atancherg was carrying a video camera worth more than twenty-five thousand rupees. All these three missing one after the other within a short period, the public here are scared.
More Newspaper reports:
THE TELEGRAPH 10.6.1993
An Australian lady, who was also a member of the Trust (belonging to the faction of the ousted secretary of the trust) was murdered in her room in Prasanthi Nilayam seven months ago but the entire incident was hushed up.
While over 80% of the sum is spent in maintenance of the Ashram’s educational institutions and the Super Specialty Hospital at Puttaparthi, the left over amounting to Rs. 25 crores, goes to the trustees and key aides of the godman.
INDIAN EXPRESS Vizianagaram Ed. 18.6.1993
One of Baba’s relative is believed to have raised crores of rupees for a real estate project, from unsuspecting devotees, by using Baba’s name. In order to prevent the scandal from blowing up, the old-timers got advertisements inserted in local papers, disassociating the Sai Organizations from the housing project. Ever since the faction led by the relative is believed to have gone on an offensive.
In addition to all these things, there was the sensational incident in June 1993 when there was apparently an assassination attempt on Sai Baba, in which two of Sai Baba’s aides were killed and all the four assailants, who were former students/disciples, were supposedly shot dead by the police.
I was myself a follower of Sai Baba at that time, and was a member of the Ashram intelligence and security wing. This is my account of what happened:
On June 6th 1993, four men, by name, Suresh Prabhu Shantharam, Suresh Kumar, Jagannadham and Sairam, all students or former students in some way at the Sai Baba college, entered the chambers of Sai Baba forcibly, in an apparent attempt to attack and kill Sai Baba.
Sai Baba's personal assistant and driver Radhakrishnan and Sai Kumar Mahajan, an MBA student from Sri Lanka, who was living in the room next to Sai Baba also tried to stop them. They both were attacked by the four persons with knives and swords and sustained serious injuries. A 14 year old boy who was in Sai Baba's room at that time rushed to tell Sai Baba about it. At this time Sai Baba's cook Vishnu Bhat and another young man called Anil Patel also tried to stop the four and were hurt in the process.
By this time, the four people managed to go upstairs where Sai Baba's room was located. Sai Baba, meanwhile had slipped out of his room, and after activating the alarm system, went to the door at the eastern end of the mandir, and came down by the stairway to the garage. The four men, upon hearing the alarm locked themselves up in Sai Baba's room.
On hearing the alarm, hundreds of Ashram residents, people from the village, and others, rushed to the mandir, and gathered outside. Armed with swords, sticks, clubs and knives, around 50-60 persons climbed the walls of the mandir from the western side and went upstairs.
The 60 strong crowd saw that Sai Baba's room was locked from inside and did not know where Sai Baba was . A lecturer of the college asked the four where Sai Baba was and asked them to open the door. As the four people did not open the door, it was broken down. The four persons told a strange story: They said they had received reliable information that there would be an attempt to kidnap Sai Baba and they were trying to warn and protect Sai Baba and WERE NOT INTENDING TO HARM HIM .
NOTE: According to the police version they were shot when they tried to attack the police. As the police were nowhere there at that time, and also, no one KNEW where Sai Baba was at that time. For all they knew, Sai Baba MIGHT have been held captive inside the room by the four persons and so they CANNOT RISK SHOOTING OR ATTACKING THE FOUR.
To continue, the four people did not resist the crowd and were overpowered and tied up with ropes. Meanwhile the 14 year old boy revealed where Sai Baba was, and many members of the crowd went to the garage, and saw Sai Baba. The news of Radhakrishna and Sai Kumar Mahajan having died was brought to Sai Baba. The tied up four were being interrogated by others for quite some time, and when Sai Baba was asked what to do with them he said "do whatever you want, do not involve me", upon which the crowd fell upon the tied up four and clubbed them to death using sticks and knives. There were photographs in a lot of regional papers that showed the blood stained bodies of the four with cut injuries, and a lot of broken and blood stained ropes.
Sai Baba, then sent for Gangadhar Reddy, the circle inspector of Puttaparthi, who had come quite late after all this had happened. Along with another police constable, bullets were pumped into the dead bodies of the four a long time after they were killed by the crowd. No post mortem was done, as it would have easily revealed the cause of death was NOT BULLET INJURIES. The case was hushed up, the records manipulated, and later Gangadhar Reddy, who was placed under suspension by the police department, joined Sai Baba's org. I was a member of the Ashram intelligence staff and security at that time. I WAS NOT IN PUTTAPARTHI ON JUNE 6th 1993, but rushed there in a couple of days, thinking I might be needed, after hearing the news. ALL that I have said above is what I gathered in course of my questioning people all around who were there. And EVERYONE in the village knows what really happened.
Even in recent times, just a year or so back, a real estate developer called Gopal Rao, who had filed cases against the Sai Baba trust for land grabbing, was murdered in Puttaparthi.
Jens Sethi, a German national who was molested by Sai Baba was harassed at the Puttaparthi police station, his passport seized and along with his wife, he was physically threatened. He was warned by another ashram inmate that his life was in danger, and hence escaped to Dharmavaram. Even in Dahrmavaram railway station, police were searching for him, but he managed to escape to Delhi through Bangalore. Sethi had filed a criminal complaint in Munich, Germany, the Ministry of home affairs, Delhi (Complaint # 670-R dated Jan 5th 2001), the police stations in Chandigarh, Punjab, and also with the NHRC.
There are hundreds of instances of serious criminal behavior that can be traced back to Sai Baba and his activities. With all these things, not even a single investigation has ever been initiated against Sai Baba.
There is also a strong suspicion that the Sai Baba hospitals are the agency for an international organ transplant racket running into millions of dollars.
Wealthy western followers who have serious terminal diseases or medical problems come in large numbers to Sai Baba . There have been several reports of some of them "getting" organs like kidneys etc due to the "grace of Sai Baba" . Here is a news report of a case filed in a Andhra court by a man whose kidney, supposed to have been donated to his father, was stolen, the kidney was never transplanted and the patient died later.
SAI INSTITUTE DOCTORS - COURT ACTION NEWS
Deccan Chronicle 5/11/99
Hyderabad Nov 4, 1999: Justice G Raghu Ram of the Andhra Pradesh High Court on Thursday admitted a writ petition seeking initiation of criminal prosecution against the doctors of Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Medical Sciences, Puttaparthi in Anantapur district, alleging malpractices regarding the transplantation of a kidney.
The writ petition has been filed by Balaji Triambak Rao Karavande, who has alleged that the doctors of the institute removed a kidney from his body and did not transplant the same to his father. He informed the court that after this revelation, he lodged a complaint with the Latur (Maharashtra) police, who in time, exhumed his father’s body and conducted a postmortem, which confirmed that no kidney transplant had taken place.
He alleged that the police at Puttaparthi did not register the complaint and he was thrown out of the hospital when he confronted the doctors with the relevant documents.
5. International ramifications, political leaders and govt. officials’ involvement.
The Sai Baba case has international ramifications and political leaders and govt. officials are involved in "protecting" Sai Baba from official investigations.
Internationally reputed organizations like the UNESCO have publicly expressed grave concerns about the sexual abuse of young boys and men by Sathya Sai Baba, and have issued international media releases to this effect.
The US Dept of State has officially acknowledged receiving complaints about the criminal behavior of Sai Baba. They have asked the FBI to look into the various aspects of the case.
The British home office has officially acknowledged receiving complaints about Sai Baba’s sexual molestations and officials of the British Foreign ministry have said "it is sad that the authorities are doing very little about it"
The Sai Baba case was discussed in the British Parliament and four questions were tabled in the House of Commons on the Sai Baba case, asking what the Home ministry in UK was doing about it.
The German office of Prosecutions have a complaint recorded and are investigating the case.
Sai Baba’s organizations are registered in more than 150 countries, and he has approximately 30 million followers worldwide, with huge assets and properties in many countries
Even after all these issues about Sai Baba were made public, top political leaders still continue to patronize him publicly, includes the Prime Minister, cabinet ministers, Chief ministers, governors, top police officers, bureaucrats, government officials etc.
In view of all this, the international image of India, the functioning of our democratic systems, the effectiveness of the law enforcement agencies, and the system of justice in the country are under serious question.
The very core of the Indian society, its culture, values, and spiritual ethos of India are being undermined internationally by the criminal and fraudulent activities of this self proclaimed "godman"
The fundamental right against exploitation guaranteed under the Art 32 of the Indian constitution, for all Indian nationals as well as foreign citizens visiting India, is violated in many ways.
Public confidence in the criminal justice, law enforcement and judicial system is badly shaken, no one believes that a criminal can be brought to justice if he has top level influence and enormous wealth.
The jurisdiction of the CBI, as mentioned in the official CBI website says:
Jurisdiction of CBI vis-a-vis State Police
Law and Order is a State subject and the basic jurisdiction to investigate crime lies with State Police. Besides, due to limited resources, CBI would not be able to investigate crimes of all kind. CBI may investigate:
Cases which are essentially against Central Govt. employees or concerning affairs of the Central Govt.
Cases in which the financial interests of the Central Government are involved.
Cases relating to the breaches of Central Laws with the enforcement of which the Government of India is mainly concerned.
Big cases of fraud, cheating, embezzlement and the like relating to companies in which large funds are involved and similar other cases when committed by organized gangs or professional criminals having ramifications in several States.
Cases having interstate and international ramifications and involving several official agencies where, from all angles, it is considered necessary that a single investigating agency should be in charge of the investigation.
In view of all the points mentioned in this complaint and keeping in mind that it is a case involving a variety of criminal activities by Sai Baba and his organization, affecting the public at large in India as well as a large number of countries, as well as the fact that several international investigative agencies and other govt. agencies are involved, political leaders and govt. officials in India are involved, the staggering amounts of money involved, the extremely serious crimes very strongly indicated, and all the ingredients of an organized racket going on for decades, this is a perfect case for the Central Bureau of Investigation to take up and investigate.
I am enclosing more than 20 signed affidavits from several individuals who were former followers of Sai Baba, which testify to all the above mentioned crimes of cheating, inducement, sexual molestations etc.I request the CBI to treat all these statements as official complaints . All the cooperation and additional information will be provided by us, whenever required by the CBI.
Copies of these complaints are also being sent to the Supreme Court of India, praying for direction to the CBI to take up the Sai Baba case suo motu.
I request the CBI to send me an official acknowledgement of this complaint to the address mentioned.
I certify that all the facts that are stated in this complaint are true and accurate to the best of my knowledge and belief