Barry Pittard Writes to Unity Churches, worldwide
Posted: Monday, September 1, 2003
Author: Barry Pittard
Reference: Barry's post of yesterday, Sunday, August 31, 2003:
To all Unity Church Laity, Ministers and Executives - internationally
1. For Distribution to all.
2. Request for publication in Unity Magazine.
Dear Sisters and Brothers,
For some four years, former devotees of Sathya Sai Baba from many countries and social backgrounds have been relentlessly campaigning on the national and international scenes. The most pressing aim is to bring the cries of hundreds of boys and young men and their families to within hearing of real human hearts, and ensure the moral and spiritual safety of the young. Gut-sickening are the accounts these young males from many countries give of Sathya Sai Baba's behaviour in the dread secrecy of the inner chamber of him who has long claimed to be the ultimate divine incarnation of all the ages, and the 'One' who sent Jesus Christ into the world. (To quell any doubts you may have that he makes claims of this sort, you may consult any of the many official Sathya Sai Organisation websites).
Therefore, with considerable gratitude and delight we note a foremost Unity Church leader Thomas Shepherd's article in the September-October 2003 issue of Unity Magazine, page 25. As I read his ringing words, I imagined Mr Shepherd to be a fine person who instinctively takes the ethical and moral high ground. Too easy is it to duck for cover among the Gadarene-like masses, or find excuses that may have everything to do with not disturbing a status quo, and nothing to do with heeding the cries of those who will rend and yet paradoxically bless our hearts if we do not build craggy fortresses around them.
Inter alia, Mr Shepherd says:
'Frankly, I wish the association response had been a little more alarmist. When the bridge up ahead is out, it’s entirely appropriate to yell “Stop!” at a passing school bus. Sexual abuse of minors is a serious offense, and we should not be promoting works of someone who is quite possibly a sexual predator, even if he does have some ideas that sound like spiritual teachings.'
Do I correctly guess that Mr Shepherd can only be referring to the presence of some Unity Church enthusiasts for Sathya Sai Baba? Or the presence of books in Unity Church bookshops the world over that extoll Sathya Sai Baba to the heavens? Certainly, former devotees in various countries have noted a promotion by complicity that enacts despite the UNESCO Media Advisory of September 2000: http://www.unesco.org/education/highlights/media_advisory.htm (...is not there anymore, but on Bibalex org we can still find the UNESCO Media Advisory)and the Travel Advisory, listed under Andhra Pradesh, in the US State Department’s ‘India - Consular Information Sheet,’ November 23, 2001: http://home.hetnet.nl/~ex-baba/engels/shortnews/warning.html. This despite the first hand reports and penetrating scholarly analyses so long available on many websites for several years. This despite the researches of the some of the world's most responsible media, such as the Times of London, Daily Telegraph, The Age, Ottawa Citizen, Toronto Star, Vancouver Sun, Salon.com, and on television and radio including the British Broadcasting Corporation, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, the Danish National Broadcaster DR, Azul TV in Argentina, etc.
I am informed that many Unity Church members personally know Dr Wayne Dyer, who both in his books and talks has extolled Sathya Sai Baba, and that his books too are very widely sold in Unity Church bookshops around the world. Would it be possible for those of you with access to him to ask him to stop promoting Sathya Sai Baba, and instead respect the integrity of the great many alleging victims who have sworn affidavits with the FBI, and other national police agencies, and of thousands of former devotees worldwide who have disaffilliated themselves from Sathya Sai Baba only after serious investigation of the status of the allegations? Since Dr Dyer is a highly qualified psychologist, I am happy to put him, and any sexual abuse professionals in the Unity Church in direct touch with a number of highly qualified psychologists and psychotherapists from the USA and other countries who have satisfied themselves as to the integrity of those making the allegations against Sathya Sai Baba, and a worldwide Organisation which gives countless appearances of being in cover-up and damage-control mode - as if duty-of-care and mandatory reporting had never been heard of.
I ask your many congregations around the world to look especially at the foremost Sathya Sai Baba former devotee websites: http://www.exbaba.com and http://www.saiguru.net and the Public Petition for Official Investigations of Sathya Sai Baba and His Worldwide Organization: http://www.petitiononline.com/saibaba/. I recommend this question: are these the work of goodly and Godly citizens who you could naturally expect to be well respected in their professions, trades and wider communities? Or are they as depicted by Sathya Sai Baba in his Christmas Day Discourse 2000? Here, far from speaking of Jesus Christ, this most famous of all Indian gurus speaks of his dissenters as “cawing crows,” “demons,” and "thousands of “Judases,” and extensively boasts his social works (actually, they are those of his devotees). Jealousy and reception of money motivated them, he says. Terrible is the karmic future he evokes for those who do not bow to his claims as the Kali Yuga (worst Age) Avatar or Incarnation: "Betrayal of God is the worst of all betrayals. It will not be atoned no matter how many births are experienced!"
All very spiritual, really? All wishing Peace and Goodwill to all Men?
Yours in service,
Barry Pittard, Australia.