Dr. G. Venkataraman, Slightly Visible


Posted: Thursday, August 12, 2004


Author: Barry Pittard


Email: bpittard@beachaccess.com.au


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(Watch for Part 2! 'The Secret Dr G. Venkataraman')


Dr G. Venkataraman, a former adviser to India's Defence Research and Development Organisation, is the Deputy Chairman of the Prashanti Council. Its Chairman is Dr Michael Goldstein, who says “… the Council will be a resource for intervention in difficult circumstances where the sanctity of the Divine Name or the welfare of the Sai Organisation can be affected."


The ExposÚ - ever growing from strength to strength - can surely be no other than that which creates such “difficult circumstances."

You can hear Dr Venkataraman Radio Sai (which he heads) and read him in Radio Sai Listener's Journal. The following excerpts are from that of March 1, 2004:




“…when there is misstatement in high quarters, we do make a quiet effort to set the record straight. Let me give two examples. A couple of years ago, the London Times wrote something nasty about Swami. Now the Times is not only the leading newspaper in Britain but one of the leading newspapers of the world, that is held in high esteem everywhere.”


Comment:  Yes, The Times of London is held in high esteem. This is because of its historic commitment to journalistic ethics and no doubt, too, the stiff exactitudes of its legal department. Famously, it bases its articles on the most careful research. Dominic Kennedy, who led The Times of London's investigation into some of the allegations against SSB, is one of the world’s most senior journalists, and was rightly very demanding of those of us former SSB devotees who presented evidence to him from around the world, as have been many other of the world’s major media organisations who have researched our submissions. (For a media list – albeit increasingly in need of updating, soon to be remedied, see my article Sathya Sai Baba ExposÚ. An Update):




In a 'Letter from International Chairman' (September 18, 2001), addressed to Sai centres around the world - http://www.saiguru.net/english/sai_org/shah-missive.htm - Venkataraman's close colleague, Indulal Shah, used a conscienceless appeal, when world coordinator, to widespread prejudices about the media. He says, “Devotees however must be careful in interacting with the media, which has a strong propensity for sensationalism.  A whiff of scandal always helps their sales and therefore they do not even pause to verify the truth.”


We may all have felt this type of prejudice, but truthful individuals know that it is a sweeping generalisation. The deeply cultic Sai leaders and devotees will do anything but face what is actually being said in these many articles by such outstanding writers as Dominic Kennedy, Mick Brown, Michelle Goldberg, etc.


How would Shah know that the media former devotees have consulted "do not even pause to verify the truth"?  


He speaks of “these canards,” and of the tremendously many and honourable former devotees he says, “History does not forgive such perfidious individuals who can stoop so low as to find fault with the divine itself.”  Shah, like Venkataraman, Goldstein and other key leaders, omits what he knows is the truth – that many individuals and families for years in perfectly good standing with the Sathya Sai Organisation have brought their shocking stories to Sai organisation leaders. How betrayed they were, and continue to be! Shah calls such accounts “malicious allegations that are innately false and devious.”


Lesson to be drawn:  let former devotees be in no doubt that these are desperate men (hardly a woman among them, either!), fighting to salvage something from the terrible wreckage that their leader’s perverse ways have brought upon their so-called “divine organisation.”




Venkataraman continues, Clearly if it writes or publishes something incorrect and inappropriate, we have a duty to place the correct facts before it so that its readers do not get wrong ideas.”


Comment:  So much for his guru's many statements that there is no need to defend him, such as "These propaganda campaigns will not affect My reputation in any manner. My purity is the root cause of the glory of My name" (p. 257 - Sathya Sai Speaks Vol. 26). 


Constantly, Sai officials attempt to suppress the facts – the typical ploy of cults. 


In 2003, leading Sai Organisation figures Thorbj÷rn Meyer (Central Co-coordinator for Europe and Co-coordinator for Russian-speaking countries) and J°rgen Trygved (Chairman of the 'Sai international school' fund board) hired the most expensive lawyers in Denmark (respectively, Harboe Wissum and Dorrit Enge) in months-long efforts to prevent the broadcast of a documentary detailing allegations against Sai Baba of serial sexual molestation of young males and the faking of miracles. Thorbj÷rn Meyer also failed to intimidate the Danish radio and television corporation’s supremo, Christian Nissen. Similarly, the then Australian head, T. Sri Ramanathan, tried to stop (with tactics that included legal threats) Australia’s multi-cultural radio and television broadcaster, SBS, which screened an English version of the Danish documentary on Thursday February 12, 2004 "Seduced by Sai Baba":  http://www.saiaustralia.org.au/release/185.html


In fact, this is the right of reply that the Press is supposed to offer. So many of us wrote letters to the Times but believe it or not, the Times simply refused to publish any one of our letters.


As a man of the world, Venkataraman surely knows that newspapers – ever more so leading ones – are deluged with letters. If they were not, there would be tidal wave of words akin to his own prolixities. 


In fact Air Chief Marshall [Retd.] Nirmal Suri, an ardent devotee, was in London at that time and he personally went to the office of the Times and tried to talk to them; but they did not even bother to meet him. So much for a decent and free press!


Comment: (A little bird tells me that they tried the same stunt with the BBC). Unfortunately for the likes of Venkataraman, Suri, et al., the scene has switched from India, where most of the media is afraid to publish anything adverse to Sathya Sai Baba. In the West, the Sai antidemocrats have a much harder time of sweet-talking, threatening or cajoling editors and journalists (not to mention police, judiciary, politicians...).


Venkataraman would not be honest enough to reply to queries – which, famously SSB’s leaders are not. But if he swallowed a truth-drug, he would have to say that for him and his cohorts “decent and free press” means only those newspapers which publish unquestioningly what the Sai Organisation wishes to see published.