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From Barry Pittard of Australia
TO MY DEAR FORMER WHITEFIELD COLLEGE STUDENTS,
I taught you English for two years in 1978-79. These were wonderful experiences.
More recently, Sathya Sai Baba, founder of Whitefield College outside Bangalore, south India, is being accused of large scale sexual abuse of boys and young men of many countries.
Whether through my own naiveté....or lack of experience as a teacher, I was ignorant of any immoral sexual harassment perpetrated upon you or your classmates by Sathya Sai Baba. I am sad that I did not know of any actual or potential abuses, and only strong, sustained action to stop any further abuses by him will alleviate this sadness. The evidence very strongly indicates that he continues these abuses.
As I reflect on those years I spent with you at the Whitefield College, I wonder:
Did you then yourself feel that whole families, even communities, would have disbelieved and scorned you had you spoken out?
Were you concerned that your education, career and marriage prospects would fail if you spoke out?
Was it impossible for you to reconcile your beliefs with your knowledge or suspicion that the one you believed to be "God" was a sexual abuser? Did some of you think that God would manifest in the guise of a molester of children and young men?
Did you secretly despise what was, it seems, happening to your beautiful, tender, and trusting innocence - yet did not know how to stop it?
Several of us, as former, long-time devotees, are now global co-ordinators in response to the alleged abuses. Increasing numbers of Indian and overseas persons have shared with us what they swear to be their direct experiences of sexual abuses by Sathya Sai Baba. They tell us that they found the experience most abhorrent, confusing and even traumatic.
Many of the descriptions, in shocking graphic detail, are heartrending to hear in person or on the phone, and to read in their affidavits and other testimonies. Expert psychologists and police have shown us how experienced sexual abusers operate the world over. The same patterns occur in countless worldwide reports that allege sexual misconduct by Sathya Sai Baba.
I was not able to stand up on behalf of what seems to have been your horribly betrayed innocence back in those days. However, I will - both openly and privately - do my best to represent that innocence now, and on an international scale.
I trust we will assist each other to uphold Truth, Right Conduct, Peace and Love. (These are such easy words to say! Yet, work and courage are required to uphold them). We co-ordinators are quiet about issues such as numbers and whereabouts of alleged victims or witnesses. On websites and elsewhere, defenders of Sathya Sai Baba and his assistants deride us for not producing credible witnesses. Time will most decidedly tell!
The real reason for our silence is the protection of those persons (or their families) by whom the allegations are being made. Outstanding professional abuse counsellors, Interpol, foreign ministries, legal and other consultants are closely assisting our efforts. With
ever-increasing strength, former devotees from many countries will present to the world, and the law courts, extremely powerful evidence of terrible abuse of spiritual power. Abuse by one who seemed to be of the calibre of a Sri Krishna or Sri Rama or Jesus or Buddha. Yet, none of these illustrious spiritual leaders were ever suspected or accused of any such dreadful crimes against minors and young men.
Beloved former students, some of you and I actually were present during ineffably beautiful miraculous experiences that the rational mind will never comprehend. That is on the side of Light. It has promoted transformation. However, we are only whole persons when, fearlessly, we can look unflinchingly into the Darkness as well. This brings the greater transformation.
I welcome you, on a strictly private basis, to please contact me. Any information that you can provide concerning sexual or any other abuses by Sathya Sai Baba will be appreciated. It is our duty as citizens to ensure that sexual abuse and other crimes are made accountable. No matter what abilities a rare, super phenomenal, charismatic individual may possess, let us be sure: God will never manifest as a vast scale, serial sexual abuser of boys and young men.
Barry Pittard, Australia