Sathya Sai Baba, Cult Claims & The Failed Lawsuit

Sathya Sai Baba - Cult Claims And The Failed Lawsuit

Sathya Sai Baba, Cult Claims & The Failed Lawsuit
On Barry Pittard‘s WordPress Blog (which contains numerous defamations, libels and slurs against Sathya Sai Baba, Sai Devotees and Sai Proponents), he brought up the issue (yet again) of Alaya Rahm’s failed and self-dismissed lawsuit against the Sathya Sai Baba Society Of America. Barry Pittard said (in part):

barrypittard.wordpress.com/2008/06/07/430/
The issue of the Alaya Rahm law case against the directors of the Sathya Sai Society of America is dealt with at this place: Alaya Rahm’s Lawsuit vs Sathya Sai Society of America – Joint Statement by the International JuST Group and the Rahm family…Sathya Sai Baba’s Organization Lost Chance For Independent Adjudication…The Rahm case was lost on a technicality. The Society is but a bookshop! Lawyers and others in various countries since consulted are nonplussed that the Alaya Rahm’s pro bono attorney, William Brelsford, appeared not to see this coming and therefore to preempt it. Further, the judge in Orange County Court initially pointed out that Sathya Sai Baba could not be sued in the USA, only in India. Thus, a neat piece of lawyering in the cult’s long-term setting up of its organs paid off for them. But it was not good for the truth, which the Sai Organization members go about proclaiming is theirs – with such beatific smiles on their faces!…Yet Mr and Mrs Rahm (Al and Marisa), who formerly and for many years rose to great heights in the Sathya Sai Organization, embarked on a number of attempts, in consultation with other family members, including most of all their son Alaya, to bring to light the facts as adjudged within the third party, democratic and accountable institutions in their country, such as the Orange County Court, in California, and the State Department, USA. They were also generous of their time and energy (amidst strong private commitments that those such as Glen Meloy and myself had to be very respectful of) in testifying to demandingly investigative media such as the BBC, DR (Denmark’s national television and radio broadcaster, Daily Telegraph, India Today, The West Australian, etc. Likewise in our group’s submissions to UNESCO…As I know from my personal contact with them and other first-hand sources, they have withstood unimaginable distortions, attacks on their integrity, slander and libel. The links, sometimes disguised by being indirect, between foremost leaders of the Sathya Sai Organization and unofficial Internet presences where the libeling of former devotees continues, we are able to document to bona fide media, scholarly investigators, courts, concerned public institutions, and so on. In regard to the unconscionable behavior of Sathya Sai Baba devotees who keep silent in the face of the terrible libels and slanders, See the recent document (supported by still further evidence which, for any legal or other prudential reasons is for the time being witheld) signed by former devotees: The International Sathya Sai Organization – an accessory to a massive libel and disinformation campaign. Open letter to the Prasanthi Council – c/o Dr. M. Goldstein, Dr. G. Venkataraman and its other members.

Barry Pittard is resorting to his typical ploy of deflection by using rambling cirucumlocution to distort the facts pertaining to Alaya Rahm and his failed and self-dismissed lawsuit against the Sathya Sai Baba Society Of America.

Sathya Sai Baba Society Of America – A “Bookstore”:
First of all, ex-devotees continually claim (expressing constant surprise) that the Sathya Sai Baba Society Of America is just a “bookstore”. What ex-devotees continually and purposely forget to mention is that Al Rahm (Alaya Rahm’s father) was a high ranking member in the Sai Organization and was fully aware that the Sathya Sai Baba Society Of America was a bookstore. Why would Al Rahm allow his son to file a lawsuit against the Society if it was only a “bookstore”? Why would Al Rahm withhold this relevant information from Alaya Rahm’s pro-bono lawyer, William Brelsford? So when ex-devotee’s shriek, hiss and foam-at-the-mouth about the Society being a “bookstore”, they are actually shrieking, hissing and foaming-at-the-mouth against the Rahm Family (who were fully aware that the Society was a bookstore). Even after it had come to light that the Society was a “bookstore”, had Alaya chosen he could have named other Sai-Related Organizations and defendants up to the day he self-dismissed his lawsuit. Alaya Rahm chose not to name any other Sai-Related Organizations or defendants but instead chose to self-dismiss his case.

The Failed Publicity Stunt:
The big question also arises: Why did Alaya Rahm attempt to sue Sathya Sai Baba for money in the USA when the Guru resides in India and when the alleged acts of impropriety occurred in India? This highly questionable act suggests to many that Alaya Rahm’s failed and self-dismissed court cases were nothing more than cheap publicity stunts that backfired. Why didn’t the The Rahm Family file a basic police complaint or court case against Sathya Sai Baba in India? Regardless of whether they would have won or lost the case, a lawsuit against Sathya Sai Baba in India would have generated immense publicity to their cause. Alaya Rahm voluntarily self-dismissed his case “with prejudice”, which is binding under the international doctrine of res judicata (meaning that Alaya Rahm cannot sue Sathya Sai Baba again in the USA or in India for the same reasons outlined in his self-dismissed lawsuit).

As a matter of fact, there were two self-dismissed lawsuits by the Rahm Family. Alaya Rahm self-dismissed his flimsy lawsuits against Dr. Michael Goldstein and Sathya Sai Baba in May 2005. The lawsuit against the Society was pursued for 16 months until April 17th 2006 (just eleven days before the case was set to go to trial). The Rahm Family attempted to argue that the Society somehow brainwashed Alaya Rahm to visit Sathya Sai Baba and was therefore liable for his alleged trauma (although Alaya Rahm claimed that he had suffered no psychological trauma that would have required medical or psychiatric care).

Needless to say, Lewis Kreydick (who actually paid for Alaya’s ticket to India) came forward with his video-taped deposition and stated that Alaya Rahm wanted to go to India to see Sathya Sai Baba, obtained the permission from his parents and the parents were long-term devotees prior to Alaya trip. So when Barry Pittard said, “Sathya Sai Baba’s Organization Lost Chance For Independent Adjudication”, he is being wholly untruthful as it was Alaya Rahm who dismissed his lawsuit, not the Sai Organization. The Society was fully prepared to take the issue to court for “Independent Adjudication” and Alaya Rahm self-dismissed his lawsuit with prejuidice of his own volition. Barry Pittard (attempting to white-wash the issue) accused William Brelsford of incompetence (Ref).

Alaya Rahm’s Failed Lawsuit – Important Points To Ponder:
Alaya Rahm’s lawsuit also brought to light pivotal information that is purposely ignored by critics, ex-devotees, former followers and skeptics:

  1. Alaya Rahm’s court case was self-dismissed because he sued the wrong defendant in the wrong court in the wrong country.
  2. In “Response To Form Interrogatories” Alaya Rahm fully admitted that he had been a daily user of illegal street drugs and alcohol since at least 1999 – 2005. Consequently, during Alaya Rahm’s “Divine Downfall” and India Today Anti-Sai interviews and during the filming of the BBC Documentary “Secret Swami” and the “Seduced By Sai Baba” Danish Documentary, Alaya Rahm was under the influence of illegal street drugs and alcohol while relating his alleged sexual encounters with Sathya Sai Baba. This crucial information wholly undermines Alaya Rahm’s credibility and irreparably compromises the integrity of his claims. Needless to say, this information has been purposely suppressed from the general public by Anti-Sai Activists, the Rahm Family and the media (Ref).
  3. Alaya Rahm claimed that Lewis Kreydick & Family were all aware of “incidents” relating to his alleged molestation and named them (on record) as people who:
    1. Witnessed the INCIDENT or the event occurring immediately before or after the INCIDENT.
    2. Made statements at the scene of the INCIDENT.
    3. Heard statements made about the INCIDENT by any individual at the scene.
    4. Had knowledge of the INCIDENT.

    Needless to say, Kreydick’s sworn and video-taped deposition wholly refuted all these points made by Alaya Rahm. The Society did not actively go out and attempt to discredit Alaya Rahm. Rather, they simply interviewed a witness named by Alaya Rahm himself and obtained a shocking and damaging deposition against him.

  4. The legal proceeding provided a forum in which Alaya Rahm’s claims could be thoroughly and critically examined. Through this process of investigation, it was discovered that Alaya Rahm and his family spoke at a number of retreats and conferences between 1995 and 1999 (during the time that the alleged sexual abuse events were said to have occurred). Inconsistent with Alaya Rahm’s later accusations, these conference talks (many of which were recorded and have been transcribed: Refs: 0102), contain no suggestion of any wrongdoing. The earlier words spoken by Alaya would appear to refute his later accusations, especially Alaya’s whole-hearted and enthusiastic praise of Sathya Sai Baba and the writing of a love poem to him after allegedly being sexually abused dozens of times.
  5. Notably, in pretrial discovery, Alaya Rahm claimed (by his own admission) that he had suffered no psychological trauma that would have required medical or psychiatric care. Furthermore, Alaya identified no psychologist who had ever examined him! As a matter of fact, Alaya Rahm never saw an “expert psychologist” and his parents never sent him to one. Rather, the only help that Alaya obtained was a 3 day seminar from the Landmark Forum on “Empowerment, self help and personal growth” that cost $795 in June 2005 (5-9 years after his alleged abuse and 5 months after he filed his lawsuit)! That’s it.
  6. Discovery also revealed the precise circumstances under which Alaya Rahm first disclosed his allegations to his parents. Alaya’s parents were displeased with his lifestyle, the company he was keeping and his failure to behave in a proper manner. Alaya was living off campus and (although an adult) was supported by his parents. Alaya’s parents decided on a surprise visit to attempt to straighten him out. They decided they would cut Alaya off financially if he did not begin to conform his life to their principles. In 1999 they confronted him and told him their ultimatum of being cut off financially. Only then did he claim to have deviated from a spiritual life because he was a victim of molestation.

Ostrich Mentality Prevalent Among Critics Of Sathya Sai Baba:
Although Joe Moreno has fully responded to the absurd and ridiculous claims that “foremost leaders of the Sathya Sai Organization” have “disguised” links with “unofficial internet presences” that libel and defame ex-devotees (Ref), Barry Pittard continues in his utter self-denial and asserts that websites run by Sai Devotees (which have disclaimers stating they are not affiliated with the Sai Organization) are engaging in “libel” and “slander” because they published reciprocal links going to Moreno’s website. The websites in question do not publish articles against Ex-Devotees (hence, the absurdity of their claims of “libel” and “slander”). The websites in question simply provided a link (on pages dedicated to links) to Moreno’s website and because they did this, these websites are blindly and erroneously accused of disinformation, libel campaigns and being affiliated with the Sai Organization!

Barry Pittard (a person who was never abused and who never witnessed an incident of alleged abuse) has been poorly attempting to do damage control for the Rahm Family and fellow Ex-Devotees. Barry Pittard’s desperation is clearly evident on his WordPress Blog (which is littered with all the signs of propaganda and link-spamming). Despite Barry Pittard’s almost daily bashing of Sathya Sai Baba for many years now, Sathya Sai Baba has never (ever) been charged with any crime and not even one alleged victim has even attempted to file a basic police complaint or court case against the Guru in India.

Relevant Links:
Exposing Critic’s Smear Campaigns Against Sathya Sai Baba
Alaya Rahm Self-Dismissed His Own Lawsuit Against The SSB Society
Alaya Rahm – A 6-10 Year-Long Daily User Of Illegal Street Drugs And Alcohol
A Scathing Response To Critics About Alaya Rahm’s Failed Lawsuit
UK BBC ‘Secret Swami’
The Truth About The Alleged Sathya Sai Baba ‘Sex Scandal’
Moreno Responds: Who Is Defaming And Libeling Whom?

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