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The Spanish press has revealed that Nicolás Maduro, Vice President of Venezuela and named successor of Hugo Chávez, is a follower of Sai Baba. There are photos of Maduro at the feet of his Indian guru, which the Venezuelan government has tried to hide. [IT 4.1 2013] 
The Bombay High Court has dismissed charges of misappropriation of funds against members of the Shirdi-based Saibaba Sansthan Trust. The trust’s management committee, which runs the wealthy Sai Baba temple in Ahmednager, represents a political alliance in the coalition that rules Maharashtra. The court ordered the formation of a new management committee, failing which the government will take over administration of the trust. Committee members allegedly faked travel expenses, exaggerated other expenditures, and made appointments as political favors. (MSN, 3/14/12) [IT 3.2 2012] 
The guru Sai Baba died in April, age 86, at his ashram in India. ”Reflecting on Sai Baba’s life, one encounters moments of divine transformation, devotion, and public service as well as pain, death, and heinous accusa­tions. Millions of devotees believed in and worshipped Sai Baba as a god-man, an avatar of God. Many also despised him as a charlatan, a sexual abuser, and even an accessory to murder.” But it’s possible to abhor Sai Baba’s ethics “while acknowledg­ing the transformative effects he had on his devotees. In this case, the term guru would point not to indi­viduals with exceptional virtue, but rather to those who have the power to convince, to lead, and to instigate transformation among disciples.”Sai Baba’s International Sathya Sai organization consists today of some 1,200 centers in 126 countries. His devotees include powerful politi­cians, celebrities, and entrepreneurs. The Satya Sai Central Trust is estimat­ed to be worth at least $8.9 billion. (Religion Dispatches, 5/1/11) [IT 2.2 2011]

Old allegations of pedophilia against guru Sathya Sai Baba, in Britain, have surfaced following an announcement that 200 boys are to visit India for a month-long humanitarian pilgrimage organized by the Sai Youth Movement. Former home office minister Tom Sackville, who runs a cult victim support group, said, “It is appallingly naïve for the award scheme to involve young people . . . with an organization whose leader is accused of pedophilia.” The U.S. State Department says citizens should be aware of “unconfirmed reports of inappropriate sexual behavior by a prominent local religious leader [apparently Sai Baba] at an ashram or religious retreat located in Andhra Pradesh.” [csr 5.3 2006]

Former astronaut and presidential science advisor Brian O’ Leary is spreading the world peace message of Indian guru Satya Sai Baba. O’Leary was scheduled to meet in January with the former head of an Indian atomic energy station who has a theory that energy can be extracted from space. Sources close to O’Leary call Sai Baba “the greatest example of interfaith spiritual unity since the Buddha.” (Press Trust of India, Internet, 1/19/03) [csr 2.1 2003]

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