For a long time I was haunted and imprisoned by these thoughts, until one day my doctor said,
Then shit must be very good because trillions of flies like it.
Other than a big laugh, it helped me wake up one day with the realization AoL is only less than 1% of the entire planet! What am I afraid of? What did I really loose? They tried to convince me AoL was the biggest thing on the planet and that the whole universe would be his, but come on! Out of 40 people in a course, how many really stay? If lucky, 4 or 5. Out of those 4 or 5, how many actually become devotees? Maybe 1 or 0. Out of those, how many become teachers? Out of those teachers, how many stay for a long time? All the numbers given to us were usually fabricated. If there were 300 people in a talk, he’d say there were 1,500. If there were 2,000, he’d say there were 10,000 and so many who could not go in! I remember one day we even asked him if he counted the extra spirits in the room because we never agreed with his numbers. He’d just laugh and exaggerate even more each year! The lesson was “think big, make it bigger than whatever it is, then it will become that big.” Maybe this works, yet I rather achieve, small or big, with integrity rather than with deception. A man is great because of his greatness, not because of the publicity he showers on himself.
That is how one day, we heard over 20 million people had done the course. Even a teacher then, I wondered how had they come up with those calculations. AoL was and is a very disorganized organization, from bottom to top, from top to bottom. We never kept track of anything at all. And courses were so small … over 20 million people seemed like too large of a number. But of course, there was always India, where according to him, everyone fought to join the AoL! Even then, how many really remain?
Somehow, keeping things in perspective constantly has been of great help. 20 million is a marketing figure, AoL represents less than 1% of the world and it is not going to take over the world, even if he wins the NPP! And a trillion flies like shit!
A note from wikipedia: Flies have often been used in mythology and literature to represent agents of death and decay, such as the Biblical fourth plague of Egypt, or portrayed as nuisances.