Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Flies: musca domestica

For a long time I kept wondering whether I did right leaving the AoL. I was told so much there was no life outside or after AoL, that people fell in disgrace, that being on the path was the most amazing opportunity in life, that having an enlightened Guru was such a life time blessing not everyone could enjoy, that all my talents were given to me by him, etc. I kept actually digging my own hole deeper and deeper thinking perhaps I was the worst thing in the world, like SS tried to convince me of, and, without him I was nothing. (He himself warned me I would “burn” if I left him, and that I would, in two years, crawl back begging him to let me in (I must add, he is such a poor psychic!)).

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.


zhoro said...

Dear Klim, after I left AoL, I came across some work on cults and their methods. Books like Stripping the Gurus and The Guru Papers: Masks of Authoritarian Power helped me understand what had happened to me and others and how easily I had allowed that to happen. I also found very useful the 100 questions on The Cult Test
compiled by A. Orange and was amazed by how many counts AoL qualifies as a destructive cult on.

One of the methods used by cults is to make you fear life outside the cult and create the notion of being blessed to be a member, which is what you relate here from your experience. I can corroborate that. The "he'll be back" withing two years response to someone leaving seems to be standard. That's exactly what RS said about my first AoL teacher, who left the org after I'd joined. It's been much longer than two years now and my ex-teacher is happily walking on his own spiritual path still considering AoL highly disfunctional.

Anonymous said...

The analogy of flies is simply brilliant.

Anonymous said...


you mentioned in one of your posts about threats from AOL members. Can you tell us what these threats were like?

Anonymous said...

Hey Klim,

Didn't you give zhoro as your email ID if I wanted to know your real name? So how come zhoro is writing to you now? This is my point exactly. If all of the people writing are anonymous, how do we know it's actually more than one person with a grudge? I believe what you are saying, and it's close to some of my observations about AOL as well. However, I would expect you to have the same level of honesty and transparency that you complain AOL of not having. Especially for people on the fence, your credibility is very important to make the right decision.

vinita again.

KLIM said...

Vinita, Zhoro and me are not the same person. In fact, I don't know who he/she is and he/she does not know who I am! Check your paranoia and accusations before jumping to conclusions that disturb you and others. Thank you.

zhoro said...

Vinita, kindly notice that the posting where I gave you my email, was signed as 'Anonymous'. KLIM, on the other hand, posts as 'KLIM'. Not that this is proof of anything, but you simply must have misunderstood that zhoro72@yahoo.com was KLIM's email address. It is not.

Anonymous said...

oohhh, then yes, I misunderstood. i'm sorry KLIM. i know your postings zhoro from guruphiliac, so i knew if KLIM=zhoro email ID then they are the same. you are right, i didn't read the anonymous, i though KLIM was offering his email ID. totally my bad.


Shit talk said...

That flies like shit is interesting. I wonder what it is about flies that cause them to gravitate towards shit? The smell? The odor? The texture? Shit is hardly subtle. And it sure does stink! Do flies have special shit receptors that cause them to fly towards shit and then stick to it, even against their own free will? Or do they simply prefer to wallow in shit, even after they realize it's shit? Is it just easy to find shit and stick with it because it's what they know and falls within their comfort zone? Are they mistaking shit for something different, like perhaps, roses? If so, they need to get their evolutionary gear up to snuff so they can learn to distinguish the two! Because I'm pretty sure that most other creatures tend to recognize shit as shit, then move away from it pretty quickly, but I've never seen them blame shit for being so smelly and shitty! I mean, it's shit! What do you expect?

Interesting questions about the nature of shit and the shit-attracted.....

Anonymous said...

Beware , this vinita is one of those deceptively treacly aolite.

In general most Indians (contemporary ,don't react with quotes from Vedic Smritis holier than thou indians) not just aolites lack decency. Following is a sample of the indecent threats from pseudo pious Indians:-

" We know your id, we have professional hackers , your house will be set on fire , your spouse will be raped , your daughter will be raped , we will assault you....."

Even so called qualified IITians resort to such mean threats. And they MEAN it.

When some girl died ( ex aolite) in a fire accident SSRS & his lynchmob were openly exulting.

" See...this is what happens to those who leave our guru...."

Wake up. No indian is going to get outraged enough to protect you. Majority of them are thugs.

vinita, spare us your slimy mybads , now defunct haveanicedays transparencyquests. Confront your SSRS with your supersmart ferretting tactics.

Ganapathi said...

Dear Klim - Thanks for the blog. My experience with AOL is more or less the same as yours. I head a small technology firm of 90 people with offices in Bangalore, London and San Jose. I was quite enamored by all the AOL publicity and encouraged our employees and associates to take up AOL courses and Seva activities. I realized soon that AOLers use all kinds of coercion, false publicity and untruths to get people to their courses, selling and collecting donations with the idea that they can heal the world, make you stress free, successful and all that. Most of the energies of senior teachers are spent in spinning stories about the grace of the guru, seva activity stories and creating the advertisement portfolio of AOL.

A basic spiritual tenet is being violated by AOL. The end does not justify the means. The means is the end. I once told a senior teacher and designated program director of AOL, that we should be doing charity NOW not in some remote future or elsewhere but HERE. NOW and HERE. And hence let us organize and teach the course for free and let us sacrifice our energies for that. Instead of collecting high fees for the course and using it in some alleged robin hood style of rob the rich and help the needy. The teacher was aghast and told me that I do not understand the grand scheme and the money is needed for Seva. Immediately after, this teacher spread the word across to others and I was given clear signals to surrender. No deviation from the grand scheme would be tolerated. This after 19 months of giving my energies to the organization. The grand scheme of AOL which became quite obvious later to me was that the money was used for their opulent lifestyle, buying land and travels.
My experience in AOL left a bitter taste and I lost faith in so called do gooders and charities. Since I left AOL three years ago, we use the corporate philantrophy budget of our organization in helping the children of the poor brown collar workers who clean our offices. We are able to see direct tangible results from the monies and services we have donated. In India we have a huge class divide between the labourers and the educated middle class. Many in the west do not understand this. In our own small way we want to bridge this in our day to day encounters.

My advice to those people who are willing to donate money or services, do something immediate and do not get carried away by propoganda and organizations like AOL. Help a relative or friend or people whom you encounter and who are in need. Help old and sick people in your family or immediate sorroundings. You can find many such instances in this world. This is the real seva and in line with Bhagavad Gita which teaches us to work without hankering for results. You might not get into a publicity photo shoot but you can make a real difference to the world. A cousin sister of mine nursed her ailing old aged bed ridden mother for 10 years. That is real seva. If AOL teachers happen to come across this noble lady they will create guilt in her that she is not doing seva enough as she is not in their group. They are capable of that and I know it through some real instances.

Ever wonder why after every Tsunami, Flood or Earthquake organizations like AOL get richer. Ask Questions. You can prevent all this and be really humanistic by avoiding these hypocritical organizations. If the AOL hecklers still pester you can even quote the great sanskrit verses of Mahabharata "“Vrutha vrushti samurdreshu, vrutha trupthasya Bhojanam….. ” - "Rain on the seas, food given to the satisfied, charity given to the rich and lamp lighted in the day are all waste." This is exactly what I told them.

Sh said...

1% of world population. You must be joking. The AOL stuff has still not gottent out of you. AOL is just all hype, the number of people no more than a few hundred. Every Guru in india is now claiming that they are the largest and biggest something and have centres in 10 or is it 150 countries. All it takes to build a center is have one representative in each. Indian diaspora is spread the world over and you can never get a lack of one or two who want to volunteer.

zhoro said...

Shit talk, wonderful questions, indeed. Yes, it would be wonderful if at all times we could be discerning bees like you and only "chose" to land on flowers with sweet nectar. But the reality is, until we attain this power of discrimination, we sometimes act like flies. Or perhaps it is the case that the shit merchants glaze the shit with some strong artificial flower essence and, being not as mature apians as you, we fall for the trick. At least for some time. Hopefully, we will learn our lessons and get wiser. It is even conceivable that you may have, on occasion in your life, before you became this shining example of razorsharp intellect, acted like a fly and fallen for bullshit. Perhaps that helped hone your sense.

In the meantime, though, it makes all the sense in the world to put it out there that, indeed, there is shit that initially may smell like flowers. To back this up, we need to explain why the flower essence glazed shit is, well, shit. Do you find anything wrong with this?

Shit talks, bullshit walks said...

I don't think you need to be a searing intellect to discern what AOL and TM are all about. Besides the shallow layer of Vedic trappings, they are set up EXACTLY like Christian evangelical cults. With the charismatic teacher, the extreme amounts of money charged, the simplistic 'commands' on how to live life, the 'good works' (seva), and the constant emphasis on conversions (bringing in numbers of people to 'join the fold'), there is almost nothing resembling true vedic teachings in these movements.

For the people who ;'escaped' Christianity and found themselves stuck in these versions, I find it strange that they didn't notice that these teachers were of the same bent as the pastors in Evangelical Christian groups. Especially the ones who stayed for years and years! I think it telling that they are now calling what they found so compelling "bullshit". That almost says more about them than anything, that they were seduced by bullshit for so long.

The true Vedic teachers (and there are many many sincere ones) do not make promises of enlightenment, nor do they charge excessively, nor do they want you to bring others to listen to their teachings. Bringing people into the fold is not in 99.9% of any vedic teacher's focus. In fact, most will warn you mightily against the 'mystical' gurus who try to say you need a special experience to know God, or that you need to tell others to join a spiritual path. They only care if YOU 'get' what they are teaching and even then, they don't put undue restrictions on your life or expectations on you. These are signs that they are REAL gurus, as well as the quality of their teachings.

One statement that might be helpful. Those with the highest awareness are not the ones making the biggest claims. If you follow that edict, you'll never get roped in again by charlatans.

Don't throw the baby out with the bathwater and say you had a bad experience with "Hinduism". You didn't. You just got tangled with another fake missionary with a robe.