Friday, February 5, 2010

“Be scared, Be very scared!!!!"

This first one was sent by someone in the Northeast of the USA, most likely a teacher and board member:

"Dearest xxx, Jai Gurudev. I know you are hurting but do not say or do anything that you will regret later on. With Lots of Love"

Notice how it is sugar coated threat between "Jai Gurudev" and "With lots of love", twisting the meanings of words to accomplish goals.

Here's another, less subtle than the last, written by someone in San Carlos, California:

"Dear Klim (xxx, whatever), Some of what you say in the previous blogs is true. However, now you are talking about pure rumor. Playing in a game way out of your league. Be scared, Be very scared!!!!”

When Guruphiliac started posting stuff about AoL, they also wrote to a couple teachers who had left, accusing and asking them to stop writing bad things about them. On this occasion, they again wrongly accused someone of creating this blog, someone whose only crime was to share information I have revealed a few times. Is sharing a crime or should we all still be promoting courses and the greatness of Sri Sri Ravi Shankar despite it all?

Am I wrong or are these threats? This is how secrets are kept in the AoL. This is how many who leave don’t have the courage nor the energy to speak out. This is classical cult behavior. I am almost glad these messages were sent so that people can see how they operate. Cult members lose their integrity and values when it comes to defending the organization. I imagine discussions are taking place deciding how to handle the “situation”, brainstorming possible authors of the blog, thus the same person was picked on twice, hoping to intimidate, confabulating strategies, lies, if necessary. What a déjà vu! Excuse me, WHERE IS THE SPIRITUALITY? Is this not more like business acting without accountability, credibility, ethics?

They picked the wrong person. Threatening the wrong people, or anyone as a matter of fact, is a mistake and it reveals a lot about the true nature of the organization and its leader. On the other hand, what can they do that they have not already done to any one of us? Humiliate, torture psychological and emotionally, lie, physically attack, harass, deprive of freedom, abuse, defraud? Murder is the only thing I have yet not heard of.

When information is restricted and handled through intimidation, censorship, threat, manipulation, it is, among many other things, DECEIT. If, despite knowing the other side, someone chooses to still go for it, then, that is real value, victory. That truly is when “losing is winning” (see, but Ravi and co. may be too narcissistic to understand this. Making such efforts to keep the organization free of flaws for the public is unreal and corrupt. “Looking for perfection is imperfection,” said Sri Sri Sri Ravishankar - yet he does not understand it himself. (Even Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie fart. Believe it or not, Ravi also farts. I can corroborate that but not present solid proof).

I hope others contribute their stories. It is about time more people drop their fears and come out of the cave. They can do nothing but threat. I wonder who is really scared. I have suggested my friend whom they are accusing to inform the authorities or a lawyer. If people haven’t yet, I hope the cult alert signal starts ticking in their heads. As far as I am concerned, sharing ones experience is NOT a crime. For heaven’s sake! AoL events are all about sharing! (public talks, courses, esatsang, so many hours in just boring sharing!). And now suddenly sharing is wrong? Or is it about sharing only what Ravi approves?

I have some news for the AoL damage control team--this is a free world, and it is our birthright to be able to speak out the truth and share our experiences and that of others in the interest of healing. I will continue as long as I feel so inspired, and stop only when I am ready to stop. AoL and “SSS” may once have controlled every aspect of my life, but now, no longer. You may have robbed me of years of my life but can never take away my freedom of speech.

The farce is clear. More than a spiritual movement, it is the Gestapo.


Anonymous said...

Hi Klim
You should inform local and foreign media about
your blog. The media can see the nasty side of AOL
for a change. If every person who reads your blog
forwards it to friends in AOL we will be able to
reach out to bigger numbers. My seva to mankind is to
email your blog to every AOL centre in the world -I
have all the contacts - was in the Silver Jubilee
International Liason committee. I have seen with my own
eyes how the donations which came in for charity projects
were misappropriated and misused.

Keep the stories coming, don't let anyone intimidate you.

KLIM & CO. said...

I don't know if informing all the AoL centers in the world will help at all, since they may simply just get more upset and attack in weird ways, but writing what you know certainly will help. I encourage you to do so. Especially if you know how donations for charity projects were misused. We will all learn from each other. Thank you.

Jivani said...

The post "be scared, be very scared" sounds the most menacing initially. What's to be scared of? Anyone sending a message like that is obviously weak.

But, it's the other one that I find to be the ugliest. First, it's just plain pretensive. If you want to make a threat, just do it.
Second, it's a classic case of an abuser trying to keep the one speaking out down. To me it reads like the writer is elevating
him /herself to be very sweet, good, pure: "with lots of love". It points to YOU as the problem: "you are hurting". Again, absolutely classic behavior.

Abusers do this all the time when they feel threatened. They tell the person resisting the abuse that they are crazy, they need help, there is something wrong with them. Unfortunately, many people believe them because they have become psychologically traumatized by the person/organization, have low self-esteem and feel ashamed. It seems to me that the person sending this post is desperately trying to control and manipulate.

Art of Leaving said...

Anon: “Be scared, Be very scared!!!!”

Mr/Ms INTIMIDATOR, please keep going with all your threats!! You are waking up slumbering forces! For some of us a good old Human Rights fight may be just the therapy we need!

Just to let you know, that as of your threat I am consulting human rights experts.


Anonymous said...

Wow Klim,

You are comparing AOL to the Gestapo. Are you sure? I was in the AOL for about 17 years and left because AOL got a little cultic. But in all my time with the organization I heard of no one "deprived of freedom" or "physically attacked" or "psychologically tortured". When you make claims like that you lose the power of your very real points of critique with AOL. Exaggerating doesn't help anyone. I ask for you to use the same level of honesty that you want AOL to use. No one was forced to stay in the organization. People came and went freely. And yes I am not minimizing the psychological need for many people to stay out of fear of leaving the guru or what that would mean. But at the end of the day, it was still their choice to stay - no one forced them. Some full time teachers got into a financial dependency with AOL and it was harder for them to leave, but they do leave and no one stopped them. You are proof of that. I also left with no one stalking me or accusing me or attacking me in any way.

Chris Williams said...

~ ~ ~ Yeah KLIM you %@#%@ of a human, be scared. Be very scared. You think you have the balls to expose our crappiness gay gay gay ravi shankar and our crappy organizational policies and get away with it. Oh no you don''re SO mistaken. We'll hunt you down and kill you, so your blood can be shown as an example to all, that we are extremely peace loving and patient people ~ ~ ~ Come ON you AoL sissies out there, wake up and get real. KLIM, I honestly think that the guy who wrote that "be scared, be very scared" stuff has a fancy IT job in one of India's posh metros, has a fab vehicle and a bunch of money to write stuff like that. Sweatshops are no joke and they cannot be excused even in spiritual organizations. If some guy stands up and says, 'okay, treat me as your slave, give me minimal or no wages, I want to work my butt off doing seva', then nobody will complain, because it's the guy's prerogative. However, if the organization itself becomes a sweatshop and everyone who works in it are forced to have a low life, it's pitiful. Seva has its place, but aren't the people in the ashram also worthy of some gratitude? If poverty gave spirituality, we should be worshiping the feet of beggars. It is sad to see fake gurus taking advantage of people's faith and living the star life themselves, while everyone else around them have to live off the crumbs and scraps they throw to the ground. So you AoL sissies, The bottom line is, if gay gay gay ravi shankar is the saint he claims to be, then all of this stuff shouldn't matter to you. After all, Jesus was nailed to a cross you guys...couldn't you and your super dude endure a few blog posts? Listen up...wait...don't give me that spaced out dreamy bliss bunny look again...oh no, no no, no, no, nooooo....whoops, there they go!

KLIM & CO. said...

dear Anon, 2/6, 2010 1:08 AM
I did the experience that without using exaggeration. Fortunately you had a different experience. When I walked out, I was harassed, threatened, etc. etc. etc., and during the years of involvement too, as I had experienced myself and witness physical violence from teachers. We all have different experiences like we all had different roles and relationships with the supreme lord, right?

CHUCK said...

Kim said... Believe it or not, Ravi also farts. I can corroborate that but not present solid proof).

This here is more proof that She She aint a real man! When a real man farts, there is always some solid proof!

Prairie Princess said...

Maybe the "be scared, be very scared" statement should apply to virtual strangers who greet you with open arms and sign correspondence "lots of love" even though they do not even know you. When people act that way towards you, the behavior should be a serious wake-up call that a cult is involved. AoL really doesn't like to have its cultic cage rattled, does it? I'm glad to have that sad little group of drama queens is out of my life. Loved some of the people I met there and hope they wake up and leave.

Peaceful Warrior said...

@Prairie Princess

It would indeed be a very sad day when one starts questioning the sincerity of everyone being good to oneself. Face it everyone wants something from you - even closest friends and relatives. Gotta accept it...that's life.

I'm all for a healthy does of critical thinking - but I'd rather be a gullible fool rather than a cynic. A life of cynicism is not worth living.

Anonymous said...

I agree that AOL is quite a dysfunctional organization, but RS and AOL are not the monsters you portray them to be. I cherish some of the moments I've spent with the guru and on courses. They are really very special memories, and worth every penny I spent and every moment of frustration I had to undergo as part of this organization. The good comes with the bad - that is how life is.

Not to say your blog has no value. It might just help reform AOL, and bring some balance.

Anonymous said...

Klim, this may interest you

Media Misdeeds
(Source: Vikram Hazra’s blog)

“The Thackeray family strictly needs Art of Living lessons”—Sri Sri Ravi Shankar. This quote had a prominent place on the front page of the Telegraph in Kolkata a couple of days ago. A bit surprising, since the language and tone is most unlike Guruji’s—so I decided to verify it from an eyewitness (earwitness?)

The scene was the launch of Meri Dilli Meri Yamuna, a unique citizens’ initiative to clean the Yamuna River, with the blessings and guidance of Guruji. Some journals were more intent on playing the Thackeray-Rahul Gandhi card, and repeatedly asked Guruji whether or not He felt that the Thackerays should do the Art of Living course. Finally, on being repeatedly pressed, He casually replied in the affirmative. And the above (mis)quote was what the papers reported, while completely ignoring the actual issue of cleaning the Yamuna!

Such a stupid and cheap way to garner readership—I have refrained from commenting on the Indian media so far, though I feel it is at its lowest point ever—but this was just too silly. It would be sillier if the Thackerays were to read this and start bashing up AOL teachers in Bombay/Mumbai :) And the newspapers would have a field day either way—even if we printed an angry riposte they would still benefit from the ensuing war of words.

It’s the Indian media that needs Art of Living lessons. Strictly

Betty said...

Spirituality means giving more than you take. If guys/gals like She She are doing that, I've got no problem with them.

Vishal said...

"The Thackeray family strictly needs Art of Living lessons”—Sri Sri Ravi Shankar."

Ravi Ravi and Thackerey can compare notes with each other and get ideas to commit more fraud.

Anonymous said...

why are u so scared to tell ur name if ur so brave and talking abouct others tell ur name if u can talk ur mind abouct other people we have the right to know ur name or are u scared like a tiny little cat to reveal ur name and after reading this i dont need u to teach me what my guru taught me just tell ur name little tiny cat dont go round the bush little kitty tell ur name or is it tommy the kitty

mani iyer said...

Klim ,

This may interest you a lot , senior members of art of living and ravi ravi - bawa & dinesh 's blog

You can start a column based on your analysis of their articles

Vishal said...

Annonymous regarding Vikram Hazra's blog. He is one brainwashed zombie typical AOL teacher.
The whole blog story about Ravi Ravi being misquoted by media is BS. It was stage managed to get some cheap publicity to ravi ravi. Obviously Ravi Ravi watches hindi movies quite a lot and this on is a straight lift from the latest Ram gopal verma's movie 'Rann', where a honest Prime Minister is misquoted by media. Either way this whole media thing was a damp squib and nothing came out of it and it went unoticed much to the chagrin of AOL zombies.
Ravi Ravi is obviously concerned about too much of media coverage by competing gurus like Ramdev Baba. Ramdev baba is seen speaking about every damn thing from Homosexuality to Marathi Manoos to attacking shahrukh khan to BT brinjal. He is the new poster boy of the media as he comes out as someone who is charged up and inspired. Even if he keeps his foot in his mouth most of the times with his ill conceived views . Example curing homosexuality through pranayama. He should probably try it on Ravi Ravi and Sly Sai Baba. But thats all making news is about. It has entertainment value.

Anonymous said...

Waiting for too long for your next episode of truth. Please dont make people wait. Any good things should be announced faster and only bad things can wait. So, you decide your blogs are good or bad. I feel they are good and true. So, please start your next post with some real time experiences of yours.......

Anonymous said...

Happen to visit the website
Wow, Man !! what a website and publicity for AOL. They talk about 100008 yesplus course in March, in Mumbai.....
KLIM, World is faster than this blog man... Bawandinesh are faster... How come people like them are able to muster so much strength if AOL has so many problems? .... It's amazing. At the sametime painful for me, having been following this blog for months now... How come people are still attached to SSRS if SSRS has been so negative...???? The world is crazy, or are we crazy?.... I am not able to stop my comment...

Renaissance Man said...

Guruholic readers,

What does the International Association for Human Values do:

Have a look at their annual reports and audits here:

FROM BBB - International Association for Human Values (IAHV) meets the 20 Standards for Charity Accountability. (As of 2009)

IAHV's sister organization, The Art of Living Foundation does not publicly disclose it's financial information.

Also note that financial data is limited to certain countries and not all information for all years is made available.

In my opinion, there's only two reasons i can think of for lack of full transparency:
1. Poor organizational administration
or 2. Something is fishy

From the looks of there website it looks like it's probably the first reason, but i can't give a definite opinion without more data.

Final Thought: Financial info reveals a lot about an organization, i would like to see the data from India since i assume that's the biggest source of revenue for this organization. The U.S. info looks to be sound - but they do over-emphasize there projects and the impact of the projects.

Kanchipuram Dhothi said...

Hi Klim

Have the AOL cyberpatrol got to you? No new postings since the last five days. Hope you are okay.

Art of Leaving said...

Anon: "i dont need u to teach me what my guru taught me... little kitty tell ur name"

Your guru clearly didn't teach you good manners, for starters.

You yourself are posting anonymously, so who's the little kitty here?

Sridhar Krishnan said...

"Wow, Man !! what a website and publicity for AOL."

I did my Yes+ course with Bawa and Dinesh. After some close association realised that they were degenerate control freaks, money and publicity suckers looking for easy prey.
I have gone through the Bawa and Dinesh website for some time. The quality of posts and the comments are stupid to say the least. They are a true representation of Guru promotion, falsehood and PR. The people who comment in the SMS language in this site have no proper intelligent response or reaction to anything. Most of the people around these two teachers are emotionally unstable and sitting ducks ready to be exploited. They encourage such people.
Let me tell you of any instance in Bawa and Dinesh site which happend a few months ago. The office of His Holiness Sri Sri Ravishanakar (He has named this in imitation of the office of his holiness Dalai Lama who is the religious and political leader of the tibetian refugees. Very creative) claimed that Netherlands government have released 4 stamps of Sri Sri and this was released as news to many media outlets:

Bawa and Sri Sri were directly behind this PR campaign. And Bawa wrote one blog post about how his grandpa was a stamp collector and how much he would love these stamps. He then abused the Indian government and mentioned if netherlands government can honor Ravishankar what is stopping the indian government to honor him by releasing stamps.

But soon some folks saw through this stuff (courtesy google) and pointed out that this is extremely bogus and fradulent. These stamps are created by AOL and only announced to the Indian Media. No Dutch government official is involved in this.

Nowhere does TNT post mention that the stamps were created for Ravishankar:

Also you can order customized stamps from TNT featuring any photograph you choose including pets and inanimate objects. They will create some 100 stamps and give it to you. Anyone with little money can do that. No wonder AOL has taken this route to get their cheap publicity.

The fact was many sections of Indian media was taken for a ride. What a Joke and really shows the poor and sorry state of these journalists and no wonder AOL can hoodwink them.

Bawa and Dinesh's article which had some 100 comments from their zombie followers was withdrawn from the blog. No aplology or regret was escape. It is if the con is caught just sweep it under the carpet. Thats Bawa and Dinesh for you.

chris williams said...

yep...."anonymous kitty" is too scared like the blog post name and has no balls...scram away "anonymous kitty", your levels of consciousness are dangerously dipping below the level of a 3 year old human child...this is a serious blog openly discussing and sharing views and if you can't read things like this, go away and drink out of the pail of milk. shoo! KLIM honey, remember how you were gonna get me that labrador for valentine's day? We need him soon :P

Anonymous said...

We are waiting
We are waiting
We are waiting
For a new posting

Strike while the iron is hot,interest may wane and the objective of this blog will not be met.

Take care

Anonymous said...

The reason behind the earlier posts "We are waiting
For a new posting Strike while the iron is hot,interest may wane and the objective of this blog will not be met"

In my opinion you can clearly see this is happening to many of the guruphiliac posts as well and the reason is until people hide behind the anonymous and put general stories it gets very repetitive.

US and India are both democratic country why should the teachers who left with bitterness or unwanted events with art of living posting here giving artifical anonymous names, instead have courage and share your stories. Rumors(Until proven) are freely flowing in this and guruphiliac blogs regarding Rishis, swamis, guru himself , but when real people come out and speak they will not carry much value..