In spite of all his lectures to his followers on avoiding feverishness & just observe their desires & let go, Sri Sri was very feverish about getting a Nobel Peace Prize. The guy , so ever hankering for more fame and glory and power & political influence, wanted a NPP badly and was flogging his senior teachers/members of his inner circle, at full speed, to get it for him. They, in return, hoping for more recognition from the master and earning his favour, were flogging everyone else. Without any trace of shame or humility, Sri Sri , casting all cautions to the wind, was demanding his lackeys to get this NPP for him. When confronted with the question as to why a godman claiming he has no desire for fame & glory wants NPP, he would say he doesn’t want it for himself, he wanted it for his organisation to get recognition for all the good work they were doing. And when asked why he wanted recognition for the organisation (was the work being done to get recognition?) , his reply was so that with a NPP under our belt we can do more work!!!! Oh, ya!!!
Next question of course was how come Guruji, this self-claimed God & Master of universe, who had nature under his command & was reincarnation of Krishna, Christ, Shiva & God & Gurudev & Buddha what not and someone who could perform so many miracles & even bring people back from death & make things happen like magic, how come he couldn’t just wave his magic wand & get a NPP easily. And the answer , for those foolish enough to ask, was that he wanted to give his teachers and followers an opportunity to grow and learn & earn good merits!! If he would make everything happen so easily then they wouldn’t have opportunity to grow!! A reply heard many times from Guruji in sticky situations!!
In Sep 2004, all AOL centres received an email saying:
The Nobel Peace Prize (NPP) Project has been launched with Guruji’s designation of an international team to work quickly and quietly on this initiative, initially with the following members:
Peter Payoyo, overall coordinator, Netherlands
Christopher Kiran Byrt, Norway
Christoph Glaser, Switzerland
Werner Luedemann, Germany
Ewald Poeran, Netherlands
Fahri Saatcioglu, Norway
and were duly advised in the same email:
A final note: We urge everyone to be very discreet about this matter. It is the standard policy of the Nobel Committee that nominators and nominees must not publish nor advertise their nominations. Guruji’s nomination will be unnecessarily jeopardized if we allow the NPP Project to be exposed publicly. So let us all just keep the smile, keep the silence, and wish for the best.
ie, even though WE know & even though YOU know the orders for getting a NPP for Sri Sri comes from Guruji himself, we all have to keep this as a secret!!
These top echelons in turn were asking for National coordinators (NC) to assist with this project. But in no time, as Sri Sri’s pressure on them increased, they changed their tone to the NCs from one of asking them for their assistance to one of demanding for reports re how many letter of nomination they have got.
It went from:
The National Coordinator will act as a focal person for our collective efforts and will become part of the global coordination network to assist in Guruji’s NPP nomination.
To the National Coordinators who have not shared any news to the International Coordination Team, you may wish to get in touch ASAP and kindly let me know what is the real score on your grounds.
In the coming days and weeks in the run up to February 1st, I and the other members of the International Coordination Team will be calling you individually by phone so that we may be able to share personal updates about progress made on the project. This is in line with the instructions given by Guruji yesterday to the effect that the International Coordination Team must call each one of the National Coordinators for encouragement and solidarity.
Guruji has the list of NPP National Coordinators and he mentioned that he is counting on you, and each one of our national coordinator-colleagues, to rush this project to the finish (end of this month) and to accomplish our mission with a smile.
In line with this latest directive from Guruji, may I therefore request each one of you to send me a.s.a.p. (at the latest this Friday night) the NAMES OF NOMINATORS whom you have approached in your own countries.
The committee members & Guruji’s secretary Jaina, would send personal emails to those involved saying things like:
Gurudev asked me to get in touch with you personally. HE said approach parliamentarians and professors... and finish the work by end of January
so there was no doubt whatsoever Guruji was personally pushing this project & exerting all pressure he could on his senior teachers & they in return were pressurizing others!
The above NPPP committee members were sending emails left & right, saying things like:
Yesterday in Brussels, I had the opportunity to talk to Guruji about our project. His message and his blessing to all of us is:
Let us work harder and give our very best to come up with many NPP nomination letters before the end of this month.
The pressure is building and is wonderfully upon us to make a miracle happen! May I enjoin everyone, in typical Art of Living fashion, to rush and make haste, and create wonders for Guruji and the NPP project during this auspicious New Year.
This Saturday, January 15th, Guruji will meet with the members of the International Coordination Team in our Ashram in Bad Antogast (yes, he will be in Germany this weekend). His instruction, relayed by phone last Sunday, is for us to come up with the LIST of people who have definitely agreed to write NPP nomination letters.
They were sending draft letters & glamorised biography of Guruji to coordinators & basically harassing them to get nomination letters, throughout quoting Guruji said this & that, making it plain obvious the orders came from Guruji himself & using it as an opportunity to boast about their closeness to Guruji!! And for these lackeys to get closer to the Guru, everyone else had to bust their butts, so they could get the credit!
Guruji met with of the NPP Project Coordination Team last Saturday afternoon in his room in the Ashram at Bad Antogast, Germany. The members of the team that went to see him were Christoph Glasser, Werner Luedemann, Ewald Poeran, and myself. Also in attendance in the meeting were some Art of Living colleagues who had an interest in the project.
Guruji was presented with the list of all confirmed nominators as of Saturday morning, which was a compilation of all the names of individual nominators that you have sent me, or which you have notified to other members of the international team. The list of confirmed nominators is subdivided into three categories: (1) those who have actually already sent nomination letters, (2) those who are already writing their nominations, and (3) those who are very likely to send nomination letters before the Feb 1 deadline. The list also indicates the NPP country/project coordinators responsible for the confirmed nominations..... Guruji went through the list page by page for several minutes. I can certainly report to you that Guruji expressed satisfaction on the fact that we have secured at least 130 confirmed nominations as of Saturday morning. It was mentioned to him there were four heads of government (1 president and 3 Prime Ministers) who have supported his nomination so far. It was also mentioned that many more new nominations will be secured in the coming days.
Guruji sends his love to all. He has also given specific instructions addressed to particular countries and coordinators which I shall communicate individually to those concerned in due course.
Guruji’s general directive remains: the members of the interntional team as well as our roving NPP project contacts will continue to call you via phone or email to facilitate progress and to exchange information up to the last day of our project. So please have patience with us on our follow-up calls, and do kindly keep the international team directly posted on the most recent developments concerning particular nominators in your own jurisdictions.
May I take this opportunity to thank all of you for the assisting in the effort to prepare the report presented to Guruji last Saturday. Gurji was certainly happy with our report, and with our overall performance thus far. May I also thank the NPP coordinators and AoL leaders who were there in the Ashram to give me personal updates concerning the NPP project in their respective countries.A full and final report on our project will be submitted to Guruji in February.
And after sending those involved particular drafts of Nomination letters & asking them to send those, suddenly they sent an email saying:
Due to widespread concern, and on account of numerous feedbacks received by the International Coordination Team, may I reiterate the following reminders:
1. The ‘model nomination letter’ circulated earlier (Word document: “Example and Elements of a Model Nomination Letter”) is for your guidance only. Use this document to get a general idea about the particular nomination letter which you need to draft, when this drafting is called for. The ‘model nomination letter’ should NOT be copied verbatim. Some nomination letters have already been forwarded to the Nobel Committee in Norway using the text of this illustrative nomination letter. The sincerity and political impact behind the massive nomination of Guruji to the 2005 NPP will be seriously impaired if there are any more letters sent to Norway using the monotonous text and style of the ‘model nomination letter’.
Henceforth, new nominations that are in the process of being obtained by NPP coordinators must ensure that the nomination letters are original and worded differently – to reflect the unique personality of the nominator, and describing his/her personal experiences with Guruji as well as the local/national situation concerning Guruji’s work. If you need any drafting assistance, please let me know.
The email below sent by the above NPPP committee exposes the sham so beautifully. It is so revealing:
The continuing CONFIDENTIALITY AND SECRECY of the NPP project – our concerted and collective campaign to solicit nomination letters for Guruji – must be absolutely maintained and protected with utmost diligence. One leakage of any single aspect of the NPP project to the public domain, or public knowledge of any written suggestion that Guruji is somehow involved in this project, will spell immediate disaster.
To preserve the integrity of our mission, I ask everyone involved to take a step back and examine each and every communication that you have sent out (especially faxes and emails) to “others”, even those addressed to other Art of Living colleagues. Please check whether you have mentioned any fact or reference about Project that may be interpreted wrongly and cause prejudice to Guruji. For example, have you communicated to some other person a message to the effect that “Guruji has instructed that he wants you to get a nomination from so and so” or, “Guruji wants to know who are nominating him” or, “Guruji is asking whether you can help us in the NPP” or, “Guruji has asked us to work fast on nominations”? If you have, please let me know a.s.a.p so that we can rectify the situation.
Lapses or mistakes along lines that could prove damaging to Guruji might have been made at the height of your eagerness or excitement to obtain nomination letters for Guruji. It is part of our responsibility to immediately correct these mistakes.
The confidentiality and low-profile approach underlying our NPP Project does not mean that what we are doing is wrong. On the contrary, we are engaged in a quiet, noble mission. The reason why we keep our Project top secret from start to finish is simple: we must not give any reason to the Nobel Committee (or political opportunist therein) to mis-characterize what we are doing as a self-promotion campaign by Guruji. The secular politics behind the selection of the Nobel Peace Prize winner will never be able to comprehend the meaning of our “Jai Guru Dev”.
And from time to time, the use of the words were so revealing too, Freudian slip perhaps,:
For NPP Coordinators and Contacts who have notified me of their 'harvest', please check the numbers reported against your own records.
As the pressure was building higher on NPPP committee members, they started to send contradictory directives. One minute it was:
Only eligible nominators must be approached to write nomination letters. Potential nominators who do not fall clearly and categorically in the list of qualified nominators should NOT be requested nor invited to write a nomination letter for Guruji. Please disregard any rumor or message saying that the Nobel Committee has relaxed its rules concerning eligibility requirements for nominators. Dignitaries or high officials who are not included in the list of nominators, are to be excluded. Stick to the relevant guidelines set in previous NPP Bulletins.
The next minute was:
At this critical juncture, Guruji’s candidacy urgently calls for our support, literally everyone’s support, to ensure victory. How do we give our support? This is what we propose to do: let us send “letters of support for Guruji” in the thousands to the Nobel Committee in Norway. The elements of this new campaign are as follows:
1. The names of the individuals and organizations officially nominated to the NPP 2005 have been published. After the nomination process, any person can now send a letter or communication or declaration to the Nobel Committee to express support for, or make a comment on, any nominee.
2. Given this opening, we are in a position to harness the power of world opinion in favor of Guruji. We will ask anyone and everyone FROM ALL WALKS OF LIFE to write a letter of support for Guruji, to endorse his candidacy to the NPP 2005, and/or to thank all those who have nominated Guruji to the NPP 2005.
3. A letter of support from anyone means exactly that – anyone inside or outside the Art of Living community can write a letter. Children, students, soldiers, policemen, prisoners, business people, government officials, households, community leaders and shakers, Muslims, Christians, professionals, migrant workers, fishers, the sick or hospitalized, those in conflict zones, the wealthy, womens’ groups, scientists, artists, politicians, school teachers, VIPs, etc., etc. – in short, anyone who cares for Guruji and his cause for peace and human values can send in a letter of support.
5. I myself have written a letter of support for Guruji, in my capacity as the head of a non-profit foundation extending care to seafarers in the Port of Rotterdam. Each one of us, and all those around us who have been touched by Guruji, can surely send a letter to support Guruji’s bid to the NPP this year.
6. The only CAVEAT is: a person should NOT identify himself or herself as affiliated with the Art of Living Foundation or the IAHV (or any other organization founded by Guruji) when s/he writes a letter of support, because this will be seen as an unethical and indirect self-promotion by Guruji. If an author cannot affiliate himself with a proper role or position (like, “as a Budhist” or “as a 10 year old child” or “as a businessman”, or “as an ordinary worker”, or “as a citizen of Norway”), then he can simply write: “as a human being who is deeply concerned with the peace situation in the world [or, peace situation in my country] , I am very happy to know that Sri Sri Ravi Shankar has been nominated to the Nobel Peace Prize. Our world will be a more harmonious and peaceful place for all if Sri Sri Ravi Shankar wins this award. So please make him win. Thank you, xxxx”, or something to this effect.
The good news is that Guruji’s candidacy, from all indications, is being taken very seriously indeed by the Nobel Committee. But Guruji is not the only leading NPP contender. There are other NPP candidates that have launched powerful, mass-based campaigns. Let us back up Guruji with the power and a force that the Nobel Committee cannot afford to ignore, namely, the inspiration and peace that Guruji has himself gifted to all who celebrate his grace.
[Did you read number 6 caveat carefully? Even though they were emailing AOL members to write these letters of support, they were telling them to lie & do not reveal their connection to AOL/Guruji. This widespread act of deceit of course was not confined to NPPP, but is a common strategy in all AOL PR. All those articles you see by so called independent journalist praising the Guru & his work are witten by AOL Teachers, his communication team & his PR machine.]
And then in their next email they would say:
It has come to our attention that the email I sent earlier this week, which was addressed to all former national coordinators of the NPP project, has been circulated indiscriminately by one or two of our colleagues, treating that email as if it were a ‘chain letter’. As a result, that email has reached people who could potentially misunderstand the purpose of our undertaking.
To avoid further confusion and misunderstanding about our enterprise, I am therefore sending out this cautionary reminder to everyone concerned:
1. The goal of our campaign is to have many 'letters of support' written and then sent to Norway. The best approach to realize this goal is to have intensive person-to-person meetings or discussions in order to explain our campaign and to get results. If a national coordinator or focal person feels that my email should be shared to other people for information purposes, then please please be extra-cautious in your choice of contacts or addressees to whom you forward that email. Make sure that only responsible and discreet colleagues get it. Like this email, that email was meant as a confidential and very personal communication.
2. This campaign is NOT Guruji’s campaign. Basically, it is a campaign of independent, like-minded individuals all over the world who believe that Guruji should win the NPP 2005. This means that it is NOT an official project of the AofL or the IAHV. To illustrate the point, may I refer you to my own letter of support (attached) which was mentioned in my last email, and which will perhaps clarify the important guideline that letter-writers should NOT be seen as AofL or IAHV officers/representatives when they write their letters of support.
Two other guidelines for your kind and immediate consideration:
4. I mentioned “children” in my last email as subjects included in our campaign. However, the focus should instead be on “young people” (or teenagers) who have achieved a certain level of maturity and discretion. So let us please focus on encouraging young but sufficiently autonomous/mature people to write letters of support for Guruji (and not little children, lest we be accused of manipulating infants for our campaign).
Yes, you read it right (#2 above), suddenly we went from Guruji designated a team to win him NPP & Guruji chairing the meeting &his hands on approach to project and Guruji said this & that to it “is not Guruji’s campaign”!!! That It had nothing to do with Guruji, it was “a campaign of independent, like-minded individuals all over the world who believe that Guruji should win the NPP 2005”.