Thursday, April 29, 2010

Sri Sri, Free Free, Fraud Fraud, LOL LOL

BY KLIM

Apparently what came out of the meeting between the AoL US board and Sri Sri to discuss how the blog “Confessions of a Guruholic” has “become a virus” is the creation of another blog led by two of their marketing people (Harish Ramachandran, CEO of Sumeru India, and Bharathy): www.artoflivingfreefree.blogspot.com. In the same way I no longer read “esatsang” or visit any AoL websites, I also have not checked out this one. I have no doubt, however, they will do a good job - in style, content, schemes. After all, the AoL is what it is due to witty marketing!

I am, however, still processing my thoughts and feelings about it. It is the ultimate fall of someone who once was my “idol”. If I still had any hopes or ideas that perhaps RS was a good person corrupted by power, I sadly have no longer any doubts we are facing a man greatly blinded by power, led by acute narcissism. I don’t know whether to worry, laugh, pity or fear them. This is the story of a man who claims to be a spiritual enlightened master, but also of one who is afraid of losing power to a blog. If there is truth in anything he does and who he is, including his condition of “spiritual master” and “enlightened being”, then, he/they would not even bother campaigning against it by defending themselves, convincing anyone of anything or “exposing” anything. Truth speaks alone. A blog that desperately goes out to negate another only insinuates weakness and deceit. I am afraid Ravishankar is neither well-assessed nor thinking with the “big mind”. The ultimate, absolute fall of my former “idol”.

A "blog blog" will only weaken their status and bring more popularity to this one. I and Co. are not interested in numbers, hits, popularity. I keep insisting this blog was not created with the intention of defaming anyone or anything. This blog was created with the sole purpose of allowing healing, sharing, recovery (mainly, that of my own). If I were interested in defaming, other kind of stories would have been published, with full names, details, locations, etc. Whereas we used to justify the “nasty” by exhonerating the guru of any wrong-doing, this finally teaches me it is all only an expression of the guru. As the popular saying states (and he also does), “we become like the one we love.”

However, I only have one question that rhymes to “where have all the flowers gone?” - “Where did all the knowledge go?” Wasn’t it that we should not be “football of other people’s opinions”, “not see intentions behind people’s mistakes”, “not make the mistake of going against other’s mistakes”, “we are all responsible for everything”, “I belong to you”, “accept people as they are”, “love our enemy”, “love is not an emotion it is our very own existence”? Where did all the knowledge go???

I understand the blog has 2 “free” in its title, and something about “exposing the guruholics”. Thus, my second question: can fanaticism lead to so much stupidity they actually cannot even think? The title “Confessions of a Guruholic” is a criticism of myself, of my years of brain-washed, brain-dead guru addict. I was a “guruholic” and no longer am, thus, the “confessions” (though they say, once an addict, always an addict. I, for one, do not want to see a guru in any size, shape and color for quite many life times). Whatever attack or exposing they do to the “guruholics” will only be of themselves since they are the only “guruholics” here! Noone following this blog, except AoLers, are “guruholics”! Sadly, their hatred and fanaticism does not allow them to realize this. Is it all only about conquering the world or smashing those who do not agree with them? Is it really all only about money, as I am told by many?

Further, in a logical equation, “artoflivingfree” means, free of AoL. By double negating it, their subliminal message is one cannot be free of the AoL. Whatever you do to free yourself of it, they will eliminate because there is nothing such as being free of “it”. Freeing the free means there is no free. Question: Wasn’t it that spiritual evolution gives and leads one to freedom? What happened with “a master is happiest when the disciple transcends him”?

With just a little bit of reason and critical thinking, any half intelligent person will see the only message AoL is sending with this attempt is the confirmation they are a cult of a bunch of fanatics who rule with despotism.

Many people have expressed they find this campaign ludicrous. I find it sad and disturbingly embarrassing. This is what the man whose feet I once touched and the organization I once represented narrows down to. Not even an ounce of dignity, integrity or elegance. Further, they keep accusing a friend for being Klim and leading this blog. In the last month she’s received 2 written threats from Ravishankar. Excuse me, wasn’t it Ravishankar knows it all?

And so, in the spirit of maintaining the true essence of this blog, we will add their link to ours under "Helpful Links", for the love and respect of freedom of speech and of the being and because “opposite values are complimentary”. We were not allowed to express nor think on our own while with them, and though they try to censor us even when we are no longer with them, it is our intrinsic birthright (just like “having a body free of diseases and a mind free of stress”). It is sad to see how many people leave the organization totally destroyed, disheartened, shaken, confused, ill. Few people understand the pain of spiritual rape and deception, of cult abuse and brain-washing. Though I have attempted to shut down this blog many times due to lack of time and (I must confess) interest because I grow tired of hearing about AoL, “Confessions of a Guruholic” will remain here for those who need a place to heal, share and be heard, because there is need and it is a free world. People are only righteously demanding for transparency. That is all. There is nothing wrong with that. RS/AOL should not be afraid of it nor defend themselves. If they humbly understood this, they could improve their organization.

However, it seems RS & Co. are in the mood for war but I am not. It was never about that. It was about love, love for myself, the love that I did not have while blindly working for him while worshipping him, thinking I was being led towards spiritual growth. Scream, threaten the wrong people, threaten me, lie, but, if you could see me now, you will see a big sincere smile in my face and peace in my heart. I am happy to be truly FREE. If RS were a true Master, he would only just be happy for me and give me his blessings (instead of curses).

I salute those who have deceived, betrayed, hurt and lied about me. The feverishness, hatred, fanaticism, ambition, fears I’ve found and keep discovering in the AoL have taught me great lessons, and keep further adding maturity, strength and depth in my life. As I often say, ever since I left the AoL, I have found real spirituality. In humble gratitude.

31 comments:

Anonymous said...

Dear KLIM,
I am glad you've brought back the original tone of the blog.
Also, the other blog 'freefree' has put up a statement by SSRS that actually certifies that he is a cult leader and a totalitarian. He requires people to follow him with blind faith, use twisted logic.
Here we are expressing our experiences, our disappointments and the evidence we have staring in our faces that made us leave, disheartened and spiritually destroyed.
Do you know what it feels like to follow someone for over a decade like a God and realize that he's fake when you see the truth staring in your face?
Anyway, let's share here. The truth will catch up with SSRS and AoL on it's own.

Anonymous said...

Any recent Ex. AOL can tell what kind of damage AOL is seeing recently due to this blog or any other negative information, such as loss of revenue, people exodus, etc; can someone provide some hard facts? That would essentially tell how ruthless they could go to stop this.

WhistleBlower said...

Dear KLIM,
Very well written post & I totally agree.
I have a suggestion for stopping the written threats to your friend, accusing her of being KLIM.
(oh, dear, WHAT A BIG CRIME TO BE KLIM!!! To run a blog for people sharing their AOL experiences & exposing it for what it is.)

My suggestion is to get her permission to publish the letters in this blog. No need for her name or contact details (eventhough AOL people obviously have those details!).

There is only one way to stop RS's threats & that is exposing him publicly. Just publishing those letters will put an end to RS & lackeys sending those letters to your friend & indeed to anyone else. Because they will think twice before sending any future threatening mail if they knew it can get published & expose them further.

Also, I sincerely ask you to publish my comments re Rajshree Patel & her brother which I sent in response to "Art of Living = Money, sex, scam, fraud, deceit" post.
My purpose was not defaming them. I stand by what I claim there. Let readers decide for themselves & who knows some insiders can even validate what I said there.
Being scared of RS & not exposing certain stuff, is giving more power to him & his bullies.
The comments were mine. No one can hold you responsible for my comments.
You mentioned:
"Few people understand the pain of spiritual rape and deception.."

I do. That is how I would describe my experience with RS & AOL & his lackeys.... SPIRITUAL RAPE...

And any Rape victim would tell you that it feels like double rape when those on the side of Law or their families don't believe their stories or they can't tell anyone.

That is how I felt when you refused to publish my comment. I don't expect you personally agree with them. You can even write a comment & defend them if you wish. I don't mind that at all. I know , what I know.
But you not publishing my comment feels very unjust & double rape.
You give the link to freefree blog, but you denied me the opportunity to share with others something I know to be true & I believe may contribute to expose the AOL sham further.
And also, I have read comments & postings in this blog, hundred times worse than my specific comment. So don't know why you refused to publish my comment even after I rewrote it? You can always write another comment & rubbish my comment or say whatever. That would be true freedom of speech.
Could it be that we still carry some fear of RS & Lackeys in our heads? Could it be the little RS in the head, censuring my comment?
My comment wouldn't get published in freefree blog, that is for sure.
But I have a hard time understanding why you don't publish it? It is not any worse than any other comment in this blog by others, infact, IMO is insignificant compared to some other stuff.
So, I sincerely ask you again to publish my comment. I stand by the truth in it.Otherwise I don't think my freedom of speech was respected in this blog. It doesn't feel right that you publish AOL-agents comments no matter what non-sense they say, but refused to publish my comment based on what I know to be true.AOL-agents can always counteract my comment & you can publish those as well.

Krish said...

What kind of threats did your friend receive? Is it libel lawsuits or something else?

Prairie Princess said...

Being able to drop a point of view that subsumed one's life and move on to something else is the mark of enlightenment. It is letting go of the chains that bound one in the past. Congrats, KLIM.

We all know where the "knowledge" went. It never was anything except cute little statements, mere words, and nothing more. NO ONE that I met in the organization ever lived the knowledge points. If they did, how can you explain the behaviors of some of the senior-most teachers? Please don't tell me these people were "enlightened" because that cannot possibly be true when many of them need serious anger management.

Thank you for continuing the blog. I did check out the other one. It is one of delusion's finest moments.

The only way to be free free is to leave the fraud fraud behind. Love those who are still trapped and pray that they are able to drop their delusion that Ravi ravi is something special. He always looked scared to death when he was in the crowds giving "darshan" the few times I saw him. BTW, why should anyone give back course materials? Didn't everyone who got a manual and tapes pay dearly for them?

They may be afraid that what happened to that other guy who was arrested will happen to ravi ravi. Or is is simply about recycled EST mind control of the "devotees"? One of my moments of clarity came when I stopped going to the follow-up and stopped volunteering. To any of you Seva addicts out there..you might want to try working to help the hungry, the homeless, the public schools, the environment in the context of other organizations. They do it better than AoL ever did.

My biggest disappointment with the organization was that it could have been so much more but bogged down in enormous pettiness.

WhistleBlower said...

Even before reading KLIM post telling us aolfreefree blog
is the outcome of the meeting between the AoL US board and Sri Sri , discussing aolfree blog, I already knew that blog wouldn't have come to existence without direct order & blessing of RS. I know how AOL works, esp when they deal with sensitive publicity issues like this.
It seems though that they realised they digged themselves rather deeply with their 2nd post on the aolfreefree blog & it was changed overnight.
It has now became a short posting:

Tuesday, April 27, 2010
A Favor

Some time back, in answer to a question about some people talking negative about the organisation or the master, I heard him say, it is alright.. This just filters the right kind of people. The strong and reliable ones will come though.

This is so hilarious. They are truly afraid to do such big mistakes & make a fool of themselves so publicly. Luckily I saved the full original posting, which I referred to some of it in my comment yesterday. Here I will publish the full original post in next comment.
I am not surprised that they took it off after one day. It was so revealing of themselves & it didn't make sense.
The writer said RS told him let them write whatever they want & they are doing us a favor. Then in next breath said:
"but when i told them (other AOL volunteers/stuff, ed) what Guruji had said to me earlier, they all brightened up and encouraged me to write more on this blog. Some of them even said they wanted to contribute."

Now that doesn't make much sense, does it? RS told them not to worry & it is all good & "J" in his first posting even claimed he is creathing his blog against AOL policy, now he is saying that after he told other RS's people, what Guruji told him, they got excited & even wanted to contribute.
Are they going against RS's wishes & his policy? He is telling them aolfree blog is doing a favour to him & it allows him to find out who is strong,etc.... And they are going against his expressed wish?
Or the writer made a freudian slip? He told them what RS really told him, ie go after aolfreeblog.
Then it would make sense that other AOL people now got excited & wanted to contribute.
What fun!! So much free entertainment courtesy of AOL communication team, or rather "AOL damage control team"!Who says there is nothing free in AOL?Free entertainment & perfect research ground for John Knapp & others who want to study narcisstic, psychopath or Sociopath gurus & their organisations.

WhistleBlower said...

The original post on freefreeblog(2nd post)

Tuesday, April 27, 2010
A Favor

I got a chance to talk to Sri Sri Ravi Shankar today. I mentioned to him that i had started this blog, basically to counter the stuff that some of those bilious minds seem to come up with about him. I told him how it could affect many people's opinions about Art of Living and him adversely, and what he said left me quite speechless.

He said, Oh let them write whatever they wish. As much bad things they want to write they are welcome to write. it's good.

Seeing the quizzical expression on my face, he smiled and continued. If there are any people who believe this and are going away, then they are weak minded people. People who want to deny the overwhelming evidence that is staring at them in their face, or who doubt their own experience and listen to some bunch of people criticizing us are being filtered away from us. and that is good!

We will be able to find out who is intelligent and who is strong. We should thank them. They are doing us a big favor.

What a different way of looking at things.

Later, I asked some others why Art of Living had not put up any official counters to this disgusting (at least to me, most of them seemed not to be bothered about it), they said in different ways, we are too busy.

Very few were concerned about it, but when i told them what Guruji had said to me earlier, they all brightened up and encouraged me to write more on this blog. Some of them even said they wanted to contribute.

One of them told me about an interview that Sri Sri had given sometime ago. He had been asked, Guruji can you predict the future? With a smile He had replied, wise men don't predict the future, they make it!

This volunteer told me i have much to do, to make the future, can't be bothered by Guruholic and co.

I asked another, what about Satyameva Jayate? That truth should prevail.
She smiled and said, in time, truth will always prevail.

J
**********
Compare the above to the new post & see the difference. This overnight change is even more revealing. Shall we have a "mark the difference quiz" here?
Bless "J" & RS for providing all this free entertainment.


Tuesday, April 27, 2010
A Favor

Some time back, in answer to a question about some people talking negative about the organisation or the master, I heard him say, it is alright.. This just filters the right kind of people. The strong and reliable ones will come though.
Posted by J at 8:15 PM

whistleBlower said...

KLIM, seems not only you need to give the url for aolfreefree blog, but also you need to publish each of their postings as they come through.
Otherwise,they keep changing their posts overnight, after reading our comments!!
So funny. Hope Harish Ramachandran
doesn't get paid for this lousy job! Or was that HHRS ji telling him what to write & then he realised he made a mistake & asked him to withdraw it.
I don't know why they don't use services of RS Haram Journalist
Francois Gautier ? I am sure he would be more than happy to do it. All RS has to do is just ask him!!He might even do it for free, out of devotion, Right Francois?!!

Anonymous said...

Hi Klim and Jivani:

Breaking Post

The second post written by the freefree blog writer (J) asking SSRS about what to do with "Confessions of a Guruholic" is withdrawn. This was the post where SSRS replied that "Those who are weak will be filtered away?"

It seems that people in ABC (Art of Living Broadcasting Company) have either realized that SSRS answer was not appropriate and may be attacked extensively or afraid to link up the blog directly with SSRS.

laxman said...

Great post. I agree with whistle blower. Please publish the threatening letters in the post.

a humble witness said...

Dear Klim,

Its nice to "hear your voice" again. What class you have shown. Anyone with half their brain cells left intact would be able to recognize the freefree blog for what it truly is--a transparent and lame attempt at damage control. Unfortunately, this probably does not include those zombies who remain under ravi shankar's influence.

At any rate klim, I can only admire you more for the maturity you have shown here. I wish you continued recovery.

Anonymous said...

Hi Klim and Jivani

Mending Post

On FreeFree blog, the second post has been modified as below:

QUOTE
Some time back, in answer to a question about some people talking negative about the organisation or the master, I heard him say, it is alright.. This just filters the right kind of people. The strong and reliable ones will come though.UNQUOTE

Scared Rabbits !!!

Sincere Seeker said...

I think that KLIM should let Whistleblower post his comment. I would also like to suggest that Whistleblower start his own personal blog as well. I think you have a lot to tell and you have your own objectives and style, it is different from KLIM.

A lot of lives will be saved if people post the truth. People believe in facts and evidence, it's finally about "real" stuff, which may be illegal or immoral. I personally know and love so many people still stuck in AoL and who's lives are getting destroyed, they are deluded. True service "seva" would be to use what we know, objectively, without emotion and subjectiveness, about the illegal and immoral, and publish it.
There will be a tilt and a shift if enough comes out.
The best way to let people know is through the media, as in the case of Nithyananda.
I am very serious about this, it's not a small matter. We need to be truthful, skillful, dynamic and compassionate to execute this.
What do you guys say?

WhistleBlower said...

Hi Sincere Seeker,
I am very happy to continue posting at KLIM's Blog. I am grateful to him for starting this blog & don't see a need to start a new blog myself. Everyone's style is different, that only adds to the beauty & flavour of the blog.
More people join here & share their dirrent experiences the better. I feel this is my blog too & many others feel the same. So all contributions are done with love & gratefulness & sharing in the spirit of this blog.

And I agree with rest of your post.Good points.

PS. KLIM I sent you two more comments today related to 2nd post at freefree blog & also the original post that they have withdrawn now. Did you get them? There was nothing controversial in them! ; -)

WhistleBlower said...

Anyway the three versions of that second poste (so far that is):
1st one:
Tuesday, April 27, 2010
A Favor

I got a chance to talk to Sri Sri Ravi Shankar today. I mentioned to him that i had started this blog, basically to counter the stuff that some of those bilious minds seem to come up with about him. I told him how it could affect many people's opinions about Art of Living and him adversely, and what he said left me quite speechless.

He said, Oh let them write whatever they wish. As much bad things they want to write they are welcome to write. it's good.

Seeing the quizzical expression on my face, he smiled and continued. If there are any people who believe this and are going away, then they are weak minded people. People who want to deny the overwhelming evidence that is staring at them in their face, or who doubt their own experience and listen to some bunch of people criticizing us are being filtered away from us. and that is good!

We will be able to find out who is intelligent and who is strong. We should thank them. They are doing us a big favor.



What a different way of looking at things.

Later, I asked some others why Art of Living had not put up any official counters to this disgusting (at least to me, most of them seemed not to be bothered about it), they said in different ways, we are too busy.

Very few were concerned about it, but when i told them what Guruji had said to me earlier, they all brightened up and encouraged me to write more on this blog. Some of them even said they wanted to contribute.

One of them told me about an interview that Sri Sri had given sometime ago. He had been asked, Guruji can you predict the future? With a smile He had replied, wise men don't predict the future, they make it!

This volunteer told me i have much to do, to make the future, can't be bothered by Guruholic and co.

I asked another, what about Satyameva Jayate? That truth should prevail.
She smiled and said, in time, truth will always prevail.

J


2nd Version:
Tuesday, April 27, 2010
A Favor
Some time back, in answer to a question about some people talking negative about the organisation or the master, I heard him say, it is alright.. This just filters the right kind of people. The strong and reliable ones will come though.
Posted by J at 8:15 PM 0 comments

And third & current version:
Tuesday, April 27, 2010
A Favor

Some time back, in answer to a question about some people talking negative about the organisation or him, I heard him say, it is alright.. This just filters in the right kind of people. The strong and reliable ones will come though.



What a different way of looking at things. In effect what he was saying is that those people who are saying or writing negative about Art of Living are doing a favor!

Later I had asked some others why Art of Living had not put up any official counters to this disgusting (at least to me, most of them seemed not to be bothered about it), they said in different ways that they were too busy.

Very few were concerned about it, but when i told them what Guruji had said to me earlier, they all brightened up and encouraged me to write more on this blog. Some of them even said they wanted to contribute.

One of them told me about an interview that Sri Sri had given sometime ago. He had been asked, Guruji can you predict the future? With a smile He had replied, wise men don't predict the future, they make it!

This volunteer told me i have much to do, to make the future, can't be bothered by Guruholic and co.

I asked another, what about Satyameva Jayate? That truth should prevail.
She smiled and said, in time, truth will always prevail.

J
Posted by J at 8:15 PM

WhistleBlower said...

KLIM, seems not only you need to give the url for aolfreefree blog, but also you need to publish each of their postings as they come through.
Otherwise,they keep changing their posts every few hours, after reading our comments!!
I already sent this comment to you earlier, but before it goes on your blog, Harish changed the post again!!
So funny. Hope Harish Ramachandran
doesn't get paid for this lousy job! Or was that HHRS ji telling him what to write & then he realised he made a mistake & asked him to withdraw it.
I don't know why they don't use services of RS Haram Journalist
Francois Gautier ? I am sure he would be more than happy to do it. All he has to do is just ask him!!He might even do it for free, out of devotion, Right Francois?!!

Anyway I will post the three versions of that second post here, as a separate comment.
Just compare the three versions & notice the revealing differences.
Shall we have a "Mark the differences" quiz?

Anonymous said...

yes.. sincere seeker is very true.. u shud post the comments .. v sud nt be afraid of aol in anyways .. i wud say ,v shud openly talk abt the things going on in aol, shud write the names of ppl concerned.. v shud be kickin their asses for watever wrong they are doin..i kno so many frns leaving jobs at a very young age to beacome teachers.. they shud kno the insight before they enter into this .. i guess they arnt aware of the whole thing..they jst find the outside thing very flowery nd jump into it.. teachers play a very imp part in this ..makin them feel very imp.. nd by the time a person finds out the whole ol business..its very late..and ten u will hav people fustrated in org. since they can not go out.. so v shhud v more clear nd open abt what v talk abt..v r out of it ..lets help those who might end in this messs..people who already are there will think its shit,so lets chuck them ..

jivani said...

Anon 7:37 PM:
Thanks for the update. Interesting. Looks like Skywalker posted about that.
Please note: this is not a direct quote:
"Those who are weak will be filtered away?"
But now that this blog reposted it, you can see for yourself what he said.

I personally will not be reading the free free blog anymore.

zhoro said...

All of us who have had involvement in cults will likely recognize their experience in the following summary by George Boyd of the different stages of cult involvement. This is a useful read that helps us gain further perspective.

From http://www.mudrashram.com/cultphases.html

Phases of Involvement in a Religious Cult

Involvement in a cultic group may be visualized as passing through seven phases over time. The latter phases represent an increasing absorption in the lifestyle and doctrinal set of the group, culminating in the complete collapse of normalized personality functioning. These are described below.

1. Initial Exposure Phase – through recommendations of members, active proselytization of members and public lectures, an individual is asked to attend a service, satsang, meeting, etc.

2. Cult Induction Phase – the individual attends the first meeting and is asked to participate in prayer/meditation/worship.

3. Conversion Phase – once the individual has had initial exposure and his/her interest has been identified, the individual is actively worked on to make a commitment to the group. This commitment may take the form of, for example, a belief in Jesus Christ and undergoing baptism, taking spiritual initiation into meditation, coming to regular services, satsang or meetings, etc.

4. Spiritual Honeymoon Phase – after the initiation, the new convert is given love, support and extra attention. Extra effort is made to teach him/her the doctrine and to deepen his/her prayer or meditation experience. Often members are kind, loving and supportive.

5. Thorns Phase – the individual is asked to make a greater sacrifice on behalf of the group. This can take the form of extended volunteer labor, a large financial donation, giving more time to prayer and meditation or doing personal work for the leader. Here much greater demands are made on the individual and he/she may feel like he/she is being tested or challenged, though he/she may feel grateful initially for the opportunity to serve.

zhoro said...

Phases of Involvement in a Religious Cult (cont.)

5. Thorns Phase – the individual is asked to make a greater sacrifice on behalf of the group. This can take the form of extended volunteer labor, a large financial donation, giving more time to prayer and meditation or doing personal work for the leader. Here much greater demands are made on the individual and he/she may feel like he/she is being tested or challenged, though he/she may feel grateful initially for the opportunity to serve.

6. Crucifixion Phase – here the individual’s beliefs and autonomy are completely undermined. Any belief other than that approved by the leader are weeded out and absolute 24-hour commitment with complete abandonment of any interests outside the group is demanded along with total surrender of any personal desires or choices to the leader is required. The leader dictates every aspect of life.

7. Spiritual Zombie/Divine Madness Phase – through the intense austerity of the Crucifixion Phase, the individual becomes fixed in an altered state of consciousness. Personality functioning is suspended for much of the time and the individual becomes fully identified with the spirit, nucleus of identity or ensouling entity is cultivated by the group and disidentified with the personality and his/her own life.

A victim of the Spiritual Zombie Phase is characterized by a marginal ability to function in roles other than those dictated by the teacher and has effectively lost the ability to think, make independent decisions, to feel authentic feelings, and to initiate and maintain genuine relationships. Here the individual functions only in the group pseudo-personality, in a state of waking trance.

The Divine Madness Phase occurs when the individual becomes completely identified with the spiritual nucleus and no longer functions normally through the personality – there comes to be a profound gulf between the personality and the state of inner realization. Visions and voices come to dictate decision-making, the presentation of symbols supplants the ability to think, and profound narcissism and/or detachment come to characterize the style of the individual’s relating to others. The individual may demonstrate tirades (rage) and profound withdrawal (isolation).

Others in the Crucifixion Phase may be needed to function on the individual’s behalf or explain/justify the individual’s behavior to others when they become fixed in the Divine Madness Phase. Demands by the individual on others may become irrational or impractical, yet the demand for fulfillment is maintained. The individual may become grandiose and delusional.

zhoro said...

Further, for those interested in what drives religious cult leaders, I recommend the book "Prophetic Charisma: The Psychology of Revolutionary Religious Personalities" by Len Oakes. Again, the author is a trained phychologist with a long personal experience of religious cult involvement.

http://www.amazon.com/Prophetic-Charisma-Psychology-Revolutionary-Personalities/dp/0815603983

zhoro said...

Phases of Involvement in a Religious Cult (cont. 2)

UCLA cult researcher Dr. Jolyon West first coined the term "pseudo-personality". It is marked by a relationship orientation where

all activities are governed by cult values and rules

all discussion is about cult doctrine or philosophy

interpersonal relations aim to convert others who don’t believe or to maintain the faith of those who do
Continual prayer and meditation maintain this altered state of consciousness. It is marked by a very peaceful and happy mood, with a positive demeanor, which bubbles over with spiritual enthusiasm. This blessed-out, carefree state is very euphoric but it is completely out of touch with genuine personal feelings, values and experiences. It is a state of dissociation from normalized personality experiences; hence it is a "pseudo" or false personality.

While deep spiritual work does require transcension and temporary suspension of personality function, cultic groups create many of their deleterious effects by insisting that an individual remain in this altered state of consciousness continually. If we are to avoid the excesses engendered by these groups, then remaining in an altered state of consciousness for long periods of time must be avoided as a start.

While mainstream religious groups and cults share phases 1-4, cults move the individual deeper into phases 5-7, in which the potentially destructive personality changes commonly arise.

While an individual can become deeply focused and absorbed in spirituality through a cult, the dangers come when prolonged altered states of consciousness coupled with continual coercive and manipulative suggestions begin creating profound personality changes. Identifying some of these markers of phases 5-7 may help the aspirant to avoid being caught up in a destructive cult and allow him/her to withdraw before these deleterious changes occur.

Peaceful Warrior said...

People in AOL worship Sri Sri not because of a feeling of reverence, but out of peer pressure, and on being told by the teacher to do so.
That sort of spirituality is not genuine - it's very fake.

Hari said...

KLIM said,
Though I have attempted to shut down this blog many times due to lack of time and (I must confess) interest because I grow tired of hearing about AOL, “Confessions of a Guruholic” will remain here for those who need a place to heal, share and be heard, because there is need and it is a free world

KLIM, I can imagine how it would be going through all the comments, posts, warnings and stuff you would be receiving, the time you guys spend everyday to maintain and administer this blog, but sincerely request you to help keep this blog alive.
This blog may be a space for healing for the Ex-teachers, but the effect it has on a person who is just stepping into the AOL world is significant. I myself had this experience, of attending an AOL 4 day YOGA course in the evening while reading through your blog archives during the daytime.
I appreciate the factual contributions from the Ex teachers, but has waited for a proper perspective from the AOL community before writing about my experience of these 4 days.
The 'Exposing the Guruholic' blog when it was started, I felt would be a proper platform for the AOL teachers/SSRS/or even their PR team to counter the allegations raised here.
I had posted a comment then to their first blog ‘The truth’ (http://artoflivingfreefree.blogspot.com/2010/04/truth.html) which I repost here,

"Congratulation on starting this blog.I have been a regular follower of the Guruholic blog for the past two months , but have always wondered that the AOL version of the events is not adequately presented.
Hope this blog will be able to voice AOL's stand on the various allegations raised in the Guruholic blog with the right kind of facts, figures and events to justify it.

All the Best"


And one week after the blog was started, it has failed miserably to convince me. Still I would wait for another two weeks before I post my experience. Hope AOL puts up a better team for managing their blog.

Krish said...

Hari-

AOL's yoga course is the mildest in terms of them pushing their wares to participants. They don't ask participants to donate money or recruit more people in this course. As you do more courses the marketing becomes more intense. And as you get closer to senior folks, you get to see the real face of the org and its leader.

Gina said...

Message to "Skywalker":

Hi Skywalker! Thanks for your comment to me on the TMFreeblog! I cannot find your email, so am writing to you here.
I've seen this blog before. You do a great job!

Yes, a number of old TMfriends tried to recruit me to Sri Sri years ago. One of my dearest friends, vestige of TM daze, still follows Sri Sri. We just avoid discussing gurus. She believes what she does, and I continue w/ online cult busting. shrug. go figger!

Fortunately I never had the 'guru seeking' bug, but was raised in TM and thus cult-affected, including poor decision making skills for years after leaving TM, until I'd obtained appropriate cult recovery.

In April I began my own blog to tell various stories of "coming to life":
http://comingtolifestories.com/

It is good for us to cult-busters to be in contact.
My email is on the front page of the new blog.
I'll also continue w/ TMFree.

Best to you and yours! Keep up the great work! - and celebrating our shared freedom!
g :)

Lehmann108 said...

Whistleblower said,"I do. That is how I would describe my experience with RS & AOL & his lackeys.... SPIRITUAL RAPE...

And any Rape victim would tell you that it feels like double rape when those on the side of Law or their families don't believe their stories or they can't tell anyone."

This is ridiculous. Again and again, painting yourself over and over again as an innocent victim. I'm sorry you had a bad time. I believe that. Grow-up! Why do you portray yourself as a weakling? Nobody's "raping" anybody. You are only victimizing yourself.

Anonymous said...

I am so confused with the whole spirituality/business KLIM. What is your goal in starting this, can you share? Also what is it that you hope to achieve, I am sure there is a worthy purpose. Perhaps you stated it somewhere but I haven't read it yet, as I just came across this link.

Guruji (yes, I will still refer to him that way) did talk about someone blogging negatively about AOL during the Upanishads at LA center inauguration, where I felt I received extremely valuable knowledge ... that's just my experience. I have been an on/off volunteer for the last few years, haven't always agreed with the teachers and other volunteers, but nothing struck me as a scam, hence the question to you.

Anonymous said...

I appreciate your blog, now I read the details as to why you started doing this.

I have many many doubts, always had, especially about the financial aspect ... why is everything with AOL super expensive especially in the US?

However, I do love the knowledge as I find it helpful, so do I live with the financial grievance for the knowledge, do I go for GuruPurnima (at this point, my mind says NO, I do not want to go to GuruPurnima), why should I spend 3 K for a family of 4 for travel, lodging, donation etc. when I can find peace within?

WhistleBlower said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

@Anonymous May 4
You are having doubts about the financial aspect, why are the courses so expensive.
Guruji (as you term him) will justify it as saying that the money goes for Service projects (which are mainly in India). Only question or doubt is, does it? Very very few, maybe a handful if that really know where the money goes, and very few even ask, if anyone does pursue this with the board or Guruji they get no answer or response. So really no one has any proof or facts that the money goes to service projects. If it does go towards service projects why would AoL India not proudly make it available? Legally in India a Trust has to produce this upon request. It is the same in US also as I read online for a US non-profit. I did see the tax returns on Guidestar.com.
I have seen many other spiritual traditions of India (maybe true for others traditions of the world as well) and some are into money, power, fame, those turn me off because they deviate from their basic tenent of spirituality. There are also some who have not deviated from spirituality and there the worldly aspects (money, etc.) is minimal.
It is truly sad for me, personally, that such great knowledge that comes forth through Guruji is being misused by him, and that he has been corrupted by power, money, fame, etc. These have started overshadowing the main tenent - spirituality.
It is good to be aware, don't give away your purse, your mind, your life, your soul to someone who may be taking advantage of you.