Thursday, April 10, 2008

More AoL Evil

File under: Gurubusting, Satscams and The Siddhi of PR

A reader supplies us with a bit more AoL/Sri Sri exposé:
Most people in India have been numbed by these spiritual conmen like Ravishankar. As you mentioned there is no news or any intelligent conclusion or minutes of the summit which is available.

I was involved in this organization in the early and mid 90s when it was still small and had not grown into the full blown cult that it is now. But all the cultish prpoganda mechanism and publicity stunts were right in place even then. Ravishankar had learnt a lot from his guru Maharishi Mahesh yogi on organising events and mobilizing funds. Mahesh Yogi was also the crazy guy who taught yogic flying. Esentially you can sell anything in this mad spiritual business market and there are enough gulliable people who will buy.

I was also instrumental in strating up some of the social welfare and development activities of art of living and one of the first teachers of AOL to teach in Bangalore central jail. However these social welfare activities are a big mask and the intention of this organization is the self aggrandizement of the Guru and his cult. Most of these social movements and adoption of villages are big publicity stunts. I know it first hand. I left this movement when I realized their sham social welfare schemes were used to recirculate money from alternate sources (black money) into personal assests for Ravishankar, his family and associates and all the while doing some token social work. Incidentally Ravishankar's immediate family (Sister, Brotherin law, father - Pitaji and others) are the main members of the AOL trust.

It is another matter about the law suits and land grabbing the ashram did and encroached on the Green belt sorrounding bangalore. There was a law suit in Karnataka High court on this which Ravishankar's sister Bhanu and another teacher (now he has left AOL) used to attend court for almost two years. Finally they won and went through an out of court settlement.

Take even the example of the village adjacent to the ashram - Udipalya. There is no development work done in this village except that their land has been encroached by the ashram. The land this village used to use for Grazing their cattle in the late 80s is now no longer available. Now you find hotels, restraunts and STD booths opposite the ashram all owned, controlled by aol devotees and of no benefit to the villagers. All the people who own and control these establishments are not locals from Udipalya.

It is difficult to fight a mighty powerful and vicious organization like Art of Living cult. Although it is a losing battle, I commend [this whistle-blower] for at least taking up this issue.
Vicious and powerful – all brought to you by that false prophet of peace, the fame-whoring and money-lusting Sri Sri Ravi Shankar.

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At 4/10/2008 10:49 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Funny you contiue to bash this guy, yet you have his ads all over your website?

How much are you making off Adwords? $10 a month at most is my guess...

At 4/10/2008 3:20 PM, Blogger jody said...

you have his ads all over your website?

Blame Google for that.

How much are you making off Adwords? $10 a month at most is my guess...

It's a bit more than that, but it hardly makes a difference to my bottom line.

At 4/10/2008 8:43 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow this tale about AoL is completely like Siddha Yoga. I used to go into the local area in India a lot and never got why the reception there was so frosty. Reading this I realize.

What's really embarrassing is that I worked in community development in the US. Founght against the cold hearted banks and government bodies who didnt' care about the poor. In India I was blind to how Siddha Yoga couldn't care less about the locals and treated them with such disdain.

It's helpful to read these stories. Thanks to those posting.

At 4/11/2008 7:06 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am very grateful to the Bangalore locals who are now coming forward (at probable risk of their lives at the hands of bought-by-AOL police). Stay anonymous! Stay safe!

"Guruji"'s (Ravishankar's) nephew (Bhanu's son) lives in the most expensive neighborhood in Washington DC, so I'm told. He attends University there.

This for a child whose father was a simple, employed, engineer, making a little middle-class income, before becoming employed by the Guru. Gee, I wonder where all the money goes? LOL! It's so obvious, and so few in Bangalore even look at the family's history of poverty. Where do they think this luxurious lifestyle is coming from??? Tax exempt status can obviously be purchased with bribes in Karnataka.

I feel sorry for all of those still associated with this nasty group. I learned the SK and quickly saw that it was a money-making scheme for SSRS's untalented family.

At 4/11/2008 7:40 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Has guruphiliac become the 'anti AOL' mouthpiece or is there a real lack of other such flim flamming, pr spinning gurus at present?

At 4/11/2008 7:58 AM, Blogger jody said...

Has guruphiliac become the 'anti AOL' mouthpiece

I'm just going where I'm needed.

At 4/11/2008 10:09 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Guruji's nephew(Ajay}not only lives in a swanky part of DC but his entire student life in the U.S (includes education,expensive car etc) has been financed by AoL.

At 7/12/2009 9:12 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Shame and disgusting is what I feel about the article. If you can't see the positive side of AOL then let me name a few. AOL is the first largest volunteer based organization in the world. It has been doing trauma relief work in all across the world whether its Iraq, Afghanistan or any place that is affected by natural calamity. The Sudarshan Kriya of AOL course has been proven to be the effective remedy on depression and trauma relief. 1000's of villages across India are adopted by AOL and massive work in ongoing. If anyone doubt about Guruji's amazing spiritual personality they are definitely not sure what they are trying to achieve out of it. I think million's of people following AOL across the world does not need a fullish article to doubt Sri Sri. Good luck you Bastards.

At 8/14/2009 9:05 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Shame and disgusting is what I feel about the article."

Everything written in the article is true. I also was a teacher and belonged to the movement many years. After several years of dealing and justifying the many unethical practices supported and instigated by SSRS, I left. I had joined inspired by the possibility of doing seva. I was there when he created the 5H program - in paper ... it never left the paper. Every time I requested to visit one of the "30,000 villages" (each year the numbers duplicate) he claims to be rebuilding and to which he claims all the money from all the courses in the world goes, they never took me to one. They don't exist. There is only one little project to camouflage, near the ashram, where his father keeps his days busy. The thing is a joke. I had the embarrassing task of taking journalists one time since they wanted prove of all the projects AoL claims. That was a joke, and, as I say, embarrassing. There is only one rural school, all the others have monthly tuitions! Yes, he is making money also from the schools we all thought were for underprivileged kids!

"AoL is the largest NGO of volunteers in the world" is a phrase dictated by SSRS based in nothing but his ego and ambition. It is not a true fact. I was in there when he dictated this phrase.

I know it is sad and difficult for AoL followers to believe this, but it is tough truth. They are ripping you off.

None of the money of the courses go to the service projects. There are NO social projects. Whenever we wanted to create a social projects, he would not let us take money from the courses. We had to put it from our pockets and raise the money. Teachers work for free without any medical care or proper housing or pension. It was expected that all countries, despite their poverty, sent all the money to India. Africa, Latin America, Eastern Europe, South East Asia, all regions that need lots of seva. No, only India would get the benefits, more exactly, their several bank accounts.

I was once working on the transaction of a donation of a land for the AoL to build an ashram. SSRS wanted it done immediately "before the man changes his mind." Legally there were many things that needed to be done before we could sign this agreement. He is a mastermind. He said, "Just put it under my name! Just do it! Now!" I was taken fully by surprise with this statement. I even warned him this was not a good idea, people will be suspicious. He said, "It is all the same. You put it under AoL or IAHV or my name, it goes to the same."

The local group of a developing country wanted to establish a school in a rural area. A country hit by poverty and hunger. They had everything except the approval of SSRS. When they approached him with the project, he sat back and said, "Oh ... so much work. Don't waste your time. Keep teaching courses. You don't know how much work a child means, these schools, no need to waste our time."

Social projects of any kind serve only the purpose of pictures, video footages, for media, publicity, political agenda, nobel peace prize and to convince people like our friend, who thinks we are all monsters for doubting, to believe in the greatness of His work.

Iraq, Afghanistan ... no my friend, we did not do anything there except go once with a few people, take pictures, attempt to do courses, and that's it.

Take it from people who were indoors with him, who were his soldiers. SSRS is a different personality behind doors when all the gopis leave the room.

By the way, the doctor who helped him draft all the documents to prove that SK helps with depression, also left the AoL and not in good terms.

What surprises me further more is how aggressive AoLers can get when they feel their belief is being attacked. If you have no doubts yourself, then be at peace. If SSRS found out words such as "bastards" are being used, even to protect his name, not even he will like it! This I can say for his benefit.

At 11/13/2009 6:57 AM, Blogger vedang said...

Ok what is your name tell em I will find it out if you were a teacher or not.What proof you ahve that you were a taehcer but i think that you are nothing but a person from other organisation taht is fake and judging Art Of Living.Ok better mind your job and if you feel it is not good then why were you there to do seva if you did not wanted your money to be spent and the course fees are also going to seva projeacts only but it cannot go where you wish ok so grow up still be like a child with knowledge and innocence both idiot.Jai Gurudev

At 3/13/2010 11:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mr.Vedang.. you too are zoombied by the hysteria created by this cult. If we start looking at the P&L and Books fo accounts.. u will go anti-gravity lol. I suggest Government put a 30% on such Babas.. who teach that everyone should get de-attached while attaching to trademark kriyas, schools, nobels, money laundering business... making 1% effort... Jab ko man ke chalo.. sab ko loot te chalo.. if u really know what is "shudh Atma" then you will known the truth.
friend come out of it before it is late.. as long as you are doing it with good heart it will benefit you i hope... Btw I can show you 1 teacher who is example of how one person should not be... hein himmat!

At 7/27/2013 5:46 AM, Blogger nenad tešanović said...

thank you for the information


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