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A Beacon of Reason

May 13, 2010

After leaving The Art of Living some years ago, I came to realize that quite a large number of people report that they have been damaged by their time in AOL. The majority of these people are former teachers in the organisation, the rest likewise involved on a deeper level than people who just do the part 1 and 2 courses, and hang out at satsang.

In my area alone, half of the teachers -most of them “senior” teachers with lots of experience- left within one year. Some were just disillusioned. Others were broken-down husks, their self-esteem and self-confidence shattered by what they reported as abuse by AOL and in particular Ravi Shankar.

My own experience is very similar to those of many of the other teachers and organisers who have left AOL: I feel abused, cheated, spiritually raped. I did recover. Today I live a good life, I have a job, family, friends  and interests. The feeling of being wronged is no longer dominant. I have Let Go, and Moved On -almost, that is. I still feel a tint of anger when I think of Ravi Shankar, the same way as when I think of Nithyananda, Sai Baba, Preem Rawat, rev. Moon or any other of the Bad Gurus out there. Gurus who claim enlightenment, and end up not being able to walk their own walk. Gurus who claim to be motivated by love and compassion, but repeatedly demonstrate the opposite, to even their closest followers.

So yes, righteous anger is one reason why I start this blog. The other is concern. Concern for the people of AOL. It seems to me that not all people are sucked into the cult, that somehow someone are able to keep their intellect and discrimination intact. The ones who do get brainwashed, however, have nowhere to go for support and help, once their inner conflict compels them to leave aol. They certainly do risk permanent damage, if they don’t receive counselling of some sort. Those are the people I write to, and you can do the same. They need to hear our stories, our proces of deprogramming, our inner conflicts then and now, to recognize the fact that they are normal, that it is ok to feel and think the way they do, that life is not over post-aol.

Klim’s blog Confessions of a Guruholic is one such space for healing, for people recovering from AOL.  This blog is to keep up the good work started by Klim. I am thinking that it should be a space for debate and critical thinking. I still hope it can be done in a tone of mutual respect, though. And that goes for both parties: speak from the heart, be true. And please refrain from mud-slinging and baseless accusations. Otherwise, the word is all yours!

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2 Comments
  1. WhistleBlower permalink
    May 15, 2010 2:56 am

    Hi SkyWalker,
    Conrat. on the new blog. I have been following Klim’s excellent blog & seen your contribution there. I sure would like to take up your invitation to share my insights re AOL from my personal experiences with RS/AOL, as an ex-teacher & I will do so in coming weeks & months.
    Please feel free if you would like to post below as my first contribution to your blog, as a separate post.

    The RS & his lackeys are so pathetic with their two counter-blog attempts. The Indian artoflivingfreefree blog is already dead, after it was such a huge disaster. They had to change their second post there three times. That “damage control” blog, in its short life, did even more damage to SriSri & exposed him even more for the hypocrite he is. So they had to pull the plug on it quietly (they obviously did read our comments in KLIM’s Blog & acted on it quickly! Always happy to be at your service, dear SriSri!!). But Sri Sri & his lackeys never let us go without entertainment for too long. They were so scared of KLIM’s blog & the effect it had on readers, esp those who recognized the truth in it (due to their own personal experience of AOL), that they started a new counter-blog, this time in States. http://artoflivingvalues.blogspot.com/
    This one is even more funny than the previous one in India & is already more revealing & even more damaging. You know why? Because the bloggers are none other than the current & past presidents & board members of AOL US!!
    I mean that alone shows how scared & how weak these people are! Mind you they have every right to be scared. The truth is getting out quickly & the shaky foundation of SriSri & AOL is being ratttled to the ground. By 2012 SriSri will join the list of disgraced gurus, may be even topping the list!
    I laughed my head off, reading Mickey & Johnny & Jimmy & Patty’s desperate attempts to give us the same lies about SriSri we all have heard umpteen times & know to be untrue. Who is going to write the next post, Jeff Houk, the treasurer?! It is like a mafia chief sending his gangsters to say how clean & innocent their boss is!! These people live off AOL. Mickey is current president & is not working free of charge as a volunteer, I can assure you of that!! John Osborne was just appointed the blessing course teacher & he gets a good percentage of the huge sum they fleece AOL members for that fraud blessing course! Who they are trying to fool? Us or themselves or all those innocent people they fleece in the name of charity or the brainwashed volunteers? I can write a book already on the amount of lies in that blog with only 5 posts.
    Refreshing to see Mickey & John O. working together for a change! Usually SriSri plays these two deeply insecure men with big egos against each other & has lots of fun at their expense, sharing the show with his Indian Senior teachers/insiders!
    Their whole blog so far sounds to me as a confession of “guilty as charged”!! It is like you go & see someone & the first thing they say is: “I didn’t steal your wallet!” They are just so transparent. No brain whatsoever!
    Their pathetic posts & comments in their artoflivingvalues counter-blog are entertaining & so revealing. They are doing so much PR damage themselves that they don’t need our help!
    RS’ time is up. When the cosmic force has had enough, no one can stop it. Even his lackeys have ended up helping in speedy downfall of RS, by their “damage control” counter-blogs! That is how everyone becomes Divine instrument at the end!
    I reckon, God was waiting for all the good people to leave first, because when RS goes down , all his lackeys will go down with him. I know he will go down before 2012.
    I have seen how he promotes people who are mentally/psychologically sick, the ones who are really mean & nasty & happy to spy for him & lie for him & are expert in backstabbing, the crooked ones, the liars & the grovellers & the cheats.
    Anyone who is honest & sincere & truly wants to help people , he will set his dogs on them & then sits back & enjoys the show & even when his dogs get tired, he encourages them on! The guy is sick in his soul. Anyone who incites & enjoys watching people tear each other apart must be evil & sick in soul.
    I don’t feel any compassion for RS’ lackeys. They are part of deception machine & as such they need to be exposed. And I sincerely believe, that by exposing the whole sham, we are doing these people a favour also & giving them another chance to get out. Ask any devotee of a fake & fallen guru and they would tell you how grateful they were to those who were whistleblowers, because they themselves were too far down the track to have any energy or independent thinking left to get out of the quicksand!
    Regards & Best wishes for your blog,
    WB

  2. WhistleBlower permalink
    June 3, 2010 8:10 am

    Well done SkyWalker. More than 9000 hits in such a short time period for a new blog. On Average 500 hits per day. Obviously a lot of people are searching on the internet to find out the truth re AOL/SriSri!

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