Art of Living – Call it a Corporation not a Foundation
Thanks to all of you, a small band of rogue outcasts who have taken upon yourselves to let the TRUTH prevail. At times it seems like a never ending battle and maybe it is and indeed at some point one has to move on in life, but till that time comes letting people know the truth is a way of making peace with it all.
It was great to see all of your posts, of the recent email ads the AOL corporation is sending out. We need to keep doing this, it exposes the new trends and business practices of AOL corporation. In knowing their strategy we can expose them along the way.
So thanks WistleBlower for posting the three day course structure and the padma-sadhana. It will give people a chance to verify their origin, and so we keep focusing on the copying and plagiarism this company uses. As for the padma-sadhana routine yes it is lifted from TM, it was part of our routine when I attended TM weekend rounding courses and World Peace Assemblies.
As mentioned it is a fact that the enrollment numbers are down, the Profit and Loss statement (P&L) must have shown a considerable dip in the last year. And so like any well run cooperation AOL adjusted it strategy and created this façade that due to the bad times they will give a discount for their courses, to actually help those in need. To spread the knowledge and create a stress free society. So they Say…….
“In response to the challenging economic times that we are living through, the Art of Living Foundation and it’s sister organization, Ved Vigyan Mahavidyapeeth (VVM) will be reducing the tuition for The Art of Living Course, YES+ and the Art of Silence course. Course fees for these courses will be reduced as specified in the table below. An early registration discount of $25.00 will take effect February 1st, 2010 for those who sign up at least 7 days in advance. This special rate will expire on Sep. 31, 2010.”
It is a classical sales technique to place a deadline for the discount, sure you have all seen these in any store in the shopping mall (centers) as well, it creates a sense of urgency not to let this opportunity pass you by. Mind you I have seen the expiration date change many times this year so I wonder it must be a flexible date which suits AOL in order to to make their Financial yearly targets goals.
The standard fee for the part 1 course is USD 450 but for a limited time you can take it for USD 250. If I had paid USD 450, and now could take it for USD 250, I would feel like I was seriously screwed over. So I wonder what the real cost is seems to me the AOL Cooperation is playing a game with spirituality. The question then arises have they always been over charging people.
So AOL corporation lowers the fee, now wonder they had to shorten the part one course, as mentioned in previous posts it is all about VOLUME, just like selling Cars or Ipods. Nothing Spiritual about it just implementing very smart business principles. See WhistleBlower’s comments in the post “The latest Con scheme of SriSri” they are spot on and an eye opener.
But I am sure they had a dilemma how can we round up the troups (teachers) to embrace this new strategy of a three day course format. I can imagine that during their management meeting at the head office of the AOL corporation in Bangalore the CEO Ravi Shankar would cognized a brilliant answer. And so he did, see below actual rhetoric used by the cloned teachers to justify the 3 day course structure. Which I am sure came from none other then the CEO.
When Guruji introduces the three day format, the same knowledge in half the time! But the Grace speaks loud and clear!
Here are the plus points:
* No-nonsense focus on the actual knowledge: there is very little time for us go to off on a tangent which means we stick to what Guruji really wants us to talk about!
* Reduced time frame appeals to many who have held back so far
* A Genuine Thirst to Continue: this format ends so quickly I have found it leaves participants wanting more! ie they Do move on to part 2 etc. In fact one of my 3 day course participants has completed 2 AMCs at ashram, 1 DSN, Sri Sri Yoga and now started seva all in LESS than 10 months!!
* Super Value For Money! If time is money, this format saves you 50% of the time, for only 20% increase in price! What a deal : )
* A Connect with the Guru! Sometimes we prefer the longer format cause we think the connection is greater. This is NOT my experience. Remember, the connection has to be with THE MASTER and not with the teacher! So yes, they may spend longer with the teacher in a 6 day course, but if a teacher’s connection is behind the 3 day format he/she can definitely get the participants connected to the Guru which to me is the real point! My conviction is definitely 100% behind this format!
The CEO Ravi Shankar did his best to cognize the finest possible hooks to keep his employees (teachers) under his spell. The last point the connection to the Guru (CEO)
really is the kicker, it is this kind of belief which is created in the devotee by the Guru which will make him or her jump through hoops thinking that it is for their best will or that it will be to their benefit one way or the other. Benefit, sure someone definitely will it is obvious who, the CEO Ravi Shankar, managing director of the AOL corporation .
It is this kind of brainwashing which once sets in the Guru (CEO) will use to create this competitive environment amongst the teachers so that they will try to out do each other thinking that the more they do and accomplish (course given, people signing up) the more in favor they are with the master. This strategy is used in any company within their sales department, those that do well get a better bonus. But at least they are transparent about it.
The AOL company uses the cloak of spirituality to achieve its financial objectives, making the CEO financial independent and being able to bestow financial freedom to his family and inner circle. It is not about the knowledge (which is a rehashed anyway) it is about the numbers (revenue). I have seen spreadsheets which are compiled for every country, detailing the courses given in a certain period, how many courses an active teachers gave. How many new people took the course (not repeaters), and the total revenue generated by each teacher and the country as a whole. And ranking each teacher based on their revenue generated. The management information gathered and given to Ravi Shankar CEO is very detailed and I am sure if the numbers are not to his liking he will not be pleased.
Why is it that AOL is using all the means available to attract new people. It amazes me that people don’t ask this question and see the true attention behind it.
Of course having completely given away ones critical thinking does not help, and honestly I have been there as well. Unfortunately and from my perspective I see so many still trapped in this web of deceit. Trying to their best and under cutting there fellow teachers just to feel special. What makes some one a senior teacher anyway, a teacher is a teacher in my book, rank has nothing to do with it. Rank creates division, bad for the teachers very good for the master.
See the post by WistleBlower see https://aolfree.wordpress.com/2010/08/10/the-latest-con-scheme-by-srisri/#comment-922
Below is a part of the post
During the TRM, Outreach Support team will lead a break out session to train interested teachers about online outreach & public relations. We will cover:
• Using Facebook, Twitter, email marketing, blogs to get increase participants to Mind & Meditation intro talks, and to build a relationship with course graduates
• Effective ways in which you can reach out to the media to tell your story, including online press releases
In order to make the most of this session:
• Please familiarize yourself with Facebook & Twitter. If you don’t have an account, sign up, if you have an account, log in!
• Get familiar with some key local newspapers and magazines, read the papers…identify areas where we could possibly have AOL coverage
So as a teacher I need to open a Facebook and Twitter account, actively (under pressure really) create my own little AOL Cooperation and make it work with out any starting Capital (money). This blows me away, it is all about getting people to sign up. Why not just be a good teacher based in knowledge and let people come to me out of their own willingness, in stead of using boiler room sales tactics creating false needs and exploiting situations people are in.
The above mention strategies are smart business principles, to increase market share. The AOL corporation is in a win – win position, because they have such a wonderful base of employees (teachers) who are willing to work for no compensation other then to receive the grace of the GURU. In the end when the employees realize they were in a scam and they have been had, they realize that they don’t have any pension, or health benefits and worse yet no skills to survive, their world comes crashing down hard. And that is very SAD to see, when the realization set in the little life energy and meaning they had is evaporated. Hopefully they will have a support base to get them back on their feet.
So is AOL a Foundation on paper it surely is but in reality it is a corporation, being run by a family who is laughing all the way to the Bank. The banks of choice are most likely located in Switzerland and other financial offshore jurisdictions.
The little giant has awakened.