Someone Wants to Put a Stop to Us
This e-mail KRIYA INFRINGMENT – Notice to Blogger _August 2010 signed 2 came a few days ago, threatening me with lawsuits, demanding that I give my true identity and in effect close down this blog.
They want me to delete the Kriya Notes. Why? This is their reason:
We put you to notice that any misuse of the Notes by you or any visitor on your Blog could cause serious harm / injury to others, in the event any attempt is made to teach the SK Technique on the basis of and pursuant to the unauthorized publication of the SK Notes by you. You will be held personally responsible for any such harm / injury.
Somehow, I don’t think this is their real concern. Are they imagining someone reading the notes, and thinking: I must try this! Now, how is it? Leather belt off, chanting *OM*, breathe in rythms… So Ham… lie down, wait for the Guru’s Grace to enfold me…
No? I don’t think so either. Who would do that, from reading the notes? Who would teach others?
Maybe their concern is another: that the exposure of the Kriya Notes exposes The Art of Living as a cult, and Ravi Shankar as it’s cult leader. In the notes you can read things like
“Each emotion is dissolved (…) with the potency of the mantra, or the mere Grace and Presence of the Being, the Master, the Guru. Grace is the thing that is beyond explanation.”
How very convenient, that you don’t have to explain how grace actually works, right? The message being, “don’t think. Just have faith in the Guru.”
Well, we are quite a lot of people who tried that, and it didn’t work. It made us miserable. And worse: it made us weak and insecure. Having blind faith in a guru apparently makes you loose faith in your own judgement.
What else could be their concern? Maybe revenue lost. People who read the notes will certainly be put off the course, by gems of knowledge such as
“In running the body is exhausted, tired, so that the mind is not alert.”
Take that, all you brain-dead joggers! You are running yourself into a stupor!
“Don’t eat with people on introductory course.”
Be Gone, unclean people! Thou shalt do at least two long kriyas, before I find thee pure enough to eat with!
Yes, the notes published might just show people the ridiculous magical thinking that is the foundation in AOL. This is a fundamental right we have, as consumers: to know what is in the product.
They go on, to say
“…please note that your blog contains defamatory material which has been posted withmalicious intent. We hereby call upon you to immediately remove all such defamatory material immediately, failing which we reserve our right to take appropriate legal action.”
This makes me very sad. I never wanted to defame anyone, not even Ravi Shankar himself. Although I hold him personally reponsible for the power abuse, the lies, the deceit and fraud in AOL, I also see him as a victim. It must be very, very lonely, trying to keep up the appearance of being enlightened, when he is clearly not.
My intent was never malicious, on the contrary. The degree of internal censorship in AOL requires someone to hold a torch to the irregularities in the organisation, and its leader. From all the comments I get on this blog, I simply know I am doing good work, helping people come to their senses. This was the intention all along, nothing else. I have posted every single comment, without censoring. When people write to me sincerely, like Ann, I treat them with respect. I even link to pro-aol blogs. I actually want people to make up their own minds about AOL, based on balanced information!
This attempt to close us down is nothing we haven’t experienced earlier, as active members of AOL. You simply are not allowed to speak your mind in AOL, period. This letter from VVK simply proves the point.
Another proof is the insane editing/censoring of the Wikipedia post on Ravi Shankar. Every critical post, no matter how well documented, is systematically deleted. I wrote a post about it some time ago. Now, it seems that this censoring is organized by AOL itself! The following mail, sent to volunteers in AOL, certainly suggests that:
Date: Wed, Aug 18, 2010 at 1:40 AM
Subject: Imp – Web Seva: Need Volunteers with Wikipedia account
Jaigurudev Dear Ones,
There is an important webseva for which we need all the volunteers who have a wiki account.
In case you have one, please fill in your details on the link below or fill in the form below.
Details of Wiki Users
Web Seva : In case you have a Wikipedia account, please enter your details below
Wiki User Name *
The AOL Wikipedia police! Why is AOL so insanely worried about criticism, no matter how well documented and constructive? They might learn something, if they stopped and listened to it instead of frantically suppressing it.
Fortunately, people on our side also edit posts on Wikipedia. Just recently, the critic section was reinserted, with the following comments:
Why is the critic section constantly removed
In order to give a fair viewpoint, all sides of the story should be given. The page regularily reads as if it is a promotional leaflet – there are many opinions and discussions which to the newcomer researching this person should be presented in an unbiased way – rather than deleting. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Kuji (talk • contribs) 06:37, 18 August 2010 (UTC)
This edit pattern is bordering on vandalism–I have a feeling we’ll have to protect this article against any anonymous edits soon if they continue/repeat removal of whole sections without comment or discussion here. DMacks (talk) 05:17, 23 August 2010 (UTC)
Semi-protected a while… DMacks (talk) 20:03, 23 August 2010 (UTC)
Hooray, DMacks, you are my hero! Free speech rules!
Dear Mr. Shankar, why are you so afraid of criticism? Why not embrace it and learn, and defend yourself when you feel the need, instead of trying to eliminate it?