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Because Bill Clinton Stayed There Once!

August 31, 2010

-by a young girl from **** August 26th, 2010

I am a young girl from ****. When SSRS came to Australia last year, he stayed at ‘Presidential Suite’ at Langham hotel in Melborune (not only presidential suite, but a complete floor was taken). Why this specific suite was insisted by Ashram? Oh…because Bill Clinton stayed there once! An helicopter was also at his disposal for all the days he stayed in Melbourne at a cost of 5,000 dollars per trip. In Sydney he stayed at Shangrila hotel. A cruise was booked for an evening with food and music (sorry…Satsang).

During year 2009 only, more than 300,000 dollars were spent on travel, accommodation, lecture fees and other expenses of SSRS, his senior teachers including Sangeeta, Dinesh and entourage. I don’t know about living conditions in India and cannot calculate how many kids would have obtained education with this sort of money. Someone can help.

I think that it is not people but SSRS who wants proximity to people, however, he brainwashes people in a cultish manner and it seems that many people want proximity to him. If SSRS does not see a big crowd it is he who lashes out at teachers and volunteers. During his second lecture at ‘World Religion Conference’ in Melbourne there were only 40 people in a hall which had a capacity of 5000. You can imagine who these 40 people could have been. He tells them to go and spread the knowledge i.e. bring more people to basic course . Ultimately courses suck in people and poor souls serve with good intentions without knowing that all donations and course collections are pocketed by SSRS, his family and inner circle.

I will talk of my knowledge about Australia. I am not aware of a single service project in Australia where Art of Living has spent money. If any service project is undertaken it is local teachers and volunteers who give their time and money. However, if it is completed, SSRS is first to claim publicity. It is time that Australian Taxation Authority take a good look into the accounts of ‘AOL Australia’ and revoke its tax free status.

Not so young girl from **** August 26, 2010

At the end of Advanced Course in Melbourne in December 2009, an appeal was made by the SWISS TEACHER for donations toward construction of a new university, somewhere in India. Many participants made donations in CASH. (really – handful of currency notes)

…if you follow the money trail in account books only you can never estimate the amount of money pocketed by SSRS. Many people like to make anonymous donations in CASH as it is said by SSRS that when you make donations with your right hand your left hand should not be aware of that. Ha..ha. How convenient? I challenge if a single CASH dollar/Euro is accounted for by AOL Australia as donations on this occurrence.

Yes, Australian Taxation Authority should check this out.

freethinker  August 26, 2010

@Young girl and Not so young from Aus?

Here is the tip line for aus… Take a look.

http://www.ato.gov.au/corporate/pathway.asp?pc=001/001/008

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29 Comments
  1. Hari permalink
    August 31, 2010 10:05 pm

    Thats exactly the thoughts I told my friend who is drowned in this stuff…

    http://events.artofliving.org/womensconference/registration.html

    there was a conference recently in a 5 star resort in Bali.

    I asked the reason behind choosing such an expensive place for holding a “spiritual-cultural” conference. He replied that – once in a while, the “sevaks” need to have some fun too for they have devoted their entire life to “seva”… I was jus LMAO and asked him why is he not feeling ashamed of the fact that AOL is fretting away the donations on luxury, while, it could be channeled into so many developmental projects.

    Also, I am always of the opinion that the amount of money that AOL might be making is not entirely being channelized for some useful projects.

  2. goneagain permalink
    September 1, 2010 1:16 am

    Already DISGRUNTLED SWAMI’s already defended their magnificent life style (“Material progress goes hand in hand with spiritual growth” comments in the article titled : If you are a Swami and a victim, remain silent!) – the way RS/AOL lackeys spend the donations in most expensive hotels/resorts/chartered helicopters etc shows that’s why they are running this wonderful business which gives them the life style similar to of the King or emperor, and in fact RS words are to be respected as such (in fact better than king – of course GOD-INCARNATE, who can question the GOD?). Most aol-ites live in dreamland they are unlikely to question any practice let alone their financial malpractices. Only various governments have to poke into these and revoke their tax exempt status.

    • Kitapati permalink
      September 1, 2010 2:51 pm

      Building awareness like what this blog has done certainly helps. It is a matter of time people will see through them.

  3. Peaceful Warrior permalink
    September 1, 2010 2:45 am

    “I think that it is not people but SSRS who wants proximity to people, however, he brainwashes people in a cultish manner and it seems that many people want proximity to him.”

    These lines need to be put in bold. It all boils down to this.

  4. Researcher permalink
    September 1, 2010 8:50 am

    What is it they really do in the womens’ conference? Here are the highlights from the past three conferences:

    – Attendance of over 723 delegates from all socioeconomic backgrounds from 70 countries.
    – Educational sponsorship of more than 1,000 girls from economically disadvantaged families.
    – Child Support for Zimbabwean families affected by HIV/AIDS
    – Launch of prisoner rehabilitation programs for female prison inmates
    – Sponsorship of more than 100 homes for homeless women in India.
    – Launch of “India’s Missing Daughters”, an inter-religious campaign against female foeticide in India.
    – Launch of the Peanut Butter Project in Murewa, Africa to help women start a small scale peanut butter manufacturing and bottling plant.
    – Launch of Post Trauma Stress Management workshops for widows in high conflict zones such as Iraq

    Ok, fine. Assuming simplistically that these “achievements” were equally distributed over the three years, let’s do the math.

    For each conference, participants spend:
    723 x $800 = $578,400 for the conference
    (averaging $600 for twin sharing and $1000 for single rooms)

    600 x $1050 = $630,000
    (about 600-650 stay back for the adv course, averaging again for twin/single rooms)

    About 400 stay back an extra night
    400 x $100 = $40,000

    200 go on the cruise
    200 x $150 = $30,000

    Air fares for all 723 delegates, could be as low as $200 within Indonesia and $2000 from Europe or the US, averaging about $1200.
    723 x $1200 = $867,600

    I know a lot of donations are collected and pledges are made during the Bali retreats, at least when I was there last year. I don’t have a dollar amount for this so I’ll leave it blank.

    This works out to a total of about $2.14 million, each year. Multiply that by 4 years, that’s $8 mil.

    How much does it take to sponsor only education for 1000 girls? In low income societies, about $100 a year, that’s $100K.

    Child support for Zimbabwe families affected by AIDS? Knowing AOL, this would be a handful of families in one “poster child” village, that’s $10K.

    Prisoner rehab program – funded by local AOL chapters, no money comes from the HQ.

    Sponsorship of 100 homes for homeless women – also comes from funds raised from local AOL orgs and partial funding from HQ.

    Launch of various programs – no money spent except publicity, $10K.

    Peanut butter program in Africa, little money spent except publicity and initial seed funding $10K.

    PTSM workshops – funded locally, no money spent.

    In all, they’d have given about $200K or less, since most of these programs are funded by the local AOL orgs with money squeezed out of us (ex-) members and volunteers. That’s 2.5% of the money spent on the conferences. An extremely wasteful exercise and lousy ROI if you ask me.

    By the way, here’s your “Vishnu” component of the three pronged attack on this blog, lawyer Batliwala:
    http://www.stoneedge.biz/robyn/2010/robyn2010_04.shtml
    Look at the old man in the sixth row.

  5. WhistleBlower permalink
    September 1, 2010 10:37 am

    Dear researcher,
    Most of these projects if done at all are done by individuals (not by AOL) , some of them are not even AOL members. Let’s say a lady from US turns up at the conference and meets a lady from Africa. The lady in Africa talks about a peanut butter project. The lady in USA pledges some money towards it. The next day, AOL will put this in its brochure as AOL project and list it as “highlight of the conference”!

    And sure, they may actually collect $$$$ for educational sponsorship of girls or homes for homeless, etc., but there is no evidence whatsoever that the money will actually go toward any of these projects.

    Indeed most sponsors and contributors, will come across a brick block, if a year down the track, enquire about any of these projects and where their money went to.

    During any AOL Conference (or courses) there is a great pressure on attendants to pledge funds for “pie in the sky” projects. They will use any project that can appeal to emotions of participants and use “group tactics” to pressurize people to pay. But there is hardly ever any report or any evidence for any of these projects actually happening (unless those that are done by individuals without any AOL contributions).

    SriSri and Bhanu Didi have made it to a fine art, milking people on imaginary charity projects. Quite often an individual’s initiatives and charity work is passed on as an AOL project, esp. if the Individual is an AOL teacher or an AOL member. These individuals think AOL is recognizing their work, but in truth, AOL is using their projects to “show case” AOL alleged charity work and collect more funds and grants for itself. These funds do not end up in any of the charity projects. Individuals are expected to fundraise for their own charity projects. AOL is only interested in publicity value of any such project.

    AOL Conferences have two main purposes, one generating funds for AOL/SriSri, two generating publicity, fame for SriSri. Most of them are devoid of any educational value and most degenerate to “glorifying SriSri” sessions. And majority are extremely boring.

  6. harshal permalink
    September 1, 2010 4:27 pm

    I dont understand why you guys ask these questions and why you expect AOL to give answers. Any lay person can get up and ask questions, AOL is not obliged to answer each and everyone. Some of you, I think, seriously , need a good full time job….so much time you have on your hands…use it for something constructive…

    How do you know that these projects are not happening? Since you are claiming that these are not happening , the burden of proof is on you.

    • Ex-aoler permalink
      September 1, 2010 4:46 pm

      I have personally spent time and money, donated a fair amount of cash and my personal time and services to the organization. I have got receipts for less than half my donations. If a donor like me has questions about the use of his money, he is entitled to transparency and proper answers. It is precisely your kind of attitude that drove me away from AOL and all its so-called service activities because since 2001 I could get no satisfactory answers about where and how my money is being used.

    • freethinker permalink
      September 1, 2010 5:41 pm

      That’s all you got to defend your master? You seemed to think visiting here and posting comment is constructive and at same feet if others post questioning AOL then it is waste of time? what a JGD sheep’s logic – only posting in favor of AOL is constructive work! You provide ample proof if you are deep into AOL then you loose your mind (critical thinking).

    • Hari permalink
      September 1, 2010 6:32 pm

      I guess what is happening here is very constructive… trying to stop this scandal to swell up even further… even stopping a single curious bystander from getting up sucked into this shit hole is a success and a time spent worthwhile here… and I really wish you open your eyes and see through the facts about how AOL operates… am sure you would be happy to make a contribution in words here…
      and when you realize that, may God be with you during your recovery phase and don’t worry, you could always find words of solace here…

    • anonymous permalink
      September 1, 2010 6:59 pm

      Actually, Harshal,

      The burden of proof will end up being on AOL, when they are raided by the Revenue Service. People here are simply reporting how they saw cash floating from hand to hand casually (large amounts) and all the discrepencies they noticed while serving in AOL. There is no accountability. The only way to “prove” that is to get the authorities involved to investigate. This blog could achieve that — get the attention of the press, and then the government.

    • anonymous permalink
      September 1, 2010 7:01 pm

      Oh, and Harshal,

      Does this mean that you are unemployed? (The fact that you posted here today.) So many people at so many computers. Why would you think everyone else is unemployed? I don’t know about others, but I work full time and posted here today as well 😉

  7. harshal permalink
    September 1, 2010 6:23 pm

    you donated cash and time without checking the credibility of an organization..doesn’t that make you an idiot?

    about my attitude and you leaving AOL..you have hit the nail on its head…you have left AOL and are criticizing it as you didn’t like a few people..and in the process are completely undermining the work done by an org on world level…

    Someone pointed out why there are no anti redcross blogs…just google it you will find a few

    http://current.com/183rc4c

    the point is , as long as there are people with 100 dollars in their pockets to buy a used computer and 10 dollars for Internet there will be anti-whatever blogs…

    • Hari permalink
      September 1, 2010 9:17 pm

      Dear Harshal,
      I suggest you spend some time reading through all the posts here and also be more awake during your AOL brainwashing sessions… it may not be easy, but one day, you may see the truth.

      • Hari permalink
        September 1, 2010 9:19 pm

        and sir, I am full time researcher, pretty good at it and therefore have been on this job for 6 yrs now… pretty well employed and pretty well busy… but still have managed to find time to post my opinions here…

    • freethinker permalink
      September 1, 2010 10:06 pm

      Right, you guys always shoot at your own foot. Best blog you got is people complaining RedCross diverted to other disasters. Are you comparing same way RS diverted all the donation money to his family coffers? AOL should be very proud of you, don’t you see you are loosing your mind there?

      • Vishal permalink
        September 2, 2010 5:24 am

        lol.. Redcross does it so we can do it. I think AOL is now trying to find reasons for their corruption.

  8. abhilash shastry permalink
    September 2, 2010 2:10 am

    @Harshal:

    “How do you know that these projects are not happening? Since you are claiming that these are not happening , the burden of proof is on you.”

    Do you know that I provide free food to 100,000 people every day? Please start donating your money to me.

    And BTW if you think that I am lying, the burden of proof is on you.

  9. Bling Bling permalink
    September 2, 2010 2:00 pm

    ex-aoler: “since 2001 I could get no satisfactory answers about where and how my money is being used.”

    Simple answer : Your money came from God and it has gone back to “God” 🙂

  10. Bling Bling permalink
    September 2, 2010 4:18 pm

    Swami says in order to hear Guru stories, you have to register for advanced course!

    http://anugrahotsav.blogspot.com/2009/12/magical-monday-swamy-jyotirmayah-visits.html

    In a very simplistic manner, he asked whether e would like to hear Guru Stories. How many would like to hear? All hands went up.
    Guess what he said?…. He laughed…after a pause said, “you all must register for the advanced course to hear Guru Stories”. He continued to laugh in the most affable manner which was so infectious that the entire hall was reverberating with laughter…. With a chuckle Swamiji asked “don’t you think this as the best form of marketing?”

  11. Anon permalink
    September 30, 2010 7:12 pm

    I know for a fact AOL has been investigated by the Tax Dept in Australia and was 100% cleared.. You guys need to know your facts…

  12. ANON permalink
    October 1, 2010 12:06 am

    Shhhhh………listen to anon at September 30, 2010 7:12 pm

    Buy why?

    What if, he knows all the facts?

    But who he can be?

    He may be the Secretary and Treasurer of AOL Corporation in Australia.

    But how?

    He might have carried the CASH along with his partner.

    But are they teachers?

    May be both are full time teachers and custodians of DIVINE business.

    But to whom?

    SSRS.

    But when?

    7th to 14th May 2010 on a Journey towards the Self with H.H. Sri Sri Ravi Shankar.

    But Where?

    Arosa (Switzerland).

    But who paid the expenses?

    AOL – all expense paid trip.

    Aha…what a made-up story! Smartypant…but…????

    Oh…the Eighty thousand dollars question!

    When something is not accounted for in books and not found physically; it cannot be caught in investigation, even if one is raided by Tax authorities.

    Ahem..100% clear job.

    • Curious permalink
      March 7, 2011 5:17 am

      What exactly do you mean to convey in your short story?

      Do you mean to say that Eighty thousand dollars were received as cash donation during SSRS visit to Australia or was it a part of accumulated cash donations over a period.

      How do you know that someone carried such a big amount to SSRS in person to Switzerland?

      Were you present there when cash was handed over?

      • Anonymous permalink
        March 5, 2012 3:05 am

        Eighty Thousand dollars were the profit from only one event i.e. SSRS visit to Phillip Island in Australia during December 2009 and the cash donations were over and above this amount. AOL Australia is rich and over a period they have accumulated more than $700,000 in bank accounts because few people still pay by cheque/credit card.

        No, I was never a witness to the cash handing out event in Switzerland.

  13. Anonymous permalink
    March 7, 2011 10:15 pm

    The men in white (and sometimes crisp blue shirts) always carry un-declared money away from the courses. Somewhere in India there must be a huge pile of black money lying around. Thats a fact!

    • anon permalink
      March 8, 2011 7:51 am

      If you notice the location of AOL headquarter (switzerland), you will observe that it is also one of the convenient places to hide all the ill-gotten money.

      This may also justify HIS HOLINESS regular visits to Germany and Switzerland.

      Money laudnering is a major international crime and needs to be investigated by OECD and DRI.

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