Engan, the Person They Named
by a friend
I wonder why, out of all the people the disgruntled swami has described in his article, only one name was mentioned. Could this be because Ravi Shankar feels most threatened by her? I know her personally, and it is all too clear to me why she might be considered a threat to Ravi and his organization. She is a very capable woman, a loving person, and a good friend. After witnessing her interactions with others, I can understand how she has been so successful in bringing so many people to the aol courses over her years of service. Her presence inspires respect, and her words command attention. Because of this and the fact that she was once in the aol inner circle makes her a credible witness that people will surely listen to. So yes, it is quite understandable why Ravi might consider her dangerous, and obvious why he would want to single her out in this defamation campaign.
I am certain she is not behind this blog, and I would like to speak up in her defense. Based on what I know of her through our interactions, and comparing this with the allegations presented in the swami’s post, I can see clear inconsistencies. I can also see some illogical arguments made by the swami, and I feel compelled to call them out.
First, I am not a medical doctor and therefore not qualified to diagnose bipolar disorder. My guess is, neither is the swami who has claimed she is afflicted with it. Over the course of our friendship, I have not seen any signs of mental instability or aberrant behavior such as that described. Regardless of whether or not she has a medical disorder, however, is a personal and confidential matter. No matter where this information came from, I believe this constitutes a breach of confidentiality.
Second, I have never heard her once speak ill of her parents. On the contrary, her parents have been most supportive since she left the aol cult, and have taken good care of her, as usual. They have hosted so many aol teachers over the years, feeding them and taking care of them. One should question the swami’s character for using them in this defamation campaign.
Third, if she actually were such an unstable, raving lunatic, as this swami describes, then why make her an aol teacher in the first place? Why put her in the position to represent aol and to guide delicate minds on their spiritual journey? Did Ravi not consider the course participants who might be damaged by such a teacher? Furthermore, if she is so unstable and incapable of controlling her behavior, then how on Earth was she able to so effectively sell the aol course to so many people all over the world?
Yes, I would venture to say that this attempt to defame such a credible source is as lame as Ravi’s ploy to garner public sympathy and support from an “assassination attempt” by a stray dead bullet that was never intended for him.
But why believe anything I have to say, or for that matter, why believe the disgruntled swami, or the listed aol teachers who would support him? I think that everyone needs to decide for themselves, based on their own experience (as I have). Even if you do not know either party involved or have first-hand accounts, I think it is very telling that a swami, a person who is supposedly advanced on the spiritual path, has taken what was probably a lot of time and effort to produce such a long-winded document aimed at defaming and discrediting a few people, and defending against their criticism, point-by-point. Most sane and balanced people would ignore the criticism they truly believe is baseless and without merit. By making all this noise, Ravi’s insecurities are becoming more and more apparent.
I don’t care about what happens to the organization, but I do care for my friend who is being publicly defamed. I am happy to report that she is doing quite well, especially since she left the organization. As far as I know, she hasn’t had any help from anyone in aol since she left, unless you count numerous e-mail threats and now public defamation. I would venture to guess that this is the type of aol “help” she can do without.