Skip to content

High Overhead or Low Overhead, SriSri and his men can’t agree!

September 14, 2010

Jim, the owner of 2nd AOL counter-blog artoflivingvalues , in his latest post enclosed below (which comes after a long gap!!) says:

 “Like other educational organizations, the Art of Living foundation is primarily funded via course fees with added support from donations for specific programs. “

Now suddenly AOL changed from charitable trust to an educational organization. In that case, like other private educational organizations, which are run like businesses, AOL should pay taxes. It should also be honest with public and withdraw its charitable status and it should pay all its employees minimum wage and refrain from using slave-laborers!

He also says:

 “The Art of Living has very low overhead compared to most other nfp’s.”

“I would say that the foundation is one of the lowest overhead organizations in the world.”

Now jimmy you are contradicting your own CEO, SriSri, who claimed in his own official website : “We hardly save 10 to 15 percent on course.” That means a very high and unacceptable overhead of 85 to 90 percent! (Read His Holiness penchant for lying and deceiving – Part 1 and part 2 for more analysis.)

 So which one is it? Do you guys have a low overhead or a high overhead? It seems to me that whenever it suits you, like when you are asked where the money from courses go to, you say you have high overhead. And whenever you guys want to appeal to public generosity to fleece them, you claim you have low overhead.

 “Except for a few full time staff members, all the work done by the foundation is done by volunteers. “

Who are these full time staff members? Why don’t you publish their names and their salaries? As you are running AOL as a charitable trust, public has a right to know this. There are so many AOL volunteers who work full time or part-time (or for considerable amount of time) for AOL and receive no payment. They are under illusion that everyone works voluntarily in AOL.

While you are at it, please also publish how much SriSri gets whenever he attends a part3 course or an AOL event? Please confirm if it is true that SriSri receives US$100 per participant in each part3 courses? Also the $200 (or whatever) per participant, per course (part2/DSN/ etc.) which goes to VVM, where do they end up? In Sumeru real estate by any chance?!

“Sri Sri and the foundation have always placed strong emphasis on keeping expenses low and making good use of the funds we do collect. “

 Oh, sure. We let our readers to read the post “BECAUSE BILL CLINTON STAYED THERE ONCE!”and decide for themselves if SriSri and sister are making good use of AOL funds! And that is just one example, otherwise that kind of fund usage is quite regular occurrence for SriSri and his family and top lackeys.

We also let our readers decide if channelling the funds to private and personal businesses and buying real estate is good use of funds donated for the purpose of charity.

And yes Jim, let’s don’t confuse the issues here. When it comes to organizing AOL courses, teachers, organizers and volunteers are asked to keep the expenses low (and indeed get things done for free as much as possible). The volunteers time and resources come for free too.

However, it is a different story, when it comes to SriSri spending the funds generated from these courses or from donations. Then there is no rules or limits to expenses(presidential suits, hiring of Limos, helicopters and so on). He insists on street display of big photos of himself and banners before he visits any AOL events or conferences, quite expensive. And no one seems to know what happens to the funds which are sent to VVM (from all AOL centres globally).

Similarly there is no limit to using AOL funds to buy SriSri fame and name and political influence and awards and honors. And make no mistake, most people do not consider these proper usage of funds collected (or donated) in the name of charity.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

The Art of Living and Money

I want to share some thoughts with you about money and the Art of Living. First, let’s look at some basic concepts. I work for a for-profit company that makes financial software for not-for-profit (nfp) organizations and I can assure you, money is a big topic in all organizations both nfp and for-profit. Why is money necessary? In a for-profit company it’s obvious – money is needed for rent, salaries, capital expenditures and, of course, profit. In an nfp, it’s less obvious. Of course the expenses are still there, salary, rent, etc., but money is not the goal. Rather, it’s an enabler; it helps organizations accomplish their mission.

In the west, it’s very difficult to do anything without money. Cash flow is the financial heart of any organization and when income falls below expenses, it’s only a matter of time before the doors close. Nfp’s can ‘go out of business’ just as easily as for-profit companies, and their officers and board need to manage finances just as carefully as for-profit organizations.

There are many types of non-profit organizations and all require money to operate. Depending on the organization and its members and/or benefactors, funds may come from many sources, such as membership dues, donations, fees, endowments and grants. Organizations like churches pass the collection plate on Sunday. Some organizations have fundraising events such as telethons or walkathons. Others rely on grants or endowments. The YMCA is a fee-based membership organization. The United Way solicits donations and major grants. Most education nonprofits like schools, colleges and universities charge course fees (tuition) for their programs. Like other educational organizations, the Art of Living foundation is primarily funded via course fees with added support from donations for specific programs. The common theme of course is that organizations depend on income from one or more sources in order to accomplish their missions.

The Art of Living has very low overhead compared to most other nfp’s. Except for a few full time staff members, all the work done by the foundation is done by volunteers. I would say that the foundation is one of the lowest overhead organizations in the world.

So why charge at all for courses? First, as mentioned above, the organization needs money to operate. It’s a fact of life. Second, from my experience (and that of many other Art of Living teachers), is that people tend to value something more if they have invested in it. Finally, on a subtler level, it’s important to give for something where you have received.

 So why not just rely on donations? First, operational costs tend to track with the number and variety of courses that we offer and a course-fee approach to revenue works well to make sure that costs are covered. Second, donations tend to be seasonal at best and highly variable at worst and this makes it very difficult to forecast revenue and plan expenditures. Finally, there is a bit of a catch-22 with donations – if you don’t ask for them, they tend to not be given. If you do ask, people can feel some pressure from it.

Sri Sri and the foundation have always placed strong emphasis on keeping expenses low and making good use of the funds we do collect. Every approach to funding an nfp organization has advantages and disadvantages. Fees have generally worked well for the Art of Living in balancing the needs of the organization for covering expenses with the needs of participants for affordable access to the foundation’s programs. In my experience with the foundation, we’ve always put more emphasis on availability. In the 10 years I’ve been teaching in the Prison SMART program in a federal prison in Denver, I’ve donated my time and travel expenses and we’ve never collected any fees.

Advertisements
29 Comments
  1. goneagain permalink
    September 14, 2010 1:24 am

    This speaks volume.
    —————
    •Donations collected to date: $165,000
    •Donations spent to date: $54,000
    •Remaining donation $ to be spent on TTC and operating expenses (mostly in-country)
    —————

    -Donations spent to date: $54,000 – Don’t know on what?
    -Remaining donation $ to be spent on TTC and operating expenses (mostly in-country) – for TTC and operating expenses.

    $165000 – $54000 = 111000K on TTC/operating expenses. Wow that is 67% overhead as per their data, still we don’t how the 54000 is spent but 67% you call low overhead?

    • WhistleBlower permalink
      September 14, 2010 2:16 am

      Which TTC expenses? TTC courses are big revenue generators for AOL. Each participant has to dish out few thousand dollars to attend TTC, not to mention $$$ spent to do other courses before attending TTC or organising courses or fundraising as pre-requisites for attendance.
      During TTC participants are often asked to organise a Mega course, adding to $$$$ income from TTC.
      Do TTC teachers get paid? Manisha Mehta, a TTC teacher in India, told me she doesn’t get paid for teaching TTC.

      And which operating expenses? Each course conducted by AOL is a venue generator for AOL, read posts “His Holiness penchant for lying and deceiving, part1 and part2.”

      Each AOL event has to be self-funding, and most are indeed sources of revenue.

      Any seva project by any AOL teacher or volunteer has to be self-funding. No money from courses can be spent on any seva project.

      If a prison course needs to be done for free, the teacher has to pay for his own travel expenses. AOL never contributes even a dollar for any free course or event or seva project. NEVER!
      But most prison courses are charged and Governments pay for them.

      If a teacher comes up with a good seva project, SriSri/AOL tell the teacher to go and fundraise for it.
      If the project is done though, AOL claims credit for it. And quite often AOL uses such projects to collect donations for them but never passes them on. Somehow these funds get stuck in AOL!

      So which operating expenses? How much Jeff Houk charges for his accounting services?
      In a lot of countries, accounting is done by volunteers too, no charge to AOL.

      So what are these operating expenses?

  2. ANON permalink
    September 14, 2010 1:37 am

    SSRS instructions are to pass on a minimum of $100 per participant PER DAY in Advanced Courses where he makes an appearance. Yes, it is only appearance as the course is not conducted by him at all except for a flying visit on 2 or 3 days during the course.

    That makes it $400 or $500 per participant for an advanced course. These charges are being accounted for as lecture fees so that they can be remitted from overseas organisations to India legitimately (money laundering by another name).

  3. Abhilash Shastry permalink
    September 14, 2010 2:18 am

    >>Second, from my experience (and that of many other Art of Living teachers), is that people tend to value something more if they have invested in it.

    This is another lie repeated by AOL-ers ad nauseum.

    What is the basis of this assertion? Have they done any opinion survey from course participants? Have they done any study on % of people continuing their sadhana from free courses vs. paid courses? Do they have any data to back up their assertion? Which courses were compared for arriving at this conclusion?

    How many courses are free, anyway?

    Are there any answers to these questions or is this statement also just another truth of convenience like so many others repeated by AOL-ers?

  4. PasserBy permalink
    September 14, 2010 4:54 am

    >>Second, from my experience (and that of many other Art of Living teachers), is that people tend to value something more if they have invested in it.

    Why cannot this “something they invest” be time in genuine public service, for example. Or at least give an option of time or money for people who cant afford to take the course. Its all about the MONEY, isnt it?

    • Chinnamasti permalink
      September 14, 2010 10:29 am

      “people tend to value something more if they have invested in it.”
      This is the age old reason and the first lesson before starting Guru business. Mahesh yogi gave the same reason 50 years ago when he started selling mantra japa in the name of TM. He made loads of money. Promised people the sky – health, success, world peace, enlightenment. He got away with all the booty. Now we see a plethora of gurus, healers, reiki masters and shamans using this rationale to suck money. Ravi Ravi is following in the same footsteps. I am pretty sure that they never tried teaching people for free, they just make the story up.

      In this respect I value people like Osho, Ramdev and even Nityananda as they havent kept their core teachings secret and have been able to spread it effectively. Of course, you have to pay for their company and that is where they have made lotta money. Sri Sri himself has realized that his old Mahesh yogi business model is kind of outdated because of media like internet. AOL has even released for the first time this year the CDs of Sri sri yoga, padamasadhana, ashtavakra to general public. These were considered secret and not to be revealed except in the courses. When Ramdev’s pranayamd television shows and CDs were flooding the market Ravi Ravi could not but take notice. He got an old stupid yoga teacher called Kishanji and started Sri Sri yoga.

      However he has gone too far with respect to the sudarshan kriya and cannot make it public as it’s secrecy is core to the cult. But now with the posting of SK in the internet and its easy availability Ravi Ravi and his team are wondering what to do next. The next TTC I am sure most participants will already have the SK CD before they are awarded with it.

  5. AolGuy permalink
    September 14, 2010 10:43 am

    I am a little surprised to see that

    – AOL can’t come up with a convincing explanation regarding their earnings, how they are spend, and what are the projects they funded so far from the central fund.

    – Why Swamiji is writing letters with such low value allegations against previous AOL teachers.

  6. harshal permalink
    September 14, 2010 12:30 pm

    ‘He got an old stupid yoga teacher’

    Shame on you chinnamasti.

  7. Italy permalink
    September 14, 2010 2:24 pm

    Agreement for The Art of Living Teachers

    between

    International Art of Living Foundation
    c/o Fischer & Partner
    Schulhausstrasse 9
    CH-6052 Hergiswil
    Switzerland
    (Hereinafter called ‘IAOLF’)

    and

    each individual volunteer teacher who completed the teachers’ refreshing training
    on 5th of August in Bad Antogast, Germany
    and whose name, address, country, date of birth and signature
    appears at the end of this Agreement.
    (Hereinafter individually called ‘Teacher’ and collectively ‘Teachers’)

    The joint vision of the parties is a stress-free, violence-free world where individuals
    have the opportunity to maximize their potential for personal and spiritual growth and
    contribute towards creating a One-World-Family. The Teacher’s commitment as a
    volunteer helps to fulfil that vision and supports the aim to support needy people by
    charitable, humanitarian and educational projects. Inherent to this vision is the
    creation of a sense of belonging amongst people of all religions, cultures and
    backgrounds, recognising that these teachings are universal.

    Terms and Conditions

    In signing this Agreement, the Teacher understands and agrees to the following:

    1. To fulfil the joint vision of a stress-free, violence-free world, the Teacher has
    undertaken the Teacher Training Course (hereinafter called ‘TTC’).

    2. In his/her capacity as a Teacher for IAOLF under this Agreement the Teacher is
    authorised to teach the courses designed by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, as shown on
    the Schedule to this agreement, alongside the name of each respective teacher.

    3. The Teacher commits himself/herself to:

    • Regular practice of the techniques taught in the Art of Living Part 1
    course
    • Regular teaching of such courses that he or she is personally authorised
    to teach by IAOLF.
    • To comply with the administrative rules and regulations of the IAOLF and
    the national Art of Living organisation in the country where he/she is
    active.

    4. Teaching special target groups (e.g. prisons, health services, educational
    establishments, business communities, substance abusers) is not covered during
    the TTC. Before addressing or teaching such groups the Teacher must receive
    the approval and instructions of the recognised teacher trainer for that group.

    5. The Teacher understands that as a volunteer he/she is not employed by IAOLF or
    any national Art of Living organisation and is aware that it is the Teacher’s own
    responsibility to obtain and maintain any necessary insurances and/or necessary
    permits etc.

    6. The Teacher will not request IAOLF or any national Art of Living organisation for
    any payment for his/her voluntary work and (apart from the right to get refunds for
    his/her expenses) the Teacher is not entitled to any benefit whatsoever.

    7. The Teacher will contact and liaise with the Board of the national Art of Living
    organisation before any activity on its territory. He/she will get familiar with the
    local administrative rules and regulations and – if desired by the national Art of
    Living organisation – sign an agreement with the organisation governing his/her
    activities on the organisation’s territory. Whenever the teacher travels to teach
    abroad, it is the responsibility of that Teacher to first contact the international
    coordinator appointed by IAOLF.

    8. It is the Teacher’s responsibility to collect the course fee from each participant.
    The national Art of Living organisation will provide the Teacher with a fee
    structure and all instructions on how to deal with the collected fee according to
    their national rules and regulations as well as the national law. The Teacher will
    provide the national Art of Living organisation with regular reports on the collected
    fees, expenses and also adequate documentation (receipts, bank statements, list
    of participants etc.).

    9. The Teacher is aware that his/her conduct may have an impact on the reputation
    of IAOLF and the national Art of Living organisation. The Teacher will therefore
    undertake to comply with local law and not act in a way that may discredit the
    national Art of Living organisation’s reputation in particular and the worldwide Art
    of Living Organisation’s and its members’ and representatives’ reputation in
    general.

    10. Whenever the Teacher represents IAOLF in public (events, media, courses,
    meetings, etc.), he/she will be aware of the importance of maintaining the purity
    of the knowledge and teachings designed by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar. The Teacher
    will follow the description in the Teacher’s Manual in accordance with the instructions received from the official trainers, during and after the TTC. Under no
    circumstances shall other techniques, processes or knowledge be added. IAOLF
    will not accept any responsibility or liability whatsoever for any loss or damage
    that arises from any conduct of the Teacher in breach of the obligations within this
    agreement.

    In particular the Teacher agrees:

    i. Not to identify the AOL teachings with one specific religion, nor will he/she use
    the AOL teachings to support or promote a particular political/economic
    system

    ii. Not to convey the AOL teachings in his/her own name but on behalf of the
    organisation.

    11. IAOLF will provide the Teacher with printed and recorded material such as the
    Teacher’s Manual and the Sudarshan Kriya tape in order to teach the courses.
    This material remains the property of IAOLF. The intellectual property rights to
    this material as well as the knowledge and techniques taught in the TTC do not
    pass to the Teacher.

    The Teacher agrees:

    iii. To keep confidential all teaching and operational instructions, materials and
    manuals specific to the training and teaching of courses designed by Sri Sri
    Ravi Shankar and will not disclose these to anyone not authorised to receive
    them, both during and after the termination of this contract.

    iv. That he or she alone, personally, is the authorised user of the Course
    materials and will not pass them to any other person or group for their use.

    v. Not to make copies of any teaching materials without written permission from
    any officer of IAOLF

    vi. To return all such teaching materials to IAOLF or their nominated
    representative on the termination of this agreement.

    12. The Teacher acknowledges that IAOLF reserves the right to revoke at any time
    and for any reason any rights granted under this agreement. In such a case the
    Teacher may not claim any compensation.

    13. This Agreement may be terminated at any time by either party giving notice in
    writing to the other.

    14. The Teacher agrees that on termination he/she will immediately cease all
    teaching activities in the name and on behalf of IAOLF or any national Art of
    Living organisation.

    15. This Agreement has been prepared in English, which shall prevail over any
    translation thereof.

    16. If any court or administrative body of competent jurisdiction holds any provision of
    this Agreement invalid or unenforceable, the remaining provisions will not be
    affected.

    17. This Agreement shall be construed and governed in accordance with laws of
    Switzerland, excluding its conflict of law provisions.

    18. In the event of any dispute arising out of or in connection with this Agreement that
    cannot be settled amicably the competent courts of Basel, Switzerland shall have
    exclusive jurisdiction, except that if appropriate IAOLF is authorised to seek
    interim injunctive relief in any local court of competent jurisdiction.

    For the sake of clarity it is noted, and the Teachers are aware, that by signing this
    Agreement each Teacher enters into an individual contract with IAOLF and does not
    form a simple partnership according to Article 530 et seqq. of the Swiss Code of
    Obligations with the other Teachers.

    IAOLF thanks all the Teachers for their valuable efforts.

    Bad Antogast, 5th of August 2010

    International Art of Living Foundation

    _________________________________

    Regina Boensel
    director of TTC department in Europe

    Bad Antogast, 5th of August 2010

    I the undersigned Teacher agree to the above Terms of this Agreement

    No. Name Date of Birth Country Signature

    • goneagain permalink
      September 15, 2010 2:53 am

      I suppose these agreements are more recent as some of the Ex. AOL teachers mentioned they didn’t sign such agreements. Any info on when they started these? Looks like AOL is more defensive now?

      • WhistleBlower permalink
        September 15, 2010 6:06 am

        Yes, I certainly didn’t sign such an agreement, but the treatment was the same. I guess they formalised the unwritten rules/policy just in case anyone had an illusion that AOL is a fair employer, so everyone knows AOL means slavery to SriSri and there is only flow of $$$ from slaves to SriSri.

        I wonder if any respectable court of law anywhere in the world would uphold such an slavery contract, esp one which is obtained under cult brainwashing programmes!

        Besides, the agreement is null, as the AOL vision stated is not true and only a deception, front cover for AOL sleazy business, i.e. the bit which says:

        The joint vision of the parties is a stress-free, violence-free world where individuals have the opportunity to maximize their potential for personal and spiritual growth and contribute towards creating a One-World-Family. The Teacher’s commitment as a volunteer helps to fulfil that vision and supports the aim to support needy people by charitable, humanitarian and educational projects. Inherent to this vision is the creation of a sense of belonging amongst people of all religions, cultures and backgrounds, recognising that these teachings are universal.

        One can argue that building an empire for SriSri and family is certainly not consistent with the above vision. And AOL organization itself is ridden with conflict, disharmony, mistrust and is extremely racist organization. There is no sense of belonging among the teachers and SriSri rules his empire by having his teachers in perpetual conflict and competition and encourages backstabbing, spying and betrayals. AOL organization is very violent and abusive environment and there are documented cases of violence between senior teachers all encouraged and condoned by SriSri himself.

    • Italy permalink
      September 15, 2010 12:28 pm

      FORGOT TO INCLUDE THE LETTER:

      Dear TRM 2010 participants,
      We spent such a beautiful time together which we will remember for a long time. I miss you and your enthusiasm, laughter and love. Thank you for your presence.

      On the end of the course we asked you to sign new agreement between International Art of Living Foundation and teachers. Unfortunately there was not enough time to read it through. I’m sending it in attachment, so that you can read it carefully and in peace. You have 30 days from today on to recall your signature if needed.

      All my love and support,
      JGD, katja

      • WhistleBlower permalink
        September 15, 2010 9:13 pm

        Thanks Italy. In other words the TTC graduates were asked to sign those agreements right at the end of TTC without even having time “to read it through”!

        How many are now going to “recall their signature”, which would mean sending back their tapes and manuals, after all the time and money they spent to get them. Would they be refunded their TTC fee?I am afraid not!

        How many people were at this TTC and how much each paid?

        Usually other schools of Yoga, which charge for their teacher training programmes, give their graduates their diplomas. These graduates then start working for themselves and recover the money they spent on earning their diploma.

        In AOL however, slaves have to pay for their own slavery training, then have to pass on all the income from their courses (apart from 10 to 20 percent they are allowed to keep) to AOL and they have to continuously attend further AOL courses and slave retraining courses (TRMs) at their own expense. And a good slave is one who recruits more slaves and bring the highest $$$$ to Ravi.

  8. Ronin permalink
    September 14, 2010 6:01 pm

    And why are we not allowed to call AOL a Corporation.

    “For the sake of clarity it is noted, and the Teachers are aware, that by signing this Agreement each Teacher enters into an individual contract with IAOLF and does not form a simple partnership according to Article 530 et seqq. of the Swiss Code of Obligations with the other Teachers. “

    Can someone please explain to me again why AOL is not a Corporation but a foundation as they so claim. You sign a document which becomes a legal binding agreement between you and AOL. It is no different then signing a contract with a fortune 500 Company for employment purposes. The only difference is that the AOL contract is drafted in such a way that all the benefits are in favor of the AOL corporation. The employee has no rights sure you can terminate your agreement with the corporation at any time, how convenient.

    I wonder why some one would sign such a contract then I remembered that when you sign you are still under the AOL spell and being brainwashed with guru stories thus you will sign anything. Your helping to create a One-World-Family, or so you are led to believe. From the AOL corporation perspective it gives them complete control, or actualy it gives Ravi the CEO full control.

    “It is the Teacher’s responsibility to collect the course fee from each participant. The national Art of Living organisation will provide the Teacher with a fee structure and all instructions on how to deal with the collected fee according to their national rules and regulations as well as the national law. The Teacher will provide the national Art of Living organisation with regular reports on the collected fees, expenses and also adequate documentation (receipts, bank statements, list of participants etc.).”

    As I and others have mentioned before the management information which is gathered through all the different channels for the CEO (Ravi) is extensive. Now as teachers ooops sorry, as employees is it not funny that one has to adhere to all these protocols (bank statements ect) yet the Corporation as a whole does not produce any clear figures at all. And actually discourages (in nasty ways) its employees to seek answers.

    Inquiring minds want to know where does the money go…..…..but before you ask I will remind you of the following article in your contract:

    “The Teacher acknowledges that IAOLF reserves the right to revoke at any time and for any reason any rights granted under this agreement. In such a case the Teacher may not claim any compensation.”

    So if you become critical and start to ask questions be forewarned, they will come after you. The sad part is that when the curtain drops you realizes that it was all in vain, that only one man his family and those in his inner circle got the benefit, and you end up with nothing but a few guru stories and the tape,…….sorry not true you have to give it back see your contract.

    So the CEO is living his plush life staying at 5 stars hotels and flying first class and you as an employee are thrown out on the streets (read various posts on this blog) without healthcare benefits or a pension wondering what to do next.

    “IAOLF thanks all the Teachers for their valuable efforts.”

    I am sure that the AOL Corporation is very thankful. I wonder if they will give their employees (teachers) a well deserved bonus at Christmas for all their productive efforts in signing people up and giving courses. A bonus (money)…..don’t think so but I am sure for those who did very well the Guru (CEO) will give them extra grace and a blessing. While he looks over the figures (profit and loss statement) and smiles handsomely.

    The little giant has awakened.

    • WhistleBlower permalink
      September 14, 2010 8:36 pm

      Well observed and well written Ronin.

      I think you are being far too generous calling AOL a corporation. AOL is slavery operation of the worst kind, in which the slaves are so brainwashed that not only think slavery for RS is an honor but also recruit other slaves for him, including their own friends and family.

      They are so brainwashed, even displaying their yoke of devotion to SriSri proudly, that they don’t even realize what miserable slavery agreement they have entered to.

      The agreement is all in favor of RS. Basically, slaves, work hard and send their earnings to Ravi.

      They turn a blind eye to all the buildings which go up for sale by Sumeru real estate from the money they earn and , leaving behind dispossessed villagers. They turn a blind eye to all the businesses and fat bank balances of SriSri and family and their extravagant life styles and instead, like programmed robots, deceive public and their students by saying the money from courses go to charity causes.

      They mention Haiti project, forgetting to mention that not one dollar from AOL (or any courses) went to Haiti. Any money for that project was donated separately.

      They forget to tell their students that it is Ravi’s strict instruction that no money earned from AOL courses can go to any charity work, that all that money is his and his alone. If anyone wants to do the charity work, they need to do their own fundraising. Ravi is only interested in using any publicity generated from any such work to dupe public to donate more money to him so he can expand his empire.

      The slaves even happily pay from their own pockets to attend “slaves orientation weeks”, commonly known as TRMs, to be trained on how to earn more money for Ravi and be reminded of their good fortune to be Ravi’s slaves.

      Any slave that questions where the money goes, will be shown the door, followed by defamation and public attacks (such as those demonstrated by Sad. Swami’s letter).

      Such slaves are no longer good for Ravi and he can’t afford to have them around, as they may infect other slaves with free thinking and wake them up from their hypnotized zombie state.

      These slaves are the ones that build Ravi’s ever expanding empire stone by stone. And if in the process they die off exhaustion, or from the dark culture of back-stabbing and dirty politics of AOL, they are simply buried among stones.

  9. Ex-Yespluser permalink
    September 15, 2010 9:14 am

    YOGA RAVE MANUAL 2010

    • GOALS
    The party has 3 main goals:
    – Let new people know more about Art of Living and Guruji and enroll them for courses
    – Provide an alternative space for recreation and fun for everyone.
    – Create a social trend for a happy healthy youth

    • CONCEPT:
    The name of Yoga Rave party is going to be used for parties organized by AOL which include:
    – Live electronic music with AOL Bhajans
    – Meditations guided by Guruji
    – Sri Sri Yoga
    -Alcohol, and drug free environment
    -Introductory talk given by AOL teacher

    • TARGET
    The party is targeted at the youth who are looking for an energetic alternative to parting who have already taken the AOL course or will take it in the future, but people of all ages are encouraged and welcome to participate.

    • LOCAL ORGANIZERS AND INTERNAT IONAL YOGA RAVE BOARD
    The party can be organized by any group volunteers with the approval of the local AOL Board. Also as part of the social projects of the YES!+ Course. The party local organizer should contact Rodrigo Bustos from INTERNATIONAL YOGA RAVE BOARD , IYRB ( rodrigo@elartedevivir.org ,) to receive further guidance before the organization of the event and to give all the info about
    your party so that it can be posted in the international Yoga Rave Web Page. The name Yoga Rave (YR) is registered and copyrighted by the name of the Art of Living Foundation in Argentina.

    • STRUCT URE:
    Party is a maximum of four hour event
    -Welcoming of people with music (please put all down all personal information of participants so that they can be contacted in future for the courses, you can do a rifle with the filled in forms)
    – The host of the party (somebody with high energy please) introduces the party and its rules: no alcohol, no smoking and be 100%, max 10 minutes. At the end he or she introduces the Yoga Teacher.
    – Yoga Teacher conducts a sequence of yoga of max 20 minutes, do yoga to lively and energetic music pieces
    – Brief intro to meditation (two min), people sit on the floor and play Guruji`s guided Meditation (20 min).
    -Live performance of electronic music based on Bhajan tunes and lyrics (please get in contact with IYRB to get the material and guidance about this), maximum of 2 hours. In the middle of the live performance musicians leave the stage for yoga teacher to guide brief sequence of asanas to the music (10 min) ending in Standing Yoga Nidra (participants close their eyes, and listen to guided yoga nidra standing) in the background you may play soft music. Then The live
    performance continues.
    -Guided Meditation (15 min)
    -Participants sit down and listen to intro talk given by AOL Teacher

    NOTE: each step should smoothly flow into the other, the get to know more aboout this, ask IYRB for instructive video.

    • VENUE and EQUIPMENT:
    To make the party is necessary to find a proper venue:
    – Venue should be clean free of smell of tabacco
    – All legal local permits should be there.
    – Stage: minimum 3 x 6m, with a height of not less than 50cm.
    – Bar service with a choice of natural non-alcoholic drinks. IYRB can provide you with a menu with natural drinks with full details of ingredients and amounts.
    – Sound system. 3 alternative raiders according to number of participants and size of venue (up to 500 people, 500 to 1000, 1000- 2000).
    – Display / s audiovisual projection for videos developed for the Yoga Rave), and institutional video presentation
    – A dressing room for artists and personal belongings
    – A stand to display promotional material AOL courses and social work, centralise enrollment
    – Banners, merchandising, institutional and brochures of upcoming courses and enrollment cards for the next participants.
    – Teams of volunteers to do seva (welcome participants, help on the bar, do up the place, dance a lot, remember dancing and happiness are contagious!!!)

    • PROMOTION
    You should plan your party in advance so that it can get as much media coverage as possible, IYRVB can provide you with video spots, audio spots for the radio, presentation letters for local authorities and heads of universities and schools to support the event, flyers, posters, banners, etc… When promoting the party for the young audiences emphasis should be made in dynamism, breaking barriers, giving your 100%, having a strong beautiful experience of connection. When promoting it to local authorities, heads of educational institutions emphasis should be made on the fact that the party is free of alcohol and drugs.

    SPONSORS:
    Many companies and institution would be interested in promoting the Yoga Rave party for the youth, as it provides a healthy alternative to have fun, dance and bring awareness. You should think big and aim at large companies but also include local sponsor from smaller ones who would like to contribute.

    • PUBLICITY
    For on event of 500 people, pint 5000 flyers and 200 posters (21.59 cm x 27.94 cm). Distribute flyers and fix posters in target places: schools, colleges, clubs, discos, hostels, yoga centers, restaurants, etc. Optional: Street Posters.

    • MEDIA
    Go to all local radio programs, tv programas, youth and general info magazines, local newspapers and web sites at least one month in advance. Use all the forma press release material provided by YRIB. Use social networks such as facebook, twitter, etc… Invite media representatives and celebrities to the event.

    ECONOMIC ADMINIST RATION
    A previously arranged percent of the net profit (after paying all the expenses) should go to the
    musicians. The rest of the money can be kept for future Yoga Rave projects and social AOL work. It is a good idea that each party can help finance a Breath Water Sound, Prison Smart or any other social work project course to be held the week of the party.

    THE YOGA RAVE INT ERNATIONAL BOARD CAN PROVIDE LOCAL ORGANIZERS WITH:
    all printed material for promotion Graphics, photos of previous parties for the press, video spots for the press and local AOL webpage, recipes for wide variety of non-alcoholic drinks, know-how and many tips to organize your party.

    ABOUT SO WHAT PROJECT
    So What Project ! is an electronic duo playing mantras all around the world formed by Rodrigo Bustos , Nicolas Pucci and volunteer instructors form Art of Living Foundation . T he band was conceived in 2007 with the idea of Yoga Rave, with the aim of music in the first parties.
    From 2009, w ith the release of their first album Smile, SWP becomes a benchmark for Yoga Rave and a representative of Guruji and The Art of Living foundation . For spread read Guruji to the world and bring more and more people to Art of living programs .
    JAI GURU DEV !

    • chinnamasti permalink
      September 15, 2010 10:07 am

      yoga rave is a good idea which i think is not going to pick up so well. The unfortunate part of this so called yoga rave is that you have to listen to some silly guided meditation and also contribute money to bogus charity.

  10. chinnamasti permalink
    September 15, 2010 10:18 am

    Other good ideas are yoga strip tease.
    There is a popular branch of yoga called nude yoga. Ravi Ravi can mabye start a Sri Sri Nude yoga course.

    • WhistleBlower permalink
      September 15, 2010 11:02 am

      Too good Chinnamasti! ROFL!

      Let’s see, in promotional material for it they can have Ravi’s semi-nude photo.
      The event should include:
      -Meditations guided by Guruji
      -Sri Sri Yoga
      -Alcohol, and drug free environment
      -Introductory talk given by AOL teacher (before or after? or perhaps best during?!)

      • – Yoga Teacher conducts a sequence of yoga of max 20 minutes, do yoga to lively and energetic music pieces
      – Brief intro to meditation (two min), people sit on the floor and play Guruji`s guided Meditation (20 min).
      -Live performance of Strip tease, electronic music based on Bhajan tunes and lyrics (please get in contact with ISTB to get the material and guidance about this), maximum of 2 hours. In the middle of the live performance the stripper(s) leave the stage for nude yoga teacher to guide brief sequence of asanas to the music (10 min) ending in Standing Yoga Nidra (participants close their eyes, and listen to guided yoga nidra standing) in the background you may play soft music. Then the Strip tease performance continues.
      -Guided Meditation (15 min)
      -Participants sit down and listen to intro talk given by AOL Teacher

      NOTE: each step should smoothly flow into the other, to get to know more about this, ask ISTB for instructive video.

      • Bar service with a choice of natural non-alcoholic drinks. ISTB can provide you with a menu with natural drinks with full details of ingredients and amounts.

      – A stand to display promotional material AOL courses and social work, centralise enrollment
      – Banners, merchandising, institutional and brochures of upcoming courses and enrollment cards for the next participants.
      – Teams of volunteers to do seva (welcome participants, help on the bar, do up the place, dance a lot,take their clothes off, remember dancing and happiness and nudity are contagious!!!)

      •SPONSORS:
      Many brothels and strip tease clubs would be interested in promoting the Strip tease party for the middle aged men, as it provides a healthy alternative to have fun, dance and bring awareness to their clubs. You should think big and aim at large brothels, clubs but also include local sponsor from smaller ones who would like to contribute.

      ECONOMIC ADMINIST RATION
      A previously arranged percent of the net profit (after paying all the expenses) should go to the
      strippers. The rest of the money can be kept for future Yoga strip tease projects and social AOL work. It is a good idea that each party can help finance a Breath Water Sound in a brothel.

      THE YOGA STRIP TEASE INTERNATIONAL BOARD CAN PROVIDE LOCAL ORGANIZERS WITH:
      all printed material for promotion Graphics, photos of previous parties for the press, video spots for the press and local AOL webpage, recipes for wide variety of non-alcoholic drinks, know-how and many tips to organize your party.

      ABOUT Sri Sri Nudity PROJECT
      It has started to be a representative of Guruji and The Art of Living foundation . For spreading Guruji to the world and bring more and more people to Art of living programs .

  11. guru ho ja suru permalink
    September 15, 2010 11:15 am

    while this blog has yet to reach 99 percent of aolites, i am witnessing a large number of old aol teachers have either left aol completely or have become dormant in state of U.P. in India. Aol today have either new bunch brainwashed teachers or the ones whose bread or identity is dependent on aol. many are still continuing with aol mainly because the are in catch 22 situation

    • anonymous teacher india permalink
      September 24, 2010 8:21 am

      It is not only in UP. The same thing is happening in other states in India. More and more senior teachers (who are not dependent on AOL for their daily bread) are simply disappearing. They are ether keeping away from the organisation or some of them have already joined some other spiritual organisations. But the AOL administrators do not seem to be concerned about these as they are going on printing (i.e producing) more and more AOL cheaters (teachers?) as if there is no tomorrow.

      • goneagain permalink
        September 24, 2010 11:02 am

        Well their business model is self sustainable for teachers – you pay thousands of $$$ to become a teachers, they loose nothing if teachers leave it is not that they trained teachers with their own resources. if more teachers are trained they make more money – some of them go and make more money for the company while others won’t. But who cares there more who are willing to pay and become teachers. So in the whole process AOL corporation looses nothing.

  12. anon1 permalink
    September 15, 2010 1:08 pm

    thanks Italy for that agreement. what a horrendous way to treat the very people who have given to this cult their lives and souls.
    again it smacks of total shirking of responsibility and putting all the responsibility on the shoulders of the student.
    complete and utter bondage without rewards, acknowledgement, credit or care unless the credit is taken by the cult.

    all great realizers took responsibilty for their students, warts and all. but here total and complete disregard. sheer utter contempt is what i’m reading between the lines.

    to reassure everyone, i have seen these kind of vile agreements in the prem rawat cult too. everytime i come here, i’m reminded how totally similar cults are, and the crass way they behave!

  13. Researcher permalink
    September 15, 2010 2:42 pm

    Talk all we want about overheads, income, expenditure, salaries, till the cows come home, but the fact of the matter, and one reason I quit was the absolute lack of transparency about finances or any statistics for that matter.

    They can’t even agree on how many teachers they have, and how many students they have taught, because I have seen first hand for myself that the records are mismanaged, lost or just not available. They don’t even have a prescribed format to manage and store records.

    I volunteered to help with basic courses some years back. One teacher used to maintain course records in Excel format. Another teacher had a physical notebook. Yet another teacher used to collect course forms, tally them with the receipt books and “submit” these records to AOL. When I asked them about the statistics for the past quarter, they just didn’t know, and this was one small centre. After the first teacher moved elsewhere and took her Excel documents, those records were unavailable to the centre.

    Even if they claim transparency about the finances, the near absence of any sort of system to manage records gives me no confidence in their published finances. I can bet anything that almost no one even in AOL inner circles knows what’s really truly happening to the money.

    Just how are they accounting for all the money that changes hands as cold hard cash, for which receipts are not issued? For one course I was told not to accept checks because their “system” at the time was changing and only cash was accepted for many months. No receipts were issued, we just noted the participant names and details in a notebook, with the fees paid. The teacher collected the notebook afterwards, and we never saw it at the centre again.

    Even if I give them the benefit of doubt and assume it’s all for a good cause, this near complete lack of procedure and system, and ad-hoc way of doing everything does not inspire faith in them at all.

  14. Anonymous permalink
    September 15, 2010 4:59 pm

    @Anon

    “SSRS instructions are to pass on a minimum of $100 per participant PER DAY in Advanced Courses where he makes an appearance.”

    Earning on a visitor visa?
    Time for immigration authorities to investigate.

  15. anonymous permalink
    September 15, 2010 5:02 pm

    401 hits to this site, in the last 3 hours. Are they unique new hits( from new IPs)? wow. This is spreading like wild fire??

  16. guru ho ja suru permalink
    September 16, 2010 1:11 am

    why did you delete my comment regarding teachers of UP in india

  17. guru ho ja suru permalink
    September 16, 2010 1:12 am

    sorry it is very much there

Trackbacks

  1. Slavery agreement with Ravi Shankar – I shall be a good slave! « Beyond The Art of Living

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: