Slavery agreement with Ravi Shankar – I shall be a good slave!
Thanks to our reader from Italy sending us the latest AOL slavery agreement, enclosed below. Also thanks to Ronin for his sharp insights, also enclosed below.
More damning than the slavery agreement itself, is the email sent to TTC graduates afterwards (see below), clearly showing they were forced to sign an agreement without having time “to read it through”, making that signed document worthless and illegal. Seems they even didn’t get a copy of what they signed at the time!
If AOL was doing things legally, they should have given the graduates the agreement to take home and discuss it with their family members and lawyers and give them 30 days to submit it with a signature (not the other way around!).
I wonder if the agreement TTC graduates are forced to sign would hold up in any court of law, esp. Western ones, where slavery is long abolished!
AOL lawyers, such as Sue hindle (being bribed by positions like becoming part2 teachers, board members, etc.) should be ashamed of themselves if they have composed such slavery agreement for AOL, to take advantage of young, innocent minds.
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 diplomas.
In AOL however, slaves have to pay for their own slavery training, then have to pass on all the income generated 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.
Italy permalink September 14, 2010
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,
Agreement for The Art of Living Teachers
International Art of Living Foundation
c/o Fischer & Partner
(Hereinafter called ‘IAOLF’)
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
• 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 Teacherwill 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
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
Ronin permalink September 14, 2010
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 than 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 someone 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 actually 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 etc.) 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
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 (read slavery) 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 threats 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.
goneagain permalink September 15, 2010
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?
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 one way 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.