Skip to content

Marketing, AOL Way!

October 20, 2010
By Ronin

Art of Living Corporation getting you ready for the next level by selling sweepstake tickets, online blessings and launching new programs.

If you think this new level will help you free yourself from the wheel of samsara, you will be very disappointed. However this will last for only a short time since an online blessing will be mailed to you shortly and you will be taken care of by the Guru’s grace.

I wonder if all these new ways of promoting AOL are included in the articles of incorporation of the foundation and it mission to save humanity. But then again a corporation needs to adjust it strategies to the current times and environment in order to capture more market share. I am not sure if a spiritual organizations needs to, but times are hard and there is a lot of competition I am told.

Where have the good old days gone where spirituality meant doing ones practices in order to pierce through the veil of ignorance? To take the journey and sit no matter how long or hard it may be, instead of the fast food concept (fake it till you make it) which is being spoon fed in AOL. There are still teachers who are of the old school and who through sincere discernment will lead one to the truth whether you like it or not, cause the TRUTH just IS. But you will not find them in the AOL organization, senior teachers and Ravi himself are too preoccupied with their own self interests. And it is understandable, running a company is never an easy task.

The AOL Company is creating various sub programs to its line up. Using its main product the basic part 1 course and making sure it does not fade away, trying to extend its product life cycle. The beauty of the part 1 course is in the way it was designed you can cross sell this product in many ways. By just giving it a different layout you suddenly have an APEX course for companies. Brilliant the core stays the same SK but you pitch it differently. Amazing what you can come up with when you are deep in Samadhi.

A new one launched recently was the Art of Health Orientation TTC (see Blog)
Can some explain why most programs have to be labeled as ART? I think it has to do with brand awareness very smart indeed. This one is only open to teachers with a medical background and is 4 days long. And is a very important program to help those in need in the medical field.

Does anyone recognize it, how they play upon the sense of being special. If you are on this TTC you are one of the special ones. “One can only get invited to it, yet you could recommend people”. Great marketing and easy to sell this to the existing flock of devotees; since I am sure they scanned their data base to see how many have a medical background.

I wonder what the doctor’s will answer when they are asked about the origin of SK.
The standard answer from the script would probably be; that it was cognized by none other then the super jet set Guru Ravi Shankar during a ten day silent inward journey.

I wonder if it actually was in a cave somewhere, or in a plush 5 star spa retreat.

But what about the breathing (happy breath) for art excel and those used in YES. Again these are slight adjustments to the main SK pranayama. Were these cognized in just one day or were they suddenly discovered in an ancient scripture. Does anyone really know? Or can the master just simply design and create various programs instantaneously I mean he does have the title GURU on his business card.

They say research has been done on the SK, but has any been done on the happy breath, do we know what the effects are on the brain of a child. I don’t think so or never heard of any. Then why should we just blindly trust it. Is it just because the Gifted GURU says so or because as parents we SEEM to have had a favorable experience with the basic part 1 course? Do we know what the long term effect on children is……..

This is what is so brilliant of the AOL program plat form, their marketing strategies are very keenly developed. First hook the parents through a basic part 1 course throw in an advance part 2 course. Then introduce the children’s courses. Market them as the great solution for any kind of problems your child might have. There are various programs Art excel and YES.

Recently however a lot of focus was placed on two other programs Know your Child (KYC) and Know your Teen (KYT). Not sure if any of you were able to take the courses or even became teachers. The requirements for the TTC looked not that extensive, no degree in child psychology or such needed. However they do ask how many part 1 and part 2 courses one has taken but at this point one is used to these requirements. Not sure if that is a good or bad thing.

During the course one is introduced to the nature of the child and of course things that you can do to improve your relationship with your children, which is very admirable.
But as always there is more to these short AOL workshops then is seen at first glance. There is always a hook, so buyers beware.

The teacher never goes too deeply into various aspects of behavior and problems kids might have. The teacher told us at the beginning of the workshop that the issues discussed are those one encounters with normal kids. That raised my eyebrow a bit.

The problems which are addressed are very superficial. Issue like; a child does not listen, is restless, does not eat well or regular and so on. The answers are pretty standard, just go to your library and pick up any parenting book and you will find them as well. The twist is that other AOL courses are mentioned as ways to address the problems. Very very sneaky but not out of character……..We have seen this before in SSY. But here it is used much more effectively.

This is how it works if your child has a fear or phobia then he or she must have gotten it from you (the parent). Now for you to let go of this fear we recommend you take the DSN course which really addresses these fears. DSN lets you dissolve these negative patterns so that you don’t keep repeating this negative cycle from one generation to the other in your family.

Absolutely brilliant marketing, one identifies a fear play into it and then present the solution as the DSN course. The part 1 course is also mentioned of course as is the AOL foundation standard script and not to forget the man him self Ravi and his wisdom.

You can truly solve the problems with your kids and even spouse by taking one of the AOL courses for adults or enroll you child or teen in a course tailor made for their age. Please see the sign up sheet or a volunteer will come and speak to you if you have any questions. Please make a down payment to secure you space. Sounds very familiar does it not…..

And so a KYC workshop is given and out of it a part 1 and a YES course are automatically created, people can immediately be recruited. It is a great way to create a basic Part 1 course, and if one is not able to pull it off the senior teachers will not take kindly to it, you would have failed and let the GURU down.

Thus KYC is a front runner and has the opportunity of generating lots revenue for the AOL Company. Very smart indeed….one short workshop can multiply its self into various others.

The other workshop being run is the workshop for teachers, the stress free teaching workshop.

Really the same thing again, why change some thing that works. A little bit of yoga some breathing and some wisdom. They key is to generate interest for the KYC and KYT courses. You give them a taste once that is there you hit the jackpot because teachers can recommend parents to take KYC and KYT. This will eventually lead to a basic part 1 course. The teachers are asked to evaluate the workshop and in which courses they are interested in, part 1 or YES or KYC ect. The form will also ask for their email addresses. Now we all know that once you have those you are in business…..
I wonder if this business strategy was also cognized cause in MY opinion it is fail proof.

I have no knowledge on the LIVE ( Lessons in value Education) program maybe someone can fill me and others in on it. Are they being presented in more countries then India?

The AOL company is trying to create this awareness to get their programs into schools.
To me it seems like they are copying TM organization on this front as well.
See the creative drive of Peter Lynch to adopt TM in schools.

Not very original it seems like son (Ravi) still feels like he is standing in the shadows of MMY. But he is making an effort to catch up.

With such a wide range of services, programs and new programs making their way to devotees (sorry consumers) through very clever marketing campaigns, the AOL corporation will be able to gain enough market share measured in revenue generated of the spiritual business landscape to sustain its growth. Hopefully not all at the expense of the dear devotees…….although I have my sincere doubts.

The little giant has awakened.

  1. WhistleBlower permalink
    October 20, 2010 9:27 pm

    Thanks Ronin. Another great post.
    And yes, in the face of falling numbers for part1 courses and as a result for DSN, Part2 and blessing courses, TTC, etc., AOL is now offering free KYC and free yoga for health and free health and happiness workshops and what not to hook in the innocent people.

    In particular, parents and teachers are lured to free workshops of couple of hours and once hooked, AOL then tries to sell them courses both for themselves and for their kids/students.

    So parents and teachers are used to trap the innocent kids to a cult and brainwash them to Guru’s grace and what not from an early impressionable age.

  2. November 1, 2010 3:07 pm

    From ‘Churumuri’ Blog:
    You mean bigger causes like diverting charity funds to family owned enterprises. Soudamini Realestate, Inwinex pharma, sumeru solutions are all family and inner coterie owned business of Ravishankar and family.

    So, apart from Sumeru Solutions, They are enhancing their business to other areas.

    Inwinex Pharma News:
    -Inwinex Pharmaceuticals Ltd has appointed Mr. Arvind Varchaswi N as
    Additional Director w.e.f. June 30, 2008.

    Annual General Meeting Extract:
    With the approval of the Scheme of arrangement and the consequent
    allotment of shares to the Strategic Investors, their nominees have
    assumed control of the affairs of the Company as the largest
    shareholder. The Company is now in the process to draw several plans to
    undertake manufacturing of variety of Ayurvedic products including
    undertaking job work for various Ayurvedic Companies and firms and also
    line up to launch several products on its own in future.

    With that intent, plans are being drawn to install new equipment with
    latest technology available and few old equipments are being replaced
    for optimization of the manufacturing capacity. Several balancing
    equipments are also being installed and few are being automated to
    shore up the capacity.

    The Company is now poised to take off for steady growth in view of
    various accreditions obtained from various agencies like the ISO 22000
    registered by Swiss based SGS HACCP certification from SGS, GMP
    certificate, US DA – Organic products approval, EEC and India Organic
    certification. These will enable the Companys products to be widely
    acceptable across the globe.

    The Company shall also undertake the process of manufacturing various
    Ayurvedic capsules and tablets. It also has plans to undertake the work
    of export of various Ayurvedic capsules and tablets manufactured by the

    The Company is planning to undertake several research works in the
    field of Ayurveda as well as pertaining to research of various kinds of
    herbal and nutritional supplements.

    Extract from notes on Accounts:

    Disclosures as required by the Accounting Standard 18 of the Institute
    of Chartered Accountants of India are given below:

    a) Ionic Healthcare Private Ltd. Associate Company

    Jenirik Products Partnership firm

    Sumeru Ayurveda Pvt. Ltd Associate Company

    Arvind Varchaswi Director, Sumeru Ayurveda Pvt. Ltd.

    Narasimhan. N Director, Sumeru Ayurveda Pvt. Ltd

    By order of the Board

    Place: Hyderabad

    Date: 08.08.2010


    Managing Director Director

  3. November 1, 2010 3:14 pm

    Sumeru Ayurveda Pvt. Ltd.
    Company Profile

    Business Type : Exporter / Manufacturer / Trading Company
    Year Established : 2007
    Products Trading : Cloths, cosmetics
    Products Manufacturing : Cosmetics
    Products Exporting : Books, cd’s, spices, cosmetics
    Address # 39TH A CROSS, 11TH MAIN, 4TH T BLOCK, JAYANAGAR, Bangalore – 560041, Karnataka, India

  4. November 1, 2010 3:15 pm

    Company Name: ARVIND EXPORTS
    Business Owner: Mr. Arvind Varchaswi Narasimhan
    Main markets: North America South America Eastern Europe Southeast Asia Africa Oceania Mid East Eastern Asia Western Europe
    Business Type: Manufacturer, Trading Company
    Product/Service: herbal products,herbal cosmetics,herbal face cream,face lotion,lip cream,lip balm,protein powder,masala,herbal tea,drinking water,ayurvedic products,realty,amla,ashwagandha,herbal medicines
    About Us: Arvind exports is a flagship company of Sumeru Ayurveda Pvt Ltd, wich has diverse activities from herbal products, ayurvedic products, food and beverage to realty.

    SRI SRI AYURVEDA:Sri Sri Ayurveda has a global vision of bringing the best of Ayurveda to the world.”The institution manufactures quality products and offers a wide array of facilities with the common goal of reviving Ayurveda in its truest form”.We can experience Sri Sri Ayurveda as the “mother” of all medicines and as the path to holistic health.

    SUMERU BEVERAGES:Sumeru Beverages Pvt. Ltd. a company supplying purified packaged water, founded in 2007 by the promoters of Rani Mineral Pvt. Ltd. which is an ISO 9001:2000 company.At Sumeru Beverages the emphasis is on quality and each bottle of purified packaged water originating from its plants goes through multiple filtration and sterlisation steps including bacterial and pesticidal tests before it receives the nod of approval. The present production capacity of the plant is around 38,000 1 litre bottles per day and 500 jars of 20 litres. In the next three years Sumeru Beverages will have a plan Indian presence and 20 purification plants and will launch beverages like fruit juices and medicated water (Tulsi Flavoured).Sumeru Beverages orchestrates all its efforts to ultimately provide its consumer with Safe & High Quality Drinking Water by adopting Technologies, Processes & Quality systems that ensure safety and meet all regulatory

  5. Ronin permalink
    November 1, 2010 8:55 pm


    Thanks for the very interesting posts. It shows how interwoven the companies are in the AOL organization not on paper but by family ties. Spirituality being used as a front to undertake and manage businesses with just one goal in mind to be profitable and make those in charge financially in depended. Who says money does not create a sense of freedom……

    Of course the question arises how are the new capital expenditures financed, and even more important where did the seat capital come from to start up all these companies. I have my opinion………..sure others have as well.

    I hope the employees involved are treated fairly, and did not fall for the Guru trap and consider working as Seva and good karma.

    Once the core products are known and the countries they are being shipped too
    one can get a feel for the streams of revenues being generated. One thing us for sure all the major continents are being catered too.

    Add the fact that there are offshore accounts involved and trust companies structuring favorable tax options is it just not fair to say that AOL is a Company. Or at least a Holding Company.

    Most of its subsidiaries they are not listed on paper yet they are Trading Companies. It would very interesting to see the money transfers between al the companies I am sure it would show us a very different story then they would want us to believe. Nothing spiritual there….….profit however is.

    Ooh and by the way I wonder what the salaries are of the Managing Directors, anyone care to guess…..

    The little giant has awakened

  6. November 10, 2010 11:59 am

    I am currently on the Aol first course for breathing, in Madrid (Spain). It´s my last day and I am so happy I found this blog. I wouldn´t express better your definition of “A little bit of yoga some breathing and some wisdom”. First tow days feels fine, then you bump into the figure of the gurú, the second part of the course, the books and the videos and everything falls. Why are they selling me this? Why am I watching this video on how saint-like this person is if I can watch that online and I rather go back home to sleep, now I am relaxed (that is why i came for). I felt like I was receiving a diving course by PADI, who know better than anyone how to market diving. (Put Another Dollar In). I am learning a lot on how to coach, how to manipulate a group that is willing to accept whatever you say because what the hell, we are stressed, we are sick, we have disorders, etc etc and we would try whatever to get healed.
    But in the end, you go there and feels weird because you end up smiling at that person who is selling you her courses, because after all she said of not being negative and so on, you wouldn´t dare to tell her what you really think.
    I am glad I learned the breathing part though, I think I am doing Yoga from now on.
    Thanks for this blog

  7. belle permalink
    November 10, 2010 3:43 pm

    @amaya uscola

    “First tow days feels fine, then you bump into the figure of the gurú, the second part of the course, the books and the videos and everything falls. Why are they selling me this?”

    precisely why cults recruit in this devious manner i dont know.
    and they do it to the unsuspecting public, who go there initially for a feel good product but get sucked in unwittingly.

    you were very lucky that you spotted it for what it is, others arent as clued on as you are.

    its like theyre selling a drug but first they have to get you addicted to it, and only once you have been addicted, they show you there real intentions. its a horrid sales strategy all cults have!

  8. Anonymous permalink
    April 2, 2012 3:12 pm

    Hey you anyway dont like Art of living, why dont u sell your soudamini apartment to me?. do drop in a note if u wish to.

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: