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How Art of Living gets away with abuse

December 2, 2010

By Independent Observer

We have been discussing spiritual abuse. Why does the regular/average AOLer not able to discriminate or identify exploitative behaviour and guard against being exploited by SSRS ?? When you go a little deeper there is something interesting that emerges. I found that deliberately creating a FUZZY picture helps AOL get away with anything….especially participant abuse.

Recently, I (ex-teacher, 10 years, at one time almost inner circle, big money generator) was having this discussion with a group of teachers who ARE currently on the wall AOL people (I don’t like what is inside, ut I am stuck, I have created such a noise about my teachership with family and friends). I once again, simply presented all the facts about AOL the way I know it. Their fear was simply palpable….I could see that all of them entertained the same questions that I had in their own minds but would not voice it for it would be heard within their immediate world. Why shake the tree …….???? (because if you shake it…all the rotten fruits will fall….OF that they are all sure. They know this within themselves as deep down you can recognize the rotten fruits you placed there yourself).

However what was most VISIBLE among them is the lack of energy/guts/interest to investigate any of the allegations that each one of them ideally has to FIND OUT FOR THEMSELVES. After all these folks dedicate so much time into AOL and away from their core businesses and families. They simply seem to have no ability to do the necessary critical reasoning. This I find not just in AOL folks but folks in general. People are too busy existing that they do not want to look deeper. A convenient belief system that suits me for today will do. Why break my head figuring things out. ? In anycase everybody around me does AOL.

When faced with any allegation / fact the kind of stories / imaginative justifications and perceptions that a “I desperately want to believe” AOL volunteer conjures up are simply amazing. I found them that they fabricate things and pass them as facts and completely ignore facts I am presenting…Repeatedly…Truly and Thoroughly Stuck.

Now, this was very interesting, here I was trying to say something to them and they always understood it in some other ways and would defend my allegation now albeit tangentially. AND all of them were senior execs and well known successful business figures in the local business circuit. So, Given this situation, which was so amazing..I started to wonder of how someone would actually go about suing the Art of Living. I am looking at how we would present something like this for eg in a people’s court. FIRST, for this you would need to establish who / what is AOL.

Let us s say we put forward this question to regular contributors to this BLOG….”Art of Living”….who are they ?

Depending on who you ask you will any of the following replies

A1) Oh Art of Living they are a group who teach courses and do seva.
A2) Oh the Art of living is a course (curse to some of us).
A3) The art of living is a way of life (we have everything classes, yoga, Ayurveda, singing, community service etc)…and btw it’s a free lifetime membership thing. Anyone can join in.
A4) The Art of Living is all about breathing
A5) It is all about this wise (vice) man who is doing some great humanitarian work
A6) Its the world’s largest Spiritual Movement
A7) Its a new age religion with some basis points borrowed from Hinduism and the Vedas
Group ? Does that mean it is a company ? Is AOL a established company ? This is a question that each AOL volunteer today needs to ask his AOL entity in his or her country.

Now to this refined group, pose question 2 ……

In how many chapters / states / countries is AOL established as an NGO / Not for Profit and whether it is called “AOL” in the first place.

In most places where it is set up legally and in some countries where it is also called AOL (or its local language equivalent) you will find that there are no legal papers drawn up that clearly connect and define an ownership structure to VVMVP in India.

Next what is the relationship of this country AOL entity to the below entities ?

  • Sri Sri Ayurveda
  • SSRVM
  • Sumeru Real Estate
  • IAHV
  • Aravind Imports Exports

Again you will draw another blank. When we setup IAHV in my country the papers submitted to the local govt authorities were that of another IAHV in Europe. However I feel that the way AOL and IAHV Germany are setup legally there unlikely to be any clearly legal financial links (to be read tax implication) to the other AOL parent entities in India such as VVMVP.

The point here is Art of Living is just a name…its just a brand name….. under which anything can be done. So when you get specific about a particular accusation for anyone who AOL generally (Including us on this blog)….the very use of the phrase/terminology”Art of living” is bound to create a FUZZY understanding or interpretation. People just don’t get it. It is time to take a surgical view of each of the legal entities within the AOL fold (again this is notional) but it’s a start. So, here are the questions I would ask.

1. How does Sumeru Real Estate (A for Profit Company) raise money in Singapore or Dubai or London for instance? They are not legally present in most countries. They do it through the local Art of Living right ?…Or do they ?
2. How does Sri Sri Ayurveda do this…..?

Now ask…is AOL legal in its home country ? Is it an Not for Profit or a commercial entity (In most countries setting up as a Non-Profit is very difficult…almost impossible, given Parent AOL’s financial mis-handling)
What you will also find is that there will be a significant amount of “UNTRACEABILITY”…everything simply vanishes into a black hole. There are NO clear legal / financial inks between these legal country entities with VVMP or is it SSRVM.

Why even in India…Art of Living is just a brand there is no such legal entity.
Conclusion – You cannot sue “Art of Living”…….for they don’t exist. It is an just a magical illusion…..

It is easy to just disappear and no one will be any wiser.

There are NO TRAILS.

This is why Sri Sri makes sure that above the line thinkers and Professionals will never head his organisations. It will always be the blind follower that heads the local chapter. Usually, they are kinda dumb and they will have a small set of followers who are even dumber or plain lazy to use their own capacity to think and reason out for themselves. Most other volunteers who are not in the main stream management functions are too busy with their everyday lives to question the activities of this small POWER coterie that runs each region or country. Now this coterie gets addicted to the power of running this loosely knit THING called AOL where you can do literally anything with the money you collect under any cause an IAHV seva project or A dollar a day or AOL courses Or whatever is the flavour of the day (haiti for instance)

For there is no written agreement or constitution on this anywhere…in terms of how it all rolls up into the non-existent AOL parent company.

Follow my train of reasoning and I think the Pandora’s box will start to open….

So, asking Doctor and the Prosecutor here….can we prepare a small simple checklist of questions to ask that should give you precise answers….a GRAND Art of Living Quiz……with a GRAND PRIZE for all winners and correct answers…(We deliver UN-Enlightenment….GUARANTEED….or all your money you spent on AOL back will be refunded back to you…just give us a expense statement and no questions will be asked…….sounds familiar….doesn’t it ? for we too are loose bunch of nameless people…no real group…no real company…just a bunch of loosely coupled people—-Well all the AOL companies you will find are the same.) .

I suspect that we will find that the only common factor will be the names of trustees on the boards of all these companies in India. Sri Sri can simply disown anything in any other country and get away scot free. He can easily claim that he never knew some of his followers would actually set up companies and do BUSINESS using his name in the front.
In fact some friends of mine recently told me about such a venture which apparently is causing a lot of heart break in the Gulf countries.

It is called Kayan. http://www.mykayan.com

This company I understand was setup with no proper or clear legal documentation from any parent AOL company. It is just a small bunch of local volunteers who did it all by themselves AND all the while the original Art of Living organisation was also existing in parallel . Nobody has any idea how this got done.

For spiritual businessmen in the making—–If the above is true….This could your grand opportunity to set up a local AOL franchise…after all there is really no Franchise fee…….except perhaps 1st your mind and then your soul.

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30 Comments
  1. December 2, 2010 9:55 am

    An any sane person reading the above elaborate details should wonder what IRS and IT department are doing when such large and simple to understand ” mass financial irregularities” are gong on.

    Maybe even our politicians should learn how to create “NO TRAILS.”

    Funny all CA’s and CPA’s are sleeping.. maybe they did the course and sleeping?

    – Who is the patient?

    • Abhilash Shastry permalink
      December 3, 2010 12:46 am

      Don’t worry dear. Nithy’s students also wondered the same way before he was caught.

      The law of karma has already started catching up with SSRS. Just wait.

  2. coward permalink
    December 2, 2010 4:49 pm

    And he was addressing jan chetna abhiyan of baba ramdev to curb bhrastachar;-)

    • OASCS permalink
      December 3, 2010 2:19 am

      Ya I saw that too on Aastha Channel… Thats good actually …. The issues raised there in the abhiyaan were pretty genuine…. Corruption is indeed a very big issue in India… and needs to be tackled….

  3. Peaceful Warrior permalink
    December 2, 2010 5:21 pm

    AOL of course is politically well connected, and all the shady money laundering happens in India, where corruption is rampant and law enforcement is lax. RS’s mentor, maharishi’s offices in India were raided by the IT authorities in the 80’s (which incidentally also caused him to flee to europe) – it still may happen to the chela as well.

  4. belle permalink
    December 3, 2010 5:29 pm

    all psychopaths/cult leaders rule this way. everything is accounted for, yet he is not accountable. you simply can not pin him down. i believe the name for such a person is EVIL. hitler, in his time, as do all psychopaths, rule this way.

  5. belle permalink
    December 3, 2010 7:57 pm

    and before anyone says i am comparing their beloved gurus to dear ol hitler there, let me just explain, i am not. but i am explaining the dynamics of the relationship is the same. only the faces of the psychopaths change, the way they lead the poor gullible masses is the same.

    a real true guru would be accountable to all, try getting one of these so calledsatgurus (criminals) to take accountability of their crimes and see how far you get. it simply cannot be done ever.

    • December 4, 2010 3:22 pm

      Belle,

      I see that you said that you are not comparing gurus to hitler, but you just did. I watch lots of political news and guru websites like this and I have notice that people pull out the hitler reference when they disagree with another person/party’s opinion.

      SSRS is not anything close to hitler. I don’t understand the need to demonize SSRS to such a degree. Yes, I think he is unethical and grandiose, but a violent, murderous psychopath he is not. Do we have to make him all black when we once thought he was all white? Can we just see him as a complex character, just like the rest of us? I find demonizing him is just as much of a mistake as deifying him. How about normalizing him.

      • Doreen permalink
        December 5, 2010 12:57 am

        Hello DW,

        Thank you.

        I agree with your take on things. I like reading your comments on this blog.

        I’m interested in hearing your views on the ways in which SSRS is unethical.

      • Dayalu permalink
        December 5, 2010 4:36 am

        SSRS also refers to Hitler often. After his Iraq trip he had stated that what Bush did was worse than what Hitler did. So much for his knowledge of history.

    • Bling Bling permalink
      December 4, 2010 10:13 pm

      Belle,

      See Reductio Ad Hitlerum!
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reductio_ad_Hitlerum

      • December 5, 2010 9:44 pm

        Bling Bling,

        I love the reductio ad hitlerum. I didn’t know it had a formal name. It sounds like a Harry Potter spell. I will use it from now on. Thank you

  6. December 5, 2010 11:16 pm

    Doreen,

    How do I see SSRS as unethical? In my opinion, he is unethical by the way he promotes and supports the whole guru mythology (this is the mythology that the guru is God and that the guru is all knowing and all powerful. That we need his grace to grow . . . ). I have seen how he encourages the belief in his mystical powers. I have been in the room where someone tells him something about someone else. That someone else comes into the room and SSRS uses the new information on them. The person who just came into the room thinks that somehow SSRS mystically tuned into their issues and needs. Often times the person gets all touched and emotional and thinks SS really is watching over them. Meanwhile, SSRS doesn’t correct their misperception and at times encourages it – all in the name of encouraging their faith in the guru. I have seen this happen in a number of ways.

    It is this kind of behavior that I think is at the core of many of the things wrong with AOL. This self imposed mystification of SSRS takes advantage of the student’s love, innocence and enthusiasm to believe in the supernatural. SSRS may be unethical in his business dealings and with the promotion of AOL (exaggerations and fraudulent claims), but it is this mystification and mythologizing the guru that I find most unethical. It is a deception at the heart of what can be a very beautiful relationship of that between a teacher and student. This exaggeration of the guru’s powers and knowledge creates a very childish dependency in the student and doesn’t bring about maturity and wisdom in the student. It really just creates a needless mess. I am personally saddened that SSRS chooses to do it this way. I believe he could of created a wonderful organization and teaching that is straight up and honest. Not one built on a fantasy story.

    • anonymous permalink
      December 6, 2010 1:43 pm

      I so agree with you. Perfect words, well said DW

    • The Doctor permalink
      December 6, 2010 4:37 pm

      DW,

      I am personally saddened that SSRS chooses to do it this way. I believe he could of created a wonderful organization and teaching that is straight up and honest. Not one built on a fantasy story.

      This really struck a huge chord with me.

      I too was really upset when I discovered all these things, and in fact I’m still fairly nonplussed about the whole thing. In the back of my mind all I’ve been think the entire time is, why does it have to be this way? Why doesn”t Sri Sri stop all these issues from happening and help Art of Living become the organization that they are portraying to the world?

      It can so easily be done if they tried, but its almost as if all the deceit, the fraud, the abuse, the brainwashing are necessary in order for the organization to function properly. All I can think is maybe they are. Maybe there really is no other way for Art of Living to exist.

      • December 6, 2010 6:31 pm

        Hi Doctor,

        I enjoy your posts on this site. You are thoughtful and balanced and I really appreciate that.

        I don’t think AOL will or can change at this point. It is too big and it trajectory is too strong in its current path. In the early days of AOL, I notice how SS really tried to keep the organization loose and non- oppressive. I think he succeeded well for a few years, but eventually as an organization grows it has to get organized. With the growth of an organization, a corporate culture develops. SS’s attempts at keeping the organization loose backfired as it got bigger. Instead of the organization setting down simple, clear guidelines on how things get down and who is accountable to who, AOL”s collective culture took over. The collective culture’s belief in the guru and that the guru can do no wrong took over and set down guidelines. Instead of the organization organizing, the culture tried to do it in an haphazard way. This led to the guru being in charge of everything. If SSRS only let the boards of his organization act as boards and not as his lackey, things could of been very different. There would have been less shadiness with many of the financial dealings. I know some of the board members of AOL in the US and they are trying their best to get things right with AOL. They even go against some of what SSRS wants. Unfortunately, they only have as much power as the guru gives them, which is backwards. The boards should have the power because they have the legal responsibility. SSRS should focus on teaching and preaching not on organizing. This is the big mistake. Many in AOL are trying to get this corrected, but I don’t think it can be at this point. After he dies, there is a chance that things can change. I notice in the TM org. that things seem less oppressive and more moderate than when Mahesh was alive. We will see with AOL.

    • Observer permalink
      December 7, 2010 6:22 am

      The very nature and the commitment required for that wonderful guru-sishya relationship which you aspire for, is practically impossible in an org. like AoL which is only based on recruiting the masses. Why do you think gurukuls of olden days did not have students by the thousands? Each guru picked and chose only those who ‘fit in’ (ie, those who would do well with his/ her type).

  7. December 6, 2010 12:38 pm

    There are often no money trails. In my country, most of the “donations” are paid in cash, or checks to the teachers or volunteers instead of AOL, these teachers cash the checks and transfer the money to AOL accounts. Receipts are issued on and off, but how much legal weight these nameless generic receipts carry is open to question.

    Repeating the obvious, most people who sign up for the AOL courses are mentally pre-conditioned to accept with very little questioning anything that is taught or practiced in AOL, including their handling of course “donations” and other monies. In my many years volunteering for AOL I’ve never, ever come across anyone vehemently questioning these practices or demanding accountability for the money donated, and even if questions were asked, they were either brushed aside or given very superficial, canned answers.

  8. Story2Reality permalink
    December 7, 2010 10:21 am

    I was with AOL for some time, at times very close to the core. About suppressing the questioning aspect, I think people are dragged into a faith system in AOL that often misinterprets questioning as blaming. The general philosophy is “You are weak if you are blaming, instead you should look into yourself and accept everything silently” – No matter if you are getting abused, no matter if you are not treated with humility etc – You should not complain. I’ve seen lot of guys accepting everything good or bad silently just because of the fear that others may consider them ‘weak’ if they question the same – by saying that they are blaming/complaining. So, this became part of AOL culture – people tried their most not to question anything, so that they won’t look feeble

    In AOL, I’ve seen a lot of teachers misusing this aspect to overburden people with ‘Seva’ tasks and other jobs. This became a justification for even abusing people. For example, in a lot of AOL related companies, I know that this was a technique to overwork and overburden people, without providing them adequate resources.

    Initially, I was very much aligned with this, as I felt that this is required for internal growth and is part of the ‘evolution’ – And a lot of people truly believed that if the Guru or a senior teacher is abusing you, you lost a lot of bad karma and you got evolved much more. And even senior teachers adopted this style to some extent – and this became part of DSN and TTC culture.

    Some processes purposefully abuses people, and then make them feel good about it. And this got institutionalized. It is very subtle isn’t it. Wow.

    • Prairie Princess permalink
      December 7, 2010 4:35 pm

      Knowing when to leave abuse is the beginning of enlightenment. In my brief stint on the fringes of AoL, I found the pressure to give all of your time, attention, and cash to AoL to be part of its organizational model. Complaints were seen as “ego problems”. And it was..problems with the egos of those who were demanding more and more of a person’s resources. If it is true that AoL was not so demanding at the beginning, it has lost its way. The organization’s handling of donations and treatment of some of its teachers financially, indicates it is not a spiritual organization,but a cash machine for someone. Unless one totally buys into this type of behavior, it is time to drop the nonsense and leave AoL behind.

  9. Biju permalink
    December 7, 2010 4:04 pm

    One good thing about AOL, it gives an ordinary good guy to know the basics of spirituality . he can consider it as a stepping stone and do the Yoga practices ( pranayam and DSN yoga etc.) to grow in Life and to have a good health. he should not un necessarily be hooked into the Organization. We should have our intellect and reasoning faculty working in order to find out the right way. This requires deep knowledge in the Gita, vedanata and the like.

  10. Abhilash Shastry permalink
    December 8, 2010 1:11 am

    ###One good thing about AOL, it gives an ordinary good guy to know the basics of spirituality . he can consider it as a stepping stone and do the Yoga practices ( pranayam and DSN yoga etc.) to grow in Life and to have a good health.###

    OTOH I think that AOL actually warps our sense of spirituality. It replaces our natural spiritual instinct that values truth, non-violence, helping others etc. with a different code that permits all transgressions as long as one hyperventilates, brings more people to AOL courses and chants JGD.

    Yes. Some practices of AOL may help one keep healthy. However IMHO being healthy is not the goal of spirituality.

  11. belle permalink
    December 11, 2010 3:18 pm

    @DW

    it is for ppl like yourself that i mentioned that i didnt compare your guru to hitler and i didnt. the point i was making was that just like hitler and others who make huge coperations and industries and make themselves very powerful, but it is impossible to pin the blame on them.

    my point was if you are not willing to hold yourself accountable then dont make yourself powerful. in the history all saints have remained accountable to all humanity. they didnt dodge responsibilty.

    what would you call someone who takes power and wields it but refuses to accept responisibiliy? a president? a corrupt wealthy businessman?

    yes but not a saint. saints are accountable for every inch of their lives to all, and transparent to all.

    • December 15, 2010 2:39 am

      Belle,

      I agree with you whole heartedly about being accountable. I think a saint would be open and honest in their dealings, with no need to obfuscate. Also, thank you for explaining your point of view. I understand it more.

  12. belle permalink
    December 11, 2010 3:20 pm

    @DW

    and i was just answering the topic of the post above. the fact is the trail of accountability grows cold as you try to investigate. that is not how a true saint/guru behaves. if he doesnt want to be held accountable for his business, tell him not to build one.

  13. Jenny permalink
    December 29, 2010 8:42 pm

    I am new to this blog and it’s digging out long forgotten memories. Amongst them are the ones of my time when I have been travelling with SSRS and working for AoL full-time without getting paid or even a reduction on a course etc. Me and my partner, one of the first European teachers, set up Books & Tapes Europe. There wasn’t any other ‘company’ than AoL. I was trying to keep up a good bookkeeping but could have cheated in big ways.

    I was present when SSRS travelled through Europe searching for an Ashram and was astonished by his and peoples ‘advice’ and opinions. There was not one professional estate manager.

    I also spent time in the Indian Ashram and was the first who spent the nights in the new sleeping hall (20 years ago) – with my partner, on SSRS wish – what a shock! And we were not even 10 people when discussing the issue of garbage dumping when it was me who was shocked and my partner who gave contra to SSRS solution of this.

    I was there when everybody was trying to do their best and belief was still purER as now. I was there when people said ‘it’s your ego, I’m pushing a button’ and blamed everybody else than themselves because they desperately wanted to create something AND to please their guru – without any PROFOUND knowledge of the issue.

    I saw Sri Sri being oh so naive and letting people do. I heart people presenting ideas, telling only half the truth.
    How can you build a proper organisation so big and so diverse on naivity (?) and amateurism?! And not to forget the big crazy mind and the little egoism.
    Just look at the email addresses on the AoL.org website. For each little department there is another uncoordinated address, even the department within the department.
    Recently I sent an email with a personal request to AoL Germany. As some times before-no answer.

    I still trust Sri Sri. I have experienced him in so many situations, even very doubtful ones and in 1-1 conversations with me, and in the end all made sense.
    But I cannot accept the abuse of volunteers and the camp-like demands of them (eg TTC and DSN, gosh I hated it for I missed the compassion).

    Honestly, I don’t believe in AoL’s and SSRS’s deliberate abuse and money making. It’s impossible with such an disorganised and unprofessional bunch of people who lot of times act fromout jealousy and greed.
    It is too chaotic to get a deliberate band organised abuse-structure into that organisation. I saw it.

    • The Doctor permalink
      December 29, 2010 10:57 pm

      Jenny,

      I’m intrigued by everything you’ve written, particularly this:

      Honestly, I don’t believe in AoL’s and SSRS’s deliberate abuse and money making. It’s impossible with such an disorganised and unprofessional bunch of people who lot of times act fromout jealousy and greed.
      It is too chaotic to get a deliberate band organised abuse-structure into that organisation. I saw it.

      On the one hand you are admitting that there is a lot of abuse in the organization (e.g. with respect to DSN, TTC) and that the organization is actually completely disorganized, and then on the other hand you are saying that you don’t believe this abuse is deliberate on the part of either AoL or SSRS. In which case what I really want to know is what is ultimately the source of all this abuse?

      All the pieces of the puzzle gathered so far point to SSRS. If he isn’t responsible then one would assume that there was someone or something even more powerful than him controlling all this, and that he himself is a victim. Otherwise surely the buck stops with him, so he would have done whatever it takes to put an end to all the abuse, all the unethical practices which AoL clearly employs, all the deceit and fraud they commit, and all the incessant mythicising of SSRS and other senior teachers? Instead, he allows them to happen, so given his status as a God-incarnated being (at least as far as his followers are concerned) surely this makes him directly responsible for all of these things by not taking any action against them?

      • Jenny permalink
        January 22, 2011 11:15 am

        Dear Doctor,

        My apologies for replying so late. My little family and travelling between homes didn´t allow me to sit down and think about what you said.
        Until now I couldn´t come up with an answer on what exactly is meant by ´abuse´.
        How do you see the abuse?
        In that sense I should modify my comment and talk about manipulation rather than abuse. I think that manipulation is the first step, taking place during the courses. Abuse follows from that.

        And yes, actually I have always felt pity on SSRS somehow. It was clear to me that he is NOT god-like and he has not more supernatural power than you and me. I always thought he has just more knowledge how to tap those.

        I don´t ´believe´, don´t have a religion but I feel that there are more things between heaven and earth. So yes, I have the opinion that some people, maybe SSRS, have more tools to connect with those. But no, he is not more or less than every human being. He is lacking ego – something he is teaching, and something he and many others become victim of. Because it is the ego which makes the organisation how it is. Ego of making money (and I admit that there are individuals who abuse the organisation and with that the people working for them, in a later stage) and gaining and using power.

        Still I believe that the top of AoL – SSRS in particular – is too unprofessional as to turn AoL into a business. On the other hand I have to admit that I am not aware of their doings anymore. I have been away from AoL since ´99 and only recently attended Kriya sessions again (in another country where the profile is still very low and therefore the doings are very basic and real).

        What I find though is that, in this pretty poor country, they still were able to hire an appartment as centre. When I conducted the Kriya sessions, I had to do it in my home and pay tea and cookies myself. The ´fee´ went to AoL fully.

        Anyway, as you see, I am still somehow inbetween. Pro knowledge and goal contra AoL as an organisation. Some days ago I was invited by a former friend/ fulltime teacher in Germany to attend the World Culture Festival 2010 in Berlin in July. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iqhC3YOYSMs&feature=player_embedded#!
        They expect 100.000 people…

        all the best, J

  14. Anonymous permalink
    January 24, 2012 7:09 am

    man you are so frustrated with your life that you are taking it out on art of living! Just relax and breath, have faith and confidence that the result is going to be more than you can ever imagine:):)….. In short….. Let Go and be happy.

  15. Anonymous permalink
    January 24, 2012 2:29 pm

    about abuse, sometimes it is quite deliberate, orchestrated by SSRS himself. I have personally sat in his presence with others and received instructions to do certain things that were illegal, immoral and weird, frankly, to other people. Everyone would laugh knowingly, happy to be part of the ‘inner circle’ of the time. Disgusting. It was one of the main reasons I left: these “gossip sessions” where plans were made and devised to make other people uncomfortable, to spread untruths/lies about them (never admitted to of course, since whatever he said had to be “Truth”). People who had sometimes dedicated their lives were ostracized in terrible ways, defamed purposefully, at his command. Although it is group of loonies, that doesn’t make it at all impossible that they do these things in a coordinated fashion. Just witness the post from “Sad Swami” last year bashing someone named Eng An. It was a brutal, ruthless, and it seems, unfounded attack on an innocent person who apparently left the organization years ago! Also note in past posts the “3 pronged attack” orchestrated by SSRS himself against this and another blog. Really bizarre. He is not a guru. He is a master of illusion, deception, money making, self-agrandizement, and fraud. Someday he will be caught in society. He has already been caught by the Divine Who Sees All Things and Knows All Hearts. Good luck to him and his followers. Deluded. Blind leading the blind. A great saint, now passed away, who knew SSRS well, and whom SSRS respected (he said) very much, told me, when I asked why my association with SSRS ended so badly, so shockingly ugly from his side: “When a blind man leads another blind man in the dark and they both fall into a ditch in the dark, what did you expect? You are a disciple, expected to be blind. But when the ‘guru’ is blind, all is lost….”

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