Time to Fight Back
UPDATE: Please send your lists of AoL contacts to my email address email@example.com. If the recipients cannot understand English, please remember to let me know which is their main language.
From the start, I was only ever interested in finding out the truth about Art of Living. At least that’s what I signed up for when I first came on board here. And looking around me now, I know that a great many of you feel exactly the same way as me.
I never intended to fight against Art of Living, just to discover how on earth I became so entangled in the organization in the first place, to recover from the major loss I experienced when I left, and hopefully in learning these things to share them and so to help others benefit from what I contribute here. It has always been a place where we can share our experiences and help each other to heal. It has never been about defaming or creating an “us vs them” culture, although I admit there have been those on both sides who have tried to make it seem like that. It has always been about being truthful, and sincerely helping those who needed to recover from their negative, and in some cases traumatic, experiences with Art of Living.
But upon learning that AoL have taken this extreme measure to expose the identities of some of the major contributors here, who I have come to know from my time here have nothing but good intentions to help many people like myself and others who have had similar experiences to them, it has completely changed my perspective on this whole affair.
I now no longer believe we should just sit here and do what we have been doing this entire time, which has been to passively maintain this blog and hope people will find it through Google, or that those who have read it may pass it on to people they know who might benefit from it.
Between all of us here and on KLIM’s blog, we have produced the most incredible resources to help expose what we now believe to be a very dangerous religious cult. And let’s face it, by taking this extreme action and also considering Swami Sadyojatha’s attacks last year, it shouldn’t take much to convince any sane person that Art of Living really is a a dangerous religious cult as we are claiming.
If those who were instrumental in the creation of these blogs were to be legally prosecuted, and the blogs themselves were to disappear as a result, this would be an extreme injustice and would be a huge loss to all those who visit these blogs regularly to find solace and comfort in the words contained within, not to mention thousands who have yet to discover them in the future.
As such, I have absolutely no intention whatsoever of just sitting back and letting these bullies get away with what they’re trying to do here. I am going to do whatever it takes to fight this, and I could really use the help of as many of you as possible here. Innocent people should never be victimized in this way, and we need to send a message to Art of Living to let them know that we will not bow down to this or to any other threats they make against us.
We may not have the resources to fight a legal battle against them, but there is so much we can do between us that soon this legal battle will pale into insignificance.
A Letter to Devotees
First and foremost, I am busy drafting an email which explains everything we’ve been doing here, as well as relating everything which Art of Living have tried to do in order to silence us. I intend to send this email to each and every single AoL devotee worldwide whose email address I can get hold of.
I myself have been sitting on a list of some 1,000 email addresses for a very long time now, waiting for the best time to contact these individuals and let them know of what we are doing. And I really can’t think of a better time to do this than right now. Can you?
And I’m sure many of you have similarly acquired lists, maybe people you know who are still associated with Art of Living, people who have attended various events you have been involved in organizing, courses so on.
So, if you do have any lists of email addresses, no matter how large or small, and you would like me to send an email detailing what we are doing on this blog to these individuals, please send this list to firstname.lastname@example.org and I will see that these people receive the message anonymously. Your name will never be mentioned here at all, so you can remain at ease.
If the email list you send is intended for people who do not speak English, please let us know the best language to contact them on so that we can post them an appropriate translation.
In fact, if you can help to translate the email into any other languages, please contact us letting us know which language(s) you can translate into.
I will post the email here shortly as soon as it is ready, so that you can see exactly what it is I plan to tell all these devotees.
We should also look into other areas such as:
- Contacting schools, colleges and universities worldwide and warning them about the different guises AoL takes to lure in the young, such as ART Excel, Yes!, Yes We Can, Yes!+, Yoga Raves / Yoga Jams and any other similar courses and activities. You can really help us here by compiling a list of universities in your country and appropriate email details of the right people to contact. We should probably coordinate this effort to ensure that no duplicate work is taking place.
- Media: we really need to contact the media, mainly in the US and in India, and let them know that this is happening. In the US, we need to let the media know that Google are being subpoenaed by a dangerous religious cult and if Google do give in to this, they will be exposing innocent people to potential abuse from this cult, thus putting them and their families in danger. In India, the emphasis should be on the fact that a large number of former members have discovered that Art of Living is a cult and now AoL are taking action to try to silence them.
- Documentaries: I found this clip on youtube posted by a former member of Landmark Forum (which incidentally Rishiji used to be a member of before joining AoL – if you have time to watch it, see if you can see any similarities to AoL here. You may get a surprise or two.) In the clip, the presenter mentions that he was part of a documentary which aired in Sweden and which exposed Landmark Forum to be a cult, and also part of a similar documentary which aired in France. I’m going to contact a friend of mine who has worked on documentaries in the past which have aired on one of the most well-known TV stations in the world and discuss the possibilities of producing a documentary which exposes Art of Living to the world. If any of you have similar contacts, please can you approach them and discuss this with them?
These are just a few ideas for now, if you have other ideas, please post them here.
As I said above, I’ll post the email I plan to send to devotees very soon here, so keep a close eye on these blogs.
I want each and every single person reading this to know, we are going to fight this all the way and there is no way on earth we are going to let them win. We believe in freedom of speech, the freeing our minds, in truth, in justice, and we will fight anyone and anything which tries to take these rights away from us.
Love & Peace, (and may the force be with you ;-))