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Putting Art of Living in the ‘Hot Seat’

January 16, 2011

The following comment was made recently by @freeagaiin:

i forgot to add, this blog page is akin to AOL being in the hot seat..see how they handle the hot seat…not very well obviously! Can they deal with criticism..could they open their minds to the possibility that they could handle things better – NOPE…

This is such a profound observation that it deserves a post of its own, especially in light of current events.

For those of you who are unaware, or rather are fortunate enough not to have undergone this exercise, during both DSN and TTC there is a process which all participants need to undertake known as the Hot Seat exercise. During the exercise, each participant in the group takes it in turns to “sit in the Hot Seat”, and whilst in the Hot Seat, all other members of the group take it in turns to criticize that person. The person isn’t allowed to say anything, to react in any way to this whatsoever, they just have to sit there and allow the criticism to come and accept it.

Many of us here have been through the Hot Seat exercise and were able to follow it as we were told to, accepting all the criticism and not defending ourselves in the process. And the following knowledge points taught by AoL actually came in handy here:

  • Accept people and situations as they are
  • Don’t be a football of other people’s opinions
  • Avoid defensive consciousness
  • Avoid victim consciousness

So right now, the dynamic created between this blog and AoL really is the same as AoL being put on the Hot Seat. Only with one key difference: AoL don’t seem to be taking this exercise very well at all!

Why can’t AoL themselves actually follow any of these points which they preach to their followers? Doesn’t this show that they lack any integrity whatsoever when they preach one thing and do the exact opposite instead? Isn’t this setting a very bad example to their followers, who surely must be confused by this action? And isn’t it hypocrtical of AoL to act in this way?

Why can’t they handle any amount of criticism levied at devotees, the organization or Sri Sri Ravi Shankar? Why are they instead being highly abusive towards those who have made these criticims against them, taking extreme measures such as singling out individuals whom they believe to be behind these blogs and not only defaming them and revealing details of personal medical history, which in itself is highly deplorable, but even going as far as to take legal action against these individuals?

Yesterday as I was reading the Wiki page on Denial I came across the conecpt of DARVO which I want to share with you here:

DARVO is an acronym to describe a common strategy of abusers: Deny the abuse, then Attack the victim for attempting to make them accountable for their offense, thereby Reversing Victim and Offender.

Psychologist Jennifer Freyd[4] writes:

“…I have observed that actual abusers threaten, bully and make a nightmare for anyone who holds them accountable or asks them to change their abusive behavior. This attack, intended to chill and terrify, typically includes threats of law suits, overt and covert attacks on the whistle-blower’s credibility, and so on. The attack will often take the form of focusing on ridiculing the person who attempts to hold the offender accountable. […] [T]he offender rapidly creates the impression that the abuser is the wronged one, while the victim or concerned observer is the offender. Figure and ground are completely reversed. […] The offender is on the offense and the person attempting to hold the offender accountable is put on the defense.”

Does this in any way sound familiar? I will state outright that this is EXACTLY what Art of Living are doing here. Of all that we have experienced between us and shared on these blogs, the one thing which keeps coming up over and over again is the culture of abuse which is prevalent throughout AoL. And here we have AoL denying these abuses, attacking us for trying to make AoL accountable for these offenses, and by their actions in both Swami Sadyojatha’s attacks and the latest law suit, trying to make themselves look like the victims and us look like the offenders.

Somehow, in AoL it seems that in actual fact spirituality and abusiveness are the things that have been reversed. The more abusive someone is, the more spiritual they are believed to be. And we have seen som much evidence from our experiences with AoL and also from the reactions of AoL followers on this blog.

One has to wonder then, given all these things, is AoL really a spiritual organization if they cannot handle criticism, cannot follow their own knowledge points, and outright attack and try to silence anyone who speaks out against them? Or are they something else far more sinister?

  1. January 22, 2011 6:20 pm

    blog filled with negativity!

    • Dayalu permalink
      January 22, 2011 7:20 pm

      Sorry, truth is bitter and often perceived as negative.

    • Hihihi permalink
      January 22, 2011 11:17 pm

      This sounds as if some spanking is about to follow 😉 – very bad blog! (sorry :))

  2. freeagaiin permalink
    January 23, 2011 12:06 am

    i find it amazing that AOL’ers posting on this site, are unable to put forward a coherant comments.

    • anonymous permalink
      January 24, 2011 2:23 pm


      I don’t find it amazing. I find it typical. 😉

    • harshal permalink
      January 24, 2011 4:11 pm

      It is rather presumptive of you to expect that people like you deserve indulgence in coherent arguments.

      • anonymous permalink
        January 24, 2011 8:54 pm

        Another perfect example of an AOL argument. 😉

      • Anon permalink
        January 25, 2011 3:45 am


        Drinking too much of that guru’s stuff? BTW, do you first collect it in a pot and then drink or you just put your mouth directly on the orifice?

  3. freeagaiin permalink
    January 25, 2011 6:46 am

    oh gawd….

    • harshal permalink
      January 25, 2011 1:27 pm

      yes how can i help?

  4. godmademefunky permalink
    February 1, 2011 3:33 am

    dudes u have exposed their real intentions….
    can ya attach and mail me the tape of the sohum……??

  5. February 5, 2011 12:11 am

    Are you based in Canada??! I hear there the car seats are heated! HOT SEAT… get it! No?!! Okay then I got another one for you… What do you call the doctor when he posts about Art of Living? Medically insane in the membrane!!! Eh.. Whats up Doc?!!! And whats this about drinking Guru’s stuff? Jeez Luiz you have a warped brain. Maybe you need a Doc. But not while he’s posting here or else you’re gonna get some of his funky excrement (Shitty Comments) in your mouth!!! You really would need some listrine after that!! May I suggest the nearest 7-11!

    • February 5, 2011 5:07 pm

      Hi Corrector,
      you have found a cool alias. You have posted several incoherent comments, putting us down. You have firmly established yourself in the category “brainwashed AOL zombie”. Why not try something different, and actually argue your case?

      Let us begin with The Guru Juice” story,
      Is this the action of a person who claims to… “not desire for devotees to touch his feet, but that is what devotees wish to do.”?

      Why did he stage this bizarre happening, or let another person do so, towards unsuspecting SSY TTC graduates?

      Please explain. As, in give a rational explanation.

      • Peaceful Warrior permalink
        February 5, 2011 9:53 pm

        Putting us down is an understatement – AOL lackeys keep coming here to take a piss – and live in the deluded notion that somehow that is to show us our face in the mirror.
        I wonder why he has not called us cowards for being anonymous yet. That’s how these things usually go, don’t they.

        Objective critique is not the same as name calling and ad hominem attacks. Criticizing us in crude language, does not provide balance – the equivalence is false. Pro-AOL perspectives are always welcome, but this kind of writing actually just proves our point that AOL is full of jerks.

      • February 7, 2011 10:56 pm

        @pissful warrior! I really don’t want to know who you are as knowing anymore about you might want to try to become more “peaceful”, might I suggest some meditatation… oh sorry forgot you loathe that! Lets try Tai Chi then shall we? I don’t really like jerky… never really agreed with my stomach!!! So if I don’t eat it, can’t be one now can i? Humour is good for the bowels you know!

      • The Doctor permalink
        February 7, 2011 11:13 pm

        @Corrector: “Humour is good for the bowels you know!”

        Yes we can see that: it seems to be the only place you’re capable of talking from!

        Please keep up your bowel-talk, we’re finding it very entertaining indeed. 😉

      • February 9, 2011 12:04 am

        Whats up Doc? Finally got a prescription from you!! I will surely keep up my comments so as to ensure that you get a dose of your own medicine… doccy! From the post I am extremely sure that you are a Guru … a true Guru!!! Teach me oh enlightened one on how to totally utilize my bowels for speech as you are the Master for this! I bow down to your greatness but might I suggest some nice deo for the stink!!!

      • February 9, 2011 12:24 am

        @ Doc, Finally a prescription! It seems that you are a Guru.. a true Guru! You magnanimity is unquestioned when it comes when it comes to talking from your bowels. You are the truly the enlightened one.

        Might I suggest some Deodorant for the stench!

      • February 9, 2011 12:26 am

        You have blocked my alias due to your insecurities… really sporting of you! Well here is my earlier reply:

        @ Doc, Finally a prescription! It seems that you are a Guru.. a true Guru! You magnanimity is unquestioned when it comes when it comes to talking from your bowels. You are the truly the enlightened one.

        Might I suggest some Deodorant for the stench!

      • The Doctor permalink
        February 9, 2011 6:56 am

        Nobody blocked your alias, WordPress just put a whole bunch of your posts in the Spam folder. Seems that whatever they use to filter out nonsense is actually working quite well after all!

        But for the sake of our continued entertainment, I’ve un-spammed all your junk. 😉

  6. freeagaiin permalink
    February 5, 2011 4:06 am

    @ha ha – definitely deluded like the head indian in charge!

    • February 7, 2011 10:49 pm

      Don’t you dare insult Dr. Manmohan Singh, I’ll get the CBI on your case!

  7. February 5, 2011 11:01 pm

    Who said I was in AOL???! I just want to give a new fresh perspective to an already stale and boring discussion!! If you don’t like AOL then thats your freedom but why diss it???! Especially when so many people are benefitting from it?! If you feel that you can do something better then simply go ahead and give it a shot! America On Line Rulezzz!!!! 🙂

  8. freeagaiin permalink
    February 8, 2011 5:53 am

    At least insulting Manmohan singh would result in intelligent debate as opposed to the incoherant babble you bring Corrector.

    • February 8, 2011 11:28 pm

      You seem to be understanding my “so-called” incoherent babble just fine! Or else why would you feel so pricked? I will surely inform the UPA Govt. about your unpatriotic comments.

  9. anon permalink
    February 8, 2011 5:55 pm

    Just checked this blog after a few days of absence, does not corrector sound like harshal?

    • February 8, 2011 11:36 pm

      Why in GOD’s name are you all thinking I am Harshal… get a bit more creative… you may be totally shocked!!! For creativity may I recommend Sudarshan Kriya… Oops sorry forgot you are anti – AOL!

  10. Observer permalink
    February 9, 2011 12:30 pm

    Who said I was in AOL???! I just want to give a new fresh perspective to an already stale and boring discussion!!
    Yaawn, same old fake posturing from the aol lackeys. Another line is – “i have been recommended AoL and i’m investigating the pros and cons.”

    • February 10, 2011 10:05 pm

      @ Observer same old fake posturing??!! I am not here to discuss your frigid sex life and will surely not give you the pros and cons of the Kama Sutras instead of my daily sutras but I can say this you are truly not very observant, change the name as it doesn’t suit you! I am crystal clear on my stand and am not investigating anything!

      • Dayalu permalink
        February 10, 2011 10:42 pm

        This guy need serious correction in his head.

      • anon permalink
        February 11, 2011 4:55 am

        I am not here to discuss your frigid sex life and will surely not give you the pros and cons of the Kama Sutras instead of my daily sutras

        Corrector/ ha-ha is so way out of line. in poor taste

      • February 12, 2011 9:10 pm

        Dayalu kya Daya hai tere andar!!! So understanding, so compassionate and kind! Your comments truly reflect your alias! NOT!!!!!

        @anon – Humour is never in poor taste however I can’t say the same for this blog or your comments!

      • anon permalink
        February 13, 2011 5:21 am

        this guy is crass!!

  11. February 13, 2011 9:11 pm

    my dear at least unlike you I am not crass minus the cr!!

    • anon permalink
      February 14, 2011 5:52 am

      not only is he crass, his retorts are more than utterly foolish, idiotic and childish. if he’s over 18 and talking the way that he does, he is totally demented too.

      • February 15, 2011 5:09 pm

        @ anon – one has to talk on the same level as the person listening… I guess then you just showed your own IQ level. Congratulations!!

  12. anon permalink
    February 15, 2011 7:53 pm

    I’m confused!! I showed my IQ level because I find corrector crude ,crass , childish, idiotic and demented? Was it pearls of wisdom when corrector says things like “”my dear at least unlike you I am not crass minus the cr!!”””, did I miss out something there!!

    • February 16, 2011 4:08 pm

      Aye ya yo! Anon I thought you were going to be like the Beatles and let me be!!!! Its not pears but words of wisdom… Let it be and Let Me Be!

  13. Anonymous permalink
    June 9, 2011 8:21 pm

    you know what.. you are the biggest looser in this whole world…

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