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It’s not only a cult, it’s a dangerous cult

June 27, 2011

by anonymous

(In response to this comment)

To Peter,

The “fantasy” others, as you put it, include someone I spent hours and days talking down from a suicide threat made while they were in Art of Living. That suicide threat was made by that person because they were told by the ‘master’ himself, that there was no chance for enlightenment because the said student had had an affair (!) This was before sex was considered “okay” with SSRS, and many were told that they should abstain if they wanted to attain the highest (enlightenment). Granted, the person I’m speaking of had become imbalanced through several years of association and very very very close contact with Ravi Shankar. Completely believing in ‘Guruji’, there was no doubt that the prouncement of no enlightenment was real (in their mind, at least).

That person lived on, thankfully, and did leave Art of Living, as I did also, due to so many sick, dysfunctional things happening close to SSRS. These are not fantasy people I saw them happen to. And the happenings were not fantasies either. The place was (and sounds like, from other posts I’ve seen here continues to be) like some kind bizarre other world, filled with the Guru’s paranoia, blanket prouncenments, orders which made no sense at all to anyone with a brain left.

You are right in saying that on the periphery, people who don’t get very involved with Ravi Shankar, stand a chance of not being in a cult environment to some extent (although they are duped into raising funds for dubious purposes when charity is claimed). And it appears that over the years the periphery has grown so that you may even be one of thsoe people, who just go around and take some courses, or even teach a little, without seeing how it is near the core.

If you are near the core, then you know fully well just how sick and sickening the “high up” teachers are and how deluded Ravi Shankar himself is. If you are, as I’ve said, on the periphery, good for you — you are unscathed. But be aware of what you are supporting and defending. This is a man who has no pity on anyone who crosses him and will do anything to harm them, at the very least, destroying their reputations, when he can, with vicious, vile rumors and half-truths. That’s his M.O.: take a few facts people know are so, then add a pile of lies that are truly ugly, and presto chango, the person who left magically becomes “mentally unbalanced”, “a problem”, “spiritually unready for the path”. As you can see from postings here, the blogmaster and others are being sued!!

When I left, I heard things about myself which actually made me laugh they were so far from anything true! And those who knew me, where I had been, what I had been doing since leaving, also left, knowing that these lies had been told. And in each case, the source of the ‘information’ was SSRS. People who were brave enough to confront me, to meet me, in spite of his warnings that no one should contact me (bad karma, you know), were dumbfounded when they saw a completely differently reality than the one he had spread around. And these were not things that were amorphous — they were solid ‘facts’ that when someone came to see me, they saw immediately, were simply a joke, and completely untrue!

It is not negative anti-cult mentality to simply be truthful, as people here are many times. I never even thought about Art of Living or Ravi Shankar for many years until he made a fool of himself a year ago with his assassination attempt nonsense, claiming that Kashirmi terrorists were after him. When someone called me to tell me this ‘news’, I came across this blog and Klim’s blog when searching the articles on the supposed attempt. People here posting seemed to think it was for publicity. The tragedy is that it probably was not, but rather, the ‘guru’ I knew some years ago, having become so totally out of touch with reality, that he actually believed his accusations. (It turned out to be a neighbor firing bullets into the air to scare dogs away from livestock, and was proven to be so by all authorities, but SSRS refused to believe it, claiming that the government doesn’t care about Godmen, or some such rot.)

Read Klim’s blog — it’s linked on this page. From it I learned that rather than improving after I and many others left, Art of Living and SSRS simply got worse and worse and worse, using and abusing people and power. It’s not only a cult, it’s a dangerous cult. His own guru, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi told TM practitioners that “Ravi Shankar is sugar coated poison”, and to stay away from him at all costs. Doesn’t that tell you something?

  1. A confused Ex-Follower permalink
    June 27, 2011 11:59 pm

    “(It turned out to be a neighbor firing bullets into the air to scare dogs away from livestock, and was proven to be so by all authorities, but SSRS refused to believe it, claiming that the government doesn’t care about Godmen, or some such rot.)”

    Truly, the trouble is Ravi Shankar still refuses to accept the police explanation.

    TOI interviewer: “Recently, when an attempt was made on your life, your millions of followers all over the world were shocked. They wondered how could anyone hold animosity towards a person, whose aura emanates peace, love and benevolence?”

    Ravi : “I also wondered about it because I have never hated anyone at any time. ”

    In a recent Satsang video, he ridiculed the police explanation in front of his followers… how did the bullets land from there into the Ashram… was the farmer shooting at flying dogs.. he asks. Hello… doesn’t he know that the cops conducted a forensic analysis and matched the bullet to the farmer’s revolver ? Doesn’t he know that the farmer said he fired bullets into the air to scare away the dogs… the farmer wasn’t aiming at the “flying” dogs.

    Read it in the Hindu, my dear
    “On the evening of May 30, he heard some barking and, as was his normal practice, took his pistol and fired three rounds in the air — The Ramanagaram district police recovered the bullet and sent it for analysis to the Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL). They also matched the bullet with that in the farmer’s pistol and found they were of the same make. This was also confirmed by the FSL.”

    He should also read go back and read DNA
    “We have gone through all angles [sic] in the case and there is nothing to prove a conspiracy. The person who fired the bullet is Mahadeva Prasad, a resident of JP Nagar. He fired his licensed .32 revolver at stray dogs,” said Singh. Prasad rears sheep and maintains a poultry farm. Stray dogs attacked a sheep on his farm and he was keeping watch. On May 30, as Prasad and his family were readying to return to their JP Nagar residence, he saw stray dogs and fired two rounds in the direction of Kanakapura Road. This scared the dogs away. Later, while driving towards Kanakapura Road, Prasad saw another dog and fired the gun again. He then got into the car and drove away, said Singh.”

    Ravi Shankar’s ridiculing of the official explanation starts in the below video about 30min

  2. anonymous permalink
    June 28, 2011 12:25 pm

    Are you surprised? This is what was mentioned in the original post — the man is paranoid and delusional. Forensics are a “fairy tale” to him. His explanation is “flying dogs”. All smiles, in front of hundreds of people, acting so calm. Guaranteed these people never saw how he really is in private: angry, red-faced, sometimes even screaming ridiculous accusations at people! I really pity the men in this videoed group — they are so entranced by this man who is not what he appears to be. He speaks so well, anyone might be fooled if they don’t get too close, or if they do get close, don’t want to believe what they see from there. When I used to see him speak in public, all smooth and polished, all knowledge, then see him privately bursting with every human emotion he claims not to have in his lectures (he hardly laughs, but rather rants and raves, if someone crosses him or disagrees) I knew I was wasting my time in my search for Truth. The man is not balanced at all, yet he accuses so many others (who leave him) of being crazy! Has anyone posting here heard his stories about how he has seen the UFOs at the ashram? Living there, I never saw one. But of course, he always saw them alone. They came to visit him. The human mind is a delicate thing. He is proof that it can snap and also that a person can somewhat hide it in public. What sent him ‘around the bend’ as it’s said? Who knows? I especially like the part in this video where he says that no on the ashram could so much as throw a stone, that there is simply no hatred at the ashram, so the first story by the Home Minister that it could be “in fighting” among the inmates of the ashram, was ridiculous. LOL!!! There is so much fighting and hatred among the senior teachers! It’s totally sick. The man lies so smoothly it’s frightening. He is perfectly aware of the fighting that goes on, and has even condoned it, or sanctioned it, or excused it. He once told me: “if you get beaten up in this ashram, you will never be beaten up in the world when you leave”. How sick is that?

    • anonymous permalink
      June 29, 2011 4:41 pm


      Could you please put all the innane comments by “Jacob” aside so that the real comments would still appear? Very clearly, he is just posting anything anywhere, so that anything with any content will not be seen in ‘recent comments’. That seems to be Harshal’s tac as well — to just keep posting so that nobody sees any real commentary that has information about Ravi Shankar or Art of Living, but, rather, just their sad little, angry outbursts and insults.

      • The Doctor permalink
        June 29, 2011 6:09 pm

        I do hear you and sympathize, but the fact is that all comments left by Jacob, Harshal and God knows how many others of their ilk are blatantly doing a lot more damage to Art of Living in the eyes of anyone who finds this blog than they are to this blog. As such I feel it works against what we are trying to achieve here if we censor them.

        If you wish to follow the latest comments, I would recommend subscribing to the blog, and if you want to be extra cautious you should consider using an anonymous email.

    • Anonymous permalink
      June 29, 2011 7:58 pm

      And what about the robberies that happened in the ashram? Those guys were caught as well, right?

  3. exaolteacher permalink
    June 29, 2011 2:46 am

    @jacob it is very clear who is barking. LOL

    • Jacob permalink
      June 29, 2011 2:53 pm

      Forget about barking, I’m the one laughing and you should be crying.

      How many steps backwards have you taken? How well do you sleep at night? You wanted to be appreciated. You wanted to get all the credit. With your selfish motives – you got what you deserved.

      I know who you are.

      • Anonymous permalink
        June 29, 2011 7:25 pm

        It is not a long journey my dear.. you don’t need to do something particular to earn what you seek.. and you are already there, just realize it ;).

        Even Arjuna was asked to do what he is good at (fight), instead of doing ‘seva’ for Krishna.

        Btw, don’t you see how much you are getting tied up to those gandharva and vasishta fairy tale stories these days? Shake up, and be free, take what ever that is good and don’t let your own concepts tie you down..

      • Anonymous permalink
        June 29, 2011 7:37 pm

        Dude, the first principle in spirituality is to get self-established. I am sure you can’t visualize how free you’ll be once you move to self dependence from the mystical guru dependence you’ve subjected to..

        Really sorry for you.

  4. June 29, 2011 2:19 pm

    Jacob, another patient from AOL mental hospital.

  5. Anon permalink
    June 29, 2011 10:36 pm

    Ravi Shankar was initially not ready to accept that the bullets were meant to scare the dogs and ridiculed the police findings. After it became very clear that there was no other motive, AOL came up with a press release stating that Ravi Shankar was fully satisfied with the investigations and conclusions by police.

    If any one has saved this news item with the press release please post it, as it will nail the lie on this video. He probably thinks that people have forgotten about this press release.

  6. freeagaiin permalink
    June 30, 2011 7:35 am

    @Jacob – i thnk most of sleep very well now – our conscience is clear – we are not following the ramblings and sheningans of a egocentric meglomaniac,,,,life is sweet 🙂

  7. meditator permalink
    June 30, 2011 8:21 am

    How to identify a cult. Lovely video.

    • anonymous permalink
      June 30, 2011 1:34 pm

      Every Art of Living teacher should have to view this, as well as any potential students. This is so completely true of what actually goes on over time in AOL! Amazing that the authors crossed all religious barriers, and it still applys to any cult, anywhere in the world, and especially AOL (since that’s the one I know too intimately). They left out where the “Leader” himself says, if you try to leave “If you leave without my permission, I will destroy you”.

    • anonymous permalink
      June 30, 2011 1:35 pm

      Does anyone have a current Art of Living mailing list? Please send the link of this video to everyone on it. It might wake some poor deluded people up from their sleep.

    • June 30, 2011 8:38 pm

      This video deserves a post of it’s own!

  8. Harshal permalink
    June 30, 2011 1:59 pm

    “Dude, the first principle in spirituality is to get self-established”

    Whatever non-sense comes to his mind he will type it and waste the web-ink….
    …I can see how self-established you all are….complaining , whining , crying all the time. Blaming the miseries of your life on some organization which you voluntarily joined. Why? Becoz you cant accept that you are a failure in life.

    • Jr. permalink
      June 30, 2011 4:33 pm

      The only miserable people are the angry people like you and Jacob.

      It’s not too late to get out of AOL Harshy… better things await to those who are brave and don’t rely on another person for answers.

      • Harshal permalink
        July 1, 2011 1:50 am

        “better things await to those who are brave and don’t rely on another person for answers”-yes. Agreed. That is why blogs like this should not exist. people should be allowed to make their own decisions based on direct experiences and not make judgements based on false propagandas.

        The person who runs this blog openly admitted that his/her intention is to damage AOL. (see the comment where he assumes that Jacob’s comments are damaging to AOL and if not allowed to publish it will be counter productive to this blog). So we can see his real intentions. He has openly said that AOL is not all bad and that there are many good things in it and that he has benefited tremendously , however, in the same breath he says that it is a dangerous cult! Such an idiot, there is not consistency in thoughts.

        AOL is least bothered. The show is going on uninterruptedly. Those who think that the fact that AOL sued some of these jerks for defamation means that AOL is bothered is wrong. You got the whole idea wrong. AOL is least bothered, but that doesn’t mean that there will be an inaction. The blog-owners were sued, and they had to beg money and now have learnt their lessons and will keep doing so as long as the case goes on.We now know that the blog owners are not in US, the largest base of US- and are poor penniless poppers who express the frustrations in their life by writing here. AOL has found a nice way of keeping the irritating mosquitoes busy by giving them a court case while they carry on their show.

        The show is in Berlin now, and I am just about to leave.

      • The Doctor permalink
        July 1, 2011 5:24 am

        Nice try again Harshal, but no one is buying your logic which is fast attaining new levels of twistedness previously unseen.

        OUR intention from the start has been to warn people about AoL based on our experiences, that it is our view that it is a dangerous religious cult which uses deception to meet its ends and abuses people in many ways, and we have clearly given our reasons across these blogs as to why we believe this. Whilst this may indirectly cause damage to AoL, it isn’t our intention to simply cause damage for the sake of causing damage. There are very clear motives behind what we are doing here which we have stated since the beginning.

        YOUR intention on the other hand, and the intention of many others like you, has been to exhibit the most extremist abusive behaviour towards those who speak out against AoL and to try to ruffle as many people’s feathers as you can. Whilst your intention probably wasn’t to damage AoL, everything you have done here serves as a clear warning to those who may discover this blog and read your comments to stay away from the abusive cult you represent, and as such in this way you are doing AoL a great amount of damage whether you like it or not.

        And remember, Harshal, you recently told us you were going to go for TTC, and if you are accepted, your abusiveness on this blog will go even further towards warning people to stay away from AoL.

        Well done and thank you again.

      • Jr. permalink
        July 1, 2011 4:11 pm

        “Such an idiot, there is not consistency in thoughts.”

        This coming from you, is just hilarious. 😀

  9. Anonymous permalink
    July 1, 2011 4:38 am

    how many in berlin?

    • anonymous permalink
      July 1, 2011 11:59 am

      So now Harshal is slamming those being sued for being from outside the US and for having small bank accounts? It seems somewhere in this blog there is somewhere where the same Harshal slammed someone for being in the US, and therefore, not knowing anything about AOL. I had no idea that the only people in the world with the right to speak their opinions and experiences had to be from the US, and had to have plenty of money. Interesting take on what is important from H’s point of view. Sounds just like his master.

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