He Just Lies, and Devotees Innocently Perpetuate His Lies
[In Response to this comment by The Seer]
Based on my observations I am attempting to qualify and quantify some of these figures.
AOL retention –
Background – Lets say I was a much above average AOL teacher and for most parts actually walked the talk. I have been teaching for 5 years. I teach once a month on a average of 20 new students in a batch. In 5 years I would have taught about 1200 of them.
This is assuming that as a teacher you operated in a fixed geography.
Now lets take the Definition of a retained AOL person :
a1. Folks that come for weekly long kriya regularly (80%+ attendance) – Typically about 40 of the 1200. Thats 3%. (This is for the better than average teacher). If you are among the “fluffy teachers” which today they are producing a dime a dozen…..then folks will avoid your follow-up sessions. It could go to as low a figure as 2 or 3. The 2 or 3 that come will be devotees that come only because the venue is in their own building….or for some other distinct material comfort.
a2. Folks that come for Satsangs. This number usually stays constant. Irrespective of growth. Folks that come for Satsangs are typically Hindus by birth. The rest invariably drop out. Hence its usually a very small number. In anycase if you do not serve prasad (food) after satsang the number will drop down even further (at least by half). The Satsang people and the weekly follow-up people will have different crowds. (More women and kids in the Satsangs…….this has been my experience and observation). The Hindus observation is quite valid even for the USA, UK, Canada, Middle East (Where you many many Indians of Hindu Origin). In other countries Germany, Poland and son…this does not apply.
b. Folks that do advance courses every year. About 8 of the 1200. Thats 0.67%.
c. Folks that are regular in Seva (same as above, above 0.67%)
After 10 years the same scenario as above (half the above)
Approximate Time period – 1999-2008.
From my experience I have also noticed hat the core team of dedicated volunteers that do work does not change much whether it was 5 years, 15 years or 25 years after the 1st part-1 course. Its the usual suspects that always pitch in. The Geography will get split into many smaller geographies with similar numbers. However, when all the geographies attempt to get together to do one large project…. it rarely ever takes off (Classic case – Berlin fest). The patterns are very interesting.
Each AOL faction (Chapter) develops its own identity and ego….depending on the lead teacher. They cannot get along with the other teams / chapters. Most AOL teachers have one common lament. “I do not have enough volunteers”. Volunteer grabbing is the norm. In fact many AOL teachers will host Satsang’s and food parties in their homes just to entice other teacher’s volunteers into their fold.
In geographies outside India, a Senior visiting teacher would for a short period be successful in integrating the local chapters ….but only for short periods (read weeks). Once they leave there would be more dis-integration and disharmony than anything else. However, these days this is dwindling as DSN, Sahaj and Advance course teachers are now available locally. And thats usually not charming for a new aspirant and an existing aspirant wanting to do a new course (they already have a flavour of the teacher).
If you watch carefully, very few Sr teachers have managed to keep their charm in a sustained way with their older students. Simply because over a period of time the students will wake up and see through the hypocrisy. Hence to get their energy fix, Sr teachers are often greedy / hungry for fresh faces in their courses. Hence the need to travel out of their home territories.
However, typical AOL volunteer’s number representation will be as follows……
1. Any number that SriSri throws will be repeated verbatim until its even published as the truth (We have 2.5 Million people for Silver Jubilee, We have adopted 30,000 villages, We had 50,000 attendees at Berlin….to understand what this means please google what a packed Eden Gardens Calcutta or a Chinnaswamy Stadium Bangalore looks like and then take a look at the Berlin Photos). Then make up your minds about the 50,000 claim.
2. I have seen Sri Sri himself claim some amazing numbers. He just makes them up. While that was happening, it would sound very incongruent as I would have been involved in the fund raising and organisation at all levels. There are times when I even thought that the Master was demonstrating that it was important to magnify and highlight positivity when negativity was being so hyped and magnified by the rest of the media. While it would not come naturally to me to do the same thing…..I felt that maybe I was handicapped and that I needed to look at things at a larger perspective which I was not doing. After Krishna is also known to have been a consummate liar. I ended up feeling down and defeated, even though some amazing work had happened.
Much later, when I started to listen to myself more and back myself more…..I realised I was attempting to mask and bury my disappointment that my taken on Master was a liar. I was so desperate to protect my earlier decision to take him as my Master that I would rationalise it any which way to explain the situation to MYSELF. Do this once and you will do it again…..it becomes easy the 2nd time around. Once you lie to yourself, you will not stop other’s from believing the same lie. For most AOL devotees, they like to perpetrate the same lie again and again. Just average human tendency…to pass stuff on. Then it gets into emails, fliers, facebook and folks such as those on the blog now will question it and provide a counter rationale.
Things are much more pacier now than 10 years ago. So, if you have been with them for a few years, then, only those that are able to live with their own compromised integrity will find it easy. Otherwise, if you still find yourself inside, you are probably totally blind and stupefied to what is really happening right under your nose…..or your self esteem has taken such a beating that you feel you cannot survive without the backing of the cult. However, thats the mistake, the cult backs no one…..everyone is expendable.
Lets watch the fun when the severe financial mishandling and misappropriation and reporting of Sumeru Ayurveda and publicly listed Inwinex pharma gets highlighted. The reports clearly point a finger at Banu’s hubby and 2nd son. What will take priority…..family or the business ? I wonder what is happening with all the real estate cases in court ?. Have they managed to buy them off again ….and simply quell any new articles ? In the Bangalore city circles, the average jack openly talks about how AOL has been paying the Times of India for all the coverage it gets.