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Blogger Flicks Copyright Claim From Art of Living

May 10, 2012

The following article was originally posted at: http://www.courthousenews.com/2012/05/07/46293.htm

SAN FRANCISCO (CN) – An Indian humanitarian organization failed to show that it copyrighted the basic breathing and relaxation exercises posted by a critical anonymous blogger, a federal judge ruled.

Identified only as “Skywalker,” the blogger is allegedly a former teacher for the Art of Living Foundation who now runs the blog “Beyond the Art of Living.”

Spiritual leader Ravi Shankar, who bears no relation to the renowned sitarist of the same name, founded the international nonprofit in 1981.

Skywalker’s blog allegedly claims that the Shankar’s methods cause physical harm to participants and that the foundation inflicts spiritual abuse on its members. Another critical blog is penned by “Klim.”

The foundation accused both of copyright infringement and exposing its trade secrets, but only Skywalker posted the text of the Breathe Water Sound Manual, a guide used to train teachers in the breathing exercises touted by Shankar.

U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh ruled Tuesday that the Art of Living Foundation in India produced no evidence that it ever received transfer of the copyright, as it claimed. Koh said the foundation’s “complete failure of proof” as to its ownership of the manual “renders all other facts immaterial.”

“The court is not persuaded by plaintiff’s attempt to rationalize its failure to produce evidence of either a written assignment or a written confirmatory memorandum, as is statutorily required to establish copyright ownership by way of transfer,” Koh wrote. “Plaintiff’s failure to come forward with evidence of a written assignment or of an oral assignment later confirmed in writing raises the inference that such evidence simply does not exist.”

“In sum, plaintiff has failed to put forth admissible evidence from which a reasonable jury could find that plaintiff either authored the Breathe Water Sound Manual or was assigned the rights to it,” Koh added. “Plaintiff has not made a showing sufficient to establish the existence of an element essential to its copyright infringement claim, and summary judgment must be granted in defendants’ favor.”

The foundation can pursue its trade secrets claim, however, since Koh rejected the bloggers’ motion under California’s anti-SLAPP (Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation) statute.

“Plaintiff has shown that its trade secret misappropriation claim has at least ‘minimal merit’ sufficient to overcome this anti-SLAPP motion, even if plaintiff may ultimately lose at trial after defendants have the benefit of further discovery,” she wrote.

While the bloggers argued that the foundation’s materials contained basic, well-known concepts of Hindu mysticism, Koh sided with the foundation in its argument that its teaching methods and processes are trade secrets.

“Although this evidence is scant at best, defendants have not presented evidence that clearly defeats Plaintiff’s assertion that its combination of teaching methods and processes are unique and novel,” Koh said.

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160 Comments
  1. VSS permalink
    May 10, 2012 9:56 am

    Astounding news! Skywalker’s achievement is absolutely phenomenal. The Art of Living Foundation in India, hopefully, learnt a precious lesson. I wonder why they thought they could sue someone for a copyright violation when they don’t have any evidence that “they received a transfer of the copyright”. What were they thinking? Even the evidence that “its combination of teaching methods are unique and novel” is “scant at best” and has only “minimal merit”. Anyway, this is a fantastic achievement and makes this blog even more significant than it was. I think this blog will inspire bloggers — across the board — in the future. This news should also silence those who condemn bloggers who post anonymously. What a day!

    • May 11, 2012 3:04 am

      Dear Skywalker and the Original creators of this BLOG…..

      Truth does prevail. Time does eventually side by the truth. Congratulations to all of us, who just shared what we know through the medium of the blog.

      http://www.copylaw.com/new_articles/trademrk.html

      Copyrights vs. Trademarks: Related but Different

      Copyrights and trademarks, which are sometimes confused, provide different forms of protection. Copyright law protects the way authors and artists express facts and ideas (but not the underlying facts and ideas). Unlike copyright law, trademark law protects names, titles, short phrases and other symbols that distinguish the source of one product (or service) from another. Trademarks — which are a form of commercial shorthand — are important in a marketing sense because they establish goodwill between a purchaser and seller. A service mark relates to services in the same way a trademark relates to products.

      Read the above definitions.

      If you read the above definition, clearly the SK and anything that AOL does cannot be Copyrighted for the following reasons

      1. They are not in anyway differentiated from other known forms and practice of pranayama and yoga

      2. See…the copyright ONLY protects the author’s way of expression (not the underlying ideas). Here, when you have 1000s of teachers who interpret and teacher in his/her own ways……how are you going to prove any violation of any copyright ?

      There is no real substance in AOL. All they are attempting to do is exploit for personal gain unhappy human beings that are shopping for happiness. The one GOOF that I repeatedly made in the many years that I was in AOL is that I never once attributed any hidden/private agenda to SSRS. (right until my personal AHA moment happened ….and accepted a portion of SSRS and AOL’s reality which I had been burying under the carpet). I believed and that he was my Master. His very existence was ONLY for my growth. In a broader perspective that may be true…..as I have realized my own spiritual essence much more after I left him. However, when you are in there with him he is using your innocence (even romantic notions about life in general) by twisting knowledge points that work only in his and his family’s favour. He really does not care about you as much as he says he does. When you stop being useful to him and stop being subservient…..all the magic will vanish along with the fake smiles.

      AOL tried to BULLY the bloggers. Just as Doc said, the main point was not the copyright issue. They attempted to use ANYTHING to get at the Bloggers without any serious thought on what would happen if they lose.

      So, further questions that it should throw up….to all existing devotees

      1. You have dedicated your lives to an ENLIGHTENED man who

      a. Filed in court on a bunch of ex-followers and lost out on a very simple issue.
      b. Does not even know if an assassination attempt was being made on him or not.
      c. Claims to have much knowledge by gets ripped apart in a PUBLIC debate with Dr Zakir Naik on facts that were published in his own book.
      d. Who makes claims that his is a charity organisation but can offer no proof.
      e. Claims to be a Spiritual Guru but is totally unconcerned about the hurt (direct and indirect) caused to his followers and ex-followers and their families.
      f. Is a defendant in several PUBLIC INTEREST LITIGATION cases that have to do with land grabbing from poor farmers near his Ashram in Bangalore.
      g. Aligns strongly with political parties with extreme ideologies. This no one can question, its an individual’s free will. However, when you claim that you are a Spiritual Guru and that you have millions of DEVOTED followers, where does this leave the freedom of political choice for the followers ?.
      h. Makes earthly predictions that fail and are even later seen to be absurd.
      i. Makes strong statements of affiliations (Nelson Mandela, Dalai Lama)) whenever it suits him.
      j. Misles you about facts (Adopted 30,000 villages, Nobel Peace Prize nominations)
      k. Openly Publishes untruths in his magazines (Dale Carnegie committed suicide !), which you without any verification, then go tom-tomming to your acquaintances.
      l. Plays on your ego (only the strong will stay the rest will leave).

      Dear existing devotee….your sanity / self esteem / image is being destroyed systematically. Can’t you see this …even a little glimpse ? I pray that you can…..

      The US legal system definitely saw through it.

      • Anonymous permalink
        May 11, 2012 12:25 pm

        IO What a great set of points. I hope it saves many people from drowning in the illusion of Art of Living and Ravi Shankar.

      • VSS permalink
        May 11, 2012 3:37 pm

        I pray too. I pray that people who are suffering have the courage to leave AoL. I also pray that if they have nowhere else to go, then, at least, life in AoL becomes a bit better. I pray a lot for those who are getting psychologically battered in AoL. May they be empowered by the truth. I wish them greater resilience. I so wish that they are not slighted any more by anyone in AoL. I hope they believe in themselves, see through whatever manipulation they’re being subjected to, and realize that they are adequate human beings who don’t need to depend anyone but themselves. I sincerely wish that they believe in the innate intelligence of all human beings and recognize their potential to triumph over any and every adversity on their own. God helps those who help themselves — I hope they help themselves.

  2. Robin permalink
    May 10, 2012 11:44 am

    Whoa! Is AOL a ‘spiritual’ organization? or simply a MNC obsessed with its petty business goals? Any more doubts people?

    • VSS permalink
      May 12, 2012 7:03 am

      I don’t have any more doubts. I so wish I could say the same about those who still think that AoL is a “spiritual” organization. They can’t see AoL fighting to prove it has “trade secrets”. It’s all about trade. It’s all about products. They are trying to prove that their business decreased because this blog gave negative reviews about their products. How can anyone buy this? If a movie critic who is read by a lot of people gave a bad review about a movie because of which a lot of people didn’t watch the movie and the movie lost business, would that critic be punished by the court? And, we all know critics go all out when they feel a movie is bad — they criticize the story, the direction, the performances etc. etc.

      Mr. Ravi Shankar made a movie called AoL. Some people who saw the movie thought it’s a pathetic movie. They posted their reasons on this blog — discussed a part of the story too (what else are the manuals?). So, some people got convinced and didn’t go watch Mr. Ravi Shankar’s movie. Don’t critics reveal the story of a film in their reviews? Don’t they refer to specific scenes and specific dialogues in their criticism. Big deal. It happens all the time. Nothing new about it. There’s really nothing to discuss. But in AoL, this is not so. In AoL, they’re still discussing if critics have a right to criticize. I was like that too. I understand. When I was severely brainwashed, I used to think AoL is beyond criticism too.

  3. Robin permalink
    May 10, 2012 11:47 am

    Oh and what a phenomenal job Skywalker! We all are with you. Just stay honest unlike AOL.

    • May 10, 2012 11:54 am

      Yes, stay honest and continue with the ethical bankruptcy of violating your personal trust because you get angry and therefore, like an adolescent mad at his parents, justify your dysfunctional behavior because you “feel like it.”

      • Robin permalink
        May 10, 2012 12:14 pm

        huh? why you so enraged Peter? I thought people into years of meditation rarely get angry at all… 😛

      • The Doctor permalink
        May 10, 2012 1:12 pm

        Peter,

        Anyone who has been following this case from the start knows full well that the reason Art of Living initiated this court case has NOTHING whatsoever to do with copyright infringement or publishing alleged trade secrets. It does however have EVERYTHING to do with silencing AoL’s critics, which is the entire reason behind the court case. We know it, they know, and anyone with any vague connection with this blog or with AoL knows it. Period.

        The bottom line is that AoL’s profits and membership over the last few years since these blogs started to appear on the internet have suffered drastically. It is most likely due to people discovering these blogs and gaining a more informed insight into AoL, but we cannot say for sure. Since AoL attributes the cause to these blogs anyway, obviously they want to do everything they possibly can to shut us down. Hence the court case.

        One thing most people haven’t forgotten is that AoL’s main line of attack through this court case was that this blog was publishing false, defamatory statements about AoL and RS. Now, if this really was true, surely AoL would have been able to produce sufficient evidence to counter much of what has been written in these blogs and clearly show that these blogs were being defamatory? However, AoL were unable to do this on a single charge they made, and as such the defamatory charge was quickly dropped.

        All they had left was this copyright infringement claim (now dismissed) and finally the trade secrets claim. And anyone who has ever seen any of the “manuals” in question will realize what a complete joke either of them really are. I’m sure the members of the court who have examined these materials in any detail have come to the similar conclusions.

        So no Peter, this has nothing to do with “ethical bankruptcy” concerning publishing of copyrighted materials or trade secerts. It is entirely about the money they are losing, nothing else.

      • VSS permalink
        May 10, 2012 6:32 pm

        @ drpetersutphen [May 10, 2012 11:54 am]

        That is merely your perspective. And, what I am about to express is merely my perspective.

        I find your perspective very strange. It would have to be a very dysfunctional set of parents who drag their dysfunctional teenager to court on the grounds of “ethical bankruptcy”. I don’t recall a single instance of this happening in India. I don’t recall reading about any instance of this in the United States either. Perhaps you are aware of several cases in which parents drag their adolescent children to court. I’m not.

        The fact of the matter is that no defamation as defined by law took place. Nor did any copyright violation take place. Whether or not a trade secret was revealed will be ascertained soon enough. I have tremendous respect for the American Judiciary. If you don’t, then too bad. Unfortunately, in the realm of mere mortals, the laws of the land apply.

        It is not enough for Mr. Ravi Shankar to say that he had a Divine Revelation which told him that Skywalker defamed him or violated copyright laws. Rational evidence is needed. Usually, when people sue people, they do so on the basis of rational evidence that is within the scope of the perception of an ordinary human being. “The transcendent element” doesn’t work in a court of law and so it didn’t work in this case. Mr. Ravi Shankar could not prove defamation or a copyright violation through “transcendent” evidence. I’m sorry that this has caused you pain. I truly am. I wish that you did not have to suffer. Believe it or not, I have been through this emotion that you’re experiencing just now. I know how it feels. I also know that you will overcome it soon and be enriched by the experience — no matter how painful it is.

        As far as I am concerned, Skywalker is not a dysfunctional adolescent. Neither is Mr. Ravi Shankar a dysfunctional parent. If you have proof to the contrary, please feel free to present it on the relevant forum. I think that it is important for you at this stage to follow your heart and see for yourself where it takes you. Experiential learning is the best sort of learning. Perhaps, it’s time you tested your beliefs and convictions. All of us do at one point or another and the result we predict is not necessarily the true one. Perspectives change — if it is time for them to.

        Also, I recall you dismissing my findings about Mr. Ravi Shankar as I haven’t met him but only seen several of his videos, interviews, and webcasts. Have you met Skywalker in person before forming an opinion about him? Or, is your opinion of him based on several of his videos, interviews, and webcasts? As far as I am aware, his anonymity has not been compromised so far. I don’t think you’ve met him or seen any footage of him. But I understand why this post upset you and you made strange comments about him. Today must be a truly painful day for you. I would suggest lots of rest and lots of music — if you like Western Classical Music — I’d recommend Vivaldi’s Four Seasons. There will be time tomorrow for reflection and contemplation. There always is. Take care, Sir. Life is the greatest Guru of all — it shall teach you all there is to know — as it teaches all human beings — when the time is right. Often, life is humbling too. But then there is no greater beauty than the beauty of humility. IMHO.

      • Anonymous permalink
        May 11, 2012 12:32 pm

        @Peter LOL! You could be addressing Ravi Shankar, not the blogmaster! He is acting like an adolescent, angry that people talked about him online, told his dirtly little secrets to some degree, so he tried to sue them. Ravi Shankar is morally and spiritually bankrupt. He has lots of money now, all taken from innocent people who thought they were giving to charity. Bully for him.

  4. May 10, 2012 11:50 am

    VSS and others, you’re saying that’s it’s perfectly okay to agree to keep a private teaching secret when you become a teacher and then later when you get mad at SSRS and the AOL to publish these teachings in the public domain? On what ethical ground do you stand when your word is no good; when you betray a trust? I’m actually really curious how anyone can justify how publishing spiritual private teaching material is somehow “good” and ethically justified.

    • Nithin permalink
      May 10, 2012 12:51 pm

      Is AOL and Ravi Ethical? collecting money in the name of Service and misusing, cornering people in the name of Guru story and false idea, standing against anti corruption in front of public and media and doing exatly opposit in the back ground, using the status of NGO and misusing the collected funds.. now in to polits to balance the crime and corrution done by th eorganisation, supproting political party.. are these ethics of Spiritual organisation or is these quality of a spiritual party.. how can i call him HH SS….? is he eligibile for that name… rather i trust Michle Jakson.
      Heard many celebrity turned to saint.. first time in history a Saint (called by himself) turned to Celebrity. How can i trust this crazy fellow & his movement?

      • Nithin permalink
        May 10, 2012 12:52 pm

        Guys appologies for the typo errors.

    • VSS permalink
      May 10, 2012 6:36 pm

      @ drpetersutphen [May 10, 2012 11:50 am]

      Just want to clarify that I am a solo entity — there are no “others”. There is no US Vs. Them at play here. I don’t know anyone who posts on this blog personally. As for the rest, I have said what I had to in another comment — link below:

      https://aolfree.wordpress.com/2012/05/10/blogger-flicks-copyright-claim-from-art-of-living/#comment-11755

    • Ronin permalink
      May 11, 2012 12:09 am

      Hi Peter,

      It is very simple really when you realize that how you are getting people to buy in to the organization and products read techniques is not done in an ethical way you become truthfull. It is not about because on et mad or wants to get even.

      Wouldn’t it be ethicall to say in the intro talk you will get a mantra it is not a meaningless word we will have to do a Puja which is a vedic ceremony explain what it means and is. Then say well you mantra will be choosen by these criteria your age being the most important one. And the ask would you still want to be initiated.

      If you are ethical and honest trust stays in balance.

      In this case trust have been breached from the get go by not being truthfull.

      Just my take on it do i have a problem disclosing it all not really I go through the day smiling and having fun.

  5. May 10, 2012 12:01 pm

    I’m trying to fully understand “transfer of copyright”. The court is saying that the AOL can not prove that Skywalker received “transfer of copyright” and therefore is not bound by the limitations of the copyright?

    • VSS permalink
      May 10, 2012 6:52 pm

      @ drpetersutphen [May 10, 2012 12:01 pm]

      “U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh ruled Tuesday that the Art of Living Foundation in India produced no evidence that it ever received transfer of the copyright, as it claimed.”

      It seems to me from the above that “it” is a reference to the Art of Living Foundation in India.

  6. Robin permalink
    May 10, 2012 12:07 pm

    @drpetersutphen

    I can’t speak for others but myself. As far as I’m concerned, I was never a teacher in AOL. To me, even when I was spiritual, the idea of being a teacher without even gaining the ‘experience’ seemed vague to say the least. Plus the attitude of most of the teachers (including RS) was contradictory to the essential teachings of AOL or the basic esoteric philosophy in general. But even then, whatever material I read, i found nothing ‘new’ in it. It was the same content twisted and presented in a different pattern to suit the needs of AOL.

    Read Patanjali Yoga Sutras, Ashtavakra Gita, Shiva Sutras or any ‘ancient text’ for example with the AOL commentaries and see critically how Ravi Shankar twists many of the verses and directs all towards SK, 3 stage pranayam, Sahaj Samadhi etc. Any innocent sincere student would think that all the ancient knowledge fits perfectly well with the AOL practices and that SK etc are really a revelation for the modern man which includes everything one needs to do to materialize the goals of ancient texts.

    But seriously, there’s nothing ‘new’ in AOL knowledge which can qualify as an intellectual property of Ravi Shankar. And the examples I gave are the revered texts. What to say about the teachers’ manuals and all.

    • May 11, 2012 1:43 pm

      Robin said, “Read Patanjali Yoga Sutras, Ashtavakra Gita, Shiva Sutras or any ‘ancient text’ for example with the AOL commentaries and see critically how Ravi Shankar twists many of the verses and directs all towards SK, 3 stage pranayam, Sahaj Samadhi etc.”

      Robin, I honestly don’t see that at all. In fact I was impressed that SSRS did not do that! MMY used to do this in his commentaries on the Bhagavad Gita and used to make me think certain commentaries were bit of a stretch at times trying to relate them back to TM. But I really don’t see SSRS doing this. If you have a particular commentary in mind, I’d love to see it.

  7. May 10, 2012 12:20 pm

    Robin said, “huh? why you so enraged Peter? I thought people into years of meditation rarely get angry at all…” Enraged? really? This is called projection, Robin. I’m asking a legitimate question regarding ethical bankruptcy that I’ve asked before and nobody seems able to answer other than avoiding the question as you have done.

    • StrongVolunteer permalink
      May 10, 2012 3:10 pm

      @ Peter.

      Wow I am enjoying the conversation when you are talking about ethics.

      Can you talk about ethical behaviour inside the AOL Please mostly financially here ?

    • Anonymous permalink
      May 11, 2012 12:46 pm

      Dr Peter,

      Your Guruji is ethically bankrupt. I have ethics. That is why I left Art of Living I refused to obey orders that were bordering on obscene, were sometimes illegal, and which disgusted me as a person raised to be kind and honest with others. So there is your answer from me. I don’t believe that the owner of this blog, nor posters on this blog, have an ethical problem. It’s Art of Living that lacks any kind of decent standard of ethics. Anything from beatings unreported to the police, to emotional abuse have occurred at the hands of Ravi Shankar and reported on this blog and another one mentioned. Read those reports if you want to understand who is unethical here. Ravi Shankar is not a spiritual man. He is parading around in a white dress, claiming to be something he is not. Go find out for yourself. Or if you already know the truth about him, why are you here defending him???

  8. Robin permalink
    May 10, 2012 12:23 pm

    Ok what is your basic problem with people here Peter. I guess we can talk?

  9. prairie princess permalink
    May 10, 2012 1:26 pm

    I had heard that the mantras used by AOL in Sahaj were the same as in TM. Did Ravi Ravi “steal” these from TM? Maybe the law suits aren’t done yet?

    • Robin permalink
      May 10, 2012 4:05 pm

      @ princess
      yes, the mantras in Sahaj are the same as in TM. But the fact is that even the TM mantras are nothing but some of the beej mantras used by meditators earlier. Seems like all the gurus have blindly copied and twisted the so called knowledge of the previous gurus to earn some bucks without even knowing what they are dealing with actually. haha

      • May 11, 2012 8:21 am

        Just google Beej Mantra and you will find tons of sites which have them .. its a pretty standard thing in the science of mantras .. yes one hs to keep their mantra secret .. this is a standard practice .. Radha Swami Satsang Beas also is based on beej mantra meditation .. its a fairly common thing .. nothing new really in India . just that MMY & Sri Sri have branded this technique and given it a name .. But in most places like Radha Swami etc this mantra is given for no monetary charge and is given by the Guru himself to the millions of disciples ..

      • May 11, 2012 1:38 pm

        Robin, they actually are not the same. Sure, they are bija mantras, but not the same as in TM.

      • Original Anonymous permalink
        May 11, 2012 4:58 pm

        Sure, they are bija mantras, but not the same as in TM.

        I guess the method of using the mantras is different. So I guess you are right about this.

      • VSS permalink
        May 12, 2012 8:51 am

        @ Robin [May 10, 2012 4:05 pm]

        You’re right. A beej mantra is like a root word from which many new words can originate. The new words are not equivalent to the root word. The root word is the root. It belongs to everybody. It may be taught in different ways. But those different ways do not change the primacy of the root word.

        At the heart of all that AoL, TM etc. etc. teach is Hinduism. Hinduism doesn’t belong to any single person nor ever will. The delusional can stop dreaming about copyrighting Hinduism. Their dream will not come true. It cannot. The delusional are simply entertaining delusions of grandeur. I understand. I did too when I was in my severely brainwashed state. I thought AoL’s contorted and distorted and “twisted” interpretation of Hinduism is Hinduism. Now I know, it is far removed from Hinduism. Hinduism, in its worst form, is not a personification of delusions of grandeur. It’s not as crude, as unaesthetic, as materialism-oriented, and as conversion-centric etc. etc. as is being projected by these pseudo spiritual “gurus” and their ilk. IMHO.

  10. Hari permalink
    May 10, 2012 3:57 pm

    Salutes to Skywalker! We must persevere to expose this business in the name of spirituality further. Sure someday the AOL is gonna buckle under the pressure and gonna use muscle power to bring something harmful to us, but, when that happens, its only gonna expose the true colors of this cult-business

    • Nithin permalink
      May 10, 2012 4:23 pm

      Muscle power started, those who leaves AOL from core team they are well monitored and also they trace the people and give all sort of trouble indirectly using stupid followers, these are done majorly by our sad swamy and team, as usual AOL’s first step is to defame the left member with Morals they are good at it and having good exeperiance in doing this with Swami Nithayananda, Swami Suhkchaithanya and some good senior teachers in India who left from core team. Another ways are playing with job security..etc, all these thinks are done indirectly so no one knows the real culprits. Finally the message to other core members are “see he is going through the bad karma of Gurudhroha(working against Guru)” so please be carefull. So all will be afraid and will allign. How can we call this organisation “humanirtarian” do they have 10% of that?

      • Nithin permalink
        May 10, 2012 4:27 pm

        Guruji’s Message in TRM
        All week people will leave organization, only strong people will remain. (Good tactics to hols the followers Mr. Ravi)
        In my opinion only strong will leave and the week onces will remain.

      • May 11, 2012 8:27 am

        @Nithin .. who is Swami Nithyananda? I heard about Swami Sukhchaitanya .. but are you confusing the Nithyananda of the sex scandal as a AoL teacher or is this some different Nithyananda you are talking about?

      • Nithin permalink
        May 11, 2012 11:22 am

        @Original Anonymous
        I am talking about NON AOL Nithyananda (as you refered as Sex scandle guy). According to my understanding (only mine)Behind these AOL has hand. After this event Ravi tried his level best to absorb his organization, unfortunatly nothing worked, the shooting incident has a connection with this…

    • Anonymous permalink
      May 11, 2012 2:58 pm

      @ Peter Stuphen,

      you said “Robin, they actually are not the same. Sure, they are bija mantras, but not the same as in TM.”

      The Bija mantras, be they in TM or otherwise, are standard bija mantras, sanskrit sounds, associated with various ‘deities’, and combined by various swamis in various ways, and given as mantra. There can be no trademark, legal secret, or copyright on such things. It is a sin that Art of Living and others have tried to trademark or copyright that which has been in place in India for thousands of years. It’s ridiculous. It’s like saying they have copyrighted or trademarked “God”.

  11. Anonymous permalink
    May 10, 2012 4:04 pm

    I wonder how are enlightened Guru has taken this. I wish good luck to all the people close to him 😉

  12. Jr. permalink
    May 10, 2012 4:08 pm

    Wow, what an interesting post! I remember reading a long time ago that there was some confusion as to if Sudarshan Kriya was ever really copyrighted. This is a HUGE victory for this blog and Skywalker in overcoming AOL’s attempt of trying to shut down this blog with BS claims.

    @ Peter – “On what ethical ground do you stand when your word is no good; when you betray a trust?” … If this is what you believe, then AOL has little ground itself to stand on. AOL has betrayed the trust of many former teachers and members.

    • Anonymous (aka drpetersutphen) permalink
      May 10, 2012 8:34 pm

      Again, nobody answers my question. If you believe that the AOL is guilty of financial impropriety that is one thing. But how does that justify violating an agreement you made to keep certain teachings private? What is the relationship between the two? I don’t see any. Skywalker was angry at AOL and published private teaching material that he had agreed to keep private out of, I assume, spite.

      • The Doctor permalink
        May 10, 2012 9:50 pm

        That isn’t a question anyone can answer – except Skywalker.

        You are of course welcome to make any assumptions you like in the mean time, but then isn’t this just “projection”?

      • Ronin permalink
        May 10, 2012 11:44 pm

        I agree only Skywalker can answer this question But let me try to take a stab at it(no pun intended)

        Not sure if you went to TTC but the moment you are deemed fit and worthy to get the tape you are so far gone (read the ttc experiences), that your normal discriminating capability is thrown out just like the bathwater with they baby. In other words you don’t care what you have to sign if you did cause you made it others did not and you saw how devestated they were.

        So you start to teach all in good faith and trust that what your doing is giving people a technique that will save their lives and the world. Trusting the Guru and his devine concoction.

        After time you start seeing that some people have bad experiences and you have a doubt you start also seeing certain behaviors of senior teachers and you go wow that is not in line with what we were taught. When you bring it up you are berated and ridiculed you have no faith in the master. This goes on until a match strikes up this flame and burns through it all. You read your notes and the strange directions, you look at the hard selling and realize it is about the numbers you actually wake up and say enough it stops here. The trust i had in the guru and his Org was totaly misplaced.

        Now you could stop teaching flush the tape or let it gather some dust, and thats it life goes on. But what about all the people that trusted you as a teacher. Those you thaught who are having all these not so blissfull experiences dont you have a obligaton to them. And what about future participants should they not have a fair presentation of what they are getting into.

        Their never was a buyer be aware or consumer review on AOL.

        Now there is and it started with these Blogs.

      • Dayalu permalink
        May 11, 2012 3:50 am

        As a former AOL teacher I can vouch for it. No agreement of any sort was taken from me before dictating the ‘Kriya Notes’ not while giving the course manual. This was early last decade. Things may have changed later.

      • VSS permalink
        May 11, 2012 5:39 am

        @ Anonymous [May 10, 2012 8:34 pm]

        “In sum, plaintiff has failed to put forth admissible evidence from which a reasonable jury could find that plaintiff either authored the Breathe Water Sound Manual or was assigned the rights to it,” Koh added. “Plaintiff has not made a showing sufficient to establish the existence of an element essential to its copyright infringement claim, and summary judgment must be granted in defendants’ favor.”

        The Judge has answered your question. The plaintiff (AoL India) could not prove that they had authored the Breathe Water Sound Manual or that the plaintiff was assigned rights to it. Therefore, there was no copyright violation.

        For instance, I don’t own the copyright of the book The Little Prince. So, if you post the book on your blog, I cannot drag you to court and say that you indulged in copyright infringement. The court will say to me “prove that you own copyright”. If I don’t have any proof, it means I don’t have copyright. If I don’t have copyright, I cannot falsely claim that you indulged in copyright infringement. My claim will be dismissed.

        In the case of AoL India Vs Skywalker, AoL India doesn’t have proof of copyright. So, they don’t have copyright. So, they are in no position to allege that anyone indulged in copyright infringement — not just Skywalker — anyone.

        What you are doing is the same thing. You don’t own the copyright of the Breathe Water Sound Water Manual but you are alleging that Skywalker is responsible for infringement.

        Do you own the copyright of the said manual? No, you don’t. Therefore, you are in no position to allege anything.

        First AoL India makes “spiritual claims” and claims they cannot be proved.

        Then, AoL India makes copyright claims which it cannot prove.

        What can AoL India prove?

        Can it only claim?

      • Anonymous permalink
        May 11, 2012 12:28 pm

        I don’t know about Skywalker, but I was never asked to sign anything. I was told that the tape was sacred, and not to copy it, but then was told (by Ravi Shankar himself) to make two copies for teaching, in case one got destroyed when I was travelling and teaching for him. When I asked if the sacredness would be lost if I copied it like that, he said not to worry about it and it didn’t matter “in my case”. So sacredness appeared to be case by case? Ridiculous. Things may have changed since I was teaching, but I never signed a thing.

      • May 11, 2012 1:22 pm

        TheDoctor said, “You are of course welcome to make any assumptions you like in the mean time, but then isn’t this just “projection”?”

        Of course we don’t know what Skywalker’s motivation was. Heck, he may not even fully understand his own motivation! That is why I used the word “presume”. I doubt Skywalker is posting to this blog as long as there is a court case going on, so we can’t know right now. But the motivation of “to protect others from AOL” that some have put forth always has a bit of a hollow ring to me. Most people, if disappointed in something, just walk away from it. If you have deeply psychologically invested in it, then certainly it takes time. Vindictive behavior, which is how I see most, but not all of this
        blog, or villainizing your former “lover” does not resolve the psychological conflict.

    • May 11, 2012 1:35 pm

      Jr said, “AOL has betrayed the trust of many former teachers and members.”

      First, that is quite open to argument. I’ll only believe first hand accounts of this which I see very few of on this blog. Second, your post implies that if one member of a party “betrays trust” then you are allowed to betray trust too. I know many people think this way, but I’ve never understood it. If my wife cheats on me, then I am allowed to cheat too? No, I might dissolve the marriage, but I would maintain my commitment of trust not to cheat while married. To not maintain that commitment moves me off of any ethical/moral high ground. I can’t complain about my wife cheating if I’m doing it too even if only in reaction to her cheating! This is what I see Skywalker doing, not in his gripes regarding AOL and SSRS, but in his publishing of the teachings of AOL. As soon as he published the teaching materials he moved off of any defensible moral/ethical high ground and became a vindictive “apostate” set on revenge.

      • Anonymous permalink
        May 11, 2012 2:59 pm

        methinks the doctor doth protest too much………

      • Anonymous permalink
        May 11, 2012 3:00 pm

        and by “doctor” I meant Dr. Peter…methinks Dr. Peter doth protest too much………..

      • Anonymous permalink
        May 11, 2012 3:10 pm

        Gee, Dr. Peter, what decade are you living in? you said: “Most people, if disappointed in something, just walk away from it.” Seems to me people review just about everything they buy. Every product is reviewed online with positive and negative reviews. Art of Living and Ravi Shankar have made his “brand” of spirituality a product. Why shouldn’t we post our reviews, based on our own experience to warn others not to buy?

      • VSS permalink
        May 11, 2012 7:16 pm

        @ Anonymous [May 11, 2012 3:10 pm]

        You said it and brilliantly at that. That’s really at the heart of this entire AoL business — they sell spirituality like a product but they are feedback-averse and review-averse. It is Mr. Ravi Shankar who reduced spirituality to this. I’m sure God didn’t say at the time of the “Divine Revelation” that he should reduce it to a “Divine Trade”. He thinks he can prove that his “trade secrets” have been revealed. Maybe he is referring to all the tools and techniques deployed for severe psychological manipulation — that sure is one of the tricks of his trade. Maybe he is referring to the practice of “Sankalp”. Maybe he is referring to how they never caution people about the side-effects of SK etc. etc. Maybe he is referring to all the unholy tactics deployed by AoL to trap people that have been documented on this blog. The biggest trade secret of them all is his “enlightenment” claim. That’s what started his trade in the first place.

      • Jr. permalink
        May 11, 2012 8:51 pm

        Dr. Peter,

        You touch on an interesting argument. I don’t believe it’s one of those topics that is easy to say who is right and wrong. To answer one of your questions about two wrongs, I would say “no” in most cases. And eye for an eye doesn’t accomplish anything.

        However I don’t believe this is the case with the people sharing “secret” information of AOL on this blog. The reason is that bringing some of these AOL secrets to light has served as a valuable warning to others in what the organizations true intentions are, which are not often good or for the benefit of the students. As a better example, if someone was stealing from your friends of yours, but this person asked you to keep it a secret on trust, would you allow this person to keep stealing? Also, when you consider the nature of asking others to keep secrets, it’s often about something that doesn’t benefit a certain group of people. That is why secrets are often needed – to take advantage of others.

        You also say… I’ll only believe first hand accounts of this which I see very few of on this blog”

        I don’t know how many is a “few” to you, but I’ve counted dozens of stories people have shared. And why does the number matter anyway? Does a few people telling the truth make it less truthful or right? What is right is not always popular.

  13. Tahir-ul-Qadri permalink
    May 10, 2012 5:06 pm

    Will the owners of this blog make the training materials available in the public domain ?, based on this court verdict.

  14. May 10, 2012 10:26 pm

    It is HHRV’s birthday on May 13, meaning this Sunday.

    What a gift for him, this Court verdict !

    • Prakash permalink
      May 11, 2012 4:12 am

      BTW: When I joined AoL way back in 1996, we were told by AoL teacher Manisha Mehta (Mumbai) that a special ‘50% discount’ was being offered to us due to B’day celebration of Guruji. To get the discount we had to act fast and enroll before the weekend. However I clearly remember that the month was September – not May.

      I still do not know if she was herself in dark or lied purposefully to intensify her sales pitch.

    • Anonymous permalink
      May 11, 2012 12:38 pm

      Dear Mr. Gernier,

      You seem like a nice person, outside of the Art of Living Grip, just a concerned neighbor. I would like you to know that in my opinion, Ravi Shankar started out as a real yogi, wanting to help people get enlightenment. Unfortunately, over the years, he fell prey to name and fame and craving for more and more money. The people following him today don’t know that, for the most part, and those who do know it are “stuck” having given up their careers and lives years ago to serve their “master”. I pray that this “present” for Ravi Shankar’s birthday will cause him to dissolve Art of Living, take the money that has enriched his previously poor family and give it to villages in India, as it was intended in the first place, and retreat himself to the Himalayas to do more meditation, and renounce his greediness and cruelty. He might decide to keep a small portion of the money to provide a place for teachers who gave up their lives for him, to accompany him to those mountains. Maybe they will all get enlightened, finally. Any teachers who don’t wish to lead that type of life should just go get a job in the world and work. This is my prayer for Ravi Shankar and his close associates. You should pity them not hate them. But you should be realistic about the damage they have done and are doing.

  15. Adyut permalink
    May 11, 2012 12:06 am

    Harshal – don’t be to sad. Life goes on.

    • Anonymous permalink
      May 11, 2012 6:48 am

      This needs urgent scrutiny

      http://www.zdnet.com/blog/india/court-directs-google-to-take-down-blog-against-cult-leader/1059

      http://indiankanoon.org/doc/121103864/

      http://srisriravishankarisguruorconman.blogspot.in/

      This indeed is very interesting timing.

      In the above mentioned BLOG which AOL has taken to court, the language and the references + content are so crazy, unclear and not readable…let alone understandable. Why did AOL even take this guy to court ? Who if ever was going to even read his blog ?

      Qns) Is this a decoy from the Master to tell the world he now has an restraining order against THE BLOG and not mention which BLOG !!!!. Create so much confusion that no one knows what is real anymore.

      So, why not create / instigate another BLOG………sue the hell of your own work…….make an example to the rest of the AOL world about BLOGGING against them in general. Also, anyone that access the above referenced BLOG will assume all BLOGs are this crazy.

      I used to know this guy Jitender Bagga…. (the email id matches). He was not at a coherent thinker or communicator some 10-12 years ago. He went for TTC to the ashram and was not made a teacher. I am not sure what happened to him after that.

      Gautam Vig one of the trustees named in the filing used to hang around with Swami Sukhchaitanya a lot in yesteryears.

  16. May 11, 2012 8:03 am

    To be fair to Dr Peter and to the AoL the above is not really a final verdict its just an inability to prove copyright . and it ws more of a technicality due to which the verdict went in favor of the blog .. as we all know tht AoL India does indeed have a copyright on the BW Manual just that they could nt prove it in court as their representatives didn’t knw what to say ..

    it does not mean much there is still further evidence to be given .. court hs given AoL 7 days to submit evidence that the matter posted on this blog were trade secrets .. if they manage to prove it .. then surely the blog owners can be looking at a fine .. or may be a minor imprisonment .. i m nt sure about the US laws so whatever the thing is .. Also the Judge rejected the defence(blog owner’s) contention that a spiritual and not for profit organization is not entitled to any trade secrets .. so it really isn’t that much a one sided verdict anyhow .. its just a winding up of a hearing .. the final judgement is yet to be declared .. plus there are other aspects of the case which are to be discussed i.e. yes plus manual, basic course manual etc etc .. there is a lot more of the case to be fought and things could tilt in any one’s favor .. . but as per the case notes AolF hs taken back their defamation charge .. I dunno why?

    Also one important thing which is mentioned tht the court has their sympathy towards the defence (blog owners) as they are a weaker party in the case more likely to be a victim ..

    • The Doctor permalink
      May 11, 2012 10:09 am

      OA,

      FYI:

      “There can be no claim for statutory damages or attorney fees, because plaintiff did not even apply to register the copyright [of the Breath Water Sound manual] until several years after it was first published, and two months after the infringement ceased.

      Source: http://cyberslapp.org/documents/DN96-1AmicusBriefSupportingObjections.pdf, page 20.

      Regarding the defamation charge, I’ve already commented on that to my response to Peter here.

      And of course the court has sympathy towards the blog owners, they can clearly see Art of Living for what it really is.

      • May 11, 2012 1:09 pm

        The Doctor said, “And of course the court has sympathy towards the blog owners, they can clearly see Art of Living for what it really is.”

        Yes, a large international organization suing an individual.

      • VSS permalink
        May 12, 2012 5:05 am

        An extract from the last order:

        “That said, the Court is sympathetic to Defendants’ frustration with Plaintiff’s protracted failure to identify its own purported trade secrets in a manner sufficient to allow discovery to proceed. Notwithstanding Plaintiff’s attempt, in its ATSD, to designate with reasonable particularity those portions of Plaintiff’s Manuals and Teaching Notes that comprise Plaintiff’s trade secrets, Plaintiff now seeks to withdraw that designation and re-designate its trade secrets, in light of new evidence not previously known to Plaintiff’s counsel that AOLF-US requires its students, in addition to its teachers, to sign confidentiality agreements. While the Court will allow Plaintiff to serve a second amended trade secret disclosure within seven (7) days of the date of this Order, the Court hereby puts Plaintiff on notice that this is its final opportunity to amend its trade secret designations with particularity.”

        As you can tell, the Plaintiff (AoL) has repeatedly failed in identifying “its own purported trade secrets”.

        Therefore, the court is beginning to see AoL for what it is.

        It’s not enough for Mr. Ravi Shankar to tell the Judge to “doubt the doubt”.

        Neither is it enough for Dr. Peter to tell the Judge that if she hasn’t met Mr. Ravi Shankar in person and experienced “the transcendent element”, then she cannot make any observations about Mr. Ravi Shankar or his organization.

        I wonder if AoL’s lawyers told the Judge to try SK before passing any further orders. Perhaps they feel that to know AoL’s trade secrets (which cannot be proved thus far), she should at least visit the Bangalore Ashram and do the Part 1 course.

    • May 11, 2012 1:07 pm

      OA, apparently copyright law is a little more complex than simply publishing, owning and using a manual and not having that establish “copyright”. I think Skywalker might have problems with mounting a defense against trade secret infringement especially when they move into the SK course material.

      • Original Anonymous permalink
        May 11, 2012 1:51 pm

        I think Skywalker might have problems with mounting a defense against trade secret infringement especially when they move into the SK course material.

        Agreed.

        OA, apparently copyright law is a little more complex than simply publishing, owning and using a manual and not having that establish “copyright”

        Like I mentioned that it ws more of a technicality, not being able to prove copyright does not amount to not having copyright.

  17. Anonymous permalink
    May 11, 2012 3:02 pm

    I hope that Skywalker has no problem defeating this attack lawsuit on him/her. The very fact that Ravi Shankar and Art of Living is suing proves that it is a simple business and has nothing to do with spirituality. Do they own yoga techniques and God? He didn’t invent these breathing techniques. If he is so confident on his huge impact on the world, why does he need to sue?

    • VSS permalink
      May 12, 2012 9:09 pm

      Precisely. Why does he need to drag anyone to court if he is confident. He’s not confident. He is diffident and insecure. He is stressed out and not at peace at all. What was the need to fight like this? It’s nothing but a display of rage fueled by the devotion to materialism. He lost sleep over losing money because of negative reviews on this blog. How can he claim greatness if he cannot tolerate a few critics?

      • mjgrenier permalink
        May 12, 2012 10:16 pm

        Who gave him his title of ” His Holiness ” ?

      • The Doctor permalink
        May 13, 2012 6:44 am

        The same person who gave him the title “Sri Sri”: he did.

        You can read all about it right here: https://aolfree.wordpress.com/2010/06/02/his-holiness-titles-lineage if you’re interested.

      • mjgrenier permalink
        May 13, 2012 4:57 pm

        Thank you for your answer, Doctor, about the source of his title.

        One of my friends came to see me, yesterday, and he said there is around 1 000 people there, each day, having paid a minimum of $350 up to $1 000 each for the teachings, meaning Ravi could maybe reap around $1 000 000 from his visit.

        The new “temple” (180′ X 100′) each level, on 2 levels, costed AOL more than $4 000 000, according to some sources, and AOL had to get a mortgage from the Royal Bank.

        And the works are not completed yet so they need a lot of money.

  18. VSS permalink
    May 11, 2012 4:44 pm

    “Copyright is the ownership of an intellectual property within the limits prescribed by a particular nation’s or international law.”

    Copyright is a technical concept — not a philosophical or spiritual or abstract concept. Copyright is a technicality and only a technicality. There is no non-technical dimension of copyright. No one can claim to have a copyright over something if they didn’t follow the relevant law. If AoL created the material and did not follow the law to copyright it, then they did not copyright it. Simple. First they didn’t copyright it. Then, they claimed copyright infringement. AoL made a false claim. If AoL’s claim was true, they would have produced evidence of following the copyright law — they did not follow the law.

    Unfortunately, AoL’s laws are not applicable internationally. In AoL, it is enough to claim — proof is not needed. Enlightenment is claimed — proof is not needed. Charity is claimed — proof is not needed. Originality is claimed — proof is not needed.

    Yes, AoL does practice and preach the art of claiming without proving. No doubt about that — that they have proved — they indeed aggressively claim what they have no proof for.

  19. Freedom Found permalink
    May 11, 2012 6:43 pm

    In the previous TRM at the Bangalore ashram, this incident took place.
    A teacher was complaining about how the secretariat treats teachers badly, and even makes them wait and does not allow them to meet RS , even when they bring some dignitaries with them to meet SSRS.
    While SSRS was watching all the happenings on his CCTV in his room, came to the session later and told all the teachers publicly, that ” when a child grows up, after some time change is not possible, similarly this organisation is 25 years old and hence will not change, if you can accept his ,be here ,else the doors are open for all of you to leave”

    The audacity of this man!!
    Also clearly shows where he gets his psychic powers from.!!

    This poor teacher after the Session went and fell at RS’s feet and apologized for his words . Poor Guy had no other choice as he is a full time teacher and is fully dependent on RS for his lively hood.

    • Jr. permalink
      May 11, 2012 9:00 pm

      That is tragic indeed.

      The one question I had to ask myself at a point was “what do I really gain out of seeing SSRS in person?” and “Why is this so important to my development?” I eventually realized I was chasing nothing but a little high of energy that would quickly go away until the next time. This is why others have compared this to a drug. You get some energy from the crowd and perhaps the excitement and the guru, but you are left no different afterwards, but with only a belief that you need to continue to do this more and more to achieve “something.”

    • Dayalu permalink
      May 11, 2012 9:34 pm

      I remember a recent TRM in the US, when he was scolding everyone in a similar tone. He was essentially stating that he could do all this by himself and did not need any of the teachers to ‘spread the knowledge’. He implied that he was doing everyone a big favor by giving them the chance to teach this ‘precious knowledge’.

      • Nithin permalink
        May 14, 2012 9:29 am

        Then let him do by himself, why he is asking forcing teachers to spread the so called “His Divine Knowledge”
        Why is he so much worried about the copy right, why is so concerned about Nithyananda’s growth, why he is going behind Politicians in India
        is this called “The Elightened Business by SSRS”

    • Anonymous permalink
      May 13, 2012 11:26 am

      He was saying the same thing in the TRM at bangalore ashram in 2010. We were asked to come up with the flaws in the organisation and the things that we we didn’t like about the organisation. Several teachers came out with their complaints about the organisation. At the end of the session he came and concluded that this organisation has been existing for so many years, it has been like this and it will not change.

      • VSS permalink
        May 13, 2012 3:31 pm

        If it won’t change, then it’ll go down the drain. That’s what happens to every organization that doesn’t receive, process, and incorporate feedback. If it won’t change, it’ll only symbolize resistance to change, resistance to evolution, and stagnation. People will feel stranded in it because it’s stagnating. So sad. I so wish it would bring about at least some reforms.

  20. Anonymous permalink
    May 11, 2012 10:15 pm

    I just read a news article about Jitender Bagga. Anyone can furnish details of his blog?

  21. The Doctor permalink
    May 11, 2012 11:02 pm

    Peter,

    You said, “First, that is quite open to argument. I’ll only believe first hand accounts of this which I see very few of on this blog.”

    If you sincerely want proof, I would ask you to consider the following:

    Shortly after the inception of this blog, a link was posted to a copy of the Sudarshan Kriya tape which someone had leaked on the internet. Now, I happened to download it, but at the time I was still convinced that the tape wouldn’t work without the presense of a teacher. This is after all what we were all led to believe, that the tape requires the “Guru’s Grace” to “flow” through a trained teacher.

    How surprised do you think I was when I finally tried the tape and discovered that I still received the same effects as when a teacher was present? How on earth was the “grace” getting to me if I was in a room by myself practicing SK?

    Well, this confirmed to me what a scam the whole thing really is. You ask for proof, I’m giving you the proof here and now. The tape works, I have tried it, countless others have tried it. How on earth do you explain this? Or more importantly how do you explain why Art of Living outright LIE to everyone with that ludicrous story about the tape?

    I have raised this question on the blog on so many occasions and no one from AoL has been able to come up with an answer. It always gets ignored, and I have a feeling you’re going to do the same.

    Now you talk about “ethics”. So I ask you, is it “ethical” to enslave people by lying to them in this manner, to keep people coming back to Long kriya sessions, to sell them more courses and so on? Is it ethical to lie to people and tell them that in order for them to receive the “Guru’s Grace” they need to spend thousands of dollars to become teachers, and only then will they have the tape? If these things are unethical then was the person who leaked the tape on the internet, who was doing a tremendous service in exposing all these manipulations, really being unethical?

    That tape which was leaked on the internet presents us with CONCRETE PROOF clearly showing what a complete scam Art of Living really is. Proof Peter, not hearsay. Hard, solid, concrete evidence. I’m giving it to you here and now. You and God knows how many countless others continue to ask for it.

    Whether or not you are willing to accept it of course is a completely different matter. But please stop asking for proof when we have on so many occasions tried to give it to you and you just turn a blind eye. And we both know this isn’t the first time you’ve done this.

    • The Seer permalink
      May 12, 2012 6:08 am

      The Doctor said,

      I have raised this question on the blog on so many occasions and no one from AoL has been able to come up with an answer. It always gets ignored…

      No one from AoL will come up with an answer to this. If any of those staunch supporters of AoL can answer this, if they can really see through this, they won’t remain with AoL anymore. Seriously, I think drugging people with weekly kriya is AoL’s primary way of hooking people. As long as you are drugged, you won’t be able to see the truth, you’ll come up with all kinds of justifications. Only when you unhook yourself and can see all of it from the outside, you’ll be able to see things as they are.

    • Anonymous permalink
      May 12, 2012 1:57 pm

      This is correct Doctor, and I had the same experience. I copied the original of my teacher’s tape (was told to because I was travelling and teaching) and all the tapes had the same effect. There was nothing special about the “special” tape. All the tapes were the same.

  22. Anonymous permalink
    May 13, 2012 7:25 pm

    Hi everyone, What a perfect birthday gift!!! SOUTHAMERICAN COUNTRIES ARE DISCUSING AN ANTI-CULT LAW THESE DAYS. THERE ARE MILLIONS OF VICTIMS OF SEVERAL CULTS, BUT IF THERE IS ONE WHICH HAS DISGUISED ITSELF VERY CLEVERLY IS AOL. WOULD IT BE POSSIBLE FOR SOMEONE FROM SOME OTHER CONTINENT TO OPEN A FACEBOOOK PROFILE IN SPANISH CALLED “SECTA EL ARTE DE VIVIR”? MANY VOLUNTEERS WILL THEN TRANSLATE THE PRICELESS CONTENTS OF YOUR BRAVE AND WONDERFUL BLOG. I CANNOT DO IT MYSELF CAUSE I`M NOT FAMILIAR WITH INTERNET TECHNOLOGY, I FEAR OF BEING TRACED AND RUIN THE PROJECT… THOUSANDS OF EX AOLERS WILL REGAIN THEIR GUTS AND WILL CONTRIBUTE TO YOUR BRAVE AWARENES WITH THEIR TESTIMONIES… CAN SOMEONE HELP US?
    ALSO, ¿HOW CAN I MAKE OF THIS REQUEST AN INDIVIDUAL POST INSIDE THIS BLOG? BLESSINGS AND GRATTITUDE!!!

    • The Doctor permalink
      May 13, 2012 8:41 pm

      Hi Anonymous,

      Does it have to be a Facebook group? Is it possible for someone to start a similar blog to this one but in Spanish and then translate various posts from this one?

      • Anonymous permalink
        May 13, 2012 10:50 pm

        Hi Doc! Facebook profiles are very very popular in this side of the planet but maybe you guys are right, maybe a blog is safer, I don´t know…. and regarding translations, I`ve been translating a good deal of this blog and shared it, and I`m sure that -as soon as the latin spoken ex-aolers find out- the new place with your translated testimony will encourage them to speak their hearts too and will collaborate in the translations, so do not worry about that- unless some of you guys are spanish-spoken 😉 Namaste!

    • VSS permalink
      May 14, 2012 8:34 am

      Great going, SOUTH AMERICAN COUNTRIES …

      May you lead the way… may others follow you… and soon…

      It’s time for Mr. Ravi Shankar to start packing his bags — it’s just a matter of a few more years now — AoL has caused enough damage to enough number of people. Those who doubt the damaging effects of AoL should stop thinking about those who have been harmed as some sort of “collateral damage”. Whoever has been harmed is a human being — a living, thinking, breathing human being — worthy of compassion and respect. So, dear AoL overreactors, please do reflect and try to ascertain if it’s possible that what happened to others could happen to you. If you think you have special immunity, take a look at the definitions of dangerous cults — see if when a law is in place against them — you will still have immunity.

      See for yourself if what you believe in is worthy of believing in. Decide independently. Rewind to an episode of KBC — when one could see how people “felt nice” around Amitabh Bachchan. Determine for yourself if that “feeling” is evidence of “enlightenment” or not. Check on the internet if the names of 30,000 villages that AoL has helped exists or not. Calculate. Is it really 1000 villages a year? Did rural development really take place? What was the AoL project and what was its scope? Did money come from volunteers or did it come from course fees?

      Investigate if Mr. Ravi Shankar actually has the degrees he claims. Ask yourself if he couldn’t get one copyright in order because he cares for the “humanitarian organization” that he runs or because he doesn’t care for the sham that he runs. Check out his explanation for this blog — is it really a blog that has been started by someone suffering from bi polar depression? Are all those posting here people who suffer from bi polar depression ? Figure out why the Judge didn’t think so. Trust only your innate intelligence. Reflect, contemplate, introspect, meditate — and share what you find out in this blog — because there’s no AoL blog you could share your findings in. AoL doesn’t care for you or for your voice. You are just a part of the din that Mr. Ravi Shankar needs to fill large halls. I was too and I am not any more. That’s how I know.

      • Mr Potato Head (aka drpetersutphen) permalink
        May 14, 2012 5:15 pm

        So, VSS, you were part of “the din” that SSRS needed to fill large halls. Correct me if I’m wrong, but you have never taken a single AOL class in anything. Is that correct?

      • The Doctor permalink
        May 14, 2012 6:44 pm

        @Peter,

        Whilst I don’t really mind you posting under different Ids, I’ve noticed a distinct pattern every time you’ve done this in the past. You would make a few comments on the blog under a particular Id, and then as soon as someone asked you something which would effectively prove what you are saying is false, you would quickly disappear and then resurface at a later point under a different Id. That’s all very well, but there are a few outstanding questions on this blog which have been posed directly to you which you are yet to answer. They were stated directly in response to things you yourself have said on this blog, and in all cases you have completely ignored them.

        Of these, there are actually two accounts which really stand out for me which I’d like to draw your attention to again if I may.

        The first of these was raised in the post Debunking Guruji’s Grace – Part 2 under the section titled “Spontaneous Healing”. There were some very good points raised in that post, and although you were invited to comment at the time – it was after all you who was posting under the Id “Quaff the Koolaid Lads!” – sadly we never heard anything from you again on that.

        Then when you recently resurfaced, I left the following comment for you:
        https://aolfree.wordpress.com/2012/05/10/blogger-flicks-copyright-claim-from-art-of-living/#comment-11819 which again you didn’t respond to.

        You said in one recent comment “It is also in my nature to debate and argue.” If this was really true, I’m very surprised we didn’t hear anything back from you on either of the above. Surely if you genuinely believed in all the things you told us you do on this blog, you would have been able to reply to both of these without giving them a second thought?

        Isn’t it a little telling that you chose to completely ignore both of these things? What does that really tell us about you Peter, and about what you really believe? Don’t these things clearly dispute to the point of actually disproving much of what you have said on this blog? If not, then wouldn’t you have commented on them by now?

        So Peter, if you are sincere about wanting to “debate and argue”, I invite you once again to respond to these comments, I would really appreciate hearing what you have to say on these, as I’m sure would many of our readers.

      • VSS permalink
        May 14, 2012 6:41 pm

        I was very skillfully manipulated into being a part of the din that falsely applauded the Diva Karnataka Project, Mr. Potato Head. Have a nice day!

  23. Anonymous permalink
    May 14, 2012 6:37 pm

    @ The Doctor

    I implore you to let us know if VSS was also Blogging as SS (stupid seeker).
    Thank You

    • Mr Potato Head (aka drpetersutphen) permalink
      May 14, 2012 6:54 pm

      @Doctor, I will get back to you regarding the tape issue. Much of my responding or not has to do with time issues. But I couldn’t help myself with VSS though! Also, isn’t it a little inappropriate to “out” someone on this blog regardless of “anti” or “pro” AOL? Just sayin’!

      • The Doctor permalink
        May 14, 2012 7:23 pm

        @Peter, I do appreciate time issues as this is something we have to live with. However, and I’ve already addressed this in my previous comment, it really does look like you’re evading good questions asked of you, questions which you yourself originally prompted.

        I didn’t “out” you in the past because you were for the most part being fairly civilized, however on this occasion I felt it necessary because of your “evasive maneuvering” around these important issues. We don’t have any rules about “outing” individuals, it’s down to the moderators’ discretion and as such no I don’t feel it inappropriate. As an afterthought, is there any reason you don’t consistently post under the same Id? That would certainly prevent any future threats being “outed”, at least going forwards.

      • Mr Potato Head (aka drpetersutphen) permalink
        May 14, 2012 8:26 pm

        Well, I think any “outing” is inappropriate regardless of reasons. For example a poster is asking if VSS and Stupid Seeker are the same person. Hopefully you will not answer this question and respect the anonymity of VSS and Stupid Seeker. As to posting with different names, it is often because I don’t know what my previous name was in a post. Also, I find it fun to post under idiot names. Let the post stand on its own merit!

  24. VSS permalink
    May 14, 2012 8:48 pm

    @ Dr. Peter

    I would appreciate it very much if you could list the top twenty tenets of AoL’s philosophy — along with which knowledge sheets they can be found in — and how they benefited you. I’m sure several readers would like to know precisely how AoL has added value to your life.

    • Mr Potato Head (aka drpetersutphen) permalink
      May 14, 2012 10:05 pm

      VSS, that’s quite a request! I don’t really approach my life with philosophical tenets soley derived from AOL knowledge sheets. SSRS’s, MMY, Jesus, Buddha, Ramana Maharshi, Martin Buber, Eugene Gendlin, Carl Jung, my high school cross country coach, my father, my wife and many, many others have informed my spirituality. But you also have to engage in spiritual practices, primarily yoga (asanas, pranayama, meditation, samyams) and prayer too. And as the experiences unfold of years of regular practice the concepts change and shift as tools to deepen your understanding and experience too. I’ve learned not to seek an absolutely internally consistent conceptual system to understand spirituality. Concepts spoken by SSRS, for example, that don’t make sense to me, I place on a “shelf” for further contemplation later. One great lesson I’ve learned on this spiritual journey that I started at 15 is to neither to blindly accept a spiritual concept nor to blindly reject it. There’s an awful lot of great wisdom out there that doesn’t necessarily agree with our present conceptual system. I hold concepts lightly. The greatest things I’ve learned on this journey are absolute forgiveness and absolute compassion. I’ve also recognized that my ego can be such a total asshole at times! Forgiveness and compassion are the only things that are going to get you out alive! And this was going to be a short response typing on my iPhone!!

      • VSS permalink
        May 15, 2012 9:39 am

        @ Mr Potato Head [May 14, 2012 10:05 pm] / Dr. Peter / Anonymous

        I hear you and appreciate your efforts. You seem to have a very evolved perspective. What is the percentage of people currently in AoL who have a similarly evolved perspective — based on your estimate? Also, what do you think is the reason behind the SK tape working in the absence of a teacher? Further, would it be possible for you to extend complete forgiveness and complete compassion to me? Would it also be possible for Mr. Ravi Shankar to extend complete compassion and complete forgiveness to Skywalker and Klim? That would be an incredible way to lead by example — and — an incredible way to exhibit true spiritualism. Sadly, you — by succumbing to your ego — and he — by succumbing to his ego — are setting a bad example as of now. Sadly, the message going out to all around is that you and he are against the freedom of expression. Just being honest. It is probably not your intention to stifle voices but that is the impression that I’m getting from your behaviour on this blog and from the behaviour of Mr. Ravi Shankar in court. Sadly, actions speak really loudly.

      • Anonymous permalink
        May 16, 2012 12:24 pm

        @Peter S/Potato Head: you said “The greatest things I’ve learned on this journey are absolute forgiveness and absolute compassion. I’ve also recognized that my ego can be such a total asshole at times! Forgiveness and compassion are the only things that are going to get you out alive! ”

        Would it be wonderful if your master, Ravi Shankar, learned these things? He is one of the most vindictive, unforgiving people I’ve ever met. Combine that with his trembling, fearful nature, and you’ve got a combination for quite the dictator! I truly wish he learns the lessons you’ve learned, and apologizes to those he has harmed, and also returns the money he has diverted to his family. I don’t begrudge anyone getting ahead, but it’s not acceptable to enrich your family off of donations intended for other things, and have teachers lying for you to collect those monies.

        You say you don’t believe these things. Then you don’t know him, you don’t know his family or their history. Go to Bangalore, investigate, ask around, and find out for yourself. These were not rich people by any stretch of the imagination. They could never ever ever in life have afforded the educations given to his nephews without this Art of Living business. Yes, now they have made their own ‘independent’ businesses, but that, to my mind is dirtied money. Because of the way things run in India, it’s next to impossible to prove these things, as everyone and their brother is paid off.

        Parts of me have forgiven Ravi Shankar, other parts have not. But I left because he was not forgiving. He was not tolerant. He was not any of the things which extoll as part of a spiritual journey. He was just a good actor, with lots of energy, on a mission to save the world, and got caught up in name, fame and other things of the world.

      • Original Anonymous permalink
        May 16, 2012 3:30 pm

        @Anonymous ..

        He was not tolerant. He was not any of the things which extoll as part of a spiritual journey.

        Could you elaborate this statement of yours?

  25. Anonymous permalink
    May 15, 2012 4:23 am

    @Doctor
    – I do appreciate time issues

    There are no time issues. They are glued to this blog all the time.

    I don’t think Peter is acting alone. He must be consulting his AOL luminaries before coming up with a response. And that will take some time.

    They appear to have a strategy to deal with this blog. Did you notice that at any point of time it is mostly one particular person who attacks this blog. AOL is indirectly participating on this blog through people like Peter.

    • VSS permalink
      May 15, 2012 10:16 am

      @ Anonymous [May 15, 2012 4:23 am]

      If indeed their strategy is what it appears to be, then it is nothing but “koot neeti” — the subject matter expert of which is Shakuni in the Mahabharata. Perhaps what they are attempting in court is extending to posts on this blog as well.

      What I completely fail to understand is why AoL didn’t come up with a blog as soon as Skywalker’s and Klim’s blogs came up — and actively encourage people to give feedback. They couldn’ve addressed the feedback directly and emphatically and also used insights gained through feedback as the basis for bringing about essential reforms. More people would’ve joined AoL. Those who left it would’ve returned to it.

      • May 17, 2012 2:20 am

        VSS said, “What I completely fail to understand is why AoL didn’t come up with a blog as soon as Skywalker’s and Klim’s blogs came up — and actively encourage people to give feedback. They couldn’ve addressed the feedback directly and emphatically and also used insights gained through feedback as the basis for bringing about essential reforms. More people would’ve joined AoL. Those who left it would’ve returned to it.”

        Hey, I actually agree with you! Maybe not a blog, but someway of actively addressing the anger and concerns of AOL teachers. Sometimes not much can be done, but being heard is a huge step towards healing any rift.

      • Anonymous permalink
        May 17, 2012 12:23 pm

        They did start a blog, and nobody cared. They didn’t get half a million plus hits.

    • Mr Potato Head (aka drpetersutphen) permalink
      May 15, 2012 11:56 am

      Anon, my AOL supreme overlords have freed me to function on my own. The only consultation that takes place is my monthly beating followed by a quick brainwashing session with knowledge sheets.

      • Jr. permalink
        May 15, 2012 6:52 pm

        Dear Peter/Mr. Potato Head,

        I’d like to know your answer to this one question. Pretend you met someone who was claiming to be enlightened. This person is very charismatic and intelligent, yet you are aware that this person is also poisoning your close friends. This enlightened person has asked you not to say anything to your friends about the poisoning because it would break his trust in you. Do you tell your friends they are being poisoned, or keep your trust with the enlightened being while letting your friends get harmed?

      • Original Anonymous permalink
        May 16, 2012 3:35 pm

        @Jr ..

        Pretend you met someone who was claiming to be enlightened. This person is very charismatic and intelligent, yet you are aware that this person is also poisoning your close friends.

        A strong statement .. i hope you have something to back this claim of yours.. and if what you say is really true … then you have a moral responsibility to let people know .. you may not give exact statements naming any one but you need to let people know ..

        Personally I feel its way too overstretched .. i don’t think he would ever poison any one .. Making money is fine .. but poisoning people mentally or
        physically ..

      • Jr. permalink
        May 16, 2012 5:10 pm

        The thing that is tricky is that SK does poison some people, while it is beneficial or at least safe for others. So there is some truth to what I’m saying, but it doesn’t apply to everyone. The fact is, there are numerous people doing SK and are having their health deteriorate and no one in the organization is usually warning them.

      • VSS permalink
        May 17, 2012 5:32 pm

        @ Original Anonymous [May 16, 2012 3:35 pm]

        What do you think about Mr. Ravi Shankar after watching this video?

        http://ibnlive.in.com/videos/178276/lokpal-not-a-cure-of-all-the-ills-sri-sri-ravi-shankar.html

        @ Doc.

        If possible, could you please embed this video in a new post with your observations some time in the near future? I’d appreciate that very much. So would several others, I’m sure. It reveals many facets of Mr. Ravi Shankar’s personality very clearly. Thank you.

      • The Doctor permalink
        May 17, 2012 5:40 pm

        @VSS – I’m reasonably sure this video was already posted last year around the time it was released and discussed in some depth, though I could be mistaken.

      • VSS permalink
        May 17, 2012 5:48 pm

        @ The Doctor [May 17, 2012 5:40 pm]

        I recall that thread very clearly — now that you mention it. I think I posted a link and someone called Aruna Roy an agent of Sonia Gandhi. What was missing, however, was “depth”. Still, I’ll look at that thread again as soon as I can and let you know if anything needs to be added / highlighted or not.

    • May 17, 2012 2:25 am

      Anon said,”I don’t think Peter is acting alone. He must be consulting his AOL luminaries before coming up with a response. And that will take some time”

      Oh boy! Here we go! I’d respond more quickly, but the robots from the planet Zhor keep on stealing my luggage at the airport. You can’t prove they aren’t!

    • May 17, 2012 2:42 am

      VSS said, “I hear you and appreciate your efforts. You seem to have a very evolved perspective. What is the percentage of people currently in AoL who have a similarly evolved perspective — based on your estimate?”

      I don’t have a clue. AOL is huge and each country seems to have a different “flavor” of AOL. I think the longer a person is on a spiritual path the more mellow and accepting they become. It’s just a process of maturing. Fanaticism belongs to the young!

      “Also, what do you think is the reason behind the SK tape working in the absence of a teacher?”

      Look, I’m not trying to insult you, but I find this question to be really strange. Why wouldn’t it work? Who said it wouldn’t work? Did SSRS say this? Did you hear him say it? Did a reliable source hear him say it? What exactly did he say? Until I know for sure SSRS said this, I won’t even think about it.

      “Further, would it be possible for you to extend complete forgiveness and complete compassion to me?”

      Oh, good Lord, VSS, you’ve done nothing to even remotely to need my compassion and forgiveness! Sure, some of your posts got me a little hot under the collar, but big deal! That’s my problem, not yours! I like your posts. I’ll always argue with some of the things you say, but who cares. We’re a family here!

      “Would it also be possible for Mr. Ravi Shankar to extend complete compassion and complete forgiveness to Skywalker and Klim?”

      Maybe he is, VSS. Maybe he truly is…..

      “It is probably not your intention to stifle voices but that is the impression that I’m getting from your behaviour on this blog.”

      I’m not trying to do that, but I do prefer informed, experienced voices. Of what value is an uninformed, inexperienced voice for a serious discussion? Call me crazy!

  26. Anonymous permalink
    May 15, 2012 10:35 am

    @ Mr Potato Head

    “As to posting with different names, it is often because I don’t know what my previous name was in a post.”

    Really? Does not SK help you with your memory problems?

    I think the Doctor has very clearly explained why the “Outing” happened.

    ” I felt it necessary because of your “evasive maneuvering” around these important issues.”

    Also, in the past “outing” happened when the same person posted as Different people with Different personalities / apparently under very different circumstances, but somehow supporting their own views under multiple ids.

    Anonymity is not threatened by revealing the different PSUEDO names under which some one Blogs. It only gives a true picture about things and definitely makes people more accountable and helps curb evasive maneuvering & manipulation of any kind.

  27. Anonymous permalink
    May 15, 2012 12:57 pm

    why are they then not outing non-aol people

    • The Doctor permalink
      May 15, 2012 5:22 pm

      @VSS – I’m more than happy for you to share your perspectives here and argue any points you like, but please don’t tell people what to write and what not to write, you’re just going to end up pissing them off. If there’s anything I feel needs deleting, I’ll do so.

    • VSS permalink
      May 15, 2012 5:33 pm

      @ The Doctor [May 15, 2012 5:22 pm]

      Oh. I didn’t think I was pissing off anyone. Sorry. I thought I was simply responding by refocusing the discussion to the topic at hand.

      I request you in all earnest to delete all my comments that attempt to refocus the attention of those who were going off topic. Thank you and sorry for the bother. I shan’t respond thus in the future.

      • Mr Potato Head (aka drpetersutphen) permalink
        May 16, 2012 12:19 pm

        @Jr You can’t be serious!

      • Jr. permalink
        May 16, 2012 5:06 pm

        Evading the question, eh? I answered yours, but you won’t answer mine…

      • Anonymous (aka drpetersutphen) permalink
        May 17, 2012 11:55 am

        Okay Jr. I didn’t answer your question because it seems so silly. Why would anyone feel an obligation to someone who is a)”pretending to be enlightened, b)”poisoning your friends”? Obviously this how you view SSRS and what he is doing. So, what would I do in the same situation, hmm, let me see… Oh, respect my friends autonomy and free will and let them discover on their own if they are being poisoned or not. I’d also work full time for the fake guru where my devotion itself would transform him into a true guru!

      • Anonymous permalink
        May 17, 2012 2:14 pm

        Lol @ anon may 17 11:55am: “I’d also work full time for the fake guru where my devotion itself would transform him into a true guru!”
        Tried that. Didn’t work. He just got nastier, and more famous, and enriched himself and his family further. So I left. Good luck trying to change a fallen yogi who is fascinated with himself, his numbers of devotees and his dwindling siddhis.

      • Jr. permalink
        May 17, 2012 7:11 pm

        I don’t think my question was silly at all. Maybe flawed a bit, but not “silly.” Perhaps I should have asked “If you knew Sudarshan Kriya was harming your friends’ health, would you tell them about it or keep it secret if your boss told you to?” The point is, YES, SK is harming many people, yet the organization gives no warning like the drug companies do. I am aware there have been a few exceptions of very brave and compassionate AOL teachers who were aware of the possible dangers of SK, and have advised people in private not to continue doing it that were experiencing negative effects. However, the majority of teachers will pass off these bad health signs as a person “working through something” or “bad karma” or “this student is not ready for it this lifetime” or some other kind of bullshit. This is one of my major issues with AOL – they need to start being honest and start by warning people that the breathing practices are not safe for everyone.

      • VSS permalink
        May 17, 2012 8:07 pm

        @ Jr. [May 17, 2012 7:11 pm]

        You demonstrate character and integrity, Jr. Truly. You can’t be faulted on ethics. Neither can Skywalker or Klim. You did what you did for “the greater common good”. People like you should be appreciated and admired for being honest. IMHO.

      • May 18, 2012 2:59 am

        Jr, yes, you are correct in that your questioned was more flawed than “silly.” A more serious response. I don’t see SK as “harming many people”. Solid research would have to be done regarding this otherwise it is purely anecdotal on both the “pro and “anti” side. That being said, I do agree with you that perhaps more training needs to be given to AOL teachers to recognize negative results of SK. But isn’t this present in the AOL teacher training to some degree? People also have to be more responsible for themselves too. If they are getting negative results from SK they need to recognize this and stop. Yes, admittedly hard if you are over-invested in the concept of all results of SK being good. I think you need to practice a new spiritual technique for some time, perhaps a year on a regular basis, before judging if it is for you. If SK is not for you, fine, move on to something more to your liking. This self-referential quality is often missing in spiritual movements where people are too externally oriented to the authority of others. It’s really a balancing act between the spiritual authority of your guru and your own authority. I like what Buddha said:

        “Don’t blindly believe what I say. Don’t believe me because others convince you of my words. Don’t believe anything you see, read, or hear from others, whether of authority, religious teachers or texts. Don’t rely on logic alone, nor speculation. Don’t infer or be deceived by appearances.”

        “Do not give up your authority and follow blindly the will of others. This way will lead to only delusion.”

        “Find out for yourself what is truth, what is real. Discover that there are virtuous things and there are non-virtuous things. Once you have discovered for yourself give up the bad and embrace the good.”

      • Jr. permalink
        May 18, 2012 5:53 pm

        Dr. Peter,

        You response to my question was fair enough and thanks for taking the time to get back to me. I agree with your last two quotes – I think that’s good advice for everyone. However, I do want to respond to a few of your comments.

        You said:

        “That being said, I do agree with you that perhaps more training needs to be given to AOL teachers to recognize negative results of SK. But isn’t this present in the AOL teacher training to some degree?”

        No, unfortunately. AOL teachers are not usually taught to warn the students of potential dangers. Instead, teachers are taught that SK is “100% side effect free” (I remember this quote on the official AOL site, although I’m not sure if it’s still up there). There were many times I witnessed students who had adverse health effects from the long SK, and when they asked questions, the teachers ALWAYS said “keep doing it.. your body is working through something”… or… “it’s your body purifying, so keep doing it.” Almost never did they say “stop doing it, it might be dangerous for you.” I can actually think of only ONE time where a teacher told a student not to do SK, and that was because she was pregnant. Other than that, I’ve never seen it happen, and I’ve been on many courses.

        I agree about the responsibility thing. That was one of my many lessons I learned when I left AOL. I had to stop relying on any organization or its leader, and do what was best for myself. However, I do think if teachers are not warning students of potential dangerous side effects from SK, it’s not different than a drug company not warning patients of potential dangerous drug side effects. Who takes the responsibility when a drug is determined unsafe after it was advertised as safe?

        So my last point is, I agree that people need to take responsibility for their health and listen to their body, but at the same time, AOL needs to take responsibility in warning people of the dangers of SK. Why haven’t they done this yet? It always looks better if a practice is called “100% safe.”

      • May 19, 2012 12:21 pm

        Hi Jr. I believe AOL teachers are taught to help students that are “unstressing” too much during the basic course. I know one remedy I heard mentioned was boiled banana in milk. As far as all reactions to SK being “purification” I do have a mixed reaction to that. Perhaps much of what happens is truly purification, but some is not. The ability to discriminate between the two is essential. I personally have not seen problems from SK with people in the AOL. My experience with “purification” that truly were actual psychological disorders was in the TM movement. There were people, not very many, in the TM movement that started to have psychotic symptoms from long periods of meditation. These symptoms were always addressed as “something good is happening” or “purification”. Even though I was not a psychologist at the time, it was pretty apparent that “something good was not happening”! Eventually these people would be referred to a psychiatric facility for treatment usually by friends. I don’t think Maharishi anticipated TM having that type of impact on a small number of people. Certainly TM teachers were never trained to be open to that possibility. But, back to SK.

        Do you actually know people “injured” by SK? What are their symptoms? Are they physical or psychological? Are they okay now? I had an experience of an AOL teacher framing a new students reaction to SK as “purification” when it appeared to be something else. I was taking a SK refresher course and during a break one of the new students complained to a teacher that his sinuses “burned” at times from SK. The teacher said that this was “purification”. I told the student that I had had the same experience and that a little nasya oil or sesame oil in the nostrils relieved the problem. This example is actually a trivial problem, but it was noticeable that the AOL teacher framed the symptom as purification only.

        So, I do agree with your general point, but what are the serious “dangers” of SK. I’m not trying to argue with you here, because I do agree with you that there are some people that should not do SK. Better screening before the basic course? Training of AOL teachers to recognize the signs of impending psychosis (if that is an actual problem with SK)? What actual negative reactions have you seen personally or heard about from reliable sources? If this actually is a problem with SK and not mostly “AOL-bashing” it needs to be addressed.

      • Anonymous permalink
        May 19, 2012 1:45 pm

        Dr Peter, not to butt in with your on-going discourse with Jr., but…….. I will anyhow 🙂 you said

        “Training of AOL teachers to recognize the signs of impending psychosis (if that is an actual problem with SK)? What actual negative reactions have you seen personally or heard about from reliable sources?”

        How can you possibly imagine that training AOL teachers who are themselves quite psychotic in their actions to recognize others who might be ill, would ever work? We’re talking here about senior teachers who scream and shout over little things, complain endlessly about their plight being ‘stuck’ in AOL, think that they are purifying for other people, and that’s why they are physically sick all the time, etc. and so forth. So that part of your suggestion just won’t work, IMHO. I have personally witnessed people collapse on various occasions while practicing SK. In one case, Ravi Shankar was present, looked alarmed, went over the the person and tried to revive him. He was told not to do the SK again. Ravi Shankar told me later that the man had actually died, and he brought him back to life (I’m not joking or making this up). Ravi Shankar also told me and others that one of his senior teachers had died during the practice of SK and again, he had brought that man back to life. I was not present that time. I’ve personally seen people turn blue and stiff, and being alarmed, asked them to stop the practice at once. When they regained consciousness, they reported seeing a ‘great light’ and did not remember hearing my telling them to lie down and stop the breathing. There are a number of similar incidents I could report to you, Dr. Peter. These things convinced me I didn’t want to teach this technique to any more people. In large groups, it is very difficult to monitor each and every person, even if several teachers are present. The breathing is simply unnatural, and can cause many things in people, including fits. I’ve never seen anyone go mad from the SK, however. I’ve seen them get more and more deranged while keeping close company with Ravi Shankar, and not practicing the SK. I developed asthma from the SK, and also severe allergies. Both subsided somewhat after I ceased the practice entirely. I know many people who stopped the practice because of similar complaints. These things are not “bashing”. The only “bashing” I’ve witnessed is the bashing that takes place if someone disobeys Ravi Shankar and he gets very angry (which is not uncommon). You may think that it is fine to defame innocent people who just want to go on with their lives in another way (read: leaving Art of Living and Ravi Shankar), but I find that totally unacceptable. I’m sorry to tell you that the organization is a cult of the first order, filled with very sick people at the top, who do just about anything to hide their habits that don’t look “pure”, and are very different in private than in public. This is not bashing. It’s fact. Get close if you doubt me. Don’t say you heard this at the blog. Since you are an “old timer”, you should have no problem getting very close to Ravi Shankar. Live with him. Watch him. SEe what he does, how be behaves. Watch those around him. How they behave. Then decide for yourself, if you have any brain left after that experience. God Bless You. I don’t believe that people who come here become disillusioned with spiritually. I think people who come here and really read the many many experiences from many people who don’t even know each other (at least not knowingly) go away wondering about their choice to be so very loyal to such a man as Ravi Shankar, and about their association with Art of Living. People with a conscience don’t want to be involved in such things that harm people this way. If your conscience allows you, then that’s your problem.

      • VSS permalink
        May 19, 2012 4:59 pm

        @ Anonymous [May 19, 2012 1:45 pm]

        Very insightful comment. And, you’re right — if someone can’t learn from the experience of others, then they should really find out for themselves. Experiential learning is very effective. And, they won’t be shocked if they notice something unholy because they read this blog. They’ll be safe too because this blog prepared them. Your suggestion is a fine one. IMHO.

      • Jr. permalink
        May 20, 2012 7:09 am

        “Butt in” all you want. 😉

        I think both yours and Ronin’s responses hit a very good point in that no one (or almost no one) in AOL is really able to deal and respond when a disaster happens during or after SK. I somehow doubt that TTC really instructs people on what to do in such an emergency. It’s quite scary when you think about it. They have this powerful breathing technique that can be both beneficial and very harmful, yet they have no true solution for when someone has a heart attack or passes out because of it. They simply don’t know what they are teaching and the power that comes with it.

      • Ronin permalink
        May 19, 2012 2:55 pm

        Dear Peter,

        I wonder do you think it is ethical as a psychologist to be posting under different names.
        Unless your running your own PSYOP here it dont see why you would feel the need to.

        Does that not take a way your credibility as some one who is a professional trained to help diagnose and treat mental and emotional problems through the use of Psychotherapy.

        By the way nor are AOL teachers trained to deal actual psychological disorders no time in TTC is spend on the subject. You mention screening again no time spend briefly mentioned in the kriya notes if you were able to write them down. More time is spend in how to get peole to sign up for courses, how to create volunteers inorder to yeap get more people to sign up, And do you really believe that the young teachers (just out of college) have any life expereince to handle these types of break downs. Once the genie is out the bottle you need to know how to handle it. But the word is just keep going your unstressing (remember that term) send them home without support, see you next week for long kriya.

        You mentoned your a teacher then you know what long rounding days and weeks can do. I for one have seen people just loose it. Now that was just meditating and listen to knowledge memorizing. AOL TTC is very different lots of games and with your back ground you would in my oppinion realize that they are not harmless but serve a purpose. Which one and for who is the big question.

        Teacher are becoming a dime a dozen, understandably since there world needs SK and AOL to survive (sorry not being very nice) but the quality is rather pittifull but they have the masters grace while they go out and do his work. It will go very wrong one day, who would have tought that a student at MUM would have killed a felow student in the dinning hall.

        I don’t think Maharishi anticipated such an event would hapen sitting all cozy in the Netherlands but it did and a life was lost.

        So much for heaven on earth remember that saying

      • May 21, 2012 6:41 pm

        Ronin asked, “I wonder do you think it is ethical as a psychologist to be posting under different names.
        Unless your running your own PSYOP here it dont see why you would feel the need to.
        Does that not take a way your credibility as some one who is a professional trained to help diagnose and treat mental and emotional problems through the use of Psychotherapy.”

        I originally posted under different names because I would look at this blog every few weeks or months and when I wanted to post something it would ask for a name. I wasn’t signed in through WordPress, so I’d makeup a name right on the spot. There was no attempt to manipulate or do anything nefarious with different names. Also, so many post as “Anonymous” I thought it really didn’t matter. I still don’t think it really matters. I’m not functioning in any official capacity on this board as a psychologist so I don’t see it as unethical. How would it be unethical? Also, I’m not treating anyone on this board or presenting psychological advice, so I don’t see ethical problems.

        Ronin said, “You mentoned your a [TM] teacher then you know what long rounding days and weeks can do. I for one have seen people just loose it. Now that was just meditating and listen to knowledge memorizing. AOL TTC is very different lots of games and with your back ground you would in my oppinion realize that they are not harmless but serve a purpose. Which one and for who is the big question.”

        In my experience most people were perfectly fine with the frequent meditations accompanied by a set of asanas and pranayama. Of course there were some that did develop problems. I don’t think I was on any courses when this happened, but I did hear stories from other courses over the years. As you said and I agree, Maharishi didn’t have any expectations that this could happen. Perhaps SSRS is the same way. But it is almost inevitable that if you teach tens of thousands of people a powerful yogic practice, somebody is going to have difficulty with it.

        The episode with the psychotic student at MUM in Fairfield got me both personally and professionally enraged. I have never seen such unprofessional behavior dealing with a psychotic student, all apparently driven by a general distrust of mental health services and a need to preserve the reputation of the university. A true tragedy.

      • Anonymous permalink
        May 21, 2012 8:36 pm

        I have known many people who practiced TM, but never who were crazy acting and childish and weird like the many of the SK teachers in AOL. The meditators were normal everyday people with a practice, for the most part. But nearly all of the full time teachers in AOL whom I encountered exhibited behaviors that were imbalanced, immature, sometimes abusive towards. That just seemed to be the norm. The TM people seemed to be interested in evolution of some kind. The AOL people seemed to be interested in gaining as much close, personal time with the Guru as they could, at any cost, and didn’t care whom they hurt. I saw quite a lot of extremely disturbing things and so left. I don’t see any real comparison between TM and Art of Living. I heard that even Maharishi Mahesh Yogi called Ravi Shankar “sugar coated poison” and told his disciples not to go near him or his teachings. MMY rejected him.

      • Anonymous permalink
        May 21, 2012 9:20 pm

        My experience of AOL teachers is limited to the USA and my experience has been that they are all mature, calm people. These depictions of strange acting AOL teachers is not something even remotely in my experience. I also personally know four very senior AOL teachers for over 35 years and they are just normal people . So, I don’t know what country you’re from, but come to the states! :-).

      • Anonymous permalink
        May 22, 2012 12:25 pm

        @ anonymous May 21 2012 9:20pm. I was actually referring to American, Canadian and European teachers I knew, although a few were born elsewhere. And they have been there from the ‘start’ (35 years? huh? Since Ravi Shankar was with Maharisi Mahesh Yogi 35 years ago, I don’t know how there were SK teachers then?? Or maybe you knew them before they joined AOL? You must be Dr. Peter again, and talking about TM people who later became AOL teachers?) The teachers I am referring have great power within the organization. They lead. They throw major tantrums, and behave extremely irrationally on many occasions. They are bullies. At least one is very violent and aggressively hurt another disturbed teacher on at least one occasion. Why do you care which country I’m from or live in now? Where a person is from doesn’t stop them from seeing obvious bad behavior that has nothing spiritual in it. All the teachers I’m referring to hated being in AOL. They all complained about being stuck there. And many of them are still there, still ‘in charge’ to some extent, and even what one might call famous if one lived in the AOL bubble, I guess. They were cruel, spiteful, filled with hatred, and smiled on the outside in public, many times teaching huge courses. They happily badmouthed other senior teachers, hurt them in any way they could, and repeated known lies about anyone who left, if ordered to by their ‘boss’. I’m not making these things up. They are not some subjective experiences. They are objective observations from being very up close and personal. Ravi Shankar encouraged these back biting behaviors. He would say horrible things about one person, then when that person came in the room, start saying ugly mean things about a new person, encouraging everyone to degrade and laugh at that person. Don’t think for one second that if you are close to him he doesn’t do that to you. I watched and heard him do this over and over again. It was sickening and one of the major reasons I wanted out. I saw he was a hypocrite. Many people I knew, who were included in such little group sessions with him, had the same experiences, and told me what he said about me. And they left. Really a sick man. Sorry to burst your balloon, but this is all true. Unless Ravi Shankar and all his top teachers have changed in the last few years, this is still the case. I’m sure you may know some sane normal people, but if they are truly close with him, at the top, they are not sane. They are participating in something really nasty and overlooking it for reasons I could only guess at.

      • Jr. permalink
        May 19, 2012 6:40 pm

        Peter, I’ll try to answer your questions to the best of my ability.

        You asked:
        “Do you actually know people “injured” by SK? What are their symptoms? Are they physical or psychological? Are they okay now?”

        Yes, I do know people. I’ll explain the symptoms I’ve seen in a moment. Yes, they are both physical and psychological. Some are doing better now and some are still recovering.

        I was one of those people, but I don’t know if injured was the right word. It was more like my health was deteriorating. I noticed that on the days I didn’t do SK, I had more energy and wasn’t tired. I also was able to think more clearly when I stopped SK. After practicing SK, I also felt like I was way too receptive to everything in the world, which is hard to explain. It was as if I was picking up on all the garbage in my surroundings, and it was overwhelming to deal with. This feeling went away after stopping practice (thank God!). As far as other symptoms I experienced, I had dark circles under my eyes, my skin become more pale, and I also (like someone else posted on here) developed allergies for the first time in my life. Fortunately, all of my health symptoms I was experiencing during the practice of SK are mostly or completely gone, and I have resumed my normal life.

        I knew of a person on course who lost their eye sight during practice of SK (the person fortunately regained it later). I know of many people who have complained of feeling exhausted or depressed after the practice. If you read around on the internet and on this blog, you’ll uncover experiences of people having heart palpitations, blood pressure problems and many other serious health problems from practicing SK.

        “What actual negative reactions have you seen personally or heard about from reliable sources?”

        This is a tough question to answer because there are no unbiased sources on the internet. I would say, from my own experience, this blog is about as honest and unbiased as it gets. You won’t find fair, balanced discussion on wikipedia about AOL, or on any of the AOL blogs or websites. They will simply delete your postings or edit them. The other problem is, there haven’t been any true scientific studies on SK and it’s effects. The previous studies were done by AOL teachers and were hardly scientific.

        “Perhaps much of what happens is truly purification, but some is not.”

        I agree with this. How much of it is really purification vs. harm is not clear yet, but I know for sure there are plenty of people being harmed by the practice.

      • mangal permalink
        May 19, 2012 9:20 pm

        to add to Jr’s testimony, five years ago before this blog was even started

        someone asked http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20070506001918AAMWUcL

        I followed instructions from the instructor and he told me it was normal to feel lightheadness and headache. When I asked him about it he told me not to worry about it or ask why it happens.. I just thought it was important to know why the headache was occurring and wondered if it is safe or not.

        another ques from 2 years ago

        http://in.answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20100915024817AAV6Bbu

        Why should I feel extreme weakness and dark circles around my eyes after doing SUDARSHAN KRIYA after a week? can anybody has a answer for it?

      • May 21, 2012 6:57 pm

        I concur with Jr., anybody can butt in here! Even big butts welcome!

        Jr. said, “I was one of those people, but I don’t know if injured was the right word. It was more like my health was deteriorating. I noticed that on the days I didn’t do SK, I had more energy and wasn’t tired. I also was able to think more clearly when I stopped SK. After practicing SK, I also felt like I was way too receptive to everything in the world, which is hard to explain. It was as if I was picking up on all the garbage in my surroundings, and it was overwhelming to deal with. This feeling went away after stopping practice (thank God!). As far as other symptoms I experienced, I had dark circles under my eyes, my skin become more pale, and I also (like someone else posted on here) developed allergies for the first time in my life. Fortunately, all of my health symptoms I was experiencing during the practice of SK are mostly or completely gone, and I have resumed my normal life.
        I knew of a person on course who lost their eye sight during practice of SK (the person fortunately regained it later). I know of many people who have complained of feeling exhausted or depressed after the practice. If you read around on the internet and on this blog, you’ll uncover experiences of people having heart palpitations, blood pressure problems and many other serious health problems from practicing SK.”

        I think it is the same problem that I posted to Ronin. You teach a powerful yogic technique to enough people and someone, sometime is going to have some problems from mild to serious. Again, most people are perfectly fine with SK and most symptoms are actually purification. But of course there are a few cases of serious problems. Teachers should be trained to screen people before they take SK (I think people with a bipolar diagnosis are not allowed to take SK, any teachers; recent ones?) and exclude people that would not benefit from such a practice. So, we are in agreement here. The only correct way to do this would be a very large survey questionnaire so a data base could be accumulated of negative results from SK and to see if this could be correlated to variables that teachers could prescreen for. In the TM movement I know they screen-out people planning on taking the TM-sidhis course who have serious physical problems and any history of serious mental health problems. Perhaps the same should be done for SK.

      • Anonymous permalink
        May 21, 2012 8:31 pm

        Then, Dr. Peter, they would have to first dismiss many of the senior most teachers who are clearly not behaving as normal people. One would have to question their mental state. Since those are the very people training the teachers, how would you accomplish this screening?

      • stupidseeker permalink
        May 22, 2012 3:52 am

        And who should be doing this survey ?? will AOL, who claims SKY is compleetely free of adverse effects even though they have shown no evidence to support this claim, carry out this survey?? I’ll eat my hat with tomato ketchup the day that happens.

  28. Anonymous permalink
    May 15, 2012 5:00 pm

    – why are they then not outing non-aol people

    Actually there is a need for non-aol people to blog under different handles.
    Persons blogging under the same handles like Peaceful Warrior, Prosecutor, Whistle Blower, Skywalker and John were taken to court and almost all of them have stopped blogging. Had they used different names they would never have been taken to court. Individual’s blogging under the same name like Doctor, VSS run the risk of targetted by the might of AOL. So, it is better if a non-AOL blogger is not outed, to safeguard him/her against court cases.

    AOL has plenty of charity money and volunteer’s time for court cases and individuals opposing AOL doesn’t have. Those who are supporting AOL on this blog have no fear of being taken to court and hence there is no need for them to use different ids. Doctor says that even AOL’ers are not being outed unless they are abusive or maneuvering for different purposes.

    • Original Anonymous permalink
      May 16, 2012 2:22 pm

      Peaceful Warrior, Prosecutor, Whistle Blower, Skywalker and John were taken to court and almost all of them have stopped blogging.

      Are you sure ? I think Skywalker was the only one taken to court as he was the owner of this blog.

      Were there charges against PW, Prosecutor, Whistleblower?

  29. Anonymous permalink
    May 15, 2012 5:14 pm

    — Hopefully you will not answer this question and respect the anonymity of VSS and Stupid Seeker.

    You seem to be one of the AOL’er going through every word on this blog. Didn’t you notice that these two are different people with very different approaches and writing styles.

    • Mr Potato Head (aka drpetersutphen) permalink
      May 15, 2012 7:29 pm

      Yes, it does seem to me that VSS and Stupid Seeker are not the same person, but someone had posted a request of the Doctor to confirm if they were the same person and I was using this to make my point .

  30. Anonymous permalink
    May 15, 2012 5:27 pm

    “please don’t tell people what to write and what not to write, you’re just going to end up pissing them off”

    Thank you doctor. She has already pissed off so many people.

    • Mr Potato Head (aka drpetersutphen) permalink
      May 15, 2012 9:17 pm

      Hey, VSS has pissed me off, but I’ve pissed her off too, so fair is fair! I consider her my friend now. Free VSS! No suppression of VSS’s first amendment rights! Wait, does India have 1st amendment rights like the USA? I assume they do.

      • Original Anonymous permalink
        May 16, 2012 9:07 am

        Freedom of speech is there .. yes .. but then there are laws against defamation, obscene speech etc etc ..

  31. Anonymous permalink
    May 15, 2012 7:42 pm

    @ The Doctor

    I implore you to let us know if VSS was also Blogging as SS (stupid seeker). We have been fair this far on this blog, Doctor. I request you to please respond.

    Thank You

    • Dayalu permalink
      May 15, 2012 8:35 pm

      How can you suppose that VSS and Stupid seeker are the same? No similarity whatsoever!

      • Anonymous permalink
        May 16, 2012 6:38 am

        @ Dayalu

        If someone is asking this question, please trust that they know exactly what they are asking and why they are asking.
        Lets leave it to the Doctor to respond.

    • Anonymous permalink
      May 17, 2012 3:41 pm

      @ Doctor

      Is this question ( if VSS was also Blogging as SS (stupid seeker)) so difficult to answer that its received complete silence in response?

      If you still don’t respond , I will not ask this question anymore, Because I think that would confirm the answer as I know it now.

      Thank You

      • The Doctor permalink
        May 17, 2012 3:57 pm

        Sorry Anonymous, I should have responded earlier: no, I’m simply not going to tell you.

  32. Anonymous permalink
    May 16, 2012 5:28 pm

    @OA

    You are right. Only Skywalker and KLIM were taken to court.

    I remember seeing names of WhistleBlower, Prosecutor, Peaceful Warrior and John mentioned in the court documents and mistook that they too were sued.

  33. Anonymous permalink
    May 16, 2012 5:39 pm

    @OA

    “Personally I feel its way too overstretched .. i don’t think he would ever poison any one .. Making money is fine .. but poisoning people mentally or physically ..”

    Jr. is merely giving an example to prove a point and not at all implying this. Looks like you are overstreching his comment.

    • Original Anonymous permalink
      May 19, 2012 4:48 am

      His question ws flawed (as per his own admission) .. actually it was framed incorrectly .. I actually thought he mean’t somebody was putting some poison in somebody’s food .. he mean’t something else .. so please don’t try to create an issue out of a non-issue ..

  34. VSS permalink
    May 17, 2012 4:34 am

    @ drpetersutphen / Mr Potato Head / Quaff the Koolaid Lads! / *whatever else*

    Just wanted to let you know that I’ve stopped reading what you’re posting — the moment I see “VSS said” — I skip the comment. Therefore, kindly excuse me for not responding. Many thanks for your kindness in this regard. Ever since you showed up — this blog has become like AoL — a place meant for healing where grotesque forms of abuse take place. By turning people against each other, all you’ve done is vitiate the atmosphere. As of now, it stinks. Human beings are not treated like human beings. So, it’s been great talking to you but I’m done. If I have something to say to someone who is not abusive, I might. Take care and have a lovely day / life / spiritual journey.

  35. Anonymous permalink
    May 17, 2012 12:33 pm

    I find it interesting that OA has asked that someone elaborate on a statement that says that Art of Living is not spiritual and that Ravi Shankar exhibits behaviors that are not spiritual by most conventional standards. There are so many posts about his tantrums, his anger, his shouting, his irrational behavior. I suggest that OA go through and read the blog and then it will become clear. So many people have witnessed his behavior this way! And they left if they were ‘able’ (meaning having someplace to go or having any brain left at all). He’s an angry, frightened, deceitful little man full of his little ‘secrets’ and he trembles that anyone will dare to discuss them. If anyone does so here, there will be another ‘defamation’ suit, so no, I will elaborate no further, OA. Then the AOL police will be looking for another silly lawsuit. If the many many accounts that are posted here are not elaboration for you, I suggest you go live with him for awhile, and get very close. Find out for yourself what he is and how he behaves.

  36. thereslifebeyondaol permalink
    May 20, 2012 8:11 am

    @doctor… good sunday! I`ve found an Facebook profile already opened http://www.facebook.com/groups/22014099216/ which name is Art of Living is a Cult! Maybe you can send a private message via private way -inside the Facebook profile itself), offering to add some of most important issues treated in this blog (starting with “The Purpose”, and then paste the link of this blog…. it will spread as powder! I´m working in doing the same, only in a third language. The good thing about Facebook vs Twitter is that it allows you to express yourself unlimited while twiitter only allows you to use 140 characters to express your idea… what do you think? Take a look at it! Namaste!

  37. Anonymous permalink
    May 21, 2012 4:01 pm

    Wonderful news! I understand the request of removal of the manuals from the blog from the “copyrights” grounds, still… I wonder if the contents of those manuals have been analized by specialist in order to make sure that the instructions given as well as the methods of adocrtination are ethical and not dangerous to both mind/body of the attendants. Certain mean processes for example should be removed from the manual, otherwise one day a student might suffer a heart attack -or commit suicide- while undergoing “hot seat process” and the instructor will simply blame the manual. MY QUESTION IS: HAS THAT INVESTIGATION BEEN MADE BY THE CORRESPONDENT AUTHORITIES? IF NOT, SHOULDN´T BE EXCRUTINIZED BEFORE PUTTING THE WHOLE SUBJECT BEHIND? Greetings everyone!!!

  38. Anonymous permalink
    May 22, 2012 5:57 am

    – I think people with a bipolar diagnosis are not allowed to take SK, any teachers; recent ones?

    Like Sad Swamy you too seem to be obsessed with bipolars

    – personally know four very senior AOL teachers for over 35 years

    Have you been in AOL for over 35 years.
    Are you sure there are senior teachers for the last 35 years.
    Was AOL existing before 35 years.

  39. K.Chandra Sekhar permalink
    May 30, 2012 6:24 am

    I am seeing some ananymous blogs here and don’t understand why they should be ananymous. Why they are afraid? I wonder why these people took so many years (after joining AoL) to understand the basic human traits. Why can’t one understand the laws of this nature. After all, we are products of this nature and RS is no exception. Hunger, ego, greed (for money, power, recognition, so called ‘enlightenment’, so called ‘spirituality’ or ‘divinity’, etc.) are quite normal to our human beings. We can’t do away with these. We have to live with these. After all we are social animals. Basic problem with the people complaing about RS or AoL (or for that matter anyone or organization), is that they were greedy for happiness. Some one promised them some happiness for ever (or so called enlightenment) and they wanted to grab that without any thinking. What happened to their common sense!!! The over-expectation beyond senses is the root cause of this. If some one could give solution for enlightenment, it could have happened 3000 years back itself.
    Just think logically and systematically. What RS (or any other similar organization) is doing is very logical to achieve set targets. If you set some targets and breakdown to tasks to achieve those targets, you realize that they are very logical. For any organisation to grow or sustain, people are needed – some dedicated, some part-time, some volunteers, etc. And money is the most important thing. To get money they have to target the rich and affluent. The only way to target them is to play with their weaknesses, frailities, and most importantly with their guilty concisousness. If I too had the ambition to achieve the targets, I too would have worked in the same lines. Any politician or any commercial organisation would work in the same fashion.
    Lastly, if you are feeling for your fellow people, what I suggest you is to collect the email-ids and send them these blogs. Let them read and decide.
    I am available at sekharkc123@gmail.com

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