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How AoL Brainwashes Its Teachers and Volunteers

May 22, 2012

by IO

Saleem Rizvi, May 9, 2012 9:48 am

One of the Comments that the guru is spreading these days in Maharashtra is that the new year is going to change the face of this country. Revolution is comming soon and it will start in Maharashtra. Also I heard a teacher from Bangalore say that Guruji was saying that “there are going to be so many people asscociated with AOL in the near future that the I wont have time to even meet people and all I can do at that time is just wave to them from the top and greet them”.

Rayster, May 9, 2012 12:39 pm

*sigh*. Still using the same classic cult techniques, Ravi. No originality, eh? Always dangling the carrot of imminent worldwide takeover in front of the brainwashed members. Nothing new to see here, folks. Move on.

I started to reflect on what Rayster and Saleem Rizvi said above and the following long post happened. Today for the first time, I followed the entire thinking behind home some of their parasitic mechanism and have in turn attempted to share this with the readers of this blog. The system is now so well honed… happens to you very very smoothly…its difficult to catch it while it is happening. Its a long post, so do read through the below fully, and you see a continuing similarity in their way of working in your AOL region…do share.

As far I can remember he has doing this every year since 2001 and typically in every Teachers Refresher Meet (2001 is when my timeline kinda started). He would Proclaim and make grand statements….. “From next year onwards……you will be inundated / flooded with courses. People will flock to you. No need to do such hard work. You will not be able to stop them coming. You will see. (All this with a distant far away look in his eyes….he is looking into the future you see !!!)

AND, this is how we the sheeple used to interpret and READ other meanings into it…over the immediate and medium term.

  1. Aha !!!! Major blessings from my Master. God !, how much he loves us (me). Finally, I don’t have to struggle, struggle, struggle to do courses anymore. I just have to enjoy teaching.
  2. With chest swelling up….I imagine, my class is full….I am a great teacher. I like it when participants come to class and get so benefitted by everything I have benefitted.
  3. Then I think, nothing is this very straight forward. And nothing comes without effort. In an indirect way, perhaps he is hinting at us that he (WE) need to win the Nobel Peace Prize this year. AHA ….Ok !!! I need to generate support and nomination for this among my community. Then I remember, that some of the most socially visible powerhouses in my community are not yet AOL Volunteers. I gotta make them do the course. All these years they have not come for our part-1 course.
  4. I think further, who is the most attractive salesperson who we have got to make this happen (ie fiill up the classes). Aha ! SriSri himself. So, what can we do to bring him here to my city/country and make him do these talks. When he comes, its God coming to my land. All living beings here will rejoice. My community will see me with him and they will all flock to us. So, immediately, what can I do to make his track record visible to the local population. Especially to the local administrators and the government ? I have to do more seva projects for the visibility and increase the intensity of recruiting more people for my courses. I think to myself—- Why don’t I do a few free courses for the government. In any case the BEST SEVA is to do courses. I have to bring more and more people into knowledge. Yes that is the best Seva one can do. The other seva is too hard. Here, at least I get to teach and make some of my own followers. However, the APEX body will get in the way of all this. It won’t happen. I need to make it a special event to attract these powerful people. What can I do ?
  5. Fast forward 6 months to 1 year and all of his has not happened. SriSri is not coming to our land. This means indirectly, the work we have done is not enough. The Master is testing us.
  6. God, I still need these influential locals to join in and join in fast. SriSri is not coming to us….maybe we can all go to him (good idea). So lets try a mass enrollment for “Women’s Conference” (an euphemism work for an expensive AOL ladies Kitty party camouflaged by meditation / yoga and discussions …..yes discussions ONLY on potential WW service programs. So we hype the event, appeal to the participants showcasing that the WHO IS WHO is going to be there. We don’t ever share what specific issues will be discussed or resolved (for we don’t know ourselves…but it is going to be good). Its for world peace we say. Also, you are going to have a good time….Ayurvedic massages (We never tell you its not free), fun and games, networking, wisdom, singing, dancing…..great food, back to nature………the lure of travel and a fun event…..will get some of these potential participants to finally come in.
  7. What is interesting here is that visitors to such an event pay for their own airfare, accommodation,SK and Sahaj courses while in the Ashram, food….and so on. Also, now that they have done the SK, they have officially become an AOL volunteer (finally initiated into the fold).
  8. Typically, such visitors will ASSUME that AOL is an organisation with a huge amount of good Hearted Volunteers who care for Society (it will feel like that in all that euphoria you feel driven by all the extra oxygen into your previously less hyperventilated body).
  9. Couple this with the fact that, many of these visitors will usually have a very special community service initiative which they have visualised and implemented (small or big) with their own resources, energy and creativity. Poor fellows, they will share this with the audience…amongst whom are AOL’s publicity hungry parasites. Many such programs presented or discussed in such a forum will soon have AOL branding written all over them. Afterall this was presented to AOL by their new AOL volunteer. Project Hijacked….pure and simple

    Many would have noticed this with the Anna Hazare movement as long as it suited AOL. These projects will soon be known as an AOL SEVA program….after all it was discussed in their forum. It will now appear on the AOL website and CV). Soon, it will be touted in the esatsang newsletter as an AOL Germany / Argentina initiative…and so on.

  10. The parasitic attack is so amazingly constructed that It just kinda grows (CREEPS) onto you…and you do not even realise it even after it has happened.
  11. The beauty is, thus far, AOL has not donated anything (idea, money, effort) and will not donate a single rupee for any of these new found projects. They simply designed a cheap event…and spent some money on the event which was more than easily recovered from the participants.
  12. The good work (Read Goodwill, Brand Equity) of all the participants was now theirs….FOR FREE. For AOL and SriSri only the visibility is important. You will see continuity is not of any consequence to them. In general, most service projects they take up will never finish or conclude. They will not be reported on post completion. There have been exceptions to these…but very few…and at a low level. At sometime, they will all be stalled/dropped. And nobody is wiser.
  13. However, to the casual observer, you would say, SO WHAT….at least they DID THIS MUCH…which nobody else does. But dear casual observer, that “this much” was mostly borrowed …it was not OWNED ever…because with ownership comes responsibility and AOL has very little of that.
  14. In all SriSri’s travels his devotees will talk to him on everything. Many times he will not GET IT. However, the man has a phenomenal memory for things he can exploit. He will use the same volunteers to develop a program around these current issues. The volunteers will falsely assume that if done under the umbrella of AOL, they automatically have the Blessings of the master and they simply cannot fail. Most of these volunteers are driven essentially by the “issue” and by their own hearts. Hence they do not care for the credits at all…as long as the work gets done. This in many ways is the undoing of their project. Their original intent was pure. With AOL in it becomes totally diluted (since for them only the publicity is important…refer Anna Hazare again….once it starts becoming tough like any community service project is….it will get dropped like a HOT BRICK).
  15. It is only the people inside AOL who keep contributing again and again for such projects. A customer in had is worth 10 in the market. Soon, the market in general is able to see through the shallowness of AOL’s involvement and new members/potential partners will hesitate to come in with resources into the same project because AOL has already hijacked it. What a colossal waste. I have witnessed this happen time and again.
  16. While I do believe that its highly probable that the original intent behind founding VVMVP i 1982 (now AOL:) to be a true service organisation……BUT today, that has changed dramatically and diametrically. These days, I can see is “SOMEHOW PROTECT THE CASH GENERATING AOL ENGINE…AT ANY COST”.
  17. Recruiting and KEEPING (this is the key) new cult members is getting very difficult. It is a losing trend. Especially with the internet and this blog. Many old warriors are waking up. So, now more than ever before, is the BIG FEAR…”I can’t lose my existing devotees…then I am really screwed…my cash generating engine will dry up”. Hence the need for dramatic untruths such as “A lady asked for 2000 US$ and I did not pay”. So she started the blog. It is bad karma. If you read it you will be doomed. Be careful.

I often wonder whatever really happened to …”Love moves the world”…Yet another initiative that fell by the wayside ?

  1. Anonymous permalink
    May 22, 2012 12:33 pm

    VVMVP had to be formed to get the government grant of land (now the Bangalore ashram). It was supposedly to make a school for poor local children. Now look what’s there. What a sham and shame.

  2. Dayalu permalink
    May 22, 2012 5:04 pm

    Great post, IO, Kudos!! I could relate well with each and everyone of the sequence of 17 points that you outlined here, during my decade long association with the organization. This post sums up what this blog has tried to bring attention to, in the past 2 years.

    • VSS permalink
      May 22, 2012 8:29 pm

      @ Dayalu [May 22, 2012 5:04 pm]

      Could you please link me to the post where you’ve detailed your AoL experience? I would appreciate that very much. Would really like to read your detailed insights.

    • Jr. permalink
      May 23, 2012 3:11 am

      IO, I just want to step in and applaud this as one of the most interesting and accurate posts I’ve ever read on this blog. A real warning to those who are stuck in this organization about the manipulation that takes place in making the devotees think it’s their fault for things not progressing as the organization would like.

      @VSS – thank you for your kind compliments on my other posts. I agree, we can all learn a lot from each other on here.

  3. VSS permalink
    May 22, 2012 8:26 pm

    This is an incredibly insightful post, IO. On the one hand, it details exactly how teachers and volunteers get brainwashed, on the other hand, it points to why religions don’t get wiped out but cults do — and it’s because God doesn’t exploit people. People exploit people in the name of God — in the name of seva, sadhana, and satsang — God doesn’t exploit people. I wonder what siddhis Mr. Ravi Shankar has that make him succeed in deceiving so many people. I remember the time I was convinced that he would solve all my problems. Submission was the only thing on my mind. I didn’t want to think — I wanted to rely solely on his thinking. Now, it seems like a bizarre thought. Perhaps, he is good at selling dreams and fantasies. Perhaps, his expertise lies in making people feel that they’ll get all that they want.

    The only thing is — the reverse happens — he gets all he wants — and people are completely sapped of all their energy. I remember the moment I realized all of it was a sham — was the moment I felt absolutely drained out. I was reading this blog and suddenly my mind — which was blurred at that time — returned to normal. He has expertise is re-focusing the attention of everyone to himself. That fact, in and of itself, clearly reveals how utterly and absolutely self-centered he is. How obsessed must he be with himself to actively encourage people to worship him thus. Maybe he will go the same way as Narcissus — maybe he already is.

    As you mentioned, with the growing reach of the internet, it’ll be increasingly difficult to exploit people with archaic techniques. Who can stop people from reading this blog in 2013? No one. The more he says “don’t read it”, the more people will read it. I feel this just might be the last year of successful deception for him. Too many people are finding this blog because of Google. The other day I Googled “Sri Sri Enlightenment”, and a link to one of the posts on this blog popped up. If I were him, I’d be pretty exasperated.

    • May 23, 2012 12:36 am

      How do you keep a Sardarji occupied….give him an A4 sheet of paper with PTO written on both sides.

      SriSri beautifully creates the contradictions……and plants the PTOs in the minds of the Sheeple.

      After that he needs to do nothing.

      The key to this is the “knowledge” ……

      Classic – You get doubts when you have low prana. This is also there in the 1st major knowledge tape you listen to in the advance course. What are the doubts you can get ?

      1. Technique (Is this really working ? …Is it the right technique for me ?..etc)
      2. Self doubt (Am I really going thru this ?. Maybe I need to be doing this after I retire. Others are having a better experience.)
      3. Doubts about the Master.

      Parallel point. You body prana is raised when you do breathing exercises (Pranayama, when you sleep well in balance, have a balanced and right diet…..etc). Whats behind your doubt is your ego….

      So once a devotee has a doubt…..since they so SINGULARLY and EXPRESSLY believe only in this single UNI-Dimensional TRUTH….that too in its limited form…..they simply go and do more saadhana……it takes them a while to figure out the scam ….probably a decade plus as it happened to me.

      It takes great courage (read Prana) to voice your doubt to yourself and the world. Inner unvoiced doubts will turn into unseen worries (low prana)…….accepted and expressed doubt is a sign of taking responsibility for your own confusion (high prana)…..

      …More later….have to run

      • VSS permalink
        May 23, 2012 11:41 am

        @ IO [May 23, 2012 12:36 am]

        Thank you for explaining. I hear you.

        To me it seems that people will stop doubting themselves when they see something suspicious going on in AoL if someone as “socially visible” as Mr. Ravi Shankar makes the same observation about the very same thing — do correct me if I am wrong.

        I’m not talking about those who land up on this blog and think that all humans being are equal and are receptive to reading the testimonies of those who have suffered because of AoL.

        I’m talking about those who think that anyone who is not as “socially visible” as Mr. Ravi Shankar doesn’t have any right to be critical of AoL because all human beings are not equal — meaning that in their perception — Mr. Ravi Shankar is superior.

  4. Uttam permalink
    May 23, 2012 1:45 am

    A note for newcomers to the site, the prospective seekers:

    We all have been getting brainwashed right from the day we were born. From our parents, from teachers, from friends, relatives and the society.
    We got brainwashed that:
    Competition is more important that compassion
    Comparison is the real trend, not cooperation
    Its fun just to find and discuss what is bad rather that focusing on what is good.

    Now if somebody brainwashes you to be happy, to surrender to divine, whats wrong? Don’t do what does not appeal to you, be it donating or doing service but I would suggest that definitely do NOT miss the things that can improve your life: yoga, pranayam, knowledge sutras etc. These have been compiled from diverse sources and is being served on a golden platter.

    A person needs to grow and reach the level of a class-1 school teacher in order to evaluate and comment on him. It may not be right for a student in class-1 to evaluate the teacher.
    Similarly one may evaluate the guru once he/she has grown to the level of the guru.

    I believe that the various gurus and spiritual organizations in India are doing an excellent job in spreading yoga and spirituality which is much needed for betterment of physical and mental health of a much stresses society. Follow somebody whoever appeals and gain whatever you can absorb so that you end up being more happy, having a better understanding of life.

    Yoga and spiritualism will definitely enlighten your life. May God bless you.

    • Jr. permalink
      May 23, 2012 2:20 am

      That’s great Uttam. Can’t disagree that yoga, sutras and pranayam are good for some people, but you’re simply ignoring the other side of the coin. To make wise decisions, one needs to see the complete picture or both the positives and negatives of an organization. We all have been programmed, I agree, but brainwashed people have been programmed not to challenge anything and to surrender their mind/intellect and questions. Brainwashed people are programmed not able to see the dark side of things, and live in a state of denial. Real life is not pretending everything is all good or all bad. This blog allows contributors to discuss both, not just the bad.

      • Anonymous permalink
        May 23, 2012 12:16 pm

        Once I said to Ravi Shankar: “people feel that they could be being brainwashed, and have expressed this concern while doint the TTC” He replied “their minds are dirty. It’s good that their brains get washed.” That’s what he believes in. I knew then I would have to leave.

    • stupidseeker permalink
      May 23, 2012 1:39 pm

      Yeah yeah yeah, no money then no “spiritual brainwashing”. Plain as daylight. Care tell us how much you added to the coffers of Ravi & Co. to get brainwashed into ..ahem..loving the “divine”. LOL Your Ravi ravi won’t be able to define what this “divine” is in the next ten billion years even if you paid him a king’s ransom, because the source of his strength is your incredulity.

      This is for you: All I would need to make you loosen your ourse strings is to convince you of the strings that i pull with the “divine”; here’s this timeless story which this anonymous dude decided to pull out for you. If you thank me for it you are saved if not you are gonna lose a lot of hard earned money.

      • stupidseeker permalink
        May 23, 2012 1:40 pm

        opps i mean lack of incredility. forgive me for english isn’t me native tongue

      • stupidseeker permalink
        May 23, 2012 1:44 pm

        Because your are special to me Uttam: Just for you cos’ I love you:

      • Anonymous permalink
        May 23, 2012 4:36 pm

        @StupidSeeker Isn’t that the really best and funniest thing you ever saw? This Kumare dude fooled everyone! And they all had all these huge experiences. Sad, but true. He proved his point.

    • Anonymous permalink
      May 25, 2012 3:24 am

      “I believe that the various gurus and spiritual organizations in India are doing an excellent job in spreading yoga and spirituality which is much needed for betterment of physical and mental health of a much stresses society.”

      Maybe it has some limited benefit. But when these organizations and people fail to live spiritually, and cannot live by basic ethics – that spirituality seems very hollow does it not.
      What it ends up doing, is make people more cynical about spirituality and spiritual gurus.

      “Spreading knowledge and doing work” is typical AOL propaganda. Which means one should ignore totally unspiritual activities going on inside. Does spreading the name of jesus, absolve the catholic church of all the child abuse scandals ? Spirituality is needed in the world, but these people are power and money hungry who are exploiting the situation for personal gain. It’s just another NGO scam.

  5. VSS permalink
    May 23, 2012 5:48 am

    –We all have been getting brainwashed right from the day we were born. From our parents, from teachers, from friends, relatives and the society.
    We got brainwashed that:
    Competition is more important that compassion
    Comparison is the real trend, not cooperation
    Its fun just to find and discuss what is bad rather that focusing on what is good.
    Now if somebody brainwashes you to be happy, to surrender to divine, whats wrong?–


    This is a pretty stupendous insight into all the NEGATIVITY that Mr. Ravi Shankar perpetuates in order to brainwash people into joining AoL.

    This is how people lose their CONNECTION to their PARENTS, TEACHERS, FRIENDS, RELATIVES and SOCIETY.

    This is PURE HATRED for all that is outside the cult.




    If one can’t see what is wrong if someone brainwashes one into being happy, then one is too brainwashed to be happy. That’s what’s wrong.

    To enjoy good health, to bring true happiness to one’s family, to bring peace to all, one must first discipline and control one’s own mind. If a man can control his mind he can find the way to Enlightenment, and all wisdom and virtue will naturally come to him.

    Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.
    Mahatma Gandhi

    But O, how bitter a thing it is to look into happiness through another man’s eyes.
    William Shakespeare

    Happiness is not being pained in body or troubled in mind.
    Thomas Jefferson

    Happiness depends upon ourselves.

    There is no value in life except what you choose to place upon it and no happiness in any place except what you bring to it yourself.
    Henry David Thoreau

    Happiness is not a goal; it is a by-product.
    Eleanor Roosevelt

    There is joy in work. There is no happiness except in the realization that we have accomplished something.
    Henry Ford

    The man who makes everything that leads to happiness depends upon himself, and not upon other men, has adopted the very best plan for living happily. This is the man of moderation, the man of manly character and of wisdom.

    Happiness is that state of consciousness which proceeds from the achievement of one’s values.
    Ayn Rand

    Your success and happiness lies in you. Resolve to keep happy, and your joy and you shall form an invincible host against difficulties.
    Helen Keller

    Happiness lies in the joy of achievement and the thrill of creative effort.
    Franklin D. Roosevelt

    Just as a cautious businessman avoids investing all his capital in one concern, so wisdom would probably admonish us also not to anticipate all our happiness from one quarter alone.
    Sigmund Freud

    The person who seeks all their applause from outside has their happiness in another’s keeping .
    Dale Carnegie

    But what is happiness except the simple harmony between a man and the life he leads?
    Albert Camus

    The happiness of your life depends upon the quality of your thoughts: therefore, guard accordingly, and take care that you entertain no notions unsuitable to virtue and reasonable nature.
    Marcus Aurelius

    A man who as a physical being is always turned toward the outside, thinking that his happiness lies outside him, finally turns inward and discovers that the source is within him.
    Soren Kierkegaard

    It is necessary to the happiness of man that he be mentally faithful to himself. Infidelity does not consist in believing, or in disbelieving, it consists in professing to believe what he does not believe.
    Thomas Paine

    Morality is not the doctrine of how we may make ourselves happy, but how we may make ourselves worthy of happiness.
    Immanuel Kant

    If your happiness depends on what somebody else does, I guess you do have a problem.
    Richard Bach

    Happiness is secured through virtue; it is a good attained by man’s own will.
    Thomas Aquinas

    The intense happiness of our union is derived in a high degree from the perfect freedom with which we each follow and declare our own impressions.
    George Eliot

    The true secret of happiness lies in taking a genuine interest in all the details of daily life.
    William Morris

    True happiness comes from the joy of deeds well done, the zest of creating things new.
    Antoine de Saint-Exupery

    The essence of philosophy is that a man should so live that his happiness shall depend as little as possible on external things.

    Happiness is neither virtue nor pleasure nor this thing nor that but simply growth, We are happy when we are growing.
    William Butler Yeats

    Happiness does not lie in happiness, but in the achievement of it.
    Fyodor Dostoevsky

    Be more dedicated to making solid achievements than in running after swift but synthetic happiness.
    Abdul Kalam

    Contempt for happiness is usually contempt for other people’s happiness, and is an elegant disguise for hatred of the human race.
    Bertrand Russell

    There is a difference between happiness and wisdom: he that thinks himself the happiest man is really so; but he that thinks himself the wisest is generally the greatest fool.
    Francis Bacon

    It is not in the pursuit of happiness that we find fulfillment, it is in the happiness of pursuit.
    Denis Waitley

    Happiness is a direction, not a place.
    Sydney J. Harris

    There is nothing, Sir, too little for so little a creature as man. It is by studying little things that we attain the great art of having as little misery and as much happiness as possible.
    Samuel Johnson

    False happiness renders men stern and proud, and that happiness is never communicated. True happiness renders them kind and sensible, and that happiness is always shared.
    Charles de Montesquieu

  6. Anonymous permalink
    May 23, 2012 10:24 am

    Guys I love you all you the way you are helping uttam by brainwashing him to come out of AOL .

    • VSS permalink
      May 23, 2012 11:32 am

      @ Anonymous [May 23, 2012 10:24 am]

      You seem to be drunk / stoned / both.

      This is a blog, not a cult.

      Brainwashing happens in a cult not on a blog.

      Have some black coffee. Get some sleep. You’ll be alright soon.

    • Jr. permalink
      May 23, 2012 6:07 pm

      There is a difference between teaching someone to think for oneself versus teaching one to not think for oneself and surrender one’s mind to the Guru. AOL teaches the latter.

  7. VSS permalink
    May 23, 2012 4:37 pm

    There is no meaningful difference between a cult and a religion in terms of faith, morality or spirituality. The primary differences are that a “cult” operates outside of mainstream society, often calls on its followers to make an absolute commitment to the group and typically has a single leader, whereas a “religion” usually operates within mainstream culture, requires varying levels of commitment from its members and typically has a leadership hierarchy that, in practice, can serve as a series of checks and balances.

  8. VSS permalink
    May 23, 2012 5:00 pm

    In psychology, the study of brainwashing, often referred to as thought reform, falls into the sphere of “social influence.” Social influence happens every minute of every day. It’s the collection of ways in which people can change other people’s attitudes, beliefs and behaviors. For instance, the compliance method aims to produce a change in a person’s behavior and is not concerned with his attitudes or beliefs. It’s the “Just do it” approach. Persuasion, on the other hand, aims for a change in attitude, or “Do it because it’ll make you feel good/happy/healthy/successful.” The education method (which is called the “propaganda method” when you don’t believe in what’s being taught) goes for the social-influence gold, trying to affect a change in the person’s beliefs, along the lines of “Do it because you know it’s the right thing to do.”

    Regardless of which definition you use, many experts believe that even under ideal brainwashing conditions, the effects of the process are most often short-term — the brainwashing victim’s old identity is not in fact eradicated by the process, but instead is in hiding, and once the “new identity” stops being reinforced the person’s old attitudes and beliefs will start to return.

  9. Uttam permalink
    May 24, 2012 10:06 am

    One thing is for sure, the people regular in this blog, may be from diverse regions, culture and age, but are definitely very knowledgeable and talented.

    One suggestion, why not start a new school, a spiritual organization, like AoL, nay, better that AoL, absorbing all the good things from various schools but without a trace of the negatives that has been observed in the other existing schools.

    This new organization would definitely serve the society as well as give all a chance to say that “this is what should have been!” This would be a perfect opportunity to lead by example instead of just speaking about what should be. Doing more and speaking less is a virtue that can build great people, great societies/communities, great countries, a wonderful world to live in.

    Please do not mistake me for being non-serious, I am serious and mean what I have written. I would definitely like to support such a movement and so would many others instead of just worrying over whats wrong.

    • VSS permalink
      May 24, 2012 10:56 am

      @ Uttam [May 24, 2012 10:06 am]

      Such an organization exists. I can tell you about it.

      And, it is far more successful than AoL will ever be.

      However, first you have to drop this disrespect for the freedom of speech and expression of all human beings.

      This is a prejudice which is anti-humanity and anti-humanitarianism.

      It is anti-law.

      It may be that you are incapable of critiquing something without worrying.

      But you can’t assume that about everyone — that’s a bias.

      There are those who critique music, books, food, movies etc. etc.

      That is their profession for which some of them have even got stupendous recognition.

      So, if you’re willing to drop your prejudice against the freedom of speech and expression, which is clearly anti-humanity and anti-humanitarianism, then I can tell you an alternative source of authentic knowledge — the kind that doesn’t brainwash you into feeling happy and intentionally induces delusions.


      • Uttam permalink
        May 24, 2012 11:33 am

        Dear VSS, The irony is that there is no disrespect in my mind at all. I do believe in compassion, cooperation and mutual respect for all. I strive to respect people alike whether they love me or agree with me or prefer to hate me or disagree with me. We all are a part of Narayan, the almighty, Allah or the Christ consciousness, whatever name we prefer to call HIM.

      • Uttam permalink
        May 24, 2012 11:51 am

        While I do respect your and everybody’s freedom to speech and expression, I also respect my freedom to speech and expression. I would however prefer and strive that this freedom does not hurt anybody which we only have to judge for ourselves.

  10. Anonymous permalink
    May 24, 2012 11:59 am

    Uttam, By being compassionate, by doing what one knows to be good and right and non-harmful to anyone or anything as far as is possible in life, a person is doing more than any ‘group’ or ‘organization’. If everyone was helpful, if everyone was kind, if everyone was doing their utmost to help whichever person came in front of them in need today, there would be no need for this ‘organization’ you say is needed. By posting on this blog, I am doing my best to be kind: prevent people from falling into the trap that is Art of Living and being hurt and brainwashed by Ravi Shankar, as so many have been hurt. But there are numerous other things I do in the course of my work and daily living that are responses to people in trouble, people in need. This can be anything from sincere service to that person, giving money where needed, providing opportunity, etc. You can do the same. You don’t need an organization or some made-up structure to help the world, Uttam. You just need to act. When you see someone dying in the street, be sure you help them, not walk over them as most people do. Assess what will be most helpful for them and do that thing. It’s not so hard. And if you have more resources, you yourself can ‘adopt a village’ somewhere, and actually GIVE THE MONEY to projects and people who need it, not keep enriching yourself and people you know in the ‘structure/organization’.

    • Uttam permalink
      May 25, 2012 6:14 am

      @ Anonymous: I agree that we just need to act. Crutch of any organization is never required, though at times such support also supports.

  11. VSS permalink
    May 24, 2012 12:41 pm

    @ Uttam [May 24, 2012 11:33 am] + Uttam [May 24, 2012 11:51 am]

    Let me attempt to paraphrase what I asked of you —

    Is it possible for you to not “judge” how people feel about posting on this blog ?

    Posting on this blog is about expressing oneself.

    Expressing oneself is a liberating experience — the world’s greatest writers, leaders, philosophers etc. etc. have validated that on innumerable occasions.

    Is it possible for you to respect that ?

    Respecting that would mean that you would consciously stop describing the act of posting on this blog as anything but an expression of the freedom of speech and expression.

    Can you do that ?

    You constantly attack the freedom of individuals by not respecting that.

    For proof, kindly re-read your own posts.

    Can you do that ?

    You say things like people are being negative which is not true. They are simply critiquing something. That’s what critics do.

    You say things about how people are worrying about posting which is simply not true. You have simply no way of knowing if people are worrying or not.

    So, can you stop doing that or not ?

    I would understand if you can’t. But if you can’t, then there’s no purpose in conversing with you — I can’t converse with someone who makes statements that are not true — about something as simple as respecting the freedom of speech and expression — I would consider such a person to be in the grip of a delusion — it’s not a permanent state of mind — but currently that’s what your state of mind is.

    The way to get out of a delusion is my acknowledging that it exists — especially if you have expressed it repeatedly in your own words — which you have and repeatedly.

    So, in short, are you willing to accept and then drop your delusion about the freedom of speech and expression?

    A yes or no answer will do.

    And, please don’t speak in mumbo jumbo — and bring the Gods into this conversation — currently Gods are beyond the scope of this conversation — as you might be able to tell — if you drop your delusion.

    God may be the subject of a different conversation — not this one. This is purely about the freedom of speech and expression.

    • StrongVolunteer permalink
      May 24, 2012 3:22 pm

      @ All,

      When Uttam is talking about another organization, it seems he is now interested to think beyond Art of living …………….Gr8 work guys.

      • Uttam permalink
        May 25, 2012 6:16 am

        @StrongVolunteer: Why not. As long as it is done with good intent to serve the society.
        Are you game?

    • Uttam permalink
      May 25, 2012 6:10 am

      @VSS: You ask me to answer in yes/no for a long post of yours: its difficult(for me).

      Sharing the name of an organization doing good work should not come with strings. You should share the name without an air of secrecy, if you feel proud of the same.

      I would suggest, don’t bother to interpret my intent much as it would be merely your interpretation. Just be assured that the intent is honest, true and clear without any malice or prejudice.

      I speak just my mind in the language/vocabulary that I know. Sorry if it appears “mumbo jumbo”. Shall anyway try to improve it as there is always a scope of improvement.

      I write here with total peace in mind, there simply can’t be any agression or offense in mind, but yes, language always has been deceptive.

      God bless.

      • VSS permalink
        May 25, 2012 6:54 am

        @ Uttam [May 25, 2012 6:10 am]

        The pre requisite for joining the organization is that you accept your delusion and drop it — what the delusion is I have explained in earlier posts.

        If you can’t accept your delusion and drop it, then sharing the name of the organization won’t help you. You see you’ve got to take ownership of the multiple instances in which you’ve said all sorts of things about this blog and people who post on this blog — either you can take responsibility for all that you express or you can’t. Either you can stop doing that or you can’t. Decide.

        I’m not asking you to do something that I haven’t done. I’ve taken responsibility for my comments on this blog — apologized too — tried my best to make amends.

        I didn’t hide under a mumbo jumbo blanket statement like — language is deceptive.

        If you truly believe that, then I don’t understand why you express yourself in a language at all. Seriously. Not kidding.

        The organization is not for delusional people.

        It’s only for rational people — by definition.

        If you’re looking for an organization for irrational people, then I’m afraid I can’t help you.

        So what’s it gonna be — holding on to delusions or not holding on to delusions — the choice is yours entirely.

        The reason why not being deluded is a prerequisite — in case you wondered — is because deluded people get brainwashed easily — and the purpose of the organization — is to not brainwash people into believing they are happy. The organization relies on knowledge and knowledgeable insights as the path to happiness.

        Let me know what you decide.

  12. Uttam permalink
    May 25, 2012 7:06 am

    Off course, I do take responsibility of what I have written and what I have written have been my thoughts at that point of mind. There has been to hurt intended.
    As far as delusion is concerned, that again is your perception, your interpretation, your delusion my friend 🙂

    • VSS permalink
      May 25, 2012 7:44 am

      @ Uttam [May 25, 2012 7:06 am]

      “There has been to hurt intended.”

      Would you call this statement a typo or a freudian slip ?

      I’d call it a freudian slip because you say you take responsibility for your words.

      So, you have been intending to hurt, which is precisely the point I’m trying to make.

      QED. (quod erat demonstrandum) Hence proved.

      @ all who are reading

      Does SK cause people to be less attentive to details ? Can someone who has tried SK and then left it — please comment on this aspect and enlighten readers ? Many thanks.

      I’m asking because this seems to be the case with several people from AoL who post here — based on their comments. It seems like they think they are focusing on details while they are doing the exact reverse.

      • Nithin permalink
        May 25, 2012 8:33 am

        Question: Does SK cause people to be less attentive to details ?
        My answer is “YES”, overdoing this rigorous breathing (SK) can disintegrate brain cells, causes creative aspect grow much more than logical aspect of left brain.
        When the balance is lost , focus is lost, this is the major reason AOL guys don’t think twice and Ravi utilizes this imbalance of brain functions of his beloved devotees well, Ravi and his very close associates does not do SK regularly (Long Kriya in particular), because they are fully brainwashed and need them to be normal to utilizes those beloved followers the way he want to!

      • VSS permalink
        May 25, 2012 10:22 am

        @ Nithin [May 25, 2012 8:33 am]

        Thank you for the insight. I appreciate your effort immensely.

    • Uttam permalink
      May 25, 2012 8:41 am

      A small typo:
      Please read “there has been to hurt intended” as “there has been no hurt intended”


      • VSS permalink
        May 25, 2012 10:35 am

        @ Uttam [May 25, 2012 8:41 am]

        Just for the record — a typo that conveys the exact opposite of what you wish to convey is by no means a “small” typo. IMHO.

        Since when have you been practicing SK ?

        Have you experienced any side effects of SK ?

        If yes, what are they ?

      • Uttam permalink
        May 25, 2012 11:24 am

        Little less than 2 years. Its preceded with few yoga aasans like surya namaskar, kapaal bhati, padma sadhana and then SK. Day goes good with this else its little sluggish.

  13. VSS permalink
    May 25, 2012 11:33 am

    @ Uttam [May 25, 2012 11:24 am]

    Have you read the testimonies of those who have reported side effects of SK on this blog?

    Do you believe that they are heartfelt testimonies?

    I believe them.

    If you do too, do you think AoL should warn people about the side effects of SK?

    Also, do you think AoL is an organization in need of urgent reforms — such as warning people about the side effects of SK — or do you think it is perfect as it is?

    • Uttam permalink
      May 25, 2012 11:54 am

      The occurrence of side effect, its frequency, conditions of occurrence etc. should be investigated by some independent, unbiased, qualified agency for benefit of people. A consumer court might be able to help the affected. Once verified, the warning of risk should become mandatory.

      I do not doubt the testimonies of the concerned and I would suggest that the affected people approach the competent authority so that the risk level may be verified.

      • VSS permalink
        May 25, 2012 12:01 pm

        @ Uttam [May 25, 2012 11:54 am]

        You say “I do not doubt the testimonies of the concerned”.

        Have you shared your knowledge of these testimonies with people you know in AoL?

        If yes, what did they have to say?

        If not, why did you decided against sharing your knowledge of these testimonies with those who you are aware are practicing SK?

        Also, do you think AoL is perfect as it is or do you think it needs reforms?

      • Uttam permalink
        May 25, 2012 12:23 pm

        @VSS: I do not know many in AoL and neither am I much involved. I just have had the positive experience of few courses and discourses which has helped constructively. People whom I know have also benefited. Am yet to meet somebody face-to-face (physically) who has been speaking on the negative.

        Still I believe all here and suggest the concerned to approach the competent authority or some NGO or media people who could help in investigation. Just writing here may not help much.

  14. VSS permalink
    May 25, 2012 12:58 pm

    @ Uttam [May 25, 2012 12:23 pm]

    You said “I do not know many in AoL and neither am I much involved.”

    How many people are you in touch with in AoL — say once each week?

    Less than 50 or more than 50?

    Are you intentionally avoiding my question about whether or not you think AoL is perfect as it is or in need of reforms, or, are you unintentionally avoiding my question about whether or not you think AoL is perfect as it is or in need of reforms?

    You also said “just writing here may not help much”.

    So, you’re saying writing here does help, right ?

    You are aware that this blog is read by almost 1500 people each day, right ?

    As for the “much”, are you aware of the concept of human beings sharing pain and feeling better afterwards or is that concept alien to you?

    Do you think that being a patient listener is a virtue — especially when someone is expressing heartfelt pain? Would you refer to listening and responding with compassion as a humane activity or would you refer to that as an inhuman activity?

    I think it’s a humane activity.

    • anonymous permalink
      May 25, 2012 3:36 pm

      Imagine a drug company releasing and selling a drug for big bucks, after extensive marketing campaigns. When side effects appear, imagine them saying “I haven’t ever heard of anyone having this. You must not be ready for this drug. Maybe your body is getting purified, let’s just wait and see. Anyways, I am not even sure I believe you unless an independent unbiased agency investigates this.” Would that work? In any event, the drug will definitely be pulled out of the market by FDA.
      What AOL needs is to get sued by someone in the US for the side effects they experienced after doing kriya. That would really get them.
      Uttam, with all due respect, you are not making much sense. Would you continue to be peaceful and non-critical and go your own way if you saw a crime happening, someone getting hurt, killed, raped, robbed? I am hoping not. Then why do you advise the bloggers to change their thinking? In their perception, which I believe is right, they are seeing people getting duped, and raising awareness for the same in a perfectly legitimate way. What is wrong with that? In all companies, you see a notice posted in a public space. It says “Whistleblowers will be protected”. Because every organization, atleast publicly, has to maintain the facade that they want to root out the misdeeds in their organization, and will co-operate with authorities regarding the same. Imagine if in response to allegations of monetary fraud in a company, if they said “If you don’t like us, don’t join us. Go away. Leave. We didn’t ask that you be employed here. When you leave, forget about what happened. If you talk about it, tell anyone about it, blog about it, all it means is that you have a negative mind. It also means you are so in love with the organization that you cannot forget us. I assure the rest of the world that this person is mad, deranged, bipolar, whatever. Don’t listen to this person.”
      Would that work in the real world?

      • Jr. permalink
        May 25, 2012 4:19 pm

        “What AOL needs is to get sued by someone in the US for the side effects they experienced after doing kriya. That would really get them.”

        I’m often wondered if this would eventually happen. Obviously, they’d probably make things very difficult for the persons attempting to do this, or perhaps try to buy out their silence. But the other thing is, how would one prove this was caused by the breathing? It’s not like they can take a blood sample to show SK was done. This is an interesting point though, and it makes you wonder if something like this could happen.

      • Uttam permalink
        May 25, 2012 5:13 pm

        May God give all the strength and blessings to stand up for truth. May truth prevail.

        The cycle of karma is impartial and makes sure that it gets balanced for each soul in the long run.

        Nice to have interacted with all. Best Wishes.

      • May 26, 2012 2:38 pm

        Uttam, I feel your pain brother! With some you can have good conversations that are mutually respectful. But with others it is impossible. Good luck!

  15. Adyut permalink
    May 25, 2012 9:39 pm

    Doesn’t AOL make course participants sign an agreement when they sign up that absolves AOL of any consequences? If this is the case, then no one could sure them for SK related damages.


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