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A New Blog Critical of AoL … in French!

June 27, 2012

From Michel J Grenier:

Je viens tout juste de créer un blogue francophone : ” Après Art de Vivre “.

Vous pouvez y aller à : https://apresartdevivre.wordpress.com/


I just created a French blog : ” Après Art de Vivre ” (Beyond the Art of Living).

You can reach it at : https://apresartdevivre.wordpress.com/

Dear Michel,

This is fantastic news, well done! I applaud you for all your efforts, both in translating various key posts we’ve already seen and for taking the initiative to set up this new blog. I really hope this will inspire others to start blogs in other languages as well. We’ve had so many requests in the past but haven’t really had the resources to do it.

I’ve added your blog to the AOL CRITIQUES section on the right hand side. If you need any help or advice, please don’t hesitate to email me, we can discuss things in private.


Dear All,

Please help us to publicize this blog in whatever way you can, I’m sure there are a lot of people out there who would really appreciate it.

Obi-Wan

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31 Comments
  1. VSS permalink
    June 28, 2012 12:25 pm

    I join Obi-Wan in applauding you for all your efforts, Michel! This is fantastic news indeed!

  2. Anonymous permalink
    June 28, 2012 4:56 pm

    Seriously, did you notice that ALL AoL events are marketed as, “very very special”? and/or that “Sri Sri will teach it himself”? Shouldn’t that be a correct assumption to begin with? People finally pay lots of money to be in a course taught by a brain-fried teacher, seeing the “Master” only at random times, speaking the same crap or worse, having him tell the public, “hah? it’s in the Knowledge Sheets book. Ask intelligent questions and you will get good answers.” What about he doesn’t get intelligent questions BECAUSE he gives no good answers and lousy talks? And still, nothing happens, ALL marketing to fill his offshore bank accounts! In Europe we will be blessed with ANOTHER very very special ONE DAY course WITH HIM for the SPECIAL reduced fee of 1500 EUROS! 1500 Euros, just for the course, no lodging! The world is in crisis not STUPID! What will be his excuses this time? Expenses of HIS hotel? HIS First Class ticket? HIS new clothes? The rental of the location? The publicity? The decoration? To help the poor? Wow! Yes, the Red Cross uses 80% of the income in overhead, and AoL, “the largest NGO in the world” barely uses any in overhead. Yeah right!!!! Can he stop lying and stealing?????? If someone goes to the event, please ask him, “DOES AN NGO AND SPIRITUAL ORGANIZATION NEED TO CHARGE THIS MUCH TO RAISE HUMAN VALUES IN SOCIETY?” And please share his excuses with us!

    ——

    Dear Art of Living teachers and organizers,

    We are glad to share updates on the very special seminar with Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: ‘Manage yourself – maintain your excellence!’, from 14th – 15th July 2012 in Königstein, Frankfurt, Germany.

    It is very rare and unique opportunity Guruji is giving us to learn directly from Him and spend quality time together with Him. Guruji will be teaching all program, interact personally and coach each participant individually. Take this opportunity to inform interested people in your network and join yourself!

    Good news: we still have places available and we have extended the Early Bird offer till 30th June – for one more week participants can join for a discounted rate!

    Please find more detailed information in attached application form and the brochure.

    If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.

    We look forward to hearing from you and seeing you soon in Falkenstein Grand Kempinski Hotel, Königstein, Frankfurt!

    Jai Guru Dev & best wishes,
    Event Team

  3. Anonymous permalink
    June 29, 2012 1:49 am

    Thank you Michel for such suport, what a marvelous example and how inspirational you´ve become to many!!!! Blessings

  4. June 29, 2012 5:29 am

    There is a degree certificate scan on Bawa’s blog. Genuine?

  5. Anonymous permalink
    June 29, 2012 7:05 am

    http://bawandinesh.name/look-what-we-found/#comments

    a certificate to show that ssrs completed studies at age 17 albeit finished exams and received b.sc degree at age 18

    • VSS permalink
      June 29, 2012 12:29 pm

      The certificate says “third class”. What does that mean? Does that indicate his scores? He got a “third class” ? If anyone knows, please demystify. Thank you.

      And, is this certificate genuine? The blog post says he took his exams in October because he couldn’t take them in April. Did people have the option of taking B Sc (Science) exams in April and October? And, why didn’t he take his exams in April ? What happened in April ? Does anyone know ? Kindly shed light, if you do. Thank you.

      It’s also intriguing to find that this certificate was unearthed after so many years. Makes me wonder about how much education and educational certificates are valued in the Shankar household. Shouldn’t it have been unearthed before the Wikipedia entry? Was the effect of Sudershan Kriya so disastrous on Mr. Ravi Shankar’s memory that Mr. Ravi Shankar could not recall the date of his graduation when he provided information for the Wikipedia entry? And, neither could he ask Mrs. Bhanumati to locate his certificate?

      It’s all very dubious. To me, it seems like the certificate has been manufactured recently.

      If the certificate is genuine, then the effect of Sudershan Kriya is disastrous on Mr. Ravi Shankar who even forgot the year he graduated. If the certificate is not genuine, well, what can one say about someone who has a penchant for lies and deception — except that may Goddess Saraswati grant him some true knowledge. In any case, a “third class” in science subjects is something to be ashamed of. Science subjects are supposed to be scoring subjects. If he couldn’t manage anything better than a “third class”, then, maybe the last thing anyone should ever speak about is his intelligence because it’s missing.

      The blog post even says that whoever updates Wikipedia entries should do it. So, B&D don’t know who updates the Wikipedia entry, do they? It seems IIT education is of no help either. And, what else in the Wikipedia entry needs to be updated? Can we have a final version of tall claims, please? Or, are people too busy hyperventilating to pay attention to detail? Or, does hyperventilating cause the death of attention to detail?

      The fact of the matter is that word is spreading. IO’s analysis was true. That’s why they even felt the need to clarify — and are playing victims to the hilt (pretending that they were misrepresented) — just like some of AoL’s representatives did very, very recently (on Skywalker’s blog). No one is buying this certificate that has surfaced oh so suddenly. Let’s also not forget that in the 1970s, it was also easy for anyone to make someone else write their exam for a sum of money.

      So, let’s get real. Let’s talk about education and especially about scientific education. Does Mr. Ravi Shankar seem educated? Does he seem to have any sense at all of what scientific education is all about? Is his approach to running an organization scientific? Is he about precision, accuracy, excellence and brilliance? Are psychological manipulation and spiritual abuse scientific subjects? And, what about B&D? What justice have they done to their IIT education? Did the government of India spend so much money on them so that they could hyperventilate for the rest of their lives and teach others how to hyperventilate too? Is engineering the mental slavery of human beings in 150 countries taught in IIT? And, how utterly foolish can they be? Just because some needy people who have terrible lives along with some genuine seekers of spirituality got conned by them, they think they are intelligent? Oh, God! Such horrendous and obnoxious absurdity is not even laughable — it only deserves pity. Everyone should read that post on their blog just to know the zenith of how delusional — delusional can be. Please don’t take my word for it. Just read that post. And, then, please read the comments too to know the zenith of being brainwashed. It’s all so sad — so very sad.

      • June 30, 2012 4:31 am

        1. I am not able to find St Joseph’s college anywhere.
        2. Distinction – 70% plus. 1st class is 60-70% plus. 2nd class 50-59%. 3rd class (40-49). Fail is < 40.

        It is probably the original. St Joseph's college became autonomous pretty recently. Hence that explains only the Bangalore University on the cert.

        This certificate was issued in Dec 1975, He was 19 years 7 months old then.

        He wrote the exam in 1974 (Oct), and was 18 years and 5 months then.

        Forget about Wiki. This in itself…..is A FAR CRY FROM THE 17 years THAT THE MAN HIMSELF CLAIMED ON BBC.

        Any can anybody who updates Wiki post on Wiki. Some poor volunteer kid in his excitement will do the job….so there is no trace of the AOL/B&D initiation and fraud to change data that they have innocently let stay online (AS LONG AS IT SUITED THEM)

        AOL will twist this further. They will claim that the PUBLIC said that HE did not graduate. See we provided the certificate. Just as I wrote how they would twist the Skywalker Case.

        Their system can be effective ONLY as far as they do the following and they need to keep the system running as long as possible OR each of them will BE BURIED under the ruins when the collapse happens.

        1. Prevent face to face meetings of their existing blind followers (Sheeple) with others.

        2. Keep them busy slaves by doing courses or organising courses (all the frigging time)

        3. Make the slave's entire world almost entirely AOL (Eat AOL, Hear AOL, See AOL, Sleep AOL, talk AOL, teach AOL, follow AOL, Preach AOL). Create such a fear about the PUBLIC that they only want to mingle within AOL. Anything that is "not AOL" is dangerous for you. (Just like how Yoga is not in the Quran)….See the pattern ?

        4. Now, this is where it gets interesting. AOL is loosely organised the world over. You cannot implement any uniform hair brained BW schemes uniformly the world over. And for BW schemes to succeed you have to keep repeating them again and again and again in many many different ways. Make it a part of your daily routine. Put it on facebook. Post it amongst the same people AGAIN and AGAIN by different members.

        And What is your only OTHER way to do it, given your current structure ? Announce a Sales Conference. Just like any MLM company (AMWAY types….A Rah Rah Rah conference…..where only the Elite get in). In AOL's case it called a TRM. Teachers are FORCED in…..after all if they do not come, then they lose their personal time with GOD. And if that happens, their stuff cannot hold itself together. Better to go. Even if it hurts the kids or if the business suffers.

        5. And guess what….what do you think gets discussed in the TRM ???…the BLOG. From the focus on Guru stories the TRM now focuses on the BLOG. I find this amazing.

        Not having the TRM is not an option, as local country activity is on the decline and doubts on the increase.

        6. @ AOL they forget something elementary. Most teachers, when they became teachers, dis so as they were willing to commit themselves even more strongly to their spiritual path and to do seva. Hence they were authentic and they were making heart based decisions. The heart is far smarter than the brain. People, check out Heart math (http://www.heartmath.org/).

        A few of these teachers will be alive to the potential truth. If 100 come 5 will wake up. They may stay quiet during the TRM, but they will wake up.

        7. Soon this TRM bit will also not hold good anymore as many answers are very inadequate and generate more questions. Hence at that time there will need to be fabricated some FLAGSHIP events (Expensive Berlin) or false flag events (Claimed Assassinations) that will hold the centre stage and attention of the existing sheeple that are caught in the AOL web.

        Everyone please read the seriously read the comments on the B&D blog have a laugh but also CRY. These are the conclusions of our youth who are controlled by these mobsters. These are the symptoms of classic brainwashing. These poor kids cannot think for themselves. Can you see their language so like a cult…..We are special and "they" THE PUBLIC don't know anything.

        They are jealous of our blissful community (CULT) so they keep posting all misleading information about us. Poor us. We are the good men fighting evil and the poor PUBLIC are mislead by some ex rebel teachers who are jealous of SriSri. They write blogs because he refused to pay them 2000 US$.

        B&D are just cheap thugs using cheap tricks to keep their AOL centric business afloat. BTW these guys own the canteen franchise at the Bangalore Ashram. I can bet you they have their students coming in and doing free seva (almost….free, they will claim that the food is free for the volunteers) for them at their FOR PROFIT venture. A new Corolla car, Mac Laptops, other expensive toys….all have to be financed no ?

        Since, the BLOG is nameless and faceless (Just like the Al Qaeda is !!!) hence you can say anything and get away. If anyone has seen the Hindi movie…Sholay ?…In a remote village a young baby cries the mother says to the child to stop it from crying….stop ….."Nahin tho gabbar Aa jayegah" (In English, "Stop crying otherwise Gabbar will come to get you").

        Beware AOL devotees…..do not think, do not talk, be very very careful…..just listen to your AOL teacher…..otherwise the BLOG gonna get you. Before you wear your chappals chant "Guru Om", this builds a blanket of grace around you….otherwise the "Bloggerman" may get you.

        Stories to AOL Sheeple (especially B&D Sheeple) :-

        Can you imagine how dark it would be if somebody has to use a BLOG to criticise GOD and his good work. ? People with hardly any correct facts. They even say SriSri did not graduate. Crazy people. Can you imagine how bad such a place would be. Not so with us….ever. Once we have done Sudarshan Kriya, our intellect becomes very sharp. Our ability to discriminate becomes heightened. Hence you can easily separate the milk and water. It will become very clear to you how Negative the Blog is. Hence when you know its negative, why send time doing anything. The more you spend time in something negative, soon you will become like it. So just stay away form such things. Attend satsangs, be in the company of the divine. On those sometimes lonely weekends just go to the Ashram canteen and just do some seva….

      • VSS permalink
        July 3, 2012 4:51 pm

        @ IO [June 30, 2012 4:31 am]

        These insights are heartbreaking but so very necessary for all readers. What makes me hopeful is the fact that society is evolving. AoL can’t prevent social evolution. That’s why these blogs exist and are being read by more and more people. It’s also very clear to me from this whole aversion to anything that is perceived as “negative” — that this is at the heart of what is weakening AoL. First, people think AoL is perfect and the whole world is negative. Then, they begin to get exposed to all that is negative in AoL, and AoL is dismissive about any negative occurrences that are reported. People realize that AoL is as negative as the world outside — except that there’s freedom in the world outside — which makes them realize the AoL is actually worse than the world outside — and then they leave AoL.

        Essentially, AoL sells a fantasy — which turns out to be as fake and false as fake and false can be.

        In my case, “the knowledge” entered my universe, demolished it, demolished me, and turned me into an incoherent cobweb who could think of nothing but relocating to the Bangalore Ashram for restoring my credibility. In my head, the only way I could prove my worth was if I could prove my worth to AoL. But I was in such excruciating pain and feeling so pushed into joining AoL that I thought I should check on the internet and see if anyone ever felt pained by this pressure that AoL put on people to be in a certain way. I wondered if there were people who felt adequate despite not submitting to AoL. I had almost been convinced that freedom had no meaning — and only AoL did. I had also been convinced that I was nothing and AoL was everything. Still, I dared to rebel and found these blogs.

        Between the time I first read these blogs and today — I have learnt so much and discovered so much that I am astounded. I’ve also decided to add to the momentum of these blogs in another way — as of a few days ago. It’s a tiny initiative but I think that it’ll have some impact on people around me (in the same residential area as me and AoL is trying to reach them) and could potentially discourage them from turning to a cult for stress relief.

    • Mangal permalink
      June 29, 2012 3:00 pm

      The signature on the bottom checks out. Vice-chancellor from 73-77 was indeed H.V. Narasimhaiah
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/H._Narasimhaiah

      A third class B.Sc is a sharp letdown though after hearing tall claims of Him having an “advanced degree in Physics” at the age of seventeen.

    • The Revolver permalink
      July 6, 2012 9:04 pm

      oh…he passed in October!!! Usually a student who failed in April would sit for exams in October in India.

  6. Indian permalink
    June 29, 2012 7:59 am

    We need to do this in India also..people should know about the real Sri Sri in India..but the real deal is how to spread the word, the other day i was talking to a AOL teacher and the lady did not even know about the blog even after spending close to 5 years in AOL. Not sure how do they do not know or i guess they know it but do not want to discuss becuase their branwashed brains tells them that such blogs are proof that Sri Sri is messiah because it has been fed that there always will be negative forces which will oppose those who stand up for doing good to people.

  7. June 29, 2012 9:18 am

    Obi-Wan……If we can also post the below link everywhere. Since AOL now need to raise money to pay the lawyers.

    http://www.artofliving.org/intl-meditation-center-usa/donate

    Hmmmmmm….2 million Dollars……

    Doc, Skywalker……….did this come up after they lost the case or before ? They are almost close to 0.5 million dollars.

    • Anonymous permalink
      July 3, 2012 4:40 am

      IO, I think that was up well before the conclusion of the case. Isn’t this for the LA center?

  8. Anonymous permalink
    June 29, 2012 2:28 pm

    Grading System in India
    India GPA calculator

    Grading Scales:
    Most Common
    Grade Scale Grade Description US Grade
    A+ 91.00 – 100.00 Distinction A+
    A 81.00 – 90.99 Distinction A
    A- A-
    B+ 61.00 – 80.99 First Class B+
    B 51.00 – 60.99 Second Class B
    B- B-
    C+ 41.00 – 50.99 Third Class C+
    C 33.00 – 40.99 Third Class C
    C- C-
    D+ D+
    D D
    F 0.00 – 32.99 Fail F

    • VSS permalink
      July 1, 2012 4:00 pm

      @ Anonymous [June 29, 2012 2:28 pm]

      Thanks for the info.

  9. Anonymous permalink
    June 29, 2012 2:33 pm

    Oops! Then this means that Ravi Shankar personally lied to me for unknown reasons, that he “never graduated from school”, but dropped out to serve Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. He said this on many ocassions to me. I don’t know why he would lie about something like that, but I can see why he might fabricate having gone to school and finished. And also, it’s interesting because two men who told me they were in school with him said they were in “national college” not St Joseph’s. And third class means he was a terrible student who barely passed. So that would make it more believeable. But someone has lied. Either he lied to me and others that he dropped out to join Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, and never finished his college, or he is lying about the certificate we see here, which may or may not be real. And this certificate would also mean that people totally unaffiliated with Art of Living, who just don’t care about it, who do remember where and when they went to school, who remember him well, as they were also neighbors, gave a different school name. It’s all so confusing, no?

    • VSS permalink
      July 1, 2012 4:30 pm

      @ Anonymous [June 29, 2012 2:33 pm]

      Yes, it’s confusing and baffling. Where was this certificate all these years? Why could it not be located? Is there no respect for educational certificates in the Shankar household? Why wasn’t it referenced before the Wikipedia entry was made? Why does he claim academic brilliance when he got a “third class” ? Why would his classmates claim they went to a different college? What is the need for this web of lies? Why is there any need to lie about educational qualifications? Why doesn’t he think it’s unethical to do so — people lose their admission and / or job if they lie about their educational qualifications. What respect could he possibly have for education — his or anyone else’s? What respect could he possibly have for Goddess Saraswati and what she means to true Hindus? He’s a dubious character and he himself has provided all of us with all the reasons for thinking he is a dubious character. With the passage of time, he’s just proving to be his own nemesis.

      Just look at how he dealt with Skywalker and Klim. Why didn’t he fight it out in court? What happened? Doesn’t he believe in Satyamev Jayate? Or, was he so sure that the truth would prevail — that he went in for an out of court settlement? He knew he would lose. Judge Koh had already said that there was only “minimal merit” in the trade secret claim. They could not prove “particularity”. So, what did he do? Backed off? Why? He sensed trouble. He feared the trial. He had zero conviction in the charges he made. Everyone who considers him a “guru” should take a close look at what their “guru” is an expert at. My dearest AoL members, your “guru” is the “guru” of lies. If you want to become a consummate liar like him who fears the truth, by all means continue to be in the Art of Lying.

      Let me also add that there will be no reforms in AoL. I have repeatedly said that I am pro reforms in AoL but not one person from AoL has come forward to discuss reforms. So, this situation will persist until it self-destructs — which it is bound to. That AoL you have conviction in — has no conviction in itself. Think about that. The only people who wish you well and want you to be well and safe are the ones who are behind these blogs. They have conviction in the truth and give you a voice. If you don’t believe me, try posting on this blog. No one will stop you from exercising your freedom of expression. If you don’t lie and if you are not abusive, you can talk about anything on this blog because it’s not a cult and those who post here are not members of a cult.

      Is there an AoL blog where you can express yourself freely? No? Doesn’t that fact alone tell you that you are in a cult that has zero tolerance for the freedom of expression?

      • Anoop permalink
        July 4, 2012 5:31 am

        I found “art of living” part1 course very useful when i did it in January 2011. The things attracted me were the different people i could meet and talk and also the “lessons” taught. The male teacher was very good and was explaining things well and answering openly and logically to all queries. I felt the lady teacher was too much into guru worship and was telling things like “faking smiles and happiness”, “guru miracles” which turned me off. and also the guru video showed at the end and the guruji praises participants were telling also made me realize that “art of living” is not a place for me.

        I came back and searched “art of living fraud” and came to skywalker’s blog.

        But we need to be realistic. I dont hate everything what “art of living” claim. If we made a mistake in Guruiji or ravishankar ‘s degree certicate we should be able to say that openly instead of again asking questions.

  10. Anonymous permalink
    June 30, 2012 10:46 pm

    IO,

    Why should this blog help AOL raise funds since AOL has enough of scam-tainted ‘charity’ money to pay the lawyers.

    • July 1, 2012 5:52 pm

      Anonymous PERMALINK
      June 30, 2012 10:46 pm

      It is just my way of exercising my satirical brain muscles.

  11. Anonymous permalink
    July 3, 2012 5:35 pm

    IO: Your June 30 post is sad, but true. The B&D blog is not that well attended, though, in case you didn’t notice. Only a few comments by a few loons who say how awful the blogs are, etc.

    Let’s just say that for some mysterious reason, Ravi Shankar used to tell people that he had no education past 17 years old, never graduated, left school to be with his master, but that it is all a big lie, and now he is coming out and telling the real truth: that he holds a hidden degree. He just didn’t want people to know some years back (kind of weird, dontcha think?). So say, suppose, that we now are finding out the real truth, those who were lied to in the past — he is so educated, and graduated so young from college. Does any of that change how he treats people? Does any of this education ‘scandal’ change how he has abused his power over unsuspecting people who went to him for guidance? In fact, I could have (and sometimes did) pass off his terrible behaviors to the fact that he was, according to his own mouth, uneducated. I couldn’t really expect much from a man who had left school, joined up with a big group, and only did seva from 17 onwards, having failed in school. Now we find, supposedly, that he has a college degree. It makes his abuse of position and power, his stealing of charitiable funds for his family’s use, even more despicable! I’m sure that those posting on B&D’s blog have never born the brunt of Ravi Shankar’s tantrums, his requests to do things that nobody even dares to talk about, because it is the something or other which has no name (that’s as much as I will print here). So he’s an educated man after all, someone with a college degree, confusing young people with these requests, leaving them wondering what they are, if what he’s asked them to do, and what they have performed, is indeed spiritual, and will relieve them of all their karmas as he told them? Great. I guess that piece of paper on B&D’s blog makes all of that just fine. I guess the posted document makes him exempt. That piece of paper relieves him of the responsibility to explain what happened to so many people’s youth who went to him seeking refuge and learning, and instead learned things their parents were appalled at when the whispers started, and they realized that what was right in front of them was actually the fact. Ravi Shankar is exactly what he looks and sounds like. People just don’t want to admit it. They can’t bear that they are so mislead. Or maybe they just don’t care. It wouldn’t matter what he is if he didn’t try to make others like him, while claiming that all of it is ‘holy’ or ‘spiritual’ or the way to get rid of bad karmas. It wouldn’t matter what he is at all, except that he uses his authority, and status, and charisma to convince youth that certain things are just fine with the Guru (only with the Guru). Who knows. Many parents are and have been angry. But what can they do? Nobody likes a scandal in their house. I’m glad I got out. I pity anyone there who doesn’t realize what they are in for, or who think that what they are going through is normal or nice. Art of Living is a sick organization with a sick master who can only live in his dark little closet. I pity him, but I pity those he fools even more. God will fix all of this some day, but not before many more people get hoodwinked.

    • Anon permalink
      July 6, 2012 6:09 pm

      @ Anonymous

      ” and instead learned things their parents were appalled at when the whispers started, and they realized that what was right in front of them was actually the fact. Ravi Shankar is exactly what he looks and sounds like.”

      Can you please elaborate a bit on this part.

      • Anonymous permalink
        July 10, 2012 2:30 pm

        Probably not without getting sued for “defamation” which for AOL and their master is “telling the truth”. Someone, at some point, who is brave and doesn’t mind the scandal they cause, will step forward and take the risk. I’m a coward.

    • Dayalu permalink
      July 9, 2012 5:39 pm

      He might have wanted to hide the fact that he passed in 3rd class and thereby claimed to have dropped out of college to be with Mahirshi. But then when the org started growing rapidly in India, he may have had a change of mind and altered the story to ‘advanced degree in physics and vedic sciences. Now we know it was neither advanced physics nor vedic science. Let us thank Bawa and Dinesh for proving our point about the consistent inconsistencies in everything associated with Art of Living.

  12. VSS permalink
    July 4, 2012 8:32 am

    @ Anoop [July 4, 2012 5:31 am]

    Dude, you need to get real. You’re getting a whole lot of issues mixed up here. Mr. Ravi Shankar claimed on national television courtesy BBC that he was 17 when he graduated. Read IO’s comment. He wasn’t. If the Wikipedia data was authentic *at the outset*, would there be any doubt in anyone’s mind? And, why would people say he studied in “National College”? Any claim that is refuted by even one person ceases to be a fact. The burden of proof lies with *the one who is making the claim*.

    If I claim — for the purpose of a university admission or a job — that I graduated at the age of 17, then I have to have a certificate that proves my claim. My birth certificate has to substantiate that claim. If it doesn’t, my admission can be canceled and I can be fired. It is unethical to lie about one’s educational qualifications. For a true Hindu who has any respect for Goddess Saraswati, it’s also a religious sin.

    Also, I don’t think you are aware of the legal tenet of *condoning*. Why did he *condone* factual inaccuracies in the Wikipedia entry? And, what about those who have been claiming that he specialized in *Vedic Studies*? On Skywalker’s blog, Sadhana tried to validate all strategically planted misinformation by saying something to the effect that he studied *Vedic Physics*. So, kindly speak for yourself. If *you* feel like believing that he graduated at the age of 17, then by all means do what your heart says. But, please don’t decide what others should think. Please.

    About hatred — I think we need to determine if we hate brainwashing, abuse, deception, cheating, the sale and purchase of enlightenment, lies about SK — basically — we need to determine if we, as humane human beings, hate *any action that harms human beings*. Do you? I know I do. I don’t hate human beings. All human beings have human rights including Mr. Ravi Shankar — including Naxalites — including terrorists — including psychopaths — including sociopaths — including bloggers — and including any other human being on this planet. Even B&D have human rights.

    But make no mistake — no human being — no mortal — has any *divine rights*. Only the immortal have “divine rights* — such as the right to be worshiped. Everyone in AoL is a mere mortal. And, mere mortals err because to err is human. However, they (AoL top people) never acknowledge their errors — no matter how serious — and they never attempt to correct them — which is nothing but arrogance. They think they are justified in ignoring all errors as they claim some kind of proximity to *the divine* i.e. *the immortal*.

    They claim exclusive franchise over God’s Grace via Guru’s Grace.

    This is beyond bizarre. God belongs to everybody and God is equally accessible to all mortals — depending upon the commitment to and practice of ethical behaviour. Do you think God is so petty that God is checking if a devotee’s access is via Mr. Ravi Shankar or not?

    If you know anything at all about the concept of God in any religion, you would know that God is not petty. To project God thus is the worst kind of sacrilege and is absolutely blasphemous. God does not discriminate against anyone. It does not matter to God if a devotee has a “guru” or not. As long as one is sincerely devoted, that’s all that matters.

    What do we need to do as human beings?

    We need to be more and more and more humane. God is not checking to see how many courses someone did. God is not even checking to see how many times anyone chanted or meditated. God is not checking to see who is doing yoga before blessing anybody. God is only concerned about goodness. That’s why the good and those who are striving to do greater good get the best sleep and the sweetest dreams. They’re not stressed out or violent. Look around you. You’ll see enough examples of such people. Maybe one of them is you. Maybe there are some in your own family.

    Mr. Ravi Shankar has created an empire of delusions that actually denigrates God. I hate the denigration of God — not the person who does it. If he can stop doing so, I could stop writing on this blog.

    (And, I must add that I don’t have a problem with anyone not believing in God — but I do have a problem with *deliberate denigration* — it’s disrespectful towards those who believe in God and it’s disrespectful towards the right to believe in God. I believe in peaceful coexistence, so please don’t think I am attempting to denigrate atheism in any way. As long as a human being is committed to ethics, and is humane, a human being inspires me. I am inspired by many who claim to be atheists because they personify goodness.)

    Maybe he doesn’t believe in God. That’s why — as some people say — he says he thinks he is God. Well, God is way, way, way, way, way better than he can ever be. God is not a mortal. To reduce God thus is a religious sin — in addition to being a terrible factual inaccuracy that is incredibly misleading and delusional.

    A mere mortal who projects himself thus is referred to as a megalomaniac. And, Mr. Ravi Shankar deserves the compassion that any human being suffering from this mental affliction does. I wish him a speedy recovery from the bottom of my heart. A mortal who is driving people to get more and more people to worship him is in dire need of psychiatric therapy.

    People are floored in / by his presence — because people fall for confidence — especially those people who are not confident. I did too. He seems so confident about all that he is claiming that one wants to believe him. However, none of these claims are based on facts. The moment one discovers that, he seems supremely delusional. At least, that’s what happened with me.

    • Anoop permalink
      July 4, 2012 8:47 am

      disclaimer: Here also I am mixing issues and deviating from the topic of this blog.

      I dont believe in god and even if he/she is there he/she is the biggest discriminator I can imagine of !!!

      I dont believe in guruji miracles, and i dont believe in god miracles.

      • VSS permalink
        July 4, 2012 9:20 am

        @ Anoop [July 4, 2012 8:47 am]

        As I said in my earlier post, I don’t have any problems whatsoever in co-existing peacefully with atheists — as long as atheists are committed to goodness. I have often been inspired by atheists who are good human beings from my perspective — as in people who do not harm other human beings and people who are helpful in their behaviour towards other human beings.

        I believe in goodness. For me, personally, it’s a synonym of God. I can understand if this is not the case for you — and have no problems whatsoever accepting and respecting your perspective — as a perspective.

        As for miracles, I perceive any humane human being who personifies goodness as a miracle. I can understand if others don’t. I find excellence in artistic expression miraculous too. But again, that’s just me. And, no one needs to agree with me.

        As far as Mr. Ravi Shankar is concerned, as I said, he is suffering from a mental affliction commonly known as megalomania. This is evident in his need to have more and more people worship him as they would worship an immortal — even though he is a mere mortal. I don’t think any psychiatrist in the world would regard this as “normal” behaviour. It’s severely delusional behaviour. That it leads to various things that have and continue to harm others makes it even more urgent that he recover soon. I wish him a speedy recovery.

  13. Anon permalink
    July 6, 2012 6:05 pm

    @ Anonymous

    i can understand what you are hinting at. If many people have gone through what you have gone through, then may be you should send it to the news papers. many news channels are waiting to Pull RS down. Many wrong doings in the organisation must be brought to the light of the people through the media.
    i myself have sent a couple of articles to the press,and if many of us keep doing this , i am sure ,soon RS will be exposed.

  14. VSS permalink
    July 7, 2012 7:11 pm

    @ Anonymous [July 3, 2012 5:35 pm]

    I’m sorry to hear that you were subjected to trauma. I can guess from your words how you were manipulated and it numbs my senses to think that you had to endure the unmentionable. Indian society will need to evolve considerably more before unmentionable acts can be reported to the relevant authorities and the guilty can be punished. I would not encourage you to report the matter unless and until you have incontrovertible evidence — which is difficult to have in such situations because one doesn’t record these incidents as they are unfolding — and unless and until you know someone who is a media baron and / or a political heavyweight. I’m not being cynical — I am positive that Indian society will evolve to the required degree — eventually — but as of now it’s not evolved enough to dispense the kind of justice that this situation demands. It’s still at the stage where it is judgmental and often times even biased and prejudiced.

    I agree with the following assertion you’ve made too:

    “Now we find, supposedly, that he has a college degree. It makes his abuse of position and power, his stealing of charitiable funds for his family’s use, even more despicable!”

    @ anyone who is reading

    If, by any chance, you are being asked to engage in inappropriate acts with anyone, please stop honouring such instructions with immediate effect. Such acts have the potential to scar your psyche — and take a lot of time to heal. When interacting with anyone around you, as you would in the real world as well, please engage in only those acts that are clearly proper and appropriate. I have not been in AoL so I don’t know anything first hand. But several people have written heartfelt accounts about unmentionable acts. One way to know if someone is asking you to do something unmentionable or not — is by asking yourself if you would be able to describe that act on this blog without fear of legal action — meaning that — what Skywalker and Klim have achieved in terms of the freedom of expression — is that you can openly talk about different kinds of abuse that you may have been subjected to in AoL without any fear of being dragged to court by AoL. However, if you are being asked to engage in acts that you cannot mention on this blog — because of their unmentionable nature — then your alarm bells should go off — and you should not only stop engaging in those acts immediately — you should also find your way to the place where you will be completely safe from any further requests for unmentionable acts as well as potential punishment for refusing to engage in unmentionable acts. So, please sit down calmly and think if you are involved in any activity that cannot be mentioned even in this blog. If you are, or, if you are aware that such activity is taking place, please leave for a safe place immediately. I’m extremely serious about this — please don’t take this lightly at all. Do the litmus test — ask yourself — if you’re doing anything or if you’re asked to do anything that you cannot mention on this blog. If the answer is yes, please relocate to a safe place at the earliest. Please don’t jeopardize your safety and well being.

    @ Anon [July 6, 2012 6:05 pm]

    I sent the article that Klim quoted to various key publications and television channels via email — the one that is titled “Unmasking the Art of Living”. I thought that they would cover the story — if only to report Judge Koh’s revolutionary judgment about preserving the anonymity of bloggers. However, they have not covered the story. While this might make AoL people feel that AoL is very powerful and hence the media is protecting them, my own assessment of the issue is that AoL is not “newsworthy” for the Indian media. They simply don’t make much of it — unless Mr. Ravi Shankar makes absolutely ridiculous statements as he did about the cause of Naxalism in the recent past. However, I am pretty certain that Mr. Ravi Shankar’s propensity for ridiculous statements will land him into trouble again with the Indian media. Right now, he’s lying low because if he says anything, this legal battle with Skywalker will come to the fore — but he won’t be able to forever — because he is not enlightened. Those who are truly enlightened have a tremendous degree of self control — something that he lacks almost completely.

    • Anonymous permalink
      July 10, 2012 2:40 pm

      Well, VSS, it’s not something that happened to only a few people. So many. Some I knew, others just heard talking about the same thing. The confusion was immense for those thinking “is this what devotion is? I guess it must be spiritual if he says so…” Sometimes the confusion became so great that suicide was threatened. That was when I left. It was too sickening. I must admit that even then, I didn’t fully know what had happened, had not accepted that there was zero spirituality in the goings-ons. I thought things like “oh, he is a Great Guruji, he can do things that others cannot, and anything that happens with him is good”. But my inner self said “no way”, and “what is happening here is simply wrong”. You are right. Part of the reason that nothing has come out is shame, and the limitations of the society itself to talk about a topic that is so shunned and avoided. I wish I could print RS’s excuses for this behavior (because I did confront him with all doubts before leaving). But I cannot out of fear. Suffice it to say that he had excuses and reasons for everything, and none of them were admissions of actual need or want on his part. The happenings were the ‘vasanas’ of those it happened to. You know the routine “they wanted it”. 😦 But parents of some found out, and letters did come in blasting him. They were disposed of.

  15. Anonymous permalink
    July 9, 2012 1:27 pm

    I noticed that Michael Grenier continues to tirelessly translate so much of what is being posted here! For those in Montreal area, where the Canadian ashram is located, this is so important. Not having even been in Art of Living, but just having been affected by their “neighborly” conduct to one of his associates, Mr. Grenier does this work. Now that’s seva!

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