Skip to content

Victims of Rape in Art of Living: We are all Guilty

January 3, 2013

by ex aol teacher

Over the years, as a “devotee” and eventually as a teacher, I heard several stories and knew a few victims of rape incidents within the organization. Whether in the West or India, by Western teachers or Indian teachers, including some with religious ranking such as “rishi” or “sri sri”, or board members, female or male victims, often turned out to be events discredited by the “authorities” and lost in time and space. Usually, incidents were known by one or more senior teachers, one or more regular teachers, one or more ashram coordinators, and definitely by “the guru”, though surprisingly, never the police. Of course, one or more senior teachers would be outraged by the event (cuz we always went first to a senior teacher to discuss any discomfort), before even approaching the guru. However, always surprised at the lack of expected action by the guru. And even more, when the guru himself would thereafter promote the abuser, to either advanced course teacher, or Sahaj teacher, or TTC teacher, or DSN teacher, or Rishi, or …… Sadly, often rumours would thereafter start circulating about the victim, “promiscuous”, “likes sex too much”, “slut”, “mentally imbalanced”, “blue star”. Rumours often started by the guru himself.

Definitely clear indications things work upside down in the AoL. Clearly, demonstrating the misogynistic aspect of the guru’s personality, an overall perversion, and the cultic aspect of the movement. Beyond all his talk about love and non-violence, money and publicity spent in organizing “women’s conferences”, etc., clearly, no coherence at all between speech and actions.

The recent incidents in India set me to remember all the rape cases I knew in the organization, victims, abusers. I too was guilty of keeping “the secrets” and by keeping shush, helped promote lies and violence within an organization that allegedly promotes human values. It makes me sick to the stomach to even think the possibility that Sri Sri is now talking about these incidents for further self-promotion and reprimanding Indian society, for what he himself does.

Of course, when I read articles about the protests in India, I understand he is no different than people like MP Abhijit Mukherjee who called women protesting gang rape, “dented and painted women” who go to discos, have little connection with ground realities and are making candlelight vigils fashionable.

Strangely, we were so trapped in the cult, none of us thought of reporting to the police, as any healthy person would do. Such incidents should not be kept indoors, or reported to another abuser, such as “the guru” or another teacher. Such incidents should go straight to the police, to authorities outside of the cult.

It took many years before victims dared to come out of the closet to report rape cases in the Catholic church. Many more before something was actually done, and for the Church to recognize and apologize to the victims. Hopefully it won’t take that much longer for victims to speak up about incidents that occurred within the AoL, for them to understand it is not OK, even if it happens in a “spiritual organization”, and for something to be done. Rape, no matter under what circumstances, where, and by whom, is unacceptable, unjustifiable. It is a crime wherever you see it.

Today when I wonder whether I should speak up, I understand that the vulnerability of the victim is to be respected. There is a reason he/she kept quiet. Mostly fear, mostly shame, mostly brain-washed. The victim him/herself should speak up when he/she is ready … if ever. But no. If it happened to you, know it is not OK, especially within a spiritual organization. You/we were deceived thousand fold. You are not guilty. You did not deserve it. It is not karma. It is an act of crime.

An article published by CNN wrote, “we are all guilty”. Well, yes indeed, we all are. All of us who knew at least one story, one victim, and did not speak up. We are all guilty.

Advertisements
11 Comments
  1. Anonymous permalink
    January 4, 2013 6:59 pm

    Sex is inseparable from cults like this. victims are conditioned to resist least. its not a long when silenced victims will come out/ speak. You have touched only tip of an iceberg. Congrats.

  2. Anonymous permalink
    January 6, 2013 4:33 am

    A swami from another org, now an AoL teacher, had impregnated a widow, giving her false promises. When this disillusioned girl brought this to Ravi’s attention, the ass of a guru asked her to leave the ashram calling her all sorts of names! This was known by some snr teachers, and what was appalling was how gleefully this was discussed by these teachers, some women teachers, esp Manisha Mehta and her group! That woman is not only physically obese but mentally obese too.

  3. niharika permalink
    February 13, 2013 6:05 pm

    all o u who leave anonymous comments out there, and teh writer of this blog – cowards all of you – why not come out with your names? or are you too frightened that your reality will be leaked out?

  4. February 14, 2013 3:55 pm

    hahaha!! No facts, nothing .. just your personal level attack on srisri! Show me one proof of this! Show me the name of that EX aol teacher.. if he is really the son of one father.. why dont he come in front and say this!

    because he knows.. this is all LIE and he will be jailed!

    • Anon permalink
      February 21, 2013 9:53 am

      “Show me the name of that EX aol teacher.. if he is really the son of one father.. why dont he come in front and say this!”

      Well Superbot, ur sophisticated choice of words seems to hint that the CALMING AND REJUVINATING EFFECTS OF S.KRIYA are wearing off. I guess you need a dose of SHAKTI KRIYA now to stabilize ur temperament

      I have heard people making tall claims that after joining AOL and SK they have changed drastically, become very calm-minded , do not experience temper tantrums blah..blah..blah.Rather many of them develop strong superiority complex and look down upon non-AOL people as petty individuals who are bound (or rather deserve) to suffer because they have no sense of connection to GOD or spirituality.

      Its quite amusing to see the confidence that endlessly oozes out of many AOL followers who think that they have AN ASSURED BOOKING IN HEAVEN (BY THE GRACE OF SSRS/AOL) while the non-AOL population is doomed to rot in hell.

      For those who feel that this blog has no element of truth, IGNORE US and keep on with your GOOD WORK in the AOL organisation. After all there is something called as THE LAW OF KARMA.
      If we are indeed liars, cheats, trouble-makers then surely each one of us shall pay for our NEGATIVE KARMA. So please dont even bother about wasting your time, energy and peace of mind READING OUR FALSE STORIES AND REACTING TO THEM. WE ARE JUST NOT WORTH IT.

      DEAR AOL FOLLOWERS – BE STRONG( AND CALM). DO NOT ALLOW NEGATIVE BLOGGERS LIKE US TO DISTRACT YOU FROM THE PATH OF RIGHTEOUSNESS.
      THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN AWAITS YOU AFTER THIS HUMAN LIFE…!!

      • abc permalink
        February 21, 2013 9:05 pm

        Totally agree with you anon ,

        “if he is really the son of one father.. why dont he come in front and say this!”

        i could’t help not laughing at his filmy statement..

        SuperBot sounds like super angry young man watching a lot of action movies.

        But it is eventually silence which will prove whatever thay want to prove , if at all it is true.

  5. Anonymous permalink
    May 4, 2013 3:10 am

    There is such a thing as smoke without fire sometimes. Unless anyone has been privy to someone sexually & mentally abused. We cannot throw allegations and assumptions around can we?? If as a fellow, something this heinous has happened why would you just sit around and not fight for injustice?

  6. Anonymous Observer permalink
    June 25, 2013 7:32 am

    In India, we have a saying: Bhagwan ka Ghar Der Hei, Andher Nahin. Means: God will give justice, sooner or later. I have heard numerous stories of Sri Sri blessing wives to divorce their husbands, so that these women could permanently “slave it out” in various capacities: volunteers, blessers, teachers. In one particular instance, a “teacher” was severely fighting with her husband. Seeing his bleak prospects, and to save his marriage, he also joined the AOL. All fights stopped. Later, he confided: Sab Jhagda Khatam, Meine vi Join Kar liya.” Translated, it means: All fights have stopped, I have also joined the AOL.

    Very funny…This is just a CULT with some like-minded fools masquerading as spiritually high and mighty. What a shame that con-men business-men like SRI SRI can propagate this stuff in USA as well…

  7. whatever permalink
    January 29, 2014 3:28 am

    Just one meeting with Sri Sri (at bangalore centre) has shown me that he is a common man full of ego. Nothing divine about him people. And remember what Swami Vivekananda said long ago – Go to God by yourself. do not take hold of an agent under any condition. – Agents of God are usually frauds. Only a rare few true gurus are available who normally stay away from society and publicity.

  8. Glum permalink
    February 12, 2014 8:28 am

    The devotees who are living in the ashram are living such sad lives.We feel sorry for them.But them are too involved in their misery to even recognize that they live such sad deprived lives.They are made to believe that live is not easy to live, things are are not easy to get in life, you need to be blessed and privileged to get bare minimum necessities in life, which creates such a sense of lack for every one there,due to which their pockets are usually always empty.

    SSRS indulges, supports ,promotes and is very much a part of such atrocities in that place that, people are deprived of food if they come late, made to wait for hours to meet him, while he is just having fun and passing time in his kutir,gets people to slog for him for free under the label of “SEVA” and many more things which finally, effectively kills ones sense of SELF.

    Such an sense of urgency is created in every activity (seva)that is done, that one feel as if the world would come to an end tomorrow morning.

    Also, SSRS is sooooooo…………………..insecure about himself that, every occasion he gets , he has to belittle people and make it clear that he is the only doer (hero) there. This is cleverly done using some Stories of Lord Krishna, told by him,to his convenience .The people considering him to be GOD, believe all this and give up their families , career, money, education and eventually their lives to be a part of this Circus.
    Before they realize that they are a part of a grand CIrcus , it is too late and , they have benumbed themselves to believe that their live is forever at he feet of SSRS. They cannot get out of the organisation , as they would not have any social standing,dirty looks from their families, no career background, no money or earnings, sometimes incomplete education.
    But sticking in the organisation is also equally difficult as you see the amount of Hypocrisy, falseness of the master,malpractice,injustice , promotion of malpractice and injustice , that go on within the organisation.
    You just end up with grand diseases in your body, for which again SSRS’s solution would be to meditate and do kriya and attend pujas.
    Knowing this very well SSRS challenges his devotees ( who want to leave the organisation) “you cannot survive without me “.
    HA HA HA!!! SO much ENLIGHTENED behavior !!

Trackbacks

  1. Summary of Criticisms Against Sri Sri Ravi Shankar and Art of Living | Further Beyond the Art of Living

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: