A Card Carrying Member of the Rank and File Dissenters Club :-D

First of all, I want to say a heartfelt thank you to everyone over at Beyond the Art of Living for welcoming me into the community of dissent and encouraging me to express myself and stay safe.

Traffic on this little blog has increased and it took a little while but I figured out why! The lovely folks at BAoL have added me to their blogroll, specifically right there at the bottom of the “Con-AoL” list.

As I said to my family, “I feel like a Not Ready for Prime Time Player”!

The thing that amused me was to be on a list called “Con-AoL”. It sort of makes me feel like I’m on a blogroll titled Against My Ex-Boyfriend or The Other Side of Your Friends in College.

I was lucky enough to see just enough of Art of Living to disgust me and probably damage me quite a bit, but nothing so horrendous as to throw me into the opposite position of thinking Art of Living is evil incarnate. I think they are unethical, to be sure. I think that groups like them should be exposed to sincere examination, public inquiry and potentially legal action. (Hell, don’t we all?) Most of all right now though, I’m hurt on a personal level. Losing my faith in Art of Living and Ravi Shankar is kind of like breaking up with a fiance when you realize you’re really never getting married, combined with the sudden disappearance of Puff the Magic Dragon.

I’m heartbroken, but I’m not here to Argue pro or con. I’m just here to talk about my experience, and why I loved art of living but finally had to break up with Him because he was hurting me.


About theartofleaving

Former devotee and member of The Art of Living organization reflecting on the process of joining and leaving cults, abusive relationships, and sundry obsessions. Trying to draw the line by connecting the dots.
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4 Responses to A Card Carrying Member of the Rank and File Dissenters Club :-D

  1. ex-cultie says:

    Understood. This is a place for us to heal. Will try helping in any way possible, and try to answer questions when I can.

    I too am not arguing “anti-AOL” all the time, and I know some very sincere and wonderful people there, but an organization that is completely closed to any sort of introspection or external examination, and one that feeds off the goodwill and money of devotees really does bear investigation.

    • Absolutely. reading about the legal action against these blogs (or the threat of it) convinced me–even more– that there is no evolution or standard of decency at work here. I just also need to make sure that I re-admit “shades of grey” into my life and work against the urge to demonize or vilify. In this blog I’m really hoping to examine issues of personal complicity, complacency and and responsibility, as well as looking at issues of ethics and malfeasance within the organization.

      thanks for coming by and participating in what looks to be quite an adventure for me. I appreciate the feedback and the company.

  2. Peaceful Warrior says:

    Whether you like it or not – ex-aol people will be labelled con-aol. Your voice cannot be pigeonholed into tiny boxes – but still – that is how we categorize it so your audience can find you.

  3. That’s kind of why I like “Beyond” or “Post-AoL” . Because we’ve all been there, we all stayed because we got something out of it (I personally don’t believe that the kriya technique made me so susceptible to suggestions that I had NO say in the matter, and obviously lots of people *don’t* stay. I’m just a susceptible, credulous sort I suppose!) and now we all want to get on with healing and getting the help we need to sort ourselves out.

    but you know I don’t really mind, i just think it’s rather amazing how quickly and completely things change. Inside and outside. It’s rather bizarre.

    I also am quite flattered to have had such an interest taken from such an interesting and committed community.

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