Many readers may be aware that the self-styled "Sri Sri" Ravi Shankar started the Art of Living in the 80s -- as a spin off from Transcendental Meditation. The Maharishi and the TM movement roundly rejected him -- including a letter to all TM centers in 1990.
To those unaware of him, but involved with TM, the basic outlines of the story will sound eerily familiar: He claims to be the favorite disciple of his guru (the Maharishi); he claims to have rediscovered ancient Yogic techniques that will release stress and bring peace; he reveals his teachings and techniques through a series of expensive courses; he's founded a worldwide, largely volunteer organization to bring peace through these techniques; he flagrantly courts wealthy and influential devotees; and, the true cream of the jest, he took the name of his organization from the Maharishi's first book -- The Science of Being and Art of Living.
Sounds a lot like my good old TM daze. What do you think?