THE DIVINE LIGHT MISSION
The origins, history and controversies of a religious cult, the Divine Light Mission (AKA Elan Vital, aka The Prem Rawat Foundation) of Guru Maharaj Ji, (AKA, Goomradgie, Satguru, Maharaji, Prem Pal Rawat Sing, etc)
This is the cult I myself became a member of between 1981 and 1985. My own story is told in detail at BRAINWASHED - A CULT SURVIVOR'S TALE but is in truth a minor part of the cultís overall history. It is unlikely that my name was ever known to the Guru, Maharaj Ji before I defected and became a more outspoken critic of the cult.
The cultís own history deserves to be told, from its Indian origins, to the migration to Europe and the States, to the Guruís public rejection by his own mother, Mata Ji, to its gradual transformation into the Elan Vital movement and beyond in an attempt to shake off an endless catalogue of often farcical, and occasionally tragic controversies.
The cult, Divine Light Mission was founded in India in 1960 by Shri Hans Maharaj Ji, a Hindu Brahmin, who had served in many sects and who claimed to have met Gandhi. Shri Hans claimed that he was on his way to meet his own Guru, when he fell into a river, almost drowning, and was rescued by the very man he went to meet, realizing at that point that his doubts about his spiritual mentor were ungrounded.
Shri Hans became an active Guru in Delhi, who taught four basic meditation techniques, known as the Krijas, which many believe were created by the cult, even though they were borrowed from many shared teachings, and may well be the meditation techniques referred to in the Bagavad Gita. Shri Hans was willing to teach these techniques to low paid workers, and even taught that at least two of the Krijas, being breathing techniques, could be practiced even while working or performing other duties. This made him a popular Guru among low paid workers. Shri Hans also disregarded the Hindu caste system.
Shri Hans liked to address his followers at his ashram where he also frequently allowed them to queue up to kiss his feet at ceremonies known as Darshan, (The presence of the Master). If he felt like it, Shri Hans would attack inattentive or disobedient followers with his walking stick, belting them cruelly across the back and shoulders as they knelt to kiss the feet. Many regarded this in itself as a blessing. I have seen video film footage that shows such quite sadistic attacks taking place.
Shri Hans caused controversy by marriage whilst calling on followers not already married on joining his sect to practice celibacy. Before long, his own second wife, Mata Ji, had given birth to four sons, the most important of whom would prove to be the youngest, Prem Pal Rawat Sing.
The increasing success in the West of the guru, Maharishi Maheshi Yogi after his successful but short-lived recruitment of the Beatles lead many Indian Gurus to consider similar ventures to the West, and in fact many Anglo-Europeans were coming to India, to get drugs directly from a country that grew them, and to look into the Eastern Mysticism directly at source. Shri Hans's earliest followers found him, rather than the other way round. The Divine Light Mission was established as a means to export the teachings of Shri Hans back to the West.
But Shri Hans was getting old, and his health was not up to the journey. He watched helplessly as Transcendental Meditation and The Hare Krishna sect developed strong followings in Europe and America. He and his sons listened enthralled to talk of luxuries available in England, the rest of Europe and America, from the Western followers who joined his ashram community. In many ways these early pioneers would manipulate the whole way DLM was to present itself to the Western Guru market. Young Prem Pal Rawat Sing was particularly attentive to their stories of the opportunities and wealth that awaited overseas.
There was little doubt that the sons would get to inherit the Divine Light Mission when it finally embarked on its evangelical expedition. Shri Hans had his boys educated in a Catholic Convent school to ensure that they had some knowledge of Biblical teachings and the English language. He was keen to show the cult had some affinity with Biblical scriptural teachings.
As Shri Hans's health faded it seemed certain that his oldest son would become his immediate successor as the new Avatar and leader of Divine Light Mission. It was taught that the Guru, interpreted by DLM as a literal incarnation of God, would take immediate residence in the heart and soul of his successor, and at Shri Hans's well attended funeral, this happened in a very unexpected way, when Prem Pal Rawat Sing, the youngest, rather than the eldest boy, leapt up and proclaimed that he was the successor, in effect, the new Guru Maharaj Ji. Prem Pal was only believed to be only eight years old, though he himself said later that he has no true knowledge of his age, as he never had a birth certificate, and now, in his forties (at the time of my writing this in 2003) he looks so much older than he actually is.
That the eldest son didn't object from the outset to this virtual revolution suggests it was actually more planned than spontaneous.
The boy-God's family immediately rallied round him, and may well have actually been responsible for many of the edicts and assertions he would now present. To what extent Maharaj Ji called the shots and to which point he was influenced by his close advisors and even closer family, is unclear.
THE EARLY 70's. CONQUEST OF THE WEST
Maharaj Ji Junior maintained the tradition of Darshan and Satsang Discourse, though seems to have abandoned his Father's violent beatings notions from the outset. He also began to speak more openly in English, although initially of a very broken pidgin variety.
One of his closest Indian advisors, Gurucharanand, the first Initiator to head to England, began actively rallying support in the UK. He even started a newspaper, a weekly one called Divine Times that was a superbly presented parody of The Times Newspaper, and in 1971, the then thirteen year old living incarnation of God flew in to Luton Airport.
Followers already recruited by Gurucharanand were there to greet him. Many claimed in later years, (including some to me personally) that they were simply drawn to go to the airport without knowing why, but there was certainly a highly active recruitment and conversion drive prior to Maharaj Ji's triumphal arrival.
The appearance of early Divine Light Mission followers was a very striking contrast to the bearded hippie converts to TM or the shaven headed saffron robed members of the Krishna Consciousness sects. Premies (Lovers of God and Guru Maharaj Ji) were clean shaven and at that time wore immaculate white robes. Drugs of all kinds were forbidden, and much was made of the promise that meditation was a 'high' that needed no artificial stimulants at all. Followers were however expected to be celibate unless already married couple, and to practice vegetarianism.
Many members opened their own vegetarian food shops and cafeterias, some of which the cult still owns to this day.
Much use was made of the Biblical prophesy that the new Messiah would come from the sky in a bright white light, to proclaim Maharaj Ji's arrival in Luton on a gleaming passenger jet plane.
After arrival, Maharaj Ji was next to seek publicity and followers at the first Glastonbury Rock Festival in 1971. This was England's answer to the Woodstock festival of 1969. Bands performing included The Crazy World Of Arthur Brown, and there was also a scheduled talk by The Maharishi who had also been at Woodstock. Maharaj Ji was not on the bill, but the teenage messiah jumped up anyway, grabbing a stage mic to pronounce his services to mankind, before someone cut the electricity off while he was ordered down. The stunt seems to have had some modest success however.
Now he was in Britain, he was able to personally give people the meditation techniques rather than have Gurucharanand initiate them on his behalf. In those early days his contact with the followers was much more immediate and personalized. Gurucharanand was also immensely respected, and many regarded him as an external incarnation of Maharaj Ji's godhead himself, believing their God had come both as father, and son, in the form of a perfect example of devotion to himself.
Gurucharanand also established himself as a musician, translated Hindu Sanskrit hymns in honour of Maharaj Ji, especially the epic hymn Arti.
In the first few years, the boy guru did well, attracting thousands of followers, though certainly not the six million he absurdly claimed.
Maharaj Ji also had his followers in the rest of Europe and in America. Again, evangelical Mahatmas like Guruchanand were busy rallying the faithful to be ready for him before he ventured to new territory.
Early success credit really belongs with Gurucharanand who's tireless drive to sell his Master was without boundaries. Maharaj Ji was also quick to exploit the audio cassette recorder, knocking out many tapes of his speeches to have sold to followers and Ashrams world-wide, possibly the first religion to exploit this medium of expression, as they would later do again with video tapes.
Merchandising, tapes, books and photographs connected with the movement would soon begin fetching ludicrously high prices among followers.
Maharaj Ji seemed also to be quite happy to talk to followers who dropped by, and to write personal letters to anyone who corresponded with him. He even personally chose Hindi names for those married followers who asked him to pick a name for their pending son or daughter.
Maharaj Ji's family also did all they could to share his limelight, promoting themselves as the Holy perfect family. All looked well, but the bubble was about to burst, and the honeymoon was over.
DECLINE AND FALL
Growing membership took up more and more of Maharaj Ji's time, and he quickly gave more power to the Mahatmas to give out the meditation techniques, or as it was now known, The Knowledge (always spelt with a capital K to emphasize its importance) and many new recruits resented not being able to get theirs directly from the source.
Maharaj Ji quickly migrated to the States and established his new main homestead there, in Florida. Officially all Ashram communities were regarded as his home, and were kept in permanent state of readiness in case he dropped by, whether they were in a capital city or a quiet village in the middle of nowhere, and certainly on his increasingly gruelling world tour that would go on for many years to come, Maharaj Ji would initially use the Ashrams as a base of operations, though he preferred staying in posh hotels to the company of his immediate followers.
Maharaj Ji's Americanisation became almost total from the moment he moved there. He was rapidly acquiring a lavish spoilt rich playboy of the western world lifestyle, and he was constantly photographed with young, beautiful looking people, often wearing Hawaiian style flower garlands, and receiving expensive jewellery. He was also seen with ice-cream so often that many believe he was addicted to it. He was now visibly putting weight on, and rapidly losing his boy-God innocent charm.
Then the real scandals kicked in. Increasingly reclusive and unapproachable by rank and file members, Maharaj Ji was seen womanising, and even photographed passionately French-kissing a female follower. Reports that he was hitting the night-clubs and even hamburger joints and wine bars were rife.
Maharaj Ji was very careless what he told the press and followers at question and answer sessions. He even boasted that he had the date of the end of the world in his pocket, though he never bothered to actually reveal the date to those who might have wished to know. This was beginning to provoke cynicism and scorn from the media.
There was growing conflict with rival cults now too. Members of the Krishna cult would often get into pitched battles with Premies.
Maharaj Ji was also being seen surrounded by hired black suited Mafiosi-like bodyguards, who were clearly not members of the cult. So far every job was done by dedicated followers, but suddenly there were well paid strangers in the fold.
Much money and over-hyped publicity was pushed into promotion of the Millennium '73 festival, which was to be (In Maharaji Ji's dreams) the biggest New Age event ever envisaged, with hints that even UFO's would land there at the official launch of the Age Of Aquarius. It was at a promotion for this event that DLM first revealed its uglier side. A reporter, Pat Halley attacked Maharaj Ji with a custard Pie, to assess his sense of humour, an event which everyone laughed off, at least superficially, though Maharaj Ji seemed frighteningly livid, storming off back to the Ashram, to clean up. Later, some supporters got the reporter and beat him to a pulp so savagely that he would have a metal plate in his skull for life thereafter. Maharaj Ji seems to have known that this attack was planned, and also made no effort to have the attackers kicked out of the movement for their behaviour.
The meditation Kryjas techniques themselves were causing some controversy. Many followers having practiced them for two years or more at an hour each morning and an hour each evening were complaining that they were losing any interest in reading and that they now struggled with basic arithmetic that they coped with perfectly well before. Constant meditation was actually weakening their thinking power. It was also noticed that many Initiators and high ranking Ashram co-coordinators were being excused from having to practice too much meditation, in order to keep their wits about them for more analytical duties.
In fact, around this time, the meditation techniques were modified and changed slightly, which some claimed ruined their effectiveness and worth completely. Many Premies surviving from the early days believe that the followers receiving initiation after 1973-4 were not given the true Knowledge Kryjas at all. The techniques as now practiced, or as practiced during my involvement are given at MEDITATIONS
Getting the Knowledge was proving more and more difficult too. At one time it had been possible to be initiated to Premie-dom within days of expressing an interest, but now Initiators kept recruits on hold for long periods. Weeks, months and in some cases, years could go by without full initiation being given. I would eventually be kept on hold for six months which was regarded as 'rapid'.
The Millennium '73 event itself proved to be a commercial and promotional disaster, with only a fraction of the expected audience showing up at The Houston Astrodome. For the first time, Maharaj Ji was losing support and respect faster than he was gaining.
Maharaj Ji was developing an increasingly lavish lifestyle, and a rabid passion for fast expensive cars. He soon had his own Rolls-Royce, and then decided to buy his own aeroplane too.
At one talk, which many followers had travelled from far and wide to see, Maharaj Ji arrived late, simply told the audience that he felt that we had all come to eat jelly and ice cream, and then left. He'd been there less than a few minutes. The audience was stunned. Many took it for great fun and minimalist wisdom. Others felt understandably cheated.
On a flight out of India, following a successful major appearance Maharaj Ji was pulled up at Customs and was discovered to be smuggling out a considerable amount of undeclared jewellery and money, for which he was allegedly heavily fined.
Maharaj Ji had many regular annual festival events. Shri Hans day commemorated the life of his father, and he always celebrated the major Hindi festival of Holi, a fertility festival in which it is customary for Hindus to spray and cover one another in painted water and mud affectionately. This is an image often conjured up today in Bollywood musicals. Rain and water representing abundance and pleasure and passion. Generally, the more messed up and soaked you got on Holi day, the more the Gods were believed to adore you. Maharaj Ji didn't simply do these festivals with hose-pipes and buckets of water, he bought a giant airport fire-hydrant, of the kind used to extinguish the flames of a crashed Jumbo jet, and turned that on his followers. He took some sadistic delight in blasting the forward-most rows so thoroughly that people fell over as if hit with riot cannons. Many were equally injured by showers of stones and debris torn up by the blast from the jets which rained down on the audience too. Health and safety regulations would gradually curb such excesses on him.
Matters worsened in 1974 when Maharaj Ji met a young vivacious American air hostess called Marolyn Johnson. The legend has it that she went to a cave to explore it and stumbled on Maharaj Ji meditating there, and they immediately fell in love. In reality, she had been seduced by the fifteen year old boy - she was twenty-three - when he flew on one of her planes. He hired her to serve on his earliest of many private jets. The couple kept their affair a secret from all but their closest allies.
At the wedding of one of his brothers, Maharaj Ji announced his own marriage plans, clearly intent on following in his Father's footsteps by founding a family dynasty of his own. The boy Guru, advised by his Mother, and to some extent a pawn of family manipulation, had grown up to make a decision of his own, and it backfired horribly for him. It wasn't so much the woman he chose, but his assertion of intent to rechristen her, Durga Ji, after a major Hindu warrior Goddess. Such a name bestowed on someone of non-Hindu parentage is a grave insult to many Hindus. After much fierce division, Maharaj Ji's perfect devotional Mother decided to publicly disown him, even claiming now for the first time that her older son, Bal Bhagwan Ji was the true Guru, and that Maharaj Ji was a charlatan. Of his other brothers, only Raja Ji remains loyal to Maharaj Ji, while Bole Ji, who founded and led the DLM band Blue Aquarius, stayed in the Bal Bhagwan Ji team for a while before becoming a successful New York Cab driver.
Followers of the Divine Light Mission eager to get the truth out of the devastating number of rumours, accusations and counter-accusations going on went to their regional ashram meetings to find that in fact there were now several, as supporters of the two camps had set up rival meetings for the Divine Light Mission, often in the same hired buildings, in direct competition with one another. For many followers the whole thing had degenerated into a farce, and a laughing stock. They left the cult in droves. Maharaj Ji found himself banned from entering India again for several years. India was where his Mother's influence proved very strong, and even once permission was granted, he arrived there to find many people waiting to throw shoes at him, a grave insult in a culture where shoes are removed at the entrance to houses to encourage strangers to feel welcome to the hospitality of a house, and closer to communion with the ground and foundation of the Earth itself. The symbol of the lotus as a flower that grows in mangrove mud without its petals touching the mire is that of a perfect life form in an imperfect world, so Maharaj Ji always regarded his feet as being on our world, but not of our world. An angry mob waving boots and shouting "put your shoes on" was a clear signal that he was not wanted in his homeland any more. It would be many years before this rift was healed and many there will never forgive him. Bal Bhagwan Ji went into Indian politics and became their transport minister.
That the sect survived this degree of schism and infighting at all is astonishing.
Again it was Gurucharanand who probably lead the way forward. He was a principle spearhead in the revival after some period in the wilderness that lead many to assume the cult was dead and gone. Media promotion was no longer practiced, and in fact talking to the press about the cult was strictly forbidden. Meetings and activities were to be conducted purely by word of mouth.
The revival mission was dealt a severe blow through events actually outside Maharaj Ji's own control when in 1978 a cult leader called Jim Jones lead over 900 followers to what became one of the most famous cult mass-suicides of all time - It took place in Guyana. Much of Jones's power came through regularly repeated 'loyalty tests' in which followers were drilled in showing their trust by being invited to drink Kool Aid laced with cyanide. In the drills and tests it had been just harmless Kool aid, but the suicides had involved the addition of the actual cyanide.
Many noticed that Maharaj Ji had practiced minor one-to-one 'loyalty' tests of his own. On one occasion he had a Premie promise he would die for him, and then blindfolded him and lead him to what he claimed was a cliff-edge and invited him to step off. The Premie stepped out to find that he was just a few feet above a small pool of water.
On another occasion, one I have heard Maharaji speak of directly, he had London followers completely dismantle and reassemble one of his cars, but instructed them not to re-attach the steering wheel, which he planed to take care of personally. Once the car was back intact, he took the team of would-be mechanics for a drive, and then in full flow of London Traffic, he left the car running forward as he pulled the as yet un-attached wheel off his steering column. When his passengers panicked, Maharaj Ji asked them why they had no faith in him, put the wheel back on and drove them back to their ashram.
Fears that Maharaj Ji might be irresponsible or crazy enough to cause deaths among his followers lead to a few more defections.
The Jonestown tragedy also lead to a huge increase in the size of the general anti-cult movement. Many parents were starting to express concerns about what the cults were doing to their sons and daughters. Ex-Moonie, Ted Patrick began the Deprogramming movement which virtually kidnapped cult members to force them to listen to a catalogue of their cult's failings. Many Premies were to be deprogrammed in the coming years.
THE EARLY 1980'S COMEBACK
By the early 1980's however, Divine Light Mission was starting to pick up new members again, though they hired rooms in the guise of the Divine Understanding Order, and occasionally as The World Welfare Society. I myself was recruited in Manchester in 1981 at the height of the revival, though my story has no bearing on the major events affecting the cult. Much of the negative history given here was in fact kept from me completely.
Maharaj Ji was doing quite well in the early 1980's when the media largely lost interest in him, but problems continued to amass. A follower died in Africa, losing control of a motorbike travelling at high speed and dying of hypothermia, too blissed out on meditation to realize he should slow down. Another, at a Maharaj Ji meeting, walked out in a trance straight into oncoming traffic and died, sending shock waves of disbelief among his many friends in the cult.
In Rome in 1982, a three day festival erupted in violence when the crowd waiting to get in lost patience with a particularly hostile series of security checks, and endless red tape, and someone allegedly punched a child in the face.
Many people were marooned and left without the means to get home after this event too. Maharaj Ji had called on everyone to get to see him whenever they could so people would pay the air fare to get to wherever he was in the world, and then be left with no money for food or air-fare back home. One man in Rome had no means of getting home to Mexico. Embassies and consulates tend to get busy when Maharaj Ji comes to town.
Inside, Maharaj Ji seemed in good humour and even waved Durga Ji's third child to the delighted crowd, but when the baby emptied his bladder on him, the Satguru, stormed off the stage in a huff, and the show was over.
Much fuss was made over the fact that Maharaj Ji's fourth child was born on Christmas Day.
One of the most tragic events in the cult's history slipped by very quietly. Even though i was still a member then, I heard nothing of this until I left and started researching the movement from the point of view of an outsider. Maharaj Ji, visiting India, where he was now more accepted, drove his car accidentally into a cyclist, killing him. Unrepentant, Maharaj Ji fled the scene of the accident and left the blame in the hands of one of his followers who falsely claimed to have driven the vehicle as Maharaj Ji left on a plane.
In the Mid-1980's big changes were taking place. Many Initiators found themselves demoted or sacked overnight. Much of the language of Hinduism was vanishing from use. Maharaj Ji steadily stopped calling himself Guru. Words like Jaisatchitanand (I wish you truth, consciousness and Bliss), Satguru - (The living Perfect Master) etc were vanishing. Arti, the epic hymn to Maharaj Ji was no longer performed, and even the name Divine Light Mission was vanishing. Many documents now called the sect Elan Vital, (French for The Vital Spirit) a possible borrowing from French Philosopher, Henri Bergson). This was shortly to become the cult's only official title.
Maharaj Ji even changed the spelling of his name now. At first he changed it to Maharaji, and then abandoned the 'Great King' title entirely for his original true name, Prem Pal Rawat Sing.
The 1980's saw fierce criticism of ticket sales among the elite leading to front row seats going to the highest bidders. This lead to a brief and short lived revolution in which tickets were allocated on a strictly random basis, and even I got a seat three rows from the front at a talk in Birmingham in 1984, my own penultimate attendance at one of Maharaji's events. It was at this event that I was also assigned the task of 'shadowing' i.e., following and spying on a man alleged or believed to pose a security risk to Maharaj Ji. I followed someone who seemed perfectly harmless and wondered who might then or ever have been following me at similar events. I began to suspect that this was paranoia rather than just cause for such dubious behaviour.
Beragons, wooden sticks to balance your arms on for meditation (essential, at least for the elderly and infirm) involving the eyes and ears techniques were now largely banned too. Asked about this Maharaji said that they were nothing but toys which his children treated like helicopters. Many people who had bought them were deeply insulted.
It was becoming clear that speakers even at local meetings were carefully selected from short-lists and many long serving followers were never invited up even at supposedly random choice meetings. Worse, Maharaj Ji ordered that private house meetings, not authorized by Elan Vital were not allowed under any circumstances. In fact more recruits had been made at these informal unofficial meetings than any formal EV event. Maharaji was after a quality of members, nit a quantity full.
The result of this announcement was for many Premies to walk out for the last time. It was amidst this dissent that I was also able to leave relatively unchallenged. My own Premiedom was at an end.
My own media criticism of the cult was modest compared to much that went on. Maharaji invited many Premies to become Initiators, or as they were now called Instructors, and sacked them all within a year. He then declared that only he personally could now give out the Knowledge and that no one could receive it without a six month membership trial period. Given Maharaj Ji's increasingly reduced tour schedule, getting the Knowledge was harder than ever.
Marolyn, no longer called Durga Ji, was no longer giving discourse of her own, and rumours that Maharaji had been seen womanizing with other female followers were rife. Maharaji was also believed to have problems with alcohol, cigarettes and other drugs that were being kept under tight wraps by those closest to him.
Vegetarianism was no longer a necessity for newcomers to the cult, and indeed hadn't been even for me in 1981, as while my unconcealed meat eating was frowned upon by many, it was never used directly to stop me from being a member.
In the early 1990's Maharaji made illegal entry to Israel where sects and cults with such notorious reputations are outlawed.
Now as we enter the new century and Millennium the ashrams have all effectively been closed down too, robbing many followers of a communal existence.
The biggest scandal nowadays remains the sexual perversion charges levelled against Initiator, Mahatma Jalepo, a friend of Maharaji's from his own childhood who has been convicted of child sex offences, but with whom Elan Vital denied any contact, until obliged to come clean in a court of US law during a major lawsuit battle by one of Jagdeo's victims. Jalepo is believed to be still actively running a Delhi based Elan Vital operations centre.
Currently, Maharaji, or Prem pal Rawat Sing is still on tour, and has his lawyers shutting down many websites that have dared to make use of DLM copyright materials and proved too critical of the one time child guru who once claimed to have no ego, for his comfort. He s doing his best to ingratiate himself into a number of famine relief groups, using his wealth to buy a reputation as a great humanitarian and philanthropist.
The Knowledge is no longer presented by Instructors or initiators but through a course of DVD films about and by Maharaji which last up to 70 hours. Many people do not commit to the time required to watch such material, - the last film in the Keys, to be watched under strict supervision, finally reveals the Knowledge.
Maharaji continues to amass an obscene amount of personal wealth, real estate and power. He owns a major house in Malibu, a house in Surrey, a similar property in Australia, a $7 million Yacht, a helicopter, helicopter pad, and recently traded in (a Gulfstream Five jet plane previously owned by King Hussein of Jordan for a bigger version of the same aircraft for himself.
The Internet has drawn ex-followers of Maharaji together and the active Premies have begun fighting back against their outspoken critics rather than just hiding away. The counter-attacks began in Australia when a journalist, John Macgregor published strong criticisms of a real estate facility called Amaroo in Queensland. Maharaji had bought the Aborigini land in 1991 to build a modern state of the art conference facility. Money was drawn from Premies around the world, but many questions were being asked about what people believed it was that they were buying. many investers called back their undisclosed loans and a few were successful in recovering their monies. The Amaroo facility proved to be a decent enough lecture theatre, and a large luxury apartment for Maharaji. Other, rather more limited facilities were accessible only by use of electronic swipe cards by a privileged few. Most Premies visiting Australia were expected to camp outside the Amaroo complex in tents. Questions of financial malpractice led to tax investigations and some high ranking staff members resigned rather than risk being caught up in legal battles over the real estate. Another mutiny occurred when a group of forty Premies working at Amaroo rejected Maharaji's autocratic regime system in favour of a more democratic work ethic. The rebellion was quickly suppressed when staff were obliged to fill in personality and integrity questionnaires by Maharaji's leading troubleshooters. Macgregor's release of the damaging stories from Amaroo to the media led to bitter court conflict as the Amaroo Premies accused him of theft of their files from their computers. He was found guilty of unethical journalism in copying (not stealing) data, which the cult quickly exploited as a basis for seeing Macgregor as a key player in a 'hate-cult' conspiracy of evil-doers out to destroy Maharaji for no good reason. The 'hate-cult' charge has been thrown in the face of every opponent to Maharaji (including myself) ever since.
The future for Elan Vital does not look too rosy but they have proved a remarkably flexible survivor. Few gurus could survive the embarrassment of being so publicly ridiculed and denounced by their own Mother as Maharaji has. Her action, before her recent death by Diabetes, reminds me of the mother of the eponymous hero of The Life Of Brian who says "He's not the Messiah, he's just a very naughty boy." .
CULTS HATE CULT ACCUSATIONS The cult accuses me of being a man of 'hate' and 'intolerance' for daring to speak out about the problems they caused for me. Here I ask myself if they have a point.
CULTS - DIVINE LIGHT MISSION GLOSSARY- A to Z list of terms and expressions associated with the cult.
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