Printing the book. If you’re reading this, you’ve obviously managed to download and open the Word file containing the EPO book. The book is long, containing over 360 pages. It divides nicely into two parts. Part one contains background and history about Rawat and his cult, and has about 120 odd pages. Part two contains the personal stories of ex-cult members. This contains about 240 pages. Print whatever you want. To save paper, print on both sides. To do this:
Display the Word Print menu, under File.
At the bottom left of the print screen, is a small pull down menu called Print:
It usually displays, “All pages in range”. Click on the little down arrow on the right of this box. It then gives you the option to print odd pages or even pages.
Print the odd pages. Turn the paper round and print the even pages on the back. Make sure you’ve got them synchronised before you click OK. You don’t want the numbers to run 2,1,4,3,6,5 etc, and you don’t want half the pages printed upside down.
Get a clip and make your book. Read it and pass it around. If you feel ambitious, you could go to a stationers and find a nice clip-on cover for it.
Introduction to the website. 5
The True Spiritual Heritage of Prem Rawat. 6
Bob Mishler Radio Interview 8
Open Mikes 38
Mike Finch letter 38
Mike Dettmers Interview 41
Mike Donner letter 52
Mike Donner answers questions 54
Darshan for Sale 61
Who Owns What around Prem Rawat 67
Trouble around the Heliport 69
Rawat’s 106 foot yacht, Serenity 73
The Gulfstream IV 74
The Gulfstream V 77
Bell 430 Helicopter 77
The “Residence” in Queensland Australia 78
The CAC Attack 79
Victims Statement 80
Marianne Responds to CAC 83
Maharaji’s Trainings 84
The Jagdeo Issue 96
Corresponding with the cult about Jagdeo 101
Anth Ginn’s letters 101
Mike Dettmers correspondence 107
Susan’s correspondence 109
An Ex-Unity School Teacher reports 117
The cult view, an “Internet Hate Group” 116
Elan Vital tries to shut down Ex-premie.org 118
Journeys (in alphabetical order) 175-415
“In the summer of ’71, a few of us knew that the Lord had come.” Popular premie song from the 70s.
When the 13year old Guru Maharaji, now known as Prem Rawat, arrived in the West, in 1971, he was greeted by a handful of his western devotees, called “premies” and a few Indian “mahatmas”. The living Lord had come to gather his disciples and establish Peace on Earth. Eastern mysticism was fashionable, and after a few LSD trips, young, malleable, hippy minds were ready for anything. The Lord of the Universe was on the planet in his greatest ever incarnation. It was time to join the cause and establish the Kingdom of Heaven on earth, probably starting with a Divine City, maybe in America.
Well, the years passed and we all grew up. The guru, married and had four children. Life continued outside the cult and slowly, some of the “chosen few” began to wake up and look objectively at what they were involved in.
The cult continued, albeit with dwindling membership, regularly changing its name and image, presumably to avoid association with its previous incarnations. Premies are not usually happy to talk about the past. They like to tell you things have changed, and critics are, “stuck in the past”. Meanwhile the expensive tickets for cult meetings, indoctrination sessions, and frantic fund raising continue. The guru’s taste in luxury cars, private jets, boats and gadgets continues unabated. A dwindling number of devotees are regularly invited to meetings where they are encouraged to give more.
In 1997 a couple of ex-premies decided to create a website, to provide an online resource of information about Prem Rawat and his cult. A handful of ex cult members were already chatting on an online forum. www.ex-premie.org was the result.
Since 2001, the home page has carried an invitation for Prem Rawat or Elan Vital to correct any inaccuracies on the site. They have yet to do so. The organisation did claim copyright on quotes by Prem Rawat in which he likened himself to Jesus, and pictures of him dressed as Krishna, but so far they have made no attempt to rebut any of the first-hand testimonies published on the site.
The cult has produced thousands of publications over the years. They have websites, books, rent a satellite TV channel, produce DVDs and other paraphanaleia. This book tells another version of the fascinating tale of Prem Rawat and his cult. It is a collection of material from ex-premie.org and contains the personal testimonies of many disillusioned followers, and describes some attempts by cult members, to prevent them talking about their experiences.
This printable version of EPO doesn’t contain everything on the website, but we thought we’d better stop including stuff as we were nearly up to 400 pages. If you want to read the rest you’ll have to go online.
Welcome to the ex-premie website, the most comprehensive information resource on the internet covering Prem Rawat and his work.
The primary purpose of this website is to provide information to current and prospective followers of Prem Rawat, that is not made available on Prem Rawat's official sites.
This website has been in existence since 1997. Since the current webmaster took over in 2001, the home page has included a request for Prem Rawat or Elan Vital to correct any inaccuracies on this site. They have yet to do so.
Elan Vital did claim copyright on quotes by Prem Rawat in which he likened himself to Jesus, and pictures of Mr. Rawat dressed as Krishna, but so far they have made no attempt to rebut any of the first-hand testimonies published on this site.
Those unfamiliar with the history of Prem Rawat, and some of the terms we use here, are recommended to read this introduction, and the links from that page.
While reasonable efforts have been made to ensure the accuracy of the content of this site; which is based on first hand accounts (usually corroborated), Elan Vital/Divine Light Mission/DUO publications, and other sources; we are grateful for any factual corrections.
Corrections, comments, criticisms and thanks are all welcome, and should be sent to the webmaster, John Brauns, at firstname.lastname@example.org So, once again, welcome!
Introduction to the website
It's been said that you can trap a monkey by placing a shiny trinket in a jar tied to a tree. The jar opening must be large enough for the monkey to put his hand in, but small enough that he can't remove it after closing his fist around the bait. We are people who have reached into the jar, been trapped there, and ultimately walked away with the trinket by breaking the jar that trapped us.
The shiny trinket offered was the experience of "Knowledge" of one's life-force via the four meditation techniques taught by Prem Pal Rawat - currently known to his followers as "Maharaji". Hailed by his entourage as "The Lord Of The Universe" and boldly stating "I declare that I will establish peace in this World", he first came to the West from India in 1971 as a 13-year-old boy who went by the name "Guru Maharaj Ji". Professing himself to be "greater than God", Maharaji built a following of "premies" by offering to reveal the supposedly-free experience of Knowledge to anyone who would reach "within inside".
The jar that held us was the belief instilled in us by Maharaji, through a slow and careful exposure to it, that experiencing this Knowledge is only possible for those who become devoted to him personally.
In the years since his arrival in the West, Maharaji has changed. The former Lord Of The Universe has become "The Master". Devotion has been re-bottled under the label "Gratitude". His earlier Divine Light Mission has evolved into "Elan Vital", and he is now repackaging his image with a new "Foundation", and paid for advertorials in free magazines for business leaders. No longer needing to be driven to borrowed lodgings in devotees' cars, he now parks his fleet of luxury cars within the walls of his estates located around the world. The young boy who needed his followers to pay his airfare from India is now a middle-aged man who owns a luxury jet which he pilots himself - after commuting to the airport in his own private helicopter. Another teaching aid he has recently acquired is a $7 million yacht.
And many who contributed our services, our money, and our devotion to his professed "mission" of establishing World peace have grown disgusted with his having used those contributions for his personal enrichment, and have broken free of the personality cult surrounding him.
Ex-premie.org exists because new "aspirants" and existing premies are still being encouraged by him to become, or to remain, steadfast in their devotion. Maharaji attempts to surround himself only with people who are reluctant to reveal what they have learned about him. Those who have broken away from that devotion want to make available what's been learned in the process:
That the jar of devotion only serves Maharaji's personal interest and wealth-building, and is not required in order to experience anything in this life.
That the shiniest trinkets to be held in this world are ours by birth to discover, to enjoy, and to share freely.
That having looked up to Maharaji only enabled him to look down to us - the people making monkeys of themselves before finally Breaking Free.
The True Spiritual Heritage of Prem Rawat.
Just like Prempal Rawat, there is an Indian group claiming descent from the gurus Swarupanand and before him, Dayal Ji. In fact they have the very same photos of these gentlemen that Maharaji himself has posted on his website at www.maharaji.org (in the 'Masters' section), where he states firmly 'This is the traceable history thus far'.
On these sites you will see that their 'Shree Dada Guru' is none other than Maharaji's 'Dayal Ji' aka 'Advaitanand' (same photo) also their 'Shree Nangli Niwasi Bhagwan aka 'Guru Maharaj ji' aka 'Swarupanand' is of course Shri Hans' guru (Prempal's father's guru).
Shree Nangli Sahib
The great work of renaissance of the world which was assigned to Sri Param Hans Dayal ji Maharaj by lord, keeping that selfless service as his goal, Sri Nangli Niwasi Bhagwan proceeded in the direction of revival and reawakening, successfully spreading the light of devotion and learning flowed from his mouth. ...
Shree Nangli Niwasi Bhagwan
SHREE GURU MAHARAJ JI
Shree 108 Paramhans Dayal Ji Maharaj
SHREE DADA GURU
Great people incarnate into this world to do some great work and for the fulfillments of some goal. Your incarnation was for salvation, impartiality, truthfulness and justifiable behaviors. You preached on preceptor devotion, sahaj yoga, theosophy and theology. The nature also bowed before you when the nectarous preaching flowed from your beautiful, lustrous and divine statue . There was no discrimination between rich and poor, high and low for you. ...
Sadgurudham Shri Nangli Tirth
"The nondescript village of Nangli was sanctified in Dec. 1935 by the auspicious advent of the Holiest of the Holy Saint Swami Swarupanand Ji Maharaj, Who said of it, " Other places are my hermitages, but Nangi is my Guru Mandir, Gurudwara..... I will make it my permanent abode"." ....
Over a Century ago, his holiness the most revered Sadguru Dev Ji Shri 1008 Shri Swami Swarupanand Ji Maharaj came to live in the earthly abode on the holy land of India for her spiritual upliftment. He was born on the auspicious day of Basant Panchmi, the Ist Feb. 1884 at a small town of Teri, Distt. Kohat. North West Frontier, to the Fortunate parents, Lala Prabhu Dayal Ji and Ma Shri Radha Rani Ji. ...
The Spiritual Emperor, His Holiness Shri Param Hans Dyal Shri Swami Advaita Nand Ji Maharaj took to human form on a Sunday of 1846 at Chhapra (Bihar) in the house of Shri Tulsi Ram Ji. Since it was the auspicious day of Ram Navami, the Child was reverentially called as 'Ram Roop', 'Ram Yaad' or 'Ram Narain'. ... On these websites there is a link to a 'Gallery' of all their favourite 'divine' personages. At the top you will see Dayal Ji and Swarupanand and below literally dozens of photos and details about the subsequent Mahatmas. According to all these documents, it looks like when Swarupanand died he empowered all the named mahatmas (100s of them) mentioned on the web site to continue his work - without giving special authority to any particular leader. It is somewhat strange that Hans ji wasn't mentioned . However it is clear from the early DLM documents (reproduced on this site) that Shri Hans was a very controversial guru who attracted major opposition because, for example, he initiated women (which was unthinkable to some people). In fact DLM say that his denigrators went to considerable lengths to blacken his name - rather like EPO I guess - circulating 'tracts' etc. History repeats itself. Furthermore, SHRI NANGLI SAHIB is clearly mentioned in the 'Sant mat book'. There is no doubt that Prempal Rawat and the Shree Nangli Sahib group claim the same heritage.
Beside the Shri Nangli Sahib/Sant mat tradition, the Radhasoami tradition is also claiming the same heritage, born with Swami Shiv Dayal (Shiv Dayal Singh), see David Lane's comments on this issue. Its is also very clear, according to David Lane (reported by Kirpal's personal secretary at Sawan Ashram in 1978), that Shri Hans had also been initiated by Sawan Singh of Radhasoami Beas in the 1920's.
Bob Mishler Radio Interview
The following is the transcript of a 1979 radio interview with Bob Mishler, ex-President of Divine Light Mission (DLM).
Bob Mishler was President between 1972 and 1977. During those years, he acted in the capacity of Maharaji's number one right-hand man and confidant. The interview was recorded in Denver Colorado USA at radio station KOA on Feb. 12, 1979. Gary Tesler was the radio talk show host.
The first one-third of the interview is a discussion between Mishler (Bob) and Gary Tesler (Host). The remainder of the interview was an open, phone-in discussion which tends to ramble, yet contains some good insights into the psychology of cult devotion and of Maharaji himself.
Beginning of closed discussion between Bob and the radio talk show host:
Radio Host: We'll be talking about the religious cult mystique and the Divine Light Mission. If you don't know what he Divine Light Mission is, it is an organisation that was established by people who follow the Guru Maharaj Ji. He is an Indian, and he came over to this country some seven years ago to establish his mission. In that period of time, the goals of the Divine Light Mission have changed. The attitude of people in the Divine Light Mission has changed and has now become something entirely different. That difference is something that we are going to discuss this morning with Bob Mishler. Bob, welcome to the show.
Bob Mishler: Thank you, Gary.
Host: Let's talk a little bit about this. It started about seven years ago, is that right?
Bob: About seven and a half years ago. It was in the summer of 1971, when he first came to the United States.
Host: And at that time, he was fourteen years old.
Bob: He was thirteen, actually.
Host: And his brother and his mother were selling him as a perfect master.
Bob: Well, yes, you could say that! At that time, he was saying that he was the perfect master. On his first trip actually, his mother and brother did not accompany him. He came by himself. People in the United States got their first chance to meet them in 1972 when they came back, and it was then apparent that they were in fact running things.
Host: All right, let's talk about this. There was a time when he had a large number of followers.
Maharaji's first lectures in US
Bob: Yes, there was a time. In fact, when he came to the United States in 1971, you could say that this country was very ripe for that sort of thing. In fact, I remember seeing him in Boulder in August of 1971. At that time, every spiritual leader from anywhere in the world who happened to come to the United States would come through Boulder. When Maharaji came, at least 2,000 people came to see him on his very first appearance at Mackie Auditorium in Boulder. During the course of those few years, between 1971 and 1974, we probably initiated something between 50 and 60,000 people in the United States in Denver.
Host: That many in Denver?
Bob: In Colorado we had a large following. In fact, in the summer of 1972 we had one program which lasted for several days. We held it in Montrose, Colorado, in an outdoor type thing with a stage out in a field. At that program alone, we initiated 2,000 people.
Host: When the Guru first came over here, what was his message?
Bob:When he first arrived, his message was that he knew the truth and that the truth was within each and every individual. He sometimes used to talk about that truth, whether you called it God or something else, as the perfect energy within each individual. He said that this was something he could reveal to everyone. That, in fact, was his purpose. He was called a perfect master because he had mastered something that was perfect; presumably this perfect energy inside us which was responsible for life. In revealing that to other people, he was revealing the only thing which could claim to be perfection, the primordial energy of the universe.
He would essentially ask people to come to him and ask for this knowledge, which would be freely given. The only thing that was required was the sincerity on the part of the individual asking. If you would ask sincerely, not just because you wanted to do it out of curiosity, but because you really wanted to know the truth about life, then he would have this knowledge revealed to you. Actually, he never really did any of the initiating himself; there was always one of his disciples to do that. These disciples at that time were called Mahatmas. In the beginning years, they were all Indians as well.
He billed himself as a humble servant of God who was essentially in charge with the responsibility of revealing this knowledge to people by his father who was his guru. At the same time, although there were some people who would say, well, he has to be a god himself in order to be able to reveal God, he would always deny this. He would say : "I make no claims of this sort at all. What I am revealing - it is not even as if I am giving you something - is something that is there inside you. It is there inside everyone. By recognising it, by having it revealed to you and then by meditating on it, you can attain the peace that comes through knowing the truth. Once you have found peace within yourself, this is the way towards ultimate world peace".
Host: How did he reveal this truth?
Bob: Like I said, he never really actually revealed it to anybody.
Maharaji's first initiation ceremonies in US
Host: How was the truth revealed?
Bob: OK, it was revealed to people in what was known as a knowledge session. This is an initiation that takes place with one of his disciples who has been essentially sanctioned to perform this function. Like I said, they had a special title. They were called Mahatmas. Presently, they call them Initiators. That was really what their function was; to initiate new people into this practice of knowledge.
This practice of knowledge turns out to be a whole lifestyle. At the core of it, the primary thing that was taught to people in these initiation sessions was a form of meditation that consisted of four techniques of concentration. These four techniques of concentration were supposed to reveal to you the inner light, or divine light, within your own being, and also the divine harmony, or vibration, that was going on inside you all the time. There was supposed to be a divine nectar which was a source of internal sustenance and an elixir of bliss of sorts. Of course, the main thing was the primordial vibration itself; the holy name or the word as spoken of in the Bible.
Host: What was the elixir?
Bob: The elixir was supposed to be this divine nectar.
Host: What was it?
Bob: First of all, you've got to understand that we're talking about techniques that are actual physical techniques that you practice. The physical technique for the nectar was a yoga movement that is performed by inverting your tongue back into your throat. Now some critics have said that the only nectar that is experienced that way is the post-nasal drip.
The belief is that the physical technique is just a means of attaining some sort of transcendental awareness, so the nectar would be something that you couldn't really describe. You would have to experience it, and it would be the same for the divine light and for the celestial harmony and the primordial vibration as well.
Host: When people first came into the Divine Light Mission, was it originally called the Divine Light Mission or did it have another name?
Bob: It was called the Divine Light Mission in India. When Maharaji came here, there was no organisation and in fact he asked me to found the Divine Light Mission for him here in the United States, which I did in September 1971.
Host: Were the people who got involved with the Guru from all religious backgrounds?
Bob: That's correct.
Bob Mishler converted by Bill Patterson
Host: How did you come to this?
Bob: Well, my actual coming to Maharaji took place because of a former student of mine. I had studied yoga in India in 1968, and when I came back to the United States, I started teaching my friends to practice yoga. It accelerated through my involvement with the Denver Free University. During the course of teaching yoga through the Denver Free University, I had a student named Bill Patterson. Bill had attended a number of my yoga classes, and he decided that he wanted to go to India to pursue his studies. We had talked about his trip before he went. Anyway, to make a long story short, he told me that when he came back he had joined a guru.
This was, I believe, in June 1971. He told me about this 13 year old boy who was his guru. I thought it sounded very interesting. It sounded as though the teachings that the guru was giving Bill were in harmony with the Yogi tradition. He told me that his guru might in fact come to the United States. I said that if he does, be sure and let me know as I would like to meet him. I didn't expect that he would come so soon, but actually he did.
He came in July. He came to Los Angeles first, and within a couple of weeks he was in Boulder. When he came, of course Bill asked me to come. As soon as I went there, Bill immediately showed me into the room and I met Maharaji. I was impressed with him as he spoke with a great deal of confidence and authority. For the most part, I felt that unlike a lot of other Yogis who had come to the West and were essentially commercialising the Yogi tradition in my opinion, he put no price tag on the meditation. He used to say that you can't put a price on something that's priceless.
He said that something that's this important for people to have, you have to give to everyone freely, and the only requirement is that they be sincere in wanting to know the truth and then it will be revealed to them. I felt that he was somebody that was sincere, and when he said that his mission was to spread this meditation as widely as possible, I offered to help in any way that I could.