|Journeys: Father Love|
|Date: May 11, 1999|
GOD WAS A BORING BASTARD
By Father Love
PART 1: LEAVING
It's nearly six years now since, with strangely hesitant movements and steps, I stood up in the hall in Brighton, squeezed past the very surprised looking faces of the people sitting in the same row as myself, turned my back, and began, slowly and deliberately, to walk away.
The solemn trudge was to take me, permanently, out of sight and out of sound, out of followership and out of discipleship, out of supplication before and out of veneration towards, His Supreme Divine Grace, Sri Guru Maharaji, Lord of all Lords, God of all Gods, greater by far than God, Saviour of all Saviours, King of all Kings, Master of all Masters, Supreme Almighty Father made manifest on earth, Greatest Incarnation of God ever to walk the earth, Instrument of all Grace, Vessel of all Holiness - Lord of the fucking Universe!
Neither was this culpable act of callous heresy performed during some dead interval, oh no. For, only twenty minutes before the moment when I stood up to leave, the buzz of hype and excitement had echoed around the hall... People outside had stubbed out their cigarettes and hurried down their coffee. Blissed-out newly-mets, anxiously beginning to grope one another out on the shingle, had noted the general exodus from the beach and hurried away from their worldly illusions to take their places at the back with the rest of the unsightly second rate rabble who, owing to the Immeasurable Generosity of the all-Holy One, are also graciously suffered to partake in the Presence of the Divine...
In had marched the the three files deep of Superpremies, fortunate beings of privileged elevation, beloved of The Lord. How absolutely "it" they had appeared, all smartest suits and most elegant dresses, not deigning to glance upon we lesser human leavings, lest their now sanctified eyes, raised up into the lofty echelons of pure devotion, should become in some slight way sullied by the loathsome sight of riff raff such as we.
And a dignified little interval later, (to punctuate the absolute separation of his rank from even the highest of his executives), in had walked His Incredibleness, His absolutely Perfect All Importantness. He was fresh from an afternoon of listening to the pitiful beggings of those wretchedly hopeful underlings, aspiring to receive this amazing knowledge WHICH ONLY HE WAS QUALIFIED TO DISPENSE. The formula had been the same all afternoon, and very tedious it was too:
"Please may I have your nice Knowledge Mr nice guy Maharaji Sir, please?"
"And will you lick my bottom every day"
"Oh yes Sir, yes Sir"
"Ha ha, somebody must've been selling you the correct answers to this. (general hilarious laughter from all the inmates).
"How long have you been listening to my incredibly boring videos and tapes where I speak as slowly as Muhammed Ali, take twenty minutes to make one simple little point that anyone else could make in ten seconds, get lost in my sidetracks from my own stories, boast about my jet and my Rolex watch, and gawp like a dying fish with smug self satisfaction at My Own Fantasticness."
"Three years Your Amazingness. And I'd just like to say I think it's REALLY wonderful how MUCH more quickly you learned to fly your beautiful jet than all those other SILLY people. You really are amazing, - Your Amazingness."
"And you've been following me all over the world during that time, from programme to programme."
"Certainly your all Knowledgeableness, and I don't like the film Dances With Wolves either. I haven't been to see it three times now because of wot you said about it, and when it came on telly I shut my eyes, honest I did."
"Hmmm I see, - and you've read the little leaflest entitled 'getting your tongue right up inside the Master's hole and wriggling it around nicely so it tickles Him just right'?"
"Every day your Golden Perfectness."
"And why do you want this Knowledge?"
"I can't remember any more you supercilious little *>$#!~?\*&%"
"And what will you do with it if I give you this amazing gift of MINE?"
(Breaking down into tears and thumping the floor desperately with his/her fists while great sobs of despair are torn from the heaving rib cage) "Oh I'll practice it, I'll practice it, I'll practice it. Every day, every day, in rigidly relaxed obedience and surrender and slobbering floor sucking gratitude, I promise you I will, it's the right answer I know it is, please please, oh please give it to me. I just can't stand this any more."
(The aspirant crumples into a twitching blubbering wailing heap, jerking around insanely and mumbling, "And I have to listen to Lyn Faust too, you golden bastard, you try that and see how long you last out", bubbles coming from mouth and nose. Three blissful security tuffs understandingly cart the wretch away and throw the spasming body out of the 'failed' chute).
"And you see it is just that incredible incredible perfection which we all want in our lives, which we are all looking for, which we are all thirsty for, which every day we are asking for. That incredible incredible incredible incredible perfection."
But now His Eminence had finished with such lowly begging curs for today at least, and was Gracing his "old sweats" with a few minutes of His Magnificent Holy Company. I had listened for about fifteen minutes as he droned on slowly. Since his days of constantly shouting and screaming at us for seven hours at a time had died away, and since he had yet again dropped his Almighty God profile (he changes hat and style so much I can never keep up with it), he seemed to have adopted this exaggeratedly slow drone.
Was I imagining it, was it my "crazy mind" playing me up again, should I question my sanity, or did that drone sound more and more and more and more like the oafish utterences of a complete bloody cretin, the punch drunk verbalia of a spoiled rich kid gone way past his sell-by date and leaning heavily on fragile crumbled laurels?
He seemed quite out of touch with all realities other than that of his spoiled brat's fantasy world as he rambled on for fully ten minutes about his Rolex watch and his jet. And as for the slow voice, you know I really did prefer Micheal Caine's version, - and, - Jesus on a bloody donkey! - there he goes on YET AGAIN about how much he disliked the film "Dances With Wolves"!
Ah well, if you're going to do it at all, this is as good a time as any. Come on now my boy, take courage. It's not every day one stands alone in defiance of the All bloomin' Mighty now innit, (sniff).
However, this inward debate as to whether or not to finally turn my back on "God" and his world of patronising self-importance was by no means new. It had been going on in my heart for some years now anyway.
EACH TIME I'D TOLD MYSELF THAT THESE HERETICAL INCLINATIONS OF MINE WERE ENTIRELY DUE TO MY LACK OF DEVOTION. AFTER ALL, I MEAN, SAY WHAT YOU LIKE, GURU MAHARAJI WAS GOD WEREN' EE. THAT WAS BASIC, WE ALL NEW IT. GREATER THAN GOD, MUCH GREATER. GOD IS GREAT BUT GREATER STILL THAN GOD IS SATGURU WHO REVEALS GOD TO YOU. BRAHMA VISNU SIVA, ALL BOW THEIR HEADS AND PRAY TO HIM. WELL BLIMEY, - WHO THE HELL AM I TO BLOODY ARGUE. Each time I'd found ways of justifying His Holiness's outrageous, smug, rude, crude, illiterate, insensitive, ignorant, slimy, cleverly exploitative, dishonest, opportunist, hypocritical behaviour. Each time I had bowed back down into pranam... I am just a lowly ignorant fool who needs salvation. Oh Lord forgive my doubts. My worldliness has led me astray. Mea culpa mea culpa mea maxima culpa.
But try as I might to operate such formulae now, they no longer managed to convince me even slightly. This time around their outworn sentiments rang old and dusty and empty of all tune to my ears...
My God, to think of it, - I had patiently waited for YEARS for the opportunity of speaking with him, my heart bursting with the strength of my passion to do so. And when the great day finally arrived I was almost overwhelmed by the sense of occasion. My naive trusting childlike approach to devotion was absolutely in place in my heart. I could not have been more open or more eager to learn from his response to my question. for I had asked him if I could possibly please immerse myself in full time direct service. I really did want this with all my heart.
But his manner of handling my approach was cavalier, brash, and insensitive. For one who so so LOVES to lampoon and to take the piss out of politicians he gave me the cheapest kind of politicians' evasive answere, - basically side-stepping the issue completely and fielding such a complex reply that one would have needed a master's degree in obscure Maharaji-ism to begin to understand it. I was stunned and inwardly numbed. I would say it took me a couple of years to absorb it. And yet (yeah, amazing innit) I had continued with RENEWED ENTHUSIASM to be a premie...
With this in my heart, and again with all my respect, devotion and zeal, I got to speak with him again on one further occaision, in 1988. It was at the London Hilton Hotel. And this time around, in answering me, he really gilded the lily on his primary efforts in my direction. Careless it would seem, of all consequence, he was now just openly insulting, self important, cheap, bullying and ignorant.
He sat there lolling like some drunken bum and didn't even attempt to answer my question, - it was too sincere and MUCH too poignant a matter for him altogether I think, because it was all whether he was Master, Lord, Lord of all Lords, Greatest Lord of the Lord of all Lords etc. etc. etc., or just a humanitarian world leader...
I was confused, genuinely so, and had been for years, about the whole issue, and with absolutely open hearted sincerity was asking him, cleanly and plainly, with Love and Devotion and Respect, to clarify the matter for me.
But obviously (I now realise on reflection) he felt most uncomfortable with both the question and with myself. So he first of all threatened to turn me into a toad, and then simply reverted to taking the piss out of me for the general amusement of his canned laughter crew.
I never really got over it. The pain of experiencing that, from someone I trusted and loved so much, and believed in and idolised so profoundly and passionately, with such zealous and continuous enthusiasm, for so many years, and from the most profound depths of my inmost and secret heart, has never completely gone away. How can it?
And only a couple of weeks before that incident I had returned from India. There I had, for a period of time, lived in his Divine Almighty Lordship's ashram in Delhi. And there I was able to get a really good first hand individual practical experience of his Divine Holy Grace's true "Elan Vital" as an "Humanitarian World Leader."
Seeing as I was a qualified acupuncturist I had requested to do medical service. This was warmly and gladly received by the very pleasant people who were acting in office while his Holiness and his kind of Lord lieutenant of the tower, who is permanently in charge of the Delhi ashram, were away cavorting around the world.
But doing medical service was not so easy. You see the whole ethos of the ashram, every single activity, was entirely directed towards two specific goals:
The first of these was the constant and non stop labour of ever improving upon the grandeur of Maharaji's personal PALACE within the grounds - a vast building with every possible imaginable wealthy amenity, its own stables, horses, statues, fountains etc etc etc.
The Palace is, naturally of course, completely fenced off from the rest of the ashram where the wretched unsightly poor Indian devotees mill around in their inferior squalor. ONLY those fortunate upper echelon premies who are detailed for "residence service" are permitted beyond the Palace gates.
Towards this high and worthy ideal, stonecarvers in large groups would constantly carve. Gardeners in large groups would constantly garden. Carpenters in large groups would constantly carpent. Labourers in goodly numbers would constantly labour.
The second great holy crusade was (at the time when I stayed there) the continuous preparation of a stage area and the grounds surrounding this, for when the Supreme Almighty Lord would be coming to stay in residence for a week or so, and a general mass bliss out, Indian style, would take place. Any other kind of activity whatsoever was frowned upon as being generally self indulgent and not really very Holy at all.
But seeing as I was an ignorant westerner who seemed to actually care about the health of the wretched and entirely expendable riff raff who were working out their terrible sinful karma by labouring day and night in service to the Lord, - well, ok then, I could tend to the damned peasants if I really wanted to so much.
After all, Jesus Christ too had once been Lord, wasn't that right, and didn't he heal the sick or something, tiresome little fellow, no wonder they strung him up. Big smile - oh certainly please do medical service brother. Very blissful. The Lord the Lord the Lord the Lord, the shining golden bloody Lord. He mattered so very much. But it didn't matter at all, did it, that the one and only "medical hut" for the slaves, was a place so unbelievably filthy that you and I would have scorned to use it as a lavatory. No, that was not important at all. Let the peasants suffer my boy. Plenty more where they came from you know.
There are many little stories I could tell you about that place - of the cruelty and bullying and corruption which goes on there. But it would take too long and anyway is too large a diversion from my main theme here. Mmmmmm. Yes, I'd had a good feel of Maharaji as a "humanitarian world leader".
It had not been so difficult to find Maharaji great and clever if you had (like myself and thousands upon thousands upon thousands of other socially maladjusted and misplaced persons from the early seventies era, all suffering from acid burn and broken hearted by the slow fizzling out of the hope of the sixties) sincerely believed him to be the Faery king, the Good Guy, the Hero, come to take you home where you belonged.
His "Lord of the Universe" stance had been so well presented to the counter-culture by his movement in the early seventies, that once having accepted him in this capacity, ousting him from the throne of one's heart was not so easy to do.
But in mature reality of course, the harsh objective truth turned out to be that Maharaji was just a little boy, a tiresome tantrum oriented little boy from all I can gather, spoiled to the nub, a silly little boy who grew into an even sillier little man, a silly little man with no education, no REAL self discipline, just an impulse to indulge himself at the expense of others, the cheapest sort of show off, the school bully for all the freaked out and lost space cadets of the world, with a great big inferiority complex and far too many willing victims for him to take it all out on.
And so I sat there, half in and half out of two different worlds:- Di-i-i-i-i-i-d you ever have the feeling that you wanted to go - still got the feeling that you wanted to stay.
Dum dee dum dee dum dee dum dee dum dee dum dee dum, - stay go, go stay??????
Will God wreak terrible terrible unthinkable unimaginable forms of revenge upon me?
Easy enough to laugh about now. But at the time...
Will Satan, with a huge body and a massively broad forehead, like Ernest Borgnine, with tattooed arms, a hunched back, wearing a mediaeval brown smock and speaking in a very thick Brummie accent, bind me with wire to the blunt end of a brass poker, and slowly roast my bare arse, genitals hanging out the back, over a massive Tudor country house log fire.
Will his wife, enormousely buxom, with thick red lips and a huge blunt jutting lower jaw, cackle to herelf insanely as she knits a row of children's entrails for a cap, and, spitting half chewed bones into the fire, laugh with uttermost glee as I begin to scream insanely from the pain.
I really did experience all the angst of an officer who has to make the very first and vital initiating move at the commencement of a coup. I, unimportant insignificant me, was about to topple God (no, wait a minute - GREATER than God) from his golden throne. Mutiny on the Bounty. Would I end up beached on some God forsaken island like Christian Fletcher? Yawohl Obergrupenfurhur, I distinctly saw von Stauffenburg place the suitcase right next to the Fuhrer's leg. Oh my God, can I really go through with this? Et tu Brute, then fall Caesar.
Will all the perfumes of Arabia ever sweeten this little hand, and who'd have thought the old man to have so much blood in him. The President's body has been flown back from Dallas, but his brain is believed to be missing. His brain is believed to be missing, brain is believed to be missing, brain is believed to be missing, brain is believed to be missing...
("And you know, you know, as I checked my altimeter, and banked the aircraft, I looked once more at my Rolex watch, and the time, the time, the time on the face of my Rolex watch...")
The time, the time: Yes! I know what time it is alright and NO MISTAKE! Time I got out of this fucking madhouse and away from that HATED damned stupid brainless voice.
So up I stood and out I strode. No assassination after all, no betrayal, no great drama whatsoever in the end, just simply walking away. I never made a better decision. And I have never regretted it even for the space of one single heartbeat.
It is particularly inspiring to find that a website such as this exists. For several years I'd been quietly thinking to myself, "Surely to God there MUST be other people like me."
And I have felt most alone, not just in having become an "ex follower", but much more hugely so because I have now recently also become a World Peace Teacher in my own right who incorporates certain aspects of what we have all been acustomed to calling "Maharaji's Knowledge" (a ridiculous and absoltely spurious claim) into what I now teach to people. Like so many premies for years and years I prayed to him every day, cited him to others with a quite amazing power of conviction, to be the greatest teacher who had ever walked the earth, and pranamed to his picture.
For years on end also I followed him all around the world, kissing his feet, hanging on his every word.
I had RELIED upon the availability of the "experience of Knowledge" so profoundly, so essentially, that to envisage life without this dimension would seem to me to be entering into an unthinkable nightmare. I had regarded Maharaji as my Lord and Saviour, and the Knowledge as the essence of my very existence, for so long now, that I could scarcely any longer remember a time when this was not so.
The process of discovering that in cold objective reality Maharaji was corrupt beyond the then powers of my imagination to dare to even try to comprehend, has been, and in many ways still remains, something painful to me quite in excess of the scope of my ability to express it in words. The big big question I had to ask myself as I walked out of the hall in Brighton in 1993, knowing that I would never return, was: ok then from here, where?
When I left him I went away ABSOLUTELY DETERMINED, that the original Innocence, Love, Faith, and Great Beauty of the Heart - which qualities I had fallen in love with as his follower - were not now going to die away in my existence. They were, on the contrary, going to be reborn in greater strength and certainty than ever before. The Divine Game had not ended then. The fun wasn't all over. No. It was simply that another one of these "changes" which Maharaji would talk about from time to time had just taken place. Only this time he was not to be the author of that change.I was.
And I found that the strangest thing of all then transpired. The further and the further I removed myself from Maharaji and his wretched Holier than thou superiority act - the more I pushed his influence away - accordingly, the more and more beautiful and satisfactory the "practice of Knowledge" became for me. Indeed, I started to "practice the knoweldge" with an ease, a love of doing so, and a freedom in my heart, the which I had never even begun to touch upon when under the influence of his unhappily shouting voice.
Gradually as his overwhelming presence receded, I began to see that my entire approach to the whole thing, for twenty years, had been TOTALLY TRAUMATISED BY HIM. HE HAD BEEN ASKING ME TO "PRACTICE THE KNOWLEDGE" WHILE TREATING IT ALL AS SOME MYSTICAL GIFT WHICH, ALTHOUGH IT WAS MINE TO PRACTICE ON A SORT OF "FRANCHISE BASIS" WHEREIN THE FRANCHISE WAS PAID FOR BY MY CONTINUED "DEVOTION LOVE AND GRATITUDE" TOWARDS THE MASTER - IT WAS NOT "MINE" IN THE SENSE THAT MY HANDS AND FEET WERE MINE, - IT WAS HIS. I REMEMBER HIM EMBELLISHING THIS POINT AT GREAT LENGTH NOT ALL THAT VERY LONG BEFORE I LEFT HIM - THE EXPERIENCE WAS OURS BUT THE KEY WAS HIS AND REMAINED HIS PROPERTY - WAS THE WAY HE PUT IT.
During all the years I remained his follower, I had never been able to approach the actual sitting down practice of Knowledge with anything which even vaguely resembled the normal relaxed attention I would enjoy in say, having a shower, making love, pouring a glass of wine, going training, practicing T'ai Chi, inserting an acupuncture needle, cooking a meal, sawing wood, swimming in the sea, studying for an exam, changing a nappy, writing a poem, reading a book, jabbing my thumbnail between my teeth as Damon Hill tried to overtake Michael Schumacker, potting a ball, running along the beach.
But now that I'd left him, as my dedication to practice grew and grew, a whole new world of confidence and certainty about my own inner experience, about teachers and "masters" and gurus and saints and saviours and inner truth, about Grace and spiritual authority and and all the paraphenalia of what is known as "self realisation", began commeasurately to grow also within me. (Within inside of me no less).
And as this very beautiful and blissful transformation unfolded in my life, increasingly I gaped in disbelief at the extent of my own former blindness and gullability in the whole department of my being which had permitted me to be so very easily led and dictated to, and for so MANY years, by Maharaji and his completely and totally insane and corrupt "Mission".
And now, now that I had lifted the wretched weight of Fatguru and his snot nosed little "I am the Master" ego from the aura of my soul, the greatest twist in the story so far had emerged:
I began to "practice knowledge" all day and all night and with an application and enthusiasm I had never even begun to know before. You couldn't get me away from it. I found it was incredibly simple to be blissed out and self realised. More simple than breathing.
The path inwards towards Bliss Love Peace Harmony Truth Light and Perfection, is not, and cannot ever be, a matter which is the property or the dictate of any teacher at all, no matter how great. The whole guru worship trip is a preposterous farce.
A teacher can help you, can introduce you to an experience, can inspire you, can lead by example, can even act as a surrogate parent, of a spiritual nature, along the path. Sure, all that is fine, and quite right. But to strut back and forth and bully and dictate and shout and show off and claim to be the one and only etc etc in the whole manner that Maharaji has consistently maintained throughout his absurd reign, variously, as "Lord" and "World Leader" and "Master" is the ultimate abuse of all spiritual authority.
The very idea that anyone could package the techniques into a little box and give it a label, like he has done, and then make its "revelation" into this big big big heavy trip, this endless waiting and begging, with himself as the keymaster, acquiring devotion of the aspirant until the poor foolish naive seeker is led like a blinkered horse into his greedy little trap, is in fact entirely contrary to the true nature of that Gift.
No wonder all the premies spaced out all the time and wouldn't really practice it, so that he never stopped shouting at them to do so, and they never stopped getting stoned and eating ice cream, spacing off to the movies and making babies with one another. Because his spoiled kid's total irresponsibility was also, unfortunately, synonimous with his "Grace". It was a vicious circle which rubbed off subconsciously onto his followers.
PART 2: HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE: THE WAY AHEAD
Gaining objectivity about all this, and being able to express it lucidly, fairly, not simply as an emotional outburst of anger and injury, has not been easy. I am determined not to just throw bits and pieces of my personal disappointment at the screen. This whole matter deserves the most in depth and sincere attempt at assessment I can possibly make. I feel I owe that not only to myself but to all the other people who may read it
I have been angry, inexpressibly so. I have SEETHED AND SEETHED AND SEETHED with my anger at Maharaji. My loyalty to him, my zeal, my enthusiasm, my love, my faith, my devotion, had been too fervent and long lived for this not to be the case.
There are a lot of angry people on this website. Some of them sound to me like a mob yelling for a head to roll. BUT - I do not intend to let those feelings take command of my destiny.
VITALLY, dear ex-premies, ABSOLUTELY VITALLY, I always kept my eye very firmly on the fact that all this angry emotion has simply been THE OTHER SIDE OF THE COIN of a form of so called "DEVOTION". The essential form of this devotion was that we RELINQUISH ALL SELF RESPONSIBILITY, or, in the very words of "arti" itself, - "give ourselves to Satguru!!!"
Dear ex-premies. Don't you remember how agreeable and inviting a proposition that once seemed? Aw-aw-aw-aw-aw-aw-aw-aw, - come on. Don't be so shy shy. We ALL did it. Remember. I'll show you mine if you show me yours.
Relinquishing self-governance gave us the freedom, to ashram out, satsang out, darshan out, space out, freak out, sex out, toke out, acid out, cinema out, more sex still again out, whatever we damn well pleased out. After all why should we care for our lives! Don't worry about it Solly, God Himself is in charge...
So we would lead lives of just about total irresponsibility and then begin anew by roaring off to programmes on a thousand airplanes, Bhole Shreiking to the rafters of the heavens and scaring the pilots and stewardesses out of their wits. And yes, it was terrific terrific fun!
Following on from a time in our collective lives during which we had all experienced uncertainty and disorientation/confusion, and from which we had all, let's face it, fled to find "Shelter at the Holy Lotus Feet of The Lord" the absolutely wow wow wow all colourful all powerful Golden God Almighty no fucking shit pal dictatorship of Maharaji and his massively over the top claims, were, ladies and gentlemen of the jury, hugely and hugely appealing to us motley lot.
OUR Guru after all, wasn't just "A" Guru, wasn't just ANY OLD Guru, - ohhhhhh no no no no no no no no no! That wouldn't do AT ALL NOW, would it. No squire. Our Guru was nuffink fuckin' less than GOD 'is fuckin' self! And not just God neither, but BIGGER than God, GREATER than God.... F-A-A-A-A-R Greater than God.
Well, troof is, yeah, - God was just anover BORING bastard until he met our Guru Maharaji and that's a fuckin' fact chief. And don't you call me Dimmy no more neever, I'm the official satsang giver round 'ere an' I wear a fuckin' SUIT sunshine, in fact I NEARLY became a Mahatma once. - So that's you sorted, go an' sit at the back. No smoking.
It's so bloody dead easy just to download all our grief onto Maharaji. Too easy, ex-premies, too easy. Same old trip the other way round. 'Twasn't me Miss it was him. I never done nuffink Miss. Well, he MADE me do it Miss, honest. Come on Guys and Guyesses (Gaias?). You were there too, jumping up and down in ecstacy, being sprayed with paint, kissing his lotus feet, emerging from the hall all blissed out. You can't kid me, remember, I SAW you.
There were a few "together dudes" who took Knowledge. There were one or two nice old ladies, the occaisional eccentric middle class married couple. But the massive and overwhelming majority of the premies of the early to mid seventies were a horde, a veritable generation, of completely on the edge, off the edge, over the top, over the wall, stoned out, freaked out, burned out, spaced out, junked out, flunked out, lunatic fringe second cousin hippy hayseeds as ever stomped on this here terra folks. We streamed in from every corner of Europe and America. The flotsam and jetsam of the acid era. The "lost generation". And Maharaji seemed to be opening his arms to us all, inviting us in, redeeming us from our confused and absolutely disoriented former existence.
It is a known fact that "misplaced and displaced persons" respond very strongly either one way or another to new cult figures such as Maharaji. The percentage which respond strongly in the affirmative become the most maleable and impressionable form of "cadre" for the new "movement". I would always cite someone like Glenn Whittaker as having been a perfect example of one such cadre who is then himself given a minor leadership role, and becomes the "party spokesman", apologist, etc, for the new cult boss.
Such people become both brainwashed to the gills and deeply spiritually corrupted. They in turn become fanatically eager to similarly brainwash as many others as they can. Every cult has such placemen and the cult leader is always delighted that this is so. It gives him the perfect excuse to use them and treat them as scapegoats for his own blunders. Maharaji has been especially adept and skilled in this department. The sycophants were most effective in starting a new spiritual steamroller in the counter-culture of that time. "You just GOTTA take this knowledge ma-a-a-an, - it's even better than acid." Very strange things happen to people who become effectively steamrollered by such a process.
As time has passed I have posed some questions to myself about my whole relationship with Maharaji over those twenty years, the answering of which has been no simple cakewalk for me.
WHY and HOW was it, for example that again and again, time after time, year in year out, whenever I approached Maharaji, directly or indirectly, through service or attending a programme (or event or festival), that I WOULD ALWAYS find myself to be quite suddenly and most extraordinarily "blissed out"?
For years this particular phenomena was my ongoing personal proof of Maharaji's reigning and abiding Divinity. I was more than simply impressed with it. I was riveted by this seeming miracle.
It did not occur to me for a very long time (such things never do occur to disempowered, maladjusted social misfits) that it was not Maharaji but I myself who was the author, in every single case, of this sudden change of consciousness in myself.
To my grateful amazement I find now that the identical phenomena now occurs each time I go anywhere near my own chosen service as Father Love, World Peace teacher. Clever conjuring tricks of a very high order indeed have been developed over centuries by a whole continuem of Indian Gurus, whos remarkable skills in this field, are not to be for one single minute underestimated.
Nobody is more amenable to being "wowed out" by the action of such a formula AS A PERSON WHO HAS BEEN DEEPLY UNDERPRIVILIGED, EMOTIONALLY DAMAGED, SOCIALLY OUTCAST, OR GENERALLY DISEMPOWERED. These persons make the absolutely ideal recruits for armies, for revolutions, for religions amd for cults.
When my daughter was about two I used to play this game with her: We would travel on the tube in London, and I would say, "look Samantha, Daddy's going to make the train come." Then I'd stretch out my hands and make this whole act of pulling the train down the line. Then when the train arrived I'd pretend to make it stop with a command from my hands. And then that by my magic powers I was opening the doors, and so forth. It was fun. The first time I did it she might have believed me perhaps, but of course she soon cottoned on that it was just me clowning about, and found it all great fun too.
Just imagine however if I'd not fielded it as a joke, but had presented it all to her as something deadly serious, utilising her natural trust in myself as her parent together with far more sophisticated miming techniques to induce the belief in her that I did in fact control the train. I could have similarly made her believe that I made the sun rise and set, etc etc. Back that sort of stuff up with threats and promises, oaths and secrets, and you've got the most sinister possible form of abnormal behaviour going on. Such a thing would have made me into a most dangerous parent, not funny at all, entirely irresponsible and bent on a very stupid puerile power trip.
That's about the size of the game Maharaji and other Gurus of his ilk are addicted to playing. I believe that thousands upon thousands of Premies have been cleverly duped with this kind of catalytic put-on. Well, it's not so very surprising is it, - just take a look at where Premies came from:
(The screen goes all wobbly at this point and everyone knows we're now having a long flashback in the movie):
Owing to an extremely chaotic and deeply emotionally injurious childhood during which I very much became isolated from the main stream of society and dreamed off into a world all of my own, I entered early adult life, although academically quite well qualified, as a completely socially maladjusted person.
For years, even during school, I was depressed and felt that there was something dreadfully wrong with me. When I left school I felt like an alien on a foreign planet. I was deeply deeply confused about everything in life. I was a zealous soul, full of conversation, and was absolutely fascinated by just about everything. But I had no sense of direction, and did not know what I wanted to be, who I was, what I was, what to do or not to do or how to do it or not do it.
In short order I became a Marxist, then an Anarchist, then a Nihilist and then a Buddhist (at least I thought so). I went on demonstrations, sat around in discussion groups, smoked joints afterwards. Wrote poetry. Took up karate. I had a stream of love affairs which began with an aura of respectability but deteriorated into totally degenerate promiscuous sex with other (female) misfits, stoned out of our minds in various squats. There is MUCH TOO MUCH to tell of this and indeed other periods of my life, for any kind of fair distribution of facts, even on a well-edited basis. But a collection of certain features should paint a reasonable picture.
Every now and then I'd clean house, get a job, some smart clothes, go to a dentist, date a nice girl, take up regular karate training once more, go swimming every day, etc. But all this would last about six months usually, and then I'd be back squatting again. I'm not saying there wasn't some adventure - there was. There were times of fun and travel, but it is, again, all to much to tell of here. I had numerous amazing adventures and there were various wonderful schemes I would attempt to implement.
Nevertheless for a large portion of the time in those days I lived life as a complete misfit on the edge of despair. I had the the most wonderful dreams and visions of a better existence and of being a better person, but could not seem to be able to fulfill these, lacking, entirely, the self belief and adroit social orientation to do so.
I lived hoping that some great event was soon going to come along and save me. I read books such as the Upanishads, the Aquarian Gospel, The Bhagavad-gita, went on brown rice fasts, and listened to discourses from the Hari Krisna people - in between smoking loads of dope and from time to time taking acid.
But all this new spiritual information was disjointed and chaotic. I could't piece it together into anything remotely resembling an organic whole, or some kind of working discipline.
I just wanted to get high all the time. I tried Hare Krisna a bit more seriously for a while, going to the temple every day. I even stayed on for a week, and very nearly shaved my head and put on pink robes to go leaping and singing down Oxford Street. But the Mantra, well, it just somehow didn't quite make it for me.
I'll never forget going out prancing and dancing and chanting with the main group once, and stopping for a rest by Oxford Circus Underground... An old fashioned honest to goodness guv'ner cockney in a suit and with a geomorphologically structured face was meticulously watching one over-elated Krisna Conscious brother as he quite literally tried to run up the sides of the walls in his bare feet, such was his ecstacy as he chanted. Other devotees too were leaping high in the air as the Divine transcendental oblivion of true Krisna Consciousness enraptured their bodies and minds entirely.
The pukka native London gent turned to myself (who was now pretending not to be with these people) nodded his head twice as though forming some profound conclusion, and said SO SO VERY CONVINCINGLY and in such a wonderfully rich and well centred voice, his eyes flashing with unarguable authority, addressing me for all the world as though I was some important literary dignitary and he was summing up the events in front of his eyes for the illustrative dictionary definition: "Ma-a-a-a-ad, ma-a-a-a-ad, STARK, MAD, stark stark bloody MA-A-A-A-A-AD!..... MAD??...... MA-A-AD???...... Mad as, mad as, - mad as a bloody march hare!"
His words rang heavy in my ears, like the voice of my very own conscience. I agreed with him and knew I wasn't really a Hare Krisna. I had no faith at all you see that I'd ever make it up the side of the wall.
But I swiftly became enamoured of one of the sisters. She was getting ready to leave the temple cos she just couldn't hack it, and we went off together and had an affair in a caravan in Norfolk. She told me she was a lesbian and during the second week of our liaison declared me to be an honourary lesbian. There were rock festivals too. You just lived life as it came at you. Hoping for better but not getting it, and sometimes having a fine adventure thrown into your path for a few days or weeks, until that too fizzled out and you were busted flat again.
We were the get so high you leave your body and die freaks. We were into taking acid and dancing naked all night long. I seem to remember wandering into a tent at a rock festival tripping out of my head on about six tabs of clear light and falling straight into the arms of a beautiful freckled teenage redhead I'd never even seen before - making love to her while these two other naked American chicks clapped and cheered - wandering out once more to re-join the dance, and never seeing the girl again in my life.
So far as I rightly recall I was delivering a bunch of brown rice and stuff from the squatters' food co-op to the gay commune in West Eleven when the vicar's wife called in to see if she could convert the gay brothers to Jesus. I was round the vicarage afterwards fast as a shot and by GOD she converted me to Jesus alright. We hardly got out of the sack for about six weeks. I constantly cooked loads of hasheesh into her food and she never even knew. She really thought all those hour long multiple orgasms were God's reward to her for having won over a gay boy to the greater glory of Jesus and heterosexuality!
I nonetheless enjoyed my affair with the vicar's wife for more elevated reasons also. She was a civilised being, with crisp clean sheets to sleep beween, a library, a radio alarm clock and a schedule. All this gave me a sense of comfort and belonging. It shielded me just slightly from the nowhere identity of being a complete and utter social outcast and misfit. But the solace of the arms and sheets of the vicar's wife was but a sweet interlude. And more and more I felt thoroughly unhappy about myself and my life style. Deep down I believed myself to be a potentially great man, a hero. My time just hadn't come yet. But it would, it would, I told myself as I slipped into my next marhijuana oblivion.
You can perhaps well imagine then the amazing impact that the whole process of "receiving the Knowledge" was to have on me. At first I was completely sceptical and thought Maharaji was India's answer to Donny Osmond. But one by one my friends in the various squats would receive Knowledge, and they did not all emerge from this as apeshit born again badly fitting suite brigade ashram fanatics either. I could see this absolutely unmissable change which came over them. They were suddenly far more calm, centred, considerate, balanced, ok sort of people. They exuded a vibration of peace. People who had only ever before scowled and said little or nothing now smiled and relaxed and SPOKE, furthermore, most eloquently too, of Light brighter than a million suns, of a great Master, one who'd come to save the whole world.
It was impossible for me not to be intrigued. Soon I attended my first satsang programme. I was definitely impressed. Not long afterwards Maharaji came along to Fulham town Hall, and I went to the progamme to hear him speak.
Quite swiftly then it verily did come to pass that I found myself to be sitting in the upper room at the Avenue ashram at Muswell Hill, on Saturday June 9th 1973, and receiving Knowledge via the very capable administrations of Mahatman Umesh Dhar. He was an exceptionally nice man.
On revelation of the first technique, what was then called "The Light Technique" I experienced a complete out of body journey into a realm of light so beautiful and so bright that I had never imagined anything quite like it existed. It was true that I used to see that light as a kid, but never to that intensity. I forgot I was taking Knowledge, just went into a light journey. It took the Mahatma several tries before he brought me out of it, more than an hour later (he was getting impatient to move along and show the other techniques).
I had a similarly powerful experience with the Holy Name technique as it was then called. I have never ever doubted the authenticity of the "direct experience of God". I didn't then and I don't now. I emerged from my Knowledge session so blissed out I could scarcely remember my name. I went straight to satsang which was being held that evening out in the open on the grass in Red Lion Square.
I was sold. I was a Premie. Maharaji was God, most most definitely. Maharaji was Love. I had never felt so still, so beautiful, so content and happy and safe and centred and glowing with wellbeing, not in all my life. I joined in the spirit of satsang now as a fully paid up member, and not merely as some curious prospective applicant, as had been the case before. The great revelation was upon me.
Bhole Shri Satgurudev Maharaj Ki Jai! Amanda Panda Bubblegum Ki Jai! Jagged Jane-Annie she matters Ki Jai! Monkey see monkey do. I'd absolutely no idea in the world as to whomsoever Jagged Jane-Annie might be and why she mattered so much.
But right next to me the tall blond American-looking guy in the tee shirt and white canvas trousers was shouting out about how she mattered fit to redeafen the deaf. And over there, - my God yes, a big momma of a sister, she was so excited she was standing up about it, dark blue silk headscarf tied middle sort of Eastern style around her head, hands joined in prayer held up to her forhead, head thrown back, - she gave full vent unto her faith in this department in slow and warbling passion, her shrill cadance resounding powerfully from the buildings in the square with all the dramatic impact of some major history changing event:
"JA-GGAD JANE-ANNIE SHE MATTA-A-A-A-A-A-A-RS KI-I-I JAI-AI-AI!"
Blimey! Obviously she really DID matter and no kidding. Well, there are moments in one's life when one has to take a stand; moments of profound new moral obligation. There was no getting away from this:
I'd actually seen God now in as Divine a Divine Light as Divine Light was ever gonna get. If this was Divine Light Mission then there could be no ducking out any longer for this guy here. My bet was made. I cleared my throat and got some saliva moving around. I wasn't gonna be found hanging about in the rear and that was for sure. No siree.....
Whoever she was I was gettin' good and ready to let old Jagged Jane know right out in front that she now mattered to me every tiny little bit just as much as she mattered to any one of these other here premies!
And as to her jagged parts, well, some Divinely inspired sixth sense told me that Amanda Panda Bubblegum was almost certainly spread over these to make her safe enough for all practical purposes.
So I cried out full voiced along with all the rest of the excited devotees, blissfully ignorant of the meaning of the words, arms flung high in the air, no longer caring a hoot if the poor old gent from Oxford Circus should happen to be passing by and see me.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Knowledge changed my whole life. I stopped smoking dope and taking acid, completely. I started to practice meditation every day and to regularly attend satsang programmes, sitting right up the front if I could. And if part of the motivation for sitting up front was that one got a really good look at the shape of the girls' bottoms as they bent over to do pranam at the alter, then I felt sure that the All Seeing Eye of Allah made allowances for such common human frailties. Zealous and enthusiastic by nature, I turned up to do service all the time at the Palace of Peace. I got a job again - some better clothes.
I even went in the ashram for a short while, but this didn't suit me at all and I found the premies in there to be considerably more insane than the inmates of a mental hospital: The behaviour inside the ashram left ordinary clinical forms of mental disturbance (such as to which I was accustomed to meeting as a squatter, and had been used to since childhood via the agencies of my schizophrenic fanatical Roman Catholic mother and the tender care of the insane "Presentation brothers") - ooooh, a VERY long way behind. It was closed sectarian religious insanity lost beyond strange new frontiers.
So, - we all slept on the floor, ten to a room, brothers in one room, sisters in another. Well, after all we were sort of soldiers, weren't we, ok I could buy that. Soldiers for World Peace, that's exactly how Glenn Whittaker put it. And soldiers have to rough it and have discipline. All right all right. Count me in I'll play too. And the ashram Secretary and the Housemother, these were Important People, chosen by Maharaji Himself. So they were allowed some tiny little room of their own somewhere to sleep in. Fair enough then.
And Guru Maharaji had his own room in the Ashram. I know because I was permitted to look inside it just the once. It was immaculate and magnificent, fitted out richly and plushly in every imaginable luxury. Yessir, that's where our wages went. But the visiting Mahatma himself had explained it all to me you see. Oh yes he had explained it very well:
We MUST have a room like that for Guru Maharaji. It was HIS Ashram, and a true devotee must wait with a longing heart for Shri Satguru to manifest Himself in human form. He might arrive any minute, any SECOND. Indeed, it was by no means unknown for Him to magically manifest His Divine Golden Body out of thin air as a response to the loving call of one of His devotees. Such a thing had happened only a month previously in some part of Northen India. Soon I would read about it in the Divine Times, a paper which I myself went out selling in the evenings, did I not? Well, there you are you see, you're half way home already boy and you didn't know it. We must be alert for such things, watching with eager hearts, night and day, immersed in the Holy Name.
Goodness gracious me well you don't argue with that sort of Divine Explanation now, do you!? Not when it's real live Mahatma with a baldy head an' saffron robes an' all you don't. But my capacity to overule my normal human instincts with more and more such cultish brainwashing did not last out, I'm glad to say.
Going out Divine Jumbling 'till three in the morning, coming back to fall asleep in my little space on the floor after ten minutes attempted meditation (it's ok, service is just as good, Glenn himself said so) and then being deliberately woken up only three hours later by some stupid prat shaking me and singing yes SINGING into my ear, "This is not the time for sleeping open up your eyes", who thought he was being tremendously both amusing and devoted at the same time, began a sort of good old wanting to bust someone squarely on the jaw primal response "within inside of me" which was somehow proof against all the sectarian brainwashing techniques in creation.
Being required to participate in water throwing and flour and icing sugar throwing "fights" in the meditation room, and being subjected to long lectures as to why I should shave off my beard, didn't go a whole long way towards winning my religious zeal either.
And being expected to entertain visiting special Divine "Dignitaries" of senior rank whilst these strutted about the place like God did nothing to impress me even slightly. Huh. I so well remember Milky Cole turning up once and looking at me as though he were definitely some sort of Royal King and I a wretched peasant dressed in rags. He made the most painful of faces and asked if I would help him with one of his shoes - oh how it was killing him - he held his foot out for my inferior attentions whilst he gazed upwards in Holy Grace - the labour being all to great and probably too lowly for a person of his estate.
I just looked at him very straight indeed, looked him up and down once, guffawed derisively at the ridiculously transparent posturings of such a pretensious prat, then walked on. Most unDivine behaviour you know. Oh and I was told about it too, you can be sure I was. I was definitely failing to surrender to Satguru.
So even the highest ranking agya oriented of finger wagging satsang could not prevail upon me to stay in the ashram. I left the ashram but joined a very beautiful premie centre where we really did have a spirit of true Love and Bliss. I tried very hard to be celibate but was fated to be swiftly seduced on the floor of the meditation room during attempted all night meditation by a Chinese Lady who came to stay with us and take knowledge.
It was good though, in the premie centre in Kilburn, and I will remember it and the people in it, with great Love, for the rest of my days. We put on plays at satsang, (of which I was the author) and people came from all over London to see these. All these activities and changes took place in the commencing months of twenty years of my being a premie.
The following few years as a devotee, proved to be, for myself, a rich and rare adventure into new worlds and new experiences. I took Maharaji deeply to heart. As a result of my certainty of his Grace I found that I had become very much more daring, and began to live and learn as never before.
Squatting was fazed out. I had a whole stream of new jobs and began travelling around the world, following Maharaji from place to place. I still continued to engage in numerous love affairs, but these were now altogether more elevated liaisons. The complete uncertainty which had dogged my life formerly was gradually replaced by an ever growing confidence.
It was by no means ALL sweetness and light. My social maladjustment problems didn't just dissappear into a clowd of blissful arti tray smoke. Neither was my application to knowledge smooth and constant. There were periods of despair and unhappiness too. I made many truly regretable mistakes and wondered "off the path" many times over. But always I would return, and each new rebirth into the shelter of the good old formula of "satsang service and meditation" seemed to bring with it a new phase of soul awakening, new dimensions to my existence, new adventures.
I entertained private dreams of becoming one of the select "Superpremies", I must say, but for many different reasons this ambition was never fulfilled. Disappointed though I was by this, nonetheless I really did find that a form of amazing universal synchronicity or magic (Grace in old parlance) would enter my life when I was sincerely engaged in service, and certainly whenever I went to a festival or programme where Maharaji was present.
Several years down the line I embarked upon what proved to be a most unhappy and indeed disastrous marriage to another premie, from which my only child, to date, was born. I began however, on a more positive note, to study and to generally seek to elevate my existence. I became qualified first of all in acupuncture, then in remedial Qigong and T'ai Chi, then in medical radionics. It was in the wake of my marriage break-up, after I had moved away from London to live in the Westcountry, that my very first feelings of unease about Maharaji began to form.
In reading A.J.W.'s "journey" I realise now that had I been any more deeply involved with the heirarchy of DLM or ELan Vital, (had I in fact got my wish to become one of the "superpremies") then very probably I would have rebelled against Maharaji and his whole organisation at a much earlier stage.
Indeed what kept my entire relationship with Maharaji alive for so long was the simple fact that quite some years before, I had recognised that more than half the people actually involved in running "The Mission", and all of the one's close to Maharaji himself, were most certainly completely hopeless nutcases, all of whom he was (in my cogniscence of that time) simply kind and benevolent enough to suffer.
My own relationship with Maharaji therefore belonged somewhere within the nomenclature of being purely "Mystical". It took place in the heart and in the heart alone. But I was still waiting all this time for the great explosion of of activity which would bring Knowledge to the world. I was waiting and hoping that when this great Peace Bomb did finally explode, I would be able to make my bid to become an initiator. I really did want to give my life to the service of distributing "Knowledge". Furthermore I knew with unerring certainty that I'd be very good at it.
The Peace Bomb however, never did happen. Knowledge never did become the great World Shaking Event we had been promised. I kept getting told that now more people were receiving Knowledge than ever before. But none of my friends or neighbours seemed to be getting it.
I held on to the conviction, formed in the very first days of my having been initiated into "Knowledge" that Maharaji was a great World Leader, absolutely Divinely inspired, and that he would know when to move. A clever general he bided his time. But I had to hold on very tight because that conviction was beginning to go. I was "growing up" and as I did so, more and more and more unacceptable contradictions about the entire business were coming to light.
I didn't want to give up on Maharaji. I mean I really REALLY didn't. Such a thing seemed unthinkable to me. Nevertheless the truth was that I was drifting further and further from him with every passing season. But I wouldn't quite close the door because not only did I harbour beautiful memories, but in so many ways, HE WAS ALL I'D GOT. "The World" was a hostile place, and in Maharaji's "shelter" one felt safe.
So I hung in there and hung in there, watching the incoming tide of my life washing away the sandcastle of my adherance to Maharaji and his whole "trip", not quite wanting to watch it happen. Having to take notice anyway.
June 1993 finally dawned. I think it was a six day event. I tried not to turn and walk away, but in the end I could stand it all no more. The whole sad truth about him had become too completely transparent, and I could no longer kid myself. The strange thing is that the relief and joy I experienced at leaving him was as huge as that of my bliss at finding him. Looking back it was all most bizarre. I had quite literally bowed down to the ground before Maharaji and worshipped him as God Almighty made manifest on earth. I had followed him around the world and I had loved him, genuinely, deeply, and my faith in him had been absolute.
Many of the adventures and experiences I had undergone in those days had been of a nature so beautiful, so exciting and fulfilling, that I know for certain that if the majority of people living on this earth had the faintest inkling even, that such experience was available to them, in THEIR lives, then the "gold rush" to get "knowledge" would exceed even the claims of poor old Glenn Whittaker and the early Mahatamas. But it all never happened, because Maharaji's entirely insane degree of self importance has taken possession of his very soul and has effectively thereby priced "the knowledge" out of the market.
Is he, was he, ever, the "Lord of the Universe"?
I have no doubt that, in the beginning especially, the real Lord of the Universe lent an absolutely immense amount of support to Maharaji's work. Anyone in those days who had possessed the eyes to see and the heart to feel with, would, I am sure, agree that "Guru Maharaji's Grace" was an undeniable and a quite overwhelmingly fantabulous reality. Maharaji certainly knew how to ACCESS the "Lord of the Universe", AND TO WE MERE CHILDREN this seemed amazing beyond all possible compare. But he got trapped and left behind and lost the plot completely. He now lives in a backwater, in an entirely selfish and smug sort of Hindu/Sufi fantasy world.
But the Real Lord of the Universe of course lives within each of our hearts and is still eminantly accessible, and I rather feel that it's high and high time indeed that the LADY of the Universe got something more of a better billing too these days! Don't you?
Myself, I continue to employ "the techniques" each day of my life, with far more focussed application than ever before. The Lord and the Lady of the Universe and all the exhileration, Grace, amusement, adventure, discovery, and amazing bliss, which are the signature of their tangible existence, now fill my being and my life immeasurably more fully than ever was possible for me under the yoke of Maharaji's absurd petty tyranny. And I certainly didn't come all this way and go through all I've been through just to give up and slink away back to the pub because the bloody silly little guru got lost in his robes during the dress rehearsal and never really made it out of the changing room.
The torch is there burning as brightly as ever for those with the guts and determination to pick it up and carry it.
The game has just begun.