Prem Rawat Games For More Fame
File under: Gurubusting, Satscams and The Siddhi of PR
Just as we were beginning to formulate our response to this article, resourceful reader Alex beats us to the punch and does our work (quite well) for us, so we're just passing his fine product along:
Once again our boy Prem Rawat (aka Maharaji, Guru Maharaj Ji, Lord of the Universe, etc.) hoists himself onto a pedestal - and promptly falls over.We liked this weak defense from a Rawat lieutenant when confronted with this group's status as a destructive cult:
This time he tries to associate himself to Gandhi by instructing key followers of his to attend, under cover, a gala dinner held last night in London to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the film of the same name.
The aim of these key followers is to be ambassadors as, to quote a leading cult honcho Roland Klepzig:"This is a unique event because it will be attended by a VIP audience of diplomats, politicians, celebrities and very influential and wealthy business people who will be exposed to [Maharaji's] message for the first time."The cost per person for this gala dinner is a cool £250 (US$500). In addition, Prem Rawat's so-called foundation, The Prem Rawat Foundation, will be making a contribution of £10,000 (US$20,000) which gave him the right to address the great and good prior to the dinner.
Unfortunately for Prem Rawat, this legitimacy-enhancing campaign is a step too far, resulting in the mainstream media picking the story up on Friday.
This exposé, according to former followers of Prem, will no doubt have caused much anger over at Cult HQ and in particular by the great man himself. To quote him in a previous context:"The chances are you've never seen the other side of me. You've seen the event side of me when I'm on stage. But there is another side of me. If you evoke that side, you won't like it. It's a nasty side. You don't want to see that side. You're not missing anything by not seeing it." - Prem Rawat, Arundel England, 23rd July 1999."Jim Jones - take two?
I doubt that middle age will mellow Prem Rawat - he is 50 in a few days time; most people remember him as a spotty teenager addicted to ice cream and Star Trek shows with a predilection for throwing tantrums if he did not get what he wanted.
By the way, some additional information on the Prem Rawat Foundation. If you would reasonably think that this foundation, in common with other personal foundations, receives money from Prem Rawat as a gift for onward humanitarian spending, then you would be wrong. In fact, Prem's foundation receives nothing from Prem himself, rather its income derives from the sale, for example, of Prem Rawat DVDs to foot kissing devotees. Additionally out of a total income of US$8.2 million for the 5 years ending 2006, only 12.3% was actually given over for humanitarian initiatives. [Ed.note: Prem may not give anything to his org, but he sure likes takes from it, to the tune of $60 million dollars for a new Gulfstream GP-SP private jet, and all when he had a perfectly good Gulfstream V beforehand.]
Just in! The guests at last night's London gala dinner received a goodie bag from the Prem Rawat Foundation. Contents? Basmati rice, a DVD of the film Gandhi, some non-alcoholic champagne and a TPRF booklet. This is in addition to the cult commissioned book "Peace is Possible".
James Shaw, a spokesman for Elan Vital, pointed out his organisation had received charitable status and was governed by Charity Commission laws. “The fact is we are not a cult and we do not behave in cult-like ways,” he said.Sure, Jim. Tell that to these folk.
The turban is now off in appreciation and admiration for reader Alex and this fine work.