A little more truth has surfaced in the ocean of inveterate whitewashing that's been occurring in the international press over the last week; an article by the last news writer to interview the Maharishi when he was alive. Get ready for the Austin Powers-level wackiness of Yoga's Dr. Evil, the late, yet not so great, Maharhishi Mahesh Yogi:
For the historic interview I was ushered into the so-called brahmastan, a sort of giant pagoda-style wooden palace.Arrogant, full of pride, deluded. This was your leader, TM™.
I was flanked by two sternfaced, light-suited "ministers", who introduced me, to the untold thousands of disciples watching this bizarre charade via the live global video-link by which the Maharishi communicated his edicts, as a "distinguished international journalist" - which was certainly a first for me.
Then, just as I was expecting him to make his entrance, a giant screen flickered to life and I was greeted not by a real live guru but by a sort of hologram with a cotton-wool beard and a shiny, teak-brown pate.
Only then did I realise that the Maharishi would be addressing me only via closed-circuit TV from his chamber, presumably somewhere upstairs.
"His Holiness never meets anyone because his doctor is concerned that he might catch germs," Roth whispered.
"He hasn't been outside for years."
In truth, it was more a monologue than an interview.
The Maharishi spouted incomprehensible mumbo jumbo for several minutes-then launched into a diatribe against Britain - a terrible country which believes in "divide and rule" and was responsible for much of the misery besetting the world.
This, he said, was why he had decided to "excommunicate" this country, meaning that his disciples were banned from teaching TM here (a state of affairs which, I regret to report, he later reversed).
My one small victory was that I managed to ask him - ever so politely - about The Beatles.
Given all the bad blood, did he regret his involvement with the band who made him a household name?
Suddenly, all that serenity evaporated and the mystic came over all mortal.
"Forget about it!" he spluttered furiously.
"If at all, (The) Beatles became substantial by my contact.
"I did not become great by association of The Beatles! Beatles make Maharishi great? Pah! It is a waste of thought."