Home Search site Links News

Wikipedia Distortion
Rawat's followers exposed

Prem Rawat: An uncensored history.


Prem Rawat, born Prem Pal Singh Rawat, Dec 10, 1957 in Haridwar, was the youngest son of Hans Ram Singh Rawat a self proclaimed “guru” of the northern Indian mystical tradition. [1], [2], [3], [4], [5] From a young age Prem Rawat was encouraged to speak at the public meetings held by his father. The language used by the child was an emulation of his father’s addresses and notably included references to satnam, satguru and satsang. [6], [7], [8] In 1960 an organisation called Divine Light Mission was created to promote Hans Rawat to a wider audience.

In 1966 Hans Rawat died without having made any clear statement about how, or even if anyone should succeed him. Following the death, a bizarre sequence of disputes arose involving the Rawat family, Hans Rawat’s appointed teachers, (Mahatmas) and Officials of the Divine Light Mission. The eventual resolution of these disputes saw the youngest Rawat son, then just eight years old, proclaimed as the divine inheritor of his father’s spiritual elevation. [9], [10], [11], [12]

Effective control of the Rawat family assets and the Divine Light Mission fell to Prem Rawat's mother and his eldest brother Sat Pal Maharaj, who acted as 'regents' while Prem remained legally a minor. A seminal event held in Delhi in 1970,which came to be characterised as Prem Rawat's Peace Bomb discourse, was reputedly attended by an audience of one million.

From 1966 until at least 1971, the message of the Divine Light Mission was a continuation of the principles adopted by Hans Rawat including instruction in the four techniques of meditation as a means to spiritual advancement.[13]  It was in this context of a 'spiritual teaching' and the ideology surrounding the ‘Knowledge’ meditation that a number of young British and American travellers were attracted to the Rawat Haridwar ashram. Two of these early ‘converts’ are of particular note, Mike Finch and Ron Geaves, both have written extensively on the history of Prem Rawat's career as a 'teacher', although with radically divergent conclusions about the character of Prem Rawat.

Expansion of the Divine Light Mission outside of India

A senior disciple of both Hans Rawat and of Prem Rawat, known as Mahatma Gurucharnanand, had in the late 1960s been sent by Prem Rawat's mother to proselytise amongst the Hindu community in London UK. In the summer of 1971 Prem Rawat then aged only 13 travelled to London in the company of Mahatma Gurucharnand, here they received support from several westerners who had received the Knowledge techniques of meditation in India and who had adopted a devotional attachment to Prem Rawat. [14],[15]

Soon after arriving in London, Prem Rawat, then known as Guru Maharaj Ji was taken to the nascent Glastonbury Festival where he made an impromptu appearance, displacing rock band Brinsley Schwarz from the stage. [16] From the UK, Prem Rawat and Mahatma Gurucharnanand travelled to the US where the ‘Boy Guru’ attracted a significant following before returning to India to resume his schooling. A variety of claims have been made about the early development of Prem Rawat's following in Europe and North America although the only extant and consistent testimonies are those of Bob Mishler and Mike Finch. [17], [18]

In the Autumn of 1971 Bob Mishler and others set up an organisation called Divine Light Mission Incorporated (DLM), this was registered as a Church for tax purposes with the US Internal Revenue Service, Prem Rawat, despite his being a minor and lacking US citizenship was according to Michael Dettmers listed as chief Minister of the Divine Light Mission church. The US headquarters of DLM Inc. was in Boulder, Colorado. [19], [20]  

A separate DLM was created in the UK in 1972 [21], subsequently other Nationally independent DLM organisations were created in Australia, South Africa, and Canada, as well as in several European and South American countries.


Divine Light Mission ashrams were set up in western countries despite there being no cultural precedent for their support. Those who entered an ashram were required to take a vow of poverty and give over their possessions and any continuing incomes to the organisation. They also took a vow of chastity and obedience. Drugs and alcohol were prohibited and vegetarianism was required; the rules for ashramites were laid out in The Ashram Manual.

The actual levels of adherence to Prem Rawat are difficult to establish, claims of a 6 million world wide Divine Light Mission membership in the early 1970s seem to have been drastically overstated. [22]

In 1972 and 1973 Prem Rawat was the focus of much media attention and  DLM Inc. made two feature-length films about Rawat, Lord Of The Universe and Who is Guru Maharaj Ji ?, a book also titled Who is Guru Maharaj Ji ? [23] was published which set out  the definitive beliefs of the Rawat movement.   


An event in August 1973 demonstrated that Rawat’s following was by no means a ‘peaceful’ movement. Following an incident in which the young Rawat had a shaving foam ‘pie thrown in his face, the pie thrower, radical journalist Pat Halley was viciously attacked with a hammer by devotees of  Guru Maharaj Ji. [24], [25]


In November 1973 DLM Inc, booked the Houston Astrodome for a three-day event to coincide with the date of Hans Rawat's birthday. Called "Millennium '73" the relevance of the 'millennial' reference was never made explicit although an apocalyptic element has been inferred by some observers. [26],[27]

Despite having Rennie Davis, a former member of the Chicago Seven, as a prominent devotee and speaker at "Millennium '73", the event attracted at most 20,000 attendees. The vast stadium dwarfed the small crowd and losses from the event nearly drove DLM Inc. into bankruptcy. [28] Ironically the Mission was holding funds that were to reach several million dollars, these however were put aside as ‘personal gifts’ for Prem Rawat.

A documentary covering the Millennium ’73 event and which borrowed in parody the title of the earlier DLM produced ‘Lord Of The Universe’ film, was broadcast in the US in 1974 [29],[30],[31],[32]


In May 1974 at age sixteen Prem Rawat married a twenty-five year old flight attendant named Marolyn Johnson. The marriage  precipitated a rift between Prem Rawat his mother and two elder brothers (the second youngest Raja Ji remained in Prem Rawat's camp). Mishler speaking in 1979 described a period of intense conflict in 1974 between Prem Rawat and his mother and eldest brother. [33],[34],[35]

Ultimately Prem Rawat's mother disowned her youngest son and returned to India with the two eldest brothers. According to a report published the following year in the People Weekly magazine,  Jagat Janani announced that her son was corrupted by Western ways, had strayed from the holy Hindu path and claimed he drank alcohol, ate meat and visited night clubs. [36] This behaviour was later confirmed by Michael Donner, one time National Co-ordinator of the US Divine Light Mission. [37]

Legal actions brought by the Officers of the Indian Divine Light Mission[38] saw Prem Rawat lose any claim he may have had to that organisation and eldest Rawat brother Balbagawn Ji, now known as Satpal Maharaj, became the spiritual head of the Divine Light Mission in India. Most of the mahatmas in the West returned to India, maintaining allegiance with Prem Rawat's mother and the eldest son Satpal.

By the time of his marriage, a property had been acquired for Prem Rawat at Trancas Canyon, Malibu, California  this was to become the location of his main residence for most of the succeeding three decades.[39] With his own home, his mother and brother divorced from any control of the western Divine Light Missions, with an established and devoted following of westerners, and with US citizenship achieved via his marriage, Prem Rawat was in a position to assert sole control over the movement that he found himself to be leading. The peculiarity of this situation was that Rawat was just sixteen years old and an immigrant to the Country which was the crucible for a multimillion dollar movement based on worship of this adolescent.


In early 1974 Prem Rawat had announced in India the creation of an organisation called Divine United Organisation[40]. With the loss of the Indian DLM to his brother, DUO became Prem Rawat's Indian base, the organisation eventually being renamed Raj Vidya Kender . DUO was subsequently run for many years by one of the mahatmas who chose loyalty to Prem Rawat - Mahatma Sampurananand.

The nationally based organisations that took the name Divine Light Mission in many countries around the world had no unifying legal structure beyond a commonality of statement of aims, primarily these were based upon a commitment to proselytise the Knowledge and to accept Guru Maharaj Ji as a source of divine inspiration.[41]

There is no evidence that in 1974 Prem Rawat had any clear strategy in his exercise of the charismatic leadership of a movement that he had been gifted and the developments within the various parts of the worldwide DLM movement were predicated on ad hoc responses to local conditions. A small number of mahatmas had sided with Prem Rawat in the family split,  apart from Sampurananand who remained in India, Mahatmas Gurucharnanand and Jagdeo continued in positions of influence. From the inception of Divine Light Mission Incorporated, founder Bob Mishler was a key advisor to Prem Rawat, however in 1975 this relationship began to break down and Rawat increasingly looked to Canadian Michael Dettmers for advice, firstly on financial matters and from 1976 onward, wider organisational matters.[42]

Michael Dettmers oversaw a substantive change in the relationship between Prem Rawat and the DLM Inc. the effects of which went far beyond the administrative borders of the US. Dettmers, working with tax lawyer Robert Jacobs achieved a separation of Prem Rawat's finances from DLM Inc. This not only made Prem Rawat cash rich, but removed any legal restrictions regarding financial support which would have derived from Rawat being DLM's chief (religious) Minister.[43]

DLM Inc. continued to be registered as a Church, however the organisation developed two new financing strategies that saw Prem Rawat receiving ‘arms length’ financial support, rather than as though he were an integral part of the organisation. Firstly there was the collection of funds not included in the accounts of DLM Inc. which were directed to acquisitions for Prem Rawat's personal benefit [44] and secondly there was the use of donated funds to pay the generous expenses allowed to Prem Rawat for his participation in activities that “delivered his message”.[45]

The pattern of financing adopted by the US Élan Vital Inc. was emulated by other national Divine Light Missions from 1975 onward.


Although the DLM movement claimed to have large numbers of adherents worldwide, there is no evidence for growth in numbers after 1975.[46]

In 1975 Prem Rawat had encouraged ashram residents to give up their renunciate way of life, then in 1976 and without any explanation Rawat began to once again stress the importance of the DLM ashram system. [47]Some followers who had moved out of the ashrams in 1974 and 1975 returned to the ashram lifestyle in 1976 and 1977 although this did not coincide with a reinvigoration of the DLM movement as whole and the period after 1974 saw a less energetic promotion of Rawat’s public profile than had been seen in the 1971 to 1974 period.

 Rawat’s role in the Divine Light Missions after 1975 was never made explicit and although he was universally regarded as the ‘leader’ of the DLM by all his followers, he had no legal standing in any of the organisations. The various DLMs were governed under national laws some of which placed significant limits upon what the organisations could do, yet a dynamic existed within the organisations where individuals who held legal officerships, could be ‘sacked’ at Rawat’s say so. The first casualty of this dynamic was Bob Mishler  who despite being President of the US DLM was unable to make any challenge to the direction that Rawat wanted the organisation to take and Mishler ultimately took the decision to resign. [48],[49]

For a time around 1980 the centre of DLM Inc. operations which had been located in Los Angeles, moved to Miami where activities included a project known as DECA which was concerned with the customisation of a Boeing 707 for Prem Rawat's personal use.[50] The project failed to produce an aircraft suitable for sustained use, and also failed in its commercial ambition and the business was eventually sold. DECA was dependant upon the ashram system without which DECA could not have survived financially while  work was carried out on the Boeing 707. The poor working and living conditions experienced by some of the devotees involved in the project revealed a capacity for exploitation and indifference in a movement led by an individual still claiming at that time, a religious purpose. [51]

In 1982 the DLM ashrams were ordered to be closed worldwide. No consultation with residents was undertaken and no provision was made for those who were left without homes or jobs, the final closures occurring in 1983. [52],[53]


The term Élan Vital was first used in connection to Prem Rawat when the Élan Vital Foundation was created in 1983 by Michael Dettmers and others. [54] Progressively the various national Divine Light Missions were renamed Élan Vital, one of the last being in Australia in 1993.[55] The company that had been responsible for the various DLM publications Shri Hans Publications was replaced by Visions International, a subsidiary of the US Élan Vital.

Following the closure of the ashrams, efforts were made to expunge overtly religious associations from Élan Vital’s public presentation. The Élan Vital ‘message’ was notably anodyne and attracted little interest from outside the established following, which by the mid 1980s was no longer youthful. The generation of income was a primary purpose and the organisation of ‘events’ backed with the provision of tapes and various publications became the operative business model, Élan Vital was in effect a service and product provider to Rawat’s now ‘atomised’ following. [56] Of itself the sale of recorded and printed media did not generate sufficient income to maintain either the organisations or Rawat’s proclivity for travel and a sophisticated system of donation seeking became the major focus of the national Élan Vitals.


A number of academics, notably Melton, Miller, Chryssides and Geaves[57] have ascribed all the changes in the Rawat movement and the Divine Light Missions to Prem Rawat acting as a sole authority and agent of change, however no published work effectively explains how Rawat was able to act with such totality when he had no legal status within in the organisational structures. In writing as they have these scholars have helped perpetuate the myth of Rawat as a lone agent of leadership, while in truth a far more prosaic organisational  process underlies the birth, development and decline of the Rawat movement. [58],[59],[60],[61]

Prem Rawat certainly had an unusual childhood, however other than hagiographic claims of precocious wisdom, insight and oration there is nothing to show that Rawat was anything other than average apart from his family position. Rawat attended school but there are no reports of his showing any great scholastic, artistic or intellectual abilities and this schooling ended when he was just thirteen. Rawat’s ‘transfer’ out of India as a ‘teacher’ was achieved with the institutional support of the Indian Divine Light Mission and its ‘mahatmas’, while the new organisational structures in north America, Europe and Australasia were created by individuals who were reliant entirely on skills and experience acquired before their involvement with Rawat.  Rawat was undoubtedly the ‘charismatic centre’ but his role in the development of the ‘Divine Light Mission’ was passive and reliant upon other contributors.

While Rawat was an undoubted figurehead and object of worship, as an adolescent with no demonstrable practical skills, he was not the creator of the movement that grew up around him. With the predominant relationships that he experienced in his figurehead role being nominally, and often actually, that of master and servant there is no evidence that Rawat developed anything other than a ‘demand’ approach to his role in that movement, neither is there evidence that his message was anything other than an adolescent interpretation of the message inherited from his father.  In this context in must be seen that others were and are responsible for the structures that have underwritten the career of Prem Rawat.


 Of those individuals who made significant contributions to the shaping of  the US centre of the global Rawat movement, three have spoken or written publicly about their experience:

 Bob Mishler was one of the founders of the US DLM and served as its President until 1977. Mishler was a veteran of the anti (Vietnam) war movement and was also a yoga teacher;  having been initiated into the Knowledge meditation in 1971 he became an effective organiser within the nascent US DLM Inc., and in 1974 following Rawat’s split with his mother Mishler became Rawat’s closest American adviser. Under Mishler’s guidance there were moves in 1975 to start “a major change of emphasis in the Divine Light Mission” however according to Mishler “Maharaji (Rawat) got very insecure about what was going to happen to him if we continued with this”[62].                                                                                                                                                      

 Mishler left  DLM Inc. in 1977 and in 1979 was killed in a plane crash, however earlier in 1979 Mishler recorded an extensive radio interview in which he revealed many aspects of Rawat’s life which were unknown to both the majority of followers and public, and which to this day are either flatly denied or downplayed by current followers. [63]

 Mike Donner was National Co-ordinator of the US DLM Inc. from 1974[64], later becoming co-ordinator of Rawat’s personal staff, and then an ‘Instructor’ (demonstrator of the meditation techniques). In 1987 Donner gave up his position as an Instructor and in December of that year he wrote an open letter to Rawat which was highly critical of Rawat’s relationship to his followers.[65] Donner subsequently discussed Rawat’s use of alcohol and hashish, an abusive relationship with a female follower and the existence of Rawat’s long time mistress on an Internet forum.[66]

 Michael Dettmers [67]was Rawat’s personal manager from 1975 to 1987, although he had no legal role within the Divine Light Missions, Dettmers was accorded the notional position of “International Director” and was responsible for effecting major change within the global organisation of the Rawat movement. In 2000 Dettmers contributed to an Internet discussion where he detailed his role in securing the business base of the Rawat movement.[68]  In 2002 Dettmers agreed to the Internet publication of a private interview, in which he provided damning contentions about Rawat’s personal behaviour.[69]  


 The departure of  Bob Mishler from the US DLM Inc. in 1977 marked an end to any element of  independent authority within the Rawat movement; although ‘initiates’ continued to be referred to as ‘members’ of the Divine Light Mission there were no structures of representation and all administrative and organisational decisions were taken in consultation with Rawat, but with no reference to the ‘members’ outside of a select organisational and social circle. Mike Finch has described the ‘inner circle’ as a  “Byzantine Court”.[70]

 Any organisation which whether by intention or neglect, denies its participants an adequate voice, is destined to create an environment in which abuse of one form or another will thrive. In the case of the Rawat movement the conditions of those outside the inner circle was largely a matter of indifference to Rawat while the ‘insiders’ themselves were either negligent of care or ineffective in exercising responsibility. In the event abuse occurred and was either effectively disguised by the perpetrators or was deliberately hidden by connivance of those in positions of power so that only years after abuse occurred did its existence come to light.  

 Of the mahatmas that stayed loyal to Prem Rawat in 1974, only Jagdeo Upadhaya had a prominent organisational role outside of India after 1974.[71] Upadhaya travelled widely both in the US and Europe acting as the embodiment of Rawat’s authority, particularly in the period up to 1983, although Upadhaya continued to have a presence in the Rawat movement at least until 1999. In 1998 accusations of  Upadhaya’s paedophilic attacks on the children within the Divine Light Mission were finally made public.[72]

 The response to the accusations by the then named Élan Vital organisation was legalistic and largely driven by Public Relations concerns. [73],[74]


 After 1983, the position of  a ‘follower’ in the Rawat movement became one of extreme passivity; previously those initiated into the Knowledge meditation where encouraged to speak publicly about their experience at satsang meetings, Rawat subsequently forbade anyone other than himself to speak about the Knowledge meditation. In a further move, the transmission of the meditation techniques became a role solely undertaken by Rawat, initially Rawat took initiation sessions in person but then moved to using video recordings played at sessions administered by individuals approved by one of the national Élan Vital organisations. 

 By the late 1990s Rawat’s only identifiable role was as an ‘inspirational speaker’ attending less than 100 events per year. Perhaps in response to this ‘diminishing’ presence Rawat suddenly sought to emulate his long time followers, Timothy Gallwey[75] and Valerio Pascotto[76] both of whom were active in ‘Corporate Training’. Rawat did not go so far as to seek to openly sell his services to business but to use the ‘training’ context as a means to reframe his ‘leadership’ of  his movement.  Trainings were offered on a fee paying basis to followers who volunteered to assist the propagation of Prem Rawat’s message, a number of ‘trainings’ took place between 1998 and 2000 [77],[78],[79]


 Rawat’s ‘trainings’ ended in 2000, however the ‘business model’ approach that was presaged by the ‘trainings’ developed  into a full scale PR and Marketing campaign aimed at selling Prem Rawat as a source of “inspiration”[80], an “Internationally-Known speaker”[81], and as a Teacher with “Students” rather than a Guru with followers.[82]

 Created in 2001 The Prem Rawat Foundation (TPRF) has been the primary vehicle for the PR Campaign with slick marketing values coupled with a claimed Humanitarian Agenda although the balance of the organisation’s expenditure places actual funding of ‘humanitarian activity as low priority. Prem Rawat has not given an ‘unconditional’ media interview for over 25 years and a statement on an Élan Vital website says: Maharaji speaks to the media from time to time. He is happy to grant interviews to journalists with a sincere interest in his message. [83] however TPRF as well as Élan Vital websites list numerous ‘paid for’ and otherwise ‘conditional’ interviews. [84] TPRF puts out frequent promotional and hagiographic Press Releases about Prem Rawat.[85]

 TPRF claims that it was founded by Prem Rawat[86], although there is no evidence in public documents that Rawat personally had any involvement in the foundation of TPRF. The directors are listed as: Linda H. Pascotto, Stephen Sordoni, Karen Pearse, Scott Mazo, Brad A. Griffin[87]

 The most consistent of Rawat’s public relations initiatives has been the “legitimacy project”[88] which has sought to arrogate legitimacy for Rawat by association with bodies such as the UN and the Lord Mayor of London.[89]

 In 2006 an ‘authorised’ biography of Rawat was commissioned by a company owned by followers of Prem Rawat, similarly a UK version was published by a UK follower. The Book “Peace is Possible” which is a competing title with a work containing the personal stories of Nelson Mandela, the Dalai Lama, Jody Williams, Daniel Ellsberg and Howard Zinn [90], was written by one time actress Andrea Cagan and is widely promoted on Prem Rawat supporting websites.[91]


 Rawat continues to travel in considerable luxury having taken delivery of a new $60millionUS    Gulfstream jet in 2007[92],[93]. The costs of the jet attributable to Rawat’s speaking engagements and hotel bills are met through the Élan Vital charitable arrangements, primarily via the Élan Vital Foundation. TPRF describes Rawat as a ‘successful investor’[94] although no indication is given for Rawat’s chosen investments. In fact there is no evidence that Rawat has ever been successful in ‘investment’ finance, rather the companies from which he profits have either been gifted to him in entirety or he has received share ownerships as gifts, in the former case Amtext Inc (Sterling Educational Media) has Rawat’s personal lawyer its the board. [95],[96],[97]

 Rawat and Élan Vital are listed by various cult awareness organisations as being ‘of concern’. [98],[99],[100],[101],[102]

[1] Prem Rawat Bio:  Shri Hans Ji Maharaj - Prem Rawat's Father

[2] EPO:  Satgurudev Shri Hans Ji Maharaj Published by Divine Light Mission, India,  1970    

[3] Shrihansa: Shri Hans Ji Maharaj The Great Spiritual Master of the 20th Century Reveals His Knowledge to the World

[4] Manavdharam: Shri Maharaj Ji meets his Guru

[5] Wikipedia: Hans Ji Maharaj

[6] EPO: Prempal Rawat's Childhood: the legend

[7] EPO: DLM/EV History: Early Years

[8] Wikiquote: Listen to satsang. It is a very good thing. God created day and night. After that He created excellent things to eat, and then he landed us in this world. Isn't this human body beautiful? There is a nose to breathe with. Tell me, could we have survived without it? See what a good job of seeing these eyes do. Look how beautiful are the hands and the feet. If no seva is done, then these hands are of no use. These two ears have been given, if we don’t listen to satsang with them, aren’t they useless? If you do not go to satsang walking with these feet, they are also worthless. God has created all the parts of this body quite well, but if we don't use them properly, it is our fault, not the Creator's. The river flowing over there is the Ganga, but it is not flowing for its own use. It is we who drink its water, wash our clothes in it, and irrigate our fields with it. By bathing in it only the dirt of this body is washed, but by bathing in the Ganga of satsang, all the evils are removed. What I am telling you is also written in the Gita. But Gita cannot make you understand. Only the satguru can make you understand the satnam (true name), so do practice Knowledge. Look at Lord Shiva sitting with eyes closed [pointing towards a fountain with a statue of Shiva]. He always stays in the contemplation of Guru Maharaj. Whenever I see him he doesn’t do any other work. I don’t know whether he doesn’t like doing any other work or what. Therefore, you too should also practice Knowledge like this.

o        Prem Nagar, Hardwar August 21,1962 (translated from Hindi). Issue 1, Mahesh Kare, January 1963.

[9] EPO:  Our Treasure Increases.  July 29, 1966, Prem Nagar, India

[10] EPO:  DLM/EV History.  Divine Light Mission founded, Maharaji becomes Satguru

[11] EPO :Transcript of Radio Interview with Robert Mishler - How Maharaji was selected to succeed his father

[12] Wikipedia: Prem Rawat - Childhood

[13] EPO: Satgurudev Shri Hans Ji Maharaj, Published by Divine Light Mission, India,  1970     

[14] Finch: Maharaji's Start in the West

[15] Wikipedia: Prem Rawat - Childhood

[16] The Daily Telegraph: Nick Lowe on Maharaji's visit, 1971 “I  played the Glastonbury Fayre with Brinsley Schwarz to about 1,500 people in a field. It's heresy to say this, but I couldn't bear it - it was so cold and muddy. My abiding memory is of Maharaji, the teenage guru, turning up in a flower-bedecked Ford Zephyr, followed by all these weird Americans. He wanted to address his people while we were in the middle of a really good gig. There was no security in those days, and when we wouldn't get off, the flower children became more and more nasty. We'd finish a tune, and they'd say "The master is here!" Then huge chunks of metal started being dropped on us from the pyramid by his more enthusiastic followers, and eventually they drove us off the stage. He got on, asked the audience for money, got back in his car and cleared off.”

[17]EPO: Transcript of Radio Interview with Robert Mishler  - Maharaji's first trips to US in 1971 and 1972

[18] Finch: Maharaji's Start in the West

[19] EPO Statement by Michael Dettmers  Oct 30, 2000

[20] EPO: Divine Light Mission official documents

[21] Charity Commission: Registry Entry for Divine Light Mission

[22] Adherents.com: Table of entries for numbers of ‘members’ of Divine Light Mission given by country.

[23] Who Is Guru Maharaj Ji: Book - 1973, Bantam Books, Inc.© Shri Hans Productions

[24] EPO: Murder Attempt

[25] Fifth Estate magazine:  Article - Guru's Secret September 14, 1973

[26] EPO: DLM/EV History  - The Millennium Festival

[27] Wikipedia: Prem Rawat - Leaving India

[28] EPO: Statement by Michael Dettmers   Oct 30, 2000

[29] EPO: Film - Lord of the Universe  excerpts

[30] Guru Maharaji Info: Film -  Lord of the Universe - excerpts

[31] Wikipedia: Lord of  the Universe

[32] IMDb: The Lord of the Universe (1974) (TV)

[33] Prem Rawat Bio: The Wedding of Prem Rawat

[34] EPO: Transcript of Radio Interview with Robert Mishler Parallels between DLM and Jonestown mass suicide  “There was a period during 1974 when there was an outright war, really, in the Divine Light Mission, between his mother and elder brother, .......Maharaji took control of the mission. During this time, he began to rely on me very heavily, and then after that I lived with him. In living with him, I began to see a lot of the excesses in the devotion and practices that I felt were detrimental to the spiritual development of the devotees.”

[35] Wikipedia: Prem Rawat – Coming of Age

[36] People Weekly Magazine :  The teenaged guru fights his brother for control of the wealthy divine light mission

[37] EPO: Mike Donner's Letter to Maharaji, plus discussion.

[38] Civil Proceedings:  C. L. Tandon v. Prem Pal Singh Rawat, AIR 1978 Delhi 221 "One valuable touchstone for determining whether the matters in issue are directly and substantially the same is whether the decision in the prior suit will bring the principle of res judicata into operation in the subsequent suit. Because the removal of Prem Pal Singh Rawat by Mataji and the nomination in his place of Satya Pal Singh Rawat and the competence of Mataji to do the same, issues of utmost importance, are alien to the Patna suit, the disposal of the suit at Patna will not stand in the way of the trial of the said issues by the appropriate courts."

[39] EPO: Trancas Canyon property.

[40] EPO: DIVINE UNITED ORGANIZATION. Statement -  Divine Times Volume II, Number 6 US Edition - April 1,     1973 Published by Shri Hans Productions, 1607 Race Street, Denver, Colorado 80206. © 1973 Divine Light Mission.

[41] EPO: Constitution of Divine Light Mission Australia

[42] EPO: Transcript of Radio Interview with Robert Mishler - Maharaji cries on Bob's shoulder

[43] EPO: Statement by Michael Dettmers  Oct 30, 2000  “………. through me, instructed Maharaji’s lawyer and accountant to re-classify all of the checks that had been made out to Maharaji, but deposited into DLM’s bank account, as Maharaji’s personal funds that were simply being held in trust for his personal use by DLM. When the financial records were re-categorized in this manner, the records clearly showed that Maharaji had more than enough funds to personally pay for the Malibu residence, the cars, and his personal expenses with his own money..”

Note: Although Dettmers is diffident that there were funds that were Rawat’s personal assets, nowhere was it ever made explicit what the donors’ expectations were – the fact that checks were made out to ‘Guru Maharaj Ji’ is not evidence that the donors did not expect the funds to be put toward a charitable purpose and not for the purchase of cars and mansions.

[44] EPO: Jets' Acquisition Committee – documentation.

[45] Élan Vital Canada: Statement Prem Rawat receives no compensation, fees, honoraria, or financial benefits from Élan Vital, which funds only documented expenses of events that are Élan Vital sponsored.

[46] Adherents.com: Table of entries for numbers of ‘members’ of Divine Light Mission given by country.

[47] EPO DLM/EV History 1977. Re-dedication - The Devotional Period

[48] EPO: Transcript of Radio Interview with Robert Mishler -  Maharaji changes mind about retiring in 1976

[49] EPO:  Reproduction of Magazine Article - Price. M (1979): The Divine Light Mission as a social organization. Sociological Review, 27  In fact what had occurred was the removal from power of his closest adviser, who had been the International President since the headquarters were set up in the United States. It is apparent that Maharaj Ji resented the advice given to him by his chief subordinate and dismissed him when a clash of wills occurred. (28) The dismantling of the International Headquarters did not in fact take place, although staff numbers were greatly reduced, at the national level as well, and officials are very cautious now, afraid to take initiative while they try to guess what it is their Guru really intends.”

[50] EPO: DLM/EV History 1979 – 1980.  The Plane Project and the move to Florida

[51] EPO: Transcript - Prem Rawat, Christmas Day 1980. Audio from link.

[52] EPO: DLM/EV History 1980 – 1983. The Closing of the Ashrams

[53] Wikipedia: Prem Rawat – Westernisation

[54] EPO: Forum reply - Michael Dettmers Oct 24, 2000 The Swiss Foundation.. “Also, there was considerable litigation over the DLM name in India and elsewhere caused by the dispute between Maharaji and his mother. I organized, and was a Director of, the Swiss Foundation which served as a hub (not the legal owner) for the overall coordination of most of the independent, not-for-profit DLM/Élan Vital organizations around the world. This structure simplified the organization and financing of worldwide programs, festivals, tours, and all of their related support activities.”

[55] EPO: Constitution of Divine Light Mission Australia

[56] EPO: How Prem Rawat's Events are Organised

[57] PRC: Criticism of Geaves’ writings on Rawat. Wright 2006

[58] Melton, Encyclopedia of American Religions. In the early 1980s, Rawat moved to disband the Divine Light Mission and personally renounced the trappings of Indian culture and religion. Disbanding the mission, he founded Élan Vital, an organization essential to his future role as teacher. [...]Maharaji had made every attempt to abandon the traditional Indian religious trappings in which the techniques originated and to make his presentation acceptable to all the various cultural settings in which followers live.”

[59] Miller, America's Alternative Religions

[60] Chryssides, George D., Historical Dictionary of New Religious Movements pp.210-1, Scarecrow Press (2001) ISBN 0-8108-4095-2 "Maharaji progressively dissolved the Divine Light Mission, closing the ashrams, affirming his own status as a master rather than a divine leader, and emphasizing that the Knowledge is universal, non Indian, in nature" [...] "This Knowledge was self-understanding, yielding calmness, peace, and contentment, since the innermost self is identical with the divine. Knowledge is attained through initiation, which provides four techniques that allow the practitioner to go within."

[61] Journal of Alternative Spiritualities and New Age Studies: Globalisation, Charisma, Innovation and Tradition. Geaves, Ron 2005. "A new organisation was created by Prem Rawat, and named The Prem Rawat Foundation (TPRF).". "This new development [TPRF] provides an agency through which Prem Rawat can independently promote his message, but also offer the same independence to individuals who wish to assist him locally, organising their own events through supplying both print and electronic materials."

[62] EPO: Transcript of Radio Interview with Robert Mishler - Maharaji changes mind about retiring in 1976 

[63] EPO: Transcript of Radio Interview with Robert Mishler - Maharaji attempts to hide behaviour

 [64] EPO:  Letters written by Michael Donner National Executive Director 1974

 [65] EPO:  Open Letter – Michael Donner to Prem Rawat Dec. 19, 1987

[66] EPO: Q & A  - Mike Donner Mar 16, 2001

[67] ZoomInfo Web Profile: Michael Dettmers – Business and Education History.

[68] EPO: Statement by Michael Dettmers  Oct 30, 2000

[69] EPO: Interview -  Michael Dettmers  Feb 12, 2002  Q: What is purposefully hidden from premies and why?

MD: Well, the stuff that I’ve talked about - his drinking and pot smoking, that was pretty prevalent in the 70’s and 80’s. I don't know if that’s still the case. And his affairs with various women, and his long-standing affair with Monica Lewis.

[70] Finch: Article - A Byzantine Court. M. Finch Nov 02 2003. “Are the Divine Light Mission honchos to blame too? Yes of course. Maharaji has often said 'the student needs the master, and the master needs the student'; in a like manner, a Byzantine court needs the buy-in of both the unassailable ruler and the sycophantic courtiers in order to function.”

[71] EPO:  Letters written by Michael Donner National Executive Director 1974 “Mahatma Jagdeo and I have been on the phone a good deal lately with Guru Maharaj Ji and others at the residence. It seems that during this time of apparent calm, the pot is being stirred.”

[72] EPO: The Jagdeo Issue - Abuse Reports

[73] EPO: The Jagdeo Issue - Correspondence with Mr Rawat

[74] EPO: The Jagdeo Issue - Correspondence with Élan Vital

[77] EPO: Transcript - Prem Rawat's Trainings 1999

[78] EPO: Video Recording – Atlanta Training .wmv file  1.38Mb

[79] EPO:  Critique - Introducing the Possibility of Knowledge

[80] TPRF: Press Release - More than 1 million people come to seek Maharaji's inspiration and guidance. April 6, 2004

[81] PRNewswire:  Press Release – TPRF 05/02/2003

[82] Wordpaint: Press Release – TPRF 2004 - Dec 08

[83] Élan Vital: Does Maharaji speak to the media?

[84] Élan Vital: Magazine Articles

[85] TPRF: Press Releases

[86] PRNewswire: Press Release – TPRF August 20, 2007 The Prem Rawat Foundation is a non-profit organization founded by Prem Rawat, an internationally recognized ambassador for peace often referred to as Maharaji.

[87] TPRF: Board Members

[88] PRC: Article - Legitimacy

[89] PRC: Article – Lord Mayor’s Appeal

[90] Peace is Possible: The Norwegian Peace Alliance and the IPB Associate Secretariat in Oslo: P.O. Box 4890 Ytrg, N-0028 Oslo, Norway

[91] Cagan, A. Peace is Possible: The Life and Message of Prem Rawat. Mighty River Press. ISBN -10: 0-9788694-9-4, pp.206, 215, 219 and 233

[93] Airportdata.com: Registration data

[94] TPRF: FAQs - Prem Rawat is a successful private investor and does not receive any compensation for his work.

[96] EPO: Forum Discussion – March 2003

[97] Florida Department of State: Fictitious Names Registry

Back Next