After the Millenium Fiasco Divine Light Mission in Debt
Lucy Dupertuis in her Ph.D. thesis recalled:
After the "Millennium '73" festival failed so utterly in its missionary aims and brought heaps of derision upon the Mission, premies retreated into their first introversionist phase. The Mission fell deeply into debt and though the Denver headquarters reduced its staff, within a few months it began to expand once again, and along with it the nationwide system of ashrams. During the 1974-1975 period premies withdrew from the outside world as much as possible, the Headquarters worked not on outreach but on facilitating internal networks, premies concerned themselves with meditative purification of the "mind's" "worldly" tendencies, clung to one another in their communities, and drew a marked distinction between "us" and "them." … During this period, then, being together with GMJ meant conforming to a tightknit premie society, socially and physically rejecting the "world."
and the newspaper articles listed above and personal memories.
Come September 1974, I felt it was time to take stock of my position and figure out where to go from here. Now, at headquarters, the energy of the one-hundred-person staff went into the development of the different branches of DUO. Mark Retzloff, a friend of mine from the Houston food service, was planning to link up the thirty-five DLM food co-ops and four retail food stores premies were running around the country and make them into one "Rainbow Grocery" chain. Natural food was Mark's main interest.Rennie Davis, now recovered from the festival, was working on an idea called "Day of Thanks," a Thanksgiving Day effort to involve several thousand premies across the country in hospital visitation programs.
In March 1975, Bob Mishler-still DLM president through all the organizational shifts-came back from a long tour he had been on with Maharaj Ji. During the whole reorganization he had been out of the country. While he was away, he had done some thinking. It was time for another publicity campaign, he decided. The public and the press were ready for DLM and Maharaj Ji to come out of the closet again. He wanted something ecumenical, something light. No heavy-duty dogma, no "Lord has come" crap. Just our message: Knowledge can help you gain profound insight into life.
The Wedding story flashed around the world. Quite possibly a new benchmark in unlikely husbands and trophy brides.
- 16-Year-Old Guru Maharaj Ji Weds His Blonde Secretary, 24 Los Angeles Times, Tuesday May 21 1974
- Perfect Master gets married to US woman THE TIMES Wednesday May 22 1974
- People in the News: Boy Guru takes a bride INDEPENDENT (AM) * PRESS-TELEGRAM (PM) Long Beach, Calif., Wed., May 22, 1974
- The plumpish spiritual Leader has married his secretary The New York Times, May 22, 1974
- She's Tried Everything Else And Now She's Mrs. Guru Thursday, May 23, 1974 FLORENCE MORNING NEWS