For Christ's Sake: Pressing the Refresh Button on the Life of Jesus
Self Published: Shallow propaganda in the guise of historical research
Glen(ville) Whittaker has been a devotee of former Godchild Guru Maharaj Ji (who now calls himself Prem Rawat) for 40 odd years and what odd years they have been. This does not mean his book doesn't have to be judged on its merits but it certainly means his arguments should be examined closely. In this book he attempts to promote an idealised image of his Master's teachings and practices with the outrageous concept that Jesus was a Master exactly like Prem Rawat. He does this by giving a shallow, and I mean really shallow, rehash of some of the modern popular books about the life of Jesus interspersed with snippets of Rawatism doctrines but as far as I recall he does not demonstrate one actual connection, merely many tenuous possibilities that Glen assures the readers "we must" accept. Virtually no part of the New Testament is accepted without the meaning of the words therein being redefined to match Whittakers' concepts. The book's argument is as lame as the cover, believe it or not.
Of course Rawat is never mentioned nor is the fact that all the positive blurbs about the book are by other devotees of the former "Lord of the Universe." This is a grossly dishonest book which pretends to be discovering secret truths about Jesus' teachings but is merely attempting to insinuate that Prem Rawat's teachings were taught by Jesus. Did Jesus initiate people into the 4 secret techniques of Rawat's meditation? Squeezing the eyes to see Divine Light, poking the thumbs into the ears to hear Heavenly Music, rolling your tongue back behind the uvula to taste the Living Waters, thinking about your breathing to know the Holy Word of God? I doubt it but Whittaker claims the essence of Jesus' initiation was that to be fully effective, it required devotion to the messenger. Yes for Prem Rawat's teachings to be effective then you must adore and worship him. Glen claims it works for him but I'd recommend any other teacher before Prem Rawat and virtually any other book about Jesus before this one.
The book contains very little except outrageous speculation and wishful thinking about Jesus but it reveals a lot about Prem Rawat, Whittaker's Perfect Master, and the lengths Rawat's few dedicated followers go to explain away both his failure to spread His Knowledge and the appeal he has to those long-term, committed followers, like Whittaker, who were converted circa 1970 as drug deranged teenagers and are now the ageing remnants of the short term media bubble Divine Light Mission led by the Lord of the Universe that swept up the dregs of the 60's counter culture and oozed away in a morass of the venal materialism and megalomania of the guru.
In the photo on the right, a young mustachioed Whittaker gazes adoringly at his 14 year old pudgy Perfect Master who is getting into a car. Once upon a time Glen Whittaker proudly pontificated on the stage of the so-called Palace Of Peace that Guru Maharaj Ji could reveal the experience of God and the success of the initiation by saffron-robed celibate Indian saints required no prior belief. However, experience showed that most people who were initiated and practised the so-called Knowledge decided that it was actually worthless and that they'd been conned so he was forced to promote a more realistic viewpoint. This far-fetched concept that Jesus required total faith and trust from the imaginary initiates before the previously unknown "initiation" into the Kingdom of God "worked" is exactly what we would expect a person pretending to have such power would require of people before their initiation. And in Rawat's case, prospective initiates require to watch, listen and believe 75 hours of speeches by Rawat on DVD. Whittaker is trying to provide justification for this process in his version of Jesus, a version without biblical, historical or Christian evidence.
The central theme of this book is that Jesus had no supernatural powers or abilities, that the notion of miracles has to be removed unequivocally from the equation, but that once this is done enough evidence will remain to demonstrate that he possessed an entirely different talent: the ability to transport people who met his strict qualifications into an inner, and apparently real, experience where they were convinced they had been in the Kingdom of Heaven. This ability was the beginning and the end, the alpha and the omega, of his work. This is what he felt he was charged to do and what accounts for the undying love of his disciples.
This is what this book attempts to address. We examine the clues that indicate that Jesus was primarily not about fine words and a profound teaching that linked the human being to a divine father, but was able to lead his followers into an actual inner experience of this source, this inner heaven, and conclude that it was this special ability that made him so unique. Something so far undetected was taking place, something of incandescent importance …
There is a theme that is found in the scriptures of all the major religions relating to a master figure: the notion that he can take his followers, if they have sufficient faith in his ability, on a journey from a place of illusion, or unreality, or impermanence — the words vary — to a place of safety, the home of the divine. This journey involves crossing a hostile or lifeless terrain, a desert maybe, or an expanse of water, to a land where they can live in peace and harmony, where they can flourish and achieve the fulfillment that has been promised. But this unveiling is not for everybody. The key to making it take place is to believe that Jesus can indeed do it. Any doubt will cause the 'miracle' not to happen. The word Jesus uses is 'trust', which is now usually translated as 'faith'. It appears that if you trust Jesus and ask for his special gift, you might be in line to receive it and be admitted to the Kingdom. The act of initiation was not just a sequence of physical interactions, of instructions, leading to an inner revelation, but a powerful bonding of trust and love between a teacher and a supplicant during which a profound inner transcendence took place
there appears to be an axis, a portal, a junction between 'God' and 'his' creation, and this joining is, possibly, the very point at which a meeting of minds, 'his' and 'ours', takes place. …b When Jesus claims that he has revealed the 'word', it is possible he means that as part of his teaching of the mystery of the Kingdom of Heaven the recipient of his initiation is shown this interface, this doorway. In some way not explained Jesus brings it to life, or maybe guides the recipient in an unknown manner into the very heart of the breath so that it is experienced as the bellows of existence, a rich flow of energy that gives us the life with which we are familiar, and in which the presence of the 'father' can be felt.
They believe as a result of the initiation that they have had a powerful experience of a divine reality within themselves, and consequently identify Jesus himself as being a special servant of God, a link between God and man, or at the very least someone with unique ability. Jesus himself makes no bones about his special power, claiming that nobody can come to the father except through him.
When Jesus claims that he has revealed the 'word', it is possible he means that as part of his teaching of the mystery of the Kingdom of Heaven the recipient of his initiation is shown this interface, this doorway. In some way not explained Jesus brings it to life, or maybe guides the recipient in an unknown manner into the very heart of the breath so that it is experienced as the bellows of existence, a rich flow of energy that gives us the life with which we are familiar, and in which the presence of the 'father' can be felt.
We are forced to consider the strong possibility that others taught the same ability to experience the 'eternal life' as Jesus.
we cannot imagine Jesus needing to express his teachings by the written word. The immediacy of his message, his sense of urgency, his passion, his inner strength, all depict a character living in the moment, experiencing the inner presence of his father swirling around his mind, his soul and his consciousness. He was not a thinker, even though his intelligence is beyond doubt. He was a man of the living experience, the immediate present
They had, he told them, received a gift it was in his power to grant and which was so valuable he would only give it to people who would truly recognize and treasure it; the pearl of great price must not be thrown before swine. This idea of a special object of great value — in this case the key to the Kingdom of Heaven — makes sense of the parable of the farmer sowing his seeds. Only some will fall on fertile soil, take root and grow. Thus, the importance of guarding it carefully and giving it only to those whose fields have been prepared.
Moreover, the essence of his initiation was that to be fully effective, it required devotion to the messenger.
Whittaker has spent his adult life promoting Prem Rawat, firstly as the Lord of the Universe who claimed he would take over the world and later when Rawat wanted anonymity and then when he craved public respect, he has been part of the group attempting (and in some small ways succeeding) to promote Rawat as a honoured and respected intenational worker for peace. He was the general secretary of Divine Light Mission in Great Britain though he was fired in 1975 once the DLM bubble had burst. While he has had some success disseminating disinformation about Rawat it must be sad to see your life's work turn out so pointlessly and pathetically. This last gasp attempt to create a basis for Rawat's claim to have a unique power and method to go deep within inside and meet the Creator, by attempting to create a picture of Jesus Christ as a Prem Rawat clone but with robes and long hair has no credibility.
"His innner life is to do with the love that is generated between the people who've recognised him and who do love him and his love for them, one heart to each other. The dance that is going on, the eternal dance, really, between the Master and the student. - Glen Whittaker speaks about his Master, Prem Rawat aka Guru Maharaj Ji. Sounds a lot like his claims about Jesus.
In fact, the methods and powers he has claimed to discover about Jesus are the very things that he believes about Prem Rawat. However he never mentions how Jesus and Prem Rawat actually could have this power if miracles do not occur. Formerly Prem Rawat and Glenville both taught that Rawat or Guru Maharaj Ji was the last in a long lineage of incarnations of God and while this concept was absurd it was at least logical. How else could one fat man wearing an incredibly expensive bespoke suit have the unique power to put people into an actual inner experience of the divine, the Creator God, while appearing on a television set?
Around the year 2000 Whittaker appeared as a trusted minion in a video, 'Passages' helping to explain why Prem Rawat hadn't really said he was God, it was all a mistake by his followers.
What the experts are saying about "For Christ's Sake."
Glenville Whittaker has collected a group of so-called experts to provide blurbs for his book. Who are these so-called "experts"? What they have in common is that they are all or were long term devotees (premies) of Guru Maharaj Ji aka Maharaji aka Prem Rawat though Lovejoy is no longer a devotee of Prem Rawat, more of a fellow traveller. Here's what they have said about Prem Rawat:
- Mitch Ditkoff, Huffington Post contributor
"Satsang over, I stagger into the Arizona night, not having the vaguest idea why I love him so, why I'd travel any place, anytime, would crawl on my stomach (or yours if it would help) just to get the chance to kiss his Lotus Feet." - Divine Times. Mitch is one of the most pornographic wankers over Maharaji.
- Ron Geaves, Professor of the Comparative Study of Religion, Liverpool Hope Unversity
"I do not know what I expected to happen, but I did not anticipate my reaction to this 11-year-old Indian boy In fact. I did not really perceive Maharaji as a child at all because all that my heart could feel was an overwhelmingly powerful recognition that this was the Master I searched for. In a second I understood all the actions of my life to that point. My heart knew that from then on everything was going to be fine because I was home. I cried the most beautiful tears of my life and prayed that I would never be cast adrift in the world alone again. I returned to England with Sandy at the end of 1969 intent on establishing an ashram as a centre to tell everyone about Maharaji and Knowledge."
- David Lovejoy, author of Heresy - the life of Pelagius
"Quite simply if more premies got into Knowledge and really dedicated their minds as they once promised, then Maharaj Ji's Mission would have enough money and energy to propagate effectively to every class of society, and actually relieve so much daily misery. But the first flush of enthusiasm often gives way to apathy." - The Golden Age David Lovejoy, one time President of Divine Light Mission, Australia and Great Britain is a former editor of the Byron Bay Echo, a local newspaper published in the resort town of Byron Bay in New South Wales, Australia. He is no longer a foot kissing devotee of Rawat but old friendships keep him toeing the party line.
- Johnathon Cainer, Daily Mail astrologer
Obviously he has used his expertise to predict that based upon his birthtime Prem Rawat is in fact Jesus in all important ways.
Whittaker has been mentioned in the press on occasion defending his Master which is quite an onerous task.
- A little earthy problem for the Divine Guru 1972
- Guru, 14, takes all Sunday Mirror, November 1972
- More Second World Peace Tour
"The slogan of the child guru is: "Give me your love, and I give you peace." Those who don't are damned, explained the general secretary of the English mission, 29-year-old Oxford graduate Glen Whittaker. Mr. Whittaker, the son of a travel agent in Southport, Lancs., runs the mission in Britain with great efficiency." - Sunday Mirror, November 1972
- Casting some shadows on the movement of Divine Light THE TIMES Saturday September 23 1973
- Letter to the Editor From Mr Glen Whittaker THE TIMES Friday October 12 1973
- The 'Perfect Master' from India has an ulcer THE STARS AND STRIPES Tuesday, September 4, 1973
- Perfect ulcer THE TIMES Tuesday September 4 1973
- Several critical articles appeared in the Bristol Post (UK) before and after Prem Rawat's meetings Bristol Post, June 14-15, 2003.
He was mentioned in "Peace Is Possible", the bogus biography of Rawat for which the Élan Vital Foundation paid $50,000
Naturally he received mention in various Divine Light Mission official publications
- England - And It Is Divine, 1976 Glenn Whittaker, the festival program director, saw "a great sense of magic in all the premies gathering together, the feeling of being a family. I felt a tremendous sense of community spirit and togetherness." This was during a time of near total collapse of Divine Light Mission
- He was a staff writer for the Divine Times magazine
- He wrote religious snippets for the Divine Times
- He was mentioned by Prem Rawat in a public speech where Rawat reminisced about the drug crazed hippies who became his loyal worshippers and financial goldmine
"I also remember in the residence in Dehra Dun when a green van - full of "hippies" - drove in, and parked there for about two or three days. It was quite an experience, it was quite a sight. Glen Whittaker, Peter Lee, and some other premies were in it, and they had driven all the way from England. They would drive fifteen miles and the car would break down, and they would fix it again; then drive fifteen more miles, the car would break down, and they fixed it again. So they had driven all the way down there, that was it. Then there was Gary, and Sita was around, and Danielle, and Joan Apter. They were really out there, you know. Ah, but that was it. They were all starting to understand what it's all about, because life was not a concept for them anymore."
- In 1996 Whittaker reminisced about those very crazy hippie days in India and the early success of spreading the message "Spreading Knowledge was so easy." In an astonishing fit of pique he blames other sincere seekers of truth and spirituality for the very quick failure of his endeavours: "the atmosphere had not yet been polluted by so many strange alternative spiritual trips." He calls other spiritual paths "strange" and "polluting". Of course this is a guy who blamed his failure to convert the Conservative Party on a woman wearing a white sari.
- Connect Issue 1, 1998 part of the editorial team of another attempt to promote dedication amongst Rawat's lax followers