Without The Guru - Michael Finch
32 - The Beginning of the End
By this time (August 2000) Gail had made the break, and was telling me clearly that Maharaji was not the Lord, and that she no longer practiced Knowledge. I was worried by this, wondering if we could even stay together as a couple. I had heard of premies who had left the fold, so to speak, but it was a taboo subject. Maharaji called the mind the 'doubt maker', and throughout most of my thirty years with him he had been warning us to "leave no room for doubt in your mind."
Why Gail left Maharaji in her own words:
The day that I first read an online discussion of former premies on the internet, I was stunned by the anger expressed by them towards Maharaji. I started gathering the email addresses a the participants in the discussion, so that I could explain to them how wrong they were and defend Maharaji. I didn't know what I was going to say but that was my intention. As I read more and more, I knew that some of what they said was true, such as
Without the Guru
Maharaji's drinking, smoking and the fact that he had a mistress - I had witnessed all of this as an instructor. However, I had been totally loyal to Maharaji and never disclosed any of this to anyone - never mentioned the mistress even to Mike! But what shocked me in addition to the anger, was the extent of the revelations. Drinking was one thing, but alcoholism or taking drugs, as was alleged, was something else, particularly when indulged in by the Lord Incarnate who is giving the Knowledge of all knowledges to transcend worldly attachment. I had to find out if these allegations were true.
I carried on reading, downloading all of the archives, for a few days existing on very little sleep. I called Mike but he didn't want to know and thought I had lost the plot. I started to learn information that was disturbing and continued to be shaken by the pain and anger that I witnessed. This continued for several months. During this time Mike and I went to some events with Maharaji, including the one in Atlantic City that Mike describes in this chapter, as I struggled alone with my dilemma.
Then Michael Dettmers (a former close devotee of Maharaji, who had run Maharaji's organizations in the late 1970's and early 1980's) posted his revelations how Maharaji had gotten him to procure premie women for sex. We knew Dettmers, he would have much to lose and nothing to gain as a successful business consultant by making public such allegations if untrue. I was mortified by his account of Maharaji's treatment of the women concerned. This wasn't simply about some affairs but an abuse of power on a major scale; I could not imagine the pain of those women - to be invited into the bed of the "Living Lord'. and then be discarded like a used tissue. That was it for me I didn't care if he was the Lord after that - I could not honor such a Lord and would rather live without him.
32 - The Beginning of the End
I had loved and served Maharaji for twenty-five years - leaving him was one of the most traumatic and challenging things I have ever done. It did not happen overnight, and I did attend a number of events over the following years. But I couldn't go back to my previous state of devoted trusting ignorance once I knew what he was capable of.
By this time (end of the 1990's) the internet was becoming popular, and some ex-premies were posting their thoughts about Maharaji and their time as premies online. Jim was a key early driving force behind this phenomenon, and although I had heard about it, nothing would induce me to read the ex-premie online forum, as it would clearly open the door wide to the doubt maker, and be a betrayal of Maharaji and his love.
I swung wildly between condemning Gail, and all former premies who thought like her, and titillating myself with the thought of this online forum where - horror of horrors - people were openly critical of Maharaji. When I was in Massachusetts and Gail in England, she would email me snippets from the forum, which I would determinedly not read. Then she started putting innocent subject lines to the emails, like "When are you next flying over?" so that I would open it unsuspecting, and after a few lines realize that I was reading this devil's brew of wickedness. I remember once I screamed.
But I was fascinated. For thirty years it had never occurred to me to seriously doubt, or question, Maharaji. And here there were premies, or had-been premies, openly doing it, and not getting blasted to hell or thrown into outer darkness as a result. I was like a little kid coming up to the edge of a cold ocean. I could see others paddling or swimming in it with enjoyment, but I would dip my toe in and then run squealing back. only to slowly edge forward again, dip my toe in and run squealing back again, amazed at my own daring.