WHY A GOD KEPT ME WAITING
WHEN THIS poor parson went to meet God he tried to bunk out of the back door. The Rolls-Royce was ready, complete with disciple and a blanket to shroud his head. The Guru Maharaj Ji was not pleased to see the parson and only stopped to talk to me because I barred the way to his gleaming car.
He hard the sense to see that knocking down a Rev. gent in his own parish would not be good for his image as the Perfect Master.
All this took place in his caravan in Tolmers Park Scout Camp at Cuffley, Herts, where nearly 3,000 devotees waited patiently for his wisdom before going to Alexandra Palace to attend his Festival of Love and Wisdom.
But he would have run out on them to escape meeting me if he could.
All his promises, and he did make them, would have gone by the board because I can only conclude he was afraid.
Questions from a journalist and in this case a seriously interested and sympathetic member, were not welcomed.
Which was a pity because what he and his movement teaches has something to say to our world and is something the majority of churches are afraid to face./
The young people who follow him are gentle, considerate and well behaved. As I write, hundreds are passing my front door, yet there is no litter or unnecessary noise. The scouts and ramblers make far more mess!
Their camp is disciplined, clean and moral. Babies are there. I took one couple with a five week-old child to the camp in my car.
Americans, Frenchmen, Jews and Arabs mingle in the same tents, bound by a love of the Master and the search for truth.
Ex-drug addicts are thick among them as well as the people who have freaked out of the rat race. Many had come through the churches but were disillusioned by what they found.
Mary, Arthur, John and Hamish were people I would be glad to count as friends. This article will hurt them because they believe so much in The Man. He is their Messiah, their god, their saviour.
I feel a rat trying to say to them, and the countless other young people who may come to think likewise, that in my opinion he is a fraud. Ten minutes talking to a man who has tried to dodge you is not long.
But my confrontation left me frightened and depressed.
It began loaded with apprehension. The small group of the faithful held their breath and the guru was ill at ease.
Gradually his confidence grew as he realised I was not going to verbally maul him and the answers became slicker and more packed. There was little logic and constant evasion.
The anomaly of a Rolls-Royce for the Perfect Master did not trouble him.
"It is the gift of love from my disciples and I will not offend them."
The suggestion of giving it away to help the poor who were around him did not register or impress.
To be fair, many a bishop and a Pope has made the same mistake and lived the same lie. I asked him about this.
He replied: "It is one's attitude to them that is all important. My car and my clothes are not attached to me by safety pins."
I asked him if he was really 15 - or 19 as some people allege. "My passport records that I was born in 1957, so I really cannot understand all the fuss."
Was he embarrassed by the presents and the wealth he displayed?
"It is as loving to receive as it is to give."
Five minutes after my interview he appeared to his followers - with all ideas of premature departure presumably forgotten. As he addressed them he said how he was criticised for the Rolls-Royce which, anyway, was falling to pieces. The faithful laughed.
Someone who suggested that Hare Krishna was a guru of equal standing was unceremoniously thrown out.
So what is the secret of this phenomena? Why has it happened? Two events that lie outside the movement have contributed. One is growing disillusionment with the materialistic world.
But oddly enough his followers have got to have a materialistic god which they can see, touch and handle.
Probably what is more damning is that the church is failing these young people. Many came to it for love, but found only ethics, dogma and taboos.
The compassion of Jesus was seldom present in the so-called houses of God.
We who are Christians, whatever our denominations, ought this weekend to go down on our knees in an act of penitence for the way we have betrayed these people and exposed them to such spiritual danger.
In the second instance it is possible these days to make "a silk purse out of a sow's ear."
Good management and publicity, have made pop stars from deformed tonsils.
This man is cleverly managed. The secrecy around him is part of his greatest appeal. Though he denies being God, he is aware he is allowing a cult to be built up around him as a deity.
Brick by brick he fashions the pedestal that sets him above mortal man.
How strong this is can be seen from the fact that because I have actually spoken with the Master some of his disciples - who have never got close to him and will not be allowed to - want to touch me and called me blessed.
Much of his teaching is modelled on Christ and only an expert would detect the subtle differences.
All heresies, and this is a heresy, have been distortions of the truth. Fortunately, some good can come out of evil and there is charisma … this magnetic appeal that draws. It is manufactured, the man has not got it in himself.
It is where this well end that the real test will lie and for people like Mary, Arthur, John and Hamish it will end in disillusionment and pain.