Pat Halley's Posts on the Prem-Rawat-Talk Forum
Pat Halley's First Letter on the Forum
Posted on the Forum, Mon, Dec 04, 2000 at 17:39:04 (GMT)
Subject: Response from Patrick Halley
A couple weeks ago, the Penthouse article about Pat Halley throwing a pie in Maharaji's face was posted here. There was then some speculation about Pat's current status. I noted that there was a Patrick Halley still listed in Detroit's white pages, so I wrote that person a short note. Sure enough, it was THE Patrick Halley and he wrote back a nice letter. He gave permission for the letter to be posted here, so here it is:
I am very pleased to hear from any premie or ex-premie of Guru Maharaji. I would join the web discussion but am not hooked up...ah, to be rejected by, first, God, and then his electronic reflection. My partner is hooked up and does the digging, I spend so much time studying, reading and writing I have little time for chat rooms; and I like letters better anyway, they have a material solidity that is appealing. Yourself or any entities concerned are welcome to write, call, or whatever.
I am not in journalist's union, I am a ghost-writer for an economics professor whom has column in tri-county legal news here, and I drive a taxi in city of Detroit. If you or friend could send me a copy of that Penthouse article I would be in your debt, I 'loaned' mine out years ago, and, times being as they are, never saw it again.
For the record, I never hated Guru Maharaji, nor what I call the 'alternative consciousness movement.' I am, unofficially, a Buddhist, and was at the time of the pie incident. I used to be an official buddhist but had trouble with Nichiren Shoshu people because I wouldn't conform to their every way. Who are they, or anyone else, to stand between me and 'God?'
Of course, I was the first one to stand up to CULTS even before the concept was clear. I used to teach meditation at a free university in Detroit and we studied comparative religions. I was always very impressed with KRISHNAMURTI who, like Maharaji was a teenage Guru exploited by a cult movement. But he revolted and dropped out...long before Divine Light Mission arose in the States. I read many of his books and still do, he is very much an advocate of taking personal responsibility for your consciousness and has always scoffed at religious, academic and almost all other authority.
It was in this context that I went after Guru Maharaji. I did, as a reporter, go to a few Divine Light meetings, and clearly saw it as little more than an Amway of the mind. Although, I do say the Divine Light Mission does have a viable meditation method. I can tell by the 'contact high'...the vibes I got from close proximity to followers. The thing is, I know several meditations myself, so I know but I know that it is an ill thing to use this to manipulate people.
The other thing, which I learned from Zen Buddhism, is that Divine Light didn't have a good exit strategy. In other words, there needs to be a way or an understanding to integrate spiritual experience with daily life. As an example: I was in downtown Vancouver (Canada) with a student of Scientology. He told me, in extolling the benefits of Scientology, that after mastering this discipline he would be able to stop traffic on the street, enabling him to walk across unimpeded. I responded that as a student of Zen, I would wait for the traffic to clear, and then walk across the street like everybody else. This was in 1970, I was 20 years old and hitchhiking around North America.
You see, John Travolta is a Scientologist, and these people are also deluded and exploited...yet, I figure they probably have some viable lessons or methods that could SHARE if they were a true religion.
The only reason I pied Guru Maharaji, as opposed to another religious figure was timing. He happened to be coming to Detroit to get 'Key to the City' while I was involved in the Underground Press. So if you combine political activism with my 'mystical' background (along with the fact that I had been doing theatre and performance art as well) you can see that this poor 16 year old was in the wrong place at the wrong time.
A few years later, when interviewed by Detroit Free Press in a follow-up article, I was asked if there was anyone else I would pie, and I mentioned the Pope. (I got a lot of flak from inlaws for that). You see, I didn't think I was anyone special, I wanted and believe that everyone should throw pies at all kinds of phony authority figures. In that regard, I started a movement. Even a few months ago someone pied Cretian, the prime minister of Canada. George Bush Senior, countless mayors, university deans and various politicians at all levels have been pied around the world. That is all I wanted - for everybody to loosen up and get a little crazy, or, actually, get real, and we have.
By the way, one of the Detroit Free Press reporters who misquoted me after the 'event' got a deal lined up to do a cover story for Rolling Stone magazine, about me. I was, as the song went, to be 'on the cover of the Rolling stone.' Fame, or more fame, and certainly fortune, in the form of a book deal, probably, a tour and all such trappings awaited me, and, to the dismay of many of my friends, and especially my parents, I turned it down.
Becoming a cult figure myself was not the way. Such would have betrayed everything I was and said. I felt that I was making poetry, I was the poem, I was not a hollywood movie and I was not even the story.
Years later, as I wheel a cab down dark deserted streets at 3 or 4 in the morning in blue jeans that are faded and empty of cash I still remind myself that I was correct. Actually, I had no choice, it wasn't me that threw the pie...it wasn't me that faced up dug up the concept of the cult. It was fate, it was the wind, it was the three stooges, it was infinity, it was the availability of cheap ingredients making such an incident inevitable...was the law or randomness, chaos...it was me, and it was all of us.
So say hi to all the ex or present premies for me, tell them that I said God loves those that make him (her) laugh, wants us to laugh. I'd love for the Guru to write or call me. He can come and watch me play hockey with the boys in downriver Detroit, and have a few beers with us. Tell him I'm not afraid, that I know it was his corporate people who ordered I be killed, (this I was told by Jupteswar Mishra, one of those who crushed my skull with a crow-bar). Tell the Guru to read the Conan the Barbarian novels where priests and magicians are routinely axed by wildmen from the north country.
By the way, you can share this letter with anyone you like, on line or otherwise, and please send me copy of Penthouse article if you can. Meanwhile, anyone may also write to me, I enjoy such. I do publish articles and write a lot, and like the fact that it is a tradition. I enjoy many traditions.
In the meantime,
Keep love and freedom in your mind.
Pat Halley's Second Letter on the Forum
(Access the original Forum thread: Second letter from Patrick Halley)
Posted on the Forum on Mon, Dec 18, 2000 at 20:06:48 (GMT)
Subject: 2nd letter from Patrick Halley
How about a little comic relief? After reading Michael Dettmer's latest revelations, I could use some. So here is Patrick Halley's latest, amusing letter. (Actually, part of the letter can be disturbing, as well as funny).
(Patrick first wrote us a couple weeks ago about the incident where he threw a pie in Guru Maharaj Ji's face, in 1974. He requested the Penthouse article about him and the Guru. He was sent the article and now sends his second letter).
Dec. 12, 2000
It was a treat reading the Penthouse interview after so many years, there is much that I have forgotten. Also, the web responses...I must admit a little concern when an ex-premie still refers to Mr. Rawat as 'Our Lord.' Anyway, I'll try to answer a few of the questions brought up.
The lawsuit settlement was not $100,000, it was a tenth of that; were I more vain, such a sum would probably barely cover the plastic surgery necessary to restore my face.
Before Fakiranand and Fletcher attacked me, the weight of public opinion was against me. I was terribly misquoted by the two Detroit newspapers, and made to look foolish. For instance, the statement I prepared said 'This should not be seen merely as a protest against this Guru, whom I consider a fraud, but, also, as a protest against 2,500 years of illegitimate religious authority.'
The Detroit Free Press QUOTED me as saying, 'I hate authority. God is an authority, therefore, I hate God!' The Detroit News didn't even come remotely close to what I said, but it, at least, didn't make me sound like a blazing idiot.
Hey, my own father thought what I did was a cheap shot and that I was a coward, of sorts, for picking a religious figure a 'sissy' to attack with a pie. I was attacked by editorials in both newspapers and the Free Press used the misquote in their editorial, and called me a racist and religious bigot.
There was no word for 'cults' back then, and everything was confusing to the public, which is exactly why I stepped in, having read Krishnamurti, Paul Reps, Alan Watts, the Bhagavad Gita, Koran, Bible, etc.
It was only because I was attacked and almost killed that public opinion (including my Dad) turned my way. If they would have left me alone I would have considered my act a failure, a silly public relations stunt and nothing more, like everyone else.
I received a letter two years later from Fakiranand, a copy was also sent to the Detroit Police. He said that he was ordered to kill me by the President of the organization (not Maharaj Ji) and he denounced the Guru and the entire organization, claiming that they used the threat of deportation to force him into it.
I don't think it is possible to really know. At this time there was a big split in the organization, the guru married his secretary (to avoid deportation) and the family in India turned against him, denouncing him there. In Denver, the Guru had his family in India - his mother and brothers - 'deholified.' Because of this obvious rift it is difficult to believe either side's version nor is it important - they are all a bunch of blood sucking money grubbing hustlers and pimps, always were. Get this straight all you who waver - heaven is not for sale!
It is not even for rent. Reincarnation, which the Buddha opposed as a concept, was always used (as the Christians used heaven and hell) by Brahma class to justify their ill-got positions of power, and the priests use it as a club to beat their followers into fear and submission. I was told, by local Premies back then, that the word was I was going to be a single-celled organism in my next life. My response? 'Beats the hell out of a radioactive isotope.'
I wish I could get a video or disc of that interview you mentioned, I never saw it or even knew it existed. I would gladly send a check or cash to cover any expense of a person that sent it to me. My son would get a kick out of it, as would my friends on the hockey team I play on.
An artist friend of mine once said that the pie throwing was the invention of, the first instance of, performance art. Since then, George Bush, when head of the CIA, got pied, as did Prime Minister of Canada, and, two weeks ago, the U.S. representative to the World Conference on Global Warming.
Having invented, or transformed at least, a new form of political expression is, to me, more important than embarrassing Guru Maharaj Ji. I was on a political newspaper at the time, and the Guru was only an opportunity, not a particular cause of mine. It could have been a lot of people, but it happened to be him. Maybe in my unconscious, fate had planted a seed - maybe the Guru's karma caught up with him, maybe some other God, having mercy on premies set me up...I don't know, and don't lose any sleep over it.
Stay free, remember, as Alan Ginsberg wrote: 'weep even for the cracks in the pavement you step on while going to pray, for, yes, they are holy.'
Letter #3 from Patrick Halley: Trilogy Conclusion
T'was kind of you to keep sending me stuff. First, you may tell Suchabanana that I don't have record of all the details he (they) want in regards attack by Fakiranand. (His real name is Jupteswar Misra) As far as I'm concerned the issue is over. Anyway "Fakiranand" went back to India and mailed me a letter (in 1978 or so) and a copy to the Detroit Police.
I've long ago thrown away the letter, doubting its veracity. It may be interesting to note that while this freak has Premies bow to pictures of the Master, and does so himself publicly, before they assailed me, Fakiranand and his henchman denounced Maharaji as a fake and a scam. His letter from India said the same thing and claimed he was coerced into attacking me by the corporate big shots in DLM, at the threat of deportation and other unspecified pressures. I don't see why anyone should believe him now anymore than I foolishly believed him when he was setting me up in 1973.
There is no need to try to avenge this act, legally or otherwise. Fact is, public opinion was against me after I pied the fat punk. The Detroit Free Press attacked me in an editorial the next day, even calling me a racist and religious bigot, and claimed [that] Detroit, with its high murder rate needed peace, even if they were giving the key to the city to a person with a somewhat curious religion. Even some people I had known for years were against what I did, and my own father accused me of going for cheap publicity and of picking an easy target - calling me a coward in an offhand sort of way.
Fakiranand's act vindicated me, and turned public opinion my way. We have to remember this occurred a good 3 or 4 years before the term "cult" entered the public lexicon and people were very confused and uncertain; I just happened to be a student of comparative religions. I went from being some kind of "terrorist" in the public mind to vindication and just this year editors of the Detroit Free Press published a book - The Detroit Almanac - in honor of the city's 300th birthday. I am in it, in a section called the "The X-Files." Along with past championship hockey and football teams, former Mayors and Generals, inventors, slumlords and Indian chiefs - I will go down in history. Of course, I was misquoted in the original Detroit Free Press story, and the misquote will go into history with me, but what can you expect from a newspaper that attacked me for protesting the awarding of the "key to the city" to a 16 year old in a Seersucker suit who claims he is [the] reincarnation of Jesus, Buddha, etc. But anyway, my point is that Fakiranand, and the knuckleheads that sent him hurt the DLM even as they hurt me, and when I got out of [the] hospital there were even more interviews with radio stations around the continent where I had opportunity to warn people about DLM and other such groups. It may have saved a few people some time and money, and anguish.
If anyone wants to get even with DLM they need not use me as either an icon or an excuse; start a pie avalanche, go after the local pooh-bahs, hire street kids to graffiti DLM offices: "CULT SLAVES", or other insults. Trust me, if I had felt a necessity for revenge on my account I would have avenged myself long ago. I am healthy, play ice hockey 50 weeks out of the year - and as the say in hockey - you have to be able to take a hit as well as give one out, nothing personal. So to Suchabanana I say go after them for what was done to you, if you feel like it, I have no more legal recourse, nor emotional baggage, I look on that period more with humor than anything else.
But William, if you could respond to Francesca I would appreciate it. If she is who I remember, she was a nice friend. And especially too, she knows old friends that I've lost contact with. The first time I went to [the] West Coast was in 1970 in a '56 Pontiac with Mike Zeiger... Francesca knows his brother (as I do) and would love to hear from her about all this.
I hope you are doing well, William, and all the other ex-premies. I had a thought, it would be interesting, in the long run, to see if a link could be made with dropouts from other cults and persons exploited by weird religious groups - even far right Christian groups. In the December issue of Penthouse  is a nude photo layout of Paula Jones, the lady who sued President Clinton for sexual harassment. The story accompanying this is awesome, showing how she was manipulated by televangelists and other freaks to hound Clinton. And think, the same supreme court that called off the voting in Florida also ruled, for the first time ever, that a sitting President could be sued while in office and intimate details of his sexual life tortured out of him in public. (and they thought "1984" was bad.)
My point is, that as you ex-premies reach a certain equilibrium you may decide to expand your outreach, my brothers and sisters, because as I actually heard Swami Satchidananda say in a lecture in Detroit (I've always studied various meditations): "POLITICS AND RELIGION ARE INSEPARABLE."
This goofy Maharaji Ji, the Beaver Cleaver of religion is only part of the world's spiritual problems. In an oddly poetic way, I guess I'm one of the witches they tried to burn but I leapt out of the flames, barely in time.
We all will have billions of years to get over this anyway.
Much Love and Hope