Michael Dettmers, Former Personal Assistant to Prem Rawat Internet Revelations
Date: Sat, Feb 03, 2001 at 16:00:05 (GMT)
To: Michael Dettmers
Hi Michael, It's rare these days for me to have either the time or inclination to post or read here, so I apologise if you have already answered these questions.
1. Circa 1985, Maharaji told a friend of mine who became somewhat of a confidant to Maharaji over a few years, that he, Maharaji, was thinking of giving the whole thing away. Maharaji also said, around the same time, that he had come down off his pedestal, and even discussed some of his human foibles. At one program he said that some people close to him thought he was judgemental and arrogant. This seems to coincide with your 'talk' with him. Did he ever express doubts to you about his mission or who he was or about its failings?
2. At Deca there was a large warehouse that stored M's unwanted stuff. I did security there a couple of times. I think there were other warehouses for the same purpose. I was told that they comprised mainly gifts from premies and that M had to keep them because they were given with devotion. The amount of stuff, much of it brand new, was astronomical. Was this really what was in the warehouses and was he keeping it because, as I was told, he treasured the devotion it was all given with?
3. Raja ji has come in for a bit of flack here at various times. I knew him a little from doing some security around him. I found him down to earth and at least he bothered to talk to me, which is more than his brother did. He spoke to me once about how his and Maharaj's children were spoilt and he was trying to change this. He would always ask if I was OK and if I needed anything. Looking back it was still very much a cult experience, but there was something a little more aware about him than his brother. I'm curious what your perception was of him, his role and where he fits in.
4. During the Denver program in 1979 ( or it may have been just after) a double page article on Maharaji appeared in the Denver Post. It was basically an interview with Bob Mishler and it made comparisons with Jonestown. Much of it was similar to the radio interview reproduced on the ex premie site. One major difference was that the article spoke about about firearms being stored in various places and ashrams around the country. I was reading the article with some other ashram premies, and all of has having between us lived in many ashrams and never seen any firearms, we dismissed the whole article as sour grapes. Was Mishler misquoted, was he lying, or was there something we didn't know about going on?
Date: Sun, Feb 04, 2001 at 00:57:17 (GMT)
From: Michael Dettmers
1. Did M ever express doubts to you about his mission or who he was or about its failings?
Maharaji often reminded instructors and the people around him that he was under no obligation to spread knowledge to the world. When he made such comments, there was always an implied threat that he could simply close up shop, leaving everyone high and dry. First he created a culture of dependence, then he threatened to take away that which had become the purpose and focus of people's lives. He usually pulled this stunt when he was dissatisfied with something or other and wanted people to make more effort and express more love and devotion to him.
During 1984, however, at a time when he and Marolyn were in the midst of their marriage difficulties, he went through a period when he was more subdued and reflective that usual. During moments when he felt sadness and vulnerability, he told me he sometimes felt like calling it quits. These moments quickly passed, however, and he carried on as though he had never spoken those words.
2. Was M keeping mainly gifts from premies in the warehouses because, as I was told, he treasured the devotion it was all given with?
I know that Raja Ji has come in for a bit of flack on the Forum and I understand why. However, Raja Ji was always a friend during the time I was involved with Maharaji and, to some extent, that friendship continues to this day. When we speak, which is not often, we have agreed to focus on any and all topics other than Maharaji. Consequently, I don't know what his current role is or where he fits in. I do know he is happily married to a wonderful woman, and that he is very proud of his two grown daughters who are on the road to establishing successful careers that have nothing whatsoever to do with Maharaji and his organization.
4. Was Mishler misquoted about firearms being stored in various places and ashrams around the country, was he lying, or was there something we didn't know about going on?
I am not aware of any firearms being stockpiled in the ashrams or anywhere else for that matter. I didn't read the Mishler article so I can't comment on it. I do remember a conversation with Bob in which he expressed his opinion that Maharaji's security guards at the Malibu residence should wear uniforms and be licensed to carry a side arm. Maharaji nixed the idea and it was never revived, at least during my tenure. Bill, your story about the security guy in Miami is news to me.