Michael Dettmers, Former Personal Assistant to Prem Rawat

Date: Fri, Oct 13, 2000 at 21:03:24 (GMT)
From: Michael Dettmers
Email: dettmers@gylanix.com
To: Joe
Subject: My responses to your additional questions
Message:

Joe,

Some quick responses to the additional questions you asked in your thread below.

Does your confidentiality agreement extend to things that happened prior to the date of the agreement, back when you were dutifully doing full time service as an ashram premie and had no contract?

Yes.

Did Maharaji ever talk about the welfare of the devotees who were working on the project, and did he consider how they might feel when he sold the plane they had worked on for years?

I don't recall Maharaji ever really caring, in a consistent way, about the welfare of anybody but himself, Marolyn and his children. Why would he care about how premies might feel when he sold the plane? He always had plenty of more projects up to keep us focused on him.

How much did he get for the plane, by the way?

This is one of those questions that I shouldn't answer. I will say this, however. We didn't get very much money for it because, when we tried to sell it, we discovered that there really wasn't much of a market for it. It was, after all, an old aircraft, very inefficient to operate, and wasn't configured for corporate use.

In what ways, in particular, did the ashrams fail, according to Maharaji? How did that manifest, in his opinion? Did he talk about it? How much personal consideration did Maharaji put into closing the ashrams, and did he consider how that might affect the lives of those people? Did he, in any respect, recognize the severe contradiction in pushing people to move into the ashrams, which he said were life-long committments, and then just closing them? Did people around him discuss this?

Even though I strongly recommended that the ashrams be closed, I was not involved in their closing, nor was I a party to all of the conversations on this issue. But yes, this was a topic of considerable discussion with Maharaji and others. Especially in the aftermath of DECA, it was obvious that there wasn't an infrastructure in place necessary to fulfill the "mutual" responsibilities implied in the ashram covenant, as you so correctly point out. The discussions about what constituted an appropriate infrastructure seemed very costly as well as bureaucratic to Maharaji. In his experience, it was so much easier in India. The ashrams there were self-sufficient communities with premies and mahatmas of all ages, and supported by the larger community of premies. They did not need to deal with issues of health insurance and OSHA requirements, etc.

So Maharaji, in effect, threw up his hands in frustration because the financial resources were limited, and if we spent those limited resources on creating an infrastructure that avoided the kind of abuse that took place at DECA, there would be precious little money left for Maharaji to live in the style to which he had become accustomed, and to which he felt he was entitled. So the ashrams failed because the legitimate needs of the ashram premies became more of a burden than an asset to Maharaji. To him, it was all supposed to be so simple. The devotee gives everything to his lord, the lord plays and everyone lives happily ever after. He expected unquestioned devotion but he never took a serious interest in the welfare of the people who had dedicated their lives to him. Of course, in this sick game, I and a few others were well taken care of. Cult hierarchies are inequitable by there very nature and, when I look back, I am ashamed that I was ever a part of it. So, in the end, Maharaji decided that, instead of trying to create a support structure that covered all of the ashram premies, he limited that support structure to the instructors.

Date: Sat, Oct 14, 2000 at 00:22:41 (GMT)
From: hamzen
Email: None
To: Michael Dettmers
Subject: Really appreciate your honesty and openess,
Message:

and I'm intrigued as to the process of how you have come to terms with the wasted time and effort which you hinted at in a previous post.

From another angle it has struck me for a while that it's his stage show, and the confidence/arrogance while on stage, that enabled him to con so successfully, admittedly one of the naivest groups of people ever, what a bunch of innocents, even for hippies we were.
Any info re his psychological states before he went on stage, or other relevant materials re this topic area would be much appreciated. We still see premies believing he REALLY cares for them. How conscious do you think he is of this manipulation, and the dependency states he feeds off, and do you think he is SO deluded that he really believes stuff like that recent quote that it was all the mahatmas fault for the lord of the universe stuff.
Same goes for his organizational incompetence, know he always blames others, but do you believe that's the way he truly thinks.

All of these questions really relate to his degree of awareness, or not, around the social, organizational & psycho mind games he has always played

Date: Sat, Oct 14, 2000 at 00:57:18 (GMT)
From: Michael Dettmers
Email: None
To: hamzen
Subject: Really appreciate your honesty and openess,
Message:

hamzen

These are really good questions - one's that I have been reflecting on for some time. However, I don't have the time to properly respond now. I will give them some further thought and get back to you sometime this weekend.

Michael