Michael Donner's Internet Posts
Michael Donner had a 20 year career in Divine Light Mission and Élan Vital which ended in 1987(?). He filled most administrative posts at various times and was one of Rawat's X-Rated devotees. ie he had access to Rawat's private life. In 2001 he posted many comments on the Ex-Premie Forum dealing mainly with the hidden, disreputable parts of Rawat's life in conjunction with Michael Dettmer's revelations
Fri, Mar 09, 2001 at 16:37:43 From Michael Donner
Hi first time posting here. As was suggested above by someone, I too have been hesitant to post because of the rumours that are stated as fact and the various inaccuracies that have been posted about me (for example) and other situations/people.
it concerns me some to join in a conversation with people i do not know, and a conversation that seems to run often on hearsay as fact posted by people using aliases, making it nearly impossible to determine the real from the fictious. so, for what its worth, these and other factors have been a turn off to me. Just information for anyone who cares.
I joined the headquaters in denver in 1973, was bob mishlers assistant, then the national coordinator, etc…in all those years I never saw a gun nor heard reference to one either with the wpc (world peace corp that was headed by raja ji) nor later with the personal 'security' around m and his family.
i was aware that the band blue aquarius was going thru tons of money that dlm gave weekly…given in part becasue m was still trying to win over bholie ji during the family feud. after the disasterous program in houston (astrodome) in nov. 1973 the debt of dlm was enormous and they (we) could no longer afford (never really could) to have such an expensive band on the budget. the instruments were partly corlaterized and giving them back to the place of purchase was determined to be part of the strategy to pay back some debt. m also figured that without instruments the band would fold faster thus pulling the rug out from under his brother bholi ji and reduce his credibility and following. This was part of m's strategy of dealing with Balbagwan ji and mata ji. the dlm treasurer and others in the office supported this as it overlapped with our desire to reduce our debt back then.
I cannot remember if the wpc ran the operation to keep track of the band and get the instruments back (quite possible that this was a chance for raja ji to demonstrate his loyalty to m) or if dlm ran the operation using the LA ashram folks. The names mentioned above are of course very familiar but I cannot remember if they were wpc ashram premies or 'regular' ashram premies.
Fri, Mar 09, 2001 at 17:08:36 (GMT)
Just to chip in here a little. I completely support all that Michael dettmers has posted, the tone and substance for sure. The marital difficulties go back further then remembered however. there was something going on in 1983 with marolyn and her 'driver/escort' in miami in 1983 that had us scratching our heads.
I was asked by m to drive the motor home back from malibu with this fellow to miami in 1983. the motor home needed to get back to miami for the family use on one hand and things had become quite sensitive with the relationship between this fellow and marolyn during the malibu stay. m was upset and jealous. he asked me to drive with this guy to miami to both 'get information' and give satsang to him. little of either happened. i did not like the role assigned to me to 'get information' and besides the guy didn/t trust me knowing that m had assigned me to go with him. he talked on the cell phone out of ear shot a few times with marolyn while on that trip. the affair, whatever its nature, continued in miami and things continued to be intense around the home fires 1983 84.
Also while at decca once Maharaji asked me about a premie woman he was attracted to. had me arrange for me to get her in a place where he would be passing by to be able to give her darshan as well as check her out closer up. m occasionally asked me about her during 82-84 time frame. i do not know if anything came of it.
One long time premie/resdident servant woman has horrible memories of sex with m. feeling very used after the one time quickie when he would not speak to her nor make eye contact. not sure the time frame, michael remembers 1986 range…seems to me it was earlier. but….
I have no personal knowledge of any other affairs by either except vivid memories of monica lewis in miami 82-84 (i left in 84, summer). she lived in the same house as i and was there without portfolio..it often seemed to many of us that marolyn was even setting her up with m. clearly there was something between m and monica then and marolyn was completely aware…and didn't use her power to get rid of her. the quess of many of us then was that marolyn was involved with this fellow and wanted m to find someone too. maybe the other way round.
mainly, this sort of thing was felt to be (by me and others at the res. at the time) to be a huge distraction from the efforts to spread knowledge. like the kinky games of the rich and famous. certainly continued to turn me off towards the beginning of 84.
Mon, Mar 12, 2001 at 23:45:24
never heard of the video and never received one or such a one. my reference was from a friend, then still an instructor, who relayed the story to me…discouraging and one more peice of seeing m's disrepect of others for him. this was probably in the U.S. in early(ish) 1988.
one of m's rather common over the years traits was his disrepect for others, rude comments, angry replies to questions that shut us up, talking behind the backs of those he would criticize, etc.
From Michael Donner, Wed, Mar 14, 2001 i wonder about labels and how useful they are…but the point is basically that m has been drinking every day…every day since at least 1972 (til 1987) that i know of; and drinking lots each day and lots and lots many days. my observation was that he would wait til later in the day and begin to position himself,arrange his life and schedule around the residence or whereever he was to begin to have his conquac (sp?). this to me is a typical sign of an alcoholic.
this, by itself, does not make him a 'bad' person but certainly reveals a significant weakness, especially in light of how many times those around him attempted (if weakly) to encourage him to change this distructive behaviour.
the question for me became, how can i be in a co-dependent relationship with this person. and because i turned a blind eye for so long speaks mostly to the climite of fear that m created around him. fear that 'if i spoke out too loudly or too often' i would be replaced by the long line of premies waiting to take my place 'at the lotus feet'. Or, 'I would be further ostrisized by the other 'devotees' around him for questioning the actions of the 'lord'.
my experience was that m established this pattern of fear control in all areas of the cult. his 'satsang' about needing him, losing our way if…being stuck forever on some plateau, etc etc.
closer to him he would always use this fear process to divide us from each other (those around him). he would set up a 'regular channel' to get things done but always undermine it by having the 'residence premies' carrying a different message to or from him; for example.
Of course there was the overall fear he tried to create that we would disappoint him, that we would become disloyal to him somehow. This one was especially effective with me for so many years…especially as m was a father figure for me thru most of those years. and interesting how his alcoholism played into seeing him as vulunerable even….making disloyalty even harder. i think this happens in many co-dependent type situations.
the main point here is that who would care or why would it matter unless another image or personna was trying to be perpetuated. as in the case of m. he wanted to be seen as this powerful, all knowing, gentle, in control, 'i can take care of you' sort of guy. all the while, nothing was further from the truth.
Thurs, Mar 15, 2001 at 00:47:08 (GMT)
hi again, i think it was joe (above or below) who asked if i ever saw or heard of a more active intervention re m's drinking. i was never a part of one, bob mishler, to his credit once tried to speak to him about it and got no where of course.
interestng that the notion of m blaming others comes up in context of his abuse of alcohol. i personally believe that he uses booz to cover over the anxiety he feels by trying to play the part of someone in control and capable of creation and control and the reality that he is so bad, terribly bad at creating a lasting vehicle to responsibily spread knowledge.
his blame was constant. behind the door of his home or whatever he would not hesitate to name specific individuals he thought were 'idiots (and worse)'. never to their face, never. i know he spoke about me in negatives more then a few times but to myface only occasionally would make some rude joke about my nature (his view of it) which would clue me to his hesitations about me (look, i'm gone,he was right, he could not trust me). i was sent many times to 'deal' with someone he was scapegoating and never allowed to quote him…try to get the message of dissatisfaction across without destroying the person and create some distraction for them, another service or whatever, and keep the ball of illusion moving forward.
for me, those were the most gut renching times as i carried a thing from my upbringing about fairness and respect for honest effort. i use to feeling and believe that those assignments were a test…that he knew more about me then i did and was determined to beat my sense of community and fair play towards others out of me for my own good so that i could surrender only to him. as i write this remembering, it brings up lots of saddness for me. over the years i have tried to mend some fences with some and let the rest go, trusting the universe to bring us round.
he was guttless, never dooing his dirty work. he even created double trouble, sending one of us on an errand to move someone, say something, only to publicly contradict the messenger. all part of some strange idea he had about stepping on any potential base of power other then himself. completely insecure. unable to manage honestly and openly what he himeself would put in motion.
i think alcohol was one means he chose to be able to get thru a day dealing with the contradictions he created himself.
Date: Thurs, Mar 29, 2001 at 06:22:30 (GMT)
i've been thinking about what i want or expect from/of m since patrick w. posted the other day. interesting process.
assuming that m and those current PAMs are now somehow more comfortable that m has been outed re the x-rating scene…so what does that mean to me/us?
it means nothing really.
then, assume for a moment that m apologized for all the things that have been enumerated on this site and elsewhere over the years. what would that mean to me/us. he stopped blaming, took responsibiltiy for his past, present and future behaviour, learned some real organizational skills that finally got the technology of meditation spreading around the world, etc. what would that mean to me/us then?
would he really stop thinking/saying/acting as if he owned the technology of knowledge? would he really give up the special place he has claimed for himself as the only ligitimate source of true inner peace? imagine that he did give all that up, really come down off that special pedestal he/we has created over time. what would he be then? what would be his place in the world of social change/spiritual evolution/personal fulfilment movement?
its not like m has ever really been a world leader…as i/we might have hoped at one time,or even expected based upon his rethoric. Its not like he has ever build any coalitions with other leaders in the past 30 years of his 'work', made a real name for himself that might provide a platform that would allow him and (us with him) to play on the world stage of …what…world peace, new age, heaven on earth, food for starving people, you name it.
so, if he apologized, changed and became less abusive, greedy, authoritarian, propritary…how would i respond to him? as i reflect on this (very unlikely and remote possibiltiy) i realize that i still would have no interest in joining with him (remember, due the the 'change in him' it would no longer be a matter of 'following' him). Why would i consider joining with him…to what end, towards what goal? i sit here and cannot even imagine a reason that would compel me to join with him. not only has he no credibility anymore…all the false starts towards any meaningful change…but he has no platform, no clear purpose, no rational system to effect any of the changes that interest me in working towards…either within myself or within some community/collective situation.
so, the whole things about weather or not he is/was/will ever change is moot, a non-starter with me.
furthermore, i spent way too many months/years thinking about m changing..to become somehow again what i was looking for. and i have no control over him…nor do i want any…but i can control my own process towards changing myself. i can continue to empower myself. continue to move towards what i enjoy and feel joy in being involved in/with. the people in my life, to become more truely intimate and caring and giving. to build community where i live, with the people i care about and who care about me.
and imagine, if someday m takes an interest in those issues that are important to me…consensus building, community building, personal development, intimate relationships, personal empowerment and shared appreciation and mutual valuing… and somehow in the context of those things our paths cross…at some convention, meeting, workshop, whatever…wouldn't that be amazing and interesting.
what do you think about what we hope for and expect from m?