Prem Rawat: XXX Top Gun
Rawat's demands for luxury and opulence in all aspects of his life might have been enough to keep his organisations' financial resources insufficient to bring "peace to the world" but the cost of buying, leasing and flying his private executive jets have ensured it. The rationale for any organisation to have an executive jet is that the executives can work or rest while travelling but Rawat flies the plane himself, thereby having no time for work and arrives needing rest. The cost/benefit ratio of cost of planes divided by number of his "students" is extraordinarily high. He was so desperate to learn to fly that he began lessons in August 1972 as soon as he had a devotee able to teach him and the necessary funds.
Rawat has created his own blissful Hamster wheel in which he pretends to be an international Ambassador of Peace, Inspirational Speaker and self-help guru and donations from his "students" provide the expenses for him to travel the world in his private jets making speeches to his "students" that provide the inspiration for the donations that provide the expenses …
August 1972: Prem Rawat Begins Learning to Fly
September 1973: Gulfstream G2 Dream Turns to Nightmare
"the next point we are making this like it's going to be like one month of tour right round the world and we are getting this G2 which is going to make it completely flexible for us to do that because right now it's it's impossible" - Prem Rawat Palace Of Peace, London, 23rd September 1973
Poor Prem didn't realise that reality was about to dump a steaming pile of sh*t on him and that his upcoming Millenium '73 festival was not going to be the success he expected. In fact it would be decade and a few more bumps in the road before his long-suffering premies could afford a feasible jet. In 1987 4,000 premies donated $l,100,000 towards a down payment on a Learjet 55. A $2½ million bank loan and the $1½ million annual running costs still needed to be repaid. Of course Prem decided that that jet was unsatisfactory and so the stairway to heaven has been a long and expensive road and that Gulfstream G650 is still a pie in his eye in the sky.
Prem Rawat's Boeing 707: The DECA Project, 1979
In 1979 the acquisition and customization of a Boeing 707 for Prem Rawat's exclusive use became the dominant focus within the then Divine Light Mission. The headquarters of DLM was moved to Miami and large numbers of the most skilled and dedicated ashram premies were moved to Miami into run-down, rat-filled hotels. Work on the 1961 Boeing 707 was completed in 1980 but it's emissions exceeded legal limits so the plane was soon sold to the more famous and much, much richer Maharishi Mahesh Yogi (he had begun his career working as the accounts clerk for a major Indian religious leader, so he could handle legal details like not letting your family steal your inheritance.) The plane was used by Rawat for a US tour and a trip to Australia and New Zealand and a holiday in Tahiti.
Rawat's advisers got him to be a bit more realistic but the planes within his price range were never satisfactory (to him) and every 3 years he demanded an upgrade. Luckily leasing jets to others turned out to have significant tax breaks and this allowed his wealthiest followers to subsidise Prem's Pilot dreams at little cost to themselves.
Prem Rawat's Devotees Lease A Lear 35 (1984)
Prem Rawat's Devotees Buy A Lear 55 (1987)
Prem Rawat Realises He Needs a Canadian-Made Challenger 601 (1990)
On October 4th 1990 an urgent call went out for donations required as Rawat had decided he needed a Canadian-made Challenger 601. This would cost $8 million over the proceeds of selling the Learjet 55. Despite the Lear 55's impeccable performance record over the 630,000 miles flown over the last four years (157,500 miles per year average) it had to go as it took Maharaji seven days to fly from Los Angeles to New Delhi, a trip that took ordinary people in a commercial flight a day. He was so enamoured of flight in his new Challenger he was inspired to write poetry.
Some people are never satisfied and so Prem Rawat has had his plane upgraded a few more times and at staggering cost. The cost of gaining each new non-Indian student must be astronomical though calculating it would be difficult as he seems to be losing as many as he is gaining and not even the Lord of the Universe can divide by zero. These aircraft are not purchased by Prem Rawat but are leased from the actual owners. Purchasing an aircraft to lease apparently has major tax benefits for people wealthy enough to make use of them as the IRS permits the depreciation of aircraft over 6 years.
Click Here to See Prem Rawat Do the Full Lear
Thirty years of Leasing Lear Jets
Videos and DVDs produced by his followers nearly always include scenes of Rawat flying whether appropriate or not.
A loving farewell and off for a jaunt in the helicopter with one of the boys.
The scene that shows off his latest private jet (1988).
Beat that Maharishi.
Keep flying Economy, Amma Ji.
Eat my jet stream, Dalai Lama.
You're stuck in India, Satpal!
What every Perfect Master needs to get to those hard to reach, out of the way programs and events, a $125,000 glider.
In 2014 Prem Rawat received an AW 139 helicopter.