2 A - THURSDAY, MAY 23, 1974 FLORENCE MORNING NEWS
She's Tried Everything Else And Now She's Mrs. Guru
DENVER, Colo. (AP) Cheerleader. Homecoming queen. Airline stewardess.
And now, Mrs. Prem Pal Singh Rawat Guru's wife.
Marolyn Lois Johnson, a 24-year-old secretary who married her 16-year-old boss, Guru Maharaj Ji, is a pretty blonde from San Diego, Calif., who has known the boy spiritual leader for about two years.
Because of his age, the 5-foot-6 Guru, a native of India whose real name is Prem Pal Singh Rawat, had to obtain a special court order so he could marry Miss Johnson. The couple was wed Monday night at the non-denominational Rockland Community Church. They decided to skip a formal honeymoon, spending their first days as man and wife in the Guru's $80,000 home here.
"It's a very private time for them. They just want to be together," explained a spokesman for the guru, who's known as "Perfect Master" to the six million followers he claims.
Miss Johnson moved to Imperial Beach, Calif., 14 years ago with her family when her father left military service.
There, at Marian High School - a coed Roman Catholic school - she was a cheerleader, drama queen and homecoming queen. John G. Appel, principal, remembers her as "very popular and a good student."
She majored in social sciences at Southwestern College, a two-year school in Chula Vista, Calif. Officials there described her as "not a standout."
The bride's father, construction superintendent Dale Johnson, said his daughter met the guru when she was a stewardess for United Air Lines. She quit the airline in February and became the guru's secretary.
"She is beloved by the premies (devotees), a very beautiful, humble person," said Barry Ollman, a spokesman for the guru.
Mike Donner, another follower of the guru said, "She considers their marriage a service to the guru. Of course she loves him on a physical plane as well as a spiritual one. She loves him very much."
She is still not accustomed to her changed role, Donner said, "When she enters a room, the Maharaj Ji is in, she touches his feet like any devotee," he said. "And when he enters, she rises."
The guru promises his followers to reveal God and achieve world peace. His spokesman say that 30,000 of his devotees are in the United States.
The guru heads a million-dollar business corporation, The Divine Light Mission, which runs businesses from printing to janitorial services.