NewsBank NewsLibrary

Paper: Miami Herald, The (FL)


Date: July 13, 1986

Here's a private party you weren't invited to.

A very select group of Guru Maharaj Ji followers -- certainly no more than 1,000 or so -- boogied down at Ovo at the Warsaw Ballroom Sunday. And just how do the guru's people party?

Premies -- that's what they call themselves -- watch videos. They watch dancers. They even drink liquor. This inside information was confirmed by Ovo publicist Melody Leeds:

"Isn't that wild? They drink. They dance. They probably smoke cigarettes. That's what I think is so interesting about them. Lots of beer and goodies."

Not only didn't we know about the party, we didn't even know these guys were in town. But while you were busy waiting for those wet fireworks on the beach, thousands and thousands of premies from all over the country were convening, appropriately enough, at the Miami Beach Convention Center. At least 6,000 in all, said Norman Litz, who runs the convention center.

Apparently, premies like their privacy.

"They're a very close-mouthed organization," said a convention center worker who would not give his name. "They don't tell us anything. We just rent the building to them. They keep a low profile. When they hold their meetings, the answer we've been told is, 'Those who need to know, do.' "

OK, maybe we don't really need to know. But how is it possible that more than 6,000 premies could escape detection?

Leeds explained: "They look normal, you see. They don't dress in white robes and sheets. It's not like they're walking around with shaved heads. These are not people where you'd say, 'Look at that guy without hair.' There were a lot of young professional types. They could be the yuppies next door."

As for that party, don't feel too bad about being left out. You weren't the only one to miss the guru's bash. He wasn't there either.

Said Leeds: "He has four children, and I don't think he could get out."