An Octet of Premie "Biographies"

"People who found Peace" (or something similar) was a regular section of Divine Light Mission publications in the 1970's. The stories appear to have been based on models first published in the book "Who Is Guru Maharaj Ji?"

These are probably not the only personal testimonies of "People who found Peace" through Guru Maharaj Ji but they are the People who found Peace whose stories I found in library copies of "The Golden Age", the official magazine of the Australian Divine Light Mission. They're all Australian, four male and four female and of the males Derek Harper is still a "student" of Prem Rawat though certainly not your average premie and I do not know what Ms Gardner-Brown & Ms Downes' feelings re Rawat are. Neville Ackland not only is totally disillusioned with Prem Rawat but has gone to greater public lengths to publicise that disillusion than probably anyone on the planet. Penny Watson went through an emotionally difficult withdrawal but has moved on and probably never thinks about those years anymore and Michael McDonald has strong critical views of Prem Rawat.

Apart from the awful cringe-worthiness of these stories and they are embarrassingly puerile - they're all from the "Joan Apter Divine Light Mission School for Biographies" - they demonstrate one thing very clearly. Those Australians who became "premies" in the early 1970's, ie devotees of Prem Rawat, then calling himself Guru Maharaj Ji, did so after a history of extended drug abuse, mainly marijuana and LSD, and most of them had suffered severe mental and emotional problems caused by or intensified by this drug-taking.

Michael McDonald

A later interview of Michael by Penny Watson,
incoming editor of the Golden Age, is posted here.

Michael McDonald
Frank Starrs

Judith Downes
I remember Ms Downes' parents with great affection and respect.

Susie Gardner-Brown

Peta Herbert

Penny Watson
Penny is one of the nicest people I have ever met.