Michael Dettmers, Former Personal Assistant to Prem Rawat Internet Revelations

Date: Thurs, Oct 19, 2000 at 03:17:59
From: Michael Dettmers
To: Joe
Subject: Additional Questions for Michael Dettmers


Thanks for the support you and so many others have expressed on the Forum.

You ask if I think Maharaji felt embarrassed about closing the ashrams after stating repeatedly that it was a life-long commitment, or do I think he felt that he was somehow maybe not as perfect and all-knowing as he thought he was?

As I said earlier, I was not party to most of the conversations about the closings of the ashrams so if he did express embarrassment, I did not witness it. But, it was my experience that Maharaji always looked for someone to blame if things went wrong. In the case of the ashrams, it was the honchos' fault for trying to make things so complicated and expensive, and it was the ashram premies fault for not being grateful enough for the opportunity to surrender.

Does Maharaji fail to admit or take responsibility for his failures because he just doesn't see them?

I'm sure he saw failures (he spent too much time complaining about this or that not to). However, those failures were never his. It was always somebody else's fault. And as "worthless" dirt at the feet of the perfect master, we assumed that he must be right, offered our "mea culpas", and committed to try harder in the future. You can't imagine the amount of politicking this kind of environment produces. It is certainly not one for the faint or pure of heart. In fact, it absolutely kills the spirit.

Did Maharaji believe he was 'all-knowing' like we sang in Arti? Did he ever talk to you about what his supposed above-human powers were?

Maharaji never talked about his "supposed above-human powers" with me or anyone else I know about. I remember him talking to the instructors about people on a spiritual path becoming fascinated with acquiring powers (he used the word "siddies" (spelling? "siddhas") but that knowledge had nothing to do with that nor, he claimed, did he.

Regarding the instructors, wasn't there also a time when Maharaji cut them loose as well, just like he did the ashram premies? Was the motivation the same as it was with the ashram residents, that they were more of a financial burden than he thought they were worth, so he just cut them loose? Was that handled any better that the ashrams were handled?

I remember a conversation I had with Maharaji when we were alone in his hotel suite on tour. He was, as usual, complaining about the instructors (I don't remember about what). So I asked him, "Why do you need instructors?" It was obvious to me that not many people were receiving knowledge anywhere in the world, yet he had who knows how many instructors. More to the point, I asked him why he never gave knowledge personally. At that time, it was my opinion that he should take look at this issue instead of simply perpetuating what he had inherited from his father. I thought that if he gave knowledge personally he might actually start thinking about the whole process and who knows, like any good leader, might actually begin to innovate. Thus, I was not surprised to hear, sometime later, that that is what he did, although I do not know what he has actually done in that regard. I assume that is the reason he "cut them loose", but I do not have any information on how that was done.

I am sorry to hear your story about Anne Johnston. Anne and I moved into the ashram in Toronto on the same day in March of 1973. We both took our "vows" (it was a serious commitment) at the same time. I liked Anne despite her touch of fanaticism and I wish her the best.