Michael Dettmers, Former Personal Assistant to Prem Rawat Internet Revelations

Date: Sun, Oct 15, 2000 at 20:04:55 (GMT)
From: Michael Dettmers
Email: dettmers@gylanix.com
To: Everyone
Subject: I've been warned

I have received my first warning, no make that "threat", from the pro-Maharaji camp. Here it is:

From: MurrrayB@netscape.net [mailto:MurrrayB@netscape.net]
Sent: Saturday, October 14, 2000 2:01 AM
To: info@gylanix.com
Subject: warning

Warning. Stop trashing M online. .
One more negative posting and within one week, MRC (MichaelDettmers Responsibility Campaign) site is online. CONTENTS of SITE
Photos of Michael: yesterday and today
Premie testimonials about Michael:
Michael the embezzler
Michael the manipulator
Michael's lavish ashram lifestyle.
Why Maharajji got rid of Michael.
Michael at OGM and Execucorp.
Michael's power trips and elitism.
Michael the phony consultant.
Site to be registered with 200 search engines.
Take it easy, real easy
Bill M.

I received this e-mail just as I was about to respond to a couple of questions posted by hamzen on Friday. His first question concerned my own process of coming to terms with the wasted time and effort I spent in Maharaji's cult. I am considering responding to this question within the context of writing my personal journey as Katie has suggested. Let me acknowledge, however, what should be obvious to regular readers of the Forum. Since I began posting last April, something has clearly shifted in the tone, and content of my posts. The question is, why?

Over the past six months I have had an opportunity to speak with a number of ex-premies who contacted me after I began posting. Some of the conversations were very confronting but I benefited from listening from my heart to the pointed questions about Maharaji, and people's overwhelming sense of betrayal as well as the anger, disillusionment and difficulty many people have had in trying to come to grips with (and may still be coming to grips with) in their journey out of the cult.

That, coupled with my disgust with Maharaji and Élan Vital's handling of the Jagdeo matter, has compelled me to speak out. You may recall that Marcia Leitner, a member of the Élan Vital Board of Directors, was given the task of responding to my query. Although Marcia was always very polite, professional and sensitive to the issue in her conversations with me, it was clear that she had to toe the party line. I suspect that that must have been very difficult for her because, as a woman and as a lawyer who handles workplace issues such as sexual harassment, she knows how serious the issue of child abuse is, and I would be very surprised if she didn't believe that Susan was telling the truth, although of, course, she could never acknowledge that. Yet what did Élan Vital really do about this situation? In effect, nothing.

Maharaji never directly confronted Jagdeo and asked him point blank if the accusations were true. No, instead, that was left up to the National Organizer of India (not Sampurnanand by the way). And, guess what? Jagdeo denied everything. I am willing to bet that Maharaji would have gotten a different answer - never underestimate the amount of fear that he engenders in everyone who is close to him or functions in an important position, especially the mahatmas from India. The final straw was Jean-Michel's report that Jagdeo was seen sitting with the mahatmas at a recent program in India. Maharaji and Élan Vital had an opportunity to do the right thing, but instead chose to do the safe thing.

Now I am being "warned" to do the safe thing as well. Back-off, they say, or we will make the lies that were spread about you on the ex-premie websites seem like kids play by comparison. Your playing with the "Boss" now Michael not some ex-premie losers. Well here's what I have to say: "Fuck you, Bill M. or whoever you are. Go ahead and post whatever you want to." If I am going to be pilloried in the court of public opinion, I would much rather be known as someone who come down on the side of those who exposed Maharaji and his cult for what it is, than to be thought of as the apologist whose silence was bought and paid for.

When Roger posted his expose of me, I was angry and offended. But, in some ways, it was a blessing in disguise. It helped me wake my up to my own bullshit. Who knows maybe Bill M's will do more of the same. In an odd way, being exposed by lies, slander, as well as some unpleasant truths about myself is liberating. Anyhow, it's a beautiful day today and I'm about to take my dogs for a walk. More to come later.


Date: Mon, Oct 16, 2000 at 03:17:30 (GMT)
From: A Friend
Email: None
To: Michael Dettmers
Subject: 25 Richest Premies in N. America 1976

Dear Micheal,

Do you remember Denver 1976? When 25 of the richest premies in Canada and the U.S. were invited to the 'lotus feet? to cover the debt incurred from the Astrodome event? Yes they actually made a list. Hate to ask this but were you one of the people involved in getting that list together? One poor girl gave all of her inheritance - $250,000, a lot of money in those days, much to her parents chagrin. When asked for another donation that day she replied 'It's all gone.'

I remember another 'rich kid' in the U.K. doing the same thing a little earlier in the 1970's with his large 'old money' inheritance including a beautiful farmhouse in the North of Scotland which was given over to Divine Light Mission as an ashram and later sold I believe.This person is now penniless also. Easy come easy go I guess meanwhile Maharaji and Raja Ji were raking it in and still are from other little rich kids on their way through time. With good investments the money

Thanks for doing what you're doing. It made me sick too when I recently asked about Jagdeo and was told he was a little under the weather due to old age but that he was doing fine in India.

Date: Mon, Oct 16, 2000 at 11:12:39 (GMT)
From: Michael Dettmers
Email: None
To: A Friend
Subject: 25 Richest Premies in N. America 1976

I'm embarrassed to admit that I did help organize that special fundraising event and, as a former national coordinator of DLM in Canada at the time, I'm sure I suggested names to the list of invitees.


Date: Sat, Oct 21, 2000 at 18:34:59 (GMT)
From: Michael Dettmers
Email: dettmers@gylanix.com
To: Everyone
Subject: An e-mail from Elan Vital

I received the following e-mail from Terry Yingling, a member of the Elan Vital PR Team in response to my "I've been warned" posting on October 15, 2000. My response follows.

October 19, 2000
Attn: Mr Michael Dettmers

Dear Michael

It has come to Elan Vital's attention from your recent posting that you have been the object of a threat. From what you appear to be saying, you are assuming the threat came from someone representing Elan Vital or Maharaji in some way. Though I feel saddened that it has come to a point where you could think this, I would like to assure you that the message that you received does not come from Elan Vital or Maharaji nor would it comply with any policies of either of them.

For some years now, Elan Vital, Maharaji, his family and the many people who choose to listen to Maharaji's teaching have been attacked by various web sites but have not, do not and will not engage in like behavior. Everyone has the right to his or her own opinion, and if you wish to post on this forum, that is your choice and prerogative. Neither Maharaji nor Elan Vital would ever endorse harassments or threats of any kind. Maharaji has repeatedly expressed his wish for all people to grow in their lives, either with or without knowledge.

We would like to take the opportunity to clarify some of your statements regarding the Jagdeo situation.

Elan Vital did take Susan Haupt's assertions very seriously and did take action. It was largely through your efforts that Ms. Haupt brought her complaint directly to us. We offered to meet with her in an effort to help her and we asked what else she wanted Elan Vital to do regarding the Jagdeo matter. As her representative you informed us that she only wanted to be heard and did not wish to take the matter further.

When the Mahatmas in India were released, each of them was asked if he or she had done anything wrong that they needed to account for. Jagdeo's response was negative (which may or may not be true). The person who interviewed Jagdeo, following the allegations made on the Internet, was the person who is responsible for the organization in India and the appropriate person to do so. This is different from when you were involved. Jagdeo was informed that if there were any truth to the allegations against him, he would face the legal consequences of his actions.

We believe it is important for us to bring the above directly to your attention.


Terry Yingling
For the Elan Vital PR Team

Dear Terry,

Thank you for your e-mail response to my "I've been warned" posting on the Ex-premie Forum on October 15, 2000.

In your response, you interpret my assertion that, "I have received my first warning, no make that "threat", from the pro-Maharaji camp? to mean that I am equating the "pro-Maharaji camp" with Élan Vital and/or Maharaji. While I can understand that you and others may have come to such a conclusion, I did not. In fact, I would have been very surprised if it came from Élan Vital and/or Maharaji if for no other reason than some of the specific threats that were made would be at odds with the terms of my contractual agreement. By "pro-Maharaji camp" I was simply referring to those cult members who still feel that it is their responsibility to defend their Lord from attack at all costs - Fakiranand style. Of course, such a warning would never have come from Élan Vital because, as you point out in you FAQ's, Maharaji isn't running a cult, nor is he anyone's Lord, at least not any more. Obviously, Bill M has not yet come to grips with Maharaji's re-interpretation of the past.

Terry, I do not question your sincerity. However, I do believe you are being duped and used in much the same way Bill Clinton deceived those who were around him into believing that he was telling the truth when he denied having sexual relations with Monica Lewinski. Based on his denial, Clinton's supporters, press secretary, and PR people strongly defended the President when he was under attack on this issue. When he finally confessed to the truth, they were justifiably angry and disgusted at being deceived and used to perpetuate his lies. I believe your situation is similar to theirs. Let me give you but one example of what I am talking about.

In your FAQ "What were some of the changes made by Élan Vital?" you state that Maharaji "was recognized by several US cities for the significant effect his teaching was having in leading people away from the "drug culture". As such, ashrams worked for a while precisely because of what was going on socially in the era in which they came about…" I think it is reasonable to interpret this statement to mean that the ashrams worked in the 70's because they were sheltering its residents (including me) from the dangers of the drug culture. If that is so, it is completely at odds with what was going on during that same period, night after night, in Maharaji's residence in Malibu. After Maharaji had dinner, he, and most of the residence staff, would gather in his living room to listen to music on his incredible sound system. As good and expensive as the sound system was, however, its effect was greatly enhanced by the joints that were freely passed around. Don't get me wrong, I liked getting stoned and there is nothing quite like being passed a joint that had just been toked on by the Lord. When everyone was ripped, Maharaji loved to play "Frampton Comes Alive" at full volume. To me those were great times, but please spare me the bullshit about protecting us from the drug culture. The awards Maharaji received in this regard were a joke. They were as ridiculous as Elvis Presley receiving an honorary FBI badge from Nixon.

Now, let's talk about something far more serious - the Jagdeo situation. In my opinion, you completely miss the point when you continue to put the onus on Susan to do more than what she has already done. You already had enough evidence to properly address this matter. But you did not handle it properly, and here is my reason for saying so. Without any need for your patronizing tone, I am aware that things have changed since I left. But I do not believe that Maharaji has delegated the responsibility of making instructors to anyone other than himself. Of course, the instructors may be employees of, or independently contracted, by Élan Vital, but they always have been and still are "Maharaji's" instructors. Just ask them whom they think they really work for.

You state that the person who interviewed Jagdeo was the appropriate person to do so. I strongly disagree that the person responsible for the organization in India was the appropriate person to interview Jagdeo - unless, of course, the intention was to distance Maharaji as much as possible from what was becoming a potentially dangerous situation. In my opinion, Maharaji should have put any such considerations aside. When in India, he should have confronted Jagdeo personally. And, because I have no doubt that Jagdeo is guilty of the allegations as Maharaji would surely have discovered, Maharaji should have publicly disgraced him and allowed him to face the legal consequences. Maharaji should then have made a concerted effort to track down Jagdeo's victims, personally apologized for the inexcusable actions of one of "his" mahatmas, and offered some restitution. That's what a real leader would have done. But, of course, I forgot, Maharaji is not a leader according to your FAQ's. Well you are absolutely right on that count, but not for the reasons you cite. Maharaji is not a leader because he is a coward and a hypocrite who is totally lacking in integrity.

Michael Dettmers