True Blue - Excerpts from a Journey by Mary Moore
These are excerpts for the story of Mary Moore. The first section details her early involvement giving her premie bona fides so to speak and they certainly do that. The second section is about her years around 2000 when she was working directly for Prem Rawat aka Maharaji. Her full Journey can be found at the Ex-Premie website. I have expanded some of the abbreviations that a non-premie might not easily recognise and removed most of her personal story that doesn't related directly to her time spent working closely for Rawat.
I was 18 and in my first year of college when I heard about a young Indian prince to whom a lot of people gave a lot of material things. That was my introduction; my college roommates had heard a mahatma speak at the student union. They took me to the ashram to check it out. I had a few doubts, but within a few meetings I was definitely in. I finished my second quarter and moved into the ashram, abandoning a college scholarship and the chance to get an education, for which I had been preparing most of my life.
The main hook for me was that I wanted an explanation for what life was all about. Why did God not give us an operating manual? I had rejected the Christian religion, seeing the hypocrisy. The "perfect master is always here giving the true knowledge" somehow made sense to me. I saw the "blissed out" premies. Their eyes were dilated and they weren't on drugs. I thought this is how it must been when Jesus was here.
I lived in the ashrams for about 7 years, till the phase-out started. Moved out in 1974 for a year and a half to do propagation with a friend in West Virginia. Lived at the City of Love and Light for about 6 months, then went to Detroit to be the housemother. Fell in love with a woman there, and we lived together for 6 months.
Then Atlantic City happened. I left the relationship and moved to a large East Coast city. I ended up moving back into the ashram. Was brought down to Miami in '79 and lived in the Broadripple for about 4 months. I was working opening the national donations to DLM and depositing them in the bank, and treasurer for the people living there. Was very surprised by the different culture there. How people would work all day, go to satsang at night, and then go do more service for a few hours before bed! It was also very "cliquey". Seemed like junior high to me.
I was struggling with hypoglycemia around then a bit. Too much vegetarian life without nutrition knowledge. The long hours didn't help.
They moved me to Gainesville where I was the assistant community coordinator for a year and a half. I really enjoyed this. The only problem was that I was very attracted to one of the premie guys. Every now and then we would sneak out and have sex, drink wine and smoke cigarettes, returning to the ashram about 3 a.m.! Then I would wake up the next day, feeling very guilty, and not speak to him for days.
During these years, the 80's and 90's, I still thought of Maharaji as my lord. I idolized him and loved him. I was a gopi, I guess. I was living a pretty normal life on the outside, even to my significant other, but with other devoted premies I could get pretty gushy and I would always cry at devotional programs and videos. I always meditated every morning and had good experiences with it. Mostly a good centered clear feeling, and a kind of universal love.
By about 1998, I was feeling like I wanted to do some real good. It wasn't enough to just send money so Maharaji could fly around and lecture. I started thinking about maybe volunteering at a soup kitchen or something. I admired my mother for her 30 years in AA and all the people she counseled over the years.
Anyway, I quit near the end of '98 to take a break and maybe start my own company. About a month later I received a call from Maharaji's personal secretary. She had received a card I'd sent offering my services and said she could use some help. My dreams had been answered! So I got my stuff together and headed out to California within a few days.
Once there, she put me to work opening and organizing Maharaji's mail. This was before the website. It was pretty heady feeling the devotion flowing off these letters. The way the mail worked at that time was that Maharaji's personal accountant looked through the mail for any checks and to see if any cards or letters were from people Maharaji knew personally. Those went to the residence. If any seemed really in trouble, they were sent to an instructor to contact the premie with counseling (or whatever they could provide). Others offering their services were put into folders by trade for future reference. Those unknown to Maharaji saying thank you, etc. were just put in boxes and shredded from time to time.
A few months later, the website where Maharaji can get mail went up. A very lovely person who was a very good friend to me while I was there takes the emails and organizes them for Maharaji by date. She also flags anything from a personal acquaintance or someone who is in trouble. It does bother me to think of someone with her potential, education, and personal skills is spending so much time doing such a tedious task, day in and day out. But she feels honored to be doing it, I'm sure.
My next project was to research and procure getting good fast internet access with good security (firewalls) for the residence and the office where his accountant, a few others, and I worked.
Then I got a very interesting project, to work on getting his Stemme motor-glider delivered from Germany. This is a $250,000 toy. I was there to receive it on the Baltimore docks and had it trucked to St. Louis where he received 2 days of flight training on it. He flew it around the pattern twice, once with Hans and once with Amar. He never flew it again. About a year later he decided he didn't think it was safe enough and I ended up putting it up for sale.
Apparently he thought I did a good job with this so I was then offered another job, to manage his transportation, starting July 1999, which included all his aircraft (a Gulfstream G-IV, two helicopters, the Stemme) and his yacht. What I mainly did to accomplish this was be a glorified purchasing agent, haggling with manufacturers like Gulfstream and Bell to get upgrades that he wanted. Also to hire and deal with co-pilots and set up Maharaji's flight training at Flight Safety.
About a month after accepting this new position, his personal secretary of 15 years was diagnosed with a very serious illness and went on leave for an indefinite period of time. We didn't even know if she would live. But she did recover and was back on the job, albeit more carefully for her health, about a year later. So I had no one to train me in the duties that only she had done for so many years. Sink or swim, baby!
For the first six months I worked full-time with no pay. This was my choice. Once I had been offered an official position sanctioned by Maharaji, I was offered a salary of $45,000 a year. At that time this was the highest salary paid to any of his personal staff, shared only by his accountant and secretary, but only one-third what I was making previously in the business world. I understand now that finally his extremely dedicated mechanic is making a good salary, thank god. Most of the instructors made about $30,000 and a lot of the residence staff made about $20,000, if that.
During those six months I was floating on a cloud. As he brought me in closer, it was a true honeymoon. We had lots of phone conversations and emails, he really buttered me up. But it was always business for the most part.
During the next few months I worked a lot with his premie dispatcher, who worked tirelessly through all time zones to support his travels. She recently was relieved of these duties to let a "professional" do it instead. She was extremely good at this and he did a very bad job of firing her. But this happened after I left so I'll leave it to her to describe when she leaves, hopefully some day.
Sometime about 4 months into the job, he was displeased with something I had been in charge of. It was some proposal I had sent for upgrades to the Gulfstream G-IV. Communication with him was very difficult sometimes; he wasn't that great at telling you what he wanted. It was very unprofessional; I remember thinking that being a mind-reader should have been listed as a job requirement. There were a number of times I would send a proposal that he had asked for and then I would hear nothing back for a long period of time.
Then I had a good success with a Bell Helicopter upgrade. I was back in his good graces. Shortly thereafter, he brought me in closer to be involved on-site with the completion of the Gulfstream G-V. The G-V is a $40 million aircraft which he wanted, since it is bigger and has longer range than the G-IV.
With these aircraft, you buy it mostly finished, then have it outfitted with your particular avionics and furnishings. This completion process usually takes about 7 months. It's very like building a house or a yacht.
So I went to the factory to be on-site for the duration. This was February 2000. Once he and his premie attorney, who specializes now in the aviation field, and the mechanic left, I was left alone there to work with the customer rep for Gulfstream. My job was to be the liaison between Prem Rawat and Gulfstream.
The second day there, this rep took me aside and said that Mr. Rawat had a lot of people that didn't like him. Apparently he had done a search on the internet to see who this high-rolling guy was and must have found Ex-Premie Org. I gave him the party line that he had a lot more people that liked him than didn't.
So I would go on-site to the factory every day, observe, report, and interface. Prem Rawat would call me or email me. Early on he was very demanding about the price of a certain enhancement. It seemed very unreasonable what he wanted, but I tried to accomplish it. It undermined his credibility to be so penny-pinching, I thought.
A month later there was a major donor conference in California and I asked him if I could go. He indicated through his new 21-year-old secretary, "But who'll keep an eye on the G-V?" I was just going to go on the weekend and they didn't work on it over the weekend at that point anyway. He didn't seem to get that I might be lonely out there and want to come back to see some friends and maybe have a little inspiration.
About a month after that the G-IV was sold and the mechanic came and joined me there. At least I had a friend and someone knowledgeable to help out. I didn't really have experience in building airplanes, just my pilot experience and business background. So the customer rep was not that nice to me; he only respected people with knowledge in his area of expertise it seemed. It made the job very difficult.
At one point before the mechanic got there, the rep got fed up with me and called the attorney. He wanted me banned from the factory. And this attorney then called me and indicated that it must be my fault. This really hurt. Here I'm doing my very best and he doesn't even think that it might be the other guy's fault. He didn't support me when I needed it. Keep in mind that I was a very successful business person. But I was in over my head.
I learned much later, after I left, from a friend, that from that point on Prem Rawat would say negative things about me, including incompetent, behind my back to others close in.
I sent a note to Prem Rawat explaining that I didn't think that I was the right person to be here, that the rep and I weren't getting along. I proposed that the co-pilot (a non-premie) come and help out. A couple months later he agreed.
About 3 months in, say April-May 2000, Prem Rawat came with entourage to do some inspections, his mistress included. I didn't know at the time that she was the mistress. She was taking a lot of pictures. I learned this a month or two later from a friend who does security. I thought back to some of my instructions received from the secretary that the passenger manifests were never to be viewed by Maharaji's family. Now I know why. He tries to keep it from his wife as much as possible, but I'm sure she knows. Once I became part of the aviation staff she was kind of cold to me; now I know why.
I arranged for a house for him to stay in while he took his 3-week flight training. Had it set up with computer access, furniture, etc. etc. And a second house for his cook and valets. He had 2 at the time. One stayed with him and the other with the cook. When reviewing the satellite bill for Maharaji's house, I noticed a pay-per-view for a pornographic movie, something about Snow Bunnies. Well, a lot of guys watch porn, right?
During the flight training he would also visit the airplane everyday while it was being painted. I would be there, and his mechanic. One day the three of us were in the airplane and Prem Rawat started talking to the mechanic about what various sexual positions he (the mechanic) was going to be using with his girlfriend upon his return to California. This offended me especially because I was friends with her, and I felt it was rude to be talking about this, especially in front of me. I left the airplane and waited outside. I have later learned that this actually qualifies as sexual harassment since he was my employer.
During the flight training we had a trailer set up outside the building so he could have his smoke breaks, not have to use the public restroom, and eat his lunch in private.
While the airplane was almost finished, Prem Rawat was in town with nothing to do, staying on his yacht. He would fly the helicopter over to the factory every day to see how things were going. He had me look into seaplane training, but he didn't end up doing it.
Once the airplane was finished, (August 2000) he flew off to Spain and then Amaroo. He talked to me on the phone the day before he left. That was the last he ever spoke to me. I was left to pack up the office at Gulfstream, close down the houses, and continue arranging for a co-pilot for the G-V. He had decided that the one that went through training with him wasn't going to be good enough.
At this point I was quite exhausted, emotionally and physically. Over the last month, I had begun to feel like my stock with the boss was sinking. And when your whole world revolves around one person, and all the people you know and work with in your daily life have the same focus, this is a very queasy feeling.
I decided to go to Amaroo to try to reconnect with him as my master, instead of a very demanding boss. It worked a little bit. He was surprised to see me in the darshan line. Then I returned to California.
Once there, I continued to try to do my job but it just wasn't the same. He wasn't giving me any projects. He wasn't really answering any proposals. His secretary had come back on board and she was treating me like I was an idiot. We had been good friends, I thought, during her illness. This hurt too.
I learned 3 months after returning to California that he had told her to fire me right after the airplane was finished. She didn't tell me for 3 months because she was afraid that I would just quit and leave her to do all the work I was doing.
So during this time I was starting to feel like resigning. I had a mini-nervous breakdown about a week or two after returning to California and I remember being nauseous and looking at people in a park and thinking, will I ever have a regular life again, friends, time to socialize, time to do things I like to do? So about 3 months after returning to California I was out to lunch with Maharaji's accountant and expressed this feeling. He said that made his job much easier. He had been planning to tell me over lunch that Maharaji didn't think I was "the right person for the job". No other job was offered. I was asked to find my replacement.
Like an idiot, I agreed. I even helped with the Christmas shopping for Prem Rawat. Every year he gives gifts to business associates to ingratiate them to him, mostly aviation contacts. No gifts for the premies, though. His co-pilot makes over $100,000 a year. This is low by industry standards, but a lot of money compared to what he pays his premies.
Several months later when none of the people I suggested were being really considered, I decided to just let the secretary choose who she wanted herself. That's what she was doing anyway. I was getting extremely depressed and needed to get out. So I gave notice, tidied up all my projects, let them witness my computer being wiped clean (this is required), and left.
Some anger and hurt started coming up. It felt like the biggest relationship of my life had just broken up. That Maharaji didn't even have the professional courtesy to sit down with me himself and tell me thanks for my hard work, but it isn't working out. That would have been fine. But no, he had someone else do it. He just gave me the silent treatment. I have learned since that he does this with everyone. When he's done with you, that's it.
So, in March 2001, I moved back to the same town where my family lives, to spend some time with my mother before she got too old. After all, I had been gone for 30 years. We had stayed in good contact after the first few ashram years, but it's not the same as living in the same town. I licked my wounds and was grateful for her support.
I was still "practicing Knowledge" at this time. I had gone to a big event a few months after leaving California and had a good time. I was trying to make a go of it as a rank-and-file premie again. But my devotion was hard to drum up again.
Still on the path,