Talk:Prem Rawat/Archive 1

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Archive 1 Archive 2 Archive 3 Archive 5


I gave this article a disputed warning because some statements have been copied from an official website. Because of the many criticism by ex-members one should not mention these statements as facts in the article. Andries 23:14, 24 Jun 2004 (UTC)

Anybody who removes material from this article should explain here why s/he does that. Those are rules from the Wikipedia. Otherwise I will revert it. Andries 12:10, 26 Jun 2004 (UTC)

Please take a deep breath and read the NPOV guidelines before posting Let's resolve this dispute in a civilized manner. I have created separate pages in which the controversy about this subject can be presented Maharaji - Controversy. Post there is you want to write contrarian or critical articles about this subject--Jossifresco 23:56, 30 Jun 2004 (UTC)

I do not agree with your proposal. Separate off-spin articles are normally created when including all the information in the main article would make the main article too unwieldy. I think that a summary of the controversy should be in the main artcle. Andries 18:34, 2 Jul 2004 (UTC)
Added summary of the controversy. Hope this satisfies your concern.--jossi 23:29, 2 Jul 2004 (UTC)

Absolute disgrace for wikipedia

It is an absolute disgrace for Wikipedia, if a person like Mr. Heller is not challenged by other Wikipedians. I have worked for more than 10 days trying to pursue the ideal for NPOV, accommodating the other side;s point of view, knowing that it is not an easy task given the controversy. Allowing Mr, heller to do as he pleases in this page, is totally abhorrent. Thus, I added the controversy template to this page.--jossi 03:48, 6 Jul 2004 (UTC)

No sweat, jossi. I am working on the article and doing additional research. Found several references that hopefully will enhance this article. I am sure others will join me in attempting to cool off the discussion and continue making the best encyclopaedia there is.-- 20:44, 6 Jul 2004 (UTC)


The ex-followers are using Wikipedia to promote hateful remarks about Maharaji and his followers. Please read the FAQ at

Wikipedia should not allow hate groups to promote their message. Thouse are the rules from Wikipedia. I will revert any atempt to use Wikipedia to promote bigotims and hate.

Wikipedia tries to give a balanced view about controversial subjects. Hence the view of this "hate group" should represented in this article. Andries 16:48, 28 Jun 2004 (UTC)
Not a problem in presenting opposing views. Problem is that the "opposing views" are hijacking wikkipedia for their own agenda. Hope this last edit stays as is. Hijaking this page to promote a hate agenda will not be tolerated and will be reported to Wikipedia. If becessary, I will conduct a Wikipedia poll to ensure that this page represents the appropriate balance. It is inconceivable that a group of 25 people that obsessively attempt to discredit Prme Rawat, and that harasses his students (and in some cases breaking the law) can be allowed to hijack Wikkipedia for their nefarious purpose.
I think the aim of Wikipedia is providing opposing views on a controversial article in the article itself, not just as an external link. I have requested a peer review for this web page. Andries 17:36, 28 Jun 2004 (UTC)

Clearly, being yourself an ex-follower, it makes you not exactly the best person to conduct a peer review... doesn't it... You are already biased.

Why don't you give a detailed rebuttal of the allegations by some ex-followers? That would increase Maharaji's credibility instead of just removing critical material. Andries 17:44, 28 Jun 2004 (UTC)
Done so on the last edit. But just give it less than 8 hours... the ex-followers will remove tjis page and post their "version". I do not think that we will be able to resolve this unless we do a Wikkipedia poll and request public opinion.

Thanks for the rebuttal. I have included it as a response to the criticism. Andries 18:04, 28 Jun 2004 (UTC)
I am sorry Andrew.... THis is totally unacceptable. I will report yoor undeniable bias to Wikipedia and request arbitration.

Requested peer review,

Jessifrisco, you have shown the most blatant intellectual dishonesty in Wikipedia that I have come across until now. You do not only remove allegations (that seem well documented) but even facts, like the fact that Maharaji was a guru. I will request a dispute resolution. Andries 16:35, 30 Jun 2004 (UTC)

--Jossifresco 16:51, 30 Jun 2004 (UTC)
The personal attack is totally unfitting and unacceptable. You do not have any authority to judge me. Clearly, you had a bad experience in your live with a guru as stated on your user page. As such you are in no position to claim NPOV on this subject. I am glad for the dispute resolution. I will go to a poll if necessary.
In regard to your dispute warnings in the page, you MUST explain yourself and give rational on this Talk page. Until then, I am reverting. Please follow Wikipedia procedure, that is why it has been developed.

Mr Andries, what is the information that you claim is incorrect? Info here seems basic.

Not incorrect but incomplete, essential information has been removed, like that Maharaji was a guru and even his birth date. Andries 16:50, 30 Jun 2004 (UTC)

Guru title and year of birth added. happy now? --Jossifresco 17:54, 30 Jun 2004 (UTC)

No I am not happy yet. You removed the university of Virginia link and the reference to the Divine Light Mission without explanation. The latter is a fact that you removed without any explanation. That is what I mean with edits that shown blatant intellectual dishonesty which refers to your edits, not to you as a person hence it is not a personal attack. You remove without explanation, not me. I try to integrate. Andries 19:53, 30 Jun 2004 (UTC)
May be you didn't remove the facts intentionally but was it due to your lack of experience with Wikipedia. In that case, I am sorry for accusing your edits of lacking in tellectual honesty. Andries 20:22, 30 Jun 2004 (UTC)
--Jossifresco 20:44, 30 Jun 2004 (UTC) The information on the Virginia website is outdated and has many inaccuracies. Most of the references are either from 15 years ago, or provided by ex-followers (see the footnotes section). The stas URLs provided on the page are broken. When I removed the URL I explained this on the Edit Summary. In regard to the Divive Light Mission, this organization does no longer exists. It was closed down more than 15 years ago. To provide a NPOV is complicate in this case, I agree, so I added a Controversy page in which all the allegations, contrarians and critics can post their views. This applies to the page. Lastly, tis is a page a bout Maharaji a.k.a Prem Rawat. If someone wants to add information about Divine Light Mission or any other organization they can always create a new page in Wikipedia.

sorry, Jessifresco, I strongly disagree. This is essential information even if it happened in the past. I mean, an article about Bill Clinton should contain the story about Monica Lewinsky even though he regrets the affair now. I still think that not including it in the article shows blatant intellectual dishonesty. The DLM is an organization that he founded! Andries 20:52, 30 Jun 2004 (UTC)
name is jossi, not jessi... :)
The fact is that Divine Light Mission changed its name to Elan Vital. Maharaji did not found Divine Ligt Misssion, neither founded Elan Vital. These are non-for-proofit organizations set up by his followers. I will add a list of organizations around the world that organize events in which Maharaji is invited to speak. Hope this will suffice. --Jossifresco 22:00, 30 Jun 2004 (UTC)
The Divine Light Mission may be obsolete but it is essential history so it should be included in the article. David V. Barrett who is a serious reference wrote that he was the head of the Divine Light Mission. I have the book here at home. Andries 21:05, 1 Jul 2004 (UTC)

Clearly, Mr Andries is not patial, neither neutral. You can see his posts in the anti-maharaji forum at (What game is he playing...? maybe he is into negating people's freedom to have a belief that is not considerd mainstream?) I challenge this person to state clearly his intentions to use this page to promote hate. Why Andries does not uses the many Wikipedia procedures for dealing with controverial pages? Where is te civility gone?
I am not surpised by Andries behavior. That is what I woud call blatant disregard for Wikipedia policy to resolve disputes... I can see now that no matter how much I substantiate my edits to this page, Andries will find something to reject them. Nothing to do with NPOVing and all to do with his negative pre-disposition to the subeject matter of this page. Andries, I am newby, yes, but it is you need that need to re-read the NPOV page. I am following it by the letter--Jossifresco 23:08, 30 Jun 2004 (UTC)

Reported vandalism by --Jossifresco 04:29, 1 Jul 2004 (UTC)

Andries continues with POV campaing against this page

Andries continues with his POV campaing against NPOV of this page. In the last edit he inserted innacurate information that he learned fro hearsay and not facts. Prem Rawat was never the head of any organization. Check you facts beofre posting. Any other attemtp to change this page with biased information will be reported. --Jossifresco 22:23, 1 Jul 2004 (UTC)

No, you are probably right, according to my scholary reference David V. Barret "The New Believers Sects, 'cults' and alternative religions" pages 325-327 it doesn't say that he was the head of the DLM. I must have misread it. Andries 17:36, 2 Jul 2004 (UTC)
Oh, I just read that the University of Virginia's article considered him the head of the DLM movement so I hereby retract my statement that you are probably right. Andries 18:34, 2 Jul 2004 (UTC)

Adries: Wikipedia is not a soap box to air your personal grievances against gurus. I regret that you has such a bad experience with Sai baba as you explain on your user page., but that does not give you the right to judge any other person in this planet, that in your views is a "guru". You do not seem to know anything from direct experience about Maharaji, and yet chose to "defend" the position of the ex-followers without attepmting to check the facts.--Jossifresco 22:33, 1 Jul 2004 (UTC)

Offer of help

Hi, guys. Things seem to be getting pretty hot around here. Can I help? I have an interest in the new religious movements area, and personally I have leanings both ways, pro and con. Maybe I can at least be a helpful ear. Let me know if there is anything I can do. --Gary D 22:50, 1 Jul 2004 (UTC)

Thank you Gary. Help is always appreciated. I have been trying for the last week to set this page according to NPOV guidelines. As such i have created a controversy page in which the opposing views can be delineated, and have tried to extend this page with factual and up-to-date information. Mr. Andries on the other hand, has:
  • Mounted personal attacks against me
  • Used Wikipedia as a soap box to vent his anger against all "gurus" given the unfortunate bad experience he had in his life. (see his user page)
  • From reports by other users in this Talk page, he is personally involved with ex-followers and has chose to "defend their cause", even though he has no direct knowldege on the subject matter.
  • His comments and additions to this page are 100% biased against the subject matter, thus it is rather impossible for him to provide NPOVs
What we need is that Mr. Andries becomes more conscious of his negative bias and chose to leave the editing of this page to those that know about the subject. I created a page for the Controversy aspects, in which critics can post their POV.--Jossifresco 23:50, 1 Jul 2004 (UTC)


Andries, your personal attack and posting in the ex-followers forum (see above) is encouraging repeated acts of vandalism against this page: in the last 12 hours multiple acts of vandalism were recorded, including speedy delete attempts, replacing the page with obscenity, etc. I will kindly request that you refrain from adding oil to the fire by posting in the ex-followers forum to air your grievances about this page. If you have amny issues with content, please use the procedures set forth by Wikipedia for dispute resoultion.

Jossifresco, I did not personally attack you in Wikipedia. I only complaint that your edits have shown repeated blatant intellectual dishonesty. Out of sheer frustration about your behavior I complained at forum8 I didn't realize that this may lead to ex-followers vandalize the article which I do not condone. I just requested the ex-followers on the forum to refrain from vandalizing the article and instead to make constructive edits. Andries 17:26, 2 Jul 2004 (UTC)
There is no need to vent frustration in that manner... and you did mounted a personal attack. Just read your own words. The whole point of this talk page is to reach concensus. Don't you realize that you are too "vested" in this subject to be able to justify an edit as NPOV? Particulary as you do have absolutely no direct experience or knowledge in this subject. The whole idea of the "controversy" page was to anable detractors and critics to present their POV in an NPOV manner, that is, not stating feelings, hearsay and PoVs as facts.--jossi 17:37, 2 Jul 2004 (UTC)

You're blowing smoke, Jossi


It's rather bizarre to see you accuse Andries of being unable to maintain a NPOV given his history with gurus. At least he was never a follower of this guru, like you are and have been for decades presumably. Indeed, your claim that Maharaji was never head of DLM or EV says it all. While that may be true in the most formalistic, narrow and technical terms, Maharaji was and is head of all his organizations in any real, fuller sense. You know that, you're just being disingenuous.

Here, answer these questions and prove me right:

1) Who named any of Maharaji's organizations?

2) Who created any of these organizations (not DLM which preceded Maharaji's tenure as guru)?

3) Who determines the agenda and structure of any of these Maharaji-related organizations?

4) Do any of these organizations have any purpose or ongoing activities that are not related to Maharaji?

5) Who appoints the key personnel in each of these organizations?

6) Does Maharaji have the power to fire or appoint any person at any level in any of these organizations?

7) If Maharaji does fire or appoint someone, does he have to justifiy his decisions to anyone? If so, whom?

8) Is it not true that every member of any of these organizations is expected to have unwavering loyalty to Maharaji?

9) Is work done within or for any of these organizations not considered service to Maharaji?

10) If Maharaji decided to dismantle any of these organizations, would he have to justify that decision to anyone? If so, whom?

You know, as well as I, that Maharaji is most definitely in charge. Admit it.



I don't intend to engage you in a conversation. I know it is a waste of my valuable time. If you want to contribute to wikipedia, do so.--jossi 19:02, 2 Jul 2004 (UTC)
.and you can do so by posting answers to the questions above in the [Maharaji - Controversy] page. That is what is there for. Happy contributing.--jossi 19:04, 2 Jul 2004 (UTC)

I'm confused


I'm a bit confused as to what this forum's for. You're attacking Andries here and I was just pointing out how you were, in the process, both hypocritical and disingenuous. Hypocritical because you are hardly one to suggest Andries lacks the perspective necessary for a NPOV and disingenuous because of your false claim that Maharaji was never the head of DLM or EV. Now you tell me I'm in the wrong place. That doesn't make sense.

Of course you won't respond to me substantively. You simply can't. The truth is overwhelmingly against you.

But I'll add this. Maharaji's organizations do indeed go to great lengths to pretend they're more autonomous than they are, that's for sure. Perhaps it's to shield Maharaji from potential liability, financial or otherwise, perhaps just because he thinks it looks good to have some independent organization out there that just happens to like him a lot, one hell of a lot, can't stop talking about him, inviting him here, there and everywhere.

Here's another question you're afraid to answer. Is it not true that Maharaji himself decides on his own initiative where and when he's going to speak in various cities and that the whole rigermarole of him being "invited" here or there and then him "accepting" those "invitations" is mere artifice? Is it not true that Maharaji in fact has a permanent invitation to speak wherever his followers live and that he and he alone decides where he'll visit?

Discuss this with me, Jossi. Come on, don't be afraid. Perhaps, working together, we can agree on certain things and together help fill in the fullest, most accurate picture possible of Maharaji. Hm?



Jim, the purpose of this talk page, which is not a forum, is to discuss what should be in the corresponding article about Maharaji (Prem Rawat). This is a serious encyclopedia and the article should give a balanced, objective, well-referenced picture of Maharaji Prem Rawat. Jim, feel free to change the article and please try to provide scholarly references for what you assert. Andries 20:20, 2 Jul 2004 (UTC)


requires that common critical points of view also be mentioned right there in the article - not wished away to a different article. The articles must work as standalone pieces. If you wish to use the "sympathetic" point of view policy (parallel articles from different points of view), Wikinfo is the project that uses this policy. The present "controversy" section cannot reasonably be argued to summarise the opposing points of view at all - David Gerard 20:30, 2 Jul 2004 (UTC)

No problems. Added a summary for the controversy sub-heading--jossi 23:29, 2 Jul 2004 (UTC)

I intend to add some information


I added some information to the Rawat article this aft but overlooked your request that anyone editting anything explain themselves here. I assume that you reverted the text because of that. Am I right?

What is an unbiased article about a cult leader like Rawat? Surely, it's not a heavily-whitewashed, misleading hagiograph such as Jossi would present. There are certain important and undeniable facts about Rawat that must be told to give any fair description of him completeness. Please state your motives, so that wikipedians can put you in context. If you don't, I will.--jossi 03:48, 4 Jul 2004 (UTC)

Here, off the top of my head, are a few:

Rawat was presented to India and then the world as God in human form. Of course someone like Jossi will cry out that that's a matter of opinion but it isn't. The historical record is obvious. Jossi's in a cult and can hardly be considered a fair arbiter. Why not allow Maharaji's own words from the past to speak for themselves? That's what I was doing when I excerpted this bit from his 1970 "Peace Bomb" satsang: '

        • I declare that I will establish peace in this world. Just give me the reins and let me rule and I will rule in such a way that even Rama, Hariscandra, Krishna and other kings could not have ruled like that! That day is fast approaching. So arise, awake, open the ears of each man and tell him the time has come! Do not tell him that there was a festival. No! Make them understand He has come to reveal the Knowledge, that He has come to show us the True Path, and if you truly give me the reins of your life, I swear by Guru Maharaj Ji, I take an oath on Guru Maharaj Ji, and I swear by my mother who has give me birth, that I will give you peace. If with a true heart you give me the reins of your life, place them in my hands, you will be saved.'****

Maharaji said this and things just like it a million times over. I haven't looked but I trust that if there's a Wikipedia article on Hitler it doesn't gloss over any of his speeches or writings, does it? Those communications were central to the man's history. Same here.

Likewise, it is also a significant fact in Maharaji's story that he was initially endorsed as the guru divinely ordained somehow to take up his dead father's role and, yes, head up Divine Light Mission but that his mother and two eldest brothers denounced him in 1973 and fought over all of their sizeable assets in court. The newswires carried the judge's tongue-lashing of both brothers around the world. That's just part of the history. And it is certainly no small fact to be ignored that his oldest brother, Satpal, has ever since claimed that he, not Prempal, is the real "guru" and that made this claim with the full support of one other brother and their now-deceased mother.

It is also an essential part of this story that Maharaji cultivated a fear of the mind in his followers for years. Every single speech he gave for years hammered this point. The mind was poison, something that stood in the way of our devotion to our Lord, Maharaji.

These are just examples of essential ingredients to this story that must be told if you're actually trying to present a fair, objective description of this man.

You know, there is controversial and there is controversial. I don't take issue with the fact that current cult members, like Jossi, are extremely flustered by these facts and would, if they could, refute them somehow. In that sense, their elucidation is most definitely controversial.

Jim. I would really apreciate it if you address me as a humqan being and not as a "cult member". You have absolutely no right to call me any names or to judge me. Who do you think you are? I am jewish and if some one peyoratively calls me "jew" I would not let it pass. I have also dark skin. If walking down a street in England someone would call me "paki", I would not let it pass. I will fight that with all my being. I will indeed.
You see Jim, your judgement about me is absolutely unaceptable. You put yourself above other people, and that just shows what kind of person you are. Bigots are bigots, whatever shape and form they take and whatever righteous masks they wear.
Why don't you tell wikipedians about your personal story and about your obesseion with Maharaji? Maybe they will understand better were do you come from and what your motivations are.--jossi 03:48, 4 Jul 2004 (UTC)

But controversial in the sense of uncertain? Hardly! Like I said, let the man speak for himself. Allow us, please, to post some real excerpts of Maharaji's speeches over time, other material from his offical publications. Anything less would be a completely unprincipled bend to the wishful thinking of a silly cult POV--jossi 03:48, 4 Jul 2004 (UTC) that obviously has a hard time with the truth, past or present. I'm sure that Wikipedia does not want to be known as a soft, misguided infomercial for charlatans and fraud artists. POV--jossi 03:48, 4 Jul 2004 (UTC)

Maharaji pays for that service in the vanity publications Jossi has put up as evidence of good "press" he's received. Here, where the service is free and offered to further actual education, it would be perverse to allow this cult to characterize itself however it wishes.

Sincerely -- you bet,


The only perverse thing around here is you and your smear campaign. All what you say and the 'historical' data that you presnt is bogus, based on a heavily edited transcript and removed from context. You well know that Maharaj ji at that age used the term "Guru Maharaj ji" in third person and as a statement of an ideal rather than a person.

Why don't you speak of your hate campaing, your harassment to indviduals and your obsession with this subject. You are a *** and you know it. So, instead of hiding beyond nice words (yeah sneaky lawyer tonge ....) just show your apostate real colors... SHould I maybe create a page about Jim HELLer in Wikipedia and write the things you said 15, 10, 8, years ago? Then everyone here will know what kind of obssessed ***, *** you are.

That's a bald-faced lie

The only perverse thing around here is you and your smear campaign. All what you say and the 'historical' data that you presnt is bogus, based on a heavily edited transcript and removed from context. You well know that Maharaj ji at that age used the term "Guru Maharaj ji" in third person and as a statement of an ideal rather than a person.

Jossi, is that you? You know perfect well that that excerpt from the 'Peace Bomb' isn't editted in the least. In fact, the entire speech, taken straight from an official DLM publication, is unadulterated and intact on Here's the link:


In fact, here's another favorite excerpt straight from Maharaji's own authorized biography:

"Who is Guru? The highest manifestation of God is Guru. So when Guru is here, God is here, to whom will you give your devotion? Guru Maharaj Ji knows all. Guru Maharaji is Brahma (creator). Guru Maharaji is Vishnu (Operator). Guru Maharjai is Shiva (Destroyer of illusion and ego). And above all, Guru Mahraji is the Supremest Lord in person before us. I have come so powerful. I have come for the world. Whenever the great come,the worldly oppose them. Again I have come and you are not listening. Every ear should hear that the saviour of humanity has come. There should be no chance for anyone to say that they haven't heard of Guru Maharaj Ji. Those who have come to me are already saved. Now its your duty to save others. Shout it on the streets. Why be shy? When human beings forget the religion of humanity, the Supreme Lord incarnates. He takes a body and comes on this earth ...... When human beings forget this one way, then our Lord, who is the Lord of the whole universe, comes in human body to give us practical Knowlege, ....But, most ironically, we don't appreciate the Lord when He comes in His human body on this earth. Similarly, a Satguru, a Perfect Master, a Supreme Lord who is existing in the present time, can give you the practical Knowledge of the real thing... So God Himself comes to give practical Knowledge of His divinity, of His inner self, which is self-effulgent light, eternal light, all-pervading light. And the Supreme Master, the Satguru, gives practical Knowledge of that light, irrespective of caste, creed, color, religion or sex, to those human individuals who bow before him with reverence, with love and with faith."(Various excerpts - Who Is Guru Maharaj Ji)

I dare you to show where there's a single alteration in any of these quotes or withdraw your specious accusation and apologize. In fact, I think I'll post this speech in the main article too, and, now that you've reminded me, add a sentence about how Maharaji ordered all the old publications destroyed in the mid-eighties. In an effort to refrain from non-NPOV editorializing, I won't speculate as to why he wanted that. I'll leave it for the readers to speculate.  :)

Anything else?

Is Jossi the one continuing to revert the page?

Obviously, there's no point adding anything to this article if it's going to be always whitewashed by cult members. Rawat said:

"Who is Guru? The highest manifestation of God is Guru. So when Guru is here, God is here, to whom will you give your devotion? Guru Maharaj Ji knows all. Guru Maharaji is Brahma (creator). Guru Maharaji is Vishnu (Operator). Guru Maharjai is Shiva (Destroyer of illusion and ego). And above all, Guru Mahraji is the Supremest Lord in person before us. I have come so powerful. I have come for the world. Whenever the great come,the worldly oppose them. Again I have come and you are not listening. Every ear should hear that the saviour of humanity has come. There should be no chance for anyone to say that they haven't heard of Guru Maharaj Ji. Those who have come to me are already saved. Now its your duty to save others. Shout it on the streets. Why be shy? When human beings forget the religion of humanity, the Supreme Lord incarnates. He takes a body and comes on this earth ...... When human beings forget this one way, then our Lord, who is the Lord of the whole universe, comes in human body to give us practical Knowlege, ....But, most ironically, we don't appreciate the Lord when He comes in His human body on this earth. Similarly, a Satguru, a Perfect Master, a Supreme Lord who is existing in the present time, can give you the practical Knowledge of the real thing... So God Himself comes to give practical Knowledge of His divinity, of His inner self, which is self-effulgent light, eternal light, all-pervading light. And the Supreme Master, the Satguru, gives practical Knowledge of that light, irrespective of caste, creed, color, religion or sex, to those human individuals who bow before him with reverence, with love and with faith."(Various excerpts - Who Is Guru Maharaj Ji)

These are sample quotes from the heyday of his 'ministry'. The quote that Jossi has posted is just a sample of his current, vague way of speaking but the man has a past, not just a present. I suggest that any fair representation must have both. It would be misleading to suggest that Rawat's still talking this way. But it would be equally misleading to hide the fact that this is indeed how he first addressed the world, when he challenged every man, woman and child alive to ask the most important question imaginable: Who is Guru Maharaj Ji?

That's why we had books, movies, songs, posters, magazines, conferences, anything possible to get the world's attention. Maharaji proclaimed that the event he would hold in the Houston Astrodome in 1973 was going to be the most holy and significant event in human history. Is THAT not a significant aspect to who this man was? Could one ever do a fair article about the Heaven's Gate cult and not mention their leader's prophecies about the comet Hailey-Bopp? Would it matter if there were any current members still alive to constantly complain?

You Wikipedia guys have to control this environment. Fair is fair and that article the way Jossi's written it, with its small section about the 'controversy' as if to suggest that this man is not nothing BUT controversy -- a teenage Lord of the Universe who threatened the world with damnation if it didn't allow him to rule the planet -- is hardly fair.

And notice how Jossi tries to turn this into an ad hominem attack on me as if I'm the issue. Same old, same old, same old. The subject matter is Rawat, a perfidious cult leader who's made millions upon millions bilking innocent people who fell into his trap. At the very least, I implore you, do not allow this cult to hide the man's own words. They speak for themselves.


Jossi does appear to be camping on the page. Jossi, there's a difference of opinion that has references - removing the POV you disagree with is not "reverting vandalism" - David Gerard 10:15, 4 Jul 2004 (UTC)
Sorry, After reverting so many times yestrday, I missed the last one. I can see now that it was an ex-follower posting. I have re-edit the best I could as suggested by Andries.--jossi 22:31, 4 Jul 2004 (UTC)

"You Wikipedia guys have to control this environment." Yes, I try to do that but in order to do so I have to follow time consuming procedures and also have independent people taking the time to see what is going on here. Wikipedia has more than 260,000 articles so the administrators have little time. It will be clear that I think that Jossifresco is not using Wikipedia the way it intended to be so I have to follow formal procedures. I could use some help in this. Andries 10:56, 4 Jul 2004 (UTC)


Jossi, if you don't like Category:New religious movements, it can go in Category:cults - David Gerard 18:28, 4 Jul 2004 (UTC)

sorry, but neither will do. Maharaji does not teach a religion, neither is a cult. Just a practical way to go within. There are no rituals, no belief systems, no trappings of any religion whatsoever. Please do some research yourself. Do not belive me or the dtractors. Go anfd find for yourself. Listen or read some of his addresees (you can try And then make your asessment. I am removing the category

Jossi, one can have doubts whether Elan Vital is a new religious movement or not but one can not have any doubts in the case of DLM. Denying this is just ridiculous. The DLM is a prominent part of the history of Maharaji hence that justifies that the Wikipedia article on Maharaji is in the category new religious movements, regardless of the question whether Elan Vital is a new religious movement or of Maharaji's claims. Please note that one article can belong to several categories.

Kind regards, Andries K.D.

Please correct and improve, do not remove

Jossi, what upsets me so much is when you remove information instead of correcting it. I believe that some of the information provided by ex-follower is unbalanced but when you simply remove it instead of adding the other side of the story then this is against Wikipedia policy and is, I think, unfair. Andries 19:16, 4 Jul 2004 (UTC)

I hear you. I will do my best. But please note that the detractors are very obsessed with this. Thet are IMO very unbalanced as individuals, and spend extraordinary amounts of time in collecting information about maharaji, his life and that of their followers. They even quoted a letter of gratitude I wrote myself over 5 ears ago... That is SICK, IMHO. To be so obessed with it... They have used the Internet to peddle innuendo and hearsay, many times quoting things out of context and spinning the innuendo ad-nauseum so much so that they have made them into truths that they belive passionately. If there is a cult around here is the ex-follower cult.

--jossi 19:55, 4 Jul 2004 (UTC)

I am afraid that I understand the attitude of the ex-followers very well. I guess they feel betrayed and besides they want to prevent other people to believe and do they same things that they did, which they know see as costly mistakes. I have the same with my former guru.Andries 20:01, 4 Jul 2004 (UTC)
I can understand that. But I believe in the power of free will and know that human beings have the capacity to stand on their own feet and make their own assessment about maharaji (or any other subject). I have benefited so much from his teachnings and I am grateful. What is bad about that? I am satified and content. What is bad about that? The fact that you took a bite from a bad apple, does not make all apples bad. In fact, the thirst that made you go look into that guru, is the noblest thing we have as human beings. Do not ever give up in your quest to find peace. You deserve peace, Like I do.--jossi 21:11, 4 Jul 2004 (UTC)


Speaking of bad apples, what kind of person falsely accuses people of things like using "heavily-editted transcripts" when he knows that they are verbatim accurate and then bleats on about "nobility" and "peace"? Who on earth could be so transparently hypocritical? Couldn't be a cult member, by chance, could it?

Come on, I DEMAND that you back up your allegation about the transcript I posted of Maharaji's satsang? Back it up or apologize for lying. Then, yes, perhaps we can have a little peace around here. Until then, you're simply provoking conflict with false accusations.


I encourge Wikipedians to read the FAQ at --jossi 22:19, 4 Jul 2004 (UTC)

I am off for 4th of July celebration with my wife and kids, have some good'ole barbacue with friends and then to watch the fireworks... so will not be able to watch this page for a while.See you later, then.--jossi 22:29, 4 Jul 2004 (UTC)


When you accuse someone of fraud basic human decency requires you to back up your claim, especially if it's not obviously true. You've accused me of posting a "heavily-editted transcript". Now, please, deal with this. Not by pontificating about peace and nobility but by showing me the evidence.

... Either that, or acmit you were wrong and merely saying whatever you could to help obscure your cult leader's true past representations as the Lord.

As for that FAQ you've posted, can't you see how funny that is to the outside world? The idea that being called "Lord of the Universe" does not imply any particular holiness is jaw-dropping stupid and laughable. Did YOU write that? And how can anyone, with a straight face, say that calling someone "greater than God" is no big deal either? Does THAT imply any particular holiness?

You are morally and intellectually confused, Jossi. You should be ashamed of yourself.


Jossi, if you are the author of the current Maharaji (Prem Rawat) article then I am disappointed. I thought we had agreed a NPOV wording of the ‘Maharaji in the Press’ section, but I see that the current version ignores the vast majority of articles about Rawat, and only includes the TPRF sponsored ones. The only way I can see a true NPOV article on Wikipedia is for us to agree some guidelines about what should be included. Here are my thoughts:-

A NPOV article about Prem Rawat should include the following:-

A mention that his mother and brother supported him until 1974, but that they then disowned him, and that his brother claims to be the true successor of their father.

If it includes links to the TPRF supported press articles, it should include links to the mainstream press articles from the last 33 years.

If it includes a recent quote from Rawat, it should include a quote from the ‘Surrender to Guru Maharaj Ji’ phase.

If it includes links to pro-Rawat sites, it should include equal numbers of links to anti-Rawat sites.

If it includes links or references to sources that support Elan Vital as a ‘New Religious Movement’, it should include equal numbers of links to independent sites that describe Elan Vital as a cult.

If it mentions how many people have found peace and fulfillment by following Rawat’s teachings, it should include mention of the fact that most people who have followed his teachings have discarded them, and that many claim to have been harmed by following his teachings.

Jossi, there are many issues on which we no doubt disagree, but all the issues I have raised above are factual, and I cannot see how you could rationally argue should not be included in a neutral, complete, article on Rawat. Have you noticed I haven’t even mentioned the drinking, smoking, mistress, sexual liaison with his devotees, harboring a paedophile, or his wealth all of which came from his devotees?

Do you want me to write such an article, or do you want to do so? Maybe we could do so together, and publish it with an introduction that the article has the backing of both Rawat's supporters and his critics. What do you think? If you want to discuss this privately, my email address is

John Brauns

The answer is, of course, that all those things must go in - supportive and critical - for NPOV. Two users on a talk page cannot come to a binding agreement for an article to violate NPOV - David Gerard 23:14, 4 Jul 2004 (UTC)

Way forward?

--jossi 05:39, 5 Jul 2004 (UTC)
I have no intention to engage Mr Brown or Mr Heller in these ad nauseaum debates or to attempt to reach an agreement with them (I am a pragmatic person: this is not really possible as anyone can assess by reading this page...) In particular as they seem to keep a database of what I say and as a consequence I feel threatened by their ways (wouldn't you be...?)

I am not sure now if it was a good idea to contribute to Wikipeda using my real name. In any case, it is too late now. I will continue to contribute to Wikipedia, not only on this article but on others whithin my domain of expertise, such as digital painting and related technologies. Will not give them the benefit of my absence...

In regard to a way forward, the ex-followers critical PoV is already presented at length in Maharaji - Controversy. They can add as much as they need there if what is there is not sufficient, as long as they make an effort to make a distinction between an assessment and an assertion and they follow NPOV. A summary about the controversy is already present in this page. If that summary is not enough, Andries, David, please propose alternate NPOV wording.

Regarding NPOV, I would respectfully encourage Mr Gerard to re-read the NPOV pages. Please do. I see many discrepancies between what its says there, and the assertions that you make regarding NPOV. I don't really fancy (or have the time) start quoting from the NPOV pages...But will do if necessary.--jossi 05:39, 5 Jul 2004 (UTC)

How do you think you look here, Jossi?

Really, I wonder if you have any sense at all how pathetic you look here. You refuse to discuss anything reasonably. You flail like a silly little boy (making fun of my last name, for instance). You make bald-faced assertions which you know are pure lies (the Maharaji quotes I posted were "heavily-editted"). And to top it all off, you pontificate about "nobility" and spout stupid guru-parrot talk about "peace" etc.

I'm going to add some stuff to the article which will be non-controversial in the sense that no one could honestly deny it's true. But you sure won't like it. But then tell these good people how you run your own website for Maharaji followers and how you actually edit and censor their "expressions" to make them fit your current view of what an ideal cult looks like:


Right from the start, you've lacked the honesty or courage to speak with us directly. You're a coward, Jossi, a pathetic, childish coward. Yes, it's too bad for you you posted with your real name. What WERE you thinking? If you'd posted under another, you could have lied and dissembled without even a thought of accountability.


I will not attempt to respond to the rantings, accusations and character assesination by Mr. heller. It is below my dignity to do so. Wikipedians, please note that Mr. Heller is a criminal defense lawyer. Most probably he has picked up his abrasive style in court. Maybe when he does his interrogations of victims of alleged crimes, he has to be forceful and abrasive to defend the alleged criminals. Well, I will not give him the benefit to play word games with me, or to make me angry. Sorry. You may also ask Mr. Heller to explain his motives and tell you about his obsession with all things Maharaji. Maybe then we can all forgive him for his vituperations, baseless accusations and overall bad taste.--jossi 15:49, 5 Jul 2004 (UTC)

Cavorting with ex-followers

Adries: I would kindly request that you stop cavorting with ex-followers and claim that you have the power to remove me from Wikipedia. You know that this is not possible. I have been the main contributor to this and many other articles and making honest attempts to make it NPOV. Also, please do not brag about how David "got me". I quote (posted on the ex-followers forum by Andries) "Jossi, if you don't like Category:New religious movements, it can go in Category:cults . I have atempted to be fair and courteous here, but it seems that this is not possible as Andries, David and Mr. Heller are more interested in pushing their own anti-cult, anti-religion anti-guru, skeptic PoV than in an NPOV Wikipedia.--jossi 16:15, 5 Jul 2004 (UTC)

I suggest Jossi Fresco be banned from Wikipedia

Jossi Fresco has accused me of posting "heavily editted transcripts" and thus defrauding Wikipedia and the viewing public. He has refused to further articulate, let alone back up, this accusation. The reason is that he knows his allegation was false. I accuse him of himself attempting to hoodwink Wikipedia. On that basis, I suggest that he cannot be trusted as a fair, honest contributor and must be seen as what he really is, someone so biased in favour of Prem Rawat, the subject of this article, that he will cheat and lie, just as he's done here, to protect his reputation, regardless of anything. A person like this is obviously unfit for this communal project, at least on this issue. If he's willing to lie as he has here and, worse, be oblivious to the need for any accountability for his mischief, is there any doubt that he will continue to do so whenever the facts are not to his or his cult leader's liking.

Jossi maintains at least one website for Maharaji. It's a heavily-controlled environment where Jossi and his friends can pretend whatever they like about their 'Master' without the threat of the real world interrupting their reverie. Just like Elan Vital tells the most outrageous lies about Maharaji's past on their websites (e.g. being called "Lord of the Universe" doesn't imply any special holiness), Jossi can use his website to present whatever whitewashed image of his leader he wishes.

But this is an interface with the real world. And what it brings out from Mr. Fresco are empty lies and deceptions. He's not up to the task. He should be barred unless and until he can prove he can be trusted.

That's my opinion, anyway.

NPOV Remainder

For the benefit of people new to wikipedia (namely the ex-followers Mr, heller and Mr. Braun.

Original formulation of NPOV

The neutral point of view attempts to present ideas and facts in such a fashion that both supporters and opponents can agree. Of course, 100% agreement is not possible; there are ideologies in the world who will not concede to any presentation other than a forceful statement of their own point of view. We can only seek a type of writing that is agreeable to essentially rational people who may differ on particular points.


Perhaps the easiest way to make your writing more encyclopedic, is to write about what people believe, rather than what is so. If this strikes you as somehow subjectivist or collectivist or imperialist, then ask me about it, because I think that you are just mistaken. What people believe is a matter of objective fact, and we can present that quite easily from the neutral point of view. -- Jimbo Wales, Wikipedia founder

From NPOV page

We could sum up human knowledge (in this sense) in a biased way: we'd state a series of theories about topic T, and then claim that the truth about T is such-and-such. But again, consider that Wikipedia is an international, collaborative project. Nearly every view on every subject will be found among our authors and readers. To avoid endless edit wars, we can agree to present each of these views fairly, and not assert any one of them as correct. That is what makes an article "unbiased" or "neutral" in the sense we are presenting here. To write from a neutral point of view, one presents controversial views without asserting them; to do that, it generally suffices to present competing views in a way that is more or less acceptable to their adherents, and also to attribute the views to their adherents.

To sum up the primary reason for this policy: Wikipedia is an encyclopedia, a compilation of human knowledge. But since Wikipedia is a community-built, international resource, we surely cannot expect our collaborators to agree in all cases, or even in many cases, on what constitutes knowledge in a strict sense. We can, therefore, adopt the looser sense of "human knowledge" according to which a wide variety of conflicting theories constitute what we call "knowledge." We should, both individually and collectively, make an effort to present these conflicting views fairly, without advocating any one of them.

There is another reason to commit ourselves to this policy. Namely, when it is clear to readers that we do not expect them to adopt any particular opinion, this leaves them free to make up their minds for themselves, and thus to encourage in them intellectual independence. Totalitarian governments and dogmatic institutions everywhere might find reason to be opposed to Wikipedia, if we succeed in adhering to our nonbias policy: the presentation of many competing theories on a wide variety of subjects suggests that we, the creators of Wikipedia, trust readers' competence to form their own opinions themselves. Texts that present multiple viewpoints fairly, without demanding that the reader accept any one of them, are liberating. Neutrality subverts dogmatism, and nearly everyone working on Wikipedia can agree this is a good thing. (highlight is mine)--jossi 17:57, 5 Jul 2004 (UTC).


Now an important qualification. Articles that compare views need not give minority views as much or as detailed a description as more popular views. We should not attempt to represent a dispute as if a view held by only a small minority of people deserved as much attention as a majority view. That may be misleading as to the shape of the dispute. If we are to represent the dispute fairly, we should present competing views in proportion to their representation among experts on the subject, or among the concerned parties. None of this, however, is to say that minority views cannot receive as much attention as we can possibly give them on pages specifically devoted to those views. There is no size limit to Wikipedia. But even on such pages, though a view is spelled out possibly in great detail, we still make sure that the view is not represented as the truth.(highlight is mine)--jossi 17:57, 5 Jul 2004 (UTC).

Please read the NPOV page and be civilized in your postings here.

NPOV status

Hope my last edits are assessed to have reached NPOV status by fellow wikipedians. I request concensus to remove the dispute template. --jossi 19:42, 5 Jul 2004 (UTC)

Jossi, the current version is still heavily biased in favor of Maharaji. There are two quotations from his recent speaches, and none from the 70s when he encouraged his supporters to surrender to him. There are 48 links to pro-Maharaji sites and only three links (I've just edited them) to anti-Rawat sites. The article makes no mention of the vast number of students outside India who have left. The press coverage section is heavily biased towards the pro-Rawat articles, none of which include a single mainstream publication. The earlier version with just two links - one to's press room and one to TPRF's press room was fair. The article as it stands cannot, by any standard, be regarded as neutral. (Oh, and please get my name right - it is not Brown or Braun.) John Brauns

Read above (from NPOV page) None of this, however, is to say that minority views cannot receive as much attention as we can possibly give them on pages specifically devoted to those views. There is no size limit to Wikipedia. --jossi 22:26, 5 Jul 2004 (UTC)

The reason for the number of sites is simply because there are more pro sites on the web than con websites. And I have not added all the websites that exists, but only just a sample of the more relevant. Fact is that there and thousands upon thousands of people that follow Maharaj's teachings and just a minute number of ex-followers that have chosen to become negative critics. That is a fact. Read the NPOV pages (see above) to understand the way the minority that you represent can be heard in Wikipedia. Also read the NPOV pages to understand what Wikkipedia means by "neutral". --jossi 22:33, 5 Jul 2004 (UTC)

Jossi - you know that you have included every pro-Rawat site even if the only information it provides is that there will be a video presentation in the local library at 7 pm on Tuesday. This is NOT neutral writing by any standard. A fair selection of links would be,,,, and The last two of these contains links to all the other sites you have listed. I think I am being more than fair in suggesting this selection. (BTW, would a neutral article mention Maharaji's instruction to his followers to stay away from the internet? - attempt at humor!) Regarding ex-followers being a minority - by conservative estimates, 95% of Maharaji's students outside India have abandoned his teachings. Over 400 ex-followers have posted on the ex-premie forums, and over 100 have written their stories on the ex-premie website. A fair comparison would be active followers on the internet and active ex-followers. I do not think ex-followers can be regarded as a minority. John Brauns
Sorry Mr Brauns. Your numbers do not compute. Last year alone Maharaji talked to more than 1 million people. There are daily TV broadcasts all over the world[3]. Maharaji just completed a tour of Europe in which thousands came to hear him for the first time. Just yesterday, the last event in which Maharaji took questions from the public, was broadcast to thousands of locations in all continents. Again: Please spend 30 minutes and read NPOV.--jossi 22:58, 5 Jul 2004 (UTC)
Listing that many Elan Vital sites is ridiculous. This is an encyclopedia article, not a web directory - David Gerard 23:10, 5 Jul 2004 (UTC)
These are not "Elan Vital" sites. I you pay attention to the listings you will see grasroot sites, informational sites, weblogs and official sites. What is ridiculous is the attempt to make this page NVOP by attempting to "balance" the views of a tiny group of vociverous ex-followers with the view of a large group of people that benefit from Maharaji's teachings. An by the way, Mr, Gerard, your own bias is evident from this and other contributions to Wikipedia. So don't play here the role of neutral voice. OK?--jossi 00:52, 6 Jul 2004 (UTC)

Thanks David. Hopefully Jossi will accept my suggestion which still gives more pro-Rawat sites than anti. Hopefully the same lack of bias can be applied to the press articles and the quotes. Jossi, I have read the NPOV guidelines, and my suggestions arise from my understanding of them. May I ask if you have read them? I accept that many people watch and listen to Maharaji, but many more have rejected him. Also, you don't know how many of those who listened recently for the first time will take it further. History suggests extremely few. By any reasonable definition, ex-followers are in the majority. Even Maharaji's authorised book, 'Who is Guru Maharaj Ji' claimed 6 million followers in 1974. John Brauns.

May I point out that you have no mandate to represent the people that once followed Maharaji's teachnings and then decided out of their free will to stop doing so? You only represent a very small group of ex-followers that decided not to move on to other endeavours and became vocal critics. Becoming their self-appointed advocate is preposterous and borders on the utterly ridiculous.

Let's get real, shall we?

I've started re-doing the Rawat page so it actually reflects the true story of this former teenage Lord of the Universe and Saviour of Mankind. I can prove every last sentence and Jossi and his fellow followers of Rawat know that. If Jossi questions a single allegation, he can say so and I'll furnish the proof. This is the article that any reasonable arms-length observer might write.

And I still ask any of the powers that be, how is it that Jossi can get away with making false accusations of source text doctoring, as he has, and not be sanctioned? Do you guys have any power at all to stop this kind of mischief? What happens on the Hitler page? Do the white supremacists get to claim that the Holocaust is an open issue?

Anyway, I'm saving it this time and will repost it and the rest of what I write every time Jossi changes it. Please don't reduce this conflict to Tweedledum / Tweedledee. I can and will prove and justify every last thing I write. Jossi can only make specious accusations. Big difference.



Removing Documented Facts

Jossi, I want to thank you for the concessions that you have made but I will still request you to be banned from Wikipedia if you remove one of the following documented facts from the article. With documented facts I mean the information described in schorlarly references that I have at home David V. Barret "The New Believers". Scholarly references serve as the basis for articles in Wikipedia. If you have other scholarly references that dispute the points hereunder then please let me know. Facts according to Barrett include

  1. that he fell out with his mother after his marriage.
  2. that he became the guru of the DLM in 1966
  3. that the event in the astrodome in Houston was a disaster
  4. that Maharaji had legal battles with his brother over the DLM 5. there were press reports in which his mother said that she disapproved of Maharaji's luxurious living style.
  5. that the closing of the ashrams in 1983
  6. that he used to style himself as the Lord of the Universe
  7. that the DLM used to be criticized for allowing Maharaji living a luxurious lifestyle on the donations of his followers.
  8. that the DLM was sometimes criticized for its emphasis of emotional experience rather instead of intellect

Kind regards, Andries 03:32, 6 Jul 2004 (UTC)

If this is not Vandalism by Heller, what is it?

Last edit by Heller is sheer vandalism.

  • Heller did not augemented the previous text, Just replaced with his POV.
  • Heller left a non stadard "to be continued" label in the middle of the page
  • Heller is making zero efforts to achieve concensus on this page
  • Heller used this page to launch a perosnal attack against me, calling me names in the most uncilivized manner

If fellow wikipedians allow this behaviour it will be a sad day for Wikipedia. Andries, Gerard and others watching this page: Please put aside you bias for one moment and honestly assess the conduct of this Heller.

Yes, Jossi, I agree that Jim Heller mounted personal attacks on you here that are not acceptable. He did not commit vandalism but he did insert some POV adjectives and sentences that still need to be corrected. Andries 04:09, 6 Jul 2004 (UTC)

This is all you have to say abour Heller? How dare you to be so partial and biased? Don't you see it? His behaviour has been appalling and you just say that? If this is your response, you are no better than him. Why don't you threaten him with "you will be banned from wikipedia" as you did with me?--jossi 04:23, 6 Jul 2004 (UTC)
Adnries, and all you had to offer is to "wikify" Heller POV rant? I cannot believe it. Have you even attenpted to read his atrocious edits. 100% POV. Clearly Heller never read the NPOV guidelines. He is above all of that, you know. He gives a hoot about Wikipedia. --jossi 04:30, 6 Jul 2004


Jossi, I admit that his POV must be toned down but I have little time now. Andries 04:34, 6 Jul 2004 (UTC)

I can't believe it that this is your response..! Shameful indeed. I am glad that all of this is recorded. ...--jossi 04:37, 6 Jul 2004 (UTC)
Jossi, you were right that Jim Heller's edits were heavily POV and that he chose excerpts that put Prem Rawat in the most unfavourable light possible. I think that quotations to prove something are a bad way of writing an article. Andries 17:16, 6 Jul 2004 (UTC)
Thanks Andries. I can see that other Wikipedians are already working on the article. That is a good thing. I am watching the page for vandalism (three in less than an hour)--jossi 17:45, 6 Jul 2004 (UTC)

As others have said, Fresco's article is extremely biased in favor of Rawat, his employer and guru.

The long lists of websites violates 18. Advertising and Self Promotion as well as 20. Yellow Pages, or resource for conducting business.

Fresco, who I worked with when I was also employed by the cult in recent years, is a capable,personable guy for whom I have respect. (At least I did before I read his rantings here.) :)

Please note that he has an agenda and is not capable of providing a balanced impartial article about Rawat, due to his cult involvement and employment.

I request that any references to ex-followers as a "hate group" be removed. This is opinion, libelous, and incorrect. The cult uses this tactic to discredit those who have rejected the cult thinking. This in itself is a typical, textbook, cult control technique.

How did the Scientology article come to resolution? I see it is quite succinct and presents both points of view. And there are certainly just as heated opinions on both sides of that table as this one. How do you keep their members and ex-members from edit wars?


Mary. If you want to understand how the CoS article came to resolution, read NPOV. Both the notion of ex-followers as "hate group" and the notion of "cult control tecnique" can coexist if presented as opinions and not as assertions. Of course Fresco cannot provide a balanced article. Neither you or Heller as ex-followers can! Concensus can be reached about an article if civility prevails. It may take time, but it does.

Okay, I've read the NPOOV stuff


I've read through most of the NPOV stuff. If there was a specific account of how the Scientology page came together, though, I missed it. And Mary makes a good point. That page does seem pretty much okay as a general description of Scientology. Well, actually, it seems a bit soft but then this NPOV approach seems biased towards softness. I've got some quibbles with this approach, the main one being that it seems to rather arbitrarily allow for "minority views" where there really aren't any worth mentioning (a rational judgement call that's unavoidable) but it seems as well like an acceptable compromise. Surely better than nothing at least.

But I don't understand how you ever got Scientologists to accept that article. What stops them from tinkering with it? Also, as Mary said, that article is much more balanced than the snow job Jossi would put up.

But in terms of fairness I still think the best guage is simply trying to write the same piece an honest, thorough journalist with no vested interest would write, were he or she to investigate the subject. What would a regular encyclopedia's article about Rawat look like? That's good enough for me. Of course, Jossi -- like his guru -- would never agree to such an article. That's the very reason Rawat has avoided the press for the past 30 years.

Interesting process. By the way, you never dealt specifically with Jossi's false claim that I was posting heavily-editted source materials. Does he get a pass this time?

Taking a step back

I have decided to take a step back from this page to give a chance to other Wikipedians and contributors to enhance and improve the article. The violence of the discussion is simply not of my liking, neither the personal attacks against me and the infantility, lack of civility, and obtuseness that some people have demonstrated here. Instead, I will go back to my digital paintings and enjoy that for a while.... I trust that the NPOV principle of Wikipedia will prevail and that concensus could be build on the content of this page (given time and a lot of patience.) BTW, Heller thinks that this page needs to be written from a journalistic point of view. Not so, Heller. This is an encyclopedia, not a magazine. And it is also not a soapbox top push the detractors PoV. Maybe someone can help him understand that. As I said I will stop contributing to this article for a while, although will continue to monitor it for vandalims and offer suggestions via the this Talk page. Regards, --jossi 15:14, 6 Jul 2004 (UTC)

So where to now?


Now that Jossi has backed off a bit, what will it take to make a better, more accurate article?

Here's just one example of how seriously deficient and misleading the article currently is. It now reads, in part:

Critics say that when Maharaji was 12 years old, he claimed to be the incarnation of God during a speech he gave in India[2] ( The FAQ of one of the organizations that support his work (See Elan Vital), rebuts this by saying that in Indian culture it is routinely declared the Guru as God or even greater than God. To the man on the street in India, "Guru is greater than God" is a common statement.[3] ( The also say that in India the title of "Lord" is given on the the basis of affection or admiration[4] (

1) It is misleading to suggest that only critics claim that Maharaji claimed to be an incarnation of God. Not only is the historical record simply stuffed with examples of him saying so, even the cult itself acknowledges same as is evidenced by that Elan Vital FAQ.

2) The sentence suggests that Maharaji's claim that he was an incarnation of God was a one-off, something he said once during a certain speech. In fact, he said he was God from the moment he took over his father's guruship at age eight right up until ... well, see, that's the problem. He STILL says it just not in so many words. His followers still think that he's giving them their breath and waiting to save them when they die. But, anyway, in terms of overtly procaliming himself God, he did so as recently as the early nineties:


3) The "rebuttal" mentioned is utter nonsense. Now here is where, if you want to maintain some sort of standards for scholarly honesty, you should demand some backup. I highly doubt that Elan Vital or any Rawat follower could ever back up their claim that it's no great shakes to call your guru greater than God in India, that it doesn't really mean anything. That's a lie. You should demand that they substantiate this claim or retract it, in my humble opinion.

4) Likewise the title "Lord". That's a factual claim on their part. Where's the evidence? Of course there isn't any.

And this is just an example. But is it okay to rework this article or not?



You do not need to ask permission from no one to edit any article in Wikipedia. Andries does not own this page. But you have to follow NPOV guidelines and proper etiquette. Your behaviour so far has been quite the opposite. Clearly you have a biased POV being one of the main detractors of Prem Rawat, as I managed to gather by visiting the ex-followers forum. So, if you want to contribute please do so, you have to be extra careful and change your attitude though, otherwise me or others here will revert your edits. Flaming and escalating the discussion, or engaging in personal attacks to other contributors, will not make you any friends around here. You are clearly not interested in bettering Wikipedia... only interested in your very evident anti-Rawat crusade.

Jim, the way you posted excerpts just to prove that Maharaji is a fraud, though factually correct, was, I think, a very POV , unscholarly way of writing an encyclopedia article. Please try to summarize what he said and still says (with references). I think that user with IP has done an excellent job. Thanks Andries 19:58, 6 Jul 2004 (UTC)
Andries, quite frankly, I think you've got a distorted view of what scholarly means in this context. Is it scholarly to post excerpts from Mein Kampf to prove that Hitler was anti-semitic? I'd say it would be only if there was countervailing evidence that was being ignored. The fact is, Hitler really was anti-semitic. The fact is, Rawat really did present himself as the Lord and Saviour of Mankind. The fact is, he really did warn us to avoid our minds like poison. What's with you guys, anyway? Sheesh! Jim
Jim, I am glad that you come up with the example of Hitler which gives me the chance to explain why I think that using quotation are a bad way of writing articles. Hitler has said often that he was a Christian (I believe also in Mein Kampf) and I can "prove" that he was a Christian by using his quotations. In fact, Hitler pretended to be a christian for propagandistic purposes. I want to repeat that what you wrote was, as far as I can judge, factually correct and you did not remove facts like Jossi sometimes did which made me furious. Andries 20:55, 6 Jul 2004 (UTC)
Thanks Andries, appreciate the comment about my last edit. I would also want to remind Jim what it says in every "Edit this page" footer:
All contributions to Wikipedia are released under the GNU Free Documentation License (see Wikipedia:Copyrights for details). If you do not want your writing to be edited mercilessly and redistributed at will, then do not submit it. By submitting your work you promise you wrote it yourself, or copied it from public domain resources — this does not include most web pages. DO NOT SUBMIT COPYRIGHTED WORK WITHOUT PERMISSION!
Any attempt to submit copyrighted work will be mercilessly deleted my me or others.-- 20:37, 6 Jul 2004 (UTC)

Jim, I can not seriously doubt that Maharaji has repeatedly said those kind of things. So I think we do not need to write "Critics claim that he said ..." but instead "He said ...'" (with references) Andries 22:05, 6 Jul 2004 (UTC)
Is not that already referenced in the current edit by That point is already made. I will attempt to NPOV that entry. We also need to make sure that references quoted are posted with permission from copyright holders, if any.-- 22:51, 6 Jul 2004 (UTC)

Working Together

I read the NPOV in its entirety and I have to say I am impressed. You guys could probably help the Middle East sort out their problems!

Coming from 30 years in a cult where critical thinking was discouraged, and only being out 2 years, then a few months realizing what happened, I have to say I am new to critical thinking.

Sure, I used critical thinking all the time in my business career. But not when it came to areas where there was passionate feeling involved, anything to do with Maharaji.

I think this is the essence of why it is hard to get concensus from followers and ex-followers of a guru. The relationship that is formed between a guru and devotee is one of the most authoritarian that there is. And someone criticizing your guru is like someone insulting your spouse, only worse, because a devotee identifies with his guru even more than with his spouse. So, you insult the guru, you insult the devotee himself.

Once emotions get into the mix, it's very difficult to be rational. One just digs one's heels in deeper.

And ex-followers can be just as emotional about it as the followers. This because they did care deeply at one point and now feel betrayed. We are hurt most deeply by those that we care about, not perfect strangers.

That being said, I am happy that Jossi has decided to take a step back. It's frustrating to engage in these debates.

I would really like to see a neutral, scholarly article about this subject. I encourage Jim, Mike, and John to come up with something that has an even, factual tone to it that all can live with, followers and ex-followers.

Mary Moore 20:05, 6 Jul 2004 (UTC)Mary

Mary: Please not that this page is not a forum to discuss your experiences, but a place to discuss content. Who are these Mike and John? If these are abrassive ex-followers as Jim, I am afraid we will not reach NPOV. I am sure that other followers besides User:jossi, as well as other Wikipedians will join and contribute... Please note Wikipedia works by thousands of volunteer editors contributing to it and by reaching concensus on NPOV. Not easy, sure. But doable..
John=John Brauns, webmanager of and Mike=Dr. Mike Finch who was the original author of this article. Mike refuses to contribute here because he doesn't trust the Wikipedia process on extremely controversial subjects such as these. I admit that the process is extremely time consuming and it gave me lot of stress and anger with this article. Andries 20:41, 6 Jul 2004 (UTC)
Thanks for the clarification Andries. If Finch does not trust Wikipedia's process he should not have posted in the first place. The disclaimers we make on the edit page are obvious. We know that Wikipedia works, but as you say it takes time and effort as well as keeping one's own bias in check. I can see by reading jossi's comments that you are not the only one to experience stress and anger... I am doing some research now and found some pretty substantial scholarly sources that I'm currently checking for their validity.-- 20:53, 6 Jul 2004 (UTC)
Mary, it is possible to write in a neutral, scholarly manner about Maharaji manner even if you feel betrayed by him. I have done so too with my former guru (Sathya Sai Baba) too but you have restrain yourself when writing, which can be difficult at times. Andries 20:41, 6 Jul 2004 (UTC)


My apologies for getting too personal or long-winded perhaps. It was part of the explanation for the compliment I gave for the NPOV write-up. Will stay on topic in future.

I look forward to Wikipedians with NPOV taking a good look at this issue.

I think Mike Finch, original submitter of the article, was just frustrated with the constant replacement of his article with others from followers. Now that more Wikipedians are getting involved and some more structure for edits is in place, perhaps he will re-involve himself.

From what I've read from him, he seems one of the cooler heads of the ex-followers.Mary Moore 21:13, 6 Jul 2004 (UTC)Mary

Maybe he can then politely ask the non so coolheaded ex-followers to stop vandalizing the article with obscenity. Eleven violations on the last 24 hrs. And BTW, I am only backing off from editing the article, to allow other contributions and to help reach NPOV. But I am monitoring the article for vandalism and to rise red flags if ex-followers try to impose their POV here.--jossi 21:28, 6 Jul 2004 (UTC)

Jossi, was your allegation that I was posting "heavily-editted transcripts" of Rawat NPOV? Or was it perhaps closer to vandalism? Are you willing to apologize for that "inaccuracy" now and admit that the transcript was accurate, at least according to offical DLM and EV literature? If not, please quit preaching! Jim

Perhaps you should apologise to Jossi first for your abuse. He has graciously backed-off from editing to allow others to reach concensus. What about you? Would you as the representative of the critic ex-followers be as gracious? By the way you acted so far, I don't think so, but you still can surprise us-- 23:56, 6 Jul 2004 (UTC)

Let's follow the rules

As a senior admin, I'd like to weigh in with the request that we all follow the rules.

  1. Be courteous to the other contributors.
  2. Don't replace the entire article with your own biased point of view.

I blocked "" (with an expiry time of 10 minutes) for repeatedly posting polemics on Prem Rawat page. I'll triple that, if I have to... --Uncle Ed 00:32, 7 Jul 2004 (UTC)

Good work

Signed-in contributors, thanks for a job well done. I took a quick look at the article and see no major difference between Andries's version and my latest version. Just formatting stuff for my part, mostly. And I don't think the article should be entitled "Maharaji" because that sounds too much like the similar word maharajah (see Merriam-Webster definiton here). Moreover, no one but his followers calls him this, so it's too obscure: it would be like putting the Sun Myung Moon article at "True Father".

More work should be done, however, to include objections by detractors, such as rumors of financial, legal, or sexual improprieties -- provided these are documented with evidence like John Smith accused Maharaji of molesting his daughter in an ashram in July 1983 or the like.

I don't want a whitewash, or a blanket condemnation. Let's write a balanced article. --Uncle Ed 01:23, 7 Jul 2004 (UTC)

To be fair, special thanks needs to be given to the unsigned contributor with IPs and Most of the NPOVing was done by him/her. -- 01:47, 7 Jul 2004 (UTC)
Ed, all the Hindu/Indian style gurus are listed in Wikipedia under their monastic names, like Prabhupada, Sathya Sai Baba, Swami Roberto, Ram Dass, Muktananda etcetera. Hence I do not think that the article should be renamed. Andries 04:34, 7 Jul 2004 (UTC)

Nice work, .121 & .122, on NPOV -- sorry to have left you out!

As for the name of the article: I think as a tactical measure it will reduce vandalism to keep the Maharaji article at Prem Rawat for a couple of weeks. Rawat is a special case amoung gurus in that his credentials as a guru have come under intense scrutiny. It may appease his opponents, long enough for the rest of us to get the article into shape.

It's still not clear whether:

  • Prem Rawat is a charlatan posing as a guru; or,
  • Maharaji is a guru falsely accused of being a swami

We had a similar wrangle over Mother Theresa; and there's the question of where to put articles about the Christian saints such as Saint Francis / Francis of Assisi. I always think it's better, when there's a big fight, to choose the lowest common denominator for the article title. Then when the dust settles, we may be able to pick a more "exalted" or "dignified" title.

But if we do this, let's pick an article title easily recognizable to English speakers, like the longer form Guru Maharaj Ji or Guru Maharaji. Meanwhile, I'd prefer to see the article at Prem Rawat and begin as follows:

Prem Rawat, known to his followers as Guru Maharaj Ji or simply Maharaji, etc.

But that's just my 2 cents. I don't claim any special authority to decide this issue; I'm just trying to break up the negative give and take that has plagued the article's development. Often, decisions about things like the precise wording of the intro paragraph or the exact title of the article can be left until the article itself stabilizes. --Uncle Ed 14:00, 7 Jul 2004 (UTC)

Thanks Ed. From my research, Prem Rawat is widely known as "Maharaji", but I agree that it would be better to wait until the article stabilizes before changing the title again. Note also that the title of "guru" is not mentioned in any of the official sites. Looks like he gave up that title in the 80's. Regarding the characterization about Prem Rawat, it seems that this man has been and continues to be controversial as stated on the opening paragraph. In reading some of his speeches, he does not come across as a "guru", neither he claims supernatural powers as other swamis and gurus do[5], at least not in the last 25 years. I would suggest staying away from such characterizations. I am doing some additional research that will hopefully yield results worth posting. In regard to the negative give & take, we need to help the newbies understand the basics, point them to the right direction and ask them to trust the process.-- 14:34, 7 Jul 2004 (UTC)

Is this Kafka? I hope not

Anyone reading this page from top down will see that what's really happened is that the outrageously whitewashed article about Rawat has been challenged and corrected bit by bit and that Jossi has screamed and fought every inch of the way. Anyone who thinks I've been 'abusive' to Jossi is imagining things. What I first tried to do, if you'll bother to look, is ask Jossi questions designed to resolve the issue he created about whether or not Rawat was the head of the various organizations founded in his name. Of course, Jossi refused to answer, instead heaping silly insults on me. Then, when I posted an excerpt from a very well-known (albeit embarrasing) satsang of Rawat's, momentous in its own right as Rawat himself called this his "Peace Bomb", his proclamation to the world that he was the Lord and you'd be foolish to ignore that fact, Jossi blatantly lied, claiming that it was "heavily-editted". You can see that he's been entirely mum on that transgression of his. Of course, just imagine what it really means. It means that he's wilfully lying here. That's a lot to admit, isn't it?

But then I have some anonymous people suggesting that I'm the one who's at fault here! Is this the Mad Hatter's Tea Party or something? There are times and places for righteous indignation and one just has to be when one is being falsely accused of fraud. Any of you anonymous types who are blaming me for my tone with Jossi, please tell me this, how would you like it if you were falsely accused like that? It's all well and good to want things to want to resolve disputes civilly. I'm completely for that. But I don't see any of you Wikipedians even trying to resolve this one other than to throw out some general platitudes. Come on, people, there's a specific issue before you. Jossi has alleged that the quotes I put are "heavily-editted". I say they're not. Isn't there a single one of you who thinks it's important for Jossi to support that allegation -- in which case, by all means, ban me, if you like. I sure wouldn't want someone so duplicitous having the ability to alter any articles here if I was in charge -- or to deal with the fact that he made a serious, false allegation?

I'm getting sick of hearing about NPOV-this and NPOV-that at the expense of some attention that needs to be given even more fundamental values. You don't lie. Lying is bad. Start with that one. Please AND thank you Jim

You need to cool off. jossi has backed-off already. Be courteous, civil and keep the hyperbole in check. If you want to contribute to the article, do so within the guidelines. FYI, I am a long-time contributor to several Wikimedia projects, the only reason I am posting incognito is to avoid being harassed by some of your not-so-pleasant 'friends'. I am too old to revert my user page every 5 minutes. You may benefit from reading Wikipedia:Civility netiquette, Wikipedia:Wikiquette, Wikipedia:Who, Why?, Wikipedia:Writers rules of engagement-- 03:00, 7 Jul 2004 (UTC)

--- Jim here again. You say Jossi has backed off. Does that mean that he has admitted that I did not post heavily-editted source material? Or does it mean that he hasn't admitted anything? I looked at the Rules of Engagement page. It suggests, amongst other things, that one not ignore questions. I've asked Jossi several questions but right from the start he stated that he refused to talk with either John Brauns or me. The guidelines suggest conceding a point when you have no argument against it. There, too, Jossi's hidden the ball. Obviously, he has no argument against the evidence that Rawat said those things. Instead, he's forcing me to argue against a position he doesn't really hold. That too is frowned upon. Okay, he might not be fillibustering; he's stonewalling. Is that any better?

Or do I miss the play here. Get caught lying -- worse, lying by accusing someone else of fraud -- and you have two options: deal with it honourably or "back off" (until the next time, of course). I say that Jossi should be confronted directly on this. Either he's right, he's mistaken or he's lying. If he's right, I'M either mistaken or lying. Am I missing something? What?

This page is already becoming something is not supposed to be: Usenet. Please note that this page is to dicusss content. If you want to, you can politely air your grievances in Jossi's talk page User_talk:Jossifresco. Please keep this page on topic. Thanks. -- 04:01, 7 Jul 2004 (UTC)

Keeping on topic

I propose to archive this talk page. I'd just like to keep the initial bit by Andries about locking up the article, and one or two kind offers of help; plus ex-devotee Mary Moore's remarks about the difficulties of being objective after getting out; plus the most recent article-related talk. (I'll just leave all the personal remarks in the archive if anyone's interested.)

Somebody else could do this, of course. I'll check back in a few days, or sooner if I get a chance. --Uncle Ed 21:28, 7 Jul 2004 (UTC)

Yes Ed, go ahead. Just add some commentary after Andries' regarding NPOV with some links to relevant pages, for newbies' benefit. Although the article is stabilizing now, I will not be surprised if it heats up again later on. Thank you-- 22:37, 7 Jul 2004 (UTC)
While you are at it, can you delete the page Maharaji - Controversy instead of redirect? This is now in the main article.-- 22:56, 7 Jul 2004 (UTC)


I am now going through the article, trying to find substantiation/references for some of the assertions made.

Found a Office of the Chief of Chaplains (Dept. of Army) document from 1993 that substantiate section "Maharaji's Teachings' regarding lack of liturgy. Added to references. I am now verifying a few other references and wil post when validated. -- 23:24, 7 Jul 2004 (UTC)

After reading the section about Elan Vital/Maharaji in the Chaplains handbook and the lack of liturgy/social component stated there, what is our grounding for categorizing this in 'Category:New_religious_movements'? What constitutes a 'new religion'? Any brilliant ideas?-- 23:45, 7 Jul 2004 (UTC)

As I said above, the DLM was a NRM, which was a prominent part of the history of Prem Rawat so that justifies the category NRM, regardless of Prem Rawat's assertion that he didn't teach a religion and regardless of the question whether Elan Vital is a NRM.Andries 04:41, 8 Jul 2004 (UTC)
What .122 says is that this is not much to do with what Prem Rawat says or doesn't say, and what the DLM was or wasn't, but a lot to do with the reference provided. That reference from the US Army is too strong to ignore. If for them it is not a religion, then it isn't, unless another reference to the contrary can be provided and added. - 05:20, 8 Jul 2004 (UTC), I have to admit that scholarly works are the basis for Wikipedia articles, but apart from the references, I think, that one should use common sense. When I read the early excerpts from Maharaji's speeches with its many references to Hindu mythology, Sikh/Sant Mat terms and the Bhagavad Gita then the assertion that DLM was not a NRM sounds ridiculous to me. Elan Vital is mentioned in the serious Religieuze bewegingen in Nederland vol. 4/Religious movements in the Netherlands (which I have not read) edited by Reender Kranenborg and in Eileen Barker's NRM: a practical Introduction and in David V. Barrett The New Believers: Sects, 'Cults' and Alternative Relgion Now that I am reading the latter it does say that the DLM was a NRM and that Maharaji was a guru. Andries 16:35, 8 Jul 2004 (UTC)

Dispute status?

The page has been stable for a couple of days. Although not all facts presented in the article are 100% checked & substantiated, I think it presents a pretty decent NPOV. I am removing the totallydisputed template, toning down to disputed, leaving the controversial template for a while. -- 15:33, 8 Jul 2004 (UTC)

You've got to be kidding! There is no way in the world that the current article is anything close to NPOV. Frankly, with all your talk of NPOV, I think you guys don't really have the faintest clue what fair reportage looks like. Here's an example. Referring to Rawat's "Peace Bomb" satsang. the article now states:

Some critics interpret this speech as a declaration of divinity[3] ( The FAQ of one of the organizations that support his work (See Elan Vital), rebuts this by saying that in Indian culture it is routinely declared the Guru as God or even greater than God. To the man on the street in India, "Guru is greater than God" is a common statement.[4] ( They also say that in India the title of "Lord" is given on the the basis of affection or admiration[5]

First, it's clearly not just "some critics" who would interpret this speech as a declaration of divinity. ANYONE would! Have you actually read the piece?

Here's yet another sample:

In the Bhagavad Gita, the Lord says that whenever religion becomes corrupted and evil increases, He takes a human body and manifests in this world to destroy evil and to protect His devotees. All of you must know very well what is happening to religion and Knowledge in the materialistic age. All the time, the latest models are being built, the latest fashions are being designed. Day by day men are striving to improve the quality and appearance of their inventions. And today I have to say with sorrow that the Knowledge which was once firmly established in this land of India has been slowly disappearing. But when the Lord saw that the troubles His devotees were having to endure had reached the final point, He said, "My devotees can bear it no longer", and then manifested Himself in a human body. So He has now come to reveal the lost Knowledge and to restore true peace. The Lord, the True Saint, the True Guru Maharaj Ji has incarnated in this world. So, in this ground, where one moment ago I expressed sorrow, I now praise the fate of India. I do not have the words to express how fortunate we are that the Lord's Grace always saves us from destruction and makes us His lovers.

So, dear premies, we Indians have a duty and that duty is to forget that self-esteem which makes you lazy and to destroy those things that separate you from God. Only accept that which is of God, which is one with the Name of God, and from which every ray of the Light of God comes. Accept that and show the Western world that in this degrading age, we are the same Indians as before. The Lord, Guru Maharaj Ji, has brought the same Grace with Him that He brought for us before, and if you are not receiving it then come to me.

How could anyone dispute that this was a declaration of divinity? Further, how could anyone give any credence at all to EV's FAQ's about this? Just because they deny reality doesn't mean they have a legitimate viewpoint that deserves acknowledgement. Doesn't your cherished NPOV have a component of reasonableness?

And that's just one example. If this is the best Wikipedia can do, then it's clearly not up to the job of profiling controversial subjects. You must have a threshold reasonableness standard and exercise some discrimination. You guys are so quick to suggest that because I'm an ex-member I can't have the same NPOV you do. That's a smug, ad hominem and conclusory opinion that doesn't stand up to the light of day. The real question is who's willing to consider the evidence, fairly and reasonably. Anyone can do that if they're careful.

Assessment comment

The comment(s) below were originally left at Talk:Prem Rawat/Comments, and are posted here for posterity. Following several discussions in past years, these subpages are now deprecated. The comments may be irrelevant or outdated; if so, please feel free to remove this section.

See my comments in the peer review --plange 02:58, 25 October 2006 (UTC)

Last edited at 02:58, 25 October 2006 (UTC). Substituted at 21:55, 3 May 2016 (UTC)