The Greedy Guru, TV Investigation
An investigation into Prem Rawat's activities in South East Queensland was broadcast on "A Current Affair" - a current affairs program airing weeknights on the Nine Network of TV channels - as the 'Greedy Guru' on 24 September 2015. A video of the segment and a transcript are available here. The show featured interviews with Mike Finch and Gail Benton, life-partners and long time Rawatian devotees who had had very "successful careers" as top flight honchos, initiators, credit-card-financed instructors and inner-circle premies until they saw the light.
The show featured some footage of premies kissing his feet and some interviews with premies at Amaroo poo-poohing the possibility that they were in a cult. Rawat is still the one and only source of authority and power in his organisations and his followers still engage in acts of worship that he encourages (if not demands) so their complaints (as formally made by the Ivory's Rock Foundation) were acts of the highest hypocrisy.
In March 2016, the Australian Communications and Media Authority (the ACMA) commenced an investigation (A .pdf of the ACMA report is available here) under section 170 of the Broadcasting Services Act 1992 (the BSA) into a complaint about:
- a segment on A Current Affair (ACA) broadcast on Nine by Queensland Television Ltd on 24 September 2015
- a program promotion for that segment broadcast on Nine by Queensland Television Ltd on 24 September 2015 at 5.45pm and 6.25pm.
The complainant alleges that the segment and program promotion, concerning Mr Prem Rawat and the Ivory's Rock Foundation (IRF), contained inaccuracies. The complainant alleges:
- […] the Broadcast as a whole clearly (and falsely) implies to the ordinary, reasonable viewer
- IRF and/or Prem Rawat "is charging followers thousands to kiss his feet";
- Prem Rawat receives personal gain from attending conferences held there; and
- That IRF and/or Prem Rawat are violating Tax and/or Charity Regulations.
The ACMA investigated compliance against clause 4.3 [accuracy] and clause 4.5 [accuracy – current affairs promotion] of the Commercial Television Industry Code of Practice January 2010 (the Code).
The complaints were rejected.
Interviewee A: The people line up and kiss his feet.
[Footage of Prem Rawat over the years, including video of him having his feet kissed]
Interviewee B: And he would do blessings from the stage and his dance and all the rest of it. Now why would he do that, you know, if he wasn't portraying this godly figure.