Ken Kelley - Journalist
Ken Kelley was a journalist who became interested in the Divine Light Mission in 1973 and who wrote about it widely in the early 1970s. He was a charismatic "wild man" who began in the White Panther Party, wrote for the underground press and became an interviewer for Playboy magazine interviewing such luminaries as George H.W. Bush, Maya Angelou, Ray Bradbury and Abbie Hoffman. He has not interviewed Prem Rawat for Playboy as Rawat is neither famous, infamous or talented enough to warrant such exposure. Kelley was involved in a bizarre life-is-stranger-than-art-incident when he protected anti-gay activist, Anita Bryant, from a gay activist who tried to throw a pie at her during a speaking engagement though he was gay himself. As far as is known, no fan of Ms Bryant attempted to kill the pie-thrower with a hammer to the head as did Mahatma Fakiranand and Richard Fletcher attempt to kill Pat Halley for pie-ing Prem Rawat the Guru Maharaj Ji though Kelley's life was threatened by fans of Ms Bryant after his story and interview with her was published.
He knew Rennie Davis well, spent a lot of time with premies, attended Millenium '73 for Ramparts magazine and there was probably no other journalist with such an intimate knowledge of Divine Light Mission. Unfortunately a book Kelley was writing - "Brave New Bliss" - was never published. He died in gaol in 2012.
Tonight I have an appointment with Rennie Davis to discuss his newborn self and the salvation of all mankind. Some months ago, Rennie shed his former political activism to receive the Divine Knowledge being offered by Guru Maharaj Ji, the fifteen-year-old Indian who claims to be an incarnation of God sent to humanity to bring us a thousand years of peace.
The fact is, he says, that in the next few years the entire world is destined to recognize the Perfect Master Maharaj Ji. Perfect Master will trigger an awakening of our consciousness which will allow us to plug into the ground of Being - God - Divine Energy - and to realize the full potential of that energy within us. The Perfect Master's Knowledge will abolish all greed, hunger, violence, will bring a thousand years of world peace such as we have never witnessed in recorded history. The Millennium will begin on November 8, in the Houston Astrodome, where the Perfect Master will give his practical plan for world peace …
"Then the older man told me to close my eyes, which I did, while he walked behind me. I heard the sound of metal scraping metal, and I thought it must be some kind of flashlight they used to produce the divine light or something. Then I saw the light all right - and (missing few words) was going on till I heard my blood splatter on the wall." He screamed, the men fled.
Articles written by Ken Kelley:
- Blissed Out With The Perfect Master Ramparts magazine, July 1973, Page 32-34
- Black Jack Love - New York Review of Books, December 13, 1973
- Guru Goons Loose - Fifth Estate Magazine, December 1973, Volume 8 No. 18
- Get Your Red-Hot Panaceas! The New York Times, January 19, 1974
- Over the Hill at 16 - Ramparts Magazine, February 1974
- I See The Light - Penthouse Magazine, July 1974
Ken Kelley moderates a debate between Rennie Davis and Paul Krassner
Kelley was quoted or referenced in the following publications:
- Blissing Out in Houston - New York Review of Books, December 13, 1973
- The Guru Game: Peace which passeth all understanding. - Ramparts Magazine - July 1973, page 26-35, 47-57.
- What's Behind the 15-Year-Old Guru Maharaj Ji? - The Realist Magazine, December 1973, No 97-C
- Youth Culture Religious Movements: Evaluating the Integrative Hypothesis Robbins, Anthony & Curtis in The Sociological Quarterly 16 (Winter 1975):48-64
- The Origin, Development, and Decline of a Youth Culture Religion Thomas Pilarzyk in Review of Religious Research, Vol. 20, No. 1. (Autumn, 1978), pp. 23-43
- Worshipping The Absurd Daniel A. Foss and Ralph W. Larkin (Rutgers University), in Sociological Analysis, 1978. Page 157-164.
- From Slogans To Mantras by Stephen Kent