This page has been copied from the ex-premie web-site and is a record of some emails between Jean-Michel ??? and Will Ganz aka Sitaram aka Rampuri in which Ganz pontificates at length mainly about what an incredible person he is/was and how stupid, ignorant, opportunistic and low caste everybody else is. It's hilarious to consider Rampuri could set anything "straight" with his background of chillum-sucking, stoned sadhu-hood.
See Also Sitaram Answers Questions -:- (2002-11-15 01:01)
+++++++ 1st email ++++++++
I was just doing a little research on a book I'm working on, and came across our exchanges of emails a couple years back in An Indian Perspective on Maharaji's Teachings and the forum of last year that commented on that.
I certainly didn't intend at the time for that to be public, but I'm happy that you put it out there. I wish I could have been a participant at that forum. I find that, at that forum, little things were discussed as opposed to big things. The M thing is certainly not unique, and there is great knowledge (excuse the word, please) to be gained in understanding just how to excavate the phenomena and where to put it in the scheme of things and their ordering.
Yes, the rumours of my death were grossly overexagerated. But I am curious, for I did do urine kalpa as part of my yoga sadhana in the early seventies when I was with Gangotri Baba in Kumaun. And, by the way, as gross as it may sound, it brought me great benefits, although I will admit that I haven't done it since!
To set History straight: Richard Friedricks was the first premie in America, in West Virgina, initiated in London. I don't know if I ever met him, he didn't figure into things when I was around.
Alan Watts DID put in the first money. Burt Kleiner, who had originally introduced me to Alan in the sixties, was ultimately behind the donation. I went to see him, first, when I arrived in the States. An old family friend, he had made a considerable fortune in the equities market, and was partner in the firm, Kleiner Bell. He was always giving money to good causes, Free Clinic, Diggers, etc., in the sixties, so I thought he was the man. Since he was ALSO the money behind the Alan Watts Foundation, he put some money in my pocket for expenses, and sent me to see Alan up in Sausalito on his houseboat, and told Alan to give me whatever I asked for. We had a great time, I'll tell you some of those stories later, he loved my stories about India and Boy Gods, and gave me $10,000 to start things off. He never got involved beyond that. He was a brilliant man, one of the most brilliant I've met, and very funny. He had this cutting British sense of humour.
I rented a small house next to the Hollywood Bowl in LA, and acquired a 'following' of 20-30 people for chanting and meditating, Indian food, and satsang, usually twice a week. Monday and Friday. Shiva and Shakti. I put flyers out at Bodhi Tree Bookstore, never using the name Divine Light Mission, which sounded Christian Missionary or Salvation Army to me. In fact, I changed the name I used on every flyer, Shiva Sangha, Temple of Divine Eye, Durga Puja, Shiva Puja, Temple of Goddess, the Akhara.
I sent the money for M's tickets as instructed by his mother. Joan Aptor arrived in LA only days before M. She took over phones and secretarial, stuff that I hated. I just wanted to be a baba in India.
So, if there were others giving the satsang in the beginning, who were they? There were only three of us who had any experience and had been in India. Gary Girard, who's involvement grew after I left and Joan. Charananand spoke, M spoke, and I spoke. The 'inner circle' consisted of us three. And I initiated hundreds of people.
Don't get me wrong, I certainly am not proud of my involvement. If my ego is to swell, the DLM could never be its cause. In the years after I left, I regretted that I had brought so many people into that and tried to expiate the 'sin' as it were. I even made a forray into Prem Nagar in Hardwar, where I delivered a fiery satsang (probably 1972) causing almost every foreigner to leave.
What Bob Mishler and his friends did to the 'movement' was unforgivable. They took the free spirit, the celebration of life and consciousness out of it, got rid of the flowers and long hair, and made it sectarian, made it a Christian inspired straight religion, something almost everybody I attracted to the movement strongly rejected.
When Bob convinced Charananand to convince M to move from Boulder to Denver, because there were more people there, normal people, not freaks like are here in Boulder. … Well, that ended it, that ended the magic. Most of the aware awakened people left, and it started to crystallize that a religion was been shaped, and quite frankly, that was neither where I was coming from then, nor the great people we attracted in LA, San Francisco, and Boulder. I continued, but had to be convinced from M. I had just turned 21 at the time!
Best of luck to you in your ordeal with lawyers and such.
Best wishes to you and blessings from India.
+++++ 2nd email ++++++
Thanks for your reply.
You are so right about Bob. M was just too young then. He was a very priviledged kid, who always had his way, like many priviledged kids everywhere, who could have any toy he wished. And like in India, where the priviledged kids of then and today are surrounded by servants, who they abuse, M had all these devotee/flunkies to play with. But to play with foreigners? Wow, that's the jackpot.
Charananand was an opportunist, a low caste guy that struck it rich. He was mom's man, at least until M was strong enough and rich enough, for C to leave mom's security. He was representing her interests when M first came.
I wasn't never planning stay in the states, and my focus was not on building an organization, I was more of an anarchist. My faith was more in the incredible people that seemed to spontaneously gather as I had seen in the sixties. I wanted to perform what I imagined to be my 'duty' my 'dharma' and get back to India. Living in a cave was fine with me. I didn't care about lear jets and sports cars (maybe I should have!!). I saw M as more of a patron to what I imagined at the time to be the vanguard of new western consciousness, largely inspired by psychedelic experience. Besides Alan Watts, I was in communication with Leary's people, a number of prominent sixties Haight Street personalities, Millbrook people, Brotherhood of Eternal Love, etc. Alan also put other people on to me. At 21, I was blown away by some of the people that came in. And when Alan's money ran out, it just came from everywhere, no not everywhere, but from a few contributers that were truly interested in consciousness expansion. There are people that I won't even mention for their possible infamy connected with psychedelics. And, I might add, there were a lot of psychedelics around, and the original people that came saw our emerging order more on the model of a Native American Church with a peyote sacriment rather than something straight and Christian-like that could attract the masses.
Bob was not psychedelic. He was, however, very bright. He saw fame and fortune, he saw this as a continuation of the Christian mythology. Convert the masses. People that are in the first stages of awakening don't want to convert masses! I can't even imagine it. Conversion is political, its part of the consumer society so many of us rejected; there's little spiritual about it, yet exploring one's consciousness is spiritual. It's not quantum mechanics or brain surgery to understand that.
Do you know I threw a typewriter at him one day! I completely lost it. It was before the big satsang at Mackey in Boulder. I had given him an innocuous poem by Kabir Das, and added some innocuous comments. He added this horrible stuff about only being SAVED by a sat guru, and this won't save you and that won't save you, only by coming to a true sat guru. There is only one way. I am the light, etc. I missed him as he jumped out of the way. It smashed against the wall. I made him print up new flyers. His big move, however, was that he shut out all the people who had contributed to the the movement up until then. The houses, the money, the food, the high energy, the medical care, the cars, the planes, everything. And I remember the many people who I had great respect for, coming up to me when Bob succeeded in getting us to "try out" Denver, after being shut out and asking me what I thought they should do, should they leave? And I told them yes.
In my pride and ego and jouvenile folly, I believed that Mouni Baba had entrusted me with this cosmic task of actually showing M the light! Not the divine light, that's for the gurus, but the light coming from wonderful people who seemed to spontaneously combust with new thinking and new consciousness that seemed to mirror Indian mysticism. And, in the end, the way you turn on the world, if that's what you want to do, is by example, by love and inclusion. Ahh - youthful folly! I see it as such a luxury!
Michler did the intelligent thing. Tighten the hatches, screw everything into place, and make a 'real' satguru out of the boy. Get rid of the Indian stuff, and give them good old Christianity reshaped for a new age. Hey, Martin Luthor got away with it!
It sounds to me like you are doing very good work. It's such a tragedy that so many well meaning serious and loving people were hijacked off a path that could have borne a different fruit. There are teachings here, however. The little blast I got way back then, meaning the delusion and hypocrisy, has been enough to last a lifetime, and encouraged me to get serious in finding out just who I am.
Very best to you Jean-Michel,
PS. Mike has my initiation date completely wrong by many months, and I was certainly not initiated with Joan Aptor.