"Peace Is Possible" - Dettmers excerpt, pp 250-251

At that time, Maharaji lost a key associate, who had been with him for nearly fifteen years. Michael Dettmers, a Canadian, had

Crisis          251

met Maharaji in 1976 and had rapidly replaced Bob Mishler as Maharaji's personal assistant. As Mishler had done before him, Michael attempted to convince Maharaji to focus on becoming a humanitarian leader and to let the instructors deal with the message of peace, but Maharaji was not interested.

In the '8os, while Dettmers was involved with Maharaji, he took Chilean philosopher Fernando Flores's two-year-long Ontological Design course. He became an avid follower of Flores and became more interested in the intellectual and philosophical complexities of Flores's philosophy than in Maharaji's message of peace and the practice of Knowledge.

He increasingly strove to implement the basics of Flores's sophisticated philosophy, which included "interpreting the world as constituted and invented in language," and "seeing that we live in interpretations, not in objective realities," and "seeing that we are biological, historical, and linguistic beings". Needless to say, there was quite a gap between this philosophy and Maharaji's message of the heart.

The gap widened when Dettmers attempted to apply Flores's complex philosophy to managing Maharaji's work. He even tried convincing Maharaji to incorporate the philosophy into his message. In spite of Dettmers's many requests, Maharaji never responded. When Dettmers, in an attempt to transform Maharaji's work into a profit-making business, tried to convince him to charge people for Knowledge, it became apparent that the divide between the two had become too wide to bridge.

In 1991, Dettmers left Maharaji, hoping to succeed as a business consultant. He moved to the Blue Mountains of North Carolina where he lived for a while in an isolated community. No one heard from him for years, until he resurfaced for a brief moment in 2002, making defamatory public statements about Maharaji online, only to disappear again. When he failed to become a successful business consultant, he moved to Florida where he was hired by a small exercise equipment manufacturing firm.


Neither Rawat, nor his associates, attempted legal action against Dettmers for these "defamatory" statements because in California truth is a successful defense aginst claims of defamation.

The "defamatory statements" about Rawat included:

He discusses his background with and beliefs in Rawat, Rawat's marriage problems, his own identity crisis in 1985 and Rawat's profligate lifestyle.
He discusses the Boeing 707, Rawat's "shameless lies", his understanding of Rawat's beliefs and childhood indoctrination.
He discusses the "drug culture" in Rawat's "Residence" (Rawat's homes are invariably spoken of by premies as "'The Residence", always capitalised) and the Mahatma Jagdeo child sexual abuse cover-ups.
He answers 4 questions during which he offhandedly makes the most damning criticisms of Rawat's character.
A long post about the events of 1976 in which the management attempted to "normalise" Divine Light Mission activities and business practices, Rawat's extravagant and illegal use of the organisation's funds and Mishler's ultimatum to Rawat. He also reveals that all the top managers of the DLM (apart from Bob Mishler who had married) were indulging in "illicit" sexual relationships despite living in the "ashram".
He answers questions about Rawat's accidental killing of a bicycle rider in India and it's "cover-up" and strongly recommends, after over 15 years' close association, that no one else place his or her trust in Rawat.
He answers questions about Rawat's occasional talks about "giving the whole thing away" and about Rawat's brother "Raja Ji"
He discusses Rawat's belief that his wife was having an affair and their marital therapy sessions and the failure of the "truth and openness sessions" with Will Schutz.