OCT. 26-NOV. 1, 1973 BERKELEY BARB PAGE 3
WHOSE UFO ARE YOU FO
Two weeks ago a couple of Alabamans shuffled shakily into their local police station to report that they had been picked up by silver-skinned creatures with claws for hands, taken aboard a weird-looking spacecraft, and scanned by an enormous eyeball-like camera for twenty minutes.
The next day a receiving station in Russia reported hearing periodic, perfectly-timed signals from outer space.
After that the floodgates blew. .Hundreds of people all over the country, including the Governor of Ohio, reported strange darting objects in the sky, flying saucers landing in pastures, and odd silvery creatures walking down highways.
While some of us look at all this with kind of guarded interest, others are surprised that anybody's surprised. "The UFO's have come for Millenium '73" explains Lynn Domenico of a local. Divine Light Mission without batting an eyelash.
Millenium '73 is a world festival, the Mission has planned for early November, in the Houston Astrodome, at which time "15year-old" Perfect Master Guru Maharaj Ji will announce to the world his "practical plan for the salvation of humanity" and begin 1000 years of perfect peace on earth. "This is absolutely the most important, most Holy event in the history of the planet — no, in the history of the universe," continues Lynn, breathlessly enthusiastic. "It's no wonder extraterrestial beings will want to be there."
Stretching from Boston to Houston, a pilgrimmage called Soul Rush will lead the way to Millenium. "If you've noticed the cities in which UFO's have been sighted," continues Lynn, "you know that every one of them is in the path of Soul Rush. We had a festival last year in England and the UFO's showed up for that one too, except they made a mistake in their calculations and arrived a day late."
Perhaps the most colorful explanation for the strange phenomenon, however, comes from Thera Taylor of the World Family in Berkeley. "What's happening now is that the seed is being sown in human consciousness that we're not alone in the universe -- that there are other life forces," she explains. "We're heading towards a time when they will openly present themselves and make contact with us."
Allen No onan, the Family's founder and author of recently-published "To the Youth of the World," claims to have been first contacted by extraterrestial beings in 1949. Since then, he says, he's received regular briefings from Higher Beings of Galactic Space Command, headquartered outside our Solar System, but presently working within it.
"Allen was told that the Higher Beings would back up the appearance of his first book with demonstrations," explains Thera. Strangely enough, the book appeared on October 12, the same day as the first UFO incident in Alabama. "People need information about this sort of thing -- they need something to connect with so they can begin to accept Allen's channeling. As the book is distributed and circulates, the flying saucers will start making more and more appearances."
Then she gets really weird. "We've been given the date of 1076 as the time when the Higher Beings will make open contact. Right now the Galactic Command is preparing the island of Maui, one of the Hawaiian Islands, as a base. That's where they'll begin unloading things. When they first start coming in. What they'll do is send mother ships in first, which will circle the planet, sending out music."
Whew! After all that I kinda needed to get my feet back to earth, so I thought I'd call my old friends the Jesus freaks and see what they make of all this.
"Resurrection City. Can I help you?"
"Hey, what do you people think about UFO's?"
"UFO's?" There's a long pause. "Well, the Bible says that in the last days there will be signs and wonders in the heavens, but not to pay attention to them."
That's what I like. Good ol' American pragmatism.
GODS FIGHT FOR SPACE
It was just a matter of time - but now it's happened.
An open confrontation has broken out between members of the Hare Krishna movement and followers of the 15-year-old guru, Maharaj Ji.
Hare Krishna members marched on the sidewalks in front of the guru's world headquarters building in Denver this week, handing out leaflets, and challenging allegations that the 15-year-old guru is really "God".
The Hare Krishna leaflet was entitled "who is Maharaj Ji?" - and then went on to label the 15year-old self-professed world savior as a fraud. Krishna followers charged that the young guru, who maintains luxurious homes and personal limousines throughout the world, is amassing great personal wealth. The Krishna leaflet insisted that the young guru "was having as much difficulty as anyone else in abstaining from illusory world plea-ures."
Said the Krishna demonstrators: "Does this small pudgy boy really fit those qualifications (of God)?"
In the meantime, members of the Divine Light Mission headquarters continued to defend the young guru -- insisting that the 15-year-old Indian boy does not claim to be God, but merely God's chosen emissary.
Several Divine Light followers added one other bizarre element to the guru's claim to "perfect knowledge": explaining the recent flying saucer sightings to reporters, Divine Light members said the UFO's were from the planet Neptune, and that the space creatures were planning to attend next month's Divine Light Mission rally in the Houston Astrodome.
One guru devotee said that the Neptunians had contacted the young guru personally, and that they are interested in establishing a Divine Light Mission on Neptune --(ZNS)
by Dave Haldane
Rennie Davis got pelted with tomatoes in Berkeley last spring when he told former Movement colleagues that 15-year-old Guru Maharaj Ji, self-proclaimed God, was telling the Truth.
Well, things just haven’t been the same since then. Hardly had the tomato stains solidified on the stage of Zellerbach Auditorium when war broke out in the Mideast, tremors shook both coasts, the US Government tottered to the verge of collapse, and little silver men with claws for hands and holes for faces were reported running around with weird-looking cameras.
Rennie, meanwhile, floats coast to coast on a cloud of ethereal vapor telling people not to worry, that the Millenium (1000 years of perfect peace) begins in Houston on November 8. Amazing courage, that man. But I like people with courage. So when Divine Light Mission press secretary Lynn Domenico suggested an interview, I thought GOOD! In the absence of tomatoes, on his turf and not ours, a chance to ask the man point blank what the hell he’s up to.
DH: What the hell are you up to, Rennie?
DH: I mean, isn’t this whole thing a little rediculous?
RD: Actually, it struck me the same way at first, (chuckle) I guess the thing that was most bizarre to me was hearing people say that they actually believed Guru Maharaj Ji was God, who had come to the planet to put the world back together again. Immediately for me that triggered, "Oh, this is a religion." You know, I’m pretty clear on religions. Religion never struck me as something I wanted to put a lot of energy into.
DH: What led up to your conversion, then?
RD: It’s certainly the last thing I would have expected. I don’t know, I’ve always been kind of reflective, kind of in touch with things, and going through pretty much what everybody else was, you know. I was getting more into spirituality and doing some yoga … When Lyndon Johnson died I felt we were really entering a dark age. I kept telling everyone, this is gonna be a dark age and people have to overcome their fear of death or they’re going to freak out. I was thinking it might be nice to spend some time just reflecting, meaitating. I was in the country for a bit, but in no sense dropping out. Then I thought, well, if I’m gonna do some meditation I should have a meditation technique or something. I was thinking about this and that, and then I thought well, It will come to me — whatever’s right for me will come to me, because I was experiencing already at that time coincidents. I would have an idea and I would go to a book store and the perfect book would just pop out of the shelf at me, but I was sort of not telling anybody about it. But it wasn’t coming, what the meditation should be. And just before I went to Paris, I said to my-; yelf, "I really wish somebody would come and show me what to do," and I said it really from inside, like a little prayer to myself. Two weeks later I was with Guru Maharaj Ji.
DH: Well, I look at Maharaj Ji and see a 15-year-old fat kid from India who drives fancy cars around, wears diamond rings, and claims to be God. What do you see in him?
RD: I first heard about Guru Maharaj Ji on the plane trip to Paris. I spent most of that trip with two people who’s politics were very much like my own — who weren’t flipped out at all, but incredibly together. Their’ main message to me was that any analysis or idealogy that you might have for interpreting world events is going to prove more and more useless as a tool in explaining what will be coming down in the next two to five years on this planet. Unless you understand the central event in the world today you will become more and more confused, frustrated, and finally threatened by the unfolding of this time. Their view was that this central event is Guru Maharaj Ji and that everything unfolding is a consequence of Guru Maharaj Ji’s presence here on eart. Guru Maharaji Ji himself put it this way; "Life is like a chess game. Very soon now the world will be checkmated." Human imagination is gonna be blown by what is about to unfold — as we’re seeing it in the Mideast as we re seeing it in the White House, as we’re seeing it with the comet, as we’re seeing it with the tremors up and down both coasts.
DH: But how did they ever convince you that a fat kid is God?
RD: I went over those obstacles that Guru Maharaj Ji seems to litter his path with, with a little bit of difficulty. Not so much though, because, again, on this plane ride as I was making all' these kinds of arguments to my friends who said that Guru Maharaj Ji was the most profound ‘ event in the history of the planet— "Well, what about the smuggling case, and what., about his cars, and what about this and that" -- they said, well, the thing you should „do is follow Guru Maharaj Ji’s advice. Guru Maharaj Ji’s advice is, don’t judge what I am until you receive what I can give you. And these friends of mine on the plane went on to assert that everything they were saying was verifiable, and it was verifiable in terms that I could relate to, that is, no faith or belief was being suggested. Nothing but direct evidence — direct experience. I told them I didn’t believe in God, and they said fine. Now, nobody’s asked me to believe in anything. But if someone can show you, then you believe. You know, it’s as if, if I had a box in my hand and I said to you, take a look through the hole in this box and you’ll see God. And you say, oh man you must’ve fallen out of a banana tree, you’re crazy. And I say, no, listen, you take a look in here and I’m tellin’ you, you’ll, see God. So you say you don’t believe in God. And I say, I’m not asking you to believe, man, just take a look in here and tell me what you see. And you say, this is ridiculous, you must be joking. And I say, well, eight million people just came up and took a look and they all went away saying they saw God, so why don’t you take a look and then you tell me what YOU see. Now, essentially this is what Maharaj Ji is saying, only it’s not a box, it’s a human body, and the body is your own. You experience this Knowledge that Guru Maharaj Ji reveals in the classic way that all the scriptures talk about God; God is light, God is a vibration, a primordial vibration.
DH: OK, let’s look at it in terms mf a social movement. What are the goals of this movement and what’s the strategy?
RD: The goal is to bring about the greatest change in the history of human civilization. The strategy is to show people, through the change taking place in our lives and through speaking to people, that Guru Maharaj Ji has a gift that can transform the human race. It’s a, very practical took and anybody who’s a human being can receive
OCT. 26-NOV. 1, 1973 BERKELEY BARB PAGE 3
MARXIST-GURUIST RENNIE DAVIS, TELLS BARB - GOD AM A FAT KID
it. It eliminates greed, arrogance, ego, all concepts of separatism which is the fundamental basis for’ aggressiveness sexism, racism …
DH: So you're talking about a change in consciousness.
RD: Yeah, a change in consciousness by the realization of who we really are and what it is that's keeping us alive. Now, to a Marxist like myself, this seems to be a turnaround, a different perspective on what causes human suffering, and' I do think that the Marxist framework right now is under considerable challenge by the scientific community. We’ve always taken the view that ideas and values grow out of the material conditions and arrangements of a society — that capitalism produces an educational System that reinforces the status quo. Guru Maharaj Ji'sviewisthat actually ideas create the material situation that we live in — that Hegel was right instead of Marx, although He wouldn’t use those words. People like Uri Geller, who cantake a metal piece of iron and twist it into a pretzel with a thought un-' der laboratory conditions-at Stanford Research Institute are shaking all known laws of cosmology by suggesting that with a thought you can rearrange the material situation in a fundamental way. 1 More and .more, I think, science is coming to say that mind over matter is really the reality of the situation. Guru Maharaj Ji is saying, essentially, that our minds are’ one entity in the human race and that mental thoughts as a race literally create the conditions in which we’re now living.
DH: Rennie, you’ve certainly been with movements before. Aren’t you a little afraid of a movement like this one, centered around a single personality? Isn’t that dangerous?
RD: Well, that’s certainly my view, based on all my experience— except for the fact of who Guru Maharaj Ji is. You know; we’re all going to develop an incredible perspective on the sixties — what the Movement was really all about, and what was going on over those years. For now, I think that the political movement, those who were into the political metaphor (and some who still are) have to feel pretty freaked out by the Divine Light Mission. I mean, here’s a 15-year-old Guru putting together in incredible nation-wide organization just like that! I would have given anything if the Movement You know, the only thing that could justify any of this to my way of thinking, is if it’s true. Otherwise it has all the appearances of something that we would have learned, from our experience, not to be part of. I mean, if it’s actually true that the Creator Himself is on the planet, and He’s in a body, and He’s decided that the generation of the sisties, which was a generation of peace, should be the generation to bring about the greatest transformation in the history of the planet — it’s not only practical, but it’s going to happen. Only Guru Maharaj Ji is the kind of leadership that was just a little bit of a surprise.
DH: Especially when he get’s busted for smuggling diamonds.
RD: That happened when a festival was taking place in India and a suitcase full of contributions to Divine Light Missions was brought across the border by one of the premies. It was declared at customs, but through a mixup and I think, through the conscious efforts of some customs agents who had decided that this might be an opportune time to make an issue of what Guru Maharaj Ji is all about — we got hassled. You know, Guru Maharaj Ji arrives at the airport in India and half a million people turn up. At the age of twelve he was convening the largest assemblage in the history
GOD AM A FAT KID
of the world. There’s a lot of politicians^ who are very freaked out by Him as a potential political th reate. The idea of the Lord of the Universe smuggling watches and money is a pretty funny joke, though. It’s kind of delightful in a way. After all, He said He would come .as a thief in the night.
DH: Yea, Divine Light Mission must have lots of bread by now.
RD: No, that’s really a joke. We’re not’rich at all. To me it’s very much like the Movement of the sixties in the sense that people work, pool their money, and things get done. It’s just unheard of to spend any money on yourself. There’s such an incredible and beautiful dedication. Ifl’ve ever experienced communism, it’s here.
DH: Tell me about Millenium *73. T hear you’re renting the Houston Atrodume.
RD: Guru Maharaj Ji has said it’s the most Holy and significant - event in the history of the planet. He’s going to announce a concret program to restore peace on earth. I think it’s an opportunity for Him to make a formal presentation of His gift to the world. He says that this event will be the founding convention for a new international organization that will take this gift things even when it turned out I was right. But I’m so clear on this now. The only feeling I have is that I want to reach out to people who are distraught and upset with what I’m doing and try somehow to cummunicate to them that this the time for the greatest joy in the world. Where we were coming from in. the sixties really has a profound meaning that is going to blow everybody’s mind.
DH: What will the new society you say is being ushered in by Guru Maharaj Ji be like? What will its politics be, how will it be structured? What about the family?
RD: I have a glimpses of it, but not a complete picture. I know that life is being defined around a concept that we call service. Service is the idea that it doesn’t matter what role you play. You can be someone who washes laundry or you can be the mayor of a city; it literally doesn’t m a 11 e r because the only function of service is to realize Knowledge. You will discover that if you do everything in f selfless service that humanity will come together and one will play exactly that function that was designed by nature that they play, p DH; So you don’t try and impose a particular structure?
RD: No, it’s more like the idea that there is something beyond human mind that religions have called God’s Will. Now that Guru Maharaj Ji’s here, it’s very clear — he just tells us what to do. People freak out when they hear that, but actually that’s what it comes down to. You begin to sense who Guru Maharaj Ji is and you see that the role of human beings is not to be master, but to be servant. You find it’s not like being a slave. It’s the most joyous place in the world to be. In the city that we build there'll be a structure and there’ll be people in certain positions, butyou can move easily — the mayor of the city to being the gardener and viceversa. Everyone is just doing what they’re being asked to do and everyone plays a function. Everything flows because you know that the fundamental function is just to do service, and service is the aim of life. We'll ,see a city in which the basic commodity will not be money, motored by profit or competition, but service.
DH: Do you think the war in the Mideast has particular spiritual significance?
RD: Everything that’s happening in the world is spinning around the central event of Guru Maharaj Ji. Basically the pattern of events that is now going to unfold is going to reduce people down to # | a humbleness and let people realize that man is not in control of this Creation, but that God is, and God is now on the planet. Really, the war in the Mideast is going to freak this country out, but in one , way we can be very joyous about ’ it because it’s the last war. I rather get the sense that it country saying "Praise the Lord" and "Milleniumis here" and’Tt’s Revelations time," I would’ve been m ay require some very heavy incensed! Particularly when the things to get the whole world on I political movement is having such- its hands and knees. It’s time for | to every nation. He says that the difficulty right now, when we need the surrender of human civilizafirst project of this international ----- organization will be to build a city, probably in the United States, that will be a practical demonstration of the feasability of establishing Heaven on earth. And he says that this event will usher in a thousand years of Peace.
DH: When you tried to tell people that in Berkeley a few months ago you were hooted off the stage amidst flying.tomatoes. Is it painful to be rejected like that? Why do they throw tomatoes at you?
RD: I see it as a completely natural reaction. I think if the situation were reversed and I had come back from Paris without having heard about Maharaj Ju, and was continuing to deal with the situation^ in South Vietnam, particuarly the prisoners there, and folowing Watergate and all the other things, and a close political friend of mine was into a guru from India and running all across the country saying "Praise the Lord" and "Millenium is here" and 'Vs Revelations time," I would've been incensed! Particularly when the political movement is having such. difficulty right now, when we need all of the strength we can possibly get. I don't think it would ever have occurred to me that a person doing this, with all the crazyness we see around us, could possibly be right.
So, the reaction of people to me is most human, most natural. I feel an enormous responsibility to people. I'm not just another• individual who has found a guru and now can freely go around proseletyzing. When I speak, because of the media and because of my activities over these years, it tends to represent something. What right do I have to speak at all when the people who have, in a sense, put me in this position don't support or agree? A most fundamental question is raised by this activity. If I was only 99.999% sure that it's true, I wouldn't dare say a word.
I've done things before where I was out on a limb and I've often wondered whether it was the right thing even when it turned out I was right. But I'm so clear on this now. The only feeling I have is that T want to reach out to people who are distraught and upset with what I'm doing and try somehow to cummunicate to them that this the time for the greatest joy in the world. Where we were coming from in the sixties really has a prodound meaning that is going to blow everybody's mind.
DH: What will the new society you say is being ushered in by Guru Maharaj Ji be like? What will its politics be, how will itbe structured? What about ,the family?
RD: I haver glimpses of it, but not a complete picture. I know that life is being defined around a concept that we call service. Service is the idea that it doesn't matter what role you play. You can be someone who washes laundry or you can be the mayor of a city; it literally doesn't matter because the only function of service is to realize Knowledge. You will discover that if you do everything in selfless service that humanity will come together and one will play exactly that function that was designed by nature that they play.
DH: So you don't try and impose a particular structure?
RD: No, it's more like the idea that there is something beyondhuman mind that religions have called God's Will. Now that Guru Maharaj Ji's here, it's very clear - he just tells us what to do. People freak out when they hear that, but actually that's what it comes down to. You begin to sense who Guru Maharaj Ji is and you see that the role of human beings is not to be master, but to be servant. You find it's not like being a slave. It's the most joyous place in the world to be.
We'll see a city in which the basic commodity will not be money, motored by profit or competition, but service.
DH: Do you think the war in the Mideast has particular spiritual significance?
RD: Everything that's happening in the world is spinning around the central event of Guru Maharaj Ji. Basically the pattern of events that is now going to unfold is going to reduce people down to a humbleness and let people realize that man is not in control of this Creation, but that God is, and God is now on the planet. Really, the war in the Mideast is going to freak this country out, but in one way we can be very joyous about it because it's the last war.
I rather get the sense that it may require some very heavy things to get the whole world on its hands and knees. It's time for the surrender of human civilization. The moment we can surrender we'll have heaven on earth. Until then we're going to see difficulties the likes of which are unimaginable.
The day after this Millenium '73 event a comet will be visible in the sky. It's come closer and get brighter -- they'll send the skylab up to check it out. It'll come zooming in and as it gets closer and closer there'll be a fear across the nation and the people will remember the prophesies about the comet being the last warning. Then there'll be speculation that maybe the comet will cause tidal waves on th west coast and on the east coast, and tidal waves will be caused.
The Light of the World is now in the world, and one part's going to get brighter and brighter and more and more joyous and the other part is going to get darker) and darker and darker.