Pat Halley, The Shaving Cream Pie And The Heavenly Hammer
It made the front pages of the Detroit Free Press and the News and even rated a small mention in the New York Times and an article in the New York Review of Books. It received prime attention from the local TV news shows and a series of articles in the Fifth Estate an anarchist, anti-authoritarian periodical. It even warranted a full five minute feature on Walter Cronkite's national news: God had been hit in the face with a shaving-cream pie!
On Tuesday, August 7th, 4pm on the 13th floor of the Detroit City-County building in a small auditorium which functions as the formal meeting place for the Detroit Common Council public sessions. Followers of Prem Rawat (Guru Maharaj Ji) had convinced embarassingly naive councilwoman Erma Henderson to draft a key-to-the city resolution for their Perfect Master who they claimed was an emissary of peace, love and other humanitarian activities. These keys-to-the-city resolutions are rarely opposed but in this case Councilman David Eberhard, a Lutheran minister, voted against the resolution saying "I can't be part of supporting a fake." Meanwhile, a tongue-in-cheek "Demonstration Against God" sponsored by the Council for the Eruptive Anticipation of the Marvelous (CREAM) continued outside the building.
Rawat arrived in a powder blue Lincoln Continental (a car he's often talked about) with four men all dressed in expensive business suits and went up to the 13th floor where they waited while Councilman Mel Ravitz was delivering the day's first testimonial to someone who had designed a clever anti-gun media campaign. The press had been alerted that something would happen and were ready when an unkempt, bearded young man approached the Guru and his bodyguards carrying a bouquet of flowers behind which was a shaving cream-pie that he ceremoniously splatted in the face of the Guru Maharaj Ji, the 15-year-old "messiah" as a protest to puncture the pomposity and pretension of this self-proclaimed Lord of the Universe. The perpetrator was Pat Halley, an anarchist and reporter for the antiestablishment Fifth Estate magazine
The iconoclastic Halley slipped out the building during the confusion and escaped into the rush-hour pedestrian traffic. "The guru is just a slick businessman," Halley said. "I always wanted to throw a pie in God's face, he said. "God represents the ultimate in authority and I represent the ultimate in disrespect for authority." The guru, Halley said, "was radiating dollar signs of peace and love."
The guru immediately retreated to an inner hallway where quietly panicked aides wiped off the cream and tried to think what to say. The aides tried to bar reporters, but the guru held an impromptu press conference where he said: "This is nothing compared to the nails driven into the hands of Jesus." Later, the guru said: "I just want to apologise to that person who did that to me. I don't want him arrested or hurt. If someone doesn't understand something, he cannot be held responsible for what he does." While this explanation strained credulity the affair would have been forgotten as a joke if there had been no repercussions.
Pat Halley: I'd taken a pizza box and got some used flowers from a funeral home which is you know speaks for itself and took the flowers and made up a corsage covering this pizza box completely, it was completely covered over and we had a hole in the bottom of the pizza box in which we could hide a pie, a paper plate with shaving cream.
Security Guard: Guru Maharaj Ji is bound by America's love so He just comes and plays and you know it's just it's just too much you know much too much. (What does Maharaji do when he plays?) Pushes people in pools, shaving cream …
Unfortunately 55 year old Juteswar Misra, from India, and 25 year old Richard Fletcher from the USA decided, alone or in a conspiracy with other members of DLM, that this was a sacrilegious crime so unspeakable that it required capital punishment. Misra was better known as Mahatma Fakiranand, he was proclaimed a Great Soul, and he had initiated thousands of people in the USA into Rawat's "Knowledge." His accomplice was no ordinary premie either. At that time Divine Light Mission honchos considered themselves the reincarnations of famous saints. Fletcher and his twin brother John were considered the reincarnation of St. Peter. " They have the most incredible experiences on meditation - they meditate four and five days nonstop, just twenty-four hours a day," Rennie Davis told the press. "The whole house they're in just feels their vibration. Guru Maharaj Ji says they could really realize The Knowledge." Forty years later, nobody has realized The Knowledge, not Richard Fletcher and especially not Rennie Davis who is deeper into bombastic bullshit than ever.
Click Here for more information about the attempted murder of Pat Halley by "Mahatma" Fakiranand and Richard Fletcher (the "reincarnation of St Peter").
- Soul Rush by Sophia Collier
- The Guru Gets Pied, Insider Histories of the Vietnam Era Underground Press, Part 2
- Appendix 1: Looking For Utopia by Patrick Halley
- The Spiritual Supermarket by Robert Greenfield
- Soul Rush by Sophia Collier
- 'God' Gets Pie In Face The Fifth Estate Magazine, August 18-August 31, 1973
- Guru's Secret The Fifth Estate Magazine, September 1-14, 1973 Volume 8 No. 11
- Perfect Master On The Ropes Rolling Stone Magazine, Issue No145 October 11, 1973
- People You Should Forget: Guru Maharaj Ji by Gilbert Choate Viva Magazine, November 1973
- The Little Guru Without a Prayer by Richard Levine Rolling Stone Magazine, March 14 1974
- Guru Goons Loose The Fifth Estate Magazine, December 1973 Volume 8 No. 18
- Blackjack Love by Ken Kelley The New York Review of Books, December 13, 1973
- Million Dollar Religion Ripoff by Ernie Baxter Argosy, August 1974
- I See The Light by Ken Kelley Penthouse magazine, July 1974
- Whos's Who in Gurus by Dennis Bartel Harpers magazine: November 1983
- No Way To Treat A Guru The Detroit Free Press, August, 1973
- Guru Maharaj Ji Says: 'All I Promise Is Peace' Harvard Crimson, August 7, 1973
- Guru gets Testimonial And Some Pie In The Face The New York Times, August 8, 1973
- GURU SET FOR HONOR, GETS PIE IN FACE INDEPENDENT (AM) PRESS-TELEGRAM (PM) Long Beach, Calif., Wed., August 8, 1973
- 15-Year-Old Guru Slapped in Face by Shaving Cream Pie The Los Angeles Times, August 8, 1973
- Guru Lathered by Non-Believer THE DAILY COURIER, CONNELLSVILLE PA. Wednesday, August 8, 1973
- Guru Pie-Thrower Seriously Beaten The Los Angeles Times, August 15, 1973
- Guru Followers Beat Pie-Tosser Pittsburgh Press, August 16, 1973
- Hurler of Pie at Guru Is Beaten The New York Times, August 17, 1973
- Guru Wants To Help Sun News - Las Cruces, New Mexico - Wednesday, August 22, 1973
- Daily Review of … People THE DAILY REVIEW, Haywood, Calif., Saturday, August 11, 1973