Pat Halley And The Heavenly Hammer
Click here for more details about the Shaving Cream Pie being thrown into Prem Rawat's face by Pat Halley.
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. Rennie Davis told the press:
"They have the most incredible experiences on meditation - they meditate four and five days nonstop, just twenty-four hours a day. 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. Yet … some live in hope.
One of Fakiranand's satsangs is posted here, he certainly seems "blissed out" in the photo and in his speech:
"I am seeing that self-effulgent Light twenty-four hours a day. Guru Maharaj has opened my eye and has given everything to me. I am remembering that Word at all times. There is nothing more precious than Guru, nothing more lovely than Guru Maharaj in this whole universe for a human being."
Fakiranand and Fletcher flew to Detroit and contacted Halley pretending to be disaffected apostates and on the promise of a scoop revelation of the guru's meditation techniques went with him to his home and smashed him six times on the head with a heavy metal blackjack. Though dazed and bleeding, Halley managed to scream and fight unsettling the premie perpetrators who fled. Halley was taken to hospital where doctors stitched him up with 55 sutures and inserted a permanent plastic plate in his skull. The Divine Light Mission issued press releases giving false information about the perpetrators and Detroit police issued a felony warrant against the two men, charging them with "assault with intent to do great bodily harm" but they were loath to expend resources on an assault on an anti-establishment crypto-anarchist so the truth may have remained hidden if Rennie Davis could ever keep his mouth shut. Davis admitted to journalist Ken Kelley that both were back in the guru's good graces and that Misra/Fakiranand was "shipped off to Germany, where he's still giving Knowledge." Thirty years later, Mike Donner admitted that he had driven Fakiranand to Chicago airport and put them on a plane to London on Rawat's orders.
Fakiranand was an important mahatma and beloved 'Ramayani' (he could recite the Ramayana from memory) of Shri Hans, Prem Rawat's father. In a final irony, the murdering mahatma and virtually every other Indian mahatma of Divine Light Mission repudiated Prem Rawat as the Satguru when Rawat's mother deposed and disinherited him for drunkeness and all-round failure to live up to the ethical standards required of God by His mommy. Fakiranand remained an extremely important mahatma under Satpal Maharaj, continued as a mahatma until at least 2012 preaching for Satpal, Prem's eldest brother and replacement Perfect Master. Fakiranand is/was the spiritual éminence grise at Prem Nagar ashram.
While this attack is probably the most heinous crime perpetrated by devotees of Prem Rawat for Prem Rawat it is indicative of the dark heart of Rawat's religion. Because his followers were taught that he was the greatest incarnation of God that ever trod the face of this planet anything done for him was automatically ethical no matter how wrong it seemed by ordinary standards. It's probably a good thing that very few premies attained the "meditative heights" of Fakiranand and Fletcher who were abnormally devoted and fanatic followers else Halley may have been torn limb from limb by a crowd of crazed premies. Because Rawat also taught that any and every luxury should be showered upon him most of the crimes committed by his followers were similar to the first smuggling incident publicised in 1972. Money smuggling and avoidance of taxes and the hiding of the extent of Rawat's spending were considered standard procedures in Divine Light Mission.
In 2000 Halley made a few posts on the Prem-Rawat-Talk Forum and revealed that Fakiranand contacted him after the Rawat family split claiming he was blackmailed into attacking Halley by DLM administrators.
I received a letter two years later from Fakiranand, a copy was also sent to the Detroit Police. He said that he was ordered to kill me by the President of the organization (not Maharaj Ji) and he denounced the Guru and the entire organization, claiming that they used the threat of deportation to force him into it.
In 2012 Fakiranand was contacted by a former premie seeking to ascertain the truth of the matter and he absolutely denied having struck the near fatal blow or having anything to do with it. He claimed that the evil administrators of Divine Light Mission falsely accused him as he was the only mahatma fighting for truth, bliss and consciousness against their dark machinations. However there is enough confirmatory evidence to show that he is lying. He also claimed he did not write the letter sent to Halley in Fakiranand's name, once again blaming these evil overlords.
Pat Halley sent Rawat an Open Letter to Guru Maharaj Ji on the 30th anniversary of his pieing of God. Unfortunately, Pat did not outlive the guru.
The TVTV documentary "Lord of the Universe" included some scenes dealing with the Halley attack from the last press conference (November 1973) Prem Rawat ever held:
Q: Guru what happened to the reporter in Detroit that was badly beaten by your followers?
Slimy Premie organiser: Ma'am could you please direct your questions to here. It's kind of like etiquette to the rest of the members of the press that they also have questions too and there are many people here who would like to ask questions (general hubbub from angry reporters)
Q: Could I have an answer to that question please?
Security Guard: Personally, personally, if I was, listen, if I was there I would have slit his throat on the spot (slit his throat?) on the spot (on the spot for throwing a pie?) definitely (you're a dangerous element) this is how I feel (I think that's a fanatic statement - so you'd kill a man for throwing a pie?) on the spot
Reporter: I'm asking about the reporter who was badly beaten by some of Guru Maharaj Ji's followers in Detroit after he threw the pie at the guru.
What happened to this reporter?
Slime bag PR premie: Well …
GMJ: And we're gonna find out what happened to everything … what happened … find out … present situation (some words unintelligible)
In fact, Mike Donner, one of the three top administrators in Divine Light Mission, had been directly ordered by Maharaji (Prem Rawat) to "get Fakiranand out of the country." So the Perfect Master already had perfect knowledge of what had happened. Donner thought Fakiranand was returning to India via London from Chicago but he stayed in Europe performing standard mahatma type duties, with his own inimitable and rather forceful style, until just before Millenium '73 in November. When Prem was deposed by his mother, Fakiranand was obedient (as were virtually all the Indian mahatmas) to her.
Pat Halley: Suddenly I was hit in the head, smacked right on top of the head (with a blunt instrument) yeah very hard, very hard and like I just like I just fell on the floor and my head was spinning around and I was really like I was really like paralysed and like I could hear I could hear it in my head when they were hitting me, I knew I was damaged like I could hear bone crushing, strange sensation to hear my blood you know splattering on the walls
Penthouse magazine published an article with details of the attack:
The news of the Detroit incident was not long in reaching Boston. At the local ashram of the Divine Light Mission, a dismayed premie named Tina Sanderson showed a copy of the Boston Globe story to another premie named Juteswar Misra. Misra is no ordinary premie. He is in fact a mahatma, Fakiranand by name, one of the super-elite clan of several in the Western world empowered by Guru Maharaj Ji with dispensing his secretive meditation technique that premies call simply The Knowledge. It involves four ancient yogic methods from the Baghavad Gita, which when stripped of the sacrosanct hocus-pocus, entails pressing in the eyelids (Divine Light), fingering the outer canal of the ear (Divine Music), swallowing postnasal drip (Divine Nectar), and breathing deeply (Divine Word).
pMahatma Fakiranand is a very special mahatma, being one of the first premies elevated to that sacred state after the barely pubescent godhead (he's one day older than Donny Osmond) assumed the title of Perfect Master in 1969 upon the death of his father, the founder of the Divine Light Mission. Fakiranand is fondly referred to as Guru Maharaj Ji's "drunken puppy," because of his rather peculiar sense of devotion. The day after the Detroit incident Tina Sanderson was receiving The Knowledge from Fakiranand, and she was more than a little perturbed by his zeal. He made the twenty-odd premies-to-be clean their pockets of all their possessions, scooping the spare change into a paper bag which, along with many other paper bags he would collect from other Knowledge sessions, he would personally deliver to the feet of his master. Tina remembers being particularly disturbed by the fanatical display of adoration Fakiranand exhibited. "He made us bow twenty times to a picture of Guru Maharaj Ji, making us promise to renounce all other gurus and religious beliefs. There was a picture of Guru Maharaj Ji which had fallen to the floor. He got all agitated and scolded us for not rushing over to pick it up. Other premies later told me that he would berate them for even turning their backs on a picture of Maharaj Ji." Considering that in most ashrams the divine physiognomy is present on all walls, even Rose Mary Woods would have a hard time contorting her body in such a manner as to face all four sides simultaneously.
So the seriousness of the crime Pat Halley had committed was not lost upon Mahatma Fakiranand. Soliciting the help of Richard Fletcher, one of the corps of Divine Light Mission press agents, the two flew to Detroit and concocted a plan of revenge. Now Fletcher, too, is no ordinary premie. In the divine pecking order of reincarnated saints (every Divine Light Mission honcho is considered the living consciousness of either a Christian or Indian saint, depending on religious persuasion), he and his twin brother John are 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," says former political activist and premier premie Rennie Davis. "The whole house they're in just feels their vibration. Guru Maharaj Ji says they could really realize The Knowledge." No mere mortal has yet realized The Knowledge.
Landing in Detroit, the two went immediately to the local ashram, where they called the Fifth Estate office and asked for Halley. Fletcher, calling himself "Dave," first congratulated Halley on his "heroic act" and said that he was in town with a "Mr. Gamesh" who had been a follower of the guru's father for twenty years until he realized that the whole thing was a farce and had come to America to "expose" the guru as a fraud. Mr. Gamesh was anxious to reveal the secret Knowledge techniques, which were at the time still relatively unknown outside premie circles. And who better to byline such a scoop than the man who had just smeared the guru with shaving cream? Halley jumped at the bait. After several logistical mix-ups, the divine duo finally met up with Halley in an all-night Chinese restaurant down the street from the Fifth Estate offices. "They said the same things they had told me over the phone," Halley recalls. "They congratulated me and said what a great thing I had done, this guru was really evil, was really a bad person, and was really insincere. The Indian guy had an accent and he kept saying yes, yes, bad man, no good. They really conned me well."
Halley's friends warned him to be careful and under no circumstances accompany the men alone. But they insisted on going "someplace quiet" and Halley could just taste an exposé. Halley climbed into their car and zipped off to his apartment a few miles away. "My roommates were there and the two men were still uncomfortable-they said the room was too noisy. So I asked my roommates to leave. They, too, warned me, saying there were a couple of things in the men's stories which didn't check out." As a precaution, Halley's roommates went outside to the parked car and copied down the license-plate numbers.
But Halley was not especially worried. He'd had some karate training, and the two were slight of build. "I thought I could knock their heads together without too much problem," he says. "We went in my room and talked for about forty-five minutes. We kept talking about religion and culture and the fact that this guru was a fraud. They told me I was doing an important thing in exposing someone who was hustling in the name of the Lord." Finally Halley urged the two to get on with the revelation.
"Mr. Gamesh said, 'This is a big moment in my life-you can't believe how great a moment this is.' He said to wait a few more minutes-he seemed really nervous." Finally, the moment was at hand. "Mr. Gamesh said, 'How're you feeling-pretty good?' I said yeah. He said, 'Okay, and turned off the light so there was only candlelight in my room to illuminate it. Then he told me that it was just a few simple techniques, but that you had to experience them to understand them." (Premies constantly emphasize that facet of Knowledge -- you have to experience it to understand it, no words can convey the power. Knowledge, they say, is like a banana or apple or grapefruit-you have to taste it to know it, there's no way to explain it.)
Halley then sat in the middle of the room in a lotus position, as instructed, with "Dave" in front of him. Mr. Gamesh walked behind him and told him to close his eyes tight. "Now what?" asked an eager Halley. "Just sit there and I'll show you something," replied Mr. Gamesh, a/k/a Juteswar Misra, a/k/a Mahatma Fakiranand. "I sat there and I heard Mr. Gamesh rummaging around his coat someplace, and he pulled out some kind of metal object: I heard a chain dragging across metal. I thought, 'Oh wow, this is some kind of trick, this is some kind of electronic device the Divine Light Mission uses to make their followers hear things.' I thought, 'What a gas. They'll show me this thing and I'm going to see these lights and we would laugh and say see, that's all it is.' I had my eyes closed and suddenly I saw stars and started blacking out.
Halley had just received the first of six hard smashes to the head with what was probably a blackjack. The first blow, directly on the top of his skull, was of such impact that it numbed him and put him in a state of shock. "After the first blow they started moving real fast," he remembers "l was so buzzed out even at that point I thought, 'Now they're going to bring me out of it and I'll be all right.' That's the divine light, you know-you get hit in the head and see stars. But then I thought, 'What a weird dude-you don't have to hit me to show me.' I kept seeing these big red stars. Then Gamesh started hitting me again, three, four, five, six times. He kept hitting me all over the head. I couldn't really feel it, but I could hear it like boom! smash! then I heard the blood splattering on the walls, and I could hear them breathing close and heavy. I finally realized what was going on and I screamed with all my might. I started fighting, too, and kicked one guy in the face. Then the other guy started running." Both assailants ran down to their parked car and fled. Halley staggered to his neighbors' door, his whole head a bloody ball of torn flesh, and was whisked to a hospital. The doctors who sutured his wounds with fifty five stitches told Halley that had he arrived ten minutes later he would himself be another statistic in Murder City's record string of violent deaths, perhaps to be reincarnated as a squashed ant. Besides the several garish scars now etched permanently on Halley's head, he will carry a plastic plate for the rest of his days on the top of his cranium where his skullbone was shattered. The will of God doth indeed work in mysterious ways.
The divine assault occurred exactly one week after Halley's sacrilegious aerosol meringue smear. The next day Halley's Fifth Estate friends traced the license plate to the local ashram of the Divine Light Mission. The Mission's national headquarters in Denver issued a press release that admitted that the pair were, in fact, premies, and that they were being held in "protective custody" at the Chicago ashram, where they had fled after the assault. The press release promised a "full investigation" that would culminate in the culprits being "brought to justice." Whereupon a curious inertia overtook both the Detroit police and the Divine Light Mission. The police said the cost of extraditing the assailants from Chicago to Detroit overruled that possibility. Considering Halley's political persuasion, that was not too surprising. Nor were the two about to surrender themselves voluntarily despite the Divine Light Mission promise. Employing a technique that has been used very effectively by many politicians, the Mission refused to divulge any further information about the assailants in the hope that the incident would sort of . . . well, become inoperative. At the time neither Halley nor any media were able to ascertain the identities of the assailants or the role they played in the divine scheme of things. The names and ages were revealed-Juteswar Misra, fifty five, and Richard Fletcher, twenty-five-but no more. Inquiring reporters were assured that the two were simply low-level devotees, "fanatics" who were in no way connected with Guru Maharaj Ji's message of peace and love, who had been immediately and forever kicked out of the Divine Light Mission. No mention was made of the fact that Misra was a mahatma. (Halley later discovered that Misra's alias "Gamesh" is the name of a prominent member of the Indian Communist Party. Red-baiting is evidently the thing when East meets West.)
Not until I questioned Rennie Davis on the matter several months later did any semblance of truth emerge. Davis admitted that Misra was Mahatma Fakiranand, that Fletcher was St. Peter, and that both were back in the guru's good graces. Fletcher was in Denver and Fakiranand had not even been demoted from mahatmadom. He was, in Davis's words, "shipped off to Germany, where he's still giving Knowledge." When asked to explain the incident, Davis giggled in the peculiar manner common to most premies when in a state of divine bliss. "I really feel Guru Maharaj Ji is doing everything," said Davis. "He had the pie thrown in his face, and he had Fakiranand do that -the whole thing is just one gigantic lila that operates on so many levels. I saw it more as a test for the premies than anything else. Lila, in guruspeak, means "divine game."
Further Information Sources
- Fakianand's 1970s' letter to Pat Halley, a copy was also sent to the Detroit Police.
- On 9th March, 2001 on the ex-Premie Forum Mike Donner posted his memories of the events stating Rawat gave the orders to secretly send Fakiranand out of the USA
- On 12/10/2001 on the ex-Premie Forum "Swami Suchabanana" posted his recollections of the day Donner arrived at the Detroit ashram to take Fakiranand away
- On 1st February 2002 on the ex-Premie Forum "Nick" posted his recollections of driving "Mahatma Fakiranand" around Switzerland for him to give satsang in 1973 after the attack on Pat Halley and before the Millenium '73 festival fiasco
- Fakiranand's correspondence of 2012 in which he claimed he was completely innocent.
- 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
- '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