Peace Education Program (PEP)
Prem Rawat has basically one public activity. He makes speeches - they are extemperaneous but are basically the same speech over and over. They have changed over the last 50 years from barely intelligible claims to divinity and simplistic exposition of his father's Sant Mat doctrines in very poor English to practised though vacuous speeches. These speeches are/were recorded and sold to his followers as films / tapes / CDs / DVDs / streaming videos as technology evolved. Rawat's organisation attempt to directly monetise the media by selling them to his followers or charging local organisations for the rights to view them.
Some speeches have been edited, collated and sold as books. The recorded speeches were used to brainwash interested "aspirants" and these were collated, organised and formalised into the Keys program. When this was found to be too lengthy and boring for most interested people to finish they were edited into a much smaller Keys Lite program. However even Rawat was smart enough to realise his youthful dreams of being accepted as the Perfect Master and Guru to millions of devotees ushering in a Millenial Golden Age were not going to be realised. Around 2000 he changed the focus of his organisations' activities to creating a public profile for him as an internationally respected philanthropist and teacher of Inner Peace. This has had some limited success though he is not about to become a household name as has the Dalai Lama or Eckhart Tolle. He will not be leading meditation sessions at the White House or the United Nations Headquarters but an invitation is expected from Lower Slobbovia.
If the people won't come to Maharaji then he must go where to places where people are bored and cannot escape. Hence the Peace Education Program.
The purpose of the Peace Education Program (PEP) is to help participants discover their own inner resources - innate tools for living such as inner strength, choice, and hope - and the possibility of personal peace.
This is an innovative educational program, facilitated by volunteers, with a curriculum that consists of 10 videos, each focusing on a particular theme. These customized, interactive workshops are non-religious and non-sectarian. The content of each theme is based on excerpts from Prem Rawat's international talks.
Throughout his career Rawat has promised to give peace. In the 1970s he promised he would give personal peace to individuals and millenial peace to the world. Once he stopped claiming to have divine powers he settled for promising the possibility of peace to anyone who obeyed certain criteria. These were originally called satsang, service, meditation and darshan. They became:
- keeping in touch with Rawat by listening to his speeches
- doing voluntary labour (as e.g. being a Peace Education Facilitator or promoting him through work in the Peace movement) or making financial donations to his major organisations
- being initiated into the 4 meditation techniques he claims is the method that opens a person up to the peace within
- actually being in his presence which is possible at the speeches he gives throughout the world and for committed members kissing his feet in a special secret ceremony
He has always claimed to be the one and only source of peace and that the possibility of peace requires obedience and devotion to him. This has not been a message of inner strength and choice - quite the opposite. He has proclaimed a message of hope that people obeying him will receive a peace that he discusses in ways that are ridiculous:
Be excited to know that peace is within you and always will be within you. Be excited to know that this is your opportunity. Be excited to know that the greatest of all miracles has taken place, you are alive.
Not many of his followers have attained any measure of this peace. In fact, the results are so paltry that he orders them not to discuss their personal experience at all. Though Rawat says nobody can bring peace to us he obviously also claims that he can - at least in a PEP.
Currently, there are a variety of Peace Education Programs including: College/ University/ Adult Education Programs, Community Programs, Hospice Staff Programs, Parolee Programs, Prison & Correctional Facility Programs, Retirement Community & Nursing Home Programs, Veterans Programs, and Youth Programs.
Prem Rawat Speaks about the Peace Education Program (PEP)
Prem Rawat: Of course! The whole idea is just to take the message to people. I think the success of the Peace Education Program in prisons, right from the start, has been that we don't look at the people there as prisoners. To me, they're just people, and the message is for them. It is telling them that they are alive, that they have this possibility. That they have strengths inside of them, and they don't have to be victims. They accept this message. They find that strength. And they evolve. It is a wonderful thing.
I think that's what is missing in so many societies. We have a label for every single person. We don't say, "You are a human being." Even when we have our own children, we don't look at them and say, "You are a human being." We say, "You are my child." We look at our wife, and say, "You are my wife!" And the wife says, "You are my husband!"
First there should be respect for another human being, acknowledgement of their humanity. It is the humanity that we need to bring back. We have so much technology, so much technology. Who is working on evolving the humane portion of that humanity? We have to.
I see a possibility emerging. This is not a revolution; this is an evolution. Peace needs to be given a chance, now!