Professor Ron Geaves Research re Prem Rawat aka Maharaji

Professor Ron Geaves of Liverpool Hope University is the only academic of religion who has bothered to do any "research" or write any papers dealing with Prem Rawat for the past 20 years. This is possibly because he is a fervent believer in Prem Rawat and his Knowledge and has been since 1969 as he testified in the Elan Vital video "Passages", clips from which are shown below (click on the photos to view the clips). Longer clips are available at www.ex-premie.org.

As a "premie" for over 45 years Ron has presumably sat in formal meditation for over 22,000 hours (app. 15 years at 2 hours a day and 30 years at one hour per day), bowed down before and kissed Rawat's feet (his "Lotus Feet") scores or hundreds of times and listened to hundreds of his speeches. He recalls crying the most beautiful tears and praying his Master would never leave him. He has testified that, thanks to Prem Rawat, his own life "couldn't have been better" and while that is debatable his belief in Prem Rawat isn't. One would expect that this belief would strongly affect any research papers that Professor Geaves has written on this topic. Let us examine them and determine if there is such an effect.

From Totapuri to Maharaji
paper delivered to the 27th Spalding Symposium on Indian Religions, Regents Park College, Oxford, 22 - 24 March 2002
From Divine Light Mission to Elan Vital and Beyond
An Exploration of Change and Adaptation, Nova Religio; Mar 2004; 7, 3; pg. 45
Globalization, charisma, innovation, and tradition
An exploration of the transformations in the organisational vehicles for the transmission of the teachings of Prem Rawat (Maharaji), 2006, Journal of Alternative Spiritualities and New Age Studies, 2 44-62

Although Geaves is a professor at a very minor university, indeed it was only approved in 2005, he has been able to use his title as part of Rawat's "Legitimacy Project." This is a long term public relations' campaign in which Rawat's followers have been engaged since 1998. They have hired halls in prestigious universities for Rawat to give a speech in and the advertised this as if the university had invited Rawat to speak to faculty and staff who in most cases know nothing about the speech. Geaves stars in a video of Rawat speakin' in a rented hall at Oxford University in which he introduces Rawat as if he was an Oxford don, not a Liverpool Hope University professor.

Conclusion: Prem Rawat has been universally derided and dismissed by those who have investigated him. Professor Ron Geaves believes all such criticisms are based on bias, ignorance or because the critics are vociferous dissatisfied ex-members of Divine Light Mission. In all of these papers there is not one statement that isn't respectful or laudatory. To Ron Geaves, Prem Rawat has evolved from the teenage "Perfect Master" to an aging perfect Master.

"Student" Professor Ron Geaves talks about his "Perfect Master", Prem Rawat aka Maharaji aka Guru Maharaj Ji

"Because he asked me what I wanted and I said I wanted peace. Uh and it's very interestin' because his approach to that was the opposite to what I thought it would be. Ah you'd expect, you know, if he was this kind of person who's out to get followers, you know, he'd say "Right come to me, I, I can give it to you but actually he said the opposite, he said "I'm really young, you're not so old yourself. Go and search the whole of India," he said "There are millions of people here who promise peace", you know, he said "Check everything out" he said "and if you can't find it anywhere else" he said "hold me in reserve" (giigles) you know and ah, you know, "I'll be around" And I thought about that for not for very long just a few seconds and I thought "Well it seems a bit of a waste really Maharaji to go chasing all over India which might take me years when I think actually you've got the answer to it here here and now so can I please stay around and he said "Sure, if you want to, you can." - Ron Geaves
"He's certainly fullfilled his promise and sort of going back to that original moment when when I sat in front of him and and asked him for peace if I could find peace in my life and, and that has certainly been fulfilled perhaps not in the way I expected you see I had this sort of hippie concept, sort of a bit of politics and anti-Vietnam (giggles) and feeling a bit cool inside myself but, but a real deep fulfillment inside my life, umm, there are things I can say about my life which I would like to hope that all human beings can say, I think all human beings should be able to say it but I can actually honestly say it those things I can, I can look at my life and say "My life has been absolutely fantastic." The, umm, I cannot think of any way that it could of been better. It's just, you know, that's not to say there haven't been problems or difficulties but it but the fulfillment that Knowledge has given me and the inspiration that Maharaji has given me has meant that I am actually able to look at my existence, my life and say this is the most extraordinary thing that ever happened to me and if I died right now I would say I would die saying 'WOW'!"

"And I don't have any theories about afterlife or next life or reincarnation but if there is reincarnation I would like to come back and have another go at it really and do exactly the same thing (giggles) you know it's just and I think to be able to say that as a as a human being that your life has been fantastic, incredible you know it would be hard for anyone to have a better life than you is a compliment to Maharaji and Knowledge." - Ron Geaves

"I can, I can look at my life and say "My life has been absolutely fantastic." The, umm. I cannot think of any way that it could of been better. It's just, you know, that's not to say there haven't been problems or difficulties." - Ron Geaves

Professor Ron Geaves has a problem with logic: "it couldn't have been better" but "there were problems and difficulties".

Professor Ron Geaves, Devotee of Guru Maharaj Ji

"And I don't have any theories about afterlife or next life or reincarnation but if there is reincarnation I would like to come back and have another go at it really and do exactly the same thing (giggles) you know it's just and I think to be able to say that as a as a human being that your life has been fantastic, incredible you know it would be hard for anyone to have a better life than you is a compliment to Maharaji and Knowledge." - Ron Geaves

"And the Rolls Royce was only rented for a day so that went off back to the people we'd rented it from and the only car we actually had there was only one of us who'd received Knowledge who actually owned a car and that was a girl called Karen and the car was a maroon Cortina so, so the Rolls Royce became a maroon Cortina and …"

In picture right, Ron (with long hair and beard) helps Rawat into a Cortina with Mike Finch and Mahatma Saphlanand looking on.

"I had no idea, you know that it would come out and it would you know that it, you know, it would be, sort of that Maharaji would actually come to the West and I, I, it just didn't enter my head I just thought I'd be one of these lucky ones who, sort of, stumbled on this thing in India.

"We'd just got this new house in Golders Green which had sort of been a big step forward from this little tiny basement flat we had in in West Ken Kensington. And it had a pay phone and I remember I was walking out and the going to work and the phone rang and I picked it up and there was this voice from India eeah it wasn't Maharaji it was a this girl woman ringing from Bombay sayin' um Maharaji ??? wants to come to the UK umm you know are you ready you know to organise events for him and uh it was like 'Yes! ah yes yeah where when's he coming?' 'Two weeks' it was like I was like fell through the floor you know it was like totally totally and utterly stunned."
"Maharaji was coming, we were excited, nervous, apprehensive, umm, it was just an extraordinary day. Ahh we'd got the main thing sorted out umm we'd got a house for him to come to, we'd managed to find someone who knew who knew somebody ahh who had this very nice house where a house way beyond sort of our sort of expenditure prepared to allow us to have this house on on reasonable terms in Chelsea just off the King's Rd."
"Maharaji always said right from the very beginnin' he had no intention to create a religion and it seems to me right from day one he's resisted any attempts, oagh, to try and make a religion around him. Whenever anybody, seems to me, throughout his life, whenever we've attempted to build any box around him he's always broken out of it and when he breaks out of it there are some people who prefer to be in the box."

It seems hard to believe that a Professor of Religious Studies can be so naive. Cult leaders, even young ignorant ones, who head religions all say they're not starting a religion. They all say they have the true knowledge or in this case, Knowledge. What sounds more likely? Every time Rawat tells new blatant lies or makes another foolish mistake, some of his followers become disenchanted and disgruntled and stop believing in him or Geaves' box metaphor in which only people who accept any and everything from this one of the many Perfect Master wannabes keep making boxes he's got to break them out of?

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