"Jasper" - What the Chauffeur Saw
"Jasper" is a former devotee of Prem Rawat's (aka Maharaji) who had long-term close exposure to Rawat and to a lesser extent his family. Of course, this closeness was that of a servant to his Lord and Master and judging from the posts he was mainly used as a chauffeur and to provide free work on Rawat's Malibu mansion. The posts provide both glimpses of Rawat himself and the trauma involved in leaving a cult after 30 years. "Jasper" is not an example of a "normal" follower of Rawat's most of whom become attracted to the group, practise his teachings with far less committment than Jasper's and then leave. To a person without experience of fervent religious or spiritual groups his dedication and intensity of practice could appear unbalanced at best if not deranged at worst and his beliefs about Rawat's intentions and activities (in my opinion) are also extreme. Nevertheless his honesty and openness provide a real window into intense cultic behaviour and beliefs and Rawat's character. While "Jasper" maintains a public anonymity there are people who know him who vouch for his authenticity.
Rawat's drunkeness has been revealed by many of Rawat's closest followers in the past beginning with Bob Mishler (President of Divine Light Mission) as early as 1978. Mishler's concerns were verified by John Hand Jr formerly vice-President Divine Light Mission. Michael Dettmers, who was Rawat's personal assistant for 15 or more years, discussed Rawat's drunkenness, dope smoking, sex with some of his blonde followers (including his wife of course) and inability to accept counselling to resolve his personal problems. Mike Donner, who had too many titles in DLM and Élan Vital to list, corroborated these accusations from another perspective. In 2004, Mike Finch published further information in his book "Without the Guru" discussing Maharaji's infidelities, drinking and Believe It Or Not! his cigarette smoking. As far as I am aware nobody else has ever given an eye-witness description of Rawat up close, personal, drunk as a skunk, drooling and disgusting as Jasper has.
Jasper became involved with Divine Light Mission in 1972. In 2009 he began posting about his time as a devotee and chauffeur of Rawat's. Can a guru who claims he was an Incarnation of God and claims to be the only person able to reveal the "Raj Yoga" or true Knowledge of God be a drunk, unfaithful to his wife and live in extravagant luxury without in any way diminishing his credibility? If you think that's fine then these revelations won't be a problem for you. Jasper never mentions marijuana so presumably if Rawat still smokes dope it he must do it very privately. Many of his posts are about his obsessive devotion to Maharaji (the devotion Maharaji publicly demanded) and practice of "Rawat's Knowledge." Keep in mind that this "Knowledge" is basically just sticking your thumb and middle finger on your eyeballs (NB: with eyes closed) and your index finger between your eyebrows; poking your thumbs into your ears and listening; thinking about your breathing and curling your tongue backwards and tasting and believing everything Rawat says. If you blink while reading these posts you could miss the information that Jasper was or is married and has a son and is obviously a successful businessman. The daily events of life, which even in his situation, must have taken up the majority of his time and thoughts get nary a mention in these posts.
While collecting these posts I was shocked by how many times I had strongly, sometimes even rudely, disagreed with his ideas about Rawat and how difficult it had been for me to accept his revelations of Rawat's wife's drunkeness (she'd seemed like such a sweet devotee 40 years ago). Though I spent as long as Jasper involved in Rawatism I was always at least partially an outsider in the 1970's and a skeptical apostate thereafter whose wife was a dedicated follower. I have a skeptic's view. I concentrate on Rawat's incompetence, laziness and lack of charisma. Jasper stresses Rawat's evil scheming and power to control his followers. Yet Rawat barely goes to any trouble hiding his gluttony, megalomania, demands for excessive luxury or drunkeness. He certainly didn't try to hide them from Jasper. Once we look further afield we can see that Rawat needs no evil scheming or controlling power because a significant minority of people are prepared to put themselves in the control of a religious leader or spiritual "Master" whether or not these leaders have any authority or credibility. As Jasper has begun to realise: "We seem to possess a universal innate ability to subjugate one's Will with valiant fervor to a separate person, entity, power, or belief."
A collected and collated series of Jasper's posts are available at: