Glen(ville) Whittaker, Henchman of Maharaji
Glen(ville) Whittaker has been a devotee and henchman of former Godchild Guru Maharaj Ji (who now calls himself Prem Rawat or Maharaji) for 40 odd years. He has self-published a book (2014) purporting to provide a new and true view of Jesus which is nothing more that a rehash of the arguments he used 40 years ago proving Prem Rawat or Guru Maharaj Ji was the current incarnation of God in a lineage of these incarnations or Perfect Masters that included Krishna, Buddha, Guru Nanak, His Royal Highness Yogiraj Param Hans Sadgurudev Shri Hans ji Maharaj (his Daddy) and of course, Jesus, minus the part about these Perfect Masters being incarnations of God. Now he says they were really just ordinary guys with a unique power to somehow initiate people into the experience of God as long as these prospective initiates have complete and total faith in, devotion and loyalty to Prem Rawat (and the others in their day). Glen claims Rawat actually can give you an experience of God by 4 secret techniques of meditation: squeezing the eyes to see Divine Light, poking the thumbs into the ears to hear Heavenly Music, rolling the tongue back behind the uvula to taste the Divine Nectar, thinking about your breathing to feel the Holy Word of God. But, for Prem Rawat's teachings to be effective, you must adore, worship and have complete faith in him beforehand. With those prerequisites Glenville himself might be able to initiate someone into thinking they're experiencing God, hell, even I could.
Whittaker, like many other of Rawat's closest devotees, was converted circa 1969 as a drug deranged teenager on a "spiritual" ganja-smoking holiday in India. I think he is the young man in the photo wearing a woollen beanie. He is now one of the ageing remnants of the short term media bubble that was Divine Light Mission led by the teenage Lord of the Universe and Satguru that swept up the dregs of the 60's counter culture and oozed away in a morass of the venal materialism and megalomania of the guru. He wasn't all sweetness and light but was a laughable bigot claiming that all those who wouldn't kowtow to Rawat were damned and that other spiritual paths were "strange" and "polluting". Whittaker has always been one of Rawat's administrators and has gone to great lengths to explain away both Rawat's failure to spread His Knowledge and to drum up inspiration and dedication and especially money amongst the bulk of Rawat's followers
These images from the video "I Have This Knowledge" show some of the early inner circle of British premies: Mike Finch, Ron Geaves, Whitaker and Mahatama Saphlanand. Mike & Brian now publicly state that Prem Rawat is a bogus guru whose Knowledge is worthless at best and mentally and emotionally damaging. Ron and Glen continue to accept anything Rawat says and does and consider him their Master.
In the photo on the right, a young mustachioed Whittaker gazes adoringly at his 14 year old pudgy Perfect Master who is getting into a car. Once upon a time Glen Whittaker proudly pontificated on the stage of the so-called Palace Of Peace that Guru Maharaj Ji could reveal the experience of God and the success of the initiation by saffron-robed celibate Indian saints required no prior belief. But then, he also said Rawat wasn't fat and had a frugal lifestyle. However, experience showed that most people who were initiated and practised the so-called Knowledge decided that it was actually worthless and that they'd been conned.
In 1996 Whittaker wrote of the days 25 years before "Spreading Knowledge was so easy. People were still innocent and waiting for the truth to arrive in their lives - the atmosphere had not yet been polluted by so many strange alternative spiritual trips." In fact, some people were so innocent they actually believed the promises being preached by Whittaker and other premie shills. Promises like infinite bliss, perfect peace, wisdom and being able to kiss the feet of the Living Lord of the Universe. It wasn't long before the pool of innocent, gullible hippies prepared to believe anything was empty and the number of those prepared to continue practising the "Knowledge" awaiting these 'gifts' was soon falling to a fraction of those initiated.
The estimates of how many premies there are in England range from 7,000 to 20,000. Certainly there are several thousands of active premies: those who are practising and propagating Guru Maharaj Ji's Knowledge. However, what confuses the estimates is the number (quite a large proportion) of people who, although they have received Knowledge of the Soul, often two or three years ago, are not currently practising it" - Golden Age newsletter, June 1974
In the lead up to the Millenium '73 the 15 year old Rawat demonstrated the uselessness of His Knowledge when he was struck down with a duodenal ulcer. So much for the stress relief of his meditation techniques. This news titbit was tailor made for newspapers all over the world to have some fun including the venerable Times Of London The Times Diary: Perfect Ulcer.
I was sorry, and even surprised, to hear that the Guru Maharaj Ji, leader of the Divine Light Mission, has developed an intestinal ulcer. After all, ulcers are not things you associate with 15 year olds - especially not with 15-year-old Perfect Masters. Wasn't there, I wondered, something incompatible between a god incarnate - as the 6,000,000 Divine Light followers regard the Guru - and an ulcer?
Not at all, Glen Whittaker, general secretary of the Divine Light Mission in England told me, "His body is mortal. He can get colds and everything else you can get. But being perfect he is detached from the world. Physical illness would not make him suffer." Whittaker denied reports that the Guru ate a lot of ice cream. "His diet is very frugal and healthy", he said. He added that he had not heard about the boy god's ulcer but it did not surprise him. "Nothing about the Guru surprises me", he said.
Why people bought into the Divine Light dream is understandable as Whittaker recalls: "I have to say I thought I was a happy person but there was definitely something missing in my life. I knew it. I knew there was something there that I had to get and I didn't have it. There was some kind, some kind of void or emptiness in the middle that needed filling and I felt it was very close but I didn't know how to get there." - Glen Whittaker
What is apparently inexplicable, though it is a common phnomenon in cult religions, is how Whittaker and fellow premies remained true believers for decades despite Rawat's behaviour and failures and deceit. The increase in belief despite the manifest failures of the leader and the group was first described in a classic work of social psychology by Leon Festinger et al in the book "When Prophecy Fails: A Social and Psychological Study of a Modern Group That Predicted the Destruction of the World" The reseachers studied a small UFO religion called the Seekers that believed in an imminent Apocalypse and its coping mechanisms after the event did not occur. Festinger's theory of cognitive dissonance accounts for the psychological consequences of disconfirmed expectations.
In the late 1970's Whittaker attended many DLM festivals and meetings and naturally, as a major henchman, had reserved front-row seats. Here he dances at the front of the crowd, near the stage, close to Mahatma Jagdeo (Notorious Paedophile) and Mahatma Gurucharanand (Avid Golf & Tennis Player).
Prem Rawat discusses his devotees as permanent "Ugly Ducklings" (43meg)
Guru Maharaj Ji comes again and again and says 'Wait, there's nothing here! Let's go. Let's go to my place. Let's go to my world. Where you can live, you can really live, where you can really experience, where you can be away from doubt. How much doubt do we have? We are filled with doubt. Everything that we do is doubt full. Everything that we get into is doubt full. We do it but we are never sure because we don't know why we are even here, we don't even know what the purpose is. And Guru Maharaj Ji shows that purpose, Guru Maharaj Ji puts that mirror in front of us. It's like the case of the Ugly Duckling, you know, we all think that we are that Ugly Duckling and you know our whole search we never seek who we really are destined to be. We are the case of the Ugly Duckling that never grows up into the swan, that stops its own existence before it can get to that stage and Guru Maharaj Ji, you know, the same that we see in that glimpse by reading scriptures or by, you know, our own experience we see this beautiful swan fly. We see that there is a place where we can experience that love. We see that there is a place where we can experience that peace. We can have that experience that we really want. And yet we don't know, we don't know our identity, we don't know who we are and we think that this is what we are. We are of this world, we live in it, we get born in it and this is it.
Whittaker has spent his adult life promoting Prem Rawat, firstly as the Lord of the Universe who claimed he would take over the world. He was the general secretary of Divine Light Mission in Great Britain though he was fired in 1975 once the DLM bubble had burst. While he has had some success disseminating disinformation about Rawat it must be sad to see your life's work turn out so pointlessly and pathetically. Later when Rawat wanted anonymity and then when he craved public respect, he has been part of the group attempting (and in some small ways succeeding) to promote Rawat as a honoured and respected international worker for Peace. His 2014 book "For Christ's Sake" is a last gasp attempt to create a basis for Rawat's claim to have a unique power and method to go deep within inside and meet the Creator. His attempt to create a picture of Jesus Christ as a Prem Rawat clone but with robes and long hair has no credibility and is as shallow and deceptive as Rawat himself.
The methods and powers he has claimed to discover about Jesus are the very things that he believes about Prem Rawat. However he never mentions how Jesus and Prem Rawat actually could have this power if miracles do not occur. Formerly Prem Rawat and Glenville both taught that Rawat or Guru Maharaj Ji was the last in a long lineage of incarnations of God and while this concept was absurd it was at least logical. How else could one fat man wearing an incredibly expensive bespoke suit have the unique power to put people into an actual inner experience of the divine, the Creator God, while appearing on a television set?
Rawat's organisations (DLM, EV, TPRF, WOPG) produced a series of videos and DVDs aimed at providing a revisionist history of his career to his followers and rewriting their past. Whittaker has had many appearances in these videos.
In 1989 the video "Windows In Time" was produced. This gave the impression that Rawat's early public career had been neither controversial nor ridiculed.
"(???) He attracted attention, this was quite a unique phenomenon. The boy guru as the press called him."
"Five American people had received the Knowledge and were in America likewise hoping that he would visit there and when they heard he was in London bombarded him with phone calls saying please come over here and in the end he decided to go over there as well".
Around the year 2001 Whittaker appeared as a trusted henchman in a video, 'Passages' helping to explain why Prem Rawat hadn't really said he was God, it was all a mistake by his early followers who apparently believed that Rawat's message was not to poke your fingers in your eyes to see Divine Light but to wear white saris. Naturally this was the only thing preventing the Young Conservatives of the UK being converted by Glen.
Whittaker recalls Rawat's first day in England: "Maharaji often mentions that very first day when he went into the living room of that house and sat down and a small group of people stared at him and then he stared at them and nothing was said. I was there then but it was beautiful, in the end people started talking cause we were very shy, we never come across a Master before. I guess if somebody perhaps had got out some M & M's and said "Maharaji, would you like some?" that would have broken the ice but we were (laughter) he would have like it but uh we weren't in that mode we were all spiritually evolved people so we thought, you know, and uh this was a Master so you don't hand a Master M & M's. That was our concept. So that was then, that was that uh that was the day when he arrived and of course he stayed there for a month before he went to America on the 17th of July." - Glen Whittaker
"He knew he had a mission to take Knowledge to the four corners of the world, as his father had told him to do. He wasn't going to mess
Messing around with cars, planes, electronics, yachts, sex, drugs, alcohol, Marlboros and peoples' lives is exactly what Rawat (Maharaji) has done. He works an average of an hour or two a week, work which involves sitting on a stage and making an extremely boring, repetitive off the cuff speech for an hour or so a time. In the early 1970's his unreliability even attracted media attention, afterwards they weren't interested in him at all. Whitaker himself, had to try to laugh it off to the press: "The two most unpredictable things, are the weather and the Guru."
"He he wants to make it available for those who don't have Knowledge, that's kind of his project, that's his work, his inner life is to do with the love that is generated between the people who've recognised him and who do love him and his love for them, one heart to each other. The dance that is going on, the eternal dance, really, between the Master and the student."
I had to tell him, you know, it came, it fell to me people said "Well you tell him Glen." (inbreath) "Well I don't mind telling him." So I said it, I should have minded it was just thick-skinned I suppose. I tried to say it in a sorrowful, humble way cause I felt ??? the feeling was that he would have the answer, he would have the answer and in fact that is true to this day. If you've got a question, you know, ask him, he'll give you the answer to it. And his answer was "Well, where do you live?" I said "Well I live in a little ashram in North London with about 15 other people." - Glen Whittaker
"I did a talk once at a Young Conservative Association I was invited it to it because my cousin was engaged to the president of the Young Conservatives at this particular town and he was interested and he invited me to give a talk so I did and it was very successful and they all thought 'Well we'd like this.' So they asked where, how they could go further. And I told them where the nearest ashram was and next Friday there will be a meeting there and they went there but very few people turned up after that. The week after that about 30 people went to the ashram that night but the week after only about 3 went, (sniggers) and the week after that none went (pause) because they came across that white sari brigade."
"Well I was quite shocked with everybody, ergh, I think, the feeling was, we still had that residual feeling that the Master didn't need worldly things, you know, didn't need to get married, would always be the Master."
Glen Whitaker, one of Rawat's managers in the UK and some other devotees, talk about Rawat's marriage and his disinheritance and disowning by his mother. Well maybe Master didn't need worldly things but Glen knew very well that Master wanted worldly things. At the time of the wedding every DLM publication wrote about how blissfully happy and grateful they were that Rawat had married.
"It was quite challenging that this whole dust-up should happen and the harmony that had existed in the family just broke up so easily, and it's as if his own family couldn't accept him. Now we know now in retrospect that this had been simmering for a long time, that the famiy had always been a potential bomb, time-bomb really ticking away, ready to explode the family situation. Maharaji himself has taught about it, that he was never properly accepted as the Master by his own family and I knew the family, I could see what was happening, that they saw it as the family business."
Whitaker explains how Maharaji and his family and the early premie administrators were all deceiving the public and the premies about the status of Rawat's family. So much for sat, chit, anand. I suspect that this later 'teaching' of Maharaji's is a lie. After the death of Shri Hans, everything the family said and did proclaimed young Prem Pal as the new Perfect Master. It must have been a terrible blow to their credibility to fire him after 8 years as Guru Maharaj Ji. If they were in it for the money they would have accomodated themselves to his marriage.
"For a long time, for many, many years I felt I didn't love Maharaji and I was upset that I didn't love him because everybody else was saying "Oh we love you Maharaji." Well I can't say that well he's a man to start with and I'm a man so … I respected him, I acknowledged him as my Master, I'd do anything for him but I didn't have that feeling of love but now I find that uggh that feeling of love is there, and I love him very strongly as if it's been there forever but I know, I remember the times when I was upset with myself for not loving him but so something's happened some kind of growth has happened where I see him on a video or in person or I read something that he's said and I'm just incredibly touched. It's a very personal thing mumble mumble it's a it's a gift he's giving me, he's he's he's going straight straight to my heart"
"His innner life is to do with the love that is generated between the people who've recognised him and who do love him and his love for them, one heart to each
other. The dance that is going on, the eternal dance, really, between the Master and the student.
Rawat cannot love those "people who've recognised him" as he only knows a handful of them, unless he is God. It is obvious that Whittaker believes Rawat is God. Who else can have an eternal dance?
Whittaker has been mentioned in the press on occasion defending his Master - quite an onerous task.
- A little earthy problem for the Divine Guru 1972
- Guru, 14, takes all Sunday Mirror, November 1972
- More Second World Peace Tour
"The slogan of the child guru is: "Give me your love, and I give you peace." Those who don't are damned, explained the general secretary of the English mission, 29-year-old Oxford graduate Glen Whittaker. Mr. Whittaker, the son of a travel agent in Southport, Lancs., runs the mission in Britain with great efficiency." - Sunday Mirror, November 1972
- Casting some shadows on the movement of Divine Light THE TIMES Saturday September 23 1973
- Letter to the Editor From Mr Glen Whittaker THE TIMES Friday October 12 1973
- The 'Perfect Master' from India has an ulcer THE STARS AND STRIPES Tuesday, September 4, 1973
- Perfect ulcer THE TIMES Tuesday September 4 1973
- Several critical articles appeared in the Bristol Post (UK) before and after Prem Rawat's meetings Bristol Post, June 14-15, 2003.
He was mentioned in "Peace Is Possible", the bogus biography of Rawat for which the Élan Vital Foundation paid $50,000
Naturally he received mention in various Divine Light Mission official publications
- England - And It Is Divine, 1976 Glenn Whittaker, the festival program director, saw "a great sense of magic in all the premies gathering together, the feeling of being a family. I felt a tremendous sense of community spirit and togetherness." This was during a time of near total collapse of Divine Light Mission
- He was a staff writer for the Divine Times magazine
- He wrote religious snippets for the Divine Times
- He was mentioned by Prem Rawat in a public speech where Rawat reminisced about the drug crazed hippies who became his loyal worshippers and financial goldmine
"I also remember in the residence in Dehra Dun when a green van - full of "hippies" - drove in, and parked there for about two or three days. It was quite an experience, it was quite a sight. Glen Whittaker, Peter Lee, and some other premies were in it, and they had driven all the way from England. They would drive fifteen miles and the car would break down, and they would fix it again; then drive fifteen more miles, the car would break down, and they fixed it again. So they had driven all the way down there, that was it. Then there was Gary, and Sita was around, and Danielle, and Joan Apter. They were really out there, you know. Ah, but that was it. They were all starting to understand what it's all about, because life was not a concept for them anymore."
- In 1996 Whittaker reminisced about those very crazy hippie days in India and the early success of spreading the message "Spreading Knowledge was so easy." In an astonishing fit of pique he blames other sincere seekers of truth and spirituality for the very quick failure of his endeavours: "the atmosphere had not yet been polluted by so many strange alternative spiritual trips." He calls other spiritual paths "strange" and "polluting". Of course this is a guy who blamed his failure to convert the Conservative Party on a woman wearing a white sari.
- Connect Issue 1, 1998 part of the editorial team of another attempt to promote dedication amongst Rawat's lax followers