Prem Rawat's Élan Vital Background - 1980s
"Revealing the Knowledge" - the Instructors
In 1985 there were only 16 instructors in the USA. These were the hardcore of the true believer honchos - Ira Woods, Joan Apter, etc. Rawat's instructors - his best and brightest, those he trusted the most - had no "job security." Like Rawat's moods they were up and down. He was a micro-manager and had an insoluble problem - no matter what he tried, he couldn't get the results he wanted with what he had to offer.
1986 was a year in which Maharaji worked closely with instructors. Four times he participated in training conferences - in Texas, Florida, Los Angeles, and England. By all accounts, the trainings went exceedingly well, increasing both the quantity and quality of instructors. To date, there are approximately 320 instructors worldwide. Most are now "part-timers," offering their services as volunteers. - In View 1987 Spring
There was Instructor Refresher training in January 1987 for 101 instructors and 41 guests. By the beginning of 1988 there were 103 North American instructors and over 400 worldwide. The Rejoice meetings provided a strong impetus for the formerly committed to re-commit. By the beginning of 1989 there were only 10 North American instructors, Rawat having fired the rest. - In View, Summer 1989
Number of Financial Supporters 1990
According to Prem Rawat it was 1985 when he began the push to get Elan Vital moving and to reach people. He needed more money. In February 1987, there were 281 regular contributors to the National Sponsorship Program. By November 1st, 1,833 people were participating. 6,100 people attended the Rejoice '87 programs in North America. These were some of the most committed people who had been part of Divine Light Mission. By the beginning of 1990 there were 3,600 people registered in the North American Sponsorship Program of whom 2,350 were honouring their promises. Rawat may have started fresh but he still had problems getting his followers financially involved. Nevertheless, it was quite remarkable how much money he could raise.
Maharaji's Personal Jet Merry-Go-Round
In 1984, Maharaji no longer wanted to use jets leased for single flights. He wanted a Lear Jet 35 leased for his exclusive personal use. It proved inadequate to satisfy Maharaji's desires. Within a year he wanted a better plane. It took until March 1987 before his devotees could arrange delivery of a Lear 55. It cost $4 million and running costs were $1.85 million per year. By 1990 he wanted a better plane and in October, 1990 an appeal went out for funds to buy a Canadair Challenger 601.
The "Authorised" Rawat biography also mentions a Hawker-Siddely and a Cessna Citation. These might have been just for fun. - p255 Peace Is Possible
The Unstoppable Life Force Meets the Immovable Premies
The vital Prem Rawat, full of elan, might talk up Knowledge up as much as he wanted but he couldn't change reality as premies kept demonstrating.
"It is paramount that we start understanding what a gift we have been given and how important it is to practice it deliberately rather than haphazardly. … People say to me, "Well, Maharaji, it's so difficult to practice. … On Sunday evening, as the Festival drew to a close, Maharaji spoke specifically to people who say they are having difficulty practicing Knowledge."
Below are some quotes published in In View from premies who attended some of these late 1980s conventions and "events:"
- "I didn't know how dry and far away I was."
- "I've been going through a difficult time and almost didn't come to this program."
- "My practice of Knowledge had subsided to almost nothing since I attended one of the Rejoice programs last year."
- "I had been so caught up in a momentum of newly developed habits before this program that the practice of Knowledge had been replaced by busyness."
"One of the things you have to appreciate is that the challenges I have to meet nobody else has had to meet. I am in totally unexplored territory. The frontier. The final frontier, so to say. I'm taking this Knowledge and making it available. I'm taking it to the Muslims, to the Hindus, to the Christians, to the Jews, to all human beings. I'm breaking the barriers that people think we can't get across. And everyone can be a part of it. Everyone." Prem Rawat's Speech, Birmingham, England, August 17 1986, IN VIEW magazine, Spring 1987