Bolie Shri Satgurudev Maharaj Ki Jai
Until circa 1982, but not during 1976 when it was prohibited, Prem Rawat (then calling himself Guru Maharaj Ji) was greeted by his devotees on public occasions with shouts of "Bolie Shri Satguru Dev Maharaj Ki Jai" - also transliterated as "Bhole Shri Satguru Dev Maharaj Ki Jai." The volume and intensity of the shouting depended on the number of devotees and their lack of inhibitions, Americans tending to show much more enthusiasm than the English or Australians who were more reserved.
Bolie Shri Satguru Dev Maharaj Ki Jai!!!
If enthusiasm ran high enough there would be much throwing of the hands into the air and with a large enough crowd this could be disconcerting, even frightening to people with no involvement with Divine Light Misson. Parallels with Nuremberg Nazi rallies were often made which is possibly why German premies were particularly undemonstrative.
In the video of Rawat's speech to the ashram residents in Rome in 1980 Rawat spoke of the German premies and, ever so tastefully, did a Nazi salute, admittedly a rather lame, limp one. He finds himself very funny. Some of his dedicated ashram premies even start to clap. Well, you would, wouldn't you?
"The fatherland, (pause) Germany, (pause) ha ha, Heil, ha ha".
"The fatherland, (pause) Germany, (pause) Heil, haha".
Rawat, ever so tastefully, does a Nazi salute, admittedly a rather lame, limp one. He finds himself very funny. Some of his dedicated ashram premies even start to clap. Well, wouldn't you?
The Death of the Bolie Shri
In Divine Light Mission a lot of information was passed on through informal ways. Initiators would be told things and would pass on stories, premies would return from overseas and report on the latest Maharaji had said and administrators would be informed and they would use phone trees to communicate instructions. I heard about the order to destroy all the publications when my partner returned from a weekend in the nearest city premie community. I heard that satsang was over by arriving at the hall one night, seeing a hand-written sign on the door and talking with friends. I heard about the ashrams closing from the ashram residents looking for places to live. Sometimes there were premies who hadn't heard the latest guidelines and do things like a "Bolie Shri Satguru Dev Maharaj Ki Jai" when DLM admionistrators had decided to drop the Indian trappings and then missed joining in once Rawat had made his 1977 dcision to have Indian trappings back in. I have a recording somewhere where at the end of Rawat's speech a lone premie begins a Bolie Shri to have the microphone cut off. Strangely this was left on the tape or video, I forget which.
Many Journalists Saw Parallels Between Prem Rawat's Festivals and Nazi Rallies
- THE LOS ANGELES FREE PRESS, November 16, 1973: "Boli Shri Satguru Dev Marharaj Ki Jai" is the response, delivered in unison with both arms thrown toward heaven (or the Guru, whichever is closer) on the last word. The first time I saw this happen to 30,000 people in the Astrodome), it was one of the most frightening experiences of my life. My mind automatically flashed back to films I had seen of the early Hitler youth rallies and the "Seig Heil!" Nazi salute. And that moment in the Astrodome involved only 30,000; the Guru is said to have over eight million devotees.
- Divine Light Mission As a Social Organisation by Maeve Price: 17. Festivals often reach a peak of mindless fervour some might associate with a Nazi rally. At the festival held in Wembley in 1977 a 'seeker' drawn towards the idea of receiving 'knowledge' told me she was completely put off by the way in which Maharaj Ji could manipulate his audience. She saw him to be as dangerous as a Hitler with the potential of leading his followers to violence and acts of destruction.
- From Slogans To Mantras by Stephen Kent: Other articles were critical of him in a more ominous tone, as they spoke about the fascism or Nazism that reporters felt within his organization. After noting that the "Guru's pig [i.e., police] force" bore the Orwellian "newspeak" tide "World Peace Corps," Ann Arbor Sun reporter Steve Haines indicated that, at Millennium '73, "15,000 gurunoids shouting their praise of the boy god Groomraji with their arms high in the air sound just like the Nuremburg [sic] rally flicks of the '30s that used to chill my spine in college" (Haines 1973-74, 9) .15 Similarly, an Augur reporter confessed that "his followers alarmed me. I was frightened by the total abdication of self direction, free will, and thought that they displayed. Like automatons they hook into a chant started by a leader and end with their arms shooting upwards in salute" (Massoglia 1974, 7). A few days after a reporter from Detroit's underground newspaper Fifth Estate took inspiration from the Yippies and "pie killed" Guru Maharaj Ji, two irate premies shattered the writer's skull with what probably was a blackjack (see Kelley 1973c, 1974b).
- The Fifth Estate: Interestingly enough, some of the philosophical undercurrents of the Divine Light activists are similar to those of fascism. Take "Fuehrer worship," for example. It's just like the Guru worship that these kids carry on. They do, after all, call him the perfect master and they say he's going to solve all social problems. Young Nazis said the same of Hitler in the '30s.
- Penthouse magazine: If the Divine Light Mission's cover-up attempt seems slightly suggestive of a Watergate, the sense of awe-inspiring power Guru Maharaj Ji instills in his devotees suggests another
historical parallel. Last summer a festival was held in London to celebrate Guru Maharaj Ji's arrival in Europe. Rennie Davis observed the calamitous effect it had on
British reporters. "When he spoke to 20,000 people and the press came, I watched the changes that the individual reporters went through - they were just completely freaked out
of their heads, saying, 'It's like Hitler, it reminds me of Hitler.' I mean, they saw this boy and they saw hands going up and the total WOW! - the total power. I mean, it's total
power, I can't tell you what it's like. They realized that this kid had 20,000 people in the palms of his hands. And they would go out and ravage this town for him, or do
anything he says. People who are in that whole England thing, they flash on Hitler."
American journalists witnessed the same phenomenon last November when the Divine Light Mission staged "Millennium 73," a sort of God-in at the Houston Astrodome that Davis soberly billed as "the most significant event in the history of the universe." And while far fewer than 20,000 people attended, leaving the other 99.99 percent of Americans doomed to eternal perdition, the spectacle evoked an almost universal reaction among the press-an image of the Nazi Nuremberg rallies. Thousands of wild-eyed, weeping devotees raising their hands in a double-fisted salute to their leader, shrieking the premie battle cry that echoed eerily throughout the cavernous grandstands, the moment of triumph for a cult of total obedience. I myself found my morbid fascination with this occult menagerie purged, exorcised, and finally banished back into the realm of the living as I recrossed the psychic Styx, grateful for the opportunity to resurface into the plain old insanity of America.