The Truth Is In There - The Meditation Experiment Fails
By the mid-1970s it was obvious to any interested observer (had there been such a person) that Rawat's Knowledge as a meditation and life-style that provided positive life-enhancing changes was a failure. This became obvious to many of the premies and they quietly left but those heavily committed to their belief in their Guru Maharaj Ji were mired in cognitive dissonance and were unable to discuss this failure openly.
However, in Australia, the head honcho was Derek Harper, a person of unbounded bumptious arrogance and his egomania allowed him to do things more circumspect administrators wouldn't. He had the gall to publicly expose the failure of Rawat's Knowledge to actually deliver on His promises though he could not actually phrase it or possibly even conceptualise it in that way. An editorial "Changing Gears" was published in the Golden Age magazine and the concenpt "pseudo-Knowledge" was introduced:
Especially over the last few weeks, the cry had been sounded throughout Australia: Derek to the south and Julie to the north have informed us of the dangers of "pseudo-Knowledge". For those who haven't heard, pseudo-Knowledge is a term for doing all the external activities associated with the practice of real Knowledge - going to satsang, working for Divine Light Mission, sitting down for an hour morning and night, speaking softly (or loudly, depending on your concept), eating vegetarian - without really meditating. The thesis on which this alarm has been sounded runs thus: Guru Maharaj Ji says, and certain premies experience, that through the practice of (real) Knowledge, one's life becomes balanced, fulfilled, exciting and full of love. In other words, mind doesn't effect you, and the Knowledge does. However, many young Australians who have supposedly been practising Knowledge for two or three or four years, still find their lives going violently up and down, still experience paranoia, still have trouble giving satsang, still find it hard to get on with this person or that person. So something, it has been surmised, is wrong: either Maharaj Ji's got his wires crossed and Knowledge isn't what he says it is, or else we're not practising it properly.
The author was certainly not the only premie who had been putting on a blissful face while living with the knowledge that something was wrong but possibly the first one to say so publicly in print:
… the realisation that there was something wrong with my practice of Knowledge and that I could and should do something about it, came out on top. Because I had known there was something wrong for a long time, but I had never been willing to face it, simply because I really thought I was trying as hard as I could. - Golden Age No. 31
David Lovejoy In England: Dedication and Meditation in Ashrams Promotes Immaturity and Irresponsibility
Two months later excerpts from a recording of a meeting with the guru in Leicester, England revealed they had the same problems: Ashram?: Golden Age No. 33
Well, I guess the largest part of the time was taken up with the question of the ashram. We've had a generation of ashram premies, some of whom have been in the ashram for five years now, and in many cases their development seems to have gone contrary to what we would like to see in the development of ashram premies-counter to what Maharaj Ji has expressed that he would like to see in the development of responsibility and maturity as we practise Knowledge for a long period of time. It just seems that the very controlled environment of the ashram, by reducing choice and reducing initiative, has in fact had the opposite effect on many premies - that they've not increased in maturity and they've not increased in responsibility.
The Australian premies conveniently forgot or possibly couldn't bring themselves to remember that their explanation ignored one of Rawat's most fundamental teachings. No-one could actually realise the Knowedge's gifts through their own effort but their effort was all that was required because if a premie made effort then the Guru's Divine Grace would automatically be provided, free of charge. Basically, everyone was practising pseudo-Knowledge and the Guru promised His Grace would empower them but it didn't.
Exodus - The Ashrams Are Closed and Premies Scatter
There was no further discussion on this topic as real life events overtook theory. The next issue of the Golden Age reported the exodus of premies from the ashram and the financial collapse of Divine Light Mission, Australia. Various true believers and the Guru attempted to explain everything was for the good despite appearances to the contrary.
The failure of meditation to deliver life changes was forgotten as the true believers jumped into a few years' roundabout of festivals, song, surrender, devotion and worship. Those who were unsatisfied with this approach went elsewhere.