Derelict Harper: Saved by the Guru Maharaj Ji
The Harper Chronicles:
- Derek Harper Pseudo Premie : An Introduction
- Derek Harper's early autobiography self-titled Mad, Bad, Brilliant And Fucked
- Derek's Call to the World that Prem Rawat's Sacred Knowledge was the best drug of all
- Derek's Climb Up the Ladder of Success In Divine Light Mission
- Derek Realises Nearly Every Premie Is a Hopeless F*wit
- Derek Realises Prem Rawat Is a Hopeless F*wit
In many ways Derek Harper's story of how he became a premie ie a devotee of Prem Rawat's is similar to most other young Australian devotees of the 1970's. Those Australians who in the early 1970's, became "premies" of Prem Rawat, then calling himself Guru Maharaj Ji, did so after a history of extended drug abuse, mainly marijuana and LSD, and most of them had suffered mental and emotional problems caused by or intensified by this drug-taking. Nearly all of them reported an interest in, or practice of, spirituality, alternative health and life-styles and Eastern religions.
Harper was different. He admitted, actually he boasted that he only wanted to maximise his pleasure and do no study or work if at all possible. He was eventually expelled from school and began employment with his father, a wealthy Melbourne businessman. He then got a job in a stockbroking firm (the old boys' network?) because it seemed to give the greatest financial reward for the least effort and began regularly smoking marijuana and drinking whisky to excess. His work and attitudes were unsatisfactory and he was fired. When he ran out of money he had to stop lying around in the sun and was forced to get another job. He picked copy writing in an advertising agency because it seemed easy and lucrative. Like any poor little rich boy he probably would have gone back to Mommy and Daddy once he'd had enough slumming but, no surprise, despite cutting back on his drug use he began to spiral into depression and paranoia when he left work and began a "hippie lifestyle" in the Byron Bay area. Certainly not the first one to do that there either.
He read "Be Here Now" daily, carried it always and started to restructure his life around it. This immersion in ??? boredom certainly must have helped when he began his daily life of satsang, service and meditation. He left Byron Bay to see the Perfect Master, Shri Guru Maharaj Ji in Melbourne in October, 1972. The guru was a no-show (not for the first time either) Derek found some relief in "holy company" i.e. contact with premies, and after 2 days of 'satsang' he "received Knowledge" and returned to Byron Bay where he found out his depression and paranoia continued until he returned to the city and involved himself completely in a Divine Light Mission belief system and rigid ashram life.
Harper mistakenly thought he was an intellectual but he also believed "Be Here Now" was a deep and life-saving scripture. He wrote an appeal to drug addicts, alcoholics and dopers in which he claimed Prem Rawat's Knowledge was the ultimate drug experience.
Harper's egotism apparently knew no bounds and this enabled him to do and say things other premies could or would not. As the head honcho of the Australian DLM 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.
On his own admission, Harper wanted to maximise his pleasure and do no study or work if at all possible. He was eventually expelled from school and began employment with his father, a wealthy Melbourne businessman. He then got a job in a stockbroking firm because it seemed to give the greatest financial reward for the least amount of effort and began regularly smoking marijuana as well as drinking whisky. His work and attitudes were unsatisfactory and he was fired. When he ran out of money he had to stop lying around in the sun and was forced to get another job. He picked copy writing in an advertising agency because it seemed easy and lucrative.
The higher wages allowed him to drink more heavily, smoke more marijuana, eat more mushrooms, drop more LSD and abuse any available legal or illegal drug and some that weren't even invented yet. He was a legend in his own crazy mind. He began to suffer from mood swings, paranoia, depression, suicidal ideation, the normal results of youthful excess by a self-obsessed immature young man.
He was influenced by the book "Be Here Now" and adopted a set of "spiritual seeker" concepts
His lack of ethical constraints made him a great success in Divine Light Mssion. He ran Divine Sales which was a grotty second-hand store filled with goods collected by "jumbling" under the guise of charitable work. He became Finance Director of Divine Light Mission and in mid-1975 became the chief honcho, the Australian Divine United Organisation Director (various organisational name and title changes occurred at Rawat's behest) despite his dubious employment history. The pool of talent was conspicuous for it's lack of administrative experience as Divine Light Mission's recruitment had been nearly totally from the disaffected youth of the 1960's: "drop-outs, drug addicts and so-called hippies."