Maharaji's Corporate Trainings
In the 1980s a group of close disciples of Maharaji's found themselves without support, without home and with no adult work experience they could fully disclose to prospective employers. For 10 to 15 or more years they had devoted themselves to Guru Maharaj Ji, the Lord of the Universe, living in the Divine Light Mission ashrams, travelling around from city to city giving satsang,and supposedly meditating a lot. Their main activity was making off-the-cuff, sincere speeches about the glories of Guru Maharaj Ji, specious speeches full of self-obsession, wishful thinking, absolute nonsense and completely devoid of factual data. Their training had prepared them well for work as counsellors, natural therapists, alternate healers, wellness teachers, gurus and Corporate Trainers - work where bullshit and the appearance of sincerity and expertise rule … the appearance.
By the late 1990s Rawat had a cohort of these Corporate Bullshit Arists like Valerio Pascotto, Mitch Ditkoff, W. Timothy Gallwey, Jean-Marie Bonthous still sniffing around his feet. For whatever reason Rawat decided to utilise this "expertise" and try to whip his unsatisfactory followers into shape in "team-building" exercises that were known as "the Trainings" amongst them. This appeared to have no long-term effect on the success of his organisations though at $1,000 per head it was financially successful. Records of some of the meetings in Miami and England were kept and became public through back channels but Visions International also published a video in 2000 filmed at a "training session" in Atlanta.
Nearly all of the trainees had been devotees of Maharaji for up to 30 years and so the idea that they needed such training was extraordinary enough in itself. What made it even more remarkable is that most of them had been doing such personal and public recruitment in the 1970's relatively successfully despite the derision Rawat as the Guru Maharaj Ji had received in the press. Rawat had ordered them to cease and desist publicly promoting Him and His Knowledge circa 1983 and in 1989 "advised" they not even talk about Him in private.
The video filmed during these sessions, titled 'Introducing the Possibility of Knowledge', a Visions International release, was produced in 2000. It contains scenes from two training sessions Élan Vital held attempting to teach Prem Rawat's "students how to introduce people to the "Possibility of Knowledge" and a speech in Miami. The "invited guests" paid dearly ($ hundreds) for the chance to be at these sessions as their Master was going to be there. Nearly all of them had been devotees of Maharaji, presumably meditation regularly, for up to 30 years and so the idea that they needed such training was extraordinary enough in itself. The seating at this "training session" was especially weird. Two rows of premies sitting around the walls craning their necks sideways with all the empty floor space.
Rawat explained the desired outcomes of the "training."
2. To avoid misleading scenarios.
3. To accomplish greater precision and synchronicity.
4. To utilize the help of the team.
Last, but not least, you should be able to utilize the help of the team. Do I believe in it, yeah, I do. Cause it takes a team, it has always taken a team. "From the time of Shri Maharaji whether he was sitting by his instructors, whether he's giving an event, it always took a team, it took a team effort to do it so let's not con ourselves into thinking it doesn't take a team. But once there is a clear recognition that it takes a team then may as well may as well make that team work.
For decades he had taught that the Perfect Master didn't need a team and that his father had demonstrated this to his mistaken devotees.
The Fundamental Fact is that "Knowledge and all things associated with it are compliments of the Master. The Master changes the rules, creates the rules, disposes of these rules as the Master wishes … You have to realize ownership of Knowledge resides with the Master." Anything related to Knowledge is a privilege, at the disposition of the Master.
When a lot of the mahatmas came to the West they brought with them immeasurable amount of concepts and it kinda went wild and there was no stopping it. The backlash of that I had to directly bear …
Rawat touched on the dilemma he faced from his perspective. "Knowledge works, look you mean, let's face it, Knowledge works. The Master when given that right environment does his thing and it's great. It all works." However, it is His students who are the connection to prospective others and if their experience of life simply impresses people with whom they come in contact then 'propagation' will skyrocket and new people da da da Their experience of life and Knowledge does not match the one Rawat preaches. Their short-term inspiration will, as always, fizzle out when they are back in the "real world" and Rawat's prophecies will fail. Neither party in this folie à deux can admit the truth so the roundabout will continue. They will provide enough finance and voluntary labour to keep the Prem Rawat bandwagon continuing and he will continue to play the part of the Master through his frustration while enjoying the personal jets, the Maybachs and other luxuries.