the Possibility of Prem Rawat
Prem Rawat seems like pretty confident guy, at least when he's in his Maharaji persona. Of course he only appears in public in front of his long-term and loyal devotees and even then there's always "security" and he travels in a personal jet and is whisked away in limousines to luxury hotels or private Residences. So I was a little puzzled back in 2000 when he began talking about the "Possibility of Peace" through his (Self) Knowledge. In the 30 years prior to that he had spoken about his 'Knowledge' or "Self Knowledge" as if these required no caveats but were guaranteed to provide the certainty of peace. Of course he must have known that instructing people to accept his teaching and guidance and initiating them into his techniques of meditation was a vary chancy thing. After some initial success he'd spent the years since 1974 recruiting very few new Western followers after a significant drop in the early 1980s when he changed his name, his clothing, his persona, his teachings and his hair-style all in one swift brutal session.
For whatever reason after 20 years of quiet living as a niche guru/inspirational speaker with a very luxurious lifestyle but not enough funding to fly the jet of his dreams he made a change. He initiated "the Trainings" and buoyed by his now sharp and inspired team of mature age followers (hopefully/possibly) he began selling the "Possibility of Peace" more publicly than he had for 20 years though still hedged with all sorts of secrecy and rules. He also allowed the creation of the Prem Rawat Foundation, financed it with the sale of his art to his wealthiest followers and began a blizzard of phony publicity re his charitable contributions and began developing his very own personal super-villain's lair, his cult compound: Amaroo. Begin Phase 3! or was it just a mid-life crisis?
Times have changed and the competition for true believers or even fly-by-night give-it-a-chancers is enormous. It's a global spiritual free-for-all out there for the first time since the Fall of the Roman Empire.
So what growth statistics can The Prem Rawat Foundation of Words of Peace Global that will look impressive. Apparently:
- Year 2019: 1,083,432,729 (incl. figures for India) potential media reach
- Year 2019: 395,600 YouTube views
Yes thanks to the internet and especially Youtube and Facebook over a billion people could watch Prem premtificate if they wanted to or stumbled into it by chance. There are a lot of TVs in India these days. A significant number of people watched one of his Youtube videos for an average of 15 minutes each. This is statistics as Rawat likes them. They tell you very little. Maybe some comparison would be helpful:
- Luis Fonso's video "Despacito" has had over 6.9 billion views as of September 2020.
- Felix Kjellberg has had 25,952,832,497 at the last count views of his self-produced videos.
Felix did not inherit the title of Lord of the Universe and did not have thousands of people donating money to him for 50 years but using his individual talent he has attracted more than 50,000 times as many views as Prem Rawat.
The Problemo for the Would Be Supremo Prembo
Prem Is a Bore - There is a Lot of People Who Aren't