Attempt in Detroit
Afterwards, Maharaji went to the local ashram and was visibly furious in front of witnesses. Maharaji's brother Raja Ji [nominal head of M.'s security force, the WPC] then allegedly began inciting m's aides, the instructors [aka mahatmas], and security personnel for revenge.
Within days, an instructor close to M. [Fakiranand] and a cult accomplice [Richard Fletcher] arrived at the Detroit ashram, and they phoned Halley and tricked him into meeting with them, under the guise of being disaffected apostates who would reveal the meditation techniques of this fake guru who was scamming people. When Halley let the cult officials into his room, they told him to close his eyes to receive the light technique, whereupon Fakiranand began bashing in Halley's skull repeatedly with a concealed metal bludgeon. Halley screamed as he went into unconsciousness, and the assassins fled. Halley was rushed to a local hospital, and barely survived -- after operations and the implantation of a permanent metal plate in his skull. He remains disfigured for life, as the result of his severe injuries from the cult's concerted assassination attempt.
Almost immediately, upon learning of the botched assassination attempt in Denver, Maharaji personally directed DLM cult official Michael Donner to aid and abet the fugitives and "get Fakiranand out of the country" - in order to prevent their imminent capture and arrest by U.S. law officers.
Donner then flew to Detroit per M's instructions, and upon retrieving the assassins from a cult security hideout, received further instructions from the top, and then drove Fakiranand and another mahatma [instructor] to Chicago, whereupon they fled international justice by escaping on a commercial airline to India via London.
Several years later (in India), Fakiranand denounced Maharaji and said he [Fakiranand] had been ordered and coerced to kill Halley.
"I have seen some of what has been posted on the site re this situation. I was asked by m (at Bob Mishler's suggestion) to fly to Detroit and 'get Fakiranand out of the country'.
Bob arranged for me to see m before I left to 'do pranam' at which point m told me the above quote as well as expressed his displeasure with the mahatmas involved.
There were (as I remember) probably 4 mahatmas involved in the planning and discussion of revenge on Pat H. after the pie incident. Rajeshwar was one and the other names I do not remember.
From the culture in India it was completely 'normal' to physically attack anyone who would dare touch the guru. Revenge was a matter of honor among the mahatmas and those premies such as Fletcher under their sway.
Hence, whereas m seemed very upset on one hand he was quite understanding on the other, knowing the culture he brought them from.
Seems like there were two mahatmas that I drove from Detroit to Chicago to put them on a plane to India. Chicago-London-India.
(Not Canada as has been suggested elsewhere inaccurately).
Obviously, my head space at the time was to obey the directions I was given as a reasonable (at the time) road to follow resulting from the incident."
on the Forum. More Donner recollections (responding to the
It appears m pretended to disavow any impending revenge or assassination, on the one hand, but encouraged it on the other hand through his outright displays of anger [after the pie-throwing incident at the Detroit City Hall], his verbal asides to the mahatmas and DLM honchos, and the fact that he made no effort whatsoever to prevent the 'hit', given that it's very unlikely that he could not have been aware beforehand that some retaliation was imminent [what did he know, when, and what did he do, etc.?].
Then, after the murder attempt barely failed, you recently related here that m. ordered you to Detroit to 'get Fakiranand out of the country' -- thereby committing a criminal felony and engaging others in criminal racketeering -- just like the Mafia's Godfather. What do you know about Fakiranand and Fletcher's involvement/arrangements, r.e. how they set it up, who paid for their plane tickets to Detroit [and later out of the country], where they [and m.] were when m. told you to go to Detroit [was this the same day as the 'hit' , or the next day, etc.?]
Since statutes of limitations have clearly expired and there was a $10,000 settlement later paid to Pat, anyway, could you now Please tell everyone here EVERYTHING you know and can possibly remember about the facts/details/those involved in the 1) assassination attempt and the 2) subsequent flight from justice conspiracies, what you heard/or were told/was said, Witnessed, what you/they did, what Happened, the Logistics: in a Factual Chronological Sequence -- in Denver, then in Detroit, then Chicago, etc. and right afterwards organizationally [DLM spin-doctoring, settlement] r.e. this situation?
Other participants, witnesses you are aware of, and who else besides Fakiranand and Fletcher, who else in the car to Chicago, + you mentioned Rajeshwar's and other mahatmas' involvement? [thought he was once a judge, too!], etc.
Also, during the last phone calls between Denver and the Detroit ashram while Fakiranand was still there, some said you were going up and down the stairs relaying info to Fakiranand and someone else waiting in the car outside in front, and that one of the last phone calls [if not the last] before you left in the car for Chicago was a conversation with maharaji (according to Richard Royal, ashram general secretary, as related that night to other premies). What was Really going on?
Been wondering (along with others) for 28 years... Your indepth thoughtful response will also help clarify this subject in regard to the related epo site info already posted about the very serious m-Fakiranand-Halley matter.
Also, even believing that m might be the Lard of the Universe at that time, didn't you question his agya to commit a felony and to engage you and others in a criminal felony [on top of the murder attempt], and didn't you have any doubts, or misapprehensions? Why didn't you simply refuse the Godfather's assignment or immediately contact the police? Were you fearful, brainwashed to justify it somehow, or was this just more heavy business for the Lard? It frankly seems, in retrospect, that he deliberately selected people as his close subordinates who would do just about anything for him, unquestioningly, and without remorse or critical thinking...
Some of the former premie 'pawns' innocently and unwittingly involved in related 'service' in these same matters have expressed how they literally Agonized for years over the fact that they were 'used' by the DLM and/or ashram honchos to somehow assist the perpetrators, and that they didn't realize the ramifications of what was even happening until later; they were simply lied to by the premies in authority. Some DLM and Detroit ashram honchos obviously knew all along and didn't tell them, as these 'pawns' were ordered about on important organizational business, getting gas, food, reservations, guarding telephones from eavesdroppers, keeping Fakiranand away from the other inquisitive premies, etc.
For their sakes, please...
Where were they hiding before arriving to ashram to leave for Chicago airport? I do not remember except that it was arranged to keep Fakiranand and the unremembered other under control until I arrived. Probably WPC thing...Did they have their own ashram in Detroit? [yes]
No, Chicago ashram was not involved.
Richard Fletcher...no memory of him later though he and his brother (twin) were considered 'bongos' in Denver.
Criminal conspiracy? in some sense yes in retrospect ... though no charges were brought before they fled, were flown.
Yes to the general story line above."
"...WPC clearly top-down from Denver. Also, Raja Ji angle: yes, Denver WPC controlled WPC in States for few years until m slowly put it under his control...not wanting to move too fast to do so as Raja Ji was the WPC top guy and that was his power base and in the whole holy family thing m was trying not to alienate Raja Ji...still does what he can to not do so even though Raja costs m a fortune over the years (premies a fortune really). Often stuff would happen via WPC that m would only find out about later and usually not happy about it. Lemon was raja Ji's right hand...all clock and dagger stuff with lemon."
"p.s. on Raja Ji: I think Raja Ji gets off pretty easy around here. I gather he is in UK on m's business, touring to support m's message. He knows all this stuff about m, much more...how can he continue to support him...why does he? Ask him about his part in the Detroit, Halley, Fakiranand story...he stirred that pot good back then. How Raja Ji and m shared women...Raja Ji is in it for the free ride...at least that is what m always contended about Raja Ji. The whole idea of keeping your potential enemies close."
My own recollections: I was at the ashram on the day Donner arrived in Detroit. Most of us did not know about the assassination attempt, but we had heard that Fakiranand was in town. It was curious to me, however, that Fakiranand had not shown up at the ashram that day, which would have been standard procedure. Early that evening I was in the packed "satsang" room for guru worship and holy discourse of truth; it was very hot and muggy inside. Suddenly, through the window I saw an American car from the ashram pull up with Fakiranand inside, another passenger, and Donner at the wheel. I decided to split the satsang room, get some fresh air, and see what was happening outside.
As soon as I stepped into the front foyer of the house, the head of the ashram, Richard Royal, approached me. He took me aside and said he had some urgent and important service for me. There was a telephone in the foyer. Royal said he wanted me to guard the telephone -- not to pick up the receiver, and by no means to let anyone near the phone, let alone try to use, or eavesdrop. Royal kept repeating that it was very Very important that Nobody disturb or listen in on the phone calls which were taking place upstairs.
I asked Royal about the calls. At first, he would only say that they concerned important business with DLM headquarters in Denver. During the next 20 minutes, I saw Mike Donner going back and forth between the car outside and upstairs in the ashram relaying communications. Then, to my surprise, Royal came quietly downstairs once to check and confirm that I was still guarding the phone from the other people and had not been listening. He told me to keep guarding the phone, as the most important business call of all was taking place.
Finally, Donner came back downstairs and went outside to the car and the waiting occupants. Royal returned downstairs, and I asked him who was on the phone. Was it Mishler? No, he whispered. He then indicated that the call was from the highest power of all in the cult -- with the Boss himself.
Then, Royal directed me to go outside and act as a guard near Fakiranand, to keep the premies [devotees aka students] away from the mahatma [instructor], so they wouldn't talk to him (which seemed a bit strange to me). When Fakiranand saw me, he was startled and exclaimed, "You are Here?!" He was surprised to see me, since he had last seen me at an event with M. in Los Angeles. I was surprised, too, since Fakiranand was not wearing his usual saffron robes, but rather American civilian clothes and a wool cap [on a hot summer evening]. He was almost unrecognizable in this disguise. Someone opened the trunk and something was removed, and then replaced with luggage. After some more goings-on, Donner and Fakiranand got into the car with the other passenger, and Donner drove away fast. I never saw Fakiranand again.
Several weeks later, I learned about Fakiranand's murder attempt on reporter Patrick Halley in a media publication. I never did make the connection in my mind with the events of that evening until this year , from details and articles posted on ex-premie.org .
As we prepared for the Millennium festival in Houston in October 1973, amidst rumors, cult officials tried to portray Fakiranand as a fanatic on a rogue operation. When Maharaji himself was subsequently asked one question by a reporter about the incident, he deflected the question, without answering it. To the best of my knowledge, he has never been interrogated by the police or FBI regarding his possible involvement in the cult murder conspiracy to kill Halley, or his direct criminal involvement and federal racketeering in ordering the aiding and abetting of the fugitive cult operative thugs.
When I learned more about the entire incident on ex-premie.org from articles and the accounts of others this past year, my memory stirred, and I began to reflect on what I had observed many years ago. It filled me with both anger and deep remorse, that I [and other innocent people] had been unwittingly used like pawns in the process of expediting a criminal conspiracy involving cult fugitives' flight from justice -- as personally ordered by Prempal Singh Rawat.
(Based on these legitimate, extremely serious abiding concerns, I asked Mike Donner to share his recollections of the events, and I also requested some responses from Pat Halley, including the following letter (which was forwarded to me). A number of related articles and letters are now permanently posted at ex-premie.org for worldwide inspection and education, pertaining to the patently criminal nature and extent of some of the Maharaji cult's operations.)
In conclusion, I hereby submit the final letter of the series received from Patrick Halley himself this year. My own conscience is clean.
touring in Switzerland after the 'Detroit
As I wrote her a while ago, the general understanding in the States and Canada is that Fakiranand was retired straight after the Pat Halley incident.
In fact, he was flown to Switzerland where he toured around as a fully fledged mahatma for several months leading up to Millennium, spreading his terrifying brand of obsessive devotion to m. No-one there knew what he had done with the hammer - I spent many weeks driving him around and looking after him, and was not given not the slightest hint of how dangerous he was.
Yet again, this represents to a clear indication that m really has never cared for his premies and only cares about fulfilling his own self-serving mission at any cost.
Sat, Feb 02, 2002 at 05:00:21 (EST)
On an almost weekly basis, I would travel to Basel to get involved in the propagation activities of the ashram in that city. The only person's name that I can remember of the people who lived there was Matthias, later to become the notorious instructor. But that's a different story.
Since this is almost 30 years ago, I am wary of my fading memory. However, I first saw Fakiranand at a public programme in Basel in early October 1973 - I remember it well, because it was there that I saw my wife for the first time and she was there as an aspirant. I can still visualise many of the details of the programme (as well of my first impressions of my wife!). At that time, his driver and translator was an Australian premie, also called Nick. He also had a very, very strange 'valet', a Scottish guy, called Dougie I think, who had done some very early propagation in Iceland.
Being one of the few premies to have a half decent car, I soon found myself driving him around to a number of programmes. I have tried to find documentary evidence of this and still have a leaflet advertising 2 programmes on 18 and 19 October in Delemont, a town in French speaking Switzerland. It advertises that a Mahatma will speak - the leaflet neither names Fakiranand nor has the year - but I know when I was there! I also accompanied Fakiranand to other programmes in Zurich, Bern, and Biel - maybe other towns as well, but I prefer to stick with facts I am sure of.
This was all before the Millennium Programme in Houston - 8-10 November 1973. I remember personally asking Fakiranand why he wasn't going to Houston, and he simply said that Maharaji had other plans for him. He did not want to speak about it.
I have a vague memory that at the same period, he spent a few days either in Austria or Germany. I asked him to come to France to do a programme in my town. He was keen, but I was then told that he did not have the necessary visas - so I am a little dubious that he actually went to France then at all. I have been looking back through old copies of 'Lumière Divine' (French equivalent of Divine Times) and found no reference to him, but the ones I have got date from early '74. His tour was full of incidents, reflecting his insane fanaticism. But I was young, naive and, being very very pliable, got on with him fine and enjoyed my time with him. It is only in retrospect that I realise how totally outrageous it was that m sent him to Europe at this time.
Again, from what I remember, Fakiranand went back to India just before Millennium and didn't come back. It was subsequent to this that various tidbits of information started to filter through about what he did to Pat Halley. Swiss 'luminaries' of that time included Willow Baker, a photographer Gabi, Daniel Staeli. Willow is still very heavily involved in the cult and I have no idea at all where the 2 others are. Apart from that, I can only remember faces but not names.
Tues, Mar 19, 2002 at 12:08:52 (EST)
I do not believe that m instructed him to attack Pat Halley. Nor do I believe that m was happy about the attack actually. I know that he was angry about the attack and not just show anger ... my opinion.
Also, Fakiranand was sent to India, not Europe. I do not remember that Fakiranand ever left India after that. Not completely sure however. But he went from Detroit to Chicago by car...I was in that car...and ticketed to India via London.
It would not have taken much for the mahatmas (Rajeswar was also in on the meetings with two other mahatmas to plan the attack...which I learned later) to have acted alone...to even be proving their loyalty and balls to the 'lord'. Halley's act was considered a mortal sin within the context of the then prevalent theology.
Halley's First Letter on the
A couple weeks ago, the Penthouse article about Pat Halley throwing a pie in Maharaji's face was posted here. There was then some speculation about Pat's current status. I noted that there was a Patrick Halley still listed in Detroit's white pages, so I wrote that person a short note. Sure enough, it was THE Patrick Halley and he wrote back a nice letter. He gave permission for the letter to be posted here, so here it is:
I am very pleased to hear from any premie or ex-premie of Guru Maharaji. I would join the web discussion but am not hooked up...ah, to be rejected by, first, God, and then his electronic reflection. My partner is hooked up and does the digging, I spend so much time studying, reading and writing I have little time for chat rooms; and I like letters better anyway, they have a material solidity that is appealing. Yourself or any entities concerned are welcome to write, call, or whatever.
I am not in journalist's union, I am a ghost-writer for an economics professor whom has column in tri-county legal news here, and I drive a taxi in city of Detroit. If you or friend could send me a copy of that Penthouse article I would be in your debt, I 'loaned' mine out years ago, and, times being as they are, never saw it again.
For the record, I never hated Guru Maharaji, nor what I call the 'alternative consciousness movement.' I am, unofficially, a Buddhist, and was at the time of the pie incident. I used to be an official buddhist but had trouble with Nichiren Shoshu people because I wouldn't conform to their every way. Who are they, or anyone else, to stand between me and 'God?'
Of course, I was the first one to stand up to CULTS even before the concept was clear. I used to teach meditation at a free university in Detroit and we studied comparative religions. I was always very impressed with KRISHNAMURTI who, like Maharaji was a teenage Guru exploited by a cult movement. But he revolted and dropped out...long before Divine Light Mission arose in the States. I read many of his books and still do, he is very much an advocate of taking personal responsibility for your consciousness and has always scoffed at religious, academic and almost all other authority.
It was in this context that I went after Guru Maharaji. I did, as a reporter, go to a few Divine Light meetings, and clearly saw it as little more than an Amway of the mind. Although, I do say the Divine Light Mission does have a viable meditation method. I can tell by the 'contact high'...the vibes I got from close proximity to followers. The thing is, I know several meditations myself, so I know but I know that it is an ill thing to use this to manipulate people.
The other thing, which I learned from Zen Buddhism, is that Divine Light didn't have a good exit strategy. In other words, there needs to be a way or an understanding to integrate spiritual experience with daily life. As an example: I was in downtown Vancouver (Canada) with a student of Scientology. He told me, in extolling the benefits of Scientology, that after mastering this discipline he would be able to stop traffic on the street, enabling him to walk across unimpeded. I responded that as a student of Zen, I would wait for the traffic to clear, and then walk across the street like everybody else. This was in 1970, I was 20 years old and hitchhiking around North America.
You see, John Travolta is a Scientologist, and these people are also deluded and exploited...yet, I figure they probably have some viable lessons or methods that could SHARE if they were a true religion.
The only reason I pied Guru Maharaji, as opposed to another religious figure was timing. He happened to be coming to Detroit to get 'Key to the City' while I was involved in the Underground Press. So if you combine political activism with my 'mystical' background (along with the fact that I had been doing theatre and performance art as well) you can see that this poor 16 year old was in the wrong place at the wrong time.
A few years later, when interviewed by Detroit Free Press in a follow-up article, I was asked if there was anyone else I would pie, and I mentioned the Pope. (I got a lot of flak from inlaws for that). You see, I didn't think I was anyone special, I wanted and believe that everyone should throw pies at all kinds of phony authority figures. In that regard, I started a movement. Even a few months ago someone pied Cretian, the prime minister of Canada. George Bush Senior, countless mayors, university deans and various politicians at all levels have been pied around the world. That is all I wanted - for everybody to loosen up and get a little crazy, or, actually, get real, and we have.
By the way, one of the Detroit Free Press reporters who misquoted me after the 'event' got a deal lined up to do a cover story for Rolling Stone magazine, about me. I was, as the song went, to be 'on the cover of the Rolling stone.' Fame, or more fame, and certainly fortune, in the form of a book deal, probably, a tour and all such trappings awaited me, and, to the dismay of many of my friends, and especially my parents, I turned it down.
Becoming a cult figure myself was not the way. Such would have betrayed everything I was and said. I felt that I was making poetry, I was the poem, I was not a hollywood movie and I was not even the story.
Years later, as I wheel a cab down dark deserted streets at 3 or 4 in the morning in blue jeans that are faded and empty of cash I still remind myself that I was correct. Actually, I had no choice, it wasn't me that threw the pie...it wasn't me that faced up dug up the concept of the cult. It was fate, it was the wind, it was the three stooges, it was infinity, it was the availability of cheap ingredients making such an incident inevitable...was the law or randomness, chaos...it was me, and it was all of us.
So say hi to all the ex or present premies for me, tell them that I said God loves those that make him (her) laugh, wants us to laugh. I'd love for the Guru to write or call me. He can come and watch me play hockey with the boys in downriver Detroit, and have a few beers with us. Tell him I'm not afraid, that I know it was his corporate people who ordered I be killed, (this I was told by Jupteswar Mishra, one of those who crushed my skull with a crow-bar). Tell the Guru to read the Conan the Barbarian novels where priests and magicians are routinely axed by wildmen from the north country.
By the way, you can share this letter with anyone you like, on line or otherwise, and please send me copy of Penthouse article if you can. Meanwhile, anyone may also write to me, I enjoy such. I do publish articles and write a lot, and like the fact that it is a tradition. I enjoy many traditions.
In the meantime,
Keep love and freedom in your mind.
Halley's Second Letter on the
How about a little comic relief? After reading Michael Dettmer's latest revelations, I could use some. So here is Patrick Halley's latest, amusing letter. (Actually, part of the letter can be disturbing, as well as funny).
(Patrick first wrote us a couple weeks ago about the incident where he threw a pie in Guru Maharaj Ji's face, in 1974. He requested the Penthouse article about him and the Guru. He was sent the article and now sends his second letter).
Dec. 12, 2000
It was a treat reading the Penthouse interview after so many years, there is much that I have forgotten. Also, the web responses...I must admit a little concern when an ex-premie still refers to Mr. Rawat as 'Our Lord.' Anyway, I'll try to answer a few of the questions brought up.
The lawsuit settlement was not $100,000, it was a tenth of that; were I more vain, such a sum would probably barely cover the plastic surgery necessary to restore my face.
Before Fakiranand and Fletcher attacked me, the weight of public opinion was against me. I was terribly misquoted by the two Detroit newspapers, and made to look foolish. For instance, the statement I prepared said 'This should not be seen merely as a protest against this Guru, whom I consider a fraud, but, also, as a protest against 2,500 years of illegitimate religious authority.'
The Detroit Free Press QUOTED me as saying, 'I hate authority. God is an authority, therefore, I hate God!' The Detroit News didn't even come remotely close to what I said, but it, at least, didn't make me sound like a blazing idiot.
Hey, my own father thought what I did was a cheap shot and that I was a coward, of sorts, for picking a religious figure a 'sissy' to attack with a pie. I was attacked by editorials in both newspapers and the Free Press used the misquote in their editorial, and called me a racist and religious bigot.
There was no word for 'cults' back then, and everything was confusing to the public, which is exactly why I stepped in, having read Krishnamurti, Paul Reps, Alan Watts, the Bhagavad Gita, Koran, Bible, etc.
It was only because I was attacked and almost killed that public opinion (including my Dad) turned my way. If they would have left me alone I would have considered my act a failure, a silly public relations stunt and nothing more, like everyone else.
I received a letter two years later from Fakiranand, a copy was also sent to the Detroit Police. He said that he was ordered to kill me by the President of the organization (not Maharaj Ji) and he denounced the Guru and the entire organization, claiming that they used the threat of deportation to force him into it.
I don't think it is possible to really know. At this time there was a big split in the organization, the guru married his secretary (to avoid deportation) and the family in India turned against him, denouncing him there. In Denver, the Guru had his family in India-his mother and brothers-'deholified.' Because of this obvious rift it is difficult to believe either side's version nor is it important - they are all a bunch of blood sucking money grubbing hustlers and pimps, always were. Get this straight all you who waver - heaven is not for sale!
It is not even for rent. Reincarnation, which the Buddha opposed as a concept, was always used (as the Christians used heaven and hell) by Brahma class to justify their ill-got positions of power, and the priests use it as a club to beat their followers into fear and submission. I was told, by local Premies back then, that the word was I was going to be a single-celled organism in my next life. My response? 'Beats the hell out of a radioactive isotope.'
I wish I could get a video or disc of that interview you mentioned, I never saw it or even knew it existed. I would gladly send a check or cash to cover any expense of a person that sent it to me. My son would get a kick out of it, as would my friends on the hockey team I play on.
An artist friend of mine once said that the pie throwing was the invention of, the first instance of, performance art. Since then, George Bush, when head of the CIA, got pied, as did Prime Minister of Canada, and, two weeks ago, the U.S. representative to the World Conference on Global Warming.
Having invented, or transformed at least, a new form of political expression is, to me, more important than embarrassing Guru Maharaj Ji. I was on a political newspaper at the time, and the Guru was only an opportunity, not a particular cause of mine. It could have been a lot of people, but it happened to be him. Maybe in my unconscious, fate had planted a seed-maybe the Guru's karma caught up with him, maybe some other God, having mercy on premies set me up...I don't know, and don't lose any sleep over it.
Stay free, remember, as Alan Ginsberg wrote: 'weep even for the cracks in the pavement you step on while going to pray, for, yes, they are holy.'
T'was kind of you to keep sending me stuff. First, you may tell Suchabanana that I don't have record of all the details he (they) want in regards attack by Fakiranand. (His real name is Jupteswar Misra) As far as I'm concerned the issue is over. Anyway "Fakiranand" went back to India and mailed me a letter (in 1978 or so) and a copy to the Detroit Police.
I've long ago thrown away the letter, doubting its veracity. It may be interesting to note that while this freak has Premies bow to pictures of the Master, and does so himself publicly, before they assailed me, Fakiranand and his henchman denounced Maharaji as a fake and a scam. His letter from India said the same thing and claimed he was coerced into attacking me by the corporate big shots in DLM, at the threat of deportation and other unspecified pressures. I don't see why anyone should believe him now anymore than I foolishly believed him when he was setting me up in 1973.
There is no need to try to avenge this act, legally or otherwise. Fact is, public opinion was against me after I pied the fat punk. The Detroit Free Press attacked me in an editorial the next day, even calling me a racist and religious bigot, and claimed [that] Detroit, with its high murder rate needed peace, even if they were giving the key to the city to a person with a somewhat curious religion. Even some people I had known for years were against what I did, and my own father accused me of going for cheap publicity and of picking an easy target - calling me a coward in an offhand sort of way.
Fakiranand's act vindicated me, and turned public opinion my way. We have to remember this occurred a good 3 or 4 years before the term "cult" entered the public lexicon and people were very confused and uncertain; I just happened to be a student of comparative religions. I went from being some kind of "terrorist" in the public mind to vindication and just this year editors of the Detroit Free Press published a book - The Detroit Almanac - in honor of the city's 300th birthday. I am in it, in a section called the "The X-Files." Along with past championship hockey and football teams, former Mayors and Generals, inventors, slumlords and Indian chiefs - I will go down in history. Of course, I was misquoted in the original Detroit Free Press story, and the misquote will go into history with me, but what can you expect from a newspaper that attacked me for protesting the awarding of the "key to the city" to a 16 year old in a Seersucker suit who claims he is [the] reincarnation of Jesus, Buddha, etc. But anyway, my point is that Fakiranand, and the knuckleheads that sent him hurt the DLM even as they hurt me, and when I got out of [the] hospital there were even more interviews with radio stations around the continent where I had opportunity to warn people about DLM and other such groups. It may have saved a few people some time and money, and anguish.
If anyone wants to get even with DLM they need not use me as either an icon or an excuse; start a pie avalanche, go after the local pooh-bahs, hire street kids to graffiti DLM offices: "CULT SLAVES", or other insults. Trust me, if I had felt a necessity for revenge on my account I would have avenged myself long ago. I am healthy, play ice hockey 50 weeks out of the year - and as the say in hockey - you have to be able to take a hit as well as give one out, nothing personal. So to Suchabanana I say go after them for what was done to you, if you feel like it, I have no more legal recourse, nor emotional baggage, I look on that period more with humor than anything else.
But William, if you could respond to Francesca I would appreciate it. If she is who I remember, she was a nice friend. And especially too, she knows old friends that I've lost contact with. The first time I went to [the] West Coast was in 1970 in a '56 Pontiac with Mike Zeiger... Francesca knows his brother (as I do) and would love to hear from her about all this.
I hope you are doing well, William, and all the other ex-premies. I had a thought, it would be interesting, in the long run, to see if a link could be made with dropouts from other cults and persons exploited by weird religious groups - even far right Christian groups. In the December issue of Penthouse  is a nude photo layout of Paula Jones, the lady who sued President Clinton for sexual harassment. The story accompanying this is awesome, showing how she was manipulated by televangelists and other freaks to hound Clinton. And think, the same supreme court that called off the voting in Florida also ruled, for the first time ever, that a sitting President could be sued while in office and intimate details of his sexual life tortured out of him in public. (and they thought "1984" was bad.)
My point is, that as you ex-premies reach a certain equilibrium you may decide to expand your outreach, my brothers and sisters, because as I actually heard Swami Satchidananda say in a lecture in Detroit (I've always studied various meditations): "POLITICS AND RELIGION ARE INSEPARABLE."
This goofy Maharaji Ji, the Beaver Cleaver of religion is only part of the world's spiritual problems. In an oddly poetic way, I guess I'm one of the witches they tried to burn but I leapt out of the flames, barely in time.
We all will have billions of years to get over this anyway.
Much Love and Hope
M.'s last public interview with the legit media was held in Houston, Texas prior to the Millennium '73 festival. A press reporter asked him about the murder attempt and whether anyone had investigated it to see who was responsible, etc. Maharaji's press officer fails to derail the questioning and the visibly annoyed Maharaji says something like this: "Yes, someone should find out [or look into it]" (featured in the Lord of the Universe video). Curiously, M. never did another public media interview for 29 years thereafter - very coincidental.