Paper: Charlotte Observer, The (NC)
Flower power. Power to the people. Peace, love and Woodstock. Right on. But right on to what? And where did all the hippies, their gear and their gurus go? It seems like a faint memory now, a paisley print washed too many times. Kent State is just another school in Ohio. The Vietnam War is long lost.
Volkswagen doesn't even make bugs anymore. And most of the gurus have been booted out for back taxes or vanished into obscurity. What's left of the '60s? What tokens of The Revolution have made it to the '80s? And which are as dead as the lava lamp?
Here's the view, 20 years later:
*Guru Maharaj Ji. Remember when the Cosmic Kid, age 15, declared himself "The Lord of the Universe", "The Perfect Master" and owner/operator of the Divine Light Mission in Denver? The group claimed a following of 6 million worldwide (150 of them in Charlotte) during its early `70s peak. Ji preached celibacy and an end to materialism.
By 1975, his mother renounced the pudgy fellow's guru status, saying he was a playboy (at age 17, he married his 24-year-old secretary) and lived the good life - including a $400,000 estate in Malibu. In 1979, the group moved its national headquarters to Miami, Fla. and into obscurity.