The Jagdeo Issue
Correspondence with Mr Rawat

Susan and another victim were assaulted by Jagdeo in Miami in 1977.

What follows is a letter that Susan sent to Prempal Singh Rawat (Maharaji) which was delivered with the assistance of Michael Dettmers. Susan's letter was a response to a FAQ alluding to the Jagdeo situation which has since been thankfully removed from the EV website. Michael was able to send a letter to Rawat and enclosed Susan's letter. The following are copies of Susan and Michael's letters, a report of the response from EV as well as copies of letters from EV. Noticeably absent is any response, explanation or apology from Prempal Singh Rawat himself.

When Elan Vital were forced to respond publicly to statements by Susan and 'A', they again acted “innocently”, claiming they didn’t know the victims names and hadn’t received any information from the victims.

This was despite the fact that Jagdeo had been reported to officials at least three times, and that 'A' and Susan’s accounts had been published on a website that the cult’s lawyers had tried to close down.

Posted on Forum V

My letter to Rawat and EV's response
From: Susan


Dear all,

I took a break from posting because was in the process of responding to the Élan Vital’s FAQ regarding Jagdeo, “Has Élan Vital covered up alleged past improper behavior?” Now that I have received an official response from EV, here is my report on the actions I have taken.

After much thought as to how best respond to EV’s FAQ, I decided to write a letter to Rawat and try to have it delivered to him directly. I was able to accomplish this with the assistance of Michael Dettmers. Although Michael was not sure that he could succeed in getting my letter delivered directly to Rawat since he had had no contact with Rawat for at least a decade, he promised me that he would use whatever “residual influence” he may still have to see that my letter was delivered personally to Rawat by someone who has direct access to him. To that end, Michael enclosed my letter inside a personal letter he wrote to Rawat. When Rawat received Michael’s letter, he did not know the purpose of Michael’s communiqué nor that it contained my letter. Given EV’s subsequent responses to our letters, I am confident that Rawat received my letter. What follows are copies of our letters and EV’s responses.

My letter to Rawat (I am editing the original letter I sent to respect the privacy of another victim)

July 19, 2000

Dear Mr. Rawat,

My name is Susan Haupt. I am the person known as “Susan” who has made public on the ”Ex-premie Website” my experience with Jagdeo when I was a teenager.

I am writing to you now in response to claims made on your Élan Vital website in a new section called FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions). In response to the question “Has Élan Vital covered up alleged past improper behavior?” you state that “We are aware that some opposing sites make allegations in particular against one individual concerning events alleged to have happened 25 years ago. This kind of behavior, if true, is completely unacceptable to Élan Vital and we would be as appalled as anyone if this was found to be true. The only information we have comes from postings on these sites. We were able to contact two individuals who made these allegations and asked that they help shed light on what happened but as yet have received no cooperation from them. As it stands Élan Vital has still received no direct information from any of the alleged victims and to date no complaint has been filed with Élan Vital or with any authorities”.

Mr. Rawat let me assure you that twice in the past I have reported what had happened to me and what I knew about Jagdeo. First to Randy Prouty and secondly to Judy Osborne who both allegedly now claim “no recollection” of the conversations I had with them. So naturally, I feel insulted that you think I am unwilling to come forward with a complaint, nor do I have any trust that Élan Vital really wishes to seriously investigate this matter. However, I still have deep concern that Jagdeo may still be molesting children, despite his advanced age, and if reporting this matter a third time might allow you to finally stop him, I shall do so.

Although I am now 38 and happily married with three children, in 1977, I was a 15-year-old premie living in Miami. I had been very involved with the Divine Light Mission for the previous two years and had received knowledge from Mahatma Jagdeo in January 1975. I was very sincere in my commitment to “Guru Maharaj Ji” and when I sang arti I believed every word. I also lined up with the other premies to receive darshan. I believed I was a part of the greatest miracle of the perfect master incarnating on earth to bring Knowledge and peace to mankind.
I point this out now because, had I not believed these things, I might have dealt with what I knew about Jagdeo differently. How I dealt with what did happen is something I regret tremendously. To understand what happened, and how it happened, one really has to recall the common premie beliefs of that time. These were beliefs that you were obviously well aware of and promoted. I went to satsang nearly every night, meditated morning and night, and attended every festival I could. I believed you were the perfect master, superior power in person, my Lord, my satguru. I believed you to be a benevolent, kind, messiah-like figure.

So in 1977, I was 15, when Jagdeo returned to Miami, I was thrilled because, as my initiator, he was special to me. He also seemed to have a special fondness for children. At my knowledge selection and session, several young girls with flowers in their hair sat at his feet. At this time in DLM, Mahatmas were treated with great respect, and certainly it was an honor for these girls to sit facing the crowd, at Mahatma Ji’s feet. Everyone knew he seemed to love children. In 1977, he invited me, then 15, and another (edited for privacy) to the Venetian pool in Coral Gables. I felt honored. An ashram premie brother drove us there (I do not remember his name). While we were in the pool, Jagdeo rubbed up against me over and over. He did this especially in the caves there. But, I did not think too much about it, I thought it was accidental.

When we returned to the ashram (edited for privacy) and I were alone with him for the first time. He began singing songs and shouting “Bhole Shri Satguru Dev Maharaj Ki Jai” a lot. We would sing and cheer with him. After each song or cheer he would hug us. At first it just seemed like we were expressing joy over being premies and the fact that Guru Maharaj Ji, the living perfect master, was here and we were his devotees. But, these hugs evolved into something else. Each time he would hug us, his hands would end up on our breasts or buttocks. I would try to wiggle out of these hugs without being obviously disrespectful to him. I could not believe it was happening. I questioned my own judgment. I thought maybe in India people did not know not to touch these areas, I thought maybe Mahatma Ji was so “pure” that he did not know. But he was trembling each time he touched us. (edited for privacy here too, but this section of the letter makes it clear that I knew of worse incidents of abuse than what happened to me) also told me that the other girls at my knowledge session had experienced some level of molestation from him, as they refused to go near him and called him “nasty”.
I was very upset about this and I knew that it had to end. I was certain as to the correct way to end it as well. I had to let Guru Maharaj Ji know. I did not even consider telling my mom, a non-premie, or the police. Not only did I not want to embarrass Guru Maharaj Ji by telling, I also genuinely felt that telling you about this situation was the ultimate way to find justice. I loved and trusted you completely, but you were not terribly accessible to the average premie.

I knew Randy Prouty fairly well from his days as a community coordinator in Miami in 1975. I thought highly of him and he had personal access to you. I felt that telling Randy would be the best way to let you know. So, when Randy came to Miami in 1977, I told him what had happened (edited for privacy here but I did make it clear to Randy that there was worse abuse and more victims than just myself). Randy said “You did the right thing to tell me,” and that he would tell you. I trusted Randy, and Guru Maharaj Ji. I felt I had done the right thing. I was very aware that if Jagdeo did this over the span of two years to several children in Miami, that it was likely he did this wherever he went to many children. But I also felt that, in telling Randy, I was giving you the information you needed to stop him.

Later, I saw that Jagdeo seemed to be still traveling as an initiator. I even saw him in the entrance to a darshan tunnel. It was very disturbing to see a child molester as one of the people greeting people as they came in. I hoped that maybe you had a guard on him. Now, a few years later, when I thought about what I had seen, Jagdeo in the darshan line tunnel, Jagdeo at festivals, the idea that he had a 24-hour guard seemed ludicrous. I wondered if perhaps Randy had never told you as he said he had. Perhaps, he had downplayed the seriousness of it. One day I was watching a talk show and the topic was child sexual abuse and pedophiles. It was emphasized that these people never get better. Of course, I thought about Jagdeo.

At that point, I decided to tell my story again. I knew of Judy Osborne through some premie friends. I was very involved in natural childbirth education and knew Judy was Marolyn’s midwife. I thought perhaps a woman, and a midwife, would understand how serious this was. I do not remember if I called her or wrote her, but somehow I got a message through to her to call me. She did, and I told her the story. I want to emphasize that I did not tell her I had ever told Randy, or anyone, about Jagdeo before. I did this because I wanted the issue presented to you again. I thought maybe with all the publicity about pedophiles, the seriousness of this situation would be recognized. Judy was very respectful and caring. I felt she did understand that this was important. She called me back about a week later and said that she told you, and that you had heard about this before, and was glad it was “not a new incident.“

How did I feel? One thing I felt was guilt for not trusting Randy. Obviously, Randy had indeed relayed my story to you. I said to Judy, “Yes, I had told Randy years ago when it had happened, but I thought he must not have told you as nothing was done that I could tell.” Judy seemed a little annoyed that I had not told her about telling Randy. She said, “Randy is a good guy, of course he would have told Maharaj Ji”. I felt it was out of my hands. I do not know if I considered telling the police at that time. By now, I had two small children, no means of supporting myself, and a husband who worked at DECA. I also still could not imagine why you would not do something about Jagdeo, if only to protect yourself. Frankly, I still do not understand that.

Over a decade later, I was remarried and living happily in California. I had not thought much about you or premies for many years. But, when I got online and discovered the wonders of a search engine, I thought, “hmm….whatever happened to the Guru….” and I found “Ex premie org.” When I relayed what had happened regarding Jagdeo, I was quickly put in touch with another victim, 'A'. 'A' lived in England when she was molested by Jagdeo much worse than I was. My worst fears about him were true; it was one thing to suspect he molested children all over the globe, now I knew it. This was very upsetting to me.

Given this background, I’m sure you will understand why I feel insulted by the statement on your website that you have contacted the two victims who refuse to speak to you. To make matters worse, Glen Whitaker’s insulting letter denies that I ever reported this before when indeed I have reported it twice.

So why on earth am I writing to you now? Frankly, I have grave doubts that this letter will effect any change whatsoever. But, I do care, very much, that wherever Jagdeo is, children are in danger. I do want to do what is right and I do not trust your organization at all. Frankly, I do not trust you either. I have many bitter feelings; both about how the issue of Jagdeo was handled and about the years I spent worshipping you. Mr. Dettmers, whom I have found to be a very honorable man, states that how the matter of Jagdeo was handled was uncharacteristic of your response to other similar events of sexual misconduct among the Mahatmas. Even as a rank and file 'premie” I had heard stories which support this statement. If there is some possibility that my reporting this again will this time lead to a response which can allow me some closure on this issue, I would welcome that.
I would appreciate it if you would kindly acknowledge that you have received and read this letter. Because I have continued wariness and mistrust of your organization, I am hesitant to invite you or your representatives to call or write me directly. If you would contact Mr. Dettmers with your response I would be more comfortable with that. If you have, however, any questions about this matter, which I can answer, I certainly would consider making myself available to answer them. It would be very necessary though, if this were to occur, that I protect myself from further instances of an inability on your organization’s part to remember what I have reported.


Susan Haupt

Michael’s cover letter to Rawat

July 25, 2000

Dear Maharaji,

I am writing to you because I believe you would want to be informed about the situation that is explained fully in the attached letter from Susan Haupt. She was prompted to write to you following a recent statement on Élan Vital’s website under the heading “FAQ.”

Specifically, she is writing to you about Élan Vital’s response to the question, “Has Élan Vital covered up alleged past improper behavior?” She, quite correctly in my opinion, takes issue with Élan Vital’s answer to that rhetorical question and wishes to make one final effort to set the record straight about a very serious allegation she has made repeatedly in the past about improper behavior by Jagdeo. She is qualified to do so because she was, at the time, a teenage victim of his sexual abuse.

Maharaji, I did not know Susan at the time the incident occurred, but I have since come to know her as a sincere person of integrity. I am confident that she is telling the truth. Her only motive in bringing this situation to your attention is to provide you with the information necessary for you to look into her allegation and take appropriate action.

I have assured Susan that it was my personal experience that, whenever Maharaji became aware of improper sexual behavior by any of his instructors, he took immediate disciplinary action. Thus, I am at a loss to explain why her previous efforts to bring this situation to your attention seem to have failed. My perplexity is compounded by Élan Vital’s official response to this matter.

Nevertheless, as Élan Vital has chosen to make this matter an issue, I feel no compunction about bringing this matter to your personal attention. I am confident that you will do what is necessary to ensure that it is properly addressed.


Michael Dettmers

About a week after this letter was delivered, Michael received the following fax from Marcia Leitner: (here is a scanned copy of the original of
Marcia Leitner's letter)

Fax from Marcia Leitner

August 2, 2000

Dear Mr. Dettmers:

Your letter to Maharaji dated July 25, 2000 and the letter you enclosed from Susan Haupt were forwarded to the Board of Directors of Élan Vital.

I am a member of the Board of Directors of Élan Vital and I am also working with Élan Vital in the human resources area. I have been asked by Élan Vital’s Board to review the issues raised in Susan’s letter.

I will be contacting you next week to discuss this matter with you further.

Your assistance is greatly appreciated.


Marcia Leitner

Marcia Leitner’s phone call with Michael Dettmers

When Michael spoke to Ms. Leitner she was professional and friendly. But, some of what she had to say was very disturbing to me, though I expected it. She stated that Randy Prouty and Judy Osborne “did not recall” the conversations I relayed in my letter. She stated that Rawat “had not heard” of my reports. She added that my letter was the first official complaint EV had received by one of Jagdeo’s alleged victims. They had heard of the allegations during the past year “from two other sources, but not from the alleged victims themselves”, hence, their official response on their website.

She wanted Michael to assure me that Maharaji and Élan Vital do not condone the behavior I reported. She made it clear that Jagdeo is no longer serving in any capacity within Élan Vital throughout the world, that he in now in his late 70’s, in poor health, and living in a village in Bihar, India.

Finally, she wanted to know if I would like to speak with her and if so, would Michael arrange it.

I considered meeting with Marcia, but ultimately I decided against this. I did not think I would gain anything by meeting with her, or any EV person, other than some satisfaction when they realized how credible what I am saying is. I did however, say that I would meet with them to answer any questions, if they have any, but this meeting would have to take place with a witness, for the obvious reason that no one can now recall the times I have reported what I knew about Jagdeo in the past.

Élan Vital’s Letter to Me

August 31, 2000

Dear Susan,

Your letter to Maharaji of July 9, 2000 was forwarded to the Board of Directors of Élan Vital for response. Thank you for bringing this matter concerning Jagdeo to our attention. The type of behavior described in your letter is completely unacceptable to Élan Vital and will not be tolerated.

I understand that Michael Dettmers has passed on to you the fact that Jagdeo is no longer associated in any capacity with Élan Vital organizations worldwide. He has not performed any duties as an instructor in the United States since the 1980’s. He is now retired and living in a village in India.
Thank you again for bringing this matter to our attention. If I can be of further assistance to you, please feel free to contact me.


Marcia Leitner
Élan Vital Board of Directors

As some of you have already noted, Élan Vital has since removed the offensive FAQ from their website.

How do I feel about all this? I am upset that the reports I made in the past have been “forgotten”. I still believe Rawat was told both in 1977 and in the early eighties. I think there has been a decision not to remember. I do not know how many people were involved in deciding that a response to “not recall” was the best one. I am glad though that the FAQ has been removed and that at least this report has been acknowledged without including any gratuitous insults. Of course, there is much they should say that they have not, but most of what they should say would leave them open to liability if they said it. It was carefully worded.

Thanks to all the ex premie org posters who were supportive of me when the FAQ was first published. There are so many really good nice people who post here.

As 'A' once said to me, we have won, because we figured out we were in a cult, and we got out.

Susan Haupt

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