www.enjoyinglife.org: The Character of Their Content

"I used to be down on the web. Then, one day I thought, 'Why not? It can be of use to us.' Now there's a site... enjoyinglife dot org. People get to make beautiful expressions." (Maharaji, from the October 1998 Amaroo Participation Video, distributed by Visions International)

With those words, Maharaji gave his open approval of a website created and administered by four devoted followers - Mark Winter, Josie Winter, Jonathan Cainer, and Colin Bardell. After having already pressured www.premie.com (another premie website) to shut down, Maharaji has finally given the nod to site that merits his approval - one holding to his own standards defining the "beautiful expressions" that devotees "get to make".

Visions International, the company which markets the videos made of all of the events staged by Maharaji - along with a catalog of audio tapes, photographs, trinkets and keepsakes - has unsurprisingly also made the same "discovery" of the site. Their most recent catalog includes this promotional offer:

"There's a new discovery we'd like to share with you, a new website on the internet: 'www.enjoyinglife.org', intended for those who appreciate the teachings of Maharaji. This site was started by four individuals from England, and we are so excited about it that we wanted to tell our customers. In fact, we decided to offer a t-shirt promoting the site. With each order, you will receive a free t-shirt with an artistic rendition from the homepage of the site. It is our special gift to you; simply state the preferred size on our order form (M, L, XL). We hope you enjoy discovering the site as much as we have."

The standards that Maharaji found to be acceptable premie contributions to the web have been clarified by the staff at enjoyinglife.org on their Site Expectations page, where guidelines are laid out for premies who contribute their stories:

"Please keep only to what you know, from your own experience, to be true. [...] We reserve the right to edit all contributions but we'd prefer not to have to."

But some of the people who participate in our online forum have found that the "right to edit" extends far beyond deleting of text that doesn't meet their standards.

The staff at Maharaji's approved site have taken it upon themselves to change the words in submitted text until they become acceptably "true". Where changes alone don't suffice, they have actually inserted added words to the submitted life stories.

This amazing editing "privilege" was pointed out in our forum on November 17, 1998 by Nigel. Since ex-devotees are not allowed to post dissenting or supportive letters to that site, he and others had submitted stories under fictitious names, and worded to appear to be coming from supportive followers of Maharaji.

In his posts to our forum, Nigel listed 10 examples of contributions to that site which had been published after having undergone revision - contrasting the published stories with the actual text submitted to the editors. The letters disappeared immediately from enjoyinglife.org after the story broke in our forum. There is no telling how many of the posts that were submitted by actual devotees also underwent this same creative editing, although they remain on that site, and no statement of explaination or apology has appeared there.

Nigel also sent us this email regarding his doctored stories:

"I sent them the first one (by Andy O'Dwyer) as an experiment to see exactly how they would handle a contribution from someone who keeps talking about M[aharaji] being God, and all the other unmentionable things from the past. I was quite appalled by the scale of their edits. I never intended the scam to run for so long, but then Jim got involved and we invited a load more people to join in, and we tried a variety of approaches (eg., see how someone who doesn't think M is unique, or K[nowledge] very special would be handled, or find out whether a truly miserable premie might be allowed to say so). I'm surprised we managed to keep it going for so long, but the more it went on, the funnier it got as each new post got published and censored - usually the exact words we predicted they'd cut. What was unexpected, and a bit shocking, was the way they started adding words of their own."

While Nigel's forum posts are still available in our Forum III Archives (#29) for online or offline reading, we have reprinted them here as evidence of the "true" and "beautiful expressions" of devotion that premies "get to make". We have also included Nigel's forum post describing the actual submission guidelines used at enjoyinglife.org.

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