Journeys: Hal

Date: May 11, 2003
Email: None

I joined the then Divine Light Mission in 1972 because of the enthusiasm of premies. I could seldom understand the meaning of Maha's stories or get past his squeeky voice but there was a good feeling at the satsang programs and the premies, to my teenaged perspective, seemed cool. I was selected for knowledge by Glenn Whittaker in the back garden of a house in Finchley, London UK, on the condition that I had given up meat as well as drugs, tobacco and alcohol for a period of six weeks and been attending a satsang meeting every night for the said period of time too. Sitting in the mysterious knowledge session I was excited because I'd been told that a light like a thousand suns was going to explode somewhere in my forehead and that all the secrets of the universe would be revealed. Well the techniques of God realisation were shown and the young people in the room asked after each technique to describe their experience. I heard people say that they could see light, stars, moons, suns, and yet I was not getting anything. Embarrassed to say that I stated what I'd heard someone before me say "the stars". Actually I didn't feel or see anything except excitement and the mystery of being in such a weird situation. I was told that I was now a disciple of the living Lord.

Apparently I needed to surrender my mind and ego and I recall not being sure that I had an ego to surrender. Maybe it wasn't developed enough at 17 to really know what the hell it was.

I soon dropped away from the premie scene as it seemed my hippy attire should be exchanged for a suit from a divine jumble sale, my hair cut short and I should find my joy in life by raising money collecting old clothes door to door.

In 1975 I bought some dope from a rather cool dealer who people later told me was a "premie". I said Jai Sat Chit Anand the next time I saw him and we became friends. He reminded me that I'd received the ultimate "Knowledge" and that combined with a chillum of Nepalese hash it could get me very high.

1976 in Leicester, England, I was recommended to go through something called darshan where you lay your head at Maha's feet. Why would anyone do that I asked; because you'll get a blast and feel high I was told - into the line I went.

I got serious about it all in the late 70's and stopped all my drug use, dressed like a jerk, and went to satsang seven nights a week. I also kissed Maharaji's feet many times. Apparently the ultimate dedication was to join an ashram (5 to 10 guys living in a house together, meditating lots, sleeping little, eating a vegetarian diet, giving their pay cheques to someone called a treasurer who did whatever with it and more importantly all being in love with the same man. Moroever, a man they'd never met!

Eventually worked my way up the ladder to hold minor positions within the organisation, ashram co-ordinator, community co-ordinator, aspirant co-ordinator; Then on to the heights of working full time in M's office in the UK. Smart suits, nice cars, great houses to live in complete with cooks and housekeepers, serious premies with little humour, elitist structures, snobbism towards "ordinary premies".

Called a friend one night and asked him to drive down and rescue me. Felt great driving into the night with him and my suitcase! Remained dedicated until the end of 1991 when the boredom of watching endless videos in crappy hotel rooms drove me away. I still called myself a premie though and upon getting my first computer in 1999 found the expremie site. I went on to the forum to give my defense of Maharaji and yet listening to the arguments so rationally put to me and not without fighting I succumbed to the logic of the situation, it had all been a beautiful dream - an illusion. I'd been in a cult for 28 yrs and was no more enlightened than anyone else.

I did have some great times and of course there were states of joy. I now realise that these states were no different than those anyone in extreme fundamentalist religion or cults experience.

Upon leaving in 2000 I experienced many emotions. Confusion, anger, low self esteem. I tried to cling on to my "spirituality" still giving validity to those blissful states as being something worthwhile.

Life is great now and my love comes from the simple interaction between myself and others. A wonderful relationship, great kids. I feel sad that I didn't continue my education due to the indoctrination of the cult and that financially I've always struggled to support my family due to lack of skills or profession, but I'm now at 48 studying to become an English teacher in Paris France. I hope my sons don't fall into any type of cult.

This is such a shallow version of my journey and I have said so much more about my experiences on the forums.

I look at the premie scene now and see a rather sad group of mainly middle aged people who are frightened to wake up and see what it really is; a personality cult, enriching a rich man and his family.

I guess this cult will carry on in a small way as there are always desperate dreamers and losers in life to feed from. Thanks to the ex-premies for helping me to exit. I hate to think that I could still be there lost in the illusion that 4 techniques of meditation could give me anything extraordinary.

Hal (2003)

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