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Passages video: Decision making process & the target audience?
 Posted by: Babaluji
 Date: 04/09/2005, 12:23:21
 Original URL: Click here (However, the link may be stale.)

I'd give anything to be a fly on the wall when these executive decisions are made and orders are given to proceed with Project X, Y, or Z.

Who are the players?  What are the dynamics?  How long of a process was there to decide to make Passages?

Does anyone dare play devil's advocate in the face of Maharaji when it's his idea and it's not a good one?

I'm wondering if Passages is a project that was born out of the Amaroo "Let's Get Those Ex-Premies" summit conference around that time (2000 or 2001 or so)?

Clearly Passages was a failure.  Worse it's a PR nightmare.

So, who was the target audience.  Or really what was the purpose of this video?  Who was it intended to convince?

First, I believe that there's no way that the general public was the target audience.  Why even introduce information (e.g. saris, Is He God, Hinduism, ashrams, etc.) that you are already trying desperately to suppress and ignore?

Were the ex-premies the target audience?  Probably not.  It's not like the contents of Passages would bring us back to the flock after our misunderstandings were cleared up.

Was the target audience the Press?  Again, why introduce information that the organization is trying to suppress.

So, that leaves us with aspirants and active or fence sitting premies.

I'm not sure whether Passages was shown in the local community video halls (LCVH).  And I'm not even sure how many local community video halls existed at that time.  My guess is that at that the time of Passages the LCVHs were winding down as the return on investment was deemed inadequate.  I know that in my community the monthly tab for the full time hall was $1500 or more a month.  And the local community was paying for all of it including the video fees to Visions.  Yet, turnout was small.  Certainly, Maharaji would probably prefer having that cash sent directly to him.  And I see now that the community is just using "free" space in libraries and such maybe once a month or so.

I believe that today the preferred distribution of the Master's message is through Dish Network where fees get paid by premies and some of the money goes to Maharaji.

Was Passages toured around by the likes of Raja Ji or Yoram Weiss as a special treat?  I don't know, but that was a typical distribution channel as well as a fund raising activity.

So, let's say the above was the case where Passages was toured around like a reunion concert of a long dead mediocre 60's rock band.  Ok, the original drummer, of course, died and was replaced some big hair guy from the San Fernando (aka the Valley).

For myself having been a premie from 1973 thru 1997 I had accepted and welcomed the changes and was not sorry to see the bad old days end.  In fact, I thought it was long overdue.  So, I'm trying to understand what premies might have thought when they saw this dinosaur act, Passages.  I suspect and I think we've heard from one premie that the revisionism (lying) made them feel uncomfortable.  I mean, how can they expect premies who had been "there" to accept this amount of deception without feeling confused or even insulted.  With the message so strange and twisted then one other reason to see it would be to see and hear the old familiar faces of the famous premies like Glen, Tim, Joan, Charanand, and the others.  But, come on!  It's more like a freak show.  Hey, maybe that's it?  Maybe the rank and file premies get to feel good about being just who they were and still are - silent contributors.

Certainly, Passages was a bad idea from its inception with both the message and the targeted audience being totally wrong.

I think that if this had been Donald Trump's Apprentice TV show we would have heard, "You're fired!"  But, I'm not sure that the "Boss", Maharaji, can be fired even though he should be for giving the go-ahead for the Passages video.

Re: Passages video: Decision making process & the target audience?
 Posted by: danny
 Date: 04/09/2005, 14:36:19
 Original URL: Click here (However, the link may be stale.)
I know I cannot answer for M or any of the "decisionmakers" but I know that I felt that time... having felt that I was ahead of the curve when it came to where M and the organization and the premies "needed" to be... i.e. quit the religion and just offer the dam knowledge...and feeling that premies needed to get on with their life.... and just enjoy K and enjoy living life....and not recalling exactly when and where I saw passages... but I felt there was a part of me that was saying "smugly" that "most of us knew the truth and it's OK to disguise it in the form of a more digestable package!

The other part of me was questioning why, if giving K was the answer, why had M eliminated the initiators? Why was M the only one that was to give Knowledge? Where were the efforts to promote and advertise K? How come less and less where actually attending programs? I knew then that M had taken a wrong turn in propogation.

I also saw that the premies at the time were "neutered" from being able to speak about K and express to others why this was worth pursuing! This puzzled me... although still a part of me ... the apologist in me, rationalized it by saying "oh, well... the premies must not have a good understanding of what K was" even though many had had this K for over 10 years. (Remembering gurucharanand telling me that after 10 yrs you start to understand what K is all about). I saw then that this was not what I had originally gotten involved with M or K for ...I would have to pass on including myself in any more of the situation.

Yes I saw M a few more times... when it was convenient for me... and each time saw that the premies involved were not growing or evolving... and even worse they began to look haggardly, sickly and certainly not filled with joy as I recall many felt before. Like a defeated boxer... starry eyed and woozy yet just hanging in there ... going through the motions but empty of heart. I even asked one of my "old" friends, "why are you still doing this? It's apparent you aren't enjoying it anymore!" I got no answer. I guess for many ... defeat is a hard lesson to learn and having invested so much time etc perhaps there really is no turning back for some. I still wish them the best and sincerely hope that they too recognize that life has more to offer than the rituals of practising K and waiting for M to do something... anything! For me ... when spreading knowledge took a back seat ... so did I.

Just my 2 cents here!

Re: Passages video: Decision making process & the target audience?
 Posted by: Anna
 Date: 04/09/2005, 16:35:22
 Original URL: Click here (However, the link may be stale.)
Hi Danny, thanks for that post, I really enjoyed reading it. You made many interesting points, one them being:

Where were the efforts to promote and advertise K? How come less and less where actually attending programs? I knew then that M had taken a wrong turn in propogation.

I think you hit the nail on the head there. I received K in 1973 and found EPO in 2003 (and subsequently left). The minute I found out what M was really like, I was out of it. But during all those years, EV continuously went on and on about the huge numbers of people receiving K (as if quantity, rather than quality, is something to be proud of). But what's really weird is that the numbers attending the programmes always seemed to remain the same. Or even went down in number.

It became evident to me, that no matter how many people received K, (at least as stated by EV), that the numbers attending programmes did not increase. It doesn't take rocket science to figure out that something was going hugely wrong. For M, and his premie success rate.

At Ally Pally in 2003 there were less people there than 30 years previously! It just doesn't add up. And this was a programme where the whole of Europe had been invited!! I dread to think what the numbers would have been if it had been restricted to UK only!! LOL

Also the atmosphere was very different. In 1973 it was all very new and exciting and also hopeful. But after 30 years of M messing things up, the programme in 2003 was more like something out of the Stepford Wives. Premie clones everywhere - and I was one of them.

I also think that the problem isn't the fault of premies, or the organisation, or the PAMS, but of M himself. He lives in a cossetted environment, where his every whim is catered for and where he is surrounded by sycophants. All he has to do is bark out his orders, and everyone jumps to attention. That's very unhealthy and counterproductive for anyone who wants to be successful. It's not possible to make good, strong, successful decisions when you're allowed to have tantrums, be verbally abusive, and then not be told to f*** off!!

I remember how concerned I was in the 70's that when, in the future, millions of people had K, that it would be hard to ever get darshan or to be physically close to M. I even remember some mahatmas telling us that we must make the most of seeing M right now (70's) because in the future so many millions of people would be clamouring to see him, that we would not get a chance. How wrong they were!! May be millions of people have received K, but they certainly aren't bothering show up at the programmes!

And I bet all the devoted premies from the 70's are secretly relieved that M has such a low success rate. It means that they can still get to see him close up.

M has had his way, pretty much, with all the decisions about propagation over the years, without anyone telling him that his decisions were flawed. That's why the numbers don't add up. Also, of course, his main concern is his luxury lifestyle - not his premies. No wonder the result of 30 years is failure.

All the best to you


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