This is in answer to Cynth's post: 'Yes, you may be right, but..' below.
‘I had already read Doc's response to "Liberation" on the Cat's Whisker and found it to be yet another rationalization by a premie who has had K for a long time but claims he "got over" the concepts of the mind courtesy of Maharaji, even though the trappings of the cult at the time he was introduced were a "put off" to him. That is a declaration that Maharaji has powers greater than normal human beings. "Liberation" was claiming that Maharaji must come clean about the accusations on EPO in order to "clear the air" so that more propagation can take place. This was written by a premie and Doc responded.’
Without accusing Doc of anything, I think his response is a well-crafted presentation of the current revision. I think he is doing his best job (consciously or not) of presenting the current Party line, but maybe it is also false memory. Doc’s an astute guy, and he probably did have a measure of detachment from the strongest conditioning, but the notion of anyone sticking around for over 30 years who at the time was not enchanted by the notion of the Perfect Incarnation with more powers than ever before is quite unbelievable. Let’s just call it false or desired memory.
I think he is doing a service for someone he feels a deep love for, even though this means tampering quite fickly with factual reality.
I particularly enjoyed the ‘12 year-old kid’ mention. As Maharaji was 13 when he hit the West, this stands out immediately as one blur of fact too far.
To answer maybe inadequately the rest of your detailed post, I would agree that the basis of any cult or belief system is ideally to persuade the conscripts to abandon objective analysis and accept the Leader as sole source of reality.
I think, however, that the degree of success of this stratagem will always depend on a number of factors, chiefly their state of dependence, worldly inexperience, youth, educational background, general nous (common sense) and so on.
Some of the people who embraced Maharaji had actually had successful academic careers, and to them the idea of chucking up all objective reason would have been very difficult. I myself was in this category, which was why I was consistently refused Knowledge for months. I received it sort of by the back door, from a mahatma abroad who seemed very lenient and humanitarian.
Such people, I think, accepted the various underpinning ‘concepts’ of Knowledge and the Perfect Master as a series of key building blocks which gradually created a total paradigm.
Given the IMO quite massive energy of the time, Maharaji’s sequestred off-stage existence and formalised public appearances, one could open to the possibility of the immaculate Master, who talked to the soul, not necessarily to the reason. Indeed, too much of the reason had apparently been the thing which had got us into the shit beforehand. Thus, feeling became over-strained to the detriment of objective reason.
Thinking about satsang, there were two distinct categories of this. The first was that of the Master, held to be sacrosanct. The other, nightly community satsang, was really of a different league.
During the many times I heard this, we would quite commonly go home discussing the substance of the evening, agreeing that someone had given great satsang, which might really have been personal ideas or stories, but which transferred an essence or uplifting energy. Someone might have been greatly inspiring while talking obvious cock. The music was commonly great.
Even when I listened to Maharaji’s immaculate satsang, I used to pass it through an internal filter, making it conform to essential acceptable notions, though these, of course, became further and further out. It is quite amazing how common sense can be extended to extremely elastic limits, so long as there are a few grains of reality somewhere in there.
The net result of following such a Master is that the whole of our psychological make-up becomes infiltrated however by his utterances, trimmed maybe a bit here and there to fit, so that our whole inner reality belongs to him, and becomes his domain.
As you say, the notion of independent critical thinking has to be abandoned, or can be accepted just marginally so long as it doesn’t question the new underlying imbedded reality. One of the maybe rococo examples of this is when Maharaji used commonly to stress that common sense is uncommon. Presumably common sense here was acceptable in a limited sphere concerned with the realisation of ‘objective’ worldly activities such as propagation, the organisation of events, and so on, where it was indispensable.
But not meant to carry over to questioning of the basic fundamental principles.
Thus, however, the notion of ‘concept denying’ in terms of not ever using the head could never be really water-tight within DLM/EV.
The whole event runs on the basic fundamental idea that Maharaji is that energy within, the Self itself. Once that is deeply imbibed, a certain use of common sense, even objective thought is admissible, because it will inevitably run up against an insurmountable roadblock about ultimate internal experiential realities.
To people educated by George Orwell, the idea of a totally indoctrinated membership (in his case the bureaucratic and intellectual echelons - the proles were superfluous) might be appealing as the model.
However, in a real dictatorship of the mind, such as Soviet communism, there were always intelligent or aware people who laughed ironically or their socks off behind the curtains at the latest doings of the Boss (Stalin in that case).
EV or whatever it is currently called, and the Cat’s Whisker, are also peopled by such people. They’re as astute as you and I. They see bull-shit when it is up their noses, and are actually quite personable and likeable sometimes.
However, the main thing to remember of these indoctrinational scenarios is to plant the essential conditioning micro-chip (the Boss is the Superior Power, or its closest imaginable representative), then they will always return home, no matter how much intelligent or imaginative latitude they believe they possess.