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Thurs, Dec 23, 1999 at 22:30:58 (EST)


Roger eDrek





Here's the long business analysis
Sorry, this is getting long as it is being turned into a business cost-benefit analysis of Maharaji's entire operation except for his out of control spending on personal luxury goods.

I've been thinking about the post I made below about the Price and Maeve (1979) research paper: The Divine Light Mission as a Social Organization (located on J-M's site) and their important question wondering how DLM (now EV) would grow (acquire new recruits) because premies might feel disconnected due to the lack of two-way communication with the leadership (Maharaji) and the growing distrust due to constant and illogical change of direction.

Well, I'm not sure if that is the reason for the failure of the Video Events to attract and retain new recruits. I suspect that the real reason is the main official premise is a bald face lie. And that official premise is that Maharaji is only a teacher or a Master of meditation and is not God or Lord of the Universe. However, in view of much of what Cynthia has said about Maharaji's wealth and the real price of being involved in Knowledge one must at some point assume that Maharaji must be more than just a teacher and a Master. Therefore, the only way people could feel such adoration and devotion is because they believe that he is or might be or may be Divine, God, Lord of the Universe.

Thus the basic aspirant or premie recruitment program is faced with some very serious contradictions from the onset. How can premies feel good about getting their friends, co-workers, and fellow drug-scene acquaintances involved in what will soon be seen as a complete scam and sham when their friends realize that the original and official non-offensive non-Lord premise is not really the whole story. It's too late to backpedal and step down from being the Lord of the Universe. Premies still believe that. PERIOD. AND THERE IS FAR TOO MUCH TO EVER BEGIN TO EXPLAIN AWAY, which is why premies should never venture onto the Internet.

And what will the advent of "live" satellite broadcasts do to change this fundamental flaw? NOTHING! It's just another attempt by Maharaji to rally the troops in his failed effort (failed in the sense of spreading Knowledge to the World, but not his getting money for nothing.) The satellite broadcast scheme is just another version of the Houston Astrodome Millennium program, albeit High Tech.

Maharaji has to do something to counteract the normal attrition and the additional attrition that I assume is happening because maybe premies are reading about Maharaji on the Internet and/or maybe as premies grow up they wise up. Maharaji needs to stop the exodus because a minimal critical mass is needed or the disintegration and exodus will accelerate and Maharaji will become destitute.

It takes a fair number of people to pay for and perform all the various services needed to run local video events. I suspect premies are burning out due to the amount of commitment required. And such voluntary service is a hidden cost of Knowledge. I suspect that local videos are being scaled back to fewer and fewer screenings per week. I believe that local schedules might confirm that.

However, the hall, unless rented per screening which means additional setup time for the equipment and take-down, is a fixed cost and can be fairly expensive. One requirement from HQ in Malibu for showing local videos was to have as much as a permanent and nice venue as possible with a strict list of requirements (eg. near highways and public transportation, in good neighborhoods, etc.) This, of course translates into fairly expensive at a range of $500 (absolute benefit of the doubt minimum) to several thousand dollars per month. The hall rental and the monthy video subsription at approximately $200 to $300 per month is paid for entirely from local contributions.

With so few new aspirants premies lose their motivation to contribute and to participate in voluntary service. In my community we were told that there were some 30 aspirants waiting in the wings. The only problem was that I sure never saw them. Probably the result of that new math that Elan Vital is so good at.

Perhaps, the end of local videos is inevitable due to the dwindling minimaly required critical mass needed for funding and operations.

So, what will it be?

Premies with enough money will have to buy a satellite dish, pay the monthly minimum, pay for the pay-per-view and maybe invite their friends and pay the extra person(s) charge. Easily $50 to $100 per month for one pay-per-view.

Ok, sounds groovy! Except when you consider the present situation with local videos where when Maharaji does not tour and does not produce new videos and premies end up seeing countless reruns at the local video events. It would be very doubtful that premies will be willing to pay the satellite pay-per-view charge for reruns. The money would be better spent renting South Park or Porkies III. Therefore, the impetus is on Maharaji to create enough new videos to keep premies tuning in.

Maharaji certainly has the ability to produce a lot of new videos with his new high tech studio at the Malibu compound. As to whether Maharaji can remain sober and whether he himself will be sufficiently inspired without a live, responsive and adoring audience remains to be seen. Consider that we're talking Master Talking Head talking to a room of his family and closest friends at the Malibu compound. Boring!

One possible side effect from the termination of local videos that might be a benefit to premies would be the loss of organizational control. Tuning into a satellite broadcast does not require a community coordinator to dole out service jobs and have organizational meetings and what-not. No longer are community finance meetings necessary. As premies become the ultimate coach potatoe(s) (yes, with an Dan Quayle "e" at the end) the once friendly communities, what's left of them, will further splinter into nothingness as premies stay home and watch the Master Talking Head with a their wine and fondue pots.

One benefit to Maharaji by going to satellite videos is that he has the opportunity to increase his profits. No longer are cash flows from local communities going to rent expensive venues and buy expensive video projection equipment. That money, now freed up, can go directly to Maharaji. No longer does a community through its collective purchasing power get to buy one video subscription for all to share at a low per person per view rate. With satellite broadcasts each premie and each viewer gets to pay on a pay-per-view basis which translates into more profit per screening. Other than a small service charge most of the money collected as pay-per-view goes straight to Maharaji.

The critical bottom line on the entire operation and gambit is whether Maharaji will be able to retain his extravagant lifestyle. Perhaps, Malibu is willing to concede that there will never again be growth in the West. The East and Third World has growth potential, but offer little bang for the buck. I suspect that Maharaji does not own everything outright and many of his assets like the Gulfstream, yacht, mansions, etc. are using borrowed money from banks or very rich premies. I would further estimate that Maharaji's expenses are steadily increasing with time and will increase further as his children put demands upon him to have their own luxurious lives. And Maharaji is, of course, fortunate that he only has one brother, the Ambassador, to support at this time. Another wise move on his part. For those in a paid organizational role, I would suggest working on your resume and getting a college degree from an Internet paper-mill college or be prepared to be able to enthusiastically say, "Do you want an order of Super Size Fries with that, sir?"

Finally, (I know you've been waiting for this) I would imagine and no maybe's about it that if Maharaji cannot make his "nut" that he will become a very unhappy camper and his effectiveness at being the Master Talking Head will be greatly diminished and his whole trip will corkscrew into the Florida Everglades like a doomed ValueJet flight.

Lastly, (ok, I lied) what can you do about this? I'd say hope and pray for a catastrophic Y2K bug that infects satellites or the worst meteor shower ever seen takes out his satellite. Nah, it ain't going to take that much. How exciting is it to watch some Master Talking Head lie out of both sides of his mouth every night? Seen one, seen 'em all.

(Revision 392.05)

5 Brighter than 1000 suns as seen through night vision goggles
4 As bright as the lights on Maharaji's jet
3 As bright as a 60 watt light bulb
2 As bright as a pile of burning ghi on a swinging arti tray
1 As bright as the inner light as seen by the third eye