I know you were writing to Marianne, but your post is just about the most stupid, illogical piece of crap I have ever read.
"The premie world in the 70s was indeed fraught with a lot of weird peculiarities promulgated by some equally weird people. "
Yes, and the name of the MAIN person for promulgated these things is Guru Maharaj Ji, who has now changed his name to Maharaji. You make it sound like the premies just made that stuff up. Nothing could be further from the truth. It was Maharaji who said all that stuff; the premies just picked it up and repeated it.
Then you said:
"Now, the weirdest thing to the normal value set is the devotion thing, but that aside the confusion caused by rampant concepts and ignorance of what we were supposed to experience created an environment where insensitivity and even mistreatment did rear it's head."
First of all that sentence doesn't make any sense. And yes, that "devotion thing" was kind of weird, but then Maharaji didn't seem to think so, he talked about it at every opportunity and demanded it of his followers. This was not some kind of cultural misunderstanding. It was clear as a bell. According to Maharaji, a follower was to devote his or her life 100% to him, to surrender to him 100%, mind, body and soul. The fact that he has apprently seen the error of his ways and no longer says that, is beside the point. He still has never explained what the fuck all that was about, especially to those who were damaged because of his actions. Sure, some of the premies in leadership positions were insensitive, even sadistic, but the blatant insensitivity and uncarring of Maharaji himself is leaps and bounds above anything a premie did.
Then you said:
"Of course, Abi's situation was not pervasive. "
Well, first, how do you know? And secondly, Jagdeo's sexual molestations of children seems to have been QUITE pervasive. Are you suggesting that because it wasn't a "normal" occurence in the cult, that the cult didn't create the situation in which Jagdeo could operate? And are you suggesting that Maharaji's failure to do anything about it, when he clearly knew about it, is mitigated because child molestation didn't happen all that often? Come on, URL. People are not as stupid as you think.
And maybe you had a good time and had a nice experience. Good for you. But so what?
Then you said:
"So for me those positive aspects offset the negative."
Again, good for you. Perhaps you should understand that not everyone feels that way. That's the point of this website, because in the controlled, censored, premie and Maharaji sites, you will never hear about the people who don't think knowledge worked for them and, in fact, feel their involvement in Maharaji's cult was, on balance, a negative experience. You see that as just perception, but others see it as reality.
Then you said something REALLY ignorant:
"Since those days Maharaji has done his best to weed out the bad. He has made a whole lot of changes and he continues to be a catalyst for evolution."
So, you are admitting that "devotion" was bad, that ashrams were "bad," that the Lord of the Universe was bad, that a multitude of things Maharaji said and did were "bad." Well, if you can admit that, why can't Maharaji? Why doesn't he explain himself and take responsiblity?
URL, what motivated the "change?" I would also suggest that not all that much has changed, other than some of the words, and yes, there aren't ashrams anymore. But what about the people who wasted years living there, in something you admit was a mistake, but Maharaji won't even admit that?
Another ignorant statement:
"The interesting thing is, he is criticised for allowing the bad to exist in the past, and he is criticised for making the changes to weed out the bad. So he's damned if he does and damned if he doesn't. That's not very fair."
I have never heard anyone criticize M for making any "changes." The criticism is that he won't take responsbility for what he did, something that you would expect of any adult human being, let alone someone who claimed to be the "master" of thousands of people, and who claimed to be god and who asked that people dedicate their lives to him. He has a lot to answer for, to the people who got caught up in his little game, and he is too chickenshit, egotistical, or out of touch to do so.
If you like knowledge, good for you. To me, "knowledge" is just a kind of meditation. That's all it is. Everything else associated with it is a belief system. That's all it is. Meditation can be nice for some people, and some people don't need it. The belief system is something NOBODY needs.
I also think your comparision of Maharaji to levels of cholesteral is kind of hysterical, and is damning by faint praise. What a pitiful way to advocate knowledge. I can just see it: "Knowledge, it isn't so bad" Or, "The good stuff marginally outweighs the bad." My, how far the mighty have fallen.
The following statement is pure mental diarrhea:
"As for his so-called wealth, that's a whole other topic. I look at wealth as a glacier on the top of a mountain."
His obscene wealth is obvious. It is not "so-called."
"In times of extreme drought its nice to have a glacier to feed water to your valley so you can continue to grow your crops. Maharaji takes his commitment to spread Knowledge dead seriously... there is no question in my mind about that. I say he has consciously built his farm in a glacier fed valley so that he will not fail due to lack of water. Because one day the drought will come again, as it has in the past, and hopefully the lack of money won't stand in the way of continuing with his life's work. "
Hey, guys, Maharaji is just saving up for a rainy day. That's why he has gold toilets and fleets of Rolls Royces. Gee, that makes LOTS of sense, URL. Any intelligent person would certainly understand that he is only saving up to spread knoweldge in the future. Yeah, right. You are a very sad person, URL. I actually feel sorry for you.