Controversy Over Colston Hall Dates By Ex-Guru.
6 June 2003
Bristol Evening Post
Copyright (c) 2003 Bristol Evening Post & Press Ltd. All Rights Reserved.
A Controversial organisation has booked Bristol's Colston Hall for a weekend of
events when they will attempt to recruit new members.
Elan Vital is charging people £16 per day to attend its events at the Bristol
City Council-owned venue on Saturday and Sunday, June 14 and 15.
The audience will be addressed by Prem Rawat, who is billed as a motivational
Mr Rawat used to be known as the Guru Maharaji, and Elan Vital as the Divine
Founded in India, the Divine Light Mission established itself in the US and
Europe in the 1970s. At the time, the media dubbed Mr Rawat 'The Boy Guru' and
his organisation attracted widespread publicity and controversy.Mr Rawat has
been accused of using money gained through the organisation to fund a lavish
Ian Haworth, from educational charity Cult Information Centre, said: "We remain
very concerned about this group and their activities.
"I have received complaints about this group for most of the 24 years that I've
been working full-time in this field.
"I can understand why the council would rent the venue out to them, but I think
it would be better if they did say no." An Elan Vital representative said: "We
would like to counter the suggestion that this is a religious movement. Prem
Rawat teaches no code, creed or dogma. He merely teaches a practical path to
"Prem Rawat receives no fee or remuneration from his speaking engagements other
than reimbursed travel expenses.
"As a successful private investor he supports himself and his family through
independent means. He lives a comfortable life and makes no secrets about it."
The spokesperson said: "The event has sold out rapidly. There has been an
overwhelmingly positive response from the Bristol area." A City Council
spokesman said: "It's a private letting and we're not advertising or promoting
it. As long as they pay the bill and they're not doing anything criminal or in
breach of the letting conditions we don't mind what they get up to."
This is the Cult Information Centre main home page.
This is what the Cult Information Centre has on Rawat.
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