Erroneous sources and false presentation of academic writing in Wikipedia about Prem Rawat.

Academic study of Prem Rawat and his followers has been impeded by a combination of uncritical acceptance of the claims made by Rawat and his followers, coupled with a lack of incisive investigation into what the Knowledge meditation actually is. Three individuals who have contributed to academic literature about Prem Rawat, - Ron Geaves, Lucy DuPertuis and Jeanne Messer are known to have been initiated into Rawat's prescribed meditation, additionally Foss and Larkin [1] state they learnt the meditation techniques but do not say if this was via a formal initiation. Geaves' treatment of Rawat is compromised by a lack of any explicit statement about Geaves' own near forty year involvement as a Rawat follower [2] and his promise never to discuss the meditation techniques. DuPertuis and Foss & Larkin offer valuable analysis of the dynamics affecting Rawat's north American following but neither is quoted in Wikipedia while Messer is quoted in Wikipedia only in respect of an article on Divine Light Mission.

Other academics have written critically about Rawat, his movement and the legal structures that have facilitated Rawat's career, however with the exception of Foss and Larkin [3] none has grasped the inherent contradictions in what passes for Rawat's teaching. Even allowing for these deficiencies, the use made of academic references in Wikipedia articles concerning Prem Rawat, is often grossly imbalanced, partial and misleading.

Authors quoted by Wikipedia

Barret, David V.

The New Believers [4]: A Survey of Sects, Cults and Alternative Religions (2003),pp.65, Cassel, ISBN 1-84403-040-7

"Élan Vital has now dropped all of its original Eastern religious practices. […] Unusually, the fact that Maharaji came from a lineage of 'Perfect Masters' is no longer relevant to the reformed movement. This is not where the authority comes from, nor the recognition of Maharaji as the master by his student; this comes rather from the nature of the teaching and its benefit to the individual. The experience is on individual, subjective experience rather than on a body of dogma, and in its Divine Light days the movement was sometime criticized for this stressing of emotional experience over intellect. The teachings could perhaps best described as practical mysticism." [5]

The unsupported opinion quoted here seems more advertising copywrite than disinterested observation. No information is given as to what constitutes the "reformed movement" nor when such a reformation took place nor who it involved. Barret's implied proposition is that all those who were followers of Prem Rawat before the mid-1980s and who continued to be followers in the 1990s, all foreswore their earlier beliefs about Rawat and adopted an entirely new commonly held belief system. This proposition apart from its dubious provenance, is based on a falsehood; in fact most of Rawat's remaining followers began their involvement with Rawat over 25 years ago and most retain their original beliefs about him. Barret's statement that there is no "body of dogma" is also false, it is unquestionably the dogma of the Rawat movement that:

  • the Knowledge meditation is unique
  • Rawat is unique
  • there exists an inner self distinct from any outer self that interacts with other persons
  • that involvement with the individual inner self via the Knowledge meditation is the only source of 'real' peace and happiness.

Barret has worked for INFORM [6], [7] where according to Ron Geaves: Barrett, … suggested to him to combine his [Geaves] first hand knowledge of the subject (Geaves is one of the earliest Western students of Prem Rawat) with his academic training to provide insights into this movement. [8], [9]

Chryssides, George D. [10]

Historical Dictionary of New Religious Movements pp.210-1, Scarecrow Press (2001) ISBN 0-8108-4095-2

"Maharaji progressively dissolved the Divine Light Mission, closing the ashrams, affirming his own status as a master rather than a divine leader, and emphasizing that the Knowledge is universal, non Indian, in nature"

The contention that Rawat (Maharaji) dissolved Divine Light Mission is false, the national Divine Light Missions were in almost all cases merely renamed Élan Vital. Rawat could not himself have closed the ashrams, lacking as he did any practical authority. Conflating the notional change to 'master' from "divine leader" with the ashram closure is historically false. These errors are remarkably similar to those made by Geaves [11]. The universalism of Knowledge was not notably of Prem Rawat's emphasis, it was in evidence from at least 1960 when the Divine Light Mission was created in India. Chryssides is a former colleague of Geaves with whom he has co-authored a book.

Derks, Frans, and van der Lans Jan M.

Subgroups in Divine Light Mission Membership: A Comment on Downton in the book Of Gods and Men: New Religious Movements in the West. edited by Eileen Barker,: Mercer University Press, (1984), ISBN 0-86554-095-0

"These changes in membership characteristics coincided with organizational and ideological changes within the movement (which are extensively described in Downton, 1979: 185 210). After 1975 the movement appealed to a different kind of person, because it came to emphasize other elements in its ideology. The pre 1975 members had joined the movement because they had been attracted by Divine Light Mission's Hinduistic ideology that offered them an opportunity to legitimate their already existing rejection of the Western utilitarian world view. However, in 1975 there was a schism within the movement. Guru Maharaj Ji's mother did not approve of his marriage to his American secretary and dismissed him as the movement's leader. The American and European adherents did not accept his dismissal and remained faithful to him. The movement split up into an Eastern and Western branch. The Western branch tried to smother its Hinduistic background and started to emphasize Guru Maharaj Ji as a personification of ideology. This change in ideology may be illustrated by the fact that since then, Guru Maharaj Ji's father, Shri Hans, the movement's founder, became less important and was much less referred to in the movement's journal. It may further be illustrated by the differences in initiation policy before and after 1975. Before 1975 it was sufficient to have a desperate longing for "Knowledge" (in the sense Divine Light Mission uses this term); after 1975 one had to accept Guru Maharaj Ji as a personal saviour in order to become a member." [12]

Reliance on Downton (see below) to some extent undermines Derks and Lans' assessment of the Divine Light Mission however the authors accurately identify from sources other than Downton, that the consequences of the East-West schism in the Divine Light Mission, included in the non Indian remnants, an increased emphasis on Prem Rawat as a charismatic 'saviour' and the downgrading of the role of Hans Rawat.

Downton, James V.

Sacred Journeys: The Conversion of Young Americans to Divine Light Mission, (1979) Columbia University Press. ISBN 0-231-04198-5.

Some 11 separate quotes are taken from this one work by Downton as references for Wikipedia articles about Prem Rawat. Downton's information about Divine Light Mission came from questioning a small group of premies and from three premies he used as sources (Lucy Dupertuis, Cliff Bowden and Joe Anctil) who gave him their insider information. At no time does he state that he actually saw or listened to Rawat nor that he attended DLM meetings after his initial month spent at Boulder in the summer of 1972 and attending the Millenium '73 Festival. He accepts at face value the rationalisations of premies' "personal growth" on their questionnaires in July 1976 when they were parrotting the "official DLM line" and then is flabbergasted when they respond to the Rawat's satsangs of charismatic revival 6 months later."

Nearly sixteen, he was ready to assume a more active part in deciding what direction the movement should take. This of course meant that he had to encroach on his mother's territory and, given the fact that she was accustomed to having control, a fight was inevitable." [13]

These assertions are entirely without evidence, and the proposition that Rawat had any sense of direction is refuted by Finch [14] and questioned by Price [15] while the role of Bob Mishler [16] and the influential Mahatmas is ignored by Downton.

"During 1971, there were social forces encouraging the development of millenarian beliefs within the Mission. They were developed in part by the carryover of millennial thinking from the counterculture; by the psychological trappings of surrender and idealization; by the guru's mother, whose satsang was full of references to his divine nature; and partly by the guru, himself, for letting others cast him in the role of the Lord. Given the social pressures within the premie community which reinforced these beliefs, there was little hope premies would be able to relax the hold that their beliefs and concepts had over them. … From the beginning, Guru Maharaj Ji appealed to premies to give up their beliefs and concepts so that they might experience the Knowledge, or life force, more fully. This, as I have said, is one of the chief goals of gurus, to transform their followers' perceptions of the world through deconditioning. Yet Guru Maharaj Ji's emphasis on giving up beliefs and concepts did not prevent premies from adopting a fairly rigid set of ideas about his divinity and the coming of a new age." [17]

Downton's false contrast of Rawat's claimed passive position, both in "letting others cast him in the role" and in his acceptance of "the psychological trappings of surrender and idealization", as opposed to the active position of Rawat's mother, introduces a profound error. There is overwhelming evidence in every 'satsang' that he gave that Rawat actively encouraged surrender and worship of himself by his followers and was entirely happy to accept the adulation encouraged by his mother, brothers and the Indian Mahatmas. This adulation was entirely consistent with the bhaktism of the Hans Rawat teaching which was the basis of Divine Light Mission dogma.

Downton's assertion regarding 'deconditioning' is unsupported and while Rawat certainly used a rhetorical formula regarding beliefs and concepts, Rawat was a primary agent in the introduction of 'replacement' beliefs, and Downton seems to have confused rhetoric with process. A view of the environment for belief generation in the early US Divine Light Mission is given by Foss and Larkin. [18]

The end of 1973 saw Guru Maharaj Ji breaking away from his mother and his Indian past. He declared himself the sole source of spiritual authority in the Mission. And, unlike some gurus who have come to this country and have easternized their followers, he became more fully westernized, which premies interpreted as an attempt to integrate his spiritual teachings into our culture." [19]

Downton's propositions are unsupported by evidence. He declared himself the sole source of agya on 9th May 1974 but still referred to his relatives as the Holy Family which certainly hasn't declared them devoid of "spiritual authority." While administrators of DLM had known of Rawat's trouble with his family and the Indian DLM it was only in the March 27, 1975 Divine Times magazine that premies in the USA were informed of the dispute though only in a very censored version. On April 1, 1975 Rawat was publicly deposed and replaced by the Indian Divine Light Mission because of his debauched behaviour (getting drunk, stoned, meat eating and having an overly strong interest in sex) which was unacceptable to his mother, elder brothers the senior Indian mahatmas and administrators. Sophia Collier, who had personal access to Rawat, wrote "From what I could see, Maharaj Ji's style of "leadership" was to leave all of the nitty-gritty decisions about DLM operations to the headquarters in Denver, while dividing his own time between giving lectures for the membership or the public and "resting," a euphemism for his long periods of inactivity. In fact, Rawat had always been the figurehead with apparent sole authority but being dependant as he was on individuals like, Bob Mishler to actually get anything done. [20]

"… many of the movement's Indian traditions and rituals were eliminated … the Mission was moving in a more secular direction." [21]

The rituals of the Rawat movement brought to the US were:

These rituals were downgraded during 1975 as the DLM administrators tried to make DLM more mainstream but all of these immediately returned once Rawat had made his wishes obvious to the general premie public and they continued long after Downton's book was published in 1979. Writing in 1978 Price is clear that the ritualised approach to a followers life was still at the heart of organisational effort [23].

"The guru had inspired greater autonomy by saying in January 1976: "Don't expect that all these premies who are in the ashram right now are going to stay in the ashram. I hope they don't." This comment had the effect of producing a widespread exodus from the ashrams that year, which gave rise to an individualistic attitude. … Changes in terminology were made in an attempt to divorce the Mission from its Indian trappings. 'Festivals' became "regional conferences." "Holy Company," a term used to describe the state of being in the presence of other premies, fell from use, as did the customary Indian greeting." [24]

By selective quoting Downton has completely misconstrued what Rawat was saying. Rawat said "don't expect that all these premies who are in the ashram right now are going to stay in the ashram; I hope they don't. Some day, when they really surrender and really realize this Knowledge, really realize the importance of service, they will go out into the world and tell people and make room for the other patients." As they would all acknowledge no-one (apart from Rawat himself they believed) had achieved those goals and so they should stay in the ashram.

"Although there were still residues of belief in his divinity, in 1976, the vast majority [of premies] viewed the guru primarily as their spiritual teacher, guide, and inspiration." [25]

Downton had been unable to discern he was being given the "party line" by premies as was demonstrated immediately Rawat made it obvious that DLM administrators' attempt to recast Divine Light Mission as a sober and serious social betterment organisation was over.

"To the surprise of everyone who had come to the Atlantic City program at the close of 1976, Guru Maharaj Ji appeared in his Krishna costume, a majestic looking robe and crown he had not worn since 1975. The sight of him in his ceremonial best brought premies to their feet singing, as nostalgia for the early days caught them up in feelings of devotion once more. … With so many premies coming out in support of devotion, there has been a shift away from secular tendencies back to ritual and messianic beliefs and practices. … elevating the guru to a much greater place in their practice of the Knowledge." [26]

"Signs of rededication both to Guru Maharaj Ji and the inner guru became quite apparent. Most of the premies who left the ashrams in the summer of 1976 began to return in 1977, when more than 600 signed up to enter the ashrams in just a few month's time. [27]

Downton's treatment of the period 1975-77 merely records Rawat's inconsistent behaviour without giving any insight into Rawat's motivation or the organisational dynamics that prompted the various about turns. Downton fails to identify the salient fact that in 1976 Rawat became a millionaire in his own right following the recasting of Divine Light Mission funds. [28], [29] During 1976 Rawat's working relationship with Bob Mishler deteriorated and eventually he resigned. [30], [31] Downton's proposition that "With so many premies coming out in support of devotion, there has been a shift away from secular tendencies back to ritual and messianic beliefs and practices. … elevating the guru to a much greater place in their practice of the Knowledge" is somewhat bizarre as it suggests some kind of operative democracy in the Divine Light Mission, with Rawat merely responding to how his followers wished to define the movement. In fact Downton goes from saying that Rawat declares himself an autocratic leader in 1973, to implying that by 1976 Rawat is a prisoner of his following. Of course this would be most significant if it were true, but the evidence is against Downton at almost every point.

Galanter, Marc.

A Charismatic Sect: The Divine Light Mission., in Cults: Faith Healing and Coercion, pp. 21-36, Oxford University Press, 1989. ISBN 0-195-12370-0
Galanter, Marc.

Large group influence for decreased drug use: findings from two contemporary religious sects 1980., PMID: 7258164 PubMed
Galanter M, Buckley P, Deutsch A, Rabkin R, Rabkin J.

Galanter's work is only paraphrased and not directly quoted in the Wikipedia articles on Hans Rawat, Prem Rawat and their teachings, this despite Galanter's respective studies having been quantitative, referenced and authoritative.

In a study by Marc Galanter published in 1989 about the healing effects of spiritual affiliation, he found that social and spiritual recovery occurred naturally in certain groups. In the study, Galanter presents as an example the fact that members of the DLM experienced a reduction of symptoms of psychological distress after they joined the group.

In another study by Galanter, in cooperation with P Buckley, R and J Rabkin, on group influence for decreased drug use, it is presented that members of the DLM, many of whom had been involved in the counterculture of the early 1970s, reported incidence of drug use prior to joining which was much above that of a non-member comparison group. Reported levels were considerably lower after joining, and the decline was maintained over an average membership of 2 years.

The key elements of Galanter's work on followers of Prem Rawat are not included in Wikipedia articles on Rawat. The key point in relation to the Wikipedia paraphrasing is that Galanter places the source of beneficial change in Rawat's followers in the context of psycho-social "group cohesiveness" [32] The study by Galanter was originally published in 1978 in Psychological Consequences Of Charismatic Religious Experience And Meditation in The Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease, 166 (October 1978) : 685-691 and in 1989 included in Cults: Faith Healing and Coercion. Furthermore the second study cited Large group influence for decreased drug use: findings from two contemporary religious sects, shows the Unification Church of Sun Myung Moon members showed a similar pattern but their drug use began at a somewhat lower level and declined further still; this reflects a stricter stance toward illicit intoxicants in the UC" i.e. the "Moonies" had better drug abuse outcomes than the "premies." Galanter et al place the decline of drug use in the first 2 years of membership partly to the doctrines taught by the group and it's cohesiveness and proposed that DLM's positive views of altered consciousness mitigated Rawat's public stance against use of drugs. Price has shown that by 1976 drug use again became common after the initial period of millenial hopes was over. I have personally observed that tobacco use amongst Rawat's 'students' doing volunteer labour at Amaroo, Rawat's "Conference Center" in Australia during the 1990s was far greater than society norms.

Geaves, Ron

Globalization, Charisma, Innovation and Tradition: An Exploration of the Transformations in the Organisational Vehicles for the Transmission of the Teachings of Prem Rawat (Maharaji), 2006. "Journal of Alternative Spiritualities and New Age Studies," 2 44-62.

There had been a presence in the UK since 1969, located in a basement flat in West Kensington and then in a semi-detached house in Golders Green, North London. This had come about as a result of four young British members of the counter-culture taking the 'hippy trail' to India in 1968 discovering the young Prem Rawat and his teachings and requesting that a 'mahatma' be sent to London who could promote the message and show interested individuals the four techniques known as 'knowledge'. [33]

He does not demand obedience, in that no outer requirements or prohibitions are placed on those taught the techniques. The simple axiom, 'If you like it, practice it, if you don't, try something else,' is applied on frequent occasions in his public discourses. Neither does Prem Rawat regard himself as an exemplary leader, a role often ascribed to religious founders. [34], [35]

"Prem Rawat has affinities with the mediaeval Nirguna Bhakti (formless devotion) tradition of Northern India, more commonly known as Sant. With its emphasis on universalism, equality, direct experience, criticism of blind allegiance to religious ritual and dogma, and tendency towards syncretism." [36]

The unreliability of Geaves' Globalization, Charisma, Innovation and Tradition is addressed in detail at Prem Rawat Reviewed - Ron Geaves. The most questionable part of the material quoted by Wikipedia is that in which Geaves omits to point out that he was one of those - "four young British members of the counter-culture taking the 'hippy trail' to India in 1968". A critique of Geaves' arguments against Foss & Larkin can be read at: From Divine Light Mission to Élan Vital and Beyond

New Religions: A Guide: New Religious Movements, Sects and Alternative Spiritualities. Christopher Partridge (Eds.), pp.201-202, Oxford University Press, USA (2004) ISBN 978-0195220421.

"Rawat is insistent that it [the Knowledge meditation] is not the product of any one culture or the property of any religious tradition and that it can be practiced by anyone. Consequently, Maharaji asserts that he is not teaching a religion and there are no particular rituals, sacred days, pilgrimages, sacred places, doctrines, scriptures or specific dress codes, dietary requirements or any other dimension associated with a religious lifestyle."

Geaves is no doubt accurately representing Rawat's position, however that position is at odds with the fact of the Knowledge meditation being a singular product of a singular culture, a contradiction upon which Professor Geaves fails to comment.

Haan, Wim

De missie van het Goddelijk licht van goeroe Maharaj Ji: een subjektieve duiding from the series Religieuze bewegingen in Nederland: Feiten en Visies nr. 3, autumn 1981. (Dutch language) ISBN 90-242-2341-5

"Het woordje "mind" wordt binnen de premie-gemeenschap gedefinieerd als de 'gekonditioneerdheid', d.w.z. alle vervreemdende invloeden die de mens van zijn ware aard hebben doen afdwalen. Soms ontaardt de strijd die tegen dit woord wordt gevoerd echter in een volstrekte irrationaliteit. Elke kritiek en objektieve benadering wordt dan als mind bestempeld. Als iemand zich slecht voelt of gedurende lange tijd geen goede ervaringen heeft heeft tijdens zijn meditatie, dan is de betreffende persoon 'in zijn mind'. Gesprekken met buitenstaanders worden vaak uit de weg gegaan, omdat dat wel eens de mind zou kunnen stimuleren." [37]

A partial English translation:

The word "mind" is defined in the premie-community as "being conditioned" that is all alienating influences that make man stray from his true nature. … Every criticism and objective approach is then labeled as mind. If someone feels bad or for a long time does not have good experiences during meditation, then the person "in his mind". Conversations with outsiders are often avoided because it could well stimulate the mind.

Haan is referenced in relation to the assertion that : To some scholars in the days of the Divine Light Mission, this reference to "mind" appeared to mean either "the alienating influences that made man stray from his true nature," or a "state of consciousness characterized by everything but passive, nonrational confidence and trust" The first of these quotes is from Haan, however in the full text Haan also explicitly accuses Rawat's followers of retreating from rational discussion by labelling every "each criticism and objective approach" as the product of the alienating effect of 'mind'. The quoted article by Haan is available online, Haan notes that the Divine Light Mission had hardly any philosophy and its central beliefs were reflected in the Hindu devotional song called arti. Wim Haan - website no longer exists

Hummel, Reinhart

Indische Mission und neue Frömmigkeit im Westen. Religiöse Bewegungen in westlichen Kulturen Stuttgart 1980, ISBN 3-170-05609-3, p79.

"In a satsang in 1975 in Orlando/Florida, he speaks in a language similar to American evangelical campaigners." Original: "In einem 1975 in Orlando/Florida gehaltenen Satsang spricht er eine aehnliche Sprache wie Amerikanische Evangelizationsfeldzuege."

The quote from Hummel is appropriate, although other relevant material by Hummel is not referenced in Wikipedia.

Stephen J. Hunt

Alternative Religions: A Sociological Introduction (2003), pp.116-7, Ashgate Publishing, Ltd. ISBN 0-7546-3410-8

"Maharaji transformed his initial teachings in order to appeal to a Western context. He came to recognize that the Indian influences on his followers in the West were a hindrance to the wider acceptance of his teachings. He therefore changed the style of his message and relinquished the Hindu tradition, beliefs, and most of its original eastern religious practices. Hence, today the teachings do not concern themselves with reincarnation, heaven, or life after death. The movement now focuses entirely on "Knowledge", which is a set of simple instructions on how adherents should live. This Westernization of an essentially eastern message is not seen as a dilemma or contradiction. In the early 1980's, Maharaji altered the name of the movement to Élan Vital to reflect this change in emphasis. Once viewed by followers as Satguru or Perfect Master, he also appears to have surrendered his almost divine status as a guru. Now, the notion of spiritual growth is not derived, as with other gurus, from his personal charisma, but from the nature of his teachings and its benefit to the individual adherents to his movement. Maharaji also dismantled the structure of ashrams (communal homes) …" [38], [39]

As with Downton these assertions are entirely without evidence, and the proposition that Rawat had any sense of direction is refuted by Finch [40] and questioned by Price [41], while the role of Bob Mishler [42], [43] is ignored. Hunt gives a false proposition when he writes "Hence, today the teachings do not concern themselves with reincarnation, heaven, or life after death". The teachings of Hans Rawat as inherited by Prem Rawat only ever touched on these issues as tangential to the central matter of the Knowledge meditation which was the claimed route to escape from the wheel of life and death (Samsara) and from worldly illusion (Maya.) The statement that "Knowledge", which is a set of simple instructions on how adherents should live." is patently false - there has never been any usage by Prem Rawat or the Divine Light Mission and Élan Vital that suggests Knowledge ever meant anything other than the techniques of meditation and the effects of practice of those techniques.

Hunt's grasp of the chronology of the Rawat movement is flawed, and he either he was unaware of the 'westernization' attempt in 1975/6 or he has chosen to ignore it, in any event his presentation of Rawat adopting a planned and even approach to change in the 1980s is wholly at odds with the contemporary description of vacillation and erratic behaviour given by Price [44] and by Foss & Larkin [45]. As with Chryssides, Hunt accords Rawat the authority to close the ashrams and rename the national Divine Light Missions, authority which Rawat did not hold. Hunt's proposition that Rawat ceased to be a "charismatic leader" is equally false, the changes that Rawat has insisted upon having removed any other person from a role in delivery of the teaching, a change that increased rather than reduced Rawat's 'special' position.

"The major focus of Maharaji is on stillness, peace, and contentment within the individual, and his 'Knowledge' consists of the techniques to obtain them. Knowledge, roughly translated, means the happiness of the true self-understanding. Each individual should seek to comprehend his or her true self. In turn, this brings a sense of well-being, joy and harmony as one comes in contact with one's "own nature." The Knowledge includes four meditation procedures: Light, Music, Nectar and Word. The process of reaching the true self within can only be achieved by the individual, but with the guidance and help of a teacher. Hence, the movement seems to embrace aspects of world-rejection and world-affirmation. The tens of thousands of followers in the West do not see themselves as members of a religion, but the adherents of a system of teachings that extol the goal of enjoying life to the full." [46], [47]

Hunt is confused over what the Knowledge consists of and has imputed that the four techniques are only part of the Knowledge, where as in fact the techniques are all of the Knowledge, there is nothing else. Given the publication date of 2003, Hunt's assertion that Rawat has "tens of thousands of followers in the West" seems highly dubious; various authorities (Long 1982. Melton 1982. Plamer 1990. etc) have stated figures for the number of 'initiations' to run into the tens of thousands but there is no evidence that initiation equates to long term adherence and in the last twenty years Rawat has only attracted attendance of few thousand to even his largest events outside of India.

"The process of reaching the true self within can only be achieved by the individual, but with the guidance and help of a teacher." [48]

Hunt makes a serious mistake. Adherents of Rawat's do not believe "the true self within can only be achieved by the individual, but with the guidance and help of a teacher" but that "the true self within can only be achieved by the individual, but with the guidance and help of the one and only teacher, Prem Rawat." This revised version accurately represents the assertion of Rawat and the belief of his followers, but clearly both the assertion and the belief require some test of veracity.

Kranenborg, Reender Dr.

Oosterse Geloofsbewegingen in het Westen ("Eastern faith movements in the West") (1982) (Dutch language) ISBN 90-210-4965-1

English translation "This prediction came true very soon. In 1969 Maharaj Ji sent the first disciple to the West. In the next year he held a speech for an audience of thousands of people in Delhi. This speech was known as 'the peace bomb' and was the start of the great mission to the West."

Dutch original "Deze voorspelling gaat al snel in vervulling. In 1969 stuurt Maharaj ji de eerste discipel naar het Westen. In het daaropvolgende jaar houdt hij een toespraak in Delhi voor een gehoor van duizenden mensen. Deze toespraak staat bekend als 'de 'vredesbom' en is het begin van de grote zending naar het Westen." [49]

Kranenborg's assertion that "Maharaj Ji sent the first disciple to the West" is somewhat dubious - Prem Rawat was still only 11 years old and such decisions at the time were routinely taken by his mother. Kranenborg's proposition that there was a linkage between the "Peace Bomb" speech and the establishment of the Divine Light Mission outside of India is also unsupported.

In addition to being directly quoted as footnote, Kranenborg is paraphrased within Wikipedia text:

Kranenborg also writes that the techniques of Knowledge originated from the Surat Shabda Yoga or Sant Mat, the Path of the Sound Current, and that some of the techniques are related to the 'japa-' or mantra-yoga that are similar to some techniques of Transcendental meditation and the Hare Krishnas. [50]

Kranenborg and Melton provide differing details of them in their writings but agree on a general description of the practices. "Light" involves careful pressure on the eyes, seeking to open the "third eye" after a long period of training and practice. This is comparable to similar Tantric practices. "Sound" involves positioning the hands over the ears and temples, with the goal of hearing the "heavenly music". This is reported to be related to sabda-brahman meditation. "Name", or "Word", is a meditation concentrating on breath. Kranenborg additionally states that it employs mantras while exhaling. "Nectar" involves tongue positioning, eventually leading the student to taste the "nectar of life." [51]

Kranenborg's proposition regarding the origin of the Knowledge techniques is uncontroversial, however the description of the techniques, whether it is sourced from Kranenborg or Melton is confused. The notion of the Third Eye was certainly current in the Divine Light Mission prior to the mid 1980s however there was never any suggestion that experience of the Divine Light was anything other than near immediate upon practicing the technique after having it revealed by a Mahatma or Initiator, certainly there was no concept of "long period of training and practice" necessary before practice of the techniques yielded experience. The Rawat 'Sound' technique which involves closing the ears is entirely separate from the Holy Name/Word technique which is a breath meditation. Kranenborg was correct in identifying the use of a mantra in the Rawat meditation and its comparability with Transcendental Meditation.

Lans, Jan van der and Frans Derks

Premies Versus Sannyasins originally published in Update: A Quarterly Journal on New Religious Movements, X/2 (June 1986)

"According to Maharaj Ji, all evil should be attributed to the mind […] indicat[ing] the same obstacle of freeing oneself from former bonds […] DLM's concept of mind refers primarily to a state of consciousness characterized by everything but passive, nonrational confidence and trust." [52]

Lans and Derks' assessment accurately describes the approach to 'mind' in the Divine Light Mission of Prem Rawat. Rawat has never foresworn any of his earlier speeches, however from 1983 onward he has rarely spoken about the 'mind' as an obstacle.

Mangalwadi, Vishal

The World of Gurus revised edition Cornerstone Pr Chicago; Revised edition (July 1992) ISBN 094089503X, pp 137-138

"The Divine Light Mission has not been interested in teachings and philosophies. Balyogeshwar and his brother have consistently rejected "theoretical" knowledge as "useless." I found the DLM devotees most difficult to talk to, because they neither wanted to teach their philosophy to me nor answer philosophical questions and objections. Their one comment was "Take the practical knowledge of the experience of Sound and Light and all your doubts and questions will be answered." [53], [54]

The quote from Mangalwadi illustrates the difficulty of an academic attempting to penetrate the evasiveness of Rawat's followers when they are pressed to reveal a philosophical position, the response "Take the practical knowledge of the experience of Sound and Light and all your doubts and questions will be answered." is entirely formulaic.

Melton, Gordon J.

Melton is quoted 12 times in Wikipedia articles about Prem Rawat and the Divine Light Mission and with Downton provides a notable block of references for the articles.

Encyclopedic Handbook of Cults in America,(1986), Garland Publishing ISBN 0-8240-9036-5

"Early in life he [Hans Rawat] encountered Sarupanand a guru of the Sant Mat tradition. Though Sarupanand Ji had told his disciples to follow Hans Maharaj Ji, after the guru's death another disciple, Varaganand, claimed the succession and took control of the guru's property." [55]

The claim that Sarupanand named Hans Rawat as successor is unattested.

"Just six years after the founding of the Mission, Shri Hans Ji Maharaj was succeeded by his younger son Prem Pal Singh Rawat, who was eight when he was recognized as the new Perfect Master and assumed the title Maharaj Ji. Maharaj Ji had been recognized as spiritually adept, even within the circle of the Holy Family, as Shri Hans' family was called. He had been initiated at the age of six […] He assumed the role of Perfect Master at his father's funeral by telling the disciples who had gathered. […] Though officially the autocratic leader of the Mission, because of Maharaji's age authority was shared by the whole family." [57], [58]

Melton's presentation of on the one hand Prem Rawat assuming the role of Perfect Master entirely of his own volition, but on the other, that because of Rawat's age his authority was shared with the 'whole family' seems somewhat self contradictory. Bob Mishler provides a fuller picture of the Rawat succession for which he provides no sources and he was definitely not at the scene. [59]

"In 1970 Maharaj Ji announced his plans to carry the knowledge throughout the world and the following year, against his mother's wishes, made his first visit to the West. A large crowd came to Colorado the next year to hear him give his first set of discourses in America. Many were initiated and became the core of the Mission in the United States. Headquarters were established in Denver, and by the end of 1973, tens of thousands had been initiated, and several hundred centers as well as over twenty ashrams which housed approximately 500 of the most dedicated premies, had emerged … the teachings of the Mission, particularly the public discourses of Maharaj Ji, were condemned as lacking in substance. Maharaj Ji, who frequently acted like the teenager that he was in public, was seen as immature and hence unfit to be a religious leader. [60]

Melton's assertion that Rawat, then aged just 13 travelled to Britain against his mother's wishes is highly dubious and raises questions how the child gained a passport. Finch states that Rawat firstly travelled to Britain in 1971 during a three week holiday from school, onward travel to the US was indeed unscheduled but was apparently achieved because the young Rawat was in the company of a Mahatma. [61]

Encyclopedia of American Religions 7th edition. Thomson (2003) p.2328 ISBN 0-7876-6384-0

"As they bewailed their loss at his [Shri Hans Ji Maharaj] funeral, one of the four sons, then only eight-years old arose and addressed the crowd. […] Thus Maharaj Ji proclaimed his lordship and established himself as the new head of his father's mission" [62]

As noted above this theatrical presentation of events belies a more prosaic history.

"In the early 1980s, Maharaj Ji moved to disband the Divine Light Mission and he personally renounced the trappings of Indian culture and religion, disbanding the mission, he founded Élan Vital, an organization to support his future role as teacher." […]Maharaji had made every attempt to abandon the traditional Indian religious trappings in which the techniques originated and to make his presentation acceptable to all the various cultural settings in which followers live. He sees his teachings as independent of culture, religion, beliefs, or lifestyles, and regularly addresses audiences in places as culturally diverse as India, Japan, Taiwan, the Ivory Coast, Slovenia, Mauritius and Venezuela, as well as North America, Europe and the South Pacific. [63], [64], [65]

Melton makes the same errors as Chryssides in contending that Rawat (Maharaji) disbanded the Divine Light Mission and founded Élan Vital when in almost every case the national Divine Light Missions were merely renamed Élan Vital. In any event Rawat could not himself have disbanded the organisations, lacking as he did any legal authority. Melton has perhaps borrowed the rather imprecise term 'trappings' from Downton but the assertion that Rawat made a personal renouncement of trappings of Indian culture is rather undermined by his insisting on being known as Maharaji.

New Religions: A Guide: New Religious Movements, Sects and Alternative Spiritualities. J. Gordon Melton, Christopher Partridge (Eds.) pp.201-202, Oxford University Press, U.S.A. (2004) ISBN 978-0195220421.

"As Maharaji began to grow older and establish his teachings worldwide he increasingly desired to manifest his own vision of development and growth. This conflict resulted in a split between Maharaji and his family, ostensibly caused by his mother's inability to accept Maharaji's marriage to an American follower rather than the planned traditional arranged marriage." [66]

As with Downton, Melton assumes without evidence that Rawat had a sense of direction, something refuted by Finch [67]; also as with Downton, Melton ignores the roles of Bob Mishler [68] and the influential Mahatmas.

"Rawat is insistent that it is not the product of any one culture or the property of any religious tradition and that it can be practiced by anyone. Consequently, Maharaji asserts that he is not teaching a religion and there are no particular rituals, sacred days, pilgrimages, sacred places, doctrines, scriptures or specific dress codes, dietary requirements or any other dimension associated with a religious lifestyle." [69]

This is undoubtedly a correct statement of Rawat's assertions, however the Knowledge meditation is patently a product of northern Indian culture and religion. [70]

Messer, Jeanne

Guru Maharaj, Ji and the Divine Light Mission. The New Religious Consciousness, Bellah, Robert and Glock, Charles (Eds.) pp. 52-72 University of California Press (1976)

Although the publishing date is 1976, Messer records the work as having been written in 1974, notably before the effects of the Rawat family schism had begun to impact on followers. Messer is paraphrased within the Wikipedia text and a supporting quote appears in a footnotes section:

According to a 1976 article by Jeanne Messer, the adherents of the Divine Light Mission underwent several psychological changes after they learned and began practicing the techniques of Knowledge, or inner peace, including experiencing benefits from meditation such as increased energy levels, an increased awareness of coincidences and a tendency to see them as divine interventions, as well as improvements in their marriage and work life. Messer, according to her account, was initially an atheist, and was later initiated. [71]

"I was a thoroughgoing atheist at the time of initiation and was looking for a tranquilizer, not God. But for the many who require no convincing, that stage in the transformation is experienced simply as confirmation, not as transformation. There may be other similar variations from devotee to devotee." [72]

Messer's essay is a qualitative work and is of value only for showing a sophisticated version of the inner group premie belief system at the time. It is fundamentally solipsistic and although some statistical information is given even this is unreferenced, although it appears to have been a basis for data given by later writers. The elements quoted in Wikipedia are inappropriately selective, for instance Messer also writes:

"When practicing devotees leave off meditating for service or whatever reasons, happiness is displaced by despair or depression accompanied by a strong desire to "get happy" again."

"It is what is manifest, therefore, that is of concern here. I choose that word deliberately because it is also part of the argot of devotees. Devotees maintain that just as one can know God, rather than simply believe in him, one can also manifest his activity in one's self and one's relationship to him in one's behavior. That is, it's the activities of Maharaj Ji and his devotees that will bring others to the movement, not a set of convincing precepts or conceptual schema. That does not mean that enthusiastic devotees do not go around trying to present convincing arguments for conversion, for they do. It does mean that they consider those arguments a poor substitute for the reality of manifest God realization." [73]

Pilarzyk, Thomas

The Origin, Development, and Decline of a Youth Culture Religion: An Application of the Sectarianization Theory" in "Review of Religious Research" 20, 1:33-37, 1978 [74]

"The Dynamics of Religious Collectivities", section "How Religious Collectivities Develop and Change", sub-section "Organizational Transformations" p.175 "As Weber pointed out, the long-term impact of a movement hinges on transformation of bases of authority and leadership from a charismatic mode to either traditional or legal-traditional rational structures. When a movement becomes established, there is a strong tendency for the organization to calcify around the memory of the early dynamism; its own tradition becomes the rationalization for why things should be done in a certain way. Early stages of a movement's organization involve simple structures such as the charismatic leader and followers or leader, core followers, and other followers. The transition to legal-rational structures is typically accompanied by the elaboration and standardization of procedures, the emergence of specialized statuses and roles, and the formalizing of communication among members. The early years of the Divine Light Mission in the United States were characterized by rapidly growing, loosely affiliated local ashrams (i.e., groups of devotees, usually living communally), united mainly by the devotion to the ambiguous charismatic figure of Guru Maharaj Ji. As the DLM became increasingly structured and centralized, leadership and power focused in the Denver headquarters. The guru's desire to consolidate his power and authority over the movement in the United States resulted in greater formalization: rules and regulation for ashram living, standards for recruited "candidates", and pressure toward certifying movements teachers." [75]

Pilarzyk is referenced only in the Wikipedia Divine Light Mission article and not those dealing with Prem Rawat, Hans Rawat and their respective teachings; Pilarzyk's perspective on formalisation in the organisational structures which supported Prem Rawat are certainly relevant to the questions of whether Prem Rawat's claim not to promote a belief system, and whether that system was cultic in character.

Price, Maeve

The Divine Light Mission as a social organization. Sociological Review, 27 (1979) . pp.279-96 [76]

"Immediately following Maharaj Ji's marriage a struggle for power took place within the Holy Family itself. Maharaj Ji was now sixteen years old. He had the knowledge that his personal following in the West was well established. It is likely that he felt the time had come to take the reins of power from his mother, who still dominated the mission and had a strong hold over most of the mahatmas, all of whom were born and brought up in India. Another factor may well have been the financial independence of Maharaj Ji, which he enjoys through the generosity of his devotees. Note 27: Contributions from premies throughout the world allow Maharaj Ji to follow the life style of an American millionaire. He has a house (in his wife's name), an Aston Martin, a boat, a helicopter, the use of fine houses (divine residences) in most European countries as well as South America, Australia and New Zealand, and an income which allows him to run a household and support his wife and children, his brother, Raja Ji, and his wife, Claudia. In addition, his entourage of family, close officials and mahatmas are all financed on their frequent trips around the globe to attend the mission's festivals." [77]

Price's work is quantitative and referenced, it stands as an authoritative study on the Rawat movement between 1971 and 1978 and it is inexplicable why Wikipedia should rely so heavily on other sources but make just a single reference to Price. So it is a particular shame that the one time she is quoted she calls the East/West schism in Divine Light Mission a struggle for power within the family. The loss of nearly the whole of the original Indian movement, it's credibility (though this was damaged by Rawat suing the organisation and his brother), assets, members, administrators and spiritual leaders to Prem Rawat because of his unethical lifestyle can hardly be termed a family struggle.


[1] BIO: Daniel A. Foss & Ralph W. Larkin. Worshipping the Absurd: The Negation of Social Causality among the Followers of Guru Maharaj Ji Sociological Analysis, Vol. 39, No. 2. (Summer, 1978), pp.157-164.

[2] PRR: Article - Ron Geaves
BIO: Professor Ron Geaves Research

[3] BIO: Daniel A. Foss & Ralph W. Larkin.

[5] Wikipedia: Teachings of Prem Rawat - cited

[6] Apologetics Index: David Barret

[8] Wikipedia: Ron Geaves

[9] PRR: Article - Ron Geaves
BIO: Professor Ron Geaves Research

[10] Wikipedia: George D. Chryssides

[11] PRR: Article - Ron Geaves
BIO: Professor Ron Geaves Research

[12] BIO: Subgroups in Divine Light Mission Membership - Frans Derks and Jan M. van der Lans

[13] BIO: Soul Journeys - James V. Downton

[14] Finch: Article - Maharaji's Start in the West. Nov 02 2003

[15] BIO:
EPO: The Divine Light Mission as a social organization "Nevertheless it does not follow that the leader has either a clear definition of the type of organization he desires or that he possesses the requisite skills to achieve hisgoals. In particular, the leader has to take into account the social characteristics of his following who will also have attitudes concerning the existence of and form of organization. Nevertheless it does not follow that the leader has determined events and is frequently having to respond to situations which he could not have deliberately planned. This is particularly the case where the mission's financial problems are concerned."

[16] BIO:
EPO: Transcript of Radio Interview with Robert Mishler - Maharaji cries on Bob's shoulder.

[17] BIO: Soul Journeys - James V. Downton

[18] BIO: Daniel A. Foss & Ralph W. Larkin. "Those who founded the Divine Light Mission or joined it during 1971-72 were former "freaks." As "freaks" they had, during the 1960s, internalized the standard "movement" conception of the repressive corporate-fascist-pig-bureaucracy. But now, as"servants" of the Teenage Perfect Master, Guru Maharaj Ji, they proceeded to build and manage an organization which became, during 1972-73, a veritable parody of that conception: The Mission enjoined upon its organizational core a strict regimentation of everyday life. It banned drugs and established an order of celibate-renunciates. It enforced hair and dress codes and fostered servility and obedience in lower-level operatives."

[19] BIO: Soul Journeys - James V. Downton

[20] BIO:
EPO: Transcript of Radio Interview with Robert Mishler - Maharaji cries on Bob's shoulder

[21] BIO: Downton, James V.

[22] Wim Haan - website no longer exists: Article - De missie van het Goddelijklicht van goeroe Maharaj Ji "Divine Light Mission hardly had a philosophical background. The central beliefs were all summarized in this song.[arti]" - The words of arti (website no longer exists) are given in both Dutch and English

[23] BIO:
EPO: The Divine Light Mission as a social organization "At the time of writing, the whole organization has been reduced to a very simple framework, consistent with the limited goals of keeping premies actively participating in satsang, service and meditation and gathering together to reinforce their commitment at larger programmes and festivals from time to time."

[24] BIO: Soul Journeys - James V. Downton

[25] BIO: Soul Journeys - James V. Downton

[26] BIO: Soul Journeys - James V. Downton

[27] BIO: Soul Journeys - James V. Downton

[28] PRMI: Web Page - Promotion of Prem Rawat in the United States

[29] BIO:
EPO: Statement by Michael Dettmers Oct 30, 2000 "through me, instructed Maharaji's lawyer and accountant to re-classify all of the checks that had been made out to Maharaji, but deposited into DLM's bank account, as Maharaji's personal funds that were simply being held in trust for his personal use by DLM. When the financial records were re-categorized in this manner, the records clearly showed that Maharaji had more than enough funds to personally pay for the Malibu residence, the cars, and his personal expenses with his own money."

Note: Although Dettmers is confident that there were funds that were Rawat's personal assets, nowhere was it ever made explicit what the donors' expectations were - the fact that checks were made out to 'Guru Maharaj Ji' is not evidence that the donors did not expect the funds to be put toward a charitable purpose and not for the purchase of cars and mansions.

[30] BIO:
EPO: Transcript of Radio Interview with Robert Mishler - Maharaji changes mind about retiring in 1976.

[31] BIO:
EPO: Price. M (1979): The Divine Light Mission as a social organization. Sociological Review, 27 "In fact what had occurred was the removal from power of his closest adviser, who had been the International President since the headquarters were set up in the United States. It is apparent that Maharaj Ji resented the advice given to him by his chief subordinate and dismissed him when a clash of wills occurred.

[32] BIO: Galanter, Marc. Cults: Faith Healing and Coercion, "Within a few months, I began to study this compelling phenomenon. I enlisted the help of Peter Buckley, a colleague at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, and we conducted interviews and designed a questionnaire to evaluate two issues: first, the relief of psychological distress experienced on joining, and, second, the degree of social cohesiveness felt by these members toward the group. I hypothesized that a relationship existed between the perceived emotional relief and fidelity to the group".

[33] BIO: Globalization, charisma, innovation, and tradition - Ron Geaves

[34] BIO: Globalization, charisma, innovation, and tradition - Ron Geaves

[35] BIO: Globalization, charisma, innovation, and tradition - Ron Geaves

[36] BIO: Globalization, charisma, innovation, and tradition - Ron Geaves

[37] Wikipedia: Teachings of Prem Rawat - References

[38] BIO: Hunt, Stephen J. Alternative Religions: A Sociological Introduction

[39] BIO: Hunt, Stephen J.

[40] Finch: Article - Maharaji's Start in the West. Nov 02 2003

[41] BIO:
EPO: Price, Maeve. The Divine Light Mission as a social organization "Nevertheless it does not follow that the leader has either a clear definition of the type of organization he desires or that he possesses the requisite skills to achieve his goals. In particular, the leader has to take into account the social characteristics of his following who will also have attitudes concerning the existence of and form of organization. Nevertheless it does not follow that the leader has determined events and is frequently having to respond to situations which he could not have deliberately planned. This is particularly the case where the mission's financial problems are concerned."

[42] BIO:
EPO: Transcript of Radio Interview with Robert Mishler - Maharaji cries on Bob's shoulder.

[43] BIO:
EPO: Björkqvist, K (1990) World-rejection, world-affirmation, and goal displacement. "Regarding DLM, it seems that the relatively large oscillations in that particular case are mainly due to direction from above, i.e., change within the leadership. Obviously, the movement towards greater world-affirmation during 1974-6 was a conscious policy in order to attract other people besides drop-outs from the Establishment. The greatest spokesman for this policy, however, was Maharaj Ji's right hand at the time, Bob Mishler."

[44] BIO:
EPO: Price, M. The Divine Light Mission as a social organization. "Once Maharaj Ji became the de facto head of the mission, various factors, which must include his own inexperience and lack of long-term policy and his anxiety not to become a puppet of his officials, led to a gradual slowing down of recruitment, a falling away of active support and an almost complete cessation of organized proselytizing activities."

[45] BIO: Daniel A. Foss & Ralph W. Larkin. Worshiping the Absurd: The Negation of Social Causality among the Followers of Guru Maharaj Ji Sociological Analysis, Vol. 39, No. 2. (Summer, 1978), pp.157-164. "they [Rawat's followers] did so in the name of Guru Maharaj Ji, who was worshipped for his seemingly nonsensical and unpredictable behavior."

[46] BIO: Hunt, Stephen J.

[47] Wikipedia: Techniques of Knowledge

[48] BIO: Hunt, Stephen J.

[49] The link has been removed from Wikipedia

[50] Wikipedia: Teachings of Prem Rawat - Origin of the Techniques

[51] Wikipedia: Teachings of Prem Rawat - Techniques of Knowledge

[52] BIO: Premies Versus Sannyasins, Dr. Jan van der Lans and Dr. Frans Derks

[53] BIO: Mangalwadi, Vishal. The World of Gurus Revised Edition

[54] BIO: Mangalwadi, Vishal. The World of Gurus Revised Edition

[55] BIO: Melton, J. Gordon, Encyclopedic Handbook of Cults in America Revised, New York/London: Garland, 1986

[57] BIO: Melton, J. Gordon, Encyclopedic Handbook of Cults in America Revised, New York/London: Garland, 1986

[58] BIO: Melton, J. Gordon, Encyclopedic Handbook of Cults in America Revised, New York/London: Garland, 1986

[59] BIO:
EPO: Transcript of Radio Interview with Robert Mishler - How Maharaji was selected to succeed his father

[60] BIO: Melton, J. Gordon, Encyclopedic Handbook of Cults in America Revised, New York/London: Garland, 1986

[61] Finch: Article - Maharaji's Start in the West "Maharaji came to England in June 1971 for his 3 week school-vacation visit, and it was then that he got the idea of going to America, which Mata Ji objected to, saying he should return to India to finish his schooling. I was closely involved with getting him to the US, taking him to the US Consulate in Grosvenor Square, London, to get his visa, over several days. The problem was that he was a minor, and in order to get his visa he needed permission from his legal guardian, who was Mata Ji and refused to give it. I cannot remember how it got resolved."
BIO: From the East to The West

[62] Wikipedia: Divine Light Mission - Footnotes

[63] Wikipedia: Divine Light Mission - Footnotes

[64] Wikipedia: Prem Rawat - Footnotes

[65] Wikipedia: Teachings of Prem Rawat - Footnotes

[66] Wikipedia: Divine Light Mission - Footnotes

[67] Finch: Article - Maharaji's Start in the West. Nov 02 2003

[68] BIO:
EPO: Transcript of Radio Interview with Robert Mishler - Maharaji cries on Bob's shoulder.

[69] Wikipedia: cited in Wikipedia Techniques of Knowledge

[70] BIO: Radhasoami Reality: The Logic of a Modern Faith Published by Princeton University Press (December 11,1995. ISBN-10: 0691010927 "The teachings of the Divine Light Mission, led by the boy guru Maharaj-Ji, are essentially those of Radhasoami as well, and other spiritual leaders of the time were also influenced by Radhasoami teachings."

[71] BIO: Jeanne Messer, Guru Maharaj Ji and the The Divine Light Mission

[72] BIO: Jeanne Messer, Guru Maharaj Ji and the The Divine Light Mission

[73] BIO: Jeanne Messer, Guru Maharaj Ji and the The Divine Light Mission

[74] BIO: The Origin, Development and Decline of a Youth Culture Religion: An Application of Sectarianization Theory

[75] BIO: Religion: The Social Context, Fifth Edition By Meredith B. McGuire

[76] BIO:
EPO: Price, Maeve (1979): The Divine Light Mission as a social organization

[77] BIO: Price, Maeve (1979): The Divine Light Mission as a social organization