Talk:Prem Rawat/Archive 6

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Archive 1 Archive 4 Archive 5 Archive 6 Archive 7 Archive 8 Archive 10

This article "weight" is way off

This is what I was afraid of. That due to pressure from one POV (the critics, represented here by Jim and his friends as well as Andries) this article will become one in which the POV of a small group becomes dominant.

Almost 50% of the article is related to the controversy and the critics cl;aims and counterclaims by supporters. The page is over 30K long and need shortenning.

I propose to re-create the "Criticism of Prem Rawat" article (now redirected here) in which Jim and Andries can expand, and have a short summary of it on this article.

--Zappaz 19:13, 26 Aug 2004 (UTC)

Either that, or divide the Prem Rawat into "life and teachings" (uncontroversial) and "relations with ex-followers".
In several cases over the past 3 years at Wikipedia, I have seen deadlocks like this broken by dividing the article into small pieces (even if only for a week or two). Start with a main article which everyone can agree is accurate, including a formal or explicit statement that X or Y or Z is controversial. And include links to articles about each of those controversies.
For example, Augusto Pinochet's history shows that there was a big fight over the 1973 coup which ousted Allende: particularly the US role in that coup. Please take a few minutes to see how that was resolved, because we can probably do something similar here.
And now I really have to take a break. See you all next week! --Uncle Ed 20:20, 26 Aug 2004 (UTC)
Thanks for the pointer. I will check the Pinochet article. See you next week :) --Zappaz

Reorganized article

Article is now re-organized. main article portraying Prem Rawat, teachings and histoy of movement.

Ex-premie article portraying all the criticism and counter-criticism polemic. Critics can now expand/edit that article as much as needed. Link to this in the article's intro.

Also archived previous Talk page discussions on Talk:Prem_Rawat/Archive 5.

--Senegal 22:45, 26 Aug 2004 (UTC)(a.k.a .121 and .122, now using a sockpuppet account to edit help with this article. I know that it is not nice, but it is my choice to avoid being harassed.

The appropriate "weight" of the article depends on your POV

If you assume, as does the majority of people living on this earth, that Rawat is a fraudulent cult leader, then the major weight of the article would be a description of him as such: how he came to be in power, how he's fraudulent, how he fits into the greater categories of false gurus and cult leaders generally.

If, on the other hand, you accept him on his own terms -- something you, Zappaz, and all the premies here do -- then you're right.

Here, by the way, are some comments from the official followers' site, Enjoying Life with Knowledge, that should make it a bit easier seeing what's really going on here:

Aliene Hughes, July 17, 2003

Maharaji's heart

Maharaji's Heart Feels Like Forever Embracing You In So Much Peace You Can Always Become One With It

Aliene Hughes Santa Monica, Ca, USA

Ziga Valetic, April 5, 2003

My Guru (GU - darkness, RU - light)

You offered three blessings.

First ... Your precious precious precious tehniques of Knowledge, Second ... Your intelligent, clear, soothing words, that transcend my ignorance, Third ... sharing the same practical and most noble life effort with you.

I take all three, for within these I've found all of me and all of you.

Ziga Valetic Ljubljana, Slovenia

Anyone who can't see that this is a devotional cult is blind.

-- Jim


If you assume, as does the majority of people living on this earth, that Rawat is a fraudulent cult leader

Fallacies. Since when you are the spokesperson for the majority of poeople on this heart? Come down from the cloud.

And some of thes statements that you have copied above ( that by the way are copyright violations have been removed, with the exception of a sample as it falls within fair_use#Amount_and_substantiality), are the expressions of gratitude of people that have Maharaji has their teacher and appreciate him and his teachings. Nothing is wrong with it, besides your lack of understanding -- jossi 04:44, 27 Aug 2004 (UTC)

Jossi: why did you delete the copyrighted "expressions" that express devotion to Maharaji, like the one named "Prayer" and leave the more bland ones? Do you know of any students of M who still pray to him? I do. I think that's a reasonable question in this context. Here's a wink, wink.
Cynthia Gracie, 8/30/04

Why else do you think he avoids the press? Come on, Jossi, be honest for once.

-- Jim

Jim, the issue is not what characterization you want to apply. Anyone can see that devotion is a negative in your POV. Other POVs may consider that different. You continue making the assumption that Wikipeda is the place for the truth. Me and others have asked you several times to please read and understand the NPOV policy to appreciate what kind of encyclopedia is that we are attempting to create here at Wikipedia. Nevertheless, I would encourage you to dedicate your efforts to work on the Ex-premie article, that after Senegal's dissection does not read well and needs work.--Zappaz 12:10, 27 Aug 2004 (UTC)


Ed, critics claims are already explained on that paragraph. Let them present their grievances in detail on the Ex-premie page. I moved your summary of allegations to that article. --Zappaz

Not particularly "my" summary; I just formatted an anonymous edit, so it wouldn't be reverted. I figured if I stuck my oar in, somebody would pay a bit more attention to it ;-) and now I'm really, really going to take a break!! --Uncle Ed 16:35, 27 Aug 2004 (UTC)

Zappaz, I do not think that we are coming closer. I continue to disagree with you. Ed Poor also held the opinion that the UVa article should be included. Andries 23:26, 27 Aug 2004 (UTC)

Zappaz, how on earth can you remove those claims of divinity from the main article??? They are proven, very relevant, documented facts. It is crazy to split that to another article. Andries 23:33, 27 Aug 2004 (UTC)

Let's not start again

Andries: instead of entering into an edit war yet again... please work on the Ex-Premie article instead. That was Ed's proposal, implemented by Senegal and others.

All the controversy elements moved to the Ex-Premie page were they can be developed without edit wars. -- Zappaz 23:33, 27 Aug 2004 (UTC)

I do not agree. All relevant documented facts about Prem Rawat should be mentioned here. This article hardly contains criticis, which I can understand but to remove relevant, important, documented facts (such as the claims of divinity) is just intellectual dishonesty and revisionism. Andries 23:36, 27 Aug 2004 (UTC)
That is EXACTLY the problem. The issue is to see if we can achieve a stable article. Given the contentious nature of the article and the emotional involvement of pro's and con's the idea was to split the article, keeping this article devoid of the controversy, and moving the controversial aspects to another article. Pls read the comments by Ed, Senegal and myself above.

Claims of divinity and a link to the Ex-premie article are clearly marked on the Opposition section with a link to the Ex-premie article where it can be developed as much as needed. --Zappaz 23:41, 27 Aug 2004 (UTC)

Zappaz, I have to think about it but you and Senegal are breaking the guidelines for NPOV article. It may be a good idea though in this case otherwise this article become the subject of endless edit wars. Andries 23:44, 27 Aug 2004 (UTC)
The idea is to let the air cool a bit. Allow Jim and other critics to expand the Ex-premie article for a while. Then we can revise and see if a summary can be placed here. The current article is still NPOV as it clearly explain that there are critics that are making pretty substatial allegations against Prem Rawat and his movement, and all data in the article is attributed to a source. It also positions the ex-premies in the context of size (being a small group). Read the NPOV section about this aspect of respresentation (NPOV#What_is_the_neutral_point_of_view.3F). --Zappaz 00:11, 28 Aug 2004 (UTC)

Zappaz, I continue to disagree with you on the minority point of view and a lot of other things. When he was more known in the 1970, a lot of negative press articles came out. Now people do not care anymore. And the claims of divinity should go into the article, otherwise to say that the article in NPOV is simply untrue beyond reasonable doubt. Andries 10:37, 28 Aug 2004 (UTC)

Putting all the criticism on the ex-premie page is wrong

So let me see how this works. Just because there's so much critical stuff to be said about Rawat, none of it gets said in the article. Instead, there's a small link people may -- or may not -- use to get to the other, and what I'd consider the "real" part of the story?

Was that your idea, Ed?

This is a complete travesty!

Fallacies again. The "real" part of the story is that the ex-premie world is a small one and deserves just that much coverage in the main article of a noble individual such as Maharaji. So far I have been quiet leaving the work to others. But I am back now and will not allow you or other ex-premies to use this article as shhwocase of your hate, excellently documented by you in this talk page.
Why don't yo do some useful work and edit the Ex-premie page, instead of telling others what to do? --jossi 16:27, 28 Aug 2004 (UTC)
Jossi, did you really mean to say "the ex-premie world?" LOL! Was that a joke or a slip? Didn't you mean "Maharaji's World?" as in the commonly used phrase by premies and Rawat: "Living in Maharaji's World." You might as well have said "Ex-Premies have jumped Maharaji's ship!" For you Wikipedians, this is a reference to Prem Rawat's "inside language."
Put your article into perspective here. You're as vociferously pro-Maharaji as you claim ex-premies are vociferously anti-Maharaji. I find it amusing that EV claims that Rawat doesn't teach a religion, philosophy, or spirituality, and has no membership, but EV enjoys tax-free status, not just as a non-profit 501(c)3, but it continues to retain the status of a church, which gives it special status as a non-profit under the U.S. IRS code. Now that is documented. DLM started out as an incorporated church in Denver, Colorado and when the name changed to Elan Vital, it kept it's church status in the U.S. When it was still DLM, Prem Rawat was named as it's "Chief Minister." This is also documented and backed up by additional testimony by Rawat's personal manager during the name change. But, that's not good enough for Wikipedia!
And, what's with your statement "I will not allow...?" How can you assert so much power to allow or disallow anything? Why don't you provide actual proof that ex-premies are a group as you assert, and that ex-premies are a hate-group as Elan Vital asserts in its FAQs, a POV that you support. Jossi, there is no evidence provided on those FAQs to support characterizing ex-premies as a hate-group. Also, EV has not substantiated any of it's FAQ claims against vocal ex-premies about the allegations of harassment of Maharaji. Poisoning the water? Have a reality check, Jossi.
You have asserted all of these things by writing them in this article, so now why won't or can't you provide real evidence without using the EV FAQs? Or is that all you've got? You know damned well that I am one person (among many others) who posts on the Ex-Premie Forum that will always call for the condemnation and deletion of any post that threatens any physical violence or harm against anyone, especially Prem Rawat and his family.
Btw, Jossi, I used to worship and adore Maharaji, just like you do now. When I worked at DECA premies there considered him to be their Lord. We didn't call him our "guru" or even "satguru" and you know that. We referred to him as our Lord. Can't get much more western than that. Lord is not a Hindu word. I gave him quite a bit of my life and tried to the best of my ability to surrender my body, mind and soul to him as he asked of all premies, by living in his ashram. Btw, did you know how I was taught to answer the phones at DECA when Maharaji called there? I was told that "one never puts the Lord on hold." So I never did. Can I prove this? You know I cannot and I suspect you and EV folks are gloating about the fact that on Wikipedia, the goal is NPOVing not truth or direct testimony of former followers of Prem Rawat. You found your perfect platform!
Now I no longer worship and adore Maharaji, but I certainly do not hate him or premies. I don't expect you to believe me, though. I know my name elicits great negativity from premies because I have been vocal as a former devotee of Maharaji. But, I'm not willing to start writing anonymously now in order to avoid libel by EV or personal attacks by premies. I have a right to say what I know about Maharaji (which is quite a lot) and it's called freedom of speech. But, not here. There isn't freedom of speech on Wikipedia.
One more point. David V. Barrett's book is used as a reference source on the Critics or Ex-Premie page. It is a fact that when writing the book,The New Believers, Barrett did not interview one former follower of Prem Rawat. So, how does that make him a scholar about ex-premies?
You also might start showing some respect for Andries instead of accusing him for being biased because he talks to ex-premies via the forum or email. Talk about censorship.
Cynthia Gracie, Aug 31, 2004
Jossi, what do you mean with "showcase of your hate"? Sometimes you give me the impression that you see any accusation or even factual information that could put a negative light on Maharaji as "hatred." May be some people had a good reason to stop believing, which is, please believe me, I know this from experience, not an easy thing after having invested so much in him with regards to time, faith, hope, devotion and money. May be there is a very good reason why some ex-premies do not like Maharaji. Please allow ex-premiesple to write their alternative vision in an NPOV way on Prem Rawat. This is their right that you refuse to give them. Why did so many people leave Maharaji in spite of the great promises he made. Probably because they lost faith in him and only a smal minority of that group became vocal critics, which is natural and common. But that does not mean that they are the minority. They are the majority. Premies/students are the minority. Andries 19:12, 31 Aug 2004 (UTC)
Cynthia, I note above your reference to knowing a lot of the details, and you have indeed included some details above that I have not seen before. Jim is preparing to do an alternate version of the Prem Rawat article, and I believe we have an understanding among us here that he is going to be granted editorial space and freedom by the "pro" faction to get that article fully up and running before we all try to edit or maybe merge all the articles together. You might want to get with him and do a "brain dump," contributing your details to that page. You're obviously welcome to contribute to the current main version as well, but on Jim's page I suspect you'll meet up with less editorial resistance. --Gary D 18:45, 31 Aug 2004 (UTC)

Is it "noble" for Rawat to screw his mistress on the side for decades making a laughingstock of his wife Marolyn?

Fallacies again. The "real" part of the story is that the ex-premie world is a small one and deserves just that much coverage in the main article of a noble individual such as Maharaji. So far I have been quiet leaving the work to others. But I am back now and will not allow you or other ex-premies to use this article as shhwocase of your hate, excellently documented by you in this talk page.
Why don't yo do some useful work and edit the Ex-premie page, instead of telling others what to do? --jossi 16:27, 28 Aug 2004 (UTC)
I am getting quite exasperated with the ex-premies. Put it in perpective: the rantings of a group of apostates vs. the accolades received by Maharaji just this last 12 months: . Why to give the ex-ptemies POV more than jus a few lines? Doing otherwise will indeed be a travesty.
Who travels 11 moths of a a year speaking about the possibility of peace to people of all cultures? Why did he spend last year more than 6 months traveling to the poorest parts of India addressing more than a million people? Why is he invited to speak at public forums such as Barcelona Forum 2004?
So: Please keep this article in perspective, please. And Ed, Senagal, Zappaz and others, I respect your work in Wikipedia, and I would appreciate some real balance here. -- jossi 16:43, 28 Aug 2004 (UTC)


Ex-premies are vandalizing this page, yet again. True colors. --jossi 17:05, 28 Aug 2004 (UTC)

It boils down to this

Obviously, Rawat, who once claimed to be the Lord of the Universe and promised to bring Peace on Earth, is running from his past. Neither he nor his followers can deal with it honestly. Hence, the silly infomercial puff-pieces instead of real interaction with actual journalists. Or the lying FAQ's on EV's website. Or the flailing, dissembling accusations of distortions and the like from people like Jossi.

Rawat would like to simply re-present himself to the world as if none of that ever happened. All the same, of course he'd be nothing without the pulpit he built AS the "Lord". Indeed, as is clear from the prayers to him on ELK which I posted a few of here (and which, for the most part, were erased), many followers STILL think he's God. And that's just the way Rawat wants it.

So the question is, is it right to give Rawat this kind of pass? He lies to the world, helies about his lies, he continues to trick people into thinking he's some expert on anything but tricking people .....


Please sign your posting so we know to whom to attribute this. Clearly the above is your distorted POV and nothing else. Hundreds of thousands of people from all walks of life appreciate Maharaji and his guidance. . Yours is the POV of an irrelevant minority. You may not like that, but that is the case. -- jossi 18:32, 28 Aug 2004 (UTC)
wrong, Jossi, the critics are the majoriry. Andries 09:30, 29 Aug 2004 (UTC)

Latest edits

Several problems with your edit:

  • Gary, your characterization as "guru" is incorrect. Prem Rawat has not called himself a guru for the last 25 years and hardly fits that characterization (no white robes, long beard or other trappings)
  • Rawat is a very common name in India, so we need to prefix it with "Prem"
I'm fine with any changes on both those points. If you remove the word "guru" from the first paragraph, do please remember to re-wikify its first appearance later in the article. --Gary D 00:02, 29 Aug 2004 (UTC)

I liked how you re-arranged the background section. Good work. -- Zappaz 23:54, 28 Aug 2004 (UTC)

Thanks. --Gary D 00:02, 29 Aug 2004 (UTC)

Removal of opposition section, and my edits to first section

From Gary D:

After long saying I might do something on this article, I have finally showed up. I have just now edited the first section, largely in response to the removal of the "Opposition" section, and to spare Andries from having a (I believe, fairly justified) cow when he sees this. I think complete removal of all text critical of Maharaji/Rawat from the article goes too far, and a bare link to a criticism article is insufficient for encyclopedic NPOV presentation. However, I also believe the "temporary separation" process, in which two separate articles reflecting each side are developed separately for a while, can be useful. Eventually there should be greater integration between the two, I believe, but for now I am simply attempting to split the baby by moving the bare link to the critical article up to the introductory paragraph and thus give it some prominence. (This is something I would normally be strongly opposed to, as I believe noirmally the facts describing an article's subject should be given first and then controversy/criticism be given a section; however, when all critical text on a controversial text is moved, the situation becomes special). I propose that Andries consider leaving the separation between articles for now, monitor this article and work on the criticism article, and that the pro-Maharaji guys leave the critical link in the introduction for now, and consider how unusual it would be for Wikipedia to have an article on a controversial topic that has within it no critical text at all. I suggest we all work on both articles for a few weeks, and then bring the "integrated article versus separate articles" issue to Peer Review. --Gary D 00:02, 29 Aug 2004 (UTC)

From Zappaz:

I fully support Gary's proposal and welcome his help with this article. I just made a few edits to make it more accurate and hopefully encourage pro's and con's not to engage in yet another edit war. -- Zappaz 00:15, 29 Aug 2004 (UTC)
I'm sure we can all make this work, Zappaz, and I'm very hopeful of doing so without edit wars. Now, to cases, as they say: My remaining concerns about the first few sentences are not religiously substantive, but rather encyclopedic/procedural. I think we should follow the standard parenthesized form for birth date and location, and I would still move the father's information down to the top of the Background section, so that we reserve the top section for the essential who/what introduction. I would thus propose this:

Prem Rawat (born December 10, 1957 in Dehradun near Haridwar, India) is an inspirational speaker promoting "inner peace". He is known to his students, who consider him a teacher and guide, by the honorary title Maharaji, and in India is known as Guru Maharaj ji or Balyogeshwar. He has many followers, but is also controversial and has drawn criticism on several fronts (see Criticism of Prem Rawat).


Prem Rawat is the fourth son of Shri Hans Ji Maharaj, himself a teacher and guide (called guru in Indian culture). According to organizations that support his work, Prem Rawat began speaking to audiences about inner peace at the age of three. [etc.]...

What do you think? --Gary D 07:45, 29 Aug 2004 (UTC)
Looks good. Go ahead with that edit, Gary.
Let's focus now on the Criticism page. It needs a lot of work.-- Zappaz 15:42, 29 Aug 2004 (UTC)

From Andries:

Zappaz, Jossi, .140, GaryD, fine but in the meantime I will give this article a factual accuracy warning because I think that essential facts i.e. claims of divinity are missing. Do not remove the dispute warning please. It had already been removed two times without my consent. I will complain to admins if it is once again removed. Andries 09:13, 29 Aug 2004 (UTC)
I agree that the factual accuracy warning should be a part of this temporary accomodation we all are building, and I support its presence. --Gary D 10:01, 29 Aug 2004 (UTC)
Agreed. Let's do the same on the Crticisim page.--Zappaz 15:43, 29 Aug 2004 (UTC)
I have no problems with this. I understand Gary's proposal and accept it in that context, even though I am not happy with the statement about the controvery being so prominent in the intro paragraph. I will live with it for the time being, as per Gary's proposal, and i have done the edit myself to prove it :) -- jossi 16:02, 29 Aug 2004 (UTC)

The article is getting worse, not better

The article is getting worse all the time. Sorry, but it's absolute balderdash to say that Rawat wanted to eliminate eastern hindu devotional influences but his followers -- oh, sorry, students -- resisted. You guys don't know shit. Here's a little history lesson for you.

After Rawat and his brother married westerners, precipitating the family split (by the way, you ARE going to mention that his brother, Satpal, now claims to be the true guru as well, aren't you?), there was a general trend amongst western premies, Americans particularly, that the "old" ways were gone and we were free to reinvent our spiritual world. Rawat went along with this for a bit, condoning self-reflective "workshops" and the like where premies reconsidered all aspects of devotional life. People like Bob Mishler, then president of DLM and Rawat's right-hand man, fully supported these changes and wanted Rawat to expressly disavow the "god-man" title.

Rawat considered doing this but got cold feet and in an international coordinators conference in the late fall of 1976 in Essen, Germany, he castigated the international coordinators for forgetting the importance of devotion to him. In fact, at that very moment, he caused a complete reversal, a sea-change, if you will, amongst all his followers, initiating the most heavy devotional period the cult had ever seen. We were now all proven sinners, if you will, as we'd all succumbed, to varying degrees, to the temptations of the world. For instance, many people had left the ashrams, thinking they didn't have to be celibate and renunciate after all. Well Rawat sure cleared up that confusion. He called for a reopening of the ashrams here, there and everywhere, and any premie who was the least bit committed to him and who didn't have children, was pressured to join. He scolded and yelled at us incessantly, reminding us that we'd just had a very close call with the mind, which, he warned us, would try to get us again. All we could do was pray to him. Not that we deserved to be saved. But, hell, if we were lucky and Guru Maharaj Ji chose to give us the grace ....

You want proof? We've got TONS of it. It's all in his words, in his official publications. In other archival material. In our testimonial recollections as well.

But you people don't want the truth. Tell me, does EV contribute any cash to Wikipedia? It might as well do so.

-- Jim

Jim, I agree that the article has deteriorated but it is now informally locked. I suggest you edit the article Divine Light Mission and include its history section there. Andries 17:37, 29 Aug 2004 (UTC)
Jim and Andries, there is another approach, if you find you just cannot work with the pro-Maharaji guys. Create a "Prem Raway/temp" page, and fully build your own main, balanced (and I mean BALANCED, as in, give the pro viewpoint 'til it hurts) article. This whole project is headed for peer review anyway, and if you have a finished article to present as an alternative, I think you could sell the wider WP community on it. The alternative article would have to be facially and massively superior to the other article, though, well and fully documented, and not just summary or cursory with a critical slant instead of a favorable one. And if the project ends up in mediation, a completed alternative version would again be useful to have. Something like this was done to good effect over in Uri Geller, although that was more of an simple editorial issue and that project did not go to peer review. --Gary D 19:19, 29 Aug 2004 (UTC)

-- Sounds like a big investment with an unacceptable risk of return, Gary. The fact is, a fellow who was very close to Rawat for years wrote a thorough, fair and entirely supportable article at the outset of all this Wiki stuff and it was ransacked by the premies.

Maybe the effort I proposed is already complete, then, and you can take that original article to peer review.
I must disagree. The article written by Finch was of a blatant POV. He removed the original article replacing it completely with his own, with zero consideration for NPOV. That is definitively not the way to do it in WP. Your assertion that the article was ransaked by the premies is intolerable. Zappaz, Ed and Senegal have doen most of the work, and as far as I know none of them is one.-- jossi 02:40, 30 Aug 2004 (UTC)

What guarantee is there that that won't happen again?

None, really, except that if a version of the article goes through peer review, the WP community would tend to try to hold it stable, and would look unfavorably on severe changes back toward a version that had been voted down.

And "peer review"? What peers? Who are we talking about exactly? -- Jim

That would be anyone who cares to show up after the dispute is "advertised" on the peer review page. Your side could be in a better position than you might suspect, though: IMO, WP has a pretty strong atheist/skeptic group or streak within it that might tend to bear down heavily on a controversial new religious movement leader. --Gary D 00:28, 30 Aug 2004 (UTC)

Jim: Your behavior is not acceptable. Defacing the article is not the way to impress upon editors. I respectfully ask you to refrain from doing that. The editors working on this article take their work seriously and I am sure that they do not appreciate that behavior.
So far I have seen you making many points in this talk page but have yet to see you doing something constructive for this encyclopedia. Gary's idea is a good one, and working on the Ex-premie page is another good one. -- Zappaz 19:51, 29 Aug 2004 (UTC)

Some clarifications

Some clarifications for Gary's benefit:

  • Jim says that the article was "ransaked by the premies". What really happened is exactly the opposite. Jim himself vandalized the page today. Other ex-premies have vandalized the page again and again, with obscenity and silly words.
  • Jim and other ex-premies have clearly and publicly rejected the policy of NPOV, so their continuos presence here begs an explanation.
  • The main contributions to the article over the last months have been made by Zappaz, Senegal, and Ed Poor
  • I voluntarily stopped contributing after a barrage of personal attacks.
  • Andries portrays to be a neutral editor, but is clearly not one. He discusses edits with the ex-premies (may I say collude), and even had the chutzpah to engage me in "friendly" conversations, while at the same time speaking ill of me with the ex-premies behind my back.

I am back now and will be contributing again, and hopefully doing it within NPOV. If I am not, I will be glad to be corrected by my peers at WP. -- jossi 02:56, 30 Aug 2004 (UTC)

Thank you for the input, but as always, the textual work product will speak for itself, and the personalities aren't as important. If an article is high quality, the WP community will recognize and support it. If it's crap, the community will quickly dismiss it. That applies to this old version, or that old version, or the version we're working on now. If someone thinks highly of a version, any version, I urge them to expose that version to the larger community. If someone needs space to work up their own version, we should give them space to do that, and that version should be shown to the community as well. Let's face it: you, Zappaz, Andries and Jim will probably never agree, and the article and talk pages are increasingly filled with arguments over fine points of unspoken disputes that the rest of us don't even understand. Shoving versions and deletions back and forth in a polarized atmosphere does not advance the all-important textual work product. So I say, let's all put together, separately if we must, the very best text we each can generate, with citation and justification for all the facts, and use a larger WP group to hammer out the final product, with everyone then at least grumbingly agreeing to abide by the result. --Gary D 03:23, 30 Aug 2004 (UTC)

Thank you Gary from bringing some sanity around here....I agree with you and share these views. Cleary you have a lot of experience with WP and I welcome your intervention. Being a technologist, I am strong believer in the open source concept and I think I grasp the potential of this project. Hope my contributions are substantial enough to merit inclusion in the "final product". -- jossi 04:05, 30 Aug 2004 (UTC)
I have placed the article that Jim refered to as a thorough, fair and entirely supportable article (the one written by Mike Finch) at Talk:Prem_Rawat/Finch. -- jossi 04:14, 30 Aug 2004 (UTC)
Thanks, Jossi; more material to work from is always better. --Gary D 21:38, 30 Aug 2004 (UTC)
Hi again, Gary. Okay, this doesn't sound like a completely Sisyphean task -- or maybe I'm just too optimistic for my own good. But I'm game. I'm actually travelling right now but I'm sure that we, as exes, will be able to cobble something decent together. Yes, it will be along the lines of Mike Finch's article which only errs in its brevity. And yes, we can easily reference everything. Much of the case against Rawat comes straight out of the man's mouth, of course, and, try as they may, the followers will never be able to successfully argue that we've taken a single quote of of context. It will be sheer fun watching them try, however. Conversely, another important aspect of the story centres around Rawat's, his organizations' and his followers' blatant lies about the past, the present and the people like us who dare to tell the real story. It'll be a pleasure, Gary. Jossi, get ready to ash yo'self and tear your clothes asunder ..... :) -- Jim
Great news. Finally we willbe able see some editing efforts instead of just handling polemics. I have created a placeholder for the ex-premies version at Prem_Rawat/temp2. Look forward to see the results of these efforts. I just hope the last comment from Jim, is the last one of that kind. -- Zappaz 16:14, 30 Aug 2004 (UTC)
Sounds good, Jim; look forward to it. --Gary D 21:38, 30 Aug 2004 (UTC)

The public is either uninterested or thinks negative about him

For someone who thinks that the public would think favorable about Prem Rawat, if they studied the case, I suggest reading this entry from gururatings website The webmaster gives Maharaji/Prem Rawat half a star="bogus, may have some value, who knows" Andries

You must be either jocking or totaly obsfuscated to consider that website as a representation of the "public'. That site 'is the site of a follower of Osho Ouch ROLF! -- jossi 19:31, 30 Aug 2004 (UTC)

Okay, I have to admit that this is not very mainstream but would a person with mainstream views make a site with guru ratings? Only a person who is interested in at least one guru would do so. ~It is almost impossible to be objective when rating a guru ( see also the cult article that says the same about cults). That is why some people openly state their preference such as this honest webmaster (Sarlo) did. And by the way the British psychiatry professor Anthony Storr who wrote the book A study of gurus: feet of clay that is very critical about gurus writes that Rajneesh/Osho had very good ideas in his his early fase. For a more mainstream view (of a journalist) you and others can read the following. Andries 18:14, 31 Aug 2004 (UTC)

Copyvio question

I am working on an alternate version Prem_Rawat/temp1 and during my attempt to check citacions and sources I find that there are many hrefs quoted from the ex-premie sites ( and that contain material that look to me as copyvios. For example, they have there complete books and publications that have been scanned and/or transcribed and posted on these sites, most certainly an effort that goes beyond fair use. The Wikipedia:Copyrights policy warns us not to link to pages that infringe copyrights. What to do? Gary D., Ed? -- Zappaz 04:11, 31 Aug 2004 (UTC)

I read the policy again, and my take on it is that it is a matter of degree. I wouldn't link to a page that was itself a copyvio (as in, "click here for a free copy of Stephen King's new book"), but I wouldn't necessarily refuse to link to a site just because somewhere else on that site was material that was copyright questionable. It would also matter to me if the copyvio was the main point of a carnal profiteering site ("click here to get free songs on Kazaa") versus it being merely incidental to some other main political or noncommercial purpose for the site. Sometimes the only links to a particular viewpoint may involve groups who might in some aspects be misbehaving. I don't know the specifics of the links involved here, but I guess the questions are, 1) is there informational value in the link, and 2) is there another place to link to that would give that same informational value while avoiding any copyright entanglement? In other words, to me "it depends."--Gary D 07:11, 31 Aug 2004 (UTC)
P.S.: I looked on the site, and apparently they contested copyright claims the Mahaji people had made and issued a counter-notification under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, and the Maharaji people didn't take things any further. Now, I am NOT giving anyone legal advice, but it seems like it might give WP additional cover where the site being linked to is not itself being legally pursued for copyvio. --Gary D 07:59, 31 Aug 2004 (UTC)
I corteously disagree with both your statements, Gary D. Concerning your first point, Wikipedia and the GNU license under which it makes its content available does not make such nuanced distinctions about copyrighy violations as you argue. There is noting that I know of on Wikipedia:Copyrights that supports your first point. If there are other pages that I shoud read that supports that POV, please let me know. (--Senegal 15:41, 31 Aug 2004 (UTC))
I suppose maybe I should write one, LOL. I was framing the specific issue in terms of whether one might link to a website that might have a copyvio on it, but link to a point other than the copyvio material itself. I must say that I was going as much by what was not on the WP copyvio page as what was there, namely no specific ban on linking to a site just because it might have some copyvio material somewhere within it. That would be quite restricting, and a tough legal call to make as to the copyright status of all material on various websites. But indeed, I would not go as far as suggested below, to advocate linking directly to a suspected blatant copyvio just because there was no litigation; I agree with you, that's just not worth it. At any rate I suspect we may now be arguing angels on pinheads, as it appears Zappaz and Andries have below found a solution to the specific link problem originally raised here. --Gary D 21:28, 31 Aug 2004 (UTC)
In regard to the second point, the fact that no one is pursuing them for copyright violations, does not mean that they are not infringing. I went to their site and found this: -- a complete book (including covers) transcribed and posted on the Internet (yes, it is a mater of degree...). Your statement about WP extending coverage to a copyvio due to lack of litigation is a minefield, and will be certainly challenged by WP the community.
--Senegal 15:41, 31 Aug 2004 (UTC)
I discussed with the webmaster, John Brauns, about the book a few days ago and he admits that the copyrights belong to Satpal, Prem Rawat's brother. I suggest mentioning not linking to the book but instead mentioning it in the bibliography. Andries 17:22, 31 Aug 2004 (UTC)
For the record, I said no such thing. The situation as I understand it is that as Satpal Rawat won the court case in the 70s for control of the Indian Divine Light Mission, it is likely that if anyone has copyright of Shri Hans Ji Maharaj's writings, it would be Satpal. But I would also say that it is equally likely that no one owns the copyright to the book, and it is now in the public domain. --John Brauns 23:36, 15 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Thanks Andries for finding that out. We will need to do the same for other citations and hrefs coming from these websites. I will post a summary of all the hrefs in the article, and maybe you can find out about these as well. --Zappaz 20:23, 31 Aug 2004 (UTC)

Less polemics, more editing

After reading the last (and very verbose) post by Cynthia, I would encourage her as well as Jim, Andries, Jossi, etc., yet again, to keep these endless polemics out of this page. There is Usenet for that. Let us focus editing and writing the best article we can. Now we have a time window in which we can develop several versions of the article before we decide on next steps. Let us use that time constructively. Thank you. --Zappaz 20:17, 31 Aug 2004 (UTC)

Heads down, shoulders to the wheel does keep the cart moving forward. :-) --Gary D 21:29, 31 Aug 2004 (UTC)
 :) --Zappaz 21:46, 31 Aug 2004 (UTC)

Introducing myself

My name is Richard. I am a graduate student in New York City, going for my PhD. in Comparative Political Sciences at CUNY. My girlfriend is a student of Maharaji's (I am not) but as a researcher I am very interested in the issue of information technology and its potential for providing factual data in as value-neutral a manner as possible. With your kind permission, I would like to throw my 2 cents in as I review the proposed article(s).

From the offset, let me say that I am fairly dedicated to the proposition that academic language should whenever possible, be bereft of loaded terms (i.e., "John claimed" is value laden with the speaker's disbeleief of whatever it is that John said, while "John said" is dryer). Similarly, there is a distinction between ad hominem attacks (always unwarranted) and comments that fairly disclose to the reader the two foundations of secondary sourcing: credibility and plausibility. Finally, I would expect here no less of what we demand from our undergradate students-- that is, that circular support from self-conclusory statements is no support at all. If a factual statement on an internet webpage cannot be independently verified by reference to a document created and controlled by a non-interested party, then that "support" is highly questionable.

If this is not acceptable to you, or if you do not want my contribution, please let me know. Richard Gilooley