Hans Ji and Mata Ji, father and mother of Prem Rawat


Prem Rawat in his personal Boeing 707 Jet
(since upgraded many times)

Media and Research

This website was originally constructed with concern for the needs of journalists and researchers. The aim has been to provide a detailed account of the life of Prem Pal Singh Rawat and the organisations that have supported him over four decades.

The main body of the site is divided into six sections dealing with the person of Prem Rawat, the History of his movement, the Organisations that support Prem Rawat, the meditation that Rawat calls Knowledge, the question of whether Prem Rawat leads a Cult and lastly a section which deals with the Contradictions of Prem Rawat's life and the beliefs of his followers. Click here for a full summary of this site.

Journalistic interest in Prem Rawat has primarily been concerned with Rawat's wealth, Is It A Cult? and the emotional well being, or its lack, of Rawat's followers. The Links Page of this website provides a range of contacts, both supportive and critical of Prem Rawat; the promotional Prem Rawat Foundation publishes news releases (website no longer exists), while an archive of authentic published articles is held on and at the EPO website

Academic interest in Prem Rawat has come primarily from researchers investigating new religious movements (NRMs) from a Social Sciences perspective, and from researchers investigating cultic behaviour, from Social Science and Psychology perspectives. There is little recently published analysis of Prem Rawat or his followers, the works of Ron Geaves being the only ones of note. Geaves has been a life long adherent of Prem Rawat and has been criticised for publishing work on Rawat without declaring this allegiance. The honourable Professor Geaves considers this criticism as worthless as criticism of Prem Rawat.

Academic Papers and Research About or Pertaining To Prem Rawat

Youth Culture Religious Movements: Evaluating the Integrative Hypothesis
By Robbins, A., Anthony, D. & Curtis, T.,
The Sociological Quarterly 16 (Winter 1975):48-64

Guru Maharaj Ji and the The Divine Light Mission
Jeanne Messer in The New Religious Consciousness. (eds. Glock and Bellah 1976, pp. 52-72
This article is not based upon academic research but is an idealised portrait of Divine Light Mission and it's members in the early 1970's by a devoted "premie" and committed member of the organisation who was for many years at least, one of Prem Rawat's (or Guru Maharaj Ji as he was then known) inner circle. It was written in 1974 before the major controversies about Rawat and his family breakup and luxurious lifestyle began in earnest. It is a useful reference to the public exposition of idealised beliefs of Rawat's followers of the time.

Worshipping The Absurd 'The Negation of Social Causality among the Followers of Guru Maharaj Ji.'
By Daniel A. Foss and Ralph W. Larkin (Rutgers University),
Sociological Analysis, 1978. Page 157-164.

COMMENT On Foss, Daniel A. and Ralph W. Larkin. 1978
Jim Kemeny, The University of Adelaide
Sociology of Religion (1979) 40 (3): 262-264

The Origin, Development, and Decline of a Youth Culture Religion: An Application of Sectarianization Theory
Thomas Pilarzyk
Review of Religious Research, Vol. 20, No. 1. (Autumn, 1978), pp. 23-43.

Conversion and Alternation Processes in the Youth Culture: A Comparative Analysis of Religious Transformations
Thomas Pilarzyk
Pacific Sociological Review 21 (October, 1978a):379-405.

The Cultic Resilience of the Divine Light Mission: A Reply to Nelson
Thomas Pilarzyk
Review of Religious Research, Vol. 21, No. 1, Theory and Policy. (Autumn, 1979), pp. 109-112.

The Divine Light Mission as a Social Organization
Price, Maeve (1979)
Sociological Review, 27, Page 279-296

The Real Danger
By Friedrich-Wilhelm Haack
Translated from "Die wirkliche Gefahr", in "Jugendreligionen" Munich, 1979, pp. 375-380.

Sacred Journeys
The Conversion of Young Americans to Divine Light Mission
James V. Downton, Jr.
Columbia University Press, published July 1979
A remarkably fair-minded, sometimes credulous, study of a "typical" group of young Americans and their experiences of conversion to devotees of the Guru Maharaj Ji in the 1970's. Suffers from the use of a small and possibly atypical sample group and a relatively uncritical acceptance of the explanations given to Downton of the travails of the organisation and the "personal evolution" of the devotees. Valuable as a reputable academic outsider's evidence of the beliefs and doctrines of the time and the devotional message of Prem Rawat in the late 1970's which contradicts the revisionism of Elan Vital's current public version.

An Evolutionary Theory of Spiritual Conversion and Commitment: The Case of Divine Light Mission
James V. Downton, Jr.
Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, 1980, 19 (4): 381-396

Psychological Consequences of Charismatic Religious Experience and Meditation
Marc Galanter & Peter Buckley in The Brainwashing/Deprogramming Controversy: Sociological, Psychological, Legal and Historical Perspectives edited by David G. Bromley & James T. Richardson

Subgroups In Divine Light Mission Membership: A Comment On Downton
by Frans Derks and Jan M. van der Lans pages 303-308
Participation Rates in New Religions and Parareligious Movements
by Frederick Bird and William Reimer
Financing The New Religions
James T. Richardson
in Of Gods and Men: New Religious Movements in the West
edited by Eileen Barker,

GA: Mercer University Press, (1984),
ISBN 0-86554-095-0

Constructing Cultist "Mind Control"
Thomas Robbins
Sociological Analysis © 1984 Association for the Sociology of Religion, Inc.

Premies Versus Sannyasins
by Dr. Jan van der Lans and Dr. Frans Derks
June, 1986

How People Recognize Charisma:  the case of darshan in Radhasoami and Divine Light Mission
by DuPertuis, Lucy (a former follower of Prem Rawat during the 1970's)
Sociological Analysis, 47, Page 111-124, 1986

Company Of Truth: Meditation And Sacralized Interaction Among Western Followers Of An Indian Guru
by DuPertuis, Lucy
Ph. D. Thesis, copy available at University of California, Berkeley

Encyclopedic Handbook of Cults in America
(editor) J. Gordon Melton
New York/London: Garland, 1986; revised edition, Garland, pages 141-145

Slogan Chanters to Mantra Chanters: A Mertonian Deviance Analysis of Conversion to Religiously Ideological Organizations in the Early 1970s
Stephen Kent
Sociological Analysis 1988, 49, 2:104-118

Cults and New Religious Movements
Saul V. Levine

Björkqvist, K (1990): World-rejection, world-affirmation, and goal displacement: some aspects of change in three new religions movements of Hindu origin.
In N. Holm (ed.), Encounter with India: studies in neohinduism (pp. 79-99) - Turku, Finland. Åbo Akademi University Press.

Who Gets To Define Religion? The Conversion/Brainwashing Controversy
Reviewer: Larry Shinn
Religious Studies Review, Volume 19 / Number 3, July 1993 / Page 195

Secular and Religious Critiques of Cults: Complementary Visions, Not Irresolvable Conflicts
Michael D. Langone, Ph.D.
Cultic Studies Journal, 1995, Volume 12, Number 2, pages 166-186

Why religious movements succeed or fail: A revised general model
Rodney Stark, Professor of Sociology and Comparative Religion, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, USA
Journal of Contemporary Religion Volume 11, Issue 2 May 1996 , pages 133 - 146

Carriers of Tales: On Assessing Credibility of Apostate and Other Outsider Accounts of Religious Practices
by Lewis, F. Carter
published in the book The Politics of Religious Apostasy: The Role of Apostates in the Transformation of Religious Movements
edited by David G. Bromley Praeger Publishers, Westport Connecticut (1998). ISBN 0-275-95508-7 Page 221-223, 225-237 Copyright © 1998

When Scholars Know Sin: Alternative Religions and Their Academic Supporters
by Stephen A. Kent and Theresa Krebs
Skeptic Magazine (Vol. 6, No. 3, 1998)

Clarifying Contentious Issues: "When Scholars Know Sin" Forum Debate
In response to "When Scholars Know Sin : Alternative Religions and Their Academic Supporters
A Rejoinder To Melton, Shupe, And Lewis - 1/2
by Stephen A. Kent and Theresa Krebs

A Critique of "Brainwashing" Claims About New Religious Movements
James T. Richardson
CHAPTER TEN pp 160 - 166

Who Joins New Religious Movements and Why: Twenty Years of Research and What Have We Learned?

CULTS: Faith, Healing, and Coercion
Marc Galanter - published March 1999
The Charismatic Group
Bringing about changes in the thinking and behaviors of individual members in single episodes
A Charismatic Religious Sect The Divine Light Mission
History of DLM
A study held at a national festival held by the Divine Light Mission

From Slogans To Mantras
Stephen Kent - published October, 2001
An interesting study of the movement of many of the 60's "counter-culture" from radical political action to quietist 70's "spiritual cult". Suffers from a too critical acceptance of the degree of sincerity and committment people had in these groups. Has a good section on the author's personal response to young Prem's "satsang" and his incomprehension that intelligent friends and associates could become devoted to the fat-boy guru. Kent reveals the extent of the hostility to Prem Rawat in the 1970's underground press. It was in the counter-culture readers that most of the proselytisation was going on and they had a much greater knowledge of the methods, success and results of the practice of "Knowledge". A typical example is R. Crumb's comic, Mr. Natural Meets "The Kid".

Excerpts of Papers by Professor Ron Geaves - one of Prem Rawat's first English devotees who fights a never-ending battle for truth, justice and respectability for Maharaji aka Prem Rawat, the Ultimate Ruler and formerly Lord of the Universe.

From Totapuri to Maharaji: Reflections on a Lineage (Parampara), 27th Spalding Symposium on Indian Religions, Regents Park College, Oxford, 22 - 24 March 2002
From Divine Light Mission to Elan Vital and Beyond: An Exploration of Change and Adaptation, Nova Religio; Mar 2004; 7, 3;
Globalization, charisma, innovation, and tradition: An exploration of the transformations in the organisational vehicles for the transmission of the teachings of Prem Rawat (Maharaji), Journal of Alternative Spiritualities and New Age Studies, 2006
Forget Transmitted Memory: The De-traditionalised 'Religion' of Prem Rawat, Journal of Contemporary Religion, Volume 24, Issue 1, January 2009, Pages 19 - 33

Blind, or Just Don't Want to See? Brainwashing, Mystification, and Suspicion
Alberto Amitrani, Raffaella Di Marzio, GRIS, Roma

What motivates and makes a religious apostate
by Nick Broadhurst

Margaret Singer was a well-known, controversial "cult expert" heavily involved in the "cult wars" of the 1970's. While some of her ideas and research have been dismissed by many other researchers there is a lot to be learnt from these collected papers.

Business analyst interest in Prem Rawat hs been focussed on companies with which Rawat has has an association such as Amtext and Deltek, and upon Business Trainers Tim Gallwey and Valerio Pascotto, and Business Intelligence writer Jean Marie Bonthous, all of whom are followers of Prem Rawat.

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