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Editor's Note: Be sure to see Pat Halley's recollection of the 1973 Detroit pie incident and the subsequent attempted murder on the part of Mahatma Fakiranand of Halley in BookZen's book, Voices from the Underground: Volume 1- Insider Histories of the Vietnam Era Underground Press.

In the event that the BookZen link goes dead here is the complete excerpt about the book:

Looking for Utopia Page 37
by Patrick Halley

In August of 1973, Guru Maharaj Ji, the 15-year old "perfect master, arrived in Detroit to inaugurate his "Divine Light Mission"--a religious cult started in India--and to receive the key to the city. The local press hailed him as a messenger of peace and brotherhood. His disciples hailed him as the new "God." Only Detroit's Fifth Estate concluded that he was a hustler and a fraud. In this appendix to Bob Hippler's history of the Fifth Estate, Patrick Halley tells, for the first time, how he infiltrated the "Divine Light Mission" and pied the perfect master from 15 feet, and about the steel plate he wears in his head as a reminder.

Editor's notes: I have read accounts that Mr. Halley's "plate" was plastic and not steel.

Now, a warning to anyone considering getting a plate in their head. My advice is to always opt for plastic when given a choice. If you have any metal plates, pins or implants in your body you risk getting cooked from the inside if you ever happen to find yourself getting an MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) and you were, for some reason, (eg. being unconscious) unable to tell the technicians about your metal plates, pins, or implants. Hopefully, before they'd slide you into the MRI chamber they would have at least done a full body X-Ray or run you through a metal detector to detect any metal objects in your body. However, MRI is probably one of the very best imaging technologies available. All others pale in comparision from what I've been told.

From information available on the Internet I believe that Patrick Halley died sometime in 1993 or 1995 from causes unrelated to his 1973 head injury from the hammer blow administered by Mahatma Fakirand under the guise of imparting the techniques of Knowledge to Mr. Halley as a peace offering or a show of goodwill.


Also, I've included Jim Heller's post titled "Correction re Donner" from Sat, Jan 29, 2000 at 05:44:32 (GMT) where Jim recounts a conversation he had with Michael Donner where Donner states that Maharaji gave him personal agya to sneak Fakiranand out of the states after he tried to kill Halley.

And on January 30, 2000 Jim says this about the meeting with Michael Donner:

met with him and Gary Ockendon late July or early August '98 at a restaurant in Nelson (British Columbia) called the Fiddler's Green, I think. Gourmet country restaurant that used to be the DLM ashram back in '74. You know, the place where Tejeshwaranand gave three knowledge sessions and got a girl pregnant all in one night. Donner told us all that Maharaji met with him personally after the pie and hammer incidents and ordered him to drive Fakiranand to Chicago, then across the border to Canada and to arrange for him to be flown to Europe. That's it. No more, no less.


If you have not recently seen the 1970's documentary The Lord of the Universe be sure you do. There is a press conference held in Houston, Texas prior to the debacle Millenium festival held in the Houston Astrodome where the press is asking Maharaji about the Fakiranand Halley attempted murder. Maharaji's press officer fails to derail the questioning and the definant and obviously annoyed Maharaji ponies up and says something like this: "Yes, you should find out." And that was that! Nothing ever said again. Case closed. End of discussion. (Yeah, until we came along!)

If you cannot find someone to lend you this video you can purchase it from Subtle Communications in Chicago. You might have to search the Internet to find more details.

Video tape: The Lord of the Universe [videorecording] : Guru Maharaj Ji for TVTV, Hudson Marquez ... [et al.] ; production, Wendy Appel ... [et al.]
Published [Chicago, IL] : Subtle Communications, c1991




Date:  

Sun, Jan 30, 2000 at 21:48:08 (GMT)

From:  

Jim

Email:  

To:  

Joey

Subject:  

THIS IS IMPORTANT!!
Message:

Joey wrote:

Editor's Note: Joey is quoting Roger eDrekô in the following:

Did you ever see the Lord of the Universe documentary that has the scene in Houston during the 1973 Millennium program and Maharaji is being questioned by the Press about Fakiranand. Maharaji's Press Spokesman gets in there and desperately attempts to detour that line of questioning right out of town. The press persists and insists and brat Maharaji, who is really looking quite annoyed answers with:

'Yes, you should find out about that.'

With that point I'd like to repost an edited version of something I wrote during my 'Nim' days that is now in the House of Drek. Its really only the title I've changed significantly. I like this one much more than the one Rodge came up with (no offence Rodge).

*******************************

DID MJ SET A FIRE UNDER FAKIRANAND'S ASS?

As told to me by Ann Johnston.

That day when MJ was pied by Pat Halley, there was a press conference scheduled at the ashram following the reception where he was going to receive his civic award or key to the city.

Ann had been busy preparing these hand made signs that said 'press' on them to be placed on the back of the chairs for the media people and one 'special' sign for MJ's chair that of course said 'Guru Maharaj Ji ' on it.

Now the people in the ashram who had been waiting for MJ to return from the reception had heard about him being pied, even before he returned home.

According to Ann, Fakiranand upon hearing the news 'cowered in a corner of the room like a little boy...and began trembling.' Then MJ returned. According to Ann he was totally enraged. He stormed into the ashram and upon noticing the signs Ann had made for the chairs saying 'press', he proceeded to rip them all off, and shouted out, 'No more Media!'

MJ then noticed Fakiranand cowering in the corner of the room, and according to Ann, he spoke the following words to him:

'I don't want you to hurt this man'

End of story. You guys of course know the rest.

But the thing I want to share with you is this.

When Ann told me this story (in 1996) I had this 'gut' feeling that there was something wrong with it. That she wasn't telling the truth, and moreover she may be hiding some dark, long held secret.

I couldn't figure it out. What was wrong with Ann's goddamn story?!

And then one day when I was driving in the car, it came to me.

Here's Mj returning after being pied. The little 15 year old pisher is in a rage, so much so that he storms into the Ashram, rips off signs, shouts out 'no more media'...and then calmly, in English, says to Fakiranand 'I don't want you to hurt this man.'

Two things.

In the early days I have great difficulty remembering MJ speak to the mahatmas in English. He seemed to always speak to them in Hindi.

Secondly, for those of you who speak a second language, and have the kind of grip on it that MJ had with his English then...it is extremely difficult to slip into your second language when you're that angry, but not that fluent.

I just have a hard time believing Ann's story.

Somehow I envisage M in that moment, shouting out something in Hindi, blaming the whole pie incident on his mahatmas who failed to protect him or something like that...and thereby setting Fakiranand off.

To this day, and especially after hearing Ann's defence of Mj, I believe that he not only directed traffic after the fact, but that in his irresponsible little bratty ways, he incited Fakiranand to commit the crime.

And that's the story guys.


Jim responded:

Joey,

I know you mentioned this before but I'd never really thought about it. But this story's extremely important. And know what? It doesn't even matter what exactly happened. I completely understand your speculative skepticism about Ann's version. That all makes sense. But, like I say, it doesn't even matter. Here's why.

All we need to know is that Maharaji saw Fakiranand and said anything at all to him after the pie-throwing. The implications are disastrous for Maharaji. We know for a fact that Fakiranand would not have tried to kill Halley in direct contravention of Maharaji's agya. That a virtual certainty and I can't imagine anyone the least bit familiar with the cult back then to even suggest otherwise.

See, without ever really thinking about it all these years, I'd always assumed that Fakiranand acted before he'd ever spoken to Maharaji one way or the other about Halley. The impression I got (was given?) was of a only-slightly-too-fanatical devotee attacking this infidel in the misguided hope that his master would be pleased. I always felt a little sorry for Fakiranand in a way as I imagined him showing up in front of Maharaji and getting absolutely lambasted for acting so rashly. Like a cat bringing in the neighbour's budgie.

But this changes everything. Again, there is absolutely no way Fakiranand would have displeased Maharaji intentionally. Thus, if he saw Maharaji and heard him out on Halley before he tried to kill him, well what we're talking about folks is nasty business.

Now what was Maharaji's reason for spiriting Fakiranand out of the country again?

This is amazing.

Date:  

Mon, Jan 31, 2000 at 02:25:26 (GMT)

From:  

Powerman

Email:  

To:  

All

Subject:  

THIS IS IMPORTANT!!
Message:
Jim,
This doesn't make sense to me. It would be too obvious for maharaji to send one of his high priests to commit a violent crime. It seems more plausible that Fakiranand acted on his own.

As I think back to how my mindset was during my devoted premie days, I remember the outrage I used to feel occasionally. It was provoked by someone either insulting, or disrespecting maharaji and his divinity. Anything that challenged my belief that he was extraordinary enraged me.

I remember hearing a story that someone tried to throw a brick at maharaji in India and that Charninand jumped in front of maharaji, taking the brick in his lower back. I remember the anger I felt that someone could breach maharaji's status as God so easily. It made me worry that maharaji wasn't God and I quickly squashed that feeling in favor of feeling violent towards the guy who threw the brick. It was as though I wanted to prop maharaji up as God even if it meant compromising my integrity.

It seems more likely that Fakiranand would want to even the score than that maharaji would risk getting caught by not even taking the time to execute an effective conspiracy to thrash the pie-thrower. Only Fakiranand, blinded by his passion for an imaginary God could have done anything so stupid.

I can see maharaji arranging Fakiranand's departure to protect his kingdom. This would have been crafty and pre-meditated to ensure the survival of his empire. If Fakiranand had been caught the publicity might have been too much for DLM to weather.

Date:  

Mon, Jan 31, 2000 at 03:40:06 (GMT)

From:  

Jim

Email:  

To:  

Powerman

Subject:  

THIS IS IMPORTANT!!
Message:
Powerman wrote:
Jim,
This doesn't make sense to me. It would be too obvious for maharaji to send one of his high priests to commit a violent crime. It seems more plausible that Fakiranand acted on his own.

As I think back to how my mindset was during my devoted premie days, I remember the outrage I used to feel occasionally. It was provoked by someone either insulting, or disrespecting maharaji and his divinity. Anything that challenged my belief that he was extraordinary enraged me.

I remember hearing a story that someone tried to throw a brick at maharaji in India and that Charninand jumped in front of maharaji, taking the brick in his lower back. I remember the anger I felt that someone could breach maharaji's status as God so easily. It made me worry that maharaji wasn't God and I quickly squashed that feeling in favor of feeling violent towards the guy who threw the brick. It was as though I wanted to prop maharaji up as God even if it meant compromising my integrity.

It seems more likely that Fakiranand would want to even the score than that maharaji would risk getting caught by not even taking the time to execute an effective conspiracy to thrash the pie-thrower. Only Fakiranand, blinded by his passion for an imaginary God could have done anything so stupid.

I can see maharaji arranging Fakiranand's departure to protect his kingdom. This would have been crafty and pre-meditated to ensure the survival of his empire. If Fakiranand had been caught the publicity might have been too much for DLM to weather.

Jim responded:
Powerman,

Let's think about this a bit. Like I said before, we can safely assume that Fakiranand did in fact hear Maharaji opine about Halley back at the ashram. Joey's slant on what Ann told him is very interesting and may well be true. That is, Maharaji might well have given him explicit instructions to, oh say, at least 'meet' with Halley and it might have been in that context that Maharaji slipped into English, which I agree he rarely, if ever, seemed to use with Indians back then (and yes, I'm really stretching my knowledge a bit here. I was no PAM. Yet I did get that impression somehow.). So if Ann was telling the truth, and she really did hear Maharaji tell Fakiranand specifically not to hurt Halley -- in English -- well, that's interesting. What can I say? It sounds suspicious. Indeed it might have been said for Ann's own benefit.

But what I can't get past, whether or not Ann's right on that point, is that Fakiranandwould not have risked the wrath of the Lord by violating his agya so directly and significantly. I mean, don't you see it that way? I agree with you all the way about how worked up Fakiranand would be. Hell, we all would have felt that way and many of us might indeed have done just what Fakiranand did given half a chance. But, would we -- could we have done so if Maharaji had specifically forbidden us to? Not me, Power baby. And I bet not you either. That would have been in direct contravention of our prime directive: OBEY THE LORD.

Where does that leave us (or me anyway)? Thinking, as I said, that Fakiranand would never have tried to murder Halley once he knew that Maharaji didn't want the guy hurt. Never.

But there's something else to consider too. Remember that Fakiranand did not act alone but was joined by one of the local ashram guys. I imagine he's the one who set it up, did the driving, made the initial contact with Halley. After all, wasn't the story that there wassome initial communication (a visit? a phone call?) in which the white guy told Halley about Fakir, misdescribing him as a disgruntled, former follower?

Anyway, this other ashram premie would have had to be sold on the hit too, wouldn't he? He'd have known that Maharaji had stormed back to the ashram. He might well have been there to hear the Lord of the Universe rant as well (thanks Ann!). Yet he, too, would have not contravened Maharaji's agya and would, I'm sure, have asked Fakiranand, even if he weren't there, what, if anything, Maharaji had said. Again, I can't see him participating in a murder, even a failed one, when his guru had specifally ordered that Halley be left alone.

Now, to be fair, this is all so speculative. Sure, we can trust Joey. And we can probably trust Ann as well, at least to the extent that she's not going to tell stories that are entirely untrue that nonetheless cast her Lord in a bad light. This bit of hearsay has the benefit of being a 'declaration against interest' in that respect. Ann's admitting that Maharaji threw a tantrum has the ring of truth about it because it's contrary to the public image of him which we all know she's dedicated to preserving at all costs.

But what's so damning for Maharaji in the circumstances is the fact that he was obviously so anxious to help Fakiranand escape. In all the circumstances, if this were a police investigation, the cops would have every reason to arrest Maharaji as an accessory after the fact. But we already knew that. Most significantly, they'd now have ample cause to investigate him further as a party to the assault itself.

Big question: what can anyone tell us about the other brother involved? Someone's posted here that he was an otherwise nice guy, who supposedly felt 'bad' about the matter and left soon after for Hawaii. Naturally, some questions come to mind, in particular:

Did Maharaji ever meet the guy? Before? After?

Was he there in the room when Maharaji flipped out as Ann described?

Anyone?

Date:  

Mon, Jan 31, 2000 at 04:46:21 (GMT)

From:  

Roger eDrekô

Email:  

To:  

Jim

Subject:  

THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT!!
Message:
Yes!

Wild dream-like conspiracy requires the second suspect, the unnamed accomplice, the American brother, to be that nutcase 'Sam-Slit-Their-Throat-No-Questions-Asked' as seen in the Lord of the Universe documentary.

Well, even without him the fact that Maharaji communicated anything at all to Fakiranand would warrant that any diligent police investigation bring Maharaji in for questioning as party to a criminal conspiracy to commit criminal assault or felonious assault or, perhaps, even attempted murder.

Not being a lawyer or a police officer, but having watched a lot of Jack Webb's Dragnet I will say that Maharaji should at the very least have been questioned by the police regardless of whether Maharaji did or did not take part in the conspiracy. After all, Maharaji had as much of a motive as anyone else, didn't he?

Obviously, there was, without a doubt, a conspiracy of premeditated assault on the part of Fakiranand who had the hammer in his position at the time of the assault. Where did Fakiranand acquire the weapon in question? Did Fakiranand walk down to the True Value Hardware store in his saffron robes and purchase the hammer? Did Fakiranand, all by himself, find a hammer in the basement of the Detroit ashram?

Better yet, how did Fakiranand carry and conceal the hammer in his saffron robes? This incident took place in what time of year? Summer, I believe in Detroit? Would Fakiranand being wearing a heavy winter jacket that could easily conceal a hammer? I'd speculate that Fakiranand was handed the hammer in OR nurse to surgeon style by the unnamed accomplice whereupon Fakiranand wailed on Pat Halley's head with it.

Where were the police? Police Investigation?

Consider that this was 1973 in Detroit, Michigan which is about as close to Chicago as you can get. Very Midwestern, very conservative. The players in the drama is some fat fifteen year old guru kid from India, a bald headed wild eyed old man in fruity saffron robes, and an underground radical newspaper reporter from the 60's. And the main suspect cannot be found.

How much effort is the Detroit police going to put into bringing these criminals to justice under these circumstances?

EXACTLY!

Borrowing heavily from what Jim has said:

Based on all of our weak evidence and the obvious fact that Fakiranand did not act alone, was not the one who set it up, did not do the driving, did not make the initial contact with Halley, there was a conspiracy that contained at the very least two suspects. After all, wasn't the story that there was some initial communication (a visit? a phone call?) in which the white guy told Halley about Fakir, misdescribing him as a disgruntled, former follower?

And, as Jim said Maharaji took great interest in seeing that Fakiranand was whisked out of the country as soon as possible. Was Fakiranand whisked out of the country so quickly because fifteen year old Maharaji with only two years of being in the West was astute enough to consider the effects of the negative publicity or because he felt some personal responsibility, guilt and fear over the incident.

And while I have never been to India and I am only parroting what I believe might be the case, let us not forget that in India it might be very common place for very hardcore acts of revenge against those who would dare denigrate one's guru. And I wonder how many of those cases ever get prosecuted? Or even investigated? Sorry, but I suspect that life is very cheap in India.

And where does all that talk about what should happen to those who would denigrate one's guru come from? The mahatmas and devotees alone? Or from the guru too, whom at one time had been a devotee, himself. Certainly, as Joey surmises that Maharaji might have flown into a childish rage and reverted 100% into his Indian-Hindu mores.

If you are still naive enough to consider Mother India to be the center of compassion and peace just study up on the India Pakistan situation and you will quickly learn that these people are extremely vengeful.

Date:  

Sat, Jan 29, 2000 at 05:44:32 (GMT)

From:  

Jim

Email:  

To:  

All

Subject:  

Correction re Donner
Message:
Sorry that some of this Donner info got garbled. I'm the guy who met him the summer before last. Here're the facts:

1) Donner's kind of okay. A little too new-agey for me and maybe a little too opinionated. That's a bad combination for my palate.

2) He's living in the Kootenay's, a beautiful part of the B.C. interior south of the Okenogan. No fruit farm, just several families, including Gary Ockendon and some other premie-type, Chris Moon, who I remember as a real weenie who's apparently turned himself into a new age 'workshop' leader of all things. They all have separate houses but share the land which has a large community hall as well. Beautiful place.

3) Donner told me he got involved in the book business a bit and basically pirated one large contract, just like Roger says. (Well, I told Roger, didn't I?). I did indeed get the impression that he made off like a bandit. I think this came up over dinner in the context of me asking him what he did (nothing ) and how we was able to retire so nicely. Over a bottle of wine he bragged a bit.

4)Donner also told me that he used to smoke dope with Maharaji (who bogarted as if he were God or something).

5) He also said that Maharaji gave him personal agya to sneak Fakiranand out of the states after he tried to kill Halley.

6) He also said that he didn't like Maharaji, mainly because he finally realized -- surprise, surprise -- that, in the context of their 'friendship' Maharaji didn't consider him an equal.

7) Donner's never posted here, at least not under his own name. There's no reason to think he has either.

5 Brighter than 1000 suns as seen through night vision goggles
4 As bright as the lights on Maharaji's jet
3 As bright as a 60 watt light bulb
2 As bright as a pile of burning ghi on a swinging arti tray
1 As bright as the inner light as seen by the third eye
Other