Ok. I haven't written for a while, but I'd like to clarify a couple of things again, especially about the Fakiranand incident.
I wasn't with M when it happened, but I had been up until a couple of days before and saw him immediately after he got to LA after the incident. So I wasn't a witness to Fakiranand's escape from the country.
But this is what I do know.
Fakiranand had been needling M for a while. He was already on shaky ground.
After the pie in the face, M immediately sent out the message: 'no retaliation - don't do anything to this guy'. I heard this before Fakiranand took 'justice' into his own hands, so I know Fakiranand must have heard it.
After Fakir's action, M informed him that he never wanted to set eyes on him again. He told him that he could not stop him from being a mahatma because it was Shri Hans who had put Fakir into that position. But he was to disappear from M's life for good.
To many, this may not seem like punishment to fit the crime. But if you knew Fakiranand, you'd know that - at that time - that was worse than death.
Yes, he was truly a fanatic. M hadn't wanted him around for a while, but he was one of Mataji's favorites, and it was she who had sent him to the US. In fact, M had tried to keep Fakir from going on tour with him that time - it was the needling I mentioned that made M finally say: 'OK, do what you want.'
I don't know who suggested to M that Fakir be spirited out of the country rather than face the law. Probably before speaking to Donner, he had spoken to Mataji and Bal Bhagwan, at least on the phone. It's true that there was plenty of Indian baggage at the time that translated to a feeling of being outside of the 'normal' course of the world. One example is simply the fact that M himself felt he was powerless because it was Shri Hans who had given the agya that turned Fakir into a mahatma.
Fakir spent the next six months or so traveling around Europe trying to set up programs for M, and then disappearing if he heard M would show up. He was trying to make amends, some way.
But when the family split up, there was no question at all. He immediately took Mataji's side, and stayed with her from then on.
I've heard that he died a few years ago - someone else repudiated that. Perhaps someone who's around BBJ knows about that.
About the family split:
There was no sudden denunciation of M by Mataji and BBJ. There were rumblings of dissent for at least a year (yes, before Millenium) before M broke loose, and I'm sure you've heard, somewhere along the line, that the rosy picture painted of the 'holy family' was never quite that.
You may like to see it as Mataji and Bal Bhagwan turning M out, but from where I stood, it was as simple as their not being able to accept 1) that M was growing up and able to manage his own life, and 2) that he didn't want Knowledge to be burdened by Hindu tradition.
I spoke to them after the 'split', and it really was a power play - who can get the most devotees? who will inherit Shri Hans's 'estate' (ashrams, devotees, businesses...)? There were a lot of very insidious incidents - it wasn't a simple matter of letting go of a rebellious adolescent son/sibling.
I agree that it wasn't really fair for premies to be given a fairy-tale picture of M's family. I don't know what kept M from stating some of the incidents in public at that time - perhaps a sense of morality that one doesn't air dirty laundry, etc. Perhaps a feeling that it would be anti-productive, give Knowledge a bad name.
Since then, he has spoken in public about some of these things - about his early childhood, about dissention in the family. No, he doesn't mention BBJ and the split. (Perhaps that's part of the legal agreement? Don't talk about me and I'll pretend you never existed?) But on other matters he's been quite candid.
I suppose there are a lot of ways to look at what has happened over the years, and the way M has changed the whole system. I don't think we can argue them out, because whatever we see is tinted with our own interpretation. From my view, as M has grown, he's worked on getting rid of all the cultural, peudo-religious, etc., trappings. And he continues to do so.
I've also undergone some pretty big changes in my own life over the years. Certainly there were times when I assumed the role of 'devotee' - what that meant went along with a lot of my own concepts - from the insipid smile to strict adherence to a Hindu code. There have been different levels of coming to know my own real self. Maybe it's a simple act of growing up - getting away from childhood games. But as
far as my relationship to Knowledge and M go, I discovered that I can't play games, put on masks, etc. etc. It doesn't work that way. I have to be real, myself, not an invented character. And M has helped and continues to help in this process. In my own relationship to him (I can't speak for anyone else), he won't stand for bullshit, for contrived declarations - even if they reek of devotion.
A final note, about Mishler's interview. I was with M quite a bit during the same time period as Mishler. I knew Bob well, and had spent a lot of time with him as well. I don't think he was quite 'lying' when he talked about seeing M drink. But I do think he was completely misguided when he thought that his role was as M's advisor, that he could and should change M. And his interpretation of the Jim Jones incident was completely off track.
I've sometimes wondered whether, if Mishler had survived, he would be back as an 'active premie' - considering all the changes that have happened. I don't doubt that it's quite possible.