The British Columbia Supreme Court prohibits Darby McLean giving her inheritance to Rawat and Divine Light Mission. This case revealed detailss of Prem Rawat's finances when a premie, Michael Garson, became conscience struck and became a witness. He revealed that DLM was in debt, had only 10,000 "active members," that the tithing program was ineffective and that 60% of the Mission's donations went to Rawat personally. Garson was the first of many of Rawat's close associates to become disgusted and tell the truth about the "Lord of the Universe." On March 9, 1975, Rawat's first child was born, a girl Premlata, meaning "Vine of Love."
On April 1 1975 Prem Rawat's mother dropped a bombshell and informed the international media that she had disowned, deposed and disinherited her youngest son as Perfect Master and replaced him with his eldest brother due to his hypocritical adoption of "a despicable, nonspiritual way of life" – meat-eating, drinking alcohol, smoking dope, having too much interest in sex and a grossly materialistic playboy lifestyle. His followers have always claimed she did this because he married a Westerner but she was explicit and like a mother blamed "bad elements" in his Western followers for leading him astray. Rawat refused to discuss her accusations but Rawat's major administrators, Mishler, Dettmers, Donner and others have confirmed he was getting drunk and stoned though they kept it secret at the time. Bal Bhagwan Ji became the new leader of Divine Light Mission in India which is now called Manav Dharam and now calls himself Satpal Maharaj and is both a successful Godman and a Member of Parliament.
Rawat returned to India to try to wrest control of the infrastructure and followers from his mother. He was able to speak to a few of his students briefly and have a double Indian-style wedding ceremony and feast. He was unsuccessful in his court cases and was humiliated in the press and scolded by the judge. He returned home after shopping in Hong Kong and Japan and ordered those with him to lie about the success of the trip. Sampuranand was put in charge of creating a new organisation and gathering the remnants of his loyal Indian devotees. It was 1980 before Rawat could return to India to address a crowd of only 40,000.
All but a handful of Indian 'mahatmas' rejected Rawat and there was little left of his following in India other than a few fanatic premies and mahatmas. To replace them, the first four non-Indian mahatmas were appointed in July and began work. They were soon demoted from "Great Souls" to initiators.
Michael Dettmers who was one of the very few premies with any administrative experience was brought from Canada to Denver headquarters in June 1975 to fix DLM financial procedures. While DLM had received some tax audits there was a real problem when DLM was audited by the IRS. DLM had been breaking IRS guidelines and Rawat was leeching far too much of the funds for his personal use. Fortunately for the guru a financial sleight of hand was available that set the books right. Finances were so bad that in August a request was published for premies to immediately pay their registration fees for the November Hans Jayanti festival so that it could be arranged. Dettmers had information about DLM finances published though he failed to mention half of the donations were now going directly to Rawat.
Guru Puja festivals were held in Venezuela, Germany and Australia. In Denver, on the 8th of July, he said:
Because who is Guru Maharaj Ji? Guru Maharaj Ji is perfect. And this perfect Lord doesn't come down Himself one day, grab everybody by the throat, and say, "You better realize Knowledge, otherwise I am going to chuck you out into hell." He doesn't do that. He even comes down into this world, bears that physical body, bears the pains, bears the suffering of this physical planet, and gives Knowledge. But if you look at Him, He is the ultimate. He doesn't need to come into this world. He has got so much power, He could manifest Himself in front of everybody in this world and ask everybody personally a question, He wouldn't even have to come down into this world. All He would have to do is come down out of the clouds and speak loud one day, and say, "People who are not going to receive Knowledge are definitely going to hell." He never does that, because that's just the way it is.
In August Rawat had a letter to all premies published which began "This has been a most beautiful year for propagation." However Rawat knew that numbers had fallen from 1974, and while he claimed to have 8 million followers in 1973 and over 6 million followers in May he was only claiming over 1.2 million by November. Rawat's ideas about management were wishful thinking and so puerile that he told an audience in London on the 10th September that "I had David Lovejoy transferred from Australia to England, so that all the premies in England and this part of the world would be able to focus their energy and their attention" as if changing one man could make a difference. After a year in England Lovejoy left DLM and began a successful "worldly" career.
There were dangers involved in meditating using the methods Rawat revealed as he explained in October in Sydney, Australia:
the greatest advantage of them all is there, in this Knowledge. But there is a disadvantage too. It's like, if you have milk, which is very good for you to drink, very nourishing, and very tasty - I personally don't like it, but that's what other people say - and if you don't drink it, boy, it tastes and it smells very, very bad after a little while. It becomes worse, and worse, and worse, and worse, and worse, till you just can't stand it anymore. That's the way this Knowledge is.
In late 1975, Rawat gave some speeches in which he stressed 'understanding.' In one speech to his headquarters staff he mentioned 'understanding' 22 times. It is obvious from reading his speeches of the time that he meant premies should understand that their "main objective is to serve Guru Maharaj Ji to our full capacity" but Dettmers and other executives assumed something more was required and set up a large conference for the entire staff and began group dynamics workshops. By this time most of these headquarters' premies had been initiated for more than 3 years and understood, consciously or not, that they were not enjoying the peace and bliss Rawat had originally and so blithely promised. Many of the administrators were in illicit sexual relationships (illicit for ashram residents that is) and they wanted out. Many administrators thought the ashrams were creating problems in their members. David Lovejoy head of DLM, Great Britain reported that premies had failed "in the development of responsibility and maturity" though they had "practised Knowledge" in the ashram for years.
These "training workshops" used basic brainstorming and synthesizing techniques to get members to think about what the organization was actually trying to accomplish. They were told to reflect on their experience of "Guru Maharaj Ji" and Knowledge and what is Rawat's role in spreading knowledge, what is the best way to "spread this Knowledge", the ashrams, etc. The administrators encouraged people to leave the ashram as they and most others were not actually "experiencing the bliss" that that had been promised to them and once open discussions began they realised nobody else was either.
And by then there was a crisis at the IHQ. More and more people left the ashrams to, just like Maharaj ji, get married and have children. As a result the revenues dropped, while only a few years back the organization had built up a mega debt by renting the Houston Astrodome. The worlds largest indoor stadium, at that time, where Maharaj ji was going to announce his thousand year kingdom of peace. Which he did, but the tens of thousands of followers that came to listen to that and kiss his feet, didn't bring enough money to pay the rent of the stadium and the thousands of hotel rooms around it. Everything would work out, was the idea, until one property after another became vacant and it became a hassle to even pay the grocer that supplied the ashrams with food. The management team, of which I was a member, had meeting after meeting, until we saw only one solution: Maharaj ji. His allowance of five hundred dollars a day had to be cut in half. Cars and houses had to be sold. Maybe even his motor home. Bob Mishler would fly over to Malibu to tell him.