Book Review – Michael Finch – Without The Guru

Photo taken by a reporter – me with a poster of Maharaji
Preston, England
April 10, 2017 12:08pm CST
2009 – Babbling Brook Press This is an extremely important book for me as it is about the cult I was in between 1981 and 1985. I was there for four and a half year. Mike Finch (who I never met) was involved for thirty years before he left soon after his girlfriend did too. Finch was much nearer to the top of the organization, serving in the early years as Guru Maharaji’s personal UK chauffer. When Mike dared to take a break to try and complete his education, Maharaji cruelly snubbed him and relegated him to the lower ranks of the cult. Though sensing all along that Maharaj Ji was less ‘perfect Master’ than he claimed, he kept making excuses to convince himself to stay loyal to a leader who was utterly indifferent to his existence. Finch’s story reads like my own, but stretched over a longer period. He describes the collapse of the ashrams that happened late in my own experience when many long serving followers (Premies) were thrown out on the streets, and the corrupt tendency to sell the best seats at Maharaji shows to the highest bidder (I witnessed that one too). Finch was much more of a seeker than I was, and came to Maharaji through his interest in Buddhism and Indian culture. He returned to Buddhism after his escape. His girlfriend, Gail adds her own commentary late in the book, rightly denouncing Maharaji’s hypocrisy in covering up for his alcoholism, drug addiction and tendency to have selected Premie girls sent to him for sexual favours and in effect treated like prostitutes. A brave, deeply honest book that brought back many memories and remind me that I got off lightly by comparison. Arthur Chappell
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2 responses
@Corbin5 (82104)
• United States
10 Apr
A rather evil person the Mahraji was for sure. So glad you escaped that situation.
1 person likes this
@Jessicalynnt (48191)
• Centralia, Missouri
13 Apr
Memories like that can be painful, but I have a feeling it's a bit of a, well make you feel better, to be reminded that it wasn't just you that got caught up in it all