|Journeys: Edward Stapleton|
|Date: February 18, 2004|
|(To use the email address, reinstate the @ symbol.)
|Luton, England 1971 - My friend and schoolmate Justin was the
first to tell me about GM. He kept telling me that he had heard that the
GM followers could give you "knowledge" which makes you feel like you
were on acid all the time. We were 15 at the time, so that seemed like
a plausible reason to check it out. One weekend we went up to London,
and after three satsangs I had received the knowledge. It wasn't at
all like acid, but I had bought into the premie pitch and believed that
in time "all would be revealed".
Life in a working class English town was at best boring and at worst dangerous. You were either bored or being chased by skinheads. So the peace, love and message of GM was a welcome change. I went to satsang in Luton in a little flat belonging to a teacher. There were only about 5 of us all together. When I got knowledge I really didn't understand what they were talking about. It was over the next few months that I had to learn the terminology and get educated as to the broader teachings of GM.
At this point my family pulled up stakes and moved to America. Los Angeles, California to be exact. This was a culture shock for which I was ill prepared. I hated Los Angeles and everything American. I longed to go home. But fortunately for me there were ashrams here and soon I was going to satsang and making new friends.
I really had a good time with all the premies, going to Houston, all the picnics, dinners - all of it was fun and the people were great too. But, around the time we went to Houston I began to feel different about GM himself. I found myself embarressed by some of his behavior. It felt like the closer people got to GM the more uptight they got. Everyone had that false smile, which reminded me of the Moonies or Scientologist. You felt like you were being tolerated at the moment. Independent thought was so frowned on along with showing any interest in any other spiritual practices. Now looking back I can see that DLM owed more to Chritianity then Hinduism. It was as controlling as any right-wing born-again group.
I went to Colorado with 4 other premies to hear the "Shape Up or Ship Out" speech and that was that. I could not belong so something that hypocritical. They seduce you with love and rape you with intolerance.
My total involvement was a little over three years. Once I left I jumped head long into punk rock - which was a good place to scream against another fallen idol.
As for today, I now do real service by running a food pantry for the working poor and homeless. I am still involved in Hinduism, but cannot find it in my heart to ever join another group - Spiritual Anarchy