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It's a 70 minute commercial and lias som...

It's a 70 minute commercial and lias som... image
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It's a 70 minute commercial and lias some good Jordán Belson cartoon work. but it's strictly low rent comparecí to Billy Graham. We broke for dinner. My favorite R. Crumb strip is the one where Mr. Natural and his followers march through the streets 'until they encounter Mr. Snoid and his followers, whereupon commences a little holy war. Saint Crumb the Prophet. For here in Houston, as light entertainment for dinner, 70 chanting crazys From'Hare Krishna are binincing up and down. lt was tense, but non-violent as the HKers tried to chant down the Gurunoids, who responded with their now-famous battle cry, "Boliya Shri Sat Guru Dev Maharaj Ki Jai". (Hip, Hip, Hooray For God). At dinner, Jerry Rubin is sitting two tables away. He carne beca use Rennie asked him to check it out as a personal favor. At the next table DLM financial top dog Michael Bergman is laying it on a lady from Village Voice with some success. He's got his act together, while she still considers suicide as an alternative that requires a lot of guts. She's just about desperate enough for premiehood': Word passes that the evening's show is about to get under way with Bole Ji, the Goo's overweight second oldest brother, leading the 60-80 piece Blue Aquarius band. It's Guy Lombardo meets the Beatles; old gold on the Muzak - but it gets the premies off. A snake dance winds through the crowd, pieking up numbers as it weaves to a Stan Kenton sound (lots of brass, sax and drums). Then - ZAP - on the L scoreboard over the massive 35toot high stage it flashes: AT TENTION PLEASE DO NOT RUN & DANCE. .THANK YOU SHRI BAL BHANGWAN Jl. Well that'sit for me. 1 had tïgured out that ol' Bal Bhangwan Ji, tlie Goo's oldest brother, was the real brains of tliis outfit. And now this. Well. brothersand sisters, if we can't run and dance in the ordered kingdom of Gurú Maliaraj Ji'sHeaven FUCKHIM. Wlio needs him? We got enough Fascist assholes in tliis world without 44-short-portly horning in. I mean, the sappy efluvium of a recently j desperate 20-year-old isn't love - I don't give a damn liow much they try and teil me it's divine. But. wait, tne (joo hasjust appeared on his golden throne set at the base of a 20-foot high flame of white and blue plexiglass. Sock it to me, Goo Baby. After the big speechdown at the KPFT live broadcast booth. Ken Kelley, John Sinclair, Jerry, Paul Krassner and the other old movement movers are hanging around swapping lies. Seems tliat Marjoe Gortner and a KPFT reporter were watching the boy god from the press box balcony when two premies approached with their customary giggle. Marjoe is the former 4-year-old boy evangelist who recently returned to the sawdust trail with a documentary film crew to show how the tent revival game works from the inside. Now Marjoe is reckoned a major catch in guru circles for obvious reasons, so this premie sister starts laying it on real good - telling Marjoe that the Goo will give him anything he wants if only he will take the Knowledge and join the club. Now, what is it he would like. Well, Marjoe, he knows the bliss business inside out, so he puts on this real peaceful smile and drawls, "Wliat I'm really interested in is a little of that premie pussy." Saturday, the third day, wasn't much of an improvement. The Goo's personal physician, Dr. John Horton, held a press conference to discuss his totally unsub.stantiated theory that the pineal gland at the top of lyour head is light sensitive and begins secreting this special shit when you've received Knowledge. Most of the reporters wanted to talk about the Goo's ulcer. How is it that our Perfect Master with his perfect peace has a common old stomach ulcer from stress, overwork just like us psychosomatic regular people? It's a divine ulcer. The highlight of the day comes late in the afternoon, when the DLMers have the press closed up in an inside room under the guise of having a special knowledge session for the press. We're in there, ing for the Ma ha tina to lay hands on so we can see the light when a brother bursts into the room to say that while we've been lollygagging aroundafter Knowledge, the WPC has . just callad the local cops i on the Hare Krishna chantNj ers and 35 of tliem were rounded up and „Ê_ hauled away. The Goo s chief pig said that he wasn t sorry, because he had told them yesterday, but that they had ignored lus warning. lt was billed as a free, open event. The Goo's final appearance is wild. The kid is babbling about Superman comic books and werewolves and how hard it is to hold a man down and put a dress on him, when the natural thing is to give him a suit. No shit. This is Christ Come Back - complete with an infantile fascination with automobiles and other mechanical toys. He has six Rolls Royces and Lincoln Continentals. The outfit grosses SI 50,000 a month. At last it's over. The underground press gather near the KPFT booth for relief in the fellowship of kindred spirits. Ken Kelley walks by with a piece of silver gaffer's tape over his mouth, lettered in red "BLISS". Rubins final, off-the-record analysis: "Rennie Da vis is a religious fanatic. You know what a religious fanatic is?" Kelley, "Rennie Davis." Rubin, "I see very little positive out of this. Meditation is good for you, but not if it leads to this." This. I knew what he meant. I sat down to write my opening paragraph for this story. It went: From the Astrodome press gallery, 15,000 gurunoids - shouting their praise of the boy-god Groomraji with their arms high in the air - sound just like the Nuremburg rally flicks of the '30s that used to chilll my spine in college. How did they get here, these premies of the Lord of the Universe? How could they go for the same oíd line that' s led to imperialist wars, crusades and jihads for centuries? What desperation, what personal tragedy could drive thousands of white, middle-class youth into this spiritual shell game? Nearly every premie I talked to over these last eight months Jias told me how badly they were fucked up, unloved. unhappy and otherwise desperate before some friend or stranger turned them on to the saving grace of the Goo. I saw several dozen brothers and sisters who would be shooting smack or speed, or dozing out on sleeping pills if the Guru's cali hadn't reached them. But when 1 extend a hand or give some space to a brother or sister in trouble, I don't expcct them to worship or follow me, for Christ 's sake. Only a sick or a stupid person would want anyone to kiss liis feet. So you can take the point of view that anything that helps get people together and takes care of their basic needs while involving them in hard work isn't all bad. You can also take the view that these are the weaklings, mentally or morally, the ones who would trade the freedom and responsibility which is ours from birth for the slavery of security. Various times during this century, young people from the middle class copped out when the shit got heavy and discovered the "joys" of mystic retreat from reality. Or I can go back to my gut level emotional response to the whole production - an authoritarian attempt to impose a theocracy. Will it succeed? I think not. While there are a lot of desperate people in the world, the Goo has u lot of competition. Billy Graham and the Children of God have an easier row to hoe because they use the familiar imagery of the Bible and Jesus. There must be 30 other organirations from Scientology to Arica to Sun Moon, all fighting for the same turf. Besides, anybody who has spent any amount of time in the movement knows how hard it is to build and sustain a viable alternative institution in this countrycountry. and-out premies aren't any more together or ca pable than spaced-out hippies or radical ideologs. It still takes together people to have a together organiution, even if you do have every ashram connected by Telex and WATS lines. The Guru's offer to the world is, turn over the reins of your Ufe to me and I will give you peace. But we won't have peace until everyone picks up the reins to his or her own life and finds peace in responsibility, self-determination and communal sharing. Nobody kisses feet in the kingdom of heaven. Stevc Haines is a free lance journalist who has reponed for the Chicago Daily News, the Berkeley Barb, Rolling Stone, the Chicago Seed and was one of the founders of the Berkeley Tribe. Marsha Haines is an artistphotographer wm has workcd for the Berkeley Barb and was one of the founders of the Berkeley Tribe. Thav are currently staving in Anti Arbor. Part I. What really happens inside a secret Knowlcdge Session. What is the Knowlcdge (urn Maharaj Ji offers the world? Read Part 2 ofSteve Haines' arricie on the Gum, "Six Mahatmas, No Waiting" in the next issue of the Ann Arbor SUN.