I am definitely an ex-premie: it is clear to me that Maharaji does not, and can not, deliver any of the promises he makes; he never has, and he never will. I wasted 30 years of my life following him, gave him a very large sum of money over the years, gave up relationship, careers and all the normal things of life. Even the meditation was third-rate, as meditations go.
But does this mean that I did not have some good times with him? Of course I did. The real question is: Were the good times with Maharaji worth all the negative? Of course not. But I believe these 'good times' deliberately fostered dependence on him, and that consciously or unconsciously Maharaji used them for this purpose.
I am reminded of the Stockholm Syndrome, whereby if a hostage is treated badly by a terrorist or oppressor, and the oppressor/jailer does some little nice thing, or lessens the bad conditions slightly, then the hostage is pathetically grateful, and can even be angry at his/her rescuers if they harm the terrorist/oppressor in the rescue!
As I think about it, certainly some of the highs I had with Maharaji personally fit into this. You are a premie trying to do everything just right, full of hope and expectancy that you are going to make it soon, knowing that if you could be just that little bit closer to Maharaji, or he gave you a little attention, that would nudge you over the brink into glorious Knowledge realisation. Living constantly on tenterhooks like this is true oppression of the spirit; you try hard, but it is not enough; you can see the goal on the horizon, but when you get there, it has receded further on - you can of course never reach the horizon since the horizon by definition is where you are not.
Then Maharaji does give you some attention!! A glance at a program, he talks to you briefly backstage, and suddenly it is all worth it! The universe makes sense! He tuly is the Perfect Master! This is the Stockholm Syndrome.
Some definitions from a quick Google search:
Stockholm Syndrome: Bonding to one's captor (abuser) is a survival strategy for victims that has been observed in a variety of hostage-taking situations. This strategy was labeled Stockholm Syndrome after a hostage situation in a bank robbery in Stockholm, Sweden in 1973....An abuser traumatizes a victim (who does not believe they can escape, or truly can not) with a threat to the victim's survival. The traumatized victim, who perceives isolation from outsiders who could provide nurturance and protection, must look to the abuser to meet those needs. If the abuser shows the victim some small kindness, the victim then must bond to the perceived positive side of the abuser, denying (or dissociating) the side of the abuser that produced the terror. The victim begins to work to see the world from the abuser's perspective so that they may know what keeps the abuser happy, thus helping to insure the victim's survival.
Four Situation Factors that are Precursor to Stockholm Syndrome:
1) Perceived threat to one's physical or psychological survival and the belief that the captor would carry out the threat.
2) Perceived small kindness from the captor to the captive.
(Note: letting the captive live is enough.)
3) Isolation from perspectives other than those of the captor.
4) Perceived inability to escape.
I am in no way suggesting that Maharaji is a terrorist, or a physical abuser. But a premie's mental surrender to Maharaji-think does lead to close parallels of the above 4 points.