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The Gagging Clause

In an effort to control those aspiring to be taught the techniques of meditation, and particularly to effect a complete boycott of potential criticism, Prem Rawat has sought to employ a legal device under US law that asks individuals to sign away their First Amendment Rights, as would be protected under the provision of Fair Use doctrine.

Terms and Conditions (clause # 2)

I also understand and agree that my purpose for accessing this website and any related material is limited solely to my personal interest in Maharajiís Knowledge, and by agreeing, I expressly waive any rights I may believe I have in terms of creating commentary, research, or any other "fair use" purposes.

A History of Suppression

Prem Rawat's organisation, now called Elan Vital, has a history of seeking to inhibit free speech - as recently as 2003 attempts by lawyers Strook, Strook and Navan, acting for Elan Vital [ see this link]  sought to remove critical information from the Internet - this attempt is recorded at Chilling Effects.

In 2004 Lawyers in London were sent on a 'fishing trip' to intimidate a critic at his place of work, while New York legal firm Wolff & Godin acted for The Prem Rawat Foundation in a domain name case on which the adjudicator commented

"This kind of verbal horseplay by Complainantís counsel in drafting the operative Complaint is reprehensible and technically voids Complainantís certification that the Complaint is "complete and accurate."

The Australian Elan Vital was instrumental in the first and only known use of an Anton Pillar gagging order against a journalist in November 2003. As long ago as 1973 one of Prem Rawat senior followers attacked and nearly killed a journalist who had been critical of Rawat.

Prem Rawat, an exercise in Hypocrisy

Particular irony attaches to Prem Rawat's disregard for the value of free speech in the light of the strenuous efforts he has made to have himself associated with the United Nations. In 2002 his Elan Vital organisation hired a UN facility in Thailand, and arranged a private event at which Prem Rawat spoke - this was then presented as Rawat speaking to the UN. In 2005 Prem Rawat spoke to the privately run United Nations Association of Malaya - in subsequent media releases put out by The Prem Rawat Foundation this unofficial event was presented as having official standing and invoked the name of the UN Secretary General.

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights adopted by the UN in 1948 is one of its most fundamental documents; the Terms of Rawat's TheKeys  Project are written in direct contravention of several aspects of the UDHR - notably Articles 8, 18, 27 and 29, and particularly Article 19 :

Article 19.

    Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.

The United Nations Declaration of Human Rights: http://www.un.org/Overview/rights.html

note* for legal discussion on First Amendment relevance see this link.

quoted case:

http://laws.lp.findlaw.com/2nd/009185.html

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