Enhancing Prem Rawat's Legitimacy
A Marketing Strategy fit for a Guru
Since the late 1990s
has been engaged in a cynical campaign to resell his "Peace is Inside" message.
Following advice from Public Relations specialists, a two phase relaunch of
the Rawat product has been attempted. Firstly Rawat's totemic sales message
"Peace is Inside" was recrafted to read "Peace Inside is from Prem
Rawat", this was accompanied by the resurrection of a secondary legitimising
message "Inner Peace produces World Peace" which was first used in Rawat's 1970s
'Guru Maharaj Ji' incarnation.
With the primary and secondary sales messages established, the strategy moved
to the final re- presentation of Prem Rawat, based on the logical extension of
the complete sales message. The sequence running as follows:
(1) Peace Inside is from Prem Rawat
(2) Inner Peace produces World Peace
(3) World Peace comes from Prem Rawat
(4) Prem Rawat is a World Statesman
The promotional strategy behind this Rawat as Statesman campaign has
been characterised by Rawat's own PR team as "Enhancing Maharaji's[sic]
Legitimacy". The following is taken from the Rawat focussed
Richard Cooper is currently identifying opportunities for Maharaji to both
present his message to new audiences and to receive public recognition for his
CNA: What kinds of projects are you working on?
RC: We’re looking to develop speaking opportunities that could help build the
public’s appreciation for Maharaji as a leading voice for peace. One example is
the recent TPRF sponsored event at Harvard University’s Sanders Theatre. Another
would be Maharaji’s presentation in Italy to the former Prime Minister and to
members of the Parliament.
CNA: These would be introductory events, right?
RC: Not really. We have more to do with fostering recognition and
enhancing Maharaji’s legitimacy than with having more people become his
students. Our efforts, for example, enable your newsletter to report about the
Italian and Harvard events. Those are powerful statements about the legitimacy
of Maharaji’s work.
CNA: What is planned for the future? RC: We’re looking at some unique
speaking engagements and at ways for Maharaji to be formally acknowledged for
his work. A US Governor recently recognized Maharaji "in honor of his exemplary
career, life accomplishments, and many contributions to [our] citizens". We’d
like to pursue more tributes like that.
CNA: How do tributes like that come about?
RC: I work with people in North America who would like to see their city,
state or university offer Maharaji some kind of award, letter of appreciation or
honorary degree. All kinds of institutions have mechanisms in place to honor
persons of merit - I help people work with those mechanisms.
Why Rawat should need this kind of Public Relations boost, given his claim to
offer a unique way to Peace (we might expect the world to be hammering at his
door) is one of an endless line of contradictions that surround, what in the
opinion of many one time supporters - is a moral fraud.
Richard Cooper, who was a key figure in the Legitimacy
Project, died in October 2006. Cooper's words are retained in this article
because they fully demonstrate the motivation behind the Legitimacy Project.