John Macgregor's Affidavit
In an affidavit dated April 27th 2005, journalist John Macgregor explains how he fell under the influence of a group which opposes the work of peace advocate and philanthropist, Prem Rawat. Macgregor explains why he participated in the Group's campaign of harassment, which included sending bogus reports to government agencies with the intention of involving Elan Vital (an organization which formerly helped to further Prem Rawat's work) in expensive, time-wasting investigations. This group of around 15 active members is regarded by many as a hate group.
Click here to download a PDF copy of the original affidavit.
The strange life of Australian journalist John Macgregor
Macgregor's career as a writer and freelance journalist began in 1984 when the National Times published his first article, Australia's herpes epidemic. While establishing his career Macgregor claimed to be making money on the stock market, however, his closest associates allege that he was secretly cultivating cannabis hydroponically in a shed on a rented rural property. One of Macgregor's associates, Neville Ackland, was arrested for cannabis cultivation and possession of unlicensed firearms in 2002. Macgregor's career peaked 2001 when he received the George Munster Award for Independent Journalism. However, in 2004 he fled to Thailand to avoid an arrest warrant arising from perjury allegations.
The Supreme Court of Queensland had previously ruled that Macgregor was in violation of the law when he collaborated with computer technician, Tom Gubler, to illegally obtain proprietary computer files from the computers of a not-for-profit organisation, Elan Vital, and distributed those files to a web site dedicated to harassing the organisation. The court also ruled permanently against the publication of the illegally obtained documents.
In the court proceedings, Macgregor at first denied his role in the scheme, then, when the truth emerged, tried to persuade the Court that the documents showed criminal wrongdoing by EV. The court rejected this defence, explicitly finding that the documents showed no reason at all to believe that EV or IRCC were involved in any wrongdoing. The court refused to accept any of Macgregor's fabricated affidavits, finding Macgregor and his accomplice untrustworthy and their evidence not credible.
"In writing stories about Elan Vital and Ivory's Rock Conference Centre, it was found that Macgregor never disclosed to his editors that he was himself the anonymous source that he quoted. Macgregor used his contacts in the journalistic community to plant false and defamatory stories about IRCC and EV and manipulated unsuspecting journalists into quoting him as if he were a legitimate source. The court had previously found Macgregor in contempt of court in November 2003 when he was judged to have lied to the court about the means in which the service of papers upon him were delivered." (Source: Newswire Release)
During 2000 writing under the alias Pam, Macgregor began submitting articles to a hate group web site targeting EV and it's founder, Prem Rawat. In 2002 he published an article in Australian tabloids which maliciously defamed Rawat, his students, and associated organisations. Macgregor later apologised in affidavit, but continues to publish material that is false, defamatory and misleading while continuing to reside in Thailand.
JOHN MURRAY MACGREGOR, of Ratchadamnern Road, Chiang Mai, Thailand, states/affirms on oath:
1. I am a competent adult over the age of 18, and make this Affidavit freely, under no duress or coercion, and if called to testify as to the acts stated I could do so truthfully.
2. In 1972, I learned the techniques of knowledge as taught by Prem Rawat, known to his students as Maharaji.
3. Volunteer entities exist for the purpose of disseminating the message of Prem Rawat, including Elan Vital Australia. From 1972 to 2000 I was such a volunteer.
4. Contrary to reports and claims published by myself and others I was never privy to any "secret" or "inside" information that was to be hidden from and not available to other volunteers.
5. I have never had a one-on-one personal conversation with Prem Rawat, and contrary to reports and claims published by myself and others I have no information or evidence that Prem Rawat or any of these entities have engaged in any wrong-doing.
6. In 2000 I began to undergo emotional issues of a serious nature, that caused me to suffer a severe lack of judgment. These emotional issues manifested in a combination of depression and unfocused anger. I began to communicate with members of a loose collection of individuals who call themselves "ex-premies" as former students of Prem Rawat. These people maintain a series of internet web pages and chat rooms a goal of which is to create an atmosphere of ill will and malice towards Rawat and his students. I was one of the worst offenders.
7. Members of the ex-premie group validated my self-deception that I was not responsible for my emotional issues of life choices, and that if any blame was to be laid, it was appropriately directed at Rawat and his students.
8. I have had many conversations with members of the Ex-Premie Group and have read hundreds of their internet postings and writings. The goals of the Ex-Premie Group are often obsessive, malicious and destructive in nature. The Ex-Premie Group, through the use of the internet interferes with the rights of people to experience their own spiritual discovery and for the purpose of harassing individuals who are students of Rawat's.
9. The Ex-Premie Group consists prominently of the following individuals: John Brauns, Jim Heller, Nick Wright and Jean-Michel Kahn amongst others.
10. The Ex-Premie Group's actions have included the contacting of employers of students of Prem Rawat, letters to regulatory agencies and the media with unsupported allegations and rabid personal attacks on the character of individuals. Further instances include:
- The internet publication of photographs and address of Rawat's private house with maps of his childrens' bedroom;
- The internet publication of personal details about Rawat's home life, and the private life of his family and children;
- The internet publication of false and defamatory stories about Rawat designed to cast him in a false light;
- Contacting businesses with which the volunteer entities have contractual obligations and attempting to intimidate them into avoiding those contracts;
- Researching and publishing Prem Rawat's whereabouts;
- The publication of entirely false stories of a defamatory nature on the internet and encouraging media to report these fabrications as fact.
11. Because of my skills as a writer, and my media connections, I was supported by the Group to publish articles that furthered the goals of defaming Rawat and his students, annoying his students, dissuading persons from learning more about Knowledge, and to use whatever means I could to use the media to publish articles with that goal.
12. Based on no factual evidence, I arranged to publish in two Australian print media publications articles that Rawat and / or the volunteer entities were cult-like or involved in illegal or immoral activities. These implications are absolutely false and unfounded.
13. I found that the more vitriolic and defamatory my writings about Rawat were, the more support and comfort I received from the Ex-premie Group. Because I craved this attention and validation, I sought to have published further similar articles.
14. I have read the Affidavit of Thomas Gubler signed and dated 23 October, 2003. I solicited the documents from Gubler in my irrational exuberance not caring that they were unethically obtained.
15. In retrospect, I am of the opinion that many of these persons are irrational, obsessed, and motivated by ill-directed anger.
16. I have reviewed the statements about Rawat, his students, the volunteer entities posted on the Ex-premie Group's web sites and find that when they purport to report on factual matters, they are frequently false and defamatory, unsupported by factual bases, and motivated in many instances by hatred, ill will and spite.
17. In 2003, as a result of activities I engaged in as part of the Ex-Premie Group, Karin Conrad, George Laver and IRCC ("Claimants") commenced legal actions against me.
18. During the course of 2003/2004, I made allegations of impropriety against the claimants and their legal advisers. These allegations were the product of my overwrought state and they were wrong. These stories were designed to paint the Claimants as a dangerous, shadowy cult abusing the litigation process to silence criticism. I understand and acknowledge that the litigation was not directed towards silencing criticism, but instead Claimants were appropriately protecting themselves against the activities of an antagonistic group as would any other business people in the circumstances.
19. I am aware of the attempt by Thomas Gubler to recant the statements he made in the 23 October, 2003 affidavit. Contrary to published characterizations by the Ex-Premie Group, the court refused to entertain Gubler's effort, and frankly disbelieved him.
20. In the course of my involvement with the Ex-premie Group, I filed several complaints to various tax and regulatory bodies around the world, hoping to initiate expensive and burdensome investigation of Rawat and related volunteer entities. I acknowledge and admit that I had no factual basis upon which to make such allegations, and that the complaints I filed were supported by unauthenticated, incomplete or out-of-context documents designed to paint a sinister picture.
21. Since the litigation I have had the chance to reflect upon the activities of the Ex-Premie Group, my involvement with them, and their motivations. I have come to realize that my involvement was misguided, and that I have to accept personal responsibility for my own life choices and actions.
22. I believe that I owe Prem Rawat, the claimants, their legal advisers and all of Rawat's students an apology for my actions, and for allowing myself to be used by the Ex-premie Group. I believe that persons have the right to choose their own path of spiritual discovery, and the right to leave a chosen path, but that people do not have the right to incite hatred and interfere with others' choices.
Affirmed by JOHN MURRAY MACGREGOR on 27 April 2005 at Bangkok, Thailand in the presence of: