- a prominent member of a group which opposes the work of peace advocate,
This page includes details of a blackmail attempt, media manipulation, various
harassing activities, and an analysis of Brauns' opinions.
John Brauns (Photo, top right) was named in an affidavit by journalist, John Macregor, as a prominent member of an 'ex-premie' group which opposes Prem Rawat's work. The group has often been termed a hate group due the hate speech of it's members and their record of harassment.
At least three of the group's web sites are registered to John Brauns. They feature excessively negative and defamatory material concerning Prem Rawat (Maharaji), his students, and organizations which assist his work. One such site includes articles by journalist, John Macgregor and convicted drug dealer Neville Ackland. Macgregor asked that his articles be removed from Brauns' web site, and apologized for writing them, but Brauns continues to refuse this and other requests by people who no longer wish to be associated with the group. (see below)
Brauns formerly listed the following contact information for the 'ex-premie' group (N.B. Members of the group now prefer to claim that the group is not a group.):
Maharaji Information Group
Limbazi Rajons LV-4011
Various opinions are expressed in this web site. The web master does not endorse or support the opinions of John Brauns. Readers are encouraged to fully examine all available evidence, and to come to their own judgments accordingly. The web master does not in any way represent Prem Rawat or any organization which assists his work.
Inciting Harassment: Attempts to disrupt free assembly
During 2003 Brauns was monitored on the group's internet forum, attempting to incite others to harass attendees at Prem Rawat's events. He encouraged Neville Ackland to do this during 2002, and published Ackland's version of attempts to disrupt a four day event at Ivory's Rock Conference Center in Australia. Ackland appeared to be psychologically unstable. He was later convicted of drug and firearms offences and jailed.
Prior to events around the world featuring Mr. Rawat, Brauns and his associates have contacted the press and/or venue owners and staff, feeding them misleading information in attempts to have the events cancelled. Click here to view examples.
Solicitation to commit fraud
Brauns has asked anyone with a valid smart card (electronic id card used to obtain entry to events and to access computer systems) if they are "willing to help in a little research." (Dec, 2003)
According to professional legal advice, "such activity is illegal because the card is an electronic data device: such use qualifies as an attempt to obtain entry to an event, information, or access to a computer system by fraudulent means for an unauthorized purpose."
Brauns apologizes over blackmail attempt, December 2007
Brauns and a few of his associates have appeared as editors at the Wikipedia on-line encyclopedia, supporting the removal of anything positive in articles related to Prem Rawat, and arguing for the inclusion of negative material from media articles written in the 1970s for readers' amusement, or from articles written around the same time by religiously affiliated researchers. On Dec 26, 2007, Brauns attempted to blackmail editors. After warnings by an administrator, and faced with the possibility of being banned from the site, Brauns "unreservedly" apologized.
Unhappy because most Prem Rawat related Wikipedia articles at that time (2007) did not reflect his opinions, Brauns arranged to have a propaganda article published in The Register, an anti-Wikipedia web site. In response, as one observer put it, "a phalanx of cynical editors arrived at the Prem Rawat discussion pages, overwhelming regular editors, one of whom was 'blocked' for opposing the anti-Rawat smear campaign that ensued. Wikipedia's unofficial culture of criticism prevailed. The rewritten Prem Rawat article contained more 'criticism' than the article on Adolf Hitler."
Husband seeks advice from Brauns. Divorce follows.
During 2002, Brauns received an e-mail from an Australian man whose wife had reportedly attended five or six video events, and was interested in watching free-to-air satellite broadcasts of Prem Rawat. Brauns' replies were so alarming to the recipient that he circulated them, intact, to over 100 people on an internal e-mail system - without his wife's prior knowledge.
Brauns' e-mails included this paranoia inducing gem:
"I strongly recommend you read up on cult programming, and be very careful in trying to get her out. Admitting to being wrong for 16 years about something as important as the purpose of life is not easy, and the mind can react quite badly."
Any reasonable person who has attended video events or watched a satellite broadcast will understand how inappropriate and alarmist this is. Brauns has had no formal training in psychology and no training in counseling methodology. Reasonable advice would have been, "Discuss this calmly and openly with you wife and, if necessary, consult a qualified marriage guidance counselor."
Divorce followed this unfortunate familial disruption. Brauns remains unrepentant.
Reasonable request refused
From a correspondent, June, 2007 - "I wrote to the EPO web master (Brauns) twice to correct a factual inaccuracy and also remove the name and details of someone whose request for her details to be removed where ignored. Both my requests where ignored."
Brauns is fully aware of death threats and other threats made by people associated with the 'ex-premie' group. However, he continues to publish on the internet a stolen set of house plans which show the location of the Rawat family's bedrooms.
BRAUNS' OPINIONS Vs REAL FACTS
In the section below, typical statements by Brauns are compared with facts.
Brauns' view of assistance to tsunami survivors:
"I don't know whether you posted this as a joke or really believe that TPRF is a genuine humanitarian organisation,"
The Prem Rawat Foundation has a very impressive record of providing food and assistance to some of the world's most needy people. CHARITY NAVIGATOR has awarded TPRF a 4 Star rating.
"but I think donations would be better targeted at organisations who have extensive experience in disaster relief work, rather than extensive experience in producing videos of a rich playboy."
Raj Vidya Kender (the Indian organization assisting Maharaji's work) has the equipment, skills and volunteer workforce to accommodate and feed over 100,000 people.
"If you have a problem that you can't fix, you get in experts, you know, people with proven track records of fixing such problems."
- Unless the problem is so huge that you need all the help you can get. Volunteers give money, buy supplies, and transport and distribute those supplies. TPRF has an excellent track record.
"TPRF have paid for (not transported or delivered) a few tons of rice"
Only in a hate distorted world would paying for food relief be criticized. TPRF continues to provide several hundred free meals per day at each of 2 centers and more such centers are planned.
"and organised some eye tests (not fixed a single person's eyes)."
FROM TPRF's WEBSITE - "Ophthalmologists and optometrists at the eye clinic provided 7,200 free consultations, medicines, and more than 4,300 prescription glasses. More than 650 cataract cases were diagnosed and referred for further treatment."
"If there are people associated with TPRF who want to help then they should either send money, or volunteer their time with those organisations who have experience of helping people after disasters."
No organization has had experience in coping with a disaster of that magnitude. Brauns neglects to mention that Prem Rawat personally helped to raise funds by auctioning off art works and donating the money to TPRF's tsunami relief efforts.
"TPRF have no experience of knowing what items are needed, where to get them, or how to deliver them."
Water, food and tents to the affected areas via truck and train.
"TPRF asking for funds to help tsunami victims is either stupid, arrogant, or (and I do hope this isn't the case) an evil attempt to cash in on the worldwide sympathy felt for them." - John Brauns
An observer's comment: "It is Brauns who is stupid, arrogant and evil."