Robes of Silk, Feet of Clay/Judith BourqueI received a copy of Judith's book yesterday and finished reading it today. The book includes a large number of photos from the late 60's and early 70s as well as a number of personal notes written to Judith from MMY. I have a small stash of notes from MMY.... the handwriting of the notes in the book certainly appears to be his.
Those who were expecting an angry "tell all" from Ms. Bourque are going to be very surprised. In fact, she maintains a very balanced view of MMY. Ms. Bourque remains a strong supporter of many things that MMY accomplished in his life. At the same time she points out the danger in hanging "god-like" or beyond human expectations on MMY or any spiritual teacher. She also makes a strong case for the need of a general house-cleaning in the TMO as she becomes more familiar with the present day rise of "raja-ism".
Along with many of us who were around MMY in the early 70s, Ms. Bourque witnessed the seeds of "raja-ism" with MMY's steady removal of the brightest and most creative minds of the TMO during that time, to be replaced with those who simply follow without ever raising questions.
There is a very touching chapter towards the end of the book titled: A Message To My Sisters where Judith reaches out to all other women who found themselves in a similar situation with MMY. (It's quite clear that she is personally aware of several other women who had the same experience with MMY.) Judith Bourques own affair with MMY started in Rishikesh in 1970 and continued on until it tapered off in Seelisberg when it was clear that MMY's interest was drifting away towards several other women.
It was in Seelisberg that Judith became involved with the man (a former leader of the TMO in Sweden) she later married. As disappointing as it is to read of MMY's use of his own power position to satisfy his sexual needs, it's actually more disturbing to read of his selfish manipulation of these women's' personal lives. When MMY learns of Judith's interest in this man (who coincidentally was also the person who obtained the Seelisberg property for the TMO) he writes notes (included in the book) telling Judith that this is the cause of the physical problems she was suffering from at the time. It's clear that MMY provided various degrees of financial support for Judith during the time of their affair. He also arranged for Indian merchants to bring the finest silk saris and gold jewelry for Judith to wear.
In spite of all this, Judith Bourque's admiration for what MMY accomplished in bringing TM to the world is clear throughout the book. At the German premier of the David Sieviking's "David Wants To Fly" movie, in which Ms. Bourque appears, she gently chides Sieviking for not presenting more of the positive side of what MMY accomplished.
I would urge anyone with an interest in learning more about this aspect of MMY's life to read this very well written and often moving, book.
I believe it would be very difficult indeed for someone to read the book and still question Ms. Bourques' honesty.