The tiny community of Roerdalen, the Netherlands, has on it’s grounds a National Park, in the middle of which a National Monument is situated: the Meinweg park with the St. Ludwig college. The building from 1909 is classed as “a Dutch main monument of great cultural-historical value” and yet it has been partially demolished by it’s current owners, the MERU – Maharishi European Research University – a “Vedic University” founded by the late Maharishi Mahesh Yogi of Beatles fame, who came to Roerdalen in 1990. The building is not in accordance to Vedic law, which dictates use of natural materials and orientation of the entrance to the East.
MERU has torn down part of the facade of the main building in 2001, after which they were ordered to halt and forced to conserve the debris to facilitate eventual reconstruction – but it took the state to intervene since the community never wanted to. Roerdalen clearly hoped that the “Vedic University” would draw crowds and bring in lots of money. They did nothing when MERU decided to get rid of the rubble anyway. They did nothing when MERU decided to completely change the grounds surrounding St. Ludwig. They would love to see the whole National Monument disappear.
And now MERU is set to move out of Holland altogether. The Maharishi has died earlier this year and they feel there is ‘not enough cooperation’ from the Dutch authorities. Gee whiz – when just about everything you do is illegal, what the hell do you expect? In the end, Roerdalen is left with no self-proclaimed “Vedic University” and no National Monument worth looking at anymore. What rests, I hope, is an inquest into the reasons why the town didn’t want to intervene – and with Deep Throat I advise any commission of inquiry to just follow the money. That’s what you learn when you live in Italy.