There are two things that struck me in chuck's description of the Maharaji. One was the "family business" thing, where the mother sought to have the number one son follow in daddy's footsteps. What struck me about this was primarily the fact that Indian guru lineages rarely pass leadership to members of their own family. The father did not seem to give instructions here, and the mother arbitrarily passed leadership to the first born just like in any business, without considering that son's inner potential.
The other thing that struck me was the "gift" the Maharaji offered to people. I believe the experience is commonly called "shaktipat", but I think the term covers many varied effects of experience transfer. In this case, the transfer seems to be temporary, and is limited to a heightened energy state in the body. From the description, I don't see much difference between this, and a chemically induced experience (although different chemicals generate different experiences).
Once one is "touched", and experiences the high via induction, having a photo of the guru can generate a kind of flashback state or rekindling of the experience, usually not as intense as the first one. Or just having a photo around can generate a sort of non-local induction effect in some people, even without direct former contact.
I have read different accounts of shaktipat, and in many cases the first experience is always the strongest, the one leaving the strongest impression. Meditators sometimes generate their own experiences afterward through extensive meditation, and in this sense getting a "taste" might be useful.
However, I do not see how a "high" has any relation to world peace. Timothy Leary seemed to be thinking along similar lines, and in the end "dropping out" was the only real result. Timothy Leary believed in the power of LSD to change the world. I think the Maharaji also believes in his power. And I think he sees no conflict between his ideals, and the practicals of running a spiritual family business.
People, gurus included, stuck on tradition will often respect the concept of "hierarchy" wherever it manifests in the world, especially if it claimes to express ideals similar to theirs. I think that on a conscious level at least the Maharaji sincerely believes in the effectiveness of world organizations such as the UN. His world-view works for him so he considers it "right".
He learned, IMO, to maintain a certain energy state, (which may very well be induced through extensive biochemical conditioning resulting from mechanical meditative pursuits). He learned to, furthermore, transfer that state, which usually happens spontaneously when the state stabilizes in one's body. He seems to think he is doing great work, and getting a nice profit from it.
It seems the exercises he promotes, as I said, are different means of biochemical conditioning, a kind of stimulation of certain neurotransmitter and hormone releases in a sustained manner. This results in bliss. Whether this is useful or even healthy is another story.
Is it a coincidence that many gurus die of cancer? Unlike Taoist masters who admit they are improving their bodies, and who do retain youthfulness and vitality (although there are exceptions to this), without making extensive spiritual claims, Indian gurus are not generally subjects of robust health and longevity.
The bliss they promote can generate neurotransmitter depletion, which requires a high protein intake to be supplanted. Since most of these people do not have a high protein intake, abstinence would be a must to prevent protein and mineral loss.
All in all, I think there is often a confusion between enlightenment and stimulation of the body's drug factory, and the most popular gurus (although there are exceptions to the rule) are pushers of instrinsic drug experiences. These can be useful (just like extrinsic experiences) in simply revealing the power of altered states and experiences outside the box of normality. They can, however, be addictive, and can take and have taken people away from moving on a truly integrative path.
Since there are forces that are geared to prevent people moving on a true path, it stands to reason these would support such gurus, whether they are sincere or not.