perm filename GURU.NS[1,LMM] blob sn#219720
filedate 1976-06-13 generic text, type T, neo UTF8
a057 0338 03 Apr 76
DENVER (AP) - The Divine Light Mission, a religious sect headed by
18-year-old Guru Maharaj Ji, has an annual income of $3.78 million
from gifts, tithings and earnings, a spokesman says.
Joe Anctil confirmed Friday a published report that the mission,
headquartered in Denver, takes in about $315,000 a month, and spnt
$200,000 last year supporting the lifestyle and spiritual and business
activities of its leader.
The mission, founded by the guru's father 15 years ago, owns
property in Malibu, Calif., valued at $554,000 and a home in Denver
worth $86,000 which the guru uses when here, Anctil said.
He also revealed for the first time the guru's private ownership of
two cars, a Lotus and a Mercedes-Benz, as well as two Honda
In addition, Anctil said the Mission owns a Jensen, a car valued at
$22,800 and used for ceremonial purposes only, as well as a Maserati,
two Mercedes-Benz and a mobile van.
Information about the financial holdings of the guru and the
religious organization he heads were first published Friday by The
Denver Post. Anctil confirmed the details, which the paper attributed
Anctil said 60 per cent of the mission's monthly income goes to
support the international headquarters, the 20 homes it owns where a
250-member staff lives, and the guru.
Although the sect's leader pays for his own clothes and those of his
family from a personal account, Anctil said the mission makes
mortgage payments on the two pieces of real estate, provides him with
insurance and pays for his travel.
Despite its income, Anctil said the mission is still faced with a
debt, although it has been considerably reduced in recent years. A
deficit of $650,000 three years ago has been cut to $80,000, he said.
The Divine Light Mission, which says it has initiated 50,000 persons
into its ranks in the United States since 1971, claims 15,000 regular
a010 2253 13 Jun 76
LONG BEACH, N.J. (AP) - Ted Patrick, noted deprogrammer of young
religious converts, has been charged by authorities here with false
Police in this seashore township said Mr. and Mrs. Robert Mezey of
Elkins Park, Pa., had asked Patrick to convince two of their sons to
break ties to the Divine Light Mission.
A spokesman for the mission, headed by the Guru Maharaj Ji, an
18-year-old native of India, said Sunday that Richard Mezey, 26, and
his brother Alan, 23, had been the target of Patrick's attempt. The
spokesman said the young men were returning to the mission's facility
The parents had arranged for their sons to visit them at a home in
Long Beach, but Patrick, four aides and a juvenile arrived Friday,
shortly after the sons began their visit, police said.
Patrick's meeting with the sons apparently had been set up by the
parents, police said.
Patrick, of San Diego, and his assistants allegedly nailed shut the
doors and windows of the home to prevent an escape by the sons and
talked to them throughout Friday night.
Saturday morning, Richard Mezey went to the bathroom, turned on the
shower, used a nail clipper to pry the nails out of the window and
escaped, police reports said.
He hitched a ride to nearby Harvey Cedars and reported the matter to
borough police. Police said a Patrick aide, Rodney Casey, was
searching the streets for Richard when officers took him into custody.
Police charged Patrick; Casey; Audrey Winter of Brooksville, Fla.;
Richard Jackson of Coram, N.Y.; Richard Rudie of Salem, Ore.; and the
Mezeys with false imprisonment, a misdemeanor. An unidentified
juvenile also was arrested. The charges were filed by police, not the
sons, authorities said.
At arraignment Saturday, Municipal Court Judge Thomas Grant Bernard
set bail at $25,000 each. Patrick and his four aides were released
after Patrick posted a personal recognizance bond. The Mezeys also
were released on personal recognizance bonds. The seven then left the
Patrick claims more than 1,000 successes in his efforts to free
young persons from religious cults at the request of their parents. He
has been acquitted several times of charges from the incidents and
has been twice convicted. He served part of a jail term in Denver on a
conviction from a deprogramming effort.
Patrick was formerly a community worker in California and at one
time was an aide to then-Gov. Ronald Reagan.
In a recent interview, Patrick said his deprogramming has been
misunderstood - ''Essentially it is just talk. I talk to the victim
for as long as I have to.''