perm filename GURU.NS[1,LMM]5 blob sn#209790
filedate 1976-04-03 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