Ivory's Rock Foundation
The annual 5-day "extraordinary gathering" of devotees of Prem Rawat's takes place on properties in South-East Queensland worth millions of dollars and owned by companies controlled by local devotees of Prem Rawat aka the "Maharaji" but registered in the tax haven of the Channel Islands.
The Courier-Mail can reveal Prem Rawat is also the sole shareholder in Orama Holdings, a company based at Beechmont, in the Gold Coast hinterland, that since 2010 has held separate assets such as unspecified local property.
The ageing guru, who was introduced to Australians as a teenager in the early 1970s and then had followers or "Premies" lining up to kiss his feet and be hosed down, also enjoys access to a riverside Fig Tree Pocket mansion on 1.7ha bequeathed by a devotee and now owned by another Channel Islands company.
The five-day conference is run by Ivory's Rock Foundation, an income tax-exempt Australian charity that will receive more than $2 million on ticket sales, ranging from the $400 "early-bird day visitor" package to the $3220 "deluxe" package.
Orama Holdings director Jan McGregor said the foundation had "no business dealings, transactions or inter-relationships whatsoever" with Orama, which was "entirely funded directly by Mr Rawat's personal funds from the US".
A foundation spokeswoman said the guru's travel costs were "paid by another organisation that handles the global logistics".
During the years 2019 to 2021 there were no annual 5-day September events which have been the highpoint of the year for followers of Prem Rawat. Therefore we cannot tell if there has been asignificant drop in numbers attending since 2016 or if it caused by the Covid disruption. We can see tht there is no increase in numbers and this tallies with the other indicators that we use to judge Prem Rawat's success in growing his cult or not. All indicators agree that there is no growth but no obvious lessening.
As of 2014 there was still a debt of $4,064,096 owing to various creditors. Rawat and his minions borrowed money from his followers, initially about $6 million if I recall correctly, to begin establishing the infrastructure on the purchased property that was country fit only to run cattle and one Peak Crossing property was bought for only $50,800 in 2000. By 2021 this debt was down $2,775,703.