Top dollar to see guru

Sunday Mail, The (Brisbane, Australia) - September 25, 2005
Author: Kay Dibben

DISCIPLES of a globe-trotting spiritual leader will pay up to $2610 just to camp out and hear his message at a conference near Ipswich.

That's the cost of the deluxe tent package at Ivory's Rock conference centre at Peak Crossing, where all eyes will be on Indian-born peace guru Maharaji Prem Rawat on Tuesday.

About 2500 followers from all over the world are expected to turn out, with 1500 of them camping on site.

Those paying for the top-price package will get a double bed with linen, blanket and duvet, electric blanket, bedside table and lamp, two chairs, shelves, hangers, a powerboard and four towels each.

Lower levels of tent accommodation, which include pioneer single tents with beds, blanket and sleeping bag, are available for $895 to $1295 per person.

A French executive chef, heading a team of 20 chefs, and 140 casual catering staff will provide food at the event.

Cath Carroll, the conference centre's chief executive officer and a student of the Maharaji , said people were coming from as far away as the United States, Europe, Chile, China, Malaysia and the Philippines.

She said Maharaji, who lives in the US, was not being paid.

He has spoken at Ivory's Rock each year for the past 10 years and spends 11 months a year travelling the world in a jet leased by organisations that sponsor his events, spreading his message of peace.