Prem Rawat and His Mafia Mate
Prem Rawat's cult compound at Peak Crossing near Ipswich in South East Queensland has attracted some controversy. The neighbours have been particularly incensed by the occasional arrival of thousands of people for a few days and the attendant traffic and disruption to their peaceful lifestyle. They have also been perplexed by the weird secrecy surrounding the guru himself and pissed off by being watched and photographed. Rawat's administrators have attempted to make the case that the millions of dollars spent on Amaroo aka Ivorys Rock Conference Centre and the money spent locally by the "conventioneers" has been a great boost to the local economy.
Prem Rawat found a particular 'mate' (Aussie slang for 'bro') in long time Ipswich mayor, Paul Pisasale, who was happy to hug his little buddy.
Photo sourced from http://premrawat.com
In 2017 Pisasale was arrested at Melbourne airport carrying a suitcase containing $50,000. This set off investigations that ended with Prem's good mate Pisasale being charged with bribery, official corruption, extortion, fraud, perjury, perverting the course of justice, stealing $60,000 from various charities and taking Viagra without a prescription among numerous offences. In July 2019 Pisasale was convicted and sentenced to jail.
Pisasale is the very type of guy who lauds Prem Rawat - a con can tell another con
Mayor Paul Pisasale said Prem Rawat had "caused no harm to our community", his group had "always been great corporate citizens" and their conference centre was "a tremendous facility".
"More people promoting peace in this world is good news to me. I'm sick and tired of seeing our troops come home in boxes," he said.
However, staunch local opponent Jim Barrow said the group's plans to rent out their centre to schools and organisations faced "a huge hurdle".
It is the duty of a local mayor to suck-up to investors bringing money into a poor area but Pisasale went beyond the call of duty, the brotherhood of thieves.
Since the beginning of the Legitimacy Project Rawat's followers have made great gains in getting Rawat meet and greets with minor political figures especially dodgy Sicilians and European Parliament members in Italy and Russia. He's also likely to be photographed making donations to charities and receiving "awards" from "front groups" promoting peace. But whenever you see a meeting of major, respected political, religious and spiritual leaders you won't see Maharaji amongst them but if you're looking for shady, minor Sicilian political figures.