Court Halts Heiress' Money Gift To Guru

VANCOUVER. B.C. API - A British Columbia Supreme Court order has blocked an American heiress from handing over much of her wealth to guru Maharaj Ji.

Darby McNeal's capital assets in the United States are said to be worth about $500,000.

Justice H. E. Hutcheon said Wednesday that her plans to give the money to the guru are "sheer folly".

The court order requires her to submit to a mental assessment by three British Columbia doctors who will be designated by the B.C. College of Physicians and Surgeons.

Darby McNeal, 31, who is married and lives in Nelson, B.C., does not use her married name.

The court action was brought by her sister, Sarah McNeal, 36, of Louisville, Ky. Sarah McNeal said she became concerned about her sister's ability to handle her own affairs when she learned of her plans to loan $275,000 to the Divine Light Mission of Denver. Colo., an organization run by Maharaj Ji.

Justice Hutcheon said that "the most superficial investigation would have disclosed that as an investment, her loan of $275,000 to the Divine Light Mission was an act of sheer folly.

"The evidence before me is that this Maharaj Ji's way of living does not correspond to the ideals of a traditional Indian guru and that 60 per cent of the substantial receipts of the Divine Light Mission are directed to maintain Maharaj Ji and those close to him in grand style," the judge said.

The guru's mother recently made similar charges against her son and removed him from leadership of his order. He then went to India where he is challenging that move.