Indiana Gazette from Indiana, Pennsylvania on August 19, 2006 · Page 3
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Indiana Gazette from Indiana, Pennsylvania · Page 3

Indiana, Pennsylvania
Issue Date:
Saturday, August 19, 2006
Page 3
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Cultists In India Await Reincarnation Of Gridley NEW DELHI, India (AP) Gridley Lorimer Wright IV, a former Wall Street stockbroker who sought to recreate a Stone Age society in India, is dead but members of his controversial Shivalila cult do not mourn him. They believe Wright, who died of double pneumonia at the age of 45 on Dec. 21, will be reborn, most likely as a child of one of the group's eight unmarried women, cult member Alma Alvarez said recently. "We are not mourning Gridley's passing," she told The Associated Press. "We are heralding his coming." Wright contracted pneumonia after being stabbed several times in the back and chest by an Australian traveler, in Goa, the former Portuguese colony on the west coast of India, cult members and U.S., Embassy sources said. An Australian diplomat said the alleged assailant, whom he refused to identify, was "irrational" at the time of the incident and has since returned to Australia. It was the fifth death in the cult, composed of 18 Americans and one West German, since it moved to India from California last year. During its first three weeks here, four of the children died of measles and diptheria. One was Wright's 5- year-old daughter. The cult, founded by Wright at a mountain commune near Bakersfield, Calif., about five years ago, strove to raise its offspring to be the sort of humans it claimed were found in the Stone Age. Its model are Zaire's Ituri tribesmen and the Tasaday tribesmen of the Philippines. To achieve their goal, adult members serve as parents to all of the children. Males are urged to have sex with at least three different women to avoid them pairing off as couples. Three of the women are now pregnant, one by an unidentified Indian "swami," a Hindu holyman, Miss Alvarez said. Shortly after , their arrival here, members burned their American passports and asked Indian officials for asylum, claiming they faced persecution in the United States. A Home Affairs Ministry spokesman said their appli- cation for asylum was not considered because they did not present valid passports. However, the Indian government has made no move to expel them despite the expiration of their visas, Miss Alvarez said. Wright, who had claimed that in previous lives he was Jesus Christ, Lord Krishna, Buddha and the Prophet Mohammed, said in an interview last July that his followers desired the same human relationships of a Stone Age society. Wright, a wiry, bearded man who wore homespun clothes during his last years, was born in Erie, Pa., and attended Yale University. He worked for brokerage houses in New York and Los Angeles before joining the counter-culture in the 1960s. Hashish and marijuana were widely used in his cult, he once said, as tools "facilitating com- InJJana Evening Guitttt, Friday, M«rcti U. munication with the children." Miss Alvarez, interviewed at a New Delhi apartment, said Wright predicted on his arrival last year that he would die in India. "He was u'red of his physical being," she said. "His last incarnation was bothersome to him because people saw him as a great Western super-being — Jesus Christ. "But he didn't die," she went on. "Gridley is going through retransmission." Wright is survived by his es; tranged wife Deborah, who lives in Los Angeles. These special items are on sale for one day only! Most wanted items at very special low prices ... on sale Saturday Only. Limited Quantities . . . No Mail or Phone Orders! *•£**•' -.<S?w *•*' V ' ,-V^ ^ v it ' ^>K*< 6.99 It slightly imperfect Chatham "Monroe' thermal blankets, if perf. $14. A tremendous savings on year Vound blankets with thermal weave . . . keeps you cozy in winter; lightweight covering in summer. 72'x90" size fits twin and full size beds. DOMESTICS — The Bon-Ton 4.99 stock up on spring bright slingback sandals REG. $7. 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