Followers of the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi are turning to the financial power of U.S. pension funds to help build housing in accordance with the Maharishi's "natural law" precepts.
A marketing push aimed at U.S. pension funds says the Maharishi Global Development Fund, New York, is "promoting health, happiness and good fortune."
Bob Wynne, director of financial research and planning, said the fund will use $440 million in donations to causes of the Maharishi, founder of Transcendental Meditation, as well as the proceeds from a bond offering, to guarantee housing developments to be built using natural law.
One of the tenets of the Maharishi's natural law guiding the developments will be that entrances to the housing must face the east or north. That way, the brains of the occupants of each new house will be in proper alignment with the Earth.
The structure of the fund will further the goals of the Yogi and his followers, and make life easier for pension fund managers, Mr. Wynne said.
"We want to take away the heart palpitations of the pension fund manager," he said.
He said they won't lend money for development, but will act as an insurance company of sorts for the borrowers.
Bond proceeds are to be invested in government bonds, which will be used to guarantee the Maharishi's housing projects in major cities across the globe.
Interest on the bond offering will be paid with coupons from government bonds, project guarantee fees and the fund's share of profits from the sale of the housing, he said.
George B. Kiddell, president and managing partner of Gryphon Investment Counsel Inc., Toronto, is the fund's only executive board member currently active in the investment management industry.
A spokeswoman for Gryphon said Mr. Kiddell declined to comment on the fund because he joined the board recently and "is just getting his feet wet."
Another executive board member is William F. Hartnett Jr., a real estate developer in Chicago.