Millennium '73 - Afterwards - Debt

Debt

The DLM leadership had expected that a huge attendance would be followed by generous donations. Millennium '73 was free, unlike other DLM festivals that charged sizable fees. Despite fundraising before the event, lower than expected attendance and mismanagement left the DLM in serious debt, estimated at $682,000. Individual members also carried debts incurred for traveling expenses.

The festival was financed with short-term credit that began coming due right after the event. Seeking payment, creditors, including the Astrodome management, pursued the DLM and repossessed property belonging to the mission. By mid-1974, NBC reported that about $150,000 was still owed and that 25 vendors had received no payments at all. Members of the DLM took on extra work in order to raise money at Maharaj Ji's suggestion. The debt forced the sale or closure of the DLM's printing and other businesses, the temporary shutdown of their newspaper and magazine, the disbanding of Blue Aquarius, and the shelving of new initiatives. In 1976, a DLM spokesman said that the debt had been reduced to $80,000 and that the mission was on a sound financial footing.

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