"The €50M 'Messiah'", Sunday World
Guru Revealed - How Mind-Bender Amassed Fortune From Believers, By Nicola Tallant
Tony Quinn convinces followers he is 'Christ'
HEALTH guru Tony Quinn has amassed an estimated €50 million fortune after convincing his closest followers he is a “messiah”.
The controversial millionaire believes he is “Jesus Christ” according to a leading doctor who has counselled twelve ex-followers.
And today for the first time, former devotees of the self-styled guru lift the lid on his secret empire that stretches from Dublin to London, and Jersey to the Bahamas.
The 62-year-old former butcher convinces followers that he is the Messiah and has even christened his 23-year-old busty, blonde lover ‘Eve’.
He has amassed a personal fortune believed to be in the region of €50 million and his assets include two luxury penthouse apartments on exclusive Paradise Island in the Bahamas, a €1m yacht and properties in Dublin, London and L.A.
Today insiders from his secretive world lift the lid for the first time on Quinn’s bizarre life that has transformed him into a self-styled guru to thousands of people who have given him huge sums of cash.
And they reveal how, despite his enormous fortune, he is a penny-pincher who quibbles over the price of everything.
The guru gets people who attend his seminars in the sun-soaked Bahamas to bring him out steak, duck eggs and pink lady apples from Ireland, claiming they are part of his special diet.
More than 3,000 people have attended Quinn’s two-week seminars in the Caribbean, which cost €18,500 and a further 400 have paid €62,000 for his ‘master’ classes.
Many have been so taken in by the mesmerising ‘Messiah’ that they have remortgaged their homes and left themselves cash strapped to follow him.
Several of his ‘clients’ have ostracised their families to become Quinn disciples.
Last night a leading doctor who has counselled former members of his group branded him “dangerous” and said he gets inside people’s minds.
“He is destructive and he shows sociopathic tendencies, with little conscience or feelings of empathy or remorse. He promotes the belief within his inner core that he is Jesus Christ and many of his followers believe that too,” said Dr. John Butler, a senior psychotherapist who lectures at Guys Hospital Campus in London.
“He shows extreme narcissistic tendencies and, to him, money is power.
Mild sociopathic tendencies are not that uncommon. People with extreme sociopathic tendencies become cult leaders and that is what happened with Quinn.”
Money is at the heart of Quinn’s empire in the sun. We can reveal that the ‘guru’, who is a tax exile, lives in two exclusive apartments on Paradise Island which he purchased two years ago.
Although he lives with a South African beauty he insists on having his own private bedroom.
The condos are on the waterfront, and come with a harbourside pool and a marina where he parks up his yacht, Far Niente – which he claims he bought after seeing a bright yellow light emanate from it at a boat show.
On his regular visits back to Dublin he stays at Hicks Tower, an old Martello tower at Malahide which he bought more than 20 years ago and which is estimated to be worth more than €1 million. He uses a silver hand-built Jaguar car while he is in the country.
In London, Quinn owns an exclusive property on Hamhaugh Island on the Thames. The island is populated by writers and artists and can only be accessed on foot. Houses are worth between £500,000 and £1.5 million sterling. Quinn has also recently acquired a property in L.A. to add to his expanding property portfolio.
Every morning insiders say he spends two hours over breakfast before meditating privately and then he whiles away his afternoons watching James Bond movies and old Roy Rogers films.
“He says he loves them because the good guy always wins. He is obsessed with Bond and tries to model himself on him,” a source said. “When it comes to women Marilyn Monroe is his dream girl and he likes his ladies to look like her too.”
Quinn was an only child whose father was a taxi driver and whose mother doted on him. He grew up in Arbour Hill in Dublin. At school he was poor academically and tried to bulk up his meagre frame by body building.
By the early 1970s he began to practice yoga and would later claim that he was the first person to bring it to Ireland after a trip abroad. As his popularity grew he opened the Tony Quinn Gym on Eccles Street and started hosting weekend seminars involving relaxation and hypnosis.
He bought a house in Howth, where a group of hard core followers lived in a commune. He urged people to fast for 40 days and claimed credited two cohorts as being the reincarnations of ‘Moses’ and ‘Peter’.
In the 1980s the Tony Quinn health shops were opened across Dublin where he sold his own brand of vitamins and minerals and advertised his mind seminars.
According to Dr. Butler he always wanted to be a leader of men. “He had communes in Dublin where his followers lived. He studied hypnotherapy techniques and was into the occult. He has claimed that he has all sorts of qualifications, but he doesn’t have any meaningful ones. He is a self-made and self-styled guru,” he said.
“He only operates within a group as a superior being. It is the only way he knows. In the early days he used to keep jars of his own urine around the houses and was constantly checking them. He became obsessed with his body – he was totally self-obsessed.”
In 1993 he moved to the Bahamas where he began running seminars at the cost of £15,000 a session.
In hurricane season he moved the seminars to Monte Carlo, LA, Egypt and Agadir in Morocco.
Back home his followers were offered commissions of £2,000 for everyone they signed up to the fortnightly sessions with the guru.
The promise was one of spiritual happiness, success and to clear the mind of negative thoughts.
Hundreds signed over their cash to spend time in his presence and learn his techniques. In 1995 he hit the big-time when he began working with Steve Collins in the run up to his WBO world title clash with Chris Eubank.
Quinn described himself as Collins’s ‘mental coach’ and boasted after his victory that he had hypnotised him to feel no pain.
As the business continued to grow Quinn started one-on-one sessions where clients got to spend two weeks alone with the guru at a cost of £100,000.
Followers paid for their own flights and for their money got a 13-day session with Quinn and one day off to admire the stunning setting of Paradise Island.
One individual, who does not want to be named,said the courses ran between 10am to midday with one of Quinn’s cohorts, while the guru himself lectured between 1pm and 7pm.
“It was very intense and people often talked about all sorts of problems in their lives from anything like abuse they had suffered to marital difficulties– very personal things.”
When clients return to Ireland they are paraded on stage at the regular Educo meetings followers held across the country.
They speak about the benefits they believed they had gained from the seminar and urge others to dig deep and do the same.
This week Quinn has returned to Ireland to host a ‘free’ seminar today at the RDS which can be attended by anyone who has already paid for a seminar abroad
Article sourced from Dialogue Ireland.