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Title Rama - Wealthy Spiritual Guru Lenz Found Dead on Long Island
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Rama - Wealthy Spiritual Guru Lenz Found Dead on Long Island Tuesday, April 14, 1998, 8:16 a.m. PDT OLD FIELD, N.Y. (AP) Frederick P. Lenz III, a best-selling author who packaged Eastern philosophies for a 90s audience but was accused of operating a cult, was found dead Monday in a bay adjoining his $2 million Long Island compound. He was 48. Police said Lenz may have died of a drug overdose or accidental drowning. An autopsy was pending. It appears he fell into the water from a floating pier, but the circumstances leading up to that are still unclear, Detective Lt. John Gierasch of the Suffolk County homicide squad said. Lenz s novel _Surfing the Himalayas,_ which related snowboarding adventures and outlined Lenz s spiritual philosophy, reached No. 11 on the best-seller lists in 1995. The self-proclaimed guru also gave high-priced computer science seminars and founded a company called Advanced Systems Inc. He was on _New York_ magazine s list of the 100 Smartest New Yorkers in 1995. Zen Master Rama, drew criticism from cult-watch groups in the 1980s after he announced that he was the incarnation of a Hindu deity. Parents and former students accused him of manipulation and sexual exploitation of followers. He dismissed the criticism, saying some women followers had consensual relationships with him and then grew vindictive when he broke off the relationships.