57-year-old Mata Amritanandamayi, better known to her followers as “Amma the Hugging Saint”, made her fourth appearance at the convention center in five years during the final weekend of June. Thousands of people flocked to the Iowa River Landing in order to receive one of Amma’s hugs, which many of her followers believe have healing qualities.A final decision to deny future visits hasn't yet been made, but it's not looking too good for the Hugging Saint.
But not all of the guests at the Marriott felt Amma’s message of love and service to humanity during her stay. Sources with the city of Coralville, which owns the Marriott and convention center, have told KCJJ that hotel officials received complaints from other guests about the behavior of some of Amma’s followers. Members of three different wedding parties complained that Amma followers crashed their receptions and took food from the buffet. Others stole flowers from bouquets. Other guests complained about Amma followers sleeping in their vehicles in the ramp and parking lots.
Tuesday, July 19, 2011
Hugging Saint May Get Banned from Local Hotel Following Complaints
Amma the Hugging Saint"? She travels the country and hugs random people. She has acquired many followers over the years and they believe that her hugs possess healing powers. The Hugging Saint has come to the nearby Coralville area four times in the past few years. Her most recent visit was in June 2011. Unfortunately for Amma, it might be her last visit following complaints by other guests at Coralville's Marriott and Convention Center: