WESTBROOK – Ahura Z. Diliiza used to stop and tell strangers when he saw something funny in their aura, and he’d get angry if they didn’t listen.

Frankly, he came off as loony.

He sees that now.

A teacher taught him impulse control. To keep his head down. Zip his lips.

A year ago Diliiza (pronounced De-LEE-za) set up Maine’s first school of metaphysics in an old funeral parlor on Main Street. In the evening, he heads up the Unicorn Rangers Psychic Police Department, a group whose advertised services include spell breaking, malevolent entity removal and eradicating vampirism.

They make house calls anywhere from one to 15 times a month.

He’s the unicorn.

“The unicorn is a symbol of Christ and the unicorn is also a dispeller of evil,” Diliiza said. “That’s what I do. I dispel evil. My whole name means ‘Benevolent God’s champion, one who destroys evil.'”

The universe gave him the name, he said. He was born with something less exotic that he stopped using 25 years ago and prefers not to share.

Brain Box Entertainment, behind shows like the History Channel’s new “The Million Dollar Challenge,” is shopping a reality show based on the unorthodox school, its rangers’ close encounters with the unusual and Diliiza, a striking Mr. T-like figure with long blond dreadlocks.

In his office, packed with recording equipment, bagpipes and a “life tree” no one’s allowed to touch, he’s ambivalent about the idea of becoming a star on the small screen.

“I did tell them, look, I’m not interested in some show like ‘Ghost Hunters,'” he said. “I’m a real paranormal investigator, I’m not someone who’s going to run when a ghost shows up. They show up all the time.”

The rules: No drama

Diliiza opened a retail store first, seven years ago, in downtown Portland. He’s originally from Los Angeles, where he said he grew up poor, watching people get shot point-blank.

“I was working at Denny’s, at the Congress Denny’s, then moved to the Brighton Denny’s. Then one day I was walking down Congress and decided it was time to just start,” he said.

He sold candles, incense and herbs out of the small storefront, and offered classes.

Just over a year ago he moved into the former funeral parlor.

When the next session at Unicorn Cove School of Metaphysics starts Sept. 12, there will be a whole slate of course offerings: tarot, numerology, psychic development, soul travel, meditation, martial arts. Tai chi, belly dance and hula classes, aikido, psychic development and psychic police training and something called Pegascene -a class that once took Diliiza and his students to Indiana for a chili-cheeseburger, just for the experience -are ongoing.

Pegascene’s about strength, beauty, exploring culture and learning from the adventure, he said. In another field trip, students dressed like rednecks and went to the Christmas Tree Shop.

Diliiza teaches most classes at the school. Family and other staff, such as a chief prayer warrior, – who Diliiza trained – do the rest.

He interviews all potential students, “reads” them and asks, “What do you want?” He said he turns down more than he accepts.

“If you want to help, I’m interested in you. If you want to master something, I’m interested in you…

“But if you just want to look cool and say that you know magic, I have no interest whatsoever,” said Diliiza, 47. “There’s a lot of magic to be learned in this world. Magic isn’t about saying abracadabra and making a door open.”

The school’s rules are strict and framed on the wall: No drama. No drugs. No dating. No, this isn’t a cult or coven. And leave what others have to say at the door; it doesn’t matter.

Classes are by donation only; so are all the rangers’ services.

That has some people suspect, he said. “People just don’t believe that someone like me even exists, they don’t believe it. They think I want something, and I don’t, I really don’t. I have talent, I have a gift.”

Fees for extras, like $15 for a fire bath (drawing out negative energy using fire cups) and $30 for astrological charts, help pay the bills.

Even then, “If you need healing, you don’t have the money, the money is irrelevant,” Diliiza said.

He, his wife and daughter live upstairs in the former Hay Funeral home. A downstairs room sells statues and tea herbs: Dragon balance, Buddha’s clarity, cedar, pine cones and jars marked “girl tea” and “boy tea.”

Girl tea is for monthly symptoms, Diliiza said. Boy tea is for “stupid symptoms.”

‘The impossible happens daily’

Diliiza said he’s a telepath; he describes the ability as letting him see further, “my eyes are bigger than yours.” A lot of his message gets at the power of positive thinking and energy (don’t wish something bad on someone, it’ll bounce back onto you).

“I’m very ‘what you see is what you get.’ No trinkets. No silly waving about of wands,” he said.

“Mysticism says that anything is possible. As a matter of fact, the impossible happens daily, all you have to do is take the blinders off. That’s what mysticism is.”

Diliiza raised the school’s profile recently with commercials on the Sci-Fi Channel. One warning about “psychic predators” was inspired, Diliiza said, by a frantic woman who came in complaining that a local psychic “wanted to charge her $900 and told her if she didn’t come back to see her that she couldn’t help her because her son would die.”

That frantic woman is one of many people who have sought out Diliiza. He figures he’s helped thousands across the country.

Kristen Theroux of Standish came in seeking guidance. She was referred by her mom’s co-worker. Two years later, she’s one of the nine Unicorn Rangers psychic policemen.

“I was one of the people that ended up there, I would say by coincidence, but there’s really no such thing,” she said.

Rangers’ services include everything from removing hexes – “You would be amazed at how many people hex each other, not even meaning to,” according to Diliiza – to offering a sort of psychic muscle at weddings.

He stations rangers to keep “negative vibrations” off the bride and groom. An ordained minister, he performs the ceremony.

More common are house calls to people experiencing paranormal activity. They can’t sleep, have visions.

“I have to go out and determine whether there’s an actual paranormal event taking place or does that person just drink too much cough syrup,” Diliiza said.

If it’s legit, to his mind, there’s a cleansing ceremony with Bible verses, holy water and an exorcism.

Once rangers leave, Diliiza tells homeowners to cool it with the arguing, fussing, drugs or drinking – or risk inviting the bad energy back. (See sidebar for one encounter with an ugly phantom, in his own words.)

Despite the standing offer, no Maine police have approached him for help with open cases.

Diliiza’s started a $100,000 building fund on the school’s Web site, asking for donations toward a bigger space. The eventual goal: Have 12 schools of metaphysics around the world. Theroux, down in Florida now with two other rangers, hopes to open the first satellite Unicorn Cove store in a year.

Diliiza grins at the idea of rangers running each of those schools. “I’ll just get to flit around then and look mystical.”

He sent in tapes to Brain Box of two recent home cleansings. In one, family members reported being pushed and hurt. He performed an exorcism and destroyed their Ouija board.

Genevieve Croteau, development manager at Brain Box, said it’s a “notoriously slow” process to pitch and sell a show, and they’re approaching everybody.

Diliiza’s “sparkling personality, his dedication and his conviction” would make for a great reality show, she said. “We think this one has a lot of potential, especially because of Ahura. He’s the ‘Dog the Bounty Hunter’ of the psychic world.”


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