He advocates the use of a belly button healing wand and has made the cover of Rolling Stone.

So who is Seung Heun Lee, known as Ilchi Lee to his followers?

He's a South Korean author, businessman and founder of a variety of mind and body training methods.

The 66-year-old made his name and fortune as the founder of Dahn Yoga or Dahn Hak, described as "a blend of yoga, tai chi and martial arts exercises". In 2005 its name was changed to Brain and Body.

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Dahn Yoga has many followers in South Korea and the US, and Mr Lee's account of his personal journey, The Call of Sedona, has been a New York Times best seller.

Dahn Yoga has, however, also attracted controversy. In the US it has been accused of manipulating young people, women especially, and persuading them to enrol in ever more expensive courses to realise their brain's potential.

An article in Forbes magazine in 2009 claimed Dahn Yoga had more than 1200 centres in nine countries with global revenue in 2003 of US$170 billion.

An investigation by Rolling Stone magazine in 2010 described Dahn Yoga as "part Moonies, part New Age boot camp and pure profit".

Mr Lee has stepped back from Dahn Yoga in recent years, concentrating instead on consulting, training, meditation tours and his Earth Citizen movement.

More than 1000 people travelled to Kerikeri, from South Korea especially, for an Earth Citizen Festival organised by Mr Lee's Earth Citizen Organisation. PHOTO / SUPPLIED
More than 1000 people travelled to Kerikeri, from South Korea especially, for an Earth Citizen Festival organised by Mr Lee's Earth Citizen Organisation. PHOTO / SUPPLIED

Many followers use a yellow hammer-shaped object called a "belly button healing wand", which Mr Lee claims stimulates the belly button for gut and brain health, energy, and stress and pain relief. Medical professionals, however, are sceptical.

According to Mr Lee's website he first visited New Zealand in 2014. He was convinced to set up a base in Northland after being "amazed by the purity and peacefulness".