by Peter Arnone
Wine, Meatballs, and Horseplay
For those who think one has to be a moron to join a cult, they are grossly mistaken. The most articulate and honorable people imaginable were members of the Summit Lighthouse. One of those people was Sigrid Carlson. She never married and had a career with the FBI. After retirement, she joined the Summit staff as organist and secretary. You couldn’t help but love Sigrid. She could be a tiger, but had a heart of gold. She also had a very bad back that everyone was aware of. During lengthy services it was necessary for her to go out and lay flat for awhile to ease her pain.
On a trip from Colorado Springs to Santa Barbara, Sigrid was the only woman among a half dozen young men, plus Sean and Mark. We all rode in the Dodge Travco which had a small rear bedroom for Sean and Mark only. The two day trip was agonizing for Sigrid. She needed to lay down, but Mark would not allow her to lay on his bed. Her vibration was incompatible. You got the feeling Sigrid was going to soil the bed or something. I can’t remember for sure that Sigrid was brought to tears, but Mark finally relented and gave her a special dispensation to lay on his bed.
It was in April 1971, that a new mandate was enacted for the Summit Lighthouse staff. During the Easter conference, the Ascended Lady Master Omega came for the very first time to give a dictation through the messenger Elizabeth. It was a cosmic event. So I learned the following day.
There was a staff member who had fulfilled his six month probationary obligation to the Summit and decided to leave. Billy was no pushover. He had made up his mind and Mark could not change it. Whatever arrangement he had with Mark, Billy was not kicked out but allowed to stay even while everyone knew he was leaving. I worked with him. We had become buddies. And two days after Omega spoke, Billy would go back to his ranch in Idaho. But first, Billy and I would go out for a farewell dinner with our co-worker Alex.
Up to this time the Summit staff was allowed to eat meat, though it was not served. You had to go to a restaurant for a hamburger, or whatever. The night before he left, Alex and I slipped out with Billy to an Italian restaurant for spaghetti, meatballs, and a glass of wine for the special occasion. When we returned to La Tourelle, the karmic hammer fell. Word got to Mark we were back. He took me into a room and questioned me about where we had gone and what we had done. I told him exactly. He told me it was a disgrace to do such as I had within only hours of the dictation of Omega. I was scolded and fined only $5.00 because I was still a neophyte and the naive victim of Alex’ poor example. Alex was rebuked and fined $25.00. Billy was hopeless. He was leaving in the morning and not worth Mark’s time or attention. But the matter was not over.
The following morning Billy left and we had a staff meeting. Mark informed us that Billy only came to the Summit to avoid the army. He was a draft dodger, a coward, and a bum for using and taking advantage of the Summit Lighthouse ministerial program to keep himself out of the military while the Viet Nam War was being waged. This was news to me. I wasn’t aware of any ministerial program. Billy wasn’t doing anything different than I was for the more than three months I knew him. If there was a ministerial program it was Mark Prophet ordaining someone at his own pleasure, like Monroe Shearer. He was ordained with no formal training specifically to avoid the draft. Mark told us so. It was so Monroe could continue working for Mark and the Summit (God).
Back to the new mandate. After Alex and I returned from dinner the night before, confessed our sins and were reprimanded, we were told that Mark already knew what we had done. He sensed a tremor in the “force-field” of La Tourelle. He had felt our vibration. Meatballs and wine glasses were seen floating in our auras when we came back onto the property. In that morning staff meeting, Mark announced that henceforth and forevermore, staff were no longer allowed to eat meat. We officially became vegetarians. Imbibing of wine and spirits was forbidden. To this day, I’m not sure that included Mark drinking his beer.
While some staff could only speculate they saw things “on the inner,” Mark and Elizabeth were the only ones who could really see meatballs, etc. Long before Star Wars, Mark could see “the force.” But for Mark, the force was the bad guys. The force was demons and entities and discarnates. And they were everywhere. It was like the bogeyman, around every corner and under your bed. And it was after Mark, the messenger of God. Every single thing that bothered Mark or didn’t go his way, or the Summit’s way, was because of the force. And he told you about it all the time. The force did this and the force did that. There was a “ray” of the force on this or that. Or so and so was a “tool” of the force. Even staff members who goofed up were tools. It was Mark Prophet versus the world. He was a classic paranoid. Mark gave birth to the “us versus them” mentality that dominated the Summit Lighthouse, and yet dominates Church Universal and Triumphant today.
On occasion, Mark would open his jacket and show you his concealed revolver. He would also flash his badge. You never had enough time to read what it said, but Mark assured you he was “a law enforcement officer.” It was pretty impressive because you knew he wasn’t just talking about being a member of Master K-17’s Cosmic Secret Service. Again, the message was clear. Don’t mess with Mark Prophet. And with a pistol he was even more formidable. But true to form, Mark’s display was a deception. Mark was merely a member of the posse in El Paso County. It was a vestige of the Old West. Anyone could go down to the sheriff’s office and sign up to become an auxiliary deputy in the event of an emergency. You were fingerprinted and had a security check. After you were screened, you were issued an identification card. You could go down to the local police supply and buy a badge and I.D. wallet and impress your friends. After Mark died, we formed our own little staff militia. A bunch of us went downtown and joined the posse too.
Mark liked to jock around with some of the guys on staff. He would gleefully punch them and laugh. But it was pathetic to watch him wind up like a prissy and take a shot at someone. One staff member was sparring with Mark and accidentally landed one on his chin. There was silence. Mark scowled, “You struck me!” The staff member nearly died of fright. Mark would slap and push, and sometimes grab you by the back of the neck digging his nails in, laughing all the while. Russell F. can tell you he drew his blood. But no one would dare retaliate. He would shake your hand giving you his death grip and ask you what you thought of how strong it was. No one had the onions to tell him his sister could do better.
Was there anything sacred about Mark Prophet? Was he really a holy man? I think a lot can be told about a man within the informal setting of his friends. But as hard as Mark tried, we really weren’t his friends. Bending over to show you his hemorrhoids, referring to a Summit member Ms. Fuchs as Ms. F__ks, or always calling the men in his presence to attention while he cut loose with a fart might have been funny at the time. But what does it say about the man’s dignity? How much credibility did it lend to the man among men supposedly chosen by God to be an example for the ages? Where are all of those men today to give lasting testimony to the bedrock greatness of Mark Prophet? They are nowhere to be heard from, because in truth, Mark Prophet was a buffoon. There are a handful of priests I was taught by in high school whose holiness, dignity, and ability to relate with the common man are legendary among guys I went to school with to this day. And those priests were real friends. Mark Prophet couldn’t shine their shoes.
It’s true, Mark Prophet could be serious. Real serious. A kick in the pants (to Tom) or a knee to the groin (of Alex) could happen when Mark was really upset. Again, these guys were those Mark knew would not retaliate. Upon arriving in Santa Barbara from Colorado Springs in June of 1971 for the Freedom Conference, Mark was driving the Travco up the driveway of the Motherhouse when he struck the wall. I was right across from him in the passenger seat with Sean in my lap. Mark didn’t even look where his fist would land, but lashed out at Stanley who was sitting behind him, accusing him of being responsible for the accident. Stanley suffered bruised ribs and was out of service for the next few days. Lester, who was with those greeting the messenger in the parking lot, received a vicious tongue-lashing for not sounding off with a warning of the collision. In front of his wife, and everyone else, Mark bellowed he’d make a man of him yet. Though Tom, Alex, Stanley, and Lester were loving disciples of Mark, they were still possessed of “human substance” and could therefore also be tools of the sinister force. Mark had the wall replaced and the driveway widened.
It seemed that most, if not all, of the “beloved staff” of Mark and Elizabeth were “tools” or “rebellious” some of the time. Because we weren’t always perfect to Mark and Elizabeth, someone was always being stabbed in the back. People who were incredibly generous were not generous enough for Mark and Elizabeth. One summer (if not every summer), there was a stretch in Colorado Springs when we would have a little thunderstorm every afternoon. It would come and go like clockwork. One afternoon Alda was driving on her way from California to join staff and become Elizabeth’s seamstress. She too, was getting on in years. She had not yet arrived. And for whatever reason, Mark was so upset with her that he blamed her negative energy and vibration for the storm that afternoon. The greeting and gratitude expressed to Alda when she did arrive, like for so many others, was so disingenuous, it could make your heart cry for all of us poor saps who thought we were doing good for God. I’m convinced that Mark and Elizabeth believed that everything that was given to them, was owed to them. I am also convinced that Mark and Elizabeth believed they were doing everyone a big favor just by being alive and blessing everyone on this earth with their presence. If you really have a deep love for people, how can you have such a smug attitude toward them behind their backs? How can you write them off or dispose of them when they no longer offer productive value to you? The example of Mark (and Elizabeth) Prophet answered these questions for me. Anyone giving anything less than 100% all of the time was looked down upon. Even if you were giving 100% and goofed up, you were looked down upon.
Next in Part 6: Forbidden Romance, Printing Errors, and Conspiracy Theories
all of this descripion confims the pathology of Mark, that later was the one of ECP :
narcissism and paranoia
these are two seriuos mental conditions known as "psychosis"
it is very frequent that such people are relatively normal in some instances -ike social instances with public- and have what is called "psychotic episodes" at times, usually with close ones (family, close friends,etc)
the fact that Mark woul carry a gun was so interesting to confim the pathology of paranoia
there is also a lot of violence in the simple fact of carryning a gun around in a household
also, I am starting to realize there was also in Mark what is called "perverse manipulation"
which is a way of putting down people no matter what they do, so to control them better
lt is difficult to get out of such relationships for those who are caught in them, because after a while people become destabilized and really believe they are worthless
perverse manipulatiors are dangerous people, because they are destructive of others around them ans show very little or no empathy for others
they can't, because they are not genuinely in contact with their own feelings or with other people's feelings
they are not capable or true intimate relationships either, like friendships or family or marital true constructive relationships
I am realizing how much ECP herself was taken advantage of in this relationship, given her own upbringing with an alcoholic father
she might have seached unconsciously for a father replacement and might have founded such father figure in Mark
Mark was a perfect father figure for her, in a symbolic way, given the age difference
at the end she was totally manipulated too, and lost herself too
I fell comppassion for both of them, because they both were unhappy persons to start with, and hurt children, and since they managed to find a way to compensate their own pains, through delusion, their entire life must have been hell
I mean inside of themselves
this type of people with such pathologies are continually tormented, afraid,, and desperate inside
there was no way they could help a whole flock of people to attain peace and harmony when they themselves were so unbalanced and mentally ill
for Mark, for ECP and for all of us, it was a nightmare indeed
even if it looked nice from the outside , it was not what it appeared
I appreciate watching the picture from the old time at SLH you digged out
they are fun to see because we chelas never got to see them , just heard of this times with the old crew
fun picture this one in africa,especially that you look so acqward Sean in the middle of all these adults
but you look really cute with your glasses !!!!
ha ha !!!(lol)
To all readers, I didn’t know Sigrid Carlson was going to be mentioned at the beginning of part 5. Yes, Sigrid was a tiger. One would better think twice before crossing her. She was an independant & out spoken woman, not to be messed with. My Mom & her butt heads now & then (I had forgotten how loud Sigrid got,yelling at my mom & my mom using the teachings to rerpemand her. Later they’ed make up). And this is why it became to much for my mom. This was one of the reasons why even at other members homes, she didn’t end up living very long at their places either. Life was not the same in fellow members homes, as it was for her at the Rochotzy & her experience at other Teaching Centers. Even though in part 5, Sigrid is to have indured Mark’s control, she showed a reflection of position, status & privilage for having been a member for so long and being who she was to & for Mark and Elizabeth.
I had forgotten how much blame was put on me, as a 14 yr old girl, for my “out of alignment” state, while Sigrid was with us. How I contributed to the stress. I went thru alot of change after Sigrid lived with us. A change that began when I was 13, but solidified more around the time Sigrid lived with us. I forgot about a couple of the phone calls that came in from “Mother”/Guru-Ma, ECP, for Sigrid. It was like receiving a phone call from the President of the United States.
Never was the demands of the Ascended Masters, the Teachings, “Mother”, God -The I Am That I Am, ever held responsible for all the pain & stress my mom went thru. And this is the dangers of Idolising the idea of God.
Sigrid did wk for the FBI as a secretary, hence the reason why she was secretary for Mark. I forgot about her organ & panio playing.
I remember a large photograph of a man who I understood was suppose to be her “Twin Flame”, soul Mate. Don’t remember clearly why they never married. But the large photo hanging in her room, said this man was someone very special in her life & memories. I remember many couples in SLH/CUT never married at times because they were not given the blessing to. Many members who this happened too didn’t always accept & they would finally leave SLH/CUT for this reason. A woman this happend too, left for this very reason, saying “I don’t need the Summit Lighthouse to make my Ascension” (I bumped into this lady not so long ago. She’s still involved in the New age but her girls, she said, have been turned off by religion all together because of SLH/CUT). Others, in the realationship that were not allowed to flurish into marriage, by “divine direction from The Messenger”, would obey as the good Chelas they were & stay in the organisation. I some what remember this was the case for Sigrid & this man. Can’t recall clearly if he was a SLH/CUT or Keeper of the Flame Fraternity member. I remember he was not & this is why they didn’t marry, they weren’t given the “Blessing”, permission to.
As I continue to read all this aweful material on Mark, it clarifies why ECP was as she was. Though most likely she was so much the same with or wothout Mark. Truely she & Mark attracted each other because how alike they were in so many ways. Growing up in the teachings, everyone loved Mark so much, more than Elizabeth. Most everyone only knew Mark thru the recordings he did during the yrs he was alive. Alot of individuals disliked Elizabeth & would say she ruined these teachings with her abuse of authority, when in fact from these accounts, she was trained by Mark himself, to be as she was. Even I, as a child came to adore Mark thru his recordings & the stuff he talked about helped me so much thru my teen yrs. Becky, his daughter from his previous marriage makes reference to her father’s good qualities (in J.Guintino-sp?, 10/08 ). I find in life when one has tremendous personality, especially that likable kind, mixed in with the characteristics one reads in these accounts, it becomes tormentingly hard to divide or seperate one’s self from them (my mom is like such a person,everyone admires her but if they only knew), especially when they are suppose to be spoken for/of God, the I Am That I Am. And the outcome of opposing bks, one calling him a modern day mystic by Alex R. & this contridicting such a bk. Elizabeth taught the name America, when rearanged spelled “I Am Race”. America’s the melting pot of the world, adding to a belief in God, it’s hard to disagree with such revealation/oppinion/teaching. So with this kind of stuff, the psychology of God & His prophets, as written in the Bible, one who’s exposed from childhood in God stuff, it’s so very easy to get obsorbed into these teacnings.
Cognitive dissonance- you can’t ignore it, but you can’t resolve it- at least not in any satisfactory way. A lot of cognitive dissonance and you begin to develop strategies for dealing with it. That is, you begin to shut down the parts of your mind that want to resolve it. You make a loop. You feel the dissonance and you transfer it into a rehearsal of all the reasons why you are just fine thinking and believing the way you already do. “Make the call!” Any idea , any thought that causes you to question your belief, your adherence to the Messenger is a projection from the force. It reaffirms your importance as a chela- that you are worth being subverted; it reaffirms the importance of the Messengers- that they are constantly under attack.
If you can just get rid of the people who are starting to slide away from your domination, then you can make sure that your circle of subservient followers stays intact. There is no way that you can sufficiently mistreat them, since mistreatment increases their cognitive dissonance and forces them to redouble their effort to strengthen their belief in its primacy. If they take umbrage at your cruelty, well, they probably weren’t worth keeping in the first place.
Personally, I’m tired of trying to figure out why MLP and ECP acted the way they did. I just want to know why I acted the way I did, but to do that I need to see what they really represented to me. And Peter’s account here is quite useful. None of his anecdotes really surprise me, but the fact that they don’t surprise me really surprises me. What was I doing with all this disconfirming information? Nothing. Throwing it on a pile where everything that was too much for me to deal with in my present state of mind went to fester.
I can tell you this much. Every former and present member of CUT has a pile of disconfirming information festering and moldering somewhere beneath the surface of their minds- for some it is the key that keeps them locked into their present point of view- the challenge of dealing with it seems just too great. For others, it is the spur to trying to reclaim their lives, for taking real accountability for their actions and beliefs.
I want to thank Sean for having the guts to publish the memoir of Peter on the Myth of Mark. Sean did not have to do it, but he did. And obviously there are many damning episodes and insights that are revealed. Despite some of the acidic tone of Peter’s recollections, Sean just put it all out there for anyone to read. Mostly i think Peter has provided an accurate accounting, and it is not surprising that looking back on those experiences he expresses some bitter memories.
Amina, David, Amen…you are so right that narcissim and paranoia, and cognitive dissonance permeated the messenger and the mindset of those who were overwhelmed with the almost inescapable treadmill that staff was caught up in. Let me add one more observation, of ECP, which is not often recounted, but which reveals an interesting side of the story. Whereas Peter mentions Mark seeing the meatballs and wine glasses in the aura of those scoundrels who ate the spaghetti, i can attest to the fact that ECP was plagued with the ironic awareness that despite her position as messenger and despite her frequent tirades about staff being out of alignment for this or that reason, she was decidedly lacking the direct ability to “see” on the inner planes. This may be very hard for people to understand, but it was at the root of many of her lashings and thrashings of staff and others, as a defense mechanism for her own inability to perceive the subtle vibrations which were so fundamental to her teachings and role as authority, messenger, guru, and executor of discipline. I think Erin also mentions this in her book. Why else would ECP need Stanley, and myself, and Erin, and several others over the years to act as “seer” if she herself was able to “see”? This lack of inner seeing silently drove her to depths of despair, but she could never reveal this deep unfathomable secret to the followers. She had a layer of denial about her own inability in this regard lest the facade come tumbling down, but i was aware that she was aware of this fact.
She was a master at portraying her supposed ability to detect any and all infractions or past lives or improper vibrations in the auras of others, but in reality it was for the most part her intellect and not direct vision which ruled those innumerable moments when she would act as though she was the all-seeing messenger. How, one might ask, can the Messenger perform the fundamental duties of taking dictations and being the mouthpiece of the masters, if her own “third eye” was not open to the inner planes? This is one of the many reasons she was tormented and paranoid and often given to fits of depression or states of megalomania. I am sure this will shock many who might read it, and seem impossible and not true, but this is what I came to understand.. One who is still a follower of CUT might argue that the Messenger while taking a dictation just needs to be the transparent “vehicle” and mouthpiece of the master, and need not be clairvoyant while taking the dictation and speaking the words. Mark spoke of the type of dictation where he “saw” the words in fire like a ticker tape in front of his inner vision, but ECP had a different experience and method which was not direct vision, and in my opinion she spoke the words and concepts which she imagined the master might speak if she were actually able to perform the function she was cast in, as messenger. Outrageus blasphemy? or painful truth to those of us who were enraptured before we managed to leave the fold.
it is obvious after all the material printed out and all the evidence from all kinds of people including her own children and staff members that have been published and cross-verified many times that the dictations were fake and invented
no doubt about it
the only quesion that might still arise is wether ECP and Mark thought of themselves as messengers or not, but since they also show obvious signs of being mentally ill, manipulated people to their own advantage, controlled information , had no signs of real caring for other people , put their own children at theit personal service, thus ignoring their true calling and personal choices, what does it matter anyways?
I think in their delusion they really thoight they were messengers , like other mentally ill patients think they are jesus christ or napoleon
after all many other cults claim to have the true messenger and worship them as demi-gods
@Harry S., very interesting. So we now have two highly credible sources, both you and Erin, who document that ECP did not have the spiritual sight she claimed.
Mother Teresa also confided that she did not ever feel the presence of God, and it disturbed her profoundly. How is it that spiritual leaders can justify such blatant dishonesty to hide their crises of faith?
Becky, Sean, Tatiana, Erin, et al,
Depth of Delusion…
After reading Tatiana’s mind boggling list, in an article on this site, of the most odd and ridiculous claims made by the messengers about themselves and the workings of the world, and your accounts and Peter’s, and Sean’s penetrating review of the Reichardt book, I thought I would add a few more for the record. This forum provided by Sean has been cathartic for me and others, and since i have no other place to unleash my own long silent memories, permit me to reveal what i considered amongst the deepest of the delusions that ECP entered into which affected the very foundation of the organization and her own apparent place in the pantheon. I have mentioned this briefly in private but I am prompted to put it down for the record, no matter how few actually will read it.
Aside from my other roles as staff member, board member, confidante and intimate partner of ECP, although i did not ask for it, seek it, intentionally train for it, or want it, i came to be appointed and annointed into the role of seer for ECP. The fact that ECP used a few selected people in this role was kept secret and very few knew of this process, except for the most inner of the inner circle, and family. I certainly knew it was not meant for public consumption, and was by its very nature, a confidential relationship of the most profound order. It carried the inherent gigantic irony which i mentioned the other day, that the messenger herself used others to perceive what she knew she could not perceive through her own senses.
This role gradually grew from ongoing conversation on a wide range of subjects, to formal sessions where we would sit together in private, where she would say something and ask what i saw. This happened right before dictations, as the congregation was “building the forcefield” and she had already been dressed and the time had come to walk out and do it. In those heightened moments, we sat together and she would bring up the most far and wide subjects, sometimes about staff infractions, sometimes about world events, sometimes on a subject she (or the master) intended to discuss. Being in that position started out naturally, but became a tremendous burden after a time, because it grew to almost an addiction of hers, It was as if her confidence in the seer became a palliative drug for her secret sense of self-doubt in her own abilities. She taught others adamantly about the error of letting doubt enter one’s being, and for the messenger to harbor doubt in her own capability to perceive subtle realities was beyond and over the edge of acceptabilty for her outer consciousness. And thus when she placed her trust in someone to tell her what was occuring in the domain of the supermundane world, she needed it more and more to support her deficit. I think Erin showed this also to be true in her riveting accounts.
The image comes to mind of a person without sight, a blind person, being led down the street on the arm of someone who is willing to be their guide. A dependence can easily evolve for the comfort of that aid, and although this is not a good metaphor since most blind people are tremendously self sufficient and strong, ECP let her weakness manifest with the use of those in that unique role.
So this preface brings me to the Great Delusion. The ultimate act of self aggrandizement on the part of ECP which elevated her for all time into the lofty position of a perfected being walking the earth, for all her followers to marvel at. She had been brewing inside her mind the idea that she was at the precipice of balancing 100% of her karma. She knew that if that were the case, surely her status would soar to new heights, and her grip on the followers would have a whole new level of adhesion. This concept which germinated within her own world, began to emerge in various words here and there and dropping of a hint and other ways. But then it came down to just me and her. Sitting alone with her, before she walked out before the gathered masses, we enteried into a session where the seer is asked questions by the messenger, and responds with the perceptions that flow into the visual mindspace. She went right at the issue and suddently i was trapped in the mental miasma of her own concoction of greatness…She said the master was going to announce once and for all time, that she had balanced 100% of her karma, and she asked me to confirm this. This was not the first time she mentioned this in passing, but this was the moment of truth. I sat there for a few moments, raising the antenna of perception into space, and i knew the answer to her question with certifude. “NO. I do not see that, and I do not think it is so.” Aside from the sense that this was simply not true, it was beyond just the perception of it…pure logic dictated that this was one of the most stupendous blunders she could make, to proclaim that idea to the followers. It simply was not within the realm of reality that she had become completely free of the entire substance of her past. I saw daily the continuing frailties and foibles and imperfections and holes in the fabric of her being, as did many others who were close enough to observe, and so it just was so far away from what i thought to be the truth. When i told her i did not agree and did not see that this was true, i perceived a shudder within the depths of her being, a recognition that she realized that i was correct and this was a Ploy with a capital P….but her invincible motivation to continually raise the stakes and raise her own apparent position on the planet and amongst the brotherhood, quickly closed the brief opening of awareness of turth, and the cascade of self delusion folded over her mind like a wave and i knew it was hopeless. From that moment on I knew she was going to go through with it, and though she did not argue with my response, she soon thereafter stood up and proceeded to walk out there and spew forth the fabrication of her own inner delusion,
This episode set a new tone between us….she knew i was not going to crack under even the most intense expectation and subtle coercion. So silently she respected that but was wary because almost nobody would ever question something of this magnitude. And the weight of the role of seer grew to monumental proportions, for me. It carried out into everyday life, when in the car, when at home, when at any moment, day or night, no matter where we were, she could and would expect me to immediately tell her what i saw in the inner world about something she just asked or said. I was expected to have one foot on the earth and one foot in the higher world, always ready to capture the vision of what was going on in those places where she could not see for herself. I even told her on several occasions that it was too much to expect that i could instantaneously and without flaw respond to her every query which would have required me to be sitting as an ascetic in some cave, not driving the big car down the road and at the same time look into the metaphysical world. But it was her nature to need it and want it and depend upon it, since she was increasingly making claims about herself and the movement which she felf warranted confirmation from someone outside herself.
Delusion followed delusion, and for me it spun out of control where i saw too closely what was really going on, and it was not a pretty sight. It was the vision of one who was deluded and delusional, but was willing despite her close confidantes, to go forward with claims and proclamations that at some place in her being she knew to be false.
@Harry: Thank you, Harry. I rarely give feedback on what others say about our parents, Mark and Elizabeth, but I must say that what I’ve read here from you and Peter Arnone is consistent with the reality I grew to reluctantly accept like a collar of thorns.
@Amina: Very good explanation for the self-delusion going inside of the minds of two very similar people who cultivated the creative process, then turned the product into proof-positive that they were God’s chosen mouthpieces. I concur.
Harry S provides an excellent description of ‘spritual sight’, in the description of ‘seeing’……..
Spiritual sight is a highlight of John 9, in the bible story of the blind man that Jesus healed…. the man could now see, and although he’d been kicked out of the synagogue for getting healed on a Sunday, he believed that Jesus was the son of God, via the mechanism of some sort of switch inside him that just made him know this was true. Faith also entered into the man’s knowing, based on his observance of Jesus performing a miracle (healing his sight). Apostle Paul was big on things (seen but…) not seen. His apostleship dates to seeing a vision of Jesus on the road — a vision that no one else saw.
It seems to be the general viewpoint that spiritual sight is a form of personal miracle, based on triggers provided by either individual intuition or by some universal mechanism (God?) that switches on your ability to KNOW the truth. It’s not apparently something that can be given to someone else. If I’ve got it, I can’t give it to you, so you can’t see exactly what I’m seeing. The bottom line seems to be that spiritual sight can rarely, if ever, be proven outside of one’s own perceptions of their own visual mindspace.
My problem here is how do I know that the perceptions I have within my own visual mindspace are the truth? I’ve gotten a lot less judgemental of myself, and a lot slower to impose my own viewpoint on someone else. I’ve also noticed I’m more willing to listen to the other side of the argument and accept that I’m wrong sometimes. Hey, that’s part of being human, is to be wrong sometimes. BTW, when I first heard that ECP had balanced 100%, that didn’t sound right. If that were true, logic says that the human couldn’t stay in human form or continue to exist on this plain of existance. So I had to think that she wanted to tell us that for some other reason. Whatever.
Following these recent discussions has been invaluable in helping many of us come to terms with our own confusion and guilt (yes, guilt) for being involved so deeply for so long in a group activity that created such a high level of internal cognitive dissonance. Thank goodness CUT taught against suicide and encouraged adherence to the law and authority. It could have been a lot worse, as we all know.
Pragmatic review of my past involvement has helped me become (I hope) more charitable, less judgemental, and more caring and helpful in today’s world.
Thank you, Harry. My involvement with CUT has always been parenthetical, so I was unaware of the “seer” aspect until my sister began writing her book. Nevertheless, I can only imagine the burden this role placed on you (obviously a devoted believer at the time). Although I have no real knowledge of your involvement or experiences in the movement, you sound like a man of integrity. I’m sure your revelations here are not only cathartic for yourself but helpful and healing for others.
As a young person, I was virtually certain that Elizabeth and my father were charlatans, plain and simple. I think this belief was based on my intimate knowledge of their behavior and personalities behind-the-scenes. Now, after reading the testimonies on this site, I’ve come to the conclusion that Elizabeth at least may very well have deluded herself into believing her own hype. Why else would she have despaired at her inability to “see”? ,
If this is true, it must have been nearly impossible to reconcile some of her moral and ethical failings (which we don’t need to detail here) with her image–an image she “perfected” with the announcement that she had balanced one-hundred percent of her karma. Could the dissonance have contributed to her mental deterioration? I think it’s quite probable.
I can only begin to imagine how overwhelming this “task” of seeing for the “messenger” must have been. The first time I heard about this was from a dear friend (she has never gone public about her story, so I will not reveal her name), 10 years ago, who was also assigned this task by ECP. At any time, night or day, ECP would call upon my friend, demanding from her to use her sight, just like you. When she would object that she needed time and that she could not just force herself to “see”, that the answers needed time to emerge, ECP kept pushing, “What do you see? What do you see?” It was very stressful for her.
I know of one more person who also played this role for a while. A man, in the last years of her “messengership.”
I am very interested to hear more from you on this forum. Your analysis and writing is done with so much profound care and attention to detail. Your story can be cathartic for present and former CUT members, as well, as we try to come to terms with our years in CUT. Very few people who were close with ECP have ever shared their stories, publicly, and I know, from my own experience, that it is knowing the truth of what really went on that helps us make sense of the insanity that we went through.
Kathy Schmook’s book and talking to Peter Arnone and Kenneth Paolini and participating in the now non-existent ex-member’s forum that Kenneth started was cathartic for me.
You were very close to ECP and it sounds like you experienced so many mind-boggling events (like what you just described) that the regular member would never be aware of and therefore we had no chance to relate to the reality of ECP’s secret life and how her wounded/disturbed personality influenced the teachings that we all followed and loved. . All we could relate to was the carefully cultivated persona of the “messengers” which was a fantasy which, of course, puts the teachings that emanated from that fantasy into question, too. I know from other ex-members and friends who silently read the posts on this forum how helpful everyone’s stories are.
I look forward to anything that you want to share with us of your life in CUT and what you feel you learned.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again here; I’ve had many WTF moments during my involvement with the organization. This karmic claim and the karmic readings, were some of those moments.
I always suppressed in the back of my mind, the nagging thought, does she mean, fulfilled 100% of her Dharma? Have these people all gone completely retarded?
Go ahead and define Karma, and then try to reason how this makes any fucking sense whatsoever. It doesn’t.
The pseudo belief in Karma, by its very definition, is self balancing with the passage of time. If it wasn’t, there’d be causes, without effects. 100% balance if you are referring to karma is spectacularly underwhelming. I won’t even get into the hairsplitting of whether something was returning karma, or wasn’t.
That’s how some who are choosing to still believe, are rationalizing Mothers current illness. “It’s not actually her karma, It’s the worlds karma” or “Its not karma at all.” These apologetics and rationalizations make me want to puke. The degree of mental gymnastics one has to do to piece together a constant storyline, from nonsense belief is utterly pathetic.
This was one of the many fundamental things that lead to me finally giving my head that inevitable shake and leaving.
As to how I got involved? At some point I entertained the magical thinking that a higher power, or spiritual life might be nice. That was the beginning of a walk down a path of self delusion. I could have joined any religion, but I was brought up a Jehovah’s Witness and had my fill of religious tradition founded on the bible.
Anyone, who has actually read that Bible and takes it literally, can see the ridiculous cherry picking that all, YES I SAID ALL X-stain based faiths do. I knew with 100% certainty, that the God of the Old Testament, and Jesus wedding himself to that, by saying, “Not to abolish, but to fulfill…” Wasn’t for me.
The reconciling figure of Jesus sermon on the mount, didn’t erase all the other rather schizophrenic aspects of his character. Biblical cherry pickers, will ignore these elements and apologeticists, will try to spin them more favorably… Like a used car salesmen, glossing over the flaws.
Anyway, how I got into these teachings, was via a rather indirect route. A native lady introduced me to some simple native beliefs and practices. I found the non biblical perspective refreshing and she encouraged me to pursue it if i found it interesting. That lead me to the local library and books about the alchemical changing of the spirit of man from the lead of human nature into the gold of the divine nature. Which lead me to begin practicing meditation, which lead to my having visions, which lead me to Elizabeth Prophet. (that’s the short version.)
Looking back, having been on the inside; there is no weeping and gnashing of teeth. There is a sense of relief and a perspective I wouldn’t have, had I not walked for 8+ years in those shoes. Considering my means, it was also an expensive lesson.
TSL and CUT… turned out to be more alike their Christian counterparts and Churches based on biblical tradition, rather than dissimilar. Using your head and critical analysis are faculties that get in the way, if a walk of Faith is what you are after.
The difference between TSL, CUT and Christian churches? The more elaborate the dogma, the faster it falls apart.
I think it would be very sad if CUT continues on for more than the next few years. If it does, they’ll continue to become more like every other Christian church out there. Should it continue, I can see a time coming when only a few staple recorded Dictations ever get aired for the general public.
I honestly hope the church doesn’t survive the next 10 years.
The micro fracture into various groups is quite funny to witness; again reflecting their counterparts in the Bible based Churches.
Religion might be a good business, but as far as I am concerned, the cost is too high! ;)
I’ve been discussing all of this with my current husband, who was raised in the Reform Judiasm church. He followed the church in the news during the shelter cycles, because he knew our involvement, so a lot of this material isn’t completely foreign to him. He has read Erin’s book. His first reaction to the “100% balanced karma” was actually my VERY first reaction…..wouldn’t declaring this accomplishment to a group of followers create some new karma?
The “balancing 100% of karma” statement is the same kind of vapid nonsense as Buddhists and new agers bandy about when they say “get rid of the ego.” The very act of making the statement that one has “gotten rid of the ego” requires an ego.
They’ll claim that’s “not really what they are talking about.” They’ll say that only means the negative parts of the ego that are destructive, or competitive and non-compassionate. But again we have doublespeak here. Whenever you hear these code words, it means the person is advocating shadow repression.
Shadow does not like to be repressed. In brain terms, the shadow is a composite shorthand for all modes of thought and feelings which are unexpressed. This means that the parts of the brain involved in socialization and impulse control have succeeded in quashing “negative” or “socially unacceptable” activity. But that doesn’t mean it’s gone. And the brain is such a complicated and conflicted organ it plays games with itself–constantly trying to overrule itself–and the shadow parts will find a way to be expressed.
As a humanist, I advocate active exploration of the shadow through dialog. If a person feels anger, greed, lust, or any other traditionally “negative” emotion, that’s a voice of some part of our evolutionary selves which at one time was essential to our survival–or it wouldn’t be there. The best way to deal with shadow emotions is to allow them to be expressed intellectually, or as fantasy. This is the value of sexual or violent entertainment.
In this way a person can give those primitive brain systems a job to do while developing a reason-based system for acting or not acting on those impulses. It’s a much more powerful and stable coping skill when a person ceases to feel shame about their dark impulses. They know they are there, they feel them, but they have become the master of self-control and they decide when it is in their best interest to either act on them or not.
It’s a far better scenario than pretending they have “evolved’ or “transcended.” We are all human beings, and rather than original sin we should acknowledge that we all contain human darkness. We can work out for ourselves when and how to express it to our long-term advantage.
The classic Star Trek episode The Enemy Within where a transporter accident separates Kirk from his shadow self demonstrates its value. Though his “good” half retains its intellect, it has become feckless and indecisive without the shadow. That is a good description of many naive religious and new age seekers. As we see in the news every day, they are also far from immune to committing acts of gross moral negligence.
Scripture and guilt-based shadow repression create such split personalities. Aside from being completely unprovable and baseless, concepts of sin, karma, and divine retribution place the check and balance on the outside. I advocate rational self-restraint (based on the long-term self-interest of maintaining good relations with ones peers and community).
Shadow integration, ego acceptance and freedom from irrelevant concepts such as “karma” are the benefits of a humanistic self-awareness.
The Editorial Razorblade of Perfection
I am encouraged by the words of Tatiana, Nancy, Becky, Nina, Sean, and others to add some further episodes and insights to the unfolding revelations which are so helpful in understanding ourselves and the two leaders of the movement we were part of. Illuminating the dark corners of our collective memories will serve to heal psychic wounds and bring resolution. My purpose is not to demean or belittle ECP in recounting failings or frailties,and Becky is correct that discretion and compassion dictate that we need not reveal the intimate aspects of the messengers lives which are best left in the domain of privacy. The drama and upheaval we experienced within and on the way out of the grasp of the movement provides enough substance without going too far.
Having said that, i wish to share a positive aspect of the life and person of Elizabeth. She had a tremendous skill at manifesting the art of the spoken word. Whether her talks were previously prepared or impromptu stream of consciousness or a dictation, she could keep an audience glued to her every word, partially due to the cadence and flow and power and modulation and almost perfect diction. Part of my job was to listen very closely because after she was done, i was tasked to “edit” not only her lectures, but the dictations as well. I sat there with headphones on and a metal razorblade between my fingers, listening often in slow motion to every syllable of every word, and the concept was to make perfect that which was less than perfect. I never judged or begrudged the fact that the spoken outpourings contained mistakes, flubs, stutters, wrong words, or even factual errors. The shear massive outpouring of the material was so large as to make it easy to accept that in this imperfect world, and her less than perfect self, surely nobody could speak for hours and hours without making some mistakes. The razorblade was used to literally cut the metal-oxide tape on which was recorded the words that would, when perfected, be duplicated onto hundreds or thousands of copies for distrubution throughout the world. She wanted to appear as close to perfect as the razor blade would allow.
She was very concerned if anything less than perfect make it out into production. Some of this was the veneer of perfection layered on the underpinnings of imperfection, which was a character trait which ran through various elements of her life and persona. Often in the act of making perfect the spoken word, we would cut tiny pieces of tape which were one syllable of a multi-syllable word, laboring for an hour or more over one single word, so that a verbal stumble would end up being undetectable to those who would hear it. We sometimes rearranged syllables by copying other words onto tape, cutting them apart into slivers no wider than a tiny fraction of an inch, and literally taping them together to make words that never existed in the original spoken event. She was a complete control freak over this process, in the sense that each talk and dictation was “transcribed” into printed text before the editing process, and I had to go to her to show her or play for her each and every edit to make sure it met with her approval, because to rearrange the words inside a dictation was considered no small issue.
The point i want to bring forth with this brief description is that the razorblade of the editor was used to bring a level of perfection to something that was inherintly imperfect, ie., the spoken word. Sometimes i would wonder silently why i and others had to spend untold numbers of hours worrying about a half of a syllable that was out of place or less than absolutely perfect. On the occasion when a “mistake” would creap into it, its deletion or correction made sense, but this idea of making her sound flawless was brought to a level of obsession, which was just one more facet of the messenger.
Amidst the barrage of uncomplimentary recollections about ECP and Mark, i offer here one more positive and admirable side to her being. I think very few people who were witness to her bravado and forthright demeanor and even her harsh discipline of devoted staff would call her “humble.” Part of her fundamental method was to convey power and authority and almost untarnished unarguable correctness in everything she did and said. But there was another side, a humble side, and one of humility which almost never revealed itself on the stage of her public persona, but did manifest in those private moments with her family and those close by her side. Yes, she was very careful to retain the facade and fact of being in command, but when out of the public eye she could return to a childlike sense and she could and did recognize her own faults and weaknesses and gaps in her understanding of certain historical lineages and science and astronomy and many other subjects which simply were not in her awareness.
The humble nature of her being emerged when we were alone, just the two of us. Of course it also emerged in family scenarios and with other people, but i am recounting here my own memories so i refer to those times when we were together. She let down her guard, she relaxed and let go her usual unwavering outer appearance of being in control and under control. Sometimes she called me “teacher” because she enjoyed being in the position of taking in knowledge rather than always being the one who was expected to give forth unwavering truth to those around her and the audience sitting before her. I hesitate to reveal that she humbled herself before me but there are so few other recollections by anyone who was in that position to witness that she recognized that she did not have all the answers and she needed and wanted to absorb areas of knowledge that she realized were outside her own. My degree was in Clinical Psychology focused on Psychopathology, with another major in Comparative Religion, so we had plenty to talk about!
Perhaps the most intellectually and emotionally intimate times were when the comfort level was such that i was free to psychoanalyze her and tell her what i really thought about some element of her behavior or her outer persona or inner psyche. Beyond her always-on roles as messenger, leader, disciplinarian, staff executor, and overall chief, she relished in some healthy way those private times when she let herself be unreservedly analyxed and even criticized. She wanted me to call her Elizabeth when in privatge, as a counterpoint in her life to absolutely everyone calling her Mother. There was a side of her that needed to return to her “normal” self which did not happen very often as she was usually surrounded by multiple people and responsibilities, but it did happen when nobody else was around. When we were living together it was only natural that it could not work if i were to relate to her as Mother. Part of her knew how far out on a limb she had gone by building up over the years the public persona of Messenger, Vicar of Christ, Guru Ma, Mother of the World, one who had balanced 100% of her Karma, and the other titles that had been self bestowed through her own mouth, so she needed those return trips to temporary reality that occured when someone close would simply deal with her as Elizabeth, the person, not Mother the unassailable exalted one.
We have heard the stories where the messengers would bypass their own edicts and go out and gorge on that big sirloin steak. I can attest to that fact…the rationale was to remain “grounded” and for the protein, since the vegetarian diet often was short of heavy duty protein that a good steak would offer in volume. I think my first reaction was a sense of hypocrisy, but then i quickly realized it did make sense. An occasional steak was not a moral sin and did offer a balance that was helpful, but i never did fathom how she found it acceptable to partake of this divergence from the diet she required staff to follow, without just being honest with staff and letting them too have that if they so chose. So here again, part of her accepted the normalcy and benefit of not being fanatic about a dietary mode, but she pretty much refused to share this normalcy with her devoted staff or followers…the facade of perfection needed to be retained.
One final observation which for me was even more over the top and outrageous and preposterous than her proclamation of having balanced all her karma. The dictations from Alpha and Omega. Think about that for a moment. The principle of the Hierarchy was absolutely fundamental to the teachings of Mark and ECP. The idea that there was a ladder of masters and ascended beings whose lofty nature and cosmic boundaries increased and expanded from our planet, to our solar system, to galactic beings who roamed the expanses of the Milky Way. But then it went further out and higher up. We were told of the Kumaras, and the Lords of Karma, and Buddhas, and beings from the far-off worlds who were higher up the ladder than even the Buddhas and whose vast extents spanned beyond our own galaxy…..and going up up up the ladder of hierarchy, going back to the very beginning of time and space, to the Big Bang at the origins of the known universe, the ultimate highest possible beings were the two who started it all, those two from whom all ife in the entire universe emerged, those who offspring evolved over the 14 billion years of our cosmic period, but even before the Big Bang, being the two who existed before the outbreath of the universe we know, from prior existences, yes, before even the Big Bang…Alpha and Omega….The two origins of everything. And there was Elizabeth Prophet having us beleive that she was anchoring and being the mouthpiece for and giving the dictation of the two highest of the high beings in the entire Cosmos. Alpha and Omega….how much further could she possibly take the idea that she had been elevated to the most high altar….
Have you seen FireFly?
Joss Whedon uses the shadow suppression theme a whole lot in his work. Oh the unintended (Reavers) consequences…
I am quite a big fan.
You’d think a good portion of ones lifetime devoted to assisting thousands of people to out-picturing their Divine Blueprints (Gods individual plan for each lifestream) and instruction on invoking the violet transmuting flame and all its merciful forgiveness and mitigating properties, would result in karma that is heavily unbalanced in favor of the good side of the scales. So weighty in fact as to make the negative inconsequential.
Add to that equation, the numerous times of being in the fiery presence of a master whilst taking the Dictation.
As harry points out above:
From every angle, (even objectively) it makes no sense. Vapid indeed.
The semantics of the words, Balanced & Karma… No amount of razor editing can mitigate or fix this ridiculous claim.
This wouldn’t be the only thing uttered from Elizabeth’s lips that was utterly misspoken.
Just one of many examples:
Her weak attempt at a French accent to convey a story about her embodiment in France, where she begs for another “Opportunity.” The original French word meant only timeliness. The later added English meaning of occasion betrays her telling of this story. I remember a couple of Europeans in the audience chuckling as she reiterated the statement she made in this past life embodiment.
She got a lot of stuff dead wrong. Things that I would cringe at, knowing the absurdity of the statement.
Anyway, stuff that I feel free to comment on now, were things I just kept stuffing down whilst in the movement.
It’s good to read what harry posted above, about the fanatical editing, in order to further the appearance of perfection.
Harry S hello,
I wanted u to know I am & have been attentively reading ur impute. Thk u for your apology too in the other post!
I think we should all form a club for others rehabilitating from all organised religion! It’s a need!
Lots of love & gratitude,
Amen, H & F
Thank you again, Harry. I’ve never really formed a balanced opinion of Elizabeth and your comments here are helping me fill in some of the blanks. She was almost unbelievably cruel and callous in most of her dealings with my family (even “forgetting” to name us in our father’s obituary) but I occasionally sensed a desperate vulnerability behind her pompous, well-polished facade. I wonder if her need for the appearance of perfection preceeded her involvement with TSL–perhaps it was rooted in the psychology of her childhood and youth? Whatever the truth, I cannot fathom how difficult it must have been for her to justify the disparity between the reality of her being and the fantasy of her desired image.
It would be diningeneous for me to say that I will ever be able to fully forgive her for all the damage she did to my family and so many other families. Even if she was immersed in her own mythology, she must have been aware–on some level– of her own subterfuge. In the end, maybe it was the weight of that subterfuge which finally destroyed her.
Becky, I think we will all find that your remarks about my mother’s desire for perfection hit at the heart of the entire issue, believe it or not. Her desire for perfection was extreme, and she would almost dissociate when of this mind.
This has been a very helpful and very disturbing account. My heart extends to the many victims of such a twisted subterfuge. Most especially to all the children ofthe Prophets. From what I have read on this site it seems you are all doing remarkably well. I wish you continued healing. I have several questions about Mark’s early life. Would you please answer: -did his mother remarry-did he have siblings-was his mother aware/condoning of his occult beliefs-did his father also die from a stroke? -was he married when he left for war-a father at that time-what was his job-where was he stationed-did he see the most,or least horrific of war scenarios-could he have sustained a head injury then, or later that might account for an altered view of reality-did he return a “different” man than when he left? You can tell I am trying to understand more of the roots of this man. Thank you for help.
Hi Tatiana! :) :)
Yes, I’m getting more than a glimmering of that–through Erin’s book and some of the posts here. Psycological dissections don’t in any way excuse the abuses of our dad and your mom, but they have a way of helping us, their children, come to terms with our mixed emotions.
Look forward to talking soon!
Lwr-Long-Winding Road: My grand-mother never remarried–she was around 40 when she gave birth to my father, her only child. My grandfather’s cause of death is in some dispute–it has been described to me as “hardening of the ateries”, among other things. I’m not sure if my grandmother knew about dad’s “occult” beliefs, although he was a member of the Rosicrutians prior to her death. He was stationed state-side during WWII, never seeing any combat or suffering any kind of injury. He met and married my mother after the war when he was working, according to her, as “an electrician.”
you made alot of good questions I too have been wondering about!
I remember your Dad saying in one of his lectures about fllying planes in WW II, was that another exageration then? Sounds like he fixed planes, was a mechanic, is this where he got his know how in being an electrician? What did he do in the Air Force?
I’m afraid I know very little about dad’s military service except that he was a radio operator. If he was also some kind of a mechanic or if he flew a plane, these things were never mentioned to me.
I also have no memory of his being an electrician. I remember him as a salesman who was often “on the road”; among other things, he sold DOW household products and wall murals. After our move to Washington D.C., I believe he worked briefly for the Post Office before TSL began to take off.
Becky, Thank you for sharing more of your family history. I guess we can rule out PTSD as contributing to his illness. I am also a survivor of child abuse. I know the denial can do as much harm as the trauma. One parent was mentally ill (untreated) and the other to weak to take charge….neither ever took responsibility…so I know how important closesure is to all of you. Your story is so very unique and multi-leveled,and such a tradgedy.It is a powerful statement about how impermanent identity is.Very,very disturbing. By being willing to share the truth with the public I’m sure “the kids” and other’s are being helped.
“A persona, in the word’s everyday usage, is a social role or a character played by an actor. This is an Italian word that derives from the Latin for “mask” or “character”… (wordnet.princeton)
Becky’s and Tatiana’s comments and my own observations indicate that ECP indeed “played a character” whose fundamental chord was to portray an elevated and perfected personality which belied the underlying insecurity and callous tendency, but which in my opinion also hid the kind and caring person.
Actually, ironically, i would say that she was not at her core callous and harsh but only “acted” that way in the stage role she played, or in Becky’s case she failed to reveal her true compassion because her on-stage persona most often blocked her ability to just be herself. I cannot and do not deny the pain she caused Becky and others due to her actions or failure to act with consideration. She was indeed conflicated, but this conflict was never or rarely revealed, as she learned from the very beginning how to play the role she walked into with Mark. She was extremely careful to preserve the public “persona,” the “mask” which was a stage effect to cover the real face which hid below the mask. What was underneath was not entirely evil or bad, and those who spent personal or alone time with her will attest that when out of the spotlights of that stage, she could be a kind and warm person and a caring mother who vehemently cared about the welfare of her children and did also care for others. The big problem in the psyche and persona of the “Messenger” was that this stage player had to retain the facade, the mask, or else the very nature of her messengership would fall like a house of cards. Though she on occasion professed from the stage that she had faults, on the other hand, she went to great extents to prop up the image of perfection in her role, her act, her stage play of life, where she had to reach ever higher states of apparent achievement on the ladder of hierarchy. It became a self fulfilling prophecy wherein she had to continually convey to the publc that she was arriving at ever-higher states of perfection and high office.
I have already commented on the extreme nature of her self appointed (via a master) arrival at the top of the karmic ladder with 100% having been balanced. And i have also pointed to the radically extreme claim that she was able to take “dictations” from the Beginning and End, Alpha and Omega. Someone on this blog recently casually used the term “ascended lady master Omega.” I hope i put that in better perspective…this was not just some normal lady master…no, Elizabeth walked on the altar stage and played the part of one being the mouthpiece for the most vast intergalactic two beings in the whole Universe.
i witnessed was the process of the lie, and by that i mean that people who create a false persona, or mask that is held up to people which blocks the view to the real self, have to perpetuate that lie, or it gets you in terrible problems. Perhaps your mother taught you that if you lie you often get into deeper trouble because the lie comes back to haunt you and you have to say further lies to cover up the earlier lies. This is a simple way of describing how the personas of the messengers were built, over time. As they compiled further self-generated offices which they claimed they held, and as they revealed further exalted past lifetimes, and as they hardened the grip they had on all people and staff and circumstances which surrounded them, they got further and further into the complex edifice from which they could no longer retreat, nor did they choose to unravel it. It was too late. It was indeed a play with many many acts, and the players on that stage, the two messengers, the two witnesses, the two twin flames, the two highest disciples of the brotherhood, had to keep it going, on and on, or else the curtain would come crashing down on the stage play.
From my perspective, the sad storyline of the multi-act play is that if the true selves under the masks of the messengers were up front… if they had only allowed their true personalities to emerge in public, if they had dropped the masks of persona, things might have turned out very differently.
There were times that we were alone in the chapel at Camelot, late at night. She would go onto the altar, just the two of us, and she would offer prayers for staff and others who had sought her good energies. There were countless other times when she did similar acts of selfless spontaneity. She did have compasssion and she did care for people, but the rigid substance that formed the mask of the public perfected persona prevented some of that from reaching those who should have been given the benefit of seeing the actor and not just the mask. The tragedy therefore was self authored, and she who kept the storyline going on and on wrote her own demise.
I just want to confirm briefly your perspective. I was also a witness to many good selfless acts and kindness from my mom, not only toward us, but others. But even with us kids, the mask was never far away. After Erin and I became board members, we saw more of the mask than her normal self, since most of our interactions were about business.
I’d say the most enjoyable times–the times when we actually felt (I speak mainly for myself here, but I think Erin would mostly agree) we had a real mother–was at our various family birthday parties or gatherings when it was mostly just us and few staff. Even when things were really tense we usually had a good time when we were all alone together. Especially with her grandkids. I’m glad we have at least those few memories of her being real with us.
I really loved it when she let down her hair, especially when we could all laugh together. If she had not been cut down by Alzheimers, we would have found some sort of resolution by now. The mask had begun to slip by the late ’90s.
Lwr–Thank you for your good wishes. I’m so sorry to hear of your own abusive background, which seems to echo the background of one of my high-school friends: somewhat ironically, it was less difficult for her to find closure with her alcoholic father than it was with the mother who stood by and “allowed” his behavior. In the end, I’ve come to the realization that abuse and adversity are essentially unavoidable. Yes, some of us have it easier than others, but we all deal with trauma to some degree or another. Maybe the nature of life is summed up best in the poignant coming-of-age novel, The Yearling– hardship is inevitable and our only choice is to “take it for our share” and go on. Be well.
Harry–Another illuminating post. Your analysis gives me much food for thought and contains, I’m sure, far more than just a kernel of truth. I was always aware of the “personas” and even used the “stage play” metaphor when I spoke of my father and Elizabeth. However, it’s true that I always felt more compassion for him than I did for her. In retrospect, I suppose there could have been no way around that–he was my father, the only father I would ever have, and his foibles were tempered by the tenderness he felt for me and the almost pathetic vulnerability which I knew consumed the man behind the mask. As you say, I never had the opportunity to see the woman behind Elizabeth’s mask–in my presence, it was impenetrable; an obvious artifice but as impervious as it was imperious. I’m not sure why she never let me see deeper, because I honestly believe I would have responded to her humanity. Whatever the reason, your post has helped me to better understand the conflicted feelings of Sean, Erin, Tatiana and Moira. As I mourn for the loss of our father’s better self, they must also mourn for the loss of their mother’s.
Ironically, it was her mask (and the “perfection” it mimicked) which led to the gulf which developed between her and her children. I think she was afraid of my side of the family (afraid we would dislodge the mask) and so she characterized us as bitter, ignorant creatures consumed with jealousy and envy. If she had presented us in a more accurate light, our eventual reunion might not have damaged her credulity to such a degree that it became one of the factors which caused my younger siblings to leave the teachings. Since we had said almost nothing publicly or privately about CUT in the years since dad’s death, I wonder why she considered us dangerous enough to warrant such mendacity. Or did she see it as mendacity? Had she by that time melded with the mask and become unable to discern the difference between what was true and what she needed to be true? In the end, she was actually undone by her own contrivences.
Sean and Tatiana: I’d like to say (and you probably know this already) that I’ve always been somewhat uncomfortable discussing your mother with you. I’m sensitive to your feelings and very aware that my conclusions may not always coincide with yours. Please feel free to let me know if I cause any discomfort or resentment which could be detrimental to our relationships. Those relationships–which were curtailed for so many years by forces out of our control–are far more important to me than anything I have to say about your mother.
Also: Sean, I recently read some of Steven Showers comments on Amazon. One of them was addressed to me, but I haven’t responded for several reasons: your request not to, my feeling that any dialogue with Mr. Showers would be futile, and the fact that I’m unable to post there because I have yet to make an Amazon purchase. Still, since he’s made it clear that he frequents BSJ, I’d like to use this forum to let him to know where I stand:
I have no problem with his believing whatever he wishes to believe. In addition, If he chooses to champion Mark and Elizabeth as “messengers”, that is his right. My experience dictates a different view. I am suspicious of organized religion in general and identify myself as an agnostic–.I don’t totally refute the existence of God, I simply doubt it. There’s nothing I’d like better than to find out that a benevolent creator exists (as Sean said so well: bonus round!). In the meantime, I live by my own tenets: I offer kindness, joy, and understanding to as many people as possible, and I attempt to root out deliberate cruelty and ignorance, as I see them, whenever and wherever I can. I also do my best not to see things as absolutes. In general, total evil and total good are not concepts I attach much value to.
I wish you well, Mr. Showers–in all sincerity– but it’s unlikely that we will ever tread on common ground.
Your discernment of truth mitigates what otherwise would be an even more painful thing for me to observe, based on your comments…to see how someone such as Elizabeth could waste the opportunity to love and care for you as one of her own. There was enough room in her expansive heart, and It could have been and should have been a beneficent relationship instead of what has left a bitter echo in your life. I do understand that she did not give you what was needed to open your eyes to that side of herself. It seems that all it would have taken was a kind word, a thoughtful embrace, reaching out, helping when it was needed, and some thoughtful consideration on how to offer you and your family solace. I do not know the reasons why and why not. If i had known at the time more about her rejection and dismissal of you i might have urged her to reshape her stance, but it was outside my scope of awareness. She knew that a drop of kindness goes a long way, and would not be lost, so it is sad that she did not apply that in her life towards you. For that i am sorry. She missed an opportunity that could have blossomed instead of wilted. We can’t bring back that lost time but i can only imagine that if she knew your heart she would have responded in a more loving way.
Kierkegaard wondered at a certain stage in his life if he had the right to let other people know how good he was, and then again later, if he had the right to allow himself to be put to death for the truth, but he never took on the role of prophet or witness or saint or any other role than the single, solitary individual speaking his personal truth as he saw it. To assume a role in the eyes of others is necessarily to assume the mask that it takes to play that role, but the mask separates you from yourself , and for those who follow you, it separates them from themselves. To believe is to define yourself- to give your belief to another is to define yourself as a slave or an appendage of that other one. You haven’t really given up the power of belief, you’ve just created a personal god through whom you must channel all of your self-reflections- and to do this you must wear the mask of the believer.
There was a time in college when I decided that I should endeavor to make a fool of myself at least once a day- in order to weaken the hold that other people’s opinions had over me in my own mind. It is not that hard to manipulate people when you realize that the vast majority of them are deathly afraid of their masks slipping off their faces and revealing their true but weak and vulnerable selves. But from an authentic standpoint, what possible advantage could come from manipulating people who are just as weak and vulnerable as yourself?
I don’t regret my stay in the CUT. It taught me in a stark and powerful way the strength and scope of my personal mask. If the fanatics want to take a pound of flesh for the imaginary hurt a mere criticism causes them, then at least I will know that I haven’t deliberately prompted them into causing my martyrdom.
CUT had more than its share of talented kooks milling around its edges. That we tolerated them , did nothing serious to either challenge or help them (except periodically excommiunicate them) reveals how trivial we really considered the content of our belief. When you look upon someone who is suffering and choose to do nothing- ultimately it’s because you don’t really believe you have the power to help them. ECP knew she couldn’t really help us, and that is why she never let the mask down.
Harry, I appreciate your comments very, very much. In all honesty, it’s extraordinarily difficult for me to grasp Elizabeth’s buried humanity–and yet you’ve given me a glimpse of it. Your ability to acknowledge her “expansive heart” and capacity for kindness, in spite of all you know and have seen, speaks volumes about your own character too. Perhaps, as Sean suggests, she would have been able to reclaim her better self if illness hadn’t prevented that process from going forward. I’d like to think so.
Her thirst for power and perfection damaged others as well as herself. Ironically, it’s the human “weaknesses” she tried to hide which still elicit compassion and even love from those who knew her best.
David: Fascinating post!
Sean: My conversations re: Amazon are at an end. I have nothing more to say, which I’d hoped my last post made clear as politely as possible.
[…] In Harry’s own words: i can attest to the fact that ECP was plagued with the ironic awareness that despite her position as messenger and despite her frequent tirades about staff being out of alignment for this or that reason, she was decidedly lacking the direct ability to “see” on the inner planes. This may be very hard for people to understand, but it was at the root of many of her lashings and thrashings of staff and others, as a defense mechanism for her own inability to perceive the subtle vibrations which were so fundamental to her teachings and role as authority, messenger, guru, and executor of discipline. I think Erin also mentions this in her book. Why else would ECP need Stanley, and myself, and Erin, and several others over the years to act as “seer” if she herself was able to “see”? This lack of inner seeing silently drove her to depths of despair, but she could never reveal this deep unfathomable secret to the followers. She had a layer of denial about her own inability in this regard lest the facade come tumbling down, but i was aware that she was aware of this fact. [emphasis added] […]
@Sean: Bearded Kirk FTW!
Interesting stuff and comments as always.
[…] Continued from Part 5 […]
Sean, are you aware that Annice Booth wrote a book about her experiences with your dad? She states unequivocally that she was an eye witness to some remarkable events. In one of her recollections, she claims that she was in a rental car with your dad in some foreign country and in order to get out of an overcrowded parking lot your dad actually drove the car through a solid wall without damaging the car or the wall !! Now, Annice Booth has a reputation as a sincere follower of your parent's organization. So, it would uncharacteristic of her to lie about such a thing. Yet, if that story is not true then either she is lying, was hallucinating, or is stark raving crazy. I'm sure you recall who Annice Booth is. What do you make of her assertions?
It clearly did not happen. I'll leave it to you to decide what you make of Annice Booth's state of mind.
And what about your state of mind that you're asking me such a question?
It’s laborious to search out educated folks on this topic, but you sound like you know what you’re talking about! Thanks
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