The above tagline (without the single quotes, of course) used to be one of the ways Elizabeth Clare Prophet was billed when appearing on panels or talk shows in the ’70s and ’80s. As a child, I remember first seeing the word clairvoyant and wondering what it might mean. Originally I thought it was wordplay on her middle name. When I found out the actual definition, I remember trying to wrap my head around how my mother would read auras or ‘know’ about things other people couldn’t see. As it turns out, my childhood skepticism served me well. Clairvoyance is pseudoscience. Despite people’s wish to believe, it does not exist. Not for her–not for anyone.
Few people consider the implications of true clairvoyance: It would completely rewrite the laws of physics. Knowledge of the future would violate free will and causality. Knowledge of the hidden could change the course of history. Think Pearl Harbor, 9/11, or the atrocities in Mumbai. No government could afford to be without armies of clairvoyants. Think of the lives that could have been saved had a clairvoyant warned of the impending Indian Ocean tsunami. If clairvoyance existed, we would live in a totally different world.
Of all the interesting connections I’ve made with readers, few have been as startling or gratifying as a series of recent comments from Harry S., former CUT board member and longtime companion and confidante of my mother. As Harry explains, he was also one of the dozen or so people she used over the years to do her frequent spiritual “clearance” work. Once she became a young adult, my sister Erin also filled that role, as she described in Prophet’s Daughter. What makes Harry’s story unique is his close access and knowledge of mom’s inner struggles well before she revealed them to Erin. He both confirms and elaborates on Erin’s account. He was there when ECP (as “Padma Sambhava”) decided to announce that she had balanced 100% of her karma (a totally incoherent concept) and had advised her against doing so. He also watched her struggle with her inability to perform the feats she claimed. In the following paragraphs, he reveals the startling fact:
She was spiritually blind! She had no inner sight and she knew it–it was all a facade.
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]
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.
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 mind space. She went right at the issue and suddenly 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 certitude. “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.
In retrospect, it is clear to me that it was the stress of keeping up of with the appearance of her spiritual abilities which led to her chronic insomnia. I always wondered about the insomnia. It made sense to me that spiritual advancement would lead to inner peace. Or something resembling it. Instead, the bigger the organization grew, the more “opposition” she claimed to encounter. If decrees worked, I reasoned, the more people who decreed, the safer, happier and more at peace she should be. After all, she was building a bigger organization to do the “Lord’s” work–she deserved the full measure of the “Lord’s” protection–including for her psyche. Couldn’t Archangel Michael spare his servant this level of inner torment? Instead, her success seemed to have the opposite effect.
For several years in the late 1970s, she had to be driven around the back roads of Los Angeles all night in her tour bus so she could sleep. That was way before cell phones–I knew if I wanted to see her or ask her a question, I had to look for the “gold bus.” It was a little ritual for me to check and see if she was on the premises. After a while, she established a 24-hour personal prayer (decree) “tag,” often with half a dozen people decreeing in a utility closet or on the bus or wherever they could find to be near her and yet out of the way. Interesting how they had to be nearby–spiritual energy wouldn’t seem to be location-dependent. Still, the muffled hum of rhythmic voices in nearby rooms was ever-present for our family. And even that wasn’t enough. Eventually, she rented a series of houses directly on the beach in Malibu. She loved the sound and smell of the ocean and she seemed to sleep better there. But everyone on permanent staff knew she had this problem, and it never fully went away. It seemed to be worst during conferences, especially in the later years. It was passed off as a symptom of her carrying “world karma.” Kind of like Jesus carrying his cross. Note how the believer rationale glorifies this “noble” masochism. Anyone else would recognize her “cross” for what it was: guilt.