The Year of Obedience
or The Shelter Cycle of Church Universal and Triumphant and The Last Days of Montessori International
Progress over time
October 16, 2019. I found some photos that I had lost for a couple of years. The photos are of Ranch Headquarters and East gate, dating from 2016. I added the photos to the gallery pages for those locations. Here are a couple of quick links to the galleries: Ranch Headquarters & East Gate.
May 8, 2017. I have restored the Life In CUT website from a backup archive. The original website appears to have gone offline in 2014. Life In CUT is now hosted in the public area of this site, in the archives section. Here's a quick link to the restored website
June 13, 2014. I have scanned a collection of newspaper articles and created a new webpage to display the scans. These artciles were published between 1992 and 1998; all are about the CUT. There are 196 scans where each scan is for a binder page and each page of the binder. Most of these pages have just one article, but some have two or three. The subjects include the Environmental Impact Statement, the Paolini deprogramming trial, the lawsuit with the IRS, The death of Mitch Mandell and sales of land by the Church. Here is a quick link to the new webpage. A special thanks to Peter Arnone for providing access to this collection.
September 29, 2013. I've created a new webpage dedicated to the TV show "Hidden in America: Doomsday Cults", in which I briefly appeared. This show focused on three cults: The People's Temple, Heaven's Gate and the Church Universal and Triumphant. It aired on December 9, 2012 on the Destination America Channel. The webpage dedicated to this show is in the private are in the video section. Here is a quick link.
September 10, 2013. The website for the Rick Ross Institute that was previously referenced on my links page has gone offline. I've restored a copy of the site from an archive. The restored copy is now available in the archives section of this site. Here's a quick link to the restored website.
September 4, 2013. The I AM Activity Exposed website that was previously referenced on my links page has gone offline. I've restored a copy of the site from backup. The restored copy is now available in the archives section. Here's a quick link to the restored website.
August 29, 2013. The ecprophet.info site that was previously referenced on my links page has gone offline. I've restored a copy of the site from backup. The restored copy is now available in the archives section.
February 14, 2012. I have digitized more of the material related to the CUT and weapons stockpiling. This memo relates to the secret stockpiling of assault weapons and ammunition in the early 1970s. The weapons discussed in this memo were loaded into the Mol Heron bomb shelter complex during the nuclear panic in 1990. The PDF versions of the original scanned documents can be found here. A transcribed version (probably easier to read) can be found here.
February 11, 2011. I have received a copy of some commentary by Elizabeth Prophet in 1987. It is illustrative of the role of both revelation and interpretation in the CUT. It also reveals the increasing paranoia and alarmism that characterized the lead-up to the Shelter Cycle. I've republished a copy along with my own analysis in the public area of the site here.
December 21, 2010. I have digitized and republished the Focus Newsletters that were originally written and published by Peter Arnone between 1995 and 1997. The focus newsletters are anti-CUT periodicals that include commentary by Peter, responses from subscribers and newspaper clippings. The subject matter ranges from litigation against the CUT, testimonials about guns and the church, claims about reincarnation made by church leadership as well as a few humorous episodes regarding some of the more unusual beliefs of the church, such as the mole people. The focus newsletters are republished with the permission of the author and are available in the public section of the site here
November 1, 2010. I've been notified that Liberty Lighthouse and the Charlie Hull Shelter are two names for the same bomb shelter. I've preferred the Church name over the personal name. Accordingly, I've changed the name of the Charlie Hull gallery to Liberty Lighthouse & added some explanatory text. All of the images are intact. I've added some additional photos to the Liberty Lighthouse gallery as well. Special thanks to S.N. for the correction.
October 12, 2010. I've added a new page for documents from the 1993 court case between the CUT & the IRS. For now, I'm focusing on documents related to weapons acquisition by Church members. The court released these documents into the public domain pursuant to a Freedom of Information access request by the Bozeman Chronicle and the Livingston Enterprise. Accordingly, I've re-published them in the public section of the site here.
November 13, 2009. I've been notified that Mark's Ark and the Phillip Hoag Shelter are two names for the same bomb shelter. I prefer the Church name rather than the personal name for the shelter. Accordingly, I've merged the content for the Phillip Hoag gallery in to the Mark's Ark gallery. The Phillip Hoag page has been eliminated and all the content that used to reside there can now be found on the Mark's Ark page.
November 11, 2009. I've received copies of photos from the inside of 2 more of the Glastonbury shelters. The photos are from the Charlie Hull shelter and the Phillip Hoag shelter. Archival copies of these photos are online now in the appropriate image galleries.
September 25, 2009. I've recently become aware that the work 'Psychic Dictatorship in America' has entered the public domain. Accordingly, I've republished an an electronic copy, freely available for download. It can be found the the archives section. Psychic Dictatorship concerns itself with the I AM movement which was in it's heyday during the 1930's.
September 22, 2009. I have added some of the material the I have received regarding the I AM movement. The I AM Movement was the precursor to the Church Universal and Triumphant. It was founded in the 1930's by Guy Ballard. The leadership of the 'activity' passed on to Edna Ballard after Guy's death. Strictly speaking, the I AM movement is beyond the scope of the TYOB project. However, some of the material on the Mighty I AM is useful in providing a historical context in how the Church came to be and where it's belief system came from. It is also useful to compare & contrast the abuses that occurred in the I AM activity with those that occurred in the Church. For the time being, I'm putting the I AM material that comes my way in the Extras section.
September 2, 2009. I've added the first video content to the site. The video content resides in its own new section here. The first video is of the main CUT bomb shelters located in the Mol Heron drainage. The main shelter complex was intended to house the church leadership, the permanent staff and their families in order to protect them from the nuclear first-strike that Elizabeth Prophet predicted. It is a huge complex, intended to house over 500 people. It is comprised of 6 modules plus the Deep Core storage area, all of which are linked together with a network of subterrenean tunnels. This is the footage from which the still frames were extracted back in early 2008. I've transcoded the original format to a smaller size such that it can be reasonably transmitted via the internet. There is a loss in fidelity associated with this transcoding.
June 9 2009. Back from the ashes! I have received a partial copy of the old CUT Info Site that was hosted at factsource.com. The site was run by Kenneth Paolini as a clearing-house for information about the Church Universal and Triumphant as well as an avenue to promote the works of his publishing company, Paolini International. Kenneth took the site offline in late 2000 when his son Christopher began to achieve some measure of fame with his book, Eragon. Although this copy of the site is only partial, it does contain some interesting material. The factsource.com archive contains excerpts and/or full text versions of Purely for Prophet, Psychic Dictatorship in America, Mark Prophet: the Man and the Myth, the Life in CUT website, 400 Years of Imaginary Friends, Lambs to Slaughter, the Focus newsletters and the Randall King story. The factsource.com partial copy can be found in the archive section. I am working on an html version that I am editing to remove broken links and references to corrupt files. I believe this will be the most convenient version to browse. I've also included a zip archive which contains all of the original files as I received them. A special thank you to M.A. for collaborating with me in restoring this old material.
May 12 2009. Photos of North Glastonbury are now online. Glastonbury was comprised of 2 sections of property that were referred to as North and South Glastonbury. The two sections of property are located near Emigrant Montana on the western side of Paradise Valley. All of Glastonbury (both North and South) was wholly owned by the Church Universal and Triumphant. The Church used the properties to set up a community inhabited exclusively by its members. Plots of land were made available to Keepers of the Flame in the form of 99 year leases that were purchased from the CUT. In this way, the Church generated revenue equivalent to selling the land, but maintained ultimate control. The Church used this control to exclude any potential residents from the outside world. Over 30 bomb shelters were built on these properties during the shelter cycle. The disastrous financial fallout of the shelter cycle left the Church scrambling to come up with new sources of revenue. They propositioned Glastonbury residents with the opportunity to buy the land to which they already had 99 year leases. Essentially, this allowed the Church to sell the land twice. Many lease-holders accepted the offer and paid a second time. This process had a side effect of transforming Glastonbury from a private community to a public one. Residents who actually owned their plots were free to do whatever they wished with them, including sell the land to the secular public. As of today, some of this land has been sold, and some is on the public market. Today, Church members and members of the general public live side by side in Glastonbury.
May 7, 2009. Most of my recent work has been writing. There hasn't been a whole lot more digital data that has been applicable to the website. However, I have acquired a small batch of photos taken at the main CUT property of South Ranch. They are online now in the images section, categorized in The Heart and Central CUT Shelter Complex.
March 14, 2009. I have added more audio, text and archival data. The data are online now in the Extras section. The most significant new item is an archival copy of of Cheri Walsh's 'Life in CUT' website.
February 2, 2009. I have added more audio and archival data. The data are online now in the Extras section. Also, I have decided that it is time for me to step out of the shadows. People who do not know me and wish to contact me can use the email address located a the bottom of all of the pages on this website. Please be advised that the primary purpose of this webiste remains unchanged: it is a tool for research, data storage and collaboration. Most of the data on this site is simply not intended for public consumption. I am unlikely to grant access to the private areas of this site to anyone unless we posses some sort of shared history.
November 23, 2008. I've branched out into a new area. This site, and the offline project of the same name, are deliberately focused upon a single year: June 1989 - June 1990. However, during my research, I have found that much of the information about the Church Universal and Triumphant is difficult to obtain. Furthermore, online resources dedicated to the Church Universal and Triumphant seem to have a lifespan of somewhere between 1 to 5 years. Some of the information that was previously available online is now lost. In the interest of preserving a historical record, I have begun to republish hard to find information about the CUT here on this site. The republished material is in many cases outside of the scope of the TYOB project. However, it may be useful in providing a historical backdrop, and assisting the student in understanding how the CUT came to be what it was. For the time being, I'm sticking this republished material in the category "extras".
September 24, 2008. Photos of North Ranch are now online. North Ranch was the northern enclave of Church Universal and Triumphant's Royal Teton Ranch. It was a major center of agricultural production before and during the shelter cycle. Most of the staff were housed elsewhere and North Ranch was relatively sparsely populated. The Church fell upon hard times in the early 90's. Many Church families were ruined by the financial excesses that the shelter cycle encouraged. As these families left the Church disillusioned, the Church hemorrhaged both members and donations. In an effort to shore up it's plummeting balance sheet, the Church sold the entire property of North Ranch to a private party. Many of the buildings on North Ranch land were disassembled and the recycled materials were later used to construct the Co-Op in Bozeman. Some of the old buildings are still as they were 19 years ago. In fact, only in North Ranch are there any buildings left that have the trademark Archangel Michale blue paint jobs from the 'Blue Period'.
August 25 2008. I have acquired a substantial number of images from RHQ, Ranch Office and East Gate. They are all available online now in the appropriate gallery sections. RHQ was a commonly used abbreviation for Ranch Headquarters. RHQ was the location of the main chapel used by the Church Universal and Triumphant; it was the spiritual hub of the organization. RHQ was also the location of the kitchens, cafeteria, wood shop, tree farm and a number of office and residential trailers. East Gate was the main entrance into the South Ranch property. It was a transport hub, the terminus of many of the bus and shuttle services that the Church operated in Paradise Valley. East gate was also the location of Montessori International in its final incarnation. Ranch Office was an agricultural complex. At its center was a large food processing plant. It was the location of a tremendous amount of child labor.
July 11 2008. Photos of Big Spur Campground are now online. Big Spur was a trailer park in Paradise Valley that was owned by the Church. The trailers there were used for staff housing during the period of nuclear paranoia. After the shelter cycle, when the Church entered a period of downsizing, Big Spur was sold to new owners from the secular world. Ex-staff members were given the option of buying the trailers that they currently lived in or moving out and finding new housing. About half stayed and about half left. Big Spur was no longer restricted to Church membership; anyone who wished to pay to live there was free to do so. Over time more and more of the original Church members moved on and were replaced normal Montanans on the low end of the pay scale. Today, the great majority of the residents at Big Spur are people that have never had anything to do with the Church.
April 5 2008. I have scanned in a series of test papers dating from the winter of 1989/1990. The papers date from a period where Miss Sechi and Miss Uyeda abandoned all semblance of a traditional educational curriculum and focused entirely on religious indoctrination. Our reading material was the Pearls of Wisdom: transcripts of 'dictations' from the 'ascended masters' by Elizabeth Prophet. The pearls lacked any logical cohesion. The lack of structure made it difficult to remember any of the content within them. My test scores were initially very low. Eventually a fear of failure and punishment pushed me to adopt a study strategy of word for word memorization of the pearls. Three test papers are now available in the pdf docs section. There are examples both before and after the total memorization approach.
March 2 2008. I found a sheaf of old school papers in a box that I had tucked away in a closet. I believe that I have over half of all of the school work that was assigned to me by miss Sechi and miss Uyeda. I have scanned in a small selection of assignments and converted them into PDF's. They are good examples of what passed for education in the last days of Montessori International. The assignments are up now in the pdf docs section.
February 25 2008. I have received access to a small collection of photographs shot at South Ranch in 1999. The photos were shot at a variety of locations, and I have therefore created new galleries for the Heart, East Gate and Ranch Office. In addition, there are 3 new photos of the exterior of the main CUT shelters. All of the photos are up now in the appropriate galleries in the images section.
February 12 2008. I have obtained some visual images depicting the involuntary, unpaid servitude that was known within the Church Universal and Triumphant as community service. There are 2 sets of photos. The first depicts community service at the Ranch Office food processing plant performed by children in 1988. The second set depicts community service in the potato fields of North Ranch performed by adult staff members. The photo reproductions are online and available now in the images section.
January 17 2008. I have come into possession of video footage shot in the main bomb shelters that the Church Universal and Triumphant prepared for its staff members. The footage was shot in 2004. I have extracted a number of still frames from the original video footage. The still frames are online and available now in the images section.
January 15 2008. Sean Prophet has published a small collection of still frames derived from video footage that he shot in November 2007. The footage was shot at Corwin Springs and Glastonbury. In particular, there are images of the CUT Ranch Headquarters, The Heart and the Mark's Ark bomb shelter. It is suspected that there are also shots of a second unnamed Glastonbury shelter. I am republishing these photos here in an attempt to keep all known bomb shelter images in one place, and to provide a backup copy in case Sean's photos are taken off line. The still frames are available in the images section.
December 2 2007. I received a folder of old family documents from my mother. The folder contained several documents that pertain to the shetler cycle. I have scanned them in and converted them to PDF format. They are online now and can be accessed from the pdf docs section. Among the contents of these PDF's is documented proof of child labor and the knowledge of such at the high echelons of the church hierarchy.
November 23 2007. Photos of LIP are now online. This structure was used by the CUT as a storage facility. I don't know if they leased this building or owned it outright. I think that in the early days, this structure was used for temporary storage for bulk goods transported up from California to Montana during the relocation. Later I think this facility was used for storage of survival supplies prior to them being loaded into the bomb shelters. This building is now a derelict. It has been gutted and I believe that it is in the process of being remodeled into something else.
November 21 2007. I've reorganized the image structure on this site. I was getting too many images to handle in the old way. Within the context of my new system, I should be able to create new galleries faster and save disk space. The raw original images are no longer online. Images should now all be accessed through galleries. This shouldn't really be a loss, as the very large versions of the gallery images are extremely close to the original raw images. I still have copies of the originals offline and can supply them on request if there is a compelling need.
November 18 2007. Photos of LRY are now online. Included are images of the 2 buildings leased by the Church Universal and Triumphant in the late 80's and early 90's. These buildings housed CUT's publishing operation, the Summit University Press. Coming soon: LIP
October 31 2007. I've added in a links page. You can find a link to in in the top navigation. There is not a whole lot of hard data on the CUT available online. What is available is spread out all over the place. I thought it would be useful to at least note the locations of some of the sites that I am aware of.
October 8 2007. Emma found a copy of the FBI file on the CUT. Apparently, this document was declassified and released publicly as a result of a Freedom of Information Act request. I believe Emma found a link to it from Wikipedia. It does confirm that the FBI had a file on the CUT and that congressmen were concerned about the CUT. Aside from those 2 facts, there is not a whole lot interesting in it. It does have a nice reproduction of a newspaper article about the arrest of Vernon Hamilton for weapons trafficking. I've uploaded a copy of the report (in PDF form) to this site. It is available here
October 4, 2007: I've started getting hits from Kuala Lumpur & China. This is somewhat disconcerting for me because I don't want the contents of this site to be fully public - only semi-public for the time being. I guess it's on the public internet so it is going to get found eventually; I just thought I'd have more time flying below the radar. I've responded by locking down access to the bulk of the material on this site. If you would like to gain access, contact Hilarion Lynn. If I know you, you'll get access. I'm not locking this down too tight, I just want to prevent casual browsing. If you don't know how to contact me, than there is a pretty good chance I don't want you looking at my material anyway.
Sept 26 2007: I've created a program to auto-resize jpeg images.
I've run it
against the bomb shelter photos. The result is images that are a lot smaller
both in dimensions & memory footprint. I expect they should load about ten
times faster over the internet. The small factor images for Blue Horizons
here The small factor images for Resurrection Temple are
here. The large images (that contain considerably more detail)
are still available in their original locations.
Late September 2007: I've done some work to improve the look of this
website. I've also begun the task of editing the bomb shelter photos. So far
I haven't done any optimization - just weeding out duplicates & dud shots.
The repository of edited photos is
If you are a sucker for detail & you want to look at the originals, they
are still up here.
On September 1, 2007 I gained access to 2 of the Glastonbury bomb shelters with permission to take photos. I've uploaded the raw photos to this site. The photos are from the bomb shelters named Blue Horizons Resurrection Temple.