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Elizabeth Clare Prophet diagnosed with epilepsy

Religion Briefs/January 8, 1998

CORWIN SPRINGS, Mont. (AP) -- The spiritual leader and former president of the Church Universal and Triumphant is suffering from epilepsy and a neurological disorder.

Elizabeth Clare Prophet, 58, disclosed the ailments at a church conference in San Antonio, Texas. A statement also was released by church headquarters at Corwin Springs, south of Livingston.

Church spokesman Chris Kelley said in a telephone interview Prophet is confident in her ability to continue to lead the church.

``She's going to one of the top neurologists in the world,'' he said.

Her physician, Dr. Ilo Leppik, a clinical professor of neurology and pharmacology at the University of Minnesota, said the neurological disorder was found during treatment for epilepsy.

He said the disorder ``is characterized by memory loss that inhibits her ability to accurately recall past and recent events and which interferes with new learning.''

The church, founded in 1958 by Prophet's late husband, Mark, claims 230 congregations in 30 countries. Its teachings are based on elements of Christianity, Hinduism and Buddhism. Members strive to live modest, self-sufficient lives free of secular distractions.

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