Have you ever heard of the I AM Activity, Guy Ballard, Edna Ballard, Godfre Ray King, Saint Germain, The Ascended Masters, Mt Shasta, The Great White Brotherhood?

Were you ever an I AM Student? Do you wonder why the magic you first felt when you became an I AM Student was gradually replaced with uncertainty, confusion, fear, loneliness? You are not alone.

Are you ready to stand with God and take a real honest look at the origins of the I AM Activity?In the year 2000, a book originally written in 1940 by an early I AM student, Gerald Bryan, was republished after being out of print for 60 years. If you are an I AM student, its insights into the Ballards will shock you.


why does this web site exist?


the damage done

We are former I AM students who have developed serious concerns about the origins of "The I AM Activity" religious movement, started by Guy and Edna Ballard in the 1930s, and now run by the Saint Germain Foundation from Chicago, Illinois, USA.

We have also become increasingly alarmed about the I AM Activity's subtle but devastating ability to harm the young, the vulnerable, the uneducated, the poor, the aged, the sick. Over the last 2 decades, we have seen dozens of I AM students psychologically traumatized, and left financially and socially destitute after years of sincere effort to live by the I AM teachings.



for evil to succeed, good men must do nothing

We also feel the proliferation of web sites that treat the whole concept of Ascended Masters and an "I AM" Presence as some sort of undisputed "given" need to be balanced by available objective evidence.

The danger of leaving this view unexpressed is the young and vulnerable will then be at risk of living lives based on others' delusions.

A calm and considered sincere seeker will do well to read about the origin of the I AM Activity and the Ascended Masters, and not take the word of anyone who says he/she has met and hears an invisible, inaudible Master.

We have also seen the psychic paralysis students go through when trying to let go of the I AM Activity. The process can be debilitating and drag on for decades. One might feel nothing more than emotionally punctured but then they may be driven to suicide. There might be a sense of loneliness, extreme guilt, fear one has failed God, confusion, and alienation; especially if you cannot talk to someone who has insight into the teachings.


does God reward spiritual elitism?

If you have read the I AM teachings, you will have found its literature resplendent with dazzling light and promises of Invincible Health, Wealth, and Happiness. However, like us, after many years of practice, you may have collected a panoply of rationalizations on why your decrees haven't worked to full effect, and how, if you just 'believe and feel' a little deeper, you really are going to get all that good stuff the Ballards say you can.

But then, you may become confused when you look at Christians, Buddhists, and members of garden variety meditation groups, who seem to have just as much, if not more, health, wealth and happiness as I AM students. This just keeps feeding the doubts which go round and round in your head.

You argue with yourself, hey, I am sure to get more good stuff than the others because I have given up meat, onions, garlic, alcohol, television, and sex; and go to classes three times a week; and wear only constructive colors on the right days; and give decrees three times a day and before crossing the road; and have given up a healthy social life to be in this special little group of spiritually elite and nice people; and hey, I am more sincere and passionate about my religion; AND AFTER ALL THIS, I MUST DESERVE TO GET MORE THAN OTHER RELIGIONS PROMISE.

One of the most difficult things about leaving the I AM Activity is breaking the social bonds formed with like minded people. Most students mix with other students and have limited social life or commonality with those outside the I AM. And we admit that most students are exceptionally good and noble people.

However, when one starts to question the I AM values, it is difficult to remain close friends with those who accept them unreservedly. And yet, it is also a lonely search to find a replacement group where one can hold onto the idealism the I AM Activity fosters.

However, all is not lost. You don't have to throw the baby out with the bathwater. We believe there is a path that leads to a clearer understanding of one's relationship with God, and accommodates the positive experiences you may have experienced in the I AM Activity.

We are currently collecting students' views on why so many have beautiful experiences in the first few years before things eventually sour. However, until this is published, it is timely for you to sincerely analyze the origin of the I AM beliefs. If you don't question, then you risk not putting your Higher Self first, but instead, are submitting to the Ballards' threats of punishment by angry Dieties, that keep the Will of God in you paralyzed.

If the I Am Activity is all Truth, then it will steadfastly weather any sincere rational inquiry. If it is not all Truth, then it must be revealed as such with God Speed.




the disturbing revelations of gerald bryan

Gerald Bryan was an I AM Student in the 1930s. He became concerned about the Ballards as he started to discern their inconsistencies, their arrogant manner in dismissing criticism, and the teaching's destructive effects on many followers. During the 1930s, he wrote a series of pamphlets revealing these problems, which he published as a book in 1940.

The College of the Siskiyous Library near Mt Shasta has an annotated bibliography written by William Miesse addressing folklore about the mountain. Miesse summarises Bryan's book "Psychic Dictatorship in America" there.

Copyright on Bryan's book has entered the public domain and we have a significant excerpt on our site here.

Following we discuss just a few of the revelations of Bryan's book.


pelley rip off

Before they concocted the I AM activity, the Ballards had built up years of experience in metaphysical organizations. These included The Theosophical Society and William Pelley's anti Semitic politico-religious fascist movement, The Silver Shirts, also known as "Foundation for Christian Economics" and the "Christian Party".

Indeed, Guy and Edna conducted regular spiritualist meetings in Chicago where they used Pelley publications. In addition, many Chicago-ites remember Guy as a man fascinated with mediumship, the channeling of Spirits. He was well known amongst gullible female servants of the wealthy for conducting meetings where he channeled one or more spirits.

One further precedent that would prepare the Ballards for constructing the I AM Activity, was Edna's job as a shop assistant in a Spiritualist Bookshop. Here she had the opportunity to read the prolific range of metaphysical books that met the popular trend for such in the early 20th Century. In addition, the Ballards although poor, had a sizable collection of such books in their home.

When establishing the I AM movement, the Ballards initially focused on drawing members of Pelley's troubled organization into their movement. This was a nifty strategy considering it beat building a member base from scratch, and Pelley members shared metaphysical and pseudo politico-patriotic aspirations to run for government, as the Ballards did. Further, Pelley had a rapid rise to popularity, wealth, and power due to his publications, an act it seems the Ballards wanted to emulate. With Pelley tied up in legal battles and a sinking reputation, the Ballards realized the stage was ripe for a "new improved" movement to sweep America.



A lot of work still lay ahead for the Ballards, which must have seemed a large burden when they were so poor and now aged in their 50s. They had to find a quicker path to the limitless wealth they later preached was freely available to all. So why stop at building up membership on the hard work of someone else, when you can also write your books largely from others' toil too? Which raises the ugly thought of plagiarism.

Gerald Bryan and his wife were well read in metaphysical literature, at least as well as the Ballards it seems. Bryan provides methodical and convincing evidence that six books were plagiarized by Ballard in the writing of "Unveiled Mysteries". These books are:

"Dweller on Two Planets"
"The Brother of the Third Degree"
"The Prince of Atlantis"
" Myriam and the Mystic Brotherhood"
"Life and Teaching of the Masters of the Far East"
"Secret Power"

Bryan has shown phrase for phrase undeniable similarities between Ballard's words and scenarios, and those of the above books. Plagiarism would be difficult to refute.


the limitations of ascended master protection

To appeal to more people quickly, and pull in that much more money from donations and book sales, the Ballards went to great lengths cajoling and wooing the treasurer of Pelley's movement who had access to Pelley groups throughout the USA.

Ballard, as St Germain, flattered him endlessly, referring to him as his pal. In 1934, after receiving letters from Guy Ballard urging him to come and serve St Germain (and take a cut of the earnings), this man unfortunately succumbed and went on the road with the Ballards, organizing their first public performances outside Chicago. The classes consisted of many current or ex Pelley members.

Now, as part of Saint Germain's wooing of the Treasurer, he had promised his 'pal' Ascended Master protection and blessings. Tragically for the treasurer, Saint Germain neglected to qualify the limitations of Ascended Master protection and blessings.

On Jan 13, 1935, on the last day of a ten day class series in Washington DC, three months after Saint Germain made his promises through the channeling of Guy Ballard, this man was critically injured. He was getting out of the Ballards' car after the last class when he was struck by a passing car. He suffered multiple fractures of the skull and broken legs. Guy Ballard later told him he wasn't inside the circle of light Ballard had drawn around the car to protect it.

This poor man had organized classes and travel on the east coast for the Ballards for 3 months. And the Ballards' return of favor was to dump him in the nearest hospital, consult a psychic healer (not trusting their own healing powers), and continue on their trip across the USA.

To add insult to serious injury, the Ballards later defended themselves against the Treasurer's legitimate cynicism by telling their followers this man had actually died in the car accident and an entity now inhabited his body! How convenient......how pathetic!


the weave of a tangled web

Of course, Ballard never put such qualifiers as "you were standing outside the circle of protection I drew around the car, and that is why you got hit by the car and ruined for life" into the "green books". Ballard knew desperate people trying to escape the struggles of the Great Depression would not find the books as compelling with such un-magical limitations.

From this tragedy, it becomes apparent the Masters and Guy place a lot of qualifiers on their "limitless invincible" rhetoric, AFTER the fact. Anyone who spends a little time in the I AM Activity, soon finds this is the norm regarding that which flows from the Ballards' mouths. Ballard rhetoric, whether in the books or dictations, is all encompassing, limitless, invincible, eternal; no half measures. Anything less would surely raise doubt about the power of the Ascended Masters.

It is only after a student has used decrees for many months that he/she starts to wonder why the promised limitless health, wealth, happiness, and perfection isn't appearing out of thin air, like the Ballards promise.

Only then do the "more experienced students" step in and start laying on a myriad of convoluted qualifiers and pseudo rationalizations explaining why decrees don't always work instantaneously, like the books say they should.

So proverbially, the deceptive weave of the "I AM" web becomes ever more tangled the longer one stays in the Activity. So much so, that the beliefs an I AM student has a year or more after starting out are so watered down they have nothing in common with the magical promises in the I AM books. The first doubt the new student has to get their head around is why the Ballards grew old and died, rather then fulfil the promises of the I AM books.

It is a sobering exercise for every I AM student to reflect back periodically to the frame of mind they were in when they first read the promises of the Ballard books. For many of us, it was comparable to the magic of Christmas when we were children. There were the gifts that appear from nowhere, and a child's awe at the "reality" of magic in the air.

With the passing of time, children grow up, and know where the gifts really come from. They also come to realize Santa Claus is a beautiful idea that encourages us to love and be nice to each other, but also that Santa isn't real. And the same appears to be the case for the Ballard world. The disturbing thing is that the Ballards always emphatically, sometimes hostilely, claimed everything the books had occurred in real life.


guy's invincible body not invincible

Guy Ballard made a lot of claims about having an invincible body of Light that no karma could register on after his Unveiled Mysteries experiences. Early in 1935 when traveling to give a class outside St Petersburg Florida, Don Ballard drove their car into a ditch and wrote the car off. Don, without the invincible body, was not hurt. Guy with the invincible body, broke a few ribs and had to cancel appearances for a few weeks.


ballards are just like you and me

On the same trip to Florida in 1935, normal people noted the Ballards were...well, normal, and not, 'special': Edna got a cold, Guy was known to have a bad temper when things went wrong, and young Don had a fowl mouth.


the love of money

The Ballards dressed modestly until they started receiving "love gifts" and increased book sales on the West Coast in 1935, after which they dressed lavishly and drove flash cars.

Originally, people who attended their classes were told the Ballards did not need money, and the purpose of Love gifts was to open doors of supply to those who gave to the Movement. Attendees at Ballard classes were told not to give copper, only notes and silver. After all, the Ballards were heralding in the "Golden Age", and mere copper would not resonate with Golden Age radiation.

When Edna and Don were up in the courts on fraud charges, guess who paid for the legal defence? No, not the Ascended Masters or Universal supply sources. It was the poor old students again. And supply must have been Spartan at this time for Edna and her students, as Edna often resorted to sleeping in the car during the trials.

Considering the Ballards claimed access to limitless wealth, it is baffling indeed to understand why, instead of asking for money (love gifts), the Ballards did not use their limitless source of wealth to become patrons of many humanitarian and benevolent causes.

The Ballards were poor before the I AM started. They had debts they never paid. When they were later seen swanning around in sparkly shiny new clothes and cars in Chicago, some of their creditors were flabbergasted, and pursued; mainly old ladies swindled by Guy when he borrowed money for living expenses while trying to locate that Ascended Master gold.

In Unveiled Mysteries and The Magic Presence, Guy emphatically states Saint Germain showed him where incredible wealth existed within "them thar hills" throughout America and the world. It is incredulous in the extreme that Guy, possessing this knowledge, did not get one successful gold mine up and running.

Bryan has letters Guy hand wrote back to creditors with sheepish excuses why he couldn't repay, and that in fact he actually didn't OWN any of the trappings of wealth surrounding him. The style in these letters reflect the character of a desperate and spineless con man.


don...don!!! where are you?

It is also hard to reconcile why Saint Germain's pure and beloved Don Ballard, one of Saint Germain's personally selected three "accredited" messengers, thought so little of the activity that he resigned from it in 1957. Rather than serve the mighty Saint Germain, and benefit from the limitless health, wealth and happiness available to all, but especially an accredited Messenger, Don felt a stronger call to the much higher cause of starting up a machine shop in Santa Fe, and wanting nothing more to do with channeling Masters.


imperfect ascended masters

The Ascended Masters are not infallible.
The Ballards had a lot of logistical problems when they first went on the road. Why didn't Saint Germain or the Ballards themselves have enough wisdom to avoid this.

Guy Ballard would regularly check his watch when channeling the Masters. This can only be interpreted as the Masters not being aware of time or the mood of their audience.

Guy, when channeling The Tall Master from Venus, made an error. He referred to a comment made by Saint Germain as being made by The Great Divine Director.

When Gerald Bryan published booklets questioning the I AM Movement, the Ballards told students to go and burn them. This was a stupid thing to do, not something one would expect from an all knowing Ascended Master or their embodied Messiah.

The students had to go and buy the books to burn them. Naturally, Bryan and the bookshops profited from this and the printing presses kept rolling. Eventually, the Ballards had to change their ill conceived, bad tempered strategy of stupidity, and tell their automaton followers to stop buying the books.


the jesus scam

In the beginning, Saint Germain was the king pin. It was only after the Ballards realized they could persuade a lot more people to follow them if they appealed to the Christian background of many Americans, that Jesus started speaking through the Ballards and his picture was hung in classes at an equal height to Saint Germain. How convenient. Then soon followed the Virgin Mary and a host of Christian figures.

The Ballards realized they were onto a good thing with the Christian alignment strategy. So they went one further and started to do an annual pageant about the life of Christ up in Shasta.

This is interesting because The I AM Activity claims the Bible is one of its religious books of instruction. However, the Bible is never quoted from, studied, or treated as a definitive source of information in I AM classes.


ascended master old testament wrath

One original follower selected by the Ballards to run things was dismissed by a letter from Saint Germain warning him that due to his disobedience, his purpose on earth had been cut short and that he should go and ready himself for death. The man was alive and well 4 years later in 1940, when Gerald Bryan published his book.

Many early followers, blessed and selected for responsibility by the Ballards and the Masters, were sacked with nasty letters in Edna's handwriting and signed by St Germain, stating these vicious ones had fallen from God's grace and would now suffer the horrible consequences that would carry for another 2 or 3 embodiments. (After all, what's one extra embodiment?)

These people were guilty of nothing more than contacting and reading about other Spiritual Teachings. It seems free will is an evil quality to the Ballards.


give us a break

And it seems strange that St. Germain could not even risk writing his own letters, let alone showing himself and talking to anyone but the Ballards. An educated person might be forgiven for thinking it strange that no one but the Ballards have first hand experience of meeting St. Germain.



the big juicy baits

Like most poorly conceived but high aspiring fringe religions and cults, The I AM Activity attracts or baits people with promises of magical miracles. However, unlike most religions, the Ballards go all out and promise not one but four Mother of all miracles:

Mother of all Miracles Number 1
- Followers can attain invincible youth and health (eternally so), and escape the ravages of old age. Indeed the Ballards say that old age and infirmity can be reversed using I AM decrees.

Mother of all Miracles Number 2
- Followers can materialize limitless wealth out of thin air without working for it or being given the money by relatives or friends.

Mother of all Miracles Number 3
- Followers can live perfect harmonious happy lives untouched by all the common negativities that are part of the human condition.

Mother of all Miracles Number 4
- Followers can raise their bodies into the Ascension without dying.

So now we have in the above, that age old triune sought by all humankind since Adam was a boy- health, wealth, and happiness. But the Ballards go the extra mile and whack in a "no death" clause by promising...no death.

Now, we know many current and former sincere I AM students who decreed for over 50 years and regularly went to big classes, where a decade of yacky karma was dissolved per class. And all of them, without fail, could personally state that:

- NO I AM student has ever attained invincible youth, sustainably reversed the effects of old age, or unequivocally avoided ill health.

- NO I AM student has ever materialized limitless wealth out of thin air, and most I AM students are no wealthier than members of conventional churches.

- NO I AM student has ever lived a life exceptional by its absence of negativity and limitations, not at least without the help of relative's money.

- NO I AM student has ever raised their body into the ascension.

If anyone reading this knows of someone who has attained one or more of the above, we seriously want to hear from you. And seriously, we are giving away $10,000 to motivate you. You can email us at the address below.

Until then, the sad reality remains, that in the 70 year existence of the I AM Activity, not one I AM student has experienced any of the four major miracles of the movement. And the real scandal is, neither did the Ballards.
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Win $10,000 Cash!!! Seriously!!!
(n.b. real cash, not invisible Ascended Master cash) 

We really would love to find the Ballards never lied, so we encourage you to take a trip down to your local I AM Sanctuary, and play 'spot the wealthy self made 90 year old youth'.

We are putting our money where our mouths are (something the Ballards never did) by offering $10,000 cash for the first person to find a youthful 90 year old I AMer.

As proof of youthful countenance, the student will need to complete tests at a medical facility of our choice. We also need a legitimate birth certificate. For detailed conditions of entry, please email us. This is a serious offer.

ballard lies split the mind

ballards in the early days








Edna's youthful body of light








Edna in her later years, minus the eternal youth.

Mamma, and Don the Recalcitrant Messenger
Win $10,000 Cash!!! Seriously!!!
(n.b. real cash, not invisible Ballard Ascended Master cash) 

We really would love to find the Ballards never lied, so we encourage you to take a trip down to your local I AM Sanctuary, and play 'spot the wealthy self made 90 year old youth'.

We are putting our money where our mouths are (something the Ballards never did) by offering $10,000 cash for the first person to find a youthful 90 year old I AMer.

As proof of youthful countenance, the student will need to complete tests at a medical facility of our choice. We also need a legitimate birth certificate. For detailed conditions of entry, please email us. This is a serious offer.


©2002 Christian Kinnard, Dr. Jenny Lincoln
First posted February 2002
Last Updated March 2004