Part Four:  
Ramakrishna, Robots and Rebels

It was a considerable adjustment going back to my old world after twelve weeks at AMU.  It was like going down a highway at 60 mph and coming to the end of the pavement and landing on a dirt road that is six inches of mud.  However, my fanaticism put me in four wheel drive and I kept moving.  

I was still intense but I allowed myself to sleep past six a.m.  I did keep up my decrees.  I intended to re-organize all of my AMU notes but that project soon fell by the wayside.  I needed a rest.

There was a local Summit Lighthouse study group in Denver at that time headed by a woman whom I had met at the July conference on the Land of Lanello.  There were fewer than a dozen members of the study group.  Soon after I got home, I started to attend services.  

Interest in the teachings released at AMU was high because it was the first time there had been such a setting for the messenger to teach.  Also, in those days access to current releases was non-existent.  There were not telephone trees, weekly tapes, albums and the abundance of books and cassettes that there are today. 

I don’t remember how it came about, but for a Saturday night service I prepared a fifteen-minute talk about some of the new teaching the messenger had delivered at AMU.  I arrived a few minutes early at the YMCA in downtown Denver where the study group services were held.  I  told the study group leader that I had a fifteen-minute presentation.  She immediately said she could not allow me to take fifteen minutes.  I could only have five minutes max.  The idea of public speaking petrified me.  Her throwing me a curve at the last minute added to my fright.   But I dutifully went to the back of the room for a few minutes, chopped my talk to five minutes and delivered it when the time came.

After the service, some of the congregation thanked me for the information I had shared with them.  They all said that they wished I had spoken longer.   What was ironic is that during the services, the study group leader gave her own little "talks" between decrees that took a lot more than five minutes.  Go figure.  I was bursting with cosmic truths to share but I did not have an outlet for them.

I have to admit my attendance at the local group waned.  After being to conferences and services and decree sessions at the Motherhouse, the local group was not what you would call dynamic.  There was no AV system where we held the services.  In those days, only one person led decrees.  In our group, it was always the study group leader who led.  Most of the congregation decreed off key and out of sync.  It was a trial to me.  I went to services out of a sense of duty not because I really wanted to be there.  

My saving grace was that since I had to resign from my job at the phone company when I left to attend AMU in September, upon my return to my old job I had no seniority and had to work split shifts and I had no weekends off.  Therefore, I had a gracious way to bow out of attending services on a regular basis.

Even though the local services and decrees were not my thing, I found that the members of the local group were sincere and devoted.   I was particularly fond of an elderly black woman named Maceo.  She was the sister of the Mills Brothers (a popular singing group around the 1950’s or so).  Maceo was a kind and wise old soul.  I used to pick her up for the services.  I also went to her home just to visit.  (She came to LaTourelle one time after I joined staff and gave me a white rosary.  I always treasured that rosary from Maceo.  She was such a pure soul.  She passed on in the late 70’s.  I miss her.)

At Thanksgiving in 1973, Jesus had announced that the approaching comet Kohoutek(?) was the harbinger of 10,001 avatars who were coming to be born on planet Earth.  It was a BIG deal.   The comet would be closest to Earth at the end of the year.  

In late December of 1973, Mrs. Prophet led a group of staff and church members on a pilgrimage to South America.  The birth of the avatars must have had a connection to the seventh root race which was supposed to embody in South America.  Part of the purpose of the messenger’s South American tour was to clear records there so that the seventh root race could embody. There were numerous dictations scheduled to take place during the tour.  

I wanted to be part of the pilgrimage so bad!  But I was maxed financially and could not pull it together.  At home in Denver, I tried to spiritually tune in to the tour each day as there was a published itinerary to follow.  It pained me not to be there!  But I survived and before I knew it, the twelve-week co-op period was over and it was time to head back to Santa Barbara for level two.  I was excited as I flew out of Denver to California.

I was delighted to be back in the excitement of what was happening with the Great White Brotherhood.  During the co-op period, I had been out of touch with everyone.   

I found out when I got to California that Pope John XXIII had dictated in Los Angeles on February 10 and had announced he wanted us to be called "Church Universal and Triumphant."  I was not thrilled to hear it.  It sounded too fundamentalist and Christian to me.  I always liked "The Summit Lighthouse."  It was a nice, non-threatening, non-denominational name. 

The Easter conference of 1974 kicked off the next quarter of AMU.  It was held at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles.  I was excited about everything.  I totally immersed myself in the decrees and dictations.  The conference was wonderful.  

There was a dramatic dictation from Surya with a scroll from the Four and Twenty Elders that contained the names of souls on planet Earth headed for the ascension as well as the second death.  Wow!  More cosmic history!  

A personal highlight of the conference for me was Mother Mary’s dictation.  I felt the holy, comforting presence of the Blessed Mother.  At the end of her dictation, Mother Mary said, "I love you" three times.  I had one of those rare moments of losing all sense of my surroundings.  I was in this blissful, meditative state oblivious to what was happening around me during the whole lunch break until the next session got underway.  

Level two commenced immediately after the conference.  This was the first time level two had been held.  There were a few things that were different from my previous level one.  We still lived at the dorms in Goleta but we had our meals at the Motherhouse.  

There were not many kitchen staff to make the meals for us.  I only remember two.  Alan Hearn was one.  (He was Hernandez in those days.)  And there was one other guy.  I don’t remember his name.  

On Sundays after the service everyone was always famished.  Our meals were vegetarian and the quantities one could have were usually limited.  I always went home hungry on Sunday afternoon.  Our Sunday evening meal was fruit, yogurt and cashews.  It was an easy meal to ship on the buses to our dorms and allowed the staff to have Sunday afternoon and evening off.  

Because I was always still hungry after the skimpy lunch on Sunday, I had no choice but to eat the fruit, yogurt and cashews.  It made me sick every week and to this day I cannot eat cashews.

One of the things that sticks out in my mind about level two is being hungry the whole time.  One day, I was so starved for a full meal, I decided I would ditch school and hike some place (there was not anything nearby) and get a PIZZA!  

I conveniently "missed" the bus in the morning when it left for the Motherhouse.  Immediately, I was consumed with guilt.  I rushed down to the parking lot just in time to catch a ride with a student who was driving her own car to school that day.  

We got to the Motherhouse and everyone was eating breakfast on the lawn.  I overheard a staff member telling someone that he had been up all night dubbing cassette tapes for an album that was being published.  I felt so awful.  What kind of example and student was I?  I chided myself for a long time afterward for that incident.  I was still hungry the whole rest of the quarter, though.  I did not get my pizza until I went home to Denver after the quarter ended.

During that first level two, there was a simultaneous level one being held at the Motherhouse.  Level one was in the chapel and level two was in an upstairs room in the Motherhouse.  

Most of the original students from level one did not return for level two.  I don’t remember exactly how many of us there were in level two.  Probably about twenty five.  I think level one had between thirty and forty students.

I heard that there had been bitter complaints during the quarter that was held while I was away on the first co-op period.  Evidently, they had heard mostly replays of the tapes the messenger had recorded with us in level one.  Mrs. Prophet hardly ever came to teach them in person.  When I heard that, I resolved to be among the first to attend the inaugural class of each level of AMU.  I did not want it second-hand and on tape.

The curriculum for level two included a class on alchemy which Monroe Shearer taught.  I don’t remember Jerome teaching but he might have presented another Bible class.  I don’t think Barbara Armstrong or Annice taught us in level two at all.  

Paul O’Neal taught a class on Theosophy.  Paul was a great guy but a terrible teacher.  He was an elderly gent whom I think had been a professor of engineering.  He did not have a clue how to convey Theosophy.  Word got around about the boring class and Jerome Armstrong came to observe one day.  Something had to be done.  I don’t know what happened behind the scenes, but Paul taught less after that.  It must have been a delicate situation. 

I found Theosophy very difficult to understand.  The Mahatma Letters was the textbook for class.  I read it a couple of times and still did not understand everything.  It has a style all its own.  I was glad that the messengers in TSL had a more coherent language and way of presenting the teachings.

Ramakrishna was also a focus of study in level two.  Christopher Isherwood’s book on Ramakrishna and his disciples was the text for this class.  Mrs. Prophet came and taught us from the book.  

The whole concept of an eastern guru was foreign to me.  Frankly, I could never relate to Ramakrishna.  Hairy men in loin cloths did not appeal to my Catholic view of life and religion.  I did not understand Ramakrishna’s behavior.  I remember Mrs. Prophet teaching about his bizarre behavior.  She related it to his high spiritual attainment.  She said that when a person gets to a certain level of attainment, his/her behavior may seem bizarre to others but it is really a high contact with God.  

Ramakrishna would have periods of going into "samadi" over contemplating the Divine Mother in the simplest object.  Mrs. Prophet related this to some of her experiences in her childhood when she would "be gone" for brief periods of time.  

Every now and then I would catch a glimpse of understanding the eastern path, but I did not retain it and had to really work at appreciating it.  Everyone else seemed to love the class, though.  Different strokes for different folks.  It was not one of my favorites.

Leaves of Morya’s Garden from the Agni Yoga group was another class in level two.  Mrs. Prophet put the chapters and verses of the Leaves book on the cosmic clock.  I loved that little book and felt a special closeness to El Morya.  As a Catholic, my quest was always to do the will of God.  I could relate to El Morya.  He was the embodiment of the will of God.  I understood that.  I loved the pithy, to-the-point, cryptic style of Morya.  I grew to love Morya early on. 

Robots were also a topic in level two.  Mrs. Prophet taught us from the Great Divine Director’s Pearls on the mechanization concept.  This dealt with robots—human beings without threefold flames, the soulless, godless creation.  It was frightening to me.  I had pictures of Frankenstein in my mind.  If my memory serves me correctly, we were forbidden to use the word "robot" outside the classroom.  We spent a lot of time making up inserts for decrees from those Pearls.  

We also studied one-world conspiracy from little booklets called The Protocols of the Elders of Zion (or something like that).  The material in the Protocols was so sensitive that the booklets were kept in a locked trunk and opened and distributed to us only during class.  Boy!  This was scary stuff!  We were forbidden to discuss the material outside the classroom.  It was not one of my favorite classes but I did feel privileged and "in the know."   (If those students in level one only knew what we knew!)

I was always turned off by the right-wing flavor of TSL attitude.  There was when I was there (and probably still is) a certain fringe element of the membership that thrived on conspiracy theory.  I suspect that there are probably elements of truth in those theories, but I can’t live my life seeing a conspiracy around every corner.  

During that second level in 1974, women’s lib was in full swing.  Mrs. Prophet wrote and widely distributed an Open Letter to Women of the World.  Dictations addressed women’s issues.  We were called the sons and daughters of God.

There were two lesbians who were in level one.  One of them was my roommate.  A few weeks into the quarter, my roommate told me about Mrs. Prophet doing a private, personal clearance with a sword on her and the other lesbian during AMU.  My roommate said that it had been strongly inferred during the clearance that the two girls were on the Four and Twenty Elders’ list that had been talked about in Surya’s dictation during the conference.  They were in the second death column.  They had been rebels against God for many embodiments.  That blew me away.  I was awe stuck for days when she told me that.  (I was sleeping in the same room with this person! <G>)

Some of my roommate’s lesbian friends came to visit her at the dorm one day towards the end of school.  I could tell my roommate was struggling with who she was and who she was "supposed" to be.  It was difficult for her.  She was a very loving person.  I heard later that she had gone back to the lesbian community shortly after leaving AMU.  She is a lost soul, I thought.  I wondered how she could go back knowing what the messenger had told her.

In mid-June, the Family Designs for the Golden Age weekend seminar was held in Burbank.  Us AMU students did postering for it and attended.  It was in a place called Cabrini Villa, an old Catholic Church.  I was right at home there.  During the seminar Mrs. Prophet revealed that Mother Cabrini was an ascended master.  Yea for the Catholics, I thought!  

In one lecture that weekend, Mrs. Prophet told us that she had been flying near Cuban airspace in a plane that week.  She said she was in the cockpit doing fiats.  I wondered what she was doing in that part of the world.  She never told us.

With the avatars looking for families to embody in, family stuff became a big emphasis at that time.  Young couples thrived on it.  They were petitioning the masters to bring in avatars.  Children who were born after that were looked upon with a certain idolatry.  The avatars were coming!  The Family Designs seminar was always a popular album.

At the end of June, for the conclusion of that quarter of AMU, we were all bussed (33 hours on school buses) to Spokane, Washington and the July ’74 conference.  

There were several ordinations of ministers at that class—Annice, Barbara Armstrong, Martin Lasater…maybe more.  I did child care and had several short nights because of doing middle-of-the-night tags.  I can go without food better than I can without sleep.   I actually ditched one session of the conference to get some sleep.  I was rested but felt guilty.  I didn’t hear many of the dictations at the conference because of my duties.  When the conference was over, we all dispersed to our respective homes.

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