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
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!
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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.