I met many fine people on staff at La Tourelle.
fond of many of these people to this day and I miss them. There were also
Summit Lighthouse staff quartered at the Motherhouse in Santa Barbara at that
time whom I would meet later.
For part of the summer after the staff returned
from Mt. Shasta, life settled into a quiet routine. I immersed myself in
my work and complete devotion to the ascended masters and their messenger. I was
very happy knowing that my life was dedicated to what I considered at that time
to be the highest and most worthy cause on earth.
My job on phone duty was a nexus of sorts in that
staff were supposed to keep me posted as to their whereabouts at all times in
case Mrs. Prophet called for them on the phone. Consequently, I got to
interact with everyone a lot and got to know what people did and where they
One thing that surprised me during my first few
weeks on the job is how many of the staff went to Dr. Bouma, the staff
chiropractor, and how often they went, so much so that it seemed to me
some of them were hypochondriacs. I had never been to a chiropractor or
around people who contorted themselves to crack their backs and necks as I
witnessed staff doing every day. It was weird!
My spiritual life thrived then. I found
time to meditate regularly and do special novenas and decree rituals as I could.
The front desk where I spent most of my time was right outside the chapel.
I could be in the chapel and still hear the phone ring.
I spent a lot of
time in the chapel on quiet afternoons. Everyone was at work and I had the
place to myself. Sometimes I would put on some beautiful music and absorb
the peace of the moment. It reminded me of making my afternoon visits to
church as a Catholic. Those moments were always a comfort to me.
After evening Astreas when the house was settling
for the night, I would often go into what was called the Family Room. It
was the place where guests would go to listen to tapes. It was a living
room with nice carpet, furniture and a few framed pictures on the walls
with little lights over them. There was a fireplace with a picture of
Thomas More (a previous embodiment of El Morya) over the mantle. The room was very comfortable.
to love to go in there at night and sit quietly by the picture of Morya as
Thomas More. The little lamps over the pictures softly lit the room.
I always felt a connection to Morya and in those peaceful moments I experienced
a holy and comforting presence.
I worked as hard as I could at my jobs.
Because callers could hear decrees in the background if you answered the phone
out by the chapel, during decrees and services I manned the phone in the kitchen
away from the front desk.
Like a good chela, I was able to multi-task
there. I could be on phone duty, do dishes and/or prepare food for the
kitchen, answer the back gate door bell and do child care in the Violet Dining
Room all at the same time from that post. I felt productive and busy.
I have some good memories from that summer.
One lazy afternoon Florence Miller and several of the staff women had a cosmetic
party in the Violet Dining Room. My front desk and telephone duties
prevented me from attending (thank God!).
During the party, Florence got a
phone call. I went to the Violet Dining Room to tell her about the call
and when I opened the door I was surprised to see Florence with a white cosmetic
mask drying on her face. Everyone laughed when they saw the startled look
on my face and once I recovered, I, too, had a good laugh.
The Broadmoor district is so beautiful.
Whenever I got a chance to have a few minutes off of phone duty, I would go for
a walk in the neighborhood. A favorite place for staff to go was the ice
cream parlor at the Broadmoor. I used to walk over there and watch the U.
S. Olympic ice skating team practice at the Broadmoor ice arena. It was so
enjoyable to watch the athletes skate to classical music.
Oftentimes, in the afternoon there would be a
thunderstorm. It would cloud up, thunder and lightning and then rain
heavily for a few minutes. Soon it would clear up and the sun would come
out. Sometimes there would be a gorgeous rainbow. The evening would
be beautiful and refreshing. Life was good. Indeed, I felt my quest
for truth had truly brought me to the citadel of truth—the Emerald City—the
retreat of the Resurrection Spiral--The Summit Lighthouse.
Towards the end of the summer, daily life changed
dramatically when Mrs. Prophet arrived at La Tourelle in her gold bus. The
gold bus was an old Greyhound bus that had been outfitted for Mark Prophet to
travel the country on lecture tours. It was equipped with a kitchen and
sleeping quarters as well as a lounge area in the front of the bus. It
even had a restroom.
A small entourage accompanied Mrs. Prophet to La
Tourelle including her personal assistant M.K. and her editor
Barbara Armstrong. I don’t recall seeing her children at that point.
Mrs. Prophet stayed on the gold bus parked in the backyard at La Tourelle.
Soon Monroe and Aleyda Shearer, Martin and
Cynthia Lasater, James McCaffrey, Edward Francis and other administrative types
from the Santa Barbara staff began to arrive at La Tourelle. Then endless
board meetings commenced. They went on for hours and hours every day and
into the night for what seemed like weeks.
Most of the staff did not know
what the board was discussing. W.Z. and Alex Reichardt were sent
out on secret, hush-hush missions.
Life was accelerating and had some interesting
and sometimes intense moments. Life around the messenger was tense.
Everyone was uptight.
Every time I dealt with Mrs. Prophet my solar plexus
flipped with fear. I believed she could read my every thought and my
entire aura. After all, I believed she was god incarnate and had
extraordinary powers. I thought everyone around me believed and felt the
same way. I saw fear in Florence and I would say everyone that I saw
dealing directly with the messenger. That was just how it was when you
were dealing face-to-face with god.
During this time I had phone duty almost
around the clock seven days a week. Someone would relieve me long enough
to take a shower every day and sometimes take a walk over to the Broadmoor in
the afternoon or evening. Also, some nights a male staff member would take
night phone duty for me but not every night.
One night a board meeting went into the wee
hours, and I mean wee—like 3 or 4 a. m. That night is particularly
memorable to me because Aleyda Shearer called and woke me every half hour to
find out when Monroe would be home (as if I knew). I could not believe it.
I told her the same thing every half hour—"I didn’t know"—and
she still called back a half hour later! Anyway, we all had a long night.
During that time, Mrs. Prophet was having
difficulty sleeping. The backyard was hardly a quiet place during
the day. When I got phone calls for staff who were out in the gatehouse
and shop, I had to go out on the back porch close to the gold bus and holler for
them. I could not go too far away from the porch because I would not be
able to hear the phone and answer it by the required third ring. I
remember yelling for Peter Arnone and J. W. to pick up phone calls. It
was a busy time and there were a lot of calls. My shouting must have
interrupted Mrs. Prophet’s rest but she never said anything to me. I
found out later she wore ear plugs when she slept so maybe it wasn’t a
disturbance after all.
You may wonder where the tag was. At that
time, there was no round-the-clock tag for Mrs. Prophet. The only tags at
La Tourelle that summer occurred every once in a while (esp. during board
meetings) when Tom Miller would call the phone duty person and tell us to get a
tag going on a certain issue.
In those days, there were only one-man tags.
Nevertheless, it was very difficult to find staff to tag. I always cringed
when Tom called me to arrange tags. It was like pulling teeth to find
people. Fortunately, the duration of the tags was usually limited to just
a few hours, as I recall
Because of my duties, I dealt with Mrs. Prophet
regularly both on the phone and in the kitchen. Sometimes she would come
into the kitchen in the morning in her bathrobe to cook some breakfast.
About two weeks into the board meetings, Mrs. Prophet spoke to me one morning in
the kitchen. She knew I was there fulfilling my staff service in order to
attend third level of SU.
She very openly told me that Summit University
was going to be held at La Tourelle instead of Santa Barbara in the fall.
After all the secrecy around the board meetings, I was a bit surprised that she
would be so open with me about board business. Now I knew what all
the activity was about.
I don’t remember if it was a zoning issue or
simply that SU had outgrown the Motherhouse in Santa Barbara, but for whatever
reason, the move was on. Most of the Santa Barbara staff were relocating
to Colorado Springs. W. Z. and Alex Reichardt’s secret missions
had been out looking for housing for staff, SU students and also Mrs. Prophet
and her family.
I liked the idea of having SU at LaTourelle. I much
preferred Colorado to California. It was good news to me.
Because of the move, the beginning of SU in the
fall was pushed back from mid-September to October first. Towards the end
of September I asked Florence for time off to go home to Denver to do a few
things to get ready for school. I had fulfilled my three month requirement
for third level and did not think it would be a problem.
I was surprised
when Florence balked at my leaving. She did give me permission to go for
seven days but it was a bit of an issue and I felt guilty for leaving. I
went home to Denver and returned to La Tourelle and served on staff for a few
more days before SU began on October first.
Home Part Seven