Part Seven:  Great Expectations with an Oliver Twist

That first day of SU was one of those crisp, bright blue October days special to Colorado.  Excitement was in the air.  Initially we registered, got room assignments, bought books and supplies and settled into our dorm rooms.  We were housed at the Chateau Motor Hotel on Nevada Ave. in Colorado Springs.  It was not a great area of the city about a ten minute drive from LaTourelle.  The church had leased the motel mainly for housing but they also rented some of the rooms to the public.  

J. A. and W.Z. ran the front desk.  Peter Arnone, A.C. and J.G. were also part of the motel staff at some point.

The motel restaurant was converted to a cafeteria for staff and students.  There were also staff offices set up in some of the motel rooms at the Chateau.  James McCaffrey and his secretary M.B., and Dr. Boumaís chiropractic clinic were there as well as a room for the bookstore that K.M. ran.  Computer services, Edward Francis and Murray Steinman also had offices there.  We were bussed back and forth to LaTourelle.

Simultaneous to level three of SU, Saint Germainís quarter (the seventh quarter held to date) of first level was in session during that fall of 1975 at LaTourelle.  Third level had sixteen students.  I think there were at least 40-50 first level students. The third level classroom was the former bedroom of Mark and Elizabeth Prophet on the second floor.  First level had class in the chapel on the first floor.
 
This was the first level three that had ever been held.  Because the pink third ray is that of the Holy Spirit, the Maha Chohan, the representative of the Holy Spirit, sponsored third level.  Every day we heard a taped dictation from the Maha Chohan via Mark Prophet.  During the quarter, I came to realize that most of the dictations through Mark Prophet did not contain much concrete information.  I just chalked it up to the Holy Spirit releasing "radiation" instead of information.  I called them "etheric." 

We also had The Greatest Salesman in the World by Og Mandino as a text.  I think it was one of Mark Prophetís favorite books.  (Mark Prophet had a background in sales.) Twice a day as a group we read outloud one of the chapters from the book per the authorís instructions. 

Third level curriculum included a speech class that Jerome Armstrong taught.  As always, I enjoyed Jeromeís wit and impish nature.  

Monroe Shearer had a class on leadership with a textbook entitled The Governing Elite.  (This title bothered me.  Over the course of Monroeís class I came to believe I was not leadership material because I did not feel a part of the elite.  Never didÖand still donít.)  Monroe also had us purchase a biography of George Washington.  Guy Ballard was supposedly embodied as Washington and Monroe used him as a leadership role model.  Unlike the previous classes that Monroe had taught at SU, I didnít get much out of this one.  Monroeís aloof, impersonal and aristocratic style of leadership was not something I cared for or wanted to emulate.

Third level texts also included a book about Padre Pio.  I think Mrs. Prophet did talk about him during the quarter but I donít recall ever reading the book for an assignment.  We also purchased St. Therese of Lisiuexís Autobiography but we never did anything with it during the quarter.

The second Leaves of Moryaís Garden published by the Roerich foundation was also something we purchased but I donít think we used it.  Mrs. Prophet lectured from the Letters of Helena Roerich also published by the Agni Yoga society.  One or two of these lectures were delivered at Sunday morning services to both levels.

Mrs. Prophet taught mainly from one of the I AM books entitled Unveiled Mysteries.  This book was written by the Ballards under the pseudonym Godfre Ray King.  It recounts Guy Ballardís supposed early encounters with Saint Germain and other masters.  It makes for fascinating reading and it was my favorite third-level course with Mrs. Prophet.

[Aside:  The Prophets recommended that students purchase and read the first three books of the I AM series which included Unveiled Mysteries, The Magic Presence and the first of The Discourses.  Mrs. Prophet told us that in later years Mrs. Ballard began to lose it as a messenger and so the rest of the I AM Discourses were considered suspect in terms of content.]

In third level, we listened to many more taped lectures than in my first two quarters in Santa Barbara. We heard several tapes of Mark Prophet and some tapes of Mrs. Prophet to staff. 

[Aside:  Markís lectures always had the most intriguing titles.  I found that most of them did not live up to their titles, though.  He had his moments, but after I heard several of Markís lectures I felt that he meandered too much.  I thought then if I had met Mark Prophet I probably would not have been sparked to join TSL the way I was when I first saw and heard Mrs. Prophet that July night in 1973.]

I donít recall that Barbara Armstrong taught any third level course but I may be wrong.  Annice Booth stayed in Santa Barbara to head up the Motherhouse but she may have commuted to teach her ascension class to level one.  I donít remember.  Kay Steinman was the TA for level three and I think L.L.C. was the TA in first level by then.

Unlike my first two levels in Santa Barbara, clearances were an emphasis during this quarter.  Both level one and level three students received clearances from Mrs. Prophet in person.  The process of clearances at SU had evolved a bit by 1975.  Mrs. Prophet wore a long purple robe and used a short blue sword.  (This sword was given to her by T.Y. a first level student from the spring quarter of SU in 1974 in Santa Barbara.)  

During the clearance, the whole class would be decreeing up a storm as an individual student knelt in front of Mrs. Prophet while she silently read that personís confession letter.  After she read the letter, Mrs. Prophet would do a physical clearance on the student which included lots of "bolts" and "blazes" and invocations as well as physical cutting actions around the studentís aura.  

(During my clearance, she told me to make calls surrendering my substance to be cleared as she performed the clearance action.  I prayed for all I was worth!  "What an opportunity!" I thought to myself. )  How much "substance" the person had to be cleared determined the length and difficulty of each clearance.  

Although she named no one specifically, Mrs. Prophet did tell the third-level students that some of the first level students had much substance to be taken.  Mrs. Prophet said that she was required to cycle the substance from the clearance through her being.  It was part of her role at SU as messenger.  She would be burdened for a certain period of time after doing clearances as the substance cycled through her. 

For my clearance letter I wrote down every bad thing I could remember that I had ever done even though my first two levels at SU had included life confession letters.  I guess I felt the first two didnít really take because I hadnít been there in-person when Mrs. Prophet did her spiritual work on me.  Anyway, I felt cleansed after my clearance although I felt guilty for burdening Mrs. Prophet with my stuff.  I was very grateful that she was willing to bear the burden of my substance.  I was choked up with gratitude towards her.

Each clearance was a lengthy process.  It took most of the quarter to do everyone.  It put a terrible strain on Mrs. Prophetís voice.  Not far into the quarter, Mrs. Prophet lost her voice and  was ordered on a voice rest by her doctor.  (At that time, there were no medical doctors on staff.  This was an outside physician.)  He said she may lose her voice if she did not rest it.  During her voice rest, Mrs. Prophet did not speak at all.  She would come to class and teach by writing on the chalkboard.

The Fall conference was held in San Francisco in mid-October.  Mrs. Prophet flew to California while SU stayed in Colorado Springs.  When Mrs. Prophet returned from the conference, she recounted to us how she had no voice but when she opened her mouth to deliver Lantoís dictation, she was able to speak.  Lantoís dictation was about an hour long and considered a landmark address in later years.  (Lanto spoke of his journeying to the Great Central Sun and promising Omega to stay to serve Earthís evolutions even though his attainment merited his moving on.)  The return of Mrs. Prophetís voice was viewed as somewhat of a miracle although I thought it was no big deal for an ascended master to heal her voice for the conference.

Of course, fasting was central to the SU experience.  We fasted on water on Saturdays.  I knew that Saturdays were a write-off for me after noon.  The student I roomed with was really into enemas and took them often.  I always found them a bit disgusting and I  took one only when it was mandatory.

A few weeks into the quarter, level-three students also did a special three-day broth fast.  The night before our fast began, I was desperately hungry.  Dinner did not satisfy me.  It was Friday night and we would not be eating anything again until Tuesday.  And I knew all we would have on Tuesday was rabbit food to break our fast. 

Psychologically, I needed to get some treats to psych myself up for the fast.  Have you ever done that?  There was no vending machines at the motel or nearby.  I had to get to a store for some food but there was nothing close to the Chateau and I had no transportation.  Busses did not run along Nevada Ave.  I had no choice but to walk.  

It was dark and windy and it was starting to snow.  I trudged through the storm for about a mile.  Finally, I found a drug store that had some chocolate-covered peanuts.  I would have preferred some sweet cakes but this was all I could find so I bought them and headed home.  By this time, it was snowing heavily and Nevada Ave. did not have sidewalks along most of that mile.  I had to eat my contraband on the way home because I didnít want my roommate to know I had it.  I trekked through the storm in the dark along the roadside with no sidewalks in a bad part of town with a stiff breeze in my face while I consumed my candy.  It turned out to be quite an adventure.  By the time I got home I was exhaustedÖbut "fortified for the victory."  The trek upward was worth the inconvenience.

The main thrust of third level was outreach.  Our project was organizing and executing a weekend retreat to recruit new members.  A lot of our time was spent doing that.  Along with this project and all the tapes we heard, Mrs. Prophet did not teach us much compared to my quarters in Santa Barbara.

One day in class Mrs. Prophet had a discussion with the TA Kay Steinman.  From what was said, I gathered that Kay had told Mrs. Prophet we were not ready to have her teach because we hadnít heard certain tapes yet.   

I was irritated by this conversation.  I thought that the masters instructed Mrs. Prophet when to come and teach, not Kay Steinman.  I resented the fact that Kay was calling the shots and depriving us of sitting at the feet of the messenger. 

[Aside:  Knowing what I know now about how Mrs. Prophet did things, I suspect that Kay was instructed to play certain tapes and then let Mrs. Prophet know when we had heard them.  There were probably way too many for us to listen to.  Kay was probably just following instructions but I did not know that at the time.]

Our third-level retreat weekend went fairly well.   We held it in a beautiful facility in Estes Park, Colorado.  We had a few new people attend.  

Towards the very end of the quarter, third level went on an evening field trip with Mrs. Prophet to a Foursquare Gospel church in Colorado Springs.  We attended a service and the minister spoke with us as a group afterwards.  For some reason, the minister placed his hand on Mrs. Prophetís forehead during our meeting with him.  

I inwardly gasped when he touched her.  By that time I had such awe of the messenger that I knew that one did not touch the messengerís person without an invitation.  

The next day Mrs. Prophet told the third level students that she had had the most horrendous night "she had ever experienced" because the minister touching her third eye had opened up the astral plane.

As the quarter drew to a close, Mrs. Prophet began to solicit for staff.  I wanted to be on staff so badly!  This was the first time that the opportunity to become an official staff member had presented itself to me and I jumped at the chance.  

Other than answering the phone, I wasnít sure that I had any talents the messenger could use but I couldnít get my application in fast enough.  Although I had taken Typing I a couple of times and never quite got the hang of it, I applied to do transcribing after Mrs. Prophet spoke of the big backlog of tapes of her and Mark to be transcribed.  I was so happy the day I received a memo from N.J. informing me that I had been accepted for staff and would receive a stipend of $30 per month. 

At the same time she was recruiting for staff, Mrs. Prophet also spoke of establishing teaching centers because of the attrition rate of students who came to SU but fell away and were never heard from again.  I know there had been a chela house of sorts in Los Angeles in 1974, but San Francisco became the first official teaching center in 1976 as I recall.  Annice Booth and R.I.  pioneered it.

One of the final events of SU was the foot washing ceremony.  Mrs. Prophet read the account of the Last Supper when Jesus washed the feet of his disciples.  Then she personally washed each SU studentsí feet.  I was uncomfortable with her stooping to wash MY feet but I was moved by her humility.  As time went on, this task was delegated to TAís at the end of each SU quarter.  The ceremony was eventually dropped.

I had great expectations of third level.  Although I ended level three flying high emotionally, all in all, I was a bit disappointed in my third level at SU.  I donít think enough planning went into it.  We did not even crack several of the books we had bought for texts.  I did not feel I walked away with much in terms of concrete knowledge or even experience.  There had been far too many tapes and not enough live teaching from the messenger.  Kay Steinmanís conversation with Mrs. Prophet in class that day stuck in my craw for a long time to come.  This is the Oliver twist ending.

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