Part One: Eureka! This Is It!
My name is Cheri Walsh. I was a member of
The Summit Lighthouse/Church Universal and Triumphant for over twenty-five years, from my early twenties to late forties.
I was on staff for twenty-one years and a permanent staff member for nineteen
years. I worked in the editorial department for nineteen years and was an
instructor at Summit University for six years. I left the ranch in
I left behind many good friends and I miss them.
More about that later.
Today I am grateful for a forum where I can tell
my story uncensored. I am going to tell it allóthe good, the bad, the
ugly and unbelievable.
Why am I doing this? I have asked myself this question. There are
numerous reasons. I will write about those after I tell my story.
Let me say from the outset that this is not meant
to be a polished document. I am writing at my PC and not concerned about
drafting and redrafting and the fine points of editing. I want to make it
interesting and readable but not a time-intensive project.
Also, I donít pretend to present an objective
and unbiased view. This is my personal view and commentary on persons and
events as I witnessed them. It is the truth from my perspective. I
have opinions and I will express them. So now I begin from the beginning.
First, my background. I was born and raised
a devout Catholic in Denver, Colorado. For as long as I can remember, my
quest had always been to find the meaning of life and make the most meaningful
use of this life. I was an idealist.
My family fell apart and went through some
difficult times when I was sixteen. My Catholic faith strengthened and
sustained me through that dark period. My devotion and connection to Jesus
at that time was personal and very real to me. My faith was central to my
life. I went to Mass and communion every day and made a visit to church on
my way home from school in the afternoon. I found peace and solace there.
When I graduated from high school in 1967, I
applied to enter the Carmelite monastery/convent in Littleton, Colorado.
This is the order of nuns that St. Therese of Lisieux belonged to. Her
autobiography had been one of my favorite books in high school along with works
by the Trappist monk Thomas Merton, especially his autobiography entitled The
Seven Storey Mountain. The contemplative monastic life as outlined by
St. Therese and Thomas Merton appealed to my idealistic search for meaning.
Wisely, the mother superior of the Carmelite convent told me to go to college
for a year and then reapply. So I went off to a Catholic college in
In the late sixties there was a great deal of
turmoil in the Catholic Church in the wake of Vatican II. I think it was a
good thing that happened at that time. People began to see and question
the tyranny and power trips of the Church hierarchy. I agreed with what
was being said about the control of the people in the Church by fear. It
was about human beings controlling other human beings. So I was open to
looking into new ways of thinking outside Catholic doctrine and I did.
At that time, I came to find out that my mother
was of like thinking towards the Catholic Church. So we embarked together
on a search for the truth. We read many books. We attended meditation
groups and experienced the power of being in touch with higher aspects of
We explored numerous metaphysical teachings and
groups. We visited a spiritualist church and even attended a seance.
That spooked me a bit.
One day we went to a Unity meeting where no one was
under seventy years old. We gracefully excused ourselves when they took
their peanut-butter-and-graham cracker break. They were lovely people, but
their meeting was not exactly what we were looking for.
While I know that there are many fine and
spiritual people in the metaphysical movement, it seemed to me at the time that
those groups were mainly focused on material wealth and/or health. It did
not fit into my idealistic search for an altruistic mission in life. The
At college I majored in English because I thought
maybe I would discover clues to the meaning of life in literature. I
minored in Theology because I hoped some answers would be there, too. I
also minored in elementary education because I thought kids were the best people
and I wanted to be a teacher.
During that first year at college, I came to
believe in reincarnation. It made sense and answered a lot of questions.
Knowing that reincarnation was not something the Catholic Church taught, I
figured that my new beliefs would be problematical in terms of being a
Carmelite. So I abandoned the plan to enter the monastery and began an
intense search for something meaningful to dedicate my life to.
I stayed in school in Oregon for another
year. In the fall of 1969, I left school and returned home to Denver and
began working for the telephone company. All the while, I was still
searching and searchingÖbut I was beginning to get discouraged.
My twenty-first birthday was a bust. I was
so depressed. I needed a higher cause to live for.
A good education and a
horse were the two things I had always wanted most in my youth. For my
twenty-first birthday, I went out and bought myself a horse. I hoped
that having a horse would brighten my depression. It did for a while but I
was still depressed and hungering for the absolute truth about life.
In early 1971, I purchased a non-Summit
Lighthouse book about the spiritual hierarchy. I devoured that teaching.
I saw it as an expanded view of the communion of saints and the celestial order
of beings I had learned about in the Catholic Church.
A few months later, in a bookstore in Denver
called the Silver Cord, I found a set of Pearls of Wisdom published by The
Summit Lighthouse on The Human Aura. The aura was something that
interested me, so I bought it. I read the Pearls. I remember being
disappointed that they did not contain much concrete information about the aura.
I did not understand that the Pearls were written by an "ascended
At the time I bought the Pearls, I also picked up
some free pamphlets about subscribing to the weekly Pearls of Wisdom and joining
the Keepers of the Flame Fraternity. I briefed through the pamphlets and
put them aside. That was the end of it until several months later when I
ran across them on my desk. Towards the end of the year, I filled out a
form to receive Pearls of Wisdom and mailed it to The Summit Lighthouse (TSL) headquarters in Colorado Springs.
During all of 1972 I received the weekly
Pearls. At first, I opened and read them but I did not understand much of
what they said. Terms like "matrix" and "outpictured"
seemed strange to me at the time. (Donít forget, this was in 1972.) I
felt there was something spiritual in them, though. I used to take the
Pearls out to the pasture outside of town where I kept my horse and read them
while my horse munched on his grain.
As the year went on and I got busy with outdoor
activities and gardening, etc, I didnít always open the Pearls when they
came. But I did keep them. Towards the end of the year, I decided
that I would join the Keepers of the Flame Fraternity after the New Year in 1973
which I did.
I got my first Keeper of the Flame (KOF) lesson
and read it. I also subscribed to the monthly tapes of dictations.
On one of the first cassettes I received was a dictation by Leto. She
spoke of becoming a walking encyclopedia of the teachings. I decided right
then and there that I would do that. I began outlining my KOF lesson that
very day. I became a serious student of the teachings even though I didnít
understand how the messengers fit in.
In early March of 1973, I received an
announcement in the mail of Mark Prophetís ascension in Colorado
Springs. I did not know what to make of it. The only other ascension
I knew of was Jesus. He was taken up into heaven in a cloud and
disappeared from sight. I actually wondered if that is how MLP went!
It may seem odd to you that I did not understand
how anyone other than Jesus could ascend. Remember, this was in 1973.
The term and understanding of the ascension was not something taught or even
talked about in most metaphysical groups at that time. As a Catholic, I
was taught that Jesus ascended into heaven because he was the Son of God.
Even the Blessed Mother was "assumed into heaven" as a special
favor to her. Regular human beings did not ascend like Jesus.
Anyway, I called the headquarters of the TSL in
Colorado Springs and spoke to Alda Hudson. I asked her about MLPís
ascension. I didnít want to sound stupid, so I avoided asking her
directly if he went up to heaven in a cloud. I asked her how it all
happened and she told me that he made his transition first and ascended from
inner planes. I understood her explanation.
I probed Alda more about the organization.
She told me that the staff lived and worked at headquarters full time.
That struck me as odd. Even though I was a Catholic and understood
convents and rectories, I hadnít run across any non-denominational churches
that had full-time employees of that nature.
I still didnít understand the messengersí
role. I thought the ascended masters actually wrote and signed the Pearls
themselves. At the end of each Pearl I got in the mail in 1972 and early
1973, the masterís name was signed in a script. I remember thinking how
all the ascended masters had the same handwriting! <G> (The joke is on
I lived only about ninety miles from TSL
headquarters in Colorado Springs, but I had never been moved to drive there to
meet Mark and Elizabeth Prophet. During our search for truth, my mom and I
had met several flannel-mouthed metaphysical ministers who loved to hear
themselves talk and thrived on the adulation of little old ladies. These
ministers did not come across to me as being particularly spiritual. Mark
Prophetís picture had struck me the same way. I saw another boring,
self-important metaphysical minister. It never occurred to me to make a
trip to meet him. I wasnít looking for a teacher. I had never
focused on a person. I was looking for the truth.
As the weeks went on, I got regular mailings from
TSL. One contained an announcement and ad about the publication of Climb
the Highest Mountain. I sent for it right away. The day it came in
the mail I sat down and read it from cover to cover. It amazed me. I
loved the depth and subject matter. I didnít care for the illustrations,
though. Mrs. Prophetís picture didnít strike me one way or
another. I wasnít focused on her at all. It was the teaching that
I started getting notices from the Summit about
the upcoming Easter conference in Colorado Springs. I made arrangements to
get off work and I made a reservation to stay at a motel during the
conference. I didnít know anyone in the Summit, though, and I decided
not to go at the last minute. I continued to study the teachings.
Then announcements about the summer conference on
the Land of Lanello outside Colorado Springs began to come in the mail. I
decided to attend. My mom and sister said they would go with me. So
I made all the arrangements. At the last minute, my mom and sister backed
out but as I had already rented camping gear for the trip, I decided to go
My mom drove me to the conference site and
dropped me off. I remember watching her drive away. At that moment,
I wished I hadnít come. I was already looking forward to the end of the
conference. Since I was committed to attend and could not turn back, I
decided to check it out.
Wow! What an experience that first
conference was! I got registered and settled into my area in the womanís
dorm tent. Then I went to the main tent where they were decreeing and
singing. There was no such thing as a "new peopleís program"
I had never heard decrees before. (Decrees
were not on the monthly tapes in those days.) Boy! It sounded weird
to me but I understood what was going on from my reading.
The decree leader announced after every decree
that if you had not read The Science of the Spoken Word book you needed to go to
the back of the tent. I had read the book so I didnít go, but I
saw that they were giving people instruction on the teaching from the book about
I sat in the tent and did the decrees with
everyone. I was observing and absorbing everything I saw. There were
probably about a thousand people in the tent decreeing. It was the most
dynamic thing I had witnessed to date in a non-denominational group.
During the decree session, Tom Miller talked
about Kuan Yinís dictation on the program for the next day. He said
there were gold medallions we could purchase to have during her dictation so
that her vibration would be anchored with us. Being a Catholic, I
could relate to medals. From Tomís announcements, I gathered it was a
big deal to have a medallion, so I bought one.
We decreed all afternoon and had a dinner break.
During the meal break, I toured the booths that were there. All the
jewelry, amethyst and sundry items that were for sale struck me as strange. It
felt like the moneychangers in the temple to me. I had never seen jewelry
being sold in a church before. (This was before crystals hit the
At dinner I ate with a group of older people.
They talked about the electronic presence of the messengers being anchored
through photographs of them. That answered the question in my mind about
why they were selling scads of photographs of the messengers in the bookstore.
The conferees told fantastical stories about Saint Germain and the I AM
movement. Some spoke of seeing ascended masters and other things on inner
planes during dictations. I took it all in.
I was particularly struck by the intensity and
aura of mystery around the staff. Almost all of them seemed impersonal and
aloof. At the time, I interpreted it in a positive way. I thought it
must have something to do with their spiritual understanding and attainment.
I overheard one staff member say that he had not had any sleep for three days
because of working nonstop on the conference. I wondered why that was so.
After dinner, decrees started up again in the
tent. I had no idea what to expect. About 7 p.m., Elizabeth Clare
Prophet made her appearance at the podium wearing a beautiful silk sari.
The moment I set eyes on her I was fascinated. She was obviously a very
powerful woman. She delivered a lecture that was interesting. The audience hung
on her every word. So did I. I had never seen anything like it.
After the lecture, the conference dispersed for
the night. I remember walking back to my tent under a clear Colorado
star-lit sky. My mind was spinning with all the dayís
I didnít sleep much and was anxious for the next day to arrive. I got up
at about 4:30 a.m. and went to the altar in the main tent about 5 a.m.
There were one or two KOF there decreeing in the front row. I donít
remember if I joined them. I was shy.
When the morning session of decrees officially
got underway, I was there. We decreed all morning in anticipation of Kuan
Yinís dictation. There was a dramatic buildup to the messengerís
arrival for the dictation. Warnings about making noise during the
dictation which could break the messengerís contact with the master heightened
the sense of drama and anticipation.
Finally, the messenger arrived and we settled
into the pre-dictation meditation music. I was enthralled with the whole
scene. After witnessing the messenger deliver Kuan Yinís dictation, I
thought, "This is IT! I have been searching for this all my
life! It is right here!" I was hooked big time.
The remainder of the conference swept me into a
whole new world. There was a dictation from the Great Divine Director
about the laggards embodied in the Middle East who actually blew up their own
planet Maldek in a nuclear war. Two-thirds of the evolutions on Maldek
evidently went through the second death and the other third were given another
opportunity to embody on planet Earth. Wow! Cosmic history.
Amazing! Each lecture and dictation was filled with more wonderful and
sometimes amazing information.
In one dictation, Mrs. Prophet was made the Vicar
of Christ on Earth. As a Catholic, I understood what that meant. She
was the real pope! After the dictation she marched out of the tent to the
music of The Battle Hymn of the Republic. Awesome. I was SO lucky to
Mrs. Prophet spoke of being a vegetarian.
She said that the last time she had eaten fish she immediately felt a wave of
disappointment go through all of elemental life in the oceans of the world
because she (the Mother of the Flame on earth) had partaken of the flesh of fish. She vowed she would never
eat fish again. Of course, I became a vegetarian on the spot.
Everything was wonderful and awesome but also
unsettling and a bit scary as the necessity of making survival preparations was
a major theme of the conference. Prepare for the worst. The economy
may soon collapse. Buy gold, survival gear and food. Anarchy might
ensue after economic collapse. Have a plan and a place prepared.
Decree for the preservation of the economy but donít count on it. Saint
Germain, Lanello and K-17 especially emphasized the need for making preparations
in their dictations.
The KOF business meeting told us about a piece of
land in Idaho where a place of safety was being prepared as a safe haven during
the potential social, economic and political chaos that could happen at any
time. Staff were needed to help build the Idaho community.
As the days went on, I did not want the
conference to end. I couldnít get enough! I wanted to hear more
and more and moreóall day every day for the rest of my life! Then Mrs.
Prophet announced the opening of the Ascended Master University in September in
Santa Barbara, California. I was thrilled!
I was torn, though, between joining to help build
the community in Idaho or going to Ascended Master University in the fall.
I wanted to talk to someone about what I should do. I got in line several
times to talk to Martin Lasater about it as he was taking volunteers for the
Idaho project. There were always too many people in line for me to get up
to him before it was time to return to the tent, though. So, I made
the decision on my own to attend AMU (later known as Summit University).
After the conference, there was a two or three
day survival seminar where we attended hands-on workshops to learn all sorts of
survival skills. E.F. taught us how to tie knots. A young couple
taught about edible plants in the wild. I especially enjoyed learning to
rappel. W.Z. taught that.
I remember K. M. telling a group of us stories
of amazing feats by Mark and Elizabeth Prophet as we walked
along the trail to our rappelling cliff. I was in special awe of K.M. because he had been knighted Sir Winston in a dictation during the
After the survival seminar, there was a full-day
hike up Pikes Peak with Mrs. Prophet on Sunday. No one over thirty-three was
allowed to participate because of the degree of difficulty of the climb. I
eagerly signed up. It was a bright, sunny day and the hike was indeed
arduous. But I was on cloud nine.
I only caught one glimpse of Mrs. Prophet on the way
up. She was surrounded by intense people. I especially remember
Randall King. After we got to the top, we were bussed back to camp.
morning was a huge letdown. All of the conference tents had been taken
down already and most of the conferees were gone, too. I got on a bus back
to Denver. I would never be the same. I returned home a total fanatic.