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Ballard, Guy Warren (1878-1939)

Ballard, Guy Warren (1878-1939)

Cofounder with his wife Edna W. Ballard of the I AM Religious Activity and the Saint Germain Foundation. He was born in Newton, Kansas, on July 28, 1878, attended business college, and held several mining jobs prior to his marriage in 1916. He settled in Chicago, but his work carried him across the United States. In 1930 he found himself in northern California, near the small community of Mt. Shasta. While walking on the side of a volcanic mountain, he met, according to his later published account, Ascended Master Saint Germain.

Saint Germain identified himself as a member of the Great White Brotherhood, the group of evolved adepts believed to guide the destiny of humankind. He was looking for an appropriate person to whom he could give the message that would usher in a new age on earth. Ballard, his wife, and their son Donald were appointed Messengers of the Masters. The Masters began to speak to and through (in a process very similar to what is today termed channeling) Ballard. The story of his initial encounters and early messages, which provided the basic I AM teachings, were later presented as the first six volumes of I AM books. The first volume, Unveiled Mysteries, issued under the pen name Godfre Ray King, appeared in 1934.

Ballard informed his wife of what had happened to him in a set of letters from Mt. Shasta, and upon his return to Chicago, they founded the Saint Germain Foundation and Saint Germain Press. The teachings centered upon the announcement of the existence of and the evocation of the I AM Presence, the spirit of God in each individual. A series of mantric-like prayers called decrees were advocated as the means of such evocation.

The I AM movement was one of the most successful, flamboyant, and controversial of the late 1930s. At its height, however, Ballard unexpectedly died on December 29, 1939. His death created an immediate problem as some expectation had spread through the movement that he would not die but physically ascend. Several years after his death his wife and son and many of the leaders of the movement were the subject of a landmark judicial process initiated by several ex-members who questioned the sincerity of the movement. The process resulted in a 1944 Supreme Court ruling which suggested that it was not legitimate for government to place a religion, no matter how nonconventional, on trial.

Sources:

King, Godfre Ray [Guy W. Ballard]. The "I AM" Discourses. Chicago: St. Germain Press, 1935.

. The Magic Presence. Chicago: St. Germain Press, 1935.

. Unveiled Mysteries. Chicago: St. Germain Press, 1934.

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King, Godfré Ray

King, Godfré Ray

Pseudonym of Guy W. Ballard (1878-1939), founder and leader of the I Am Movement. Under the name Godfré Ray King, Ballard wrote Unveiled Mysteries (1934), in which he reported meeting an ascended master, Saint Germain, who imparted the teachings of the I Am Movement. Ballard claimed that, "Each copy of this book carries with it the mighty Presence of the ascended Host, their radiation and sustaining power. The Masters have become a blazing outpouring of Light into which no discordant thought or feeling can enter."

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