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New Thought

New Thought

A late-nineteenth-century religious movement that wedded the spiritual idealism of philosopher Ralph Waldo Emerson with the pursuit of healing alternatives through various mental and psychological processes. The origin of New Thought is generally traced to Phineas Parkhurst Quimby (1802-1866), a mesmerist from the state of Maine. Quimby had become fascinated with the phenomena associated with mesmerism (or hypnotism ) but began to notice that its healing potential really came from the transfer of healing thoughts. He concluded that mind was the major factor in healing. The mind of the patient had come to accept thoughts that caused disease, and healing was accomplished when the mind came to believe the truth. For Quimby, the mind's operation upon the body brought health.

Quimby lived in Portland, Maine, far from the centers of culture. He wrote down his ideas but never published them, and only a few students found their way to his door. When he died as a relatively unknown and unheralded healer in 1866 there was nothing like a movement built around either him or his ideas. One of his students, Warren Felt Evans, a Swedenborgian minister, settled in Salisbury, Massachusetts, and in 1869 wrote the first of a series of books on mental healing, acknowledging in passing his debt to Quimby. However, his developing ideas left Quimby behind for a form of pantheism.

The most notable of Quimby's students was Mary Baker Eddy. She found significant relief from her chronic medical problems under Quimby's tutelage, but had questioned the fact that her symptoms returned when she left Maine and tried to resume her normal life. She also was offended by Quimby's disparagement of ministers, churches, and religion in general. She went to the Bible as a means of answering her questions.

Eddy reached a crisis in 1866 a few weeks after Quimby's death. She slipped on some ice and injured herself to the extent that she was bedridden. Some thought she was going to die. However, during her recovery, all of her study came together in a new revelation that God was all, the sum of reality. Since God is all, and in his presence there can be no illness, she concluded that illness must be an error in the individual's mind. The realization of this new insight led to her immediate healing. She would embody this new idealistic understanding of the universe in a booklet, The Science of Man (1870), and then more completely in her textbook, Science and Health (1875). She taught informally for several years but in 1876 encouraged the formation of the Christian Science Association, an organization of her students and the root of the Church of Christ, Scientist, which she would found three years later.

The Christian Science movement placed a new healing emphasis before the American public. Eddy regularly offered classes at which she trained people to become practitioners. Her students in turn moved out to establish offices and offer their services to their suffering neighbors. Led by the distribution of Science and Health (soon expanded with a biblical key to become Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures ), the Christian Science movement spread across North America and into Europe during the 1880s.

The Emergence of New Thought

Eddy built this large movement, with which Quimby was never involved. It was built around her own particular healing vision, the core of which had been revealed to her in 1866 and which she developed throughout the rest of her life. She had little patience with students who wished to take her ideas and make personal elaborations upon them. Students who deviated from Eddy's own presentation of Christian Science were soon separated from the organization. By the mid 1880s there were a number of independent Christian Science practitioners, including some who moved away due to Eddy's insistence upon the centrality of Christian faith and symbols. Collectively they became known as the mind cure movement.

In 1885, one of Eddy's most talented students, to whom she had entrusted the Christian Science Journal, broke with Eddy and moved from Boston to Chicago to establish an independent private practice. After a year as merely a practitioner, Emma Curtis Hopkins was talked into opening a school at which she could teach Christian Science and train practitioners. The school opened in 1886 as the Hopkins Metaphysical Association. By the end of 1887, affiliated associations managed by her students could be found from Maine to California. Hopkins' efforts pulled together the independents into a coherent competing movement that grew and diversified over the next decade. Among Hopkins's students were a number of capable leaders who, with her encouragement, founded their own independent movements. Over the years she taught Melinda Cramer (founder of Divine Science), Myrtle and Charles Fillmore (cofounders of Unity), Annie Rix Militz (founder of the Homes of Truth), and Ernest Holmes (founder of Religious Science).

Hopkins thus mobilized the followers and trained the leaders of what would in the 1890s become known as the New Thought movement and is rightly remembered as the movement's founder. Hopkins would largely resign from any leadership role in 1895 after launching the movement, which consisted of several large associations of churches and centers (Unity, Divine Science, Homes of Truth, and later the Church of Truth and Religious Science) and many independent churches and centers. Various attempts to organize the movement were made through the early years of the twentieth century, culminating in the formation of the International New Thought Alliance in 1915. Several years later the alliance adopted a "Declaration of Principles" which guided it for forty years until the present "Declaration," which was adopted in 1957, appeared.

The 1957 Declaration affirmed the oneness of God and humanity, a major implication being that humans can reproduce divine perfection in the body. God is defined as universal wisdom, love, life, truth, power, peace, joy, and beauty, and the universe is seen as the body of God. Mental states manifest in human life to good or ill. God manifests as the divine virtues in humans. Humans are basically an invisible spiritual dweller in the body.

Today the International New Thought Alliance is headquartered at 5003 E. Broadway Rd., Mesa, AZ 85206.

Sources:

Beebe, Tom. Who's Who in New Thought. Lakemount, Ga.: CSA Press, 1977.

Braden, Charles S. Spirits in Rebellion. Dallas, Tex.: Southern Methodist University Press, 1963.

Dresser, Horatio W. History of the New Thought Movement. New York: Thomas Y. Crowell, 1919.

. The Spirit of New Thought. New York: Thomas Y. Crowell, 1917.

Fuller, Robert C. Mesmerism and the American Cure of Souls. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1982.

Judah, J. Stillson. The History and Philosophy of the Metaphysical Movements in America. Philadelphia: Westminster Press, 1967.

Melton, J. Gordon. New Thought: A Reader. Santa Barbara, Calif.: Institute for the Study of American Religion, 1990.

Meyer, Donald. The Positive Thinkers. New York: Doubleday, 1965.

Parker, Gail. Mind Cure in New England. Hanover, N.H.: University Press of New England, 1973.

Podmore, Frank. Mesmerism and Christian Science. London: Metheun, 1909.

Quimby, Phineas P. The Complete Writings. Edited by Ervin Seale. 3 vols. Marina del Rey, Calif.: DeVorss, 1987.

. The Quimby Manuscripts. Edited by Horatio Dresser. New York: Thomas Y. Crowell, 1919. Reprint, New York: Julian Press, 1961.

Trine, Ralph Waldo. In Tune With the Infinite. New York: Thomas Y. Crowell, 1897.

Troward, Thomas. The Edinburgh Lectures on Mental Science. London, 1904.

. The Hidden Power and Other Papers on Mental Science. New York: Dodd, Mead, 1917.

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New Thought

New Thought, popular philosophical movement with religious implications; it affirms "the creative power of constructive thinking." A successor of New England transcendentalism, New Thought grew out of the healing practices of P. P. Quimby and the "mental science" of W. F. Evans, a Swedenborgian minister. From its initial emphasis on the healing of disease it developed into an intensely individualistic and optimistic philosophy of life and conduct. The name was adopted in the 1890s to indicate this broader interest. Annual national conventions were held from 1894, and in 1914 the International New Thought Alliance was formed, with branches in England, Australia, and elsewhere. Composed of many smaller groups, such as Divine Science, Unity (until 1922), and Home of Truth, the alliance is held together by one central teaching, namely, that people through the constructive use of their minds can attain freedom, power, health, prosperity, and all good, molding their bodies as well as the circumstances of their lives. The doctrine was widely popularized by such writers as O. S. Marden and Ralph Waldo Trine, especially in the latter's In Tune with the Infinite (1897). Beyond this unifying principle of the constructive power of the mind and the prevailing optimism of the movement, there are a great variety of diverse and often mutually contradictory ideas in New Thought. Individual New Thought leaders have employed concepts from every variety of idealistic, spiritualistic, pantheistic, kabbalistic, and theosophical thought, as well as from Christianity. There are also frequent overtones of the mystical and occult in New Thought literature.

See H. W. Dresser, A History of the New Thought Movement (1919); C. S. Braden, Spirits in Rebellion: The Rise and Development of New Thought (1963); M. A. Larson, New Thought or a Modern Religious Approach (1985).

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New Thought

New Thought. A loosely structured movement that emerged in the USA in the last quarter of the 19th cent., which includes a variety of metaphysical, occult, healing sects, schools, and groups such as Christian Science, Divine Science, The Unity School of Christianity, and Science of Mind. It was strongly influenced by Phineas Parkhurst Quimby, who practised a form of mesmeric healing with the aid of a medium and advanced the idea that by positive or right thinking it is possible to realize one's highest ideals in the here and now, especially in the realm of healing where prayer is a central part of the process. Since the 1950s there has been a revival of interest in these movements in the USA and W. Europe.

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New Thought (Organ)

New Thought (Organ)

Quarterly organ of the International New Thought Alliance (INTA), the major ecumenical organization bringing together the congregations of the large New Thought groups (Divine Science, Religious Science, and the Unity School of Christianity) with the many small and independent congregations that follow New Thought metaphysics. It includes a directory of the affiliated congregations. Founded in 1914, it was published in Los Angeles for many years; however, its editorial offices were moved in the 1980s to the new permanent headquarters of INTA, 5003 E. Broadway Rd., Mesa, AZ 85206.

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New Thought

NEW THOUGHT

A movement embracing any form of modern belief in the practice of mental healing other than those associated with traditional Christianity. The name came into vogue in 1895 and was used as the title of a magazine published for a time in Melrose, Massachusetts, to describe a "new thought" about life, based on the premise that knowledge of the real world of ideas has marvelous power to relieve people of various ills.

History. The movement began with the work of Phineas P. Quimby (180266), of Portland, Maine, who practiced mental and spiritual healing for more than 20 years and greatly influenced Mary Baker eddy, foundress of christian science. At first Quimby practiced unqualified mesmerism; the client would sit opposite the doctor, who then held the person's hands and looked him intently in the eye. As the patient went into a mesmeric sleep, Quimby spoke to him and talked him out of his ailment, often manipulating the affected part with hands that were moistened for greater efficiency. Later, Quimby became convinced that disease was simply an error of the mind and not a real thing, so that mesmerism could be dispensed with and equal, or even better, results assured. In time he claimed that his only power consisted in the knowledge he had that sickness is illusion and in the ability to communicate this assurance to others. In a circular addressed to the sick, Quimby thus described his own system: "My practice is unlike all medical practice. I give no medicine, and make no outward applications. I tell the patient his troubles, and what he thinks is his disease; and my explanation is the cure. If I succeed in correcting his errors, I change the fluids of the system and establish the truth, or health. The truth is the cure. This mode of practice applies to all cases."

Quimby organized no society, but persons whom he had helped adopted his method, passing it on to others with additions and changes of their own. Two of his followers, Warren F. Evans and Julius A. Dresser, gave systematic form to his ideas; they are regarded as the intellectual founders of New Thought and its allied movements. Evans published six books on the subject, of which the most significant were The Mental Cure (1869), Mental Medicine (1872), and Soul and Body (1875). According to Evans, disease has its roots in wrong belief. Once that is changed, disease is cured. A devoted Swedenborgian, he had long been familiar with the writings of G. berkeley and other idealists (see swedenborg, e.). His own character and personal experiences further led him to a point where he was ready to apply an extreme form of idealism to the healing of disease. Dresser, cured by Quimby in 1860, began his major work in mental healing in 1882 in Boston, where Dresser and his wife, Annetta, were competing with Mrs. Eddy. When Dresser's clients were curious to learn how they had been healed, he obliged with a series of 12 class lectures, which included a study of the divine immanence and a consideration that the spiritual life is continuous, that men already live in eternity. "To realize that our real life is spiritual was to overcome the illusions of sense-experience with its manifold bondages." Dresser's son and biographer popularized his father's teaching.

Evans and Dresser remained faithful to the memory of Quimby, whereas Mrs. Eddy disclaimed all dependence on her benefactor, whom she called "an ignorant mesmerist." Mrs. Eddy's followers became organized in a tightly knit society, the Church of Christ, Scientist; the disciples of Quimby founded numerous small groups under different names, such as Divine Science, Unity, Practical Christianity, Home of Truth, and the Church of the Higher Life. Before the turn of the century, these came to be known as New Thought and in 1894 the first national convention was held. In 1908 the name National New Thought Alliance was adopted and six years later the organization became international. Its membership was extended to all the major countries of the world.

Basic Principles. Although New Thought did not substantially change after the time of Quimby, Evans, and Dresser, there was an expansion of scope to cover a broader perspective than healing sickness. The Declaration of Principles, adopted by the International Alliance in 1917, begins by affirming "the freedom of each soul as to its choice and as to belief." Accordingly no creedal profession is necessary. "The essence of the New Thought is Truth, and each individual must be loyal to the Truth he sees. The windows of his soul must be kept open at each moment for the higher light, and his mind must be always hospitable to each new inspiration."

Allowing for a monistic interpretation of the universe, the declaration states, "We affirm the new thought of God as Universal Love, Life, Truth and Joy, in whom we live, move, and have our being, and by whom we are held together; and His mind is our mind now, that realizing our oneness with Him means love, truth, peace, health, and plenty." In the same strain, taking monistically Christ's words about the kingdom within us, New Thought asserts that "we are one with the Father" (see monism).

In keeping with Quimby's theory of the mind's influence, it is held that "Man's body is his holy temple. Every function of it, every cell of it, is intelligent, and is shaped, ruled, repaired, and controlled by mind. He whose body is full of light is full of health. Spiritual healing has existed among all races in all times. It has now become a part of the higher science and art of living the life more abundant."

Consistent with its stress on present well-being, New Thought believes that "Heaven is here and now, the life everlasting that becomes conscious immortality, the communion of mind with mind throughout the universe of thoughts, the nothingness of all error and negation, including death, the variety in unity that produces the individual expressions of the One-Life." All this is to be understood against the background of an idealism that some have traced to G. W. F. hegel and others to Berkeley. "We affirm," the declaration concludes, "that the universe is spiritual and we are spiritual beings."

New Thought considers itself a form of Christianity, while denying the Trinity, original sin, and the divinity of Christ. It proposes instead a cosmic hypostatic union that reflects the Christology of David strauss. "Every man is an incarnation of God," New Thought teaches, "anyone who recognizes this and lives in conscious and harmonious union with Spirit, automatically becomes Christ."

Unlike other denominations that emphasize mental health, such as Christian Science, New Thought permits dual membership; many of its adherents are active church-goers in the more liberal Protestant denominations.

Bibliography: m. bach, The Unity of Life (Englewood Cliffs, NJ 1962). h. e. cady, Lessons in Truth (rev. ed. Lee's Summit, MO 1955). h. w. dresser, Health and the Inner Life (New York 1906); A History of the New Thought Movement (New York 1919). e. holmes, New Thought Terms and Their Meanings (New York 1942). r. peel, Christian Science: Its Encounter with American Culture (New York 1958).

[j. a. hardon]

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New Thought

New Thought

Antioch Association of Metaphysical Science

Christ Truth League

Christian Assembly

Church of the Fuller Concept

Church of the Trinity (Invisible Ministry)

Divine Science Federation International

First Church of Divine Immanence

Foundation for A Course in Miracles (FACIM)

Global Religious Science Ministries

Home of Truth Spiritual Center

International Alliance of Churches of the Truth

Life-Study Fellowship Foundation, Inc.

Miracle Distribution Center

Noohra Foundation

Religious Science International

School of Truth

Seicho-No-Ie Truth of Life Movement

Today Church

United Centers for Spiritual Living

United Church and Science of Living Institute

Unity School of Christianity

Universal Church of Scientific Truth

Universal Foundation for Better Living

Antioch Association of Metaphysical Science

Current address not obtained for this edition.

The Antioch Association of Metaphysical Science is a metaphysical church founded in 1932 by Dr. Lewis Johnson of Detroit, Michigan. It serves a predominantly black membership.

Membership

Not reported. In 1965 there were 6 churches.

Christ Truth League

2409 Canton Dr., Fort Worth, TX 76112

The Christ Truth League was founded in 1938 by Alden Truesdell (d. 1985) and his wife, Nell Truesdell (d. 1971), as an independent ministry and fellowship of students seeking what they believed to be the right application of the law of life as taught and lived by Jesus Christ. The Truesdells were closely aligned with the teachings of Harley Bradley Jeffery (1872-1954).

Jeffery was a popular New Thought author and lecturer for most of the first half of the twentieth century. He had come into New Thought through the efforts of Charles Brodie Patterson and studied with Emma Curtis Hopkins, with whom he collaborated while she was writing her classic study, High Mysticism. He studied in England with Thomas Troward and was associated for a period with the Unity School of Christianity. During his mature years he produced a number of books developed out of the concepts of High Mysticism, including: The Principles ofHealing (1939), Coordination of Spirit, Soul and Body (1948), and MysticalTeachings (1954). After Jeffery’s death, the Truesdells acquired rights to his works and, for more than 30 years, carried on his ministry, published his books, and saw to their distribution. The Truesdells have been succeeded by Dr. Robert Applegate, the current minister and president of the league. The magazine Spiriticity has recently resumed publication. The league is a member of the International New Thought Alliance (INTA).

Membership

The league is a free fellowship with no formal membership. At the time of last publication, there was one center, in Fort Worth, Texas, where Sunday services and weekly classes were offered, with affiliated work in Benin, Nigeria, and the Philippines.

Sources

Jeffery, H. B. Coordination of Spirit, Soul and Body. Fort Worth, TX: Christ Truth League, 1948.

———. Mystical Teachings. Forth Worth, TX: Christ Truth League, 1954.

———. The Principles of Healing. Fort Worth, TX: Christ Truth League, 1939.

———. The Spirit of Prayer. Cambridge, MA: Ruth Laighton, 1938.

Christian Assembly

PO Box 6120, San Jose, CA 95150

Among the most specifically Christian of the several New Thought groups is the Christian Assembly. It was founded by William Farwell in 1900 in San Jose, California, as a branch of the Home of Truth, the loose association of centers led by Annie Rix Militz. Around 1920 Farwell’s congregation separated from the Home of Truth and took its present name. The Christian Assembly believes Christianity is founded upon the doctrines of Jesus Christ and the Bible, and these are used by the Assembly as a source of teaching. The Bible contains a spiritual sense within its historical/literal sense, and this spiritual meaning can be discerned by the Spirit of truth working upon the understanding.

Unlike many New Thought groups, the Christian Assembly has attempted to produce a summary statement of its beliefs. The fundamental principles of the teaching of the Christ include: God is Spirit, whose nature is love and wisdom; the kingdom of God is within; Jesus is the Christ, the son of the living God; he is divine and human (a perfect unity) and, as the risen Lord, he abides in his kingdom within; true faith comes from God and makes all things possible; evil has no power from God; love is the fulfillment of the law which is constitutional to man; Christian healing is properly a part of the gospel; the kingdom is known through works of faith and love. The work of the Christian Assembly is centered upon a weekly Sunday morning worship service, prayer groups, and Bible classes and truth lectures through the week. The sacraments have been discontinued so that concentration can be upon inner meaning.

Over the years, branches of the Christian Assembly were established in the San Francisco Bay area. At the time of last publication, ministers trained and ordained by the Christian Assembly were pastors of branch churches in Gilroy, Palo Alto, Oakland, Redwood City, and San Jose (2). Farwell was also a prolific writer, and the assembly has published much of his material.

Membership

Not reported. In 1971 there were 6 congregations.

Sources

Farwell, William. Be Thou a Blessing. San Jose, CA: First Christian Assembly, 1936.

———. The Paraclete. San Jose, CA: Christian Assembly, 1928.

Church of the Fuller Concept

Current address not obtained for this edition.

The Church of the Fuller Concept is a New Thought group headed by Dr. Bernese Williamson, a doctor of metaphysical science. Dr. Williamson teaches that we live in the God dispensation. God is our Father and Mother, our natural parents being God caring for us. God has a body (I Cor. 11:30) and is manifested in body-form on earth. Man’s body is the image and likeness of God. In recognizing God’s body, man can have the blessing of a healthy, whole body. Members of the church do not carry insurance, because in God, where man lives and moves and has his being (which is the body of God), there can be no illness. Dr. Williamson teaches that every meal is a communion and that what one visualizes as he eats and drinks will materialize.

Headquarters of the church are at the Hisacres New Thought Center in Washington, D.C. Members live by a pledge to remember their spiritual nature. They greet each other with the word, “Peace.” They adopt spiritual names, because they want to acquire the nature, characteristics and attributes of God. All students sign a pledge to give honest service to their employer for their pay, not accepting tips or vacation-with-pay, nor using intoxicants on the job. This pledge is given to the employers.

Membership

Not reported.

Church of the Trinity (Invisible Ministry)

Box 4608, Salem, OR 97302-8608

Friend Stuart (i.e., A. Stuart Otto) was a West Coast publisher who, in 1954, had a religious awakening that started his metaphysical search. Over the next few years, he was able to study with many of the outstanding New Thought leaders. In 1957, a series of additional enlightenment experiences began, culminating in 1963 with an inward ordination in what is called the invisible ministry. Three years later, Stuart began to conduct private metaphysical practice under the name “Invisible Ministry,” and, in 1967, obtained a charter and began issuing Tidings as a quarterly bulletin. Work was primarily by mail at a distance, though classes were held at the Invisible Ministry center. In 1972, Church of the Trinity was established as an outgrowth of the healing ministry.

The theology of Church of the Trinity is based upon the work of James Allen, Henry Drummond, Emmet Fox, and Friend Stuart. The church is grounded in the faith that the Christian doctrine of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit is the ultimate spiritual truth, and that all things proceed from these three aspects of almighty God. The church calls its theology the science of dominion, the Christ Jesus way. According thereto, man fulfills his destiny by achieving dominion and glorifies God in so doing. Jesus came to overcome death, and, as we recognize truth, we are freed of disease, disharmony, and lack. Those on the way are members of the fifth kingdom. The Church of the Trinity thus is similar to the Unity School of Christianity in its emphasis on specifically Christian tenets that are allegorized in a New Thought framework. However, the church is strictly trinitarian, an aspect not strongly emphasized by Unity.

The Church of the Trinity is purely spiritual and refrains from involvement in secular matters. It enjoins its members to obey the law and to be good citizens. Healing is the major concern, and the church sees itself as a balancing influence with Christ’s church as a whole. Seven sacraments are practiced by members: baptism, confirmation, communion, matrimony, holy orders, cognition of divine life, and expiation. As of 1972, there was only one center of the Church of the Trinity, but others were imminent and a school of theology has been opened.

Membership

Not reported, but in 1992 the Tidings newsletter reported a circulation of 400 copies. The church considers all baptized Christians as members. In 1992 there were two ministers and one center with affiliated work in Nigeria and the Philippines led by lay members. Affiliated individuals and supporters of the ministry, especially those involved in the healing work, can be found across the United States. They stay in contact through the mail.

Educational Facilities

Trinity School of Theology, San Marcos, California.

Periodicals

Tidings • Theologia 21Master Thoughts • The Theologia 21 Encyclopedia.

Divine Science Federation International

8084 Watson Rd., Ste. 236, St. Louis, MO 63119

Divine Science continues the merger of two streams of early metaphysical teachings, both of which began in the 1880s and both of which had derived from the initial work of Emma Curtis Hopkins, the founder of what today is termed New Thought. The first stream began in 1886 with Kate Bingham of Pueblo, Colorado. Bingham went to Chicago, Illinois, hoping to find some cure for her illness. She found that healing under the ministration of Mabel MacCoy, a student of Hopkins, who sent Bingham to her teacher for classes. Bingham would eventually complete the ministerial course at the Christian Science Theological Seminary and be ordained by Hopkins. Meanwhile, however, after completing her basic class work with Hopkins, Bingham returned to Colorado in 1887 to teach a class attended by two sisters, Nona Lovell Brooks (1862–1945) and Althea Brooks Small. Nona Brooks experienced a healing as a result of the class. At about the same time, MacCoy held a class in Denver, Colorado, which was attended by yet a third sister, Fannie Brooks James. By the summer of 1887 the Hopkins School of Christian Science was flourishing in Denver. It continued to be active until the mid-1890s, when Hopkins retired from her work in Chicago and moved into private work in New York.

At about the same time that Bingham was offering her class in Pueblo, Colorado, Hopkins traveled to San Francisco, California, and held a class in April 1887 attended by more than 200 people. Among those in attendance were Miranda Rice and Malinda Elliott Cramer (1844–1906). Miranda Rice had been an early student of Mary Baker Eddy but had left the Church of Christ, Scientist, moved to San Francisco, and opened the first Christian Science practitioners’office on the West Coast. Malinda Cramer had moved to San Francisco in 1870, hoping that the climate would be a cure for the ill health she had suffered for many years. She found that cure in 1885. Both women attended Hopkins’s class. Malinda Cramer began sharing and healing, and in 1887 began teaching classes and then incorporated the Home College of Divine Science, with which Rice affiliated. Later that year Cramer began publishing Harmony, one of the most prominent early New Thought periodicals.

The Denver and San Francisco streams began to flow together in 1889 when William McKendree Brown, a student of Hopkins from Iowa, moved to Denver and became the local agent in charge of distributing Harmony. In early 1890, Cramer came to Denver and taught a number of classes that were well received. Nona Brooks attended the classes and discovered a close affinity with Cramer. In 1892 Cramer formed the International Divine Science Association, originally an attempt to build a fellowship association for the early New Thought centers in the West and Midwest. Annie Rix Militz of the Home of Truth served as the first vice president. The first convention was held in San Francisco in 1894. The association continued to hold meetings through the end of the century.

In the early 1890s Nona Brooks moved to Denver, where Fannie James had organized a separate metaphysical group. Over the years the sisters had developed several important differences with Kate Bingham and the ideas taught her by Hopkins. They also began to remold Hopkins’s basic teaching around the central concept of the omnipresence of God. For example, they rejected any notion of prayer as supplication and centered their work on meditation as contemplation of God’s omnipresence. They discarded any distinction between a mortal and immortal mind, present in both Eddy and Hopkins’s thought, in favor of a simple reliance on omnipresence. They disagreed with the idea of chemicalization, passed on by Hopkins from Eddy, which explained what happened when some patients seem to get worse before getting better. They also rejected Hopkins’s use of alternating denials and affirmations in treating patients, as well as the multiple six-day healing treatments that utilized them. They preferred a single-method treatment, which merely affirmed the omnipresence of God.

In the mid-1890s Althea Small also moved to Denver. Brooks and James were already holding classes and doing healing from the latter’s home. However, by 1896 the work required them to open an office in downtown Denver. In 1898 they incorporated as the Divine Science College. Brooks received her ordination from Cramer that year, and on Sunday, January 1, 1899, Brooks opened the first church chartered by the college. James served as president of the college until her death during World War I, after which Brooks succeeded her. The formal organization of the work in Denver was vital to the survival of the movement, because the work in San Francisco was destroyed in the San Francisco earthquake and subsequent fire of 1906. Cramer herself died from injuries sustained in the disaster. Indeed, there have been many myths written about the beginnings of Divine Science, perhaps partly because much of Cramer’s historic, prolific writings were lost in the earthquake and subsequent fire.

Following the demise of Cramer, Nona Brooks came to the forefront as the leader. In response to divine guidance in 1929, Brooks resigned from the church but returned to Denver in 1938 and continued to be a part of the community and church family until her death in 1945. She was ably assisted over the years by some of the most talented teachers in the New Thought field. During the early twentieth century, W. John Murray and Ernest S. Holmes (later to found Religious Science) were ordained by Divine Science. Emmet Fox, at one time the preacher for the largest New Thought congregation in America, was a Divine Scientist. More recently Joseph Murphy, who had the largest New Thought audience in Southern California, built up the Los Angeles church.

BELIEFS

Divine Science teachings explain that Divine Science is a wholly open spiritual yet scientific and practical religion based on the teachings of Christ Jesus. Divine Science acknowledges every advance in the world of natural science, art, and religion as the further expansion of God-consciousness in man, and proclaims the right of man to achieve—through right thinking and true living—health, wealth, happiness, and power. Divine Science teachings are based in the Statement of Being: “God is All, both visible and invisible. One Presence, One Mind, One Power is all. This One that is All is perfect Life, perfect Love, and perfect Substance. Man [later changed to I AM] is the individualized expression of God and is ever one with this perfect Life, perfect Love, and perfect Substance.” The numerous expressions of the Statement of Being are all formulated to accord with the Law of Expression, the process by which the Creator reveals or produces creation. By this law it is seen that “like produces like, or that which is born of Spirit is Spirit.” This law shows the relationship existing between cause and effect, between God the creator and God the creation. It works from the invisible to the visible, from principle to example, from the inner to the outer. Divine Science believes in the omnipresence of God and that evil comes from man’s perception of the world and from man’s inhumanity to man.

ORGANIZATION

The work of Divine Science grew rather informally; churches are autonomous and there is no creed other than the Statement of Being. Divine Science does not issue rules. In 1957 the Divine Science Federation International was formed to serve the churches and centers and to more closely link in fellowship these autonomous organizations. It is governed by a House of Delegates composed of representatives of the various churches. A board of officers consisting of nine members from across the country handles administrative matters between the meetings of the House of Delegates. The Federation licenses ministers and practitioners; charters churches, centers, and study groups; publishes a monthly newsletter, Spirit in Action, a bi-monthly daily studies booklet, At-one-ment, and print material for use in Divine Science churches, centers, and study groups; and pays for the printing and distribution of Divine Science print material.

Membership

Not reported. The churches, centers, and study groups are autonomous, join the federation by choice, and do not report statistics.

Educational Facilities

Brooks Center for Spirituality, Denver, Colorado.

The Divine Science School, Washington, D.C.

United Divine Science School, San Antonio, Texas.

Periodicals

At-one-ment • Spirit in Action

Sources

Divine Science Federation International. www.divinesciencefederation.org.

Brooks, Louise McNamara. Early History of Divine Science. Denver, CO: First Divine Science Church, 1963.

Cramer, Malinda E. Divine Science and Healing. San Francisco, CA: C. L. Cramer, 1907.

Dean, Hazel. Powerful Is the Light. Denver, CO: Divine Science College, 1945.

Divine Science: Its Principle and Practice. Denver, CO: Divine Science Church and College, 1957.

Gregg, Irwin. The Divine Science Way. Denver, CO: Divine Science Federation International, 1975.

McCrary, Joan Cline, ed. Malinda Cramer’s Hidden Harmony. Denver, CO: Divine Science Federation International, 1990.

First Church of Divine Immanence

Current address not obtained for this edition.

The First Church of Divine Immanence was founded in 1952 by Dr. Henry Milton Ellis (d. 1970). Ellis was a journalist who studied at the College of Divine Metaphysics, from which he received a doctorate. He was for a while a Religious Science practitioner. He became aware that no New Thought group was serving the scattered believers not close to urban areas, so he founded the First Church of Divine Immanence as a mail order denomination. Ellis wrote Bible Science: the Truth and the Way as a textbook. At its height, before Ellis’s death, the church numbered close to 1,000 members, but with a much larger constituency. Ellis sent a newsletter, From the Pastor’s Study, regularly to the membership.

Teachings of the church and, Bible Science, draw heavily upon the works of Ernest S. Holmes, founder of the Church of Religious Science. Followers believe that God is Spirit, the original life-essence. “Infinite mind” is the life principle, and we think, decide and act with this omniscient mind. Further, believers hold that man is an expression of God in activity. The law of mind is the power of authority in the natural order of law. Man enters the kingdom of heaven by being “born again,” in Greek, metanoia, changing the mind. That change occurs when man realizes his true nature.

Membership

Not reported.

Foundation for A Course in Miracles (FACIM)

41397 Buecking Dr., Temecula, CA 92590-5668

Among the prominent centers perpetuating A Course in Miracles, the work channeled by Dr. Helen Schucman from an entity she believed to be Jesus, is the Foundation for A Course in Miracles, established in 1983 by cofounders Kenneth Wapnick and his wife, Gloria Wapnick. Dr. Kenneth Wapnick, a clinical psychologist, was a close friend and associate of Helen Schucman and William Thetford, the two people whose joining together was the immediate stimulus for the scribing of A Course in Miracles. Together with Dr. Schucman he prepared the Course manuscript for publication and sits on the executive board of the Foundation for Inner Peace, the book’s publisher. Gloria Wapnick is a former social studies instructor and high school dean of students who has been working with A Course in Miracles since 1977.

In 1984 the Foundation for A Course in Miracles (FACIM) evolved into the Teaching and Healing Center in Crompond, New York, which was quickly outgrown. In 1988 the Wapnicks opened the Academy and Retreat Center in upstate New York, and in 1995 began the Institute for Teaching Inner Peace Through A Course in Miracles (ITIP-ACIM), an educational corporation chartered by the New York State Board of Regents. The institute operates under the aegis of the foundation, administering workshops and academy courses. In 2001 the foundation moved to Temecula, California, and added an emphasis on electronic teaching.

The foundation’s Statement of Purpose defines its goal as to foster spiritual development through the study and practice of A Course in Miracles, a set of three books channeled by Jesus, that teach that the way to remember God is by undoing guilt through forgiving others. The corporation has as its specific aims to teach the Course, helping those interested to integrate the principles into their personal lives, that they may better realize their true identity, shared with all people, as children of God; to teach and train those who wish to teach the Course, to others; to teach the Course’s reinterpretation of traditional Christian principles such as sin, suffering, forgiveness, atonement, and the meaning of the Crucifixion; to further understanding of the Course by means of educational and training programs, seminars, and publications.

As they worked with the Course, the Wapnicks concluded that it was not the simplest of thought systems to understand, not only in the intellectual grasp of its teachings, but in the application of these teachings to personal lives. Additionally, Dr. Schucman shared a vision of a teaching center that the Wapnicks understood to be a place where the person of Jesus and His message in A Course in Miracles would be manifest. Their thinking has always been inspired by Plato (and his mentor Socrates), and it is their hope that the foundation would function in a manner similar to Plato’s Academy, a place where serious and thoughtful people studied his philosophy in an atmosphere conducive to their learning, and then returned to their professions to implement what they were taught by the great philosopher.

It is the Wapnicks’ belief that Jesus gave A Course in Miracles at this particular time in this particular form for several reasons, including: 1) The necessity of healing the mind of its belief that attack is salvation; this is accomplished through forgiveness, the undoing of our belief in the reality of separation and guilt. 2) The needed emphasis on the importance of Jesus and/or the Holy Spirit as a loving and gentle Teacher, and developing a personal relationship with this Teacher. 3) A need to correct the errors of Christianity, particularly where it has emphasized suffering, sacrifice, separation, and sacrament as being inherent to God’s plan of salvation.

The Wapnicks have traveled across the United States and around the world to conduct classes and workshops. They have appeared on several radio and television shows discussing the teachings of A Course in Miracles and the work of their foundation.

Membership

Not a membership organization. The FFCIM serves its nationwide constituency out of two centers in Temecula and La Jolla, California.

Periodicals

The Lighthouse.

Sources

Foundation for A Course in Miracles. www.facim.org/.

The Message of A Course in Miracles, vol. 1: All Are Called; vol. 2: Few Choose to Listen. Temecula, CA: Foundation for A Course in Miracles, 1997.

Miller, Patrick. The Complete Story of The Course: The History, the People and the Controversies Behind A Course in Miracles. Berkeley, CA: Fearless Books, 1997.

Wapnick, Kenneth. Absence from Felicity: The Story of Helen Schucman and Her Scribing of A Course in Miracles. Temecula, CA: Foundation for A Course in Miracles, 1991.

Global Religious Science Ministries

4625 W. Broad St., Richmond, VA 23230

Global Religious Science Ministries (GRSM) is a recently formed New Thought association of ministers and churches in the Religious Science tradition developed by Ernest S. Holmes (1887-1960) in the early twentieth century. It was founded by Dr. Robert Karle, Rev. Dr. Thelma Smith, and other ministers who had formerly been affiliated with the Religious Science International. Global Religious Science Ministries follows the beliefs and practices of the Religious Science International, differing primarily only on issues of administration. Of particular concern was the development of an expanded understanding of ministry.

GRSM licenses and ordains ministers, and charters churches and personal ministries. It sponsors a seminary, which operates through the several GRSM churches.

GRSM is led collectively by its Commission of Ministers, which in 2008 consisted of Rev. Lisa Marks, its president, and Rev. Roberta Adair, Rev. Dr. Thelma Smith, Doug Kinney, Rev. Christine Coates, Rev. Dwight Smith, Joe Burcham, and Rev. Leo Mosely.

Members

In 2008 the GRSM reported 28 ministers serving several congregations and a variety of ministries in California, Illinois, Maryland, New York, and Virginia.

Educational Facilities

GRSM Professional Seminary.

Sources

Global Religious Science Ministries. www.grsm.org/.

Home of Truth Spiritual Center

1300 Grand St., Alameda, CA 94501

The Home of Truth Spiritual Center is the sole remaining congregation among the Homes of Truth, for several decades of the early twentieth century the largest New Thought group in the world. Founded by Annie Rix Militz (1856–1924) and her sister Harriet Rix in 1888, these congregations grew directly out of the early ministry of Emma Curtis Hopkins (1849–1925). In April 1887 Hopkins came to San Francisco, California, and held what was for many years the largest Christian Science class ever held. Annie Rix, a school teacher, was transformed by the class, believing she had found her role in life. She founded the first Home of Truth in San Francisco. A second one was started in Alameda, California, a few years later. Annie also accepted an invitation from Hopkins to join the faculty of her Christian Science Theological Seminary in Chicago, Illinois, where she met and married Paul Militz and came to know many of the early New Thought leaders, including Myrtle Fillmore (1845–1931) and her husband Charles S. Fillmore (1854–1948), who were also students at the seminary.

After the dissolution of the seminary and the retirement of Hopkins to New York City in the mid-1890s, Militz returned to California. Finding the work in the Bay Area stable, she moved to Southern California and opened a Home of Truth in Los Angeles. She also developed close ties to the Fillmores, who had started the Unity School of Christianity, and became one of the important contributors to their magazine, Unity. She wrote one of the first sets of Unity basic lessons, later republished as Primary Lessons in Christian Living and Healing, and an early volume on prosperity, which remained in print into the late twentieth century.

During the last two decades of her life, Militz traveled widely (including several around-the-world tours) on behalf of New Thought. She was an early and energetic supporter of the International New Thought Alliance (INTA). She developed the Homes of Truth along the Pacific Coast as well as in Chicago and Boston. At the time of her death, there were no less than twelve Homes of Truth. Militz also founded the Master Mind Publishing Company, which published New Thought books and, beginning in 1911, The Master Mind, one of the most prominent metaphysical magazines into the 1930s.

Militz, along with the Fillmores and other early New Thought leaders, had a strong belief in the possibility of physical immortality. At the time of her death, her closest disciples refused to bury her body; the city of Los Angeles intervened, an action that brought some unwanted press coverage to the movement. In spite of the loss of Militz, the movement remained vital for another generation but began to decline after World War II. By the 1970s there were only two congregations. One of these, the Boston Home of Truth, dissolved upon the death of its longtime leader, Eleanor Mel.

The Home of Truth Spiritual Center draws eclectically on and attempts to integrate a variety of New Thought systems, including Unity and New Age emphases such as The Course in Miracles.

Membership

In 2008 the Home of Truth Spiritual Center reported approximately two hundred members.

Periodicals

The Channel.

Sources

The Home of Truth Spiritual Center. www.thehomeoftruth.org/.

Militz, Annie Rix. Both Riches and Honor. Kansas City, MO: Unity School of Christianity, 1945.

———. Primary Lessons in Christian Living and Healing. New York: Absolute Press, 1909.

———. The Renewal of the Body. Holyoke, MA: Elizabeth Towne, 1920.

Rix, Harriet Hale. Christian Mind Healing. Los Angeles: Master Mind Publishing, 1918.

International Alliance of Churches of the Truth

690 E. Orange Grove Blvd., Pasadena, CA 91104

The International Alliance of Churches of Truth was formed in 1987 out of the remnants of what had been a loose fellowship of congregations of the Church of the Truth, also known informally as the Church of Truth. The church was formed in 1913 when Albert C. Grier, pastor of a Universalist Church in Spokane, Washington, resigned from the church and, with most of his congregation, formed a new congregation which taught Divine Science or New Thought. Later that year he began Truth, for many years an important New Thought periodical. Grier had become converted to New Thought after reading a pamphlet written by Clara T. Stocker, a student of Emma Curtis Hopkins, who worked as a practitioner in Spokane and in Cascade, British Columbia. Grier’s work expanded quickly as he became a popular lecturer and as other New Thought leaders were drawn into his fellowship. In 1914, work began in nearby Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, and within a few years affiliated centers spread across the Northwest.

Grier also developed close ties with Nona Brooks and the Divine Science Church in Denver, Colorado. He joined them, and along with Ernest S. Holmes of the Metaphysical Institute, they formed the Truth Association in 1918 as a competing ecumenical group to the recently formed International New Thought Alliance (INTA). After the alliance made changes in its declaration of principles to accommodate the association members, they dissolved the association and joined the alliance in 1921. Grier became an honorary president and, in 1922, a field lecturer, a duty that began to consume much of his time. In 1924 he was granted a year’s leave of absence from his pulpit and spent the year traveling for INTA and organizing a new church in Pasadena, California. In 1925 he moved to New York to become pastor of the Church of the Healing Christ, a prominent independent New Thought congregation formerly headed by W. John Murray. Early in 1925, after only a few months in his new post (to be succeeded by Emmet Fox), he resigned and formed a new Church of the Truth congregation, for many years the church’s largest. That church was later pastored for several decades by Erwin Seale.

Grier was succeeded in the Spokane pastorate by Erma Wells, who became the leader of the church after Grier’s death in the 1930s. Wells, outstanding in her own right, founded the University of Metaphysics to train New Thought ministers, and was president for three years of the INTA. Her career was cut short by an automobile accident. The university was moved to Portland, Oregon, and the Spokane congregation eventually affiliated with the Association of Unity Churches. Leadership of the loosely organized group shifted to the Pasadena church. During its first generations the church produced a number of outstanding New Thought leaders such as Elizabeth Towne, James Dodds, and H. Edward Mills. However, after Wells’s accident, much of the organizational glue was lost, the informal fellowship began to collapse, and many of the congregations became independent or were lost to other New Thought organizations.

BELIEFS

Grier brought little hostility toward organized religion with him in creating the new Church of the Truth, and showed no reluctance in composing statements of belief and church mission so evident in many New Thought circles. Almost immediately after the church was formed, he published a church covenant and a “Statement of the Truth” in which he affirmed the allness of God, the primacy of thought, Love as the essence of the Divine Omnipresence, and the ability to know and utilize the power of Divine Omnipresence through thinking God’s thoughts. While drawing heavily upon Divine Science, he hoped to build a broader, more universal faith capable of withstanding the ravages and changes of time. The intellectual thrust of his ministry was manifest in the University of Metaphysics created by Erma Wells and in the theological text written by his daughter, Foundation Stones of Truth.

ORGANIZATION

The Church of the Truth has always existed as a loose supportive association of like-minded ministers and churches tied together by Truth magazine. In recent decades, the fellowship dwindled to only a few churches. During the tenure of Pasadena pastor, Judi D. Warren, (1979–1989) the attempt was made to revive the church’s common life and to breathe new vitality into the organization. While creating a broad program of activities, including a Wellness Center, at the Pasadena location, Warren opened a ministerial training school and developed a new generation of mission-oriented pastors. In 1987, she led in the founding of the International Alliance of Churches of Truth and launched an aggressive program of creating new congregations and inviting independent like-minded congregations into the alliance.

Unfortunately, following Rev. Warren’s retirement from the Church of Truth in Pasadena in 1989, the International Alliance became dormant. Most recently, however, Rev. Deborah Coleman of the Deborah Coleman Ministries in Ontario, Canada, has assumed a leadership role and is reactivating the organization. In the meantime, Rev. Kathleen S. Myers, who succeeded Warren as pastor of the Church of Truth in Pasadena, has continued to nurture the Albert Grier Ministerial School which has a 31/2 year program to train people for the ordained ministry in the Church of Truth.

Membership

In 1988 the fledgling alliance had three congregations, Pasadena, California; Coeur d’Alene, Idaho; and Victoria, British Columbia; and reported approximately 1,000 members. In 1992, there were reported 11 congregations.

Educational Facilities

Albert Grier School of Religious Studies, Pasadena, California.

Periodicals

Open Heart.

Sources

Grier, Albert C. Truth’s Cosmology. Spokane, WA: Church of the Truth, n.d.

Grier, Albert C., and Agnes M. Lawson. Truth and Life. New York: E. P. Dutton, 1921.

Grier, Gladys C. Foundation Stones of Truth. Los Angeles: Williang Publishing Company, 1948.

Seale, Ervin. Ten Words That Will Change Your Life. New York: William Morrow & Company, 1954.

Stocker, Clara T. Realization through Concentrated Attention. Pasadena, CA: Church of the Truth, n.d.

Life-Study Fellowship Foundation, Inc.

Dept. W, Noroton, CT 06820

The Life-Study Fellowship Foundation, Inc. was begun in 1939. It differs from other New Thought groups in that its members are related to each other and to the headquarters only through the literature sent out regularly. Recent literature carries no mention of the Foundation’s founders or present leaders, but often quotes from testimonials of members who have been helped. Several of the more substantial early books were written by Herbert R. Moral. The basis of the Fellowship is the “new way of prayer,” which, while simple, is believed to be able to open the power of prayer to all.

The new way is based on Unity Prayer, the thrice-daily prayer by all members for others in the Fellowship. The prayer to be used at each period is printed in the bimonthly Faith magazine. At 8:00 a.m., the prayer is for God’s guidance; at 12:00 noon, it is for prosperity; and at 9:00 p.m., it is for healing. A second aspect of the “new way of prayer” is the use of special printed prayers that are sent to members with particular types of problems. These prayers articulate needs, requests for blessings, and affirmations. They are to be read daily at a regular prayer time. The third part of the new way is the special-help department devoted to short-term special problems. Members may write to headquarters for help at any time. Members of the Fellowship are urged to use the prayers as a means for problem-solving and obtaining particular goals. A golden key is distributed for good fortune. Each key has letters that can bring good luck when understood and used.

Membership in the Fellowship is solicited through numerous advertisements in the printed media. Members fill out a lengthy form. The work is supported by the offerings of the members. The Teachings Department has, since the mid-1960s, published a series of books and booklets containing prayers on particular themes, such as prosperity, healing, and peace of mind.

Membership

Not reported.

Periodicals

Faith.

Sources

Life-Study Fellowship Foundation, Inc. www.lifestudyfellowship.org.

Moral, Herbert R. How to Have Better Health through Prayer. Noroton, CT: Life-Study Fellowship, n.d.

[Moral, Herbert R.?]. “With God All Things Are Possible!” Noroton, CT: Life-Study Fellowship, 1945.

Power for Peace of Mind. Noroton, CT: Life-Study Fellowship, n.d.

Miracle Distribution Center

3947 E La Palma Ave., Anaheim, CA 92807

The Miracle Distribution Center, founded in 1978 by Richard Hutchinson and Beverly Hutchinson (brother and sister), is a nonprofit organization that serves as a resource center for A Course in Miracles, a three-volume channeled textbook that offers a set of teachings very close to traditional New Thought metaphysics. The material in the Course was received by Dr. Helen Schucman (d. 1981), a psychologist at the Neurological Institute at Columbia University in New York City. Born into a Jewish family, Schucman had become an atheist, but in 1965 she began to receive the material for the Course as dictated by an inner voice. The dictations continued over a seven-year period, and the speaking voice claimed to be Jesus Christ.

In 1975 Dr. Schucman met Judith Skutch, a well-known leader in New York City’s psychic-metaphysical community and head of the Foundation for Parasensory Information. During the next year Skutch read the material and was so impressed that she established the Foundation for Inner Peace. During that year she also met Saul Steinberg, owner of Coleman Graphics, a print shop on Long Island, who offered to print the book. It was published in 1976 without any mention of Dr. Schucman. Although given little fanfare and informally promoted, largely by word of mouth, it quickly found an audience. By 1977 groups studying A Course in Miracles had sprung up from New York to California. In addition to Coleman Graphics, Steinberg founded a publishing company, Miracle Life, Inc. (now Miracle Experiences, Inc.), and began a newsletter, Miracle News, which promotes the Course through conferences and workshops and has fostered the emergence of a network of study groups.

The movement that grew around the Course soon attracted leaders from among people already accepting New Thought metaphysics, including some medical and psychological professionals previously aligned with the human potential movement. Several of these professionals, most notably Dr. Gerald G. Jampolsky, founder of the Center for Attitudinal Healing in Tiburon, California, became national promoters and spokespersons for the Course.

As the movement grew, Saul Steinberg emerged as the national conference coordinator and national group coordinator for the Course. During the 1980s a national network of study groups emerged, and Miracle Experiences, Inc., headed by Steinberg, coordinated and promoted national and regional conferences. Numerous independent centers and teachers of the Course material formed a loosely connected Miracles community across North America and in Europe. Through the 1990s new teachers and centers continued to emerge. Prominent teachers included Tara Sigh, Jon Mundy, and best-selling author Marianne Williamson. Coming to prominence as a nurturing and organizing center for the community was the Miracles Community Network. It publishes Miracles Magazine, provides coordination for the network of A Course in Miracles students and study groups, and sponsors conferences.

The Miracle Distribution Center distributes the Course in Miracles and related materials, fosters study groups, and serves as the nexus of the worldwide network of students of the Course.

Membership

In 2008 the Miracle Distribution Center reported 2,000 Course in Miracles study groups around the world. Over 100,000 copies of A Course in Miracles have been sold.

Periodicals

The Holy Encounter.

Sources

Miracle Distribution Center: A Course in Miracles Resource Center. www.miraclecenter.org/.

A Course in Miracles. 3 vols. New York: Foundation for Inner Peace, 1975.

Koffend, John. “The Gospel According to Helen.” Psychology Today 14 (September 1980): 74–78.

Miller, Patrick. The Complete Story of the Course: The History, the People and the Controversies Behind A Course in Miracles. Berkeley, CA: Fearless Books, 1997.

Ray, Sondra. Drinking the Divine. Berkeley, CA: Celestial Arts, 1984.

Skutch, Robert. “A Course in Miracles, the Untold Story.” New Realities 4, nos. 1–2 (July/August, September/October 1984): 17–27; 8–15, 78.

———. Journey without Distance. Berkeley, CA: Celestial Arts, 1984.

Noohra Foundation

4480H S. Cobb Dr. Ste. H PMB 343, Smyrna, GA 30080-6989

The Noohra (Light) Foundation was founded in 1970 by Dr. Rocco A. Errico, a student of George M. Lamsa (1890–1975), an Assyrian-born Bible scholar and translator. The Noohra Foundation grew out of and supercedes the Aramaic Bible Society, founded by Lamsa in 1927. Lamsa had migrated to the United States in 1917. He attended Virginia Theological Seminary (Episcopal) and the University of Pennsylvania, and then began his career as a Bible translator. It was Lamsa’s claim that Greek was not the original language of the Scriptures. He believed that Jesus and the Apostles spoke Aramaic, that they wrote in Aramaic, and that the Eastern Peshitta Bible was the original version. He argued that only by understanding the Aramaic background could the many idioms of the New Testament be understood. Most important, Lamsa claimed that the Assyrian (the modern form of Aramaic) language, customs, and manners of his home country, Assyria (present-day eastern Turkey), were unchanged since the time of Jesus and could be studied for direct light on Scripture.

Lamsa’s scholarship was embodied in a series of translations of biblical literature and commentaries on the New Testament that deal with Aramaic customs. The Aramaic Bible Society was created to teach Lamsa’s insights and distribute his writings. In 1970 Errico founded the Aramaic Bible Center in San Antonio, Texas (where Lamsa resided during the 1960s), as an educational organization to expand knowledge of Lamsa’s work and do further work on Aramaic texts. At the time he was co-pastor of the Calvary Missionary Church, which served briefly as a “branch office” of the society, and co-editor of Light for All, the society’s magazine. Two years later he resigned his position at the church to devote his full attention to the center.

During the 1960s and 1970s, Lamsa’s work was increasingly identified with metaphysical movements, and his interpretation of Scripture leaned toward a more metaphysical worldview associated with New Thought. During this time he became a popular speaker for New Thought groups, especially the Unity School of Christianity and its affiliated churches. As Lamsa’s health failed during the 1970s, Errico became the spokesperson for his ideas. In 1970 the center took its present name, and in 1976 Errico moved its operations to Irvine, California; after seventeen years there, he moved it to Santa Fe, New Mexico, and in 2001 to its present location in Smyrna, Georgia. The foundation’s stated purpose is to encourage humanity’s potential through the study of the scriptural, mystical, and practical aspects of Truth, using the Lamsa translation of the Bible. Besides its regular ongoing classes at various locations, Errico is a popular speaker-teacher and has attracted members to the foundation from across the nation.

The Noohra Foundation is associated with other Aramaic study centers such as St. Ephrem’s Institute in Solna, Sweden, and the Lamsa Foundation in Germany. Errico has also spoken frequently at the Church of Daily Living, an independent congregation that shares facilities with the foundation in Costa Mesa. The Center of Creative Living in Westminster, Colorado, pastored by Mary Beth Olson, is an affiliate branch of the foundation. Both the foundation and the center in Colorado are members of the International New Thought Alliance (INTA).

Membership

Not reported.

Periodicals

Noohra Light.

Sources

Noohra Foundation. www.noohra.com/.

Alyes, Tom. The Life of George Lamsa. St. Petersburg, FL: Aramaic Bible Society, 1966.

Lamsa, George M. The Kingdom on Earth. Lee’s Summit, MO: Unity Books, 1966.

———. My Neighbor Jesus. Philadelphia: Aramaic Research, 1932.

———. New Testament Commentary. Philadelphia: A.J. Holman, 1945.

Religious Science International

901 E 2nd Ave., Ste. 301, Spokane, WA 99202

Alternate Address

PO Box 2152, Spokane, WA 99210-2152.

Religious Science International (RSI) continues the original fellowship of Religious Science ministers and churches, the International Association of Religious Science Churches (IARSC), organized in 1949. In 1954, at the annual meeting, Ernest S. Holmes presented a plan for reorganizing the Religious Science movement, which involved disbanding the association and realigning each individual church as an affiliate church to the Church of Religious Science (the name assumed in 1953 by the Institute of Religious Science, which trained all Religious Science ministers). That church is now known as the United Church of Religious Science. A number of the ministers and churches chose to continue as the IARSC. The IARSC, now known as Religious Science International, is like the United Church in following the teachings and practice of founder Ernest Holmes; both use his textbook, The Science of Mind®, which was first published in 1926 and revised in 1938. The mission of Religious Science International, as a world religion with world concerns, is to create an environment that nurtures and celebrates the individualized, authentic expression of Spirit through the principles of the Science of the Mind®. The organization and its affiliated congregations support the International New Thought Alliance (INTA) and the Association for Global New Thought.

Membership

In 2002 the organization had 143 churches including 13,100 members in the United States and 15 churches and 1,270 members in Canada. In 2008 there were also churches and groups located in Australia, Jamaica, and South Africa, with contacts and activities in 35 countries worldwide.

Educational Facilities

RSI Distance Learning.

Periodicals

Creative Thought • RSI Reporter • Awakenings.

Sources

Religious Science International. www.rsintl.org.

Bitzer, Robert H. How to Make Your Mental Computer. Hollywood, CA: Author, 1963.

Keyhoe, Merle A., ed. A Fountain of Truth. Marina del Rey, CA: DeVorss & Co., 1980.

Whitaker, Claudine. God Is in This Place. Chicago: First Church of Religious Science, 1974.

Whitehead, Carleton. Can You Keep a Secret? Wakefield, MA: Montrose Press, 1955.

School of Truth

PO Box 62549, Marshalltown, Republic of South Africa 2107

New Thought invaded the Union of South Africa in the 1930s through an influx of literature and the visits of various leaders. One person affected was Dr. Nicol C. Campbell, who, in 1937, founded the School of Practical Christianity in Johannesburg. This institution later changed its name to School of Truth. By the late 1960s, New Thought had saturated South Africa and moved into Rhodesia. In the early 1960s, a center was opened in Los Angeles.

The teachings of the School of Truth are more heavily drawn from the Bible than are those of many New Thought bodies. The basis principle is the necessity to “Seek first the kingdom of God”(Matt. 6:33). The kingdom of God is within. Jesus longed for the manifestations of the kingdom, which in latent form is within every person. The kingdom is found through a state of awareness, the consciousness of love’s omnipresence. As we attune to love, we bring the kingdom into expression on earth. Love is the omnipresent law that rules supreme. To live the law we must think and feel good thoughts: love, health, happiness, peace, and goodwill to all men. Thinking and feeling these thoughts will allow us to reap their benefits in our own lives.

Literature and lectures of the School of Truth are offered without charge on its Web site. The two monthly periodicals are sent worldwide without the need to request a subscription. Members of the School of Truth are taught to tithe, and it is from their gifts and tithes that the work is sustained. Affiliated centers and study groups are found in England and several African countries. The school is a member of the International New Thought Alliance (INTA).

Membership

Not reported. As of 1985 there were no centers in the United States (the Los Angeles center having closed). Adherents keep in contact through periodicals, e-mail, and Web site resources.

Periodicals

The Path of Truth • Young Ideas.

Sources

School of Truth. www.wjm.0catch.com/School_of_Truth.html.

Campbell, Nicol C. My Path of Truth. Johannesburg, South Africa: School of Truth, 1954.

Seicho-No-Ie Truth of Life Movement

United States Missionary Headquarters, 14527 S Vermont Ave., Gardena, CA 90247

New Thought was organized in Japan in 1930 through the efforts of Dr. Masaharu Taniguchi. Taniguchi (1893–1985) studied English literature at Waseda University, where he became a devotee of Omoto, one of the new religions of Japan. He took a job as an editor of Omoto’s publications and used his leisure time to continue his education in Western philosophy, spirituality, Buddhism, and psychotherapy. In 1921 he left Omoto and, among other activities, edited a magazine on psychic phenomena. In 1928 he obtained a copy of The Law of Mind in Action by Fenwicke Holmes, brother of Ernest S. Holmes, founder of Religious Science. Putting the principles into practice, he was able to improve his financial situation and heal his daughter. He also had a mystical experience with an influx of a brilliant light.

In 1930 Taniguchi began publishing a magazine, Seicho-No-Ie (meaning “the home of infinite life, wisdom, and abundance”). Material from the magazine was later collected into a book, Seimei No Jisso (Reality in Life), comprising forty volumes. In 1931 the Holy Sutra, Nectarean Shower of Holy Doctrine, now recited by all the members, was given to Taniguchi by an angel. Seicho-No-Ie grew as a religion, interrupted only for a period after World War II when Taniguchi was prevented from teaching because of his expression of extreme Japanese nationalism during the war.

Seicho-No-Ie’s teaching is similar to that of Religious Science, but it is unique in its use of Shinsokan, the art of prayerful meditation. Members gather together, or in the privacy of their own homes, to begin each day by reciting the Holy Sutra. It is described as a means of self-remembering to clear the mind so that the real man can shine forth. Shinsokan begins in a correct posture, sitting with the palms together in prayer and contemplating reality. A closing prayer ends the session. Elements from many sources that Taniguchi has encountered during his studies embellish the basic New Thought thrust.

Seicho-No-Ie came to the United States in 1938 when Masaharu Matsuda, Tsuruta Yojan, and Mrs. Taneko Shimaza began work among the Japanese Americans on the West Coast. These leaders had been through the 15-day training session, an intensive experience in the divine nature through which all leaders are trained. After the war a church was opened in Los Angeles, which was later moved to suburban Gardena, serving as its headquarters. Other churches were founded in Seattle, Washington; Honolulu, Hawaii; and San Jose, California. By 1974 approximately 7,000 members and 24 missionaries were under the leadership of Rev. Paul K. Kumoto, appointed by Dr. Taniguchi.

Membership

In 2008 Seicho-No-Ie reported nine Truth of Life centers in the United States and three in Canada.

Periodicals

Seicho-No-Ie Truth of Life.

Sources

Seicho-No-Ie Truth of Life Centers. www.snitruth.org/.

Davis, Roy Eugene. Miracle Man of Japan. Lakemont, GA: CSA Press, 1970.

Tanaguchi, Masaharu. The Magic of Truth. Gardena, CA: Seicho-No-Ie Truth of life Movement, 1979.

———. Recovery from All Diseases. Tokyo: Seicho-No-Ie Foundation, 1963.

———. Seimei No Jisso. Denver: Smith-Brooks Printing Company, 1945.

———. Wondrous Way to Infinite Life and Power. Gardena, CA: Seicho-No-Ie Truth of life Movement, 1977.

Today Church

504 Business Pkwy., Dallas, TX 75081

The Today Church was formed in 1969 as the Academy of Mind Dynamics by Bud Moshier and his wife, Carmen Moshier in Dallas, Texas. Bud Moshier was a former Southern Baptist minister who was influenced by New Thought ideas, particularly the secular ideas concerning success motivation. Carmen Moshier was a music teacher in the public school system and formerly a minister with the Unity School of Christianity. The present name of the Moshier’s church was adopted in 1970.

The theology is like that of the Unity School of Christianity, and much Unity material is used in teaching. The oneness of God and the Christ within are affirmed. Man’s problems are considered to be due to his having lost sight of his spiritual origin and of his dominion over thought and feelings. Man manifests oneness in three phases—spirit (Christ mind), soul (awareness), and body (vehicle of expression). Man is responsible for finding the inner awareness of God that leads to prosperity, peace, and health.

The Today Church is governed by the members while the program is implemented by the pastors and board of trustees. The group has developed a vigorous program of classes and book-publishing. The weekly periodical circulates around the country. A tape library of lessons and lectures has been established, and copies are available on request. The aim of the program is to help people help themselves. The Moshiers have developed a new liturgy and hymnology to express the work of the church. They have authored syllabi for the classes on some of the classic books of the New Thought tradition.

Membership

Not reported.

Periodicals

The Voyager.

Sources

Moshier, Bud, and Carmen Moshier. Freeing the Whole Self. Dallas, TX: The Today Church, 1971.

Moshier, Carmen. Success Programming Songs for You! Dallas, TX: Academy of Mind Dymanics, 1970.

A Syllabus for the Study of “Science of Succeeding.” Dallas, TX: Academy of Mind Dynamics, n.d.

United Centers for Spiritual Living

2600 W Magnolia Blvd., Burbank, CA 91501

HISTORY

The United Centers for Spiritual Living, also known by its original name, the United Church of Religious Science, grew out of the work of Ernest S. Holmes (1887–1960), a metaphysical teacher in Los Angeles, California, during the early twentieth century. Born in rural Maine, where his family attended the Congregational church, he was educated in the public schools until the age of 15. Several years later he moved to Boston and soon enrolled in a school for public speaking. Continuing his own education through extensive reading, he discovered the realm of metaphysical thinking through the writings of both the philosopher Ralph Waldo Emerson and the founder of the Church of Christ, Scientist, Mary Baker Eddy. He became an avid student, consuming the writings of the leading metaphysical thinkers, such as Ralph Waldo Trine and Christian D. Larson.

In 1912 Holmes moved to California, where his brother Fenwicke Holmes had settled as the Congregational minister at Venice. Several years later, at a local metaphysical library, he discovered the writings of Thomas Troward, the British New Thought writer, whose approach freed Holmes to develop the mature perspective that would become known as the Science of Mind.

In 1916 Holmes organized the Metaphysical Institute, under whose umbrella he began to give public lectures, and with his brother started a magazine, Uplift. He received ordination for his work through the Divine Science Church in Denver, Colorado. For several years he cooperated with Divine Science and the Church of the Truth in Spokane, Washington, in the organization of the Truth Association, a short-lived New Thought ecumenical organization that had formed in opposition to the International New Thought Alliance (INTA). The Truth Association disbanded as soon as its objections had been met by the INTA, and the Metaphysical Institute affiliated with it. In 1919 Holmes published his first book, Creative Mind, and spent the next few years traveling as a lecturer.

In 1924 Holmes moved to New York, where he became the last student of Emma Curtis Hopkins (1853–1925), who introduced him to the mystical element that became so prominent in his later thought. In 1925 he returned to Los Angeles and the following year published his most important work, The Science of Mind, a textbook that systematically presented the fundamental teachings of Religious Science. In 1927 he founded the Institute of Religious Science and School of Philosophy, Inc., under whose banner he spoke each Sunday and taught classes during the week. In 1935 the organization incorporated as the Institute of Religious Science and Philosophy. Holmes was speaking to more than 2,800 people each Sunday.

Organized Religious Science proceeded through several stages. In the 1930s graduates of the Institute began to open teaching centers (chapters) and teach Religious Science. Soon, a few began to designate their centers as “churches,” and the “ministers” began meeting as the Annual Conference of Religious Science Chapters and Churches. In 1949 the conference was transformed into a more permanent organization, the International Association of Religious Science Churches. The association, a representative body, established a working arrangement with the institute, which trained the ministers. Then in 1953 the Institute of Religious Science became the Church of Religious Science, and a new reorganization began. Designating the various centers as affiliated churches, the new church asked each center to resign from the association and formally affiliate with the church. This change led to the most severe opposition from some ministers, who refused to align themselves and their congregations with the new church. Many continued as the International Association of Religious Science Churches, eventually taking their present name, Religious Science International. Others simply became independent as leaders of nonaffiliated Science of Mind churches. The Church of Religious Science added the word “United” to its name in 1967.

BELIEFS

The church describes its teachings as a correlation of the laws of science, opinions of philosophy, and revelations of religion applied to human needs and the aspirations of man. The first four chapters of The Science of Mind textbook spell out the church’s essential philosophy, built around the beliefs that people are made in the image of God and are thus forever one with infinite Life; that all life is governed by spiritual laws; and that people create their experiences by their thoughts and beliefs.

The teachings of Religious Science, or Science of Mind, as it is also known, featured two distinctions within the New Thought movement of the early twentieth century. While accepting the basic ideas of the International New Thought Alliance that Mind or Spirit was the one absolute and self-existent Cause (God) which manifested Itself through all of creation, Religious Science developed an emphasis on the understanding of “mind” as taught by Thomas Troward. Troward recognized a distinction between what he termed objective mind (waking consciousness) and subjective mind (or subsconscious, most clearly visible when a person was hypnotized). The subjective mind, when impressed with the images of healing and wholeness by the objective mind, could bring health to individuals. Practitioners are trained in the process of using the Universal Subjective Mind to bring healing to others.

The church also teaches a method of affirmative prayer called spiritual mind treatment. Integral to the treatment is a five-step process, developed by Holmes, of accomplishing the desired results. As outlined in his textbook, the five steps are: 1) recognition of God as Omnipotent, Omniscient, and Omnipresent; 2) unification with the One Reality; 3) realization and acceptance of the good one is seeking; 4) thanksgiving, even before a visible manifestation of healing, for the answered prayer; and 5) release, knowing that all is well. Going through these five steps in relation to specific concerns, which may include a variety of problems including physical sickness, financial distress, and tension in one’s relations with others, is termed “treating” the problem. The purpose of the treatment is not to placate God or to persuade God to grant one’s desires, but rather to change one’s own beliefs to conform to Divine reality.

Integral to the ministry of the church are the many practitioners, individuals trained in the art of spiritual mind treatment, who make themselves available to assist members and the general public with their problems. Ministers are drawn from the ranks of practitioners.

ORGANIZATION

At the national level, the church is governed by a board of trustees, which is elected by delegated district business meetings at the annual convention. The annual convention serves primarily an advisory function in receiving reports from and making recommendations to the board of trustees. The board sets general policy, provides leadership in directing the church’s mission and goals, and provides oversight to the management of the church. It also elects the ecclesiastical head of the church, the president, who serves a two-year term. The president acts as the ecclesiastical spokesperson for the church.

The day-to-day administration is delegated to a chief operating officer who is appointed by the board. The board provides for the ordination and regulation of ministers and licensed practitioners, and charters local churches. Member churches are governed congregationally in accord with an agreement signed at the time of affiliation. They own their own property and organize themselves locally as seems suitable.

The church oversees the World Ministry of Prayer, located at the church’s headquarters, which offers 24-hour assistance to the ill and those in spiritual need through a toll-free telephone number. The educational program of the church is directed through the office of Growth Education and Ministries, which maintains the records of Science of Mind classes taught in local churches. Ministerial training is conducted through the Holmes Institute, School of Consciousness Studies, which was founded in 1972 as the Ernest Holmes College School of Ministry. Science of Mind Publications produces books, periodicals, and audio materials for local churches and the general public. The principal publication is the magazine Science of Mind, which circulates more than 100,000 copies per issue and has been in continuous publication since 1927. United Church congregations remain among the major supporters of the International New Thought Alliance.

In 2000 a denominational review raised the idea of a new name for the church. The adoption of the name United Centers for Spiritual Living for use in all facets of the church’s operations is an ongoing process.

Membership

In 2008 the United Churches reported approximately 170 churches and study groups across the United States and two in Canada.

Educational Facilities

Holmes Institute, School of Consciousness Studies, Burbank, California; San Diego, California; Santa Rosa, California; and Denver, Colorado.

Periodicals

Science of Mind.

Sources

United Centers for Spiritual Living. www.religiousscience.org/.

Armor, Reginald. Ernest Holmes, the Man. Los Angeles: Science of Mind Publications, 1977.

Awbrey, Scott. Path of Discovery. Los Angeles: United Church of Religious Science, 1987.

Holmes, Ernest. The Science of Mind. New York: Dodd, Mead, 1944.

Holmes, Fenwicke L. Ernest Holmes, His Life and Times. New York: Dodd, Mead, 1970.

Practitioner’s Manual. Los Angeles: United Church of Religious Science, 1967.

United Church and Science of Living Institute

4140 Broadway, New York, NY 10033

The United Church and Science of Living Institute was formed in 1966 by the Rev. Frederick Eikerenkoetter II, a former Baptist minister, popularly known as Reverend Ike. After graduating from the American Bible School in Chicago in 1956, Reverend Ike worked in evangelism and faith healing and became influenced by New Thought. “Science of Living” is the term used to describe the teachings of Reverend Ike, which focus upon the prosperity theme in New Thought thinking. He believes the lack of money is the root of all evil.

Reverend Ike emphasizes the use of mind-power. Members are urged to rid the self of attitudes of “pie-in-the-sky,” and postponed rewards. Instead, they should begin thinking of God as the real man in the self. Turning one’s attention to the self allows God to work. Believing in God’s work allows one to see the self as worthy of God’s success. Visualization is a popular technique to project desires into the conscious mind as a first step to the abundant life. A prosperity “blessing plan” emphasizes believing, giving, and prospering. Reverend Ike developed an extensive media ministry and is heard over 89 radio and 22 television stations in the Eastern half of the United States and in California and Hawaii.

Membership

Not reported. In 1974 there were two congregations, one in New York (over 5,000 average attendance) and one in Boston. At the time of last publication, Rev. Ike’s ministry was focused in the New York Center with outreach across America.

Periodicals

Action.

Sources

Eikerenkoetter, Frederick. Health, Happiness and Prosperity for You! New York: Science of Living Publications, 1982.

Unity School of Christianity

1901 NW Blue Pkwy., Unity Village, MO 64065-0001

Alternate Address

Association of Unity Churches International, Box 610, Lee’s Summit, MO 64063.

HISTORY

The Unity School of Christianity and the affiliated Association of Unity Churches International are two aspects of the Unity movement founded in the 1880s by Charles S. Fillmore (1854–1948) and his wife, Myrtle Fillmore (1845–1931). Unity originated with the attendance of the Fillmores, then living in Kansas City, Missouri, at a lecture by Eugene B. Weeks, a representative of the Illinois Metaphysical College, an independent Christian Science school founded by George B. Charles in Chicago, Illinois. At the time, Myrtle was afflicted with tuberculosis. She left the lecture remembering and frequently repeating a phrase used by Weeks: “I am a child of God and therefore do not inherit sickness.” From this beginning, over a period of months, she made a thorough recovery. Myrtle Fillmore soon was using on other people the same techniques that had brought her health. In 1890 she had the idea of an organization to offer prayer for those in need and led in the formation of the Society of Silent Help. Skeptical at first, Charles Fillmore slowly accepted the new metaphysical ideas and in 1889 left the real estate business to devote himself full time to their pursuit and promulgation. He began a magazine, Modern Thought, and led gatherings of interested students in Kansas City. He also opened a lending library of metaphysical books. In 1890 he sponsored lectures by Emma Curtis Hopkins in Kansas City, after which both Fillmores traveled to Chicago to take classes at Hopkins’s Christian Science Theological Seminary. Won over to Hopkins’s presentation of metaphysics, he renamed his magazine Christian Science Thought. Then in June 1891, the Fillmores were ordained by Hopkins.

Over the years, the Fillmores had been searching for a name to tie together their various activities, and in the spring of 1891, while completing their studies with Hopkins, they chose the name Unity. A new magazine, Unity, was begun. The Society of Silent Help became Silent Unity, by which name it is known today. Publishing activity was placed under the Unity Book Company. The first steps toward expanding the organization came in late 1891 when the Fillmores called for local societies of Silent Unity to be formed by interested persons. By the mid-1890s more than 6,000 people had been issued memberships. As Silent Unity grew, the Fillmores instituted a free-will offering plan for those seeking assistance from Unity Prayer, a plan that set them apart from many of the metaphysical groups whose practitioners charged a set fee for their healing assistance work.

During the 1890s, the demand for a more systematic presentation of the ideas taught by Unity led to the appearance in the magazine of the two most important teachers in the early years of Unity, Dr. Harriet Emilie Cady and Annie Rix Militz, both Hopkins’s students. Cady published a series of articles later put together as a book, Lessons in Truth, which became Unity’s introductory text. Militz began to write a Bible column commenting on the weekly International Sunday School Lessons that introduced most readers to the metaphysical interpretation of the Bible. She also wrote articles that became important Unity textbooks, Primary Lessons in Christian Living and Healing and Both Riches and Honor, on prosperity. In 1894, the advertisements placed in the magazine by various metaphysical healers were dropped in favor of a column listing approved teachers and healers with whom Unity was in basic agreement.

Through the years, Charles Fillmore had begun to teach locally, holding regular Sunday meetings and occasionally teaching classes. In 1905 he began to publish his own lessons in the magazine; these appeared the next year as his first book, Christian Healing, which joined Cady’s text as the second definitive work outlining the Unity perspective. He turned soon afterward to writing a Unity correspondence Course. About that same time, he reorganized the movement in Kansas City, and at a service in August 1906, the Fillmores and seven other students were ordained as Unity ministers.

In 1914 a most important organizational development in the Unity movement occurred when the literature distribution arm of the movement, the Unity Tract Society, and Silent Unity were incorporated together as the Unity School of Christianity. The following year a field department was organized, both as a liaison between the school and the teachers and healers around the country affiliated with it, and as a coordinating center for Unity groups. Out of the correspondence course, a training school for teachers and ministers developed. Originally a two week summer intensive course, by 1980 it had developed into the Unity School of Religious Studies, with a wide variety of programs for ministerial training, the education of teachers and lay people, and the conducting of national retreats.

In 1923 the first annual Unity convention was held. Attended by most Unity teachers and healers, it led to a growing awareness that all manners of teachings were occurring in the field. Concern about occult and spiritualist ideas being offered in Unity’s name led to the formation, at the third annual meeting in 1925, of a Unity Annual Conference to govern teaching and regulate leaders of local Unity groups. Chartered in 1934, the conference would pass through several reorganizations to become the Unity Minister’s Conference (1946) and eventually emerged in 1966 as a separate organization, the Association of Unity Churches. The Association, headquartered in nearby Lee’s Summit, Missouri, now has charge of the training and oversight of all Unity ministers and the servicing of all Unity churches in the United States.

BELIEFS

Though offering a liberal degree of freedom of belief among its members, Unity teaches what it terms practical Christianity, a return to what is believed to be the primitive Christianity of Jesus and the Apostles. Unity teaches a belief in one God and in Christ, the Son of God, made manifest in Jesus of Nazareth. Jesus is believed to be divine, but divinity is not confined to Jesus. Because all people are created in the image of God, all are potentially divine. Jesus is regarded as the great example, the Wayshower, pointing the way to the regeneration of each person. Jesus created an “at-one-ment” between God and humanity and, through Jesus, each person can regain his or her estate as a son or daughter of God.

The authority of the Bible is accepted, but Unity follows a metaphysical interpretation of it (as exemplified in Charles Fillmore’s Metaphysical Bible Dictionary), which offers a somewhat allegorical approach to Scripture. For example, the 12 apostles are seen as representing 12 powers in humans that can be used for the salvation of the world. The kingdom of God is seen as the harmony within each individual.

Unity has become identified with several practices within the larger context of New Thought metaphysics. It has long emphasized the form of prayer termed “entering into the silence,” which begins with a quiet inwardness and establishment of a state of receptivity. Unity has also emphasized the use of affirmations, the repetition of positive statements that affirm the presence of a condition desired but not yet visible. In the development of the prayer life, in 1924, Unity began what has become its most widely circulated periodical, Daily Word, a devotional magazine that has readers far beyond the bounds of Unity or even the New Thought movement as a whole.

ORGANIZATION

Today Unity is headquartered at Unity Village, a 1,400-acre tract adjacent to Lee’s Summit, Missouri, about 15 miles from Kansas City. It moved to that location permanently in 1949. Unity Village is the spiritual home and headquarters for Unity Worldwide, which encompasses Unity Institute, Silent Unity, Unity Village Chapel, the Unity School Library and Archives, a publishing arm, and more recently an inn, hotel and conference center, and gardens. Silent Unity offers a 24-hour-a-day prayer service. Within the Silent Unity building, a prayer vigil is kept without interruption. Unity Village is an incorporated municipality.

Unity is a major publisher of religious materials. Daily Word is now a monthly magazine and has been printed in seven languages and circulated in more than 175 countries. Unity magazine contains inspirational articles aimed at effective spiritually based living. Unity also publishes and produces a wide range of books, pamphlets, cassettes, CDs, and specialty products. Though the largest of the New Thought bodies in the United States, Unity has had only nominal relations with the organized New Thought movement. It briefly participated in early conferences organized by Divine Science in the 1890s. It was also a member of the International New Thought Alliance (INTA) for a few years, but withdrew in 1923 because of Charles Fillmore’s feeling that the INTA embraced too many beliefs that Unity could not support. Individual Unity churches have been free to affiliate, and many are staunch supporters of INTA.

Membership

In 2002, there were more than 1,000 Unity centers, churches, and study groups. About 230 of these ministries were outside the United States, Canada, and Puerto Rico.

Educational Facilities

Unity Institute, Unity Village, Missouri.

Spiritual Education and Enrichment Distance Learning.

Periodicals

Unity • Daily Word • USRS Newsletter • Children on the Quest • Minister Letter • Variety of Ministry Manuals • Contact.

Sources

Unity School of Christianity. www.unityonline.org.

Bach, Marcus. The Unity Way of Life. Unity Village, MO: Unity Books, 1972.

D’Andrade, Hugh. Charles Fillmore. New York: Harper & Row, 1974.

Freeman, James Dillet. The Story of Unity. Unity Village, MO: Unity Books, 1978.

A Manual of Special Unity Services. Unity Village, MO: Association of Unity Churches, 1976.

Witherspoon, Thomas E. Myrtle Fillmore, Mother of Unity. Unity Village, MO: Unity Books, 1977.

Universal Church of Scientific Truth

1250 Indiana St., Birmingham, AL 35224

The Universal Church of Scientific Truth is headed by its founder, Dr. Joseph T. Ferguson, and headquartered in Birmingham, Alabama. Ferguson also operates the Institute of Metaphysics, in Birmingham. It offers both resident and correspondence courses on a wide variety of metaphysical topics, including metaphysical healing, philosophy, sacred theology, and psycho-vaxeen. Dr. Ferguson authors the textbooks from which the lessons are taught. In 1970, the church had congregations in Birmingham and Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, and Dallas, Fort Worth, Brownsville, and Waco, Texas.

Metaphysical healing is the major thrust of the church’s program. A basic course explains the laws and principles as well as the disciplines and techniques by which the individual attains the “superconscious mind” wherein all is attained. The church offers a Christ universal healing service that involves the sacrament of Christ healing. In the service, the inner light or divinity is released in the individual.

Membership

Not reported.

Educational Facilities

Institute of Metaphysics, Birmingham, Alabama.

Sources

Ferguson, Joseph T. Manual on Metaphysical Healing. Birmingham, AL: Institute of Metaphysics, 1959.

Universal Foundation for Better Living

21310 NW 37th Ave., Miami Gardens, FL 33056

The Universal Foundation for Better Living (UFBL) is an international association of New Thought Christian churches, centers, and study groups. UFBL was founded in 1974, but grew out of the ministry begun in Chicago, Illinois, in 1956 by Dr. Johnnie Colemon, then a minister with the Unity School of Christianity and one of the first black New Thought ministers. In 1953, Colemon learned that she had an incurable disease. She moved to Kansas City, Kansas, and enrolled in the Unity School of Christianity. In a few months she was healed. Moving to Chicago, she founded the Christ Unity Temple, which first met in the Y.M.C.A. building on South Cottage Grove. She became a prominent Unity minister and was the first black to be elected president of the Association of Unity Churches. However, in 1974 she withdrew from the association and renamed her congregation Christ Universal Temple. In 1976 she founded the Johnnie Colemon Institute as an educational arm of the church for both lay and professional education. The first ministers were graduated and ordained in 1978. In 1981, she began a television ministry with Better Living with Johnnie Colemon, a show that aired on 13 stations across the United States.

In 1985, the growing ministry reached a major plateau with the opening of the Christ Universal Temple complex on the far south side of Chicago. Christ Universal Temple, which also served as headquarters for the foundation and institute, held 3,500 in its sanctuary, the largest in Chicago at the time. The building also housed the UFBL Bookstore and the Prayer Ministry, offering a 24-hour call-in service for those in need.

The beliefs of the foundation are in harmony with those of the Unity School of Christianity, the break being largely a matter of social policy, not doctrine. A statement of belief emphasizes that it is God’s will for everyone to live a healthy, happy, and prosperous life and that such a life is attainable for each person. The kingdom within can be brought to visible expression by following the principles of Jesus Christ, the Wayshower. The key is right thinking followed by right action. Specifically cited is a belief that rather than making a primary effort to provide for the needy, the church should provide the teaching that will allow each person to provide for themselves.

As of 2008 Rev. Dr. Mary A. Tumpkin was the second president in the history of the foundation. Dr. Tumpkin is also the founding minister of the Universal Truth Center for Better Living (UTC), a UFBL affiliate in Miami Gardens, Florida. The foundation is a member of the International New Thought Alliance (INTA).

Membership

In 2008 the foundation had 38 member churches, study groups, discussion groups, and satellite locations in the United States, Canada, Trinidad, Jamaica, the Bahamas, and Guyana. In 1995 UFBL reported 20,000 members in the United States, 350 in Canada, and an additional 1,650 members worldwide.

Educational Facilities

Johnnie Colemon Institute, Chicago, Illinois.

Johnnie Colemon Theological Seminary; UFBL Online Classes.

Periodicals

The Daily Inspiration.

Sources

Universal Foundation for Better Living. www.ufbl.org.

Colemon, Johnnie. The Best Messages from the Founder’s Desk. Chicago: Universal Foundation for Better Living, 1987.

———. It Works If You Work It. 2 vols. Chicago: Universal Foundation for Better Living, n.d.

Harrell, Allison D. Follow Me. Chicago: Universal Foundation for Better Living, 1981.

———. Prosperity for Better Living. Chicago: Universal Foundation for Better Living, n.d.

Nedd, Don. Practical Guidelines for Better Living. Chicago: CSA Press, 1983.

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New Thought

New Thought

The merger of the philosophical idealism popularized by Ralph Waldo Emerson converged with the interest in alternative healing methods in late-nineteenthcentury America to give rise to Christian Science, a healing movement that emphasized the "Allness" of God and the unreality of sickness and evil. Its founder, Mary Baker Eddy, created a tight organization that left little room for disagreement or divergence, and soon after the founding of the Church of Christ Scientist, dissenting students began to form independent organizations. Among these organizations was the Christian Science Theological Seminary founded in 1886 by Emma Curtis Hopkins (1849–1925). Before retiring to private practice in 1895, Hopkins trained leaders from around the United States who would become the founders of the major organizations that would later constitute the New Thought movement (a name that came into common use during the 1890s).

While retaining Eddy's basic belief in God as the only reality and an emphasis upon spiritual healing, Hopkins's students felt free to diverge from Christian Science on numerous points. For example, Charles and Myrtle Fillmore, founders of the Unity School of Christianity, incorporated insights from Hinduism; and Melinda Cramer (1844–1906), founder of Divine Science, de-emphasized the exclusively Christian presentation in her teaching. In the 1920s, Religious Science was founded by Ernest S. Holmes (1887–1960), one of Hopkins's last students.

By 1914, when the ecumenical International New Thought Alliance was formed, the movement had spread to Europe, and numerous new organizations had appeared across North America. It had also found popular expression in several best-selling books such as Ralph Waldo Trine's In Tune with the Infinite (1897). New Thought affirms the belief in God as universal, wisdom, truth, peace, power, beauty, and joy, and that human well-being results from a mystical alignment with the divine. The universe is seen as a body of God and human beings as spirits inhabiting a body.

Just as coming into conscious oneness with God, in whom there is no illness, produces health, so New Thought also teaches that oneness with God, in whom there is no poverty, also produces abundance. New Thought teachers affirmed that a conscious atunement with the divine and focus upon one's future could bring all of the rewards that the material world could offer. In its teachings on prosperity, New Thought most clearly demonstrates its absorption of the late nineteenth century's optimism and belief in the continued upward progress of the human race.

New Thought grew steadily through the first half of the twentieth century, and its perspective spread far beyond its representative organizations. In the 1950s, it found an unexpected ally in Norman Vincent Peale, a Reformed Church minister who had been inspired by New Thought ideas that he repackaged as "positive thinking," the subject of a series of bestselling books. Though giving little acknowledgment to his New Thought roots, Peale championed a positive approach to life and religion for several decades, and his work has been continued by another Reformed minister, televangelist Robert Schuller.


See alsoAlternative Medicine; Christian Science; Healing; Peale, Norman Vincent; Schuller, Robert; Unity.

Bibliography

Braden, Charles S. Spirits of Rebellion. 1963.

Meyer, Donald. The Positive Thinkers. 1980.

J. Gordon Melton

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New Thought

New Thought

1492

Altrurian Society

(Defunct)

The Altrurian Society was founded by L. A. Fealy in 1911 in Birmingham, Alabama. In 1892, Fealy had a vision of a life work in which he was told to "go heal the sick" and to seek, through laws which would be revealed, a plan in which all might know the "freedom from the bonds of matter and have Health, Happiness, and Abundance." He studied the hidden and latent forces of the inner self and became a successful healer. His success led to an "Initiation into Apostolic Powers," and as a bishop he was able to establish churches and commission others as ministers and healers. By 1902 he was actively traveling, preaching, and healing.

The Altrurian Society had as its goals, "To Heal, Teach Abundance and Happiness, and otherwise perform the ordinances of God." The society taught a belief in One God. By strict obedience to law, individuals could become conscious of God within. Jesus Christ is the Son of God, as is potentially every person. Christ healed the sick and did other mighty works as a demonstration of the way of salvation; what he did, anyone can do. Healing the sick and abundance from God are a part of the Christian's inheritance.

The society followed seven ordinances: belief, faith, repentence, baptism, remission of sin through confession and work, divine consciousness, and the transmission of the power of the Holy Ghost by the laying-on-of-hands. The Kingdom of God is present when persons comply with the law of God in belief, acceptance, faith, intention, contemplation, meditation, and conviction.

The Altrurian Society was administered by a board of trustess with a president, vice-president, secretary, and treasurer. Spiritually it was led by a hierarchy of apostles, bishops, ministers, deacons, and disciples. The members were called upon to demonstrate healing, happiness, and opulence. The society is known today primarily by several pamphlets which have survived. It seems to have disappeared in the 1930s.

Remarks: The Altrurian Society was hindered in its work by the arrest of Fealy in 1916 for violating the medical practice acts of the state of Alabama. While his conviction slowed the society, it did not prove fatal.

Sources:

Fealy, L. A. Love's Way. Birmingham, AL: Altrurian Society, 1927.

McCulloch, Bonnie. Fealy Aphorisms. Birmingham, AL: Altrurian Society, 1913.

Rubenstein, I. H. Law on Cults. Chicago: Ordain Press, 1981.

1493

American School of Mentalvivology

Current address not obtained for this edition.

The American School of Mentalvivology was founded in the 1960s by Dr. Merle E. Parker. It grew out of the Foundation for Divine Meditation founded in 1948 and headquartered in Santa Isabel, Calfornia. Mentalvivology is described as a science of mind and a practical application of the law of mind. The goal of mentalvivology is producing whole men and women. The basic course involves teaching the student to produce any sensation at will, the use of mind to effect "faith healing," the use of the inner mind to set goals and accomplish them, and the practical application of mind. Advanced courses deal with mysticism and the ritual magic of the ancient wisdom. These advanced lessons were originally published by the now-defunct Aquarius School of the Masters, also of Santa Isabel, California. All courses are by correspondence.

Membership: Not reported. Students are found around the country.

Sources:

Parker, Merle E. Instant Healing Now! Santa Isabel, CA: Foundation for Divine Meditation, 1955.

——. The Mentalvivology Story. Thornfield, MO: The Author, 1969.

1494

Antioch Association of Metaphysical Science

Current address not obtained for this edition.

The Antioch Association of Metaphysical Science is a metaphysical church founded in 1932 by Dr. Lewis Johnson of Detroit, Michigan. It serves a predominantly black membership.

Membership: Not reported. In 1965 there were 6 churches.

1495

Applied Power

(Defunct)

Applied Power was the name given to the metaphysical ministry of Jane Hanford Hopkins and Charles Henry Hopkins, two metaphysical teachers during the 1920s. C. H. Hopkins had been a successful businessman and his wife a teacher of oratory and drama. After a career in the city, the Hopkins forsook urban life and moved to Les Cheneaux Islands, Michigan, for a life centered on nature and self-expression. In this rustic setting revelations began to flow through Jane Hopkins. Applied Power grew out of these revelations, which the Hopkins compiled into a book, Applied Power.

Leaving behind the conception of an anthropomorphic deity, the Hopkins begin with God who is described as Pure Spirit, Perfect Life, Love, Truth, Law and Harmony, and All Wise, Knowing, Powerful, Perfect, and Immanent. Man is a threefold being consisting of body or matter, mind or soul, and spirit. While fully acknowledging their physical and mental aspect, most individuals only partially acknowledge their spiritual aspect. While everything in the universe is an expression of Spirit, humans are vaguely aware of that fact. As an expression of God, humans are conceived in power (not sin), and there is virtually no limit to a human's power short of the infinite.

The universe operates under three great laws: love, the creative force in the universe; life, the expression of cooperation between God and man; and liberty, freedom from limitations as one comes into a realization of God. Success depends upon the full harmonious working of the whole human being.

The Hopkins' lived at Cedarville on Les Cheneaux Islands. Theirs was a personal ministry, rendered through one-to-one relationships with pupils. They invited their students to gather at Cedarville each summer for intensive study based upon their textbook. The rest of the year they spent touring the county teaching and lecturing.

Sources:

Hartmann, William C. Who's Who in Occultism, New Thought, Psychism and Spiritualism. Jamaica, NY: Occult Press, 1927.

Hopkins, Jane Hanford, and Charles Henry Hopkins. Applied Power. Cedarville, MI: The Authors, 1926.

1496

The Aquarian Ministry

(Defunct)

The Aquarian Ministry, founded by George B. Brownell (d.1945) and Louise B. Brownell (d. 1967) in Brookline, Massachusetts, in 1918, was a major force within the larger New Thought metaphysical community for half a century. Organized around a magazine, The Aquarian Age, and correspondence lessons, it gathered members from across the United States and around the world. Shortly after its founding, the ministry moved to California, finally settling in Santa Barbara in 1920. The heart of the ministry was a daily prayer time each morning during which the Brownells prayed for each person who wrote them for help on matters of either health or financial distress. The prime teaching work was done through a 52-part correspondence course. The Prosperity League (later the Mutual Blessing League), an integral part of the ministry, was organized by the Brownells to assist members in financial and career goals.

The ministry established itself on the left wing of the emerging New Thought metaphysical community, and freely included various theosophical and occult teachings. The Brownells believed strongly in reincarnation, and astrology was given a special emphasis. However, the ministry departed from theosophy in its main work of healing. [Healing was offered as the central work of the Brownell's ministry. In light of each person's Divine heritage, healing is an immediate possibility, and anyone can rise above hereditary, environmental, and karmic influences]. In particular, the Brownells opposed the theosophic admonitions against healing work as interfering with an individual's karma. During the early years of the ministry, a special emphasis was placed upon assisting young mothers during the months of their pregnancy and the event of childbirth.

Following the death of her husband in 1947, Louise Brownell enlisted the help of James Dodds (d. 1951), a pastor of the Church of the Truth in Portland, Oregon, and a noted author in his own right, to head the ministy and edit the magazine. Under his leadership, the magazine, heretofore written primarily by the Brownells, featured articles by many of the leading New Thought authors. Also, the emphasis upon astrology, so prominent in the Brownells' ministry, virtually disappeared. Following his untimely death four years later, there was a succession of editors, until 1958 when Lionel Kenworthy, also a pastor in the Church of the Truth, assumed control. In 1963 he moved the ministry headquarters to Atascadero, California. The ministry survived only a few years after this final relocation.

Sources:

Brownell, George B. Reincarnation. Santa Barbara, CA: Aquarian Ministry, 1946.

Brownell, Louise B. Life Abundant for You. Santa Barbara, CA: Aquarian Ministry, 1928.

——. Your Destiny in the Zodiac. Santa Barbara, CA: Aquarian Ministry, 1925.

Brownell, Louise B., and George B. Brownell. Lessons in Truth. Santa Barbara, CA: Aquarian Ministry, n.d.

Dodds, James E. Conscious Immortality. Santa Barbara, CA: Aquarian Ministry, 1942.

1497

Association of Independent Ministries (AIM)

(Defunct)

The Association of Independent Ministries (AIM) is a fellowship of independent New Thought ministers and churches founded in 1984 under the leadership of Dr. Margaret Stevens, pastor of the Santa Anita Church in Arcadia, California. Stevens was ordained in 1966 by the Church and School of Christian Philosophy in Phoenix, Arizona. She became the pastor of the Santa Anita Church the following year. In 1977 she founded the Santa Anita Center for Ministerial and Spiritual Studies, a school and seminary.

While many independent New Thought ministers value their autonomous status, they also feel the need for support and joint efforts in accomplishing tasks too big for any one congregation. At an initial meeting in 1984, the organization was created, a newsletter, On Target, was planned, and future conferences slated. Conferences have been held semiannually since. In addition, AIM provides a home for New Thought ministers in noncongregationally oriented chaplaincy ministries. AIM has also established a speakers bureau and a prayer ministry. By the end of the decade, two of the leading ministers retired and in the absence of fresh leadership, the association disbaned.

Sources:

Stevens, Margaret. Prosperity Is God's Idea. Marina del Rey, CA: DeVorss & Co., 1978.

1498

Christ Truth League

2409 Canton Dr.
Fort Worth, TX 76112

The Christ Truth League was founded in 1938 by Alden Truesdell (d. 1985) and his wife, Nell Truesdell (d. 1971), as an independent ministry and fellowship of students seeking what they believed to be the right application of the law of life as taught and lived by Jesus Christ. The Truesdells were closely aligned with the teachings of Harley Bradley Jeffery (1872-1954).

Jeffery was a popular New Thought author and lecturer for most of the first half of the twentieth century. He had come into New Thought through the efforts of Charles Brodie Patterson and studied with Emma Curtis Hopkins, with whom he collaborated while she was writing her classic study, High Mysticism. He studied in England with Thomas Troward and was associated for a period with the Unity School of Christianity. During his mature years he produced a number of books developed out of the concepts of High Mysticism, including: The Principles of Healing (1939), Coordination of Spirit, Soul and Body (1948), and Mystical Teachings (1954). After Jeffery's death, the Truesdells acquired rights to his works and, for more than 30 years, carried on his ministry, published his books, and saw to their distribution. The Truesdells have been succeeded by Dr. Robert Applegate, the current minister and president of the league. The magazine Spiriticity, has recently resumed publication. The league is a member of the International New Thought Alliance (INTA).

Membership: The league is a free fellowship with no formal membership. There is one center, in Fort Worth, Texas, where Sunday services and weekly classes are offered. There is affiliated work in Benin, Nigeria, and the Philippines.

Sources:

Jeffery, H. B. Coordination of Spirit, Soul and Body. Fort Worth: Christ Truth League, 1948.

——. Mystical Teachings. Forth Worth: Christ Truth League, 1954.

——. The Principles of Healing. Fort Worth: Christ Truth League, 1939.

——. The Spirit of Prayer. Cambridge, MA: Ruth Laighton, 1938.

1499

Christian Assembly

PO Box 6120
San Jose, CA 95150

Among the most specifically Christian of the several New Thought groups is the Christian Assembly. It was founded by William Farwell in 1900 in San Jose, California, as a branch of the Home of Truth, the loose association of centers led by Annie Rix Militz. Around 1920 Farwell's congregation separated from the Home of Truth and took its present name. The Christian Assembly believes Christianity is founded upon the doctrines of Jesus Christ and the Bible, and these are used by the Assembly as a source of teaching. The Bible contains a spiritual sense within its historical/ literal sense, and this spiritual meaning can be discerned by the Spirit of truth working upon the understanding.

Unlike many New Thought groups, the Christian Assembly has attempted to produce a summary statement of its beliefs. The fundamental principles of the teaching of the Christ include: God is Spirit, whose nature is love and wisdom; the kingdom of God is within; Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God; he is divine and human (a perfect unity) and, as the risen Lord, he abides in his kingdom within; true faith comes from God and makes all things possible; evil has no power from God; love is the fulfillment of the law which is constitutional to man; Christian healing is properly a part of the gospel; the kingdom is known through works of faith and love. The work of the Christian Assembly is centered upon a weekly Sunday morning worship service, prayer groups, and Bible classes and truth lectures through the week. The sacraments have been discontinued so that concentration can be upon inner meaning.

Over the years, branches of the Christian Assembly were established in the San Francisco Bay area. Ministers trained and ordained by the Christian Assembly are pastors of branch churches in Gilroy, Palo Alto, Oakland, Redwood City, and San Jose (2). Farwell was also a prolific writer, and the assembly has published much of his material.

Membership: Not reported. In 1971 there were 6 congregations.

Sources:

Farwell, William. Be Thou a Blessing. San Jose, CA: First Christian Assembly, 1936.

——. The Paraclete. San Jose, CA: Christian Assembly, 1928.

1500

Church of Hakeem

Current address not obtained for this edition.

The Church of Hakeem was founded by Clifton Jones, better known to his followers as Hakeem Abdul Rasheed, in Oakland, California, in January 1978. Jones, a Detroit-born black man, attended Purdue University as a psychology major. In the mid 1970s he ran a weight-reduction clinic, which was closed in 1976 when the state Board of Medical Quality Assurance reported that he was using "psychology" rather than diet and exercise to treat clients. He was practicing psychology without a license.

Hakeem turned from weight-reduction to religion and assumed his new name. Like his colleague, Rev. Frederick Eikerenkoetter II (Reverend Ike), founder of the United Church and Science of Living Institute, Hakeem built upon New Thought emphases that health, wealth, and happiness came from positive mental attitudes put into positive action. He emphasized positive action as a means to wealth. In contrast to Reverend Ike, however, Hakeem implemented his teachings through a variation of what is known as the Ponsie game, a standard confidence scheme. Members paid into the church with the promise of a 400 percent return within three years. Members would in turn recruit further investors. The early investors receive their promised return. People who joined last receive nothing, not even their original investment. Such schemes are illegal.

In May 1979 Hakeem was indicted and later convicted on six counts of fraud. A group of members signed a class action suit against the church, and the Internal Revenue Service moved against the church for taxes. The cummulative effect of these actions have paralyzed the Church of Hakeem, and its future is doubtful.

Membership: By 1979 congregations of the church had been established in San Diego, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Sacramento, California. There were an estimated 5,000 to 10,000 members.

1501

Church of Inner Wisdom

Current address not obtained for this edition.

The Church of Inner Wisdom was founded in San Jose, California, in 1968 by a metaphysician, Dr. Joan Gibson. Prior to 1968, she had been a member of the Rosicrucians (Ancient Mystic Order of the Rosy Cross) and had studied with Clark Wilkerson, founder of the Institute of Cosmic Wisdom. The church combines the teachings of New Thought with a major secondary emphasis on the psychic. The teachings are described as "macro-ontology," the study of the nature of a child of God, forgiveness, expansion of awareness, Jesus and the major religious prophets as examples for living, and sharing truth received. The psychic is seen as a tool in expanding awareness and as spiritual. However, without the perspective of metaphysics, it becomes a means of mere egogratification. Lessons, which may be taken in classes or by correspondence, are the main means of disseminating the church's teachings. The church is governed by a board of directors, Dr. Gibson being the permanent chairman. An annual business meeting is open only to officers, directors and ministers.

Membership: Not reported. In 1972 ministers of the church were at work in Alameda, Alhambra, Concord, and Burlingame, California; Phoenix, Mesa, and Wickenburg, Arizona; Chicago, Illinois; Erie, Pennsylvania; and Atlanta, Georgia.

Periodicals: The Voice. Send orders to Box 4765, San Jose, CA 95126.

1502

Church of the Fuller Concept

Current address not obtained for this edition.

The Church of the Fuller Concept is a New Thought group headed by Dr. Bernese Williamson, a doctor of metaphysical science. Dr. Williamson teaches that we live in the God dispensation. God is our Father and Mother, our natural parents being God caring for us. God has a body (I Cor. 11:30) and is manifested in body-form on earth. Man's body is the image and likeness of God. In recognizing God's body, man can have the blessing of a healthy, whole body. Members of the church do not carry insurance, because in God, where man lives and moves and has his being (which is the body of God), there can be no illness. Dr. Williamson teaches that every meal is a communion and that what one visualizes as he eats and drinks will materialize.

Headquarters of the church are at the Hisacres New Thought Center in Washington, D.C. Members live by a pledge to remember their spiritual nature. They greet each other with the word, "Peace." They adopt spiritual names, because they want to acquire the nature, characteristics and attributes of God. All students sign a pledge to give honest service to their employer for their pay, not accepting tips or vacation-with-pay, nor using intoxicants on the job. This pledge is given to the employers.

Membership: Not reported.

1503

Church of the New Civilization

(Defunct)

The Church of the New Civilization was founded by Julia Seton (1862-1950), who emerged as one of the most energetic exponents of New Thought metaphysics during the early twentieth century. Her early bouts with tuberculosis led her into medicine, and she became a doctor, doing postgraduate work at Tufts Medical College in Boston, Massachusetts. She also became a theosophist and was briefly married (1903-1914) to New Thought lecturer writer F. W. Sears, during which time her books appeared under her married name, Julia Seton Sears. Her healing practice led her to concentrate first on preventive medicine and finally in 1905 to leave her medical work for a career in metaphysical healing. Her teachings blended theosophy (represented in her books on numerology, the aura, and the emanation on body) and more traditional New Thought metaphysical themes (healing and prosperity).

The first center of the Church of the New Civilization was founded in Boston in 1905. In 1907 Seton moved to New York City and began a second congregation as the New Thought Church and School and within a few years had affiliated centers in Brooklyn, Hempstead, and Buffalo, New York; Boston, Salem, and Brockton, Massachusetts; Cleveland, Ohio; Chicago, Illinois; Denver, Colorado; and California. Classes were taught in healing, abundance, graphology, the tarot, and numerology. As World War I was beginning, Seton began a period of travel to England (where an affiliate center had developed soon after the first Boston work) and Australia. Upon her return to America she settled in Kansas City, Missouri. Around 1937, she purchased land near Ocala, Florida, and began to build the New Civilization school, the Ocala Post-Graduate School of Metaphysics. Unfortunately, the location was commandeered by the army during World War II, and the day after she reclaimed her property all but one building burned in a massive fire. Seton, then in her 80s, retired from active leadership in the movement she had led, and it dwindled away after her death in 1950.

The basic perspective of the church was presented systematically in the student's manual, Fundamental Principles of the NewCivilization. Seton proposed a reordering of human life around the basic principle that "God Is All." Humans are Individualized God on a self-imposed pathway. Seeing life as a whole, people can see themselves as part of the larger system and know that there is no evil. What people call evil is but undeveloped good.

Sources:

Seton, Julia. Fundamental Principles of the New Civilization. New York: Edward J. Clode, 1916.

——. The Key to Health, Wealth and Love. New York: Edward J. Clode, 1917.

——. The Mystic's Goal. London: William Rider & Son, 1924.

——. The Science of Success. New York: Edward J. Clode, 1914.

——. Western Symbology. Chicago: New Publishing Company, 1929.

1504

Church of the Science of Religion

(Defunct)

The Church of the Science of Religion was founded in 1922 by the Rev. Carolyn Barbour Le Galyon, a former practitioner with the Church of Christ, Scientist, who had been healed of a broken wrist. She became a student of various New Thought leaders– Charles S. Fillmore, Ernest S. Holmes and others. The Church of the Science of Religion teaches an eclectic New Thought perspective drawn from the numerous early metaphysical teachers. Headquarters were in Cleveland, Ohio, at the New Thought Temple of Christ. The Church dissolved following Le Galyon's death in the 1970s.

Sources:

LeGalyon, Carolyn Barbour. All Things New. New York: Analysts' Publisher, 1963.

1505

Church of the Trinity (Invisible Ministry)

Box 4608
Salem, OR 97302-8608

Friend Stuart (i.e., A. Stuart Otto) was a West Coast publisher who, in 1954, had a religious awakening that started his metaphysical search. Over the next few years, he was able to study with many of the outstanding New Thought leaders. In 1957, a series of additional enlightenment experiences began, culminating in 1963 with an inward ordination in what is called the invisible ministry. Three years later, Stuart began to conduct private metaphysical practice under the name "Invisible Ministry," and, in 1967, obtained a charter and began issuing Tidings as a quarterly bulletin. Work was primarily by mail at a distance, though classes were held at the Invisible Ministry center. In 1972, Church of the Trinity was established as an outgrowth of the healing ministry.

The theology of Church of the Trinity is based upon the work of James Allen, Henry Drummond, Emmet Fox and Friend Stuart. The church is grounded in the faith that the Christian doctrine of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit is the ultimate spiritual truth, and that all things proceed from these three aspects of almighty God. The church calls its theology the science of dominion, the Christ Jesus way. According thereto, man fulfills his destiny by achieving dominion and glorifies God in so doing. Jesus came to overcome death, and, as we recognize truth, we are freed of disease, disharmony and lack. Those on the way are members of the fifth kingdom. The Church of the Trinity thus is similar to the Unity School of Christianity in its emphasis on specifically Christian tenets which are allegorized in a New Thought framework. However, the church is strictly trinitarian, an aspect not strongly emphasized by Unity.

The Church of the Trinity is purely spiritual and refrains from involvement in secular matters. It enjoins its members to obey the law and to be good citizens. Healing is the major concern, and the church sees itself as a balancing influence with Christ's church as a whole. Seven sacraments are practiced by members: baptism, confirmation, communion, matrimony, holy orders, cognition of divine life, and expiation. As of 1972, there was only one center of the Church of the Trinity, but others were imminent and a school of theology has been opened.

Membership: Not reported, but in 1992 the Tidings newsletter reported a circulation of 400 copies. The church considers all baptized Christians as members. In 1992 there were two ministers and one center with an affiliated work in Nigeria and the Philippines led by lay members. Affiliated individuals and supporters of the ministry, especially those involved in the healing work, can be found across the United States. They stay in contact through the mail.

Educational Facilities: Trinity School of Theology, San Marcos, California.

Periodicals: Tidings. • Theologia 21Master Thoughts The Theologia 21 Encyclopedia.

1506

Comforter League of Light

(Defunct)

The Comforter League of Light grew out of the intense religious experience of Florence Gloria Crawford, who, around 1913, was "given the Comforter message." The Comforter is a reference to one of the last sayings of Jesus to his disciples, "It is expedient for you that I go away; for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you." (John 16:7) Traditionally, the Comforter has been interpreted by Christians as the Holy Spirit. Crawford interpreted both the Holy Spirit and the Comforter as the Christ Consciousness. From the time of her experience, Crawford acted as one entrusted with a message for all the world. She opened the Irvington Center of Truth in Portland, Oregon, which became the core congregation of the Comforter League of Light. A major step in the emergence of the league occurred in the months following the beginning of World War I as Crawford was led to focus upon the work of the the Christ Consciousness as bringing a message of love, peace, and comfort to the word. Thus in December 1914, she issued the first copies of a new magazine, The Comforter.

Crawford taught the central New Thought affirmations. God was defined as the great life-power, substance, and intelligence. Humans bring God into active expression. Crawford believed that she was in regular contact with Jesus, from whom she received teachings. Included in her revelatory writings were her commentaries on Jesus' parables and a lenghty book on peace. She also placed an emphasis upon prosperity, which she believed to be immediately available to people as they expressed their highest ideals following the universal laws.

During the years of her ministry, Crawford was a popular speaker for ecumenical New Thought gatherings. In 1921 the league moved to San Francisco, California, and there continued for another decade. Healing groups were formed along the West Coast. Integral to the league's work was the Comforter Healing Circle. Each morning at 10 a.m. Crawford and others at the San Francisco headquarters prayed individually for those requesting their assistance. Members and readers of the magazine around the country were invited to join them for a half hour of silence at that time. Following the healing prayers, members were invited to participate in the Comforter Study Hour, for which materials were published in the magazine.

Remarks: Among the members of the Comforter League of Light was Baird Spalding, author of the classic occult volumes the Life and Teachings of the Masters of the Far East, the first chapters of which were originally published in The Comforter in 1922.

Florence Gloria Crawford should not be confused with Florence L. Crawford, founder of the Pentecostal denomination the Apostolic Faith, also headquartered in Portland, Oregon, during the years of the Comforter League of Light.

Sources:

Crawford, Florence Gloria. The Christ Ideal for World Peace. San Francisco: Comforter League of Light, 1925.

1507

Disciples of Faith

Current address not obtained for this edition.

Similar to the Life-Study Fellowship (see separate entry) is the Disciples of Faith of Nashville, Tennessee. As with Life-Study Fellowship, no mention of the leadership is made in the group's literature. Members are related through the mail and by printed testimonials. United prayer with a world-wide prayer fellowship is stressed. Members are asked to rate themselves according to health, prayer life, use of time, faith and relation to God. Members work on receiving the full abundance of God.

Central to the Disciples of Faith are lessons which train the member to prepare the prayer-time, to understand the power of prayer, and to know the laws of abundant living, faith and spiritual healing. The mystical teachings of Jesus on the necessity of prayer as "holy communion" are stressed. Miracles happen to people after their prayers are offered in Jesus' name.

Membership: Not reported.

1508

Dispensable Church

Box 8444
Santa Fe, NM 87504-8444

The Dispensable Church was founded in 1985 as an instrument to facilitate the teaching work of Hugh Prather. Prather had been raised a Christian Scientist and for a year attended Principia College. As his thought developed, however, he found himself more in tune with the teachings of a New Age spiritual text called A Course in Miracles. Through the 1970s, Prather issued a series of books containing reflections on his inner explorations and pilgrimage, that became popular metaphysical and new age texts. The first, Notes to Myself (1970), became a best seller and was followed by I Touch the Earth, the Earth Touches Me (1972) and Notes on Love and Courage (1977). Each book offers a set of brief entries from Prather's diary, seemingly random reflections upon his reactions to mundane events. However, though the numerous brief entries an understanding of the nature of the world and advice on a way of existing in the world emerged.

Prather, by his example, made note of an underlying spiritual reality and projected a means of living at peace with that reality. He sought to be in touch with his feelings as a means of living in the present. Spending too much time reflecting on the past or projecting oneself into the future was dehumanizing and a way of holding on to unhappiness. Prather also asserted that a major problem with society was the tendency to continually analyze events in life rather than simply experience and learn from them.

Prather's vision was subjective in the extreme. He saw the need for self-exploration and self-knowledge as a means to freedom and happiness. He saw body states, especially illness, as the projection of inner states and attitudes into visible expression. As he became intimate with his own inner state and conscious of his actions and reaction in community, he began to develop a series of games and exercises to assist others in the same explorations with a goal of producing a life of consistent happiness. Happiness is consistent with a life of simplicity, peace, gentleness, forgiveness, humor, trust, and fearlessness.

The Dispensable Church provided a means for Prather to interact with the people who had been attracted by his writings. Prather spoke and led attendees in the mental exercises he had developed. The name of the church indicated that attendance was not a necessary activity but gatherings might be useful for a while. Tapes of Prather's sessions were recorded and distributed to people across the country and around the world.

Membership: Not reported.

Sources:

Prather, Hugh. A Book of Games: A Course in Spiritual Play. Garden City, NY: Doubleday & Company, 1981. 142 pp.

——. I Touch the Earth, the Earth Touches Me. Garden City, NY: Doubleday & Company, 1972. Unpaged.

——. Notes on How to Live in the World… and Still Be Happy. Garden City, NY: Doubleday & Company, 1986. 271 pp.

——. Notes on Love and Courage. Garden City, NY: Doubleday & Company, 1977. Unpaged.

——. Notes on Myself. N.p., n.d.

1509

Divine Science Federation International

3617 Wyoming St.
St. Louis, MO 63116

Divine Science continues the merger of two streams of early metaphysical teachings both of which began in the 1880s and both of which had derived from the initial work of Emma Curtis Hopkins, the founder of what today is termed New Thought. The first stream began in 1886 with Kate Bingham of Pueblo, Colorado. Bingham went to Chicago, Illinois, hoping to find some cure for her illness. She found that healing under the ministration of Mabel MacCoy, a student of Hopkins, who sent Bingham to her teacher for classes. Bingham would eventually complete the ministerial course at the Christian Science Theological Seminary and be ordained by Hopkins. Meanwhile, however, after completing her basic class work with Hopkins, she returned to Colorado in 1887 to teach a class attended by two sisters Nona Brooks (1862-1945) and Althea Small. Brooks experienced a healing as a result of the class. At about the same time, MacCoy held a class in Denver, Colorado, which was attended by yet a third sister, Fannie James. By the summer of 1887 the Hopkins School of Christian Science was flourishing in Denver. It continued active until the mid-1890s when Hopkins retired from her work in Chicago and moved into private work in New York.

At about the same time Bingham was offering her class in Pueblo, Hopkins traveled to San Francisco, California, and held a class in April 1887 attended by more than 200 people. Among those in attendance were Miranda Rice and Melinda Elliot Cramer (1844-1906). Miranda Rice had been an early student of Mary Baker Eddy but had left the Church of Christ, Scientist, moved to San Francisco, and opened the first Christian Science practitioners office in the west coast. Melinda Cramer had moved to San Francisco in 1870 hoping that the climate would be a cure for the ill health she had suffered for the preceeding decade. She found that cure in 1885, probably under the ministration of Miranda Rice. In any case, both women attended Hopkins' class, and in May 1888 she opened the Home College of Spiritual Science, with which Rice affiliated. Later that year Cramer began publishing Harmony, one of the most prominent early New Thought periodicals.

The Denver and San Francisco streams began to flow together in 1889 when William McKendree Brown, a student of Hopkins from Iowa, moved to Denver and became the local agent for distributing Harmony. In early 1890, Cramer came to Denver and taught a number of classes which were well received. Brooks attended the classes and discovered a close affinity with Cramer. In 1892 she formed the International Divine Science Federation, originally an attempt to built a fellowship association for the early New Thought centers in the West and Midwest. Annie Rix Militz of the Home of Truth served as the first vice president. The first convention was held in San Francisco in 1894. The association continued to hold meetings through the end of the century.

In the early 1890s Nona Brooks moved to Denver where Fannie James had organized a separate metaphysical group. Over the years the sisters had developed several important differences with Kate Bingham and the ideas taught her by Hopkins. They also began to remold Hopkins' basic teaching around the central concept of the omnipresence of God. For example, they rejected any notion of prayer as supplication and centered their work on meditation as contemplation of God's omnipresence. They discarded any distinction between a mortal mind-immortal mind, present in both Eddy's and Hopkins' thought, in favor of a simple reliance on omnipresence. They disagreed with the idea of "chemicalization," an idea Hopkins passed on from Eddy, which explained what happened when some patients seem to get worse before getting better. They also rejected Hopkins' use of alternating denials and affirmations in treating patients as well as the multiple six-day healing treatment which utilized them. They preferred a single method treatment which merely affirmed the omnipresence of God.

In the mid-1890s, Althea Small also moved to Denver. Brooks and James were already holding classes and doing healing from the latter's home. However, by 1896 the work required them to open an office in downtown Denver. In 1898 they incorporated as the Divine Science College. Brooks received her ordination from Cramer that year, and on Sunday, January 1, 1899, Brooks opened the first church chartered by the college. James served as president of the college until her death during World War I, after which Brooks succeeded her. The formal organization of the work in Denver was vital to the survival of the movement, as the work in San Francisco was destroyed by an earthquake in 1906. Cramer herself died from injuries sustained in the disaster.

Following the demise of Cramer, Nona Brooks came to the forefront as the leader and dominated it until her second retirement in 1941. She was, however, ably assisted over the years by some of the most talented teachers in the New Thought field. During the early twentieth century W. John Murray and Ernest S. Holmes (later to found Religious Science) were ordained by Divine Science. Emmet Fox, at one time the preacher for the largest New Thought congregation in America, was a Divine Scientist. More recently Joseph Murphy, who had the largest New Thought audience in Southern California, built up the Los Angeles church.

Beliefs. The keystone of Divine Science is the affirmation of the Limitless Being of God, equally present everywhere. God is pure Spirit, manifesting at all phases at all times. Creation is the emanantion of life and substance from God, i.e., God in selfmanifestation. Spirit and Substance are but two aspects of the same reality. Matter is divine energy manifest as form. Humans are in essence divine and one with their Creator. These basic ideas are summarized in Divine Science's Statement of Being, "God is all, both invisible and visible. One Presence, One Mind, One Power is all. This One that is all perfect life, perfect love, and perfect substance. Man is the individualized expression of God and is ever one with this perfect life, perfect love, and perfect substance."

In the absence of the individual's realization that each person is an individualized center of God's activity, the possibility of all manner of confusion, turmoil, and adverse circumstances (illness, poverty) can manifest. These circumstances are reversed by an inward turn to the Christ to unfold a consciousness of our oneness with the father–Divine Omnipresence.

Organization. As the work of Divine Science grew rather informally, the need for closer fellowship between the emerging churches became evident, and in the early 1920s a federation was created as a center for coordination of the otherwise autonomous Divine Science organizations. Then in 1957 the Divine Science Federation International was formed. It is governed by a house of delegates composed of representative of the various churches. A general council of five members handles administrative matters between meetings of the house of delegates. The federation licenses practitioners, ordains ministers, charters churches, operates a school for the training of practitioners and ministers, and prints material for use in all the churches. Daily Studies continues Daily Studies in Divine Science, begun in 1915, the oldest of the New Thought daily devotional guides. Brooks Divinity School supercedes the Colorado College of Divine Science founded by Brooks.

Membership: Not reported.

Educational Facilities: Brooks Divinity School, Denver, Colorado. Divine Science School, Washington, D.C.

Periodicals: At-one-ment.

Sources:

Brooks, Louise McNamara. Early History of Divine Science. Denver, CO: First Divine Science Church, 1963.

Dean, Hazel. Powerful Is the Light. Denver, CO: Divine Science College, 1945.

Divine Science, Its Principle and Practice. Denver, CO: Divine Science Church and College, 1957.

Gregg, Irwin. The Divine Science Way. Denver, CO: Divine Science Federation International, 1975.

1510

ESP Picture Prayers

Current address not obtained for this edition.

ESP Picture Prayers is headed by Murcie P. Smith of Gary, Indiana. Like the Life-Study Fellowship (see separate entry) ESP Picture Prayers offers printed prayers based upon the idea of God as a loving father. The ESP Picture Prayers organization offers private ESP readings to members as an added incentive. Included in the prayers are special ones for those in the armed services, a "Blessed Sacred Heart of Jesus Christ Prayer" (with a picture of the Sacred Heart included), and a "Blessed Sacred Eyes of Jesus Christ Prayer" (with a picture of the sacred eyes included).

1511

First Church of Divine Immanence

Current address not obtained for this edition.

The First Church of Divine Immanence was founded in 1952 by Dr. Henry Milton Ellis (d. 1970). Ellis was a journalist who studied at the College of Divine Metaphysics, from which he received a doctorate. He was for a while a Religious Science practitioner. He became aware that no New Thought group was serving the scattered believers not close to urban areas, so he founded the First Church of Divine Immanence as a mail order denomination. Ellis wrote Bible Science: the Truth and the Way as a textbook. At its height, before Ellis' death, the church numbered close to 1,000 members, but with a much larger constituency. Ellis sent a newsletter, From the Pastor's Study, regularly to the membership.

Teachings of the church, Bible Science, draws heavily upon the works of Ernest S. Holmes, founder of the Church of Religious Science. God is Spirit, the original life-essence. "Infinite mind" is the animative life principle, and we think, decide and act with this omniscient mind. Man is an expression of God in activity. The law of mind is the power of authority in the natural order of law. Man enters the kingdom of heaven by being "born again," in Greek, metanoia, changing the mind. That change occurs when man realizes his true nature.

Membership: Not reported.

1512

Foundation for A Course in Miracles (FACIM)

1275 Tennanah Lake Rd.
Roscoe, NY 12776-5905

Among the prominent centers perpetuating A Course in Miracles, the work channeled by Dr. Helen Schucman from an entity she believed to be Christ, is the Foundation for A Course in Miracles, established in 1983 by cofounders Kenneth Wapnick and his wife, Gloria Wapnick. Dr. Kenneth Wapnick, a clinical psychologist, was a close friend and associate of Helen Schucman and William Thetford, the two people whose joining together was the immediate stimulus for the scribing of A Course in Miracles. Together with Schucman he prepared the Course manuscript for publication and sits on the executive board of the Foundation for Inner Peace, the book's publisher. Gloria Wapnick is a former social studies instructor and high school dean of students who has been working with A Course in Miracles since 1977.

In 1984 the Foundation for A Course in Miracles (FACIM) evolved into the Teaching and Healing Center in Crompond, New York, which was quickly outgrown. In 1988 the Wapnick's opened the Academy and Retreat Center in upstate New York, and in 1995 began the Institute for Teaching Inner Peace Through A Course in Miracles (ITIP-ACIM), an educational corporation chartered by the New York State Board of Regents. The institute operates under the aegis of the foundation, administering workshops and academy courses.

The foundation's statement of purpose affirms its purpose as to foster spiritual development through the study and practice of A Course in Miracles, a set of three books channeled by Jesus, that teach that the way to remember God is by undoing guilt through forgiving others. The corporation has as its specific aims to teach the Course, helping those interested to integrate the principles into their personal lives, that they may better realize their true identity, shared with all people, as children of God; to teach and train those who wish to teach the Course, to others; to teach theCourse's reinterpretation of traditional Christian principles such as sin, suffering, forgiveness, atonement, and the meaning of the Crucifixion; to further understanding of the Course by means of educational and training programs, seminars, and publications.

As they worked with the Course, the Wapnicks concluded that it was not the simplest of thought systems to understand, not only in the intellectual grasp of its teachings, but in the application of these teachings to personal lives. Additionally, Schucman shared a vision of a teaching center that the Wapnicks understood to be a place where the person of Jesus and His message in A Course in Miracles would be manifest. The foundation has been partially inspired by Plato (and his mentor Socrates), and it is hoped that the foundation could function in a manner similar to Plato's Academy, a place where people studied his philosophy in an atmosphere conducive to their learning, and then returned to their professions to implement what they were taught by the great philosopher.

It is the Wapnicks' belief that Jesus gave A Course in Miracles at this particular time in this particular form for several reasons, including: 1. the necessity of healing the mind of its belief that attack is salvation; this is accomplished through forgiveness, the undoing of our belief in the reality of separation and guilt. 2. the needed emphasis upon the importance of Jesus and/or the Holy Spirit as our loving and gentle Teacher, and developing a personal relationship with this Teacher. 3. a need to correct the errors of Christianity, particularly where it has emphasized suffering, sacrifice, separation, and sacrament as being inherent to God's plan of salvation.

Membership: Not reported.

Periodicals: The Lighthouse.

Sources:

Barrett, David B. World Christian Encyclopedia. New York: Oxford, 1982.

1513

Home of Truth

1300 Grand St.
Alameda, CA 94501

There is only one congregation remaining of what was for several decades in the early twentieth century the largest New Thought group in the world. The Homes of Truth were founded by Annie Rix Militz (1856-1924) and her sister Harriet Rix in 1888. They grew directly out the early ministry of Emma Curtis Hopkins. In April 1887, Hopkins came to San Francisco, California, and held what was for many years the largest Christian Science class ever held. Among the students were the Rix sisters. Annie, a school teacher, was completely transformed by the class and felt that she had found her role in life. She founded the first Home of Truth in San Francisco. A second one was started in Alameda, California, a few years later. Annie also accepted an invitation from Hopkins to join the faculty of her Christian Science Theological Seminary in Chicago, Illinois, where she met and married Paul Militz and came to know many of the early New Thought leaders, including Myrtle Fillmore and her husband Charles S. Fillmore, who were also students at the seminary.

After the dissolution of the seminary and the retirement of Hopkins to New York City in the mid-1890s, Militz returned to California. Finding the work in the Bay area stable, she moved to Southern California and opened a Home of Truth in Los Angeles, California. She also developed close ties to the Fillmore's who had started the Unity School of Christianity, and became one of the important contributors to their magazine, Unity. She wrote one of the first sets of Unity basic lessons, later republished as Primary Lessons in Christian Living and Healing and an early volume on prosperity, the only book still in print in the 1980s.

During the last two decades of her life, Militz traveled widely (including several around-the-world tours) on behalf of New Thought. She was an early and avid supporter of the International New Thought Alliance (INTA) and gave much of her energy to it.

She also developed the Homes of Truth along the Pacific coast as well as in Chicago and Boston. At the time of her death, there were no less than 12 Homes of Truth. Militz also founded the Master Mind Publishing Company which published New Thought books and, beginning in 1911, The Master Mind, one of the most prominent metaphysical magazines into the 1930s.

Militz, along with the Fillmores and other early New Thought leaders, had a strong belief in the possibility of physical immortality. At the time of her death, her closest disciples refused to bury her body until the city of Los Angeles intervened, an action which brought some unwanted press coverage to the movement. In spite of the loss of Militz, the movement remained vital for another generation, but began to decline after World War II. By the 1970s there were only two congregations. One of these, the Boston Home of Truth, died with its longtime leader, Eleanor Mel. During the agreement with its basic principles. It draws eclectically upon and attempts to integrate a variety of New Thought systems, including Unity and, more recently, New Age emphases such as The Course in Miracles.

Membership: There is one congregation of the Home of Truth with several hundred members.

Periodicals: The Channel.

Sources:

Militz, Annie Rix. Both Riches and Honor. Kansas City, MO: Unity School of Christianity, 1945.

——. Primary Lessons in Christian Living and Healing. New York: The Absolute Press, 1909.

——. The Renewal of the Body. Holyoke, MA: The Elizabeth Towne Co., 1920.

Rix, Harriet Hale. Christian Mind Healing. Los Angeles: Master Mind Publishing Co., 1918.

1514

Inner Powers Society

Current address not obtained for this edition.

The Inner Powers Society was founded by Alfred Pritchard, its president. Metaphysician Pritchard contacts prospective members through advertisements in metaphysical and psychic publications. The Society is organized by members relating to the home office in Yucca Valley, California. It offers courses which Pritchard wrote on a wide variety of New Thought topics. Pritchard teaches that one must become attuned to the "inner environment" of "cycling cosmic forces." As these forces of inner powers flow through mankind, the distortions of past reversals of truth will be eliminated, and a new age of super-intelligence will be established. Man is entering a new age, an occurrence which is repeated every 2,155 years.

Membership: Not reported.

Sources:

Pritchard, Alfred W. Man…God's Helpmate. Los Angeles: Inner Powers Society, 1958.

1515

Institute of Esoteric Transcendentalism

Current address not obtained for this edition.

Dr. Robert W. C. Burke is a New Thought teacher in Los Angeles. In 1956, he founded the Robert Burke Foundation and, nine years later, Christology. These were combined in 1969 as the Institute of Esoteric Transcendentalism. There is no formal statement of belief. The right to hold divergent religious tenets is acknowledged.

The basis of the Institute's teachings is Christology, the science of the knowledge of Christ, which rests alone upon the words credited to Jesus. All else in the Bible is considered history and stories for guidance and inspiration. Jesus is described as the man who spoke the illumined Word, Christ, and laid before mankind a foundation for spirituality. Mankind is a creature of divinity and thus "of God." He has within him the divine power that moves the universe, but man misuses the abundant gift of God. Intellectual awareness is the first step in building toward a spiritual consciousness. When spiritual consciousness is put into action, complete self-awareness occurs. Meditation is emphasized as a way to spiritual consciousness.

The program of the Institute is centered upon its headquarters at the William Penn Hotel, Whittier, California, where a full program of lectures, classwork and individual counseling is offered. The two periodicals, both of which follow a lesson format, are mailed to several states.

Membership: Not reported. The Whitter location is the only center.

Periodicals: The Christext. • The Transcendentalist.

1516

Institute of Infinite Science

(Defunct)

Dr. Roman Ostoja was a Polish nobleman who discovered as a teenager that he was telepathic. After finishing his medical degree, he traveled to India and Tibet to learn yoga and improve his psychic skills. He returned to the West and offered himself to many psychical researchers for testing. Included in the tests were not only demonstrations of his psychic abilities, but of yogic austerities including being buried alive for several hours without air, lying on a bed of nails, and sticking a nail through his hand. He came to America in the 1920s and worked with Dr. William McDougall at Harvard. He also studied in the early 1920s with Swami Paramahansa Yogananda, founder of the Self-Realization Fellowship. Shortly thereafter he opened the Institute of Infinite Science in Los Angeles, California. Ostoja offered a variety of nonmedical forms of healing at the institute, and became well-known for the cures he facilitated. But he primarily thought of himself as a Westernized yogi, combining the teachings of the East with the new Western psychology, thus providing a form of Hinduism acceptable to modern Westerners. He shared his multiple healing techniques with students as an integral part of his spiritual and metaphysical teachings.

The teachings of Ostoja combined the yoga teachings of Yogananda with New Thought metaphysics. The object was to produce both self-mastery and the identity of the deepest level of the self with the Infinite One, Mind, Self of All, God. The primary method to achieve those goals is concentration and will power. He taught the yoga disciplines, especially pranayana (breathing) for the development of the will and the use of suggestion and autosuggestion as a means of projecting ideas into the mind. Once in the mind, ideas could be a force for good, such as controlling the body in the cure and prevention of disease.

Ostoja continued to head the Institute into the late 1940s, but in the ensuing years he died and the Institute dissolved. Former students can still be found in southern California. The Ostoja Laboratories of Reseda, California, manufacture and distribute the Peruvian Healing Balm, made from Peruvian Tree Oil, developed by Ostoja more than a half century ago.

Sources:

Ostoja, Roman. Body and Mind Control. Santa Barbara, CA: J. F. Rowney Press, 1949.

——. Mind Made Visible. Santa Barbara, CA: J. F. Rowney Press, 1928.

Sinclair, Upton. Dr. Roman Ostoja Demonstrations. N.p., n.d.

1517

Interfaith Fellowship

Current address not obtained for this edition.

Interfaith Fellowship was founded in New York City in 1977 as Interfaith, Inc. by Rabbi Joseph H. Gelberman of the New Synagogue, Rev. Jon Mundy (a United Methodist minister), and Swami Satchidananda of Integral Yoga International. As originally conceived, Interfaith provided a meeting ground where people from various faiths could meet together for dialogue, sharing, and mutual worship and celebration. It was built upon the idea that the experiences of joy, love, serenity, wisdom, and healing, which all religions share in common, was more important than those elements of theology and ritual which divided. The mystical relationship to transcendent reality was emphasized. Interfaith, Inc., held a meeting one Sunday afternoon each month until 1993. Interfaith Fellowship emerged out of Interfaith, Inc., as a church which began to hold weekly worship services.

Taking the lead in Interfaith Fellowship have been Revs. Mundy and Diane Burke. Both have a longtime involvement with A Course in Miracles, a metaphysical text channeled by Dr. Helen Schucman. The perspective of the Course is strongly evident in the fellowship's literature. Also growing out of Interfaith, Inc., was the New Seminary, which carried the spirit of the evolving fellowship into the training of ministers, counselors, and practitioners for work in local communities. Joining Rabbi Gelberman and Reverend Mundy in the creation of the seminary was Fr. Giles Spoonhour. Graduates of the seminary have banded together in the Association of Interfaith Ministers.

The Interfaith Fellowship is built upon the idea that inclusiveness is better than exclusivity, and people of all religious and spiritual backgrounds are welcomed. The literature and wisdom of all faiths are utilized in worship. There is neither a creed nor a set of beliefs to which members must give consent. Emphasis is placed upon each person having a direct loving relationship to God, humanity, and all creation. Members seek an understanding and appreciation of all different kinds of people, confident that the process will bring them closer to the Spirit within each person.

Membership: As of 1995 there was one congregation of approximately 250 members; however, the New Seminary has graduated and ordained some 700 ministers, some of whom stand ready to start additional congregations affiliated with the fellowship.

Periodicals: On Course.

Sources:

About Interfaith Fellowship. Monroe, NY: Interfaith, 1992.

1518

International Alliance of Churches of the Truth

690 E. Orange Grove Blvd.
Pasadena, CA 91104

The International Alliance of Churches of Truth was formed in 1987 out of the remnants of what had been a loose fellowship of congregations of the Church of the Truth, also known informally as the Church of Truth. The church was formed in 1913 when Albert C. Grier, pastor of a Universalist Church in Spokane, Washington, resigned from the church and, with most of his congregation, formed a new congregation which taught Divine Science or New Thought. Later that year he began Truth, for many years an important New Thought periodical. Grier had become converted to New Thought after reading a pamphlet written by Clara T. Stocker, a student of Emma Curtis Hopkins, who worked as a practitioner in Spokane and in Cascade, British Columbia. Grier's work expanded quickly as he became a popular lecturer and as other New Thought leaders were drawn into his fellowship. In 1914, work began in nearby Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, and within a few years affiliated centers spread across the Northwest.

Grier also developed close ties with Nona Brooks and the Divine Science Church in Denver, Colorado. He joined them, and along with Ernest S. Holmes of the Metaphysical Institute, they formed the Truth Association in 1918 as a competing ecumenical group to the recently formed International New Thought Alliance (INTA). After the alliance made changes in its declaration of principles to accomodate the association members, they dissolved the association and joined the alliance in 1921. Grier became an honorary president and, in 1922, a field lecturer, a duty that began to consume much of his time. In 1924 he was granted a year's leave of absence from his pulpit and spent the year traveling for INTA and organizing a new church in Pasadena, California. In 1925 he moved to New York to become pastor of the Church of the Healing Christ, a prominent independent New Thought congregation formerly headed by W. John Murray. Early in 1925, after only a few months in his new post (to be succeeded by Emmet Fox), he resigned and formed a new Church of the Truth congregation, for many years the church's largest. That church was later pastored for several decades by Erwin Seale.

Grier was succeeded in the Spokane pastorate by Erma Wells, who became the leader of the church after Grier's death in the 1930s. Wells, outstanding in her own right, founded the University of Metaphysics to train New Thought ministers, and was president for three years of the INTA. Her career was cut short by an automobile accident. The university was moved to Portland, Oregon, and the Spokane congregation eventually affiliated with the Association of Unity Churches. Leadership of the loosely organized group shifted to the Pasadena church. During its first generations the church produced a number of outstanding New Thought leaders such as Elizabeth Towne, James Dodds, and H. Edward Mills. However, after Wells' accident, much of the organizational glue was lost, the informal fellowship began to collapse, and many of the congregations became independent or were lost to other New Thought organizations.

Beliefs. Grier brought little hostility toward organized religion with him in creating the new Church of the Truth, and showed no reluctance in composing statements of belief and church mission so evident in many New Thought circles. Almost immediately after the church was formed, he published a church covenant and a "Statement of the Truth" in which he affirmed the allness of God, the primacy of thought, Love as the essence of the Divine Omnipresence, and the ability to know and utilize the power of Divine Omnipresence through thinking God's thoughts. While drawing heavily upon Divine Science, he hoped to build a broader, more universal faith capable of withstanding the ravages and changes of time. The intellectual thrust of his ministry was manifest in the University of Metaphysics created by Erma Wells and in the theological text written by his daughter, Foundation Stones of Truth.

Organization. The Church of the Truth has always existed as a loose supportive association of like-minded ministers and churches tied together by Truth magazine. In recent decades, the fellowship dwindled to only a few churches. During the tenure of Pasadena pastor, Judi D. Warren, (1979-89) the attempt was made to revive the church's common life and to breathe new vitality into the organization. While creating a broad program of activities, including a Wellness Center, at the Pasadena location, Warren opened a ministerial training school and developed a new generation of mission-oriented pastors. In 1987, she led in the founding of the International Alliance of Churches of Truth and launched an aggressive program of creating new congregations and inviting independent like-minded congregations into the alliance.

Unfortunately, following Rev. Warren's retirement from the Church of Truth in Pasadena in 1989, the International Alliance became dormant. Most recently, however, Rev. Deborah Coleman of the Deborah Coleman Ministries in Ontario, Canada, has assumed a leadership role and is reactivating the organization. In the meantime, Rev. Kathleen S. Myers, who succeeded Warren as pastor of the Church of Truth in Pasadena, has continued to nurture the Albert Grier Ministerial School which has 3 1/2 year program to train people for the ordained ministry in the Church of Truth.

Membership: In 1988 the fledgling alliance had three congregations, Pasadena, California; Coeur d'Alene, Idaho; and Victoria, British Columbia; and reported approximately 1,000 members. In 1992, there were a reported 11 congregations.

Educational Facilities: Albert Grier School of Religious Studies, Pasadena, California.

Periodicals: Open Heart.

Sources:

Grier, Albert C. Truth's Cosmology. Spokane, WA: Church of the Truth, n.d.

Grier, Albert C., and Agnes M. Lawson. Truth and Life. New York: E. P. Dutton, 1921.

Grier, Gladys C. Foundation Stones of Truth. Los Angeles: Williang Publishing Company, 1948.

Seale, Ervin. Ten Words That Will Change Your Life. New York: William Morrow & Company, 1954.

Stocker, Clara T. Realization through Concentrated Attention. Pasadena, CA: Church of the Truth, n.d.

1519

Life Study Fellowship Foundation, Inc.

Noroton, CT 06820

The Life Study Fellowship Foundation, Inc. was begun in 1939. It differs from other New Thought groups in that its members are related to each other and to the headquarters only through the literature sent out regularly. Recent literature carries no mention of the founders or present leaders, but often quotes from testimonials of members who have been helped. Several of the more substantial early books were written by Herbert R. Moral. Basis of the Fellowship is the "new way of prayer," which, while simple, will open the power of prayer to all.

The new way is based on "Unity Prayer," the thrice daily prayer by all members for others in the Fellowship. The prayer to be used at each period is printed in the bimonthy Faith magazine. At 8 a.m., the prayer is for God's guidance, at 12 noon, for prosperity, and at 9 p.m., for healing. A second aspect of the "new way of prayer" is the special printed prayers which are sent to members with problems in particular areas. These prayers articulate needs, requests for blessings, and affirmations. They are to be read daily at a regular prayer-time. The third part of the new way is the special-help department devoted to short-term special problems. Members may write to headquarters for help at any time. Members of the Fellowship are urged to use the prayers as a means for problem-solving and obtaining particular goals. A golden key is distributed for good fortune. Each key has letters which can bring good luck when understood and used.

Membership in the Fellowship is solicited in numerous ads in the printed media. Members fill out a lengthy form. The work is supported by offerings of the members. The Teachings Department has, since the mid-1960s, published a series of books and booklets containing prayers on particular themes of prosperity, healing, and peace of mind.

Membership: Not reported.

Periodicals: Faith. Send orders to Noroton, CT 06820.

Sources:

Moral, Herbert R. How to Have Better Health through Prayer. Noroton, CT: Life Study Fellowship, n.d.

[Moral, Herbert R.?] "With God All Things Are Possible." Noroton, CT: Life Study Fellowship, 1945.

Power for Peace of Mind. Noroton, CT: Life Study Fellowship, n.d.

1520

Miracle Distribution Center

1141 East Ash Ave.
Fullerton, CA 92831

A Course in Miracles is a three volume channeled textbook which offers a set of teachings very close to traditional New Thought metaphysics. The material in the Course was received by Dr. Helen Schucman (d. 1981), a psychologist at the Neurological Institute at Columbia University in New York City. Born into a Jewish family, Schucman had become an atheist, but in 1965 began to receive the material for the Course as dictated by an inner voice. The dictations continued over a seven-year period and the speaking voice claimed to be Jesus Christ.

In 1975 Dr. Schucman met Judith Skutch, a well-known leader in New York City's psychic-metaphysical community and head of the Foundation for Parasensory Information. During the next year Skutch read the material and was so impressed that she established the Foundation for Inner Peace. During that year she also met Saul Steinberg, owner of Coleman Graphics, a printshop on Long Island, who offered to print the book. It was published in 1976 without any mention of Dr. Schucman. Though given little fanfare and informally promoted, largely by word of mouth, it quickly found an audience. By 1977 groups studying A Course in Miracles sprang up from New York to California. In addition to Coleman Graphics, Steinberg founded a publishing company, Miracle Life, Inc. (now Miracle Experiences, Inc.), and began a newsletter, Miracle News, which promotes the Course through conferences and workshops and has fostered the emergence of a network of study groups.

The movement which grew around the Course soon attracted leaders from among people already accepting of New Thought metaphysics, including some medical and psychological professionals previously aligned with the human potential movement. Several of these professionals, most notably Dr. Gerald G. Jampolsky, founder of The Center for Attitudinal Healing in Tiburon, California, have become national promoters and spokespersons for the Course.

As the movement grew, Saul Steinberg emerged as the national conference coordinator and national group coordinator for the Course. During the 1980s a national network of study groups emerged and Miracle Experiences, Inc., headed by Steinberg coordinated and promoted national and regional conferences. Numerous independent centers and teachers of the Course material become focus of a loosely connected Miracles community across North America and in Europe. Through the 1990s new teachers and centers continued to emerge. Prominent teachers included Tara Sigh, Jon Mundy, and bestselling author Marianne Williamson. Coming to prominence as a nurturing and organizing center fo the community was the Miracles Community Network. It publishes Miracles Magazine, provides coordination for the network of A Course in Miracles students and study groups, and sponsors conferences.

Founded in 1978, the Miracle Distribution Center has distributed the Course in Miracles and related materials, fostered study groups, and become the nexus of the worldwide network of students of the Course.

Membership: In 1998 these were more than 2,200 Course in Miracle study groups in the United States, Canada and around the world. Over 100,000 copies of A Course in Miracles had been sold.

Periodicals: Miracle News. • Miracles. Available from San Francisco Miracles Foundation, 1040 Masonic Ave., No. 2, San Francisco, CA 94117. • Inner Peace. Available from Coleman Publishing, 99 Milbar Blvd., Farmingdale, NY 11735. • Unofficial: Miracles Magazine. Send orders to PO Box 418, Sante Fe, NM 87504-0418. • On Course. 459 Carol Dr., Monroe, NY10950.

Sources:

A Course in Miracles. 3 vols. New York: Foundation for Inner Peace, 1975.

Koffend, John. "The Gospel According to Helen."Psychology Today14 (September 1980): 74-78.

Ray, Sondra. Drinking the Divine. Berkeley, CA: Celestial Arts, 1984.

Skutch, Robert. "A Course in Miracles, the Untold Story." Parts 1, 2. New Realities4, nos. 1,2 (July/August, September/October 1984): 17-27; 8-15, 78.

1521

New Thought Science

Current address not obtained for this edition.

New Thought Science is a New Thought organization founded by Dr. Crist V. Bass in Los Angeles. Described as a worldwide metaphysical movement, it is very close to the Church of Religious Science and uses the writings of Ernest S. Holmes and Frederick Beals as primary texts.

Common to most New Thought churches, New Thought Science affirms that all phenomena of nature, both physical and spiritual, are the expression of one Infinite Intelligence. Members believe that the basic truth of all religions is similar, and that if understood and applied in daily life, that truth brings health and prosperity to the individual. They also adhere to the teachings of Christ found in the New Testament, especially that the kingdom of Heaven is within us, that we are one with the Father, that we should not judge, that we should love each other, that we should return good for evil, that we should minister to each other, and that we should be perfect as the Father is perfect. New Thought Science is open to all and exists as a racially integrated fellowship.

Founded in Nevada, New Thought Science was reincorporated in California in 1954. Bass also founded and led Searchlight University, the church's ministerial training school. The university offers instruction leading to designation as a practitioner, master metaphysician, minister, or bishop. New Thought Science also offers home study courses.

Membership: Not reported.

Educational Facilities: Searchlight University.

1522

Noohra Foundation

4480H S. Cobb Dr. SE, Ste. 343
Smyrna, GA 30080

The Noohra (Light) Foundation was founded in 1970 by Dr. Rocco A. Errico, a student of George M. Lamsa (1892-1975), an Assyrian-born Bible scholar and translator. The Noohra Foundation grew out of and supercedes the Aramaic Bible Society, founded by Lamsa in 1927. Lamsa had migrated to the United States in 1917. He attended Virginia Theological Seminary (Episcopal) and the University of Pennsylvania, and then began his career as a Bible translator. It was Lamsa's claim that Greek was not the original language of the Scriptures. He believed that Jesus and the Apostles spoke Aramaic, that they wrote in Aramaic, and that the Eastern Peshitta Bible was the original version. He feels that only by understanding the Aramaic background could the many idioms of the New Testament be understood. Most important, Lamsa claimed that the language, customs, and manners of his home country, Assyria (the current Assyrian language is the modern form of Aramaic), have not changed since the time of Jesus and could be studied for direct light on Scripture.

Lamsa's scholarship has been embodied in a series of translations of biblical literature and commentaries on the New Testament which deal with Aramaic customs. The Aramaic Bible Society was created to teach Lamsa's insights and distribute his writings. In 1970 Errico founded the Aramaic Bible Center in San Antonio, Texas (where Lamsa resided during the 1960s), as an educational organization to expand knowledge of Lamsa's work and do further work on Aramaic texts. At the time he was co-pastor of the Calvary Missionary Church, which served briefly as a "branch office" of the society, and co-editor of Light for All, the society's magazine. Two years later he resigned his position at the church to devote his full attention to the center.

During the 1960s and 1970s, Lamsa's work was increasingly identified with metaphysical movements and his interpretation of Scripture leaned toward a more metaphysical worldview associated with New Thought. During this time he became a popular speaker for New Thought groups, especially the Unity School of Christianity and its affiliated churches. As Lamsa's health failed during the 1970s, Errico became the spokesperson for his ideas. In 1977 the center took its present name and the following year moved its operations to California, first to Newport Beach and more recently to its present location. The foundation's stated purpose is to encourage humanity's potential through the study of the scriptural, mystical, and practical aspects of Truth, using the Lamsa translation of the Bible. Besides its regular ongoing classes at various locations in southern California, Errico is a popular speaker-teacher and has attracted members to the foundation from across the nation.

The Noohra Foundation is associated with other Aramaic study centers such as St. Ephrem's Institute in Solna, Sweden, and the Lamsa Foundation in Germany. Errico also frequently speaks at the Church of Daily Living, an independent congregation which shares facilities with the foundation in Costa Mesa. The Center of Creative Living in Westminister, Colorado, pastored by Mary Beth Olson, is an affiliate branch of the foundation. Both the foundation and the center in Colorado are members of the International New Thought Alliance (INTA). The organization's web site is at http://www.noohra.com.

Membership: Not reported.

Periodicals: Noohra-Light.

Sources:

Alyes, Tom. The Life of George Lamsa. St. Petersburg, FL: Aramaic Bible Society, 1966.

Lamsa, George M. The Kingdom on Earth. Lee's Summit, MO: Unity Books, 1966.

——. My Neighbor Jesus. Philadelphia: Aramaic Research, 1932.

——. New Testament Commentary. Philadelphia: A.J. Holman, 1945.

1523

"Now" Folk

(Defunct)

"Now" Folk was formed by people drawn around Henry Harrison Brown (1864-1918), a New Thought leader in San Francisco, California, at the beginning of the twentieth century. Brown, a Civil War veteran and former Unitarian minister, had become an independent lecturer in the 1890s and in 1900 launched Now, a New Thought periodical, in San Francisco. It was his belief that the most important task to be accomplished in his day was teaching humanity to know itself as an expression of Infinite Energy (i.e., everything theologians mean by God and everything scientists mean by energy). The key to knowledge of humanity's real essence was, according to Brown, suggestion, by which anyone could direct his/her subconscious (the real self) and thereby control the outward expression of the self and thus produce life according to present desire. Brown's belief was expressed in an affirmation which became the group's motto, "Man is spirit here and now, with all the possibilities of Divinity within him and he can consciously manifest these possibilities Here and Now."

Brown developed a broad program of what he termed "soul culture," the education of people in the use of their spiritual faculties. In this regard, he produced a series of booklets which became the basis of a variety of correspondence courses on such topics as suggestion, the art of living, psychic development, self-healing, concentration, and psychometry. Brown lectured regularly in San Francisco, and organized home meetings through out the Bay Area.

Brown also offered a critique of the turn-of-the-century society which he saw characterized by "competition through concentration," by which he meant that individuals were lost within various social structures whose members saw fellow members as brothers and all outsiders as aliens. To this competitive society he offered a vision of brotherhood and cooperation, the practical application of the Golden Rule. To that end, in 1906 he organized a short lived cooperative community in Glendale, California.

Brown died in 1918, and the "Now" Folk did not survive his death. However, Now, the magazine he founded, continued for many years as a prominent independent New Thought periodical under its new editor Sam E. Foulds.

1524

Phoenix Institute

Current address not obtained for this edition.

The Phoenix Institute was founded in 1966 in San Diego by metaphysician Kathryn Breese-Whiting, its president. It has three stated purposes: to teach the inner creative action of science, art, and religion; to encourage an intercultural atmosphere; and to provide a place for those who wish to live a life of dedicated service. It implements these goals through a basic course in mind science and through its affiliated structures, the School of Man, the International Friendship Club and the Church of Man. The Church of Man is the specifically religious aspect of the Institute; its statement of belief forms the basis for the Institute's ideals.

The church believes that there is only one presence, God; that God and man cannot be separated; that man hungers for oneness with the self of his own being; that this "one" acts reciprocally and man is the evidence of this action; that man experiences the finding of himself; that every man is the church; and that the principle "Ye are Gods" is verified by both esoteric and exoteric experience.

Membership: Not reported.

Sources:

Breese-Whiting, Kathryn. The Phoenix Rises. San Diego: Portal Publications, 1971.

1525

Psychiana

(Defunct)

Psychiana, one of the first mail-order religious groups, was founded by Frank B. Robinson (1886-1948), the son of a Baptist minister and a former Baptist minister himself. His bad experiences with what he termed "orthodox" churches led Robinson away from his Baptist faith while concurrently spurring his search for God. While working in a pharmacy in Portland, Oregon, he had an encounter with God which became a life changing event for him. Shortly after that event, he enrolled for the 1915-1916 school year at the College of Divine Metaphysics, an early New Thought school in Indianapolis. Around 1928 he moved to Moscow, Idaho, where he worked in a pharmacy and began to teach metaphysics. He authored a series of correspondence lessons and in 1929 founded Psychiana as a new religion. Developing a national advertising campaign, he gathered students who took his lessons by mail.

The lessons quickly became a success and within a few years were being sent out to all 50 states and to some 70 countries. During the peak of the movement he was receiving more than 1,000 letters daily. Periodically, Robinson would travel around the country to lecture. In the late 1930s, he began to establish offices in other countries to facilitate distribution of his writings, but lost most of them during World War II. He also founded the Psychiana Quarterly magazine. As the work grew, Robinson, as founder/teacher of the organization, appointed himself archbishop. By the late 1940s, he was assisted by four bishops in leading the organization. Members became a part of the Psychiana Brotherhood.

Robinson's lessons expounded a naturally revealed religion that rejected all supernaturalism. God worked through immutable Law and was identical with that Law. Rather than a personal deity, Robinson described God as the Spiritual Law (usually referred to as the God-Law). The Law was equated with the invisible power and intelligence behind the physical universe. Matter is a visible expression of that power. By understanding and using the Law people could rid themselves of poverty, sickness, and unhappiness. Thought was considered the manifestation of God in human life.

Robinson was also opposed to the deification of Jesus, a popular subject in several of his books. He denounced religion based upon the life of a "crucified God." Rather, he felt that emphasis should be placed on the message of Jesus: that the power of the God-Law is real. The Life Spirit could be used to produce health, wealth, and happiness. The evil in the world could be attributed to Humanity's ignorance of the God-Law.

Robinson died in 1948. His son carried on the work for several years, but eventually it dissolved. During the last years of his life Robinson encouraged the formation of Psychiana groups, something he had actively discouraged during most of his years as a writer. During the 1970s there was a brief attempt to revive Psychiana by a former student in California, but it lasted only a brief time.

Sources:

Bach, Marcus. He Talked with God. Portland, OR: Metropolitan Press, 1951.

Braden, Charles Samuel. These Also Believe. New York: Macmillan, 1949.

Robinson, Frank B. The God Nobody Knows. Moscow, ID: Psychiana, 1941.

——. The Pathway to God. Moscow, ID: Psychiana, 1943.

——. The Strange Autobiography of Frank B. Robinson. Moscow, ID: Psychiana, 1949.

1526

Psychophysics Foundation

(Defunct)

The Psychophysics Foundation was headed by Ingra Raamah and taught the science of abundant living. Psychophysics teachings centered upon the great laws of being which, when known and practiced, lead to healing, success, and fulfilled dreams. In the most ancient times, the Golden Age, man lived in direct contact with God and in accord with his laws. Since that time, man's history has been one of losing his interior contact with the Word. Truth has remained alive, however, in every age and was made available through psychophysics. Psychophysics accepted a particular mission, seeing the mid-twentieth century as the time immediately preceeding the return of a second Golden Age, at the very time when humanity seemed to have lost hope of such an event.

Psychophysics was a mixture of metaphysics and concern for bodily health. New students were given exercises and adjustments in diet from the beginning of their affiliation. The basic law of the universe was seen to be love. Headquarters of the Psychophysics Foundation were in Glendora, California.

Sources:

Raamah, Ingra. The Science and Fine Art of Creative Living. Glendora, CA: The Psychophysics Foundation, n.d.

——. The Science of Abundant Life. Glendora, CA: The Psychophysics Foundation, n.d.

1527

Religious Science International

901 E. 2nd Ave., Ste. 301
Spokeane, WA 99202-2257

Religious Science International (RSI) continues the original fellowship of Religious Science ministers and churches, the International Association of Religious Science Churches, organized in 1949. In 1954, at the annual meeting, Ernest S. Holmes presented a plan for reorganizing the Religious Science movement which involved disbanding the association and realigning each individual church as an affiliate church to the Church of Religious Science (the name assumed in 1953 by the Institute of Religious Science, which trained all Religious Science ministers). That church is now known as the United Church of Religious Science. A number of the ministers and churches chose to continue as the IARSC association. The association, now known as Religious Science International, is like the United Church, following the teachings and practice of founder Ernest Holmes and using his textbook, The Science of Mind. The organization and its affiliated congregations supports the International New Thought Alliance (INTA) and the Association for Global New Thought.

Membership: In 2002 the organization had 143 churches including 13,100 members in the United States and 15 churches and 1,270 members in Canada. An additional three churches and groups are located in Australia, Canada, Jamaica, and South Africa.

Periodicals: Creative Thought. • RSI Reporter.

Sources:

Bitzer, Robert H. How to Make Your Mental Computer. Hollywood, CA: The Author, 1963.

Keyhoe, Merle A., ed. A Fountain of Truth. Marina del Rey, CA: DeVorss & Co., 1980.

Whitaker, Claudine. God Is in This Place. Chicago: First Church of Religious Science, 1974.

Whitehead, Carleton. Can You Keep a Secret? Wakefield, MA: Montrose Press, 1955.

1528

School of Esoteric Christianity

(Defunct)

The School of Esoteric Christianity was a coalition of independent Science-of-Mind (Religious Science) churches in the Denver, Colorado, area. The School offered classes for both interested lay students and those seeking licenses as practitioners and ministers at several churches in metropolitan Denver. Among the leading ministers was Dr. Helen V. Walker, pastor of the Esoteric Truth Center in suburban Englewood and publisher of The Esoterian News. In the 1970s there were churches in Englewood (1), Pueblo(1), and Denver (3). Though the School is defunct, the participating congregations continue as independent churches.

1529

School of Truth

Box 5582 Johannesburg,
Republic of South Africa

New Thought invaded the Union of South Africa in the 1930s through the influx of literature and the visits of various leaders. One person affected was Dr. Nicol C. Campbell, who, in 1937, founded the School of Practical Christianity in Johannesburg. It later changed its name to School of Truth. By the late 1960s, it had saturated South Africa and moved into Rhodesia. In the early 1960s, a center was opened in Los Angeles.

The teachings of the School of Truth are more heavily drawn from the Bible than are those of many New Thought bodies. The basis is "Seek first the kingdom of God" (Matt. 6:33). The kingdom of God is within. Jesus longed for the manifestations of the kingdom, which in latent form is within every person. Finding the kingdom is a state of awareness, the consciousness of love's omnipresence. As we attune to love, we bring the kingdom into expression on earth. Love is the omnipresent law that rules supreme. Live the law by thinking and feeling good thoughts: love, health, happiness, peace and goodwill to all men, and you will reap their benefits in your own life.

All the literature and meetings of the School of Truth are offered without charge. The two monthly periodicals are sent world-wide without request of subscription. Members of the School of Truth are taught to tithe, and it is from their gifts and tithes that the work is sustained. Affiliated centers and study groups are found in England and several African countries. The School is a member of the International New Thought Alliance (INTA).

Membership: Not reported. As of 1985 there were no centers in the United States (the Los Angeles center having closed). Adherents kept in contact through periodicals.

Periodicals: The Path of Truth. • Young Ideas.

1530

Seicho-No-Ie

North American Missionary Headquarters
14527 S. Vermont Ave.
Gardena, CA 90247

New Thought was organized in Japan through the efforts of Dr. Masaharu Taniguchi. Dr. Taniguchi (b. 1893), as a youth, was a student of English literature at Waseda University, where he became a devotee of Omoto, one of the new religions of Japan. He took a job as an editor of Omoto's publications and used his leisure time to continue his education in Western philosophy, spirituality, Buddhism, and psychotherapy. In 1921, he left Omoto and, among other things, edited a magazine on psychic phenomena. Then in 1928, he obtained a copy of The Law of Mind in Action by Fenwicke Holmes, brother of Ernest S. Holmes, founder of Religious Science. Putting the principles into practice, he was able to improve his financial situation and heal his daughter. He also had a mystical experience with an influx of a brilliant light.

In 1930, Seicho-No-Ie (the home of infinite life, wisdom, and abundance) was begun, and Taniguchi inaugurated a periodical. Material from the magazine was later collected into a book, Seimei No Jisso (Reality in Life), now comprising some 40 volumes. In 1931, the Holy Sutra, Nectarean Shower of Holy Doctrine, now recited by all the members, was given to Taniguchi by an angel. Seicho-No-Ie's growth has slowed only during a period after World War II, when Dr. Taniguchi was stopped from teaching because of his expression of extreme Japanese nationalism during the war.

Seicho-No-Ie's teaching is similar to that of Religious Science, but it is unique in its use of Shinsokan, the art of prayerful meditation. Members gathered together, or in the privacy of their own homes, began each day by reciting the Holy Sutra. It is described as a means of self-remembering to clear the mind so that the real man can shine forth. Shinsokan begins in a correct posture, sitting with the palms together in prayer and contemplating reality. A closing prayer ends the session. Elements from many sources which Taniguchi has encountered during his studies mold the basic New Thought thrust.

Seicho-No-Ie came to the United States in 1938 when Masaharu Matsuda, Tsuruta Yojan and Mrs. Taneko Shimaza began work among the Japanese Americans on the West Coast. These leaders had been through the 15-day training session, an intensive experience in the divine nature through which all leaders are trained. After the war, a church was opened in Los Angeles, which was later moved to suburban Gardena, serving as its headquarters. Other churches were founded in Seattle, Washington, Honolulu, Hawaii, and San Jose, California. By 1974, approximately 7,000 members and 24 missionaries were under the leadership of Rev. Paul K. Kumoto, appointed by Dr. Taniguchi.

Membership: In 1991 Seicho-No-Ie reported 10 centers in the United States and three in Canada.

Periodicals: Seicho-No-Ie Truth of Life.

Sources:

Davis, Roy Eugene. Miracle Man of Japan. Lakemont, GA: CSA Press, 1970.

Tanaguchi, Masaharu. The Magic of Truth. Gardena, CA: Seicho-No-Ie Truth of life Movement, 1979.

——. Recovery from All Diseases. Tokyo: Seicho-No-Ie Foundation, 1963.

——. Seimei No Jisso. Denver: Smith-Brooks Printing Company, 1945.

——. Wondrous Way to Infinite Life and Power. Gardena, CA: Seicho-No-Ie Truth of life Movement, 1977.

1531

Society of Pragmatic Mysticism

R.R. 1
Box 800
Pawlet, VT 05761

The Society of Pragmatic Mysticism was formed by Mildred Mann, a metaphysical teacher in New York City. She was the author of several books, lesson pamphlets and tracts. She died in 1971 and was succeeded by a group which is carrying on her work and teaching. The society has one meeting center in New York City, where a library, bookstore and offices are located. Teaching work is centered upon the textbook, How to Find YourReal Self, and several lesson-series. Members in a corresponding relationship are located around the country.

Metaphysics, the combination of science and religion, is taught by the society. Metaphysics teaches that man is a child of God, the great mind, and has been given everything he needs for complete self-expression and dominion over his own life. The only issue in life is the self's dealing with its own acceptance and belief. Love and fear are the two emotions from which other issues derive. Our task is to express love and overcome fear. Fear arises from the belief that we will lose. When one changes his belief to love and acts on that belief and self-acceptance, he finds that God is life.

Membership: In 1995 the society reported 30,000 members worldwide with the majority residing in Nigeria.

1532

Today Church

504 Business Pkwy.
Dallas, TX 75081

The Today Church was formed in 1969 as the Academy of Mind Dynamics by Bud Moshier and his wife, Carmen Moshier in Dallas, Texas. Bud Moshier was a former Southern Baptist minister who was influenced by New Thought ideas, particular the secular ideas concerning success motivation. Carmen Moshier was a music teacher in the public school and formerly a minister with the Unity School of Christianity. The present name of the Moshier's church was adopted in 1970.

The theology is like that of the Unity School of Christianity, and much Unity material is used in teaching. The oneness of God and the Christ within are affirmed. Man's problems are considered to be due to his having lost sight of his spiritual origin and of his dominion over thought and feelings. Man manifests oneness in three phases-spirit (Christ mind), soul (awareness) and body (vehicle of expression). Man is responsible for finding the inner awareness of God that leads to prosperity, peace and health.

The Today Church is governed by the members while the program is implemented by the pastors and board of trustees (and a vigorous program of classes and book-publishing has developed). The weekly periodical circulates around the country. A tape library of lessons and lectures has been established, and copies are available on request. The aim of the program is to help people help themselves. The Moshiers have developed a new liturgy and hymnology to express the work of the church. They have authored syllabi for the classes on some of the classic books of the New Thought tradition.

Membership: Not reported.

Periodicals: The Voyager.

Sources:

Moshier, Bud, and Carmen Moshier. Freeing the Whole Self. Dallas, TX: The Today Church, 1971.

A Syllabus for the Study of "Science of Succeeding." Dallas, TX: Academy of Mind Dynamics, n.d.

Moshier, Carmen. Success Programming Songs for You! Dallas, TX: Academy of Mind Dymanics, 1970.

1533

United Church and Science of Living Institute

4140 Broadway
New York, NY 10033

The United Church and Science of Living Institute was formed in 1966 by the Rev. Frederick Eikerenkoetter II, a former Baptist minister, popularly known as Reverend Ike. After graduating from the American Bible School in Chicago in 1956, Reverend Ike spent a time in evangelism and faith healing and became influenced by New Thought. "Science of Living" is the term used to describe the teachings of Reverend Ike, which focus upon the prosperity theme in New Thought thinking. He believes the lack of money is the root of all evil.

Reverend Ike emphasizes the use of mind-power. Members are urged to rid the self of attitudes of "pie-in-the-sky," and postponed rewards. Instead, they should begin thinking of God as the real man in the self. Turning one's attention to the self allows God to work. Believing in God's work allows one to see the self as worthy of God's success. Visualization is a popular technique to project desires into the conscious mind as a first step to the abundant life. A prosperity "blessing plan" emphasizes believing, giving, and prospering. Reverend Ike developed an extensive media ministry and is heard over 89 radio and 22 television stations in the Eastern half of the United States and in California and Hawaii.

Membership: Not reported. In 1974 there were two congregations, one in New York (over 5,000 average attendance) and one in Boston. Today Rev. Ike's ministry is focused in the New York Center with outreach across America.

Periodicals: Action.

Sources:

Eikerenkoetter, Frederick. Health, Happiness and Prosperity for You!. New York: Science of Living Publications, 1982.

1534

United Church of Religious Science

3251 W. 6th St.

Box 75127
Los Angeles, CA 90075

History. The United Church of Religious Science grew out of the work of Ernest S. Holmes (1887-1960), a metaphysical teacher in Los Angeles, California, during the early twentieth century. Born in rural Maine where his family attended the Congregational church, he was educated in the public schools until the age of 15. Several years later, he moved to Boston, Massachusetts, and soon enrolled in a school for public speaking. Continuing his own education through extensive reading, he encountered the writings of both philosopher Ralph Waldo Emerson and Mary Baker Eddy, founder of the Church of Christ, Scientist, which introduced him to the realm of metaphysical thinking. He became an avid student, consuming the writings of the leading thinkers such as Ralph Waldo Trine and Christian D. Larson.

In 1912 he moved to California, where his brother Fenwicke Holmes had settled as the Congregational minister at Venice. Several years later, at a local metaphysical library, he discovered the writings of Thomas Troward, the outstanding British New Thought writer, whose approach freed Holmes to develop the mature perspective that would become known as the Science of Mind.

In 1916 Holmes organized the Metaphysical Institute, under whose umbrella he began to give public lectures and with his brother started a magazine, Uplift. He received ordination for his work through the Divine Science Church in Denver, Colorado. For several years he cooperated with Divine Science and the Church of the Truth in Spokane, Washington, in the organization of the Truth Association, a short-lived New Thought ecumenical organization which had formed in opposition to the International New Thought Alliance (INTA). The Truth Association disbanded as soon as their objections had been met by the INTA, and the Metaphysical Institute affiliated with it. In 1919 Holmes published his first book, Creative Mind, and spent the next few years traveling as a lecturer.

In 1924 Holmes moved to New York for a brief period where he became the last student of Emma Curtis Hopkins (1853-1925), who introduced him to the mystical element which became so prominent in his later thought. In 1925 he returned to Los Angeles and the following year published his most important work, The Science of Mind, a textbook which systematically presented the fundamental teachings of Religious Science. In 1927 he founded the Institute of Religious Science and School of Philosophy, Inc., under whose banner he spoke each Sunday and taught classes during the week. In 1935 the organization incorporated at the Institute of Religious Science and Philosophy, the same year it moved to its present headquarters. Holmes was speaking to more than 2,800 people each Sunday.

Organized Religious Science proceeded through several stages. In the 1930s graduates of the Institute began to open teaching centers (chapters) and teach Religious Science. Soon, a few began to designate their centers as "churches," and the "ministers" began meeting as the Annual Conference of Religious Science Chapters and Churches. In 1949 the conference was transformed into a more permanent organization, the International Association of Religious Science Churches. The association, a representative body, established a working arrangement with the institute, which trained the ministers. Then in 1953, the Institute of Religious Science became the Church of Religious Science, and a new reorganization began. Designating the various centers as affiliated churches, the new church asked each center to resign from the association and formally affiliate with the church. This change led to the most severe opposition from some ministers who refused to align themselves and their congregations with the new church. Many continued as the International Association of Religious Science Churches, eventually taking their present name, Religious Science International. Others simply became independent as leaders of nonaffiliated Science of Mind churches. The Church of Religious Science added the word "United" to its name in 1967.

Beliefs. The United Church describes its teachings as a correlation of the laws of science, opinions of philosophy, and revelations of religion applied to human needs and the aspirations of man. The church's essential philosophy is spelled out in the first four chapters of The Science of Mind textbook and is built around some basic beliefs that people are made in the image of God and are thus forever one with infinite Life; that all life is governed by spiritual laws; and that people create their experiences by their thoughts and beliefs.

The teachings of Religious Science, or Science of Mind, as it is also known, featured two distinctions within the New Thought movement of the early twentieth century. While accepting the basic ideas of the International New Thought Alliance that Mind or Spirit was the one absolute and self-existent Cause (God) which manifested Itself through all of creation, Religious Science developed an emphasis upon the understanding of "mind" as taught by Thomas Troward. Troward recognized a distinction between what he termed objective mind (waking consciousness) and subjective mind (or subsconscious, most clearly visible when a person was hypnotized). The subjective mind, when impressed with the images of healing and wholeness by the objective mind, could bring health to individuals. Practitioners are trained in the process of using the Universal Subjective Mind to bring healing to others.

The church also teaches a method of affirmative prayer called spiritual mind treatment. Integral to the treament is a five step process, developed by Holmes, of accomplishing the desired results. As outlined in his textbook, the five steps are: 1. Recognition of God as Omnipotent, Omniscient, and Omnipresent; 2. Unification with the One Reality; 3. Realization and acceptance of the good one is seeking; 4. Thanksgiving, even before a visible manifestation of healing, for the answered prayer; and 5. Release, knowing that all is well. Going through these five steps in relation to specific concerns, which may include a variety of problems from physical sickness, to financial distress, to tension in one's relations with others, is termed "treating" the problem. As can be seen, the purpose of the treament is not to placate, convince, or persuade God to grant one's desires, but rather to change one's own beliefs to conform to Divine reality.

Integral to the ministry of the church are the many practitioners, individuals trained in the art of spiritual mind treatment, who make themselves available to assist members and the general public with their problems. Ministers are drawn from the ranks of practitioners.

Organization. At the national level, the church is governed by the board of trustees, which is elected by delegated district business meetings which are convened at the annual convention. The annual convention serves primarily an advisory function in its receiving reports from and making recommendations to the board of trustees. The Board sets general policy, provides leadership in directing the church's mission and goals, and provides oversight to the management of the church. It also elects the ecclesiastical head of the church, the president, who serves a two year term. The president acts as the ecclesiastical spokesperson for the church.

The day-to-day administration is delegated to a chief operating officer who is appointed by the board. The board provides for the ordination and regulation of ministers and licensed practitioners, and charters local churches. Member churches are governed congregationally in accord with an agreement signed at the time of affiliation. They own their own property and organize themselves locally as seems suitable.

The church oversees the Ministry of Prayer, located at the church's headquarters, which offers a 24-hour assistance to the ill and those in spiritual need through a widely-advertised toll-free telephone number. The educational program of the church is directed through the office of Growth Education and Ministries which maintains the records of Science of Mind classes taught in local churches. Ministerial training is conducted through the Holmes Institute, A Graduate School of Consciousness Studies which was founded in 1972 as the Ernest Holmes College School of Ministry. Science of Mind Publications produces books, periodicals, cassette tapes, and other materials for local churches and the general public. The principal publication is the magazine Science of Mind, which circulates more than 100,000 copies per issue and has been in continuous publication since 1927.

United Church congregations remain among the major supporters of the International New Thought Alliance.

Membership: In 1992 the church reported 270 churches and study groups in the United States, Canada, Costa Rica, Brazil, Nigeria, South Africa, India, the Philippines, Australia, Belgium, Great Britain, Germany, Sweden, Switzerland, Russia/ Commonwealth of Independent States and Tonga. There are approximately 90,000 members.

Educational Facilities: Holmes Institute, A Graduate School of Consciousness Studies, Los Angeles, California; Huntington Beach, California; Seattle, Washington; and Denver, Colorado.

Periodicals: Science of Mind.

Sources:

Armor, Reginald. Ernest Holmes, the Man. Los Angeles: Science of Mind Publications, 1977.

Awbrey, Scott. Path of Discovery. Los Angeles: United Church of Religious Science, 1987.

Holmes, Ernest. The Science of Mind. New York: Dodd, Mead and Company, 1944.

Holmes, Fenwicke L. Ernest Holmes, His Life and Times. New York: Dodd, Mead and Company, 1970.

Practitioner's Manual. Los Angeles: United Church of Religious Science, 1967.

1535

Unity School of Christianity

1901 NW Blue Pkwy.
Unity Village, MO 64065-0001

Alternate Address: Association of Unity Churches, Box 610, Lee's Summit, MO 64063.

History. The Unity School of Christianity and the affiliated Association of Unity Churches are two aspects of the Unity movement founded in the 1880s by Charles S. Fillmore (1854-1948) and his wife, Myrtle Fillmore (1845-1931). Unity originated with the attendance of the Fillmores, then living in Kansas City, Missouri, at a lecture by Eugene B. Weeks, a representative of the Illinois Metaphysical College, an independent Christian Science school founded by George B. Charles in Chicago, Illinois. At the time, Myrtle was afflicted with tuberculosis. She left the lecture remembering and frequently repeating a phrase used by Weeks, "I am a child of God and therefore do not inherit sickness." From this beginning, over a period of months, she made a thorough recovery. Myrtle Fillmore soon was using the same techniques which had brought her health on other people. In 1890 she had the idea of an organization to offer prayer for those in need and led in the formation of the Society of Silent Help. Skeptical at first, Charles Fillmore slowly accepted the new metaphysical ideas and in 1889 left the real estate business to devote full time to their pursuit and promulgation. He began a magazine, Modern Thought, and led gatherings of interested students in Kansas City. He opened a lending library of metaphysical books. In 1890 he sponsored lectures by Emma Curtis Hopkins in Kansas City, and then both Fillmores traveled to Chicago to take classes at her Christian Science Theological Seminary. Won over to Hopkins' presentation of metaphysics, he renamed his magazine Christian Science Thought. Then in June 1891, the Fillmores were ordained by Hopkins.

Over the years, the Fillmores had been searching for a name to tie together their various activities, and in the spring of 1891, while completing their studies with Hopkins, chose the name Unity. A new magazine, Unity, was begun. The Society of Silent Help became Silent Unity, by which name it is known today. Publishing activity was placed under the Unity Book Company. The first steps at expanding the organization came in late 1891 when the Fillmores called for local societies of Silent Unity to be formed by interested persons. By the mid-1890s more than 6,000 people had been issued memberships. As Silent Unity grew, the Fillmores instituted a free-will offering plan for those seeking assistance from Unity prayer, a plan which set them apart from many of the metaphysical groups whose practitioners charged a set fee for their healing assistance work.

During the 1890s, the demand for a more systematic presentation of the ideas taught by Unity led to the appearance in the magazine of the two most important teachers in the early years of Unity, Dr. Harriet Emilie Cady and Annie Rix Militz, both Hopkins' students. Cady published a series of articles later put together as a book, Lessons in Truth, which became Unity's introductory text. Militz began to write a Bible column commenting upon the weekly International Sunday School Lessons which introduced most readers to the metaphysical interpretation of the Bible. She also wrote articles that became important Unity textbooks, Primary Lessons in Christian Living and Healing and Both Riches and Honor, on prosperity. In 1894, the advertisments placed in the magazine by various metaphysical healers was dropped in favor of a column of approved teachers and healers with whom they were in basic agreement.

Through the years, Charles Fillmore had begun to teach locally, holding regular Sunday meetings and occasionally teaching classes. In 1905 he began to publish his own lessons in the magazine which appeared the next year as his first book, Christian Healing, which joined Cady's text as the second definitive work of the Unity perspective. He turned soon afterwards to writing a Unity correspondence course. About that same time, he reorganized the movement in Kansas City, and at a service in August 1906, the Fillmores and seven other students were ordained as Unity ministers.

In 1914, a most important organizational development in the Unity movement occurred when the literature distribution arm of the movement, the Unity Tract Society and Silent Unity were incorporated together as the Unity School of Christianity. The following year a field department was organized as a liaison between the school and the teachers and healers around the country affiliated with it and as a coordinating center for Unity groups. Out of the correspondence course, a training school for teachers and ministers developed. Originally a two week summer intensive course, by 1980 it developed into the Unity School of Religious Studies with a wide variety of programs for ministerial training, the education of teachers and lay people, and the conducting of national retreats.

In 1923 the first annual Unity convention was held. Attended by most Unity teachers and healers, it led to a growing awareness that all manners of teachings were occurring in the field. Concerned about occult and spiritualist ideas being offered in Unity's name, at the third annual meeting in 1925, a Unity Annual Conference was formed to govern teaching and regulate leaders of local Unity groups. Chartered in 1934, the conference would pass through several reorganizations to become the Unity Minister's Conference (1946) and eventually emerged in 1966 as a separate organization, the Association of Unity Churches. The Association headquartered in nearby Lee's Summit, Missouri, now has charge of the training and oversight of all Unity ministers and the servicing of all churches in the United States.

Beliefs. While offering a liberal degree of freedom of belief among its members, Unity teaches what it terms "practical Christianity," a return to what is believed to be the primitive Christianity of Jesus and the Apostles. Unity teaches a belief in one God and in Christ, the Son of God, made manifest in Jesus of Nazareth. Jesus is believed to be divine, but divinity is not confined to Jesus. Since all people are created in the image of God, all are potentially divine. Jesus is regarded as the great example, the Wayshower, in the regeneration of each person. Jesus created an "at-one-ment" between God and humanity and, through Jesus, each person can regain his or her estate as a son or daughter of God.

The authority of the Bible is accepted, but Unity follows a metaphysical interpretation of it (as exemplified in Charles Fillmore's Metaphysical Bible Dictionary), which offers a somewhat allegorical approach to Scripture. For example, the 12 apostles are seen as representing 12 powers in humans that can be used for the salvation of the world. The kingdom of God is seen as the harmony within each individual.

Unity has become identified with several practices within the larger context of New Thought metaphysics. It has long emphasized the form of prayer termed "entering into the silence," which begins with a quiet inwardness and establishment of a state of receptivity. Unity has also emphasized the use of affirmations, the repetition of positive statements that affirm the presence of a condition desired but not yet visible. In the development of the prayer life, in 1924, Unity began what has become its most widely circulated periodical, Daily Word, a daily devotional magazine that has readers far beyond the bounds of Unity or even the New Thought movement as a whole.

Organization. Today Unity is headquartered at Unity Village, a 1,400-acre tract adjacent to Lee's Summit, Missouri, about 20 miles from Kansas City. It moved to that location permanently in 1949. Connie Fillmore Bazzy, the great-granddaughter of Charles and Myrtle Fillmore, is the chairman of the board of directors. Tom Zender is president and chief executive officer of Unity School of Christianity.

The village is headquarters for the Unity School of Christianity. Located on the grounds are Silent Unity, the Unity School of Religious Studies, the Village Chapel, the Unity School Library and Archives, and a publishing concern that produces books and pamphlets. Silent Unity offers a 24-hour a day prayer service. Within the Silent Unity building, a prayer vigil is kept without interruption.

Unity is a major publisher of religious materials. Daily Word is now printed in 7 languages and circulated in more than 175 countries. Unity magazine contains inspirational articles aimed at effective spiritually-based living. Unity also publishes a wide range of books and pamphlets. Because it sends out more than 34 million pieces of mail annually, it has its own postal ZIP code.

Though the largest of the New Thought bodies in the United States, Unity has had only nominal relations with the organized New Thought movement. It briefly participated in early conferences organized by Divine Science in the 1890s. It was also a member of the International New Thought Alliance (INTA) for a few years, but withdrew in 1923 because of Charles Fillmore's feeling that the INTA embraced too many beliefs that Unity could not support. Individual Unity churches have been free to affiliate, and many are staunch supporters of INTA.

Membership: In 2002, there are more than 1,000 Unity centers, churches, and study groups. About 230 of these ministries are outside the United States, Canada, and Puerto Rico.

Educational Facilities: Unity School for Religious Studies, Unity Village, Missouri. Unity Training School, San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Periodicals: Unity. • Daily WordUSRS Newsletter. Available from Unity School of Christianity, 1901 N.W. Blue Parkway, Unity Village, MO 64065-0001. • Children on the Quest. • Minister Letter. • Variety of Ministry Manuals. • Contact. Available from the Association of Unity Churches, Box 610, Lee's Summit, MO64063.

Sources:

Bach, Marcus. The Unity Way of Life. Unity Village, MO: Unity Books, 1972.

D'Andrade, Hugh. Charles Fillmore. New York: Harper & Row, 1974.

Freeman, James Dillet. The Story of Unity. Unity Village, MO: Unity Books, 1978.

A Manual of Special Unity Services. Unity Village, MO: Association of Unity Churches, 1976.

Witherspoon, Thomas E. Myrtle Fillmore, Mother of Unity. Unity Village, MO: Unity Books, 1977.

1536

Universal Church of Scientific Truth

1250 Indiana St.
Birmingham, AL 35224

The Universal Church of Scientific Truth is headed by its founder, Dr. Joseph T. Ferguson, and headquartered in Birmingham, Alabama. Ferguson also operates the Institute of Metaphysics, in Birmingham. It offers both resident and correspondence courses on a wide variety of metaphysical topics, including metaphysical healing, philosophy, sacred theology, and psycho-vaxeen. Dr. Ferguson is the author of the textbooks from which the material for lessons comes. In 1970, the church had congregations in Birmingham and Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, and Dallas, Fort Worth, Brownsville and Waco, Texas.

Metaphysical healing is the major thrust of the church's program. A basic course explains the laws and principles as well as the disciplines and techniques by which the individual attains the "superconscious mind" wherein all is attained. The church offers a Christ universal healing service which involves the sacrament of Christ healing. In the service, the inner light or divinity is released in the individual.

Membership: Not reported.

Educational Facilities: Institute of Metaphysics, Birmingham, Alabama.

Sources:

Ferguson, Joseph T. Manual on Metaphysical Healing. Birmingham, AL: Institute of Metaphysics, 1959.

1537

Universal Foundation for Better Living

11901 Ashland Ave.
Chicago, IL 60643

The Universal Foundation for Better Living was founded in 1974, but grew out of the ministry begun in Chicago, Illinois, in 1956 by Dr. Johnnie Colemon, then a minister with the Unity School of Christianity and one of the first black New Thought ministers. In 1953, she learned that she had an incurable disease. She moved to Kansas City, Kansas, and enrolled in the Unity School of Christianity. In a few months she was healed. Moving to Chicago, she founded the Christ Unity Temple, which first met in the Y.M.C.A. building on South Cottage Grove. She became a prominent Unity minister and was the first black to be elected president of the Association of Unity Churches. However, in 1974 she withdrew from the association and renamed her congregation Christ Universal Temple. That same year, she founded the Johnnie Colemon Institute as an educational arm of the church for both lay and professional education. The first ministers were graduated and ordained in 1978. In 1981, she began a television ministry with the "Better Living with Johnnie Colemon" show that aired on 13 stations across the United States.

In 1985, the growing ministry reached a major plateau with the opening of the Christ Universal Temple complex on the far south side of Chicago. The church, which also serves as headquarters from the foundation and institute, seats 3,500 in its sanctuary, the largest in Chicago. The building also houses the UFBL Bookstore and the Prayer Ministry, which offers a 24-hour call-in service for those in need.

The beliefs of the foundation are in harmony with that of the Unity School of Christianity, the break being largely a matter of social policy, not doctrine. A statement of belief emphasizes that it is God's will for everyone to live a healthy, happy, and prosperous life and that such a life is attainable for each person. The kingdom within can be brought to visible expression by following the principles of Jesus Christ, the Wayshower. The key is right thinking followed by right action. Specifically cited is a belief that rather than making a primary effort to provide for the needy, the church should provide the teaching which will allow each person to provide for themselves.

The foundation is a member of the International New Thought Alliance (INTA).

Membership: In 1995 the foundation had 17 member churches and study groups in the United States, and one each in Canada, Trinidad, and Guyana. There were 20,000 members in the United States, 350 in Canada and an additional 1,650 members worldwide.

Educational Facilities: Johnnie Colemon Institute, Chicago, Illinois.

Periodicals: Daily Inspiration for Better Living.

Sources:

Coleman, Johnnie. The Best Messages from the Founder's Desk. Chicago: Universal Foundation for Better Living, 1987.

——. It Works If You Work It. 2 vols. Chicago: Universal Foundation for Better Living, n.d.

Harrell, Allison D. Follow Me. Chicago: Universal Foundation for Better Living, 1981.

——. Prosperity for Better Living. Chicago: Universal Foundation for Better Living, n.d.

Nedd, Don. Practical Guidelines for Better Living. Chicago: CSA Press, 1983.

1538

Wisdom Institute of Spiritual Education

Current address not obtained for this edition.

The Wisdom Institute of Spiritual Education (WISE) was founded by Frank and Martha Baker in Dallas, Texas. Martha Baker, the Institute's president, is a prolific writer and poet. Associated with WISE is the Allison Non-profit Press, which publishes the church's materials. From the Dallas headquarters, lessons and books are distributed locally and nationally through correspondence courses and mail order.

WISE teaches the "life message," aimed at perfection of the spirit, mind and body, and offers techniques to accomplish this perfection. Self-knowledge of the power within is stressed. In classes, pupils are taught to control their thoughts and feelings and to locate their inner selves and God.

Sources:

Baker, Martha. Sermonettes in Rhyme. Little Rock, AK: Allison Press, 1960.

——. Wake Up the God In You and Live. Dallas, TX: Allison Press, 1958.

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