Other Theosophical Groups
Other Theosophical Groups
Agni Yoga Society
319 W. 107th St.
New York, NY 10025
The Agni Yoga Society was founded in the mid-1920s, beginning informally as a group of students who gathered to study a book Leaves of M's Garden, published in 1924. The society was founded by Nicholas Roerich (1874-1947) and his wife, Helena Roerich (1879-1955). The Roerichs had left Russia at the time of the Revolution, he being an outstanding artist. They came to the United States in 1920 on the invitation of the Art Institute of Chicago. Very early in their new life in the West, the Roerichs had joined the Theosophical Society, and Helena translated Helena Petrovna Blavatsky's major work, The Secret Doctrine, into Russian. She also began to receive regular communications from one of the masters originally contacted by Blavatsky, the Master Morya. Her first book, received from him, was The Leaves of M's Garden. It and the subsequent volumes have become the prime teaching material of the Agni Yoga Society. Prior to founding the Society, Nicholas had founded several organizations to embody his ideal of art as a unifying force for humanity, the Master Institute of the United Arts and the Nicholas Roerich Museum.
The Roerichs settled permanently in the Punjab in 1929. Helena produced thirteen volumes of material from the Master Morya. Nicholas also wrote numerous books on his continuing concerns of art, peace, and spirituality. A building purchased for a museum to house a collection of his art, also houses the Agni Yoga Society. Membership in the society is open after some study of the books. Study groups meet at various locations around the country.
Membership: In 2001 the society reported a membership of 600.
Balyoz, Harold. Three Remarkable Women. Flagstaff, AZ: Altai Publishers, 1986.
Letters of Helena Roerich, 1929-1938. 2 vols. New York: Agni Yoga Society, 1954.
Nicolas Roerich. New York: Nicolas Roerich Museum, 1974.
Paelian, Garabed. Nicolas Roerich. Agoura, CA: Aquarian Educational Group, 1974.
Roerich, Nicolas. Realm of Light. New York: Roerich Museum Press, 1931.
Amica Temple of Radiance
Current address not obtained for this edition.
The Amica Temple of Radiance dates to the early 1930s and the experience of Ivah Bergh Whitten. As a young child stricken with an incurable disease, Ms. Whitten was cured through "colour awareness" and began to explore and teach on its potentials. The initial course was first published in 1932. Among Ms. Whitten's students were Roland Hunt and Dorothy Bailey, who structured the Amica Temple in Los Angeles in 1959. Roland Hunt, while in England in 1952, had described to him inwardly two strangers with whom he would become associated upon his return to the United States. The two, Paola Hugh and John Hugh, were, with Hunt, taken under the guidance of an elder brother of the inner wisdom schools. They joined in the formation of Amica. In 1971, an affiliate organization, the Fleur de Lys Foundation of East Sound, Washington, was founded. It is seen as a reflection of an inner order of illumined ones who are seeking the victory of man's higher self over his ego.
The Amica Temple is a continuation and expansion of the colour awareness teachings. As man has evolved, he has become aware of the various aspects of God-the Father principle, the Son, the Holy Ghost-and, in this new era, of the Spirit made manifest in seven colours. Each colour, or ray, as taught by the Theosophical Society, rules an aspect of existence and is in turn ruled by a master. By understanding which ray you were born under, you can discover your proper work and place in life. Each ray also has a healing potential. Overriding the seven rays is the white ray, which shines directly from the Logos. The Amica Temple continues as a structure to present Hunt's teachings to the world. Lessons are offered in color awareness to students around the country.
Membership: Not reported. Centers are located in California and Washington.
Bailey, Dorothy A. The Light of Ivah Bergh Whitten. Southampton: A.M.I.C.A., n.d.
Hugh, Paola. I Will Arise. 2 vols. Tacoma, WA: Amica Temple of Radiance, 1972.
Hunt, Roland T. Fragrant and Radiant Healing Symphony. Ashingdon, Essex: C. W. Daniel Company, 1949.
——. Man Made Clear for the Nu Clear Age. Lakemont, GA: CSA Press, 1969.
——. The Seven Rays to Colour Healing. Ashingdon, Essex: C. W. Daniel Company, 1954.
Whitten, Ivah Bergh. The Initial Course in Colour Awareness. London: Amica, n.d.
Ann Ree Colton Foundation of Niscience, Inc.
3360 W. Colorado
Glendale, CA 91209
The Ann Ree Colton Foundation was formed in 1953 by Ann Ree Colton (1898-1984) and Jonathan Murro (1927-1991). Clairvoyant from childhood, Colton was in her twenties when she began to contact the Masters or Great Immortals. In 1932, she began her public ministry and became well known as a prophet. A church was formed in 1936 in Florida and continued for nine years. In 1952 she met Jonathan Murro and together they established the foundation blending concerns of religion, philosophy, science and the creative arts.
According to Colton, the Masters will no longer incarnate. The 33 cosmos disciples scattered throughout the world are telepathically aligned to the higher worlds. The work with 13 telepathic disciples. (All of the disciples are advanced in the sciences or humanities, but their spiritual work is unknown to their colleagues.) When a cosmos disciple leave the physical world, a telepathic disciple replaces him, and an advanced student becomes a telepathic disciple. Beyond the disciples, in the second heaven, in the spheres of light, dwell the masters. In the thrid heaven dwell the archangels, Jesus and his disciples, and the archetype of God, the very blueprints for the creation of the earth. Through the archangels under the Christ, God initiates the archetypes and initiates the new in creation. The time when men are open to the third heaven of the archangels and the archetypes is a time of receiving the Holy Spirit.
Niscience, meaning "knowing," is described by the foundation as an initiatory school as well as a deeply spiritual system of study, worship, creativity, research, healing, and teaching based on the teachings of Jesus, the Bible, and other sacred scriptures of the East and West. Niscience blends religion, philosophy, science, and the creative arts, inspiring its members to live creative, spiritual lives in service to God. Dreams, reincarnation, the kundalini and chakra system, archetypes, the genesis story, angels, ESP, and the afterlife are among the many topics discussed in the foundation's books, lessons, and classes.
Weekly Unit meetings and worship services provide the opportunity for shared worship and meditation, participation in the healing ministry, and training in the art of creative logos or speaking, as well as research into a vast array of spiritual subjects that are of interest to the spiritual seeker. Annual conclaves are held at various locations throughout the year.
The Niscience Internet address is http://www.niscience.org.
Membership: In 2002 the foundation reported approximately 175 members.
Periodicals: Agape, c/o Ann Ree Colton Foundation of Niscience, Inc., PO Box 2057, Glendale, CA 91209.
Colton, Ann Ree. Men in White Apparel. Glendale, CA: ARC Publishing Company, 1961.
Colton, Ann Ree. The Soul and the Ethic. Glendale, CA: ARC Publishing Company, 1963.
Colton, Ann Ree. Vision for the Future. Glendale, CA: ARC Publishing Company, 1960.
Colton, Ann Ree, and Jonathan Murro. Prophet for the Archangels. Glendale, CA: ARC Publishing Company, 1964.
Murro, Jonathan. God-Realization Journal. Glendale, CA: ARC Publishing Company, 1975.
1923 Geddes Ave.
Ann Arbor, MI 48104-1797
Even before the death of Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, the Theosophical Society (which she had founded) had expanded from its strong center in England to other European countries. A branch of the Theosophical Society was established in Germany in the early 1890s and chartered in 1902. The same year of its chartering, the German Theosophical Society elected to its leadership Rudolf Steiner. Forty-one years old at the time, he had already distinguished himself as a scholar, having previously edited an issue of Goethe's scientific writings and having worked on the standard edition of Goethe's works. His writing, editing, and teaching increasingly led him into a mystic philosophy and experience, a decidedly Christian mysticism.
Invited to address an audience of Theosophists in the winter of 1901/02, he lectured on "Christianity as Mystical Fact," in which his thesis was that the ancient mystics had served to prepare the way for Christ on earth and that Christ was the focus of earth's evolution. Theosophists had generally been taught to regard Jesus as just another avatar. In spite of this disagreement, Steiner's intellectual and charismatic leadership was desired by the still small group. Steiner accepted a leadership role, while reserving his independence, because the Theosophists were the only ones with any interest in his work. In the next decade, he began to publish his ideas on the nature of man, the evolution of the earth and initiation. In 1909, he published Spiritual Hierarchies, which elucidated his teachings on the centrality of Christ. This work focused his growing dissatisfaction with Annie Besant, the recently elected president of the Theosophical Society.
Steiner's differences with Annie Besant and the Theosophical Society were fundamental. The society was becoming more and more involved in Eastern mystical occult practices. It practiced a system of withdrawal from the manifest material world and centered on meditative yogic disciplines. It regarded Christ as just another God-embodied teacher and Christianity as just another religion. Steiner approached the spiritual in a world-affirming scientific spirit, based upon his research in medieval forms, particularly those of the West. Eastern religion he saw as a way of the past, replaced by Christianity. For Steiner, Christ summed up the Eastern search and launched the new era of finding the spiritual in the material (science). The disagreements between Steiner and the Society climaxed after Annie Besant announced the return of Christ in Jiddu Krishnamurti. Steiner declared that no one could be a member of the German Theosophical Society and the Order of the Star of the East, an organization formed to prepare for the coming of a new Christ in Krishnamurti, then still a youth. Besant revoked the charter of the German Theosophical Society in 1912. Steiner took fifty-five of the sixty-five lodges and formed the Anthroposophical Society.
Anthroposophy hold that reality has a spiritual basis, i.e., matter is real, but it is derived from spirit. There is the belief in reincarnation and the possibility of initiatory experiences which expand consciousness of the spiritual realm. Steiner taught that humanity had originally shared the spiritual consciousness of the cosmos. Humanity's present knowledge is only a vestige of primordial cognition. Human beings have, however, a latent capacity for horizonless vision and there are certain disciplines by which it can be recovered. Steiner did not limit the cover of vision to mere techiniques, but held that initiatory openings might come throuh study, music, art, and the informed use of imagination. Steiner saw his work as the organization of a science of initiation. Jeasus Christ was viewed by Steiner as both the one fully initiated person in human history, the one with full sensory perception, as the Christ.
The headquarters of the society were established in Diornach, Switzerland, where a huge center was designed by Steiner. The architecturally unique, wooden building was built by volunteers from dozens of countries during World War I and was named the Goetheanum. It was burned by an arsonist in 1923, after which Steiner reformed the society and designed a new Goetheanum, one of the first large structures constructed from pre-formed concrete.
Steiner continued lecturing and writing until a few days before his death on March 30, 1925. His lifetime of work consisted of more than 400 published books and 6,000 lectures (collected into 300 volumes).
After World War I, Steiner's ideas on social reform, published in his book The Threefold Commonwealth, were given serious consideration in the restructuring of Germany, a prominence which led to the spread of his movement across Europe and England. It was brought to the United States in 1925. The society was legally established in the U.S. in 1938. It spread initially among German immigrants but soon was to found in urban centers throughout North America and Canada. After World War II, Steiner's books were translated into English; a publishing venture was then formed. The Anthroposophic Press, located in Hudson, New York, is part of a worldwide publishing effort to translate and distribute Steiner's work.
Work from Steiner's ideas continued to flourish in both the arts and sciences. In addition to his efforts to manifest the spiritual architecture, Steiner worked in other art forms. He wrote a series of modern mystery dramas. He developed Eurythmy, which translates the sounds, phrases, and rhythms of speech, or the dynamic elements of music into movement and gesture. It has been described as "visible speech," "visible sound," and the "movement language of the soul." The colors themselves are seen as opening the doors to an art that embodies the soul. He was also a sculptor who sought to influence this art form with "living forms."
In 1923 Steiner created Biodynamics, the first non-chemical or "organic" agricultural movement that related to the earth as a living organism (the Gaia hypothesis). Today, the Biodynamic gardeners launched the Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) movement. The Demeter Association certifies Biodynamic farms in the United States, Mexico, and the Dominican Republic. Since the 1950s, Soil scientists working with spiritual insight have successfully composted TNT and managed organic composting projects for the cities of New York and Los Angeles.
A Physicians Association for Anthroposophically Extended Medicine (PAAM) and the Artemesia Association of Therapies use Steiner's insights into health and healing. Companies such as Weleda in the United States and similar European pharmaceuticals and personal-care product corporations are based upon anthroposophical insights. In 1997, an anthroposophical cancer therapy based upon mistletoe extract was named to the National Institute of Health (NIH) shortlist of alternative therapies worthy of further study.
Other institutions that adhere to Steiner's insights are the Camphill Association, The Rudolf Steiner Foundation, and the Waldorf Schools.
The society is organized into branches throughout the country. Branches sponsor lectures, cultural events, and study groups discussing Steiner's writings. The Rudolf Steiner Library in New York houses a collection of more than 20,000 volumes including Steiner's works, additional anthroposophical titles, and books covering the whole of Western spirituality. They are indpendent national societies for Canada and Hawaii.
Membership: Not reported. There are 33 national Anthrophsophical Societies around the world.
Periodicals: The Journal for Anthroposophy.
The Creed. London: Christian Community Press, 1962.
Derry, Evelyn. Seven Sacraments in the Christian Community. London: Christian Community Press, 1949.
Heidenreich, Alfred. Growing Point. London: Christian Community Press, 1965.
McKnight, Floyd. Rudolf Steiner and Anthroposophy. New York: Anthroposophical Society in America, 1967.
Richards, M.C. Toward Wholeness: Rudolf Steiner Education in America. Middletown, CT: Wesleyan University Press, 1980.
Rudolf Steiner, An Autobiography. Blauvelt, NY: Rudolf Steiner Publications, 1977.
Shepherd, A. P. A Scientist of the Invisible. New York: British Book Centre, 1959.
Wachsmuth, Guenther. The Life and Work of Rudolf Steiner. New York: Whittier Books, 1955.
Bodha Society of America
The Bodha Society of America was incorporated in 1936 by its president, Ms. Violet B. Reed. She described it as a movement fostering spiritual consciousness through self-realization and world service. Spiritual virility can be attained only through a better outlook on life and a deeper realization of the spiritual realm. According to the Society, the Bodha movement was begun in 1907 under the direction of the Sanctuaries of Tibet and Sikkim and assumed "the full responsibility which once rested in the Theosophical Society, this organization being no longer patronized by its founders, inspirers and real leaders: the masters." The Bodha Society was seen as the vehicle of the Great Brotherhood, the ascended masters who were once humans and who now as spirits teach people about spiritual realities.
The Society kept the three spiritual festivals associated with Buddhism, particularly Wesak. Associated centers were opened in France and Cuba; world headquarters were claimed to be in Tibet. National headquarters were in Long Beach, California. Sun Rays, a periodical was published.
20560 Questhaven Rd.
Escondido, CA 92029
The Christward Ministry was founded by Flower A. Newhouse, a clairvoyant and teacher of Christian Mysticism since the 1920s. Current headquarters of the ministry are at Questhaven Retreat, founded in 1940—a 640-acre nature reserve and spiritual retreat near Escondido, California. The Christward Ministry utilizes the principles of Christian gospel, meditation, reincarnation, astrology, and Carl Jung's transformational psychology. The emphasis is on meditation's helpfulness with practical living, as well as awareness of angelic influence on spiritual development.
Man is considered an embodied soul evolving spiritually through a series of human incarnations, eventually rising to masterhood and beyond. The number of current masters is considered to be small, and incarnated Masters to anonymous, private individuals who avoid fame or worldly power. Newhouse has written a body of work describing angelic hosts and their hierarchies; angels are unrelated in evolution to humans, but certain hosts interact with humans and help in our spiritual guidance—guardian angels, nature angels, religious angels, and karmic angels are a few angelic orders that influence humankind.
Newhouse died in 1994. A staff of ordained ministers provides a program of weekly Sunday worship services, evening classes, and triannual weekend retreats. Most of Newhouse's books were published by The Christward Ministry and include titles on religion, prayer, meditation, and esoteric knowledge. Her works have been published in English, German, and Czechoslovakian and will also be available in French and Spanish during the next decade.
Membership: No membership policy. Freewill love offerings.
Educational Facilities: Questhaven Academy, Escondido, California.
Periodicals: Life at Quest Haven.
The Christward Ministry. Vista, CA: Christward Ministry, 1947.
Isaac, Stephen. The Way of Discipleship to Christ. Escondido, CA: Christward Ministry, 1976.
Newhouse, Flower A. The Christward Way. 4 vols. (lessons 1-208). Vista, CA: Christward Publications, n.d.
——. The Meaning and Value of the Sacraments. Escondido, CA: Christward Ministry, 1971.
Church of Cosmic Origin and School of Thought
June Lake, CA 93529
The Church of Cosmic Origin was founded in 1963 at Independence, California, by Hope Troxell (b. 1906), who had for thirty years been lecturer on "expanded concepts." In her early life, she received three major healings from the angelic host, and during the 1950s, she received instructions from the masters and published several books of their material. From Matter to Light contains messages from several different masters, including Djual Khool, Alcyon, Univera of Jupiter, Melchizedek, and Nerfertiti. The Mohada Teachings from the Galaxies contains a series of messages from Mohada, a particularly significant master for Ms. Troxell.
The church teaches what is termed "cosmic Christianity." Man is considered an evolving being whose purpose is to become one with Light and escape the continual reincarnation and involvement in matter. Man originally fell from grace into matter after his creation by the Elohim, the family of God. Jesus came from the Elohim, is now a master and is due to return for judgment and to lift those who have followed the God-Way. In the coming age, America will lead the world in the spiritual plane of God's laws, according to the Church of Cosmic Origin.
The cosmic wisdom given by Jesus and the masters illumines the Bible. The Church of Cosmic Origin also use the writings from Qumran and models itself upon the resident community model of the Essenes. The symbol of the church is the Greek cross in a circle with a rose on it, symbolizing the risen Christ. The masters gave the format for the church services, which is, as in the original Christian church, the circle. The directors of the church are in the center, with members, students and visitors around them. Services include Scripture readings, readings from the masters, and a sermon as received by Ms. Troxell (without a trance-state). There are no ministers.
The church and school are headquartered at June Lake, California. Since the main work is the preparation of teachers, the number of residents at the school is very small. An adult community participates in daily classes for both advanced and beginning studies. Twice a day, prayer circles are held; church services are each Sunday. The bulk of students are those taking correspondence lessons across the United States and in several other English-speaking countries.
Membership: Not reported.
Periodicals: Cosmic Frontiers.
Troxell, Hope. From Matter to Light. June Lake, CA: School of Thought, 1968.
——. The Mohada Teachings. Independence, CA: School of Thought, .
——. Through the Open Key. El Monte, CA: Understanding Publishing Co., n.d.
Ecumenical Ministry of the Unity of All Religions
107 N. Ventura St.
Ojai, CA 93023
Philippine educator Benito F. Reyes, former president of the University of the City of Manila, migrated to the United States in the early 1970s with a vision for a new kind of university which, in its program, would be truly worldwide in its outlook. In 1974, he founded the World Institute of Avasthology which was soon renamed the World University of America. Reyes developed a philosophy which he called avasthology, or the science of total consciousness. Avasthology symbolized the joining of Eastern and Western civilization, and the integration of inner-and outer-consciousness. Avasthology became the main philosophy of the university which was opened in Ojai, California.
The university offers a degree program in philosophy, psychology, and religious studies, as well as vocational certificates in meditation, astrology, spiritual ministry, thanatology, and yoga. Its curriculum offers a full round of classes in transpersonal psychology and subjects related to altered states of consciousness (such as dreams and meditation). The philosophy of the school emphasizes the Allness of God and humanity's oneness with God; thanatology, the holistic approach to death; and altered states of consciousness experienced through meditation.
The Ecumenical Ministry of the Unity of All Religions is located adjacent to the university and connected to it through the leadership of Dr. Reyes and his wife Dominga L. Reyes. Its beliefs are consistent with the Avasthology philosophy of the school. Reyes believes that love is the essence of all religion. Love is defined as the primal urge to resume the state of Oneness with God and all of life. Weekly worship follows a liturgy with acknowledgement of the spiritual teachers of the ages. Among more recent teachers are Sathya Sai Baba of India, and Baha'u'llah of the Baha'i movement.
Membership: There is one congregation with 200 members. There are ten members in Canada.
Educational Facilities: World University of America, Ojai, California.
Parsophia Academy, Kobe, Japan.
Periodicals: Avasthology. • Clear Light WWW.
Reyes, Benito F. Christianizing Christians. Ojai, CA: The Author, n.d.
——. The Essence of All Religion. Ojai, CA: The Author, 1983.
——. On World Peace. Ojai, CA: World University, 1977.
Reyes, Domingo L. The Story of Two Souls. Ojai, CA: The Author, 1984.
Esoteric Mystery School
PMB 230, 905 W. 7th St.
Frederick, MD 21701
Esoteric Mystery School, founded in the mid-1980s, is an occult organization built around a set of orders that encompass the various teachings of Indo-European and Mediterranean esoteric traditions. Students will, however, find their course material infused with insights from Hindu, Tibetan Buddhist and Taoist lineages, various pre-modern tradition (shamanism, Celtic, Teutonic and Native American), and modern esoteric teachings as found in, for example, Jungian thought. The school was founded and is currently led by Katia Romanoff, a parapsychologist and holistic counselor. Romanoff received her doctorate from American International University, and also now serves as the Dean of Studies of the Dream Interpretation Institute in Nevada (which she cofounded).
The school is centered on the eight orders in which a person may pursue their appropriation of esoteric truth relative to various spiritual traditions. They are the Order of Mary Magdalene (Christian), the Order of the New Knights Templar, the Daughters of Tsion (that work in tandem with the Knights Templar), the Order of Melchizedek, the Order of the Northern Way (Celtic, Teutonic), the Third Millennium Angelic Alliance, the Order of the Blessed Mother, and the Eternal Order of the Magi. The leaders of the school claim to be in contact with the Guardians and Guides, preaternatural being who stand behind each order.
After on identifies with a particular order, lessons are sent to the member which lead the person through levels marked by their own self-initiation. As they master the material, they are acknowledged a catechumen, initiate, practitioner, adept, and mage. While the course is designed to be mastered in approximately four years, each person may go through it his/her own pace. The school covers not only traditional material, but new findings from recent discoveries of lost texts and from modern science.
Associated with the school is the Metaphysical Interfaith Church, described as "a non-profit and non-denominational church that accepts, acknowledges and respects all Faiths of the world that are dedicated to the service of the Divine." Through the Esoteric Theological Seminary, the church's educational arm, members of the school may be ordained as ministers or work toward a doctorate degree.
Prospective ministers may submit an application to the church, including a Write a one-page biography of their spiritual history and a small fee. Ministers may be designated as either an Interfaith Minister, Esoteric Minister, Spiritual Minister, or Psychic Minister. Ordained ministers may also seek a charter from the church if they wish to organize a congregations. Those wishing to receive a doctorate degree must write a 2000-word thesis on a selected topic and write a one-to three-page spiritual autobiography.
Membership: Not reported.
Educational Facilities: Esoteric Theological Seminary, Frederick, MD.
Esoteric Mystery School. http://northernway.org/school.html. 23 April 2002.
Fraternite Blanche Universelle (F.B.U.)
F.B.U. aux U.S.A.
PO Box 932
Locust Valley, NY 11560
Alternate Address International Headquarters: Izgrev, 2 Rue du Belvedere de la Ronce, 92310, Sevres, France.
Fraternite Blanche Universite (formerly listed as Universal White Brotherhood, the name having been legally changed back to the original French) reflects upon the material level of what is believed to be an actual fraternity of highly evolved spiritual beings who exist on a higher plane. The earthly counterpart of the brotherhood was re-established in 1900 in Bulgaria by Peter Deunov (d. 1944).
Sensing that political developments meant his movement would have to go underground, Deunov sent Omraam Mikhael Aivanhov (1900-1986) to France in 1937 to carry on with the teaching, known as initiatic science. Upon Deunov's death, Omraam Mikhael succeeded him as Master.
The F.B.U. does not consider itself a religious sect, but as an esoteric school encompassing the teachings of Jesus, Spiritual Alchemy, Astrology, and the Kabbalah. Master Aivanhov was a firm promoter of Galvanoplasty, which is a concept of educating children before they are born. Galvanoplasty is a process where mothers and fathers work with love and Godly thoughts before, during, and after conception. According to Omraam Mikhael Aivanhov, the meaning of life is to "know thyself," to have one's human self unite with one's divine self. The aim of all the great masters throughout civilization is to bring the Kingdom of God down to earth. Many of the keys to the problems of existence are explained in this teaching. As Omraam Mikhael often remarked, quoting Hermes Mercurious Trismegistus, "As above, so below."
Fraternite Blanch Universelle was brought to the United States after the first English translation of Omraam's work in the early 1970s. Omraam visited the United States in 1983. He gave more than 5,000 lectures during his lifetime, many of which are available in twenty-seven languages through F.B.U.'s publisher, Editions Proveta, at http://www.prosveta.com. The general Internet address for F.B.U. is http://www.fbu.org.
Membership: In 2002, the F.B.U. reported members in 29 countries, mostly in Western Europe. There are approximately 500,000 followers worldwide, of which about 2,200 are in the United States.
Periodicals: Circle of Light. Send orders to Box 49614, Los Angeles, CA 90049.
Aivanhov, Omraam Mikhael. Life. Frejus, France: Editions Prosveta, 1978.
Feuerstein, Georg. The Mystery of Light: The Life and Teaching of Omraam Mikhael Aivanhov. Salt Lake City, UT: Passage Press, 1992. 278pp.
——. Love and Sexuality. Frejus, France: Editions Prosveta, 1976.
——. The Universal White Brotherhood is not a Sect. Frus, France: Editions Prosveta, 1982.
Lejbowicz, Agnes. Omraam Michael Aivanov, Master of the Great WhiteBrotherhood. Frejus, France: Editions Prosveta, 1982.
Renard, Pierre. The Solar Revolution and the Prophet. Frejus, France: Editions Prosveta, 1980.
Who Is the Master Omraam Michael Aivanhov? Frejus, France: Editions Prosveta, 1982.
Institute of Divine Metaphysical Research
℅ Dr. Kenneth Haverly, III
PO Box 536156
Orlando, FL 32856-6156
The Institute for Divine Metaphysical Research grew out of a vision of Dr. Henry Clifford Kinley which occurred on June 6, 1931 in Springfield, Ohio. Kinley, a holiness church minister, was given a vision of Yahweh (who others mistakenly call God) and His plan for the ages. He began to give classes on the insight derived from the vision the following year and soon thereafter he founded the Kinley Institute. Among his first students was Carl F. Gross, who became his lifelong associate and president of the institute. In 1958, with approximately seventy of his students, Kinley moved to Los Angeles and incorporated the Institute for Divine Metaphysical Research. In 1961, Elohim the Archetype (Original Pattern of the Universe, the major exposition of the vision) appeared. Copies were immediately sent to a number of prominent world political and religious leaders. In 1971 twelve ministers of the institute were sent out on an Ecclesiastical Peace Mission to countries in Europe and the Middle East. A second such mission to countries on every continent was conducted in 1975.
The intent of the institute has been to spread the message of Kinley's vision as presented in his book. The teachings draw from a variety of sources including both the Sacred Name Movement and theosophy. In the vision he learned the real name of the Holy One of Israel (Yahweh) and of his nature and purposes. Yahweh is Spirit Substance, without form. As Elohim, Yahweh appears in His super incoporeal form and in that form was seen by Moses (Exodus 24), Isaiah (Isaiah 6:1-4), and the disciples at the Mount of Transfiguration (Matthew 17:1-2). Yahweh-Elohim has also taken physical form generally as the material creation (matter is condensed spirit) and specifically as Yahshua the Messiah (generally known as Jesus). After the death and resurrection of Yahshua, Yahweh continued in his physical form as the Comforter or Holy Spirit, and dwells in preachers of the true gospel.
Yahweh-Elohim, as was revealed to Kinley, is the archtypal pattern of the universe, a pattern revealed to Moses and embodied in the Hebrew tabernacle. It is, however, also repeated in numerous earthly structures, among which is the Kaballah, which Kinley terms "theosophy."
Yahweh's purpose is revealed through the ages (i.e., particular periods of history) and dispensations (i.e., the divinely appointed ordering of earthly affairs by Yahweh). The dispensations as recounted by Kinley generally follow that proposed by C. I. Scofield in his reference Bible, and adopt a traditional chronology. The first dispensation begins with Yahweh's covenant with Adam, the second with Noah, the third with Abraham, and the fourth with Noah. Kinley is insistent that the fifth dispensation, that of the "law of the Spirit" or New Testament, this present church age, began not at Jesus' birth but at his resurrection and Pentecost. Most importantly, the present dispensation is swiftly drawing to a close and the next dispensation, that of the Kingdom in Immortality, will begin around the year 2000. The revelation of Yahweh's purposes to Kinley and his work of spreading the information ushered in the last days of the church age.
Membership: In 1997, the Institute reported 137 groups in the United States and four in Canada. There were also a single group in Trinidad, two in Mexico, and one in Africa.
Remarks: The institute has published a statement of Aims which seems to draw directly upon the statement of objectives of the Theosophical Society. It reads, in part, that its aims include: "To form a nucleus of Universal Brotherhood of Humanity in Yahshua the Messiah without distinction of Race or Nationality, Creed, Sex, Caste or Color; To investigate the unexplained Spirit Law or so-called Law of Nature and the Powers latent in man; To encourage and promote the study of Scriptures, comparative Religions, Psychology, Philosophy and Modern (practical and occult) Science…"
Kinley, Henry Clifford. Elohim the Atchetype (Original) Pattern of the Universe. Los Angeles, CA: Institute of Divine Metaphysical Research,1969.
Light of Christ Community Church
℅ Sparrow Hawk Village
11 Summit Ridge Dr.
Tahlaquah, OK 74464-9215
The Light of Christ Community Church grew out of the 1958 near-death experience of its founder, Carol E. Parrish-Harra (b.1935). While giving birth to her sixth child, she was given sodium pentothal to ease her pain. She had an allergic reaction to the drug, her lung collapsed, and her consciousness slipped out of her body. As a result of the experience her life changed. She came to believe that she was an example of what in New Age circles came to be called a "walk-in." As defined by Ruth Montgomery, who originated the idea, a walk-in is an idealistic soul who, through progress in previous incarnations, has earned the privilege of taking over unwanted bodies. Parrish-Harra believes that the personality who inhabited her body left in 1958 and a new soul moved in.
Throughout the 1960s Parrish-Harra's life took a new direction. Toward the end of the decade she was led to a spiritualist church in St. Petersburg, Florida, where she met a teacher, Ann Manser. In 1971 she was ordained in the Christian Metaphysical Church and began a career as a pastor/teacher. In 1976 she founded the Villa Serena Spiritual Community in Sarasota, Florida, the core community of the Light of Christ Community Church.
In 1981 Parrish-Harra had a strong psychic message to found a new community, and in November of that year the trustees of the Light of Christ Community Church acquired 332 acres of land on Sparrowhawk Mountain near Tahlequah, Oklahoma. Sparrow Hawk Village became the new headquarters of the church and of its school, the Sancta Sophia Seminary. Sparrow Hawk was designed as a self-consciously New Age center that seeks to encourage the growth, freedom, and strength of its members. It is organized in clusters (tribes) in such a way that the community provides a balance between intimacy/community (smallness) and security (largeness). Each family owns its own home and shares a portion of the entire community's property.
The church's teachings are eclectic, drawing upon theosophical (especially the writings of Alice Bailey), Agni Yoga, the Kabbalah, and esoteric Christianity. It affirms the existence of One Almighty Power in the universe, the Cause of all creation, and the Great Ones (called Masters in the theosophy) who guide humanity and can be thought of as the Saviors of the world. Christ is seen as the vision of perfection, and his teachings are the path to perfection. The church believes that within each human is a spark of the Almighty Power, and each person is capable of unfolding his or her spiritual potential.
The Light of Christ Community Church is headed by a board of trustees, with Parrish-Harra serving as president. The Sancta Sophia Seminary offers a full program of ministerial training offering both master's and doctoral degrees. The church recognizes five forms of ministry: pastor, minister-scholar, minister-priest, theologian, and prophet-seer. The church affirms its allegiance to the Christian tradition and has affiliated with the International Council of Community Churches.
Membership: In 2002, the community reported 100 people living in the village and 396 members of LCCC.
Educational Facilities: Sancta Sophia Seminary, Tahlaquah, Oklahoma.
Periodicals: Sparrow Hawk Villager.
Parrish-Harra, Carol W. Aquarian Rosary: Reviving the Art of Mantra Yoga. Tahlequah, OK: Sparrow Hawk Press, 1988.
——. The Book of Rituals: Personal and Planetary Transformations. Santa Monica, CA: IBS Press, 1990.
——. Messengers of Hope. Black Mountain, NC: New Age Press, 1983.
——. A New Age Handbook on Death and Dying. Marina del Rey, CA: De-Vorss & Co., 1982.
The Lighted Way is described as a "New Age School for Discipleship Training." It was founded in 1966 by Muriel R. Tepper (known as Muriel Isis), under the direction of Master D.K. of the White Brotherhood. It is guided and inspired by the cosmic mother Isis. Muriel is the outer symbol of the mother principle-truth and inspiration. The mother as Isis reveals the cosmic laws and pure truths for the building of the immortal light body and the resurrection of the physical form. These laws include the laws of light radiation, magnetism, cause and effect, polarity, and correspondence.
The Lighted Way is the highway back to divinity. To help the members in their return, a variety of services is offered. Light Radiation Circles allow each person a chance to gain direct awareness of the Universal Mind. Individual counseling in Akashic records, in the aura and in personal soul evolvement is offered by Muriel, either in person or by mail on cassette tape. (Akashic records are the recordings on the "universal ethers" of all thoughts and actions; psychics can "tap into" these records. The auras are psychic emanations from the human body; psychics can see and interpret auras.) Full moon meditations are held monthly. Classes are offered in meditation, Yoga and the lessons of Isis on metaphysical truths. Healing services are held weekly.
Membership: In 1973 centers were functioning in Los Angeles, Pacific Palisades, Costa Mesa, and Hollywood, California.
Tepper, Muriel R. The Lighted Way Road to Freedom. Los Angeles: Lighted Way Press, n.d.
——. Mechanisms of the Personality through Personology. Pacific Palisade, CA: Lighted Way Press, n.d.
Current address not obtained for this edition.
The Oasis Fellowship began in the home of George White and his wife, Alice White. While meditating, they began to make contact with several spirit entities named Elawa, Malala and Yeban, believed to be teachers from a higher plane of evolvement. As messages began to come through, friends of the Whites began to attend the sessions. Healing prayer was a major concern. As time passed, the Whites disposed of their business and went in search of a place for a center to which those dedicated to the program could gravitate. After a year of searching, such a spot was located near Florence, Arizona, and the Oasis Fellowship began.
At Florence, on the 17.5 acres, members of the fellowship lead a communal-like existence in separate mobile homes and travel trailers. Many leave during the summer months. Soon after the establishment in Arizona, weekly "lessons in living" began to come through the channels. The lessons were taped, transcribed, and sent out, on request only, across the country. Early in the experiment, the teachers specified that no charge was ever to be made or money solicited. If ever there were insufficient voluntary "love gifts" to cover cost of production and mailing the lessons, they should be stopped, accepting the lack as "evidence that the power had gone out of them." From the beginning, adequate financial support has always been received.
Beliefs of the fellowship follow the teachings of Jesus and the lessons are frequently comments by the spirit teachers on a Bible passage. There is strong emphasis on the spiritual evolvement of the individual. Both psychic communication, if on a spiritual level, and reincarnation are accepted. God is seen as the center of life and a Spirit shining within.
Membership: Beside the small group residing at the Oasis in Florence, Arizona, between 120 and 150 regularly receive the lessons. Some of these in turn share them with others as the leaders of study groups. The lessons are sent out across the United States and Canada, as well as several foreign countries, most notably Nigeria.
Current address not obtained for this edition.
The Open Way is a New Age group centered in Celina, Tennessee, and headed by Lovie Webb Gasteiner. There is a close affinity with Mary L. Myers of the Essene Teachings. The Open Way teaches that God manifests as Father and Mother and lives in all. God is the source of life, love, peace, strength and abundant life. Man's goal is a return to God in self-realization. The law of life is giving and receiving, and the Open Way teaches exercises on giving and receiving divine energy. The secret is tensing and relaxing the muscles, nerves, and tissues of the body in combination with the human voice, used in speaking, chanting, humming, and singing.
Membership: Not reported.
Current address not obtained for this edition.
The Order of the Cross was founded in 1904 in Great Britain by J. Todd Ferrier (1855-1943). Ferrier had been raised in Scotland and entered the Congregational Church ministry. He resigned from the ministry in 1903 and the following year began issuing a magazine, The Herald of the Cross. During the next decade he wrote his two most important books, The Master: His Life and Teachings (1913) and The Logia, or Sayings of the Master, were written. Following their publication, the order began to grow and in 1991 headquarters were established in London. Permanent headquarters were purchased in 1926.
Ferrier taught a form of Christian theosophy. The order believes that the earth has been subject to a gradual deterioration over many millennia. This deterioration is visible in the disorder in nature and society and is related to the fading of the divine Light in human life. It was to check the deterioration that Jesus came into the world and his Mission is now, in the twentieth century, beginning to bear fruit. The effects of His restoration of the Light has become visible and should become even more visible as more rapid changes occur. Individuals who participate in this restoration will recover a sense of purpose and the ability to communicate with the unseen.
Having perceived the nature of Jesus' work, to restore the resurrected spiritual life to humanity, Ferrier was able to clearly present in his many books the true message of Jesus apart from the distortion of the Christian church. In this light, the order has assumed an anti-institutional stance and teaches that Jesus did not intend the creation of an earthly institution but focused upon the restoration of souls to a spiritual state, which he termed "Jesushood" in which the oneness of life in realized. That state is followed by the state of "Christhood," or mystical illumination.
Ferrier's own awakening, as that of a number of his early followers, was through the animal rights movement. The order is vegetarian in practice and committed to anti-vivisection. It has called on the adoption of a "bloodless" diet. Members are also taught to seek after the Christ-life by following a path of self-denial, self-sacrifice, and self-abandonment to the Divine service and will.
The order is organized through a number of groups around the world. Where several groups are relatively close together, they are associated in councils made up of representatives of the groups. The order is guided by a self-perpetuating executive council and an advisory committee of representatives of the groups.
The order was brought to America through the circulation of Ferrier's many books. He made his first trip in 1939 and groups have been functioning around the country since that time. Among the early followers were J. F. Rowney, the owner of a metaphysical publishing house in Santa Barbara, California, who later published the only biographical work on Ferrier.
Membership: In 1990 the organization reported 96 members in six centers in the United States and one center with two members in Canada. There were 720 members worldwide in centers in the United Kingdom, France, Australia, and New Zealand.
Periodicals: The Newsletter of the Order of the Cross. Send orders to 10, De vere Gardens, Kensington, London Wb 5AE, United Kingdom.
Ferrier, J. Todd. The Divine Renaissance. 2 vols. London: Order of the Cross, 1963.
——. Life's Mysteries Unveiled. London: Order of the Cross, 1953.
——. The Logia or Sayings of the Master. London: Percy Lund, Bradford and Co., 1916, 1926.
——. The Master: His Life and Teachings. London: Percy Lund, Humpries and Co., 1913, 1925.
Hymns for Worship with Tunes. London: Order of the Cross, 1965.
Kemmis, E. Mary Gordon. Shepherd of Souls: Some Impressions of the Life and Ministry of John Todd Ferrier. Santa Barbara, CA: J. F. Rowney Press, 1947.
Our Informal Fellowship: Some Foundational Statements. London: Order of the Cross, 1963.
The Philo-Polytechnical Center of Los Angeles had aims similar to those of the Bodha Society of America. It was headed by Ronald Clifton and published The Bodha Renaissance.
The Sun Center was a theosophical group formed in Akron, Ohio, in the 1920s which developed a uniquely Christian emphasis. It took its name from the theosophical concept of God as the Great Central Sun. Much of the inspiration for the center came from Joseph S. Benner (d. 1941) author of the popular mystical/occult volume, The Impersonal Life. The small book, penned prior to World War I, was directed to what was considered to be the true self, the impersonal self, the spirit within, also identified with the "I AM," the Christ Self, and God's Holy Spirit. Beginning in the 1920s, Benner also developed a series of lessons to assist students to understand and progressively work with the ideas presented in The Impersonal Life. The Way Out and The Way Beyond, the first of these booklets, provided training for the development and discipline of the mind. The Inner Life Course dealt with the awakening of the soul. A final set of lessons led students to the unfolding of the spirit.
Through its magazine, The Inner Life begun in 1933, the Sun Center solicited support for its work as a group of followers of Christ to bring the Light of Christ to every soul ready to receive it. As a first step, those related to the center were asked to serve in the cause of brotherhood by entering into the silence each day at noon. During these silent moments, each person would see him/herself as a center of Love's Light and Power and would pour that Love out upon the world. Noon was chosen as the moment when the earth received the greatest downpouring of the light (wisdom), heat (love) and energy (power) of the sun (the visible expression of Father-God).
The Sun Center continued to operate through the 1930s, but eventually dissolved. There is no record of the size of the center's support, though in the mid-1930s there were more than 30 groups across the United States and in Australia, Canada, England, France, and New Zealand. After Brenner's death, the publishing rights of his books were eventually turned over to Willing Publishing Company which was in turn absorbed by DeVorss Publishing Company, which keeps The Impersonal Life, in print to this day.
Remarks: The Sun Publishing Company, intimately connected with the Sun Center, was publisher of the books of the Aquarian Foundation, a short-lived theosophical group in the 1920s.
The Impersonal Life. San Gabriel, CA: Willing Publishing Co., 1971.
Morgan, Elise Nevins. Your Own Path. Akron, OH: Sun Publishing Co., 1928.
The Way Beyond Course. Akron, OH: Sun Publishing Co., n.d. [193-].
The Way Out. Akron, OH: Sun Publishing Co., 1930.
The Way Out Course. Akron, OH: Sun Publishing Co., [193-].
Universal Great Brotherhood
Current address not obtained for this edition.
The Universal Great Brotherhood was formed by Serge Raynaud de la Ferriere (b. 1916), a Frenchman who had been involved in the esoteric from his childhood. As a young man, he traveled to Egypt, where, according to his biography, he was initiated as the "Sublime Crowned Cophto and Great Priest Khediviar." At the age of 22, in London, he received a degree of Doctor of Hermetic Science and the next year, in Amsterdam, Doctor of Universal Science. During World War II he became closely identified with the Theosophical Society in France and joined the Theosophical and Astrological Lodge in London. After the war, his occult work expanded and he became active in a Masonic body.
De la Ferriere's early esoteric work prepared him for an encounter with Master Sun W. K., described as the "Superior Power of Tibet," who gave de la Ferriere his mission to begin the exposition of initiatic principles to the general public. De la Ferriere founded the Universal Great Brotherhood and for the next three years traveled widely, establishing the brotherhood in centers around the world. Very early in his travels, he went to Venezuela where he met Jose Manuel Estrada, who was to become his leading student.
Estrada (b. 1900) had, for nine years, announced the arrival of an avatar (an incarnation of God) and had gathered a group waiting upon the avatar. After their meeting, Estrada accepted de la Ferriere, who spent eighteen months with Estrada and his group, and on March 21, 1948, reopened the Universal Great Brotherhood in a public manner.
In 1950, de la Ferriere turned over the management of the brotherhood to Estrada and retired to a quiet life of esoteric work and writing. Estrada assumed the title of director general. The work grew steadily in Latin America through the 1950s and 1960s. In 1969 Estrada sent Rev. Gagpa Anita Montero Campion to the United States. She settled in St. Louis and began to teach yoga classes. She shared the teachings of the brotherhood with her pupils and in 1970 organized the first brotherhood center. It soon spread to Ann Arbor, Michigan; Chicago; and New York City.
The brotherhood describes itself as an educational organization rather than a religion. It is an initiatic school designed to assist humanity in its transition to a new age, often spoken of as the transition from the Age of Pisces to the Age of Aquarius. The birthplace of this new age is the Americas, hence the reopening of the brotherhood of the West.
The Brotherhood is dedicated to the attainment of peace by raising the consciousness of humanity both individually and collectively. The brotherhood offers a number of services to preinitiates. It sponsors health care programs with special emphasis on preventive medicine and natural cures. The organization strongly advocates vegetarianism. It also sponsors a variety of classes to promote personal growth, such as hatha yoga, martial arts, astrology, and meditation. In this regard it also promotes the Cosmic Ceremony, a Universal form of worship that allows each person to get in touch with his or her own highest concept of the divine.
Participants in brotherhood public programs, designated followers, may be invited to become initiates. Once initiated they become members of the Esoteric College and receive the title Gegnian, or Little Novice. Afterward they pass upward through several degrees: first degree, Getuls or Novice; second degree, Reverend Gag-pa, or affiliated; third degree, Right Reverend Gelong, or Adept; and the fourth degree, Respectable Guru, or Instructor. Currently held by only the international leaders, still higher degrees are, in principle, open to all. The fifth degree, Honorable Sat Chellah, or Disciple, is held by Domingo Dias Porta; and the sixth degree, Venerable Sat Arhat, or Missionry, is held by Estrada. Only one person can hold the seventh degree as Sat Guru, the Master, presently de la Ferriere. Administratively, the brotherhood is headed by the superior council, which operates under the Sat Guru and makes all the decisions concerning the activities of the brotherhood internationally. Under it are national and regional councils.
Membership: Not reported.
Biography, the Sublime Maestre, Sat Guru, Dr. Serge Raymaud de la Ferriere. St. Louis, MO: Educational Publications of the I. E. S., 1976.
Montero-Campion, Anita. My Guru from South America: Sat Arhat Dr. Jose Manuel Estrada. St. Louis: The Author, 1976.
Universal Religious Fellowship
The Universal Religious Fellowship was founded by Harriette Augusta Curtiss (1855-1932), also known by her religious name Rahmea, and Frank Homer Curtiss (1875-1946), also known by his religious name Pyrahmos. Homer Curtiss, a physician and graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, married Harriette in 1907. They began to head a study group which formally began its work on January 1, 1908. Originally known as the Order of The 15, a name derived by numerological reference, it soon took its more descriptive title, the Order of Christian Mystics, by which it was known through the 1920s. The Curtisses formed a corporation, the Universal Religious Fellowship in 1928, and that name gradually came to denominate their efforts through the 1930s. For a brief period in the 1920s, the name Church of the Wisdom Religion was also used. The Order was founded in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, but moved its headquarters to California prior to World War I. Around 1925 it moved to Washington, D.C., where it remained until after Homer Curtiss' death in 1946, when it moved to Hollywood, California, where its remained duing its final years.
The Curtisses were former theosophists who originally established the Order of The 15 for the purpose of correlating advanced philosophical teachings (i.e., theosophy) with orthodox Christian teachings, and changed its original name to the Order of Christian Mystics so it could more easily approach members of Christian churches. Its particular concern for expressing the universal principle in Christian terms and by using Christian scriptures (instead of eastern holy books) separated it from the main body of theosophists (the Liberal Catholic Church not having been created at the time of the order's founding). The order also saw itself as anti-organizational, and for many years did not incorporate.
Teachings of the order (and fellowship) were put forth in the numerous books (more than 20) written by the Curtisses, though their central teachings were summarized in The Voice of Isis, The Message of Aquaria, and Letters from the Teacher. In addition to their books, the Curtisses published a monthly lesson for order members, who were encouraged to form study groups and to use the "Prayer for World Harmony," printed in one of the textbooks. The order emphasized personal self-mastery and offered personal counsel via correspondence with the Curtisses.
The order followed theosophical teaching in general but developed its own special emphases. The Curtisses advocated a middle way on most issues within the occult community. It did not advocate vegetarianism or celibacy, though it strongly advocated reincarnation. It offered an occult interpretation of the Bible which the Curtisses believed had been lost due to emphases upon literal and historical interpretations. Psychic awakening, as a natural part of spiritual unfoldment, was emphasized and the use of special techniques for the development of psychic powers discouraged. Most importantly, the order was preparing for the advent of the Coming World Teacher, the Avatar. However, they sought to keep their pupils from being led astray by personality, i.e., from the Theosophical Society which was at that time promoting Jiddu Krishnamurti as the World Teacher. The order trained its pupils to recognize and respond to the teacher on the spiritual planes. Finally, the order emphasized the important theosophical teachings of the oneness of truth and univeral brotherhood.
The order survived only a few years after the death of the Curtisses, though several of their books were kept in print for many years.
Curtiss, F. Homer. Reincarnation. Santa Barbara, CA: J. F. Rowney Press, 1949.
Curtiss, Harriette Augusta, and F. Homer Curtiss. The Message of Aquaria. San Francisco: Curtiss Philosophic Book Company, 1921.
——. The Voice of Isis. Los Angeles: Curtiss Philosophic Book Co., 1912.
Curtiss, Harriette Augusta, with F. Homer Curtiss. Letters from the Teacher. 2 vols. Hollywood, CA: Curtiss Philosophic Book Co., 1918.
The Fellowship of the Order of Christian Mystics. Washington, DC: Order of Christian Mystics, n.d.
Lady Elizabeth Carey was an agent of the White Eagle Lodge, a British New Age group, who was sent to the United States to open the work. In 1941 while in Los Angeles, she became aware that she was being guided by spirits, and, on Grouse Mountain near Vancouver, a group became aware through her of the imminent return of Christ. In 1943, a tract of land near Del Mar, California, was purchased as a site for a sacred shrine. The guidance was received from the Great White Brotherhood, a group of elder brothers identical to the Buddhist bodhisattvas or the Theosophical ascended masters. These brothers have often incarnated in the past and have existed as a group since the first godman walked the earth. Roselady, as Ms. Carey was known, was in contact with a Great White Brotherhood initiate, Azrael.
Through the shrine at Del Mar called the White Lodge, the message of Azrael began to be published through a monthly periodical, Angelus. Growing popularity led to the publication in the 1960s of four Books of Azrael containing collections of Azrael's messages. Advertising in such psychically oriented periodicals as Chimes made the shrine well known throughout the United States.
The teachings of Azrael are concerned with the work of the White Brotherhood and its role in bringing in the New Age of Aquarius. Azrael is helping to create a new humanity by raising the consciousness of those who receive the teachings. The content of Azrael's message is summed up in two words, "love" and "light." Love is the cohesive force of the universe, the principle by which God acts, judges and heals. Light is the symbol of man's path back to God. The Brotherhood dwells in the light and teaches the path to illumination through prayer and meditation. Reincarnation and karma were strongly held beliefs, and prayer for healing through the white light was a major practice. Healing prayer was accompanied by a "linking in," during which members scattered across the country joined in prayer at the same hour.
In the late 1960s, tension arose among the supporters of the shrine. On Easter Sunday, 1969, Eloise Mellor, the guardian of the shrine, asserted that she was the channel for Azrael and St. John the Beloved. According to the fourth Book of Azrael, a special work by St. John was directly to precede the coming of Jesus, the world teacher. Eloise also replaced members of the shrine's board of trustees. These changes were made with the claimed blessing of White Eagle, a guide from the spirit world, but without going through Roselady. Almost immediately, two factions arose and, in 1971, open schism appeared.
After Easter of 1969, Joseph E. Hall, deposed vice president of the shrine at Del Mar, California called the White Lodge, continued to receive the communications from Azrael and to circulate them among former supporters of the work. Then, in 1970, Philip Schraub of Corpus Christi, Texas, was confirmed by the aging Roselady as her successor as the channel of Azrael and the one to be used to carry forward the New Age teachings of John the Beloved. In the spring of 1971, public announcement of Philip's role, as well as a denoucement of Eloise, was made by Mr. Hall and nine other leading supporters of the Shrine in the first issue of a new monthly, The New Angelus for the New Age. A letter from the White Eagle Lodge denied support of Eloise. Through Philip, the Brotherhood announced its temporary withdrawal from the Shrine and the movement of the work to Corpus Christi.
Efforts began to recover the Shrine, at first through negotiation with Eloise, Mari Mae Napier and her husband, who at that time constituted the Shrine's board. In the midst of these negotiations, Eloise fell ill. During her convalescence, she repented of her activity and began to support Philip. She was also deposed as guardian of the Shrine, and five trustees appointed in her place. Rays of Wisdom replaced the Angelus as the periodical.
Upon her recovery, a court fight was initiated by Eloise to regain her guardianship, but she died in 1974, before the matter could be resolved. Several years later, the trustees turned the work and the property over to Elizabeth Clare Prophet and the Church Universal and Triumphant, into which it was completely absorbed.
Philip Schraub continued to publish The New Angelus for the New Age first in Corpus Christi and then in West Sedona, Arizona until 1983, after which the work was discontinued.
Book of Azreal. 4 vols. Santa Barbara, CA: J. F. Rowny Press, 1965-67.
Eloise [Mellor]. Youth: Open the Door. Los Angeles: DeVorss & Co., 1969.