Lazaris is the name given to a nonphysical entity who speaks through the body of Jach Pursel (1947–). Pursel has been channeling Lazaris since 1974. The name "Lazaris" is also used to describe the organization and the phenomenon as a whole. Lazaris describes himself as a "spark of consciousness" beyond our physical and causal planes. He is "working with" people on this planet to reach the next evolutionary step. Pursel and his two partners run a lucrative business based in Orlando, Florida, called Concept:Synergy, which markets Lazaris's wisdom in the form of tapes and seminars.
In 1974 Pursel, a Michigan insurance executive, became, reluctantly at first, what is known as a "full trance, objective" channel. "Objective" means that Lazaris is not a part of Jach's consciousness; "full trance" means that he is not conscious when Lazaris speaks through him. Lazaris's teachings include predictions, prophecies, healing techniques, and pronouncements concerning the nature of the universe, an eclectic mix common to much of the New Age.
Pursel set up a nonprofit foundation to promote Lazaris's teachings, but in the late 1970s he changed this to a for-profit corporation and in 1980 he relocated to Marin County, California. In the 1980s, as the so-called New Age movement began to attract the attention of mainstream media, Concept:Synergy took on a higher profile. In 1986 the organization began to mass-market Lazaris tapes and books through mail order and New Age bookstores. Pursel moved his headquarters to Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills, while Lazaris became publicly associated with celebrities. Pursel even channeled Lazaris in front of a live audience on the Merv Griffin and Mike Douglas talk shows. Since 1989, when Pursel relocated to Florida, Lazaris has kept a lower profile.
People interact with Lazaris via a regular schedule of seminars conducted in hotel meeting rooms in five cities (Los Angeles, San Francisco, Orlando, Atlanta, and Newark), a website (www.Lazaris.com), and occasional one-on-one phone consultations. A Lazaris seminar may be two, three, or four days, plus individual evening sessions. A day will begin with Pursel going into a trance and Lazaris speaking on a predetermined subject, leading a guided meditation, and sometimes taking questions from the audience. Topics range from how to release negative ego to how the star Sirius affects our lives. Typically, two hundred or three hundred people attend each session, and the average cost is $500 per person, exclusive of meals or accommodations. By maintaining a core group of devotees, using word-of-mouth advertising, and avoiding the scandal that has tainted other successful channels, Lazaris is today one of the most enduring and financially lucrative of all channels.
Concept:Synergy does not keep statistics about its clientele, so no demographic data exist. But in general, Lazaris devotees are mainly of the baby boom generation (though younger and older cohorts are not uncommon), middle-class and overwhelmingly white. Like much else in the New Age, Lazaris, both the entity and the organization, has never called itself a religion. Concept:Synergy is a for-profit, taxpaying corporation. Anyone is welcome to attend any or all of the seminars, paying on a straight fee-for-service basis.
Klimo, John. Channeling. 1987.
Pursel, Jach (Lazaris). Lazaris Interviews. 2 vols. 1988.