Bridge to Spiritual Freedom
Bridge to Spiritual Freedom
The Bridge to Spiritual Freedom is the first of a number of groups to emerge from the "I AM" Religious Activity that had been founded in the 1930s by Guy W. Ballard and his wife, Edna W. Ballard. Guy Ballard claimed to be in contact with a number of evolved beings he described as ascended masters, and he as their messenger regularly brought forth communications from them. However, Ballard died in 1939, only a few years after initiating the "I AM" Activity. In the several decades following his death, Edna Ballard did not function as a messenger, even though she had been designated as a messenger of the Masters, and some members of the organizations yearned for immediate fresh contact from the Ascended beings.
As early as 1944, Geraldine Innocente, a member of the "I AM" in New York, claimed that she had been contacted by the Ascended Master El Morya (the same master with whom Helena Petrovna Blavatsky had had special communication with in the 1880s). She prepared herself over the next seven years and formally began to operate as a messenger in 1951. She began to reproduce and circulate copies of these messages and found some initial response from those associated with the "I AM" sanctuaries in New York and Pennsylvania. She also sent copies of the messages to Edna Ballard at the "I AM" headquarters. Ballard demanded that Innocente cease the circulation of unauthorized messages. When she refused, the break occurred and in the mid-1950s the Bridge to Freedom was created.
Innocente was from the Caribbean and among the issues in the break with the "I AM" was its refusal to allow the translation of the messages from the masters into other languages, Spanish in particular. Innocente had translated and circulated the messages from El Morya in Cuba and Puerto Rico.
In the Bridge to Freedom messages, El Morya operated under a pseudonym, Thomas Printz, and appears as such on Bridge literature to this day. Innocente died in 1961 and the role of messenger for El Morya and the masters was assumed by Lucy W. Littlejohn. She served in that capacity until 1989. Since that time the name of the current messenger has not been published. The beliefs and practices (including the use of the affirmative prayers called decrees) are similar to those found in the "I AM." The primary difference between the Bridge activity and the "I AM" is the presence of a messenger in immediate contact with the masters.
Among the early associates of Innocente was Florence K. Ekey, who headed an independent "I AM" center in Philadelphia that she called the Lighthouse to Freedom. Ekey would later become the sponsor of a young man whom she believed to be a genuine messenger of the masters named Mark Prophet. In 1959, Ekey was one of several people who resigned from the Bridge to Freedom and joined in the inauguration of the Summit Lighthouse, known today as the Church Universal and Triumphant.
The Bridge to Freedom became the New Age Church of the Christ in the 1980s but has most recently been named the Bridge to Spiritual Freedom (and not to be confused with the Bridge to Freedom, the program of advancement within the Church of Scientology ). The messages received by the Bridge to Freedom have been compiled into books at various times (and still circulate among independent "I AM" groups), but are primarily released to the public through its periodicals, The Bridge to Spiritual Freedom Journal and the Shamballa Letter. The Bridge may be contacted at Box 333, Kings Park, NY 11754.
Printz, Thomas [Ascended Master El Morya through Geraldine Innocente]. Memoirs of Beloved Mary, Mother of Jesus. Philadelphia: Bridge to Freedom, 1955.
——. The Seven Beloved Archangels Speak. Mt. Shasta, Calif.: Ascended Master Teaching Foundation, 1986.