HOME : : OLD ALPHEUS : : CHRONOLOGY : : SEARCH  

Site for Esoteric History 


Messengers and Organizations: Successes and Crises

by Govert Schuller

 

Following is a skeletal presentation of some research done on the dynamics of the coming and going of messengers and its interaction with the organizations founded to carry their message. It is offered to augment awareness about our common historical roots and to give a sense of co-measurement with C.U.T.'s predecessors. If any practical wisdom could be extracted from these dry facts and observations, it would have served its purpose.

I.

Organizations which had Messengers

II.

Timeline for every Organization

III.

Observations

I.

Organizations which had Messengers:

 

A)

Theosophical Society (steady growth till the Krishnamurti debacle [ca. 44,000 members in 1929])

 

 

Its messengers:

 

 

1)

Blavatsky (followed by Annie Besant. William Q. Judge splits off)

 

 

2)

Annie Besant (followed by Charles W. Leadbeater. Rudolph Steiner splits off)

 

 

3)

Leadbeater (followed by Krishnamurti, who goes independent)

 

 

4)

Krishnamurti (technically speaking K was not a messenger within the TS, but within his own Order of the Star)

 

 

5)

Cyril Scott, David Anrias, Jinarajadasa and Geoffrey Hodson (All more or less in private capacity)

 

B)

I AM Movement (Growth till the death of Ballard [unknown amount of members])

 

 

1)

Guy Ballard (followed by Edna Ballard)

 

 

2)

Edna Ballard (followed by nobody. Geraldine Innocente and Frances Ekey split off)

 

C)

Bridge to Freedom (growth until the Prophet/Ekey split off [ca. 1800 members in 1961])

 

 

1)

Geraldine Innocente (followed by Lucy Littlejohn. Mark Prophet and Francis Ekey split off, A.D. Luk goes independent)

 

 

2)

Lucy Littlejohn (followed by group channeling. Peter Lewis splits off)

 

D)

The Summit Lighthouse (growth till the 'shelter cycle' [ca. 5,000 dues paying KOF units in 1995])

 

 

1)

Mark Prophet (followed by Elizabeth Clare Prophet)

 

 

2)

Elizabeth Clare Prophet (followed by nobody so far. Monroe and Carolyn Shearer split off, [as do Marsha Covington and David Lewis])

  

II)

Timeline for every Organization:

Theosophical Society

 

1851:

El Morya contacts Helena Petrovna Blavatsky (HPB)

 

1874:

HPB meets Henry Steel Olcott (HSO)

 

1875:

HPB, HSO and William Quan Judge found the Theosophical Society (TS)

 

1882:

Annie Besant (AB) converts to Theosophy

 

188?:

Charles Webster Leadbeater (CWL) corresponds with Kuthumi and converts to Theosophy

 

1891:

HPB makes transition

 

1891:

AB, Judge and Olcott lead the TS

 

1895:

Judge splits off with the American Section of the TS

 

1906:

CWL resigns from the TS

 

1907:

Olcott makes transition

 

1907:

AB undisputed leader of the TS

 

1908:

AB reinstates CWL. Many members resign

 

1909:

CWL finds Krishnamurti

 

1911:

Founding by AB and CWL of the Order of the Star in the East around Krishnamurti

 

1913:

TS-member Steiner splits off with the German Section of the TS

 

1910s:

AB dedicates her energy to Indian independence. CWL becomes more and more channel between the Masters and the TS.

 

1923:

Steiner makes transition

 

1925:

K overshadowed by Maitreya

 

1929:

K dissolves the Order of the Star, goes his own way

 

1933:

AB makes transition

 

1934:

CWL makes transition

 

1986:

K makes transition

 

 

 

I AM Activity

 

1930:

Saint Germain contacts Guy Ballard

 

1934:

Start of the I AM Activity

 

1939:

Guy Ballard makes transition

 

1940:

Guy Ballard's wife Edna Ballard indicted for mail fraud

 

1943:

Edna starts giving dictations

 

1952:

I AM-members Geraldine Innocente and Frances Ekey split off from the I AM Activity

 

1971:

Edna makes transition

 

 

 

Bridge to Freedom:

 

1944:

El Morya and Maha Chohan start working with Geraldine Innocente

 

1952:

I AM-members Geraldine and Frances Ekey split off from the I AM Activity

 

1952:

First issue of the Bridge to Freedom Journal

 

1958:

Bridge-members Mark Prophet with Frances Ekey split off from the Bridge and found the Lighthouse of Freedom

 

1961:

Geraldine makes transition. Geraldine is followed by Lucy Littlejohn.

 

1980:

Bridge-member Peter Lewis splits off from the Bridge and starts Foundation of Higher Spiritual Learning

 

  

 

The Summit Lighthouse

 

1952:

El Morya contacts Mark Prophet

 

1958:

Bridge-members Mark Prophet with Frances Ekey split off from the Bridge and found the Lighthouse of Freedom

 

1958:

Founding of The Summit Lighthouse (TSL)

 

1959:

TSL-member Frances Ekey splits of from TSL and continues the Lighthouse to Freedom

 

1961:

El Morya contacts Elizabeth Clare Prophet (ECP) and sends her to Mark

 

1968:

Ekey makes transition

 

1971(?):

Annette Schroeder splits off from TSL and starts the Ascended Master Teaching Foundation

 

1973:

Mark Prophet makes transition

 

1973:

ECP leader of TSL

 

1975:

ECP starts Church Universal and Triumphant (CUT)

 

1990:

The 'Shelter Cycle'

 

1990s:

CUT-member and ECP's daughter Erin Prophet trains for messenger and later distances herself from CUT

 

1995:

Ex-CUT members Caroline and Monroe Shearer start the Temple of the Presence (TOP)

  1999: ECP retires
  2002: Ex-CUT member Kim Michaels starts Shangra-la
  2003: Ex-CUT member Marsha Covington starts New Wisdom University (NWU)

 

2005:

Ex-CUT member David Lewis starts The Hearts Center

 

  

 

III)

Observations

About membership crises:

 

-

Membership crises in TS and I AM, because K and Ballard respectively didn't fit expectations. K repudiates TS's concept of World Teacher and Ballard dies without physically ascending as expected.

 

-

Membership crises in I AM and CUT, because of negative press. I AM was indicted for mail fraud and CUT's shelter cycle started a period of intense press scrutiny, intensified by ex-members and the medium of the internet.

 

-

Membership crises in Bridge and CUT, because of diminished capacity of the messenger. Geraldine suffering from psychological problems and ECP having Altzheimers disease.

 

-

Membership problems in TS and I AM, because of dramatically changed economic and political situation. After K's resignation the worldwide economic depression had a negative impact on TS-membership and W.W.II might have had a negative impact on I AM-membership.

 

-

Membership problems in all organizations, because members change allegiance to competitive successor organizations. The TS lost members to the Judge and Steiner split off, though re-established their position in the USA, but not in Germany. The TS lost members to Krishnamurti, though many stayed on as TS-member. Because Ballard started independent from the TS it is hard to get a sense about TS-members joining the I AM. In the 1950s many, if not most, of the Bridge-members came from the I AM, and later the Bridge lost many members to TSL. How big the drain from CUT to TOP [and NWU and The Hearts Center] will be is hard to say, but might become substantial.

 

-

Membership decline in all 4 organizations seems not to have been always caused by the absence of a messenger. Only the TS and I AM declined after K resigned and Ballard made his transition. In both cases though, there were still other messengers around to fill the void. The TS had still clairvoyants CWL and Geoffrey Hodson (and to a certain extent Cyril Scott and David Anrias) and the I AM had Edna and her son Donald as messengers. This did not prevent a further decline, though other factors became also active as threats to the organizations. The TS had to deal with the 1930s economic depression and the I AM with negative press, a law suit and W.W.II. The Bridge apparently declined after a crisis in 1958, three years before Geraldine made her transition, and CUT declined during and because of the 'shelter cycle,' many years before ECP's retirement.

 

 

What if?

 

-

The fate of these organizations might have been different if they would have established a positive and constructive relationship with their genuine successor organizations. The main problems being a) the difficulty to evaluate the genuineness of a new organization, b) a blind spot in messengers to recognize their real colleagues, and c) organizational inertia to incorporate and act upon such an idea. The Bridge made some attempts in trying to ally itself with the TS, the I AM, Christian Science and some Rosicrucian groups, but to no avail, and TOP [and David Lewis] made overtures to CUT, but were rejected.

 

 

Larger picture:

 

-

From an esoteric-historical point of view a part of the larger picture is the idea that the lightbearers are still recuperating from the failed World Teacher project with Krishnamurti and the TS. The period of 1925 until 1929 might have been the pinnacle of social, cultural, intellectual and spiritual influence an Ascended Master activity has ever attained. This was followed by the greatest misery humanity had to endure in the 1929-1945 period. As I stated in "The Masters and Their Emissaries: From HPB to Guru Ma," there was a spiritual-causal connection between the failure of the World Teacher Project and the Depression and W.W.II.

 

 

Long-term challenges:

 

-

The long-term challenges the lightbearers are facing might well be

a)  the understanding and the psychological-spiritual processing of the above mentioned traumatic event;
b)  understanding the pervasive influence Krishnamurti's teachings have on present day spiritual and cultural circles in the sense that it fosters skepticism about spiritual organizations and practices;
c)  developing counter-strategies by presenting the teachings in a way which will appeal to today's sensitivities of our target market, the cultural creatives.

 

 

 

More background:

 

-

Just updated "The Masters and Their Emissaries: From HPB to Guru Ma and Beyond."

 

-

See also: A History of Ascended Master Activities  (A condensed historical paper by Allen Buresz similar to "The Masters and Their Emissaries")

 

 

 

Some challenging reflections:

 

-

For an in-depth discussion of the many issues involved in organizations with messengers read J.J. van der Leeuw's "Revelation or Realization: The Conflict in Theosophy," which text is now available at Alpheus. Though the author recognizes the natural tension which exists between Revelation (through others) and (Self-) Realization, he presents it too much as a dualism, and, instead of finding a middle way, chooses for Realization, while condemning Revelation. Even so, one can respect his position and still derive great profit from his ponderings.

 

Up

Copyright © 2001 - G.W. Schüller

Home