My spiritual and religious upbringing was somewhat limited. While my family often attended a Baptist church, and my father’s Swedish Baptist ancestors had immigrated to escape the tyranny of the state church in Sweden, our participation in things religious were always external, at church and Sunday School, and there was never any home expression of religion as far as I recall. Always one who had more interest in spiritual life than those around me, I joined the Congregational church of which my uncle was the moderator, when I was about age 14. At age 15 I hypnotized a friend, who began channeling other personalities. That summer, my family moved to Africa, where my parents were Protestant missionaries, and I was attending high school. In Africa, I had a vision in which for the first time, I heard God speaking to me, something which has been with me ever since. I felt guided to become a Mormon, though I knew nothing about the religion at the time. That summer, the family traveled across Africa to a country where my step father had been a missionary, and where there were Mormon missionaries. I received the missionary lessons and was baptized into the LDS church, then returned home.
Following high school, were I was the only Mormon in the country for one year, and one of 4 my last year, I enrolled in Brigham Young University, where my spiritual guidance told me to study Chinese. After a year of Chinese studies, I was called to be a missionary to Taiwan, and spent 2 years there preaching the Mormon gospel. As was expected, upon my return to the US I married in the temple in about a year, my wife and I began a somewhat “normal” life as Latter-Day Saints. We had the requisite large amount of children (six surviving), and I ultimately became a high priest and assistant to the bishop (Mormons have a lay priesthood).
Eventually, we became involved in an intentional community which sought to live the principles which Mormons swear to live each time they visit the temple, that of the Law of Consecration (communal living) and Building up Zion. For Mormons, Zion variously refers to a hill in Jerusalem, the LDS Church, the New Jerusalem spoken of in Revelations, to be established in the town of Independence, Missouri, or the political Kingdom of God, where Jesus will reign after His Second Coming. In our case, it meant attempting to live lives of spiritual awareness, following the examples of spirituality and communal living described for us in the New Testament (book of Acts), the Book of Mormon, and the early LDS Church. And for the few months that our community existed, it was the spiritual high point of my life.
One of our areas of study was the role of women in the church, the nature and role of the Divine Mother (Mormons believe in the Divine Mother, but it is not ok to talk about her, or at least it was not at that time), and of spiritual sexuality. What was the purpose of polygamy? Why was it important 150 years ago, and why is it forbidden to discuss it today? There was an unofficial LDS magazine called Sunstone, which explored such questions of history and doctrine, and in a 1990s purge of “intellectuals”, many of its contributors, the intellectual lights of the Church, were excommunicated.
As were my wife and I, and some of our community friends, being told by our religious leader, “Joseph Smith (founder and prophet of the Mormon Church) be hanged! That was then, this is now!” This was remarkable to us from a church which claimed to be faithfully nurturing and abiding the principles revealed to Joseph Smith.
One of the things that our spiritual community had been involved in in the mid 1990s was administering to people who had memories of being abused in satanic rituals. Since all of our clients were Mormons, they claimed that the abuse had occurred in a Mormon context. Usually, this was in the basement of a Mormon Temple, but sometimes it was in a chapel or involved a church leader. We began to research the topic of Satanic Ritual Abuse, and Multiple Personality Disorder, which usually accompanied it. We had no way to know if any of these claims were true, but women came to our little farm community from all over the United States to be treated by our team of women—survivors themselves, for the most part. Their claims were often bizarre, often seeming impossible to occur in our reality. For example, several claimed to have seen a baby killed, dismembered, eaten, and then saw the same baby alive and flying around some time later. But, there was a consistency to the stories which we could not deny. Indeed, a high LDS church official had investigated these claims, and he also found that there was a definite pattern to them, in victims who had had no contact with any other victims, and had not read anything about such stories. The women seemed to believe strongly in their abuse, but he could not find a way that the remembered events could actually have occurred.
One of the women in the community claimed to have experienced such abuse. Karen was the female leader of the group, as I was the male. She was a prophetess, in most meanings of the world, though some might today call her a channel. I doubt that it is acceptable for a Mormon to be a channel, but a prophetess might be ok, for a while! Karen would receive information from a being which she called “The Violet Lady”, who announced her presence with the smell of flowers. I have heard that the smell of roses is often presence at apparitions of Mother Mary. None of the rest of us were blessed with these visions, nor olfaction, but we had faith that Karen did.
Eventually, Karen put together a manual of how to treat the victims of Ritual Abuse who sought us out. It had instructions on how to access “back doors” in the mental programming which had been installed in these women’s minds without triggering psychic booby traps in their fractured personalities. It showed us how to shut off the programing, undo it, restore the fracture personality fragments, or “alters” which had been created by the abuse. And then, to integrate the fragments into a whole. And those who received this psychic deprogramming told us that they got more help from a few minutes with us than with seven years of psychotherapy.
We were pleased that we were able to help these people, though we did not have a full understanding of what we were doing, or how this whole process worked. But work it did, or at least, that is what the victims told us. But, when the LDS church found out about our program, instructions from Salt Lake City were not long in coming to the local leaders, and church courts followed quickly. Almost all members of the community fled, and those who remained cut off contact with us. A dramatic end to the spiritual high point of my life. And not only was the intentional community destroyed, and we were ripped out of our church home, but this also reverberated throughout the small farming community where I had my practice, and it was not long before I had lost my job, and my family.
After the loss of the central moral and belief structure of my life, I tried to pretend that it didn’t matter. I felt inspired to incorporate “The Church of the Firstborn”, which is mentioned briefly in Mormon revelations as a higher level church, only for those who “had their calling and election made sure”. I attempted to continue holding church services for my family, but there was no flavor left in trying to copy Mormon rites. It was some time before I truly felt that I had “graduated” from the school which for almost 30 years had shaped my spirituality.
For me, Mormonism was a structure organizing my beliefs, but more. It also defined my reality. It was a tree, on which I could hang all reality, all beliefs, all experiences. And with it gone, I had to redefine what I believed, but also the very way my life worked. I have come to see the LDS church as spiritual high school. They do not take their members from the gutters, like the Salvation Army or other similar missionary groups. Mormons gather their members from other churches, for the most part. They consider it “gathering the wheat from the midst of the tares”. They take those who already have been through at least a spiritual elementary school, and then teach them how to be stronger spiritually, and to be leaders in their church, their families, and their communities. They have a spiritual “box” which is much better defined than most of the people who I met—this is ok to believe, but you cannot believe that. And for some, that box works fine, for their entire life. But for some, the curiosity about what lies outside the box becomes compelling.
At some point, many believing Mormons begin to ask, this is a great community, the beliefs work for me, but I think I am ready for spiritual college. I am ready for deeper understanding, for more challenging puzzles and experiences. And they are told, in horror, by their church leaders and home teachers, “There IS no spiritual college! This is the epitome of TRUTH, and there is nothing beyond! There is nothing outside of the box, because all truth is contained in the Mormon box!. If you even contemplate the idea of a spiritual College, then your salvation is at risk!” In that kind of environment, when one graduated from spiritual high school, one was truly out of the community.
A few years later, I found myself in a Unity church in a Southern city. Unity is a teaching going back over a hundred years, part of the “New Thought” movement which includes Christian Science. Unity teaches that there is only one reality, God, the Good, and all other and opposing ideas are false. Perhaps the most familiar out branching of Unity is Guideposts magazine, whose famous founder, Norman Vincent Peale, studied at Unity Village in Kansas City. In Unity, I found a community of square pegs who didn’t fit into all of the round holes of the world. Pastor Gerry Bartholow, who died in 2012, compared his church to a bridge, where you had many visitors passing through, needing strengthening for their journey, and just a few bridge keepers who were not transient. It was great to find a spiritual home, both the travellers and the bridge keepers, and the teachings of Unity have been a basis for my subsequent spiritual growth.
One of the form of spiritual technology that I learned at that time was called Avatar, and that was long before the excellent movie. Avatar www.avatarepc.com is a 9 day program which allows you to experience, and thus understand, reality at a new and deeper level. It also gives you basic tools to manipulate reality so that you experience the life that you choose to experience, instead of continuing to experience what you do not choose. I recommend that you visit the Avatar site and try out some of the mini-courses. If you are like most people, you will feel an improvement and increase in your level of consciousness just by doing one or two of these experiential exercises.
At the insistence of my daughter, I also traveled weekly to Atlanta to study the Landmark Education courses. One of the things that I discovered with Avatar which was also reflected in Landmark is that nothing in your life has meaning, until you give it meaning—what is, is merely what is, and nothing more. But, “We are meaning making machines”, according to Werner Ehrhardt, the founder of EST, which later became Landmark. In other words, if someone touches your arm, that is just someone touching your arm. It is your mind which gives it meaning, turning it into a caress, a warning, an assault, a molestation.
Both Avatar and EST/Landmark were started by former Scientology practitioners following the CIA infiltration of Scientology, when many successful practitioners found themselves disenfranchised, and the effective teachings of Hubbard replaced by ineffective ones, or by mind control techniques. A Scientology insider reveals some of these events HERE
It was also while I was at Unity church that a visiting speaker, Dr. Susan Shumsky, changed my life. Ever since my experience at age 16, I had experienced the promptings of Spirit, the Voice of God, or perhaps someone else has another name for this. But, I had never really trusted that voice, because it kept getting confused with my own mind and ego.
Dr. Susan gave a little Sunday afternoon class called “How to be Spiritually Street Smart”. In this class, she took us not only through the steps to recognize when we are hearing the voice of God speaking to us, but she also took us through a mediation, which she calls the Breakthrough, wherein we actually do have that experience of hearing the Voice of God. I subsequently studied with Dr. Susan for many years, and had my most intense and lasting spiritual experiences under her guidance. I also learned how to give that Breakthrough experience to other people, and it is something which I quite enjoy doing. Dr. Susan has also written a book entitled “How to Hear the Voice of God”, in which she takes you through the same material.
Through my studies with Susan, I have enjoyed experiences with many spiritual illuminaries, including Jesus, Mary Magdalene, St Germain, Ra/Inti/Apollo, St Michael/Sanat Kumara, Gaia/Sophia, John the Baptist, Joseph Smith, Michael, who is the expression of my Higher Self, and AAA, who is the expression of the Holy Ghost for me.
It was at a seminar with Dr. Susan Shumsky that I was connected with another guide. Mt Shasta, California, is legendary for supposedly having a city named Telos inside of it, and a few denizens of that city who occasionally walk the streets of town. In this seminar, we met with several individuals who reportedly had ascended. In addition to the physical meetings, we were taken on a mental/spiritual journey into that mountain, and we were supposed to be met by someone. I was met by St. Germain, who has a connection to that town, as well as some landmarks named after events which others had experienced with him. As I recall, he introduced me to some technology inside the mountain, such as healing pools, and a bath which would assist your body and spirit in the process of ascension. As a result of that meditation, I felt St Germain with me for many years. I feel that he guided me to explore some of the things that he was interested in, such as alchemy, longevity (and stem cells), law, gold, and the politics of sovereignty, none of which had been interesting to me prior to that experience.
Thirty years ago, I went with my then wife to Peru. She had been studying Inka shamanism for 2 years with the medical anthropologist Alberto Villoldo, and this trip was her graduation event. I was invited along for the adventure. We spent two weeks doing ceremony with the Q’ero shamans of the high Andes of Cuzco, Peru. The Q’ero had been the shamans, and perhaps the nobility, of the Incas. 500 years ago, at the time of the conquistadors, these shamans retired to the mountains, where they remained hidden until a few years ago. It was time for the Condor and the Eagle to fly together, and that is why they revealed themselves to the world. To me, the ceremonies were interesting, but not terribly moving. Still, the shamans did a ceremony with all of us which they said “planted the seeds to be a shaman”.
I did feel strong feminine energy at the Inca horticultural research site of Moray, where deep, terraced, circular depressions in the ground were planted with different varieties of corn and beans. This allowed the breeding of many different varieties in the microclimates thus created, which in turn allowed the Incas to feed an empire.
I spent another two weeks as a physician up in the Q’ero villages at 17,000 feet. But it was only on the way back to Cuzco, riding down the mountain trails on horseback, that I heard the mountains talking to me. “You have been here in the past,” they said, “And you will return. “ Subsequent past life regressions revealed at least one life as a shaman in the jungles of South America. Q’ero shamans even visited a town where I lived in the deep south of the USA, and I did ceremony with them there.
In 2012 in Ecuador, the sons of the Q’ero shamans with whom I had studied in Peru did ceremony with me again. Once again, we did the Hatun Karpay ceremony together. My life had turned full circle.
As I write this, it is the evening of 21 December, 2012, when the old cycle of time is supposed to end, and a new one begin. Thought the past few years have given an ever increasing expansion of consciousness, I suspect that the near future will surpass any expectations in that regard.
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