RIP Elizabeth Clare Prophet

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All apologies to detractors of Joyce Meyer, but Elizabeth Clare Prophet, who slithered off this mortal coil last Thursday, was undoubtedly the weirdest female religious figure in this country.

Prophet began her prophetic career in 1973 when her husband Mark Prophet died and she took over the leadership of the Summit Lighthouse, a group he had founded in 1957 and which combined elements of Christianity, Hinduism, Buddhism and Theosophy.

Writes William Grimes in Prophet's New York Times obituary:

In 1975, she founded the Church Universal and Triumphant, a formal religion with ceremonies and sacraments, extending the work of the Lighthouse. The religion's teachings were derived from divine messages believed to be transmitted by the Ascended Masters, a pantheon of mystic saints and sages, among them Jesus and the Theosophist master El Morya. Its worldwide membership was once estimated at 30,000 to 50,000 people.

In the late 1980s, Mrs. Prophet issued warnings of an impending nuclear strike by the Soviet Union against the United States. More than 2,000 of her followers left their homes and gathered at the church's compound near Corwin Springs, Mont., near the northern edge of Yellowstone National Park. There they began stockpiling weapons, food and clothing in underground bomb shelters.
As luck would have it, nothing happened. Don't you just hate when your prophecies don't work out?

Subsequently, though unsurprisingly, the Church Universal and Triumphant lost most of its disciples and most of its funding. Prophet did, however, continue to espouse the great cause of battling evil rock and roll.

As she stated in her rules for visitors to her Royal Teton Ranch,
Do not engage in uncontrolled anger, the use of profanity, indecent exposure, violence, harm to others, the consumption of alcohol and tobacco products, nor play rock music, jazz, rap or other associated types of music.
Her son Sean later (predictably?) wrote an essay about how the band Rush saved his life.

The good folks of WFMU radio in Jersey City have collected some of Prophet's rantings and chantings on their most excellent blog, WFMU's Beware of the Blog. (The blog's 365 Days Project remains the web's largest and finest repository of truly shitastic music.) We share them with you, for your weekend listening pleasure:

Dedication to the tackling of the beast and the dragon - the momentum of rock-n-roll
4 Preamble - Great Divine Rectors call
Decree 10-05

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