Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Church Universal and Triumphant
The Church Universal and Triumphant is a New Age new religious movement and organization founded by Mark L. Prophet and Elizabeth Clare Prophet. It is one of the branches of The Summit Lighthouse and its church groups can be found in many cities throughout the world.
CUT theology is a syncretistic belief system, including elements of Buddhism, Christianity, esoteric mysticism, the paranormal, alchemy and belief in elves, fairies, and other entities it calls elementals. It revolves chiefly around communications channeled from Ascended Masters. Many such as El Morya , Kuthumi , and St. Germain have their roots in the theosophy of Madame Blavatsky. Others such as Buddha and Jesus are historical religious figures.
Mark, and later Elizabeth, claimed to be a messenger of the Ascended Masters . As messengers they were able to communicate with these masters and became the on earth voice of these masters. They claimed to receive dictations from the masters which were published weekly as "Pearls of Wisdom".
Group members practice prayers, affirmations, mantras, and a dynamic form of prayer known as decrees. These serve many purposes: devotion, calling to angels for protection from forces of darkness, calling forth the light of God on earth, praying for healing, for wisdom, asking to know God's will, and for the transmutation of karma.
Mark Prophet came in contact with Ancient Wisdom groups through The Bridge to Freedom, a splinter of the I AM Movement led by Geraldine Innocent (d.1961) . Innocent had been a member of the I AM Movement, but left I AM in 1952 begin her own group. Prophet studied with the Bridge to Freedom until 1958, when he split to form his own organization. In 1961, Mark met Elizabeth Clare Wulf and they married in 1964. Wulf, subsequently Elizabeth Clare Prophet, had grown up under influences including New Thought, Asian religion, Christian Science, Swedenborgianism, and Roman Catholicism.
In the mid 1960's, the Prophets moved their church to Colorado Spring, CO. They gradually gained a small following, founded a restaurant, a printing company, and Summit University -- a religious study center for teaching of the ancient wisdon. They later moved to Santa Barbara, California. In February, 1973 Mark Prophet passed on, leaving his wife as leader.
The church became best known publicly when during the 1980s it predicted nuclear apocalypse and retreated en masse from California to land it acquired just north of Yellowstone National Park. Members were urged to liquidate their wealth for the final days and prepare for the end in underground bunkers with supplies and weapons. When the civilized world did not end on the date Prophet foretold, she explained that the community had averted the war through their prayers. Many adherents were left in debt or bankruptcy in the unexpected result, however, and bad debts by members forced the closure of one hardware store in nearby Livingston, Montana. Following this episode church membership fell off significantly; the CUT remains a significant presence in the area with some international following, though not like in its heyday, during which its arrival nearly doubled the population of Park County, Montana. With its decline in membership, the church was forced to downsize its land holdings in the first years of the 2000s with sales back to the U.S. government.
Prophet developed Alzheimer's disease in the late 1990's and is today in hospice care in Bozeman, Montana. The church is under the direction of a two-person presidency with a board of directors and a council of elders.
Yet with the decline of Elizabeth Clare Prophet, many new messengers, unsanctioned by the church, have risen to give dictations. One of these ministers, the former CUT minister Monroe Shearer, leads a new activity, The Temple of the Presence .
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