Article

Mark Prophet, The Man and the Myth: Part 2

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Mark and Elizabeth Prophet leading a service at La Tourelle (Colorado Springs) Early 1970s

by Peter Arnone

Continued from Part 1

Favoritism and Punishment: Dishing out Past Lives

Old enough to be her father, Mark was smitten with the sweet young thing, even such that both were already married. Elizabeth though, had more on her mind than serving her messenger. She would have to wait however, for a time and a half a time, for her rising ambition to be realized. Oddly enough, Mark continued to go up the mountain and carry back the word of God throughout their affair. This marked the first "dispensation" in the history of the Summit Lighthouse/Church Universal and Triumphant. From thence, for Messengers of the Great White Brotherhood and prophets of God, fornication was acceptable.

History was going to repeat itself in about another decade. But in the meantime, all the ladies and gentlemen of the Summit Lighthouse had no idea what was going on behind closed doors between Mark and Elizabeth in Washington, D.C. They had no idea the messenger, and messenger-in-waiting, were not the paragons of virtue they were led to believe. When their marriage was announced, there was no disputing the reunion of "twin flames." What God had joined together, through cosmic family planning, He had reunited. And let no man criticize, condemn, and judge, or attempt to put asunder.

Unlike Elizabeth, Mark was a product of the Great Depression. He knew the value of a dollar and held on to what he earned tenaciously: namely, his Summit Lighthouse organization and child bride. Anyone who threatened his success was not only his enemy, but became the enemy of God. To his followers, Mark, the Beloved Messenger of the Great White Brotherhood’s Ascended Masters, was their one and only link between God and man. He let this be known on no uncertain terms. At the onset, fear and intimidation were tools of the trade for Mark L. Prophet. Guilt would be added to the messenger’s arsenal.

The Summit Lighthouse began as an ego-driven organization. Past incarnations of the rich and famous, the high and mighty, and the holiest of holy, were awarded those with the financial wherewithal and ability Mark desperately needed to jump start his organization and keep his ship afloat. The cream of the cream, however, were reserved for Mark and Elizabeth, and their children. Men and women within the Summit were bestowed knighthood for their support above and beyond the call of duty to El Morya (King Arthur) and Saint Germain (Merlin the Magician). And of course Mark (Lancelot) and Elizabeth (Guinevere). While Mark arrived a few centuries too late to traffic in the sale of indulgences, he was able to capitalize on a gimmick that was the brainstorm of his predecessors, Guy and Edna Ballard and their egregious I AM Activity: "the ascension chair." Mark’s followers would sit in a special seat which was nothing more than a nice chair. He would read the karmic record of their auras, weigh them in the balance, and pronounce how close they were to eternal salvation. You could take a wild guess who were the closest. They were Mark’s best supporters. But woe unto those who became the enemies of Mark. Even if you were a member of the Summit Lighthouse, if you rubbed Mark the wrong way you could end up as one of the great villains of history. Among others, such was the case for two couples who, according to Mark, were the infamous Jezebel and Ahab, and Ananias and Sapphira of the Bible. The Pinocchio Syndrome was in high gear.

Once the Summit Lighthouse was underway, the conferring of prominent past incarnations diminished, knighting ceremonies became a rarity, and the ascension chair was abolished. Mark’s phenomenal stories gleaned from his occult studies were no longer necessary to attract members, but were in fact becoming counterproductive. You no longer heard how black Africans were a sub-human evolution. Their money was as green as everyone else’s. The sub-human "Mole People" who lived beneath the surface of the earth were rarely discussed as members were becoming too sophisticated for such stories. Likewise, entering the inner cavity of the earth through large portals at the North and South Poles. Mark dispensed with his assertion the sun was really only a few million miles from the earth. And the "Rumford Coil Effect," whereby one person would infect another’s behavior merely by being within proximity of their "auric-forcefield" also fell along the way.

Mark’s unique claim was that he was not a psychic channel. He despised those frauds and false prophets on no uncertain terms. He was a pure instrument of God receiving God’s messages for God’s children the same as God’s prophets had for all time: via the Ascended Masters. Mark claimed to be the latest in the unbroken lineage of God’s messengers.

Mark explained there were three methods that God delivered His words to him by way of the Masters through their dictations:

#1 – Words of living fire, spiritual words that only Mark could see, passed before his eyes like a ticker tape. He simply read the Ascended Master’s message that passed before him.

#2 – "Ex cathedra." The Ascended Master would take control of Mark’s tongue and vocal chords to deliver the message. Mark told what an awesome feeling it was to have the master flapping his jaw during the process while he just stood there and listened.

#3 – There must be absolute silence. (It also had to be quiet for #1 and #2. Apparently Mark never knew the exact method the dictation would be delivered until it started.) Mark’s hearing would be physically amplified by the Ascended Master in order for him to hear the Master speaking out of the "Great Silence." Mark would repeat the words of the Master to the gathering. Mark told how disconcerting any noise was. He said that if a pin dropped it sounded like a stomping elephant. Mark never explained how his own voice neither overpowered the Master’s nor shattered his eardrums.

We were told that El Morya and Saint Germain walked the halls of La Tourelle regularly. This was the name given by Mark to the magnificent mansion that housed the Summit Lighthouse international headquarters. It was for the tower that graced its frontside. Every now and then Mark would be talking to staff in the kitchen and interrupt the conversation stating the "Master" wanted to say something. Somehow, it didn’t make sense. How did he carry on informal conversations with the Master in the kitchen and pass the message on to us? There were no words of living fire, no flapping of his jaw, and Mark wasn’t grimacing in pain because of the noisy dishwasher. Go figure.

The Ascended Masters would appear to Mark regularly. After the February 1971 Sylmar earthquake, Mark came storming into the mail room announcing what we already knew. He said the "Maha Chohan" had appeared to him that morning telling him the earthquake was going to happen. But we staff weren’t allowed to know about it until afterwards. We weren’t allowed to decree and stave off the catastrophe in Los Angeles where we had many Summit members. It was their karma.

One evening, Mark broke into a service to announce the ascension of Mama Ballard, leader of the I AM Activity. He said she had just appeared to him in an upstairs hallway. Coincidentally, word had just leaked to the Summit through normal channels that Mama had died. While Mama never approved of Mark in life, in death she gave him her blessing. While Saint Germain was speaking from on high to both, he could never convince Mama that Mark was the real McCoy. Anyway, Mama now apologized and wished Mark the best since he and Elizabeth were presently the only living authorized messengers of an Ascended Master activity.

Mark Prophet was the Bishop of the Summit Lighthouse. In Colorado Springs he once spoke at the Unitarian church. He also associated a bit with Billy James Hargis, a Baptist minister who headed the Christian Crusade in Oklahoma City. It wasn’t for Hargis’ religious views that he did so, but his political ideology. One of the Summit Lighthouse group leaders even included a Unity minister. Mark was not interested in ecumenism. Mark’s non-Summit religious connections were solely to give advantage to himself and the Summit. All other religions and their leaders were not held in high regard by Mark. They were his adversaries. Coarse references were made to Bishop Pike, Krishnamurti, Swami Rama, the Mormon Church, Judaism, Catholicism, and organized religion in general. Mark never held your religious background against you, though. Once you were a member of his flock, all was forgiven.

Though Mark was a large man, he was awkward. He could have been pummeled by a much smaller person. His primary weapon, as well as defense, was his voice. He could thunder and roar. On numerous occasions he intimidated staff into submission with his booming tirades. But this was only after he knew they were defenseless. It was only after Mark knew they believed he was the messenger of God and feared him. Otherwise, they would have walked out, kicked his butt, or both.

In the real world, Mark Prophet would never have gotten away with his verbal abusiveness. However, this was not limited to tongue-lashing. For those he knew he could get away with it, Mark could be physically violent. But before I get ahead of myself, let me go back to my own beginning. Let me tell some "Mark" stories.

It was January 3rd, 1971. The Summit Lighthouse New Year’s conference in Colorado Springs had ended the night before. This morning I would be interviewed by Mark Prophet regarding my request to join the Summit staff. I sat before him in his office with two friends from upstate New York who also wanted to join, Jack and Ron. We were in our early twenties. Each of us had left college to join staff. We were all accepted, on condition. Each of us had to promise Mark we would never write a book on the Summit Lighthouse. Wherever he was coming from, none of us knew. But it seemed like a reasonable request, so we all agreed.

Ron had to return to New York to wrap up some personal matters. He would be back in a couple of weeks. Jack and I stayed, and were immediately ushered into a staff meeting conducted by Mark. Elizabeth was there also. All I can remember of that meeting was Elizabeth warning the entire staff that to leave, to abandon this great opportunity afforded our souls, would result in 10,000 years of karma. Wherever she was coming from, I had no idea. But only for the time being.

Mark was the lord and master of the manor. He prowled the halls of La Tourelle. We were about 40 staff members at that time, working in different departments throughout the complex. Most of us lived and slept in the buildings also. When Mark came by you were immediately at attention. You never knew when he was peering into your aura or reading your mind. You never knew when he would call you on some shortcoming. And you never knew, day and night, when he might show up. Soon, you entered a perpetual state of preparedness. You were always on guard. To the best of your ability you were always on your best behavior. You were always concerned the messenger of God might call you on the carpet. Mark called staff members on the carpet all the time, in front of whoever was present, or in staff meetings. You were relieved when it wasn’t you.

It became apparent that staff members were always a little nervous in the presence of Mark. It was a game for him to read your body language and probe. Occasionally he would strike paydirt. When he discovered something out of the ordinary it was testimony to his powers of vision. And he, and Elizabeth, would let everybody know about it.

Mark would not only castigate staff members in front of others, he would also do it behind their backs. He never forgot. After you were reprimanded he would be friendly to your face. But when you were away, even days or weeks later, he would still be harping on how rebellious you were. The message was clear. You certainly didn’t want him talking about you that way behind your back. So you had better be extra careful, and extra good in everything you did. In fact, it must be good enough to merit the approval of Mark and Elizabeth. Since it took Saint Germain two million "right decisions" to earn his ascension, you had better not waste any opportunity. You felt pretty puffed up when the messenger confided in you what a jerk some other person was. You must be special.

If Mark Prophet was the disciple of any master, it was Machiavelli. Divide and conquer, pitting one against another in the most subtle way, and under the guise of religion, was Mark’s specialty. As long as he remained the king of the mountain, as long as he got his way and what he wanted, even revenge, it didn’t make any difference who became a casualty. Over many years, this tact was honed to a fine art by his wife Elizabeth.

There were three small dining rooms where the staff ate at La Tourelle: the main kitchen, the angel dining room, and the violet dining room where the messengers and their family always ate. After a few weeks that I was on staff, Mark issued an edict that staff were no longer welcome in the violet dining room because they had been disrespectful in not showing up to eat with the messengers. It was no wonder. To eat with Mark was always to experience indigestion. He was always turned on. You could never relax in his presence. It was by no accident that Gilbert became Mark’s full-time companion. He was an extremely mellow and likable fellow. I think his influence saved Mark from going off the deep end on a number of occasions. And saved the rest of us from going nuts.

Next in Part 3: The Staff Meetings


Comments (14 comments)

AmenAS/H&F: .) / November 8th, 2008, 5:19 pm / #1

Birds of a Feather Flock together. Peter arnone hasn't made any reference to his own contribution for having been part of SLH/CUT & misleading generartions.

His account's are all over the place, I find his writting scattered & not well laid out..

Black Sun Journal » Mark Prophet, The Man and the Myth: Part 3 / November 9th, 2008, 12:40 am / #2

[…] Continued from Part 2 […]

Nina / November 9th, 2008, 1:43 pm / #3

With all of the idolatry and myths around Mark’s persona, even with ex-members who have denounced Elizabeth for her power abuse, I am grateful that Peter went through the tremendous and painstaking effort to write such a detailed account of the early Summit Lighthouse days. It’s very helpful. The way I know Peter, he is a man of integrity even if he disagrees with Sean’s views around religion and spirituality.

I also thank Sean for publishing this account. If he had been petty and on a big ego trip and had taken Peter’s criticisms personally, I am sure that he would not have posted Peter’s account. Thanks, Sean for rising above all the drama involved with personal accusations with such grace, and gifting all of us with these precious gems of insight into the psychology and behaviors of Mark as a cult leader.

BlackSun / November 9th, 2008, 5:37 pm / #4

Nina,

Thanks. Of my parents, the legacy of my dad is the toughest nut to crack. He set the rules, and the tone for CUT, and trained my mom in everything she did. She was the first “chela” and had it the hardest. She talked little about this period except to say that it was an intensive three years of breaking down her “human will” and molding her to be a messenger.

She talked to us kids of one time where she had worn a red dress against dad’s wishes. My dad supposedly unleashed an astral insect which attached itself to her neck causing physical pain for several days. He was attempting to illustrate to her the spiritual consequences of wearing that color, which he claimed were the siphoning off of a person’s life force through their neck. (Sound famliar? Vampire folklore?) I’ve always been amazed at the power for believers of such psychosomatic illusions. But when you consider that the mind constructs every aspect of our perceptions, you realize it’s not that hard to willfully engage and concretize such notions.

All that aside, I often thought of this incident as having been particularly cruel and revolting. “Disobey me, and you will feel physical and spiritual pain.” It’s intensive reverse Pavlovian conditioning.

But few people in the organization saw this part of him, they only heard his tapes and the puffed-up stories of healings and miracles. So his legendary status was secure, immune from the type of day-to-day encounters and vindictiveness that later soured many people on my mom.

But as you can see from Peter’s accounts, my dad was also authoritarian, vengeful, petty and venal. Unlike mom, he died without seeing the error of his ways.

AmenAS/H&F: .) / November 9th, 2008, 9:14 pm / #5

I remember ECP’s lecture on her disobedience in wearing that red dress. Mark didn’t unleash an insect. She felt an entity lach on her neck after she wore it, defying Mark after his warning. She went to Mark asking him to please help her get rid of it. This was a significant moment for me to hear such a thing because as in the spanish spiritual community, my mother did as her grandmother did to me every morning. My mother would take holy water or flower water, blessing it & with some of it on her hands swipe my neck & shake her hands from any demons, entities, evil spirits & negative energies. The lecture ECP gave was for us to use with the swords that came out in the 1990’s. Concentrating on weilding the sword on the areas demons, evil spirits, entities lach on. The neck being one of them. This is an ancient belief actually.
Mr.Arnone might be informing us on significant characteristics on the Prophet’s but so is he on the spinelessness of all of us empowering these individuals because we didn’t know how to lead our own lives.
Everyone’s smoochyness, pity & sympathy is sickening. You all sound like children not taking any responsibility for your sillyness for having empowered this organisation aswell ! Peter Arnone’s integrity is no more or less than the man he’s writing about. It’s to bad there isn’t anyone out there to write about Peter Arnone. We all are human & every person has skeleton’s in thier closets. Man this all goes back to the relationships with our own mother’s & father’s, our parent’s. Instead of scolding one self everyone’s scolding these individuals, showing how much power they had over thier member’s & why. For real! The whole world didn’t follow like many of us did. Amazing! why? I find the same thing happing with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latterr Day Saint’s. People are incomplete & when a person fill’s that void, they stick to that person filling it, even if they show abuse or a superiority in this or that, that reflect our own imperfection, thinking, psychology, opinions. In other words, we are with people in our life because we too are like them for the time we are with them. That’s why people aren’t married forever, friends with friends forever, children abused tend to end up abusers themselves. It’s nut’s but it’s how it works sometimes. Life.
At the end anything written about anyone is thier own, I wasn’t there. I know what I know from my own little experience’s with ECP, her kids & so much with staff at the Royal Teton Ranch, Chicago & Washington DC. & my step father’s friendship with Sean.
I’m not impressed with Mr.Arnone’s style of writting & coarse judgement like he’s such a victim!For goodness sakes, he was a grown man, an adult, when he entered SLH, not a minor! He fails to make any reference to why he handed his life to them to begin with?! My inner child’s just hissy pissy with all the adult’s in SLH/CUT who I hold accountable aswell to contributing in misleading all of us kids along with the Prophets. They didn’t make the organisation all by themselves!
Yes, at the end it’s good of him to finally write a book to share with all of us & the generations to come. But as we all know, history is as it’s written not as it was. Recent research has shown with individuals as recently as 911, everyone who was part of the test failed in remembering in 7 yr’s time what they wrote or remembered fresh from the tragedy. Their writtings were off in much of what they originally wrote just 7yr’s later. This was in a magazine & all over the news from the magazine’s article.

becky lipinski / November 9th, 2008, 11:45 pm / #6

Amen: Haven’t read this section yet, but the neck-latching insect seems the stuff of truly bad fantasy fiction! Not having grown up in the CUT sect (and having been afforded the unique privilege of seeing my father as a highly flawed human being), it defies credulity that anyone would possibly take these things seriously. Of course, dogma is built piece by piece…and when you accept the improbable, it’s not a far stretch to accept the impossible.
I do agree that human beings need to stop seeing themselves as victims or as unwitting pawns of “BAD” people. My advice to anyone: don’t give your power away to others.

AmenAS/H&F: .) / November 10th, 2008, 3:15 am / #7

Becky,
yes, yes, yes…Peter Arnone shows me he has alot of growth to still achieve. His remarks about Sean solidified that when I got to that part.
I want to say you are an example of a person who didn’t fall into your father’s mesmerizing seduction. You & your siblings didn’t do what other children have done to be accepted by parent’s who’ve neglected them. This says alot about all of you. You & your siblings, your Mother aswell, could have joined knowing this would have made your Dad very happy & most likely get all & more of what you all needed. Your mother stayed her ground of integrity, so did the rest of you. And for this, that I see, individuals as your self are persons in life I have learned so much from. It is figures like yourself that helped me see thru such a veil of obedience & remnant idiolitry to M.L. & E.C. Prophet. I say remnant because my Mom taught me not to believe & accept everything the messengers said. That I had to develop my own dicernament. Odd ha?! Idolitry was the last thing I felt I ever did. But yet I was doing it at other levels & it was some of the reason why/how it all fell apart when I realised it. My life shattered. I had to find my self as if I was just born. It’s been dificult but I’m getting there little by little. Just weird moments I find myself realising I’m doing something because of the teachings or having a hard time realising what I really feel about this or that because how much the teachings were ingrained in me. Then realising I feel the way I do because I do, not because the teachings. Like alcohol, I hate it. I don’t care for it and don’t ever want it in my house. But have friends who like to enjoy it & they do in their homes or outside at restaurants, limiting to only one drink, if it’s wine, three if it’s beer, when they’re with me. See, I can’t be a designated driver, I don’t know how to drive & have seen with my own eyes male friends who think they can hadle 4-6 beers. My foot !!! and my Grandmother, not Grt GrNdma, my Mother’s Mom was an alcoholic. The smell reminds me of all the awfull things my Mom told me she went thru because of Grnd mom’s alcohol abuse. Seperating this all out from the teachings running thru my head was challenging but got done step by step.
Keep writting in Becky. BSJ needs your in put ! ! ! ! !

amina / November 11th, 2008, 6:20 am / #8

HI Amen
sweet heart
I agree you kids were abused by all the adults in CUT
it’s hard to recognize, but indeed there was abuse against all kids in CUT
I take it also for myself, although there was not much I could have done to help, since I also believed it was the ultimate plzace to be on earth and thouht how lucky all the kids were to be born in CUT
plus they were all supposed to be some avatars of some kind to have chosen CUT family (per say of the Masters)
you see how deep we were all brain washed
just a word about what you say concerning the possibility of ”
not believing what the Masters’ (or ECP) said” and do “accordingly with what your own Christ self says”
that’s the perfect example of double-bind message that is used to manipulate peoople because it’s impossible to hold down to it
it’s bullshit, because in this organization, you could never do as you pleased or you has really bas guilt and fear arising, like in every cult
it was a lie to keep us hooked even more

AmenASH&F / November 11th, 2008, 7:50 am / #9

Hello Amina, my dear human sister, thk u!
I’m attentively reading your imput very much too.
It (your input) really supplements the discusions & comments.

becky lipinski / November 11th, 2008, 10:44 am / #10

Hi, Amen–
Thanks to you too for sharing so much of your personal experience! You’ve survived a tremendous amount of trauma and I hope you give yourself credit for that. Of course, you retain bitterness (you’re human, how could you not?) but you’ve also reclaimed your individuality and spunk!
I shouldn’t have mentioned Dan, since I’m not sure how he would feel about being discussed. Suffice it to say that he lives in Virginia, owns and operates a craft store, is married and the father of two grown children.
You know, I now find myself wondering if I could have done some good by speaking about some of these things earlier. With the exception of my younger siblings, I never really confronted the fact that there would be children ensnared by CUT and inevitably damaged. I sympathize with many of the adults too–by all accounts, most of them were good people who were searching for truth and community– but they made the mistake of giving all their power to persuasive (and eventually unbalanced) “gurus.” I think we need to be our own gurus. Or to put it in sillier terms: if our life was a movie, wouldn’t we want to write, direct, and star in it? :)
Take care, B.

AmenASHandF / November 11th, 2008, 7:54 pm / #11

Becky thk u,
I’m so glad to hear your brother is married, self imployed doing his own buisness and with children! Good for him and so totally awesome!
If & when he finds out you mentioned his name, just tell him he’s now immortalised for eternity. All his Greatgrand kids will look him up and go WoW ! there’s Greatgrandad Dan or Uncle!
It’s really fun to look up & learn about ancestors, relatives in history. How fun!
Looking forward to more of your input !
Amen, Happy&Free

becky lipinski / November 13th, 2008, 11:32 pm / #12

Thank you, Amen.

Roark Barron / January 22nd, 2013, 6:44 pm / #13

Do you, or anyone out there, know what became of Donald Ballard, son of the original I AM cult founders. I have read that he died in 1973, in Tarzana, California of a massive heart attack on the supposed day he was putting to print his expose book on his parents bizarre organization. He was born in 1918, the same year as Mark Prophet. He was groomed, [a bit like Krisnamurti was] to be the next big thing in accredited messengers. Some claim his book was then covered up and never published after his death by the original I Am foundation's board. He would have had a lot to say, like only he could, similar to you being part of the family and growing up with this limited, yet privileged world around him. His Mother, Edna Ballard [lotus ray king] died in 1971. I sense a story in all this.

Doris Tracey / February 10th, 2015, 11:56 am / #14

Mark Prophet stated to a class he was giving in the early 70's that he could make people think he was the most terrible person in the world. This was in one of his many discourses on cosmic law…The majestic sense of victory!

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