PROPHET MISSES ARMAGEDDON, AGAIN
Elizabeth Clare Prophet, leader of the Church Universal and
Triumphant, once again has misled her followers with doomsday
After consulting astrological charts that indicated grave
danger in the months of March and April 1990, Prophet directed
her followers to retreat to bomb shelters at a church-owned site
The faithful waited. March and April passed and no Doomsday
occurred. However, the cult did get in trouble with
environmental authorities who detected a leak from a church-owned
The woman whom the faithful followed was born Elizabeth (Betty)
Clare Wulf in 1939 in Red Bank, N.J. From age 9 until 18 she
attended a Christian Science church. She graduated from Boston
University and went to work at Christian Science church
headquarters in Boston.
There she met and married Dag Ytreberg, the first of her four
husbands. At the same time Mark L. Prophet was starting a
storefront church in Washington, D.C. He called it the Summit
In 1961, Wulf heard Prophet at a Boston meeting. She later
left Ytreberg and married Prophet and returned to his church in
Washington. The church had little money and fewer than 100
members. However, the couple combined their talents and soon the
church had enough money to move to Colorado Springs, Colo. Here
the church quickly attracted followers from the counterculture
movement of the mid-60s. Among these new converts were Randall
Kosp and Edward Francis.
According to Kosp, the Prophets had fierce quarrels over
control of the church. In February 1973, Mark Prophet died of a
stroke. Many people quit the church. Nine days after Prophet
died, Elizabeth secretly married Kosp. Six month later, the
marriage was made public and official in Idaho. However, Eliza-
beth retained the surname Prophet and requested that Kosp change
his name to King.
King made some bad investments which spurred an investigation
by the Internal Revenue Service. Fearing the loss of non-profit
status, the church changed its name to The Church Universal and
Triumphant and moved to California, where it bought a former
Nazarene college in Pasadena in 1976. In 1978, the church moved
to what Elizabeth called "Camelot," a 260-acre estate in the
southern San Fernando Valley. Shortly after moving to the new
site, Elizabeth charged King with infidelity, divorced him and
had him excommunicated from the church.
In 1981, Elizabeth married her fourth and current husband, Ed
Francis, whose wife had previously left the sect and divorced
him. That same year, the church bought Malcolm Forbes' 12,000-
acre ranch near Livingston, Mont. The church bought more land,
bringing its holdings in the Livingston area to 30,000 acres.
During the mid-80s, lawsuits from former members, which charged
brainwashing, arose against the church. Elizabeth sold the
"Camelot" property and moved her headquarters to the Montana
ranch on the northern border of Yellowstone National Park.
The sect claims 150,000 members, who refer to Elizabeth as
"Guru Ma" and consider her statements to be direct words of God.
The New Age group adheres to a mixture of Western and
Eastern theology. Reincarnation, karma, astrology and belief in
power from crystals are among the church's beliefs. Prophet
claims that in past lives she was Queen Guinevere, Marie
Antoinette, and someone who sat at the feet of Jesus.
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