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

in Montana.

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

gasoline tank.

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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