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Alternative Spirituality and Religion Review

Volume 2, Issue 2, 2011

Constance A. Jones
Pages 225-247

Metaphysical Religious Movements in the United States: A Comparison of Church Universal and Triumphant, Ramtha's School of Enlightenment, and Movement of Spiritual Inner Awareness

This paper is a comparison of three new religious movements, each of which is a twentieth-century Western religious innovation that draws heavily on Eastern as well as Western traditions. The three movements have a number of beliefs and practices in common and all can be considered metaphysical, esoteric, and gnostic in orientation and function. All three of the movements have headquarters in the western region of the United States: The Church Universal and Triumphant (CUT), headed by Elizabeth Clare Prophet (1939-2009), is centered at Corwin Springs near Livingston, Montana; Ramtha's School of Enlightenment (RSE), headed by J. Z. Knight (1946-), is centered in Yelm, Washington; and the Movement of Spiritual Inner Awareness (MSIA), headed by John-Roger Hinkins (1934-), is centered in Los Angeles, California. All three have significant numbers of members outside the United States and translate their materials into non-English editions, although this comparison relates only to members within the U. S.

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