To the editors:

I would like to respond to C.C. Pyle’s article, “Our Bodies, Their Selves,” on channeling, published in the January 15 Reader.

It is apparent from the disorganization of the material that Mr. Pyle was simply out of his element–resulting in a report much like one would expect of a typical first grader attempting to describe his day in a graduate-level physics class. Pyle’s self-admission of being confused, that concepts were “vague” and distinctions beyond him hardly renders him a qualified analyst of the topic. Anyone who can draw a parallel between Shirley MacLaine and St. Paul obviously has not comprehended the writings of either.

I have diligently pursued the spiritual path under many different teachers and disciplines for twenty years now, and decided long ago that channeling (my own or anyone else’s) is not a legitimate avenue for one who seeks to attain spiritual oneness with the Godhead. I categorize channeling in much the same vein as the magicians of Pharaoh’s court in Moses’ time. They possessed convincing powers, but the powers were proven counterfeit when Aaron’s rod-turned-serpent swallowed up the rods-turned-serpents of the sorcerers. (See Exodus 7:10-13.) You can find parallel teachings in Hinduism, Buddhism, and elsewhere, in which the humble “man of God” possesses the ultimate power over the blustery “entertainers.”

Imagine my surprise, then, when I found Church Universal and Triumphant sandwiched in between the stories about channels, for it is the one teaching I have found to contain ultimate Truth in my twenty-year search. (I have been a member of Church Universal and Triumphant for over ten years now.) Poor Mr. Pyle couldn’t make the distinction between what Elizabeth Clare Prophet does and channeling, but then maybe he sees no distinction between Aaron’s rod and the magicians’ either.

How easy it is to appear clever–warning people to watch their wallets and speaking of yuppies and enlightenment on a MasterCard. Perhaps this is true of the magicians; I myself have blanched at the fees charged to hear some of the channeled entities. But I’ll bet Mr. Pyle didn’t pay a penny to hear the videotaped dictation by Saint Germain. In all my years of studying the Teachings of the Ascended Masters, I have never heard Saint Germain refer to us as “poor schlubs,” but perhaps Mr. Pyle was simply trying to include all of us in his own personal self-identification.

And perhaps he’s correct in his assessment. Anyone who can describe Elizabeth Clare Prophet’s teachings as a mixture of Hindu ideas with “standard mystical mumbo jumbo” and then say it bears an “eerie” resemblance to fundamentalist Christianity truly is as confused as he confesses.

For the record, Elizabeth Clare Prophet is the anointed Messenger for the Great White Brotherhood–an office that requires lifetimes of preparation at a level of spiritual discipleship far beyond what most people are willing to bear. It has been said that for every 10,000 spiritual seekers, one sets his/her foot on the path of discipleship. And for every 10,000 disciples, one attains the goal of mastery.

The true spiritual path is not the way of the dilettante. Yes, we all have innate psychic powers and yes, it is easy to channel entities, which come from a level of the astral plane which can probably best be described as the conglomerate world desire body. (Take a quick review of every single desire you’ve had in this lifetime–lofty or lascivious–and then multiply that by the number of human beings who now live or ever have lived on this planet. Pool it all together, and that is the place where entities hang out.) The Ascended Masters teach from the spiritual, etheric octave, and the Messenger does not “pass out” or vacate her body to let somebody else speak through her. The Messenger, in full conscious awareness, raises her consciousness to the level of the Christ and then transmits the message of the Master as would an amanuensis. There is a difference, and it is tangible to the normal listener.

Lest the distinction between Messenger and channel remain unclear, a fair study can be made from the Old Testament prophets, for their anointing was the same as that of the Messenger. For example, Elijah was the anointed prophet of the Lord, but at one time had to contend with 450 so-called “prophets” of Baal. He challenged them to a test of fire. Read I Kings 18:17-39, and see who won.

As to the non sequitur paragraph citing lawsuits and the Cult Awareness Network, I can simply say it is a “pyle” of garbage. “Anti-cult” groups have been repeatedly exposed as financially lucrative little scams for people who like to play on other people’s fears, and anyone can easily procure a list of lawsuits they have engendered for kidnapping, harassment, and battery, among other things.

The point is: anyone can squawk, “destructive!” and anyone can critique anything from a point of gross ignorance. Judging by the amount of text devoted to each topic, Mr. Pyle apparently preferred the warm and fuzzy feelings of sitting barefoot in a channeling session to the spiritual path as set forth by Church Universal and Triumphant. That’s not surprising. At least he knows how to find their chapter “on Ashland near Pratt in Rogers Park.” I suggest he pay them a visit sometime (free of charge) and try to become unconfused.

M.J. Rizzo

E. Chestnut