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Psychic Dictatorship in America Paperback – February, 2000


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 212 pages
  • Publisher: Paolini International LLC (February 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 096662131X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0966621310
  • Product Dimensions: 8.6 x 5.6 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #6,155,728 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Ashtar Command on August 2, 2013
Format: Paperback
"Psychic Dictatorship in America" by Gerald B. Bryan is a book published in 1940. It exposes the machinations and strange appetites of Guy Ballard, Edna Ballard and their bizarre religious movement, The Mighty I AM Activity. For a few years during the 1930's, this particular group had a mass following, or at least the capacity to stage mass meetings in many American cities. Its message was an eclectic melange of New Thought, Christian Science, Theosophy and American right-wing nationalism. Guy Ballard claimed to channel a host of "ascended masters", most prominently Saint Germain. The Mighty I AM Activity seems to have lost its mass appeal already during the 1940's. Decades later, its fallen mantle was taken up by a strikingly similar organization (presumably an off-shot), the Summit Lighthouse or CUT, led by Mark Prophet and Elizabeth Clare Prophet. Today, the Prophets are more well-known than the Ballards.

Judging by Bryan's account, The Mighty I AM Activity was a classical cult. Members were forbidden to socialize with outsiders (including family members). They were expected to live strictly celibate lifestyles, which destroyed many marriages. Even kissing, hugging and socializing with members of the opposite sex without a chaperon was prohibited. The cult had its own security guards known as "Minute Men" to silence critics at public meetings. Its worldview was completely paranoid, with "entities" and "black magicians" constantly threatening the faithful. Like other cults, The I AM Activity made promises it simply couldn't fulfil. It preached a kind of "prosperity gospel" and claimed that its members would soon "ascend" to Heaven in immortal bodies of Light.
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7 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Joe P. Szimhart on April 27, 2009
Format: Paperback
In the early 1980s I interviewed Gerald Bryan's widow at her home. By her account he was a kind-hearted man with a yearning to find truth. G Bryan was a chiropractor who dabbled with the I AM beliefs until he noted the extensive harm the Ballard's perpetrated not only through their wild claims about channeling St Germain and the power of I AM decrees, but also for leaving behind so many broken families and financially and psychologically damaged ex-members.

Bryan addressed these issues in pamphlets he distributed himself then compiled into a self-published book. Sure, this was not academically peer-reviewed scholarship but the evidence to support what he wrote is there if one cares to look. Every Ballard plagiarism he cited I have confirmed on my own. During the late 1970s I knew many I AM members and read every one of their books as well as dozens of I AM "Voices." In my view Bryan could have gone much further in deconstructing this quasi-fascist Theosophy sect had he the resources. His book has been a blessing to all who yearn for a clearer idea of just what was behind the Ballards and their bizarre movement.
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Peter P. Fuchs on August 29, 2010
Format: Paperback
This is a marvelous book, for which I actually paid a lot of money for a first edition years ago when it was out of print. It was brought to my mind by the recent event on the National Mall, the apotheosis of Glenn Beck's fraudulence. But when I heard Beck on Fox News later trying to justify his event to Chris Wallace I became aware of the probable source of a lot of his rhetorical style. The Ballards, too, were very fond of telling people to discover the truth of themselves. Quite amazing, given their doctrinal assertions which were dictatorial. They would say things like....Don't accept what I am saying, find out for yourself. Of course that came with the quick de facto auto-suggestion that you might as well accept the outlandish truth they are putting forth. It is the psychic bait- and- switch of Beck's that reminds me so much of the Ballards'. And that is why I think this book is an important historical corrective for the blandishments that once again tempt this country. Add to it the very right-wing hyper-Patriotism that the Ballards used and you have Beck's real play-book. Whether or not he studied the Ballards themselves in the religious quest he undertook, he is in touch with religious huckstering playbook they developed. (Blavatstky may be in the background, but she was more of just an ultimately benign party girl, she didn't have the crowd control ambitions.) This explains a lot in a way. Beck in fact doesn't sound like many other Mormons I have ever heard. And that is meant as a compliment to Mormons, But I realize now he sounds a lot like the Depression era cult leaders described in this book. It really devolves more to a nexus of stylistic tropes.Read more ›
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11 of 17 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 8, 2002
Format: Paperback
After many years out of print, I applaud the publisher putting Psychic Dictatorship in America back into print. Without Gerald Bryan's book, the history of the Mighty I AM would be lost. Unfortunately, history has gotten repeated over and over again with the continuation of belief in the cockamamie ideas espoused by the Ballards and the Mighty I AM.

Psychic Dictatorship in America is a sometimes hilarious, incredible, and sad story of how an out-of-work broke couple decided to start their own religion and following of sycophants who jumped when they said jump.

It's always amazing to me the credulity of believers who swallow this pap.

Jim Rizzo
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