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Prophet's Daughter: My Life with Elizabeth Clare Prophet Inside the Church Universal and Triumphant Hardcover – September 24, 2008

3.9 out of 5 stars 61 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In this extraordinary memoir, Prophet pulls the curtain back on the highest levels of life inside a cult, documenting her life inside as the daughter of cult leader Elizabeth Clare Prophet, of the Church Universal and Triumphant, from her birth through 1990, when the Church's long-awaited apocalypse failed to materialize. Without judgment or reservation, but a remarkably clear-eyed view built on more than 10 years on the outside, Prophet's account reveals cult life through the complex relationship with her charismatic, manipulative mother-a figure of equal reverence and alarm. Prophet's straightforward voice makes the facts all the more disturbing and heartrending, but her empathy for her fellow sect-members is both touching and telling, drawing readers into the cult's midst almost against their instincts. Those expecting sordid tales and angry judgments will be surprised by the subtlety and seeming safety of the cult; at heart, Prophet's story is a classic coming-of-age tale, a young woman learning about the family business and facing the inevitable realization of her parent's fallibility, but on a truly awesome scale. Like her own experience, Prophet's intense tale is sure to stick with readers long after they make it through.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Before diagnosis with Alzheimer’s, a malady that eventually caused her consignment to full-time nursing care, Elizabeth Clare Prophet was founder (with second husband Mark Prophet), popularizer, and executive of the Church Universal and Triumphant, which promulgated a heady mixture of Christian Science, survivalism, UFOlogy, and syncretistic Christianity and is still active. Erin, Elizabeth Clare’s daughter, provides a disillusioned insider’s look at the church, which all four of Elizabeth Clare’s children have left. It can’t be easy being a mother with a supposedly direct line to the deity, but so it was in the Prophet household. Over time, Elizabeth Clare’s prophecies became more extreme—for instance, the one that spurred her to lead family and congregation literally underground in Montana in 1990, where they lived in a network of chambers to avoid the apocalypse. Emerging to find that the world had not ended, Erin began to reassess her mother’s teaching and eventually write this book. Good stuff about a powerful religious entrepreneur and her flock. --Mike Tribby

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Lyons Press; First Edition, 2nd printing edition (September 24, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1599214253
  • ISBN-13: 978-1599214252
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6.2 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (61 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #396,767 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

By H. Lynn on February 13, 2009
Format: Hardcover
This book deals with matters of belief and as such it tends to evoke strong emotions. Read the rest of the book reviews if you want to know what I mean. By and large they are 1 star or 5 stars depending upon whether or not the reviewer believes in the ascended masters. Since the opinions of the book are so subjective, I think it's only fair to offer some information about myself.

I was born and raised in the Church Universal and Triumphant. I was named by Elizabeth Prophet. I attended Montessori International. My family was on permanent staff during the shelter cycle and I was a child at that time. I was in the the large shelter complex in the Heart during the 'drills' in the spring of 1990.

This book is goldmine of first-hand information about the Church Universal and Triumphant and the shelter cycle. For anyone looking to answer the questions 'what actually happened?' and 'how did it come about?' this book is a great place to start.

For those of us that were present during the shelter cycle, it confirms many things that we suspected but were unable to prove. For instance, it was rumored around the cafeteria that we had acquired an armored personnel carrier. Erin confirms the presence of not one, but two APC's on church property. We believed that the church members responsible for security had acquired a stockpile of assault rifles. Erin confirms the existence of a hidden cache of AR-15's. As far as the scandal of Vernon Hamilton, Edward Francis and the weapons purchase: everyone on staff knew that permanent staff members were essentially paupers and that there was no way Vernon Hamilton was walking around with $150,000 of his own money.
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Format: Paperback
I had the fortunate opportunity to read the majority of the teachings BEFORE I read this book. This is a well written book that does not distract from the teachings whatsoever. Erin writes this book with no agenda, unlike her brother Sean, and simply presents facts as they were observed by Erin at the time that they happened. Many people have a difficult time separating the Message from the Messenger. If the Messenger makes an error in their personal life, many people are willing to throw out the entire Message or teaching because the Messenger does not portray the Godly aspect of perfection. If this was the case, we should throw out all teachings from Moses who slew a man with whom he disagreed with in ancient Egypt. We should also toss out all of the Psalms since David not only slept with another man's wife, but even made sure that the man was killed in battle so that David could take that man's wife to be his own.

Here are some very important facts gleaned from this book that can be of positive reinforcement for those on the path:

1. Erin very accurately accesses that the error that Elizabeth made was when she began to try to be a PROPHET rather than the MESSENGER. This is even described by Elizabeth herself when discussing this issue with Erin. Elizabeth stated that she needed a "seer" (whom she entrusted in the gifts of Erin) because she was unable to "see" herself. Elizabeth states that the role of Messengership is "Passive", whereas the role of "Prophet" is "Active". This means that Elizabeth passively received the messages from the ascended masters, but played no active part in their interpretation or receivership. She was simply the conduit for the messages. That is a good sign. She relayed the messages as they were received.

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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This outstanding document accomplished two extremely difficult tasks: Providing a history and human context for our mother's life, and demonstrating Erin's difficulty coming of age while faced with the expectations of following in her mother's footsteps. The story is told against a backdrop of constant crisis, "divine revelation," fame and the idolatry of followers.

It is to Erin's credit that she did a decade of research, and consulted a wide range of sources both within our family and outside of it. Her book is factually unimpeachable when it comes to its representation of the lives of our parents and the church they founded. Erin went way beyond due-diligence as an author in having her manuscript vetted and triple-checked by every member of our family.

As someone who was right by Erin's side through most of the events that make up her narrative, I can say that she made every attempt at laser-accuracy. In my view, she has also been gracious and erred on the side of protecting her parents and the feelings of church members at almost every level. As I read through the book, I was often astounded by her dispassionate and unbiased tone even when describing very painful situations. There were many less charitable ways she could have presented the information, and some earlier drafts reflected that.

I speak here specifically to those in CUT who may be disturbed by her revelations, which some have called "salacious." I ask: What better way is there to evaluate a person's ethics than how they lived? I would argue that like running for public office, the very act of raising oneself up as a "guru" invites and even demands just such scrutiny. For it is in the nuance of personal life decisions that character is revealed.
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