The Church Universal and Triumphant: Background information when reading The Shelter Cycle

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reading Guide |  Reviews |  Beyond the Book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

The Shelter Cycle

by Peter Rock

The Shelter Cycle by Peter Rock X
The Shelter Cycle by Peter Rock
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    Apr 2013, 224 pages
    Paperback:
    Apr 2014, 224 pages

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
Morgan Macgregor

Buy This Book

About this Book

Beyond the Book:
The Church Universal and Triumphant

Print Review

The inspiration for The Shelter Cycle came from the author, Peter Rock's experiences with the Church Universal and Triumphant, a religious sect he came into contact with while working on a sheep and cattle ranch near Yellowstone Park in the early 1990s.

The Church Universal and Triumphant is a religious organization founded in 1975 by Elizabeth Clare Prophet. Its beliefs are based on the wisdom of the "ascended masters," a group of enlightened human beings - "joint heirs with the Christ" - who had once been human, and who now distill wisdom through Elizabeth Clare Prophet. The church was founded to further the goals of The Summit Lighthouse, which was founded in 1958 by Mark L. Prophet (husband of Elizabeth Clare Prophet).

Elizabeth Prophet The main form of worship practiced is a kind of rhythmic chanting prayer called decrees. The decrees call on angels, elementals (nature spirits) and the ascended masters to help bring about protection, wisdom, healing and elimination of negative karma on earth.

The religion, which has local congregations in approximately 20 countries, is generally considered to be part of the New Age movement. It blends aspects of both eastern and western religions, theosophy, mysticism and the paranormal. It became the object of attention and scandal during the 1980s, when it predicted that the end of the world would arrive on March 15, 1990. Believing that Soviet missile strikes (the catalyst for the apocalypse) were imminent, the church, which owned a 6,000-acre piece of land bordering Yellowstone National Park – named "Royal Teton Ranch" –spent three years building fallout shelters and preparing to live underground for up to seven years. These three years became known as "the shelter cycle."

On March 15, 1990, thousands of members of the church went underground, only to resurface the next day and discover that nuclear war had not occurred. Some members of the church defected, but many stayed, believing that their decrees had prevented the apocalypse.

Royal Teton Ranch is still the headquarters for the church today. Retreats are held there several times a year. Elizabeth Clare Prophet died in 2009, and while several former church members have attempted to become the official prophet, the church officially operates under a board of directors and council of elders. Members listen to and watch videos released by Prophet before her death. The Summit Lighthouse is the "outreach arm" of the Church Universal and Triumphant, and publishes books, holds youth retreats, and operates online "Ascension" courses through Summit University.

Picture of Elizabeth Clare Prophet from tsl.org

Article by Morgan Macgregor

This article was originally published in May 2013, and has been updated for the April 2014 paperback release. Click here to go to this issue.

This article is available to non-members for a limited time. You can also read these articles for free. For full access become a member today.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Support BookBrowse

Become a Member and discover books that entertain, engage & enlighten!

Join Today!

Award Winners

  • Book Jacket: Little Fires Everywhere
    Little Fires Everywhere
    by Celeste Ng
    Voted 2017 Best Fiction by BookBrowse's Subscribers

    Small towns, big drama. Acclaimed author ...
  • Book Jacket: La Belle Sauvage
    La Belle Sauvage
    by Philip Pullman
    Voted 2017 Best Young Adult Novel by BookBrowse's Subscribers

    I wasn't quite sure what to expect ...
  • Book Jacket: Killers of the Flower Moon
    Killers of the Flower Moon
    by David Grann
    Voted 2017 Best Nonfiction by BookBrowse's Subscribers

    The long, sorrowful list of injustices done ...
  • Book Jacket: The Dry
    The Dry
    by Jane Harper
    Voted 2017 Best Debut Novel by BookBrowse's Subscribers

    After receiving a letter from his childhood...

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
The Second Mrs. Hockaday by Susan Rivers

At once a love story, a history lesson and a beautifully written tale of forgiveness.

About the book
Join the discussion!

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    Wonder Valley
    by Ivy Pochoda

    A visionary and masterful portrait of contemporary L.A. from the author of Visitation Street.
    Reader Reviews

Win this book!
Win Autumn

Autumn by Ali Smith

One of the New York Times 10 Best Books of the Year, and a Man Booker Prize Finalist

Enter

Word Play

The Big Holiday Wordplay: $400+ in Prizes

Enter Now

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.