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Guy Warren Ballard
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Religious Figure
    (July 28, 1878-December 29, 1939)
    Born in Burlington, Iowa
    Founder of the I Am 'Activity' religion
    Believed in reincarnation and taught that the life-death-rebirth cycle could be overcome by becoming an 'Ascended Master'
    One becomes an 'Ascended Master' by following his teachings which he learned from the mysterious and mythical Count St Germain
    Aided in his work by his wife Edna
    Also known as Godfre Ray King; his wife sometimes went by Lotus
    He believed in reincarnation.
    He ripped off much of his material from Theosophy.
    Like many charlatans over the last few hundred years, he claimed to know Count St. Germain.
    He was an engineer by trade with no formal training in theology, philosophy or history.
    Like most people who claim to have been reincarnated, he claimed to have been someone important in his previous lives, specifically Richard the Lionheart and George Washington.
    He claimed that Jesus and many other important people throughout history were 'Ascended Masters' although none of them said so.
    Before he died he taught that as an 'Ascended Master' he would escape death, after he died his followers taught that he didn't just die but 'ascended.'
    A lot of today's goofy New Age stuff is derived from his teachings.
    Although they accept donations, neither he nor the present day I AM 'Activity' organization charges for their work.
    After his death his wife and son repeatedly successfully fought US government/IRS harassment.
    His teachings (a mishmash of New Age and eastern religions) are harmless, against bad stuff like prejudice and violence and for good stuff like treating people right.
    At the height of the Great Depression, they had close to a million followers and still have over three hundred chapters in the United States.
    He fought in World War One.

Credit: tom_jeffords


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