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    (September 24, 1934-October 22, 2014)
    Born in Rains, Utah
    Birth name was Roger Delano Hinkins
    Claimed that while in a nine-day coma following kidney stone surgery, he was inhabited by a 'spiritual personality' calling itself 'John the Beloved' (1963)
    Formed the Movement of Spiritual Inner Awareness (MSIA -- pronounced 'Messiah' by members)
    Founded offshoots including the University of Santa Monica, the Peace Theological Seminary and College of Philosophy, and Insight Seminars
    Wrote 55 books
    MSIA had 4500 members at its peak
    Followers included Arianna Huffington, Sally Kirkland and Leigh Taylor-Young
    Large hunks of his doctrines and teachings were plagiarized almost word-for-word from Paul Twitchell's earlier spiritual movement Eckankar.
    He took a vow of poverty while living in a 6,000 square foot mansion owned by MSIA.
    He allegedly bugged MSIA headquarters to gather info that he would use to support his claim of being clairvoyant.
    Former members said that , in contrast to his public appearances, in private he was often 'angry, vindictive and bizarre.'
    He was accused of coercing male MSIA staff members into having sex with him.
    Ex-MSIA members were harassed with obscene phone calls and letters, vandalism against their cars and houses, and death threats.
    Before becoming a New Agey guru, he was an English teacher, with one of his principals calling him 'an outstanding young man and an outstanding teacher.'
    He had no problem ordaining women and homosexuals as ministers, which is more progressive than some religions we could name.
    The preferred MSIA greeting was a hug.
    None of the allegations against him were ever proven in a court of law.
    He said his motivation was 'to help people, it's always really been that.'

Credit: C. Fishel

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