Invocation for the Judgement Against and Destruction of Rock Music
October 18, 2009 10:24 AM   Subscribe

Elizabeth Clare Prophet died last Thursday at age 70, from Alzheimer's. In the 1970s, she helped found and led a New Age doomsday cult, the Church Universal and Triumphant, and predicted (in the 80s) a nuclear strike inside the United States that led all her followers to do the compound/weapons stockpiling thing in Montana. Also of interest is the Smithsonian/Folkways recordings of her cult, Sounds of American Doomsday Cults, Vol. 14 which contains many fascinating and insane chanting tracks, most notably the Great Divine Rector's Call, which was sampled to hilarious effect by Negativland and Mylo.

Also here's a lovely, cloying, press-release-ish video about her put out by the cult, which is still operating, apparently.
posted by fungible (34 comments total) 35 users marked this as a favorite
1) predict nuclear strike
2) stockpile weapons
3) ???
4) Prophet.
posted by kuujjuarapik at 10:40 AM on October 18, 2009 [16 favorites]

... as yet another prognosticator of universal doom dies before the world ends, one is left wondering, well maybe there is actually something I could be doing with my life.

Thanks for the post. Ms Prophet was definitely a piece of the background lunacy that made the 1980s so darned entertaining, in all the worst ways. Or as the Church of Subgenius put it, helped us to realize that " ... the only worth laughing at is the fact that nothing is funny anymore."

posted by philip-random at 10:51 AM on October 18, 2009

iv'e been more accurate.
posted by clavdivs at 10:53 AM on October 18, 2009

I had a room-mate a while back who grew up in that Montana cult. From her descriptions it was definitely an interesting place to grow up. If I am recalling her stories correctly and not confusing them with those of other acquaintances who grew up in cults, the kids were pretty much left to their own devices to form their own semi-independent society of children within the cult, kind of like being at summer camp year round.
posted by idiopath at 11:06 AM on October 18, 2009 [1 favorite]

This news is affecting me more than I'd ever thought would be possible, possibly because my old local bar always had ECP graffiti in the men's room - time to torture my roommates with the Doomsday Cults mp3s again!
posted by jtron at 11:09 AM on October 18, 2009

Great Divine Rector's Call is one of the trippiest things I have EVER heard...
posted by cybrcamper at 11:11 AM on October 18, 2009

I feel bad about favoriting a "just died" clip, regardless of the facts about this lady, but that "Great Divine Rector's Call" is too amazing to pass up. Not just the chant part near the beginning, but the following appeal to god to destroy REO Speedwagon et al. Fascinating.

And I never knew Smithsonian/Folkways made a "Sounds of American Doomsday Cults" series, let alone got to volume 14. I'm going to have to try to find these. I can't find them by searching on the Smithsonian/Folkways site... are you sure it's Smithsonian/Folkways? Because the linked page says "Faithways", and brief googling hasn't turned up anything indicating that "Faithways" is associated with Smithsonian/Folkways.
posted by Flunkie at 11:13 AM on October 18, 2009 [2 favorites]

The record label is Faithways International, they also released Sounds Of Japanese Doomsday Cults.
posted by unmake at 11:21 AM on October 18, 2009

Oops. I'll have to fire my team of fact checkers.
posted by fungible at 11:42 AM on October 18, 2009 [1 favorite]

Heh...Cindy Looper...
posted by Bokononist at 11:51 AM on October 18, 2009

I read "Prophet's Daughter" by...her daughter. Came out last year.
Made the place sound insane and insanely boring at the same time.
posted by kozad at 12:11 PM on October 18, 2009

posted by Meatbomb at 12:12 PM on October 18, 2009

Well, they were right about Huey Lewis and the News, Jack Cougar Mellencamp, and Andy Summers, at least.
posted by chrchr at 12:26 PM on October 18, 2009 [2 favorites]

I've been interested in Elizabeth Clare Prophet for a few years now. Have to give the lady props for her vocal technique if nothing else. She could wreck shop on the mic most def.
posted by stinkycheese at 1:12 PM on October 18, 2009

The Great Divine Whatchamacallit had me all ready to sign up and handle a serpent. Well, up until that part about calling down judgment on Scooby-Dooby-Doo. Now, if they had called down judgment on Scrappy-Doo, that I could get behind.
posted by Vavuzi at 1:25 PM on October 18, 2009

Scooby Dooby Doo? Was that on one if Sinatra's Duets CDs?
posted by potsmokinghippieoverlord at 1:47 PM on October 18, 2009 [2 favorites]

Ya know, some day there really WILL be some sort of doomsday event worthy of stockpiling food/weapons/supplies, but nutbags such as this will have cried wolf so many times, nobody will do it when it really matters. Like 2012.
posted by LordSludge at 1:52 PM on October 18, 2009 [1 favorite]

Scooby Dooby Doo?

I think he means the cartoon. Kid Video was also on the list.
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 2:04 PM on October 18, 2009

I do tend to vibrate in consonance with Men at Work.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 2:42 PM on October 18, 2009 [1 favorite]

Well, they were right about Huey Lewis and the News, Jack Cougar Mellencamp, and Andy Summers, at least.

I wonder what her position was on Al Stewart.
posted by philip-random at 2:51 PM on October 18, 2009

Ms Prophet was definitely a piece of the background lunacy that made the 1980s so darned entertaining, in all the worst ways.

A friend's sister, somewhat wounded from childhood sexual abuse, got sucked into living in this underground compound and slaving away at clerical work with no pay. As far as I know, she's still in there. So it's not just the 80s.
posted by StickyCarpet at 2:59 PM on October 18, 2009

Great Divine Rector's Call

I take it this was a cult of auctioneers?
posted by CheeseDigestsAll at 3:02 PM on October 18, 2009 [3 favorites]

Re: the Rector's Call...

This is what I heard:
"In the name of the naminnaminganninanineenaminamina."
posted by Saxon Kane at 4:25 PM on October 18, 2009

The rectors call was also sampled by Tomahawk on Harlem clowns from the album Mit Gas. Thanks for sharing the recording, I always wondered where it came from.
posted by BishopFistwick at 4:36 PM on October 18, 2009

Huh. So the CUT is a real cult. Fascinating. I've been avidly reading on release each book of S. M. Stirling's latest Change/Emberverse novels. In the current set, CUT is the Big Bad. In the novels, some alien/divine entity alters reality c. 1998 in such a way that various technologies no longer work (gunpowder, steam engines, internal combustion, etc., etc.), creating an insta-pocalypse. In his world, the CUT took hold as a local power in Montana and spread like weeds...
posted by cupcakeninja at 4:42 PM on October 18, 2009 [1 favorite]

Yeah, I was about to post the same thing cupcakeninja. CUT is real? Weird.

Too bad I gave up halfway through the latest book. Stirling seems like he decided to emulate Weber's stylistic quirks in the hopes of replicating his sales figures. Sadly, it seems to be working. 'Cause the guy who wrote the sparse and to the point Marching Through Georgia is now writing glacially paced bloatfests.

As cults go, I do like the nuclear doomsday ones. At least it's interesting. So much better than all that flowerly love and hippy stuff.
posted by Justinian at 5:16 PM on October 18, 2009

This is great, although I am disappointed there isn't actually 13 more volumes of this stuff...
posted by Fuzzy Monster at 6:55 PM on October 18, 2009

In the name of the naminnaminganninanineenaminamina....

".....bibbledybibbledybibbledybibbledybibbledyCOMMUNISM. In the nemanamminaneemananeenamna...."
posted by nebulawindphone at 7:27 PM on October 18, 2009

rector? damn near killed 'er.
posted by telstar at 10:14 PM on October 18, 2009 [1 favorite]

I like when he asked God to destroy "Cindi Looper."
posted by infinitywaltz at 11:03 PM on October 18, 2009

for anyone who followed jtron's link only to be disappointed that the rapidshare was old and dead, the comments include a pointer to a copy at mediafire.
posted by russm at 7:04 AM on October 19, 2009 [2 favorites]

wow... another sample of their services (via)... that's some mesmerising listening...
posted by russm at 7:29 AM on October 19, 2009

Wow. The messed up thing is that the chants sound a lot like some of the Buddist chants I've witnessed (when done by white people who don't speak Japanese very well). Even the harmony is similar. Very interesting example of "drone" music.
posted by daq at 9:09 AM on October 19, 2009

I had a gf who, some time after she quit having sex with me for "spiritual reasons," (that is a whole nother story) joined this church. She enrolled in Ascended Masters University, and slowly got more and more involved in all of it.

Mother (as Prophet was referred to back then) decided that it was time for her to have kids, and there were a few guys in the group that were willing to marry her. She chose one (from what she told me) and I went to their wedding in this retreat-like little canyon in the North San Diego County area. She had not as much as kissed her prospective mate up until the wedding which was performed by Prophet (as I remember).

It was a very weird affair, with any variety of Ascended Masters being invoked (Jesus, Buddha, St. Germain, Mighty Estrella, etc.) My mother was along with me (as she had known this woman while she was my gf), but I had to get VERY stoned, once my mom and I had parted company afterwards.

I would get stuff in the mail now and then from her, including one of the flexible 45rpm records, the flexible kind, that you used to see in magazines. Now and then I Google this woman, along with this organization, but I have yet to find any Internet trace of her.

A very strange chapter in my life.
posted by Danf at 10:54 AM on October 19, 2009 [3 favorites]

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