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The John Sebastian Marlow Ward Website

His Mystic partner, Jessie Ward

Home
About John Sebastian Marlow Ward
Early Life of J.S.M. Ward
Ward as a Medium & Spiritualist
Ward and Freemasonry
JSM Ward as a Historian
J.S.M. Ward as an Author
J.S.M. Ward and the Abbey of Christ the King
The Abbey Church in Barnet
The Folk Park
Ward and the Anglican Church
Ward and the Masonic Research Society
Churchill Sibley and the Orthodox Catholic Church
Ward and the Orthodox Catholic Church
The Abbey and the War
The Dorothy Lough Case
Mar Georgius and the Katholicate of the West
The Consecrations
The Consecration of Bishop Chamberlain
Ward driven from England.
The Community in Cyprus
Death of J.S.M. Ward
Ward's Work survives his Death
Key Associates of J.S.M. Ward
His Mystic partner, Jessie Ward
Life of John Churchill Sibley
Last of Ward's priests; Peter Gilbert Strong
Ward's son; John Reginald Cuffe
Other Individuals Associated with JSM Ward
The Spiritual Journey of J.S.M. Ward
Ward as a Mystic
Ward and the First Apocalypse
Other Key Apocalypses
Ward and the Return of Christ
The Legacy of J.S.M. Ward
The Basic Theology of J.S.M. Ward
WARD'S THEOLOGY; The Nature of God
WARD'S THEOLOGY: The Work of Salvation
WARD'S THEOLOGY; God's Great Plan
The Mystical Theology of J.S.M. Ward

 

Introduction

 

It was in 1918 that Ward first met Jessie Page, at a Masonic Lodge linked with the Theosophical Society. By this time Ward was already a leading Freemason, but his interest in the spiritual, coupled with his experiences in India and Burma, was also leading him to investigate other groups. When, some time later, Miss Page wrote to him, inviting him to help form a non-masonic group, the Order of Indian Wisdom, he accepted, and so began a joint seeking that ultimately led them both to the heights of mysticism.

 

Jessie Page, or Jessie Ward, as she became, was rather short in stature, at least partly because she suffered from a curvature of the spine, and her pale, olive face had a deep scar down its left side from eye to mouth, the result of a childhood fall through a greenhouse roof. This, however, did not detract from the refinement of her features, and those who knew her best, report that she was usually surrounded by a constant feeling of peace, which rarely left her, even when she was stressed or unwell.

 

Some people suggest that good physical health is essential for deep spirituality, but this is certainly not correct. Sometimes it is the other way round, for a person who constantly maintains a spiritual link with God is frequently thereby enabled to keep his/her body healthy, but this too, is not always so. Saints such as Little Therese, maintained their holiness DESPITE their physical sufferings and as a result, achieved the end of the Quest when still quite young. Others such as Jessie Ward, whose work required them to remain on earth for many years, were generally healthy but were usually able to maintain their spiritual contact even when physically unwell[1]

 

The Founding members of the Work each adopted Latin religious names, and Jessie’s was “Altius Tendo”, meaning “towards the heights”. Ward’s mystical name was Seraphion, and Jessie was similarly known as Serapha on Higher Planes, but these names were rarely used on earth. In the Confraternity, she was usually known as the Reverend Mother, or sometimes simply as “Mother”, but since achieving sanctity, her followers have generally referred to her as St Serapha, and this brief account of her life by her stepson, John Cuffe, (Ward’s natural son) often uses this name for her.

 

 

Early Life

 

St Serapha was born Jessie Page, the youngest daughter and second youngest child of Charles and Jean Page on March 10th 1890. At the time her mother, Emily Jean Page (nee Savage) was about 42 and had already born several children, not all of whom survived infancy. Jessie and her brother Charles who was two years younger than her, were significantly younger than the rest. Charles was also the only one to survive Jessie and I suspect that he was the only surviving son[2]. The only sister of whom I have definite knowledge was significantly older than Jessie. Edith Garwood, died on 30th October 1929, and is commemorated in a stained glass window of Christ the King, which is now in St Michael’s Church, Caboolture.

 

Charles Page senior died about the time Charles junior was born, and Mother, as I used to call her, once told me that one of her earliest memories was of standing holding her father’s hand and that “he died before I was two.” She did not often talk about her past, and I am indebted to Father Peter Strong for some of the following information about her early life, for she rarely spoke about it. I do recall hearing how she earned her pocket money when young – with her brother, she would visit the strict Jewish families in the neighbourhood on Saturdays and get paid for stoking their fires, for they would not do so on their Sabbath.

 

The young Jessie was naturally left-handed but her first teachers forced her to write with her right hand and eventually she became almost ambidextrous. A bright student at school, she once told me that she had an advantage over other children in written tests. The students all had to write their full names at the top of every page, and as hers was so short - just “Jessie Page”, with no middle name - she was able to get a head start. She eventually became a teacher and it was she who conducted my schooling in Redcliffe, even though, at that time, home schooling was not legal in Australia.

 

She spent most of her early life as a teacher, eventually, as she once told me, becoming Head Mistress of “one of the largest girls’ schools in England”. As such, she was reasonably well off, forming part of the British Upper Middle Class and like most of her contemporaries, she would probably have been “presented at court” though I cannot recall the subject ever having been raised. I do know, however, that she had had some contact with Queen Mary before starting the Work, and it was because of her, rather than the Rev. Father, that when the Folk Park opened in 1934, the Queen presented it with a collection of Victorian knickknacks.

 

As a maiden lady in her early twenties, she usually lived with her mother and the two of them travelled quite frequently in Europe during the summer school holidays, often as part of a group of friends. She was travelling with her mother, as the world moved towards war during the summer of 1914, and apparently they only just managed to get out of Germany before Britain entered the conflict on August 4th. During the war she appears to have had some degree of contact with Lloyd George the War-time Prime Minister, whom she described as “quite a one with the ladies”. Her own war-effort involved nursing, but afterwards she returned to her career as a teacher.

 

As a young woman Miss Jessie Page had been strongly involved in the women’s movement, and may even have participated in some of the protests of this period. She was always interested in women’s rights, although condemning the more extreme positions taken by some supporters of the movement. To her, men and women were “equal but different” and each had specific roles to play in God’s Church, and indeed in the world at large. In her later years she constantly emphasised that the way that society was coming to accept the change in the status of women was a New Age phenomenon, because, she predicted, it would be an Age in which belief in the Divine Mother, the Holy Spirit, would play an increasingly significant role. She also pointed to the Pentecostal movement, then in its infancy, as another indicator of that coming change.

 

At this stage in her life, she also had some level of contact with Annie Besant, the well-known President of the Theosophical society and in conversations with me, she often referred to Besant’s protégé, the so-called messiah Jiddu Krishnamurti, who personally repudiated Theosophy in 1929. She saw “the boy himself” as being merely one of the many “false Christs” that were predicted to precede the coming of the True Messiah.

 

It was during the war years that she began to develop a considerable interest in psychic phenomena and Eastern philosophy. She began attending a clairvoyant centre in London known as Stead's Bureau.[3]. There she heard a medium call for 'Flower of the Desert.'  Of those present it was only Miss Page who responded, for oddly enough she had just received from her brother in Egypt a present of desert flowers. The medium could not have known this, and she was impressed by his clairvoyant powers. Soon afterwards she attended a Masonic lecture given by a Mrs Lena Oppenheimer, through whom, some three months later she was initiated into the Order of the Eastern Star – a female-orientated group with significant Masonic connections. She also developed a strong interest in the Rosicrucians and it was through these connections that she first met John Sebastian Marlow Ward in 1918. They did not meet again until 1922, when she wrote to him, asking his advice and help in the founding of a non-­Masonic group dedicated to the study of Eastern Wisdom. Having been ordained as a Hindu High Priest when in India, Eastern Philosophy was always of special interest to Ward and he joined her in founding the Order of Indian Wisdom, an enterprise that was to become the first stage of their spiritual journey together.

 

In her psychic studies, Jessie Page also attended lectures on dreams, discovering that some could be real experiences that God can use in His providential work. She was told how sometimes people who prayed for the privilege, would be allowed to help souls in the Afterlife and she did so. Soon afterwards, she awoke one morning with a large burn on her arm for which there was no possible physical cause. Then she recalled that she had had a dream in which she was on a burning ship, rescuing the dying and helping them into the Afterlife. At first she wondered whether the burn was psychosomatic, or whether it indicated that she had really been on a burning ship!  Then, that evening on her way to a meeting she saw a placard about a troop ship that had been hit and caught fire, with many deaths. Her dream and the burn on her arm were enough to convince her that she had been there. At last she knew that passing into the next dimension was no figment of her imagination, but a real as anything that might happen on earth.

 

Later, when she told him about it, John Ward was very interested in her dream, for he too, had had numerous experiences in the Astral, especially during the war years when he had assisted his younger brother, Rex, to adjust to life on the Astral Plane after he had been killed in the bloody trench war-fare of Flanders. This common interest, helped to establish a psychic and spiritual bond between John and Jessie that grew steadily stronger over time. They constantly compared dreams and other psychic experiences until eventually they found themselves moving together into the realms of mysticism.

 

 

Mystical Initiation

 

This started with a strange series of dreams, about which they began to compare notes. One night Jessie dreamed that she had reached a certain door, but that was all. The same night, Ward had also had a dream in which he had reached the same door but he had also seen beyond it. Other dreams followed, and they continued for some years in an extraordinarily interlocking format which surprised them both. Each dream only made sense when it was set side by side with its fellow, but then the elements combined to give a complete picture. They were able to compare dreams at weekends and continued to do so for some years.

 

Thus began their mystical training, for because the dreams were thus interwoven they could hardly doubt that they were real experiences, though at first, they did not grasp their full significance. John Ward’s extensive knowledge of Freemasonry[4] and his experiences in India and Burma were also of great interest to Jessie Page, and these common interests combined to threaten, and eventually to end her, by now long-established, spinsterhood. At this period she was head of one of Finchley Primary School, one of the largest girls’ schools in England and living with her mother (Jean Page) in Golders’ Green, an upper class suburb of London.

 

At the time John Ward was working as the head of the intelligence department of the Federation of British Industry[5] one of the most responsible roles in British Industry, and so was party to many government secrets. Jessie was already strongly opposed to the Bolsheviks in Russia and also against the British Labour Party, then in government in Britain for the first time and when through John Ward, she learned[6], that the Russian Bolshevik government had been caught paying bribes to the British Labour Party to keep them from allowing Britain to take action against Bolshevik atrocities[7], she was furious.

 

As she told the story she was equally critical that the Conservative Party, instead of making the news public and using it to force a general election, used the threat of publicity to compel Labour to agree to form a government of National Unity. Not long thereafter there was a general election and the National Unity government was returned, through without most of the Labour members, which formed the new Opposition, but the news of the treachery was never made public, and she may well have been right to think that if it had been, the British Labour Party would been politically destroyed for ever. As it was, she complained, although it lost that election it got back into government again after the Second World War, and presided over the transfer of atomic secrets to Russia and the destruction of the British Empire.

 

There is little doubt that bribery took place, perhaps during the early 1920’s strikes, when the local Bolshevik sympathizers were certainly trying to bring about revolution in England, as well as in other countries. Although today, from the safe vantage point of history, we can see that they never really came close to producing an English Bolshevik Revolution, this was not so obvious at the time. As Rev. Mother once told me “it was never made public” it has been no surprise to me that I can find no reference to the incident in history books. They merely say that the Labour government was forced to resign after just over two years in office and form the National Unity government, because of the Great Depression.

 

 

The Calling of John Ward and Jessie Page

 

Whatever the precise details, it was against this historical background that John Ward and Jessie Page continued their spiritual and personal development in the mid 1920’s. In 1926 John Ward’s first wife, Clarrie, died after a long illness, and in early 1927 he and Jessie Page were planning to marry. As she described it to me he seems to have stayed in the Page establishment at Golders’ Green[8] fairly regularly on the weekends and one Sunday morning early in 1927, when they met over breakfast, they each found that the other had had a most amazing dream[9]. As she told the story, they had each found themselves in the presence of Christ, Who told them that He was about to descend to earth again and asked them to found a work to prepare the way for Him. They both agreed and were then told that they might go ahead with their planned marriage, but “not to get too attached to our home as we wouldn’t be staying there for long”. They compared notes and then waited for something to happen, but for a time, nothing did.

 

They married on the 4th April, 1927, and then honeymooned in Italy and Switzerland, before taking up their abode with Jessie’s mother, Jean Page, in the house at Golders Green, where they remained for another couple of years. They had several other significant dreams during this period including one in which they had passed a ‘day’ in a religious community while in the Astral state. Unlike traditional religious orders, this community included both men and women and provided the model for the Work they were to found on earth.

 

It took them several days to write down this joint dream. John Ward was able to remember perfectly all the words of the ceremonies that had taken place but they seemed to make little sense until added to Jessie's dream, which was about all the rubrics and ceremonial details. Then the ceremonies came alive. Some time later they experienced another `day' in this Astral Abbey and their recollections of the ceremonies they attended there were to form the basis for the ceremonies later held in the Community on earth.

 

Next they had another joint dream – this time a `dream within a dream', which indicates that they had passed to a Higher Plane, (a deeper level of Consciousness) and it was thus that they first met the Angelic Guardian of the Work, whom they came to refer to the Master of the Work or sometimes simply s “The Master”. He told them that they were to begin their work for Christ by gathering a nucleus of chosen souls, but they were not told who to select, nor how to go about it. Then Ward was told by the Angel to give a series of public lectures and they hired the Lindora Restaurant in London, at 6.30 p.m. on Sundays for six weeks, starting in January 1929. It was at this time that Jessie Ward described the descent[10] of Christ the King to the realm of the Seraphim[11]. 

 

In the lectures John Ward spoke on a number of subjects, of which the book “Life’s Problems” is a synopsis, and as he was a well-known public speaker the talks were initially well-attended, but the numbers gradually dwindled and at the end only nine other people were present.  These were all invited to continue their studies at the Wards' home in Golders Green. An altar was set up in their house, meditations began, and for the Church-to-be, an altar frontal with angels on it was most beautifully embroidered by the women. At this time no one had any idea where this Church would be built, nor what it would look like; the Wards simply filled their house, as instructed by the Angel, with valuable antiques to furnish a Church and an Abbey, even though they could not be sure that they would ever exist on earth and they also started a building Fund to pay for them; such was their faith!

 

Several of the members of their new group were teachers from Jessie’s school, and all held jobs of some sort, so no real community life was possible at this time, though regular services, derived from those the Wards had attended on the Astral Plane, were held every Sunday from March 1929 onwards. For this reason 1929 has sometimes been seen as the date of the beginning of the Community, although technically the Work on earth commenced when the Wards were called into the Presence of Christ the King in 1927.

 

Partly as a result of holding these services, the Wards began to be addressed as Rev. Father and Rev. Mother during this period, and when referring to them, henceforward I shall usually use these titles. It was also at about this time that they began to record the first special hymns of the Confraternity. Rev. Father was an accomplished poet, who had already published one book of poems and it was mainly he who provided the lyrics, but neither he, nor Rev. Mother were musical and although she could hear tunes in her head, she was not an accomplished musician. Nevertheless, she bought a book on harmony and began to record the basic tunes, from which others have since been able to write the accompaniments.

 

 

Founding the Abbey

 

Early in 1930, seven of those who had been regular attendees of the services at Golders’ Green agreed to join the Reverend Father and Mother in Founding the Abbey and the Reverend Mother was told distinctly to search near Margate, for the future church. When they eventually found an old tithe barn with a stone tracery window at one end, they employed a man named Ernest Timpson to remove and rebuild it, even though at this time they had not yet acquired a property on which it could be erected. They searched frantically, rejecting many houses before they finally decided on Hadley Hall. Apparently they wondered why they had not been led straight to the right one, for something called forth an interesting comment from the Angelic Guardian; “Human beings are curious creatures,” he said, “and if you had not gone around and found all the other houses impossible, you would have found fault with this one and blamed me.”

 

Hadley Hall was an architecturally significant building in its own right, being the first house in England to be built of reinforced concrete. Four stories high, it also had a large two-story cottage and a coach house about a hundred metres from the main building. The grounds covered about three acres and were filled with many kinds of fruit trees, and masses of daffodils. When describing to me their initial entry into the building, it was obviously significant to the Rev. Mother that it took place on the Festival of the Divine Father (24th June 1930). It was that same evening 24th/25th June 1930 that Christ the King descended to the Plane of the Cherubim, having spent only 17 months among the Seraphim, but what an eventful seventeen months they had been on earth!

 

Altogether six other people, two couples[12] and two maiden ladies, initially joined the Wards to start the community at Barnet and all eight began to live there together with a gardener, Timkins and, I think, several other servants[13]. They were each given new Latin names as an indication of their new status as brothers and sisters of the Confraternity - the Wards were given the names, Custos Custodiens[14] and Altius Tendo, though they were always addressed as Reverend Father and Reverend Mother

 

 

Working under Divine Guidance

 

This, however, was just the beginning. Timpson the builder, was instructed to erect the tithe-barn/Church near the main house, joined to it by a covered way and he was constantly amazed at the way that so many items bought some time before in obedience to the Master, fitted so exactly in the various places for which they were intended. Frequently the Angelic Guardian would send the Reverend Father and Mother out to buy antiques at a particular place, knowing, as they did not that there was nothing for them there. Then they would be sent to other places before finding what he meant them to buy.

 

This was done for several reasons, which those who are treading the Mystic Path will clearly recognise. Firstly of course it was designed to allow them to demonstrate their willingness to obey, and this was important, for it was this obedience that allowed them to earn the karmic right to guidance. This is something that must always be born in mind by those who aspire to hear “The Voice” for that the capacity to receive Divine Guidance is a great blessing, and one that is only granted to those who have previously earned it by a long and arduous service to God. Equally though, they must continue to demonstrate their worthiness, if such a privilege is to go on, and this is most readily achieved by constant obedience to the commands received.

 

The tithe barn was transported from Birchington, near Margate in Kent, and to Timpson's amazement the various items that had been purchased previously all fitted exactly as also was the case with others acquired at this time. Towards the end of construction there remained a large empty window space at the west end, and Rev. Mother had had a vision of a picture of the Seraph Michael filling that space. Eventually a stained glass window of Michael was found. It fitted the space exactly and by year’s end the chapel was ready and the local Anglican Bishop Furze, dedicated the Chapel on the 14th February, 1931.

 

Soon, however, money began to run short and servants had to go. Finally, as Rev. Mother once told me, “the Master said that ‘As we needed an income we had better start a school’. We thought that with God behind it the school was sure to go well, but it didn’t - we only just made ends meet”! When the Folk Park proved to be a financial success in 1934, the school was closed down, but in due course, several of the ex-students went on to join the community. The idea, however, did not die and when I was young and Rev. Mother taught me at Redcliffe, we referred to ourselves as St. Michael’s College, though Michael Strong and I were the only students. When in 1965 the property was bought at Caboolture it was named St. Michael’s and when a school was established there, St. Michael’s College began to function once again.

 

However, by the time the original St Michaels College closed, relations with the Anglican Church were rapidly deteriorating, mainly, St Serapha told, me, because Rev. Father refused to stop preaching about the return of Christ. In 1934 the services of the chaplain were withdrawn and the community was effectively forced to abandon its Anglican heritage. It was left in limbo, without any priest or access to the Sacraments for almost a year, until on October 6th, 1935 Rev. Father was able to obtain Valid Episcopal Consecration from Archbishop Churchill Sibley and the Confraternity joined the Orthodox Catholic Church. Rev. Mother was formally installed as Abbess, the other sisters were made deaconesses and Father Filius Domini was ordained as a priest.

 

During the late 1930’s and early 1940’s, whilst the Rev. Father was establishing the Folk Park and dealing with ecclesiastical matters, the Rev. Mother was primarily responsible for running the community and training the new, younger members who joined during that period and were to carry the work forward into the future. She wrote many books over that time, mainly about various aspects of the religious life, and about her mystical experiences on other Planes, especially her contacts with the patron Saints of the new members. Some of these books are still held at the library at St Michael’s in Caboolture though others have been lost.

 

When I was young, Rev Mother loved to talk about her outings in the car, with Rev. Father, both before and during the Second World War. She usually drove, because his eyesight was so bad, and I remember her describing one incident when they were caught in a fog. She couldn’t see a thing, and Rev. Father had to get out and walk along the kerb whilst holding on to the car and guiding her through the window. Another favourite story described their visit to the city after St Pauls’ Cathedral had been bombed, when they met Winston Churchill. He was coming out of a building as they entered it and he gave them his famous V for Victory sign and they returned it. “What did he say”, I asked eagerly; “Well, he seemed a bit surprised, but he didn’t actually say anything.”

 

By this time a number of young people, both male and female had joined the community, and in order to ensure that the two young males (Father Peter and Father Ignatius) were not called up for military service[15] during the War, they were both brought very swiftly into the priesthood and were ordained well before the usual canonical age(24). Several children who were evacuated from London during the Blitz also stayed with the Confraternity at this period and St Serapha was largely responsible for supervising their teaching. Some of them later joined the Community and these included a certain Dorothy Lough, who was 18 years of age[16], when early in 1945 she took her vows to God and joined the order as Sister Therese. As she was under the age of majority (then 21) she had had to obtain her father’s consent and although unsupportive, he had eventually given that permission in writing. However, having previously abused her sexually, he bitterly resented her decision, and our enemies wishing to do us harm, had little difficulty in. persuading him to seek again for legal custody of his daughter whilst they funded a King’s Counsel for him.

 

The ensuing Court Case is discussed elsewhere; suffice it to say here, that despite having received written consent, the decision went against us. Our enemies felt they had achieved a major victory over the Work and that it would soon be destroyed as a result of the costs of the case if for no other reason. In this of course they were wrong, but they had succeeded in corrupting the much-vaunted British Justice System and as a result Britain was condemned by God. Consequently she lost both her Empire, which collapsed over the next decade or so, and the right to be the country that hosted the Work of Preparation for the Coming of Christ the King.

 

Although at the time the community did not fully realise it, we can now see that this had in effect been prophesied, some twelve years before, in the Fifth Apocalypse of Brother Seraphion and should not have surprised us, but as it was, the Work was hit hard. Damages and the legal costs of both sides were awarded against Rev. Father. Rev Mother once told me they were about £10,000 in total,[17] and neither he, nor the community could pay the required amount immediately. As a result he was declared bankrupt and an attempt was made to obtain Right of Entry[18] to the Abbey by the use of bailiffs who sought to enter and seize his assets. This, however, was thwarted by the fact that Ward had taken a vow of poverty and so owned nothing of his own. The Abbey at New Barnet was not the property of Rev. Father alone, but belonged to the whole community. The enemy had erred in taking action against him alone, rather than against the whole community, as they later acknowledged, but for a while they still managed to make life very difficult for all. Eventually, through the sale of museum pieces and art the money was paid, and the cost of leaving England was later met in the same way.

 

Clearly, however, Sister Therese had been denied natural justice and as religious orders have often done through the ages, the Community defied the secular power to defend her. Almost miraculously, with the help of Third Order Members and others[19] she was first hidden in a number of safe-houses and then finally taken from England to Cyprus with the rest of the community on a false passport. The legal authorities finally caught up with St Serapha after the death of Sister Therese, in January 1963, although it does not seem that even then they knew what had actually become of her. Clearly we can see the hand of God in the timing.

 

 

The Coming of Christ Delayed

 

I have digressed again. Rev. Father never recovered from the stress of the Case and the betrayal by his Freemason friends. Possibly, too, as he believed he had been commissioned to “Awake the British Lion” the proof that he had failed to do so, distressed him and perhaps this was the cause of the slight stroke that he suffered at this time. He recovered sufficiently to take the community to Cyprus, but once there, he and Rev. Mother had to face the reality that whatever might have been previously possible, now that England had rejected the Work, Christ would not come nearly as soon as they had hoped. As a result they decided to make provision for their own mortality, and the obvious way to do this was by producing a child, but the Rev. Mother was already long past the time when she could have expected to do so. In a similar situation Sarah the wife of Abraham had asked him to sire a child through her handmaid Hagar[20] (Genesis 16; 2) and Rev. Mother decided that Rev. Father should sire one or more children through the younger sisters of the community[21], who agreed to co-operate. There were only two unmarried male members but they both agreed that if the sisters became pregnant by Rev. Father, they would marry them to legitimise the offspring.

 

In due course, this is what happened. I was conceived in the middle of 1948, and Father Maurice married my mother, Sister Ursula on November 25th, whilst Sister Mary became pregnant about six months later and Father Peter married her on 25th March 1949[22]. I was born on 29th March and although a doctor was called, Rev. Mother also assisted at the birth. I was baptised a month later – at about the same time as Sr. Mary miscarried. Ward died soon afterwards, and so I was left as his only son.

 

 

St Serapha and the Death of Rev. Father

 

Although the Rev. Father had recovered from the stroke he had had in England in 1946, his health had never fully returned and he died on July 2nd 1949, apparently from another stroke. Years later, speaking to me of that time, St. Serapha said. “In the first shock of the moment we may have said ‘the work cannot go on’ but then we said ‘it must go on’”. This was her personal profession of Faith, and even though I was only about fifteen, I think I realised it - probably for the first time she had shown me a glimpse of her inner self. I never forgot it

 

It is important to understand that it is only at the moment of greatest trial that the true spirituality of the saints shines forth most perfectly. It is as if the soul needs to be tested and tested again until all imperfections have been “wrung” out of it. Then and only then can we see what is left – as in this case a soul ravaged by personal torment and sorrow, yet still clinging desperately to the truth that it knows, still striving with the last shreds of its spiritual strength to defend that truth. That is the hallmark of a saint; it is visible only in such times of extreme testing and therefore rarely seen by others, but when it is seen it is unmistakeable.

 

Thus it came about that the one we now call St Serapha took upon her shoulders the full responsibility for the Work on earth, which theretofore she had shared with Reverend Father, and she took it on at a time of great stress and trial, during which both her faith and that of the other community members were greatly tried[23]. There is no doubt that the death of the Reverend Father initially hit her hard, but after the original shock had passed, the loss of her husband possibly affected her less than it does a  normal widow, because through her mysticism, she was able to maintain regular contact with him and he continued to guide and help her for many years thereafter. His death, however, not only marked the beginning of her widowhood, but even more significantly it meant that from then until her own passing in 1965, she would be required to shoulder alone, the burden of being the head on earth of the Work of Preparation for the Coming of Christ the King.

 

Most importantly during that time, she made it her special duty to have charge of me – so much so, that at times she was sometimes criticised for favouring me over the younger boys. In the presence of others she always tried to avoid appearing to do so, but when we were alone, she never tired of reminding me that I was “your father’s son” and insisting that I live up to his standards. Certainly, I was closer to her and spent more time with her during the last  fifteen and a half years of her life, than was any one else during that period. She cared for me, both practically and spiritually during most of the early years of my childhood and later, she was largely responsible for both my secular and spiritual education. Finally as her life drew to its end, it was she who first introduced me to the Mystical Path and began my training therein.

 

The death of the Rev. Father, not only affected St Serapha personally, it also damaged the finances of the order, for which she suddenly found herself fully responsible. It had been largely the royalty cheques from his books that had provided the community with money in Cyprus and when he died, his publishers suddenly stopped sending them, when of course, by Law they should have paid them to his widow. Unfortunately, as they were in England and she was in Cyprus without the means to take legal action against them, they were able to keep the money and although his books continued to sell, neither his widow nor his community have since received the benefit of further royalties from them.

 

 

St Serapha and the Psychic War.

 

Money thus became a major concern for the new leader of the Abbey. During its early years in Cyprus, it had tried to become self-supporting, but had never quite reached that stage and the loss of its only monetary income affected it greatly. At times in the years that followed it came close to starvation and during the same time period our enemies attacked again. We had escaped from England without their knowledge and they did not originally know where we had gone, but eventually they located us in Cyprus. A period of psychic warfare followed, in which our enemies on earth were assisted by even greater powers of evil from Beyond. Father Peter has described this conflict in his diaries, but here, I will only speak of what Rev. Mother told me about that period, although I shall occasionally refer to his records for my chronology.

 

She once spoke to me about a message from the Master that she received during this period, in which he referred to one of the promises that she and Rev. Father had been given when starting the work. “We had told you that if ever, through no fault of your own the Work was in jeopardy we would reveal to you, both the source of the danger and how to combat it and at that time, (late 1951) that promise was fulfilled. Already you had lost two members by death and were well on the way to losing half a dozen more”.

 

The community had long endured food shortages and many of the members were weak from semi-starvation. Several caught pneumonia, which in their poor condition proved fatal for two (Sr Bridget and Sr Bertha; September and October 1951 respectively) and several others including Rev Mother herself and Sr. Mary were also very sick. Just as had happened to Christ after He had fasted for forty days and was afterwards “an hungered”, so the community was assailed by the Powers of Darkness when it was physically at a low ebb. However, Rev. Mother and our priests, with a lot of Divine Help and the use of all the powers of the Church led the fight against them, and eventually we triumphed. Several Black Magicians had their malicious attacks turned back on themselves by these means, and at one point, so St Serapha  told me, most of the Grand Circle in England were killed in a single night. There is no doubt that the enemy lost many more lives in this Battle than we did, but then they could afford to, for they had a lot more members to start with.

 

Black Magicians, who of course do not believe in God, blamed their reverses wholly on Rev. Mother who they called by her mystical name “Serapha”. They also refer to Rev. Father as “Seraphion”, both of which names probably derive from a life in which they were eminent in the rites of Serapis (c. 2nd century A.D.). However these names were not usually used within the community and I first learned of them only when I began studying the records of her psychic conflicts under her guidance in early 1963. Even as a child I am told that I was quite psychic, and apparently reported the presence of “Bad Men” on several occasions. Father Peter refers to this and also to an incident in which I, then about three years of age, was taken in the Astral at night. Rev Mother gave me a slightly different account of this event, which I shall now relate as she told it to me, without attempting to justify either her version or Father Peter’s. First, however, let me explain somewhat of the nature of Psychic warfare.

 

 

The Nature of Psychic Warfare

 

As part of a Psychic War it is obviously necessary to obtain some occult “Contact” with a victim in order to do him harm. The possible ways of establishing such a contact, are of course many and varied, but broadly they fall into four categories, which are listed below in increasing order of strength, namely

(1)     Basic Information, such as name, date of birth and other things needed to cast a horoscope;

(2)     An image or picture, particularly a true likeness or photograph to be used as a focus for mental attacks, rather like a voodoo doll;

(3)     Any item which the subject has handled or used, or getting him to handle, use, or particularly, wear, an item provided for that purpose; and

(4)     An actual touch or other physical contact, the more intimate the better.[24]

 

The enemy obtained their contact with me through a photograph. Obviously at the time I was unaware of the danger, and when the photographer was accosted he promised to give up the picture when developed. He did so (it still exists) but he obviously passed a copy to our enemies. Using it, they made contact with my spirit in the Astral, when I was asleep and took it away to their circle, where they would have attempted to hypnotise me. Rev. Mother went after me in the Astral and with the help of the Angelic Guardian and of Michael, Captain of the Hosts of Heaven, was able to rescue me, apparently causing considerable havoc in the Circle meeting in the process. (This may have been the time the whole circle was found dead in the morning, but I am not certain)

 

Probably as a result of this attack on me, Rev. Mother usually had me sleep with her whilst we were in Cyprus and this resulted in the strongest possible psychic contact between us, a link that persisted until her death in 1965 and which, I believe, has remained strong even since. In Redcliffe in 1963 when she began to train me in mysticism, she promised she would teach me many things, and although, her physical death soon afterwards prevented her doing more in the flesh, I believe that she has continued to train and guide me thereafter, and indeed still does.

 

Although the year 1951 was undoubtedly the hardest of the Community’s history, the following three years, were also difficult, and it was during that period that the spiritual war with the Servants of Satan was eventually won. The details are complicated and probably of only minor importance, but the basic principles are of great significance. However, as I only came to understand them ten years later, I shall revisit the subject a little later in this account.

 

 

Leaving Cyprus

 

For the present I shall return to the story of our last days in Cyprus, where, by 1954, the Enosis movement was gaining in strength and attacks against British people were increasing. Thus for this, if no other reason, it was plain that the Community would soon have to leave the island, but we had very little money, and in late 1954 St Serapha flew back to England where she was able to raise sufficient funds for us to leave Cyprus[25].

 

I was five at this time and do not remember her going, but I do recall taking the bus to Nicosia to meet her when she returned and I have quite a vivid memory of the appearance of Nicosia airport after dark. We left Cyprus in November 1954, travelling via Beirut and Egypt and then going on to Ceylon where we paused for about a month. Whilst we were there Rev. Mother travelled to India, and I remember her telling me about her visit to the Maharajah of Mysore who had previously promised them land. However, after keeping her waiting for some time, (She was away about three weeks in all) the Maharajah eventually declined to assist. The promise had been made many years before, during the time of the British Raj and in connection with Rev. Father’s ordination as a Hindu High Priest. Things were very different in an independent India and at that time, neither the Temple at Madura, nor the Maharajah felt that they could assist us.

 

With almost the last of our money we came on to Australia. We had not initially told anyone that we planned to settle in Australia – indicating to outsiders that we intended to go on to New Zealand, but this was largely to put our enemies off our tracks. Nor, if we had wished to do so, did we have the money to travel further and eventually Rev Mother went with Father Ignatius to Canberra to arrange for us to be granted permission to stay in Australia.

 

 

Working in Australia

 

For a space we were supported in Sydney by more money sent by Father Stephen from England, living in the Mansion House (a cheap hotel) and gathering for services and community meetings in the Superior’s room, but eventually the money ran out again. For a time the women and children were accommodated in a Salvation Army refuge (the “People’s Palace”), but the men were forced to live in a separate home for derelicts and with the community thus split up and destitute,  some of the members offered to go out to work. Rev. Mother had long foreseen the necessity but it distressed her greatly, for as their Superior, she had accepted responsibility for the spiritual development of each member of the community.  Realising the temptations to which they would be exposed by returning to the world, particularly the temptation to desire worldly possessions, she did her utmost to protect them from such exposure for as long as possible. Many years later she put it to me thus; “they had given up the world, how could I ask them to go back to working in it”? Thus I gained another glimpse of her personal inner struggle, which very few ever did.

 

Some members resented her reluctance to accept what they saw as inevitable[26], but eventually she allowed several of them to obtain jobs. With the wages, the Community suddenly became financial again and we were able to rent a large house in Bondi, where we lived for two years. I remember Bondi quite well. The house was near the famous beach and it was there that I attended a public school for the only time in my life (late 1955 and 1956). In after years, (about 1964) Rev. Mother told me that she had interviewed the Headmistress about my attendance, and was asked about Religious Instruction. Miss Howie mentioned several Protestant alternatives, but Rev. Mother’s comment was, “Well, the only one that might be any good would be the Roman Catholic”. Miss Howie hastily agreed that “perhaps it would be best if he didn’t attend Religious Instruction”. At the time I did not know of this conversation and was in fact sent to some sort of Protestant Religious Instruction, although Rev. Mother didn’t know about it until I told her in 1964![27]  

 

However I didn’t remain long at school, and from the beginning of 1957 Rev. Mother decided to teach me herself at home. However, by this time the disruption to Community life caused by so many members going out to work, was causing both practical and spiritual difficulties, so we purchased the machinery to start a Wool-working business and arranged for several members to give up work and come home to run it. However, we could hardly do this in the centre of Bondi, and so it was no surprise when she was told that we would have to move again. There was, however, another and more sinister reason to leave, for by this time the Enemy had located us again. At the time (1957) the Cold War was at its height and I remember vividly having pointed out to me, a group of men staying in a hotel opposite as being “Russians”. Later (1964) Rev. Mother told me who they really were; the enemy had established an electronic listening post in the hotel and they were trying to eavesdrop on our conversations, probably in an attempt to locate Sister Nina.

 

In November 1957 we moved to Blackheath in the Blue Mountains about 70 miles west of Sydney, where Rev. Mother, escorted by Brother Francis, had obtained a rental agreement on a large house in large grounds, without explaining to the owner that it was for the use of a religious community. This was to make it hard for our enemies to locate us and at that time we always tried to avoid giving any signs of such “abnormality.” It was decided that Father Peter and Sister Filia Regina, having the best-paid jobs, should remain in Sydney until the  business became established and then return, but somehow, they were never able to do so.

 

Rev. Mother had told Julian Zbroznik, the owner of the house in Blackheath that the tenants would consist of an extended family; herself, her son who was with her (Brother Francis) and his family (by which she indicated Sister Mary and her children) her son’s sister (Sister Ursula) and her husband and family. This explained most of the people who would be staying in the house, and it was substantially true, for Brother Francis was of course the spiritual son of the Rev. Mother, though not her physical son. Obviously, however it was not the whole truth and was also a little misleading, for Sister Mary was not married to Brother Francis (John Ball), but to Father Peter and the deception, though convenient at the time, later gave rise to some scandal, as Sister Mary, became known locally as Mrs Ball.

 

On 29 December 1957, not long after we arrived in Blackheath, Father Ignatius was consecrated as a bishop by Father Filius Domini assisted by Father Peter and St Serapha. I was present at this ceremony, and though not yet nine, remember it quite well. It was the first such ceremony that I can recall and I at the time I knew enough to question why St. Serapha played such a prominent role and was told merely that it was because she was Rev. Mother. Obviously I now understand that as Abbess she had both the right and the duty to assist at ordinations and consecrations of her spiritual sons, though not, of course, to officiate.

 

As part of her efforts to conceal the community from our enemies, St Serapha, was often engaged in such petty deceptions, and there is no doubt that the mere fact of its survival has justified her actions, but like any misdeed, such acts of deception produce karma. At times, of course, in the spiritual life, the end may justify the means, but if the means bring karma, it must be paid, and paid in full.[28]  So it proved in this case, although I am sure that it was accepted and paid willingly in the knowledge that the end result would be beneficial to the Work. I believe it was largely as a result of this karma, that when the Enemy renewed its attacks on the life of Rev. Mother, early in 1958, they nearly succeeded. She was seriously ill with pneumonia for some weeks, (thus helping to settle any such karma) but several injections of penicillin saved her life, as it had once before.[29]

 

 

St Serapha in Redcliffe

 

After her recovery, the Master sent her to live in Redcliffe to convalesce, and she went alone, taking with her only Sister Therese and I, the two members that she saw as her special charges. I have elsewhere given an account of our time at Redcliffe, and here, I will be brief, for I am telling St Serapha’s story, not my own. We rented a small cottage from a local couple, Cec and Muriel Clark, who later built Clark’s Arcade. They were good people and became our only real friends in Redcliffe. Mrs Clarke was about ten years younger than Rev. Mother, but she is the only person I know who was ever allowed to call her “Jessie”.

 

There were only the three of us, and Rev. Mother filled the role of priest, even celebrating the Eucharist. Apparently, soon after his consecration, Rev. Father had ordained her to the priesthood, possibly as part of her installation as Abbess. Although this Rite confers many of the powers of the Priesthood including the power to Bless and to hear Confession, it does not normally include the authority to celebrate the Eucharist, for by its very nature celebrating the Eucharist is the prerogative of a male, as representative of Christ. However, she was clearly a special case, and in Redcliffe there was no alternative; I was the only male present and I was only nine. She never celebrated when a priest was available and no other female in our Church[30] has ever been given the power to take the Eucharist because as St Serapha herself was to say, only Christ has the authority to “open the doors of the priesthood to women”. [31]  Perhaps He, personally, had done so for her.

 

In Redcliffe, she recovered quite quickly from her illness, and as she once put it to me, “God gave me a rest for a few months”, but by Christmas 1958, the Enemy had found her and the War was on again. At the time I accepted at face value, her dictum, that for Midnight Mass that year we should all remain within a circle that she marked on the floor and asked us to pretend it was the Cave at Bethlehem. Sister Therese and I obeyed and the service passed without incident. It was five years later that she told me what had really been going on. Two of the enemy had attempted to kill her with some sort of psychic weapon from the Astral during the service. Upon the Master’s instructions she exorcised and thus compelled them to stand and wait outside at the foot of the steps[32]. The Master had told her that he would protect the rest of us as long as we proved our obedience by remaining within the marked area. Had I not done so[33], perhaps I would not be writing this today!

 

Initially Rev. Mother had not expected to spend long in Redcliffe, but once the enemy had found her, she knew that the stay would be extended, and in March 1959 she sent for Michael Strong[34], to be a “companion for me,” as I was then told, though I now know there were other reasons[35]. It was she who taught Michael and me our schoolwork using normal Queensland textbooks, and this continued to the end of 1960 when she decided that our formal schooling would come to an end. This was at least partly because, starting on the Festival of Christ the King that year, she had begun to teach me about the Occult. Also she herself was getting busier and from then onwards she spent most days in her room typing, recording messages, mystical experiences, and particularly the details of her War with the Enemy.

 

 

Living with a Saint.

 

Some time after that, probably as a result of a message from the Master, she announced that our life in Redcliffe was about to change; “We have had a home, and a very happy home,” she said, “But we have not been living the religious life, and it is now time that we did.”  It was only from about this time onwards, that I began to realise just how holy our Rev. Mother was. She was in almost constant contact with the Master of the Work - a Throne whose task it was to guide and direct her and she followed his orders explicitly and exactly. If Michael and I were sent out merely to post a letter, we were always told which route to take and she would never buy anything without first seeking guidance. Once, I remember, I was with her in the Jetty Newsagency, when she was thinking of buying something. Before doing so she stood stock still in the middle of the busy shop, whilst she asked the Master for permission.  Later she explained this process to me, pointing out that asking for permission to do something was not as simple as it seemed. “If you ask ‘can I buy that’ you would probably get the reply ‘if you wish’,” she explained, “Or simply ‘you may’, even if it was not the right thing to do. She went on to explain that this was because an Angelic servant of God is bound by His Laws, and therefore can not do anything against human free will; and asking to do something inferred that you wished to do it. If you really wanted to know God’s Will, you should ask “What do you wish me to do” or “Is there anything you wish me to do”. Freed from the restrictions imposed by his respect for your free will, the Guide might then say “buy so-and-so” or “don’t buy it” or perhaps “look around the shop a bit more” or “try another shop”, or even something quite different.

 

For about a year and a half we lived a fairly strict religious life, supporting her whilst she waged the war with the Enemy. Sister Therese looked after us boys and kept house, whilst Michael and I played and studied. Then about the middle of 1962, Father Peter came to visit. Rev. Mother, Michael and I went to Brisbane to meet him, and caught up with him at the bus depot. I was quite impressed when he knelt to St Serapha and kissed her hand, right there on the pavement in the middle of Brisbane! He stayed with us for about three days, and spent much time talking to her. He then returned to Sydney, but a year later (mid 1963) he came back again, this time accompanied by Sister, and again they spent much time talking with Rev. Mother.

 

Rev. Mother and I often talked about theology and morality – usually with me asking questions and her providing enlightenment, but at times I would challenge her assertions. I well remember one such occasion, when she insisted that we should not watch television – then in its infancy in Redcliffe. Her reason was that the Enemy could use it to influence us – they could somehow affect our sub-conscious minds without our conscious minds being aware of it. Already reasonably cognizant of the scientific processes involved I disputed this – I could not see any way in which a purely mechanical system could affect the sub-conscious mind, other than through the conscious. She insisted; “I don’t know how they do it, but I know they do” and there the matter rested for a while.

 

Then one evening listening to the radio news, I heard that the government was proposing legislation that prevented the use of “advertisements on Television that involved the flashing of very short duration slogans on the screen, too short to be registered by the conscious mind, but which nevertheless can influence the sub-conscious processes of viewers.” Suddenly I realised that this was what she had been talking about. When I told her, all she said was – “Probably you’re right – I didn’t know how it was done, I just knew they could do it.” Thereafter I was much less ready to challenge her assertions.

 

Michael and I sometimes fought, and this worried Rev. Mother, and led to the only time that I ever saw her really distressed. On this occasion we had not actually been fighting, but he had pretended that I had hurt his arm, rolling around on the floor and making out that it was broken. Entering into the spirit of the thing, I rushed off to Rev. Mother’s room, and struggling to keep a straight face, told her “Michael’s broken his arm”. For once she was deceived, and hurried through to see. When she found that it was all a joke, she collapsed in a chair, and I well remember her saying to Sister Therese; “my first thought was ‘what doctor can I get him’”. By this she meant ‘who was there who she could approach who she could be sure was not connected with the Enemy’. I didn’t get into trouble for my thoughtless “joke”, but her reaction made certain that I never tried anything like that again.

 

Although her health was generally good, by this time Rev. Mother was clearly aging and she often found the Queensland summer heat trying. She frequently made use of a small hand fan and was very grateful when presented with a small personal electric version. She also suffered through a toe that had been broken in Cyprus and that had never been properly set. It rubbed badly because it was permanently crossed over the one next to it and whenever she happened to knock it, it caused her great pain.

 

 

The Death of “Sister Therese”

 

Sister Therese had suffered from stomach ulcers as a result of the stresses she had undergone through the Case, and in January 1963 they began bleeding badly. Rev. Mother sent Michael and I down to the Clark’s at about 8.00pm, on the 21st to ask for help. Normally we were never allowed out after dark, but this was an emergency and Mr Clark phoned a doctor who was at the house before we got back. Sister Therese was sent to hospital in an ambulance, and Rev Mother went with her. We were alone that night, (Monday night) but Rev. Mother returned early in the morning. After checking on us, she went back to be with Sister Therese in the hospital, although she returned to spend the Tuesday night with us. She left very early Wednesday, telling us that the hospital had called and said Sister Therese was “very, very ill”. Insensitively I asked if the Hospital had actually said that, which she acknowledged and then left. Brutally I turned to Michael remarking “when the hospital says that, they usually die”.

 

To our surprise Rev. Mother was back by about 8.00am and she then told us that Sister Therese was dead. “The hospital said she died early Wednesday morning, but actually it was late Tuesday night”, she told us later. I never did find out whether the hospital had actually called the first time, but I now doubt it, for we had no phone! Probably she already knew that Sister Therese had died and merely needed to ring to get the details. A blood transfusion could have saved her, but of course the psychic contact that would have resulted if she had received blood from a person connected with the Enemy could have been worse than fatal, and Sister Therese had not been prepared to risk it. “The hospital asked me to try and talk her round, but of course I wouldn’t do that. I told them it was her decision”, Rev. Mother explained to us.

 

In a sense, like Sister Bertha and Sister Bridget before her, she died a martyr for the work. Rev. Mother had not wanted to tell us the news when we first woke up, and when we had thought she was going to the hospital again, she had merely gone up to the local phone box to ring Blackheath. As a result Sister Mary and Father Ignatius flew up, the latter to take the funeral. This was my first experience of a “public” service” and I carried the cross, but the only outsiders present were the Clarks. That evening a reporter came to the door, asking questions about Sr Therese and the Church. Rev Mother and Father Ignatius spoke to him. “Would you call yourselves break-away at all?” he asked. Rev. Mother was most insistent, “No, we have the original line of succession right through”, she said. The next day the report appeared on the front page of the Courier Mail under the heading “Refused Blood – she died”.

 

Sister Helena came to Redcliffe to take Sr Therese’ place, but soon afterwards, (March 1963) two Queensland detectives came to the house in Redcliffe to interview St Serapha about Dorothy Lough. It was patently a “fishing expedition” probably triggered by our enemies in England, for they were apparently unaware of her death. Rev. Mother was their main target, but in addition Sister Helena, Michael and I were all called in to be questioned. In my presence Rev. Mother challenged them at one point – she said that even if Dorothy Lough was found she would by then be well over 21 and so entitled to make her own decisions.

 

They told her quite bluntly that this was not so, and that the Court Order forbade her from ever having any contact with us, no matter what her age. Apparently Rev. Mother had been unaware of this till that point, but if further proof were needed that the Community had acted rightly in defying the secular power, this provided it. Such an order against freedom of association was clearly a total denial of natural justice and thus it was only after nearly twenty years that we were shown just how completely the British Judicial system had been corrupted. The community had been fully justified in its original actions and had it not acted as and when it did, Dorothy Lough would never have been able to fulfil her vows to God.  

 

 

St Serapha and Michael the Seraph

 

It was as a result of the incident with the detectives that Rev. Mother decided to tell me somewhat of her story and thereafter she began to teach me more about the Occult and especially about Psychic warfare. After the death of Rev. Father, the Seraph Michael, Captain of the Hosts of Heaven had taken her under his special protection. The Seraph Michael is the greatest of all the Angels of God and it was he, together with the Master that accompanied and protected Rev. Mother in all her battles with the enemy and I well remember her description of Michael on one such occasion as “. . . towering above the Master even as the Master towered above me.” After her illness in 1958 her relationship with the Seraph Michael had become especially close and in fact her description of it to me, implied that that illness should have marked her death (meaning that by then she had earned the right to pass to the Plane of the Saints) but that for the sake of the work she had been permitted to remain for a few more years.  Since then, she once told me, her own Guardian Angel “has been taking a rest, preparing to pass higher and Michael has acted as my Guardian Angel.”  Obviously, under normal circumstances a Guardian Angel does not “take a rest” until its pupil is ready to become a saint, and the phrase, “preparing to pass higher”, clearly implies that hers had earned the right to pass to the Archangelic Plane and was probably preparing to do so[36], whilst the Seraph Michael had himself assumed the duties of her “Guardian Angel”. 

 

Although I did not realise it at the time, this is incredibly significant, for it implies that she remained on earth for seven years longer than was required for her to achieve perfection, in order to perform a very special work. It links her with Our Lady, who was her Patron Saint, and who also spent time on earth after her own needs no longer required it[37]. It also explains why the Enemy saw her as being greater than Rev. Father had been, for it seems that he had passed to the Plane of the Saints immediately he had earned the right to do so, in 1949. St Serapha had apparently reached the same stage early in 1958, and during the years that followed, she became even more advanced. When she was finally permitted to pass hence, she was not only able to pass to the Plane of the Saints, but like Our Lady was also made free of the Angelic Plane.

 

This does not mean that she became an Angel - merely that, with the passing of Our Lady and many older Saints, to the Angelic Plane[38], she and Rev Father are now among the leaders of the Saintly Confraternity. Furthermore, although not yet joined together in one Angelic Body they are free to pass to that realm at will and commune with those who dwell there, a privilege that, so far as we know had previously been granted only to the Virgin Mary. It is usually considered that Mary only received this wonderful privilege because she came back to earth again, after having earned the right to pass to the Planes of the Saints – something that she did because God asked her to become the earthly Mother of Christ. So what did St Serapha do to earn the same right?

 

 

The Operation of Karma in extreme Situations

 

After the Enemy had failed to kill her in the War in Cyprus, Lucifer, in accordance with the Divine Laws[39], instructed them to desist from further attacks[40] but they failed to obey their own leader. Lucifer did not warn them again for he is known as the Father of Lies and his task is to test not only good souls, but even the most evil that they may be led to fall even lower. Therefore although his order had been disobeyed he did not attempt to enforce it but continued to help his servants in their attempts to destroy St Serapha and the Work, thus leading them further and further into sin, but at the same providing us with further opportunities for progress.[41].

 

Had they obeyed Lucifer at that time, left the Work alone, and instead of attacking us, concentrated on promoting Satan as Anti-Christ, as he had told them to do, they would have served the Evil Purpose better. In such an event, the struggle between we who strive to prepare for the coming of Christ and those who sought to establish Lucifer as Anti-Christ, would have been perilously close. So close that St Serapha herself would not say what the final result would have been, though she did emphasise that since Christ had promised to Return He would do so, but added “there might not have been much of a world left for Him to Rule”.[42] As it was the Enemy spent so many years attacking St Serapha that what should have been their main task was neglected and the world survived the threat of nuclear war. Furthermore, by her struggle and the eventual sacrifice of her life, she earned for the Work many psychic rights and privileges that now make our exorcisms the most powerful on earth.

 

 

The Last Years.

 

During her last years Rev. Mother regularly attended meetings of the Enemy in the Astral, accompanied and protected by Michael and the Master of the Work. The enemy often knew she was present but could do nothing to keep her away so they developed a special type of gun to kill her. Their plan was that she was to be brought to a Circle Meeting, compelled to materialise and then that materialisation would be shot. This would produce an effect on the physical body that would make it appear to suffer a heart attack in its sleep. I asked her what happened when they were ready for her. She replied simply “I just didn’t materialise.”

 

Despite several such attempts on her life she continued to monitor their meetings, recording their plans and discussions, and on several occasions materialising and speaking to them as the Master directed. Apparently on such occasions “The Master kept them listening to me”. It was from monitoring such meetings that she was made aware of how and why many things had happened in the past and I studied her records of these meetings under her guidance.

 

I recall one of them in which a member discussed an abortion they had procured in Sister Mary in Blackheath. “The Master (Lucifer) suggested that we produce an abortion.” I read. “That just sounds like him (Lucifer),” snorted Rev. Mother, “Killing an unborn baby”. Clearly she knew Lucifer and his methods only too well! The enemy also discussed the Case, “that was when Inskip was Chief Justice. He got hold of the trial Judge. . .”  Thereafter they discussed the attempt to gain Right of Entry to the Abbey in Barnet; “We sent bailiffs to try to gain Right of Entry, but they said and had papers to prove it, that the house was owned by the community. By some oversight the charges had been laid against the man only (Rev. Father) and so the attempt was unsuccessful”

 

 

Decimation of the Community

 

The death of Sister Therese, marked the beginning of a time of severe trial for the community, for from that time onward the Enemy redoubled their attacks and we lost four other members, over the next couple of years. They continued to try to attack St Serapha, but they also assailed the community in Blackheath, seeking Right of Entry and trying to obtain Psychic Contact with members. In Cyprus in 1951, they had obtained both through relatives of some of the members of the community, particularly through Doris Middleton, Sister Bertha’s sister. I am not saying that she or any other relatives were knowing allies of the Black Magicians, but they were no friends to the Community, and thus were easily used by our enemies as the means of establishing psychic contact with its members.

 

In Cyprus, at first, we had not realised the danger, but by the time Sister Gabrielle’s father (Charles Hopping) made contact with her in late 1963 Rev. Mother was fully aware of the potential risks. She immediately had to decide what to do about Sr Gabrielle and the contact that had been established and her decision was prompt but fair. She should leave the community for a time and work away, as were Father Peter and Sister Filia Regina at the time, For a time she should have no further direct contact with the community; then when the Work in Redcliffe was finished, and we all came together again[43], she would return to the community as would also Father Peter and Sister Filia Regina at that time.

 

By that date I was also aware of the psychic dangers, and fully endorsed her decision, but some members of the community, were less well versed in psychic matters and thought that it was harsh. However, worse was to follow! When Father Filius Domini, the Prior of the community who had been in effective charge at Blackheath during Rev. Mother’s absence, died on 3rd March 1964, she flew down for the funeral, and appointed Sr Mary, the senior sister resident at Blackheath[44] to take his place, and also arranged for Brother Francis to be ordained a priest, and then consecrated a bishop to help safeguard the Holy Orders. Father Peter and Father Ignatius performed the consecration and she assisted, just as she had assisted at the consecration of Father Ignatius in late 1957.

 

When she returned to Redcliffe, she told me that there had been so much power at the service[45] that she had had to support both Father Peter and Father Francis. “What about Father Ignatius” I asked. “Oh, he seemed less affected,” was all the explanation that I could get out of her at the time, but when later that year (October) Father Ignatius wrote to her, tendering his resignation from the community[46], I understood[47]. Technically, as he had taken vows for life, he had no right to resign, but Rev. Mother accepted his decision. Later he wrote again seeking to withdraw that resignation, but, as she said to me at the time “You couldn’t have that. If people could come in and out of the order just as they liked you’d never know where you were.”[48] Whilst this would have undoubtedly caused practical difficulties, she was mainly concerned with the spiritual and the psychic damage that could thereby be wrought.

 

 

Death and Triumph of St Serapha

 

Things were bad in the community at Blackheath. Obviously the Wool Work had been brought to an end. Father Peter and Sister Filia Reginae were still living and working in Sydney, but in Blackheath the sole income now came from Father Francis, a qualified builder, who had set up in business as such and it was also he who provided our income at Redcliffe at that time[49], for St Serapha refused to apply for the government pension, tow which at that time she would have been entitled. “I came into earth-life to help the world, not to sponge off it,” was her explanation, the only time I recall the subject arising.

 

About mid November 1964 Rev. Mother flew back down to Blackheath to try to sort out the relationship between Father Peter and Sister who still lived and worked in Sydney, and the remainder of the community in Blackheath. Again she did not expect to be gone more that a short while, but the weeks passed, and that Christmas was the first I had ever spent away from her. Perhaps to comfort me for this, or perhaps because she realised that she would never see me in the flesh again, she sent me a brief “Christmas Message from Rev. Father” which I still keep. In Cyprus she had regularly provided me with “Messages from Daddy” at Christmas and on other special occasions, but this, I like to think, was her way of saying goodbye to me.

 

In January she wrote a normal letter to me; “I miss you all,” it read “I do not know when the Master will let me come back to Queensland, but I hope it will be soon.” It never happened. On going to wake her in the morning of February 4th 1965 Sister Mary found her dead. We may never know exactly what happened that night. Probably the Enemy finally killed her aging earthly body, perhaps in the way that they had planned, that would have seemed like a heart attack – the officially-recognised cause of her death. However, this would only have been permitted because her work on earth was done. They were certainly unable to harm her spirit, which flew swiftly to its natural abode, but like Christ Himself, in her death she triumphed. For as a result of their disobedience to their own Master, the Enemy lost many of their rights to the protection and help that Lucifer had previously been able to afford them. In particular, by slaying her against his instructions they lost much of their power against her fellow-labourers in the Work of Christ on Earth.

 

Christ the Divine Salvator, died for the salvation of the world, thus significantly reducing the ability of the Powers of Darkness to harm His followers throughout the whole world. Our Rev Mother was a mere mortal, but she, too, died for others - in her case it was for the salvation and future success of those who participated in the Work she helped to Found and the results have been significant. Since that time our exorcisms have possessed a strength unequalled on earth, and through them we have been substantially protected from the dangers inherent in “Psychic Contact” and “Right of Entry” and thus from the psychic attacks of the Enemy.

 

A few days after Rev. Mother’s death Sister Mary reported that she had received a message from the Angelic Guardian about her; “Henceforth she will be known as Saint Serapha”, he had said. The implication was clear. She was a saint. She was a great saint, but she was more than that. She was also free of the Angelic Plane[50] and by the sacrifice of her death, and that of her fellow martyr, Rev. Father, the ultimate success of the Work on Earth was assured. With their help we shall carry it forward till the coming of Christ the King. 

 

 

 

 



[1]

That is not to say that psychic or even mystical contact is not affected by physical sickness. It is, and during the time of  Ward’s early psychic contacts, they suffered when he was ill as recorded in “Gone West”  Part 1; 35;  9  Note: - I went up to Cambridge on the 3rd, and all through August suffered from a sharp attack of pleurisy. During the whole of that time I had no visions, nor did I attempt automatic writing. It was not till the 5th of September that I was able to resume automatic writing at Mr. K.'s house.

Similarly on the night before the day he died, when he simply felt a little unwell, he had been unable to get a detailed message from the Angelic Guardian; merely a brief; “‘We are well pleased with all that has been done today.’ (Father Peter’s Diaries 25; 74)

[2]

I suspect this because he was given his father’s name, which one might expect to be borne by the oldest son. Of course, his father died shortly before his birth, and this may have been the reason he was named after him.

[3]

William Stead was a spiritualist who died on the Titanic after leading passengers in the hymn, ‘Nearer, my God, to Thee.’  His daughter, Stella, heard from The Beyond about this incident and published an account of it, and it was she who set up the spiritualist enquiry agency called Stead’s Bureau

[4]

He wrote for the Encyclopaedia Britannica on the subject and his Masonic books are still sold as standard reference works through the Internet.

[5]

She referred to it as the F.B.I., and at one stage I thought he was head of the British Intelligence Service!

[6]

I once asked her quite bluntly how she knew about this story, for it was never made public and she replied simply: “At that time your father held a very responsible position and he was party to many government secrets. He told me about it.”

[7]

She told me that she had visited an exhibition of photographs of some of these atrocities, and in response to my demand for details, she referred to a picture of a class of school-children with their tongues nailed to their desks. She was clearly still revulsed by the memories of this exhibition and it was thus made clear to me that her anti-communist views were not based on merely philosophical objections, but on her own experiences. 

[8]

At that time Golder’s Green it was an upper-middle-class, residential suburb in north-western London

[9]

Father Peter has recorded some further details of this period in the first chapter of his diaries and the reader may wish to compare the two accounts.

[10]

As the descents of Christ always coincide with a change in the status of the Work here on earth, it should not surprise us to find this first descent linked with the first step in its establishment, although details are unclear.

[11]

It may seem strange to talk about the “descent” of Christ to the Plane of the Seraphim for the First Vision of Brother Seraphion makes it clear that He ever dwells amid the Seraphim. Nevertheless in a very real sense Christ did at that time “descend” – leaving His Divine Throne as Eternal God, and taking upon Himself the form of a Seraph. From this time He “walked abroad” among all the Seraphim, as a Seraph among the Seraphs, visiting even the furthest and least advanced reaches of that vast Plane.

[12]

One couple, the Chamberlains, remained in the Work till their deaths; the other did not stay for long. 

[13]

Jean Page (later known as St Jean) also continued to live with them until her death in 1944.

[14]

These mean respectively; Guardian of the Guardians and Towards the Heights. It seems, however, that the Rev. Father’s name, by which St Serapha often referred to him, had been used by him well before this time, for there is evidence that when he was admitted to the Rosicrucian Order, the “Fellowship of the Rosy Cross” on 22 March 1921 it was as Frater (Brother) Custos Custodiens. As to whether or not St Serapha’s Latin name originated in the same way, I cannot say. It is noteworthy, however that neither her name nor Rev. Father’s have specifically Christian connotations, and thus reflected the vast breadth of their early seeking. By contrast, those of the other Founders, Filius Domini (Son of the Lord), Filia Regina (Daughter of the Queen) In Manbibus Dei  (Into the hands of God) and Via Crucis (By Way of the Cross) can be obviously linked with the Christian theology that the Abbey propounded from that time onwards.

[15]

St Serapha once explained to me that “they can call them up to act as padres, but not to fight”.  As it was, the war government recognised the Abbey as a religious house and none of the men (Rev. Father, Father Filius Domini, Father Peter and Father Ignatius) were called up.

[16]

Born: 1st November 1926, she died in January 1963

[17]

Other people have doubted that it was anywhere near this level, but this is the figure she gave me. It probably included the costs of Rev. Father’s Bankruptcy as well as the actual costs and damages of the Case itself.  It may even have included the costs connected with the move from England and the resettlement in Cyprus, but she was insistent on the figure. Certainly the raising of such a vast sum in barely twelve months placed an enormous strain on the community and this is attested by a hand-written addition in Rev. Father’s personal hymnbook, that I was given by St Serapha in Redclife and which I used until it became too fragile; “Send the money we are needing” it reads, replacing the third line of verse nine of what is now Hymn no 166.

[18]

A term connected with Psychic Warfare. Psychically-speaking a man’s home is his castle and it is not possible for a Psychic to enter one’s home against one’s will through Astral-travelling unless he/she has first obtained “Right of Entry”. This is most usually obtained by first entering the home in the physical, perhaps as an invited guest, or in some other way, with the at-least tacit consent of the owner. Hence any legal means of entering a house, such as the execution of a search-warrant can be used to gain Right of Entry

[19]

These included a local Roman Catholic convent and Gerald Gardner, then a friend of Rev. Father, but who later became the founder of modern Wicca.

[20]

In Abraham’s case, it will be remembered that Sarah did eventually give birth to a child, even though she was long past menopause, and some members of the community apparently felt that Rev. Mother might likewise bear a “special child.”  However, to the best of my knowledge, she never expected this, although one of his “letters” to me suggests that at one stage she thought that Rev. Father might be re-born into the community if it proved worthy. Apparently it never did, for this did not happen, at least, not within her lifetime.

[21]

Although some women might have found this difficult, by then she was well past such petty possessiveness. Certainly she always treated me with the greatest affection and my mother with consideration.

[22]

This was purely a religious ceremony. The legal ceremony took place about the 19th April. (F. Peter’s Diary chap 24; 134) Sr Mary miscarried about ten days later.

[23]

After the Rev. Father’s death, when St Serapha took up the sole oversight of the Work, she and the members, sought by monumental acts of self-sacrifice and a rigid obedience, to rectify the “failures” of the past which they felt had led to their beloved Reverend Father being taken from them. At the same time, the Powers of Evil attacked voraciously, and the community was for a time in real danger of destruction. During that time and even afterwards a number of theories about the nature of the Return of Christ and related subjects circulated within the community, without ever having any real backing from the Superior. Certainly there was the hope, that Reverend Father would be reincarnated speedily and once again take his part in the Work and there is, perhaps some truth in the idea that St Serapha may have hoped that she would bear him miraculously, for of course she was well past the age of child-bearing. Some members, however, thought that she would actually bear the Christ Child, something to which certainly she never aspired and in actual fact, it was from about this time, and perhaps as the result of the failure of the English nation, that the laws of karma began to exclude the possibility that Christ would return as a Babe. Looking back, we can see that probably He had never intended to do so, but at the time this was not clear, for the visualizations of even the greatest mystics are to at least some extent limited by the ordinary laws of mortality and the community felt itself at least partly to blame for the failure of the English nation. I shall address this subject in depth, elsewhere.

[24]

This is why sex plays such an important part in many occult rites. The power of the sex act is well known and heterosexual intercourse between spouses, in whatever format, is recognised by the church as being an essential part of the Sacrament of Matrimony. Psychically it can provide a strong link between the partners, and even in non-psychic couples this often produces some level of telepathy, whilst when both parties are psychic, even more dramatic effects can result - for good or ill, sometimes even without conscious intent. For instance, if one partner harbours resentment against the other, intercourse alone can trigger a serious illness in the other, without any deliberate intention of doing so.  If harm is intended, any form of sex can provide the strongest possible psychic contact

[25]

This came mainly, I believe, from Father Stephen and Sr Grace who mortgaged their house to the tune of about £ 6000 in total, a vast sum of money in the 1950’s and a major impost on their declining years as they paid it off again.. Although as both their surviving children were members of the community it could be argued that they were only doing what any parents would have done, we were always grateful for their support, both then and when we arrived in Australia and I feel sure that God has since rewarded them.

[26]

She opposed their getting jobs until it was absolutely necessary, for she realised the many trials and temptations that they would thus encounter and she was right. The order was never the same again in later years, for this contact with the world did lead to a decline in its collective spiritual standing and in some cases eventually led to members leaving the community completely.

[27]

This was very fundamentalist. I was told that Eve was made out of one of Adam’s ribs, and also that the proof of this fact was that even today men had one less rib than women! It was several years later before I found that men and women have the same number of ribs! Even today many fundamentalists use similar falsifications of facts to “prove” their claims, especially the idea that creation is only a 6000 years old. .

[28]

The Karmic result of any action will obviously be mitigated by a good motive, but when one knows that one is doing wrong, yet feels that the end justifies the means, the karmic price must still be paid – for not even confession can ameliorate it further. (This is because, being deliberately undertaken, there is no question of repentance – which is the essential element of a valid confession).

[29]

She once said to me “penicillin saved my life twice”; the first time was probably in Cyprus in late1951.

[30]

I can vouch for the fact that spiritually speaking she did have this authority. Her services produced a tremendous amount of power, and on one occasion, when receiving the Sacrament from her, I experienced a partial physical transformation of the Sacrament, whereby the wine actually changed to Blood in my mouth. 

[31]

She did, however, indicate that she believed He would do so when He came again, or perhaps introduce a Rite to replace the Eucharist in which women would participate equally with men. 

[32]

It was a high set house and apparently she kept them waiting there in the Astral until the Master told her to release them. Their long and uncomfortable absence from the circle meeting caused great consternation among the other members who never expected to see them alive again. Apparently it was unheard of for any to be absent in the Astral for so long, and all attempts to recall them failed until Rev. Mother released them.

[33]

In the context of Psychic Conflict, obedience is absolutely essential. Even the most psychic individual is rarely aware of the full context of an attack, and even a minor disobedience makes it much harder for the Powers of Light to protect us from the assaults of the Enemy for it means that Lucifer can validly claim that disobedience denies us any karmic right to such protection.

[34]

He was put on a plane at Sydney and we met him at Brisbane airport on the 11th March. It had been intended that he would fly up on the 10th, St Serapha’s birthday, but no tickets were available.

[35]

These include the important parts we were each to play in the work in the future; he, through his labours with the Museum, and me through the Church. It was her hope that we would develop a good working relationship for we “would need to work together in the future,” which for a space we did around 1980, with him writing lectures for the Museum and me reading them onto tapes for public presentations. Perhaps we will again in the future – I do not know.  

[36]

I did not realise its significance when she said this, but obviously I now know that an Angel only becomes an Archangel after its pupil has completed its earthly task.

[37]

I am not claiming that she was the equal of Our Lady, who came back to earth for a full incarnation after achieving perfection. Merely that her effort, though less, was of the same type and had a similar karmic result. Now, of course, Our Lady dwells permanently on the Angelic Plane, whilst St. Serapha is still “merely” a Saint. 

[38]

When Christ finished His work on the Plane of the Saints those who were then deemed worthy passed forward to the Angelic Plane had been prophesied 30 years before in the Sixth Vision of Brother Seraphion.

[39]

The sufferings of the community in Cyprus and its strict obedience at that time were such that it collectively earned the right to be left alone. The enemy, however, does not obey Divine Laws, and for a space they defied them, but the further trials that they then imposed on us, and which culminated in the martyrdom of St Serapha gained for the Work further tremendous Psychic advantages.  

[40]

Note that Lucifer, being a servant of God, must himself abide by His Laws, though it is also his task to tempt others to break them. This is what occurred here.

[41]

This is the karmic disadvantage that afflicts all the powers of evil and is in a sense the karma that they bring upon themselves by defying the laws of God, but howsoever it be regarded, it means that any test or temptation that they inflict upon a servant of Christ is very much a two-edged sword. In other words, because God will not suffer us to be tempted above that which we are able to bear, any test brings with it not only the possibility of a spiritual fall but equally, if defied or passed, the chance of great spiritual gain.

[42]

See also Christ’s question in St Luke 18; 8: “Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?” At that time this was not entirely a rhetorical question – today, however, due in no small measure to the length of time the enemy spent trying to kill St Serapha, we know the answer. He will. 

[43]

It was always made clear to all at Redcliffe that our separation from the main body of the Community was only temporary and that in due course we would “:Move” again and rejoin them. This is in effect what happened, though not till after the death of St Serapha.

[44]

She was actually the second most senior member, for Sr. Filia Regina, the widow of Father Filius Domini and like him one of the Founders, was obviously more so, but she was living in Sydney at that time. Sr. Mary was the most senior member among those that normally resided at Blackheath.

[45]

This took place on Easter Sunday 29th March 1964. Later during our Communion at Redcliffe the following Pentecost, the whole house shook and we could find no natural explanation (we even looked in the papers for reports of an earth tremor) Some days afterwards, apparently as a result of a message from the Angelic Guardian, Rev. Mother told us that because we had “missed out” on the great descent of power at Father Francis’ consecration, we had instead been sent this special manifestation. Possibly, in God’s Plan, both descents of power were designed to help the community to survive the approaching death of St Serapha.

[46]

He was trying to put pressure on her to change the appointment of Sr Mary.

[47]

His personal internal conflict would have effectively blocked much of the power from reaching him.

[48]

Also because of his contact with Sr Gabrielle, his return to the community at that point in time would have provided the Enemy with a psychic link into the Community. 

[49]

We received £15 a week, of which £6:15 went on rent.

[50]

This phrase has a very specific meaning. It indicates that the spirit concerned, though not yet an Angel, has been granted the right to enter the Angelic Plane at will. That privilege is very rarely bestowed. So far as I know this was only the second time that it had been granted in this Age. It was accorded to Our Lady soon after her Assumption, and it was this that has led to her being commonly called “Queen of Angels”. She retained that privilege until January 1975 when Christ the King left the Saintly Plane and she passed permanently to the Angelic Plane. In one sense therefore it could be suggested that St Serapha, who left earth life in February 1965, was thus made ready to become her successor on the Saintly Plane.

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Christ is Coming
WILL YOU HELP PREPARE HIS WAY?
 
For Further information
Contact:  Rt. Rev. John Cuffe
               St Cecelia's Orthdox Catholic Church
               Caboolture Qld 4510 Australia.
               email orthcathcab@yahoo.com.au
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