Church Universal and Triumphant (Religion, Cults and Churches)

Church Universal and Triumphant (CUT) is an international religious organization founded in 1975 by It is an outgrowth (and is now the corporate parent) of, founded in 1958 by Prophet's husband, Its beliefs reflect features of the traditions of and The church's headquarters is located near,_Montana, and the church has local congregations in more than 20 countries.
The church has never released membership numbers, and total affiliation is difficult to estimate due to the decentralized, international structure. One author has estimated that the membership peaked at about 10,000 active participants, but sharply declined following a series of crises and controversies in the early to mid-1990s. However, this author seems to have overlooked growth in international membership. An article in People magazine in 1985 claimed that Elizabeth Clare Prophet estimated that church members numbered between 75,000 and 150,000., a leading authority on new religions in the United States, estimated membership at between 30,000 and 50,000, including international members, in 1993.

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Along with many other new religious movements, Church Universal and Triumphant has received criticism as a ","; in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Articles and letters critical of the church were published in the local newspapers the Livingston Enterprise and the Bozeman Chronicle. Several of the letters were written by former Church members who raised lawsuits against the church. A number of church members were kidnapped and subjected to coercive attempts by individuals connected with the anti-cult movement.

Public scrutiny intensified in 1989 when it was discovered the Church Universal and Triumphant was building fallout shelters and that members of the church, including vice president and husband of Elizabeth Clare Prophet, Edward Francis, had purchased weapons illegally. (The weapons were legal to purchase, but Francis and other members used a false identity to purchase them in an attempt to avoid negative publicity for the church.) The Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms, state, and local law enforcement agencies subsequently investigated the church. The BATF investigation resulted in Francis being sentenced to one month in prison and three months' house detention and another member being sentenced to three months' probation. As a result of the government scrutiny, the church made several changes in its operations, including the appointment of a number of independent directors to its governing board.

Elizabeth Prophet developed in the late 1990s, and in 1999 retired from active involvement with the organization. From then until the time of her death, she lived in,_Montana under house care. The church continued its work under the direction of presidency with a and a council of elders.[] She died October 15, 2009 at the age of 70. Prophet's legal guardian, Murray Steinman, said she suffered from advanced Alzheimer's disease and died at her apartment.

This one is pretty creepy and my personal favorite