‘‘Mafu,’’ the entity said to speak through channel Penny
Torres, emerged in the mid-1980s during the growing popularity
of ‘‘Ramtha,’’ the entity said to speak through J. Z.
Knight. In the process of developing as a channel, Torres had
visited Knight, and as ‘‘Mafu’’ emerged, many people noted the
similarity between his speech characteristics and gestures and
those of ‘‘Ramtha.’’
Mafu described himself as a 32,000-year-old being who had
incarnated on earth 17 different times. He began to manifest
through Torres in 1986. Torres’s attention had been occupied
by some poltergeist activity, in which objects spontaneously
flew around the room. She was then told by another channel,
Pam Davis, that a master named Mafu wished to speak through
her. The very next day ‘‘Mafu’’ first spoke to Torres and instructed
her how to use a crystal to heal her son, who was sick
with pneumonia. Later that year, in Davis’s home, Torres
began to channel, though it was not ‘‘Mafu’’ who spoke.
Then a month later ‘‘Mafu’’ again spoke through Torres
and began to train her as a trance channel. She gave her first
public channeling sessions in Santa Barbara, California, and
within a short time was regularly conducting channeling sessions
in Los Angeles and Santa Barbara. As her popularity
grew, she organized Mafu Seminars and began to give weekend
programs around the country. In 1988 ‘‘Mafu’’ launched a
more advanced study opportunity for people serious about his
teachings, developing a course called ‘‘Advanced Realization
Training Beyond the Human Potential.’’ The course introduced
people to a macrobiotic diet, meditation, and other advanced
The direction of the movement around ‘‘Mafu’’ took a new
turn in 1989 when Torres visited India and had an intense religious
experience. She took the vows of a renounced life (as a
sanyassi) and accepted the mission as the ‘‘ordained leader of
spirituality’’ for the present age. She also received her new
name, Swami Paramananda Saraswati. Torres returned to the
United States and established the Foundation for the Realization
of Inner Divinity to supersede Mafu Seminars. The subsidiary,
the Center for God Realization, now disseminates
‘‘Mafu’s’’ teaching materials (tapes and books).
The foundation is headquartered at a campground near
Ashland, Oregon, which serves as a retreat center. Mafu’s continued
teachings, most of which are disseminated in cassette
tapes, are seen as forming a distinct path to realization. The
foundation may be contacted at P.O. Box 458, White City, OR
‘‘Interview Penny Torres on Mafu.’’ Life Times 1, no. 2 (winter
1986–87) 74–79.
L’Ecuyer, Michele. ‘‘Mafu.’’ Life Times 1, no. 2 (winter
1986–87) 80–82.
Torres, Penny [Mafu]. And What Be God Vacaville, Calif.
Mafu Seminars, 1989.
———. Reflections on Yeshua Ben Joseph. Vacaville, Calif.
Mafu Seminars, 1989.

Previous articleMetal Bending
Next articleMassey, Gerald (1828–1907)