Ballard, Guy Warren (1878–1939)
Cofounder with his wife Edna W. Ballard of the I AM Religious
Activity and the Saint Germain Foundation. He was born
in Newton, Kansas, on July 28, 1878, attended business college,
and held several mining jobs prior to his marriage in 1916. He
settled in Chicago, but his work carried him across the United
States. In 1930 he found himself in northern California, near
the small community of Mt. Shasta. While walking on the side
of a volcanic mountain, he met, according to his later published
account, Ascended Master Saint Germain.
Saint Germain identified himself as a member of the Great
White Brotherhood, the group of evolved adepts believed to
guide the destiny of humankind. He was looking for an appropriate
person to whom he could give the message that would
usher in a new age on earth. Ballard, his wife, and their son
Donald were appointed Messengers of the Masters. The Masters
began to speak to and through (in a process very similar
to what is today termed channeling) Ballard. The story of his
initial encounters and early messages, which provided the basic
I AM teachings, were later presented as the first six volumes of
I AM books. The first volume, Unveiled Mysteries, issued under
the pen name Godfre Ray King, appeared in 1934.
Ballard informed his wife of what had happened to him in
a set of letters from Mt. Shasta, and upon his return to Chicago,
they founded the Saint Germain Foundation and Saint Germain
Press. The teachings centered upon the announcement
of the existence of and the evocation of the I AM Presence, the
spirit of God in each individual. A series of mantric-like prayers
called decrees were advocated as the means of such evocation.
The I AM movement was one of the most successful, flamboyant,
and controversial of the late 1930s. At its height, however,
Ballard unexpectedly died on December 29, 1939. His
death created an immediate problem as some expectation had
spread through the movement that he would not die but physically
ascend. Several years after his death his wife and son and
many of the leaders of the movement were the subject of a landmark
judicial process initiated by several ex-members who
questioned the sincerity of the movement. The process resulted
in a 1944 Supreme Court ruling which suggested that it was not
legitimate for government to place a religion, no matter how
nonconventional, on trial.
Sources
King, Godfre Ray [Guy W. Ballard]. The ‘‘I AM’’ Discourses.
Chicago St. Germain Press, 1935.
———. The Magic Presence. Chicago St. Germain Press,
1935.
———. Unveiled Mysteries. Chicago St. Germain Press,
1934.