Bridge to Spiritual Freedom
The Bridge to Spiritual Freedom is the first of a number of
groups to emerge from the ‘‘I AM’’ Religious Activity that had
been founded in the 1930s by Guy W. Ballard and his wife,
Edna W. Ballard. Guy Ballard claimed to be in contact with a
number of evolved beings he described as ascended masters,
and he as their messenger regularly brought forth communications
from them. However, Ballard died in 1939, only a few
years after initiating the ‘‘I AM’’ Activity. In the several decades
following his death, Edna Ballard did not function as a messenger,
even though she had been designated as a messenger of
the Masters, and some members of the organizations yearned
for immediate fresh contact from the Ascended beings.
As early as 1944, Geraldine Innocente, a member of the ‘‘I
AM’’ in New York, claimed that she had been contacted by the
Ascended Master El Morya (the same master with whom Helena
Petrovna Blavatsky had had special communication with in
the 1880s). She prepared herself over the next seven years and
formally began to operate as a messenger in 1951. She began
to reproduce and circulate copies of these messages and found
some initial response from those associated with the ‘‘I AM’’
sanctuaries in New York and Pennsylvania. She also sent copies
of the messages to Edna Ballard at the ‘‘I AM’’ headquarters.
Encyclopedia of Occultism & Parapsychology • 5th Ed. Bridge to Spiritual Freedom
Ballard demanded that Innocente cease the circulation of unauthorized
messages. When she refused, the break occurred
and in the mid-1950s the Bridge to Freedom was created.
Innocente was from the Caribbean and among the issues in
the break with the ‘‘I AM’’ was its refusal to allow the translation
of the messages from the masters into other languages, Spanish
in particular. Innocente had translated and circulated the messages
from El Morya in Cuba and Puerto Rico.
In the Bridge to Freedom messages, El Morya operated
under a pseudonym, Thomas Printz, and appears as such on
Bridge literature to this day. Innocente died in 1961 and the
role of messenger for El Morya and the masters was assumed
by Lucy W. Littlejohn. She served in that capacity until 1989.
Since that time the name of the current messenger has not been
published. The beliefs and practices (including the use of the
affirmative prayers called decrees) are similar to those found in
the ‘‘I AM.’’ The primary difference between the Bridge activity
and the ‘‘I AM’’ is the presence of a messenger in immediate
contact with the masters.
Among the early associates of Innocente was Florence K.
Ekey, who headed an independent ‘‘I AM’’ center in Philadelphia
that she called the Lighthouse to Freedom. Ekey would
later become the sponsor of a young man whom she believed
to be a genuine messenger of the masters named Mark Prophet.
In 1959, Ekey was one of several people who resigned from
the Bridge to Freedom and joined in the inauguration of the
Summit Lighthouse, known today as the Church Universal and
The Bridge to Freedom became the New Age Church of the
Christ in the 1980s but has most recently been named the
Bridge to Spiritual Freedom (and not to be confused with the
Bridge to Freedom, the program of advancement within the
Church of Scientology). The messages received by the Bridge
to Freedom have been compiled into books at various times
(and still circulate among independent ‘‘I AM’’ groups), but are
primarily released to the public through its periodicals, The
Bridge to Spiritual Freedom Journal and the Shamballa Letter. The
Bridge may be contacted at Box 333, Kings Park, NY 11754.
Printz, Thomas [Ascended Master El Morya through Geraldine
Innocente]. Memoirs of Beloved Mary, Mother of Jesus. Philadelphia
Bridge to Freedom, 1955.
———. The Seven Beloved Archangels Speak. Mt. Shasta,
Calif. Ascended Master Teaching Foundation, 1986.