Circle of Atonement
The Circle of Atonement is one of several groups to emerge
from the larger community of students of A Course in Miracles
(ACIM). The Circle was founded in 1993 in response to the
teaching activity of Robert Perry. Perry had begun teaching at
the Miracle Distribution Center in Fullerton, California, a primary
structure for communication between the many diverse
ACIM study groups around the country. He authored several
widely distributed books, An Introduction to A Course in Miracles,
The Elder Brother Jesus in A Course in Miracles (1990), and A
Course Glossary (1995). Joining Perry in the formation of the circle
was Allen Watson. He and Perry have coauthored several
texts, and Watson went on to write a number of volumes, all
published by the circle.
The circle was designed around three programmatic
thrusts. The Teaching Wing facilitates the study of the Course’s
idea; the Transformation Wing encourages the practice of the
Course’s teachings and their application in daily life; and the
Healing Wing attempts to extend the healing and forgiveness
so central to the Course’s approach beyond the members of the
circle to the larger community. Only the Teaching Wing was in
operation as the new century began.
The Circle of Atonement became the focus of attention
above the many other ACIM groups at the end of the 1990s
when a lawsuit developed between the circle and the several entities
who had an interest in the copyrights of A Course in Miracles,
including the Foundation for Inner Peace, the Foundation
for A Course in Miracles, and Penguin Books. When A Course
in Miracles was first published, the Foundation for Inner Peace
held the copyright, but in recent years assigned that copyright
to the Foundation for A Course in Miracles headed by Kenneth
Wapnick. In the meantime, the publishing rights were sold to
Penguin Books, who has brought out a commercial edition of
ACIM. In the wake of its agreement with Penguin, the Foundation
for A Course in Miracles has moved against several groups
that have in the past published portions of ACIM either as separate
booklets or as part of a larger work commenting upon
ACIM. The foundation specifically denied the use of ACIM material
in an as yet unpublished item by Perry and asked that several
of the Circle of Atonement’s publications be withdrawn
from publication.
Unable to resolve this matter, the circle has filed a lawsuit
against the two foundations and Penguin, claiming that it is the
circle’s belief that ACIM is a divine revelation ultimately authored
by Jesus and as such it cannot be copyrighted. The lawsuit
has also been extended to include additional works, also
the product of Helen Schucman’s channeling, ascribed to
Jesus. This lawsuit, one of several contemporary suits over
channeled material, remains in adjudication and attempts to
revisit the issue of the status of materials ascribed to divine authorship
and channeled material in American law.
The Circle of Atonement is headquartered at P.O. Box
4238, West Sedona, AZ 86340. It publishes a correspondence
course and a newsletter, A Better Way. It has a website at http
Circle of Atonement. httpnen.sedona.netcircleofa
ciofaoffr.html. April 24, 2000.
Perry, Robert. A Course Glossary. West Sedona, Ariz. Circle
of Atonement, 1995.
———. The Elder Brother Jesus in A Course in Miracles. West
Sedona, Ariz. Circle of Atonement, 1990.
Perry, Robert, and Allen Watson. The Answer Is a Miracle.
West Sedona, Ariz. Circle of Atonement, 1998.
CIEEPP Encyclopedia of Occultism & Parapsychology • 5th Ed.
———. Bringing the Course to Life How to Unlock the Meaning
of the Course in Miracles for Yourself. West Sedona, Ariz. Circle
of Atonement, 1999.

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