Grand Tetons

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The Grand Teton Mountains in Wyoming took on new religious significance in 1934, when “I AM” leader Guy W. Ballard claimed to have religious experiences there. Time Life Pictures/Getty Images.

Grand Tetons (Wyoming)

(religion, spiritualism, and occult)

The Grand Teton Mountains are a spectacular mountain range in northwest Wyoming, its highest peak reaching over 13,000 feet. They took on religious significance in 1934 when Guy W. Ballard (1878–1939) included accounts of his mystical experiences in the mountain in the first book for a movement that would become known as the “I AM” Religious Activity. According to Ballard, Ascended Master Saint Germain took him to the Tetons, where, at a point never specifically designated, “Saint Germain touched a great boulder. Instantly, the enormous mass tipped out perhaps four feet away from its original position. He motioned me to follow. We entered and, to my astonishment, stood before a large bronze door…. He stepped forward and pressed certain points on the door. The great mass of bronze weighing many tons swung slowly open, and admitted us into a spacious chamber from which a stairway, cut in the solid rock, led downward.” They entered what is known as the Royal Teton Retreat, where they had a meeting with a group of Venusians.

The “I AM” and the several groups that have derived from it, such as the Church Universal and Triumphant, now understand the opening inside the Grand Tetons to be one of the two principal retreat centers in North America for the Great White Brotherhood, the groups of evolved individuals who are believed to guide the course of humanity from age to age. The other main retreat center is in Mount Shasta in Northern California. The Grand Tetons center was established after the sinking of Atlantis.

Those in the “I AM” tradition believe that the Ascended Masters hold major conclaves at the Grand Tetons, especially in early January and July. These conclaves focus the Masters’ work for the continued evolution of humanity. The ancient Chinese teacher Confucius is considered the primary leader of the Grand Teton center.

There are a number of anecdotal tales of believers in the “I AM” story spending time in Jackson Hole and Grand Teton National Park in hopes of making contact with the Masters and being invited into the retreat. However, none since Ballard have reported any significant contact.


King, Gorfre Ray [pseudonym of Guy W. Ballard]. Unveiled Mysteries. Chicago: Saint Germain Press, 1934.
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