Cult leader Amy Carlson found dead in bizarre circumstances

WARNING: Graphic

Cult leader Amy Carlson’s eyeless mummified corpse was found propped up in a sleeping bag, draped in Christmas lights and covered in glitter makeup as part of some sort of grotesque shrine – but her followers are still remaining loyal.

“A cult has to be in one physical location,” 27-year-old Igor told news.com.au. “But we’re all over the planet!”

Igor is an Australian member of the ‘Love Has Won’ movement, which recently made global headlines when the corpse of its 45-year-old leader, Amy Carlson, was discovered in a rural Colorado home in May.

Seven people were arrested in connection to Carlson’s death, facing charges related to abuse of a corpse and child abuse, with reports of a 13-year-old girl and a two-year-old boy being present in the home.

“I’ve never seen a group of people be so nonchalant about a dead person,” Colorado police officer Corporal Steve Hanson told local news.

Carlson, whose followers called her “Mother God”, claimed to be a divine presence sent for Earth’s salvation having lived notable past lives as Marilyn Monroe, Cleopatra and Jesus Christ. She also claimed that Donald Trump was her father in a past life.

Carlson’s real life was far less glamorous.

Reports indicated she set up the alleged cult around six years ago, after leaving her job at McDonald’s and following the end of her third marriage. Carlson slowly gathered ardent followers through regular livestreams which were then uploaded to her YouTube channel.

“We know she’s not completely innocent in this whole situation,” Carlson’s younger sister, Chelsea Renninger, told BBC News. “But at the same time, she doesn’t deserve what happened to her in the end. No human being deserves that.”

It is still unclear how Carlson died. Having claimed she had cancer, she appeared very thin in her last live stream appearances and had been self-medicating with colloidal silver, which was turning her skin grey.

Igor discovered Carlson via the internet in 2017, after a number of life changing events including a kickboxing injury and a stint of unemployment, led him into a deep depression.

It was while searching for what he called “esoteric thought” that he came upon the livestreams put out by Love Has Won.

“Since the moment I started watching her, I started feeling deep things within myself,” he said. “It was just lighting up my body.”

Igor became obsessed with the livestreams, waking up at 6am every day to catch the spiritual sermons, largely broadcast from the group’s home in Colorado.

The movement’s core beliefs at first appear to be standard New Age fare: meditative practices to dissolve the ego, energy work and the channelling of higher beings. However, in many livestreams, the core mantra of the movement is often reduced simply to serving Mother God and following her wishes.

Many of the spiritual practices come at a price, with the group offering private “Spiritual Intuitive Healing Sessions” for nearly US$80 ($113) an hour.

The price tag initially gave Igor pause. “But they were telling me like, ‘It’s equal energy exchange, we’re giving you an hour of our time, we’re trained by God who is here in the physical’ and so on,” said Igor.

Igor saved up in order to pay for his first few sessions with one of Mother God’s top disciples ‘Faith’. He said the experience was nothing short of transformative.

“I put on the camera, she looks at me, I look at her and just my body is overwhelmed, my whole body is shaking.” Igor compared the hallucinatory experience as similar to taking a psychedelic drug.

Since that moment, Igor has been a devoted member of Love Has Won, which has recently rebranded to 5D Full Disclosure, even broadcasting his own sermons via livestream in Mother God’s absence.

But a short documentary released by Vice News before Carlson’s death featured former members and loved ones of current members of Love Has Won who described the group as a cult.

The documentary highlighted Carlson’s frequent intoxication with drugs and alcohol, her abuse of members, as well as the use of tactics such as sleep deprivation and psychedelics as manipulation.

Igor said that claims Love Has Won is a cult shouldn’t be used against the movement.

“Nobody is being forced to do anything.” he said, claiming there are up to 20 Australian members still in the movement and many more all around the world.

Igor was encouraged to leave Australia and join the Colorado compound of the organisation, but was discouraged at the time by his fiance, who has since joined the movement. However, Igor’s beliefs have alienated him from both his family and his local community, which sits just 40 minutes outside of Brisbane.

“I’ve lived in this area for 12 years, I went to high school here, no one talks to me,” he said. “Most of my family, cousins and everyone don’t want nothing to do with me.”

Since Carlson’s death, the movement has been losing members.

It wasn’t just the grisly details of her death causing the departure, but a inconsistency in doctrine. According to Carlson’s sermons, when Mother God dies, her followers are meant to ascend to another plane of existence along with her. Clearly, that didn’t happen.

But this hasn’t deterred Igor. “I definitely don’t have any expectations of how this is going to go down,” he said. “She didn’t die, she ascended, and when she left every single being on the planet felt it.”

Last year, the television show Dr Phil interviewed cult expert Richard Alan Ross, who noted that Love Has Won was a “particularly pernicious group” run by a suspected grandiose narcissist. “This is a group which kind of operates a bait and switch online,” he told Dr Phil. “They recruit people online and then they bring them into a close-knit cloistered community, in which they have control over the environment, their sleep, their work habits and so on.”

Despite ongoing public criticism of the movement, Igor remains steadfast in his beliefs, saying that he is committed to continuing Mother God’s mission.

“For me that really was Jesus Christ. For me, Jesus was a woman.”

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