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Outlandish, Captivating, Shocking, Enchanting False Prophets Series: Dorothy Martin and The Seekers

Updated: Jun 4, 2023


ABOVE LEFT: Leon Festinger, a social psychologist whose team studied and wrote about how a group of believers and followers of a false prophet who predicted the destruction of planet earth dealt with their disappointments. ABOVE RIGHT: Dorothy Martin (Sister Thedra) who once led a group of followers who believed in her false prophesies. They were all the unwitting subjects of Festinger's study.


In the early 1950's, a suburban Chicago housewife and false prophetess named Dorothy Martin, who was also called Sister Thedra, led a group of followers known as The Seekers or The Brotherhood of the Seven Rays who headquartered at her house in Oak Park, Illinois.


Following a belief system that combined elements of the occult, esoterics, UFOs, Satanism, Spiritualism, Scientology, Mysticism, Theosophy and the New Age Movement, she told her predictions to everyone she could:

“there will be much loss of life, practically all of it in 1955. It is an actual fact that the world is in a mess. But the Supreme Being is going to clean house by sinking all of the land masses as we know them now and raising the land masses from under the sea.”


Thedra who was once a follower of false Christ Krishna Venta, claimed to be receiving telepathic messages through channeling aliens she called the Guardians from planet Clarion. She declared that her group would be saved and raptured by the Guardian's flying saucers that would take them to Clarion.


Her spokesman, perhaps aptly named Charles Laughead, who once was a staff member at Michigan State University, forecasted “a rise in the ground extending from Hudson’s bay in Canada to the Gulf of Mexico which will seriously affect the center of the United States.”


During Christmas week in 1954, while surrounded by the press and almost riotous onlookers, The Seekers gathered near Thedra's house on Cuyler Avenue singing Christmas carols and waiting for the Guardians to snatch them away from planet earth.


After the flying saucers failed to arrive after about 20 minutes, they retreated to Thedra's living room.


The Seekers were secretly infiltrated and became the subject of a famous study led by Leon Festinger, Henry Riecken, and Stanley Schachter titled When Prophecy Fails: A Social and Psychological Study of a Modern Group That Predicted the Destruction of the World (1956).


In A Theory of Cognitive Dissonance (1957), Festinger revealed that The Seekers experienced disappointments and tensions over Thedra's failed predictions.


The group required resolutions for their discomfort or “cognitive dissonance” triggered by false beliefs clashing with reality. So instead of admitting they were wrong, Sister Thedra and the Seekers came up with excuses, and more dates for the Guardians to rapture them.


“A man with a conviction is a hard man to change. It may even be less painful to tolerate the dissonance than to discard the belief and admit one had been wrong,” Festinger wrote.


“When dissonance is present, in addition to trying to reduce it, the person will actively avoid situations and information which would likely increase the dissonance.”


Perhaps as another method of resolving their dissonance, Thedra and The Seekers effectively disappeared from the map.


She eventually relocated to Mount Shasta, California and established the Order of Sananda and Samat Kumara – named after two of the Guardians. Sister Thedra died in 1992 at the age of 92 in Sedona, Arizona – a New Age Movement hotbed.


Her story shows that followers of fake prophets will develop extravagant excuses and may continue to believe in the failed prophecies in order to deal with their vigorous cognitive dissonance.


The Holy Bible is very rarely if ever mentioned by vigorous occultists like the New Agers under Sister Thedra.


The same holds true for the Gospel of Jesus Christ: that the Lord was born in the flesh, crucified, died as a sacrifice for the sins of the world, was buried, resurrected, ascended into Heaven and offers His believers eternal life with Him in the approaching Kingdom of God.


Jesus also warned us that false prophets would come into the world during the latter days, before He returned to establish the Kingdom:


For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect (Matthew 24:24-King James Version).


To avoid being fooled by false prophets, take heed to the many passages in the Bible that reveal how to recognize them. Here is sound advice from John:


Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God (1 John 4:1-2).


Also see Deuteronomy 18:20; Matthew 7:15-20; Romans 16:18.


Blessings to you dear readers.





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