Mother God One of (Too) Many Colorado Cults

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America has always been fascinated by cults, those strange groups of slavish devotees who do strange things for strange reasons in strange ways for extremely strange leaders.

Colorado’s cultish history is on full display right now in HBO’s docuseries Love Has Won: The Cult of Mother God. The group Love Has Won was led by Amy Carlson, a woman who abandoned her third husband, her three children and her managerial job at a Kansas McDonald’s to move to outside Crestone, Colorado. It was there that she renamed herself “Mother God” and founded the group originally called the Galactic Federation of Light.

Both Love Has Won and Mother God herself grew more bizarre over the years. Carlson, for her part, claimed to have birthed the entire human race and been reincarnated 534 times, including lives as Jesus (he gets around), Cleopatra, Joan of Arc and Marilyn Monroe. She also said she’d been the daughter of Donald Trump in another life on the ancient isle of Lemuria, the existence of which has been disproven through the study of plate tectonics. But good cons never let facts get in the way of a good story.

The Love Has Won group followed that weird mix of conservative conspiracy-theorizing and borrowed spiritual belief —more the former than the latter. It remains unclear how the group defines “Love” having “Won,” when most of its tenets are QAnon talking points. Members believed that the world was run by a cabal of villains devoted to keeping the planet in a “low vibration” state. They also averred that COVID was purposeful; the massacre at Sandy Hook, the 9/11 attack and the Holocaust all hoaxes; and that Adolf Hitler intended to “serve the light.” A YouTube video described in a 2021 Marie Claire article reportedly shows two followers of Love Has Won talking about just that: “[The Jews] wanted everyone else to do the work and they would take the money. … The idea behind the concentration camps was to teach them to work.”

Reprehensible idiocy aside, the group supported itself primarily through donations, the sale of new-age products, and health remedies ranging from herbal supplements to “etheric surgery,” which purported to remove negative energy and its effects on the body. Most pertinent was Love Has Won’s answer to COVID: the ingestion of colloidal silver, essentially just silver particles suspended in liquid. It was sometimes used as a treatment for wounds and infection before antibiotics were discovered, but modern medicine determined that it never had any real healing effect and, in fact, was unsafe.

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