Sunrise Ranch Cult is Active in Colorado

Religious Cult

LOVELAND, CO – On August 8, 2014, I attended a music festival located on the grounds of a religious cult. Had I known this was the case beforehand I would have never have attended, nor promoted the event through our publication. This article is to warn and inform concert-goers who might make the same mistake, and raise the larger issue of cult recruitment at live music events.

Emissaries of Divine Light Cult

The Emissaries of Divine Light was established in 1945 by Lloyd Meeker, after a supposed 2-day conversion experience in which he stated he had been chosen by God to initiate the salvation of the world. The cult recruits mainly on University campuses and invites recruits to Sunrise Ranch to experience their lifestyle.

According to former member Nancy Miquelon, who spent 13 years in the cult, “Perhaps the greatest personal violation is that a person is attracted to this group because of strong moral and spiritual values, a high personal vision for humankind. This ideal is used to attract people, then twisted to the ends of the cult. A fellow ex-member calls it spiritual rape. You don’t see until you leave, of course, how you’ve been victimized.”

In the book, “A Brief Guide to Secret Religions” author David V. Barrett states “Trying to describe Emissaries spirituality with any kind of precision is like trying to nail Jello to the wall.”

The emissaries of divine light are not the first to usurp the uplifting power of music for their own recruitment purposes. The Twelve Tribes, a quasi-Christian sect, has been following a number of acts on tour since the 1980s under the pretense of offering medical assistance to concertgoers while recruiting lonely fans who turn to music for community and connection. One Tribes member and Bob Dylan fan told the New Yorker that he joined because his life was ‘going downhill fast.’ A Vice report on the Tribes’ presence on the Dylan tour cited seriously anti-Semitic statements in the group’s literature, as well as evidence that they have tried to recruit Dylan himself.

While the sunrise ranch, one of the most active cults in Colorado offers a message and intentions that may be troubling to some, their motivation–as is so often the case with cults–is easy to understand: money. The Tribes require, or at least strongly encourage, followers to turn over their assets to the group. According to Rick Ross, a law enforcement official and cult expert that may explain their transition to following acts Like Dylan with an older following. Ross told the New Yorker “It’s not a big deal if you’re a young person—you may have a car and a little bit of money. But if you are an older Bob Dylan fan, you may have an estate and a substantial amount of money.”

Arise Music Festival

The Arise Musical Festival Attendance was estimated around 2,000+, with most likely unaware that the venue for Arise, the Sunrise Ranch Colorado is the international headquarters of a religious cult known as the Emissaries of Divine Light. The ranch is located just outside the town of Loveland, Colorado. Sunrise Ranch is marketed as a unique combination of consciousness, organic farming and gathering place for the intentional spiritual community.

Religious Cult

Maybe if you don’t, believe me, you will listen to Dateline NBC?

The Arise Music Festival was billed as a conscious music festival that celebrated “uplifting the world through music.” Over 90 bands played the festival ranging from national touring acts to up and coming Colorado bands. Along with the music Arise provided a variety of free workshops including yoga, access to healers and even Chakra activation classes.

Sunrise Ranch

We asked the musician, and Grateful Dead historian David Gans if he has ever found himself or knew of the Grateful Dead ever performing at a venue with questionable intentions “As a performer, I would prefer to know before I sign the contract if a festival has a mission above and beyond entertainment and recreation.”

As my experience demonstrates, it can be hard for fans to spot cult sponsorship and involvement in concerts. Cults don’t call themselves cults, and they often disguise their predatory recruitment tactics as entertainment or community service. I plan to never visit the Sunrise Ranch Loveland Co Cult ever again.

Cults in Colorado? go figure. However, the Emissaries of Divine Light Controversy has been documented time and time again.

The best way to steer clear of these folks is to ask yourself, “is it about the music?”

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57 Comments on "Sunrise Ranch Cult is Active in Colorado"

  1. I lived Sunrise Ranch for 3 years and definitively see it as a cult. Karchere reminds me so much of Donald Trump in that they both exhibit Narcissistic Personality Disorder. Karchere used his narcissism to get into the position he is in and uses it frequently keep the lower classes in line. I’m sure Karchere will take this analogy as a compliment.

  2. Sunrise Resident | July 13, 2019 at 7:32 PM | Reply

    I am a current resident of Sunrise Ranch. I will say that I have not experienced any kind of sexual abuse nor have my children. I will say that similar to an abusive relationship, the “leadership” of Sunrise makes it very difficult to leave by keeping us poor. Yes, we are given housing and food. Yes we are free to leave. However some of us here make as little as $1 a day. We have to pay for things like soap, shampoo, hygiene products etc out of our paychecks which are usually less than $500 for an entire month. I’m fairly confident that David Karchere would sell the ranch and kick everyone out if he could achieve any modicum of respectability in the real world, but the ranch is his kingdom and he is the king. If you go against him in anyway you are thrown out on the street or at least threatened with it. The director of operations, Keahi Ewa is a total sociopath with the warmth of a goldfish. I have seen her berate people for disagreeing with her decisions. She gives preferential treatment to people who are her friends while others work much longer hours and harder jobs and get shafted as far as money and housing are concerned. Overall, we are basically indentured servants. We work for our housing and a small stipend but without the ability to save money to leave many of us feel trapped. I’m pretty sure that one resident, Rachel, gives sexual favors to David in exchange for higher pay, a nicer house and traveling around the world. I think it isn’t unreasonable to call Sunrise Ranch a cult

  3. Although this is an old article I feel I must comment. I am a former resident of Sunrise and I’ll tell you this is definitely a cult. All manner of nefarious things go on there. One particularly distressing practice involves their frightening initiation ceremony. Unwitting and naive initiates are placed in a locked room. In the room are several of the cult’s members dressed up as hideous looking clowns (and you know how scary clowns can be). After awhile the poor initiate invariably approaches one of the clowns and asks how long they have to stay in the room. At this point, without any warning whatsoever, the rather intimidating clown squirts a blast of cold water from his plastic lapel flower right into the initiates face! I can tell you that the shock of it is quite distressing. But at least at this point you are allowed to leave the room albeit taking the memory of that ordeal with you forever. I have asked Mr. Karchere, the group’s leader, to please, please discontinue this traumatizing ceremony, but he just squirted me with his own plastic flower. All in all, it seemed like a pretty big price to pay to become a member, but the upside is that after withstanding this ordeal you do get your own plastic flower… and even a horn to boot, which is really cool to sneak up behind people with.

  4. Thank you for posting this!!! Interesting all the attacks on your article by those defending EDL. Thought I would just chime in.

    My mother was a part of this Emissary cult from the time I was 5 until I left when I was 18. Many, many single mothers with no money were recruited into this “community” looking for a better and more stable life for them and their children. Many had issues leaving because they were not paid and all work was “volunteer”. They had to hustle “outside the community” to raise money for basic needs for their children. As a child in this community, I did not feel loved and support but deeply neglected. At 12, I was “assigned” to an another adult in the community and did not see my own mother often. The teenagers in the community were experiencing deep anger and despair trying to understand the situation during their coming of age, especially because the Emissaries looked down upon “negative” emotions and encouraged suppression and replacement with “positive ones.”

    Then, there are the stories of women being asked to do sexual favors for the men in positions of power (in the power structure, people had to ask the “focus” for permission to make any move in their lives. This subservience was often exploited. This I heard from my mother and others once they had safely left the community. I don’t have any personal memories of sexual abuse. Perhaps #metooEDL is coming. However my brother was physically assaulted in front of me by the member of the community he had been “assigned to” when he was about 15 year old. The boys were required to do a lot of hard labor at a young age and the girls were trained to cook, do laundry and clean. We were programmed to be in service to men and the highest aspiration was to be in a triangular relationship with a man of power. The men in power in EDL had a wife and a “secretary” or two. This was supposed to increase the power of their focus.

    Many EDL kids were messed up by living in this idyllic community. We were brainwashed to believe that the Emissaries were the only one on Earth who had the key to how to live and the outside world was shunned. How do you think this affected us as we moved into the world as adults? I know whole families who went into therapy after leaving EDL to try to heal the damage. Unfortunately.. mine was not one of them. I went from living in the “inner sanctum” to surviving the bad, bad world, with no guidance on how to unravel my programing.

    That’s all I have to share now. Dig deeper folks. False, positive, white light cults are toxic. Thanks to the brave ones who come forward about how fucked up this and other cults are. Brava!

    • Mike Hardaker | July 29, 2018 at 11:17 AM | Reply


      Thanks for coming forward with your experiences growing up with the EDL. This part seems spot on ” Many, many single mothers with no money were recruited into this “community” looking for a better and more stable life for them and their children. “, this was the feeling I had yet directed towards young music fans / yogis / burners.

      Anytime we get comments on one of our articles, it usually means we hit a nerve. Perhaps looking at the comments here there is something much deeper at play.

      Stay strong,


      • Sasha Benedetti | July 29, 2018 at 11:34 AM | Reply

        Thanks, Mike! I am doing well in my life now and have become a lover of truth.
        Thanks for sharing yours.

      • I joined the Emissaries back in 1976 and lived in a “Center” as they were called then. It was pretty much their heyday with a really charismatic leader who was an actual English Lord in charge. I went to one month class in the Catskills at Lake Rest and listened to Tapes of Uranda (Pen name fort Lloyd Meeker) nad watched everybody in the room fall asleep listening to these tapes of him describing all the grand cycles of humanity. He was the number 2 guy underneath Jesus and completing the triangle was Martin Exeter who ended up dying just like Uranda and then Exeter’s son had to take over but he just didn’t like the job and struck out on his own. Now there’s a new guy running things who isn’t really all that charismatic like the super charismatic personalities of Exeter and Meeker running things.
        I went to college under protest from the “focalizer” and when there I happened across Robert Lifton’s writings about mind control and decided that I was in a cult. A rather non-destructive cult, in comparison to, say, Scientology, but a cult nonetheless. I was of rather low standing in the heirarchy and pretty young at the time but I tried to work my way up. Of course there is a divine plan for all of this and for everyone. The outline of it is the Book of Revelations, according to Uranda. The whole idea is to bring spiritual expression into the eath in agreement with each other so that the vibrational foundation can be laid for the Second Coming. I didn’t make it to the three month long class so I didn’t hear about any of the really good stuff. They had to stop the long format classes for time and money reasons, which was too bad at the time because I really thought I would “make it” if I could only attend Long Class at Lake Rest.
        There’s a lot of energy work being done and if you trust it then welcome to it. I can still feel the affects of the attunements I was given and always thought was a normal thing. I’m not sure I would trust anyone with my personal space that way now.

        I will say Meeker was a genius at the cult game. He came up with a creation story that just couldn’t be shot down in the love bombing that was going on. Sandy Jensen has an Esssay about it online if you want to read up.

        So the EDL leadership got caught with its hand in the cookie jar or down the pants of a lot of women and had to clean up shop and introduce Ethics into their Garden. It was a lot nicer for them before the Internet and the ability to share knowledge.

        Yeah, I got mind raped. It takes a lot of courage to face your rapist, no matter what part of you they raped. Most people that are pretty deep into edl don’t want to face it. I remember asking someone who was friends with people in the Emissaries if I would die if I got out. He told me no, I wouldn’t die. Even then, I still had confused feelings. Even today I still feel the effects of the psychological rape I went through. Good luck if you’re going through the process. There’s a lot of help out there. And no, there is no group on earth that has “The” answer. You will not become a divine being by giving up your free will to EDL.

        • I see all these posts saying that EDL didn’t ask for any money but I remember differently. When my dad died I got a bit of money left to me. It wasn’t a day that passed before they were asking for it to make renovations to the “center”. Never mind that I could use the money for something useful like college or even buy a car.
          I almost gave it to them but I resisted. and kept it.
          I have to thank you Mike. I have been to therapy and talked to my wife about all this but it wasn’t until I said something on a public blog that could help get word out that I actually started to see a lot of the things that are just flat out wrong about EDL. They may have changed the way they recruit or raise money but the fact is that their cult’s whole basis for existence is just a lot of BS that actually damages people and is, unfortunately, not seen until it is too late and the brainwashing begins.
          EDL may seem to be loving and divine light vibrational healing for the world but it sure screwed me up.
          I know I’ve said a lot here, so this will be my last post to this blog on this subject. Take care of yourselves.

          • Mike Hardaker | March 13, 2019 at 10:46 AM |


            Thank you for taking the time to comment and share your story publicly, never the easiest things to do. There is lots of honesty in these comments and also people that may have been led to believe in things that are not spiritually / mentally or physically healthy. Luckily we have a public forum here to discuss what’s going on. Stay strong my friend!

    • Sunrise Ranch and EDL thanks for the scares. I wonder how many of the folks that actually lived there can say they came out unscared. In the beginning Uranda and his lot set out to change the world. The goal was to change the world by bringing ourselve into alignment with God’s plan. We would do that by maintaining a right attitude. Which meant going along to get along. They were as successful as the Catholic church keeping alterboys safe.
      Today EDL/ Sunrise Ranch is a mere shadow of itself. In the beginning it was ground zero for emissary thinking and desimmination, today it is little more than a for profit convention center hosting every off the wall new age philosophy.

  5. Sunrise Ranch has NEVER asked me to turn over assets or taken money from me! Quite the contrary- I am given a stipend, housing and delicious home grown food/meals in exchange for a full time work week! Nothing but love and care from this community. This is slander and if the people who live here were not so preoccupied with loving life and spreading good vibes in the world, you could be sued. This article is utter garbage.

    • “asked” so you willingly? Nothing is free in life honeybear

      • No. As I stated above EDL has never taken money from me in an way, shape, or form. Why are you so intent on misconstruing comments about this organization? It sounds like you’ve made up your mind on what you intend to believe about it without actually listening to the facts. Interesting coming from a “journalist”.

        • you do realize this is a blog correct? My personal one 🙂

          • Regardless blogs are treated the same as any publications in the eyes of the law. You yourself call this an “article” in the above. Your lack of integrity is appalling.

    • Black bear, glad your experience was better than mine.

  6. Cult does not automatically = bad. It’s merely culture shared by people living together. The Emissaries promote wonderful values and open-minded spirituality. Demonizing them because they could technically be called a “cult” is ignorant and shows your immaturity as a journalist. I work for Arise Music festival and they pay to rent the space from Sunrise Ranch. Arise is not promoting any particular spiritual belief, only conscious movement towards a better world, which is why they align with Sunrise Ranch and their shared values.

    • Thanks for the comment, this part “It’s merely culture shared by people living together” haven’t heard it explained as such, appreciate that. As someone that is very energetic, I picked up on some energy from the farm that did not resonate with me. So I won’t be going back, turns out there was some different types of energy work, healers and such calling that part of Colorado home. Tell Ami we say Hi 🙂

    • EDL needs to be demonized because they are f-ed up. Did you grow up thier? My wife is from there. I got kicked out because of my unwillingness to go along to get along. My father in law got kicked out. My father is burried just below the rim rocks. I know of what I speak.

  7. article brings up twelve tribes, emissaries video that follows contains intensely open-minded open-ended lines of questioning/reasoning. whelp, i’m an atheist, i must admit, but i can get down with their genre of philo still. this article is deceptive af

  8. A very garbled, conflated article. What nonsense people write when they have no experience of the reality. Suggest, as Mr. Berlin does below, you go live there for a week and see for yourself.

  9. A very garbled, conflated article. What nonsense people write when they have no experience of the reality.

  10. Hi Mike! Somehow I landed on this and read your words. I used to be the Director of the Emissary Community in the Catskills in NY. One day someone came to me and said, “There is a reporter who wants to interview you about the Emissary Community and has a lot of questions.” I went out to meet the fellow. I introduced myself, welcomed him, and asked what he had in mind. He said he had heard (?) a lot of things about the Emissaries, had a lot of questions, and would like to sit down with me and get some answers. I smiled and said that I would not sit down and answer any questions, but I wanted to make him an offer. I told him that he already heard things ( ? ), so that he was coming with preconceived ideas, and I was sure that his questions would be about the things he heard ( which were not necessarily true ). My offer to him was that he stay and live in the community for one week. Make friends with those who lived there, get into some daily work and see what we do and how we do it ( the Spirit of it ! ), come to the services, share Attunement ( vibrational healing similar to Reiki ), and basically experience the rhythm of whats it’s like to live in the community ( have the actual experience of the community’s spirit rather then just formulating an opinion from “things he had heard” ). He refused the offer. I thanked him for stopping by and wished him well. Mike. I’m not a Bible Thumper, but I do remember a line in Job that said, “Who darkeneth council with words without knowledge?” You, like many journalists, darkeneth council with words without knowledge. You use terms like “religious cult”. You find someone who was unhappy , like Nancy, and use their words to define the entire program, etc. What organization on earth doesn’t have a wide range of people who belong to it, and a wide range of opinions and experiences had from being part of something? Actually, you can’t really take either the good or bad comments that people make as
    gospel, but, if your really interested in writing the “Truth” based on facts, you could go and live on Sunrise for a week. Why not go with a clear mind, participate, see what’s really going on, and then write something based on YOUR EXPERIENCE. It would carry a lot more weight!

    • What needs to happen is all voices need hearing about sunrise ranch and the emissaries. A forum would nice. Your opinion just might change.

  11. I was part of the Emissaries in my 20’s for MANY years. (that was a while ago) They NEVER got money out of me. They never tried to convince me to do anything I did not want to do. It was a big part of my spiritual life at the time. I moved to Colorado recently and attended ARISE festival and Sunrise Ranch. It was a fabulous experience and other than one poorly staffed info tent for the Emissaries, they were not present at all. I had to go out of my way to seek out information about the Sunday service, and there were only a handful of festival attendees there. I enjoyed the service for old time’s sake, and had a hard time finding someone to give me info on other events. It was not at all a “recruiting event” since they seemed to just go about their life and the festival went on without much presence from them. They were great hosts. The land was amazingly fine after al those people had camped there.
    It’s so easy for people to judge and want to make things look much worse than they really are. It is also easy and dramatic (which seems to get lots of attention in this society) to call spiritual groups that do not conform with the norm a “cult”. It’s fear mongering and sad. If people have a poor experience with the Emissaries is because they are not taking full personal responsibility for their own experience and they created the poor experience, which then conveniently blame on the group and call it cultish. Let’s grow up here. The only brain washing here is this article spreading poor facts and fear. I wonder what the underlying motives are of the author to spread such poor information based on so much fear. If I may recommend that people not listen to the voice of fear. If you are interested in Arise, or the Emissaries, go check them out with an open mind (not someone else’s opinion) Your heart will tell you if it is for you or not and if it’s aligned with your principals or not. They don’t bite. If you are susceptible to brain washing or cultish behavior, you have bigger problems that should be addressed. If you read articles like this and jump on the band wagon of fear and negativity and someone’s need to put down an entire group and judge them like that with no real facts other than un-based personal opinion, well, you probably see most any group as a “cult” and live a fear based life. My heart goes out to you.
    You create your experiences every moment, so lets be responsible about what we create!

    • Mike Hardaker | June 26, 2017 at 10:17 AM | Reply

      thanks for the comment. One question you said you lived there for many years in your 20’s however never gave them any money. So you lived for free on their land? How about food, did you grow and harvest your own? What happened come Colorado winters? I went to Arise with an open mind and did not like the energy of the Sunrise Ranch Cult. I practice Reiki, Meditate and in very in tune. Something is and was not right about that place.

      No fear at all, just a knowing I was not supposed to be there. Maybe they just don’t like jews?

  12. Mitchell Johnson | August 5, 2016 at 12:20 PM | Reply

    I actually lived at this cult for a while. Most of what is being said here is true. They’ve had opportunities to work the land holistically, to reach out to the larger community and actually provide some good in the world. Instead, they use their pseudospirituality to hide rape and sexual assault, to bleed people’s finances dry so they have no choice but to remain, and to indoctrinate people into avoiding any sort of real social responsibility. And if you aren’t willing to attend their “spiritual education” sessions, they kick you out.

    I was there when they started to transition to this new concert-based model of revenue. They’ve been in the red for years and needed to find a way to keep the doors open. Now they’ve taken hundreds of acres of beautiful Loveland pasture and trampled it into the ground, with no efforts at remediation. Every ticket bought for this event, every room rented from this company, just allows them to keep insulating themselves further and further, attracting unpaid labor to clean and cook. This is a sick organization that needs to be investigated.

    • This is totally untrue……….The land was not trampled and destroyed…After the concert goers left it was as if thousands of people had not been there. I too was connected with the Emissaries for many, many years and was never asked to give one cent of my money or possessions……….Why do you spread such horrid rumors.

      • Rumors? Did you attend the festival.

        • No Mike,I lived in the valley for 10 years…but many years ago and was associated with The Emissaries. As to the music festival, No I did not attend as I now live in Mexico. But, I was there walking thru the land with old friends a short time after the festival and the reports were very good that the land was taken care of . This was after the first festival and I understand there was also one this year.

      • Jeannie Kezlan, good to see your experience was so good. Your right that no one was asked to give thier wealth to the ranch or EDL bu it was encouraged. All centers for EDL encouraged thier members to give thier income to the center if they were living there. Folks were asked to labor for free. My wife work at 100 milehouse in the lodge and Glen Ivy for free. Jeanne, go talk to folks that feel they where mistreated and see if you can help heal.

  13. Silly article.

  14. Is it pure silliness if you have seen it happen? People who think a different way as main stream America are made fun of and thought of as weird… I personally call a lot of these people family. If someone wants to live off the grid, I want to learn more. If they want to improve the environment or create a more tranquil way of life, I want to champion them forward. This all being said, if people need to slip you drugs in order for you to feel love and acceptance then get you to do their bidding because they “love” you… You are no longer trapped in a 9-5 job but you are working for someone and this time you haven’t truly made that choice… Doing things that compromise your ethics and your integrity… If you want to go to these concerts, go if you must, but be aware of who touches your water and food… What drugs you buy and be aware of who is sharing them with you… Your choices can be taken from you quickly and then its all about what you can do for them.

  15. This article is pure silliness. I have spent five weeks over the past few years working as a freelancer at the Ranch. It’s a lovely place full of wonderful people who have never, ever, once attempted to recruit me in any way whatsoever. I have even quipped a few times with them that my wife and I admire their values and lifestyle so much that we have occasionally talked about moving there. A rapacious cult would have jumped all over me for saying something like that but all they have ever said was to thank me for the compliment..
    After having worked closely with them on a regular basis for the past few years, I have nothing but good things to say about edl. They do not proselytize at all (which cannot be said for most mainstream religious groups). You can even drop by and eat lunch in their cafeteria for a donation and see for yourself. Nothing hinky going on here. If someone I cared about wanted to join them, I’d probably say “good for you!”.

    • Mitchell Johnson | August 5, 2016 at 12:25 PM | Reply

      Just wait, Aron. As a freelancer, they will treat you just fine. They don’t show you their true colors until they know they’ve got a strong hold on you. Of course they aren’t going to immediately recruit. They want to keep their core population pure. If you decide to stay for longer, they will watch and see how you contribute, what you say during services, determine whether or not you are a threat, and whether or not you have skills they need to keep the doors open.

      I spent months living there, and its a soft sell at first. Very much “Create your own path” and “Live the life you want to live”. Then, when they realized that because of my gender and sexuality, I was a bit more of a threat to them (and because I didn’t attend every one of their services and jump at the chance to be indoctrinated on my own free will) they gave me an ultimatum: Pay the full price of our “Full Self Emergence” courses and attend them 100%, or we are kicking you out, knowing full well that by working you 50+ hour a week as an unpaid intern, you have no money.” I had to leave. I even asked to have the fees waived or reduced so I could continue to help the community grow, but they just wanted my money and my mind.

      • Mitchell,

        Thank you for taking the time to respond to this post with your first hand knowledge of the inner workings of this “organization” i know it must be tough to come out about this, however I personally want to say thank you. I have a good sense of energies and when things are off, needless to say I didn’t vibe well with the CULT..

        And using music as a way to potentially gain new members, yikes. Wish more people were atleast willing to talk about this, could it happen, sure? Is it happening, you better bet, now what can we do to educate people..

        Thanks again

        Mime Hardaker

      • Sasha Benedetti | July 29, 2018 at 10:44 AM | Reply

        Yup. The strategy is to Love Bomb you until you are more deeply involved. Seen it over and over as a child with the people coming to “Sunday service” when I lived in this cult.

  16. I’ve visited sunrise ranch about three times for Sunday service and stayed for attune meant – reiki and lunch walked around the centre talked to people and bought from the gift shop… Clarissa Pinkola Estes lectures there regularly who is a world renowned writer of forward thinking spiritual development… The services the speakers are gently enlightening informative intelligent and beautifully real … Having worked, experienced and lived within with a Ghandi led type community – Sunrise Ranch is nothing more than a divine community a lotus blossoming out of the mud to emit light throughout the world and share a Community Spirit freely. Community which we desperately need globally is gently and lovingly being expressed at Sunrise Ranch … Let it grow as divinely as it has and will continue to as an expression of light and love.

  17. The claims that this article is about is ridiculous and barely warrants a response… however, I will let you know… I have lived at Sunrise Ranch, and have supported their mission and vision, and I’m not brainwashed, I was not baited, I was not recruited, and there is no such thing as is mentioned in this article. I have contributed my time and efforts for equal value exchange, and am respected both organizationally, as well as in the community. I suspect that this person, if we do some deeper digging, either was not given a free entry and got mad, or has some other ax to grind… or maybe merely trying to find a target to get some exposure… I’ve found that in this world, if you claim to be a victim of some kind, that’s what your mentality is. How you do anything is how you do everything. This person writing this article is negatively biased, and has some other agenda. Sunrise Ranch is a place that provides you an opportunity to practice universal spirituality, without coercion, and without any organized religion. Just a sharing of ideas around the seven days of creation, and oh, by the way, many of the services incorporates Eastern philosophy and teachings for perspective. I have experienced that they meet people where they are… anyway, I have found that the folks that have left the ranch, just had some conflict with another person there, which is common in life… and instead of working it out, they just left and made disparaging things up to support their sour grapes. People, please, be empowered in your life and stop blaming other people and organizations for your unhappiness!

    • This is BS, Im from California and have been visiting Sunrise for about 2 yrs and never has anyone approched me or try to convert me into a different mine set. I’ve been to service
      many times. The residence there are kind, friendly and enjoy being there. You need to check yourself and get a life!

  18. Courtney Ellis | April 23, 2015 at 9:06 AM | Reply

    I just found this article when I googled the ranch for a friend who wants to intern. Umm, I was at Arise last year as a vendor for the Right To Know campaign. I had no idea nor was I ever approached to “talk” or even heard of this cult. I had a blast and enjoyed the music, art, and the people very similar to my experiences following the Dead years ago. Just a whole lotta love and good will. I’m going back again this year AND bringing the whole family. Sorry you had a weird experience but the bottom line is, know who you are and enjoy yourself. No one is going to steal your soul.

  19. I love at sunrise… This is silly… It’s paradise with spiritual freedom… Much love though

  20. Did anyone try to “recruit” you? Were you even approached by a single resident of the Sunrise Ranch?

    • Marc,

      The recruitment table was setup amongst the vendor row next to people selling art, musical instruments and what not. I was approached by numerous Sunrise Ranch citizens, they were easily identified by the wrist bands they were wearing. (having worked numerous music festivals around the country, I always notice the different bands everyone wears as it can easily identify the general public, media, bands, what not.. Sort of like wearing a laminate showing your credentials around your neck.

      I had people come sit in our camp site to “talk” two young men actually sat in our chairs for hours and were there when we returned? Strange..

      Each time I found a nice young women approaching me out of the blue to “talk” I also noticed they had the same wrist bands on that said they were a member of the ranch.

      What finally set me off an made me look into this further was the fact that they were using a chapel on site to host workshops. Chapels are religious correct?

      Thanks for taking the time to comment. I just wanted to raise questions..

      • Have you ever been to a camping music festival before? Random people go to each others camp sites all the time to hang out and meet new people. That is not an unusual circumstance.

        The Dome is the chapel you are referring to. Why does it bother you that an event and retreat center uses the meeting space that they hold services in as an option for their event participants to use? 99% of the events Sunrise Ranch holds are put on by external facilitators, not internal events.

        • I spent a decade working in the music industry, so yes, I have been to many a festivals with said camping. Although none have ever been located on the grounds where a cult calls home, expect for. Sunrise Ranch and Arise

  21. Jordan Baumgardner | September 4, 2014 at 10:44 AM | Reply

    Good lord. Of all the things to worry about, I think a group of nice people with odd beliefs is near the bottom of the list. They never came down but were very welcoming for us to chat with them. If I hadn’t gone looking for them, I never would have known they were there.

  22. Mister Whipple | August 21, 2014 at 4:19 PM | Reply


  23. Sorry you had to deal with that. Thanks for the heads up!

  24. Its bad enough when they knock on your door but to be baited in under the guise of a music festival is worse than a time share seminar.

    • Teddy Goldman | March 29, 2018 at 2:39 PM | Reply

      Ok…I grew up in the Emissary community. I lived at Sunrise ranch twice and spent my summers growing up in the Lake Rest Community. I was involved until the age of 31. Mitchell Johnson, you have some anger issues to resolve but little you say on this blog is valid. Yes, like all spiritual or religious movements they have core beliefs. Were there some bad people. What organization doesnt have a few.
      But my many years with the emissaries left me with an inner strength, an appreciation for all the great male role models I grew up with and a respect for what Sunrise Ranch has tried to do in the world. I grew up in it. I was steeped for a few decades in its atmosphere. I cleaned barns and milked goats on its communes. I spread its doctrine until I left and developed my own way.
      So, owner of this blog, cut the bull as you really know little about this organization….
      Sincerely….Teddy Goldman

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