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ARE membership

Aug 30, 1996 08:48 AM
by K. Paul Johnson

In light of information in the current Venture Inward, I have
to revise my hypothesis about the source of ARE leaders'
openness to scholarship about Cayce.  ARE membership has had a
bizarre history.  Although it is now almost 10 times what it
was 30 years ago, it is also less than a third what it was 7
years ago:

1966-- 3300
1967-- 6600 (after Stearns's The Sleeping Prophet)
1978-- 17000 (when I joined)
1982-- 20000 (Hugh Lynn Cayce dies)
1989-- 100000 (thanks to a mass direct mailing program offering
inexpensive trial memberships)
1992-- 40000 (since very few of the above recruits renewed)
1995-- 30000
1996-- 28000

So this is not a group that can be confident about expanding,
contrary to my supposition!  However, I think the leaders are
still confident that public awareness of Cayce is expanding,
is mainly positive, and he can bear skeptical scrutiny.

In response to Chuck regarding the change from Hugh Lynn's
day.  This was a major theme in Charles Thomas's remarks.  One
thing he said that seems obvious in retrospect, although it
hadn't occurred to me, was that for most of the ARE's history
it has been dominated by people who knew Edgar and had readings
from him.  As long as that generation was in power, a critical
or skeptical approach to the readings was not likely to get
far.  They were too intimately connected to people's lives to
be subjected to much scholarly scrutiny.  But now that most
members never knew Edgar or had readings themselves, there is a
new openness to scholarly investigation.


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