It's What's On the Inside That Counts
a witness of Mark Prophet and the ascended masters by Alejandro Genis

     I first walked into La Tourelle in Colorado Springs and the person who greeted me said, “Oh, you get to meet Mark Prophet.” I saw a guy standing in the back dressed up as a cowboy with a big hat and a buckle. The idea that the prophet was a cowboy struck me as so funny. I looked pretty odd with my long hair, my yellow tank top with a cherry on it and my huge white canvas pants, but I thought he looked even more ludicrous. Mark turned to me and said, “It doesn’t matter what you’re wearing. It’s what’s on the inside that counts. Isn’t that right?” And he held out his hand. This took me aback and I thought, “He’s reading my mind.” Still, my first impression of Mark was that of a wonderfully interesting man with warm and very intelligent eyes. I took a liking to him immediately.
   The following Sunday, I attended one of his lectures and asked him if I could serve on staff. He said to me, “You have some light,” and told me I could work at the Four Winds, the health food store and book store.
   Mark came in every day to visit and almost every visit was an opportunity for teachings, whether it was how to make the food better or how to clean the floors better. Disciplines and initiations were part of the mix.
   I was fascinated to watch Mark and to see what I could learn. One time, he picked up the phone to call the warehouse and sort out a problem, and the person on the other end started defending themselves. Mark started shouting and really getting into it. In the middle of the drama, he put down the phone and said, “I really got him hopping.” Then he picked up the phone and gave the person a corrective teaching. On another occasion, Mark wasn’t pleased with the man washing dishes. “You are far too serious,” he told the man and laughed as he walked by. The dishwasher was grumpy for only a few moments longer and then his countenance changed and he lightened up.
    Mark loved humor. During my first conference, I saw a man in the distance dressed with a turban and I thought, "Look, there's someone from Saudi Arabia." I walked over and it was Mark with a blue tunic and a white turban!
     Mark was at the same time both very physical and very ethereal. He would say the most profound things. When he gave an invocation, you could really feel things change in the room. At the same time, he like to tell very down to earth stories about his time in the army or working in construction. He also loved to wrestle and he would grab you in a headlock when you walked by. He could even grab two guys and put their heads together. He would say, with a very serious tone, “I’m a karate master on the inner.” Some of the behavior seemed so silly, you never knew whether he was joking or not.
   For a while, everyone on staff belonged to a health club and we went down once a week. One day, Mark met me in the dressing room. “Well, how do you think I look?” he asked me. “I guess you look pretty good,” I replied, not sure what to say. “I’ve lost weight,” he said. “You know, I’ve got a young wife and I have to keep in shape.” His concern struck me as so sweet.