McKayla Maroney has been by quite a bit the previous few years. The gymnast, who gained gold on the 2012 Olympics when she was 16, retired from the game in 2016 — and revealed a yr later that she had been a sufferer of Crew USA physician Larry Nassar’s abuse. She supplied an announcement at his 2018 trial, the place he was sentenced to 40 to 125 years in jail for felony sexual assault.
Final month, Maroney, 25, criticized FBI dealing with of the case earlier than a Senate Judiciary Committee: “They allowed a baby molester to go free for greater than a yr.”
In 2019, her father died whereas detoxing from opioids. Maroney has additionally been affected by well being problems with her personal. So it’s straightforward to know why she would go to extremes to hunt assist, turning to “Grasp John,” chief of the Church of the Grasp Angels.
“I met Grasp John 4 years in the past,” Maroney mentioned in a “Let’s Get Meta” podcast. “I had what they name power fatigue . . . leaky intestine, abdomen points so dangerous that I couldn’t eat something.” (Within the episode, she identifies herself solely as “McKayla . . . I was a gymnast . . . and was within the Olympics.”)
In August, the gymnast informed Elle journal she was referred by her chiropractor to Grasp John Douglas, the chief of the 10-year-old church. In keeping with the guide “Medical Miracles,” by Grasp Angels member Dr. Richard L. Sarnat, Grasp John can see inside folks’s and animals’ our bodies and name on divine intervention to heal all the pieces from most cancers to lupus to Lyme illness to, within the case of a Jack Russell terrier pup, Parvovirus.
“He has the power to see matter on the particle stage, which is a quantum idea,” mentioned Jeff Wagner, an attorney-turned-church spokesman. “Then he prays to angels for help, which has led to therapeutic . . . by divine intervention.”
“In a second, [Master John] mentioned, ‘Oh, that’s a bone marrow an infection.’ He form of explains in his lecture about mildew that may get into your bones. He killed it for me,” Maroney mentioned on the podcast. “I felt actually burning in my chest and my throat, like one thing exploded, and I jumped. I mentioned, ‘What was that?’ He was, like, that’s all of the toxins from a horrible bone marrow an infection that I simply killed.”
In keeping with Dr. Niculae Ciobanu, an oncologist with Manhattan Most cancers Associates, mildew in bone marrow “is uncommon and often afflicts people who find themselves immunosuppressed . . . It will get handled with intravenous treatment.”
A consultant for Maroney didn’t reply to The Submit.
However Maroney believes that no matter Grasp John, now 50, did labored: “I wanted it and haven’t had power fatigue since . . . it was bizarre. If you end up round [Master John], miracles turn into so . . . simply part of your life,” she mentioned on the podcast. “Now I’m all higher. I can eat regular meals once more.”
Working out of North Carolina’s distant Heavenly Mountain, the church maintains two chapels together with its 14,680-pound Maha Crystal — which devotees credit score as “transmuting negativity and transmitting blessings,” in keeping with the church’s Fb web page
The group peddles $150 tokens to “cleanse meals,” together with $250 prayers, $2,000 therapeutic pendants and $10,000 seminars.
Maroney informed Elle, “It’s clearly not for everybody . . . On the finish of the day, it’s my alternative . . . I’m not in a cult.”
Wanting on the Church of the Grasp Angels’ Site, which emphasizes that it isn’t a cult, Joel Kramer, co-author of “The Guru Papers: Masks of Authoritarian Energy,” informed The Submit, “All cults deny being cults.”
Lawyer-turned church spokesman Jeff Wagner says “no one has ever been hypnotized or brainwashed.”
As for followers believing in Grasp John’s touted skill to hope to God and name on angels to treatment illness, Kramer added, “Desperation makes folks vulnerable.”
Wagner informed The Submit, “No one has ever been hypnotized or brainwashed. We’re not out to harm, hurt, defame and disparage anyone.”
Christopher Hartnett, Church chairman of the board of administrators, informed The Submit, “I’ll give $100,000 to anybody who reveals their face and says they’ve been harmed by Church of the Grasp Angels.”
In 2016, whereas attempting a case in Alaska, Wagner suffered what he describes as a “widowmaker” coronary heart assault. On the hospital, Wagner informed the Submit, “I put my hand on the facet of the [X-ray] and mentioned to myself, ‘Grasp John, I do know you’re busy with the entire world. However you probably have a minute, I might actually use a hand.’” Concurrently, his spouse referred to as Grasp John, who was in Skokie, Ailing., on the time.
Wagner claimed that, quickly after, “The blood began to circulate, my ache went down and it stabilized … [Master John] was capable of see the clot, from Skokie. He reached out to the angels to maneuver the clot and the clot moved.”
Although Wagner was being intravenously medicated on the time, he mentioned that had nothing to do together with his turnaround: “The valve on the IV was damaged.”
In keeping with the American Coronary heart Affiliation, victims of a “widowmaker” coronary heart assault — attributable to a blocked left artery stopping blood circulate to the entrance of the center — have solely a 12 % survival price if skilled outdoors of a hospital setting.
After Wagner suffered a second coronary heart assault final month, he mentioned, Grasp John “was capable of see coconut oil blockages. … He instructed that I look into amino acids.”
Although the Grasp Angels web site maintains that the Church and its associates “usually are not docs or medical professionals,” there are testimonials that Grasp John is ready to shut his eyes, name the Grasp Angles and ask them to remotely treatment illnesses by prayer. As soon as, after being notified by textual content message, Grasp John allegedly healed Hartnett, who mentioned he was affected by a virus believed to be a “style of” COVID 19, full with a 104-degree fever for 2 days.
“Fifteen minutes after [Master John was texted], he killed that virus in my physique,” Hartnett mentioned In an audio recording heard by The Submit. (Hartnett confirmed the story to The Submit.)
As to how the miracles occur, Grasp John informed a reporter from the web site Awake to Oneness of getting a “direct telepathic hyperlink to some very excessive Angelic Beings who had an agenda for mankind.” He defined how “having the ability to scan frequencies … to determine power or matter … has allowed me to search out many cures and coverings for ailments that aren’t understood by medical science, and in addition to see the place science could also be coming in from the mistaken angle.”
He additionally talked about his skill for “killing microorganisms,” describing it as “fairly straightforward.”
There are only a few pictures of Grasp John on-line, and the church declined to offer one to The Submit or make him obtainable for an interview. “He hasn’t given an interview in 9 years,” Wagner mentioned. “He’s very busy with different issues. One after the other, he’s serving to folks.”
As Hartnett continued on the recording, “I’ve personally witnessed over 25,000 healings, whether or not it’s most cancers, whether or not it’s lupus [performed by Master John]. He’ll be the primary to inform you that therapeutic takes place as a result of the grasp angels work by him they usually’re powered by the divine energy, mercy and forgiveness of God … I’ve seen so many miracles I don’t even know what to do with them.”
Grasp John was born in Australia and raised by mother and father, in keeping with Wagner, “with a religious background.” His beginning identify stays a thriller. As per Hartnett, Grasp John later modified his surname to Douglas as a result of his status as a healer was such that “he would come residence and have eight folks ready [at his residence, hoping to be healed]. He wished a personal life.” By round 9 years of age, Grasp John started having what Wagner referred to as “celestial imaginative and prescient. He would say to children on the playground, ‘I see your cartoons. Do you see mine?’ That was how he would describe angelic beings.”
In keeping with his official biography, Grasp John was educated in a monastery. He later made a dwelling as a night-time janitor in Sydney, ultimately beginning his personal upkeep firm. By day, he started assembly with individuals who believed in his therapeutic energy to heal by angels.
“Grasp John … can see inside folks’s our bodies. This isn’t voodoo witchcraft or something. That is prayer to God,” Wagner mentioned.
In the course of the aughts, Grasp John made his strategy to the USA the place he fell in with a clutch of rich Chicagoans who embraced his claims to work carefully with God and angels.
“He helped” these followers, Wagner mentioned, by his purported visions, skill to look inside them and his inspiring presence. “A bunch then wished to make it simpler for Grasp John to be in the USA and assist [other] folks. So we shaped a church.” Round this time, The “Grasp” title was dreamed up by Hartnett.
Whereas Grasp John, who’s, Hartnett mentioned, single and “a lifelong celibate,” lives in Sydney, Australia, the church is predicated on Heavenly Mountain largely as a result of Hartnett lives there. He organized to buy the land on which a chapel now stands, welcoming guests to listen to Grasp John’s audio tapes.
“In 2017,” Wagner added, “the IRS granted us standing as a public charity.” A charity that, in keeping with its 2018 tax return, realized $3,070,621 in whole income and wound up with web property or fund balances of $1,425,679.
Members are requested to pay instructed donations of as much as $10,000 for seminars often known as Elite Growth Programs. Wagner, who informed The Submit that not everybody pays full freight, described the coursework as “sacred data … There can be a sequence of lectures over 4 days. [Master John] might converse with [an attendee] individually if that’s what the angels recommend ought to occur.”
Maroney — identified for her trademark “not impressed” smirk — informed Elle that she attended two Church occasions in 2018. This yr, in keeping with Wagner, 600 folks attended Elite Growth Programs, held on Heavenly Mountain.
The church additionally requests $250 for what’s referred to as Karmic Mitigation™ Blessing Directed Prayer and is really useful earlier than marriage or starting a brand new job.
Maroney has posted a number of pictures to social media of herself carrying a pendant — gold ones go for almost $2,000 — affiliated with he Church of the Grasp Angels. On the group’s web site, the six-sided star with circles overlapping its factors is claimed to “scale back the adverse results of electromagnetic radiation, adverse ideas, and adverse feelings whereas energizing and empowering the immune system, aura and power fields.”
There’s additionally an animal model, which might be connected to a cat or canine’s collar, for $149.99 — to “create an brisk matrix that disperses radiation, adverse ideas and adverse feelings from a pet’s power fields.” Tokens mentioned to combat chilly and flu, restore infections attributable to mildew, or sanitize and energize meals — “place … below every dish or beverage for 5 to 10 seconds” — are $149.99 every.
You should purchase an natural “Coronary heart And Physique Extract” for $108 or a complement derived from volcanic minerals for $58.
A priest who works close to Heavenly Mountain informed The Submit that he isn’t shopping for Grasp John’s particular entry to angels angle: “I feel it’s New Age philosophy and I’ve a distinct tackle it. It will be laborious to be a part of a Christian neighborhood and embrace their teachings.”
Steve Shubin, a former Los Angeles cop who made a fortune by inventing the Fleshlight intercourse toy, is a member of the Church. “I’m so anti-cult, it’s a joke,” Shubin, who has a house on Heavenly Mountain, mentioned to The Submit. “No one tells Steve Shubin what to do. Grasp John is essentially the most soulful individual I’ve ever met.”
As for Maroney, Shubin mentioned, “For her, this group was wonderful. She has to get well from quite a bit.”
Shubin and different church members might know Maroney, nevertheless it appears a few of the folks the Olympian was as soon as closest to have been reduce out of her life.
She was, as Maroney has described it, “finest buddies … [who] just about know all the pieces about one another” with fellow Crew USA gymnast Kyla Ross. However Ross informed The Submit, “I don’t converse along with her a lot. I’m unsure who she speaks to.”
For her half, by turning to the church, Maroney appears to be enjoying it cautious after all of the harm she’s skilled. As she informed Elle: “There are darkish folks and darker energies that see you and don’t want you effectively. I wish to really feel like I’m protected not directly.”