Church of Immortal Consciousness

A spiritual group with controversial practices and beliefs centered around communication with a centuries-old spirit.

The Church of Immortal Consciousness, an enigmatic and controversial religious organization, was established with the intent to offer spiritual teachings diverging from mainstream religious practices. Founded by Trina and Steven Kamp, the church is primarily known for its unique doctrine centered around Trina Kamp’s ability to channel a 14th-century Englishman named Dr. Duran. This spirit, through Kamp, imparted wisdom and guidance to the church’s followers, marking a distinctive practice that set the Church of Immortal Consciousness apart from conventional religious groups​​​​.

Incorporated as a non-profit organization in 1983, the Church of Immortal Consciousness was based in Tonto Village, Arizona, where it established a community of about 150 members. The group’s teachings and practices have attracted attention and criticism, leading to various legal and public controversies over the years. One of the more notable aspects of the church’s belief system involved the concept of “trancing,” wherein Trina Kamp would enter a trance state to communicate with Dr. Duran, allowing the spirit to speak through her. These sessions were fundamental to the church’s practices, guiding members’ decisions, including personal matters such as marriages, which were purportedly arranged by Dr. Duran. This practice, along with the church’s distinct beliefs and communal lifestyle, raised eyebrows and sparked debates about the nature of religious freedom and the definitions of cult behavior​​.

One of the more noteworthy critics is Brooke Walker, who joined the church seeking faith and community. Walker has been outspoken about her experiences within the COIC, including an arranged marriage at 19, officiated by Dr. Duran through Trina Kamp. After leaving the church and her arranged marriage, Walker went on to advocate for individuals seeking to exit similar organizations, starting a podcast titled “How to Leave a Cult”​​.

The church’s activities and teachings have also been the subject of litigation, particularly in cases where its practices were challenged or where the organization sought to defend its reputation against allegations of misconduct or unconventional behavior. In one instance, the Church of Immortal Consciousness filed a lawsuit against individuals who alleged the church was involved in satanic rituals and other nefarious activities, a claim the church vehemently denied. The leaders also tried to get funding for the church-run Shelby School, but their application for a state charter faced rejection due to credit issues, sparking a legal battle over state funds and accusations of misrepresentation​​. Despite the controversies, members of the Church of Immortal Consciousness have defended their beliefs and practices, asserting their rights to religious freedom and the pursuit of spiritual fulfillment in ways that diverge from mainstream norms.

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