Eva’s Eden

An end-times cat cult believed to harbor divine felines for the apocalypse.


Overview

Eva’s Eden, originally based in Washington state, gained attention for its unique blend of end-times beliefs and cat rescue operations. Founded by Reverend Sheryl Ruthven, the group believed in the divine nature of cats, seeing them as carriers of 144,000 souls mentioned in the Book of Revelation. This belief formed the core of their activities, which included running a nonprofit cat shelter known as Eva’s Eden and hosting cat adoption events.

Origins and Beliefs

The roots of Eva’s Eden trace back to the late 1990s, when Ruthven, then known as Sheryl Walker, was a part of a small Pentecostal church, Gates of Praise, in Bellingham, Washington. Ruthven, possessing a charismatic personality and claimed prophetic abilities, led a significant part of the congregation to form a new church, Freedom Fire Ministries, following a church split.

Over time, Ruthven’s teachings evolved, incorporating elements from various faiths and spiritual traditions. This eclectic mix included Jewish holidays, Buddhist meditation, tai chi, and beliefs in chakras and healing crystals. Ruthven’s claims of being a prophet and a reincarnated Mary Magdalene further intensified the group’s devotional practices, which included drinking communion juice mixed with her blood.

The Shift to Cat Rescue

The group underwent several name changes, reflecting their evolving beliefs, eventually settling as the Oneness Foundation in a former Masonic Hall in Blaine, Washington. Ruthven’s personal loss of her cat, Eva, marked a significant turning point, leading to the foundation of Eva’s Eden. The cat rescue operation became a manifestation of the group’s spiritual beliefs, with cats seen as divine beings.

Controversies and Accusations

Eva’s Eden was not without controversy. Former followers accused Ruthven of running a cult of personality, claiming spiritual abuse and manipulation. They alleged that Ruthven demanded unquestioning obedience, with any dissent leading to banishment. These claims were vehemently denied by Eva’s Eden, which portrayed itself as a peaceful group devoted to cat rescue and harmony with nature.

Relocation and Further Developments

In a move that followers described as an “Exodus,” the group relocated to Columbia, Tennessee. This move was seen as a preparation for the impending apocalypse. However, the group’s controversial history followed them, leading to online feuds and legal threats between former members and Ruthven’s followers. Despite public approval for their cat rescue efforts, the group faced criticism and skepticism about its underlying beliefs and practices.

Disappearance and Current Status

Eva’s Eden, under increasing scrutiny, unexpectedly vanished from public view. Their website, social media accounts, and scheduled public events were abruptly canceled. This sudden disappearance followed increasing attention from critics and media inquiries into the group’s activities and beliefs.