A spiritual path blending Christian beliefs with esoteric teachings, centered on the transformative “In the Light of Truth” by Abd-ru-shin.
The Grail Movement is an international spiritual organization that draws its inspiration from “In the Light of Truth: The Grail Message” by Oskar Ernst Bernhardt, who wrote under the pen name Abd-ru-shin. Its roots trace back to 1928 when Bernhardt established the Grail Settlement in Vomperberg, Tyrol, Austria, to live and work close to those who were devoted readers of his writings. This settlement became a hub for the Grail Movement, hosting annual festivals and weekly Hours of Worship, until it was disrupted by the Nazi annexation of Austria in 1938. Bernhardt was arrested, and the settlement was converted into a Nazi training camp. Post-World War II, the settlement was returned to Bernhardt’s widow, marking a new phase in the development of the Grail Movement.
The teachings of the Grail Message embody a synthesis of Christian and New Age beliefs, emphasizing reincarnation, the existence of ethereal and gross matter, and a creation story that centers around an eternal Light. The Movement also incorporates beliefs in elemental beings like gnomes and sprites, suggesting a complex cosmology that transcends traditional Christian doctrine. Its services, characterized by the use of classical music from composers such as Beethoven, Mozart, and Handel, are conducted behind closed doors, with the main service at the Iju Temple in Lagos, Nigeria, being particularly exclusive.
The Grail Movement has expanded globally, with a significant presence outside the United States, especially in Europe and Africa, notably in Nigeria. Despite its broad reach and the richness of its teachings, the Movement insists it is not a cult but rather a community of independent sects or “Grail Circles” that interpret Bernhardt’s ideas according to their own understanding. This interpretation has led to a diverse array of practices and beliefs within the broader Grail Movement.
Adherents undergo a sealing ritual to affirm their commitment, becoming “Crossbearers” within the Movement. Plans for a grand Grail Castle on the settlement land, which were interrupted by the Nazis, symbolize the ambitious spiritual and physical aspirations of the Movement. Over time, internal disputes led to a split into multiple sects, each with its distinct interpretation of the Grail Message. Despite these schisms, the core teachings of the Grail Message, encompassing what are termed the Primordial Laws, continue to guide the Movement’s followers.
The International Grail Movement today positions itself as a voluntary association of readers and followers of the Grail Message, aiming to apply its teachings across various aspects of life, from personal spirituality to social engagement. It organizes Hours of Worship and Grail Festivals to deepen participants’ understanding and connection to the teachings. The Movement has a decentralized structure, with national Grail Movements in several countries, reflecting its global reach and the personal nature of its spiritual path.