The Dr. Phil show last week hit close to home.
The topic of the show was the finding of the mummified corpse of Amy Carlson, a woman who called herself “Mother God,” April 28 in a Saguache County home.
In the home were two children, a 2-year-old boy and a 13-year-old girl. The children were placed under the protection of Saguache County Social Services.
Dr. Phil had interviewed Carlson in September in a program about cults, and he replayed portions of that show.
Guest on Thursday’s show was Rick Alan Ross of the Cult Education Institute and author of “Cults Inside Out.”
Dr. Phil called Carlson a deeply disturbed individual and a horribly abusive cult leader.
Her body was found after Miquel Lamboy, 42, discovered it in the Saguache home and identified the deceased woman as Carlson. The eyes had been removed and the body was wrapped in a sleeping bag and decorated with Christmas lights. The empty eye sockets were decorated with glitter.
Seven followers were booked on charges of abuse of a corpse and two counts of child abuse.
Carlson is believed to have been the leader of a religious group known as Love Has Won and preached “love and light” while at the same time abusing children, cult members and animals.
In footage from the September Dr. Phil show, she was seen abusively disciplining a cat and locking a child in a dark closet for punishment, yet she claimed to be “serving love.” She called her anger at these situations “matters of passion.”
Carlson claimed to have been reincarnated more than 534 times. Among her past lives she said she was Joan of Arc, Marilyn Monroe and Jesus, and she recalled being crucified.
She claimed to have been trying to save humanity for 19 billion years, communicated with angels and has done more than 100,000 miraculous surgeries, curing everything including cancer.
She abandoned her own three children 16 years ago, saying she left them when she was “called.”
“I had to go on a mission,” she said in the September interview. “I gave the papers on the children to their fathers. My heart breaks every day for leaving them.”
Her followers see her demise not as death but as ascension.
A concern for Dr. Phil and Ross is the outcome for Carlson’s followers.
“They completely believed her,” Ross said. “They said Mother God was everything and they believed she was God.”
Dr. Phil said that without actually seeing her he could not make a diagnosis, but his guess would be she was a malignant narcissist. There are different types of narcissists. Some hurt people on purpose and think they are entitled to do so. Her behavior was exploitative, narcissistic and abusive.
So what happens now that her leadership is gone?
Ross said the group will gradually fade away. Without her as the hub it will collapse. But followers have to know a face-saving way of dealing with this after.
“The longer people are in a cult the longer it takes to recover,” Ross said. “We must not blame the victim. We need to accept and love them.”
“I want this to be a cautionary tale,” Dr. Phil said. “Never give up on them. Keep going to that gate (when loved ones are in a cult). Leaders tell them no one cares about them. Those who have survived say they knew their family still loved and cared for them.”
Ross said we think this is crazy but we don’t realize how isolated they are. This (cult life) is normal for them. We shouldn’t judge people in a cult. These people were totally dominated by Amy Carlson.
Some cult members have committed suicide when left behind, feeling they should die. One such group was a 1995 group called Solar Temple in Switzerland and France. Dr. Phil and Ross concluded by wondering if Carlson’s followers are in danger.
If anyone watching the show knew someone involved in this cult, Dr. Phil said he and Ross are there to support them without judgment, hoping to bring this to a happy end. They can be contacted on the website at drphil.com and also on Facebook and Instagram.
No further information on the case was available as of Monday afternoon. According to the Saguache County Sheriff’s Office, there is a gag order on the case.