Roger Delano Hinkins
Roger Delano Hinkins
Roger Delano Hinkins, known and published as John-Roger, is an American author, public speaker, and founder of the Movement of Spiritual Inner Awareness (MSIA), as well as several other New Age spiritual and self-help organizations.
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  • 1994
    Age 59
    In 1994, Peter McWilliams, a former high-level member of MSIA, published Life 102: What to Do When Your Guru Sues You, which charged that Hinkins had repeatedly abused his power as a guru.
    More Details Hide Details McWilliams claimed, among other things, that he was the sole author of the highly-successful Life 101 and several subsequent books purportedly coauthored by Hinkins (as "John-Roger"), who was his spiritual adviser and church leader at the time. Hinkins countered with a libel lawsuit. Ultimately, McWilliams agreed to abandon the copyright to Life 102: What to Do When Your Guru Sues You to Hinkins to settle the suit. James R. Lewis, an academic who researches new religious movements, conducted a study of Hinkins and the Movement of Spiritual Inner Awareness. Lewis stated that he did not consider MSIA a cult. Lewis's book was published by Mandeville Press, the publishing organ of MSIA. Lewis has been accused by skeptical societies and anti-cult groups of serving as an apologist for several cults, including the Family and AUM Shinrikyo. General Organizations controlled and/or started by Hinkins
  • 1983
    Age 48
    Religion academic and writer David C. Lane claims that in the fall of 1983, after he called Hinkins, who at that time he considered to be a friend, to get his response to the allegations of plagiarism, sexual manipulation, and charlatanism that had been raised by other friends, he was subjected to a series of threats, including several made against his life and the lives of his friends/informants.
    More Details Hide Details His home was subsequently ransacked and a number of his research files were stolen. He claims that documentary evidence implicates John-Roger with the robbery, as well as with implementing a smear campaign including threats against Lane and other of his critics. This included setting up a front organization called the "Coalition for Civil and Spiritual Rights", an act which was eventually traced directly back to Hinkins. Claims of plagiarism have also been levied against Hinkins, in connection with both MSIA's core teachings and as other publications. Many of these have centered on the reportedly close similarity between certain MSIA materials and doctrine and that of Paul Twitchell's Eckankar, known prior to 1985 as "The Ancient Science of Soul Travel". One of the main allegers, religion academic David C. Lane, has published evidence that Hinkins took without attribution key spiritual teachings from Twitchell, who, Lane further claims, took them in turn from Radha Soami Satsang Beas, a movement with which Lane was at the time actively involved.
  • 1982
    Age 47
    In 1982, Hinkins founded the Institute for Individual and World Peace (IIWP), a volunteer-driven 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to studying, identifying, and presenting the processes that lead to peace.
    More Details Hide Details IIWP owns and operates the Windermere Ranch, a 142-acre property in the Santa Ynez Mountains that is used to breed and train Arabian horses. Hinkins is the author of over 55 books. His most recent books are 'The Rest of Your Life' (2007), 'Timeless Wisdoms: Volume One' (2008) and 'Timeless Wisdoms: Volume Two' (2008). He has given more than 6000 seminars over the last forty years, most of which have been recorded either in audio or video format by NOW Productions. Hinkins also produces his own national cable TV show, 'That Which Is', and has appeared on other television and radio programs, including CNN's Larry King Live, The Roseanne Show, and Politically Incorrect. In 1988, Hinkins partnered with actor Jsu Garcia to create 'Scott J-R Productions', a film production company committed to creating "spirit-filled" films. Their first full length feature was 'My Little Havana', followed by 'Spiritual Warriors', based on Hinkins' book 'Spiritual Warrior: The Art of Spiritual Living'.
  • 1979
    Age 44
    In 1979, Hinkins founded the Heartfelt Foundation, a volunteer-driven, 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to serving and assisting people in any form of need.
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  • 1978
    Age 43
    In 1978 Hinkins created the Insight organization with friend and fellow MSIA Minister Russell Bishop.
    More Details Hide Details Insight Seminars is an international non-profit educational organization headquartered in Santa Monica, California. Hinkins serves as Insight Seminars' Chairman of the Board.
  • 1977
    Age 42
    In 1977 Hinkins founded the Peace Theological Seminary & College of Philosophy (PTS) as an educational non-profit organization for MSIA students to undertake undergraduate workshops, courses and retreats, and also postgraduate programs.
    More Details Hide Details The school, which is ecumenical and non-denominational, offers a Master and Doctorate degree in Spiritual Science. Its headquarters is home to the Peace Awareness Labyrinth and Gardens. Hinkins received his doctorate in Spiritual Science from this organization, and is its President.
  • 1976
    Age 41
    In 1976, he founded Koh-e-nor University, later renamed the University of Santa Monica (USM), a private, unaccredited institution offering master's degrees in Spiritual Psychology and Consciousness, Health & Healing, and a doctoral degree in Spiritual Psychology.
    More Details Hide Details John Roger serves as the chancellor of the University.
  • 1971
    Age 36
    The demand for his seminars grew and spread, until in 1971, Hinkins resigned from his secular job as a high school English teacher and formally incorporated the Church of the Movement of Spiritual Inner Awareness.
    More Details Hide Details MSIA is a nondenominational and ecumenical church, the stated purpose of which is to "teach Soul Transcendence, which is becoming aware of yourself as a Soul and as one with God, not as a theory, but as a living reality." MSIA currently has participants in over 30 countries, with its largest following in the United States, Australia, Colombia, Brazil, and Nigeria respectively. The church was estimated in 1993 to have 4500 members. Controversy has surrounded MSIA: it has been accused of being a cult by some former members and by the Cult Awareness and Information Centre, and claims have been made that Hinkins had unethical sexual relationships with members. MSIA has also been accused of being an "offshoot" of Lifespring, a private, for-profit, New Age/human potential training company founded in 1974. According to Nan Kathryn Fuchs, a devoted member of MSIA for 13 years and a minister who served on the Ministerial Board for a number of years, Hinkens' teachings changed substantially in tone when Russell Bishop introduced his version of Lifespring Training to a group of MSIA ministers and John-Roger took it over and promoted it as his own idea, calling it "Insight Training Seminars". "As the money began to roll in, John-Roger became more inaccessible, and his aphorisms changed from 'Help yourself so you can help others' to 'Use everything to your advantage'. He certainly has."
  • 1968
    Age 33
    In 1968, five years after his coma, Hinkins began to hold seminars as an independent spiritual teacher in homes of friends in Santa Barbara and Thousand Oaks.
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  • 1963
    Age 28
    Hinkins relates having had a near-death experience while undergoing surgery for a kidney stone in late 1963, after which he fell into a nine-day coma.
    More Details Hide Details After this experience, Hinkins says he became aware of another "spiritual personality" that had superseded or merged with his previous personality. He began to refer to himself as "John-Roger" in recognition of this transformation.
  • 1958
    Age 23
    Upon graduation from high school, Hinkins attended the University of Utah, where he would go on to earn a Bachelor of Science degree in psychology in 1958 and a Secondary Teaching credential in 1960.
    More Details Hide Details While in college, he worked as a night orderly in the psychiatric hospital ward of a Salt Lake City hospital. He then moved to San Francisco to work as an insurance claims adjuster. He received a Secondary Life Teaching Credential from the State of California, and performed post-graduate work at University of California, Los Angeles, University of Southern California and California State University, Los Angeles. He then began teaching English at Rosemead High School in a suburb of Los Angeles.
  • 1948
    Age 13
    According to Hinkins, he was passed the "keys" by the previous receptor of the Consciousness, Sawan Singh, the late Radhasoami Satsang Beas master who died in 1948, while he was on the "inner spiritual planes".
    More Details Hide Details Hinkens held the "keys" to the Consciousness from December 1963 until they were passed to John Morton, the current Spiritual Director of MSIA, in December 1988. Hinkens maintains that humans are locked in an eternal cycle of reincarnation and karma, and can only escape by ascending from Earth's negative realms into "a totally positive state of being" called "soul consciousness." This, according to his teachings, is nearly impossible without the assistance of the Mystical Traveler Consciousness he believes he embodies. He has written that "Initiates of the Mystical Traveler Consciousness are those that I am specifically taking home to God."
  • 1934
    Hinkins was born on September 24, 1934, and raised in the small mining town of Rains, Utah.
    More Details Hide Details He was brought up in the Mormon faith; as a youth, he attended the local LDS church's Mutual Improvement Associations and occasionally gave inspirational "three-minute talks". Hinkins describes his childhood as "typical", distinguished only by an early belief that he could spot auras, colorful fields that some people believe surround the human body.
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