10 Arizona-Based Religions

With Monday's U.S. Department of Justice win in Phoenix federal court limiting the power of the polygamist Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, it's worth noting that the state has a great deal of religious creativity.

Here are 10 religions (or spiritual organizations, sects, or, in some cases, cults) that have Arizona roots:

10. Scientology

Not only is there a church of Scientology in Phoenix, but it all started here — founder L. Ron Hubbard's former home is at the foot of Camelback Mountain. "It was there L. Ron Hubbard authored the first basic books of Scientology," according to a Scientology website. "It was also there he convened informal discussions with students attending the seven Advanced Clinical Courses and three Congresses in neighboring facilities." The first formal organization of Scientology was in Phoenix. .

9. The Temple of The Presence

The Temple of The Presence, a Tucson-based offshoot of the Church Universal and Triumphant, is a New Age religious group that subscribes to the "I AM" Activity. However, unlike the Church Universal Triumphant, the Tucson offshoot doesn't have fallout shelters, nor did its founders get busted on federal weapons charges.

8. People Unlimited

This organization, based in Scottsdale, claims it really can help people maximize their true potential. By the way, that's "including the ability to live forever," according to members' own explanation.

7. New Age Community Church

This New Age church claims to have gotten its start in Phoenix in 1967 over the study of tarot cards. Phoenix's Alpha Book Center was founded by the leader of the New Age Community Church.

6. Global Community Communications Alliance

This one involved a man who called himself "Gabriel of Urantia," who oversaw a 165-acre spot, where more than 100 people reportedly prepared for the apocalypse. Their beliefs are in a book that they believed was given to humans by entities from space.

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Matthew Hendley
Contact: Matthew Hendley