Dr. John  Rodgers       
 spiritual  teacher                     
author, philosopher, psychic    
 and man of many talents   

One does not become a spiritual teacher by taking a class. St. Paul said a spiritual teacher must be able to empathize with our weaknesses, having experienced everything just as we have (Hebrews 4:15).

Born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, in 1937, he was the oldest child of John and Elizabeth Rodgers, an average shy child of little note. Spirit began his preparation at an early age.

His father had attended seminary and was a student of the Bible. He held regular religious discussions at his home and subscribed to National Geographic and other magazines of ancient history.. He spent years looking for religious truth, going from one denomination to another.

These are some of the many occupations and careers he experienced on his journey:

  • Newsboy

  • Carpentry

  • Printing

  • Writing

  • Laundry Work

  • Yard Work

  • Missionary

  • Church Teacher

    • Book Publisher

    • Daily Newspaper Editor

    • Union Organizer

    • Bookstore Clerk

It was at this point that Dr. John's preparation became more focused.

Dr. John Rodgers, c.1970  at a store open house

In Phoenix, John had risen through all the orders of the priesthood, was ordained an Elder and at the age of 20 went on a two-year church mission.  While on the mission, John went from door to door arguing the merits of Mormonism.       He met people of different faithsand philosophies—some of whom influenced the young missionary. He studied and researched the scriptures for hours at a time.

Concluding his mission, he returned home and remained active in the church. After marrying Marie Champney in 1960, he continued his personal religious studies. He became a teacher of the Elders’ Quorum and members of advanced priesthoods would come to listen to him teach the class.

Eventually his teachings became too controversial for the church and he was ex-communicated. His continued search for truth led him into the study of metaphysics and the occult. He finally reached the understanding that no church is divinely established. They are just a societal structures. After founding the Alpha Book Center, he became a leader in the Valley metaphysical community. For many years Dr, John's work focused on intergrating and bringing together the great Eastern spiritual teachings and Western wisdom.

A student's view   - Jan V. annappreciative studentt  1992
The solid and impressive scholarship, incisive wit, wisdom and integrity of Dr John, the man who through many years has and still is speaking essential and crucial Truths to his students, as well as embodying this with real courage, fortitude andThe solid and impressive scholarship, incisive wit, wisdom and integrity of Dr John, the man who through many years has and still is speaking essential and crucial Truths to his students, as well as embodying this with real courage, fortitude and
sheer guts to speak "Truth to Power" when it's a hard thing to do because there's a cost (or price to be paid) in doing this.
Dr John  is a much needed fresh air (wake-up! call) to those fast asleep in their comfort zones of belief systems. Questioning and thinking are
actively encouraged by Dr John; he encourages people/his students  to think, keeping the question open.
Would that we could have more like Him in every important field of human endeavor (in science, industry, government and yes, real spiritual paths) in the pursuit and discovery of real Truths to help humanity (and all of the worthy and divine lives evolving) especially at this critical time (or juncture of transformation) on Planet Earth. 
All of us have much to learn and absorb from Dr John and then practically Apply  in ourday-to-day (daily) lives...

An author's view   - Melanie McGrath, Motel Nirvana, 1996, HarperCollins

Rev. Dr. Rodgers is a hell of a talker, brusque, without guile. His family were Mormon converts from Minnesota who settled in Arizona to be nearer Zion. Because they couldn’t afford to buy a home in Utah.

He was active in the church from an early age, and his mission as a young man took him to Oregon and Washington, then back to Arizona.

One day the Bishop made an authoritative pronouncement, that Rodgers did not feel was supported by Mormon scripture.

“So I asked his authority and he said The Bishop's Handbook and I discovered there was this whole book of scripture that people like me didn't know anything about."
Rodgers' continued insistence that the church abide by the revelations of founder Prophet Joseph Smith riled the local authorities. He woke up one day to discover that, so far as the church was concerned, he was no longer a Mormon. Nonetheless, still feeling like a Mormon, he went back to church and signed up to began again as a novitiate.

    "And the bishop said, well that's OK, but we don't want you to talk." And that was just too much for him. So he quit the Mormon Church.

    In the late sixties he met a girl who said she wouldn't date him unless he attended a class in metaphysics. So he attended the class and discovered that metaphysics was what he had been believing all along.

    Later on, Rodgers and small group of followers set up a New Age church.

"It's a small church because we preach truth, and who in hell wants truth? Fantasy's much better. Lies and fantasy you can sell all day long. And the truth is that there is no devil, and that you are responsible for everything that happens in your life. Whatever happens, you choose it, if not in this lifetime, in some other."
Chief among Rodgers' subsequent record of achievements in public life was his success in forcing a repeal of the Phoenix municipal law against psychic reading, which had been on the city's statute books since 1913.

In 1992, feeling that no one else had the answers to the nation's problems, John Rodgers ran as an independent candidate for the presidency of the United States of America on the following platform:

Repeal federal income tax

Legalize recreational drugs

Pay off the national debt

Senators to be selected by state legislatures

No censorship



    A reporter's view  -  Lawn Griffiths 
Two decades ago, the Rev. John Rodgers launched a New Age seminary because he found people to be “good-hearted, well-meaning ‘eager-norants,’ ” excited believers woefully lacking information about religion and spirituality.
     The founder of New Age Community Church and publisher of the oldest metaphysical newspaper in the nation, Omega Directory, Rodgers will mark the 39th anniversary, on Nov. 1, of his Alpha Book Center in Phoenix, one of the oldest metaphysical stores in the U.S. Regarded as the Valley’s authority on New Age, Rodgers fiercely defends religious liberty, but says, “Most people don’t know their church’s doctrines, and most people don’t care.”
     His monthly tabloid newspaper covers a broad swath of belief. The October issue carries such headlines as “The truth about vampires,” “New aliens found in Roswell, N.M.,” “Americans more spiritual than thought” and “Dutch priests are clearly not gay.”
     “Things are changing, things are going to be different,” Rodgers says of New Age. “Religion is going to change. We are not going to have big Baptist churches. … It will be something along the lines of the old guru and students, or master-disciple thing — or maybe it will be on the computer.”

      He spends much of his time maintaining two distinctly different Web sites:
www.aznewage.com and www.aznewage.net, the latter focusing more on New Age essays. “People are becoming more spiritual and less religious,” he says. He believes God loves all people, wants them to be happy and “doesn’t care what goes on. Don’t pay attention to all the things that don’t matter.” Rodgers, 69, a native of Minneapolis, attended a Methodist church as a boy. Then his family joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He did a mission in the Pacific Northwest and ccontinued with the church into his 20s. After he moved to Arizona in 1965, he says, “They kicked me out because I was going by Mormon doctrine, and no church goes by its own doctrine,” Rodgers says with a laugh. When he tried to rejoin, the bishop said he was glad to have Rodgers back but didn’t want him talking in class anymore. “I wasn’t derogatory, just informative,” Rodgers says. But if he couldn’t talk, he wasn’t going back. “The Book of Mormon is a wonderful book,” he says. “It’s got really good stories, teachings and Mormon precepts.” From there, Rodgers took a metaphysics class in Tempe. “That is what I had been waiting for all along.” At the time, he worked at Al’s Bookstore in Phoenix and started a metaphysical section, complete with tarot cards. It quickly expanded its New Age trappings, books and resources. Eventually, its adult section was replaced by metaphysics.

      In the 1960s, the Valley was “Christian country,” he says. “Wiccans were hiding in their closets.” In 1967, Rodgers bought the store and named it Alpha. The store moved around, and, at one time, he had three shops. In 1979, Alpha moved to its current place at 1928 E. McDowell Road, Phoenix. He touts it as the “Good Karma Store.” It recently reopened after a fire.

      “We never would have gotten the store cleaned without it,” he quips.

     About 100 people have gone through his five-semester seminary, with about 60 gaining ordination and some starting their own churches. He serves as bishop over several churches started from his. Fewer than 25 typically attend his Sunday service, and he described them as mostly “seekers and widows.”

     Astrologer Dominique Nancy Shilling has held regular sessions for 10 years at Alpha. She says Rodgers has a commanding understanding of many religions. “He can have a fundamentalist Christian in there, and John knows his stuff about the Bible.”

      “We teach what a human being is, what the universe is, what God is, what is really going on,” says Rodgers, who urges moderation in religious practices. “Jesus talked about the straight and narrow way. Don’t become too extreme. Crystals have certain powers. (Computer chips) are based on crystals, but I really don’t believe that crystals will make anyone float in the air.”

      In Omega Directory, Rodgers wrote that fundamentalism always fails. “Though we must continue our struggle, Christian fundamentalism will not be defeated by the strategic, targeted opposition of people like us, so much as it will eventually self-destruct from the weight of its own madness. … I oppose fundamentalism because I worship truth — the facts, reality, the God of gods.”

      Rodgers is author of “New Age Bible: The Hidden Truth Revealed,” which defines New Age and explores the relationship of such diverse faiths as Buddhism, Christianity, Wicca, Hinduism and Judaism. He believes religion has evolved to reflect the evolution of civilization and the growth of human consciousness.

       He scoffs at conspiracies, says skepticism is healthy and believes God revealed the truth to him and “it makes sense."