How the Bizarre Cult of Mother God Ended With Amy Carlson's Mummified Corpse

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Amy Carlson's followers would say she ascended.

But in no uncertain terms, the 45-year-old mother of three was dead. 

And she had been dead for 13 days when sheriff's deputies found her body on April 29, 2021, at the residence that served as the "mission house" for Amy's spiritual group, Love Has Won.

Her mummified remains were in a sleeping bag decorated with Christmas lights, glitter sprinkled around her eyes. She'd been tucked into bed amid what authorities said looked like a shrine. Or, as a housemate told the deputies when they arrived to search the premises, "Mother is in rest."

The countless hours of footage the group recorded as they preached the tenets of Amy's movement to thousands of YouTube subscribers provided an impressive amount of fodder for the recent HBO docuseries Love Has Won: The Cult of Mother God

In addition to acolytes touting Amy's philosophy, the three-part project delved into who Amy was before she abandoned her "3D life" (as her followers referred to existence as most people know it), though her family's reminiscences can't really explain how she became convinced that she was the real God here on this earthly plane.

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How she convinced other people of that is also unclear, though director Hannah Olson took care not to mock Amy or her devotees.

"Who are we to judge?" a follower identified as Archeia Hope said in the series. "Like, what's a cult? People not believing what's mainstream, which is God's a man and that you find him in a church that wants money?"


Though according to former and still-faithful Love Has Won adherents interviewed for the show, people willingly emptied their bank accounts for Amy.

Ex-acolyte Andrew (few last names were used in the series) recalled turning his $700 monthly unemployment checks over to the group to pay for food and weed. 

"Nobody even wanted to look at or consider the possibility that what we were doing wasn't true, or that this wasn't real," Andrew, who left the group years before Amy died, said. "It wasn't a popular idea."

He said that Amy had fleeting moments where she would admit she wasn't really Mother God, but there was always someone around to remind her that she was.

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Who was Amy Carlson?

As remembered by her mom Linda Haythorne and sister Tara Flores in the HBO series, Amy was born in McPherson, Ks., in 1975.

She was "kind of mischievous, but she was good," Linda said, describing Amy as a good student who "wanted to be somebody."


Amy worked at a McDonald's, where she was quickly promoted to manager. But she also had questionable taste in boyfriends, according to her family.

By the mid-'00s, Amy had three kids and had been married and divorced. Her eldest son, Cole, recalled in the HBO series being in fifth grade when his dad, who had joint custody, told him that his mom had basically disappeared. 

Now in his 20s and studying microbiology in Germany, per the show, Cole said he was angry at Amy for a long time, but eventually he just pitied her. 

Her second child, daughter Madi, said she was 14 when she found out what Amy was up to, having looked her up on YouTube. She said Amy invited her to come visit the Love Has Won homestead, but it was a hard no on Madi's end. 

How the Bizarre Cult of Mother God Ended With Amy Carlson's Mummified Corpse

"I don't know if I can really blame her" for leaving, Madi said, "or if it's just her mental state."

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How did Amy Carlson end up becoming "Mother God"?

While researching New Age culture and spirituality online in the mid-'00s, Amy connected with Amerith White Eagle, who lived in Crestone, and eventually left her family to join him.

"We talked more and more and shared more and more, and I could sense that she wasn't happy," Amerith recalled on the HBO series. When they met in person, he said, "it was like simpatico, like twin planes coming right there together."

"We'd talk about ascension," Amerith said, "stepping out of the programmed world, attaining a higher vibrational consciousness. We were trying to bring this heaven on earth where everybody could be part of, like a family."

But while he was happy just chilling, watching spacecraft fly overhead, Amerith said, "it seemed important to Amy to put her messages online to share with a larger number of people." They launched The Galactic Free Press, calling themselves Father and Mother God.

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Amy "took the jewels I shared with her and kind of put her own thing to it," Amerith continued, and "she started realizing that people liked what she was saying…Followers seemed to be what she wanted and needed."

She met Miguel Lamboy (a.k.a. Archangel Michael Silver) online and moved on to be with him. They headed to New Age hot spot Mount Shasta, Calif., in 2012.

What is Love Has Won?

Ex-follower Andrew said on the show that Amy—who at the time was reachable on—was really into conspiracy theories, which initially appealed to him. He said he'd been struggling with a painkiller addiction when he came across her videos and he started dreaming about her.

Andrew said he had no idea when he joined her in Mount Shasta he was "going to be the next Father God," the moniker applied to whomever was her significant other at any given time. Otherwise, he wasn't particularly attracted to Amy at first, he recalled, but she assured him that he was there to help "usher in a beautiful new earth."

Courtesy of HBO

Meanwhile, he had experience with online marketing and building websites, and he helped rebrand Amy's mouthful of a movement as the easier to digest Love Has Won. They posted videos to YouTube and went live frequently, Amy envisioning having a 24/7 livestream so people could tune in from all over the world at any given time and really experience what they were doing. 

Love Has Won also made money online selling candles, crystals, artwork and other trinkets that they marketed as objects for healing, cleansing, spiritual awakening—whatever floated a person's ever-seeking boat. (And according to Andrew, Amy was on Amazon all the time adding to her collection of flowy dresses, jewelry and other Mother God accoutrements.)

They also sold colloidal silver, which can be found online promoted as a dietary supplement but has no proven health benefits. (According to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, the FDA has warned colloidal silver is not safe or effective for treating any disease or condition and it can cause serious side-effects, such as argyria—a build-up of silver in the body's tissues causing a bluish-gray discoloration of the skin, which can be permanent.)


Amy talked about the "Galactics" who'd left the earth and were her advisors from afar. She had a "Galactic A-team," Hope said in the series, showing off a collage composed of photos of a slew of dead celebrities, including Robin Williams, John Lennon, Whitney Houston, Prince, Patrick Swayze and Carrie Fisher

The collage also included a picture of former President Donald Trump, who, Hope acknowledged, was "in the physical, but still, he's on the team."

However, the Mrs. Doubtfire star, who died by suicide 2014, was "Mom's main ambassador," Hope shared. And the Beatles singer who was murdered in 1980 was "Ashtar, command of the main star ship."

In a number of their videos, they referenced getting messages from Robin, including one toward the end of Amy's life that communicated he was "disgusted" by the lack of respect the world was showing Mother.


Why did Amy Carlson turn blue?

Andrew recalled in the HBO series that Amy drank herself "into oblivion" every night. There's a lot of footage of her with a cocktail in hand. 

"The more people came, the more she drank," said another member identified as El Moyra. And her reunion with Jason Castillo, referred to in the series as her final Father God, only made it worse, according to Amy's followers—including Jason, who participated in the show and said that Amy started to decline "the second I got home."

But Amy's followers marveled over how much she could drink and, as seen in their videos, alcohol and marijuana remained her medicine of choice, along with colloidal silver.

Meanwhile, her feet swelled and she broke out with boils all over her body. She became gaunt and lost feeling in her legs.

"We were told alcohol was keeping her alive," a member identified as Commander Buddha said in the series, "even though it would look like alcoholism to the untrained eye."

Everything happening to Amy was a sign of liver failure, according to former member Sarah, except for the part where Amy was turning blue.


Amy was so sick, she asked her "earth family" to come visit in Colorado, follower Archeia Aurora said in the show. Linda admitted in the series that she was too scared to visit her daughter.

"Honestly, that's the bottom line," she said. "I was afraid."

Toward the end of 2019, Jason and some of the others decided it was imperative they bring Amy (they almost never used her real name, usually referring to her as Mom, Mama or Mother) to Hawaii.

When Tara—who recalled watching her sister's still-daily livestreams so she could get a read on her health—finally connected with Amy over Skype, she was alarmed. Amy was "very thin," Tara said on the show, "her teeth were looking terrible, she said she can't walk anymore…and I noticed she was blue. I was reading everything that I could and I figured out it was the colloidal silver."


That's when Amy's family reached out to Dr. Phil as "kind of our last resort," Tara said.

Amy—appearing remotely from Kauai—said on a September 2020 episode of the show that things were "very peaceful here at the moment."

When Dr. Phil McGraw pointedly asked why she abandoned her kids, Amy maintained that's not what happened.

"I did not abandon my children," she said. "I begged my angels not—I didn't want to leave, and they told me I had to go on mission, and if I didn't do it, no one else would."

Amy felt betrayed by the whole Dr. Phil experience.

"My earth family is in treason beyond because they are not stepping forward with the truth of who I am," she ranted in one of her videos. "Linda, Tara—my family who birthed me into this f–king reality of illusion—step forward!"

After Dr. Phil aired, the group's time on Kauai was cut short when locals started loudly protesting their presence, alleging they were dangerous. They returned to Crestone, where—as the series illustrated with local news footage from the time—residents were also hoping to get rid of them, calling the group a cult.

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How did Amy Carlson die?

After Hawaii, Amy was "depressed," Hope said in the series. "That's the best way I would describe her in those moments, just sitting in bed, no joy, nothing."

Tara shared that Amy called her on Dec. 31, 2020, and said she was dying. Tara told her big sister to come home, that she'd take care of her. "I told her I loved her," Tara said, "and that was the last time I talked to her."

The series showed a text from Amy to daughter Madi sent on Jan. 3, 2021, saying, "im here if you need me…I love you unconditionally."

Madi said, "I feel like there was something in her that was telling her to go home, and then something just kept pulling her back…If she came back home, she'd have all these loving people coming over her. You know, maybe we'd be a little mad at first. But she's family. You can't just say f–k you to family."


In April 2021, Aurora recalled in the series, "Mom was told by the Galactics to move to Oregon."

So Jason took Amy to Ashland, where they checked into a hotel—and that's where Amy died on April 16.

In the meantime, Hope, Aurora and a few others had joined them, and no one reported that Amy was dead.

Three days after she passed, "we were still giving her water, we were still taking care of the vessel," Aurora said in the series. "Her body was warm. It was almost literally like the resurrection of Jesus." Before she ascended, Aurora added, Amy told them repeatedly, "'Do not take me to a hospital. Do not resuscitate me. Do not give my body to the cabal in any way.'"

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After checking out of the hotel, the group spent several nights camping out in a forest in Oregon, Jason sleeping next to Amy's body in one of the tents.

Hope said she was wondering when "they" were going to pick Mom up. Asked on camera for the series who "they" were, she replied, "Like, the Galactics."

El Moyra recalled, "I literally thought the starship would just come, right?"

Instead, 10 days after Amy died, Jason, El Moyra and John Robertson (another former lover whom Amy designated "Father Multiverse") hit the road to drive her sleeping bag-encased body from Oregon to Colorado. They tucked her into bed back at the residence in Crestone and continued to wait for something to happen.

But what happened was, as noted on an arrest affidavit obtained by NBC News, longtime Love Has Won member Miguel told police that there was a corpse at his house and deputies found Amy on the night of April 29. 

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An autopsy determined that Amy died of the combined effects of alcohol abuse, anorexia and colloidal silver dosing. The report was delayed for months, according to the Denver Post, because the local coroner couldn't immediately find a lab where they'd be able to perform more complicated tests to check for heavy metal poisoning. The El Paso County Coroner's Office eventually completed the postmortem.

"I used to say I've seen it all," Saguache County Sheriff Dan Warwick told NBC News' Dateline that October. "I don't say that anymore."

Seven of Amy's followers had been arrested, three on charges of abuse of a corpse and four on charges of tampering with a deceased human body. All seven were also charged with misdemeanor child abuse because two minors were in the house when deputies arrived. The arrest affidavit noted that authorities had "received many complaints from families within the United States saying that the group is brainwashing people and stealing their money."

But, by October, all of the charges had been dismissed. The sheriff said he didn't agree with prosecutors' decision to drop the case.

After looking at all the evidence, Saguache County District Attorney Alonzo Payne told Dateline, "from our perspective the allegations could not be met beyond a reasonable doubt."

Courtesy of HBO

What happened to the followers of Mother God?

Though both expressed horror at rejoining the 3D world in videos, Aurora moved back to her native South Florida. Hope, who's seen talking on the phone to her mom, Debbie, for the first time in 10 years, lives nearby and they continue to post to YouTube, having rebranded as 5D Full Disclosure.

"I used to think all of this was real," Aurora said in the series, gesturing to the suburban residential street she was driving through en route to reuniting with her actual mother. "But it's not."

Jason and fellow Love Has Won alum John moved to Wisconsin together, according to the series, and started Joy Rains, posting videos as Father God and Father Multiverse.

Amy's remains were ultimately returned to her family.

"It's important for us to let everyone know that Amy was a person," her sister Tara told Rolling Stone in 2021. "She wasn't a monster. She's a victim as well of coercive control. But we didn't have much of an option for getting her help. Part of me wanting to speak is to bring awareness to that."

Love Has Won: The Cult of Mother God is streaming on Max.

(E! and NBC News are both members of the NBCUniversal family.)

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