One good way to get people to believe you’re a deity is to make them address you as if you are one. And that seems to be exactly what Sweet Angel Divine, a 91-or-92-year-old-widowed-virgin, did before her recent death.
Who was Sweet Angel, you ask? Addressed by her devotees as “Mother Divine,” this woman was a widow of Rev. Major Jealous Divine: the leader of an intense religious group in the 1930s. Oh, and he believed he was God.
And guess what? Sweet Angel (born Edna Rose Richings) believed it too. As did hoards of dedicated followers of The International Peace Movement, the religious group that the couple led together.
If you couldn’t guess based on the whole loopy re-naming business, this sect had some pretty cult-y ideas. Like what, you might ask? Well, members are paired up with “opposite-complected” partners of the same sex, with whom they’re expected to live. They engage in celibacy (hence Sweet Angel’s virgin status at the time of her death), and–this one’s a kicker–they reject the notion of time.
Mainline Today explains the outlook of International Peace Movement members: “Followers say they neither look backward nor forward. Ideologically, there’s no past or future. There are no time-lines, no seasons. They do not reminisce.”
As wacky as the whole thing sounds, choosing to live your life purely in the present moment actually seems like a pretty good jumping off point for a fulfilling existence. Truly, what good comes from dwelling on what has already transpired or worrying about what is to come?
Anyhow, that’s the story of this strange pocket of humanity. And now, miss Sweet Angel has passed away. It does, however, beg some questions. If Sweet Angel was a divine being here on Earth (which, incidentally, IPM members believe to be where heaven is located), in the minds of her followers, where does she reside in the afterlife? Perhaps nowhere at all.
Goodbye Sweet Angel, rest in peace!