The Beginning of MSIA in Australia

By: Wendy Bennett

February 12th, 2021

The Beginning of MSIA in Australia


John-Roger with Edith Knobloch and Fred-Victor Knobloch in Adelaide Australia on Christmas day, December 1977.

In 1975 Edith Knobloch noticed an advertisement for The Spiritual Promise in a New Age publication. She was immediately drawn to it and decided to call the phone number on the advertisement. Her call was answered by Pauli Sanderson and Candace Semigran. This was the first connection with MSIA in Australia. Edith told me that after the call she experienced John-Roger in his radiant form. She decided to order everything on offer, including discourses and phoned all her friends to tell them that she had found the one!

Up until this moment Edith and her husband Fred-Victor had been part of the St Germain group and had read a wide range of books pertaining to spiritual matters. They had gathered around them a wonderful group of like-minded people, most of whom eventually became initiates of the Traveller. Significant in this group were John and Valerie Deanshaw who decided to visit John-Roger himself. They travelled to the US with their children and Romana Knobloch, Edith’s daughter. Romana says it was a marvellous journey and that they also me with Rama Fox and others who were supporting J-R at that time.

Edith and Fred-Victor began holding home seminars on Friday evenings and a dedicated group of old friends soon increased to include new friends as word of John-Roger’s teachings spread. Many of the people who attended these wonderful seminars make up the ministerial family of South Australia forty-six years later. Edith and Fred-Victor continued to hold Friday night seminars until they passed over into Spirit. They were much loved and a source of wisdom and knowledge for all of us. To this day, when we form a prayer circle, we make sure that there is a man, woman, man, woman configuration because that is the way Edith always liked it!

In 1977 John-Roger was invited to come and visit his Adelaide family and on Christmas Eve everyone that could be there, gathered at the airport to greet him. The joy and excitement was palpable. Tears were shed. Hugs were given. On Christmas Day, J-R gave a seminar in the Knobloch’s home and his travelling companions Edgar Vaytia and Michael Sun gave contributions. And if you don’t know who they are they are the composers and voices of Love Songs to the Mystical Traveller. Precious, precious memories.

John-Roger in Adelaide Australia on Christmas day, December 1977. Left to right: Edith Knobloch, Fred-Victor Knobloch, John-Roger, John Deanshaw. Photo taken in Knobloch's backyard.

From 1977, every two to three years J-R continued to visit Adelaide with his staff. Many of us would go to the airport to meet and farewell them. I have included some of the photos taken of these blessed moments. As the MSIA family grew the seminars moved to the larger home of Romana (now Davis) and Louis Davis. Services were also held there. By 1990 hotels were needed to fit 105 Adelaide MSIAers, visiting MSIAers and invited friends and families.

In 1978, John Deanshaw, who had also been holding home seminars, decided to take the Insight programme. He came home so enthusiastic about his experience that he moved his family to Sydney so that he could set up Insight there to create a way for the teachings to made available to those who were looking for them. In November 1979 his dream was realised. I was one of the people blessed to be there. There were about 126 attendees. Most of them had never heard of John-Roger, a few of us were already on discourses. Many, many from that first Insight Training became active ministers and initiates in MSIA and remain so to this day.

John-Roger with Wendy Bennett.

One of those people is our beloved Jutta Knobloch, who at ninety-five continues to hold seminars and is a wise and wonderful listening ear for those who need her. She was one of the first in Australia to go on discourses, the first to be initiated and one of the first to be ordained.

The Adelaide MSIA community have many precious memories of their time with J-R. We are eternally grateful to the Knobloch’s and know that we are blessed to have been around at the beginning.

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I remember that trip with JR. He did magic for me the entire time.
I know he is here now and still I miss his physical body.

Hi Wendy,
Thank you for sharing! My mother Colette Kidd lived in Adelaide at that time and was one of the attendees who were checking out various spiritual offerings – until the discovery of J-R’s “Spiritual Promise”.

When Mom came back to Canada – she had a fire lit under her – more so than usual 🙂


wow. Lovely reminder of the power of one demonstrated in J-R’s ministry

Thanks for sharing this history. Beautiful!