The Home of Truth is a Bizarre Road Trip Destination
In 1933, a socialite-turned-Spiritualist widow built a compound known as the Home of Truth near Monticello, UT. Just as the group was growing, it came under scrutiny for the leader’s attempts to reanimate a deceased member.
Today we’re looking into why Home of Truth is a popular road trip destination. And, more importantly, is it even legal to visit?
Let’s dig in.
What Is the Home of Truth?
The Home of Truth is a historic spiritual center near Monticello, Utah. Marie Ogden, a socialite and philanthropist from Newark, New Jersey, founded the center in 1933 after claiming to receive divine prophecy. Ogden acquired an interest in Spiritualism after her husband’s death, and she devoted her life to preparing for the coming apocalypse.
As she gained followers for the group she called the School of Truth, they planned to move westward. Ogden built the Home of Truth near a peculiar, spherical rock formation named Church Rock. The center’s design boasted an outer portal for students and an inner one for Ogden. The Home of Truth was the site of rigorous spiritual study, controversy, and a fade into obscurity.
Pro Tip: While exploring Utah, you’ll want to adventure through the stunning national parks. Unsure which one to visit first? We ranked The Utah National Parks From Best To Worst.
What Was Life Like at the Home of Truth?
Residents at the Home of Truth abstained from all vices, including alcohol, sex, and tobacco. They also gave up their worldly possessions and money in keeping with Ogden’s ideals of simplicity and self-deprivation.
She also required everyone to eat a vegetarian diet mainly comprised of vegetables they grew. Men spent most of their time farming and mining, while women did all of the domestic work.
After building the Home of Truth, Ogden purchased the San Juan Record newspaper. From the compound, she wrote and published articles about her religious beliefs.
How It Met Its Demise
Though the group had 100 members in 1934, those numbers dwindled swiftly amid controversy. A woman at the Home of Truth died of cancer, and Ogden tried to revive her for months. Ogden instructed students to wash the body in saline solution and administer egg and milk enemas. These actions, Ogden claimed, would purify the departed woman’s soul.
Authorities discovered this and visited the compound, finding that the body was now mummified and did not pose a sanitation risk. When Ogden boasted that the dead woman would soon ascend, she was arrested, and the body buried in a place not revealed to her. Following this scandal, many members left the Home of Truth.
Ogden remained there with a few followers until she moved into nursing care, passing away for good in 1975. Two years after her death, the property was auctioned off.
Can People Legally Visit the Home of Truth?
The Home of Truth isn’t open to the public. While it’s currently a gated property, the owners are restoring the property with plans to offer tours in the future.
Pro Tip: While the Home of Truth is not currently open to the public, these are 5 Spooky Ghost Towns in Utah you can explore.
Is Home of Truth Worth a Visit?
It’s not possible to visit since the Home of Truth isn’t open to the public. If you happen to be on State Route 211 and pass the gate to the inner portal, stop for a selfie with the “Marie’s Place” sign.
Places to Stay Near Home of Truth
North Creek Dispersed Camping
Located near Monticello, Utah, this campground offers a quiet, clean place with views of nearby hills and windmills.
At just over 8,000 ft, this site is considered high-altitude. American Family Physician journal recommends immediately going to a lower altitude if symptoms such as lightheadedness, weakness, and headache appear. While all agree this site offers natural beauty in a peaceful setting, campers also note the steep, narrow access road.
Location: Monticello, Utah
Wayside Motor Inn
Located in Monticello, Utah, about 16 miles from the Home of Truth, this hotel is within an hour’s drive of the national parks in Moab, including Arches.
Advertising a host of modern amenities and comforts, guests differ on how well the hotel delivers on its promise. Their official site displays a two-star rating alongside photos of colorful murals and clean facilities. However, guests frequently comment on rooms not being or smelling clean. The hotel’s lack of stairs may make it attractive to those with mobility impairments.
The chief complaint about this property is that it doesn’t offer advertised amenities, including failing to serve breakfast, maintain the pool, or have reliable WiFi.
Location: Monticello, Utah
Price: $86/night for two adults
In Monticello, Utah, travelers are in a prime location to take in the natural beauty of the parks and other open spaces. If you’re planning a trip to the parks, pairing those views with the campsite’s nighttime vistas would pack a lot of wonder into a day. The Westside Motor Inn offers a sheltered overnight alternative but be prepared for things not to be as advertised.
If you’re hoping to see the inner and outer portals of the Home of Truth, however, you sadly won’t be allowed to see either. Since private owners took over in 1977, the site has been gated and guarded against trespassers.
On the other hand, should you be sightseeing in the area, go by the gate to the inner portal on route 211. Above the gate, you’ll find a sign reading “Marie’s Place,” the only visible evidence of a puzzling, short-lived religious movement.
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