Guthrie -- The last time Gaylon Emerzian talked to Allen Ross he seemed different. Since that time, more than four years ago, Emerzian has been wondering what happened to her friend and former co-worker.
Ross moved from Chicago to Guthrie in 1991. He joined the Samaritan Foundation, a religious cult founded in Guthrie, and met and later married Linda Greene, the self-proclaimed leader and founder of the Samaritan Foundation. Greene and Ross moved to Cheyenne, Wyo., shortly after the Murrah building bombing in 1995.
Four years ago, Ross completely disappeared. Emerzian, an independent film-maker from Chicago, and another friend of Ross's, Christian Bauer, are now working on a documentary about the details leading up to Ross's disappearance. They and their film crew will be filming part of the documentary in Guthrie this week.
Looking for answers Ross's move to Guthrie was completely unexpected, Emerzian said. Emerzian had worked with Ross, a cameraman, on and off for 15 years. She felt like she knew him well. But when he moved to Guthrie and joined a cult, all of his friends were shocked.
Now, as Emerzian and Bauer continue to dig in Ross's life in Guthrie, they are finding out some of what he was involved in. "I know an incredible amount. But I feel like the more I know, the less I know," she said. "People in the Chicago film community have been trying to figure this out for years."
Emerzian and Bauer have hired an Oklahoma City private investigators' firm -- and one in Cheyenne. The documentary and investigation have drawn attention to Ross's case again.
Cheyenne police recently reopened the case, Emerzian said. Guthrie police said the last time they had any contact with Ross was in 1995, when he was questioned in the Murrah bombing. Areas where Samaritan Foundation members lived in Guthrie have been investigated for evidence of Ross's body. Nothing was found, police said.
Emerzian sees two different scenarios for what may have happened to Ross: He was murdered or escaped the cult and is hiding out somewhere. Emerzian said there is no paper trail of Ross's whereabouts, though. His credit card has not been used and he's had no contact with anyone since he disappeared.
Samaritan Foundation The Samaritan Foundation, Linda Greene's cult, was well- known in Guthrie. Members lived in the old territorial jail, 214 W Noble, at one time and in Greene's two houses at 909 Mockingbird and 301 Second.
During a 1993 custody battle in Logan County that involved the religious cult, The Oklahoman obtained a copy of the cult's writings, which caution believers not to talk on the telephone because vampires can gain access to them.
Another describes President Clinton as an "animal-mutant zombie," first lady Hillary Clinton as a "three-virtue type zombie" and Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein as a "five-virtue zombie."
Some members reportedly believed the Universal Price Code, also called the bar code, was evil. Members sometimes put drawings under groceries to remove evil, or swung a pendulum over things to remove evil, according to reports. Linda Green is living somewhere unknown now. Emerzian believes she may be somewhere in South America.
Guthrie police said the cult consisted of mainly people from other countries. Children and families lived in the jail for a while, but the Department of Human Services shut it down in 1993, police said. >From researching some of Linda Greene's writings, there was a point when the cult began to crumble, Emerzian said.
"Linda Greene talks about her following dwindling from 350 to three," she said. The group, which was rumored to be connected to the Branch Davidians in some way, started to crumble after the bombing, Emerzian said. By the time Greene and Ross moved to Cheyenne, the group seemed to have dissipated.
But in Guthrie, while the group was strong, the cult developed a hold over followers that was difficult to break -- and still is, Emerzian said. Breaking the silence Some of those members may still live in Guthrie or around the country.
But they're not talking, Emerzian said. Those who she has tracked down won't describe what the cult was about or what happened to it. "I don't know if it's the power she has, the knowledge she has that might embarrass them ...," Emerzian said.
Emerzian said people are afraid to answer questions about the cult, but she wants to encourage people to talk to her -- she is searching for the truth about what happened to Ross.
"When I started this project, I was 90 percent sure he was hiding out somewhere," Emerzian said. Now, she's not so sure, but she needs more information. "My fondest hope is that I'll get a telephone call and it will be Allen Ross's voice saying, 'Gaylon, leave me alone.'"