Shimber Beris School Inc. was conceived by Dr. David C. Burden and his wife Virginia after the death of their youngest daughter in Ojai California in March 10, 1957, in response to their desire for a better world.

Dr. Burden tended to the students education and running of Shimber Beris school while Virginia acted as public relations representative. Unknown to outsiders who supported their concepts, Dr. and Mrs. Burden envisioned running the organization on platonic principles inspired by theosophy, eastern mysticism and an idealized sense of their place in the world.

The Burden's themselves were as enigmatic to their followers, and as undiscovered by the outside world as respectable persons could be. Empowered by a credo taken from theosophical writings, “TO KNOW, TO WILL, TO DARE AND TO KEEP SILENT,” they pursued their spiritual quest with secrecy and passion.

The Burden’s espoused Spartan living, self-abnegation and spiritual yearning. Dr. Burden’s personal aspiration focused on a clandestine religious order with himself at the top. This was to be inherited by his daughter Daphne as some kind of priestess of light—an ambition his wife downplayed and Daphne rejected.


See the submenu for a synopsis of the different phases through which the school evolved.



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