A year later, Corky says, “I was just having a regular old life like everybody else has. I would go to the clubs in town, and dance, and have a few drinks, and party and get involved with different people,” one of whom was a woman named Chris Miller, whose religious preferences seem not to have been preserved for the ages.
On October 28, 1975, while sitting on a couch in Ms. Miller’s apartment, Corky was supposedly visited by extraterrestrial beings he came to call “Summa Individuals.” This visit led to his founding of the religion Summum, which he registered with the IRS as a nonprofit organization. On orders from the extraterrestrials, he claimed, he began to construct a small pyramid-shaped temple in Salt Lake City. In 1977 Summum initiated a student organization at the University of Utah, making it possible for Corky to conduct classes for night students; he later claimed that after two years of these classes, almost twenty thousand had become members of Summum. Using volunteer labor and donations, his pyramid was completed in 1979; it was to serve as a sanctuary, a classroom, a winery, and a repository for the mummies of Summum devotees and their pets. In 1980 he changed his name (again legally) to Summum Bonum Amen Ra, though he was commonly and informally known as Corky Ra.