Leader(s): "The Master" (Jonathan Tremont), Master Khan
Members: "Yi Yong" (Bill Waters), dozens of other cultists
Purpose: Publicly, the enlightenment of mankind; privately, to build a psychic army and set off a nuclear conflagration.
Status: Defunct since 1974
Background: Jonathan Tremont was a part-time regional vacuum salesman in Northern California when he was recruited by Master Khan (CASE FILE 010) for unknown purposes. Tremont reportedly spendt several months in 'the Orient' before returning a changed man. Tremont, previously a small-time loser, grew a beard and dubbed himself 'The Master', purchased a secluded ranch home and converted it into a cult headquarters. He soon was a regular fixture in Haight Ashbury, recruiting spiritual seekers, drug burnouts, and the mentally ill to live on his compound.
The Understanding Ranch soon became renowned for its wild parties, with a number of minor celebrities visiting to 'attend to their spiritual growth'. Among these was Bob Diamond (CASE FILE 011), best known for his starring role in the Special Forces film franchise. Diamond was disturbed at what he saw at the ranch and contacted SHIELD agent Jimmy Woo to investigate.
Meanwhile, the Triune Understanding's aggressive recruiting in inner city neighborhoods attracted Harlem-based karate champion "Downtown" Abe Brown when his students were targeted. Conducting a separate investigation, Brown soon ran into Agent Woo and Diamond, the three of them forming 'The Sons of the Tiger'. After a daring raid on the Triune Compound, the Sons discovered evidence of a psychic breeding program as well as a plot to activate the United States' nuclear stores through telekinesis.
After the fall of the Triune Understanding, Jonathan Tremont was imprisoned and began writing a tell-all of his experiences, but was found dead of apparent suicide while in solitary confinement. Unfortunately, Tremont's notes were incinerated in a wastebasket.
During the investigation of Michael Silk's disappearance, Agent Schilling (CASE FILE 003) interviewed former Understanding member Bill Waters (formerly Yi Yong) who confirmed much of the above story. The meeting was interrupted, however, by the appearance of two Chinese assassins who declared that Waters an enemy of the Khan. Following a brief battle at a Shoney's in upstate New York, Waters was placed in the ICU and remains in critical condition.