Friday, August 19, 2011

John Marco Allegro

This is a post to discuss John Marco Allego's book, "The Sacred Mushroom and the Cross" [and related topics] as a carry over from a thread started on So You Had A Personal Experience.


John Marco Allegro, wiki
John Marco Allegro, home page (deceased)
Judith Anne Brown, article and Book Review
interview with Van Kooten & De Bie

Reply To: Original Comment

The Holy See had a "great distaste" for the ideas of Copernicus, Kepler, Galileo and Giordano Bruno. Is your distaste so certain and absolute that you would burn people to death - as theirs was? And yet, the Holy See was wrong and the distasteful ideas eventually won out.

I have no need to be right or wrong - it's a set of ideas and I think they should be explored and the best ideas allowed to win out without nailing people to things.

Your distaste only arises because you have preconceived ideas that you refuse to allow to be challenged. The fact is that Allegro was Honorary Adviser on the Dead Sea Scrolls, and the first from Britain allowed to work on the project and was a consummate language scholar. And deep hatred for any dissenting opinion was allowed to overrule scholarly explorations ONCE AGAIN - which has, with very little doubt in my mind, caused the truth to be further obscured.

But let's grant that some of his work is opinion, and some speculative - but it is educated opinion of equal weight to the dissenting opinion where we are absent facts - and there is a great deal of that in this area of research.

But what it seems to me that you wish to dismiss is the "pseudo-scholarship" called etymology.

Allegro never once suggests that roots have the exact same meaning as the derived word - he says that it can tell us something about how the derived word originated with deeper shades of meaning. This is absolutely true, this is how ancient languages are reconstructed.

So you are faulting Allegro for doing the exact same thing that every language scholar does when studying a dead language. Much of what we know of Koine greek is reconstructed "pseudo-scholarship" as you would put it. We don't KNOW what many of the words mean, we rely on context, history, parallel translations (which are not always accurate), and etymological studies to do our best to reconstruct the meaning.

What Allegro shows is that there are very good reasons to tie the specific words used to ideas and concepts that were flourishing in the prior age.

You'll have to draw a sharper line as to why you think the dating of Mark has any connection to "debunking" Allegro's claim before I can really comment on that - I cannot infer your line of reasoning.

But also know that Allegro's work doesn't exist in a vacuum, there are numerous other supporting works that must be taken into account.

"The concerted and biased attempts to destroy Allegro's discoveries have failed. The confirmatory evidence is mounting in his favor. The critics can now raise their voices again. Let us hope that they do, since the matter is not settled, but they should be advised to do so with more careful consideration. This book that many have prized in secret is now available again. It demands the serious consideration of theologians, mythologists, and students of religion. No account of the history of the Church, both West and East, can afford to leave the poor despicable fungus unconsidered, nor the role that entheogens in general have played in the evolution of European civilization." ~ Professor Carl A. P. Ruck, Boston University

Here are some related works:

Rush, John; Failed God
    Lash, John Lamb; Not In His Image
    Irvin, Jan; The Holy Mushroom: Evidence of Mushrooms in Judeo-Christianity
    Martin, Michael; The Case Against Christianity
    Carl A.P. Ruck, Professor of Classical Studies, The Apples of Apollo: Pagan and Christian Mysteries of the Eucharist, with Clark Heinrich and Blaise Daniel Staples
    Carl A.P. Ruck, Professor of Classical Studies, Mushrooms, Myth and Mithras: The Drug Cult that Civilized Europe, with Mark Alwin Hoffman and Jose Alfredo Gonzalez Celdran
    Wasson, R. Gordon, Stella Kramrisch, Jonathan Ott, and Carl A. P. Ruck. Persephone's Quest: Entheogens and the Origins of Religion. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1986
    Wasson, R. Gordon, et al. The Road to Eleusis: Unveiling the Secret of the Mysteries. New York: Harcourt, 1978
    Wasson, R. Gordon. Soma: Divine Mushroom of Immortality. 1968
    Forte, Robert. Entheogens and the Future of Religion. San Francisco: Council on Spiritual Practices, 1997
    Piper, Alan; The Tree of Life and the Milk of the Goat Heidrun 
    D.C.A. Hillman: The Chemical Muse
    Werner, Earnest: Rod of Jesse: On the Jesus of the Gospels & Doubt of his Existence

1 comment:

  1. so awesome. i forgot about dude. i read the time magazine article on him and was blown away. that would be great if he made a come back...but don't tell LL. Awesome.