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The Sacred Mushroom and the John M. Allegro

1956. Religious scholar John Marco Allegro published The Dead Sea Scrolls and presented three talks on the BBC, introducing these ancient documents to the general public. Allegro had joined the translation team in Jerusalem in October 1953, around the time Huxley began experimenting with psilocybin. Allegro's work on the Scrolls was later to lead to an international scandal when he published The Sacred Mushroom and the Cross in 1970, in which he claimed that the assumed Essene community at Qumran, where the Scrolls were discovered in July 1947, was a mushroom cult and Jesus was the name for their sacrament.

"Biblical scholar John Marco Allegro controversially proposed that the Roman Theology was derived from a sex and psychedelic mushroom cult in his 1970 book The Sacred Mushroom and the Cross,... although his theory has found little support by scholars outside the field of ethnomycology. The book was roundly discredited by academics and theologians, including Sir Godfrey Driver, Emeritus Professor of Semitic Philology at Oxford University, and Henry Chadwick, the Dean of Christ Church College, Oxford.... Christian author John C. King wrote a detailed rebuttal of Allegro's theory in the 1970 book A Christian View of the Mushroom Myth; he notes neither fly agarics nor their host trees are found in the middle east even though cedars and pines are found there, and highlights the tenuous nature of the links between biblical and Sumerian names coined by Allegro. He concludes that if the theory was true, the use of the mushroom must have been "the best kept secret in the world" as it was so well concealed for all this time....

In Magic Mushrooms in Religion and Alchemy (formerly called Strange Fruit), Clark Heinrich interprets A. muscaria usage by Adam and Eve, Moses, Elijah and Elisha, Isaiah, Ezekiel, Jonah, Jesus and his disciples, and John of Patmos... In the book Apples of Apollo the mushroom is identified in a wide range of mythological tales such as those involving Perseus, Prometheus, Heracles, Jason and the Argonauts, Jesus and the Holy Grail"...Amanita muscaria (Wikipedia)
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