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  • 7 Nov 2023 7:25 AM | Anonymous

    Great interview by Craig Pittman (pictured above) with Lyn Millner who recalls the Koreshan cult, which, among other things, believed the earth was hollow and that their founder, Cyrus Teed, was immortal.

    Florida native Craig Pittman, an award-winning journalist, and radio producer Chadd Scott discuss the Florida ties of Billy Graham, Martin Luther King and Jim Bakker on their way to being joined by Lyn Millner, author of The Allure of Immortality: An American Cult, a Florida Swamp and a Renegade Prophet. Millner’s book is available at the Koreshan State Park ranger station.

    For guided tours of the Koreshan Unity Settlement in Koreshan State Park, click here.

    Click here to listen to Craig’s podcast.

  • 21 Jun 2023 5:30 AM | Anonymous

    The young Cyrus Teed

    Cyrus Teed, who would later become the founder of the Koreshan Unity, was eleven and had only completed eighth grade when he dropped out of school to work as an Erie Canal hoggee (mule wrangler/driver) to help support his family.

    Since Teed’s parents were Baptist and he was a natural orator, when he was older his friends urged him to study for the ministry. However, Cyrus decided to become a physician. In 1859 he began the study of  medicine in Utica, NY with his uncle, Dr. Samuel F. Teed, an allopathic physician. It was not unusual at that time for many doctors to learn their trade by apprenticing with a physician.

    By 1860, Teed was married and had a young son, Douglas. In 1862, Teed enrolled in the Eclectic Medical College of the City of New York. There, he studied until August 9, 1862 when he enlisted in the Infantry of the 127th New York Volunteers. The following year, by then a Corporal, He may have worked as an assistant physician and surgeon while in the Army, but he could have added this about himself later to make his service (and him) appear more important.

    On August 1, 1863,  while on the march near Warrenton Junction, Virginia, Corporal Teed suffered severe sunstroke which led to paralysis of his left arm and leg. Army records indicate he was a patient in a hospital in Alexandria, Virginia by August 8, 1863, where he spent fifty days.

    As a patient, Corporal Teed noticed that wounded soldiers who had a positive outlook on life or strong faith recovered faster. After the war, he received an Honorable (Medical) Discharge from the Army, October 16, 1863. After his discharge, he returned to New York City to complete his medical studies in Eclectic Medicine and graduated in February 1868 at the age of twenty-nine.

    In 1869, Teed experienced what he called his “Divine Illumination,” and left his son, Douglas, and wife, Fidelia to develop a religious sect he called Koreshanity. He would eventually select Estero, Florida as the epicenter of his “New Jerusalem” and attracted many followers to his new religion. What remains of his “New Jerusalem” is now the 200-acre Koreshan State Park.

    To learn more about Dr. Teed and other Florida pioneers, register for a guided historic tour or pick up a copy of “The Allure of Immortality” by Lyn Millner in the Ranger Station.

  • 26 Apr 2023 9:32 AM | Anonymous

    by Mimi Straub, Special to the Banner, April 26, 2006

    Art Hall Production, c. 1900

    The first Art Festival in Estero was held by the Koreshans in 1905 when they opened their newly built Art Hall, complete with a stage capable of seating their 28-piece orchestra and served as a location where they could have concerts, plays, and religious services for their 250 residents. Nearby homesteaders and neighbors also attended their concerts and plays.

    Douglas Arthur Teed, son of Dr. Teed, the Koreshan leader, who was already a well known painter in Europe as well as the United States, was invited to attend. As artists do, he brought his paintings with him hoping to sell them, which he did.

    Douglas painted his first painting at age 10, and was adopted by a wealthy woman who sponsored him and went with him to Europe to study art. Douglas sold one of his paintings to King Humbert of Italy, and sold a few in England and other European countries. His paintings are still very collectable. The Arnot Art Museum in New York did an exhibition of his paintings in 1982. They showed more than 80 of his paintings, including some that were borrowed from the Koreshan State Historic Site.

    The Koreshans attracted some very outstanding people in the arts. We have pictures of them in elaborate Shakespearean costumes performing plays.

    Before the Art Hall was built, they performed at Bamboo Landing by the Estero River with the audience sitting in their boats. The Koreshans had several boats, some more than 50 feet long, as boats were the only practical means of travel to Fort Myers or to the world outside of Estero. There were no roads! Koreshan artists were Moses Weaver, who painted “The New Jerusalem,” the envisioned capital for the Koreshans where millions of people would live here in Estero! Is this happening right now in Estero? Paul Sargent, a collectable artist and son of the Koreshan John Sargent, painted beautiful landscapes. Bertie Boomer, daughter of Berthaldine Boomer, who was “Matrona” to the Koreshans, did watercolors. (It was the mother’s $5,000 that brought the Koreshans to Estero and bought their first boat.) Edith Campbell did invaluable pencil sketches of the buildings and became a talented pianist and music teacher.

    In reading the biography of Douglas Arthur Teed, I read that he had a 27-room home on the banks of the headwaters of the Susquehanna River where he entertained international guests, friends of his from all over the world. He painted some of the walls with murals. In my visits to Pennsylvania, I was never in the right place to investigate if his residence is still in existence.

    I have only recently discovered another form of art practiced by the Koreshans. They had three two-story buildings on the east side of what is now U.S. 41. One building was their publishing house where they printed their monthly publication, The Flaming Sword, and later, the weekly publication called The American Eagle.

    The second building was their boat building where they built boats, and the third was called their “concrete house.” It wasn’t until this past year while visiting my daughter in her 1845 Greek revival home in Sparta, Ga., that I discovered a text book on concrete pottery written in the late 1800s.

    In that book, I saw the lion heads (now at the state park entrance) and remembered the stone fountains and urns in the park — the same as in this book! I also had noted in some of the 19th-century homes I had visited in Sparta, the elaborate concrete work done around their chandeliers on their 13-foot ceilings. That was what the Koreshans were doing in their “concrete house!”

    The paintings of Teed's son, Douglas Arthur Teed are on the walls for public viewing, and the Koreshans produced classical theater as well as musical concerts.

    To learn more about the Koreshans, take a guided historic tour.

  • 28 Feb 2023 7:18 PM | Anonymous

    Photo from Florida Memory

    In 1862 at the age of twenty-two, a young medical student named Cyrus Teed enlisted in the Union Army and joined the New York Infantry of the New York volunteers. In 1863, by then a Corporal, Teed was assigned to Brigade Headquarters where he served as special aide to acting General Woodford. Some sources indicate he also worked as an assistant physician and surgeon but he may have embellished his record with this to make him and his military service seem more important.

    While on the march near Warrenton Junction, Virginia, in August of 1863, he suffered sunstroke, which led to paralysis of his left arm and leg. According to army records, he was hospitalized in the army hospital in Alexandria, Virginia for almost two months.

    During his hospital stay, Teed observed wounded soldiers who had a more positive outlook on life or strong religious faith recovered faster from their injuries—an observation which likely helped shape his own beliefs and contributed to his formation of Koreshanity and the Koreshan Unity.

    He received an Honorable  (Medical) Discharge from the Army in October of 1863. After his discharge, he returned to New York to complete his medical studies and graduated from the Eclectic Medical College of the City of New York, in February 1868 at the age of 29.

    To learn more about Cyrus Teed, Koreshanity and the Koreshan Unity, take a guided tour of the historic settlement or purchase the definitive book on the Koreshans by Lyn Millner, The Allure of Immortality, available online or in the Ranger Station Gift Shop.

  • 21 Dec 2022 6:59 AM | Anonymous

    Program for Christmas entertainment at (World's) College of Life (a part of the Koreshan Unity) in 1891.  

    (All images courtesy of Florida Memory. Click for more Koreshan archive images)

    While the Koreshans had their own "holidays" such as the Lunar and Solar Festivals, they also recognized and celebrated, to an extent, Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas. After Dr. Teed's death December 22, 1908, these celebrations gradually grew more frequent. 

    To learn more about the Koreshans, book a guided tour or attend Ghost Walk 2023 with performances January 27, 28 and February 3, 4. Click here to purchase tickets for all.

    More Koreshan holiday memories:

    (1889) Greeting card from Dr. Cyrus Reed Teed to his friends and disciples.

    Christmas card with portrait of Koreshan Rosalie McCready and her cello, c. 1893. Accompanying handwritten note: "A Merry Christmas from Rosalie." 

    Koreshan group portrait with the Grahams during Christmas. Christmas day, 1943. Note at the right: background is Koreshan Unity president Laurie Bubbett, and foreground is Hedwig Michel.

    Group portrait during the Koreshan Unity trailer park Christmas party, Christmas day, 1950. Note partially visible at the far right is Koreshan Unity president Laurie Bubbett and second from right is Hedwig Michel. Man just right of center behind the boy with cowboy hat is Conrad Schlender. 

    Group portrait of Koreshans on Christmas day, 1953. Standing (L-R): Hedwig Michel, Max Arendt, Genevieve Arendt, C.J. Rahn, and Alfred Christensen. Kneeling: Vesta Newcomb and L.W. Bubbett. 

    Koreshan Unity Christmas party at their trailer park (now Koreshan State Park Volunteer Village) on the Estero River, Christmas day, 1961.

    Koreshan Unity Christmas party at their trailer park on the Estero River, Christmas day, 1961. Building is now the Volunteer Village Rec Hall.

  • 31 Oct 2022 2:39 PM | Anonymous

    Hurricane Ian brought flooding, major tree damage and some damage tothe buildings of the Historic Settlement. Through the hard work of park rangers from Koreshan and all over the state, as well as local volunteers, Koreshan State Park is coming back. Although the campground and some trails remain closed while work continues to clear and clean them, the park and its beloved historic settlement have reopened and tours and events have resumed.

    Below are just some images of the damage the park sustained. For more pictures and updates, follow us on Facebook.

    Your donations directly benefit Koreshan State Park and the repair and upkeep of this beautiful Old Florida treasure. Please consider donating, either monetarily or by volunteering, to help us in our mission.

    Founder's House Rear

    Founder's House Parlor

    Gustav's Cottage

    Planetary Court

    Membership Cottage

    Generator Building

    Cast Iron Cafe and Blacksmith Shop

    Bakery Interior

    Bamboo Landing (the dock actually floated downstream)

  • 24 Aug 2022 7:11 AM | Anonymous

    A portrait of some early Koreshan Settlers In Estero FL

    By Roger Parlin, Docent, Tour Guide

    The Koreshan Unity began in the 1870s in New York, where, after God came to him in the form of a beautiful woman, Dr. Cyrus Teed began preaching equality and that “We Live Inside” a hollow Earth. He formed groups of followers in New York City and Moravia and later moved to Chicago Illinois. There, Teed and his followers established their first commune in 1888. Members also created communities in San Francisco and other towns, as well as in Estero Florida, which Teed believed would become “The New Jerusalem” with two million followers. The settlement, with its plays and concerts, quickly became the cultural heart of Southwest Florida, supported by such luminaries as Thomas Edison and Henry Ford.

    Following the 1908 death of Dr. Teed, who had renamed himself “Koresh,” Hebrew for “Cyrus,” the Unity went into decline. Several groups split to form other groups. One, The Order of Theocracy, left in 1910, moved to nearby Fort Myers and lasted until 1931. The fact the Unity was celibate did not help, although celibacy was not the real problem; there was a married status within the Unity. However, celibates were the highest order and held the most important positions. With members leaving and no new members joining, the Unity slowly dwindled.

    In 1961, Hedwig Michel, one of the few surviving members, and president of the Koreshans’ religious community, deeded the property to the State of Florida, which then became Koreshan State Park. In 1967, after restoration of eleven buildings on the National Registry of Historic Places, the park was renamed Koreshan State Historic Site. In 2017, shortly after Hurricane Irma, the site again became Koreshan State Park.

    For more in-depth history on the Koreshans, order a copy of Dr. Lyn Milner’s groundbreaking book, The Lure of Immortality or pick one up at the Koreshan State Park Ranger Station, or take a historic guided tour.

  • 21 Jun 2022 9:40 AM | Anonymous

    Picture Courtesy of Liz Brown, Former Docent and Tour Guide

    By Tour Guide and Docent, Roger Parlin

    When the Koreshans moved from Chicago to the Estero area in the mid-1890s, they brought with them fifteen boxcars of goods and personal property, including what is now a rare Steinway piano. E. Bonnell, a teacher from Morristown, NJ, donated the piano when he joined the unity. The instrument has only eight-five keys rather than eighty-eight, which did not become the standard number for piano keys until 1890. Prior to 1890, pianos were made with keys that could number anywhere between sixty and eighty-plus, depending on what the customer wanted.

    Steinway made the piano in Koreshan State Park’s Art Hall in 1885. It is one of only a few pianos they made with eight-five keys, and only a handful left in existence. STEINWAY & SONS was founded in 1853 by German immigrant Henry Engelhard Steinway in a Manhattan loft on Varick Street. Over the next thirty years, Henry and his sons developed the modern piano.

    Your donations help Friends of Koreshan State Park maintain the piano and Koreshan State Park maintain the park. To learn more about the piano, Art Hall and the Koreshans, join one of our guided tours.

    The Koreshan Unity Art Hall stage, c. 1911

  • 22 Apr 2022 11:59 AM | Anonymous

    by Evelyn Luettich Horne, Koreshan Unity Member, 1922 - 2007

    Koreshan Unity members at the 1941 Solar Festival at Bamboo Landing

    Early rising (at) 6:00 a.m. to get ready for the day.  (30 members) No running water, you had to carry water to your bedroom, for bath, shaving, shampoo and drinking, from the Unity flowing artesian well. 150 ft. deep. Let the water stand overnight to lose the sulfur smell and taste.

    Breakfast bell rings at 7:00 a.m. You can see people coming, hurrying from each and all paths and roads. The dining room was the family meeting place. Breakfast took about 1 hr.

    The heads of staff greeted the members with a Monday morning prayer. There was a prayer for 3 times a day for 7 days a week, written by Dr Cyrus R Teed, the (Unity) founder.

    The secretary, Etta Silverfriend, read any mail from friends up north, or any business mail concerning the members.

    The breakfast menu consisted of:

    Fruits in season from the gardens; citrus in winter season, in summer melons and mangoes from the summer garden. Koreshan breads from their oven bakery. Honey from the Apiary. Jams and jellies from the tropical fruits found on the grounds. Hot cereals: oatmeal and Cream of Wheat. Milk and butter from their own cows. Eggs and omelettes from their own chickens. Tea & coffee.

    The Koreshans always had a hearty breakfast to start their day of work -

    Off to work: Whatever may be your job: Print shop for a long day of running the presses. Ladies doing proof reading, cutting paper, book binding, mailing (Koreshan publications) The American Eagle and The Flaming Sword. Job printing, between Fort Myers and Miami, Fort Myers north to Tampa.

    The Guiding Star print shop was their biggest industry.

    The truck farming. The bee industry. The  boat building. The shoe repair. The machine shop. The Riverview Inn. Post office, the filling station: Standard Oil,  the laundry, the dining room & kitchen.

    Car & truck drivers to Ft. Myers daily for business, banks, P.O.'s, doctors, dentist, optometrist, building supplies, repairs.

    Electric power plant. Florida Power & Light came to Estero May 1946.

    After a morning of hard work, the dinner bell rings at 11:30 a.m. A good hot lunch would be: Fresh vegetables from the garden, green beans, new red potatoes, beet greens and red beets. Meat loaf or beef stew. Koreshan baked brown bread; Fruit pies: maybe mulberry or green apple, mango, surinam cherry. Hot coffee or Tea.

    Back to work for a long afternoon.

    Supper bell rings at 5 p.m. Koreshans always had a light supper. Bowl of hot soup, cup of fresh fruit, slice of pound cake, tea or coffee.

    After supper: Chores at home. Chickens and cows to tend. Music practice in the Art Hall. Fruit from the gardens to pick. A quiet time at home. Maybe letter writing to family & friends up north.  Sewing - maybe only a button or designing a new summer dress. Reading - Dr Teed's religious works, Bible or even a good novel. Listening to your own radio. Lectures in the Art Hall Sundays and Wednesdays.

    Sunday afternoons: homemade ice cream parties at the Dining Hall, served with Ida Fisher's coconut cake. Visiting in the neighborhood to Koreshans. The Boomer Estate. The Campbell & Trebell groves or to Anna Lewis' house for bridge parties.

    Click here for some pictures of the Koreshan Unity in the 1940s and 50s .

    To learn more about Koreshanity and the life and times of Cyrus Teed and his followers, click here to register for a guided tour of the Historic Settlement in Koreshan State Park.

  • 23 Feb 2022 10:49 AM | Anonymous

    by Elizabeth V. Brown, MTh
    Former Docent and Tour Guide, Koreshan State Park

    As a religion, Koreshanity was as undefinable as its peripatetic founder, Cyrus R. Teed. Both defied categorization which permitted infinite adaptability. Teed was born in Trout Creek, New York in 1839, the second son of eight children born to a farm family in the closing days of the Second Great Awakening. His mother was the daughter of a Baptist minister and the family hoped he would follow in those occupational footsteps. Teed was uninterested in that career path and knew that his father, Jesse, also a second son, had been forced to vacate the family farm and strike out on his own. The economic reality was that like his father before him, Teed would not inherit the land, leaving him most likely hard-wired to know he would need to chart his own course.

    Therefore, it was not all that surprising that he left home at the age of eleven to work on the Erie Canal. The work taught him indelible lessons about capitalist exploitation and led to a hatred of market economics which would later materialize in his religious views. In addition, while working on the Canal he would come in contact with trance mediums, abolitionists, labor reformers, itinerant preachers, and feminists, all of whom would later add seasonings to his savory religious stew.

    Beyond the economic model that drove him to that work, Teed had a deep-seated thirst to distinguish himself. Later stories of his personal style offer evidence that he most likely did not suffer from false humility about anything, including the uniqueness of his patchwork of religious views. From this realization, there are three distinct influences that form the tripod that shaped Teed’s religious teachings and help to distinguish Koreshanity:

    • Teed held a unique perspective on the intersection of science and religion.

    • Teed constructed a scriptural mandate, defining biblical roots for himself as the new messiah.

    • Teed preached an economic model, based on early Christianity, that eschewed evils of capitalism and the virtues of communalism.

    Intersection of Science and Religion

    For centuries, theologians and scientists had debated the intersection of religion and science. Teed was no different but his understanding of science was distinctive. He dabbled in the occult and in alchemy after completing his studies in 1869 at the Eclectic Medical College in New York City where he specialized in electrotherapy.

    He had become interested in magnetic healing. He began using occult practices to heal his patients. He believed that he would unlock mysteries that no one else could. Alchemy and electromagnetism were his lab experiments. He was obsessed with discovering something unknown as he experimented with microscopes, electromagnetic motors, and various metals including mercury, gold, and silver. He went so far as to turn a part of his medical office into an electro-chemical laboratory in which to blaze a path and discover a new relationship between matter and energy.

    Teed’s experiments focused on the modern technology of the day which was electricity and he continued to search for ways to distinguish himself while using it. He applied electricity to the occult theories, to his treatment of patients, and his own religious interpretations of the Bible. His eventual teaching was that spiritual transformation as he preached it would bring about the salvation of the next golden age of human civilization (Morris 140).

    Simultaneous with his experimentation, the mid-nineteenth century witnessed the rise of new scientific fields of geology, genetics, evolution, and anthropology. We don’t know how these impacted Teed but they may well have been unsettling. He seemed to be bent on restoring a sense of order to the universe, placing it in a womblike environment he called the cosmic egg which he alone could explain. This was his version of the extant Hollow Earth theory which had been most recently addressed by Jules Verne in his science fiction title Journey to the Center of the Earth, first published in 1864. This cosmic egg provided a sense of security for his followers, knowing all had been provided for them by God and under Teed’s religious teachings, this truth was revealed to them alone. It defied the new scientific findings of geology and he continued to walk his own path.

    His electro-chemical laboratory led to his most famous scientific experiment, his illumination, in 1869, which is discussed below. Interestingly, he did not write about the 1869 experiment for 30 years. This fits with his overall pattern of keeping lots of space between his teachings and the written word, a fact that permitted him endless flexibility and ultimate deniability in his doctrinal pronouncements later in his career.

    The Scriptural Precedents

    Teed used both Old and New Testament scripture to authenticate his religious credentials. Teed’s encounter with the spirit of the woman who came to him in 1869 in his laboratory raises theological points that are important to decoding his religious teachings and the specific way he writes himself into the narrative of the scriptural prophecies.

    The events of the 1869 illumination are centered on the image of the divine woman from Revelation 12, the last book of the New Testament which itself borrows extensively from the Old Testament. The apocalyptic language of the Book of Revelation uses allegorical language to urge the early Christians to stand firm and resist the evils of paganism and await the fulfillment of God’s promise. When it was written, the apocalyptic form was the language of the oppressed (CSB 570). Therefore, the Book of Revelation was often used by apocalyptic leaders over the millennia as the stage for announcing a new vision for the religion they would preach (Millner 7). Revelation prophetically announced that God’s justice will prevail and that Christ was coming in glory, so hold on, the apocalyptic leaders like Teed were saying.

    Teed related his experience of Revelation 12 to give scriptural authority to his role as the next prophet. The woman Teed described was “clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet and on her head a crown of 12 stars” like the passages in Revelation 12:1. Most significantly, in Revelation the woman is with child and she gives birth to the Messiah who then becomes the leader of the new Israel (Rev. 12:5). Teed would later claim this mantle of messianic leader for his own with the pronouncement from the woman in his illumination who told him, “Thou art chosen to redeem the race. Luxuriate thee! for soon I shall withdraw and thou shalt go...” (Millner 20). Teed had been selected as a prophet to reveal the True Path.

    Teed further embellishes his own role in the fulfillment of scripture. He connects to Isaiah 11:10, noting that he was sprung from the root of Jesse (his father’s name) and he (Teed) will stand as a banner for the people and rest in glory recovering the remnant of the beleaguered people. Cyrus the Great, in Isaiah 44:28, was called the shepherd who would rebuild Jerusalem and lay the foundation for the temple. Teed proclaimed he was part of that lineage through the name Koresh, a transliteration of the name Cyrus. Teed took on the name Koresh in 1891 and he believed it tied him to Cyrus the Great. Importantly, Cyrus the Great, most likely a Zoroastrian Persian king ruling in 559 BC, was the first king who is not a Jew to be referred to as “anointed” in the Old Testament. In Hebrew, the word “anointed” related to the root word for “messiah” which was applied to both leaders and kings who were guided by God to save the chosen people. The Greek translation of “messiah” was Christos from which comes the title “Christ” so when Teed links himself to Cyrus the Great, the entire chain of messianic reference, including ties to Christos, comes along.

    If God’s first divinely created human was Adam, the second Adam was Jesus, and now, Teed explained he was the next in the line, receiving what God gave the prophets so they could provide it to their people (Millner 2). Teed taught that the coming of the messiah was inevitable. “The Divine Seed was sown 1900 years ago and the Messiah (Teed himself) was now in the world” declaring the new gospel (Pennington 9).

    In addition, Teed claimed messianic authority from Jeremiah 31:22, the acknowledgement of the feminine spiritual counterpart which Teed combined with occult theories of regeneration (Morris 140). Teed was saying that since scripture had noted that Spirit could now move into different bodies from Enoch to Elijah to Jesus, Teed claimed it could also move to himself. Alchemical transmutation offered a scientific explanation of reincarnation which formed the central thesis to Teed’s messianic message.

    Economic Model that is Anti-Capitalistic

    In his book, American Messiahs, Adam Morris makes some important observations which connect Teed to some general patterns which influenced other religious leaders. “Messiahs tend to arise from progressive movements and identify with capitalism as an evil because it contradicts the primitive Christian church of the apostles” (9). The early church of the apostles was founded on ideals of charity, mutual aid, joint possessions, and equality of everyone, including the poor and weak. The progressive movements shifted mid-century when Teed arrived on the scene. Following the end of the Second Great Awakening, the new churches turned to temperance, abolition, and women’s rights, ideas which were popular with the progressive evangelicals like Teed (Ibid 135).

    Teed would lead his followers to believe that the regeneration of human kind would mean turning away from what he perceived of as the evils of capitalism and industrialization. In 1877, Teed established a communal society removing its residents from exploitative capitalism and his first commune in New York tracked closely with the early Christian communities in spirit of Matthew 22:37-39 (Ibid 146). By 1887, his publishing house, Guiding Star Publishing, was a sounding board for Teed’s ideas. It had issued persistent and aggressive warfare against all modern shams, hypocrisies, evils, and fallacies. It was the fearless champion of the rights of the oppressed woman in her bondage and of the working man under the weight of oppressive capitalism. For Teed, the evils of capitalism became biblical in proportion and he again reverted to scriptural imagery from the Ezekiel and the battles between Gog and Magog as the “threshold over which humanity must tap to arrive at...peace (Ibid 168). His apocalyptic pitch proclaimed the benefits of communalism.

    The communal religious society that Teed formed lasted into the middle of the twentieth century and it had accomplished, however tentatively, an alternative to what Morris calls the “alienation of secularized industrial urbanism and a progressive alternative to the mainline Protestantism that has served as a handmaiden to business” (Ibid 192). It was Teed’s evangelization and his charisma that led to recruiting followers into his constantly moving messianic communalism at a time of social and economic anxiety. His was a messianic voice of the time and this second son of a second son had indeed found a way to distinguish himself, however briefly, in the constellation of messianic leaders.

    February 21, 2021


    Work Cited

    Millner, Lyn. The Allure of Immortality. University Press of Florida. 2015.

    Morris, Adam. American Messiahs: False Prophets of a Damned Nation. Liverlight Publishing. 2019.

    Pennington, Bruce. King Koresh: The Man from Inside the Earth.

    Senior, Donald, John J. Collins, Mary Ann Getty, editors. The Catholic Study Bible. New American Bible. Oxford University Press. 2016.

    To learn more about Koreshanity and the life and times of Cyrus Teed and his followers, click here to register for a guided tour of the Historic Settlement in Koreshan State Park.

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