Allegros Mushroom

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To preserve these articles as they originally appeared, The Times does not alter, edit or update them. Occasionally the digitization process introduces transcription errors or other problems. Philology, sexology and mycology are brought together here to produce an amazing result.

John M. Allegro - Wikipedia

Three thousand words are investigated in a dozen ancient languages. Among them is veritable glossary of sex and drugs. Sexual symbols are discovered ev erywhere, especially in the her maphroditic form penis and vulva of the mushroom. The author is well known for his work on the Dead Sea Scrolls, in which he has also been criticized by other scholars for excessive use of imagination and conjecture. In the present book he supposes a universal fertility religion in the ancient Near East, which developed into the mystery religions and, among these, into Christianity.

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In these cryptic terms and many others the leaders of the mushroom cult are supposed to have hid their esoteric doctrines. They deliberately attempted to mislead, he says.

Jesus Christ as a crimson‐spotted fungus

The story of Jesus is a hoax, contrived for the benefit of the Jew ish and Roman authorities who were persecuting the cult. It is certainly true that drugs have played a role in the history of re ligion e.

These include the stimula tion of the perceptive faculties so that the subject sees objects much greater or much smaller than they really are, colours and sounds are much enhanced, and there is a gen eral sense of power, both physical and mental quite outside the normal range of human experience. Allegro hoped it would illuminate the origins of thought, language and religion. People should then be able to better understand where they came from, shed the trappings of religion, and take true responsibility for what they did to each other and their world.

John Allegro’s “The Sacred Mushroom and the Cross” (feat. Terence Mckenna)

None of this got past the initial shock-waves. The mushroom cloud spread more derision than enlightenment.

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Underpinning The Sacred Mushroom is the idea that fertility was of fundamental importance to primitive religion, as it is to life. Allegro set out this concept in a preliminary plan of the book, sent to the publishers Hodder and Stoughton Ltd.

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The most important thing in life was life itself, and life is rain. The reasoning is simple. Rain begets vegetation on the earth as spermatozoa beget offspring in the womb. God, the Creator, the source of rain, must therefore be the sperm of creation and the heavenly penis from which it spills. The storm is the orgasm of God. Earth is the womb of creation.

The Sacred Mushroom and the Cross

The clues lay in the development and spread of written language. They criss-cross different cultures and lead into many-layered webs of association. They led Allegro to believe that a fertility cult based on using the sacred mushroom, Amanita muscaria , as a gateway to divine understanding, was at the root of many religions, including early Christianity.