I’m traveling, actively exploring some old memories embedded in the architecture of the University of Chicago. My friend has to do some work, so I decided to spend some time in one of the greatest libraries of the US. Originally, I searched for ‘The Sacred Mushroom and the Cross‘ which isn’t exactly easy to find. No such luck here but the library did carry ‘John Marco Allegro: The Maverick Of The Dead Sea Scrolls‘. This book, published in 2005 covers the life of John Allegro, his work, and the attacks directed at him from both academia and the religious community.
“As the first British member of the Scrolls editing team, Allegro shared the excitement, the insights, and the eyestrain of deciphering these invaluable ancient fragments. He made it possible for the Copper Scroll to be opened in Manchester and did much to focus worldwide attention on the Scrolls as a whole. But he made his name — or gained his notoriety — from questioning orthodox assumptions about how Christianity began.”
In John Allegro’s most controversial book, he proposes that Jesus was actually a code the Amanita Muscaria mushroom, and that Christianity stems from a sex and mushroom cult. ‘The Sacred Mushroom and the Cross’ was published in 1970, ‘Holy Blood and the Holy Grail’ and ‘Da Vinci Code’ eat your heart out. The book itself is a difficult read, many assumptions are made, and there is a sore lack of evidence. The validity of his claim is questionable, the strength in which he faced the Church and the empty attacks by some scholars, is not.
I thought John Marco Allegro used entheogens himself but I was very surprised to read the following:
Asked if he had tried the mushroom, he told the reporter, “I wouldn’t be so bloody stupid. I wouldn’t touch it. Drug-taking is idiotic. Drinking is stupid. I am frightened of losing control of myself in any way. Drugs are like religion: with both you can convince yourself of things which may not be true. You suspend judgement. This leads to horrors, to war. Religion is divisive.”
I agree with John Allegro to a certain extent, but we are certainly very capable of suspending judgement and convincing ourselves of things which are not true, without drugs and religion.
“What the Thinker thinks, the Prover proves.” -Robert Anton Wilson