Friday, November 06, 2009

Our Somnambulant Republic

Hola, mi amigos

As promised, here is a new post offering up some more goodies that spilled over
the edges of my latest installment of Insomnia for the Disinformation World News podcast.

Thanks to Raymond and Joe for putting up with two rather lengthy segments on a subject that is as vast as the Earth itself. The Hollow Earth has long been a favorite crypto-myth-consmology-theory and
having a chance to just burrow into it and share my notes has been lots of fun.

As I mention in the 'cast, the thing that I find most attractive about this line of thought is the freedom required to think it. While such notions may have pushed some men like Dr. Raymond Bernard a little closer to a dangerous edge, it seems that most of the proponents of the theory are of two specific types: the bold adventurer and the child-like dreamer. Both proud clans are always encouraged to join our somnambulant republic here in the world between dream and waking.

Here are a number of links to the resources I used in researching the second half of my installment on The Hollow Earth:

Crystal Links
Hitler and Secret Societies
The Complete Works of Dr. Raymond Bernard
Podcast about Dr. Raymond Bernard
Richard Sharpe Shaver

Raymond Palmer
The official word on the disappearance of U209

Have fun surfing these links. The Raymond Bernard podcast is especially good and the other 'casts at Memory Palace are worth checking into as well.

If you missed my first installment about the Hollow Earth, here is a transcript. You can also find the 'cast archived at Disinformation.

The Early History of the Hollow Earth

When exploring esoteric subjects it can be difficult to find the connections between various disciplines, notions, theories and organizations. Occult practices ultimately rely on systems of associations and it's compelling to imagine a kind of grand unified theory that encompasses all of the mysteries.

While such an ambitious task remains beyond the grasp of this humble report, there is an intersection point where occult mysteries, cryptozoology, conspiracy theories, ufology, ancient religious beliefs and straight-up-science fiction all meet on a strange horizon where a few brave souls have dared to believe the impossible.

Come with us now dear listener as we illuminate the early history of the Hollow Earth.

Cultures throughout time on every continent of the globe have believed that a paradise resides within our own planet. The Hopi tribes in North America, Tibetan monks, the People of Iceland and the fanatical beliefs of the highest ranks of the Nazi party all share in common a connection to the idea of the hollow earth. For Tibetan monks, Shambala is a real kingdom of peace and tranquility where ancient masters live within the earth's interior. The intricate folklore of Iceland is predicated on the notion of a hollow-earth and Hitler's Nazis ultimately claimed lineage to the powerful beings that are said to reside beneath the surface of our planet.

But where do our modern conceptions of the Hollow Earth originate?

In 1664, a Jesuit priest named Athanasius Kircher published his daunting, encyclopedic tome Mundus Subterraneas. An exhaustive compendium of geography and geology, Kircher's book also contained ambitious tracts on fantastic creatures, spontaneous generation, alchemy, fireworks, eclipses and a number of other eclectic subjects. Kircher's own hand supplied his readers with some of the first cross-section drawings of the earth, revealing pockets of interior fire, fueled by alchemical, cosmic rays. Kircher imagined that the freezing oceans at the north pole poured into the interior earth where they were warmed by the central fires, eventually flowing back to the planet's surface at the south pole. Kircher's imaginative model was one of the first that attempted to explain global weather patterns and oceanic circulation.

In 1692 Edmund Haley – of Haley's comet fame – posited that the earth contained a system of concentric spheres. He believed that each level was temperate and supported life and that the
Aurora borealois was caused by off-gassing from these inner realms

In the 19th century John Cleve Symmes - a delegate to the Continental Congress from the state of New Jersey - accepted Haley's theory but also claimed that there were 4,000-mile-wide entrances to the earth's interior at the north and south poles. In addition, Symmes forwarded the idea that the holes were inhabited by humanoids. In the face of daunting ridicule, Symmes lectured, published, and lobbied energetically to raise funds for an expedition to the North Pole in order to meet the inner-earth's inhabitants and open "new sources of trade and commerce."

Symmes helped to found The Smithsonian Institution which he envisioned as a future home for the artifacts and treasures that were anticipated to come from this journey, and he made such a strong case that he was able to bring pressure on then president J Q Adams

“I am fascinated by the possibilities.” Adams was quoted as saying “We need to be willing to go forward in discovering new lands, expanding our horizons.. I say give them the money! This could be the greatest discovery since America.”

Funding for the Sea Expedition was eventually squashed by Andrew Jackson when JQ Adams left office.

Given the kind of radical faith that a belief in the HJollow Earth requires, it's no surprise that an eccentric American physician named Cyrus Teed was able to found a religion based on Hollow-Earth doctrines in the 1800s. During an unconventional scientific experiment involving high-voltage electricity, Teed was badly shocked and knocked unconscious. Upon waking, Teed claimed to have been contacted by no less than the Mother of the Universe, who told Teed that he was the savior of the world. Teed promptly founded a Utopian enclave in Fort Myers, Florida. The group's central belief was that "the universe is a cell, a hollow globe, the physical body of which is the earth; the sun is at the center. We live on the inside of the cell; and the sun, moon, planets and stars are all within the globe." Teed and his believers were claiming that the universe was inside out. Outside of the earth – according to Teed – there was nothing. Teed never wavered in his convictions and his ideas attracted a fanatical following. Peter Bender a German aviator was one of the most outspoken believers in Teed's ideas. His enthusiasm for the notion excited a community in Germany who eventually formed the Hollow Earth Society, which still exists today.

Some simply believed that Teed had suffered brain damage when he was injured during his experiment.

IN 1929, Marshall B Gardener, author of A Journey to the Earth's Interior, returned to the Symmes model, but claimed that the inner Earth was illuminated by a sun that was 600 miles in diameter.

In (1934) Guy Ballard published Unveiled Mysteries, written under the pseudonym Godfre Ray King. Ballard claimed that while visiting Mount Shasta, he met a stranger who gave him a creamy liquid to drink. Having imbibed the brew, Ballard suddenly realized that the stranger was Count Saint Germaine, an eighteenth-century occultist who had become an immortal Tibetan Master according to the writings of H.P. Blavatsky

Ballard wrote that he had many meetings with the Count and the two enjoyed out-of-body visits to the inner-earth where Ballard witnessed scientific wonders, spiritual marvels and even attended a conference with along with 12 Venusian masters beneath the Grand Teton Range in Wyoming. Ballard and his family toured and lectured, spreading his ideas and attracting seekers to the occult group he founded: The "I AM" Activity.

Many hollow-earth publications, reports and rumors have persisted to this day.

In our next installment, we'll explore the Shaver Mystery, the disappearance of Doctor Raymond Bernard and the final destination of Nazi U-boat 209.

Until then this has been another installment of Insomnia for Disinformation World News, I'm Joe Nolan.

Stay awake.


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