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Posted by: captainmoroni ( )
Date: January 19, 2012 03:28PM

Here is a short summary of some LDS doctrines and teachings that have plausible links to the occult according to D Michael Quinn's work.

-Joseph's visit by Moroni was linked to the art of necromancy. As evidence, Quinn cites the fact that one of Smith's magical parchments was very probably created in the week leading up to his first visit. This magical parchment was empowered by "Raphael," the angel of "good spirit visits." September 22, when Smith was visited, is the autumnal equinox and is clearly linked to necromancy in the occult. To make it harder to dismiss this as coincidence, Smith stated himself that he prayed at 11 PM. This is the hour when Raphael rules the heavens and is seen as the best hour to commune with good spirits. As per necromantic instructions, he was visited 3 times during the night and these visits ended at daybreak.

-According to friendly and unfriendly witnesses, Joseph was not allowed to take the plates the first time, not because of an electric shock, but because some sort of reptile (probably a salamander) slapped him and transformed into the spirit Moroni. Benjamin Saunders testified to this and he was Joseph's boyhood friend and had a very positive view of Joseph throughout his life. Interestingly, Moron meant a poisonous salamander in 1800s New York. Maron was a spirit that was believed to guard treasure. Joseph originally spelled the name "Maroni."

-The spirit told him to bring his spiritually gifted brother, Alvin, in exactly a year to obtain the treasure. (According to faithful member, Joseph Knight). Unfortunately for Joseph, Alvin died two months later. When neighbors foudn this out, they spread rumors that Joseph planned to dig up Alvin's remains and take them to the hill. Joseph Smith Sr. actually took out an ad in the Palmyra newspaper to dispel these rumors. Joseph took his occult mentor to the hill (probably Samuel Lawrence, a known devil worshipper) instead.

-He was told that he could not obtain the treasure until he brought the right person. When he met Emma Hale, he claimed that he recieved revelation that she was the right person. He eloped with her so that he could take her to the hill and recieve the plates.

-The church was organized on April 6. Many Mormons claim that this was Jesus' birthday. According to Quinn, there is ample evidence that Joseph chose this day because it was a day that his strong astrological beliefs indicated would be a good day to set out on a new venture.

-Quinn also chronicles how almost every wedding that Joseph had was on a day that was astrologically significant and "good for romance and love." Brigham Young even claimed that Joseph tried to introduce astrology into church doctrine in his Nauvoo days.

-LDS doctrine has an obsession with seer stones and the Urim and Thummim. Someday, the D&C claims, we will each have our own and the Earth will become a giant seer stone. Joseph Smith believed in magic rocks or seer stones in which you could see anything. He owned several during his life time. Pictures of his magic seer stones are readily available on the web for those interested.

-The Book of Mormon quotes Isaiah 29 where it talks about the BOM "speaking from the dust." Mormon apologists claim that this scripture is a prophecy of the Book of Mormon. Critics note that the context of the scripture makes clear that Isaiah is referring to necromancy. Joseph clearly had no problem with necromancy though, so believers should not be disturbed.

-Mormons believe that 2/3s of the Book of Mormon were "sealed." Most envision literal seals on the plates. However, Smith never says this. He says they are sealed by the power of God. There is a long magical tradition of magically "bound or sealed" works that Smith would have believed.

-In the Book of Mormon, there are several references to a "curse" upon the land that made treasures "slippery." This was common treasure digging language. Most money diggers (like Smith, Martin Harris, and Porter Rockwell) reported finding chests of treasure that "slipped away" through the mud because they were cursed.

-Many Book of Mormon names have magical parallels. Here are a few:

-Mormo means a spirit or spectre in New England. When early anti-Mormons pointed this out, Smith responed that "Mormon" actually meant "More good" in Reformed Egyptian. You can choose which explanation sounds more plausible.

-Alma means soul in spanish and Almazim was a magical spirit that was a giver of treasure.

-Nephi is related to a common Cabbalist term for spirit "Nephes." Cabbalist identify Nephes as spirits that can be called forth through necromancy. Quinn even claims that this is why after 1839 the church changed its story from saying that Moroni gave Smith the plates to saying that Nephi had.

-The Book of Mormon displays an obsession with "works of darkness" and "secret combinations." Many have claimed that this has to do with anti-Masonic hysteria in the region at the time that the BoM was written. However, there are also many parallels in magical works that use very similar wording when talking about black magic. In fact, LDS teaching about Cain becoming Master Mahan is very clearly taken from beliefs about ancienct magic. The Cabalists taught this very doctrine. Smith affirmed his belief in witches and sorcerers while President of the church.

-Critics often point to the fact that the Book of Mormon prophets seem to know much more about the coming Christ than the Biblical prophets ever did. This is suspicious. However, Quinn points out that numerous occult works also claim that Jewish sacrifice was a type of Jesus and several fake works of Isaiah draw explicit linkages between his prophecies and Jesus long before Mormons ever did. Magicians also believed that Adam knew that the purpose of his sacrifices was as a type of Christ.

-Smith believed that the Earth is a living, breathing soul. Brigham Young even taught that tides are caused by the Earth breathing rather than the Moon's gravity. These believes are also linked to Cabalist teachings. There is a long mystical tradition of animism and the fact that all animals have souls in occult works.

-The "Three Degrees of Glory" Revelations have always been attributed Immanuel Swedenborg. It is clear that Smith knew who he was and had read his books because he reportedly commented on having read his work. Swedenborg claims to have had a mystical vision of a third heaven called the "Celestial Kingdom" where there are married angels and such. However, there are also strong parallels to Cabalist teachings. They taught that there were three heavens: Celestial, Terrestrial and Infernal. It appears that Joseph changed the name of the last. Smith could have found these teachings in Sibly's Occult Sciences which we know he had access to since his family's magical parchments were created by the unique instructions of that book.

-Facsimile 2 from the Book of Abraham contains a translation of the supposed cosmology that God revealed to Abraham. However, it is quite apparent that those principles are much closer to astrology than to any astronomy that we recognize.

-In D&C 107, a very specific organization for the church is set out. It states that there must be a quorum of 12 deacons, 24 teachers, 48 priests, and 96 elders. On the next page, it says that there must be one quorum of 70, 12 apostles, 3 in the first presidency, and a high council. By the time that the Kirtland temple was built, Smith added a patriarch, another quorum of seventy and another high council in Missouri to this higher priesthood organization. There is no apparent Biblical or theological reason that these numbers became revelation. The church obviously does not even try to follow these prescriptions. Why did the Lord reveal them then? Mormons don't seem to have a good answer. Interestingly, both groups of quorums add up to 180. In numberology, 180 is seen as one of the strongest numbers for organization because it is the number of degrees in the strong triangle. And that may be where LDS church organization originally came from.

-Here are the parallels of the mother of all occult connections in Mormonism: the temple.

Quinn suggests that the Endowment ceremony most closely resembles the ancient Eleusinian mysteries. This was a celebrated cult based on the pagan Gods of Demeter and Persephone. People in the occult world in Smith's day were fascinated with these mysteries and obsessed with the divine knowledge that they claimed to posess. Here are 11 interesting aspects of the Eleusinian mystery cults that parallel the LDS temple ceremony almost exactly. (At least, these are what writers in the 1800s claimed about them. Smith would have ripped off these elements rather than the actual ceremonies.)

1. Eleusinian mysteries claim to be revealed by God from the beginning and to have gone through a period of apostasy.

2. Initiates must be worthy and chaste for a long period before admission.

3. Initiates are washed and anointed with oil, fed bread and wine, and clothed with a robe. There are given a silken garmet and a girdle.

4. Vows to not disclose the mystery or the tokens or be subject to the most dreadful penalties.

5. There are lesser and greater planes of ritual.

6. There is a drama that describes the beginnings of the universe.

7. Initiates swear an oath of chastity and purity.

8. The sun, moon, and star symbolism are present everywhere in the rituals.

9. The mortals are told how be exalted to become one of the ficitious Greek entitities.

10. At the end, they are called, "prophets, priests, and kings."

11. Gods were once mortal and passed through the apotheosis rites to obtain their position.

There are many other parallels with the occult world I am sure, but this is a pretty good list for now.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/20/2012 12:45AM by captainmoroni.

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Posted by: rutabaga ( )
Date: January 19, 2012 04:28PM

All good stuff. Thank you for putting this together.

I read the book. It was very enlightening.

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Posted by: CA girl ( )
Date: January 19, 2012 04:28PM

who crushed on Book of Mormon characters but I have to say I love you for posting this captainmoroni!!! I just started reading Quinn's book last night and this list will be a huge help. Thank you - thank you.

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Posted by: captainmoroni ( )
Date: January 20, 2012 12:44AM

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Posted by: freeman ( )
Date: January 19, 2012 04:41PM

I thought about putting this book on my Christmas pressie list for my parents... but didn't have the balls. I still want to read it though.

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Posted by: Chelsey ( )
Date: January 10, 2013 12:28PM

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Posted by: anonuk ( )
Date: February 27, 2017 05:24PM

interesting link - there is a train of thought that Jesus, if he ever existed, was enlightening the 'profane' or anybody who wanted to know, without first making them go through the neophyte stage at the local pagan temple.

His 'raising of Lazarus', in this theory, was a purely metaphorical raising of the 'spiritually dead' to become reborn into an 'eternal life' with a recognition of the immortal soul within. The big problem with this event was of it being a public spectacle rather than a hidden ritual. To this end, he was undermining the authority of the pagan priesthood and the Jewish priesthood, and so depriving them of their dues from their followers, all waiting to learn of the mysteries - for a price.

Its a bit like mormons and those temple recommends they need to keep paying the church to retain and thereby ensure the retention of the 'mysteries' of the rites of the mormon temple.

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Posted by: Lot's Wife ( )
Date: February 27, 2017 07:09PM

The earliest extant gospel, Mark, did not originally have the resurrection story. That was tacked on later in slightly newer language. Likewise, three of the gospels are not unequivocal in calling Jesus "God." The radical, almost gnostic John is the only one that establishes the really tight relationship between Jesus and the Father. Elaine Pagels thought that John was added to the more typically "historical" or "factual" gospels because of that. So yes, even the gospels show the incorporation of the basic premise of the Mystery Cults--the dying and resurrected God--into the new faith.

I don't think that Jesus, or the legend of Jesus, was initiating people into the secret of rebirth/reincarnation. There were Mystery Cults all over the eastern Roman Empire at the time, but Jesus was teaching almost exclusively Jews. And the Jewish temple was a bustling commercial center where people bought and butchered animals and certain calendar holidays were celebrated. But the commoners did not "go through" the temple, other than the outer parts, and the inner sanctum was completely off limits. That doesn't detract, however, from anonuk's point that Jesus was challenging the Jewish hierarchy and interrupting its cash flows.

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Posted by: Chicken'n'Backpacks ( )
Date: January 19, 2012 05:39PM

You know what's funny? TBM's might say "most of this is just a coincidence!" They wouldn't, however, accept that any of Joe Smith's few "hits" in the BoM or BoA are just coincidence.

If this stuff can be proven to TBM's, maybe they'd say: "Well, in the church of Jesus' time, this stuff was OK and approved by God, but Satan corrupted everything!"

That'd be a hoot....

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Posted by: imalive ( )
Date: January 20, 2012 09:13AM

This is really fascinating stuff. I love learning this. To me it really adds depth to REAL church history. Thanks again for posting. I will bookmark this thread.

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Posted by: redwing ( )
Date: January 20, 2012 10:36AM

Very well done - thank you. I wondered about an occult connection, since JS was into that.

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Posted by: greekgod ( )
Date: January 22, 2012 10:47AM

I wonder if there is a connection to Master Mahan, Mahonrimoriancumer, and "Maha-Bone"

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Posted by: rgg ( )
Date: January 10, 2013 12:58PM

I knew an old witch about 20 years ago who told me that the Mormon church had deep, deep occult roots. She was a very interesting woman and studied with Alistair Crowley (Gold Dawn) amongst other occult figures from years ago. She was extremely knowledgeable, albeit a bit strange but she knew her stuff.

She has long since passed away – too bad, I would love to talk to her more about this now because at the time I didn’t believe her.

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Posted by: blueskyutah ( )
Date: February 27, 2017 09:54PM

Regarding the comment about Aleister Crowley, there is a connection.

The Smith sheepskin parchment had symbology on it that traces back to John Dee. John Dee was a 16th century magician who invented a form of magick now called Enochian magick.

Aleister Crowley used a lot of John Dee's work to create the Order of Temple Orientas (OTO). There is an OTO chapter in Salt Lake City who perform their "Sex Magick" ritual publicly once a month.

There are many more occult origins to mormonism and other cults such as Scientology. Also, NASA has an occult origin through a man named Jack Parsons who founded JPL (Jet Propulsion Lab) used by NASA. Aleister Crowley had 2 students in California. They were Jack Parsons and L. Ron Hubbard. They were roommates...LRH stole Jack Parson's girlfriend from him.

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Posted by: Homeless ( )
Date: January 10, 2013 01:10PM

Nephi is the beginning letters of the word Nephilim, who some believe were the giant half-breeds of fallen angles and the daughters of humans mentioned Gen 6:1-5. Do a Google on Nephilim. There is a lot written about them. The fallen angels are also mentioned in Jude.

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Posted by: References? ( )
Date: February 27, 2017 11:46AM

Why aren't there any references to any of these supposed "facts"?

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Posted by: Hedning ( )
Date: February 27, 2017 11:44PM

D Michael Quinn - you'll have so many references to look up, you'll change your screen name.

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Posted by: Heartless ( )
Date: February 27, 2017 04:26PM

Which book are you refering to?

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Posted by: cinda ( )
Date: February 27, 2017 06:55PM

Thank you for this fascinating summary.

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Posted by: Lot's Wife ( )
Date: February 27, 2017 06:56PM

It's not necessary to prove that Smith took his ideas from specific books, though he did have that Jewish teacher in Nauvoo and he may have stumbled across Swedenborg.

More generally, though, and I think Quinn explains this in detail in his book,the Smiths inhabited a frontier world where religion was much more eccentric and marginal than it was on the more developed coast. Just as people with unpopular beliefs moved from Europe to the States, so too did Americans with crazy ideas move toward the frontier. Occult Christianity, various heretical movements from Europe, and the Kabbala (present in several of the heretical movements) were all well-developed and well-accepted in the area where Smith and his early followers lived. A later burst of mysticism came with the Jewish teacher, coinciding with the later Nauvoo years.

Mormonism was a syncretic mixture of standard Christianity and fringe faiths that were all in contact in frontier New York and New England.

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Posted by: Dead Cat ( )
Date: February 27, 2017 07:27PM

In "Quinn's book" or "Quinn's work"

Anybody able to tell me the title of the book/work?

I am sure new folks might want to read it.


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Posted by: Lot's Wife ( )
Date: February 27, 2017 09:18PM

Pretty sure that was Early Mormonism and the Magic World View.

It's an encyclopedic volume but not well structured. The reason lies in the timing. Quinn originally expected the infamous salamander to be a big part of the narrative but at the last minute he had to rip that material out of the manuscript.

Hoffman first offered the salamander letter to the church in January 1984. Given his network, Quinn would have learned about it very quickly and begun writing it into his text right away. In 1985 and 1986, however, the foundation fell out from underneath this effort. The church acknowledged the letter in April of the former year, and the murders occurred soon thereafter. Suspicion soon fastened on Hoffman, but it would have been early 1986 or so before people were confident that the letter was a forgery.

This was problematic for Quinn because he was in the final stages of his writing. So he had to delete a lot of the Salamander discussion in a rush to get the book to press for publication in 1987. As a result, one of the main original narrative threads is missing from the book. The material is still highly relevant, but the book is not the easiest read.

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Posted by: blueskyutah ( )
Date: February 27, 2017 10:01PM

This is the book that kick-started me into "apostacy". Accidentally found the book in a local library and it opened up the rabbit hole of which I never escaped. This was pre-Internet era. Eventually I collected hundreds of dollars worth of books including a signed copy of "No Man Knows My History" signed by the author.

One day I came home from work only to find that the books had been removed from my office by my wife and sold at a used book store.

It wasn't long after that when I received divorce papers.

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Posted by: FallenCountryManouvers ( )
Date: February 27, 2017 07:30PM

Joseph found the plates by means of clairvoyance, or seership- he did see some entitites who appeared to be angels, but were all actually fallen angels- not so much of the really satanic sort, however! Therefore, God and His Son did not really appear to him, the priesthood was not restored, it's not really true that an angel led him to the plates, the record of Israelite-Christians who displayed some jewish idiosyncrasies; did not understand that they could not have a Church State or theocracy on this continent- by casting out those who did not wish to participate, they seeded their ultimate destruction, not that they really deserved it... That book's doctrine Is placed in my recessive mind- I do not practice that religion outwardly; prayer is grossly overrated, for one thing! Due to weak Fortune, generally, America is like a seed-bed for hucksterism- such a fallen angel revealed the Doctrine And Covenants- it would have been better no such scam.

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Posted by: blueskyutah ( )
Date: February 27, 2017 09:45PM

In the Kabbalah there is the following symbolism.

All energy was contained inside of a cube defined by 6 sides and 12 edges. The cube is located by 1 point in space by 3 dimensions (x,y,z). Add these together and you get 22 which is the # of hebrew letters. The Tree of Life has 10 sephyrah connected by 22 paths.

Re-arranging these #'s a bit you get

The church is also organized by these "magick" numbers. 3 in the Presidency, Quorum of the 12, and the 7 Quorums of the 70.

3+7=10 sephyrah

In the beginning of time, the cube opened up in a cross like pattern and all energy escaped to create the universe. The Big Bang? When you open up an empty cube it looks like a cross.

There are also other unusual "occult" numerology. The word occult means hidden. Many associate the word with the dark occult. However occult is only knowledge that can be used for good or evil.

The dark occult is fixated on the number 9. When you mention 180 it is a bit concerning since 1+8+0=9. (Also, the number 666 is 6+6+6=18 1+8=9)

Does this prove that the church has a dark occult roots?

I know how crazy all this numerology stuff sounds to us today, but it was a real belief back in the day. And there are some who believe that our world is controlled by a group of men who secretly use their dark occult magick to control us. This can be believable given how the church leaders believe in their magick and control church members.

One theory I read about was the 9-11 conspiracy being instigated by this dark occult which the Bush family is part of. The Tree of Life has 10 Sephyrah. In the Kabbalah it states that there is 10 sephyrah, not 9 and not 11. Thus the 9 and the 11 which also reduce to 18 and 9 by numerology. The whole event was a magick ritual carefully planned and executed with many parts played by each participant along the way. For example, George Bush read the book "My Pet Goat" to the school children when the planes were crashing into the Towers. The Goat is a dark occult symbol (an inverted pentagram). The Pentagon was also hit. The towers are similar to the Masonic pillar symbols.

I will stop now. Please comment.

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Posted by: Heartless ( )
Date: February 27, 2017 10:37PM

Might I add....

Originally the General Authority level of the 70s was only the Seven presidents. Who formed a quorum equal in authority to but subject to the 12.

In those days (and many of us remember ) 70 was an office between high priest and elder. I don't think too many wanted to be a 70.

So the quorum of the seven presidents would be the number 7 of the equation, not the 7 quorums themselves.

Also. Not to disrupt the 3 of the first presidency is not a set number. There have been times there were more members.

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