James Shelby Downard Essays On Success

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The Sorcerer ' s Apprentices . James Shelby Downard and the Mysteries of Americana Some conspiracy theorists question not "the facts" so much as reason itself. James Shelby Downard is one of those mad geniuses with a talent for making the most improbable, impossible, ludicrous and laughable speculations appear almost plausible. A self-described student of the "science of symbolism," Downard peels away the rational veneer of history and exposes an abyss of logic-defying synchronicities. Downard dwells upon a confluence of the familiar and the esoteric that, to him, forms a portrait of political conspiracy the purpose of which is not power or money, but alchemy, the mystical science of transformation. By breaking apart and rejoining elements, it was long ago supposed, alchemy could effect most any miracle (for example, changing base metal into gold). From ancient times through the Enlightenment, science and magic were one and the same. As far as Downard's concerned, the era when science was indistinguishable from sorcery never ended. The Age of Reason and its industrial, post-modern antecedents are facades obscuring the seething dream world of primeval urges that surfaces only in sleep. Per Downard, the plotters are Freemasonic alchemists scheming for sovereignty over the realm of uncontrollable impulse. The relatively tame domains of politics, economics and ideology are mere means to that end. "Do not be lulled into believing," warns Downard, "that just because the deadening American city of dreadful night is so utterly devoid of mystery, so thoroughly flat-footed, sterile and infantile, so burdened with the illusory gloss of baseball-hot dogs-apple-pie-and-Chevrolet, that it exists outside the psycho-sexual domain. The eternal pagan psychodrama is escalated under these modern conditions precisely because sorcery is not what '20th Century man' can accept as real." Drawing up a brief primer of Downardism seems an impossible task, though not quite as daunting as reading Downard's own essays which have been set forth for public consumption largely through the good offices of publisher Adam Parfrey whose small, outre firm, Feral House, has anthologized Downard's essays in a few anthologies of conspiratorial material. We can do no more than scratch the surface in this forum. "The United States which has long been called a melting pot, should more descriptively be called a witches' cauldron wherein the 'Hierarchy of the Grand Architect of the Universe' arranges for ritualistic crimes and psychopolitical psychodramas to be performed in accordance with a Master plan," Downard explains. That Master plan necessitates execution of three alchemical rites: the creation and destruction of primordial matter; the Killing of the King; and the "making manifest of all that is hidden." Shakespeare's MacBeth is a "Killing of the King" drama. MacBeth, who killed his king in accordance with a witches' (alchemists') plot and was himself later killed as part of the same schemata. The latter day reenactment of the MacBeth ritual, says Downard, was the assassination of JFK in Dealey Plaza, site of the first Masonic temple in Dallas and a spot loaded with "trinity" symbolism. "Three" is, for those not versed in such matters, the most magic of all magic numbers. Downard's observations include: • Dallas is located just south of the 33 degree of latitude. The 33rd degree is Freemasonry's highest rank • Kennedy's motorcade was rolling toward the "Triple Underpass" when he was slain by, according to some analysts, three gunmen. Three tramps were arrested right after the murder. Hiram Abiff, architect of Solomon's Temple and mythic progenitor of Freemasonry was murdered according to Masonic legend by three "unworthy craftsmen." • The MacBeth clan of Scotland had many variations of the family name. One was "MacBaine" or "Baines." Kennedy's successor was Lyndon Baines Johnson, a Freemason. • "Dea" in Latin means goddess. "Ley" in Spanish can refer to law or rule. "Dealey Plaza" was "goddess-rule" plaza. Blamed for the assassination was a man named "Oz," explained by Downard as "a Hebrew term denoting strength." Divine strength is integral to the King -killing rite. "Oz" was killed by "Ruby," just as the ruby slippers freed Dorothy from the land of Oz in The Wizard of Oz, "which one may deride as a fairy tale but which nevertheless symbolizes the immense power of 'ruby light' otherwise known as the laser." Dealey Plaza is near the Trinity River, which before the introduction of flood control measures submerged the place regularly. Dealey Plaza therefore symbolizes both the trident and its bearer, the water-god Neptune. "To this trident-Neptune site," writes Downard, "came the 'Queen of Love and Beauty' and her spouse, the scapegoat, in the Killing of the King rite, the 'Ceannaideach' (Gaelic word for Ugly Head or Wounded Head). In Scotland, the Kennedy coat of arms and iconography is full of folklore. Their Plant Badge is an oak and their Crest has a dolphin on it. Now what could be more coincidental than for JFK to get shot in the head near the oak tree at Dealey Plaza. Do you call that a coincidence?" For those in our audience still too puzzled by the whole "Wizard of Oz" thing to get that last bit: the "Queen" is Jackie and "Ceannaideach" is the Gaelic form of Kennedy. An earlier "Trinity Site," in New Mexico, was the location of the first atomic bomb explosion. Chaos and synergy, breaking apart and joining together are the first principles of alchemy. The atomic bomb broke apart the positive and negative (male and female) elements that compose primordial matter. Physicists refer to this fiendish trickery as "nuclear fission." The New Mexico "Trinity" sits on the 33rd degree latitude line. The Kennedy assassination's true significance was concealed by the Warren Commission headed by Freemason Earl Warren with Freemason Gerald Ford as its public spokesman. The Commission drew its information from the FBI headed by Freemason J. Edgar Hoover and the CIA, which transmitted information through former director Freemason Allen Dulles who sat on the commission. • A decade later Ford, when president himself, was the target of an attempted assassination in front of the St. Francis Hotel, located opposite Mason Street in the City of St. Francis, San Francisco. Members of the Freemasonic "Hell Fire Club," site of many a sex orgy involving such luminaries as Freemason Benjamin Franklin, called themselves "Friars of St. Francis." • The St. Francis Hotel was also the site of sex orgies. On its premises occurred the rape- murder of Virginia Rappe by silent film comic Roscoe "Fatty" Arbuckle. Virginia Rappe's name is a variation on "virgin rape." The rape of a virgin is an important alchemical sex-magic rite. • The serpent is a Masonic symbol of King-Killing. The Symbionese Liberation Army, who kidnapped San Francisco newspaper heiress Patricia Hearst, pictured a serpent on their emblem. • The word "Symbionese" means "joined together." • Patricia Hearst' s grandfather, newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst, built a vast estate called San Simeon (St. Simon) on La Cuest Encandata, The Enchanted Hill. On the estate is a "pool of Neptune" with a statue of Venus, the "Queen of Love and Beauty." The Hearst family joined together the San Francisco Chronicle and Examiner. As mentioned previously, we are able only to touch the most superficial aspects of the alchemical conspiracy made manifest in the message of James Shelby Downard. We have ignored his hint that Marilyn Monroe's death was Freemasonic ally inspired, a conclusion Downard reaches in part because "when she was mortal she was subjected to sexual debauchery, as the innocent are in sorcery rites." Nor have we covered Downard's argument that the advertising war "between Avis and Hertz Rent-a-Car corporations involves fertility symbolism." For God's sake, let us hope he's misguided. MAJOR SOURCES: This article is based upon the following essays by James Shelby Downard. "The Call to Chaos." in Parfrey, Adam, ed. Apocalypse Culture: Expanded and Revised. Los Angeles: Feral House, 1990. "King Kill 33 degrees." in Parfrey, Adam, ed. Apocalypse Culture. New York: Amok Press, 1987. "Sorcery, Sex, Assassination." in Keith, Jim ed. Secret and Suppressed. Portland, Or.: Feral House, 1993. "Witches' Plot." photocopied manuscript.

"I walked forty-seven miles of barbed wire..." ~ Bo Diddley ("Who Do You Love?" 1956.)

The essayist and “Discordian Saint,” Robert Anton Wilson, popularized the notion of the “23 Phenomenon.”[1] Jim Brandon, Loren Coleman, James Shelby Downard, Michael Hoffman and others have called attention to the high-strangeness surrounding the number 33.[2] Anyone having a cursory familiarity with the mystical discipline of numerology will recognize instantly that esoteric significance is attached to many numbers.[3] But one that is less-acknowledged also seems to have a buzz about it lately. I’m thinking of 47.

A guided sampling of current events might help the reader to get a flavor for my opinion on this matter. Take this, for instance. Several news sources over the last week have reported that “Nearly 47M Americans Will Travel for Thanksgiving.”[4] As synchronicity would have it, this is the same number of Americans – 47 million – reputed to be receiving food stamps.[5] If you can believe it, and diehard Obama-supporters probably do, that’s also the number of Americans (maybe the selfsame ones) who lack (or until recently lacked) health insurance coverage.[6]

In the face of the criticisms of Obama’s numbers issuing from the political “right,” it is worth remembering the fact that the number 47 was at the center of controversy just four odd years ago when Republican presidential hopeful “Mitt Romney told a group of donors in a secretly taped video that 47% of Americans will vote for President Obama because they are ‘dependent upon government’ and ‘believe that they are victims.’”[7] That didn’t go over so well for him.

Why should 47s figure so unusually – or so it seems to me – in political controversies? We probably should not even get started on the claim that the Silicon Valley company Ubiquiti Networks’s claim that it had been taken in by a “cyber scam” to the tune of… Well, I’ll leave you to guess the amount.[8]

In any case, to return for a moment to population statistics, it turns out that “47 million” is also alleged to be the approximate number of subscribers to Amazon’s “Prime” service.[9]

Consider, also, the regrettable fact (if it is a fact) that “Nearly 47 Million People Now Have Dementia.”[10]

One can only presume that the 47 million spoken of – if some or all of the figures are veridical – in these cases are not the same people. The notion that 47 million dementia sufferers without health insurance might have been traveling this weekend on food stamps seems a bit too much to put up with, even for someone with sympathies towards the peculiar world of synchro-mysticism.

In other news, in March, the “progressive” organization MoveOn expressed concern about “47 Republican senators [who] wrote directly to the ayatollah of Iran urging him to break off diplomatic negotiations with President Obama.”[11]

This past October, word reached the United States of an important anthropological find in China involving “Forty-seven smooth teeth dug out of a cave…”.[12]

On a lighter note, a recent flurry of YouTube commercials featuring one “Tai Lopez” has him report: “I remember sleeping on a couch with $47 in my bank account in a mobile home in North Carolina…”.[13]

In 2013, Matrix-actor Keanu Reeves was featured in Universal’s box-office failure 47 Ronin. Aficionados of the genre can compare, and probably have already, the 1941, Japanese-made film Genroku Chūshingura (“The 47 Ronin”).

Or again, in 1998, the Copenhagen, Denmark-based software company Io-Interactive A/S released the video game Hitman: Codename 47.[14] The storyline revolves around assassinations carried out by the character Agent 47.

And those are just a few scattered items that have crossed my desk (or computer screen) over the last couple of years. Are the 47s simply random? Maybe. If they are actual figures, then perhaps their appearances lately, especially on the high-profile political scene à la Obama and Romney before him, is just a curiosity.[15]

It is conceivable, however, that the 47s are orchestrated, by persons or “forces” unknown. But why should one think that the number 47 has any “force” in these and other reports? For that matter, why should any number?

One possible answer to this latter question apparently proceeds from the ancient Greek mathematician and philosopher Pythagoras. According to the Plato’s illustrious student, Aristotle, “the Pythagoreans say that things exist by ‘imitation’ of numbers.”[16] This Pythagorean strand was subsequently woven into the abstruse metaphysical framework known as “Neoplatonism.”[17]

The 15th-century Italian Renaissance thinker Giovanni Pico della Mirandola, “in his Mathematical Conclusions[,] had stated that ‘By number a way may be had for the investigation and understanding of everything possible to be known.”[18] Erstwhile Lord Mayor of London[19]Sir Henry Billingsley actually included Pico’s statement in his seminal English translation of Euclid’s Elements.[20]

The 13th-century Spanish Kabbalist Abraham ben Samuel Abulafia “translate[d] numbers into his meditations on the combinations of Hebrew letters.”[21] “For [15th-16th-century German humanist scholar] Johannes Reuchlin …Pythagoras’ philosophy, as he outlined in the dedication of his De arte Cabalistica[22] …to Pope Leo X, ‘derives in origin from the teachers of Kabbalah’.”[23]

Considerations of this sort led 20th-century British scholar Frances Amelia Yates to conclude that Kabbalah “could transform into a kind of mystical mathematics.”[24] Of course, this Pythagorean/Kabbalistic legacy, this sort of “mystical mathematics,” has become something of a foundation stone in the various “brotherhoods” of Freemasonry.

And now, at last, we’re better-positioned to answer the question: What about 47?

First of all, it must be recalled that the above-named Euclid’s “47th proposition” figures prominently in many Masonic emblems.[25] Masonic sources often link Euclid with Pythagoras.

In one such book, under the heading “Forty-Seventh Problem of Euclid,” we read: “This was the invention of our ancient friend and brother Pythagoras, who, in his travels through Asia, Africa, and Europe, was initiated into several orders of priesthood and raised to the sublime degree of Master Mason. This wise philosopher enriched his mind abundantly in a general knowledge of things, and more especially in Geometry, or Masonry.”[26]

47 is not simply peripherally connected to Freemasonry, then. It is arguably quite near to its symbolic heart.

Another anchor for 47 might be its link to other phenomena, such as that in the vicinity of Wilson’s 23s. Consider: “The Earth’s axis is tilted at an angle of 23.5° away from the plane of the ecliptic.”[27] Furthermore: “The Tropic of Cancer is the circle marking the latitude 23.5 degrees north, where the sun is directly overhead at noon on June 21, the beginning of summer in the northern hemisphere. The Tropic of Capricorn is the circle marking the latitude 23.5 degrees south where the sun is directly overhead at noon on December 21, the beginning of winter in the northern hemisphere.”[28]

Not to put too fine a point on it, but: “This makes the whole tropical belt 47 degrees wide.”[29]

Another possibly relevant consideration has to do with the calendar. Of course, since no month has more than 31 days, 47 will not show up in date calculations in precisely the same sorts of ways as some of the examples catalogued by Wilson. It can be present in years. Indeed, 47s figure just that way with respect to historically interesting, and even anomalous, events.

Consider an ancient example. Christianity owes a lot to Saint Paul. No fewer than 7 books of the New Testament are attributed to him[30] and his efforts as “Apostle to the Gentiles”[31] were instrumental in assisting the spread of early Christianity. “[T]he earliest date at which the commencement of the first missionary journey[32] …can be placed is the spring of AD. 47.”[33]

In my own notes, 1947 has many intriguing examples of bizarre events. For instance, the grisly “Black Dahlia” murder of Elizabeth Short (who had only attained the youthful and Kabbalistically-significant age of 22) occurred on or around January 15, 1947.

Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry had a life-changing experience later that same year. “After …[World War Two], he [Roddenberry] was a pilot for Pan Am. On June 18, 1947, as the airline was inaugurating its ‘round the world’ service, the engines of the ‘Clipper Eclipse’ conked out, the aircraft caught fire and crashed in the Syrian desert.”[34]

As far as more recent mysteries go, Kenneth Arnold’s alleged sighting of a “flying saucer” must surely rank as one. It happened June 24, 1947. Ufologists and “UFO buffs” alike also know that the “Roswell Incident” occurred on or around July 8, 1947. It was a busy year.[35]

Whether related to the UFO business or not,[36] a key event from the standpoint of Anglo-American crypto-politics was the creation of the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). Its official birthday is given as September 18, 1947.

Another way of searching out the possible significance of 47 is to observe that February 16 is the 47th day of the year.[37] Fidel Castro become Prime Minister of Cuba on February 16, 1959. Castro has independent interest. 19th-20th-century British researcher Nesta Helen Webster wrote that “[i]n 1779 Spartacus [i.e., Adam Weishaupt] [wrote] to [others in the occult society] suggesting that instead of ‘Illuminati’ the Order should be called the ‘Order of Bees’ [Bienenorden oder Bienengesellschaft], and that all the statutes should be clothed in this allegory.”[38] With this in mind, I note that, in Jim Brandon’s Sirius Rising audio recordings (vol. 1), James Shelby Downard mentions Fidel Castro in connection to T. H. White’s The Book of Beasts.[39] It turns out that word “castro,” designates a sort of bee. “The Greeks call the ones [i.e., the bees] that are produced in the outer part of the honeycomb ‘castros,’ the drones (workers?) or castrated ones…”.[40]

Some other notable 47th-day occurrences include, in 1985, “the official launch” of Hezbollah by Sheik Ibrahim al-Amin[41] and, in 2005, the effective date of the Kyoto Protocol.[42]

Before the confederate surrender on the highly-symbolic date of July 4, 1863, Union General and later U.S. President Ulysses S. Grant subjected Vicksburg to “forty-seven days of constant shelling… Thereafter, Grant became Abraham Lincoln’s favorite general.”[43]

As an aside, I register the quick point that 47 also seems to be a popular numerical designator for various pieces of military technology. One thinks, for example, of the Soviet-designed machine gun Avtomat Kalashnikova, better known as the AK-47; the Colt Walker single-action revolver (first sold in 1847); the Bell Hellicopter 47;[44] Boeing Aircraft Company’s Boeing B-47 Stratojet;[45] Douglas Aircraft Company’s C-47 “Skytrain”; and the Republic Aviation P-47 “Thunderbolt.” Given the Obama/Romney 47s, the CIA-connection and some of the other tidbits cataloged above, one might get the impression that 47s are “keyed-in” on militaristic and political wavelengths of some sort.[46]

Maybe 47 is an emblem of the “shadow-government.” During the attacks of September 11, 2001 on the Pentagon and on the “Twin Towers” of the World Trade Center (WTC) complex, WTC “Building 7” also collapsed. Building 7 had been 47 stories high. Additionally, WTC’s buildings 1 and 2, the “North” and “South Towers,” each contained “47 massive core columns” near the central elevator machinery.[47]

Possibly any number, when raised to salience in one’s consciousness, may take on symbolic proportions. Maybe I was pre-tuned to 47 in particular, owing to the fact – “coincidentally” – that my father was that very age when I was born. Or, just perhaps, “The 47 Society” has been on to something big.

- Matthew J. Bell


[1] Robert Anton Wilson, The Illuminatus! Trilogy, New York: Dell, 1984; “The 23 Phenomenon,” Fortean Times, <http://www.forteantimes.com/features/commentary/396/the_23_phenomenon.html>; etc.

[2] For the merest sampling, see, e.g., Jim Brandon, The Rebirth of Pan, Dunlap, Ill.: Firebird Press, 1983; Loren Coleman, “33s: The Rebirth of Pan,” Twilight Language, Oct. 5, 2015, <http://copycateffect.blogspot.com/2015/10/33s-Pan.html>; and James Shelby Downard and Michael A. Hoffman II, King Kill 33, Coeur d’Alene, Idaho: Downard Trust; Independent History and Research, 1998. The number 33 is of prime importance in the Scottish Rite of Freemasonry, where the ultimate and honorary degree is the thirty-third. Additionally, occult writers such as Helena Blavatsky and Manly Palmer Hall have periodically made mention of, or visually represented, thirty-threes in various works. I am too lazy to look up the references right now, but will try to get around to it later.

[3] Besides the various meanings assigned to the numbers 0-9, other numbers of interest – among the probable infinity that could be cited! – include (beside 13, which I ignore because of its complexity):

11 – see Recluse, “The Fall of 11?” VisupView [weblog], Sept. 13, 2012, <http://visupview.blogspot.com/2012/09/the-fall-of-11.html>.

24/42 – see Loren Coleman, “It Could Be Tomorrow! Black Sunday,” Twilight Language [weblog], Nov. 21, 2015, <http://copycateffect.blogspot.com/2015/11/Black-Sunday.html>.

36 – see Celtic Rebel, “Sing Our Own Song [VII],” The Rebel Path [weblog], January 7, 2009, <http://therebelpath.com/2009/01/07/hammer-and-anvil-vii/>.

72 – see Matthew J. Bell and Jim Brandon, “Star Trek In Tenebris,” Bell Curve [weblog], Jun. 5, 2013, <http://curveofbell.blogspot.com/2013/06/star-trek-in-tenebris_5.html>.

[4] See, e.g., Bart Jansen, “AAA: Nearly 47M Americans Will travel for Thanksgiving,” USA Today, Nov. 17, 2015, <http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2015/11/17/aaa-thanksgiving-travel/75921872/>. Jansen remarks that: “The projection for 46.9 million travelers from Nov. 25 through Nov. 29 is based on economic forecasting and research by IHS Global Insight,” ibid. The source apparently is Julie Hall, “46.9 Million Americans to Travel for Thanksgiving, According to AAA,” AAA News Room, <http://newsroom.aaa.com/2015/11/46-9-million-americans-to-travel-for-thanksgiving-according-to-aaa/>. Loren Coleman will be gratified to know, however, that an alternate AAA release – dated the 23rd, no less – indicated: “Approximately 42 million Americans are expected to take a road trip this Thanksgiving,” Amanda Shapiro and Michael Green, “Drivers to Pay Lowest Thanksgiving Gas Prices Since 2008,” AAA News Room, Nov. 23, 2015, <http://newsroom.aaa.com/tag/thanksgiving-travel-forecast/>.

[5] The food stamps recipient number is disputed, but see Brad Plumer, “Why are 47 Million Americans on Food Stamps? It’s the Recession – Mostly,” Washington Post, Sept. 23, 2013, <https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2013/09/23/why-are-47-million-americans-on-food-stamps-its-the-recession-mostly/>.

[6] See Munir Moon, “Do the Math: Obamacare Won't Change the Number of Uninsured,” Huffington Post, Feb. 5, 2014, updated Apr. 5, 2014, <http://www.huffingtonpost.com/munir-moon/do-the-math-obamacare-won_b_4692510.html>. Or, more cautiously, it might have been the number before the roll-out of “Obamacare”; who knows what the story is, presently? And it should be noted that some Obama supporters might have instead believed Obama’s alternate count of 30 million. See Byron York, “Obama: I used to say 47 million Uninsured. Now, It's 30 Million,” Washington Examiner, Sept. 8, 2009, <http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/obama-i-used-to-say-47-million-uninsured.-now-its-30-million./article/132996>.

[7] Gregory Korte, “Romney: Obama Voters ‘Believe They are Victims’,” USA Today, Sept. 17, 2012, <http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/news/politics/story/2012/09/17/romneys-47-remark/57797246/1>. Actually, the hoopla surrounding Romney on that occasion marked my first awareness of this “47 phenomenon.” My early thoughts on the number were recorded under the ponderous title: “47 (Or How Romney Lords It over Inferior Fools with Euclidean I-Ching).” (Available at Bell Curve [weblog], Sept. 18, 2012, <http://curveofbell.blogspot.com/2012/09/47-or-how-romney-lords-it-over-inferior.html>.)

[8] James Eng, “Ubiquiti Networks Says It Was Victim of $47 Million Cyber Scam,” NBC, Aug. 7 2015, <http://www.nbcnews.com/tech/security/ubiquiti-networks-says-it-was-victim-47-million-cyber-scam-n406201>.

[9] Jennifer Booton, “Amazon Now Has Around 47 Million Paying Prime Members,” Market Watch, Oct. 20, 2015, <http://www.marketwatch.com/story/amazon-now-has-47-million-prime-members-report-shows-2015-10-20>.

[10] According to a report from Alzheimer’s Disease International. “Nearly 47 Million People Now Have Dementia, Report Shows,” Yahoo Health, Aug. 25, 2015, <https://www.yahoo.com/health/nearly-47-million-people-now-have-dementia-report-127552673327.html>.

[11] Anna Galland, email, MoveOn, Jul. 14, 2015; citing Leslie Savan, “‘Daily News’ to GOP ‘Traitors’: Drop Dead,” The Nation, Mar. 11, 2015, <http://www.thenation.com/article/daily-news-gop-traitors-drop-dead/>.

[12] These teeth, it was said, “…reveal that Homo sapiens may have arrived there [China] 80,000 years ago.” Amina Khan, “Find Alters Human Migration Theories: The Discovery of 47 Teeth in a Chinese Cave Suggests People Arrived There at Least 80,000 Years Ago,” Los Angeles Times, Oct. 17, 2015, p. B2.

[13] The actual text, here, is from: Joel Brown, “3 Ways to Maximize Your Life & Riches – Tai Lopez,” Addicted2Success, <http://addicted2success.com/success-advice/3-ways-to-maximize-your-life-riches-tai-lopez/>.

[14] Eidos Interactive, 2000.

[15] Perhaps my perception of the 47s merely owes to my own idiosyncrasies.

[16] Aristotle, Metaphysics, ca. 350 B.C., W. D. Ross, transl., online at <http://classics.mit.edu/Aristotle/metaphysics.1.i.html>.

[17] In general, “Neoplatonism” was an “[a]ncient Greek philosophy, metaphysics, [and] philosophy of religion. [It was t]he philosophical tradition founded by Plotinus , developed through his disciple Porphyry , the Syrian School of Iamblichus, the school of Athens, represented by Plutarch, Proclus , and Simplicius, and the Alexandrian school until the fall of Alexandria in 642. Plotinus' Enneads (edited by Porphyry) was the source of this tradition, and Proclus' Elements of Theology was the systematic exposition of its doctrines. Neoplatonism, which was the last philosophical system of the classical world, explained the origin of the world in terms of Plotinus' three hypostases (the one, nous, and the soul) and the process of emanation. Neoplatonism attempted to reconcile the two supposedly incompatible systems of Plato and Aristotle, by considering Aristotle's philosophy as an introduction to Plato's higher wisdom. This attitude led many Neoplatonists to comment extensively on both Plato and Aristotle and thus contributed greatly to the history of philosophy. Neoplatonism advocated polytheism and mysticism and had a favorable attitude toward theology. Hence it became the main opposition of early Christianity, which it directly attacked.” “Neoplatonism,” in Nicholas Bunnin and Jiyuan Yu, The Blackwell Dictionary of Western Philosophy, Oxford: Blackwell, 2004.

[18] Frances Yates, The Occult Philosophy of the Elizabethan Age, reprint ed., London and New York: Routledge, 2001, p. 30. Here is the apparent sense of Yate’s reference to Pico’s “Mathematical Conclusions”: “When Pico went to Rome in 1486 to publicly defend his 900 theses or intellectual propositions drawn from all philosophies, fourteen were conclusions ‘according to the mathematics of Pythagoras’ …Giovanni Pico della Mirandola regarded Pythagoras as a ‘wise man’, observing that according to Iamblichus ‘Pythagoras took the Orphic theology as a model’ after which he patterned and shaped his own philosophy. For that reason alone Pythagoras’ sayings were called ‘sacred’ because they derived from the ‘Orphic initiations’, from which flowed ‘the secret doctrine of numbers and whatever was great and sublime in Greek philosophy’.” Ariel Hessayon, “Gold Tried in the Fire”: The Prophet TheaurauJohn Tany and the English Revolution, Burlington, Vermont: Ashgate Publ., 2007, p. 339; archived online at <https://books.google.com/books?id=_wMRdH1w1ZsC&pg=PA339>; citing Giovanni Pico della Mirandola, On the Dignity of Man, Charles Glenn Wallis, transl., Paul J. W. Miller, ed., Indianapolis and New York: Bobbs-Merrill, 1965, pp. 15 and 33. (Note: “TheaurauJohn Tany” was the assumed name of the 17th-century English religious figure Thomas Totney.)

[19] For information about the Lord Mayor, see again Bell and Brandon, “Star Trek in Tenebris,” op. cit., <http://curveofbell.blogspot.com/2013/06/star-trek-in-tenebris_5.html>.

[20] “By Numbers, a way is had, to the searchyng out, and understandyng of euery thyng, hable to be knowen,” Giovanni Pico della Mirandola; quoted by Sir Henry Billingsley, transl., Euclid, The Elements of Geometrie, 1570; citing Conclusiones sive Theses DCCCC, Rome, 1486, 25, 35, no. 11.

[21] Hessayon, loc. cit..

[22] ‘On the Art of the Kabbalah,’ Hagenau, 1517.

[23] Hessayon, loc. cit. According to Frances Yates: “The kind of Cabala which Pico expounds in his seventy-two Cabalist Conclusions is a simplified version of Spanish Cabala. This fact alone is sufficient to indicate that this powerful influence on the Italian thinkers came from Spanish Jews, and was brought about through the disturbances in Spain which uprooted Spanish Jewry and led to the Expulsion of 1492 [by King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella]. Though Pico’s Cabalist Conclusions were formulated by 1486, some years before the actual date of the Expulsion, there seems little doubt that his instructors were Spanish Jews. Chief among them was the mysterious character known as Flavius Mithridates who provided Pico with Cabalist manuscripts. Pico certainly knew Hebrew fairly well, but would have been dependent on Jewish experts for interpreting these difficult sources. And it would seem that Flavius Mithridates encouraged Pico in the Christian interpretation of Cabala, even to the point of inserting into the texts interpolations of his own pointing in a Christian direction. What can have been Flavius’s motive in this encouraging and directing Pico towards his momentous adoption of Cabala into Christianity, as he understood it, remains a problem, and one which awaits further investigations by the Hebrew experts,” Yates, op. cit., p. 19.

[24]Ibid. Michael Hoffman rehearsed much of this history on his “Magic and Paganism in the Reign of Elizabeth I,” audio CD, <http://revisionisthistorystore.blogspot.com/2010/03/hoffmans-revisionist-history-store.html>.

[25] For information, see Thomas Greene “The 47th Proposition: The 47th Proposition of the 1st Book of Euclid as Part of the Jewel of a Past Master,” Ars Quator Coronatorum [transactions of the Quator Coronati Lodge, No. 2076], vol. xiv, 1901, London: United Grand Lodge of England, pp. 27-30; archived online at the Grand Lodge of British Columbia and Yukon, <http://www.freemasonry.bcy.ca/aqc/1901/euclid.html>.

[26] George Thornburgh, Masonic Monitor of the Degrees of Entered Apprentice, Fellow Craft, and Master Mason: Together with the Ceremony of Receiving Visitors, Instituting and Constituting Lodges, Installation, Laying CornerStones, Dedications, Masonic Burials, and Lodge of Sorrow, Little Rock, Ark.: G. Thornburgh, 1909, p. 70; archived online at <https://books.google.com/books?id=G09EAQAAMAAJ&pg=PA70>. “What was there in the discovery of this [i.e., the 47th Problem] that should have given such joy to our ancient friend and brother Pythagoras? From time immemorial, buildings have been constructed as rectangles, which, to be true, must have a perfect angle of 90° in each corner. To erect these angles was the great problem of the Master Mason of ancient times. To the Master only was given the secret by means of which a perfect angle could always be formed. This secret was usually communicated by means of three rods, bearing the relation of 3, 4, and 5. When these three rods were joined together, their ends touching, a right angle was always formed,” “The Swastika in Masonry,” John. H. Brownell, Arthur Maurice Smith, Joseph E. Morcombe, Richard Pride and George T. Campbell, The American Tyler-Keystone: Devoted to Freemasonry and Its Concordant Orders, vol. 24, Ann Arbor, Mich.: Tyler Publ. Co.; J. H. Brownell, 1909-1910, p. 363; archived online at <https://books.google.com/books?id=aSznAAAAMAAJ&pg=PA363>.

[27] “And it’s because of this tilt that we have seasons here on Earth,” Fraser Cain, “Earth’s Axis,” Universe Today, Dec. 8, 2009, <http://www.universetoday.com/47176/earths-axis/>.

[28] “When the lines were named 2000 years ago, the Sun was in the constellation of Capricorn during the winter solstice and Cancer during the summer solstice (hence the names). Now due to the precession of the equinoxes the Sun is no longer in these constellations during these times, but the names remain.” Cathy Jordan, “What is the Significance of the Tropic of Cancer, Tropic of Capricorn, Arctic Circle and Antarctic Circle? (Beginner),” Ask anAstronomer, Cornell Univ., Jun. 27, 2015, <http://curious.astro.cornell.edu/physics/160-our-solar-system/the-earth/seasons/15-what-is-the-significance-of-the-tropic-of-cancer-tropic-of-capricorn-arctic-circle-and-antarctic-circle-beginner>.

[29] Guy Stanton Ford, ed., Compton’s Pictured Encyclopedia, vol. 8, Chicago: F. E. Compton, 1922, p. 3,862; archived online at <https://books.google.com/books?id=JlNHAQAAMAAJ&pg=PA3862>.

[30] This is the number accepted by scholars of all theological stripes. Academics more congenial to Christian church tradition typically credit 13 or 14 of the New Testament books to Paul.

[31] See The Bible, The Epistle to the Romans, chapt. 11, verse 13.

[32] See The Bible, The Book of the Acts of the Apostles, chapt. 13, verse 4 through chapt. 14, verse 28.

[33] Cuthbert Hamilton Turner, “Bible,” Hugh Chrisholm, ed., The Encyclopædia Britannica: A Dictionary of Arts, Sciences, Literature and General Information, 11th ed., vol. 3, Cambridge [U.K.] and New York: Univ. Press, 1910, p. 892; archived online at <https://books.google.com/books?id=3Jw3AQAAMAAJ&pg=PA892>.

[34] Jordan Hoffman, “One Trek Mind #46: Roddenberry... Beyond Star Trek,” Star Trek [dot] com, Oct. 24, 2012, <http://www.startrek.com/article/one-trek-mind-46-roddenberry-beyond-star-trek>. Too bad it wasn’t recorded under the title “One Trek Mind #47.” Dang it! Another factoid: Some accounts put the later Dead Sea Scroll discoveries in 1947.

[35] As part of his “case” for the number 23, Robert Anton Wilson noted that Ordo Templi Orientis (“Order of the Eastern Temple”) “magician” Aleister Crowley “began the study of magick [sic] in 1898, at the age of 23,” Wilson, “The 23 Phenomenon,” loc. cit. Since Crowley’s persona has retained its occult “aura,” I cannot resist observing that the “Great Beast” died on December 1 in 1947. (He was 72 years old, which number is important in Kabbalism.)

[36] Note that Vice Admiral Roscoe Henry Hillenkoetter, an early director of central intelligence, has also been named as a suspected member of the so-called “Majestic 12” group.

[37] Another avenue of research could revolve around November 14. On that date there are 47 days left in the year. I observe that compulsory school-integration began on a November 14. “On November 14, 1960, the nation watched as six-year-old Ruby Nell Bridges walked into William Frantz Elementary School and into history. A federal court ordered the New Orleans school system to desegregate, making Bridges the first African-American to attend the elementary school,” “Ruby Bridges: A Class of One,” News Hour, PBS, Feb. 18, 1997, <http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/social_issues-jan-june97-bridges_2-18/>. The symbolism of the name “Ruby Bridges” should probably not be overlooked. In a previous post, I reviewed the Dorothy’s “ruby slippers” and the JFK assassination’s Jack Ruby, in the light of a particular presentation of Michelle Obama wearing a ruby-colored dress. See Matthew J. Bell, “Al-O,” Bell Curve [weblog], Jan. 23, 2013, <http://curveofbell.blogspot.com/2013/01/al-o.html>.

[38] Nesta H. Webster, Secret Societies and Subversive Movements, London: Boswell, 1924; archived online at <http://www.gutenberg.org/files/19104/19104-0.txt>.

[39] New York: G. P. Putnam, 1960.

[40]Ibid., p. 153; archived online at <http://images.library.wisc.edu/HistSciTech/EFacs/Bestiary/M/WHITE157.jpg>.

[41] According to information presented by Itamar Rabinovich and Jehuda Reinharz, eds., Israel in the Middle East: Documents and Readings on Society, Politics, and Foreign Relations, Pre-1948 to the Present, Waltham, Mass: Brandeis Univ. Press; Hanover, N.H. and London: Univ. Press of New England, 2008, p. 424; archived online at <https://books.google.com/books?id=iVJR9UZnTVAC&pg=PA424>.

[42] “The Protocol entered into force on 16 February 2005 in accordance with Article 23…”, Status of Ratification of the Kyoto Protocol,” Framework Convention on Climate Change, United Nations, <http://unfccc.int/kyoto_protocol/status_of_ratification/items/2613.php>. The article number clearly deserved attention by those interested in the 23-phenomenon, which raises the possibility that one number might be a “gateway” to another.

[43] William B. Hopkins, The Pacific War: The Strategy, Politics, and Players that Won the War, Minneapolis, Minn.: Zenith Press; MBI Publ. Co., 2010 [orig. 2008], p. 328; archived online at <https://books.google.com/books?id=KixzKor30OMC&pg=PA328>.

[44] This was militarized and designated H-13 Sioux.

[45] One of these “disappeared” under mysterious circumstances, and carrying nuclear material.

[46] Whereas, e.g., 23s are perhaps quintessentially “Fortean,” 33s are characteristically “Masonic,” 22s and 72s are “Kabbalistic” and so on. Do the numbers have well-defined “spheres of influence”? Perhaps not. I would guess that investigators, should any care to look into the issue, would find that the number-symbols blend into each other at the edges.

[47]David Ray Griffin, Cognitive Infiltration, Northampton, Mass.: Olive Branch Press, 2011, p. 68. Cf. David Ray Griffin, 9/11 Ten Years Later: When State Crimes against Democracy Succeed, Northampton, Mass.: Oliver Branch Press; Interlink, 2011, p. 37; archived online at <https://books.google.com/books?id=xcYwQoLmht0C&pg=PA37>. Another interesting tangent might be the genetic angle. Persons with 47 chromosomes are supposed to be anomalous and are variously considered inferior or superior. I explored this theme a bit in my earlier 47-related post.

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