Alessandro Cagliostro

He was born Giuseppe Balsamo in Sicily in 1743. He became known as Joseph Balsamo. He studied the occult, alchemy, and magick. He was Jewish and his father took him to Catholic Order of St. John. There, he was expelled. He learned the Kabbalah. He created a Tarot deck. He escaped some troubles to Switzerland.

He had solid education, despite coming from a poor Jewish family. He learned Chemistry, among other things.

Balsamo convinced Vincezo Marano that there was gold in a cave in Mount Pellegino. He asked for 70 pieces of silver and he said he could get rid of the magical creatures that guard the cave. In the cave, Balsamo attacked Marano, who was convinced he was attacked by jinn.

Balsamo taught himself pharmacy. He became Secretary to Cardinal Orsini, while selling “magical Egyptian” amulets on the side.

He married Sarafina in 1768. He met with forger Aglati, who taught him how to forge letters, diplomas, and other official documents.

Balsamo met the famous Comte Saint Germain. He became physician to Ben Franklin, while he was in Paris. He became a Mason in 1776 in England. In 19781, he became member of Egyptian Freemasonry and then a leader. He convinced the Queen Marie Antoinette to deliver a diamond necklace to Prince Rohan. He had stole the diamond necklace. He was caught and stayed in Bastille for 9 months. He left for Switzerland. In Rome, he was charged to be a member of Freemasons, which was a serious charge at the time. He escaped to Ft. Leo where he died. Before his death, he met Casanova. He used stolen money to start maternity hospitals and orphanges. He helped the poor. The poor in France did not like him being in Bastille and started a revolt that became French Revolution. He died in 1795.



John Nelson Darby

Born 1800, his Irish family came to England where he was born. His middle name came from his godfather, Lord Admiral Nelson. He became an Anglican priest. He went to Ireland to convert Catholics to Anglicism. He revolted against the idea of having the new converts swear loyalty to King George IV. He resigned.

In 1827, he fell off a horse headlong. While recovering from his injuries in a hospital, he came up with his theology of Dispensationalism. He divided history to 7 ages. The last age was the End Times. He saw the telegraph as sure sign that he was living in the End Times. He founded Plimouth Brethren, an ultra-fundamentalist group. He came up with what fundamentalists called Pre-Tribulation Rapture, that is the true believers will go to Heaven before the big troubles come, The Tribulations.

In 1862, he came to America, hoping to convert people to the Plimouth Brethren, but was unsuccessful, but influenced lots of Christian sects, Millerianism still going strong in America. Americans were ready for End Times theology. The Baptists were the most reluctant. Cyrus Scofield was influenced and came out with the Scofield Bible. The biggest fundamentalist  seminar, Dallas Theological Seminar, adapted Darby’s Dispensational  theology. In turn, Hal Lindsey and Tim LaHaye were influenced by Darby, but none gave him any credit. Meanwhile, Anglican theologians said that Darby treated the Bible like a picture puzzle box and only he can put it together. He died in 1882 of the flu.


Addicted to Christianity?  Former Christians Say Yes and No… — THE MENDOCINO FREETHINKER

From Valerie Tarico A generation ago, most people—even those who were not religious—thought of religion as mostly beneficial or at least harmless. But these days opinions are more mixed—with good reason. On the political stage, conservative Christians quote chapter and verse to justify bigotries that they call religious freedom, while conservative Muslims quote chapter […]

via Addicted to Christianity?  Former Christians Say Yes and No… — THE MENDOCINO FREETHINKER


When I was in Mottville, our neighbors next door were our first friends. Later, I learned the couple was 16 years old when they were married and gave birth to their eldest, a daughter.

Her name was Julia. We called her Julie. Her Mom insisted we call her Bonnie. There was quite a few times Mom would babysit Julie.Bonnie must’ve thought my Mom with 5 children, what is one more? Mom needed the money.

There was a picture of my Mom with all the babies and her in an hairnet, sitting on a red velvet couch, like the one that Crosby, Stills, and Nash sat on in their first album. It can be pulled out to be a bed.

I hadn’t thought of Julie as more than a sister to me. Jeff, her brother, was born four years later.

She was born day after my twin brother and sister. They were four years younger than me.

About five years old, she developed a crush on me. I am nine. This was embarrassing to me. She followed me around like a puppy dog. Think of Linus and Sally in the Peanuts strip. Instead of “Big Baboo”, it was her growling out, “Lover boy.” How embarrassing! She might’ve heard her mom say that to her husband. I don’t know. First time Bonnie heard her say that, she thought I put her up to it.  I shrugged my shoulders, shook my head. Bonnie then understood that it was all Julie’s doing. She would laugh and said, “Well, Tom, looks like you got a girlfriend. Don’t worry, it won’t last long.”

Julie like to dress up like Jackie Kennedy, right down to the pillbox hat and white gloves. She knew my favorite color was red, so she be sure to wear red dress around me.

One time in summer night, we were playing in the dark, the outside light was on. We stopped to rest from our playing, I was sitting leaning against the house. She was next to me. I don’t know what possessed me, but I gave her a kiss on her lips. She was surprised! She hugged my arm and gave me a kiss back. She said, I know you love me, lover boy!”

Oh God, what’ve done? Now she was more determined to be with me.

Days later,on a Sunday, Bonnie came out to tell me to be sure and get Chris on the way.She knew I would act responsible and be sure my brothers and sisters and Julie won’t run out into the highway.

Bonnie described the house where Chris stayed. It was in middle of a woody lot. Julie said, “Tom, please don’t get Chris. She is mean and nasty.”

“Now Julie, I promised your Mom I will take her with us.”said I.” I don’t back off on a promise.”

We walked along the highway, past the Palomino Pony restaurant that was across the street. The Palomino Pony was owned by a crusty, one legged ex- merchant marine. The old seadog’s wife was named Palomino.

We went past the gas station, that years later Chris’ father owned it. We went to the brown bungalow that Chris lived. I knocked on the door and Chris’ Mom came out and said, “Oh, you must be Tom. Chris is ready for you.”

Chris was a bubbly girl. Julie was moody to see her. Chris walked beside me, but Julie kept jostling to be next to me. Julie had dark brown hair and hazel eyes. Chris had blonde hair and blue wide eyes.

We didn’t say much to each other in church. They divided us up by age. Afterwards, I gathered up my brothers and sisters and Julie and Chris to walk back to our homes. Chris went up the dirt road to her home. We lived by a gravel road. We didn’t say much, but Julie stayed beside me, like a signal to Chris to stay away from me.

Bonnie was right. A year later, Julie wasn’t interested in me and her family bought a house further away from me, and on same street. Chris would say hi to me, but didn’t talk to me as much as she did before.

Martin Luther,protestor

He was born poor years before Columbus sailed the ocean blue. He was in his teens when Christopher Columbus landed in Caribbean. His father thought he was smart enough to better his life, going to a university.lHe started out in law school, but after a bad storm, he dedicated himself to God. He joined the strict Augustinian order of monks.

He worried much about his sins. A fellow monk accused him of making up sins, so he can go to confessions. Martin was a brilliant student. He studied hard for theology. He became a popular teacher of theology, mainly because he brought lofty perspectives down to Earth.

One time a young man commited suicide. The parents came to Martin Luther to preside over the funeral, though others refused to. He said how sad a person was to take his own life. That God will judge his whole life. All human beings are full of faults.

Johann Tetzel was a piece of work. He convinced the Pope to create indulgences (absolving of sins by money and a piece of paper). It was to finance a crusade the Pope was organizing.

Martin Luther did not like this. It was like paying your way to Heaven.

It was said that while Martin Luther was in outhouse, that he came up  with his theology that was in conflict with the Pope. Only through faith in Jesus Christ can we go to Heaven. He wanted Bible written in common language, so everyone can read it. He thought everyone who read it would agree with him. He was wrong.

He hanged his 95 theses, that is statements on the church door on Halloween Day in 1519He was saying the Church must reform, hence historians called this age the Reformation Age. His movement was known as Protestant Movement, because he protested against the Church.

Martin Luther visited Rome once and was shocked how secular it was in the Vatican. He was more determined to change the Church.

The Holy Roman Emperor was related to Spanish King.Spain was enjoying the wealth from the New World.

Martin saw nothing holy in the crusades. War was for two reasons: To defend the nation or to acquire land for the nation.

Pope declared him as a heretic. Martin Luther declared the Pope as the Anti-Christ.Various German princes gave safety to Martin Luther.

John Calvin and Peter Zwingli also broke away from the Church. Martin declared them as heretics. They met in Switzerland and debated, all agreed to disagree.

They all ganged up on the Anabaptists.

Henry VIII defended the Church against Protestants, until his divorce.

Martin Luther, at first, cared about the Jews, and hoped they become his allies. But the Jews refused to side with Luther.So, he became increasingly anti-Semitic.

When peasants revolted against their masters, Luther, to their horror, took side with the masters. He abhorred chaos.

Martin Luther loved nature. He said the priests paid no more attention to Nature than a cow.



Babylon 360

Ancient Babylon had mathematics based on base60. Our mathematics is base10.

With base 60, we know how to divide a circle from 360 to 180 to 90 degrees.

Our calendar year has 12 months. Babylonians had 30 days for each month..Then, they add a month every 7 years. Their calendar is lunar based, ours is solar based.They had six days of work and seventh day rest. That was how the Jewish Sabbath came about.

There are 12 signs of zodiac, from the Babylonian astrology. They divided days into diurnals.They saw six planets.

There are 24 hours in a day,60 minutes in an hour,and 60 seconds in minute.12 inches in a foot,3 feet in a yard.The Babylonians had 12 major gods. The first demon was 9 headed Tiamat. We are influenced by Babylons’ base 60.

William Morris

English textiles were never the same after William Morris tackled them. He was also a poet, novelist, translator, socialist,pre-Raphaellite artist. He lived 1834-1896. He helped create modern fantasy literature.

He was trained as an architect, especially in neo-Gothic style. He designed his own home. He went to Oxford and learned interior decorator.He designed not only textiles, but also furniture,wallpaper fabrics and designs, and stained glass windows.

He had translated into English the Icelandic Sagas.He wrote Well at World’s End. and other writings.

He created Society of Protection of Ancient Buildings. He was a Luddite, an anarchist. He created Kelmscott Press to publish his own writings.

He was friends with Walter Scott. A gardener, Medievalist. He was also friends with Charles Kingsley,George MacDonald, Thomas Carlyle and Lord Tennyson.

He read Shakespeare plays,John Ruskin,John Keats,Thomas Malory, and Robert Browning.

He was a pacifist, a friend of Alfred Russel Wallace, and George Bernard Shaw.


Roy Chapman Andrews, inspiration for Indiana Jones

Roy Chapman Andrews (1884-1960) was an American explorer, adventurer, naturalist, and paleontologist.

In high school, he taught himself taxidermy and was great marksman.He went to Beloit College, not far from his birthplace. His taxidermy helped pay for his tuition in Beloit.

He applied to American Museum of Natural History in NYC. Was turned down, but he wanted to be there so bad, he took a janitor’s job at the taxidermy dept. He collected specimens for the dept.

Roy Chapman Andrews earned his Master of Arts at Columbia University in Mammology.1909-10, he sailed for East Indies collecting snakes and lizards. He, also, observed the sea mammals.

1913- He went to the Artic to get Bowhead whale, but ending up filming seals instead.

He married Yvette Borup in 1914.

1916-17, he and his wife went under auspices of Asiatic Zoology Expedition for the museum in western and southern Yunnan Province of China.

In 1920, he went to Mongolia and the Gobi Desert. He was searching for fossils.

1922- he found a fossil of Baluchtherium, a huge hornless Rhinoceros west of Peking. He went on to look for origins of Man (convinced modern man came from Mongolia). He found no fossilized human bones, but found dinosaur bones and fossilized Protoceratop eggs ( later, they turn out to be Velociraptors. He discovered Pinacosaurus,  Sauromithoids, Oviraptors, Velociraptors, and Andrewsarchus( named after him).

He found fossilized mammals, but no humans. He was convinced, though, that man came from Mongolia.

He stayed in Mongolia from 1922-28.

Andrews made a final trip to Mongolia in 1930.He found Mastodon bones. That same year, he divorced his wife. They had two sons.

Back in 1908, he joined the Explorers’ Club and served as its president  in 1931-34.

In 1927, he was honorary Boy Scout.

In 1934, he became director of the American Museum. He retired in 1942 and lived rest of his life at Carmel by the Sea, California.

Some say he was the inspiration for Indiana Jones.Also, Col Percy Fawcett.

Sir Richard Francis Burton, the explorer not the actor

Sir Richard Burton  was born 1821 and died in 1890. He was an British explorer. Not only that, he was a geographer, translator( he spoke 29 languages fluently), writer, soldier, orientalist, cartographer, ethnologist, spy, linguist, poet, and diplomat. He explored unknown areas in Africa, Asia, and South America that no white man been there before.

He was born in Torquey, Devon, England. His father was Lt. Col. Joseph Netterville Burton of 36th Regiment.

The Burton traveled a lot. Burton had an affair with a gypsy woman.From her, he learned Romani, the language of the gypsies.

He went to Oxford. He spent time learning fencing and falconry.

He enlisted in East India Co.He fought in the First Afghan War. He went on to Bombay, India.He learned various Indian languages.He also learned Persian and Arabic. He gone so native, his fellow soldier called him, “The White Nigger.”

He tamed monkeys.

Burton learned surveying while in Bombay.He worked as a spy, disguising himself as an Arab named  Mirza Abdullah. He spied on British soldiers who went to male brothels.His detailed report made some accused him of homosexuality.

He returned to England on sick leave,Wrote his first book on Goa, India. He traveled to Bologne, Franc where he met his future wife Isabell Arundell.

He joined the British Royal Geographical Society. He went back to explore India and Arabia. He studied Islam so well,he was able to join a Hajj to Mecca. The last European to do that was Ludovicia di Varthema in 1503.He wrote about the Hajj.He went on to Somalia. From there he went to Ethiopia.

Then he went and fought in The Crimean War.

Richard Burton went on to explore African Great Lakes: Lake Victoria, Lake Albert, and Lake Tanganyika.He discovered the source of the Nile.His accounts helped David Livingston and Henry Stanley. He went on the Congo River and found Them Mountains of the Moon.

Then, he went to Brazil.

He translated Kama Sutra, 1,001 Nights, and The Perfumed Garden.

Wlliam Morris, Victorian Renaissance Man

William Morris(1834-1896) was an Englishman who was a textile designer, poet, fantasy novelist,translator, socialist, Pre-Raphaelite painter, architect. He started training as an architect. He helped established modern fantasy, which influenced Tolkien and C.S. Lewis. Went to Oxford. He designed his own house, Red House.He learned to be interior decorator,fabrics,furniture, and stained glass windows. He created Kelmscott Manor from exiting old house.He translated Icelandic Sagas with his friend Erick Magnusson after a visit to Iceland.

He created Society of Protection of Ancient Buildings, because of his obsession with Medieval times. He was a non-violent Luddite, fighting against modern industrial age.

From Kelmscott Manor, he self-published using his own press Kelmscott Press. He read Charles Kingsley,George MacDonald,Walter Scott,Thomas Carlyle,Lord Tennyson, Shakespeare, John Ruskin, John Keats, Thomas Maloy, and Robert Browning.

He was a pacifist and  supporter of Alfred Russel Wallace, the naturalist.He became friends with George Bernard Shaw. Also, Peter Kroptkin and Frederick Engels.His designs on wallpaper became popular in Victorian England.