Disclaimer: It should be clearly understood that Baconiana is a medium for the discussion of subjects connected with the Objects of the Society, but the Council does not necessarily endorse opinions expressed by contributors or correspondents.
The Online Journal of the Francis Bacon Society
Volume 1 | Number 5
Edited by Dave Patrick
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Having been invited to take over the Editorship of Baconiana with effect from April 2013, I am delighted that such a range of quality contributions has been compiled for this issue. It is now over three years since the previous issue was published (February 2011); it is my hope that Society Members will share my view that it has been worth the wait for this new edition!
Perhaps a few words of introduction might be in order here. It would be fair to say that my style of Editorship will differ markedly from previous incumbents, primarily because my immersion in Baconian matters has occurred relatively recently. It came as a direct result of being Editor of a book published to mark the 150th anniversary of the birth of Sherlock Holmes’ creator Sir Arthur Conan Doyle on 22 May 2009 – ‘The View: From Conan Doyle to Conversations With God‘ (Polair Publishing, 2009). From there Polair Publishing Chief Editor Colum Hayward, grandson of White Eagle Lodge Founders Grace and Ivan Cooke and a previous speaker at Francis Bacon Society events, invited me to edit a follow up book to commemorate the 450th anniversary of Sir Francis Bacon’s birth on 22 January 2011. This was to become ‘The View Beyond: Sir Francis Bacon – Alchemy, Science, Mystery’ (Polair Publishing, 2011).
This publication led to invitations to give a couple of Talks to the Francis Bacon Society, ‘Is Now the Time for Bacon’s Hidden Messages to be Revealed? – A Personal Journey of Mystery, Synchronicity and Spiritual Unfoldment’ (September 2011) and ‘Further Synchronistic Adventures Encompassing ‘The Cathar View’, Bacon’s Science and An Update on the Bruton Vault Mystery’ (December 2012). The more recent Talk incorporated research undertaken for the third book in what has become ‘The View’ series, ‘The Cathar View: The Mysterious Legacy of Montségur’ (Polair Publishing, 2012). What has been fascinating has been the uncovering of interwoven strands of knowledge from different periods of history, all pointing towards a potential elevation in human consciousness in these current times. And all, rather remarkably, being connected by the White Eagle Lodge evolution since its foundation in 1936, exactly fifty years after that of the Francis Bacon Society in 1886.
And so to the current issue of Baconiana. We open with an insightful article by Susan Sheridan on a visit to the Senate House Library at the University of London undertaken with the Editor in December 2013 where we were delighted to discover that not only are books in the Francis Bacon Society collection being well looked after but that they are also easily accessible to Society Members via agreed protocols with the Library. Our thanks to Jonathan Harrison, Head of Special Collections at Senate House Library, for showing us round and explaining the necessary procedures.
Another article of immediate practical significance has been contributed by young actor Briony Rawle on How the Works of Francis Bacon Can Help the Modern Actor. The information contained in this narrative gives useful advice for present day actors as the title suggests; it also provides some deeper insights into how Bacon’s philosophy and its application is ideally suited to inform contemporary theatrical stage productions. Bacon’s legacy lives on!
The spiritual aspects of Bacon’s philosophy are explored by actor and writer Mark Finnan, attendance at whose Talk on Oak Island in June 2010 was my first involvement with the Francis Bacon Society. In Bacon and Spiritual Consciousness, Mark explores the “…transcendental nature of Bacon’s thought…” as a way to shed light on the various mysteries associated with him, including Oak Island and Bruton Vault (of which more later).
Not long after the publication of ‘The View Beyond’ I stumbled upon a remarkable electronic publication freely available on the internet by Richard Allan Wagner entitled ‘The Lost Secret of William Shakespeare’. Centred on the Winchester Mystery House in Southern California, Richard has revealed that far from being a folly whose construction was initiated by Winchester Rifle Company heiress Sarah Winchester, it is in fact an architectural encodement of Bacon’s higher mathematics designed to lead us to higher levels of consciousness. Richard’s contribution to this issue of Baconiana is The Real Othello, inviting the reader to contemplate the true origins of the name. There then follows a review of ‘The Lost Secret of William Shakespeare’ by his Baconian colleague and compatriot James Loren.
It had been my intention to include an update on my ongoing Bruton Vault research plus an article on the cryptanalysis work of William and Elizebeth Friedman regarding their so-called “debunking” of the “Bacon as Shakespeare” argument through the publication of their book ‘The Shakespearean Ciphers Examined: An analysis of cryptographic systems used as evidence that some author other than William Shakespeare wrote the plays commonly attributed to him’, first published in 1957. However, because both these research initiatives are “works in progress” and intertwined, together with my plans to conduct a field research trip to Bruton Vault in Williamsburg, Virginia, later this year on behalf of the Society, I have decided to postpone the publication of new information on these subjects until after the research trip has been concluded.
Instead I have republished a couple of articles pertaining to Bruton Vault which in a sense “sets the scene” regarding the enduring mystery surrounding this location, its complex history and the possible contents of Bruton Vault and how it relates to the Baconian legacy. The first is my own article, written in collaboration with fellow dowser Mark Harris and first published in ‘The View Beyond’ in 2011. The context is a synthesis of the mysteries of Bruton Vault and Oak Island, together with a reflection on Bacon’s ‘New Atlantis’ and what it might mean for contemporary society. It is very much a “snapshot in time”, although it has created a reasonably firm foundation for continuing investigation into these topics.
The second is a two-part article The Buried Secret of Bruton Churchyard by Albert Stuart Otto, initially published in Baconiana in 1951. It appears to be the only previously published article in Baconiana on the subject of Bruton Vault, according to A M Challinor’s ‘A Subject and Author Index to BACONIANA 1886-1999′. The compelling aspect concerning this article is that it is written from a perspective relatively close in time to Marie Bauer’s excavation of Bruton Churchyard in 1938, with the added benefit that the author was able to spend time in Marie Bauer’s company and obtain information directly from the source. Marie Bauer, who later married esoteric writer and researcher Manly P Hall, wrote ‘Quest for Bruton Vault’ which was eventually published in 1984. Right up to her death aged 100 in 2005 she campaigned unsuccessfully (there were two excavations in 1991, one official and one unofficial, with Marie Bauer Hall insisting that the official dig had been deliberately conducted at the wrong location within the churchyard) to have a follow up excavation undertaken, and several groups and individuals continue to argue the case for a comprehensive archaeological dig to be carried out.
Norwegian researcher Petter Amundsen, producer of the documentary ‘Sweet Swan of Avon’ and whose research has uncovered apparent codes and ciphers in various of the plays and sonnets of Shakespeare pointing to a Baconian hidden hand at work, brings us Sir Francis and the New Temple of God. This follows the publication of his excellent 2012 Kindle book, ‘Oak Island and the Treasure Map in Shakespeare’, which I would recommend wholeheartedly to any serious Baconian researcher seeking to enhance their own research endeavours.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank Chairman Peter Welsford for his help and encouragement in getting me involved more deeply with the Francis Bacon Society, including invitations to give presentations to the Society and to become Editor of Baconiana. It is indeed a privilege to be entrusted with this role and I hope I will be able to do it justice. Peter has not been enjoying the best of health recently but I am glad to have been able to visit him at his home in Pangbourne on a regular basis, to coincide with the quarterly Society talks. My most recent visit was just a few days ago and I am pleased to report that Peter’s enthusiasm for Sir Francis Bacon, and life in general, remains undiminished.
On a final note, the relevance of Sir Francis Bacon’s philosophy in helping us address the challenges facing today’s society should be plain for all to see. He stood for a future world, set out in ‘New Atlantis’ (1627), which would be structured for the benefit of all, not just the favoured few. Is it too much to dream that Bacon’s time has at last come…?
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Submissions of articles for consideration in the next issue of Baconiana should be emailed to the webmaster at email@example.com
The Editor would also like to hear from anyone with information on key areas of research focus, especially Bruton Vault, Oak Island and the cryptanalysis work of William and Elizebeth Friedman (please use the email address above).
A Visit to Senate House Library
by Susan Sheridan
SELLING THEIR FIRST FOLIOS??
At the 2013 Autumn meeting of the Francis Bacon Society at Mary Bramall’s flat, we fell into discussion about the whereabouts and safety of our special collection of FBS books, housed we knew in Senate House, within the University of London. In the National news that week had been the horrible prospect of London University threatening to sell off their First Folios, housed in Senate House. Fortunately they changed their minds after huge pressure from both academia and the general public. However it prompted discussion amongst members at this meeting to go about checking out our own collection of precious books, begun by the society over a hundred years ago. How safe was it? Would they think of selling it too? We were concerned that our precious books might have been forgotten… stored in crates in the archives…or being sidelined… in a damp basement…
Added to that, we knew that the Durning Lawrence Library no longer housed his collection since university refurbishments had taken place, we were concerned that this collection too might be lying, forgotten somewhere…unwanted…
Or maybe that was just me, being over-imaginative. Of course all our fears were completely dispelled. On the contrary, both collections are much loved, highly protected, on pristine shelves, in specially controlled conditions, and generally in a much better condition than they would be on any ordinary bookshelves! Added to that expert librarians are on hand to retrieve them for a researcher or FBS member, then take them up to a reading room on the fourth floor where there are special stands to rest them for reading.
OUR VISIT TO SENATE HOUSE
All this we discovered on December 10th 2013. Dave Patrick and I had arranged to visit Senate House to see the Francis Bacon Society collection and the Durning Lawrence collection. And there they were, housed in a climate-controlled basement room in Senate House, highly protected. Only with a high security pass were we allowed through and into the basement world of this very valuable and special book collection.
We were accompanied by the Head of Special Collections, Jonathan Harris, who couldn’t have been more charming, or willing to assist. We felt that he really appreciated us coming in – as if the books had been rather forgotten, not by them but by us, and we were validating their very existence. Once down in the basement we were allowed into what are really vaults, temperature-controlled, and of course, protected against fire, war, bombs – these vaults are pretty indestructible. As we descended into this underworld we passed a heavily bolted door, like a giant safe with great combination locks. I asked what it housed – the family silver perhaps? ‘Well yes’, came the answer, with a wry smile, ‘our most precious possessions…the First Folios’. The irony. Jonathan had been totally opposed to the idea of selling these priceless editions – especially as most of them are now at the Folger Library in Washington - and we told him that it was the fear of them being sold that had galvanized us into coming to check out our own precious collections. [Now we know that they couldn’t be in safer hands].
And with another swipe of his electronic key we were in. We were shown into a huge vault containing row upon row of bookshelves, all very close together, but to allow for expansion each shelf unit has at its end a powered wheel that is turned to open up the area. It is not unlike being in a submarine! Once the wheel has been turned you are then able to walk down between the shelves to peruse the books. There are safety mechanisms in place that protect anyone from being squashed whilst searching amongst the titles!
‘FRANCIS BACON SOCIETY’
And it was seeing these titles that reduced Dave and myself into excited children as we walked down the first row of the FBS designated area. We discovered books we’d heard about but never seen, books that had belonged to (and presumably influenced) those famous early names of the Francis Bacon Society, Alfred Dodd, Delia Bacon, Mrs Potts and latterly Martin Pares, Edward Johnson, and many others, all of whom had donated their personal collections to the Society. When the great Baconian, Edward Durning Lawrence, donated his collection to the Society a room was created on the fourth floor at Senate House especially to house them. This library was, until recently, still accessible to all members of the Society, now the room has been turned into a research and study room, but keeps the name ‘Durning Lawrence’.
THE READING ROOM
We were then taken up to the Reading Room, where Jonathan treated us to some books of the Early Modern period, believed to have marginalia by Francis Bacon himself. One was Livy’s History’– how wonderful to think it might have been the very edition owned and read by Bacon. Another was Thomas Littleton’s Tenures – dated 1591. This is a legal work relating to Land Rights and Freehold Estates – all of which Francis Bacon would have researched in his capacity as a lawyer. We were also shown a 1601 edition of Bacon’s own work, Advancement of Learning – perhaps an edition he himself owned! This was indeed an exciting day. There is so much to be gained by researching these very special books.
That afternoon I returned to the Reading Room. Having been shown how to read through the catalogue (which can be done in the comfort of your own home first) I then ordered up some books from that vault we had visited earlier. You don’t have to wait too long – but then you can only look at them one at a time, at a special reading desk. As with the British Library, you can only make notes with pencil, and all bags have to be put in a locker. However you can have your phone or camera handy; they will also photocopy anything for you.
My books of choice were from the FBS Collection and included a Spedding, Philip Sidney’s The Sidneys of Penshurst, Bacon, Shakespeare and Tobie Matthew by William Smith, and Parker Woodward’s Tudor Problems, all of which relate in some way to my research into Bacon and the Wilton Circle. I cannot wait to return and have another joyous day with these rare and wonderful books, and encourage other members of the Society to enjoy the experience too…
How The Works of Francis Bacon Can Help the Modern Actor
By Briony Rawle
“Truth is the sovereign good of human nature.”
Francis Bacon was born in 1561, three years before William Shakespeare and shortly before the theatre boom in London which was to propel the latter to fame. Although published sources suggest that Bacon was not directly involved with the theatre, he was known as a theatrical personality and a gifted orator, and his sense of theatrics, together with his philosophy of collaboration and his fascination with concealment and disguise, has been cited as evidence that he was, in fact, the true author of the Shakespeare works.
Bacon himself played many ‘characters’ during his life, from concealed poet to the founder of modern science, and N.B. Cockburn goes so far as to say in The Bacon Shakespeare Question that Bacon would have made “a first class actor.” He had excellent communication skills (“No man ever spake more neatly, more presly” – Ben Jonson), a “strong observation of life” (Mark Rylance, former Artistic Director of the Globe Theatre) and a clear understanding of theatrical effect. He describes performances in the theatres of Bensalem in his fictional utopian work, The New Atlantis, that are full of juggling, disguises and illusions, and showed a thorough grasp of cunning rhetoric; he advocates secrecy and dissembling as a device to keep people’s interest while speaking, (“for who will open himself to a blab or babbler?”) and describes a method of breaking off mid-sentence in order to whet the interlocutor’s appetite of which Othello’s pre-eminent rhetorician Iago would be proud. Bacon even advocated ‘stage playing’ for the improvement of voice, carriage, and confidence. He could easily be counted in the number of those whose lives are, in his own words, “as if they played perpetually upon the stage,” a phrase which echoes Shakespeare’s famous ‘All the world’s a stage’ speech from As You Like It, and on observing Bacon’s theatrical mannerisms it is easy to see how the question arose as to whether he was indeed a concealed playwright.
Whether or not this is indeed the case, Bacon’s published writings show a mission and a philosophy very closely aligned with the teachings of many theatre practitioners about the modern profession of acting. I myself am an actor, recently trained at Drama Centre London, and in this article I will be examining how Bacon’s writings could help actors like me based on the training I received there, which is in turn based in part upon the teachings of the great theatre practitioner Konstantin Stanislavski.
The birth of Drama Centre as a radical offshoot of an established London school occurred within a context of revolution in theatre practice at the time, where ‘kitchen-sink drama’ was replacing the well-made play. The movement first began with Stanislavski, the first Naturalist practitioner, in the late nineteenth century, when he argued that theatre should depict ‘real life’, and that accordingly, actors should act truthfully as far as was possible onstage. This revolution could be seen as the theatrical equivalent to Bacon’s planned ‘Great Instauration’: a “regeneration and renewal of all arts and sciences.” Uta Hagen, another theatre practitioner whose teaching derives from Stanislavski’s, claims that “It is in the nature of the artist to revolt against the status quo” and by this definition we can certainly count Francis Bacon, along with Stanislavski and the founders of Drama Centre, as a true artist. Bacon writes in his Novum Organum that “An instauration must be made from the very foundations, if we do not wish to revolve forever in a circle” and this is exactly what Stanislavski wished for the theatre in order to sever it entirely from its stagnation in flamboyant theatricality, cheap stage tricks and melodrama. Bacon’s Great Instauration and the revolution begun by Stanislavski share a common goal: “that humankind might know and practise truth.”
The idea of the Great Instauration has been described as “a return to […] a state of pure and sinless contact with nature” and this is precisely the way in which an actor should approach a new character; accessing the true nature of the character, unbiased by the actor’s attitude or by other external factors. Both Bacon and Stanislavski, in their respective fields, prioritise the search for real truth; as Stanislavski’s teachings dictate, “Every actor should feel, really feel, what he is portraying.” This is achieved by the use of several methodical tools and by the use of the actor’s own memories and experiences, in a practice termed ‘emotion memory’. Uta Hagen echoes this rule, urging an actor (in her own idiosyncratic New York writing voice) to study the truth of his part until he is “wearing the pants” of the character. Although, as quoted above, Bacon’s utopian Bensalem in The New Atlantis allowed feats of illusion in its theatres, its inhabitants “hate all impostures, and lies” and would rather see “any natural work or thing […] pure as it is, and without all affectation of strangeness.” Bacon certainly did not advocate the suppression of human creativity and imagination, but advocated the “love-making or wooing” of truth and, in words which evoke Polonius’ famous maxim to Laertes in Hamlet, he advises, “Let him be true to himself.”
Indeed, in the third Act of Hamlet we find Hamlet giving the players some excellent advice on acting which centres around this notion of truth. Hamlet urges the actors to “suit the action to the word, the word to the action” and to “o’erstep not the modesty of nature” while earlier on in the text he marvels at how one of the players had convinced himself so utterly of his own conceit that tears came to his eyes. It is clearly truth which is the most enduring facet of performance, and so an actor must study the means of achieving this if they are to succeed.
For an actor, the achievement of truth can only come of rigorous, logical study before even beginning to rehearse, and this is another point at which an actor could take advice from Francis Bacon. Bacon has been called the ‘father’ of modern science for ushering in the age of thorough investigation and provable truth in science. Where before philosophy and the sciences simply, as he claimed, “[floated] in the air,” Bacon established a method of investigation where scientific discovery was documented, verifiable and based upon experimentation and experience. In his utopian New Atlantis, new material is gathered by field researchers and then documented, then experiments are performed by experimenters and the results recorded by compilers. From this, scientists decide which new experiments to carry out, and direct their fellows to conduct these experiments. From this process, the scientists discover axioms and aphorisms: that which can confidently be called ‘fact’.
Every actor should have a ‘method’ of analysing a character and their motives, which follows a logical sequence like that put forward by Bacon for the regulation of scientific discovery. Adherence to a system gives an actor a strong basis of research drawn directly from the text, and prevents them from simply going onstage, speaking the lines in what sounds like a natural way, and crudely aping reality. If an actor strays from their method they are liable to begin ‘playing a state’, where they cease to live onstage because they have stopped pursuing their character’s goals. For example, it would be easy for the actress playing the unfortunate Helena at the beginning of A Midsummer Night’s Dream to simply pout and sigh and act as if she has some general grievance (Sir Ian McKellen once described this as “painting one’s lines in a colour called sadness”), but it is far more stageworthy and truthful if Helena always has a reason to stay talking to Hermia, and the actor discovers these reasons through their preliminary research. Bacon’s statesman character in Of Love and Self Love states, “I would not have him take the alarm from his own humour, but from the occasion,” showing that in real life action is achieved by remaining reactive to one’s situation and not simply responding according to one’s mood or prior decisions: excellent advice for any actor.
All this is designed to eliminate generalisation and imprecision, something which Bacon’s scientific revolutionising achieved in his own field. He rejected ‘deductive’ philosophy in favour of more concrete ‘inductive’ experimentation and advocated study with the caveat that it should lead to practical use and not to sloth or affectation. Similarly, although actors should pay close attention to their research it is important not to get “bogged down” in the theory, and to experiment freely in rehearsals with a backing of solid text-based work.
One of Bacon’s defining characteristics was an interest in the world and a sense of curiosity, two extremely important criteria for a successful actor. It is telling that in what could be read as a picture of his ‘perfect’ world, The New Atlantis, there is a heavy emphasis placed upon foreign exploration and the assimilation of knowledge gathered from the far corners of the earth into Bensalem’s own philosophies. To this end, Bacon advocated boldness and innovation – fearlessness in the face of taking risks, another essential characteristic of a good actor. Drama students are encouraged to try out scenarios of their own devising for their tutors during their training, to be sometimes harshly criticised, in order to learn the importance of innovating and to learn by experiencing rather than by watching, reading or listening. Just as these students are discouraged from making unfounded decisions about characters and deciding how a character feels in a certain situation without experiencing it personally, Bacon argued for avoiding preconceived ideas about the world around us; “The world is not to be narrowed till it goes into the understanding; […] but the understanding to be expanded and opened till it can take in the image of the world as it is in fact.”
Essential to Bacon’s philosophy was the idea of community, collaboration and communication. Few institutions rely more heavily upon these principles than the theatre, and so we find another junction where Bacon’s path crosses with that of the actor. There is a spirit of collaborative performance in The New Atlantis, where the society of Bensalem, in which every person has his or her role to play, is slowly unveiled to the newcomers, like a play going up before an audience on its first night. Like the inhabitants of Bensalem, Stanislavski insists that every member of the cast and crew in a theatre is a “co-creator of the performance.” Bacon worked with the idea in mind of a worldwide brotherhood, and particularly a brotherhood of those interested in science, working alongside each other and sharing knowledge, for the betterment of society. However, he also valued personal friendships, writing in his essay, Of Friendship, “There is no greater desert or wilderness than to be without true friends.”
Accordingly, Bacon also warned against selfishness and egotism in a similar way to Stanislavski. Though Bacon was in favour of young people being ambitious in the pursuit of honour, he believed that “The winning of honour is but the revealing of a man’s virtue and worth” and that it is wiser to seek merit than fame. In The Wisdom of the Ancients he assails our intrinsic tendency to egotism and greed; he interprets the story of Narcissus, who turned to stone with staring at his beauty in a fountain, as a warning against vanity, and the story of Atalanta and Hippomenes as a metaphor for artists being distracted from art by the promise of material gain. He criticises those who are ‘puffed up’ by the arts and warns that there is no group of people more envious of each other than ‘artificers’. Vanity is continually warned against in Stanislavski’s textbook, An Actor’s Work, where, for example, his fictional tutor Tortsov has to tell Varya, one of his students, “Shakespeare didn’t write The Taming of the Shrew so that a student called Varya could show off her little arms and legs and flirt with her admirers.” Even Hamlet himself criticises those with a tendency to upstage their fellow actors: a “villainous” and “pitiful ambition”.
It could also be useful for actors to take note of Bacon’s ‘four idols’, which, he said, block man’s ability to discover truth by creating a smokescreen of assumed or received false knowledge.
Idols of the Tribe
These, he says, are assumptions that we make about the world around us using the judgement of our five senses, which “bear reference to man and not to the universe.” Stanislavski discusses how an actor must manipulate his/her own senses into producing images in the mind upon the command of words:
Nature has so arranged it that when we are in verbal communication with others we first see the word on the retina of the mind’s eye and then we speak of what we have seen. If we are listening to others we first take in through the ear what they are saying and then we make the mental picture of what we have just heard. To hear is to see what is spoken of, to speak is to draw verbal images. To an actor a word is not just a sound, it is the evocation of images.
Although we may be deceived by the information gathered by our senses, it is nonetheless essential to keep them sharpened by living what Bacon described as a ‘Vitem Vitalem’ – a healthy, vital life; to indulge our senses with new experiences and to care for our body.
Idols of the Den
Idols of the den result from our personal habits, preferences and specialisms, predicated by our personalities. For example, a scientist whose natural interest bends towards the study of chemistry might interpret a phenomenon through the lens of the chemistry involved, rather than looking at it objectively. In the same way, an actor who is particularly adept with comedy and one whose talent lies more towards tragedy might interpret a scene or a monologue in two very different ways. In the theatre, and particularly in Shakespeare, this potential for wildly differing interpretations is part of the joy – it gives us the ability to choose, for example, whether we prefer Kevin Spacey’s Richard III or Mark Rylance’s or Ian McKellen’s, or even not to choose but to appreciate each for its own merits. However, an actor has to be careful not to impose his or her own prejudices upon a character; as mentioned above, Stanislavski’s system of continually seeking what it is that the character wants returns the actor to the text and prevents any stylistic affectations being attached to the character with no basis in the writing.
Idols of the Market
Here, Bacon criticises the careless and inaccurate use of words, where continual bandying of words between people without care as to their specific meaning leads to words taking on significances over and above that which they actually define. This is a particular danger when studying acting systems, as many systems use similar terms to describe different things. For example, the term ‘beat’, which we use for a section of a scene, actually derives from a mishearing of Stanislavski’s term ‘bit’ due to his thick Russian accent. Through subsequent mishearings the term has now changed and carries with it a different significance. Likewise, some directors use ‘tools’, ‘tactics’ or ‘activities’ to describe what an actor might call ‘actions’ and an actor must be prepared to adapt their understanding to incorporate these differences in language. As Stanislavski warns his students in An Actor’s Work, “Who knows what kind of directors or what kind of theatres you will have to work in?”
Idols of the Theatre
This phenomenon is aptly named, as it occurs frequently in the theatre industry and could be important for an actor to beware of. Bacon describes the muddying of knowledge by those who formulate great philosophies based upon inadequate experimentation, and then disseminate these philosophies as if they are fact. While Bacon is describing here a ‘theatre’ of international scientific study, we in the ‘theatre’ as it is known today must also be careful of assigning too much weight to individually devised philosophies. There are many systems and methods of acting that have been purported to have brought about a revolution in acting, many of them carefully formulated and theatrically sound, but there are also many other modish, incomplete and hastily written theories followed by those whom Stanislavski calls ‘false disciples’ who sample acting methods without taking the time to digest and understand them fully.
Bacon was keen to stamp out these four problems, as he felt that if it were possible to do so, the benefit might extend out beyond simply the improvement of scientific study, and contribute to the general betterment of society. The first way in which he saw this being implemented was through the “torture” of nature (rather in the sense of ‘stretching’ than ‘causing to suffer’!) for “the endowment of life with new inventions and riches.” Theatre also strives to achieve this in its own sense, imagining new worlds and lives and stretching our view of nature to create new images of the ‘riches’ it could conceivably produce.
I believe, however, that theatre’s greatest mission is to evoke empathy in society and to go some way to mapping the complexities of human nature. Bacon had a natural interest in the human condition and wrote many essays on different emotions such as Envy, Love and Anger. Indeed, it was his wish to create a new kind of science dedicated solely to the study of the human condition, and his attention to the passions makes for illuminating reading for an actor keen to understand why people behave and feel as they do. Uta Hagen describes theatre as a “crucial social offering,” and it is this spirit that drove Bacon’s crusade, as he urged scientific study on towards investigating absolutely every last corner of our planet, seeking out anything as yet undiscovered that might offer greater comfort and harmony to the human race. Bacon’s writing is rich with useful material for actors simply because he shared the fundamental goals of the modern theatre: “Generosity, enlightenment, dignity, splendour, piety, and public spirit.”
Bacon and Spiritual Consciousness
by Mark Finnan
While much is known about Francis Bacon’s life-long interest in the advancement of learning, the acquisition of knowledge and his experiments in the natural world, all of which has had impact on our lives today, relatively little attention has been given to the spiritual influences, internal and external, that affected Bacon’s own consciousness, shaped his character and informed his work. While the founders of the Francis Bacon Society believed that his pursuit of knowledge was as much about spiritual renewal as it was about developing a scientific approach to revealing nature’s secrets or initiating a literary renaissance, this aspect of Bacon’s life and work seems to have, in the last few decades at least, taken second place to the intellectually intriguing and enticing exercise of discovering and deciphering codes related to the Shakespeare authorship question. Yet, as no less a figure than the late Manley Palmer Hall has pointed out, we need to look at the transcendental nature of Bacon’s thought if we wish to shed light on this and other mysteries associated with him, including on Oak Island, Nova Scotia and at Bruton Parish Church in Colonial Williamsburg…
So, in this article I merely wish to cover that ground by drawing attention to some of what Bacon himself said and wrote on the matter and also to what has been said of him by some of those who have studied his life and work in this regard and written about it.
In this extract from his preface to The Great Instauration Bacon, for whom learning was illumination and a gift from the Father of Lights, leaves us in no doubt that his thirst for greater knowledge of the human condition and his explorations into what he called the world of second causes was not divorced from his abiding belief in the divine and the existence of an invisible First Cause. ‘At the outset of this work I most humbly and fervently pray to God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost, that remembering the sorrows of mankind and the pilgrimage of this our life wherein we wear out days few and evil, they will vouchsafe through my hands to endow the human family with new mercies. This likewise I humbly pray, that things human may not interfere with things divine, and that from the opening of the ways of sense and the increase of natural light there may arise in our minds no incredulity or darkness with regard to the divine mysteries.’ In his desire to foster a greater knowledge of God’s creation Bacon, true to character, called for the ‘cultivation of truth in charity.’ This generosity of spirit exists throughout all of his work and his entire life. Rightly did Ben Johnson, who knew him well, claim that Bacon was ‘the embodiment of virtue.’
The most knowledgeable source of information about Francis Bacon’s character and his visionary intellect is his private chaplain and close friend William Rawley, to whom Bacon bequeathed his papers. According to Rawley, who was later appointed chaplain to King Charles I and King Charles II, Bacon was a man ‘free from malice; he was no revenger of injuries; he was no defamer of any man; but would always say the best that could be said of any person, even an enemy.’ Rawley, with help from Bacon’s former private secretary Thomas Meautys and others, devotedly spearheaded the work that resulted in the publication of many of Bacon’s manuscripts, some of which remained unfinished, following Bacon’s death in 1626.
One was the English version of New Atlantis, Bacon’s most spiritually-infused literary work. In it he presents his vision of an advanced civilization, in which scientific understanding and application complements enlightened religious belief and practice in the creation of a future utopia.
Not surprisingly it has been speculated that this visionary work influenced the philosophical and political framework on which the new nation of the United States of America was built. We know that Bacon was involved in the establishment of early colonies in the new world and was considered by Thomas Jefferson, among others, to have contributed greatly to the welfare of mankind.
In 1657 Rawley further honoured Bacon’s wishes and memory with the publication of Resuscitatio which, apart from bringing Bacon’s other writings to public attention, contained an account of his life. Rawley, who wrote from years of personal observation, said ‘I have been induced to think that if there was a beam of knowledge derived from God upon any man in these modern times, it was upon him. For though he was a great reader of books, yet he had not his knowledge from books, but from some grounds and notions from within himself; which, notwithstanding, he vented with great caution and circumspection.’
So when Bacon, whose worldview grew from his deep knowledge of the Bible, his extensive philosophical studies and his respect for subjective reflection as much as for objective analysis, said of himself ‘My purpose is to try whether I cannot in every fact lay more firmly the foundations, and extend more widely the limits, of the power and greatness of man…..sowing for future ages the seeds of purer truth’, he was expressing his intent on initiating a reformation of our understanding of both the human and the divine worlds.
Knowing what we do of the man, his aspirations and accomplishments, there seems little doubt but that he was at times inspired by and the benefactor of Rawley’s ‘beam of knowledge derived from God’, leading to illumination.
Richard Maurice Bucke, the nineteenth century Canadian psychotherapist and author of Cosmic Consciousness, a study of the evolution of the human mind, considered Bacon to have been one of a number of enlightened individuals who had experienced and were influenced by a higher and more expansive state of consciousness. Inspired by his own transitory experience of illumination Bucke, who was a member of the Royal Society of Canada, wrote the book to illustrate that down through history various individuals, most notably Jesus, Buddha, St. Paul, Muhammad and Sri Ramakrishna among others, had demonstrated that mankind was capable of evolving mentally and spiritually and of experiencing what he called Cosmic Consciousness. Others referenced in the book as having been influenced by this exalted state include the English poet and mystic William Blake and of course Francis Bacon.
Bucke, whose work and writings contributed to the development of transpersonal psychology, believed that this elevated state of consciousness, most often accompanied by a feeling of universal love, enabled Bacon to work in a highly creative and prodigious manner on the plays. Speaking of such a state he said, ‘It is perhaps impossible for the merely self-conscious man to form any concept of what the oncoming of Cosmic Consciousness must be and mean to those who experience it.’ He pointed out that such individuals often seem to function from two levels, seeking solitude and producing exceptional work for periods at a time, then returning to a more normal life at others. Of additional interest to Baconians is the fact that he suggested that understanding this phenomenon is part of the solution to the controversy over the authorship of the Shakespeare plays.
Manley Palmer Hall, the Canadian born author of The Secret Teachings of the Ages, also considered Bacon to have been so endowed and among the ‘leading lights’ of his age. He also attributed the Shakespeare plays to his pen. He had this to say about the man: ‘Sir Francis Bacon was a link in that great chain of minds which has perpetuated the Secret Doctrine of the Ages from the beginning. The Secret Doctrine is concealed in his cryptic writings and philosophy.’ In the chapter entitled Bacon, Shakespeare and the Rosicrucians, he made a point of emphasizing that the search for this Divine Wisdom is the only legitimate motive for the effort to decode Bacon’s cryptograms and understand his philosophy. Referring to the plays he said ‘The philosophical ideals promulgated throughout the Shakespeare plays demonstrate their author to have been thoroughly familiar with certain doctrines and certain tenets peculiar to Rosicrucianism; in fact the profundity of the Shakespearean productions stamps their creator as one of the illuminati of the ages.’
Rosicrucianism, as I expect most readers of this article know, came to public prominence during Bacon’s lifetime. It emerged out of a need to reintroduce and reintegrate the Hermetic tradition into spiritual thought, to restore Christianity to its mystical roots, to reinvigorate the spiritual quest and in the process provide, for those receptive to its teaching, a way forward out of the rigid and conflict-ridden religious mindset and environment of the times. It seems obvious from his aspirations and philosophical writings, most notably in New Atlantis, that Bacon associated himself with this movement.
Hall, after commenting on the fact that while many of those who had, at least up to his time, been engaged in the Bacon/Shakespeare authorship question had done so on a purely intellectual basis, added ‘notwithstanding their scholarly attainments they have overlooked the important part played by Transcendentalism in the philosophic achievements of the ages’ and he suggested that the solution to the authorship mystery lies in mining the plays for their esoteric content, their mystic Christianity.
In her book The Rosicrucian Enlightenment the late Dame Frances Yates traced the thread that linked the ancient Hermetic tradition, the esotericism of the Middle Ages and the European Renaissance to Elizabethan England, as evident in the lives and work of astrologer John Dee, Robert Fludd and the philosopher Francis Bacon. While hesitant to place Bacon’s work as part of the Rosicrucian movement, she certainly saw a parallel spiritual path running through both. Commenting on Bacon’s New Atlantis she said ‘the religion of New Atlantis has much in common with that of the Rosicrucian Manifestoes. It is intensely Christian in spirit, though not doctrinal, interpreting the Christian spirit in terms of practical benevolence.’
Paolo Rossi, the renowned Italian historian and author, in his highly acclaimed bookFrancis Bacon, From Magic to Science, also claimed that Bacon was influenced by the Hermetic tradition, the magic and cabala of the European Renaissance.
‘Let Bacon speak and wise men would rather listen though the revolution of the kingdom was on foot’, so said Ralph Waldo Emerson, the American transcendentalist. Referring to Bacon’s Novum Organum he said ‘Few books ever written contain so much wisdom and will bear to be read so many times.’ Speaking of Bacon’s writings in general he added ‘(they) are clothed in a style of such splendour that imaginative persons find sufficient delight in the beauty of expression…It is the survey of a superior being, so commanding, so prescient, as if the great intellectual world lay open before him.’ His comments could be equally applied to the Shakespeare canon. In fact Emerson also was open to the possibility that Bacon was the author of the plays.
Alfred Dodd, the Masonic author of Francis Bacon‘s Personal Life Story and The Secret History of Francis Bacon, referred to him as a Master soul intent on leading England into a more enlightened age and beneficially affecting the spiritual and material life of future generations. This also was the view of Constance Potts, the driving force behind the founding of the Francis Bacon Society in 1886, in her book Francis Bacon and his Secret Society.
The late American poet and playwright Paula Fitzgerald in her three act play entitled I, Prince Tudor, Wrote Shakespeare, which I was fortunate to participate in at the Library Theatre in Williamsburg, Virginia some years ago, presents Bacon as an enlightened individual and leading member of an esoteric group working under the influence of a universal higher force. A woman with developed spiritual and psychic abilities, her other plays about prominent historical figures, such as Abraham Lincoln (A Nation Under God)and George Washington Carver (What’s a Saint Brother?), also bring to light the higher forces at work in their lives. The title of the play was given by Bacon apologist Margaret Barsi Green, author of a book by that name published in 1973. Like Dr. Orville Owen and Elizabeth Wells Gallup before her, she believed that Bacon not only wrote the plays but was also the unacknowledged son of Queen Elizabeth I.
In commenting on her play Paula Fitzgerald said, ‘It is the purpose of the play, indeed of all my plays, to reveal the soul of the character I am presenting, the inner, deeper, higher feelings that are seldom seen or realized by the onlooker. In order to accomplish this I must seek an attunement with that soul…This I do through research, through prayer and meditation…through the depths and heights my (own) soul can reach.’ In her notes to the actor portraying Bacon in the play she wrote ‘Bacon is an extraordinary genius of a man functioning from the level of his own higher consciousness. A man born to influence the public and private affairs of mankind. His Third Eye has been opened in his mind and he is in contact with the Godhead. Although not immune to human failure, he is endeavouring to do his best to serve the Most High in all his thoughts and actions. Through his writings, including for the theatre, and petitions (to the crown) he is endeavouring to bring about a spiritual regeneration of mankind. He is a man with a vast inner world of experience and feeling. Like St. Paul, he knows that knowledge amounts to little if it is not imbued with love for his fellow man.’
It is a play that, given what has already been written about Bacon`s spiritual vision, consciousness and character, offers an insightful and plausible scenario on the authorship question. Bacon, his soul receptive to the influences of his own higher consciousness and as the leading member of a group of esotericists of the time, is inspired to write the plays. Already acquainted with the theatre as a means to influence, impress and educate, he enlists the help of the Stratford-born actor and theatre manager William Shakespeare in bringing the plays to the public.
Shakespeare, in awe of Bacon`s talent and vision for mankind, becomes his willing but secretive accomplice. Eventually however, conflicted and unnerved by having to maintain his role in this subterfuge, Shakespeare withdraws from the arrangement, only to end up immersed in petty disputes over money and self-destructive behaviour which results in his death.
While not written for the commercial stage, I, Prince Tudor, Wrote Shakespeare offers anyone interested in Bacon’s whole-world view and visionary mindset a portrayal of how he could have used his extensive knowledge to reach as wide and diverse an audience as possible. In it we see how playwriting offered Bacon the opportunity to present, in engaging and demonstrable form, a holistic philosophy born of the Hebraic-Christian mystical tradition and to demonstrate, through the characters and circumstances in the plays, the inherent existence and playing out of immutable laws that govern human behaviour for good or ill.
In The Great Instauration Bacon, for whom knowledge was the knowledge of causes, set out his plan for progress in both divine and human understanding, in the hope that it would lead mankind to a state of conscious communion and reintegration with the First Cause, for the benefit of all. From his own words we know that he saw the need for the parallel growth of a more spiritual consciousness in line with intellectual development and scientific progress, if this was ever to be accomplished.
Hopefully the present pursuit of a more personal and practical spirituality, the conscious raising taking place in all aspects of society, our increasing awareness of the oneness of all life, breakthroughs in the material and mental sciences, combined with higher influences will, in spite of the destructive and regressive forces at work in the world, enable us to make Bacon’s great vision a living reality.
The Real Othello
Murder By Proxy - A New Perspective
by Richard Allan Wagner
As Francis Bacon grew to maturity, his stranger than fiction life was split into three essential realms:
(a) The intellectual realm—the world of ideas, knowledge and wisdom which governed his very essence
(b) The real world with which he dealt, as best he could, through his towering expertise in the legal profession
(c) The realm of fantasy which he, through his mastery of literature, was able to secretly and vicariously act out his noblest ideals as well as his darkest thoughts.
It was Bacon’s fantasy realm that was the driving force behind the creation of the Shakespearean works. There he would shake his muses’ spear at every fallacy and ignoble foible that belies the better part of human understanding and behaviour. On the personal level, he could right every wrong, heal every wound, settle every score, and transform every topsy-turvy aspect of his existence into a sense of order.
Virtually every Shakespearean tragedy reveals underlying facets of Bacon’s life cathartically acted out through disguised characterizations of himself, as with Hamlet, or the merchant, Antonio—or more covert characterizations as with Timon, and as we shall see, Othello.
In most cases, Bacon’s tortured soul subtly cries out to us through veiled words that bleed out his name onto the printed page. In some instances, we witness certain plays evolving over a span of time, changing, expanding and morphing in step with transformations in Bacon’s views and feelings—such, I submit, was especially true with Othello.
The Moor of Venice-What’s in a Name?
The story upon which Othello is based originated with a 16th century Italian melodrama called Un Capitano Moro written by Cinthio Battista Giraldi (1504-1573). Cinthio’s tale was never translated into English; however, Francis Bacon took notice of it and adapted it as one of his tragic Shakespearean revenge plays under the title of The Moor of Venice.
What’s most unique about Cinthio’s story is that all of its characters are referred to by their descriptive monikers and titles such as Moor, captain, ensign, etc. We don’t know them by their personal names—all save one, Desdemona, the Moorish captain’s wife.
As with many Shakespearean characters, Bacon had a real life person in mind whom he felt served as a fitting match for the Moor’s portrayal. That person was Bacon’s friend, Sir Walter Raleigh. Mather Walker makes a highly compelling case for Raleigh as the original model for Bacon’s interpretation of the hot-tempered Moorish captain (see Shake-Speare’s Other Side of Midnight by Mather Walker @ www.sirbacon.org).
Although Bacon altered some minor aspects of the plot, the evidence suggests that, in the early development of the play, he kept most of the story’s essential elements intact—including his adopted title of The Moor of Venice. As we shall see, the glaring absence of the name Othello in the play’s early title is crucial.
The earliest recorded mention of the play is in the King’s Revels of 1604 which gives reference to a performance of “The Moor of Venis” for King James by the theatrical company known as “The King’s Men”.
The Blinding Power of Assumption
Aside from ignorance of or refusal to recognize specific facts having to do with the Shakespeare authorship, the great hurdle that tends to block one’s understanding and comprehension of what’s fact or fiction is the confusing and deceptive power of assumption. In the case of The Moor of Venice, there’s a strong tendency to ASSUME that the principal character is ALREADY KNOWN by the name Othello. In fact, there is no evidence to support such a conclusion.
The vast majority of Shakespearean scholars and enthusiasts, including many of my Baconian friends, like to run with the following argument: “The role of Othello became so popular that the public came to know the play by the leading character as opposed to its formal title.” Notice how they include the name Othello as if it’s already been established as the character’s actual name. That’s the erroneous power of assumption at work. If such an argument rang true, we would see evidence of it in contemporary letters, reviews, diaries, books, etc. all commenting on a play or leading character by the name of Othello, and yet, until 1621, no such evidence ever surfaced. Moreover, in 1613 (nearly a decade after the first recorded performance of the play) King James provided an extravagant and prolonged wedding for his daughter Elizabeth and Fredrick V, Count Palatine of the Rhine. Throughout the festivities six Shakespearean plays were performed, however, the name Othello is nowhere to be found in the record—instead (as was the case in 1604) The Moor of Venice is the title given for one of the plays.
Another compelling piece of evidence in the search for the identity of the play’s leading character (prior to 1621) lies on an obscure page in Philip Henslowe’s diary. Henslowe was a prominent manager of several theatrical companies performing Shakespearean plays during the late 16th century into the early 17th century. He was an astute and meticulous record keeper who wrote down the details of all transactions and daily business of his stage productions. On one particular page having to do with wardrobe and costuming, the word “Moro” is written. Not only is this an obvious reference to the Moor, it’s also the exact designation for the principal character as used in Cinthio’s original version of the story. The significance here is that nothing appears to have changed with regard to the name or title of the chief character in Cinthio’s tale or in Bacon’s initial adaptation of it. Overall, the body of evidence speaks for itself. A crucial question about Bacon’s adaptation has to do with when and why the name Othello finally made its way into The Moor of Venice. I submit that the absence of the peculiar name of Othello, prior to 1621, is due to the simple fact that it had not yet been invented.
Robert Cecil, King James and Alice Barnham—the Plot thickens
All great people are surrounded by great enemies. It’s no secret that Lord Burghley’s son, Robert Cecil, was Bacon’s greatest detractor and antagonist. Cecil, who was physically deformed and lacking in any virtuous skills or qualities, spent his life plotting, deceiving, and underhandedly manipulating his way into a position of immense power during the final years of Queen Elizabeth’s reign. It’s no wonder that the supreme villains in the entire Shakespeare canon are vicarious personifications of Robert Cecil.
Far beyond his physical shortcomings, Cecil’s greatest defect was that of Envy, and the person he envied most was Francis Bacon. Quite remarkably, the treacherous ensign in The Moor of Venice is also consumed and driven by envy. Of all the “seven deadly sins”, Bacon believed Envy to be the most vile. In his Essay on Envy, Bacon wrote:
“A man that hath no virtue in himself, ever envieth virtue in others. For men’s minds will either feed upon their own good or upon others’ evil; and who wanteth the one will prey upon the other, and whoso is out of hope to attain to another’s virtue, will seek to come at even hand by depressing another’s fortune.” As we shall see, Cecil and the envious ensign (later known as Iago) are one and the same.
Upon Queen Elizabeth’s death in 1603, Robert Cecil, for the moment, was the most powerful man in England. However, his lust for power could only go so far. Claiming the throne for himself was clearly out of the question due to his lack of royal lineage as well as a lack of support from the nobility. Although Cecil was fully aware that Bacon was the rightful heir to the Tudor throne, he deliberately sidestepped the man he envied most, opting instead to place Elizabeth’s closest cousin, James Stuart, onto the throne. With James as England’s new monarch, Cecil was assured of a continuance of his own power and influence along with the title of 1st Earl of Salisbury.
In order to insure against Bacon posing a threat to James’ accession, Cecil advised his new King to set matters straight with Bacon. And so, James and Cecil offered Bacon a promising career in politics in exchange for his guarantee that he would, in no way, challenge James’ legitimacy to the throne nor produce any Tudor heirs. Bacon, who, in earlier years, had given up on the idea of succeeding to the Tudor throne, accepted the deal. The only thing left to seal the bargain was for Bacon to marry a commoner.
In 1606, at James’ behest, the forty five year old Francis Bacon married a common but lovely fourteen year old Scottish girl by the name of Alice Barnham. James kept his end of the bargain by lavishing Bacon with titles, a knighthood and a series of high ranking political promotions, arising, in 1618, to the highest office beneath the Throne—the Chancellorship of England.
Enter John Underhill
Upon becoming the highest ranking politician in the land, Bacon regained residence at his childhood home at York House on the Strand. Soon, thereafter, he employed a young man named John Underhill as his gentleman usher. Two years later, Underhill became Lady Alice’s Steward. As one thing led to another, both Alice and Underhill drifted into a torrid and lasting love affair.
The Green-Eyed Monster Emerges
Of all the tragic roles of Bacon’s real life, which he acted out through his Shakespearean fantasy world, the role of cuckold was brand new to him. Because of his political stature, everything was on the line. How would he discretely deal with Alice’s infidelity without openly suffering the consequences of gossip and scandal? At the zenith of his political career, divorce or separation were not realistic options. And yet, somehow he had to personally deal with Alice’s betrayal and dishonour. Was his rage and lust for revenge any different than that of the Moor? Bacon was only too human. How could he NOT identify with the Shakespearean character with whom he had most prominently associated with cuckoldry?
The Moor Finally Receives a Name
In the real world, a violent resolution towards Alice’s infidelity was entirely out of the question, but in his Shakespearean fantasy realm, Bacon could dispense justice any way he liked—no matter how gruesome. And, most certainly, the Moor’s murder of his “unfaithful” wife ranks as the most violent and hideous killing in the entire Shakespeare canon. But who is the real murderer, the Moor or Bacon? Ultimately Bacon gives us the answer by consolidating the Moor’s identity with his own through the cipher name of OTHELLO. Thus, the names Bacon and Othello are interchangeable, i.e. Bacon = 33 (Simple Cipher) and Othello = 33 (Pythagorean Cipher). In a brilliant stroke, Alice Bacon has been cast as Desdemona’s proxy—grotesquely murdered by OTHELLO, the personification of Bacon’s dark side.
One year after the onset of Alice Bacon’s affair with John Underhill, the name Othelloappeared for the first time—recorded in the London Stationer’s Register under the title of The Tragoedy of Othello, The Moor of Venice. The following year (1622) saw the play’s initial publication in quarto. Then, with the 1623 publication of the Shakespeare Folio, Othello underwent further alterations. In fact, the Folio version of Othello is the most heavily revised of all the Shakespearean plays. Bacon’s view of the lead character as well as the dynamics of the story had clearly taken on a new perspective.
Cover page for the 1622 quarto publication of the newly named
Version of the play titled The Tragoedy of Othello, The Moor of Venice
Furthermore, not only did the Moorish captain receive a code name, so did his malicious ensign. Thus, the names Iago and Cecil are interchangeable, each adding up to the number 23 (Pythagorean Cipher).
The Moor’s wife had been appropriately named all along as Desdemona signifying “wretched”, “unfortunate” or “ill fated”. And, although the Desdemona of the story is innocent, her real life counterpart, Alice, is not. However, Bacon realized that turning the fictional Desdemona into a contemptuous whore would have ruined the story.
By assuming the identity of the Moor through Othello, Bacon effectively and cathartically played out his feelings of revenge toward Alice. In real life, he separated from her and then wrote her entirely out of his Will with the following words:
“What so ever I have given, granted, conferred, or appointed to my wife in the former part of this my Will, I do now for just and great causes, utterly revoke, and make void, and leave her to her right only.”
Alice’s betrayal was the ultimate bitter pill Bacon had to swallow in the series of betrayals that had plagued him in his final years. Yet, he saw fit to allow her the luxury of retaining the title of Viscountess St. Alban. Despite all the wrong inflicted on him, Bacon refused to be consumed by a bitter ending. Perhaps his words to Alice in Shakespeare Sonnet 36provides a glimpse into his truest feelings for her:
Let me confess that we two must be twain,
Although our undivided loves are one:
So shall those blots that do with me remain,
Without thy help, by me be bourne alone.
In our two loves there is but one respect,
Though in our lives a separable spite,
Which though it alter not love’s sole effect,
Yet doth it steal sweet hours from love’s delight.
I may not evermore acknowledge thee,
Lest my bewailed guilt should do thee shame,
Nor thou with public kindness honour me,
Unless thou take that honour from thy name:
But do not so, I love thee in such sort,
As thou being mine, mine is thy good report.
The Pythagorean Cipher Table
Book Review: Richard Wagner’s The Lost Secret of William Shakespeare
by James Loren
In 1999, Richard Allan Wagner became curious about the truth behind the “Winchester Mystery House,” California Landmark number 868, in San Jose, California, built by Sarah Pardee Winchester, heiress of the Winchester Rifle Company fortune. Sensing that there was a purpose behind the many unusual design and structural features of the mansion, Wagner decided to research the life of Sarah Winchester and found confirmation of his early suspicions: Sarah had been a Theosophist, a Rosicrucian and a Freemason and the house was saturated with Rosicrucian and Masonic symbolism. Researching public records in New Haven, Connecticut, Wagner discovered that Sarah had been a classmate of two nieces of Delia Bacon, who was the first proponent of the theory that the works of Shakespeare had been written by a group of Elizabethan poets under the leadership of Sir Francis Bacon and that Sarah had become equally committed to the idea.
Ten years later, not being a proponent of the idea himself, nor even particularly interested in the authorship question, but being curious by nature and trained in academic discipline, Wagner decided to pick up the traces of the theory and see where they would lead him and thus began an odyssey of investigation and discovery that resulted in this book. He became a Rosicrucian and a Mason, moving all the way to the 32nd degree. In the process, he found that more and more of the symbolism of the house directly related to the rites and rituals of the two closely related orders.
His research led him to the revelation that Bacon was one of at least two unacknowledged sons of Queen Elizabeth I and her favourite, Robert Dudley, and to the mentor-mentee relationship of John Dee, the “Queen’s Magician” and the young Bacon. Dee imparted to Bacon his knowledge of mathematics, sacred geometry, architecture, art, science and the esoteric philosophies of the ancient mystery schools. At the age of 15, Francis was sent to France by Elizabeth to absorb the culture of the more civilized nation. It was there that he met the greatest poets and philosophers of the time, men like Pierre Ronsard and his group called the Pleiade. He was also introduced to Rosicrucianism and the practice of concealing information through the use of ciphers, about which he later wrote extensively in his work, The Advancement of Learning.
Another son of Elizabeth was Robert Devereaux, the earl of Essex, about which much has been written and who came to a tragic end in 1599. Wagner tells the history of the rise and fall of both Bacon and Essex with a clean, spare style.
It is generally known that at a relatively young age after his stay in France, Bacon wrote to his uncle, Lord Burleigh, that he had taken “all knowledge to be [his] province.” Which he, indeed, did. Bringing together the best and brightest of young English intellectuals, Bacon built a company of writers and served as its chief writer, editor and publisher, eventually taking for a brand name the namof his muse, Pallas Athena, in its literal meaning, Shake Spear.
One of the company’s early productions was the play which was to become known as Love’s Labour’s Lost, which not only reflects much of Bacon’s experiences in France and includes as its principal characters a group of four young nobles each bearing a name found in Anthony Bacon’s Passport to France, but also includes words and phrases taken directly from Freemasonic and Rosicrucian ritual.
Although Bacon was a loyal servant of Elizabeth, she never raised him to the nobility. After the death of Elizabeth, he was eventually knighted by James I of Scotland and ultimately rose to the high rank of Regent, second only to James in authority over England, ruling in James’ stead for a summer when James went on a progress to Scotland. Soon thereafter, through a series of treacherous machinations by Bacon’s enemies, Robert Cecil and Robert Coke, Bacon fell into disgrace and was exiled to his estate in St. Albans, north of London.
Reflecting Bacon’s education at the knee of John Dee, Wagner found, and continues to find, Bacon’s signature cipher clues hidden, not only in the Shakespeare plays and sonnets, but in the King James Bible and in works published under the names of other writers of the period, cleverly hidden messages and references to events affecting England, Europe and even the new world, to which, in some instances, only Bacon and other highly placed courtiers would have had access, many of which occurred after the death of the man from Stratford, to whom the plays and sonnets are generally attributed.
Wagner’s work, begun 15 years ago, continues. He has recently completed an article that demonstrates that the name “Othello” was not the original name of the play about the Moor of Venice, but is indeed a numeric cipher encoding of the name “Francis Bacon” in the Pythagorean cipher, that was given to the character when Bacon adapted the play after suffering the infidelity of his young wife, Alice Barnham.
All of the known ciphers Bacon uses are set forth in The Lost Secret of William Shakespeare and Wagner invites the interested reader to join him in on the treasure trail, for there is much more to discover. Wagner has published the book on line, where it is available at no cost to read or download, along with a number of his related articles, at www.thetruthaboutshakespeare.com.
February 9, 2014
Bacon, Buried Treasure and a Burning Desire to Help Humanity
Originally published in The View Beyond: Sir Francis Bacon – Alchemy, Science, Mystery (Polair Publishing, 2011) pp. 193-210. The article is included in this issue of Baconiana by kind permission of Polair Publishing and the authors.
The notion of buried treasure, hidden away throughout the mists of time, coupled with a utopian vision of a possible future paradise, indicated fertile ground on which to develop a narrative about Sir Francis Bacon, especially if these strands could be pulled through into a contemporary setting.
Such was the start point of this self-professed Baconian novice. Preliminary research threw up two specific areas which appeared ripe for investigation (another case for Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson, perhaps?). The first question concerned the aforementioned buried treasure, especially in two main North American locations, Bruton Vault in Williamsburg, Virginia, and Oak Island, Nova Scotia. What was the history and nature of this treasure, what has been done to find it to date, and what is the Bacon connection?
The second question related to Bacon’s fictionalized account of a utopian society, The New Atlantis; this synthesized much of his previous work and philosophy into a template widely acknowledged to have formed the basis for the ideals of the Founding Fathers for the United States of America.
These are profound questions in their own right; they become more powerful when associated questions begin to emerge, for example, is there any connection between this buried treasure and the stated utopian ideal, and if The New Atlantis really was a vision of a scientific revolution which would benefit the whole of humanity, why do we appear, in the United States and Europe at least, to have what amounts to a scientific dictatorship, operating through a banking and corporate global elite, influencing governments to often push forward policies to the detriment of the wider society?
I discovered that the latter question had been posed by Ursula Seiler in her excellent article ‘The Promised Land’ (www.ZeitenSchrift.net, 2005). Recognizing that Bacon’s treatise lays down a utopian vision for the ‘true New Atlantis, namely America’, she identifies certain key principles and values Bacon propounded to support his vision, all in the context of a fictitious island named Bensalem.
Here the inhabitants espouse pacifism, live without money as a means of exchange and in their conduct of life follow a moral code. They respect strangers, possess immense knowledge, use a universal language and find out about the outside world by means of systematic explorations. There are class distinctions – these do not depend on wealth, but on wisdom, dignity and age. The first principle of this form of community is respect for life and for the family. And they paid particular homage to science – a true natural science.
This was Seiler’s assessment of the current situation, in stark contrast to the above:
Is it not remarkable that the America of today has failed signally in all these domains? Its research massacres life and has become a threat to human dignity. It is characterized by a belligerent attitude to the outside world and toleration of extreme violence within the country, and the slavish pursuit of money, along with its use as an instrument of enslavement. Let us recall that since 1913 not even the dollar has been the property of the American people, but of a number of exclusive Wall Street bankers who are independent of the political establishment. Moreover, American society shows a debasement of morals which has also brought about the dissolution of families, and the celebration of a capitalism which mocks every form of Christian neighbourly love.
Seiler goes on to say in the same article:
The ‘discovery’ of America was … no accident, but was long and carefully planned by initiates. Neither is it an accident that the age of the Renaissance— the rebirth of the old classical knowledge—coincided with the discovery of the New World. The hour had struck, the sacred fire could be carried to the west. The secret orders had given their consent.
Similar sentiments from a business perspective were expressed by knowledge management practitioner Verna Allee, a previous contributor to The View, in her seminal 2003 book The Future of Knowledge (p. 176), an interesting title given the Baconian context of this book:
Money is not issued by governments, despite the fact that the U.S. Treasury might print the bills. Currency is actually issued by banks. Money can only move into circulation if someone goes into debt to the bank. To pay the debt off, more debt must be created. If you think this sounds suspicious, you are not alone. A growing number of people think this is a very unhealthy state of affairs. It not only makes economic growth dependent on debt; it concentrates power in the hands of those who issue the money – the banks.
Awareness of this problem, or at least the possibility of it arising, is nothing new. Over two hundred years ago, in 1802, third US President Thomas Jefferson issued this chilling warning in a quote attributed to him:
I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies. If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around the banks will deprive the people of all property until their children wake up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered. The issuing power should be taken from the banks and restored to the people, to whom it properly belongs.
Whilst driving in my car recently I heard a wonderfully succinct comment on BBC Radio 4’s Off the Page: Living Cheap programme (November 4, 2010) where 23 year-old recent graduate Laurie Penny, reflecting on the state of the global economy, and the politicians’, bankers’ and other corporate influences on it, remarked: ‘They lied to us. The game is rigged, and the board is broken’.
Having ascertained that something appears to have gone dreadfully awry regarding the progress towards Bacon’s utopian dream, I put any further enquiry in this direction aside until after the other question had been addressed – the search for lost treasure.
‘The Game’s Afoot!’
Realizing that reliable information on both Bruton Vault and Oak Island appeared relatively scant based on initial research forays on the Internet, one particular event propelled the investigation forward.
In June 2010 I was invited to attend a Francis Bacon Society meeting at Canonbury Tower in London, where the guest speaker was Mark Finnan on ‘The Oak Island Mystery’. Also in attendance were Bacon scholar James North and anthroposophist Sylvia Francke, the latter being the person I had contacted a few months earlier following an incredible sequence of synchronistic events (but that story is for the telling at another time). Suffice to say that an integral aspect of the connection was through a book review on Sylvia’s book The Tree of Life and The Holy Grail I came across on the Internet; it was written by Francis Bacon Society Chairman Peter Welsford, and a pivotal element of the review was a link to Ivan Cooke’s book The Return of Arthur Conan Doyle (1956), the publication which set me off on my journey of compiling what was to become The View.
Mark’s presentation provided some useful insights into the nature and history of the Oak Island mystery, an added bonus being his and James’ acceptance of my invitation to join Sylvia as contributors to The View Beyond.
Some Background on Bruton Vault and Oak Island
Bruton Vault is located in Williamsburg, Virginia, and is said to contain ‘the treasure of the Seventh Seal’, reputed to consist of a hoard of gold along with priceless documents that, if brought in to the light of day, would challenge our understanding of man’s history and reveal the ‘secret destiny’ of America and our global civilization.
According to the April 2010 edition of Lost Treasure, for centuries these documents have been protected by a secret society and their contents have only been viewed by a select few individuals. Bruton Vault is said to have been constructed of brick by members of Sir Francis Bacon’s group, and is 10 feet by 10 feet located 20 feet below the altar of the first brick church in Bruton Parish. Using research compiled by metaphysician Manly Palmer Hall (1901–1990), and a group of his students, Maria Bauer (1904–2005), who later became Hall’s second wife, in 1938 successfully unearthed the original foundations of the Bruton Parish Church, built around 1676.
Legend claims a number of Bacon’s followers travelled to America and secretly transported across the seas the sacred treasures that would be deposited in the Bruton Vault and 144 other hidden Freemasonry vaults located throughout the new American continent (according to the Ascension Research Center, the locations of 121 of these sacred vaults have been identified).
In his article Lost Secrets of the Bruton Vault (Atlantis Rising magazine, September/October 2010), Steven Sora states:
If such a valuable treasure exists and is relatively accessible, especially in comparison to Nova Scotia’s Oak Island vaults, then why is it still underground? The first reason is that the Rockefeller family owns Williamsburg. They are not only the inheritors of one of the world’s greatest fortunes, they are considered by some as the epicenter of the plan for one world government with leadership roles in the Council on Foreign Relations and the Trilaterals. They might simply desire to avoid unnecessary disruption in their park; or, as others believe, they may wish to keep such a treasure to themselves.
Since the 1938 excavation there have been several other attempts to dig for the vault; one that was sanctioned in 1991 found no vault or treasure. Since then [several groups] have been campaigning for another dig to be carried out. Permission for a further excavation has not been forthcoming thus far.
Oak Island is situated off the coast of Nova Scotia in Canada and, like Bruton Vault, it holds a story shrouded in mystery. A treasure pit was discovered on the island by three young men in 1795, and it is believed that something of immense value lies buried more than a hundred feet below the surface. Excavations over the last two hundred years have revealed an elaborately-constructed shaft with various underground workings, including a sophisticated set of water traps which has continually foiled treasure hunters over the years. A 40-foot void at a depth of 140 feet has also been discovered, and this is presumed to be a natural underground cavern.
Mark Finnan has researched the Oak Island story over the last couple of decades, and his chapter in this book, The Oak Island Mystery, Francis Bacon and the New World, provides detailed background on the history of the island, and the activities which have been conducted there over many years.
The Dowser Detectives
Because it was not physically possible to visit Bruton Vault in Williamsburg, Virginia, and Oak Island, Nova Scotia, plus the fact that information relating to these locations was relatively scant, or in several cases vague or contradictory, I invited my friend Mark Harris, who is an experienced dowser and who leads a local dowsing group of which I am a member, to collaborate on using dowsing and related techniques (high sense perception, remote viewing) to help address these questions I had set.
One unanticipated benefit of bringing Mark on board was that not only is he an accomplished dowser, he also has a deep knowledge of the Tudor/Elizabethan period of English history and a background in social science has enabled him to be sensitive to the circumstances prevailing in Bacon’s day (when people could literally lose their heads for speaking out of turn on certain matters!).
The results were surprising both in terms of content unveiled and the extent of the way the process developed (especially remote viewing, which had not been preplanned). The information uncovered, which will be written up in the next part of the chapter, also potentially has major implications for Bacon’s ‘scientific method’, and its application in the modern world.
To begin this part of the investigation I put my initial questions to Mark, which were ‘What was the history and nature of this treasure?’, ‘What has been done to find it to date?’, and ‘What is the Bacon connection?’
Mark got together a team of three, himself, his wife Elaine (also a proficient dowser) and a friend Steve Horsfall, a local woodcraftsman Mark had introduced to dowsing and had trained him in it. A dowsing session was held on Sunday, 26th September 2010 at Mark and Elaine’s house in Milton, a small village in Ross-shire, Scotland.
Mark Harris now takes up the story of how the dowsing activities unfolded that day.
It was agreed that the team would use methods outwith the ‘scientific method’ to verify information, ideas, concepts and beliefs about the birth of Bacon, his death, connections with St-Germain, and connections with suggestions of ‘buried treasure’ of some form, at Bruton Vault, Williamsburg, and Oak Island, Nova Scotia. However, it was arranged to conduct the investigation with reference to, and in the spirit of, the Baconian model where possible.
With Elaine and Steve having only minimal prior knowledge about Bacon, Bruton Vault and Oak Island, which helped the integrity of the session by avoiding as much mind/opinion as possible becoming involved which could influence the dowsing, the team took a brief background look at website information on Bruton Vault and Oak Island. This was sufficient to create an awareness prior to dowsing, thereby assisting with focus and intent. A quick check of an Internet map was also done to allow the team to focus on the exact geographic location of Oak Island.
The dowsing process was initially agreed to be by pendulum chart set out with responses/quadrants of YES, NO, YES BUT, NO BUT, with pendulums to be used; each dowser chose a pendulum they felt most comfortable with immediately prior to starting.
It was also agreed as being important that we stated the intention to be open to information arriving through other methods which we would label as ‘High Sense Perception’(HSP), which some would call ‘intuition’ or ‘sixth sense’. This would include sudden ideas, synchronistic thoughts, pictures/remote viewing. All of this would appear to be possible and occurs due to tuning into the Universal Energy Field (UEF) which is all around us, also known as the Grid, Field, Matrix, Spirit or Akashic records. We also stated the intention to be open to information relating to our investigation arriving at any other time outside of our session.
The sequence of enquiry was agreed as (i) Bacon, (ii) Oak Island, and (iii) Bruton Vault.
Questions, although agreed beforehand, were left open to amendment or additional questions/clarifications, allowing further dowsing at the time a particular agreed question occurred. Dowsers would all enquire and no one would speak until each person had finished. Answers were recorded in sequence around the table immediately at this point and the group then moved on unless someone had a comment or observation about how they found they had got on with the question. The option to move from group dowsing to individual free dowsing was also stated with the option to change dowsing tool (for example to L rods). Free dowsing within a group is where an individual has a possible insight or feels uncomfortable with a question, the wording, the context and rephrases it in some way that ‘feels’ right for them. This is where it would be difficult to meet the ‘Scientific method’ as what we have to do here is accept that dowsing is a matter of ‘opinion’ and ‘interpretation’ and we must trust the information, feelings, pictures, and concepts that we get. It is not measurable. The context for the questions had to be around ‘historical personalities and events as they are recorded and known’. The idea behind three dowsers working as a group was that we would go with the majority answer for a particular question or amendment, as being the most accurate (note – not necessarily the right answer as there is often no such thing; it depends upon perspective and point of view.)
In terms of the process itself, each enquirer asked for permission, protection and guidance, and for information provided to be as accurate as allowed and to meet the highest purpose. Deep breathing, grounding through the legs and base chakra, and visualizing bubbles of golden light were methods used. While this was undertaken I also cleansed the space to be used (smudging, white light and asking permission on behalf of the group to proceed), set up a candle with prayer, and an amethyst stone. Enquirers sat around a wooden table in sunlight facing each other. Questions were agreed immediately prior to the respective stage of the enquiry, 1, 2 or 3. For the dowsing process, information access was semi-blind, in other words questions, although agreed for that stage were then turned upside down, mixed up and shuffled, then collected into a stack. Same size pieces of paper from a pad were used to ensure it was very difficult to anticipate any particular question in advance. Questions were turned over one at a time, were dowsed immediately once read out, and although the topic was known it was not known in what sequence the questions would appear.
It was recorded that at the very start Steve began to feel very cold, which was unusual for him, and I began to feel pressure on my face and feel very hot, signs of tuning into the UEF and it reacting with the enquirers’ energy field or aura.
The summaries of the output from each of the three sessions are narrated below. These have been documented as findings from the sessions, but the ‘truth’ or otherwise of these findings is down to the discernment of the reader, given that dowsing is not an exact science. If nothing else, some of these findings may lead to interesting lines of enquiry in future research investigations.
Session 1 – Sir Francis Bacon
Note: Royston Cave is a man-made cavern in the shape of a beehive, unique in Europe and believed to date from the fourteenth century. It contains an extensive range of wall carvings depicting the Crucifixion, the Holy Family and several saints.
The carvings appear to be of medieval origin and may be linked to the Knights Templar. Other studies suggest that Masonic symbols found in the cave could link it to James I, himself a Freemason and who had a hunting lodge at Royston. It is also probably more than coincidence that it is located at the intersection of two major ley lines, which perhaps reinforces its spiritual significance.
In the context of this narrative, Royston Cave seems to be a copy, duplicate or mirror of Bruton Vault and Oak Island, which themselves are apparently part of a network of places which serve a similar purpose.
An intriguing conclusion from the dowsing session was that Bacon was not the biological son of Elizabeth I but was regarded in a maternal or stepson fashion, although this would appear to have waned as time passed. He was quite possibly the son of Robert Dudley, which would explain the connection with the Queen. Bacon was present in some form at the Founding Fathers’ meetings, and was probably an incarnation of the soul/energy known as St-Germain. However his physical body appeared to cease to function and expired at the historical date of 1626.
Bacon did travel to Oak Island but in a previous incarnation as a Knights Templar, on a journey that had specific purpose, to visit the site where the current shaft was to be constructed. The site of the shaft already had importance or significance due to the presence of a natural cavity leading to a cavern. Were there crystals, possibly hidden since Atlantean times, and a vortex at this site and was it already marked in some way? We felt ‘yes’ to all of this.
Bacon also visited the site of Royston Cave in Hertfordshire in England it would appear, in the ‘tourist’ sense (not unsurprising as he was a student at the nearby Cambridge University). However, it seems he had already been there in a previous incarnation as a Templar, with a specific purpose connected with that location.
More imagination was needed with some of our questions and we felt it showed that even those with ideas that are ‘alternative’ to conventional history were often using logical methods to justify, seek out or prove so-called conspiracies. And what is imagination anyway, what is the source of inspired thinking such as imagination? Adrian Incledon-Webber, the current Vice-President of the British Society of Dowsers, has a view that dowsing is indeed only ‘limited by the extent of your imagination’. Perhaps if more trust and imagination was acknowledged and included in the traditional scientific method, especially results, would we actually make more progress? And what is progress anyway, it depends on your point of view.
Session 2 – Oak Island
Note: In preparation for this session, when looking at websites for Oak Island, including examination of a suggested diagram for the shaft with descriptions of the various layers, I had an immediate insight about the possible treasure chest at a certain depth. This was that it was a sort of decoy or red herring. The chest was above the entry level of water tunnels and the blue clay layers seemed lower down than this. Steve immediately saw that the blue clay was an attempt to waterproof the lower levels; why do this, what is being protected lower down? For us, these were good examples of creative, synchronistic thoughts. Empirical modern treasure hunters seem to spend some time trying to find out what is here. It does not seem that much thought has gone into why certain things may have been done in a certain way. Ultimately some creative, imaginative, thought put to this may actually assist in discovering what is at the bottom of the shaft – a kind of ‘try to get into the minds of the people who did this’ approach. This is what we have tried to do in some way with our dowsing/enquiry.
As the session progressed, we found that there was a natural chamber at the bottom of the manmade shaft, already present before the shaft was dug, and this chamber was enlarged by the action of men using gunpowder. The shaft is constructed where a natural fault or fissure already existed. This would appear to have taken place during the Elizabethan period and was certainly more than 350 years ago (i.e., pre-1661, which is post-Elizabethan). The shaft that was dug and constructed was made in such a way that those who wished to find material treasure would be successful as there was some, but this was placed above sections where blue clay was found – as the blue clay would help make lower sections waterproof, where the real treasure (knowledge recorded on scrolls in lead-lined, mercury-filled caskets) was. This ‘treasure’ included documents written or prepared by Bacon and contained early Christian, Hermetic and cabalistic teachings as well as Templar ones (which could be based on all of the other three sources?). The shaft, the material treasure, and real ‘treasure’ were metaphorical of the individual’s and humanity’s journey through life to this point in recorded history. The messages here are multi-layered, but the individual will find what they seek, and if they think they have found what they are looking for, many will go no further!
At this point in the session we were getting ready to move from the Oak Island sequence and I was giving a reminder of why the group were asking questions about Bruton Vault when the word ‘duplicates’ came to mind; at the same time Elaine got a flash of the expression ‘hidden in plain sight’. At the same time Steve became very quiet with his eyes shut and took us back to Oak Island with a very clear picture he was now holding in his head of the ‘treasure’ at the bottom of the main shaft, which had popped into his mind’s eye:
Several scrolls, 6 to 8, weighted down on top with bars of lead, in mercury, in a lead-lined casket. Approximately 18 inches by 9 inches, by 15 inches in size (showed with his hands) and the lead lining about quarter of an inch thick. At this point he became emotional with tears in his eyes and a feeling of connecting with the craftsmen who had lovingly and with purpose made this. Steve is a craftsman working with wood on bespoke individual items and spends much time lovingly crafting each piece. Somewhere in the world of energy did this touch his heart and was a connection made with the energy of the craftsmen who had made this casket?
We ended by dowsing a picture of the inscribed stone found at a depth of 90 feet in 1803, and determined that what we were looking at was not an accurate copy of the original one. However, we then dowsed ‘did the original stone found in the shaft have an accurate inscription upon it?’ and all got a ‘YES’ response. The inscription is a code which is multi-layered so the ‘code-breaker’ will find what they seek. There is a second level or deeper reference within it, the knowledge in the main chamber.
Session 3 – Bruton Vault
The information at Bruton Church is not material treasure but knowledge, and is similar to the treasure/knowledge at Oak Island. In fact both locations were one of a number where a similar process or event had taken place where information had been placed for some sort of purpose, possibly to protect or save it for a future time. At Bruton this information was again contained in scrolls set in a similar lead-lined casket, with the weights holding the scrolls down in mercury. The casket was not in the ground but in a masonry wall ‘above’ ground, though there may be another casket or treasure buried in the ground to satisfy ‘material’ treasure hunters.
Regarding the question as to whether Bacon had tombstones engraved at Bruton Church, Williamsburg, to indicate the location of treasure/information, there was an idea that Bacon left instruction for it to be done, maybe to a group.
Conclusion of the Dowsing/Enquiry Session
No matter how carefully questions are worded there is room for interpretation based upon an individual dowser’s life experience and understanding of a particular question. What are we picturing/creating in our mind’s eye when a question is posed? How might this affect the so-called Baconian scientific paradigm as the same process must be at work there, and surely we then find what we seek? (Observers affect outcomes).
The rigid group dowsing of ALL using pendulum charts which were all identical, all drawn up at the same time with the same precise wording in an attempt to try to honour the scientific method did not allow a free flow of information access, and switching to open dowsing without the charts, and different tools if required, brought more of a flow to the session. Supplementary dowsing sessions were carried out as ‘Yes but’ and ‘No but’ answers could both be correct depending on the question. For example, ‘Was Francis Bacon the son of Elizabeth I?’ can be answered correctly either way, as he could have been not a biological son but been regarded or treated in a maternal way, as a stepson or the son she never had! Therefore ‘yes but’ and ‘no but’ are both accurate answers depending what the dowser/enquirer had exactly in mind at the point of the enquiry. From the Baconian point of view does this not mean that it is possible to get apparently contradictory answers to the same question or circumstance which are both correct?
From the point of view of trying to follow the scientific method in spirit, it very soon went ‘out of the window’ and the deeper we got into the session and the more open and individual the session became the more ‘insight’ and synchronicities we began to get. The more we moved out of the left brain and allowed the right brain to function the more fluid the dowsing and HSP began to flow. We felt that we were happy with the ‘information’ and ‘feelings’ that we had, and that a certain amount of this ultimately involved ‘faith’ and ‘trust’ in our results, two concepts which were uneasy bedfellows with the scientific method/modern scientific paradigm. Our faith and trust came from a feeling in the heart, not in facts and figures or provable, repeatable models. We ‘know’ we got some good information because it ‘felt ‘ right and arrived in ways we ‘trusted’, beyond the normal five senses, and clearly there were magical moments when left and right brain were working in a truly integrated way.
Dave Patrick now resumes the narrative until the end of the chapter.
From the initial sessions held on 26th September, it was agreed that a number of loose ends and additional questions generated from those sessions required to be addressed.
A supplementary dowsing session was arranged for Sunday 31st October 2010 at the same location as before, with the same set up process.
There was a stated intent to dowse for the highest purpose and good, with permission, and to be open as before to information arriving outwith the dowsing session and by other means (HSP, etc.). Permission was also requested for me to join the group.
Having received detailed information from Mark about the first dowsing sessions, which has been condensed and summarized above, it was an entirely different prospect and subsequent experience being pitched into the dynamics of the group this time around.
The findings from this supplementary session have been incorporated into the information summarized in the previous sections.
Connecting the Dots
The dowsing conclusion that Francis Bacon may have visited Oak Island in a previous incarnation as a member of the Knights Templar is perhaps not such a fanciful one when considered in the context of Andrew Sinclair’s book, The Sword and the Grail (2005 edition), which tells of a Scottish expedition led by Prince Henry St Clair landing in Nova Scotia in 1398 (although there was no suggestion that Bacon would have been St Clair himself, but a member of his group). During the following century, Prince Henry’s grandson Sir William St Clair built Rosslyn Chapel, with its well-known Templar and Masonic associations; it was designed to represent Solomon’s Temple, a significant influence both on Masonic traditions and Bacon’s New Atlantis.
Coincidentally, the night after the first dowsing session at Milton, I was giving a talk in Dingwall with ‘Family Constellations’ facilitator and author of the book The Science of Family, Nikki Mackay (also a contributor to The View). Nikki offered to facilitate a family constellations session focused on Sir Francis Bacon’s family with the small group in attendance (which included Mark). Examination of how these family entanglements may have affected Bacon showed a dominant male figure in the background who controlled and directed everything, with an energy directed at commerce and material matters. This seemed to have a profound effect upon the ‘Bacon energy’ which seemed very uncomfortable with this and almost ‘did not want to be here and part of this’. It was speculated that this may have given him the impetus to write the New Atlantis treatise.
Returning to the nature of the specific sites under investigation, Bruton Vault and Oak Island, there appears little doubt that these sites are not accidentally situated, and form natural energy vortices. They are possibly part of an energy grid system which is only now being more fully understood.
It might be further speculated that these energy vortices form an important part of the earth’s ‘consciousness field’ and are in some way linked to human consciousness, and that the evolution of the earth’s consciousness and that of humanity are interdependent, at a time when energetic shifts are affecting both. Are these energy vortices portals into other dimensions of reality, accessible via altered states of consciousness? And are we reaching the point where these other dimensions of reality are becoming accessible to the wider population, not just initiates of secret societies?
From Ian Lawton’s book The Future of the Soul: 2012 and the Global Shift in Consciousness (2010), in a channelled message recorded in the section life on a more highly evolved earth (p.80), it says in relation to those who resist the new energies:
They will be trying to hold on to what is familiar, particularly in terms of material things, and when these are either taken away or not bringing them as much comfort, it will be a breakdown of sorts…They simply will not have accepted that there could be any wealth other than the material, ignoring the wealth of the mind.
Dr Christine R Page, in her book 2012 and the Galactic Center (2008), relates the advice she was given by her spiritual teacher regarding the new consciousness, during the current times when humanity must learn to value and encourage the contributions of every individual, who each hold a unique part of the jigsaw, and where no one piece is more important than another, being a true reflection of the fifth world of ether (p. 17):
As we move from the fourth to the fifth world, change is offered through the dissolution and transformation of the old…[only] five per cent [of people] will understand, recognizing the opportunity to be vanguards and light bearers of a new creative cycle, both for themselves and the world in general.
A New Atlantis?
In drawing this chapter to a close we may well ask: What would Sherlock Holmes have made of it, and would he have been able to draw any watertight conclusions? It is interesting to note that Sherlock Holmes, through the mind of his creator Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, was a master of deductive reasoning, whereas in contrast Bacon was noted for his inductive powers. Is it not now time to recognize the need for both, just as right and left brain thinking must integrate into whole brain thinking? Synthesis is the key. Where Conan Doyle and Bacon did share a common passion was in their vision for a fairer society, shown by their lifelong interests in the support of truth and justice.
Our search for ‘treasure’ has shown that although material objects may be involved, the real wealth is in the knowledge and wisdom which has been safeguarded throughout the centuries. This takes us back to Grace Cooke in the 1930s when she went hunting for ‘treasure’ with members of the Polaire Brotherhood in the French Pyrenees, where this treasure for Grace (or Minesta, as she was more commonly known) was found to be spiritual in nature rather than material (see Arthur Conan Doyle’s Book of The Beyond, ed. Colum Hayward, 1994, pp. 141–47).
Perhaps now is the time, in the lead-up to 2012 and all that that may entail, for all these factors we have spoken of to coalesce, to allow us to transcend the conditions and challenges which have bedevilled us throughout history, with other mysteries of the past like Rennes-le-Château and Rosslyn Chapel also having their secrets revealed.
For human consciousness to evolve does society now need to face up to the excesses of ‘scientific’ materialism, epitomized by greed, power and corruption, the effects of which are destroying the planet, fracturing our families and communities, poisoning the food chain and damaging our health?
Earlier Ursula Seiler referred to the ‘true New Atlantis, namely America’. If we consider Birgitta Jónsdóttir’s article (see her chapter below, pp. 270–78, entitled Transformation of Politics), perhaps the modern-day ‘true New Atlantis’, in terms of developing a transparent, fair and just society, is being created in Iceland instead.
Is Iceland, not the United States of America, becoming the crucible of the emerging Golden Age?
‘When you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains,however improbable, must be the truth.’
(Sherlock Holmes in The Sign of Four by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle)
Of necessity the amount of information we have been able to share in this chapter regarding the dowsing sessions held on 26 September and 31 October 2010 is limited. We intend to distribute more detailed information about these sessions in articles placed in various specialist (e.g. dowsing magazines) and general media publications. Collaboration on a book project to develop this research further is another possibility.
A Word on Dowsing and Related Activities
Dowsing may be regarded as a method beyond the five senses used to access information and is an innate ability that all humans have. It has been around for a very long time; it was used by ancient Chinese Geomancers and written about by the fifth century BC historian, Herodotus.
Essentially, dowsing involves the person concentrating with intent on a specific purpose or task whilst allowing the mind to relax. By tuning in and holding an implement such as an L-shaped rod, pendulum or stick-type device, minute muscular contractions in the dowser’s hands causes what is held in them to respond in certain shapes or movements. This seems to occur because the item being held has an energy field around it and this has now become part of the energy field of the dowser; effectively the item becomes an extension of the dowser, a sort of antenna. What we are seeking, be it information or object, also has an energy field or signature, and by relaxing and tuning in we try to access that part of the energy field, its vibration or frequency. When we do it interacts with our own energy field, which includes the extension/antenna we are holding. This extension amplifies our energy field/physical responses to what we are seeking.
In an article in the April 2010 edition of ‘Dowsing Today’, the publication of the BSD, Billy Gawn likens dowsing to an ‘information retrieval system’, and we may ‘complicate the process through the introduction of a tool’ as this produces a crude semaphore system which we need to interpret (hence dowsing being a matter of opinion). To begin to dowse is a wonderful experience but to do nothing but dowse with some sort of tool following guidelines ultimately begins to feel like a Baconian method! It is probably quite restrictive, which was why in our dowsing sessions for the book we stated the intention to be open to information arriving through other methods other than the dowsing itself. I would see dowsing as one way of using high sense perception, which is accessing information other than with the five senses. We can use dowsing to access information (looking for water, lost objects and people, diagnosing health issues, for example) or we could use it to confirm what we already perceive we have accessed from the universal energy field.
It is all a kind of ‘spiritual physics’ really. As was mentioned to Mark by another BSD member some years ago, ‘from quantum physics to faeries it is all the same thing’!
‘For human beings to develop do we need to start to feel what we know (link intuition with knowledge)?’ Sig Lonegren statement at BSD conference 2009.
Mark Harris: www.rainbow-energies.com; mob. 0782 444 9011
Dave Patrick: www.thevitalmessage.co.uk; mob. 0780 302 4461
British Society of Dowsers: www.britishdowsers.org; email firstname.lastname@example.org; tel 01684 576969
Hamish Miller Books, Penwith Press, PO Box 11, Hayle, Cornwall TR27 6YF. www.hamishmiller.co.uk: email email@example.com
Adrian Incledon-Webber, Dowsing Spirits and Dowsing Academy; tel. 01249 8188807; www.dowsingspirits.com
MacManaway, Dr Patrick, Energy Dowsing for Everyone. London: Southwater (2004)
Brown, Elizabeth, Dowsing: The Ultimate Guide for the 21st Century. London: Hay House (2010)
For further information on global energy grid systems a good example to check out is the Becker-Hagens Grid (see http://www.bibliotecapleyades.net/mapas_ocultotierra/esp_mapa_ocultotierra_12.htm , http://www.crystalinks.com/grids.html and http://divinecosmos.com/index.php/contact-us/privacy-policy/68-the-shift-of-the-ages-chapter-12-becker-hagens-the-global-grid-solution).
There are a growing number of books available on Remote Viewing. A couple are suggested here for anyone wishing to gain an initial grasp of the subject, learn some powerful practical tools and techniques, and find out about its history and evolution.
McMoneagle, Joseph, Mind Trek: Exploring Consciousness, Time and Space through Remote Viewing. Charlottesville, VA, USA: Hampton Roads Publishing Inc. (1997) Joe McMoneagle was recruited into the US Army’s secret, psychic-spy unit, Star Gate, as Remote Viewer #001 (Star Gate was terminated, and documentation associated with it declassified, in 1995).
Atwater, F. Holmes. Captain of My Ship, Master of My Soul: Living with Guidance. Charlottesville, VA, USA: Hampton Roads Publishing Inc. (2001)
Includes CD-ROM with video clips, workshops, declassified intelligence material, remote-viewing examples, and recorded out-of-body experiences.
The Buried Secret of Bruton Churchyard Part I
by Albert Stuart Otto
Originally published in Baconiana April 1951 – this is the first part of a two-part article.
When Marie Bauer and Manly Palmer Hall were united in marriage recently, an association of many years was happily culminated.
Know to her friends as Marie, Mrs Hall was born in Germany as Maria Schweikert and was educated at a Catholic convent. Arriving in America as a young lady, she strayed from the orthodox teachings of her religious background and became interested in metaphysics. She tells the story of her introduction to this realm of philosophy in this way:
“I was in Pennsylvania Station in New York City, where I made the discovery that I had a couple of hours to wait for a train. Being a stranger in town, I inquired as to how I might profitably spend the time. Someone suggested that I attend a lecture by Manly P. Hall, which was just due to begin. I knew nothing of Mr Hall, but for want of any more appealing ideas I decided to go. When I arrived at the auditorium, the lecture was already in progress.”
The lecture, it turned out, was on Francis Bacon. Marie was captivated from the outset. She sat there entranced, wide-eyed, mouth agape. In the days that followed, the information heard kept revolving in her mind. She had to learn more. There were other lectures, and books and articles which she read avidly. Marie was rapidly on her way to becoming an ardent Baconian.
Mr Hall returned to his headquarters in Los Angeles, while Marie, remaining in the east, subsequently became Mrs George Bauer. But in 1938 the Bauers moved to California, and Marie began attending lectures again.
Because of her native knowledge of German, Marie was employed by Mr Hall for a translation project in which he was then engaged. She came each morning to the Library of the Philosophical Research Society, of which Mr Hall is Director.
A word about this library. Though relatively small, it houses a fabulous collection of rare volumes, documents, artifacts, and memorabilia from all over the world. A veteran traveller, Mr Hall has personally collected a wealth of material from Asia and the Middle East, Europe, the Americas and other portions of the globe. His interests are varied, running a gamut of subjects from comparative religion to the philosophy of modern science. But his forte is the ancient world. Mr Hall is perhaps the outstanding living authority on the philosophy and religious beliefs of antiquity, and the interpretation of legendry and symbolism.
On the evidence he has accumulated of secret doctrines (“ancient mysteries”, they are sometimes called) among many people in many times and places, Mr Hall bases a belief that much of this esoteric teaching survives in the present age. An extremely difficult problem of sifting wheat from the chaff presents itself here, for the crackpottery of the lunatic fringe have long preached and claimed direct lineage from the prophets of old and the secret teachings of the world’s enlightened. Inevitably the credulous, the miracle-anticipants and the panacea-seekers are attracted by such ideas, and it is often difficult indeed to discern the pseudo from the genuine. By and large, a fairly safe indicator seems to be the degree of unobtrusiveness which attends such activities. As Mr Hall stated in a lecture on the Rosicrucians, “We have never been able to find the mystical order of the Rosy Cross. Many volumes have been written on it, but not one of the authors of the more than one thousand books and tracts ever admitted that he had seen a Rosicrucian, and no one ever claimed to be a member of it except someone who obviously was not.”
In 1928 Mr Hall published one of the masterpieces of twentieth century graphic art in the form of a massive volume entitled: An Encyclopedic Outline of Masonic, Hermetic, Cabbalistic and Rosicrucian Symbolical Philosophy, Being an Interpretation of the Secret Teachings concealed within the Rituals, Allegories and Mysteries of all Ages. The first editions were limited and individually numbered, although recently a popularly-priced black-and-white reduced facsimile has become available. (Philosophical Research Society Press, Los Angeles 27, California. Ninth Edition, 1947, $10).
On a pedestal reading-stand in the library reposes a copy of the original edition, with its breathtaking colour-plates and graceful typography depicting the story of man’s intellectual and spiritual heritage. It was to this imposing volume that Marie Bauer’s attention was drawn one day in early 1938.
Opposite page 165, Marie encountered a plate that really intrigued her. It was a reproduction of the Droeshout Shakespeare portrait, on which was superimposed a transparency portrait of Francis Bacon. The caption read as follows:
The portrait of Sir Francis Bacon in the 1640 edition of The Advancement of Learning, when superimposed upon that of William Shakspere appearing in the first four folios of the Shaksperian plays, establishes beyond all cavil the identity of the two faces. No important structural dissimilarity can be found between them, the differences in appearance being solely the result of superficial lines of shading, the addition of the hat and beard, and the arrangement of the hair.
The ensuing chapter, entitled Bacon, Shakspere and the Rosicrucians, goes on to state that the controversy is not undertaken “for the vain purpose of digging up dead men’s bones but rather in the hope that critical analysis may aid in the rediscovery of that knowledge lost to the world since the oracles were silenced.” The author proceeds with a brief summary of the arguments, well known to readers of Baconiana, which render the Stratfordian belief of Shakespearian authorship untenable and establish beyond reasonable doubt Francis Bacon’s connection with the immortal works. Numerous interesting illustrations accompany the text. We shall not here review the Rosicrucian and Masonic aspects of the matter as treated by Mr Hall, but they are immensely important. In fact, it is this writer’s opinion that without an understanding of these implications, the whole subject of the Shakespeare mystery loses much of its significance. It is perhaps due to a lack of emphasis on this phase of the question that the Baconian case has failed to convince a prejudiced and skeptical world. In this connection the reader is referred to numerous articles, pro and con, that have appeared from time to time in past issues of Baconiana. Also recommended is Mrs Henry Pott’s interesting book, Francis Bacon and his Secret Society.
Eagerly devouring every word of Mr Hall’s Shakespearian chapter, the spark that had been ignited in Marie Bauer was rekindled. She turned to other books on the subject which she found on the library shelves. Her agile mind absorbed and digested everything she could acquire on the matter, and within an amazingly short time she was something of an expert on not only Bacon and Shakespeare, but much other Elizabethan literature as well. Convinced that the Shakespeare works were the joint undertaking of a group, she delved into the personal writings of the individuals whom she believed comprised it. These included Ben Jonson, Robert Burton, John Milton, George Herbert, Edmund Spenser, Christopher Marlowe and a number of others. And then came the big discovery.
One day, while browsing through the Elizabethan section, she came upon a comparatively rare book by one of the poets of the period. A collection of illustrations, beneath each of which were several lines of poetry, the volume was titled simply: Emblemes, Illustrated by George Wither. Thumbing through the pages, Marie happened upon a portrait which, according to the caption, was that of the author. But before she could even read the lines of verse below, the acrostic “William Shakespeare” became apparent to her “as if written in red letters.” She decided that she and the man of Stratford were having a first look at each other.
Wondering if similar anagrams might not also be present in other parts of the book, Marie went to work on it. In the weeks that followed, she deduced the “information” that “under the first brick church in Bruton Parish, Williamsburg, Virginia, lies Francis Bacon’s vault.” Moreover, she arrived at certain precise conclusions concerning the size, depth and contents of the vault. Among the contents are, allegedly, the original Shakespeare manuscripts, King James Bible manuscripts, certain unpublished Baconian writings, Tudor birth records, and esoteric Masonic documents.
All of these details do not seem to have come directly from the Wither book, although she states that it contains “verifications” of them. Somehow a man named Cunningham appears to have entered the picture here. (The name doubtless will have appeal for those alert to double entendre.) Cunningham’s position in the situation has never been entirely clear to me, and since he is now dead, I suppose we shall never know all the details. His character seems to have been not above reproach, causing Marie considerable aggravation, financial and otherwise. But it is inferred he did transmit some information which was helpful in fitting together pieces of the puzzle.
Convinced she was on the track of something important, Marie subsequently journeyed to Williamsburg in quest of Bruton Vault. She arrived there on May 29, 1938. The events that transpired during the several months of her stay in Williamsburg should be well known to readers of Baconiana. She wrote and published them under the title Foundations Unearthed, which booklet was reviewed in the July, 1941 issue of Baconiana and has been mentioned more recently in January and July, 1950. Perhaps over the years there have been other references to the matter which I have overlooked. In any case, it is not intrinsic to this article that the story be recounted in its entirety. Suffice to say that although the vault never was found, there is evidence that Marie’s claims were not altogether invalid.
Before discussing certain aspects of the case, let us devote our attention briefly to the matter of Marie’s “code.” The method she employs in “deciphering” the Wither book and other material from which she has extracted alleged data is not at all orthodox. One encounters great difficulty in following it logically. Indeed, she claims that strict adherence to the rules of mechanical code and cipher will get one nowhere in this case. Rather, she says, the code is broken by a psychological key. Off-hand, this would seem to be merely a convenient excuse for taking extreme liberties, for it does appear at times that she alters the rules to obtain letters needed to “verify” certain data. This she denies, contending that there are very definite rules, but that their application depends on certain psychological insight.
If the proof of the pudding is in the eating, we can only conclude that the code is valid, for with it she was able to calculate in advance certain measurements and dimensions with considerable accuracy.
The first attempt to dig for the vault, undertaken beneath the floor of the present church tower, did not bear fruit. Undaunted, Marie attributed the failure to a belief that they had dug in the wrong place. This she based on the opinion that original Bruton (“the first brick church”) had been located at a different site from that of the present edifice.
From inscriptions on tombstones in the churchyard, some of which seemed to bear typographical and emblematical resemblance to portions of the Wither book, she gleaned additional information. With anagrams and acrostics she arrived at the conclusion that the centre of the old church tower is 62 feet west and 99 feet northwest of the centre of the present church tower; further, that old Bruton’s foundations are 66 feet long by 29 feet wide; finally, that the centre of the old tower is 1,711 feet east of William and Mary College.
With the aid of a local surveyor, the area of her calculations was staked out and excavation was begun along the alleged baselines. At less than three feet depth brick was struck and the foundations appeared exactly along the lines of her calculations!
Permission to dig beneath the old tower was now denied, on the weak excuse that the consecrated ground of human graves was being violated.
Marie realized she would have to produce more conclusive proof that the vault actually existed, before further excavation would be allowed. So she contacted Hans Lundberg, Inc., of Toronto, Canada, an engineering firm which has developed instruments for the detection of bodies of metal in the ground. The Lundberg concern is frequently employed by mining interests to trace the direction and depth of veins of ore, etc. Marie succeeded in arousing the interest of Mr Lundberg himself, who sent a representative to Williamsburg to conduct a probe. The representative, Mr Mark Malamphy, carried on his field work November 1 through 4, 1938. He worked under the observation of the church vestry, officials of the Rockefeller Restoration, the city administration of Williamsburg, students and faculty of William and Mary College, and many local residents.
According to Foundations Unearthed a complete record was made of the proceedings and findings, including graphs and charts indicating “the undeniable recordings of impartial scientific instruments,” and “the tests disclosed a complete verification of my calculations concerning the size, depth and location of the vault.” She goes on to quote from the engineer’s report: “At a depth of from sixteen to twenty feet square, centred exactly where the 1,711 line east of William and Mary crosses the old foundations, lies a body partially filled and much larger than an ordinary tomb.”
In the face of Mr Malamphy’s scientific findings, the vestry could not very well refuse permission to excavate. During the next day and a half, digging proceeded to a depth of about nine feet. Then abruptly orders were given to the diggers to discontinue, and to fill everything in that same night, because it constituted “a safety hazard to tourists.” No more plausible explanation was given. A statement was published by the vestry that this last excavation was “the final one for which permission will ever be given.”
Now of course the question immediately arises: Why this ostensible opposition to digging for the vault? Much has been made of the Rockefellers’ part in the drama, and indeed, suspicion does seem to point in their direction. But it is difficult to ascertain the motives that might underlie their apparent attitude. One can speculate to fantastic lengths if one is so inclined, but that is quite a different thing from a theory based on factual evidence. A Rockefeller official reportedly stated, “The finding of old Bruton’s foundations was the most unfortunate thing that ever happened to Williamsburg, and should never have been permitted.” Why?
When I first heard this story, I was intrigued and wanted to investigate. As a journalist and lecturer, my interest was objective. It mattered little to me whether Maria Bauer was vindicated or indicted. If there was a story there, I wanted to get to the bottom of it; if there was none, I wanted to know that too.
Several visits with Marie convinced me that she was personally sincere. But I still wanted to check. I needed additional sources of information to substantiate her claims. So I went to work on the case, point by point.
About five years of investigation have convinced me THERE DEFINITELY IS SOMETHING TO THIS AFFAIR – UNDOUBTEDLY MUCH MORE THAN MEETS THE EYE – though I confess I am no nearer than ever to a solution. However, I do feel qualified to discuss several aspects of the matter. Let us first dispose of some of the details and side issues, in an effort to bare the prime elements of the case.
In Foundations Unearthed, Marie makes many statements which are controversial and which, no doubt, should have been indicated as such. By her own admission, she is not a scholar. She lacks the patience for painstaking research. There are different types of mental talents: some minds have a natural beat for detail, for the accumulation of facts and the encyclopedic storing of data, while others are inclined towards integration and emphasis on overall patterns. Marie falls into the latter category. To her it is relatively unimportant whether Sir Nicholas Bacon was Lord High Chancellor or Lord Keeper of the Great Seal. She writes rapidly and entirely from memory, without use of notes or reference material of any kind. Unfortunately, she makes the mistake of assuming that all her readers are similarly constructed, and makes light of the need for accuracy of detail. I have heard her say, “If anyone is so picayunish as to make an issue of such trivia, I have no wish to convince him anyway.” What she does not realize, and this I have told her repeatedly, is that those whose only introduction to her is through her booklet are likely to conclude that this woman must be flighty, poorly informed and unreliable.
Be this as it may, those who know Marie well are aware that she is none of these. She is guilty only of stating opinion as though it were fact. To be sure, such a delinquency is serious enough, but if Marie is to be accepted at all it must be forgiven.
Thus we can, if we please, discount her emphatic declarations that Bacon was the first-born son of Queen Elizabeth and the Earl of Leicester, that he was adopted by the Queen’s Lady-in-Waiting and that his brother Robert, Earl of Essex, was the son also of the “Virgin” Queen; that Lady Ann gave birth to a stillborn child; that Nathaniel Bacon was the name adopted by one Henry Blount, “a true descendant of Sir Francis Bacon”; that Valentine Andrea was the alias assumed by Bacon after his supposed death in England, etc. Much of this Marie implicitly believes, and there are many who share such opinions in full or in part. After all, these conclusions have been propounded by numerous writers on the Baconian question, and it is from such sources that Marie drew those beliefs which seemed valid to her, just as we are all disposed to do with the theories we encounter. Each of us must decide for himself if the evidence presented seems sufficient to establish a conclusion as fact. And what one person considers “fact” is often believed fantasy by others. Incontrovertible proof of past circumstances is rarely obtainable. To the best of my knowledge, none of Marie’s historical declarations is without bibliographical source.
Throughout Foundations Unearthed the author makes reference to numerous other of her own works under such titles as The Birth of a New Age, Book I, Book II, etc. It should be made clear that these as yet have never been published, although they have enjoyed considerable private circulation in manuscript form. They total approximately ten ponderous volumes. Marie claims that publishers have offered to take the works on condition that certain changes be made, to which she has refused to agree. If necessary financial arrangements can be made, she now plans to publish them privately.
These works are chiefly philosophical and psychological in nature. Marie claims to have deduced the contents of Bruton Vault, and from them to have developed a system of thought which she calls “The Laws of Life.” As I understand it, these are largely Baconian in genesis, but other elements have been added. In Manly Hall’s chapter on the Shakespeare controversy, he says, “He who solves its mystery may yet find therein the key to the supposedly lost wisdom of antiquity.” Perhaps “The Laws of Life” are that wisdom unlocked.
Marie’s work is delineated not only by means of words but by complex mathematical drawings which allegedly have astounded some advanced mathematicians and scientists, although Marie has little background in these fields. The chief appeal of the work in these perilous times is that presumably it offers a means of reconciliation for the hostile factions of the world on every scale, political, individual, philosophical and religious. Reputedly, certain high circles in government and elsewhere are extremely interested.
In 1949 I paid a visit to Williamsburg for the express purpose of checking as many facts of the case as possible. Although I came away satisfied that by and large Marie’s story is absolutely true, I found numerous instances in which minor details were at odds with her description of them. While I have no desire to discredit her by making mountains out of molehills, I feel it only fair that these discrepancies should be pointed out.
On page 37 of Foundations Unearthed, Marie states that on her first visit to Bruton Churchyard she discovered, “on the first tombstone near the entrance gate,” a stone engraving of the same “coat-of-arms” that reposes on the background of the “Shakespeare portrait” in the Wither book, and that this is the tomb of Nathaniel Bacon the elder. The fact is that some stretching of the imagination is required to identify the two shields. Marie does say that the bars on the shields differ, and that that of the Wither shield is a “bar sinister,” denoting illegitimacy. Even this is incorrect, for according to a heraldic annual, what she calls a bar sinister is in truth a chevron. A much more flagrant violation of reality, however, is the statement that the tomb is Nathaniel Bacon’s. Actually it is that of a man named John Yuille. Now it may be that Marie believes, for some reason, that this name is an alias of Bacon and that the latter in fact is buried there. If so, it is difficult to explain the presence on the north wall, inside the church tower, of a slab bearing the familiar Bacon coat-of-arms and the following inscription:
Here lyeth interred ye body of Nathaniel Bacon Esq. whose descent was from the Ancient House of ye Bacons (one of which was Chancellor Bacon and Lord Verulam) who . . departed this life ye 16 of March 1692 in ye 73 year of his Age.
According to local history, this tombstone was found on Bacon’s farm, Kingsmill, on the James River and later removed to the church.
Also on page 37 we find reference to a book by Rev. W.A.R. Goodwin, rector of Bruton intermittently from 1903 to 1938. Marie does not say which of Rev. Goodwin’s books this is (he wrote several) but she claims to have discovered a statement that all records previous to the erection of the present church (1715) had been torn out of the vestry books.
Unfortunately, I have not been able to obtain copies of all of Rev. Goodwin’s histories, but in The Record of Bruton Parish Church (Dietz Press, Richmond, Va., 1941) he states that the vestry book was carefully preserved for nearly 175 years, dating from 1674. It was then borrowed by Rev. John C. McCabe who was writing a series of articles on old colonial churches. (His story on Bruton appeared in The American Church Review in 1855). Rev. McCabe did not return the book, and his home in Norfolk, where the book was thought to be kept, was destroyed by fire.
It seems unthinkable that Rev. Goodwin would publish two conflicting accounts regarding the fate of the missing records. At the same time, one must admit that either of the purported explanations leaves much to be desired as a plausible clue to what actually became of them.
Next, we are told on page 39 that the legend on the Bland map was signed by a man named Nicolsen, the same name appearing on one of the tombs with coded inscription. I was unable to find any such name on the map. However, I did not see the original, and while we are led to assume that the copies in circulation are authentic and faithful reproductions, there is always the possibility that this detail has been altered. But here again, it would be difficult to determine exactly why.
On page 45 we find mention of the tomb of “Ann Graham.” The fact is that the woman’s name is Ann Frank, who is buried with her husband, Graham Frank. Thus the inscription states that it is the tomb of Ann and Graham Frank. From this Marie has extracted the names “Ann” and “Graham” because of the similarity to the word anagram, and because a Wither book illustration portrays a woman holding a spray of grain (graham) in her hand. (Marie apparently did not realize that the term “graham”, applied to wheat flour, originated from the American dietetic reformer, Sylvester Graham, who lived some two centuries after the publication of the Wither book!)
Yet, in spite of the holes thus poked in the case, surprisingly enough it does not collapse like a house of cards. We still have the fact that the old foundations were discovered, and their dimensions predicted accurately. We still have the engineer’s report, if it can ever be verified.
End of Part 1
The Buried Secret of Bruton Churchyard Part II
by Albert Stuart Otto
Originally published in Baconiana 140 July 1951 p. 123-130. This is the second part of a two-part article.
Editor: In the first part, the writer, a well-known American journalist and lecturer, described how Marie Bauer (now Mrs Manly P. Hall), of Los Angeles, Cal., claimed to have discovered the site of a tomb in Bruton Churchyard, Williamsburg, Va., in which Nathaniel Bacon from England in the 17th cent. Concealed priceless manuscripts, supposedly of Francis Bacon. The present owners of the property, the Rockefeller Foundation, gave permission in 1938 to excavate, but suddenly, when the foundations had been discovered, the work was stopped by the Rockefeller authorities. Mr Otto continues from that point.
It is difficult to obtain positive testimony. Marie herself has been most co-operative in attempting to make this possible. She has put me in touch with a number of people whom she felt would be of help. Their non-committal though friendly attitude cannot but make one wonder what lies behind it. Even Mr V. M. Geddy, one of the top officials of the Rockefeller Restoration, was most cordial when I interviewed him. I asked him if he cared to deny, outright, any of Marie's claims and charges against the Restoration. He stated that he did not, that a dozen years is a long time and he could not remember the details thoroughly and he further implied that a powerful organization like the Rockefellers does not have to worry about the animosity of one little woman. It was Mr Geddy's general recollection, in response to a question I directed to him, that excavation for the vault was halted because sufficient proof had not been submitted to warrant further digging. He did not make it clear why operations were allowed to proceed to a depth of nine feet before this decision was reached. Since the vault supposedly is at least sixteen feet deep, the termination cannot be attributed to discouragement.
In addition to being an official of the Restoration, Mr Geddy is also a member of the church vestry. Bruton Churchyard is one of the few pieces of property in down-town Williamsburg which the Restoration has not acquired, because it is not purchasable. However, since a number of Restoration personnel are embers of the vestry, the problem of control would appear largely to be solved.
A few years ago an American magazine decided to run an article on Marie's Williamsburg adventures. She was interviewed by one of the publication's representatives, who subsequently contacted the Restoration for verification of her story. The reply came not from the Restoration, but from the present rector of Bruton, Rev. Craighill. It was a scathing denunciation of Marie, ridiculing her whole idea as a fantastic hoax. Learning of the letter, Marie wrote Rev. Craighill in her own defence, retaliating with all she had. Her best argument was the fact that Mr Craighill came to Bruton only shortly before she left Williamsburg, and they scarcely became acquainted at all; how, then, could he claim first-hand knowledge of the matter?
The magazine prepared to present both sides of the story in an impartial analysis. Suddenly, and without warning, it suspended publication. It is still defunct. Perhaps this was only coincidence.
It has been theorized that the Rockefellers could have learned of the vault in the same manner that Marie did. Perhaps, fearing ridicule if it became known they were embarking upon such a seemingly fantastic quest, as well as realizing it might prove to be wholly unfounded, the Rockefellers decided a wiser approach would be to take over Williamsburg on the pretext of restoring the old colonial capital. This would be a perfectly legitimate disguise for the real project, allowing unlimited opportunity for digging and locating old foundations without arising suspicion.
But this is pure speculation. There is no evidence whatever to support it.
I interviewed Mr Channing Hall, former mayor of Williamsburg, who had been very friendly and co-operative with Marie in 1938. His position now is quite the reverse. He insisted there was nothing to Marie's idea, that I was wasting my time in investigating the matter. I later was informed by local sources, which may or may not be reliable but which for obvious reasons must remain nameless, that Mr Hall, once a foe of the Restoration, has become their ally. This may be untrue, but if not it might explain an otherwise mysterious change of attitude.
Other Williamsburg residents remembered the case and held various opinions. The church guide, who gives brief lectures on the history of Bruton, said that visitors from all over the country had told him the Shakespeare manuscripts are buried in the churchyard and he was beginning to believe in it himself. However, I found him rather reluctant to talk about the original church, and only after considerable pumping could I get him to admit that four plain stone markers, each approximately six inches square and protuding only a couple of inches above the ground, indicate the corners of the old foundations. I paced off the distances and surely enough, they are 66 feet by 29 feet. At least someone has thought the old foundations sufficiently important to mark.
Visitors to Williamsburg are given only a hazy idea that there was ever an earlier church, and I am certain that very few have any notion it was located among the tombs through which they now wander. Occasionally a tourist may trip on a small stone slab, wonder momentarily what it may denote , and finding no inscription, walk unwittingly on without giving it another thought.
Mr V. D. McManus, the surveyor who had worked with Marie, was friendly and hospitable when I called on him at his hoe. He said he might have some records on the case “down in the basement,” but it would take some time to locate them, and when he did he would let e know. He did state that, so far as he could recall, his measurements checked with Marie's calculations. His general opinion seemed to be that her procedure had definite validity.
Since leaving Williamsburg I have never heard a word from Mr McManus, despite the fact that I have written him several times. Over the past few years I have also written dozens of other individuals to whom Marie has referred me throughout the country. I have yet to hear from any of them.
We come now to the big enigma. In spite of my failure to acquire any concrete evidence in Williamsburg, I felt the trump card in the case was not there anyway. It was in Toronto, in the establishment of Hans Lundberg, Inc.
I contacted the firm, but was informed Mr Lundberg was away. I kept trying. Always he was out of town. On each return, he must have entered the office. Touched his desk and immediately departed, for he was constantly out of reach for a year. He was in Europe, Sweden, everywhere but Canada, I was told. Finally, in desperation, I wrote a letter accusing them of deliberately putting me off. It evoked a prompt answer – from Mr Lundberg himself. He declared he could not give e the information without Marie's written permission. This I soon obtained and dispatched to him. Again time elapsed, and no response. Finally a letter arrived, containing a weak excuse about being unable to locate the files. This time I was really aroused, and made no effort to disguise the fact in my reply. Shortly thereafter I received the following communication:
23 November, 1949
Upon analysing your letter of the 6th November I find it would be absolutely against the code of ethics of our profession to allow you to use, at your own discretion, our reports or statements.
Yours very truly,
So far as I was concerned,that wound up our relationship. There was nothing further I could do. But we were not yet quite finished.
I made reference to the Bruton matter in a newsletter I occasionally publish, a copy of which Mr Lundberg received. Whereupon he must have undergone a change of heart, for he wrote Mr Fred Cole, then Marie's secretary, mentioning his contact with me and expressing regret over the outcome. He professed regret that he no longer possessed the records in question, since Mr Mark Malamphy, who had made the tests, had kept them in his private files. Mr Lundberg suggested that we contact Mr Malamphy, and to this end enclosed the address of the latter – now located in Africa!
I wrote to Mr Malamphy, simultaneously dispatching a note of thanks to Mr Lundberg for his courtesy and cooperation. Perhaps this was premature, for I have yet to hear from Mr Malamphy. Several communications to him have elicited no response. But then, why should the pattern be violated? It would be surprising indeed should I encounter anyone to break the perfect record of silence in this case.
Of course, there is no guarantee that Mr Malamphy actually is in Africa. Even if he is, one wonders if he would be likely to be transporting files dating back to 1938.
The unfortunate part of it all is that until a few years ago Marie had a copy of the report in her own possession. But somehow it was mislaid and has not turned up since. One afternoon I spent a couple of hours in her attic searching for the document, but to no avail.
Thus it appears that, for the time being at least, we have struck a dead end.
However, there are other aspects of the case to which we should turn our attention. A number of questions come to mind, and perhaps to these we can find at least some speculative answers.
It is only natural that one should wonder about the anachronism in this affair. The Wither book bears the published date of 1635. Although Williamsburg was first settled as Middle Plantation in 1633, it is believed the first brick church was not erected until half a century later. How, then, could information concerning the vault be encoded in a book published long before construction of the tower beneath which it was to be buried?
The theory by which this is explained is that the Wither book was published by a group who were able to insure that the data it contained would in time become fact. This was Bacon's “Shakespeare” group, who also comprised the original esoteric nucleus of modern Freemasonry. For further extension of this thesis, the reader is again referred to the works of Manly P. Hall and other similar writings. Mr Hall's The Secret Destiny of America is especially recommended, though unfortunately it is now out of print.
A grasp of this viewpoint enables one to realize the possibility that the entire course of American history, including the establishment of the United States as a citadel of democracy, may have been predetermined and events carried out in accordance with a master pattern. The vast influence of the Masonic order in American affairs is cited as an indication of how such a plan might be executed. Conceivably it could even account for the incipience of graham flour!
If one wishes to indulge in flights of fantasy, one can easily do so by leafing through the Wither book. With a little aid from the imagination, the illustrations appear to become highly significant. For example, there is one which pictures a woman digging. Says the caption: “If thou thy duties truly do, of thy reward be hopeful too.” Marie tells of the persistence of this particular page. Every time she would become discouraged, if she opened the book she would find this admonition staring her in the face. More than once it was solely responsible for her decision not to give up the quest.
Bruton Vault supposedly was brought to America by Nathaniel Bacon, Sr. It may have been buried beneath the tower of the brick church in Jamestown, which was burned by followers of Nathaniel Bacon, Jr., during the rebellion of 1676. At that time the vault may have been removed to its present location, over which the first brick church of Bruton Parish was erected a few years later. (Although Bruton Church dates back to 1674, there is thought to have been no brick church until about 1683, the earlier edifices having been constructed of wood.)
Mention of Nathaniel Bacon here brings to mind a recent commentary in Baconiana (January, 1950) on a letter from Mr Johan Franco regarding “Bacon's Castle.” (Mr Franco, by the way, was at one time engaged in correspondence with Marie.) I, too, visited the present owners of Bacon's Castle, who met both Marie and Mr Cunningham there in 1938. Though the old place is rich in historical interest, I encountered nothing to indicate it has any intrinsic connection with the Bruton matter. There has been some speculation that auxiliary vaults may have been buried on this property, but there is no evidence to support such an assumption. Since Bacon never owned the property, it seems unlikely he would have selected such a location for this purpose. Kingsmill would be a much more likely site, if indeed there are caches in addition to Bruton Vault.
Another question arises from Marie's assertion that Rockefeller interests have restored Stratford-on-Avon. Here, again, we have an example of her acceptance in good faith of rumours on which she has not personally checked. It may be that the Rockefellers are in some way involved in the financing of Stratford activities but if so they do not wish it known, for they have flatly denied any connection. On August 26, 1947 they wrote me as follows:
The Rockefeller Foundation has not financed restoration projects and has no information which we can offer you concerning research restoration at Stratford-on-Avon. The Folger Shakespeare Library, in Washington, D.C., might be able to help you to information.
Strangely enough, the Folger Library subsequently denied me permission to use its research facilities. Investigating the Library's raison d'etre, I encountered biographical data on the late Henry Clay Folger, who accumulated what is called “the world's largest collection of Shakespeareana and books and manuscripts of that age.” (It is interesting to note that it includes a considerable amount of Baconiana comprising heraldry, manuscripts and memorabilia as well as printed editions.) The article goes on to state that Mr Folger's interest in the subject was first excited when, as a young man, he attended a lecture on the Shakespeare writings by Ralph Waldo Emerson. (According to Sir Edwin Durning-Lawrence, this same Emerson said of the Stratford man: “He was a jovial actor . . I cannot marry this fact to his verse.”) And who was Mr Henry Clay Folger? He was a president of the Standard Oil Company of New York! Still coincidence?
There has been some speculation regarding the possibility of access having been gained to the vault since 1938 via a subterranean tunnel. This is possible, of course, though the vault itself, being ten feet cube, could hardly be removed by such a means. The contents could be withdrawn, however, although there is no indication of any such activity. It is difficult to conceive a project of this magnitude that would not attract attention. The floor of such a tunnel would have to be more than twenty feet deep and the passage large enough to accommodate at least a couple of men. Of course, there are basements nearby which offer opportunity for launching such an operation. There is also a highway underpass which has been rumoured a possible point of entrance. But this is several blocks distant, and I doubt whether the necessary work crew could be completely silenced concerning so lengthy and unusual an excavation.
While it may be that if the vault is ever unearthed it will be found empty, Marie's claim of having deduced the essence of the contents, if true, minimises the consequences of such a catastrophe. On the other hand, discovery of the vault intact would provide an excellent means of substantiating her conclusions and interpretations, or invalidating them, as the case may be.
At the present time the aforementioned Mr Fred Cole is in Washington, D.C., where he is attempting to promote an official investigation of the entire matter. Presumably this would include a hearing in which the pros and cons of the controversy might be presented and a verdict officially rendered to settle the issue permanently. This seems a large order, but stranger things have happened and we wish Mr Cole success in his efforts. The opposition he is bound to encounter is manifestly typified by an experience he had in 1948.
Cole sent letters to 110 nationally and internationally prominent persons, with more than half of whom he was personally acquainted. Each letter, politely requesting opinions and suggestions, was accompanied by a copy of Foundations Unearthed which the recipient was urged to read carefully. Most of the replies were ambiguous and vague. Not one of the 110 people offered any concrete suggestions although a few volunteered to be of service if called upon to help. Some missed the point completely, mistaking the nature of the appeal. An official of the Saturday Review of Literature erroneously concluded it was an entreaty to publish an article on the subject. An executive of Metro-Goldwyn-Meyer Pictures wrote that “while there is undoubtedly merit to the suggestion, this studio has so very much material in work and on the shelf that we do not feel it feasible to consider your proposal for the present.” Mr Cole's letter contained no “suggestion,” nor any “proposal.”
Excerpts from the few of the other letters follow. For obvious reasons, names are withheld, though many would doubtless be well known to the reader.
As for being able to solve the world's ills with documents yet uncovered, that I doubt...
I think of Masons as I do Elks, Moose, etc.: mostly social with just enough folderol, mystery, ritual and distinction to give the common man something to cling to beyond his dull, daily routine existence...
I am a great admirer of the almost incredible human insight which many of the Shakespearian dramas exhibit, and of their superb craftsmanship, but have always felt that the question of who wrote them was intriguing but not important. And I do not believe that any great works of human art written 350 years ago contain any universal formula for solving the problems of today.. It should be the pride of each generation to solve its own problems.
It is all very interesting but I don't believe a word of it...
It certainly is ridiculous to think that Bacon or anyone else who lived three centuries ago could have anything concrete to hand down to this troubled era except in general philosophy and beauty of language. Add to that preposterous supposition of the obscure, meaningless use of ancient symbols and the whole proposition takes on the aspect of a bad dream.
I have no use for flimsy retreats from realism. The answer is not in the past...
To us in the theatre, the name of Shakespeare has come to mean so much through sheer historical theatrical tradition that we have never welcomed any shadows being cast across that name. To us Shakespeare is a god and we do not relish having our faith in him disturbed.
Let us turn finally to the Masonic order as related to the Bruton matter. It is obvious that Freemasonry is vitally interested and involved. Since Marie's return from Williamsburg she has been visited by numerous members of the fraternity, all of whom have encouraged her in her work. She has been invited to lecture before many Masonic lodges, whose members invariably have been amazed at her profound knowledge of their symbolism. The foreword to Foundations Unearthed was written by Mr Harold V. B. Voorhis, P.M., an outstanding Masonic author and scholar and a member of numerous Masonic grades and rites outside the pale of regular York and Scottish Rite Freemasonry, in which he also holds active membership. Mr Voorhis states:
The writer of this work, Maria Bauer, of Glendale, California, is a young woman of high intellectual qualities who investigated the Bruton Masonic Vault depository data and its appendant and interlocking evidence of existence, as a natural sequence of her researches. Several talks with Maria Bauer have convinced e of the importance of her findings, especially in their relation to Freemasonry, and I have interested myself in the problem in the hope that a final solution may be effected.
The following pages give the results and conclusions drawn after a preliminary research, of one of the most important literary and Masonic discoveries ever made...
I have undertaken to introduce Marie Bauer to the Masonic scholars because it appears to me that we are on the brink of finding the answer to “from whence we came”...
The Supreme Council of the 33° A. & A. Scottish Rite of Freemasonry, Southern Jurisdiction, U.S.A., publishes an official organ called The New Age. In the April, 1948, issue there appears an extremely interesting article by A. Ueland, entitled William Shakespeare. While the author avoids any mention of the controversy, he presents evidence linking Masonry with Shakespeare beyond all doubt. Following is an extract from the article. I call particular attention to the final paragraph.
During the Elizabethan period, the Mermaid Tavern was a favourite rendezvous of the literati. It is believed that Masonic meetings were held there. The author of the Masonic ritual is unknown. Several English writers believe that Shakespeare was a member of the Masonic fraternity, and some think he had a hand in the preparation of its ritual. The Book of Constitutions (Masonic) edited by J. Anderson, emerged in 1723, one hundred years after the First Folio was printed. J. O. Halliwell in his book, Early History of Freemasonry, mentions: “that in all probability English Freemasonry in its present state was not introduced before the close of the sixteenth century.”
Love's Labours Lost, an early play, and The Tempest, his last play, contain many allusions to the craft. There is a reference to Masonry in Sonnet 80, dedicated to the theme of good fellowship as an antidote for the broils and conflicts of the world. Owing to paucity of space, only a few passages are quoted:
“Come swear to that; kiss the book.”
Tempest (Act II, Sc. II, L. 141)
“And from the cross-bow plucks the letter G.”
Richard III (Act I, Sc. I, L. 55)
“Doth any name particular belong unto the lodging?...'Tis call'd Jerusalem.”
Henry IV, Part 2 (Act IV, Sc. V, L. 234)
The dedication stone of the Memorial Theatre at Stratford was laid, during 1929, by Lord Ampthill, Pro Grand Master in England with an old Egyptian maul used at Sakkara four thousand years ago. Six hundred Masons were present in full regalia. The same ceremony was observed in 1877, when the former theatre was built.
In the January, 1944, issue of the same magazine, we find an article called The Future of Freemasonry. Perhaps it tells why the order has not used its influence to effect a culmination of the Bruton matter:
...are we not taught to eschew politics in all our fraternal activities? Quite so...
It is true that they (Masons) can do nothing in an organized way, in the form of Lodges or Grand Lodges, and they should not try. But, as individuals, as personal workers in the cause of justice and liberty, as believers in fair treatment for all regardless of race, creed or colour, they can do much, if they will but observe and think, and then act upon their convictions. And let us never forget that Masonry possesses the key to the fundamental solution of every problem we face, and to a better future for mankind. That key is ours, if we will but use it.” Its name is Universal Brotherhood. Nothing less will suffice!
And so we await results of the efforts of individual Masons, of Fred Cole, of Marie herself, and of en and women of goodwill everywhere. Meanwhile, the secret of Bruton Churchyard remains a secret. We can speculate to our heart's content, but an answer of which we can be sure continues to be as elusive as ever. In the words of the poet Robert Frost:
We dance round in a ring and suppose,
While the Secret sits in the middle, and knows.
Sir Francis and the New Temple of God
by Petter Amundsen
Norway has for a couple of years been swept by an Anti-Stratfordian craze. Even in schools some teachers will blatantly inform their students that the authorship of Shakespearean plays is open for debate, and that there is no correct answer to quiz questions like: “who wrote Hamlet?”, apart from being “uncertain”. This will be seen as the outcome of NRK (our BBC) airing our two productions, Sweet Swan of Avon (a four-episode TV series), and its sequel film: Shakespeare – the Hidden Truth.
The latter, a 100 minute documentary, was also included in Cambridge Film Festival’s 2013 programme. In addition, there have been the publications of two books: Organisten (2006, written by Erlend Loe and myself) and my own opus, the 2012 Kindle book: Oak Island and the Treasure Map in Shakespeare. As I write this I am participating in one out of five episodes on US History Channel’s: The Curse of Oak Island, which premieres these days.
There is usually excitement to be found fizzling in the wake of those who choose to familiarise themselves with my Rosicrucian Shakespeare hypothesis – 8,000 followers of an anti-Stratfordian Facebook page would by many be considered a respectable number in a country of five million inhabitants.
What excites these people is primarily that I claim to have discovered a genuine treasure map in the First Folio of Shakespeare (published 1623) and Shake-Speare’s Sonnets (dated 1609). Of course this kindles their passions, flexes muscles of greed and ignites lust for adventure, effectively killing everyday boredom. Some even say I have brought meaning to miserable lives. However ego-boosting this might seem I rather see myself lucky to have had the joyful privilege of pointing my finger to something I did not construct myself. If this should all be figment of my own runaway imagination I agree I really deserve that kind of praise, but I find it hard to believe it is so.
The map I discovered, leading to the New Temple of God, was arguably created by Sir Francis Bacon and his Rosy Cross brethrens, four hundred years ago. And should the treasure contain religious artefacts they will change history should they be recovered. Therefore I make a point urging for caution when I tell my story, thinking from time to time it is a good thing it is a story that is quite hard to swallow.
But at some stage we will reach critical mass, and an avalanche may follow. Reactions from my appearance on History Channel will teach us something about what we can expect from the future. When I refer to “we” I mean our team of Norwegian enthusiasts (film makers and theorists) who nurture an even bigger scope these days, toying with creating a new TV series relating how artists and architects all over Europe joined in on leaving cues and clues to this fantastic enterprise – creating a secret set of pointers to the Naos Nova - The New Temple.
As I write this (Jan 2, 2014) I look back on 12 years of fulfilling adventure this very day. One of my most important discoveries was made in 2006 when I understood what is meant by Mr. W. H. in the Sonnet dedication. You may have noted that I above wrote dated 1609, not published. I firmly believe it was published as late as in 1624. And I posit that Master W. H. is not a person – how would we know with any amount of certainty who is indicated, just from two rather common initials?
The cryptic, hourglass-shaped setup ultimately provides keys to realising that whoever wrote this was using a cipher system used by both Julius Caesar and Lady Ann Bacon alike. It functions by substituting Greek with Latin characters.
W thus becomes Omega = O
H is Eta = E.
Later on I was happy to find a letter resting in the archives of The Church of England in Canterbury, in which Sir Francis himself displays flowing penmanship writing in plain English using Greek letters.
The W. H. method then allows us to read and insert names into the geometric map that was slowly emerging, pointing to constellations. The map’s X-mark is Deneb, the brilliant tail star of Cygnus - The Swan.
“But stay, I see thee in the hemisphere advanced and made a constellation there.” Said Ben Jonson. Who was being transported skyward? His friend – the Sweet Swan of Avon.
On old maps stars are painted on the ground. This unifies the celestial and terrestrial globes. The brightest star in Cygnus – Deneb – is projected onto the Earth just where Nova Scotia and New Brunswick meet, not far from Oak Island, the famous treasure isle, where I say the New Temple of God is outlined in the shape of a gigantic cross on the ground.
It is also interesting to notice that the same W. H. cipher system was used on the Shepherd’s Monument of Shugborough Hall, located north of Birmingham, using its mysterious ten letters to not only describe the secret side to the motive of the Poussin-based relief, but also to name its commissioner, Thomas Anson, and (as I learned today by Øystein Bruno Larsen) that D and M not only stands for Deity and Man, MeriDiana and DidyMus (Thomas), but also signify Degrees and Minutes, using the rest of the letters pinpointing Oak Island using the London meridian. Someone may thus have known the secret as late as mid-18th century.
These are themes we plan on explaining in every fascinating detail in the new series that we prospect. We do believe Oak Island is a special place. Leave all the legendary treasure-hunting history behind if you will, just focus on the Oak Island cross itself, and the reason for safeguarding the island would be warranted just for the sake of this symbol alone. I argue its true significance lies in it being both a Christian cross and a Jewish Tree of Life, befitting the constructors who were self-acclaimed Christian Cabalists. It is the Sweet Swan of Avon projected down onto the Earth, just like the old Augurs of Rome would have done it: constructing Temple outlines, uniting Heaven and Earth.
The Mr. W. H. method furthermore reveals that what we seek using the map is nothing less than a New Temple – a Naos Nova.
Reverse Avon and you get Nova.
Reverse Swan and you get Naws. Mr. W. H. makes that W an O = Naos.
Naos Nova – Avon Swan.
Sweet reversed is Teews. E can be H.
Simple Greek/Latin substitution writes out, in sequence, the Name of the dedicatee of
this Temple -