Cyrus Teed and the inside-out Earth

Nov 26 2007 Published by under ... the Hell?

There's some skepticism in the blogosphere, over the recent discussion of geocentrists and now, apparently, flat-earthers, that these web sites and trolls must be joking.  Nobody could possibly believe such simple-minded tripe in our modern, rational world, could they?

All this talk reminded me of the story of Cyrus Teed, a man who believed that we were living on the inside of a hollow Earth, not the outside, and that the sun and stars all resided in the central cavity.  Teed ended up with a cult worshipping under his new religion, Koreshanity, which at its peak had 250 followers.

When did all this happen?   Teed died in 1908.  About three dozen members of the cult remained, however, and there were still 35 members in the 1940s.  Finally, in 1960, the remaining four members deeded the Koreshan lands to the state of Florida.

My favorite part of the story?  Teed was confident that he would be resurrected after his death.  His followers awaited his rising until the body had decomposed enough for the county health officer to order it interred.

The lesson here is that there's always somebody out there willing to believe just about any crazy thing, if you give them a good enough story.

3 responses so far

  • babs67 says:

    Really? Why on earth (no pun intended) would these people believe this? I can't imagine the kind of people that would be open to this kind of crazy-talk.

  • babs67 wrote: "Why on earth (no pun intended) would these people believe this?"

    I've been saying for a long time that rational thought does not come natural to human beings: it is a learned behavior to separate the rational from the irrational. This is why education is so important: if people are not educated to critically analyze a person's claims, they'll be entirely susceptible to charisma and emotional appeals and can be taught to believe pretty much anything. Case in point: the current standoff by a Russian doomsday cult .

  • mitrah says:

    such concept of our earth-universe is not stupid nor crazy nor irrational at all... as you explained it, yeah it is. bad studing seriously the matter, it isn't. if you change the light's patterns in more than an einstanian way...well, it works! so, where does the truth lay?