Read The Sacred Mushroom and the Cross by John Marco Allegro Online


s/t: A Study of the Nature and Origins of Christianity within the Fertility Cults of the Ancient Near EastProfessor Allegro (Univ. of Manchester) has hitherto been known for his several excellent books on the Dead Sea Scrolls. In an unusual reversal, he has now produced a book that will make The Passover Plot seem the last refuge of theological ultra-conservatism. The thess/t: A Study of the Nature and Origins of Christianity within the Fertility Cults of the Ancient Near EastProfessor Allegro (Univ. of Manchester) has hitherto been known for his several excellent books on the Dead Sea Scrolls. In an unusual reversal, he has now produced a book that will make The Passover Plot seem the last refuge of theological ultra-conservatism. The thesis of the book is simple enough: Jesus did not exist, the Gospels were & are a hoax, & Christianity is the atavistic vestige of an ancient fertility cult in which the object of worship was a peculiarly phallic mushroom, Amanita muscaria, capable of producing psychedelic reactions. As farfetched as all this may seem, it cannot be denied that he has brought to this work the same care & scholarly detachment that have characterized his earlier, & more conventional, works; & he has made not one concession to the sensational nature of his thesis. The book is, in fact, a demanding one, which presupposes in the reader at least a working knowledge of the ancient Semitic tongues & of the sciences considered auxiliary to biblical studies. Only the most determined non-professional iconoclast will be willing to wade through his unrelenting jargon. None of which, of course, will affect the demand for what is probably to become a very controversial work.--Kirkus (edited)...

Title : The Sacred Mushroom and the Cross
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780340128756
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 381 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Sacred Mushroom and the Cross Reviews

  • Whitney
    2018-12-27 01:15

    For such a dry book, this one really got my imagination going. Allegro is the philologist who translated The Dead Sea Scrolls. After initial acclaim, he was ostracized for carrying that work to its conclusion.He keeps the book very much on topic. It would be extremely easy to find several rabbit holes to go down. His only concern is the words. He is not a psychedelic proponent like Terrance McKenna. He is not a biblical scholar or a Christian. He only wants to understand the oldest languages that we know about and they just happen to be used to write these religious and Greek myths.His work is very well researched. Half of the book is bibliography. That being said, the work is incomplete. He lays some very solid groundwork for what could be an entire new field of study. There are a lot of asterisks. The sheer number of references and the obvious intentional obfuscation is compelling.Imagine people in 5314 AD trying to make sense of a 2014 text message that was intentionally obfuscated like one that might be used to arrange a drug deal. If they are only armed with a Webster's dictionary, good luck to them.If you ever have a psychedelic experience and you are at all familiar with biblical myths, you get the vague feeling that this must be what they were talking about. Allegro shows you with the language that it is exactly what they were talking about. It makes more sense that our ancestors believed that having mushroom fueled orgies in the woods would transfer their powers of biological fertility to their crops than for them to have been scared of a bearded man in the sky. It also shines light on to the potential reasons the first Christians were persecuted so by the Romans.I'm glad I read it, but it drags a bit. I found myself ready for it to be over towards the end. It started to remind me of this:

  • Jasper
    2019-01-19 06:24

    Wow. John Marco Allegro was the only non-Catholic member to help translate The Dead Sea Scrolls, and when he found the Sumerian glyphs that represented mushrooms and peered deeper into the text, he underwent an existential reforming, radically changing and casting off his Protestant beliefs. Yet as I read this amazing scholar's main work, I couldn't help but think that he was pressing his new-found dogma too hard, and that it would fall upon deaf ears. While the book has inspired many to look deeper into the amanita muscaria mushroom, I believe it is doubtful that any Christian deeply rooted in their beliefs could look at this book as anything more than the ravings of a demon possessed mad man. Were the stories in the old testament truly hidden messages to initiated shamans? Allegro points out that early Priests did not want to give up the secret ingredients to their sacramental potions that could contact the spirit world, so they hid them in stories that the main public could appreciate while novice Priests could understand a deeper meaning. "To them who have ears, let them hear," spoke Christ. As scrolls are eaten in a book of Eziekial, and a coin is found in the mouth of a fish, Allegro asserts that all these were obviously pointing to the Amanita Muscaria... not to mention the mushroom shaped penis. However, the book is a fascinating read to anyone who is open to new ideas, however absurd they may be. It is important to remember that Allegro was the foremost Sumerian scholar and that he was able to see the scrolls first hand.

  • Peter Lockhart
    2019-01-11 06:24

    Heavy going and really this man is a scholar. The fact is it ended his career because people prefer a simple lie to a complicated truth.I thought the book was astounding.

  • Robin Boudreaux
    2018-12-19 01:12

    One day people will look back on this book and realize that it was the beginning of the revelation of the true history of RELIGION and Christianity!!! day.

  • Erik Graff
    2019-01-16 06:06

    When taking my first Hebrew Scriptures course, our professor, Grinnell College Chaplain Dennis Haas began a lecture with a display of this book, saying how he had been shocked by its thesis that the roots of Judaism and Christianity were in a psychedelic fertility cult. John Allegro, its author, he noted, was a very well respected scholar, one of the first involved in the study of the Qumran scrolls. That such an expert could make such claims was quite upsetting.Years later, having gotten two degrees in religion and having read some of Allegro's other work, I returned to this book, hoping that I now knew enough to evaluate it.I did not. To critically appropriate Allegro's arguments one must be master of a whole host of ancient languages, beginning with Sumerian, the oldest written language known. Although I'd picked up some Greek, I'd not even begun to study Hebrew, not to mention the other, older languages.What I could appreciate, however, was Allegro's defense of the notion that much of what appears to be obscure and outrageous ancient religious literature is, in fact, experientially based and relevant to the concerns of real life. In other words, the use of psychotropic plants could certainly result in strong beliefs about other worlds or dimensions, even of other sentiences, and fertility is certainly of major concern to all agricultural communities.While this book will be beyond most readers as it was for me, most of Allegro's other works are quite accessible.

  • Adam K
    2018-12-30 08:04

    In this book, the author goes back to the roots of civilization in Sumeria to trace the use of psychedelic mushrooms as tools for divine revelation, and breaks down the original language of the Bible to show, among other things, the story of Jesus to be a thinly-veiled, word-play filled chronicle of merits of the sacred mushroom.It deals heavily with ancient languages, religions, and drugs, so if you're interested in any combination of those things, I totally recommend this book. Obviously, this book ruffled a lot of feathers when it arrived on the scene, so there's books written to debunk what's brought up, so there seems to be a whole lot to explore regarding this subject.Also, WHY THE FUCK ISN'T THIS BOOK IN PRINT!? Do people ever bootleg books like they do records? I could print a new edition of this book, market it to head shops, etc. and make a fortune, 'cause I don't think many people, especially young folk interested in mind-expanding substances, are aware of Allego's suggestions.

  • Donna
    2018-12-28 01:59

    I picked this up at a garage sale, TG I didn't pay very much for it. I later found out that this book was the downfall of Allegro and ruined his professional reputation. The man was a brilliant ancient linguist, but really went off the deep end with this one. Many people believe he deliberately wrote this sensationalistic book to generate badly needed money. I do know he was instrumental in bringing the errors (or perhaps deceptions) concerning the Dead Sea Scrolls interpretation to light, and for that I am grateful to him. But this book? Perhaps he only wrote it after having partaken of the mushroom himself.See will give you leads to articles about what his colleagues thought of this book.Now let me be clear about one thing. I am open to the concept of Summarian origins for many old testament stories. But rather than deception, I think perhaps the old testament writers simply believed it was the universal truth & felt no need to credit any foreign sources. But veiled references to secret ceremonies with "knowledge"from having partaken in a hallucinogenic substance? No.

  • JJ W
    2019-01-14 01:28

    What more can I say about this book that hasn't been written? This book is a classic, and the 40th anniversary edition of this book is a real gem, if only for the essay at the end by Professor Carl A P Ruck. The book's basic argument is that the bible is a fossil or a play that got built up from older cults and stories and bad translations--a huge game of telephone--and that by studying its linguistic predecessors, we can understand the strange stories of the Judeo-Christian tradition. My favorite Youtube video of this: TV anchor man: "I'm puzzled. Are you really seriously suggesting that Jesus Christ was a mushroom?"Allegro: "Ah, put pretty blankly, yes."Still, even if you ignore all mushroom stuff, the arguments against historical accuracy of the life and times of Jesus are worth reading. "Jesus Christ is a title, like 'managing director.'"

  • Trevor Luke
    2018-12-31 04:03

    Astoundingly absurd. The quest to find references to the amanita muscaria in Sumerian hidden in the Greek text of the New Testament must have originated in a little personal testing of the mushroom.

  • Emma Lucy
    2019-01-08 09:04

    I have been a fan of Allegro for some time so I was already aware of his theories before reading this book. I did enjoy it, but some parts were a struggle to get through, especially the many Sumerian and Semitic names for fungus! I believe there is a lot of truth in his ideas, however like so many of the alternative thinkers out there, he starts to see his theory in every aspect of Abrahamic spiritualism. I enjoyed his opinions on the early Islamic movements in connection to magical shrooms very much, and I loved learning some Sumerian language. However I do not think he has ever taken shrooms, I think if he did the book would have been very different. I think maybe too much focus is put onto the amanita muscaria mushroom, and although it causes some effects, it is nowhere near as powerful as some of the other fungus known to our prehistoric shamans. Through the use of 'drugs' in our diet at the earliest part of our history a new world outlook was born, art and religion can trace its origins to such a time, The Sacred Mushroom and the Cross is a good book to read if you are interested to see how this very ancient knowledge lingered before becoming lost in translation.

  • Deejay Nicke
    2019-01-15 06:06

    This book is not an "easy read" in any sense of the phrase, but it is a book that cannot be denied.Originally published in May of 1970, it was attacked and buried - out of print for nearly 40 years!It's author - John M. Allegro - with Masters degrees in Ancient Languages, Hebrew, and Ancient Studies - he was THE MAN asked to translate the Dead Sea Scrolls!Yet this book ended his career.This book was the result of 15 years of research and study, and yet critics dismissed it without even justifying their dismissal.No critic was as qualified as Allegro, so all they could say is "I'm not qualified to comment on the philology, but those who are disagree with Allegro..."In the end, you have to read this book for yourself and form your own opinion.If you take the time, it will blow your mind!

  • Corey
    2019-01-19 02:05

    This was clearly very well researched book, the evidence of all that research filling up the second half of the book. I think the proofs contained herein are very relevant and important for our understanding of religion, history, and belief systems. I wish more people would read this book, and more people would research these topics, but unfortunately we seem to be surrounded by ostriches, and this book will continue to be largely overlooked.All hail the magic mushrooms! The word made flesh!

  • Alford Wayman
    2019-01-15 07:16

    ehhh..Good hypothsis concidering Soma use in the vedas and ambrosia theories from the Greek texts. I say why not but to what extent. Conspiracy folks love books like this. But having read both Ancient Near Eastern and Greek ritual texts with translations more current I belive Allegro is stretching some things to the limits. Neither this nor that but both and.

  • HuggablySoft
    2019-01-07 08:06

    I grew up with Christianity forcefully shoved down my throat despite frequent and vigorous protests. I no longer hold the stark views against Christianity that I did in my youth. Nonetheless, this book had me smiling and even laughing at the possibility of Allegro being correct. And, mostly because I want it to be true, I do believe he is onto something.I feel that Allegro gives a good explanation for the motivation of a group of people to value the mushroom's psychoactive effects as the hand of god. How else would someone try to explain such an experience without the slightest hint of how biochemistry really works? If someone honestly reads Allegro's text with this in mind, it's hard to see how he can be totally wrong.Next, I plan to read "The Dead Sea Scrolls & The Christian Myth", also by Allegro. I've heard that this book is more approachable than "The Sacred Mushroom and the Cross". I'm hoping this will further build on and better flesh out the narrative he creates in "Sacred Mushroom".

  • Amanda Ure
    2019-01-13 04:58

    This book is complete nonsense! But it is interesting and a good read. I don't understand how a respected scholar could suddenly come out with this. On a side note, I think Philip K. Dick must've read it at some point.

  • Victor Negut
    2018-12-21 04:27

    I don't know how many of Allegro's conclusions are true, and the evidence to prove or disprove most of these beliefs has likely been forever lost in time. However, the book is astounding and compelling. Certainly not for anyone who is set in their religious views, but for agnostics and atheists, it is worth a read.

  • Zack Kruse
    2019-01-01 05:02

    This is a wonderfully strange and incredibly fascinating book, and the degree to which Allegro is right is less important to me than the pleasure of re-thinking ancient myths and mystery religions in this way.

  • John
    2019-01-08 09:08


  • Luciano
    2018-12-29 02:26


  • Shiloh
    2019-01-06 05:58

    I will admit that I did not quite finish this book. Close to the end, I decided I'd gotten Allegro's point as well as I could expect to, and any further reading would merely confuse me further.With only an English-department-mandated amount of linguistics background, coming to this book was incredibly difficult. I understood the point he was trying to make, and understood that there were already theories about Christianity rising from ancient pagan fertility religions, but I wasn't entirely convinced about the "Jesus mushroom" part. Due to my inability to understand his complex linguistics, I remain unconvinced.The book is written as well as one can expect; Allegro does appear to be trying to offer his information as clearly, succinctly, and simply as possible. The serious linguistic work is relegated to the endnotes and not included in the immediate text, which helps readability quite a bit. However, this also leaves gaps in his argument which makes some of his points seem spurious or far-fetched, maybe stretching for the correlations he's making. Again, however, I do not have the linguistic background necessary to make any claims about his scholarship.As an introduction to this theory, The Sacred Mushroom and the Cross is not an easy book to read. But it tries, and perhaps to someone with more background in the subject or in linguistics it would be easier to follow.

  • Jere
    2018-12-27 03:24

    "If then, there seems little in the picture drawn for us of first-century Christians by contemporary pagan historians that is in any way attractive, how far were the writers of the New Testament homilies serious in their advocacy of love towards all men, and turning the other cheek? Was it valid, if at all, only for members of the closed communities, as the Essenes were told to love one another but detest the outsider?Perhaps even more fundamentally, now that we no longer need to view the Bible through the mists of piety, does it really matter in the twentieth century whether the adherents of this strange Judaeo Christian drug cult thought their community ethics valid for the world at large, or not? If some aspects of the "Christian" ethic still seem worthwhile today, does it add to their authority that they were promulgated two thousand years ago by worshippers of the Amanita muscaria?"

  • Keith
    2018-12-24 02:12

    I actually started reading this book while getting my masters degree. Not in literature, or spelling, if you couldnt guess. anyway, it is a VERY interesting book. the beginning is very much on the nature of language and how words and their meanings change over time. or more importantly, how their original meanings get lost. I did not read the whole book yet. its is a little hard to read with so many entheogenist terms in it.. and the book has been long out of print and really hard to find.. I lucked out and my school library had one. I should have stolen it. anyway.. If you read this book, you will find out that Jesus was actually a psychodelic mushroom called Amanita. I should leave it at that till I read the rest of the book someday. If anyone has it, I would love to borrow it.

  • Hank
    2019-01-01 04:00

    Allegro's theory is fascinating: Christianity evolved from (retains components of and is possibly a cipher for) fertility cults and worship of a psychedelic mushroom. But, unless you're a philologist, there's no real way of telling how much is true and how much is, well, not. The evidence is expansive but esoteric and reads as such. Allegro's chock-a-block with ideas, but their far reach, similarly, makes it difficult to separate the signal from the noise for the reader, though he seems determined that he's right. Reading it now, the book seems almost quaint a series of ideas and what-ifs without engaging with the actual complexity that the research digs up. What if these series of encoded messages are not just about God but about us?, is the biggest one. Somehow the human seems the farthest from his reach.

  • Roger Green
    2018-12-19 05:17

    This is an intriguing book that inspired a lot of controversy. I do not necessarily agree with all of it; in fact, I think the case is overstated. But Allegro was on to something and brave enough to put out a book that cost him his career. His book and his method open up alternative ways of thinking and it's useful for that. My lack Sumerian knowledge among other languages make it difficult to follow his arguments so I won't condemn or ascribe to the argument.

  • Tim
    2018-12-22 04:00

    basically every reference in the bible is to a mushroom, penis, womb, or fertility. I did appreciate the analogy that like Jesus, the mushroom is born of a virgin (without seed) and he who eats of the flesh (amanita muscaria) will be like God. even the cover of the book is a copy of an ancient Christian depiction of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil being a mushroom.

  • Gabriel Evans
    2019-01-10 07:16

    Perhaps the greatest work of scholarship I have ever experienced. At first the proposition and implications seemed ludicrous, even to a devotee such as myself. However, although I am in no position to corroborate interpretations of Sumerian cuneiform, Allegro puts the pieces together so thoroughly that I was forced to submit in awe to this highly developed intellect.

  • Astroboy
    2019-01-17 08:03

    Were the gospels actually a collection of coded recipes for psychedlic mushrooms misinterpeted as a literal narrative?

  • Mark
    2019-01-08 06:28

    very thought provoking

  • нєνєℓ¢ανα
    2019-01-07 08:18

    Fiction and beyond...

  • Brian Ullom
    2018-12-19 03:04

    Heard about this fascinating book on the Joe Rogan Experience Podcast.