cyrus teed

In 1869, American inventor and physician Cyrus Teed was experimenting with some electrical apparatus when he was hit with a bolt of energy, knocking him out cold. On awaking, he proclaimed that he had communed with the angels, who told him the secrets to the universe. Teed changed his name to Koresh and started preaching his gospel, forming the Koreshanites movement. As well as celibacy and reincarnation, the tenets of Koreshanity held that the Earth was in fact a hollow sphere, with people living on the inside. In this “Cellular Cosmology” model, the heavens above were really the heavens within, an intricate machinery of prisms and light. After founding his utopian settlement in Estero, Florida, Teed set out to prove that the world really was hollow. -Science Blogs Dot Com

4

Dr. Cyrus Teed and the Koreshans,

The idea of the hollow earth was made popular by Jules Verne’s novel “Journey to the Center of the Earth”.  However a doctor in New York would propose an idea that took the hollow earth theory one step further.  Dr. Cyrus Teed was a physician who had a very unique view of the earth.  According to Teed the earth was hollow, however we were living inside of the concave hollow earth, with the sun, atmosphere, stars, and moon located in the center.  Needless to say, Dr. Teed was a very odd man, who also performed very odd experiments involving mysticism, alchemy, and subjecting himself to high voltage electrical shocks.

After subjecting himself to one such shock in 1869 Dr. Teed was visited by a divine spirit who revealed to him that he was the Messiah, and that Teed needed to use his scientific knowledge to save humanity.  Dr. Cyrus Teed changed his name to “Koresh”, the Hebrew name for Cyrus.  He founded a new religion called “Koreshanity” which revolved around the ideas of communal living, utopianism, celibacy (no sex), reincarnation, the non-existence of gravity, and his particular version of the hollow earth theory.  Many people flocked to join his new religion, and communes were formed in New York, Chicago, and San Francisco. 

In 1894 Teed declared the creation of a “New Jerusalem” in Estero, Florida.  The 250 Koreshans built a prosperous small town complete with a bakery, a general store, concrete works, power plant, and a Koreshanity College.  The Koreshans even created their own political party, unsuccessfully running candidates for local government positions.  Teed’s death in 1908 led to the withering of the movement. The last Koreshan was Hedwig Michel, an immigrant who fled the Nazi’s during the 1930’s.  In 1964 she deeded the colony to the State of Florida, which made it into the Koreshan State Historic Park.

3

Koreashanity and the Concave Earth Theory,

The idea of the hollow earth was made popular by Jules Verne’s novel “Journey to the Center of the Earth”.  However, in 1869 a doctor in New York would propose an idea that took the hollow earth theory one step further.  Dr. Cyrus Teed was a physician who had a very unique view of the earth.  According to Teed the earth was hollow, however we were living inside of the concave hollow earth, with the sun, atmosphere, stars, and moon located in the center.  Needless to say, Dr. Teed was a very odd man, who also performed very odd experiments involving mysticism, alchemy, and subjecting himself to high voltage electrical shocks.

After subjecting himself to one such shock in 1869 Dr. Teed was visited by a divine spirit who revealed that Teed was a messiah, and salvation of humanity depended on his spreading of the “Concave Earth” theory. Dr. Cyrus Teed changed his name to “Koresh”, the Hebrew name for Cyrus, and founded a new religion called “Koreshanity”.  The core of Koreshanity revolved around belief in the Concave Earth, as well as  communal living, utopianism, celibacy (no sex), and reincarnation. Many people flocked to join his new religion, and communes were formed in New York, Chicago, and San Francisco. 

In 1894 Teed declared the creation of a “New Jerusalem” in Estero, Florida. 250 Koreshans built a prosperous town complete with a bakery, a general store, concrete works, power plant, and a Koreshanity College.  In 1905 they conducted a five month long experiment in which not only did they supposedly prove the Concave Earth theory, but measured its curvature at eight inches per mile.  The Koreshans even created their own political party, unsuccessfully running candidates for local government positions.  However, the growing influence and expansion of the Koreshanity movement led to suspicion and acts of violence between residents and the Koreshans.  In one incident, Teed himself was accosted and injured by a group of men from Fort Meyers.  Apparently the injury never healed, and Teed died two years later in 1908.  

Teed had always preached that he was immortal, and would be resurrected like Jesus after his death.  His body was laid and watched over day and night for over a week until the local health department ordered his burial.  Despite this set back Teed’s followers continued to faithfully practice his teachings.  However, the lack of procreation caused by his teachings in celibacy ultimately doomed the religion.  Few followers joined the religion after his death, seeing Teed as a nutcase and crackpot.  Slowly the sect died out, with only a handful of Koreshan’s living in Florida by the 1960’s.  Today the Koreshan settlement is owned by Florida and is protected as a state park.