Saturday, August 6, 2016

A bit more on James Augustus Weimar

In Bernard’s recent article on James Augustus Weimar it is noted that Wiemar (a Society director for a short time) ceased association with the Bible Students and joined the Koreshian movement.

One Cyrus Teed renamed himself Koresh and as a Messiah-like figure formed a New Jerusalem community in Estero, Florida. The historical remains of this are now a national park. He had some unusual ideas including that the earth is hollow and humans live inside it with the sun like a giant battery in the middle. (One wonders if Edgar Rice Burroughs, author of the Tarzan books, got his idea for his Pellucidar series from reading Koresh.)

Teed/Koresh died in 1908, as a result of injuries sustained in a fight between his commune and outsiders. Having claimed he would be raised to heaven, his followers kept vigil over his body until the public health people stepped in. His tomb was destroyed in a hurricane in 1910 and his coffin washed out to sea and lost. Words like bizarre come to mind.

Weimer’s connection was not just as an observer. The Koreshians published a magazine, The Flaming Sword, which ran until 1949. As the next three pictures show, in this volume from 1914 Weimar was part of their editorial committee and also translator of their works into German.

 If I have deciphered his theology correctly, one of their beliefs was that hell was sort of something inside a person. This allowed for a gentle swipe at Pastor Russell. From the same 1914 volume:

There is no author given for the article in question. However, an article carrying Weimar’s name in this same volume shows that as one of the inner circle he practiced celibacy. As Bernard’s article noted, his wife divorced him in 1898.

At some point Weimar published a book entitled “The Divine and Biblical Credentials of Dr. Cyrus R. Teed (Koresh)”. Modern reprints have the title “Koreshanity, the New Age Religion”.

All in all, one gets the impression that CTR was probably quite relieved when Weimar parted company with the Watch Tower Society.


Chris G. said...

Thanks for your tireless research. Very interesting.

jerome said...

A search of some library holdings on the internet shows that various issues of The Flaming Sword have survived, but I couldn't find any for 1919. Which is a pity, because Weimar died that year and an obituary would have been useful and might have even put his various religious excursions into some sort of context. If anyone else would like to search, please do so.

Sha'el, Princess of Pixies said...

Weimar wrote a defense of his changed belief, publishing it under the name Augustus in the February 1896, issue of The Flaming Sword.

jerome said...

Excellent. That explains why he was replaced as a Watch Tower Society director just the month before.

Bernhard Brabenec said...

Many thanks for the interesting additional Material!