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INTRODUCTION

Gerald Massey was born at Gamble Wharf, near Tring, on May 29, 1828. He was the son of a canal boatman, a not very auspicious start in life as his father had very little education, nor was he a man of distinction or literary merit. Like Massey himself, he would spend most of his life impoverished, managing to bring up his large family on a weekly wage of ten shillings, a pittance in those days. Massey once remarked that really he had no childhood because he started working at an early age, and received a scanty education at the national school of Tring, afterwards becoming auto-didactic. He first started working at a silk mill when he was eight, then became a straw plaiter before moving to London at fifteen as an errand boy. Reading became his absorbing passion; now free to read more radical works in the metropolis, he also gradually developed poetical inclinations, attempting to imitate his beloved poets. During his spare time he studied French, and the works of Thomas Paine, Volney and Howitt. In 1848 his first volume, Poems and Chansons, was published by a bookseller at Tring. It sold a modest 250 copies. The revolutionary spirit of the time caught his enthusiasm and joining the Chartists he applied his pen to the support of their cause. In 1849, at 21, he began editing at Uxbridge a paper written by workingmen and called The Spirit of Freedom, in collaboration with John Bedford. In 1850 he contributed some powerful verse to Cooper's Journal. His sympathies veered then to the religious side of the reforming movement, and he associated himself with the Christian Socialists under Frederick Denison Maurice; he acted as secretary and wrote verses for The Christian Socialist. In the same year he published a second volume of poems, Voices of Freedom and Lyrics of Love. In the following year he welcomed Kossuth to England in a forceful poem, and later championed the cause of Italian unity. A third volume of poems, entitled The Ballad of Babe Christobel and Other Poems, published in 1854, fully established his position as poet of liberty, labour and the people; this work went through five editions in one year and was reprinted in New York. Noted English writers Tennyson and Ruskin acknowledged his talent, and a copy of his poems eventually reached the hands of Queen Victoria. Five more volumes of poetry were to follow.

Massey also sought livelihood in journalism. From 1854 he wrote for the Athenaeum; Charles Dickens accepted poems from him for All the Year Round; the first issue of Good Words, I860, had a poem of his on Garibaldi. In the meantime, Massey had married and found it hard to bring up a family on the proceeds of his pen. He left London for Edinburgh in 1854 where he wrote for Chambers' Journal. He also took to lecturing at literary institutes on poetry, pre-Raphaelite art and Christian socialism, attracting large appreciative audiences. Around 1857 he moved the family to Monk's Green, Hertfordshire, and a little later to Brentwood, Coniston. It was whilst living in Rickmansworth that he found a helpful admirer in Lady Marian Alford. In 1862 her son, Lord Brownlow, provided him with a house on his estate, called Ward's Hurst, near Little Gaddesden, where he remained until 1877. It was during his stay there that he and his wife developed an absorbing interest in psychic phenomena and all things to do with Spiritualism, something of a fad at the time. In 1871 he wrote a book on the subject of Spiritualism, only later to withdraw it.

Again, feeling the pinch, and with another child on the way, he started lecturing abroad, touring in America in 1873-74, in California, then  Canada, concentrating chiefly on mesmerism, the mystical interpretation of the Scriptures, and Spiritualism, etc.

In 1883-85 he began another lecture tour throughout Australia and New Zealand. These lectures were met with some success, prompting him to begin a third tour in 1888, only for it to be cut short by news of his daughter's fatal illness.

Some of these lectures were later privately printed by request from his audience who felt it necessary as they could not take in all that he said, and wanted to peruse his remarks in their own time. (See Part Two below)

Another reason for starting to lecture, other than for profit, was to elucidate upon the subjects he had discussed in his first two monumental works, A Book of the Beginnings (published in London by Williams and Norgate in 1881, in 2 volumes) and its follow up, The Natural Genesis (again published in London by Williams and Norgate, in 1883, 2 volumes). Many of his readers had found the material to be dense and in need of explication, understandable as the topics discussed covered a vast array and dealt with the abstruse science of Typology. This tool was the only one available that could be used in a study that had as its aim the bottoming of all truths, an attempt to get to the real facts lying behind man's religious conceptions. As words came later, types were a possible indication of how words, languages, gestures, signs, etc., had evolved, and were a clue to unravelling the mysteries. By the study of types he felt he was able to derive at fundamental levels of intellection and understand how later myths and symbols could have emerged. Massey believed that the human race had evolved out of the inner regions of Africa and flourished once it settled down around the Nile basin, having migrated north along the river's banks. It was here that the first murmurings of intellect became articulate and the first fundamental truths were established. Massey saw the early race of Egyptians as being the most articulate and practical of all thinkers, and the theories derived from their speculations, based on the observation of natural phenomena, would, over time, coalesce in theological doctrines, notably Christianity, which he saw as a corruption of the original truths, and that man had lost his way by misinterpreting the symbolic for the actual. The gnosis pouring out of Egypt for thousands of years eventually became fragmented and partially lost. Massey's work was an attempt to recover the gnosis and restore it in its rightful place.

Having elaborated on certain topics discussed in the previous volumes in his lectures, he felt that a greater expansion of his ideas was needed, and this enterprise would culminate many years later in the last, and final, work to be published shortly before his death, Ancient Egypt the Light of the World (published in London by T. Fisher Unwin in 1907, in 2 volumes). This, along with a selection of his published lectures, and the previous two works, constitutes what is here termed the Masseian Corpus. (See Part Two below)

Gerald Massey died  29th October, 1907, at Redcot, South Norwood Hill, and was buried in Old Southgate Cemetery.

He may have died a very long time ago, but his ideas still permeate many aspects of speculative thought. Not only that, but some of his theories have recently been vindicated by science with the discovery of early hominid remains in Africa, and his theory of astrotheology is taken up more fully by modern writers who are also not convinced that the academic stance and social consensus is right. Too many questions still remain, and yet it is to these works by Massey many turn to find an answer.

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For a fuller study of some aspects of Massey's work, see the essays (Part Six below). A rough outline of the Masseian Corpus has been included here (see Part One) along with details of the minor amendments made to the corpus, and a useful bibliography (see Part Three) as this was lacking in the original volumes. A full index to the corpus has also been provided, along with other relevant indices (see Part Four). Various works Massey has consulted, and refers to throughout the corpus, are presented here to serve as a useful adjunct to his thinking, and also to demonstrate the origins of some of his conceptions. More titles that formed part of his intellectual apparatus will be added when and where possible (see Part Five). Originally, it was intended to also include a full biography of the man, but this has proved unnecessary as David Shaw did a worthy job back in 1995 with his slim but profitable biography, Gerald Massey: Chartist, Poet, Radical and Freethinker. It is available as a revised edition in another site dedicated to Massey and his works (mainly poetry, reviews, etc.) and is thoroughly recommended. (See www.gerald-massey.org.uk in general and www.gerald-massey.org.uk/biog_contents for Shaw's biog.) An expanded edition of this work has now been published with additional material and appendices. The book can be ordered directly from the publisher, www.lulu.com, as either a paperback (£14.12) or as a download (£2.90). Other material relevant to Massey's life and his work will be found in Part Seven.

Although we do not engage in correspondence, or have the time to answer all queries, we will however appreciate any helpful comments. So please email us.

Lastly, we would like to thank all those who have supported this site over the last five years and provided hints for improvements. We appreciate your helpful insights.

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A BRIEF UPDATE

Two important pages on this site are being overhauled; the Bibliography and the Bibliographical Index, which were in desperate need of revision. As stated in the intro to the Bib, I now consider it to be nearly complete, most of the gaps having been filled in, and some omissions sorted out. As per the Index, that too has been revised in line with the Bib.

All that remains for me to do now is to finish off the references pages, a task I aim to complete over the next three months. I will, of course, be amending the Bib and Bib Index if I come across any titles I may have missed. Then hopefully the site will be complete. And after that, a long, worthwhile break is in order.

My thanks once again to those who have been in contact over the years. Your appreciative comments are always welcome.

Jon Lange,
Editor,
February 2014.

ADDENDUM

MASSEY VINDICATED ONCE AGAIN

Here's proof that the Idiotai still exist:

Out of the blue someone emailed me the other week. The subject heading was PHALLUSINURASS (Phallus-in-your-ass; geddit? Wow, is this person clever or what!) The phallus, as a symbol of the penis, exists only on a mythic level. So surely it would have been more correct to say PENISINURASS, for I would have thought it was easier to stick a penis in my ass rather than a symbol. But then again, I wouldn't know as I have never tried. The sender of this curious email seems to be confused between the symbolic and the actual, therefore straightaway we know we are dealing with an ignoramus.

His message in full is blunt and to the point:

Your comments and reasonings are as much a farce as your master. Pervert the truth of your own darkness and never mislead another man, or your evil be upon your own head a thousand fold. We could care less about your interpretation of ANYTHING .... FOOL.

It was sent by someone calling himself Devon Drake (I assume the sender is male). I have no idea who this person is as I have never heard of him. He has taken it upon himself to email me and insults my intelligence with his ignorance. Why?

For we ask, who does he think he is? On what authority does Mr Drake have to write to me in such a way? Who does he represent? The ignorant majority? Has he not heard of the right of veto? That is, the right to reject something if it does not appeal to your views and accept that which does.

If he is not happy with my opinions or my views then why does he not go elsewhere? I am sure there are other sites better suited to his infantile needs.

My master? What master? I have no masters! He must of course be referring to Massey, a man I admire very much. But I do not slavishly follow everything he says. I am merely a fan of his work, and I took it upon myself many years ago to republish them online in the hope that they would shed a little light in the dark and gloomy world of false belief, and in the hope that interested parties who may be intrigued by what Massey was saying all those years ago could peruse for themselves his own words. I have not given an interpretation of them or skewed them to my own devices; I have laid them bare for all to read. The choice is yours; either take in what he says or reject it; it's that simple.

But Mr Drake feels it is incumbent upon himself to foist on me his own ignorance, in a puerile manner, and without provocation. He feels compelled, as did the Christian ignoramuses, the idiotai, all those years ago, who felt compelled to foist on poor innocent souls their loathsome ideologies, and destroy those who refused to believe or chose to reject their doctrines, and by doing so sealed their own fate.

Mr Drake uses the word 'evil', a very over-used term, and one that conjures up all sorts of delusions and ambiguities. I remember many years ago attending a symposium in Oxford, and the first speaker of the day was the late great writer Gerald Suster who was doing a talk on morality. He started off his speech with his own definition of the word evil by saying, 'It is when someone feels good by making others feel bad.'

That could be equally applicable to Mr Drake; he inflates his ego by trying to make others feel small, hence adding the word 'fool' at the end just to ram home the point. In this case, who is evil? Me doing my True Will? Or Mr Drake, inflicting upon me (and possibly others) his own ignorance? Because quite clearly this person hasn't read anything by Massey, or does not have the capacity to, otherwise he would be attacking me on an intellectual, literary level, or if he had the brains, an academic one. What is his point? What is it that has riled him so? What a shame he hasn't articulated more fully his displeasure with my site, and what it really is that irks him so. Why couldn't he say something meaningful rather than this verbiage? But lacking any intelligence he is incapable of such action and therefore has to revert to the sort of silliness one would associate with schoolboys, not men of intellect. And of course Mr Drake has the temerity to write to me and express his views (fair enough!). Pity then he does not have the temerity to write to me in such a way that he could thereby demonstrate the superiority of his intellect over all and sundry.

One could equally call the Pope an evil person, for, as head of the Church, he is responsible for the torture and slaughter of millions of innocent people. Anybody who did not kowtow to the orthodox doctrine of the Church would be deemed a heretic and thus strongly persecuted, and eventually made to bend to its will. One has only to read the account of Las Casas to see the extent of the depravity the Conquistadors meted out on the natives, forcing them to undergo horrendous acts if they did not concede to the whims of the Church. It was a case of join us or die. Or read any account of the atrocities perpetuated on Hypatia, the lady in charge of the library at Alexandria. The Patriarch Cyril,  being jealous because she was getting all the attention from her fellow pagans, ordered the library to be burnt to the ground and incited a mob to drag her through the streets and have her torn limb from limb. This was an act by a Christian mob: this is what Christians do. Anything that proves a threat to their own existence they have to quash, trample under foot, or destroy.

We wonder if Mr Drake is a Christian. In his brief email (which I did not ask him to send me, I should point out) he seems to bear all the hallmarks of one. And he is the greater fool for being one, for Massey has proved conclusively that Christ never existed, and that the so-called Christ arose out of the misinterpretation of the original mythos upon which the type was based, turning a symbolic event into an actual occurrence. As Christ never came into this world, was never born of a virgin, never died, never resurrected, was never sent down from on high in the name of God, or placed on this earth to redeem mankind, then it would inevitably follow that the Church should really not exist, its foundations being based on a lie.

Yet something has so profoundly affected him that he just had to express his opinion, thinking perhaps it may be of interest to me. How he came to such a conclusion I will never understand. I normally correspond with intellectual people who hold degrees and other qualifications, people of far higher calibre than Mr Drake, people who ask me serious questions, posing tentative arguments, or they ask for further elucidation upon a particular subject. But not our Mr Drake who has quite clearly been agitated by this site, possibly the truth contained therein: it niggled him so, and thus he had to put clammy fingers to keyboard and send me this obnoxious email, the first one of its kind I have ever received since running Masseiana.

What does he mean by perverting the truth of my own darkness? What darkness? The poor boy seems to be confused on many levels. As I have already said, all I am doing is republishing Massey's works, so I have to assume he means a darkness within those pages, whereas intelligent people find light, not darkness. I would hazard a guess the darkness resides within himself. Further, many other visitors to this site have found something here that has helped them to a better understanding and have thanked me for my labours (as demonstrated by the positive feedback page), most of the comments being from enlightened individuals. Who am I misleading? And how? My stance is, and has always been, think for yourself. I don't believe in preaching, I don't go around like a Christian forcing his vile biblical doctrines on another man, nor do I believe it right to force my opinions on others. Again, if he doesn't like what he finds herein, then he can go elsewhere. This site exists purely to enlighten, to help us come to a better appreciation of one of the world's greatest civilisations; and Massey, more than anybody else, had a greater understanding of it because he got to the root of the matter.

Typology is the only way to study something that is so ancient, that is so deep in the human psyche, that it goes beyond words, beyond languages. And it is only through an understanding of the types do we get to the root of all myths, all symbols, all religions, and understand how they evolved. It is like the old adage of the acorn and the oak tree. The oak tree is the manifest, overt expression of an inner, deeper cause, the acorn. As the oak sprung out of the acorn, so did the religions and myths arise out of the earlier, deeper types. Massey was the first to use this system of types in order to fathom the deepest, most ancient mysteries. Remember, we have to go back, way back, in time to understand how a travesty like Christianity could have come about. We have to understand the original types that led to the gross superstition that today we call the Church. We have to know what Aleister Crowley meant when he said 'the wrong of the beginning.' For, to continue the analogy, we would be very surprised to find that out of an acorn a birch tree grew, but this is exactly how Christianity, and other religions, I might add, evolved. Through ignorance the root gave birth to an abortion, an aberration that has blinded us, misled us, enfeebled our minds, for so may centuries that we can no longer see the wood for the trees. Massey knew this, and it was through his perspicacity, his continuous toil, his determined struggle to put us all on the right path that led to the creation of the corpus that now lies here for all to read, so at least we have the option of taking it or leaving it. He did not extol, preach, evangelise or rub our faces in it. He merely said, 'Look there is something wrong here, and I believe I know what it is, and here are the facts to prove it.' For doing that we could say he was a genius, whereas quite obviously Mr Drake is not.

Could care less? I think he means 'couldn't care less.' It would make more sense, and be more grammatically correct, if this sentence was in the negative, surely, as in 'I could not care less about what you or Massey are saying,' to make his point. See, the boy can't even get a simple sentence like that right! Thank God Massey could write, and did so brilliantly, especially against his detractors, as his Lectures reveal. He had to deal with ignoramuses who simply did not understand what he was saying, even if it meant going up against recognised authorities in their field. But Mr Drake believes he is better than Massey. And I can't believe there are still Neanderthals like Mr Drake walking around on the face of our beautiful planet. His sort should have died out aeons ago. All this email proves is that Mr Devon Drake is a complete, utter dunderhead, and hopefully, along with the rest of his kind, soon to be an extinct species.

The Editor

DEVON
DRAKE
R.I.P.


 

 

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This site contains Egyptian hieroglyphics and Coptic characters. Download and install the following fonts:

Gardiner
Coptic

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It also contains his major expository workstotalling over 3400 pages. And the following:

With many more to be added ....


Part One
Notes on The Masseian Corpus

  1. A Brief Introduction
  2. Reasons for Amendments and Revisions
  3. Changes to the Texts
  4. Table of Egyptian Gods and Goddesses
  5. A Short Guide to the Masseian Corpus

Part Two
The Masseian Corpus

A Book of the Beginnings (revised)

The Natural Genesis (revised)

Ancient Egypt, The Light of the World (revised)

Massey's published Lectures (revised)


Part Three
A Bibliography to the Masseian Corpus

Bibliography


Part Four
Indices to the Masseian Corpus


Part Five
A Selection of Massey's Primary Source Material
Relevant to the Masseian Corpus

Other Minor Works Referenced in the Corpus


Part Six
Essays by the Editor

  1. 'Borrowing or Plagiarism?' (Updated Feb. 2012)
    Being an account of Massey's misuse of his source material.
  2. 'Massey and Africa.'
    An analysis of Massey's view of the African origins of the human race and the reception of his work by modern Afrocentrists.
  3. 'Massey and his Critics.'
    Being a brief overview of Massey's work by his contemporaries and modern critics.
  4. 'Who came first? Massey or Hislop?'
    An examination of Massey's indebtedness to Hislop's book The Two Babylons (cached here), demonstrating how Massey borrowed from a book he never even mentions.
  5. 'Massey's Followers.'
    An overview of how certain authors have attempted to carry the Masseian method of typological interpretation to further conclusions.
  6. 'Reliability of Sources.'
    An examination of some of Massey's sources and whether they were reliable or not.

NOTE: Apart from the first, the other essays are in obvious need of updating; they have been included here as it was thought it would be pertinent as part of a brief examination of some aspects of the Masseian corpus. It is hoped further relevant essays will be added in due course. Contributions are most welcome.


Part Seven
Other Pertinent Material


'For myself, it is enough to know that in despite of many hindrances from straitened circumstances, chronic ailments, and the deepening shadows of encroaching age, my book is printed, and the subject-matter that I cared for most is now entrusted safely to the keeping of John Gutenberg, on this my nine-and-seventieth birthday.'

Gerald Massey,
(Introduction to AE)
South Norwood Hill,
29th May, 1907.

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This page last updated: 10/04/2014