Cyrus Teed

From Academic Kids

Cyrus Reed Teed (October 18, 1839 - December 22, 1908), was an eclectic physician who was the creator of a unique Hollow Earth theory.

As a young physician, Teed was always interested in unconventional experiments, often involving dangerously high levels of electricity. One day, during an experiment he was badly shocked, and passed out. During his period of unconsciousness, Teed believed he was visited by a divine spirit who told him that he was the messiah. Inspired, once he awakened Teed vowed to apply his scientific knowledge to "redeem humanity." He promptly changed his first name to "Koresh," the Hebrew word for Cyrus.

Some believe that the heavy dose of electricity Teed absorbed may have damaged his brain. Indeed, following his "divine visit" Teed's scientific theories began to get increasingly odd. He denounced the idea that the Earth revolved around the sun and instead pioneered his own theory of the Universe, known as the Cellular Cosmogony. According to this theory, human beings live on the inside of the planet, not the outside. Gravity thus does not exist, and humans are held in place due to centrifugal force. The sun is a giant battery-operated contraption, and the stars mere refractions of its light.

Though denounced by many, Teed's ideas, called Koreshanity caught on with others. Koreshanity preached cellular cosmogony, alchemy, reincarnation, immortality, celibacy, communism, and a few other radical ideas. Teed started preaching Koreshanity in the 1870s in New York, forming the Koreshan Unity, later moving to Chicago. Teed's followers formed a commune in Chicago in 1888. Some followers also formed a short-lived community in San Francisco (1891-2). Small church groups existed in other towns. Eventually, Teed took his followers to a small Florida town named Estero, to form his "New Jerusalem" in 1894. The 'golden age' for this community was 1903-1908, when they had over 250 residents. They built extensively, establishing a bakery, printing house (publishing their newspaper and other publications), their "World College of Life", a general store, concrete works, power plant (that supplied power to the surrounding area years before it was available elsewhere in the region) and more. The colony was extensively landscaped. They tried to run several candidates for county government against the local Democratic Party but were never successful. After Teed died in 1908 (after being beaten by the town marshall), the group went into decline. Because one of the beliefs of the Koreshans was in re-incarnation, they thought their leader would come back to life, and instead of burying him, propped him up in a bath tub. After several days, local health officials stepped in and forced the burial of Teed.

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