James Churchward

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James Churchward

James Churchward (February 27, 1851 – January 4, 1936) is best known as a British born occult writer. However, he was also a patented inventor, engineer, and expert fisherman.

He was the elder brother of the Masonic author Albert Churchward (1852–1925.) He was a tea planter in Sri Lanka before coming to the US in the 1890s. In James' biography entitled My Friend Churchey and His Sunken Continent, he discussed Mu with Augustus LePlongeon and his wife in the 1890s. He patented NCV Steel, armor plating to protect ships during World War I, and other steel alloys. After a patent-infringement settlement in 1914, James retired to his 7+ acre estate on Lake Wononskopomuc in Lakeville, Connecticut, to answer the questions from his Pacific travels. In 1926, at the age of 75, he published The Lost Continent of Mu: Motherland of Man, which he claimed proved the existence of a lost continent, called Mu, in the Pacific Ocean.

Early life[edit]

James was born in Bridestow, Okehampton, Devon at Stone House to Henry and Matilda (née Gould) Churchward. James had four brothers, George Gould (1839–1924), Matthew Henry (1841–1915), William Gould (1844–1913), and Albert (1852–1925), and four sisters, Matilda (b. 1846), Elizabeth (1849-?), Eleanor Steed (1847–1881), Heroine Roey(1854–1946). In November 1854, James' father died and the family moved to Matilda's parent's home Northcotts Cottage, Hamlet of Kigbear, Okehampton, Devon. Census records indicate the family next moved to London when James was 18 years of age and after his grandfather (George Gould) died.

Claims and hypothesis[edit]

According to Churchward, Mu "extended from somewhere north of Hawaii to the south as far as the Fijis and Easter Island." He claimed Mu was the site of the Garden of Eden and the home of 64,000,000 inhabitants - known as the Naacals. Its civilization, which flourished 50,000 years before Churchward's day, was technologically more advanced than his own, and the ancient civilizations of India, Babylon, Persia, Egypt and the Mayas were merely the decayed remnants of its colonies.

Churchward claimed to have gained his knowledge of this lost land after befriending an Indian priest, who taught him to read an ancient dead language (spoken by only three people in all of India). The priest disclosed the existence of several ancient tablets, written by the Naacals, and Churchward gained access to these records after overcoming the priest's initial reluctance. His knowledge remained incomplete, as the available tablets were mere fragments of a larger text, but Churchward claimed to have found verification and further information in the records of other ancient peoples.

His writings attempt to describe the civilization of Mu, its history, inhabitants, and influence on subsequent history and civilization.

Churchward claimed that the ancient Egyptian sun-god Ra originated with the Mu; he claimed that "Rah" was the word which the Naacals used for "sun" as well as for their god and rulers.

Scientific rebuttal[edit]

Alfred Metraux undertook research on Easter Island in the 1930s, and in 1940 published a monograph on Easter Island which includes a rebuttal of the hypothesis that Easter Island was a remnant of a sunken continent.

In the second half of the twentieth century, improvements in oceanography, in particular understanding of seafloor spreading and Plate Tectonics, have left little scientific basis for geologically recent lost continents such as Mu.

Popular culture[edit]

Churchward is mentioned in fiction in the short stories Through the Gates of the Silver Key by H. P. Lovecraft and Out of the Aeons by Lovecraft and Hazel Heald.

Churchward's writings are a key influence for the plot of the anime series RahXephon.

Churchward's writings were satirized by occult writer Raymond Buckland in his novel Mu Revealed, written under the pseudonym "Tony Earll" (an anagram for "not really").

In James Rollins' novel "Deep Fathom", Churchward is the great-grandfather of book character Karen Grace who takes part in revealing the mystery of Mu.

Churchward's writings are used as a source for the following books:

UK-based electronic music record-label Planet Mu has released three compilation albums with titles copied from Churchward's own books: The Cosmic Forces of Mu (2001), Children of Mu (2004) and Sacred Symbols of Mu (2006).

Works[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]