Talk:Edmund Bordeaux Szekely

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Essenes[edit]

The Essenes were not early Christians. They were an ascetic Jewish sect which existed at the same time as Christ was supposed to be teaching and many of their beliefs coincide with Christianity. While its possible that Christ was an Essene its not proven. I think the article should be adjusted to reflect this. ThePeg 00:15, 25 June 2007 (UTC)

Actually, whether or not the Essenes were early Christians is a matter deserving serious objective research. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Uranian Institute (talkcontribs) 23:31, 19 May 2009 (UTC)

Why is the spelling 'Edmund' being retained while practically all print-published reference by and to him spell his name 'Edmond'? Uranian Institute (talk) 03:24, 29 June 2010 (UTC)

Dr Szekely's writings contain information and references far more credible than some of the critiques included, at this point, of his work... so it seems reason-able to dig a little deeper into his writings and background before coming to conclusions about whether he was a true scholar or just some dazed religious fanatic. Uranian Institute (talk) 03:46, 29 June 2010 (UTC)

Dr Szekely's research and writings challenge assumptions included in the dogma of various nominally 'Christian' churches about the life and teachings of Jesus Christ which were clarified and challenged after the discovery of some of the Dead Sea Scrolls, and for this reason he was often criticized as a threat to established conventional church dogma -- such controversies have led to schisms within the Catholic church historically, and for this reason both Szekely's and Romain Rolland's scholarly writings were often attacked and discredited by adherents to official church stances. Dr Szekely was a scholar raised in the Unitarian tradition, which accepts the teachings of Jesus Christ, but in the light of reason and logic rather than rote bline 'faith' and dogma. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 70.36.176.211 (talk) 18:15, 29 June 2010 (UTC)

At this point I am trying to add information published by published authors with substantial academic credentials to counterbalance some of other criticisms (often undocumented or unsupported) inserted into this article up to this point. 70.36.176.211 (talk) 18:44, 29 June 2010 (UTC)

I am removing references I personally entered to J Gordon Melton after reading about some of the controversies he has been involved in, so that they do not contribute to bias against Edmond Szekely, since Szekely has already undergone extensive censure by conventional dogmatists. Unfortunately, Cults can attempt (too often successfully) to attach themselves to legitimate concepts and legitimate writings, as well as to religion and religious icons. 70.36.176.211 (talk) 19:04, 29 June 2010 (UTC)

Unsigned edits on Authenticity[edit]

To the unsigned person who keeps editing the section on authenticity. Szkeley claims to have discovered unpublished scrolls which affect the entire Christian religion. It's entirely NPOV to quote factual, published references that question his claims, which are not accepted in academia. Your analysis that an objection is 'irrelevant' because of your original research doesn't matter - it's a published objection to Szekely's claims and it is reasonable to include a selection of them. As a result I have undone your edits. Perhaps you'd like to join us here and quote your sources on the Hebrew/Aramaic issue? Bregence (talk) 19:01, 3 January 2010 (UTC)

Two encyclopedic references for Szekely that I used in research are as follows. I've noted the original sources in the article. Encyclopedia of American Religions, Seventh Edition, J Gordon Melton. Encyclopedia of Occultism and Parapsychology, by the Gale Group, Inc. Bregence (talk) 19:21, 3 January 2010 (UTC)

What OR? It is a matter of indisputable fact that Dr. Szekely published the original Hebrew text of Book One in 1974 (as our article correctly states). Anyone can get a copy of the printed 1974 Book and verify this is so. It seems that your reference perhaps is not aware of this fact, since he is attacking Szekely's "ability" to translate it from Aramaic; he is stabbing at something and missing without all the full facts, so it's a sloppy reference, and anyway for this reason it would be far from convincing to the significant POV of the many varied groups that do use Szekely's translations. Once the Hebrew has been published, any criticism should center around textual criticism of the Hebrew - not questioning the quality of an English translation of the Hebrew, by someone who has evidently not seen the Hebrew original, and evidently does not even know what language the original was in. I suggest that this is a case for WP:RS/N, to determine if we should give such undue weight to a critic who doesn't seem to have his facts straight. 70.105.20.239 (talk) 00:58, 4 January 2010 (UTC)
Can you clarify which languages you believe the original texts were written in? I've seen references to them being in Aramaic, Hebrew and Slavonic. The description of the 1985 hardcover edition of Szekely's "The Gospel of the Essenes" says he "translated the original manuscript from Aramaic", and Websters quotes the full title of the 1976 edition as "The Gospel of the Essenes: the original Hebrew and Aramaic texts" . In 1971 Szekely published "The Essene gospel of peace: the Aramaic and old Slavonic texts : from the 3. century Aramaic ms". In 1973 he published "The Essene Code of Life.....from the original Aramaic and French translations". Since these mystery manuscripts were of course only figments of Szekely's imagination, you could argue that John D. Ladd's objection to an 18 year old Szekely's translation ability is superfluous, because they weren't written in any language. Also, because all of the claims are WP:FRINGE, biblical scholars ignore Szekely. Per Beskow appears to be the only one who took an interest in examining his claims critically. Bregence (talk) 00:48, 8 January 2010 (UTC)
"Can you clarify which languages you believe the original texts were written in?" I can do better than that, I can tell you (again) where to find the complete Hebrew text of "Essene Gospel of John": He published it in 1974, and it is right here, in Classical Hebrew, in my 1974 published copy. "I've seen references to them being in Aramaic, Hebrew and Slavonic." Most of the rest of your questions are answered in Prof. Szekeley's own published accounts of how he says he found the translations. (You'd think anyone taking the time to criticize him would also take the time to obtain that firsthand account, and at least find out his side of the story beforehand, so they would know what they are criticizing.) In short, he claimed to have found virtually the same texts, in later Aramaic and Old Slavonic translations, as well as in Hebrew. The Hebrew, being the oldest, is the only version that he published in the original text, as far as I know. 70.105.57.220 (talk) 02:40, 8 January 2010 (UTC)
Thank you. Critics (e.g. Beskow) have complained that Szekely's account of how he discovered the manuscripts was inconsistent over time. Since it's WP:FRINGE I'd prefer an objective third party account that dates to the discovery of the manuscripts, not something written four decades later. Also, I'm not sure how your statement undermines John D. Ladd's objection to an 18 year old Szekely's ability to translate Aramaic. Surely to compare the (imaginary) Hebrew manuscript with the (imaginary) Aramaic text, Szekely would have had to be fluent in Aramaic? Bregence (talk) 18:37, 8 January 2010 (UTC)
Do you have some authority that has declared Szekely's translation work to be "Fringe", or did you declare it to be "fringe" yourself because that is your POV? Obviously, the many different groups that use Szekely's work would not share that POV, so it looks like a classic difference of opinions there, depending on the school of thought. As for Szekely's age at the time, I have seen a wide array of birth years given for him, so I wouldn't draw too many conclusions on how old he was at the time, based on only one source of what year he was born. 70.105.57.220 (talk) 21:59, 8 January 2010 (UTC)
You sidestepped my question. To compare the (imaginary) Hebrew manuscript with the (imaginary) Aramaic text, Szekely would have had to be fluent in Aramaic, no? I don't think it's a stretch to call Szekely's discovery of 'lost manuscripts' a fringe work. And yes, the first thing I did was verify his DOB. I located two US government records of his border crossings that state a DOB of 1905. Bregence (talk) 02:16, 9 January 2010 (UTC)

More on authenticity[edit]

[1] page 86. - SummerPhD (talk) 02:50, 4 January 2010 (UTC)

That source also doesn't seem terribly well-informed. It states that Szekely first published a translation in German, which is flat our misinformation! (It was French) Can't you get any halfway-accurate critical sources? I mean something a little more accurate than Junior World Book. 70.105.20.239 (talk) 02:56, 4 January 2010 (UTC)

Fringe?[edit]

For openers, let's be clear. Edmund Bordeaux Szekely is not, strictly speaking, about a fringe theory. This article is supposed to be about Szekely. At times, though, the article wanders toward being a coat rack. There really isn't much interesting about Szekely as an individual, it's his claims that are of interest.

Are his claimed manuscripts and their contents a fringe topic? Absolutely. They present/are "ideas that depart significantly from the prevailing or mainstream view in its particular field of study."

Here are the claims:

  1. The gospels (described by Szekely are not documented in any form nor attested to by any witnesses other than Szekely. No reliable source thoroghly discusses them, thus they do not have an article themselves. (Likewise, there is no documentation showing he studied texts at the Vatican. His credentials (degrees, etc.) are themselves unclear. Two of the three libraries said to be the sources of his documents deny they exist. The third (at Monte Cassino) was destroyed in WWII, preventing any examination of the claim. A photo, in one of his later editions, was actually a reversed image of an unrelated MS.)
  2. The Essenes were vegetarians. One contemporaneous account states that one group of Essenes "would not eat meat".
  3. Jesus was an Essene.
  4. Jesus was a vegetarian.
  5. Jesus prescribed vegetarianism, raw foods and colonic enemas.

I found a manuscript in Aramaic (with copies in Coptic and Greek) while studying at the Vatican, signed by Szekely, notarized and countersigned by the pope that admitted he made the whole thing up as a joke. Unfortunately, the Aramaic original was lost in the mail, the Coptic copy turned to dust sitting in my hot car (oops) and the Greek copy was eaten by my dog who then ran out into traffic, was struck by lightening and burned to ashes that were soon scattered by the first Hurricane to hit this area in 75 years. - SummerPhD (talk) 23:02, 8 January 2010 (UTC)

Exactly. To quote Melton from the Encyclopedia of Occultism and Parapsychology. "Given the vague information on its discovery and the failure in locating the original manuscripts, critics have suggested that the ancient texts never existed and that the Essene Gospel is an entirely modern product of Szekely's imagination.". This was of course very common during the 1930's, with similar books from Guy Ballard and Baird T Spalding. Bregence (talk) 02:06, 9 January 2010 (UTC)
There's two issues here. The first is that you (pl.) have evidently thrown neutrality out of the window here; there's no need (in your view) to adhere to wikipedia neutrality policies, because you are quite convinced that your POV is indisputably correct, that the texts are fraudulent. As one of those who admittedly holds the opposing POV, (and has actually read the Hebrew version), I must say I have not found any of your arguments so far convincing or compelling, and personally remain unconvinced of your argument that they are forgeries; on the contrary, I still believe they are indeed authentic Gospels of the Essenes. So everything you have said so far in militation against their authenticity, for me, amounts to little more than "spin" or namecalling me "fringe", but nothing like proof of your case. I have btw found further textual evidence that the Hebrew text is indeed quite ancient, but original research is prohibited here, and anyway, it would have little bearing on the second issue, which is the only one that should concern us as editors, and the only legitimate use of this talkpage. This second issue has nothing to do with militating against all those of us who accept these texts; it is the issue of keeping this biography article neutral, and keeping the POV militating down to a minimum, since this is after all supposedly a neutral forum. I will be happy to engage you in some other forum outside of wikipedia, if you want to quarrel about the various POVs regarding the Gospel of the Essenes. 70.105.57.220 (talk) 03:19, 9 January 2010 (UTC)
One more thing: What you are doing is also somewhat like going to Talk:Joseph Smith, Jr. and arguing that "authorities" have determined he was a forger because he really knew nothing about translating Egyptian, and furthermore, that his writings may be defined as "fringe" since they are definitely outside the "prevailing mainstream". In fact you and I might well agree on that point, but I certainly wouldn't advise trying out that POV on his talkpage, since you'd be bound to meet with some opposition from those who feel differently. 70.105.57.220 (talk) 03:36, 9 January 2010 (UTC)
"Jesus was a vegetarian Essen who advocated colonic enemas" is a historically testable claim. "Joseph Smith spoke to an angel" is not. There are no sources claiming to have seen Szekely's texts other than Szekely. Smith's texts have other witnesses. In any case, there are numerous claims in this article that are stated as facts. I'll start to fix that. - SummerPhD (talk) 04:18, 9 January 2010 (UTC)
"Joseph Smith's translation of the Book of the Dead is linguistically sound" is testable, but try telling his disciples that. But anyway, back on topic: I don't have any issue with your recent changes, or with the article as it stands right now, except for one: "More recently, author John D. Ladd, questioned the ability of Szekely, who would have been eighteen years old in 1923, to translate an entire Aramaic script". Ladd's argument seems like such a facetious strawman, since that's not what was ever claimed; in fact it doesn't seem to show much familiarity with what really was claimed in his book about "Discovery of the...". According to his own account, Szekely (who may or may not actually have been 18) first found the first Hebrew manuscript in the library archives in 1923. Whether he copied it all into his notebook, or "borrowed" the original without returning it, probably wouldn't matter. It took him several years after that, and in consultation with Rolland, to produce a translation of it in 1928. During these intervening years, he claims, he found similar fragments in Slavonic and Aramaic in the other libraries.
By the way, it's the Hebrew text that was published in 1974 that I find the most convincing. My analysis of it is that it was produced by someone of vastly superior intelligence than Szekely, and that Szekely's attempt at translating it actually was quite sloppy, overly influenced by the KJV and Darmesteter, and not always completely faithful to what that Hebrew text says. This is the best evidence that he did not forge it. But of course, my analysis would be neither here nor there for purposes of this article, since we can't use it. 70.105.57.220 (talk) 14:41, 9 January 2010 (UTC)
(Re: Book of the Dead, please review Book_of_Abraham#Controversy_and_Criticism which covers the issue nicely.) You take issue with the statement "More recently, author John D. Ladd, questioned the ability of Szekely, who would have been eighteen years old in 1923, to translate an entire Aramaic script". As near as I can tell, this is a full accurate statement. You may disagree with Ladd's conclusion, but that's a moot point, much like your opinion of the Hebrew text Szekely produced some 50 years after the fact (without an actual MS, of course). - SummerPhD (talk) 17:55, 9 January 2010 (UTC)
Says you. You haven't convinced me of a darn thing with all of your name-calling and authoritative-sounding bald assertions of your POV being fact, you know. And Ladd's conclusion is a strawman, he is not attacking Szekely's stated position that he published in Discovery of the...; rather he is making up a fanciful position for Szekely and attacking that, because it's easier for him to do. Szekely never once claimed to have translated an Aramaic document at age 18. 70.105.57.220 (talk) 19:11, 9 January 2010 (UTC)
Yes, I do say that John D. Ladd questioned Szekely's ability. That is a factual statement. Are you saying Ladd did not do that? Whether Ladd is correct or not is a separate question. You have an opinion of Ladd's assertion. That does not change the fact that Ladd made the assertion. Your opinion is moot. Your belief that Ladd was using a strawman (or was simply wrong) is similarly moot. - SummerPhD (talk) 04:40, 10 January 2010 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────A belated observation, from one of the few people in the world (me) who, in contemporary times, ever went to the trouble of painstakingly tracking down some of Szekely's early works via out of print bookshops (I know this from long experience, and indeed it was me of all people - an nonspecialist - who tracked down other editions for people studying his works: for no monetary gain on my part, and at a time that I was broke and they weren't). SummerPhD's comment is pertinent. It is the case that for published works, especially those of a contentious nature, there are claims and counter-claims, assertions and challenges. As SummerPhD notes, if we are citing the fact that X said something of Y, this is different from the question of whether what X said of Y is correct or incorrect. Two of my favourite authors were often at intellectual odds: the late Stephen Jay Gould and philosopher Daniel C Dennett. I disagree with some of what Dennett - and to some extent Richard Dawkins - said of Gould and his ideas. I even think they miss or deliberately avoid the point in some cases, and that their followers most certainly miss the point, not even noticing certain glaring errors (Years ago I was dumbounded when a colleague noted a couple of things - "you've got to be kidding", I said, thinking no sane person versed in evolutionary theory would boldly make such errors). But what I or others think of what these authors said of their theoretical approaches and analyses, and what they said of each other, does not change the fact that they said them. Whether or not I like it is beside the point. It is perfectly valid to note these things, provided citations are provided.

Indeed, you would expect this in an encyclopedic article. What you are looking for overall is a descriptive article about person Y and what person Y did, etc. Never mind, if you are "true believer" in the theories of person Y, that others challenged this and citations are provided to this effect. Because the opposite also applies. No matter how ludicrous others may think the theories of person Y are, it is equally valid to summarise - with citations - what it was that person Y did, published and proclaimed, etc., because it remains fact that person Y did and said these things. An article that is capable of containing both - statements about person Y and what he did and said, and comments on person Y by others - is in fact an article that is likely to survive in Wikipedia. So this is a good thing. As for promotion of any viewpoint, this must be left to other websites. Wotnow (talk) 21:28, 11 December 2010 (UTC)

Degrees[edit]

"Various biographies have said that Szekely took his Ph.D. at the [[University of Paris]] or at the [[Pasteur Institute]], as well as other degrees at [[University of Vienna|Vienna]] and [[University of Leipzig|Leipzig]] Universities.<ref name=TreasuryofRawFoods/" Treasury of Raw Foods is a book by Szekely, used to cite vague statements about degrees he might have from various schools? This makes no sense. - SummerPhD (talk) 04:34, 10 January 2010 (UTC)

"Various biographies" is a vague statement... I am going to add to the article claims made by the International Biogenic Society, of which Dr Szekely was one of the founders. Szekely was the grandson of Unitarian Bishop, and we already know the a number of politically powerful religious institutions find Unitarianism discomforting, largely because it subjects religious dogma and blind 'beliefs' to intellectual scrutiny. Dr Szekeley was quite an iconoclast and challenged assumptions of ruling oligarchies, and that included pharmaceutical industries, and this could possibly be where some of the more harsh critiques of Dr Szekely find their roots. It seems rather odd that, at this point, critics of Szekely, and international scholar, instead refer to preachers in the remote areas of the Appalachian mountains. Also the phrase "various biographies have said" needs to be removed, and instead references to and/or quotes from those 'various biographies'. Uranian Institute (talk) 03:21, 29 June 2010 (UTC)

Biographical details and Romain Rolland[edit]

I spent a few hours reading the first part of Szekely's autobiography. An interesting read but names and dates are sparse in sections. I could corroborate some of it (e.g. the 1935 trip to Tahiti is documented in US Government passenger records, which note it is a 'scientific expedition') but other sections (e.g. the 1938 shipwreck, the friend Jean Pierre Weiller the deaf Chevalier de la Legion d'Honneur) either don't check out or are lacking sufficient details to be verified.

One of the claims made in the autobiography which is in the Wikipedia article is "In 1928, Szekely and Nobel Prize-winning novelist Romain Rolland founded the International Biogenic Society". This not mentioned in two biographies of Rolland that I checked, and in fact I'm unable to find any references outside of Szekely. I contacted Prof R A Francis who is the author of a recent bio on Rolland and an authority on him with access to the Rolland archives. He'd never heard of Szekely or the IBS and considered the claim "unlikely". Given that, is there an authoritative non-Szekely source for this claim? Bregence (talk) 01:50, 11 January 2010 (UTC)

Rancho la Puerta -- citation needed[edit]

Found the following earlier today in a Google Scholar search using "e b szekely" AND (cholesterol OR sun OR fats OR pollution) They may just be on topics mentioned in earlier sections, but saw no harm in posting them.

1. Health, youth, and longevity through food, water, air, sun, exercise, breathing, mind. The golden rules of life and happiness. Introduction to cosmotherapy. The Essene science of life. Edmond Bordeaux Székely, Tecate, Calif., Essene School of Life [©1943]

2. Living in the raw: recipes for a healthy lifestyle By Rose Lee Calabro

3. Les secrets de vie des jus-santé By Bruno Kleiner

4. Rainbow Green Live-Food Cuisine G Cousens - 2003 Michael P. Barnett (talk) 17:32, 15 January 2011 (UTC)