In 1839, in Trout Creek, New York, nestled in the wild hinterlands of Delaware County, a prophet was born. His name was Cyrus Teed, and in 1869, he claimed to have transfigured lead into gold in his laboratory. That very night he was also struck with a prophetic vision: God appeared to him as a beautiful woman, who separated Teed from his body and blessed him while he stood in a numinous spirit-state. “I have brought thee to this birth to sacrifice thee upon the altar of all human hopes,” God told him, “Thou art chosen to redeem the race.”
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