The Buried Bacon Myth

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American Occultist, Rosicrucian and Freemason, Manly Palmer Hall, became very active in the 1920s-1930s. Amongst many other things, he believed that ancient Egyptians planned the founding of America thousands of years ago, and that Sir Francis Bacon, Viscount St Albans (1561-1626), wrote most of Shakespeare’s dramas. Hall was enamoured with Bacon, believing him to be a mystical master of great secret knowledge and power. He passed this fascination for Bacon to his wife, Marie Bauer Hall, who claimed that secret documents by Bacon were buried in a hidden vault under a private church cemetery in Williamsburg, Virginia. She claimed that various tombstones contained coded information — which she, apparently, was able to decipher, revealing the location of Bacon’s secret vault.

In 1938 Mrs Hall managed to persuade officials of the Bruton Episcopalian (Anglican) Parish Church to dig in their cemetery to locate the vault. They located the original church foundations, but no vault.

Francis Bacon was born in England in January 1561. He became a writer — ’a man of letters ’ - an essayist; a lawyer, and a Parliamentarian. Other than a brief term in France at the English Embassy, he never travelled much beyond Britain, and certainly never to the Americas. He died childless in 1626.

Yet, American occult mystics, especially those influenced by Manly P Hall and his wife, Marie Bauer Hall, believe that Francis Bacon edited the King James Version of the Bible and also wrote the Magna Carta [a little difficult seeing it was written almost 350 years before Bacon’s birth] and, as a result, greatly influenced developments in the USA.

As one American occultist claimed: ’When we realize that Francis Bacon wrote the Magna Charta and also inspired the movement to the American Colonies and Virgina, we can seriously consider Francis Bacon as one of the Fathers of this Country, along with George Washington and Benjamin Franklin.’

One such believer in the Hall’s theories has been Fletcher Richman, who, with a small vocal group of fellow believers managed to persuade the Bruton Parish Church authorities to, once again, dig in their cemetery to locate the vault in 1992.

This followed a clandestine night-time digging raid on the cemetery by a couple of believers from another state.

Just as in 1938, no vault was found in 1992.

But such little matters are of no significance for true believers.

Earlier in 2003, with fear of a Third World War as America entered Iraq, Richman and six other self-styled metaphysicians, calling themselves ’Sir Francis Bacon’s Sages of the Seventh Seal’, tried for the third time to dig up some ’buried Bacon’.

They believed that Bacon’s buried papers held the secret power for ushering in a new and peaceful world order. The future hope of the world was concealed in the hidden vault and needed to be recovered with some urgency.

The failures to find anything in 1938 and 1992 were because of digging in the wrong places. Apparently some of the tombstone codes had been misread. Now they believed they were on the right track as a result of prayer and meditation.

Gesturing towards the pyramid shaped monument covering the centuries-old graves of David and Elizabeth Bray, Richman claimed, ’Underneath here is a spiral staircase that goes down to a freemasonry library’ — referring to the supposed 10-by-10-foot secret vault containing supposed buried Bacon document.

Church officials were not too impressed with the claims of the ’Sages of the Seventh Seal’, which led Richman to threaten possible metaphysical retaliation. He suggested that students of metaphysics from around the world could use pressure tactics if church officials refused to co-operate. ’If we have to, we will surround this churchyard 24 hours a day with thousands of metaphysicians,’ he claimed.

No ’buried Bacon’ has yet been discovered, nor have the thousands of metaphysicians ever materialisied — but then, neither probably ever will.