The Shaft, The Subway & The Causeway / 4

One of the most interesting points about "The Symbolic Prophecy Of The Great Pyramid" by H. Spencer Lewis is the way in which it connects Dr Selim Hassan's discoveries at Giza in 1934/35 with diagrams of an underground network of passages and chambers. In Lewis's own words, "They verify in part at least the things indicated on the two diagrams shown in this book and undoubtedly the passing of time will verify other parts of these diagrams." Similar diagrams were also published by H. C. Randall-Stevens, a professional singer-turned-mystic who claimed that he channelled the information from an "initiate of Ancient Egypt". The Lewis and Randall-Stevens diagrams have already appeared on various internet sites and in several recent books but I believe this to be the first time that the actual publication chronology has been revealed. A confusing picture emerges...

Contents Of This Section...

A note on the diagrams reproduced below - please note that figures 1 to 6 may be clicked to show the full diagram for each figure. Diagrams are reproduced from the first edition of "A Voice Out Of Egypt" published in 1935 and the first edition of "The Symbolic Prophecy of the Great Pyramid" published in 1936. I am indebted to Mr. John Legon for providing details about the highly elusive third edition of "Atlantis To The Latter Days" published in 1966. Figures 5 and 6 are reproduced from the 3rd Special Members' Edition published in 1981, the diagrams being almost identical to those in the third edition.

The Mystery Of The Diagrams...

Some time ago, the now-defunct "CNI News" website reported on its Sphinxwatch page that

"CNI News recently uncovered a copy of a book by H.C. Randall-Stevens, also known as El Eros, entitled 'Atlantis to the Latter Days'. Randall-Stevens channelled the material in the 1925-27 period, and the first publication of this information was in 1928."

This statement was followed by chapter ten of the book interspersed with diagrams which looked very similar to those reproduced by Lewis in his book, "The Symbolic Prophecy Of The Great Pyramid". The captioning of the diagrams was different but structurally, they were almost identical. My own interpretation of the report as written was that the diagrams were first published by Randall-Stevens in 1928. The fact that Lewis's book was first published in 1936 suggested that he may well have based his diagrams on Randall-Stevens' work. Subsequent research has shown that it is very difficult to say who borrowed from whom if indeed this was the case, or if they both borrowed from a third party, or even from each other.

Randall-Stevens states in the foreword to "Atlantis To The Latter Days", that he channelled the material from two communicators named Adolemy and Oneferu. Adolemy had been incarnate under the name Osiraes in the reigns of Amenhotep III and IV, and Oneferu had been incarnate under the name MenAton during the reign of Akhnaton. He says that "... a whole series of details was given to me twenty seven years ago concerning the nature and the building of the Great Pyramid of Gizeh, also the Sphinx under which is the entrance into the initiation chambers and passages leading to the Grand Hall, which is below the base of the Great Pyramid. I was given detailed plans of this Masonic Centre which are reproduced later in this book." The first edition of "Atlantis To The Latter Days" was published in 1954 so Randall-Stevens is clearly saying that he received the detailed plans in 1927.

I had not seen any of Randall-Stevens' books when I decided to investigate the similarity in the diagrams reproduced from "Atlantis To The Latter Days" by CNI Sphinxwatch and those reproduced by H. Spencer Lewis in his book.The approach taken was to check out all books written by Randall-Stevens and published in the period upto 1936 to establish when and where the diagrams first made an appearance. Randall-Stevens wrote three books in the 1920s, namely The Book Of Truth, The Teachings Of Osiris and The Chronicles Of Osiris. The British Library has copies of the 2nd editions of The Book Of Truth and The Chronicles Of Osiris, both published in 1927. I was able to obtain a 2nd edition of The Teachings Of Osiris, also published in 1927. None of these books contain any diagrams giving a ground plan at Giza or chambers under the Sphinx. It is clear from the introductory notes to the 2nd editions that the 1st editions did not contain any diagrams either. Subsequent editions of these volumes were published in the 1950s and later, i.e. outside the timeframe of interest.

Voice Out Of Egypt Sphinx section diagram Voice Out Of Egypt Masonic Centre of Gizeh

In 1935, Randall-Stevens published "A Voice Out Of Egypt" which was a compilation of material selected from the earlier books. This first edition contained a simplified section diagram of chambers under the Sphinx (fig.1) and a Giza groundplan diagram (fig.2).

fig 1 - Sphinx section diagram from "Voice Out Of Egypt"

fig 2 - Ground Plan of Masonic Centre from "Voice Out Of Egypt" and "Atlantis To The Latter Days" 1st, 2nd ed.

Symbolic Prophecy Sphinx section diagram Symbolic Prophecy Ground Plan

In 1936, Lewis claimed that the diagrams shown here in figures 3 and 4 were taken from secret manuscripts. He states, "These unusual drawings were made from secret manuscripts possessed by archivists of the mystery schools of Egypt and the Orient and are part of secret manuscripts telling of the ancient forms of initiations held in the Sphinx and the Great Pyramid."

fig 3 - Sphinx section diagram from "Symbolic Prophecy"

fig 4 - Ground Plan from "Symbolic Prophecy"

The first edition of "Atlantis To The Latter Days" was published in 1954. The book is in two parts, the first of which is an updated "Voice Out Of Egypt". The second part consists of a number of "Cosmic Essays" consisting of (then) new channelled material. It contains the same Giza groundplan as in "A Voice Out Of Egypt" (fig.2) but the section diagram showing chambers under the Sphinx is missing. The second edition published in 1957 also omits the Sphinx diagram.

Atlantis To The Latter Days Sphinx section diagram Atlantis To The Latter Days Ground Plan

The Sphinx section diagram (fig.5) makes its first appearance in the third edition published in 1966, but now it's similar in structure to Lewis's diagram from 1936 (fig.3) rather than Randall-Stevens' own diagram (fig.1) published in "A Voice Out Of Egypt." We also see the first appearance of the "Plan of Pyramids and Sphinx as originally built" (fig.6).

fig 5 - Sphinx section diagram from "Atlantis To The Latter Days" 3rd ed.

fig 6 - Ground Plan from "Atlantis To The Latter Days" 3rd ed.

The page depicting the "Plan of Pyramids and Sphinx as originally built" also includes a further diagram entitled "Elevation Looking West". The caption states that the plan is "from an original sketch by El Eros", this most likely being the "Ground Plan of Masonic Centre Of Egypt" (fig.2) from "A Voice Out Of Egypt". It is Interesting to note that fig.6 also includes details visible on Lewis's "Ground Plan" diagram (fig.4) which are not present on Randall Stevens' original "Ground Plan" diagram (fig.2). There is no equivalent diagram to the "Elevation Looking West" in Lewis's book.

And It Makes Me Wonder...

I am again indebted to John Legon for pointing out to me that on pages 123 and 124 of Lewis's book, he states, "According to the traditions and to some of the mystical manuscripts that have been released in a limited manner in recent years (italics mine), the Great Pyramid is but the central point or feature of a magnificent symbolical plot or section of Egypt that contains a mystery in each square yard of its surface." Could this reference to "mystical manuscripts" actually be a reference to Randall-Stevens' work which had indeed been released in a limited manner in (then) recent years? Robert Bauval in his book "Secret Chamber" mentions that Randall-Stevens was considered to be a mystic, more on which follows below.

The "Plan of Pyramids as originally built" and "Ground Plan of Masonic Centre" diagrams do not show the temple located directly in front of the Sphinx. This temple was excavated by Baraize in 1925-32 with further excavations being completed by Dr Selim Hassan in 1935-36, i.e. the work was completed after the first publication of "A Voice Out Of Egypt" and "The Symbolic Prophecy of the Great Pyramid". A series of platforms and steps did exist at one time, having been built over the top of the pre-existing Sphinx temple when it was buried under the desert sands. The steps led down to the pavement in front of the Sphinx rather than beneath it as shown by Lewis and Randall-Stevens. It seems likely that the diagrams were based at least to some extent on the surface information available at the time.

Some questions spring to mind:

  • Did Lewis initially base his diagrams on Randall-Stevens' diagrams from "A Voice Out Of Egypt?"
  • Why did Randall-Stevens drop his own Sphinx diagram in the first and second editions of "Atlantis To The Latter Days"?
  • Why are the "Sphinx" and "Plan of Sphinx and Pyramids as originally built" diagrams in the third and subsequent editions of "Atlantis..." so similar to the Lewis's diagrams?

Published Views - What The Authors Think

At least three recently published books have discussed the Randall-Stevens and Lewis diagrams. This section takes a look at what some of them have to say.

Giza The Truth by Ian Lawton & Chris Ogilvie-Herald

In the first hardback edition of "Giza The Truth", the authors reproduced the diagrams from "Atlantis To The Latter Days" (see figs 5 & 6). It is clear they thought that Lewis copied the diagrams from Randall-Stevens. On page 236 we read

"In 1936, the then "Grand Imperiator of the Rosicrucian Order, H. Spencer Lewis, wrote in "The Symbolic Prophecy Of The Great Pyramid" that the Giza plateau was riddled with underground chambers... Lewis's diagrams of this network of supposed chambers and passages were an almost exact copy of diagrams drawn up between 1925 and 1927 by H C Randall-Stevens - whose work will be considered later because it was supposedly channelled to him via the 'spirit voices' of ancient Egyptian initiates. We have no predisposition to suggest that information gleaned in this way is necessarily wrong, but we do believe that to then copy and misrepresent it as fact is.

To their credit, once the authors were made aware of the sequence of events described above, the first paperback edition was amended to give a more neutral viewpoint so that on page 237 we read

"Lewis's diagrams of this network of supposed chambers and passages were an almost exact copy of diagrams drawn up between 1925 and 1927 by H C Randall-Stevens - whose work will be considered later because it was supposedly channelled to him via the 'spirit voices' of ancient Egyptian initiates. Although it is suggested that the latter (RS) drew his versions some time between 1925 and 1927, they were not published until long after Lewis's. Accordingly, it is unclear from whom they originated, but that one of these two men is a plagiarist is clear."

Secret Chamber - The Quest For The Hall Of Records by Robert Bauval

Robert mentions the diagrams on page 155 of the first hardback edition in connection with the Rosicrucians, better known today as AMORC. He says

"Our interest in the in their fervent belief in the existence of a Hall of Records at Giza. Indeed, the organisation claims to be in possession of ancient maps which show the underground network of tunnels and chambers under the Sphinx, as revealed by their founder, H. Lewis Spence. These alleged 'ancient maps' which are often reproduced in simplistic childlike drawings by many psychics and clairvoyants such as the well-known mystic H.C. Randall-Stevens..."

which implies that Randall-Stevens copied Lewis. Unfortunately, as can be seen above, Robert confuses H. Spencer Lewis, the founder of the current cycle of the Rosicrucian Order with Lewis Spence, another prolific author on Atlantis, Egypt and many other subjects. Figures 2, 5 and 6 from the Randall-Stevens books are reproduced on pages 299, 301 and 302 and referred to on page 300 as "...the weird AMORC (i.e. Rosicrucian Order) maps...", again seeming to suggest that Randall-Stevens copied Lewis.

As can be seen from the above, there do not appear to be any clear answers - unless you know differently...

The Shaft, The Subway & The Causeway - Contents

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