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The Angel and Sorcerer: The Remarkable Story of the Occult Origins of Mormonism and the Rise of Mormons in American Politics Kindle Edition
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When Levenda calls Joseph Smith a "sorcerer", it isn't meant as a pejorative label. Rather, he's offering Smith some overdue professional recognition. Joseph Smith was as powerful, and as successful, a ritual magician as the United States has ever produced. Levenda shows how the young man's exceptional prowess took him from poverty to the head of a major religious movement with political power and the largest paramilitary force in the US.
Levenda situates Smith quite comfortably within the Western esoteric tradition, and demonstrates that he was, at every phase of his life, a practicing magician. This turns out to explain a great deal about Mormonism, including: its connection with Freemasonry, "sealed" marriages, the Solomonic symbolism of the golden tablets, and prophecy. And when it comes to the Mormon faith, the author has no particular axe to grind. Although he's a liberal from New York City, and probably not a Romney voter, but he places Mormonism on a equal footing with mainstream Christianity, Judaism, and Islam. The revelation of Joseph Smith's magical practice may upset some readers, but it seems if anything to have endeared him to Peter Levenda. As history, the Book of Mormon comes up awkwardly short, especially in the face of recent DNA science. But when considered as the fruit of a magical working it undeniably a magnum opus. Still, this story is ultimately a tragedy in the Faustian mold, as Levenda argues that it was Smith's negligence in a magical operation that proved his undoing. Such is the trajectory of "Piety's rainbow."
I couldn't put it down. But, as with all of this author's work, it's not for everybody. I've been recommending Peter Levenda's books to people for years now, and I always get one of two reactions. Either the reader loves them, or he stops returning my calls.
This book does explain several events that also have happened in my lifetime within the church community. It does serve to explain leverage buy outs & various member connections.
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