genei | Pittsburgh City Paper

genei 
Member since May 19, 2008

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I farted, and I can't get up.

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Re: “Searching For Salvation ... and Other Roadside Attractions

Great article, CP, keep up the good work.

To the poster above:
Conleys, shmonleys! If they wanted someone to speak for them, they had plenty of money to print their own stories. They probably didn't even want to be associated with Charles "don't Taze me bro" Russell and the Jehova Witness fanatics who knock on everyone's freakin' doors. Besides, it sounds like they were basically just the prude old money behind the curtains anyway. Most religions only have room for one main "Wizard of Oz" behind the curtains. Anyhow, it was fuckin' HILARIOUS to see the above picture of Charles Russell's grave and notice the huge smudge of bird shit running down the upper right-hand corner (go back and look at the above picture in the article again.) Haha! The "revelation" about Russell possibly being tied up with Freemasonry was pretty interesting as well. Similar things have been suggested about the father of Joseph Smith, Jr. (the founder of the Mo(r)ons) possibly being associated with Freemasonry.

Oh, and I'd heard the story about Joseph Smith, Jr. possibly stealing some of his ideas from Solomon Spaulding before, but I didn't know that Spaulding was from so close to this area. So, I learned that here. The article did mention Sidney Rigdon very briefly, but I was surprised there wasn't a section about Rigdon and his own splinter church, The Church of Jesus Christ, that is located in Monongahela, Pennsylvania.

Much more interesting than these others, in my opinion, is the story of the Harmony Society. I thought it odd the article seemed to focus more on the first settlement, Harmony, PA, (including the picture), but not as much on Old Economy Village, which is probably the more profound site to tour of the two because more Harmonite items and "relics" are in Old Economy Village.

The Society of Separatists of Zoar in Zoar, Ohio, were supposedly friends of the Harmony Society as well.

The Hare Krishna Palace of Gold in Moundsville, West Virginia, is always a fun place to visit (for me, anyway.) I thought it odd that the picture used in the article to represent this site was the statue of the elephant, of all things. There are many better pictures that probably could've been used from that place (like the Palace, or the Temple, or the giant statues of "Sri Poopy-Poopy" and sons, or whatever.) I thought the article was pretty accurate though. There's a dude here in Pittsburgh named Henry Doktorski, and he can tell some interesting stories about that place in its heyday. Some of those stories could probably make your toes curl.

I've been driving through the hills of Maryland and seen the "Noah's Ark Being Rebuilt Here" sign before. It's a complete silly waste, worth nothing more than a few cheap laughs. I wouldn't advise anyone to drive all the way there just to see it though. As for Coffindaffer's Crosses, they can still be seen along the highways in many places in this country. I thought most people knew about those things. "We've got the American Jesus, see him on the interstate..."

Some Pennsylvania religious history items I think this article could've contained: The Ephrata Cloister and the remains of their settlement in Ephrata, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. Also, the "Society of the Woman in the Wilderness", which was lead by Johannes Kelpius, who has a "mystical" cave named after him which is located by a small tributary stream of the Wissahickon in Philadelphia's Wissahickon Valley Park. I'm sure there are others too, but, overall, the article was pretty darn good. Thanks, CP, for writing about some of this funky, mystical shit.

Take Care, and Peace,

- Gene I.

Posted by genei on 05/19/2008 at 2:35 AM

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