Allegro, John (Marco) (1923-1988)

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Allegro, John (Marco) (1923-1988)

British scholar who assisted in the deciphering of the Dead Sea Scrolls, and created a sensation with his book The Sacred Mushroom and the Cross (1970), which suggested that the New Testament was written in a secret code for the use of a sect built around the hallucinatory properties of a sacred mushroom drug. According to Allegro, Jesus never existed and the crucifixion story was a myth, symbolic of the ecstasy of a drug cult.

In support of this extraordinary theory, Allegro strained philology, comparative linguistics, and semantics in a manner that recalled the eccentricities of John Belleden Ker in the nineteenth century, who wrote several volumes to "prove" that all British proverbs and nursery rhymes were assonantal equivalents of High Dutch invectives against the Roman Catholic Church.


Allegro, John. The Sacred Mushroom and the Cross. Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday, 1970.