The Essene Foundation

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The Essene Foundation

The Essene Foundation was established in the early 1980s following the death of Edmond Bordeaux Szekely (d. 1980) by Archbishop Garry White, a long-time associate. Originally founded as the First Christian's Essene Church, it perpetuates the teachings found in the many books written by Szekely that grew out of The Essene Gospel of Peace, an ancient text that he had claimed to have found, translated, and published. The church believes that ancient Christianity was rooted in the Essene community, a belief they claim was strengthened by the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls. The Essene Gospel of Peace was released in four volumes, the first in 1937. Volumes two and three were released in 1974 and the last volume posthumously in 1981. They present a very different picture of Jesus, including the idea that he was a vegetarian. The church's creed emphasizes the fatherhood of God, the motherhood of Nature, and the brotherhood of Man. Members are encouraged to follow a path to enlightenment that begins in adopting practices that perpetuate physical, mental, and emotional health. Vegetarianism and the use of natural foods are highly recommended, as is healing through the use of various forms of naturopathic remedies.

In the early 1990s the church changed its name to The Essene Foundation. In 1992 Garry White retired as archbishop and was named patriarch. He was succeeded as archbishop by Dr. Emmanuel M. Winocur. The foundation is headquartered at 2536 Collier Ave., San Diego, CA 92116. It has a number of affiliated missions scattered across the western United States (California, Oregon, Arizona), New York, and Arkansas.


Berskov, Per. Strange Tales About Jesus. Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1983.

Szekely, Edmond Bordeaux. The Gospel of Peace by the Apostle John. London: C. H. Daniels, 1937. Reprinted as The Essene Gospel of Peace. San Diego: Academy of Creative Living, 1971.

. The Essene Way, Biogenic Living. Cartago, Costa Rica: International Biogenic Society, 1978.

. Talks. San Diego: Academy of Creative Living, 1972.

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The Essene Foundation

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