From Pat Deveney's database:
This functioned as the organ of the Messian schemes of "Alesha Sivartha." Sivartha, as his biographer John B. Buescher has unearthed, was Elisha Holmes Dodge (1834-1917), a noteworthy eccentric visionary who also gloried in the soubriquets Dr. Sivartha, Suartha Merton, Swartha, Sidhartha, Siddartha, Prince Alshah, Arthur W. Merton, Arthur E. Merton, Elisha Sivartha, and Dr. Merton Sivartha. He propounded an intricate but coherent system that compounded phrenology, Biblical prophecy, neurology and physiology, numerology, astrology, "Social Freedom," and Fourierist sociology, and was one of the host of those creating and espousing a new, "natural" universal language ("Visona"). Although he occasionally claimed to be English, the (illegitimate) son of Pandit Ram Mohan Roy, he was another product of Upstate New York, who earned a living, when he did, as a lecturer (on spiritualism, various reform topics, and his visionary system), portraitist, palmist, and physician, abandoning in his wake various wives and children. Before the appearance of this journal he had been expounding his ideas in A.J. Swarts'Mind-Cure and Science of Life (q.v.) and in the Chicago Inter-Ocean, but this journal was devoted exclusively to his system. The journal grandiosely proclaimed as its purpose: "The redemption of man must save his body as well as his soul. It must secure universal wisdom, virtue and happiness. The world will be redeemed through the teaching and the establishment of a new and perfect system of life and government, based on a scientific analysis of the entire nature and faculties of man. The full plan and laws of this system have been discovered, and we are working to establish it in the earth. Its glories will surpass all of the ancient promises." The proper Messian society envisioned by Sivartha mirrored individual physiology, which Sivartha endlessly outlined. There were twelve groups of brain faculties (and phrenological organs), each with its place in the social organization of the New Jerusalem, and each providing the foundation for the organic division of government into Departments of Art, Letters, Science, Culture, Rulership, Religion, Marriage, Familism, Home, Labor, Wealth and Commerce. Each department in turn had its phrenologically appropriate leaders. "As each organ of the brain governs and acts in responsive sympathy with a specific part of the body, therefore these officers represent both the physical and the mental wants of man. A groupate or tribe, when full, contains from twelve to thirty-six members, besides the children. Twelve groupates form a complete society or Band of Messians, which thus contains from one hundred and forty-four to five hundred members. Twelve bands form a town; thirty-six towns a county; one hundred and forty-four counties form a state, and thirty-six or more states form a nation." Etc. Coupled with this Fourierist vision was a messianic, millenarianist system that saw the end of the Christian era as occurring in 1884, followed by the Messian era with Sivartha at its head. This rested on the principles outlined above and on a social-freedom version of feminism ("The Equality of man and woman is secured by pairing them in all offices and employments") and communistic ownership of property ("There [sic] must be common ownership of all things used in common by two or more persons, such as Buildings, Lands, Highways and Machinery"). The rebuilding of Jerusalem became Sivartha's life goal, to be accomplished when he could convince enough eugenically proper "enterprising, brainy Anglo-Saxons, " "descendants of the lost tribes" to take up residence there in order to declare Palestine an independent country. As reality showed him the futility of his schemes, he increasingly concentrated on urging the organization of a county or even a town along the lines of his visions. Sivartha wrote almost all the content of the journal, with contributions by "Adasha" (Katherine Van Allen Grinnell (1839-1917), who also wrote for Swarts' journals and who Sivartha (in Book of Life, 1884) says had the ability to converse "face to face" with Yehovah (answering "thousands of her questions, with a wisdom and a spiritual knowledge surpassing that of man"), and see Yehovah's "personal form"). She may have been Sivartha's seer. Grinnell, the editor of the journal, was a feminist who addressed the Woman's Congress at the Columbian Exposition in 1893 on "Woman's Place in Government"-- which, of course, was to be along Sivarthian lines. Noted in Chicago Daily Inter Ocean, April 12, 1889, and Mental Science Magazine, October 1888.
|Issues:||Logos V1 N1 Oct 1888|
|Logos V1 N2 Nov 1888|
|Logos V1 N3 Feb 1889|