INTRODUCTION TO COMYNS BEAUMONT: Summary & outline: "Our space-age society relies almost exclusively on science to glean truth. This tends to denigrate the work of poets and other non-scientific writers as transmitters of verifiable data. This may be the result of what Giorgio de Santillana, in his introduction to Norman Lockyer's The Dawn of Astronomy, considers 'a habit so deeply ingrained in us after 400 years of 'warfare between religion and science' that we never realise how much it corrupts our judgment when extrapolated into ancient history of other civilisations.'
Many, for example, continue to consider Plato's dialogues on Atlantis (Timaeus and Critias), the land of giants, where civilisation began, and the centre of the world's knowledge, as mere fable.
Did all things end in Atlantis? According to Comyns Beaumont, the author of this book, antediluvian history did, that is, history before the Flood or Deluge - the destruction of Atlantis.
(Wm.) Comyns Beaumont was born in England in 1873. In his early years he was secretary to an American diplomat and a foreign correspondent for the New York Herald. From his 30s onward Beaumont was engaged in a succession of journalistic efforts on London's famed Fleet Street, the omphalos of British publishing.
The journals he edited dealt primarily with politics, the arts, and society. He was well connected in politics from his early career and with the arts mainly through his sister's husband, Sir Gerald Du Maurier, a highly successful actor and playwright. Beaumont was the first to recognise and to publish the early writing of his talented niece, Dame Daphne Du Maurier, now world-famous.
There was another side to Beaumont, largely unknown to the elite of British publishing and of society with which he mixed. At an early age Beaumont became a believer in Catastrophism, the doctrine that major changes in nature occur suddenly from external sources.
As early as 1909 he visited the site of a calamitous earthquake at Messina in Sicily that killed 200,000 persons the preceding year. In his autobiography, A Rebel in Fleet Street, Beaumont observed: "My views on seismic and volcanic phenomena were (and are) by no means orthodox, for whilst the accepted and conventional dogma is that they are caused by internal adjustments of the earth, my contention is that they are entirely external and are caused by meteoric impacts which in turn are closely related to cometary movements."
Although Beaumont's views are unorthodox, they do not suppose a supernatural agency. However, because it stresses discontinuity in change, the Catastrophic philosophy has long been used by Biblical fundamentalists. The more sudden or radical the change, the greater the tendency to attribute it to divine intervention, rather than to a natural process.
A bitter controversy was fought in the 19th century between the religious supporters of Catastrophism and the champions of Evolutionism, the doctrine that continuity rules the slow and gradual changes of nature. Evolutionism prevailed because it was adaptable to the new politics of social competition then being forged. Catastrophism, crippled by its close identification with supernaturalism, suffered eclipse. Victorious science soon became one-sided and dogmatic toward all theories incorporating catastrophic views (witness the furore caused in 1950 over Immanuel Velikovsky's Worlds in Collision).
Even scientists with credible academic backgrounds had trouble being published when their views challenged the established dogma of evolutionary progression. One example was the failure of the American authors - catastrophists Allan 0. Kelly and Frank Dachille - to find a commercial publisher. Eventually they had to do it themselves. The book, TARGET EARTH - The Role of Large Meteorites in Earth History, 1952, had only limited readership because of this flaw in the publishing system.
Beaumont's heresy had already dated back several decades. Coeval with his journalistic efforts, Beaumont developed his theories of Catastrophism from the 1920s onward in a series of books about the collision of a comet (or cometary fragments) with earth and the aftermath. He found limited readership. The times were out of joint for theories of Catastrophism.
The Riddle of the Earth, Beaumont's earliest book, was published in 1925 under the pseudonym "Appian Way." It reads like an early version of Velikovsky's Theses and Worlds in Collision.
Like his predecessors, George Cuvier and Ignatius Donnelly, Beaumont was a confirmed Catastrophist. Unlike them, he believed that cometary "collisions" play the primary role in the development of mankind's history.
The Great Deception, although heavily documented with Biblical and historical sources as well as lengthy personal researches throughout Britain, is bound to be controversial. It is well off the beaten track of accepted orthodoxy. In this respect, Beaumont is somewhat akin to Velikovsky, Von Daniken and a host of others whose speculations have been commercially viable without being accepted by the Scientific Establishment. Indeed, in numerous respects Beaumont goes well beyond other investigators of man's historical origins. He is the first to challenge the orthodox views of ancient geography, chronology, and history in a systematic and scholarly manner.
The crux of Beaumont's historical schema is that civilisation arose in the north, Scotland, the Scottish Isles, and Scandinavia. From there it spread to the Mediterranean lands, the reverse of the generally accepted process. This North Atlantic civilisation, identified with Atlantis, was the victim of a close encounter with a twin comet in the 14th century before Christ. The disaster, called The Great Catastrophe by Beaumont, vastly altered the course of the history of mankind. Although there was no actual "sinking" of Britain-Atlantis, some northern and western precincts were permanently submerged and the island was ravaged by tidal waves and earthquakes. As a result of this catastrophe, the temperature dropped. Many of the survivors abandoned the island for Mediterranean lands where they already had colonies.
Beaumont contends, through the interpretation of meticulous documentation, that even following this dispersal, many of the main events of ancient and Biblical history occurred in Britain and not in the lands at the eastern end of the Mediterranean.
The wars between the Roman legions and the tribes of Britain, Beaumont asserts, were identical to those supposedly fought in the eastern Mediterranean. The "Jerusalem" destroyed by Emperor Hadrian in A.D. 136 was actually the city on the site of the present Edinburgh.
The subsequent confusion as to places and events in this period is laid by Beaumont at the feet of the Emperor Constantine. Using his enormous dictatorial powers, Constantine had texts altered and suppressed. He figuratively relocated "Jerusalem" by having his mother, the Empress Helena, and a clique of trustworthy prelates "discover" it in the Near East. It is no coincidence that this discovery was located close to the Emperor's new capital at Constantinople at a time when Rome's grip on the true Holy Land of Britain was slackening.
Beaumont was among the first to offer a revision to accepted chronology. Almost uniquely, he has seriously challenged the orthodox geography of the ancient world. Beaumont's Catastrophic theories, summarised from his books, relate that sometime near 1322 B.C. cometary fragments of Saturn, possibly as a twin comet, approached from the north east to south west and struck the earth in the north of Europe and Britain. The concussion was so violent that it caused the earth's axis to wobble and to alter its inclination, causing drastic climatic changes, as revealed by geology. This collision, because of its magnitude and severity, ended Atlantean civilisation. Beaumont considers this disaster the same as the Flood of Noah (Deucalion or Ogyges).
The centre of Atlantean civilisation, Beaumont asserts, was in the region now occupied by Britain and Scandinavia. In the centuries after the cataclysm, owing primarily to the gradual chilling of the climate, the descendants of the survivors spread southward to sunnier climes, to already founded colonies, carrying with them the old traditions and legends. There they developed the cultures of the Near and Middle East - Greek, Egyptian, and Roman. This contradicts the generally accepted tenet that civilisation spread northward from the Middle East.
The publication of Beaumont's earlier books covered a quarter of a century, arousing zeal among a small coterie of readers. His research offers a unique alternative to existing theories of the past; a gifted and intelligent amateur may provide fresh insights into historical and scientific questions. Beaumont's challenging work will stand on its own merits."
(Stephanos & MacNamara, 1982)
THE ORIGINAL (COMYNS) BEAUMONT SOCIETY
We are preparing pages on the work of the original Comyns Beaumont Society. We hope to complete this work in March 2017