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Marvin Haines

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  1. Light-of-Truth, you make some good points. I will reconsider and likely rewrite this introduction. I was already thinking it had some problems, like the order of the paragraphs and its assumption that the reader was already acquainted with the Theory. I'll also post some of my drawings. Here's an unfinished sketch for now. I did it awhile ago, when I was still getting used to digital painting, and I plan to redraw it.
  2. Thank you so much, Eric!! It's wonderful to hear back from you! I've made a lot more progress on my stories and artwork, and would love to share them with you. Happy New Year!!
  3. INTRODUCTION THERE IS no doubt that in her later years, Sarah Pardee Winchester was an exceptionally private individual, so it is no surprise that her life – and more importantly, her vast architectural legacy – have dwindled to mere fiction. This illustrated pamphlet is offered in the hope that her motives and activities may be better understood by a new generation. It is offered not as a speculative or sensationalist work, but rather as a carefully researched, carefully assembled resource for young Baconians and aspiring Freemasons to reference when visiting the House. DISCLAIMER: The word Baconian as used here refers simply to the theory of Shakespeare authorship and the community of serious thinkers associated with it. As Richard Allan Wagner, a highly respected Baconian scholar with whom I have shared a delightful acquaintanceship so rightly put it, “…there's no shortage of kooky Baconians (such as those who perpetually try to connect Bacon with the ‘Oak Island Treasure’, or with the notion of the man as a deified ‘Ascended Master’).” This is a serious resource for serious Baconians, not conspiracy theorists. In fact, the entire purpose of this study is to discredit conspiracy theories. I have coined the term Llanadian to describe any people, matters, interests, or pursuits pertaining to the House, Llanada Villa, or the architect herself. It is my hope that in time, the word will become an epithet among Stratfordians and embracers of the “haunted house” literature, as has the word Baconian. Does the House require any introduction? In all likelihood, you have heard of the “Winchester Mystery House,” or even set foot inside it. Perhaps, you have heard the stories tirelessly recited by House tour guides – stories of hauntings and seances, which have been collectively referred to by Llanadians as “The Folklore” – the WMH’s marketing campaign. If these stories seem obviously fake to you, congratulations: you are a full step ahead. The WMH literature all reads very similarly: Sarah Winchester, recently widowed, and the sole heiress to the Winchester Repeating Arms Company fortune, consulted a medium after her husband’s death. The medium, Adam Coons, told her that the spirits who had killed her husband and daughter – spirits of men slain by Winchester rifles – were plotting further revenge, and that her only option was to move far away and build a labyrinthine mansion in which to hide from them. This Folklore has been widely accepted, and most Americans who know of the House believe every word of it. There is, however, little evidence to suggest that any of the Folklore is true. There are no direct sources which state that Mrs. Winchester ever believed in spirits, let alone attempted to communicate with them. And as for Adam Coons the spiritualist, there are no records of Mrs. Winchester ever having attended a séance with him. Some will argue that the House is proof enough; its abruptly ending staircases, maze-like hallways, and doors-to-nowhere are undoubtedly suggestive of a labyrinth. But there are many reasons to construct a labyrinth, and the deception of ghosts would seem, to any rational person, the least obvious. Once the myth has been dispelled, two important questions arise: 1. If the myth is so obviously false, how did it originate and why is it so widely believed and accepted? 2. If we are to suppose that the myth is false, what was Mrs. Winchester’s real motive for building such a strange house? These questions and others will be answered soon enough. THE BACONIAN LITERATURE THE BACONIAN school of thought and its literature can be traced to one influential thinker, Delia Bacon (no relation to Lord Bacon), who, throughout her career, published many essays claiming that Francis Bacon was the true author of the Shakespearian works. In addition, Mrs. Bacon gave numerous lectures on the subject and attracted the attention of such intellectuals as Nathaniel Hawthorne and later, Samuel Clemens (Mark Twain.) Her theory is still accepted by many, but to paraphrase Wikipedia, “is generally dismissed by Shakespeare scholars.” I do not know what qualifies as a “Shakespeare scholar;” however, I know for certain that anyone who has taken the time to read and study his work can reasonably make such a claim. This now brings us to two more important questions: 1. If Wikipedia is indeed right, how has her theory, despite being widely discredited, endured so long? 2. Why did Mrs. Bacon challenge such a widely accepted belief, and how did she succeed in convincing such a large academic population? The first question is answered easily: There will always be critical thinkers. There will always be some who question the histories they have been taught. However, there is danger in saying this, for a critical thinker is not a person who blindly accepts every theory contradictory to the establishment. A critical thinker is someone who weighs all the options, even the ones they may be biased against, and selects the one that fits the problem best. With regards to the second question, it is not the purpose of this pamphlet to convince the reader of the Baconian Theory. An appendix of Baconian works is included in the last pages, and I advise you to examine them. As I have stated, this work is not a direct argument for the Baconian Theory. Its purpose is to explain Sarah Winchester’s personal connection to Bacon as a historical figure, and her use of his symbols and cypher devices in her architecture. BACONIAN CYPHER DEVICES IN ACCORDANCE with the Baconian Literature, Francis Bacon used multiple cypher devices in his writing, particularly the four Elizabethan cypher tables, the Kaye, the Simple, the Short, and the Reverse. In addition, the literature states that he also developed the Pythagorean Cypher – Sarah Winchester’s cypher of choice. These tables are self-explanatory, a simple matter of matching a letter to its corresponding number and adding all the numbers in a word. In some cases, the words are added also. One must understand that these cyphers were not designed to render specific encoded messages; rather, numbers and names that were of special importance to Bacon and the Craft of Freemasonry, and which ultimately revealed his authorship. It is important to note that in this cypher system, 0s are regarded as nulls, meaning they are not counted. SOME IMPORTANT CYPHER NAMES, NUMBERS, AND SYMBOLOLOGY SIMPLE CYPHER Shake-Speare = 103 = 13 Fra Rosi Crosse = 157 Francis = 67 Bacon = 33 Francis Bacon = 100 William Tudor = 148 Hiram = 47 PYTHAGOREAN CYPHER Christian Rosenkreutz = 103 = 13 Brother CRC = 103 = 13 Father CRC = 103 = 13 Shake-Speare = 45 Hiram Abiff = 55 Bacon = 17 Francis Bacon = 51 Sarah = 20 = 2 Pardee = 31 = 4 Lockwood = 25 = 7 Sarah Lockwood Pardee = 76 = 13 = 4 William = 34 = 7 Wirt = 25 = 7 Winchester = 52 = 7 William Wirt Winchester = 111 William Winchester = 77 W. W. W. = 555 Sarah Pardee Winchester = 103 = 13 Annie Pardee = 56 Annie Winchester = 77 KAYE CYPHER Bacon = 111 Fra Rosi Crosse = 287 REVERSE CYPHER John Dee = 117 SHORT CYPHER Bacon = 15 SIGNIFICANCE OF NUMBERS 13 – an important Kabbalistic number, later adopted by Sarah Winchester 103 – an important Kabbalistic number, simplifies to 13 22 – Bacon’s birth date, January 22 47 – a reference to the 47th Problem of Euclid’s Elements, otherwise known as the Pythagorean Theorem. 444 – an important Kabbalistic number 287 – one of Bacon’s Fra Rosi Crosse Seals 157 – one of Bacon’s Fra Rosi Crosse Seals 777 – an important Kabbalistic number SARAH AND BACON SARAH WINCHESTER was likely exposed to the Baconian Theory at a very young age. She attended school at the Young Ladies Collegiate Institute in New Haven, Conn, alongside Susan and Rebecca Bacon, daughters of Delia Bacon, the originator of the Baconian Theory. In addition, Judson and N. W. Taylor Root, two of the school’s professors, were respected Baconians as well as Freemasons. There is no doubt that she would have learned the Baconian doctrine from them, and to again quote Richard Allan Wagner, “…the Baconian-Masonic preoccupation with secret encryption techniques using numbered cipher systems most certainly influenced young Sarah’s world view.” But by far the most jarring piece of evidence for the Winchester-Bacon connection lies in the last sentence of Bacon’s Troilus and Cressida: It should be now, but that my fear is this,— Some galled goose of Winchester would hiss: Till then, I’ll sweat and seek about for eases; And at that time bequeath you my diseases. In the Greco-Trojan context of the play, the word Winchester appears unnecessary. Most scholars will argue that the line refers to Elizabethan prostitution – for the term “Winchester Goose” is believed to have been slang for whore. But still this explanation does not address the fact that such a term is utterly out of place in a Trojan setting. A more likely explanation (at least for Sarah,) is that Bacon is leaving an encoded message. To begin, the sentence contains 34 words – discounting Winchester, 33 – Bacon’s favorite code number. The word “galled” = 111 – Bacon in Kaye Cypher. And “goose” leaves 67 in Reverse Cypher (Francis). Winchester is the 15th word from the start of the sentence and the 20th word from the end. You will recall that 15 = Bacon (Short Cypher), and as for 20, in the Pythagorean Cypher, it corresponds to Sarah. And “Winchester Goose” has 15 letters. If that were not enough, Bacon ensured that his message would be understood by selecting the words “Galled,” “Goose,” and “Winchester,” which add up to 100 (Pythagorean Cypher.) Remember that 100 is Francis Bacon in Simple Cypher. To complete the encryption, this sentence is found in Act 5, Scene 10 of the play, and I will remind you that 5 and 10, when combined, render 52 – Sarah Pardee and Francis Bacon in Pythagorean Cypher. With Bacon’s belief in Reincarnation, which is enforced by his Theosophical outlook on life, Sarah must have gleaned from this message that it was her purpose to continue Bacon’s work. SARAH’S GRAND VISION NOW THAT the myth has been dispelled and Sarah’s Baconian background established, again the great question arises: why did she do it? To any Baconian or Freemason, the answer is quite obvious. Sarah’s love of all things Baconian coupled with her vast knowledge of esoteric symbols and reinforced by her ambition to carry on Bacon’s work undoubtedly led to the conception of a great masterpiece on the level of the Shakespearean literary canon. But instead of writing in words on paper, as Bacon had done, she chose instead to express her knowledge through symbols in architecture. And so, the House acts as a visual poem – an architectural metaphor for Bacon’s work. But Llanada Villa is far more than that. Like the Shakespearean works, it is also a tool for initiation, comparable to the famous stone Labyrinth set into the floor of the nave of Chartres Cathedral, symbolizing the initiatic journey, which candidates of the old mystery schools were required to walk. It also can be seen as a metaphor for the great labyrinth on the isle of Crete, or more likely, the initiatic labyrinths conceived by such 18th-century architects as Jean-Jacques Lequeu and Claude-Nicolas Ledoux, both Freemasons. There is no doubt that with her background, Sarah was well aware of these precursors to her design. The symbols of the House will be further explained shortly. THE HOUSE PRIOR TO THE 1906 EARTHQUAKE THE GREAT earthquake of 1906, which devastated San Francisco and the entire Santa Clara Valley, demolished much of the House, a part of its history which is known but rarely explored by Llanadians. In fact, the most stunning feature of the House, the 7-story tower and its 5-story, open-air deck, was among the losses, so, in effect, what remains is not the complete architectural metaphor which Sarah originally conceived, but rather a partly spoiled version from which we must glean all our discoveries. This section explores these lost features and what they might have once symbolized. It is also important to note that the architectural fabric of the House was constantly revised, so that many features were discarded and demolished at Sarah’s own request. One wonders just how massive she believed her creation would be when she planned this demolished construction. The next chapter will explain the symbols which currently exist in the House and how they relate to the initiate’s journey. What follows is a summary of the most distinctive lost features of the House. THE ORIGINAL FARMHOUSE THE ORIGINAL 8-room farmhouse which Sarah purchased in 1885 from Dr. Robert Caldwell was, like the finished House, a distinctive, albeit more modest, example of the Queen Anne style of architecture. Only one photograph of the farmhouse exists, but from this image, we can see that it was fairly typical of California Queen Annes built during the 1880s. One immediately notices the details of the porch, which were copied in the initial remodeling, including the Eastlake baluster design, posts, and gabled entrance, which was moved forward when the porte-cochere was added. The windows are of a design which was copied in subsequent additions. The front gable was later extended and fitted with a Palladian-arched balcony, and still later was removed altogether and replaced with a higher-pitched one, which in turn was replaced after damage from the earthquake with the present architecturally awkward configuration. Of special interest is the Palladian dormer with its jerkinhead gable – a motif that was retained at least twice in later construction. THE FIRST GABLE THE FRONT gable of the original farmhouse was extended forward sometime in the 1880s and was likely one of Sarah’s first alterations. The new configuration was much more attractive, with an arched balcony that mirrored the Palladian dormer. Around this time, a cluster of architectural elements was built near the southwest corner of the façade, one of the only features from this early period of construction which still survives, albeit somewhat changed. Also near the first gable was a cupola that Sarah later demolished. THE STONE CHIMNEY WHEN SARAH added the southwest wing, she conceived an unusual architectural device of placing a window in the center of a chimney and building a flue on either side. This chimney was one of the focal points of the façade and was reduced to rubble in the earthquake. Sarah never chose to rebuild it, opting instead to board up the opening and plant a creeper vine to cover it. THE SECOND GABLE AS THE mansion grew, it became clear that a more striking visual element was needed to crown the façade. Sarah likely constructed the second gable in the same place as the first. It was also faced with a balcony and was topped by a cupola. The balcony conformed to the shape of the bay below and was fitted with delicate fretwork. The earthquake destroyed the balcony, and it was hastily rebuilt to a different design, although the fretwork screens survive and are on display in the House’s attic. THE 7-STORY TOWER AND 5-STORY DECK IN THE early 1890s, Sarah began constructing the most distinctive element of the House: A 7-story tower connected to a 5-story, open-air deck only accessible by a turret in the northwest corner. This feature was by far the most tragic loss of the earthquake, and because there are no close-up images, we can only guess as to what symbolism was intended here. It is possible that the 7 stories were symbolic of William’s name, but that is merely an educated guess. One image suggests that Sarah later built another turret in the southeast corner of the deck to complete the symmetry. SYMBOLS IN THE HOUSE TODAY ALTHOUGH THE earthquake took its violent toll on the House, much of Sarah’s vision has been preserved. It still becomes distinctly clear to any Baconian or Freemason entering the House that Sarah wove an intricate pattern of symbols into its design – symbols that can be read and understood by any candidate willing to put aside their doubts and biases and hone their powers of insight and intuition. THE FRONT GATES THE INITIATIC journey naturally begins at the front gates, the symbolic entrance to the estate. The gates are wrought iron and set between two rusticated stone piers, which are visually supported by two smaller gates which terminate in two secondary piers. It is important to note that the piers originally had the inscriptions, “S. L. Winchester,” and “Llanada Villa” carved into them. The lettering was removed at an unknown date, likely after Sarah’s death. The name “Llanada Villa” is perplexing. It translates from Spanish to “House on the Plain” – of course, superficially a reference to the House’s original setting. But of course, it must carry a deeper meaning. The most elementary approach to this puzzle is to apply the Baconian cyphers to the inscriptions. Upon trying this, one finds that in Simple Cypher, the letters add up to 18 and 20, which simplify to 11. When one counts the number of letters in the names Sarah (5) and Pardee (6), and adds them together, the result is 11. 11, like 13, (as will later be revealed), was one of Sarah’s favorite numbers. But still more symbols can be found in the three gates, namely the sunburst and daisy motif, which appears on all four panels. The sunburst disk symbol was used frequently in the engravings which accompanied Bacon’s work and carries multiple meanings. To begin, the symbol has been used for centuries as the insignia of the Senior Deacon of a Masonic Blue Lodge. Any Mason will know that it is the S. D's job to oversee the initiation ceremony and guide the candidate to his enlightenment. Sarah invites her candidates to pursue enlightenment by including this symbol in the gates’ design. Furthermore, the daisy motif set in the center of each sunburst represents the two most important qualities possessed by any worthy initiate: Fidelity and Innocence. As you will see, the daisy is a metaphor used repeatedly throughout the House. To once more quote Wagner, Many species of the daisy have 13 petals. Moreover, most daisy species have 13 branches growing out of their stalks (when they mature), and they possess another remarkable feature—the head of every daisy flower forms a “Fibonacci Spiral” consisting of 34 tiny florets spiraling clockwise, inward, from the outer ring to the center—and, 21 florets spiraling, outward, counter-clockwise from the center to the outer ring. The “invisible difference” is 13. The Fibonacci Spiral which Mr. Wagner is alluding to was clearly very important to Sarah, firstly because 13 was her code number, and secondly, because the Spiral has many properties associated with Phi, the Divine Ratio. The Fibonacci Sequence, which accompanies the spiral, is a numerical sequence in which each number can be reached by adding the two preceding ones. 13 occupies the 8th ordinal point – meaning it is the 8th digit from the start of the series. Thus, 8 and 13 share a remarkable relationship. Sarah makes certain that we see this relationship by showing us 8-petaled daisies, which do not exist in nature. THE FRONT FACADE EVERY OBSERVER must remember that the façade of the House changed drastically after the earthquake. The left gable, as previously stated, was once fitted with a fretwork balcony and topped by a cupola, both of which were destroyed. The right Palladian balcony was originally semi-detached but was encased in a second large gable, most likely after sustaining damage. The current façade is an architectural mess, the result of the shoddily repaired damage, but it still retains aspects of its original design. As in all well-executed Queen Anne architecture, the façade is asymmetrical, but balanced. Notice that the second story literally hovers over the porte-cochere, supported merely by the wooden posts cemented into the stone wall below. The first story of the central portion is symmetrical, but as one’s gaze moves higher up the façade, asymmetries begin to appear. The entrance is in the exact center of the porte-cochere. One immediately notices that the House faces East, towards the rising sun. In a Blue Lodge room, the Worshipful Master sits in the East, for East is the direction associated with enlightenment in the Masonic literature. It was also the direction which King Solomon’s Temple faced, and as will later be revealed, the House is in many ways a modern metaphor for this original House of Enlightenment. Upon entering the gates, one first sees the façade through two palm trees. These trees represent the Masonic pillars of Boaz and Jachin, which originally appeared at the entrance of the first Temple. It must be noted that the two palms were planted by Sarah after the earthquake and were not a part of the original design. The original plantings were much denser, so the House could not be seen well from the street. In the garden’s pre-1906 configuration, a drive led straight through the gates to the entrance, but now the path curves around a lawn containing the trees. THE FRONT DOORS RICHARD A. WAGNER, certainly the most respected Llanadian, states that to enter the House, the candidate must first climb the Winding Stairs in the northwest corner. While this is certainly a valid statement, regarding the House prior to the earthquake, one must recognize that the Winding Stairs were not added until sometime in the 1910s or 20s, as evidenced by the marks on the walls left by a previous stairway configuration. And so, we have a conundrum: What was Sarah’s motive for building the Winding Stairs, (which, as any Mason will know, represent the candidate’s ascension to greater knowledge, and thus are obviously the symbolic point of entrance), when the impressive front doors were already installed? There is no obvious answer, and as we only have the partially intact version of the House to work with, we cannot ever fully understand Sarah’s complete vision. This resource will focus the initiate’s entrance on the front of the house, by way of the vestibule doors. The doors are, simply put, a work of art. But as with all the art in the House, they contain a metaphor. The doors were crafted in Europe to Sarah’s own specifications and contain superb art glass. The upper glass panels consist of two 3s facing each other, representing Bacon’s code number 33. The space in the center is occupied by 7 fleur-de-lis – so, with two panels, two 7s. The fleur-de-lis is a well-known Baconian symbol, appearing 3 times on his crest. The significance of the “double 7” will be explained later. If one peers closer, he will notice that each of the 3s is made up of two C-like symbols. These symbols are called Tubal-Cains, and they are a revised version of the original symbol used by John Dee, Bacon’s mentor, as his hieroglyphic signature. The original version of the Tubal-Cain had a very erotic appearance, and so, Sarah, being a respectable lady, had to change it. The new symbol consists of a C wrapping around two balls and appears elsewhere in the House. The design is also likely a reference to Bacon’s famous “double C” headpiece, which he used on the title page of nearly all his works. The lower glass panels in the doors each have 11 fleur-de-lis – 11 representing the name Sarah Pardee, as does the “Llanada Villa” inscription on the right gate pier. At the bottom of both panels, we find a symbol that is not easily traced to Bacon, and whose meaning is yet undiscovered. THE “BALLROOM” JUST OFF of the entrance hall is a room known today as the Ballroom, although there is no evidence that this was ever its use. The room is undoubtedly the grandest in the House and is one of the only rooms finished in the high Eastlake style, with the others being a simple Queen Anne style. The room is constructed entirely without nails, yet another reference to King Solomon’s Temple, and the floor is a checkerboard parquet pattern reminiscent of the black-and-white checkered mosaic which can be found in every well-established Masonic Lodge. The focal point of the Ballroom is the wall opposite the entrance, which sports an intricate system of display shelving, a fireplace with an overmantel mirror, and two large stained glass windows. The windows are essentially mirror images of each other, and that is not simply a design choice on Sarah’s part, for the mirror that reflects light and knowledge is a well-known Baconian symbol. In addition to this, the elongated tear-drop shape filled with beveled glass in the center of each window can be seen as a kind of mirror. The most surprising element of the windows’ design is a winding banner (another Baconian symbol) which wraps around the central beveled portion of each window. The banner on the left reads: WIDE.UNCLASP THE.TABLES.OF. THEIR.THOUGHTS. These words were taken from Act 4, scene 5 of Bacon’s Troilus and Cressida, and are Sarah’s way of saying, “Open the sacred book of knowledge.” (One must note that in Bacon’s time, many books had metal clasps.) Here, the “book” is a reference to the House itself, for as previously stated, the House can be seen as a great metaphorical book containing secret knowledge. The banner on the right reads: THESE.SAME. THOUGHTS.PEOPLE THIS.LITTLE.WORLD This, in effect, means, “When you have learned the symbols, pass them on to others.” The number 45 is not an accident, nor is the number 55. 45 is Pythagorean Cypher for Shakespeare, and 55 is Pythagorean Cypher for Hiram Abiff. Hiram Abiff was an allegorical figure created by Bacon to aid in the symbolism of the Masonic 3d degree ritual. He is known to this day as the mythical builder of the first Temple. When the two numbers are added together, the product is 100 – Francis Bacon in Simple Cypher. Sarah also made sure that the first word in each of the original sentences was omitted from her design, leaving only seven words in each inscription, which can be viewed as the number 77. The explanation for this number lies in the coffered ceiling. The ceiling consists of 9 large coffers, the center one containing the medallion which supports the great chandelier. The number 9 refers to the Pythagorean Cypher, which Sarah invites us to use in this part of the puzzle. Each of the 8 major coffers surrounding the center one contains 13 smaller coffers, so, she is also inviting us to multiply 9 times 13. The result is 117 – John dee in Reverse Cypher. 117 can be broken into 11 and 7 which, when multiplied, render 77 – Annie Winchester, William Winchester, and the words “Winchester Goose” in Pythagorean Cypher. It should be noted that 117 also simplifies to 72, which as previously stated, renders Sarah Winchester (Pythagorean Cypher). On a deeper level, there are 7 letters in the name “William” and 11 letters in the name “Shakespeare.” THE MAIN STAIRWAY THE MAIN stairway is a fine example of late Victorian craftsmanship. At the bottom, it terminates in a fairly typical Queen Anne newel topped by a beautiful 4-globe light fixture. The newel has 3 daisies carved into it on each side. The staircase itself has 13 steps, and at the landing is a magnificent Tiffany stained glass window, the most expensive in the House. This window represents the “great golden window” in Solomon’s Temple, which faced north, towards the star Sirius, an Egyptian symbol of the afterlife. (More on the window shortly.) One of the most famous Masonic Lectures appears in the Fellowcraft degree, during which the candidate must walk a floorcloth representing the mythical “Winding Stairs,” which lead upward to knowledge and enlightenment. Although the Winding Staircase traditionally has 15 steps, Sarah likely chose a 13-step version because 13 was her code number of choice. Another possibility is that the Stairs also represent the 13-step Egyptian version of Jacob’s Ladder, the path to heaven. It was believed that the first 12 steps were easily achievable, but the 13th step could only be reached by those worthy of it. At the top of this metaphorical staircase was a door that led to ultimate truth, represented here by Sarah’s Tiffany window. It is important to note that the window swings open, rather like a door. The window itself contains a myriad of symbolism. To begin, there are 11 Tubal-Cains, which by now the initiate must remember stand for Sarah Pardee. In the upper portion of the window is a ribbon design that forms the letter W on top and two mirrored Ss on the bottom. WS stands for “Winding Stairs” and “William Shakespeare,” and SW stands for “Sarah Winchester. THE “7-11” STAIRWAY NEAR THE main stairway is an architectural feature that has come to be known as the “7-11” stairway – due to the fact that 7 steps continue up from the landing in one direction and 11 steps continue up in another. Of course, this number is a reference to John Dee and the name William Shakespeare. But also, it is symbolic of the Masonic “fork-in the road,” which is one of many tests given to the initiate – a test in which he must choose between an easy path (7 steps) and a more difficult but also more rewarding path (11 steps). THE CRESCENT IN THE middle of the central courtyard is a curious garden feature forming a crescent moon-shaped hedge filled with chrysanthemums. The significance of this unique feature, as with nearly every symbolic device in the House, is multi-layered. As a starting place, research confirms that Sarah contributed often to a literary magazine published by the Young Ladies Collegiate Institute called The Crescent. Also, the crescent can be seen as a version of the letter C, which was important to Bacon for various reasons and appeared on his family crest. SARAH’S BEDROOM CEILING THE CEILING of Sarah’s bedroom is coffered, like the ballroom. It consists of 49 perfectly square coffers. One must remember that there is always a reason for the most prominent features of the House, and this is no exception. To start, 4+9=13. But 49 can also be divided into three 7s, and 777 times 13 is 10101, or, 111, because 0s are not counted. I will remind you that 111 is Bacon in Kaye Cypher. THE SANCTUM SANCTORUM WMH TOUR guides will tell you that the small, cube-like room in the center of the House is where Sarah conducted nightly seances, but there is absolutely no evidence that this was ever its purpose, and now that her Masonic connection has been established, the story can be readily discarded. The room is, in fact, her Sanctum Santorum, or Holy of Holies. The Sanctum is an essential for every practicing Rosicrucian. When design permits, it is always located near the center of the practitioner’s home. This is important because, as a room of quiet reflection and prayer, it must be as self-contained and shut-off from the outside world as possible. In Freemasonry, a similar room is sometimes used, called the Chamber of Reflection. The main difference in the Masonic version is that the Chamber is a solemn place where the prospective initiate is encouraged to contemplate death and the tragedies of life. As previously mentioned, the Sanctum at Llanada is built in the shape of a cube. This is important because it represents the Holy of Holies in Solomon’s Temple – so shaped because a cube is the shape which represents the three-dimensional geometry of the World, while a sphere represents the higher dimensional geometry of the heavens. The room measures 11 ft. by 11 ft. by 11 ft. On a superficial level, I will remind the observer that 11 is one of Sarah’s favorite code numbers, representing the name Sarah Pardee. But she clearly expects us to understand that 11 times 3 = 33, of course, rendering Bacon in Simple Cypher. Furthermore, the Sanctum was originally painted blue, like a Masonic Blue Lodge room. JACOB’S LADDER IN THE northwest corner of the mansion, near the attached carriage house, is a staircase known by Llanadians as Jacob’s Ladder. Jacob’s Ladder is a symbolic ramp which rises around 7 turns to heaven, as taught in the Hebrew and Masonic literature. In the Masonic tradition, the 7 turns represent the 7 liberal arts and sciences. In addition, the staircase has 44 steps. 44+7=51, Francis Bacon and Sarah Pardee in Pythagorean Cypher.
  4. Yeah - I'll convert it and send it. Also, thank you so much for the feedback on my prologue! I love to hear your insights, and you've made some pretty good points. I'll craft a more detailed response soon - I've been kinda busy lately. Thank you so much again! M.
  5. Thank you so much, Eric, for the excellent critical feedback, welcome, and compliments! I've always truly believed that the only people who can take you seriously are the ones who can compliment and also criticize you. It's interesting that you pointed out a possible appropriation/insensitive use of Bacon's words. I had never thought of that before, but now as you say it, I realize what a mistake it was. Perhaps I could change the line to "I am a Concealed Poet" - which is in fact true, because I write under a pseudonym. I also appreciate the feedback on TLTOAU (Life and Times of Arti). Yes, I suppose it is unwise of me, a novice on the subject, to casually fill a book with Baconian symbolism. I took the liberty to send some of my manuscript to Mr. Richard Wagner, and he roasted it. He said the writing was "overly wordy and symbolic to the point of being confusing." Ironically, that's the type of writing I hate the most - the poetic, pretentious drivel churned out by high schoolers to impress their teachers and fulfill their fantasies of being a child prodigy, like S. E. Hinton, 15-year-old author of The Outsiders. I realized after Mr. Wagner's response that I was just like them all - I may have been somewhat more articulate and talented in some respects, but I was really doing the same thing: trying to write a masterpiece before my time. TLTOAU is not a masterpiece, but it may be a promising novel. I think I'll take some of your advice and remove the bits of symbolism that exist for symbolism's sake. My goal is to appear as a simple, honest writer, putting out simple, honest material. If anything, that'll impress them even more! Thank you again!!!!! M.
  6. I had the idea for this novel four years ago, when I was in the 6th grade, before I even knew the name Francis Bacon, when I still thought that good old Willie Shakie had written the Shake-Speare cannon and still truly believed that Sarah Winchester was a crazy spiritualist. The book was originally a crime thriller and coming-of-age story, without any Baconian symbolism or Masonic references. When I became aware (thanks to the internet) that I had fallen for the Stratfordian Myth, I began to research Bacon and read his writings, and soon I realized that my novel, then titled Wemeworth, was the perfect candidate for a Baconian makeover. The Life and Times of Arti Usher may not seem Baconian at first, but I'll explain why after I describe it. Let's start with the setting: Wemeworth is the fictional city in which the story is set. It exists in an unspecified country governed by a mysterious Chancellor. Wemeworth was once a beautiful and prosperous city, but now it has fallen into ruin and squalor. In the city is a prison, and in that prison is an execution device called the Machine. According to a popular urban legend, it was built decades ago by an outsider known as the Smooth-Talking Man. Once a year, on 1 November, a convict is put to death in the Machine. It is a secret ritual, only attended by government officials, and the exact nature of it remains unknown. In addition, Wemeworth once had, and continues to have a large Masonic population. These men are allowed to operate by the mysterious government, but they have no political influence. And now, the plot: Arti Usher is a sixteen-year-old girl living on the streets of Wemeworth. One day, she hears of a curiously gruesome murder, and immediately links it to her father, who has just been released from prison. The explanation goes as follows: Arti's parents, Johnny and Arti I, were notorious criminals. The police chased them down, had a shootout, killed Arti I, and took Johnny prisoner. Arti, meanwhile, was sent to live with her paternal grandmother, who frequently visited her son in prison and heard him speak of murdering the officer who shot his wife. There were four men in the police car that night, so he vowed to kill each one. Arti's grandmother told her as much, and when she died, Arti took to the streets, where she has lived ever since. Arti approaches the local law enforcement and tells them all she knows. They take her in as a witness. At the station, she befriends a police detective, Inspector Louis, and they work together to track Usher down. Arti meets many different characters along the way, including Alame Hoyle, a like-minded young person, and her father, who has secret ties to Usher. Ultimately, all four men are killed, as well as the Inspector, and Usher blackmails a former friend with influence to accuse Arti of the murders, so that he can escape the Machine. The initial plan is for her to be found guilty and sentenced to life in a mental hospital, but the District Attorney decides to try her as an adult. Arti is quickly incriminated and sentenced to death, much to the horror of all her friends. In the climax, Arti is being taken through the terminal to board a train that will transport her to the prison. Alame appears, distracts the officers guarding her, and helps Arti escape. Arti sees her father waiting on a platform for his train, and, in a moment of anger, rushes at him. Seeing Arti and the officers coming her way, he grabs her for a hostage. At that moment, the train enters the station, and Arti, knowing she will die either way, leans over the platform and pulls her father down. The train runs them over, killing them both. But we're not done yet. Because, at that exact moment, the Machine explodes. In the final scene, Arti and the Smooth-Talking Man, creator of the Machine, are seen by Alame walking away hand in hand into the fog. End of Story. Symbolism and Meaning The story is broken into three parts, one for each Craft Degree. At the beginning of each part, there is an illustration inspired by the tracing board used in that degree. Arti is, of course, the Candidate, and her progression through the story mirrors that of the Candidate in the Blue Lodge. She learns valuable lessons along the way, and in the end dies like Hiram for a noble cause. She is REBORN at the end, in a scene which seems both real and metaphorical. Arti is also the embodiment of Bacon's muse, Pallas Athena. Like Athena, she presents very masculine, wearing a suit and a bowtie and a Black trench coat, representing concealment. She also wears goggles, a modern replacement for Athena's helmet of invisibility. Of course, the goggles, which she is seen wearing in almost every illustration, represent concealment in the same way. In addition, there are many numerical devices and Baconian symbols, such as the mirror, the spear, and the Tubal-Cain hidden in the illustrations. Alright, I know I've rambled for a long time now, but I just wanted to share this project. If anyone expresses interest, I will post excerpts and illustrations. Thanks for hanging in with me for this incredibly long post. FIAT LUX!
  7. Hi, there! Yes, this is my work. I did incorporate symbolism and a few cypher devices into the poem, however, I did not even notice the device that you pointed out. It really is clever, but I am sad to say it was not at all intentional. By the way, I'm a fifteen-year-old who sucks at math and wishes he was better at numerical cyphers.
  8. I. I AM the Concealed Poet, And I shall do your story right; Your bones will sing until they fail And break upon the floor of night. You fester in the dark of day, And by the moon you do not dream; But now, in verse, you speak again And clear the cancer on your name. The name that now has lost its grace Will once again be known to praise; Your song will echo through the halls, And set so many hearts ablaze. The mansion, then, will come alive, Those empty rooms will sing at last; The symbols that were lost within Will link our present to your past. II. YOU KNEW at once, before you saw, You knew the spark was going soon – And when he spoke, he spoke like ash, Like gravel, in the nightly noon. And when he told you that he hurt, He said he would not last the day; And when the doctors left the room, You did not even cry or pray. And so, you waited by the bed. The ocean air went in and out, The curtains billowed in the room, And cast their shadows all about, You did not speak, or even dream; You simply stood and waited there. The world whispered round the bed And shifted in the ocean’s glare. You sometimes spoke, he sometimes heard, And sometimes, he would simply drift; The minutes passed, and then the hours – Still, he lay there, never stiff. And when the noon had turned to day, You felt the ocean’s silver gleam; But there were waters by the shore That melted like a dying dream. So, as the ocean sang and turned, And as the waters lapped the land And as the seabirds swooped about, And made confessions to the sand, Two people waited in a room, Allowed one final, soulless day, One day of curtains and white sheets, And talk to waste the time away. So soon the ocean turned to red And melted with the ending sun, The stars became the eyes of night, And speared the day as it was done. You knew that it was near the time, You knew so well, and so did he; For in each clouded breath there was A sample of eternity You lit the lamps inside the room, You drew the curtains and the drapes; And as the minutes ticked away, The walls went mad with flickering shapes. You felt his touch upon your hand, And knew he would not see the dawn. You shared with him one last embrace, And then, in moments, he was gone. His death was quick, the doctors said, As say the doctors everywhere; By then the lamplight in the room Had weakened to a bitter glare. They took their notes and did their jobs; You watched them in the crippled light; They closed his eyes, as doctors do, And bore him off into the night. You sat there, in the empty room, Until the dawn erased the sky; Until the moon had disappeared And water birds were made to fly. You watched the foam appear and fall, To vanish in the wicked tide So, as the ocean sang and turned, You sat there in the room and cried.
  9. My name is Marvin Haines, and I'm new to sirbacon.net. I have read Mr. Richard Wagner's articles on Sarah Winchester and her Baconian connection, and recently posted a comment on the Winchester Mystery House (WMH) official Facebook page, only to have it deleted before my eyes by the page moderator. The comment goes as follows: For starters, Sarah Winchester was a Freemason, a Rosicrucian, a Baconian, and a Theosophist. Mr. Richard Wagner has written an incredibly illuminating article on the subject, which, as strange as it may sound, is backed with amazingly solid evidence. She filled her house with beautiful Masonic symbolism, such as the "switchback staircase," which is actually a clever representation of the 2nd Degree Winding Staircase. Her "séance room" is a Rosicrucian Sanctum, where she studied and prayed. If you really do your research, the Masonic explanation leaves any bogus notions of hauntings and seances in the dust. I highly recommend checking out Mr. Wagner's article, "The Truth about Sarah Winchester." Furthermore, the spooky myth is a vile stain on Sarah's beautiful legacy. She created an incredible poem told in brick, mortar, love, and dedication, and it became a tourist enterprise. Do your research, kids! There is absolutely no evidence that Mrs. Winchester was ever a spiritualist or insane. The story arose out of gossip, hearsay, and probably some fabrication. However, there is much reason to believe that she was deeply partial to the Masonic/Rosicrucian/Baconian tradition, and was simply expressing her knowledge through symbols in architecture. She wanted to share that beautiful knowledge with others. Please read Mr. Wagner's article. It is the only source on the web that does her name any justice. Needless to say, I was disheartened. I sent the following email to various WMH staff: Dear Sirs – It has come to my attention that Llanada Villa, my Santa Clara home, has, by some unfortunate twist of fate, become what you millennials call a “tourist trap.” Needless to say, I am very disappointed and saddened by this. I built the House, my brick-and-mortar legacy, to be forever preserved and hallowed as the architectural poem it so rightfully is. The House has become an embarrassment to this legacy, a stain on my heritage. Such misinterpretation of my life’s work causes me great dismay. I feel hurt and misunderstood. I understand that this myth of haunting spirits and seances most likely arose out of gossip, hearsay, and probably some fabrication. I now realize that all of this is inevitable, given my reclusiveness, but still I find it surprising that very few have studied my work and interpreted the clues I left behind. I suppose that for some people the myth is more entertaining – at least more accessible. Whatever the reason, it has endured long enough. And so, I call on you, the future of my beautiful Llanada, to undo the harm and make things right again. I encourage you to do your research and learn the symbols of the House, so that it may be preserved as a center of sacred knowledge and a memorial to my dearest late William and Annie. Fiat Lux! S. L. W. The only person to respond was WMH's marketing director, David Devoe. And he responded with just two words: "good grief" No one else had a thing to say.
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