For much of 1908, Cyrus R. Teed, known to his followers as Koresh, lay dying on a private island in Estero Bay. The founder of the Koreshan Unity was in severe nerve pain, his condition allegedly the result of a blow to the head he sustained during a tussle in the street in Fort Myers, Florida, in October 1906. Although his anguish may have had as much to do with the electricity treatments he periodically took as a cure, the blame was squarely placed on Teed’s political enemies and made to fit the narrative that he, like Jesus, was a persecuted messiah.
Teed doubtless hoped to rest and convalescence during his retirement on the island, but he was by no means idle. Rather, he began work on what would be the final book-length tract he authored in his lifetime. Unique among his output, this text was not a scientific treatise, in the manner of The Cellular Cosmogony (1898); nor was it a theological, pseudo-theological, or politico-spiritual text in the style of The Immortal Manhood (1902). Rather, it was a futurist war novel titled The Great Red Dragon, or, The Flaming Devil of the Orient. Teed signed it with the name “Lord Chester.” It was published under this pseudonym in 1909 by the Koreshans’ Guiding Star Publishing House, not long after Teed expired.
American Communal Societies Quarterly
Available for download on Thursday, October 01, 2020