Monday, November 30, 2015

Forty-Seven (47)

"I walked forty-seven miles of barbed wire..." ~ Bo Diddley ("Who Do You Love?" 1956.)

The essayist and “Discordian Saint,” Robert Anton Wilson, popularized the notion of the “23 Phenomenon.”[1] Jim Brandon, Loren Coleman, James Shelby Downard, Michael Hoffman and others have called attention to the high-strangeness surrounding the number 33.[2] Anyone having a cursory familiarity with the mystical discipline of numerology will recognize instantly that esoteric significance is attached to many numbers.[3] But one that is less-acknowledged also seems to have a buzz about it lately. I’m thinking of 47.

A guided sampling of current events might help the reader to get a flavor for my opinion on this matter. Take this, for instance. Several news sources over the last week have reported that “Nearly 47M Americans Will Travel for Thanksgiving.”[4] As synchronicity would have it, this is the same number of Americans – 47 million – reputed to be receiving food stamps.[5] If you can believe it, and diehard Obama-supporters probably do, that’s also the number of Americans (maybe the selfsame ones) who lack (or until recently lacked) health insurance coverage.[6]

In the face of the criticisms of Obama’s numbers issuing from the political “right,” it is worth remembering the fact that the number 47 was at the center of controversy just four odd years ago when Republican presidential hopeful “Mitt Romney told a group of donors in a secretly taped video that 47% of Americans will vote for President Obama because they are ‘dependent upon government’ and ‘believe that they are victims.’”[7] That didn’t go over so well for him.

Why should 47s figure so unusually – or so it seems to me – in political controversies? We probably should not even get started on the claim that the Silicon Valley company Ubiquiti Networks’s claim that it had been taken in by a “cyber scam” to the tune of… Well, I’ll leave you to guess the amount.[8]

In any case, to return for a moment to population statistics, it turns out that “47 million” is also alleged to be the approximate number of subscribers to Amazon’s “Prime” service.[9]

Consider, also, the regrettable fact (if it is a fact) that “Nearly 47 Million People Now Have Dementia.”[10]

One can only presume that the 47 million spoken of – if some or all of the figures are veridical – in these cases are not the same people. The notion that 47 million dementia sufferers without health insurance might have been traveling this weekend on food stamps seems a bit too much to put up with, even for someone with sympathies towards the peculiar world of synchro-mysticism.

In other news, in March, the “progressive” organization MoveOn expressed concern about “47 Republican senators [who] wrote directly to the ayatollah of Iran urging him to break off diplomatic negotiations with President Obama.”[11]

This past October, word reached the United States of an important anthropological find in China involving “Forty-seven smooth teeth dug out of a cave…”.[12]

On a lighter note, a recent flurry of YouTube commercials featuring one “Tai Lopez” has him report: “I remember sleeping on a couch with $47 in my bank account in a mobile home in North Carolina…”.[13]

In 2013, Matrix-actor Keanu Reeves was featured in Universal’s box-office failure 47 Ronin. Aficionados of the genre can compare, and probably have already, the 1941, Japanese-made film Genroku Chūshingura (“The 47 Ronin”).

Or again, in 1998, the Copenhagen, Denmark-based software company Io-Interactive A/S released the video game Hitman: Codename 47.[14] The storyline revolves around assassinations carried out by the character Agent 47.

And those are just a few scattered items that have crossed my desk (or computer screen) over the last couple of years. Are the 47s simply random? Maybe. If they are actual figures, then perhaps their appearances lately, especially on the high-profile political scene à la Obama and Romney before him, is just a curiosity.[15]

It is conceivable, however, that the 47s are orchestrated, by persons or “forces” unknown. But why should one think that the number 47 has any “force” in these and other reports? For that matter, why should any number?

One possible answer to this latter question apparently proceeds from the ancient Greek mathematician and philosopher Pythagoras. According to the Plato’s illustrious student, Aristotle, “the Pythagoreans say that things exist by ‘imitation’ of numbers.”[16] This Pythagorean strand was subsequently woven into the abstruse metaphysical framework known as “Neoplatonism.”[17]

The 15th-century Italian Renaissance thinker Giovanni Pico della Mirandola, “in his Mathematical Conclusions[,] had stated that ‘By number a way may be had for the investigation and understanding of everything possible to be known.”[18] Erstwhile Lord Mayor of London[19] Sir Henry Billingsley actually included Pico’s statement in his seminal English translation of Euclid’s Elements.[20]

The 13th-century Spanish Kabbalist Abraham ben Samuel Abulafia “translate[d] numbers into his meditations on the combinations of Hebrew letters.”[21] “For [15th-16th-century German humanist scholar] Johannes Reuchlin …Pythagoras’ philosophy, as he outlined in the dedication of his De arte Cabalistica[22] …to Pope Leo X, ‘derives in origin from the teachers of Kabbalah’.”[23]

Considerations of this sort led 20th-century British scholar Frances Amelia Yates to conclude that Kabbalah “could transform into a kind of mystical mathematics.”[24] Of course, this Pythagorean/Kabbalistic legacy, this sort of “mystical mathematics,” has become something of a foundation stone in the various “brotherhoods” of Freemasonry.

And now, at last, we’re better-positioned to answer the question: What about 47?

First of all, it must be recalled that the above-named Euclid’s “47th proposition” figures prominently in many Masonic emblems.[25] Masonic sources often link Euclid with Pythagoras.

In one such book, under the heading “Forty-Seventh Problem of Euclid,” we read: “This was the invention of our ancient friend and brother Pythagoras, who, in his travels through Asia, Africa, and Europe, was initiated into several orders of priesthood and raised to the sublime degree of Master Mason. This wise philosopher enriched his mind abundantly in a general knowledge of things, and more especially in Geometry, or Masonry.”[26]

47 is not simply peripherally connected to Freemasonry, then. It is arguably quite near to its symbolic heart.

Another anchor for 47 might be its link to other phenomena, such as that in the vicinity of Wilson’s 23s. Consider: “The Earth’s axis is tilted at an angle of 23.5° away from the plane of the ecliptic.”[27] Furthermore: “The Tropic of Cancer is the circle marking the latitude 23.5 degrees north, where the sun is directly overhead at noon on June 21, the beginning of summer in the northern hemisphere. The Tropic of Capricorn is the circle marking the latitude 23.5 degrees south where the sun is directly overhead at noon on December 21, the beginning of winter in the northern hemisphere.”[28]

Not to put too fine a point on it, but: “This makes the whole tropical belt 47 degrees wide.”[29]

Another possibly relevant consideration has to do with the calendar. Of course, since no month has more than 31 days, 47 will not show up in date calculations in precisely the same sorts of ways as some of the examples catalogued by Wilson. It can be present in years. Indeed, 47s figure just that way with respect to historically interesting, and even anomalous, events.

Consider an ancient example. Christianity owes a lot to Saint Paul. No fewer than 7 books of the New Testament are attributed to him[30] and his efforts as “Apostle to the Gentiles”[31] were instrumental in assisting the spread of early Christianity. “[T]he earliest date at which the commencement of the first missionary journey[32] …can be placed is the spring of AD. 47.”[33]

In my own notes, 1947 has many intriguing examples of bizarre events. For instance, the grisly “Black Dahlia” murder of Elizabeth Short (who had only attained the youthful and Kabbalistically-significant age of 22) occurred on or around January 15, 1947.

Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry had a life-changing experience later that same year. “After …[World War Two], he [Roddenberry] was a pilot for Pan Am. On June 18, 1947, as the airline was inaugurating its ‘round the world’ service, the engines of the ‘Clipper Eclipse’ conked out, the aircraft caught fire and crashed in the Syrian desert.”[34]

As far as more recent mysteries go, Kenneth Arnold’s alleged sighting of a “flying saucer” must surely rank as one. It happened June 24, 1947. Ufologists and “UFO buffs” alike also know that the “Roswell Incident” occurred on or around July 8, 1947. It was a busy year.[35]

Whether related to the UFO business or not,[36] a key event from the standpoint of Anglo-American crypto-politics was the creation of the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). Its official birthday is given as September 18, 1947.

Another way of searching out the possible significance of 47 is to observe that February 16 is the 47th day of the year.[37] Fidel Castro become Prime Minister of Cuba on February 16, 1959. Castro has independent interest. 19th-20th-century British researcher Nesta Helen Webster wrote that “[i]n 1779 Spartacus [i.e., Adam Weishaupt] [wrote] to [others in the occult society] suggesting that instead of ‘Illuminati’ the Order should be called the ‘Order of Bees’ [Bienenorden oder Bienengesellschaft], and that all the statutes should be clothed in this allegory.”[38] With this in mind, I note that, in Jim Brandon’s Sirius Rising audio recordings (vol. 1), James Shelby Downard mentions Fidel Castro in connection to T. H. White’s The Book of Beasts.[39] It turns out that word “castro,” designates a sort of bee. “The Greeks call the ones [i.e., the bees] that are produced in the outer part of the honeycomb ‘castros,’ the drones (workers?) or castrated ones…”.[40]

Some other notable 47th-day occurrences include, in 1985, “the official launch” of Hezbollah by Sheik Ibrahim al-Amin[41] and, in 2005, the effective date of the Kyoto Protocol.[42]

Before the confederate surrender on the highly-symbolic date of July 4, 1863, Union General and later U.S. President Ulysses S. Grant subjected Vicksburg to “forty-seven days of constant shelling… Thereafter, Grant became Abraham Lincoln’s favorite general.”[43]

As an aside, I register the quick point that 47 also seems to be a popular numerical designator for various pieces of military technology. One thinks, for example, of the Soviet-designed machine gun Avtomat Kalashnikova, better known as the AK-47; the Colt Walker single-action revolver (first sold in 1847); the Bell Hellicopter 47;[44] Boeing Aircraft Company’s Boeing B-47 Stratojet;[45] Douglas Aircraft Company’s C-47 “Skytrain”; and the Republic Aviation P-47 “Thunderbolt.” Given the Obama/Romney 47s, the CIA-connection and some of the other tidbits cataloged above, one might get the impression that 47s are “keyed-in” on militaristic and political wavelengths of some sort.[46]

Maybe 47 is an emblem of the “shadow-government.” During the attacks of September 11, 2001 on the Pentagon and on the “Twin Towers” of the World Trade Center (WTC) complex, WTC “Building 7” also collapsed. Building 7 had been 47 stories high. Additionally, WTC’s buildings 1 and 2, the “North” and “South Towers,” each contained “47 massive core columns” near the central elevator machinery.[47]

Possibly any number, when raised to salience in one’s consciousness, may take on symbolic proportions. Maybe I was pre-tuned to 47 in particular, owing to the fact – “coincidentally” – that my father was that very age when I was born. Or, just perhaps, “The 47 Society” has been on to something big.

- Matthew J. Bell


[1] Robert Anton Wilson, The Illuminatus! Trilogy, New York: Dell, 1984; “The 23 Phenomenon,” Fortean Times, <>; etc.

[2] For the merest sampling, see, e.g., Jim Brandon, The Rebirth of Pan, Dunlap, Ill.: Firebird Press, 1983; Loren Coleman, “33s: The Rebirth of Pan,” Twilight Language, Oct. 5, 2015, <>; and James Shelby Downard and Michael A. Hoffman II, King Kill 33, Coeur d’Alene, Idaho: Downard Trust; Independent History and Research, 1998. The number 33 is of prime importance in the Scottish Rite of Freemasonry, where the ultimate and honorary degree is the thirty-third. Additionally, occult writers such as Helena Blavatsky and Manly Palmer Hall have periodically made mention of, or visually represented, thirty-threes in various works. I am too lazy to look up the references right now, but will try to get around to it later.

[3] Besides the various meanings assigned to the numbers 0-9, other numbers of interest – among the probable infinity that could be cited! – include (beside 13, which I ignore because of its complexity):

11 – see Recluse, “The Fall of 11?” VisupView [weblog], Sept. 13, 2012, <>.

24/42 – see Loren Coleman, “It Could Be Tomorrow! Black Sunday,” Twilight Language [weblog], Nov. 21, 2015, <>.

36 – see Celtic Rebel, “Sing Our Own Song [VII],” The Rebel Path [weblog], January 7, 2009, <>.

72 – see Matthew J. Bell and Jim Brandon, “Star Trek In Tenebris,” Bell Curve [weblog], Jun. 5, 2013, <>.

[4] See, e.g., Bart Jansen, “AAA: Nearly 47M Americans Will travel for Thanksgiving,” USA Today, Nov. 17, 2015, <>. Jansen remarks that: “The projection for 46.9 million travelers from Nov. 25 through Nov. 29 is based on economic forecasting and research by IHS Global Insight,” ibid. The source apparently is Julie Hall, “46.9 Million Americans to Travel for Thanksgiving, According to AAA,” AAA News Room, <>. Loren Coleman will be gratified to know, however, that an alternate AAA release – dated the 23rd, no less – indicated: “Approximately 42 million Americans are expected to take a road trip this Thanksgiving,” Amanda Shapiro and Michael Green, “Drivers to Pay Lowest Thanksgiving Gas Prices Since 2008,” AAA News Room, Nov. 23, 2015, <>.

[5] The food stamps recipient number is disputed, but see Brad Plumer, “Why are 47 Million Americans on Food Stamps? It’s the Recession – Mostly,” Washington Post, Sept. 23, 2013, <>.

[6] See Munir Moon, “Do the Math: Obamacare Won't Change the Number of Uninsured,” Huffington Post, Feb. 5, 2014, updated Apr. 5, 2014, <>. Or, more cautiously, it might have been the number before the roll-out of “Obamacare”; who knows what the story is, presently? And it should be noted that some Obama supporters might have instead believed Obama’s alternate count of 30 million. See Byron York, “Obama: I used to say 47 million Uninsured. Now, It's 30 Million,” Washington Examiner, Sept. 8, 2009, <>.

[7] Gregory Korte, “Romney: Obama Voters ‘Believe They are Victims’,” USA Today, Sept. 17, 2012, <>. Actually, the hoopla surrounding Romney on that occasion marked my first awareness of this “47 phenomenon.” My early thoughts on the number were recorded under the ponderous title: “47 (Or How Romney Lords It over Inferior Fools with Euclidean I-Ching).” (Available at Bell Curve [weblog], Sept. 18, 2012, <>.)

[8] James Eng, “Ubiquiti Networks Says It Was Victim of $47 Million Cyber Scam,” NBC, Aug. 7 2015, <>.

[9] Jennifer Booton, “Amazon Now Has Around 47 Million Paying Prime Members,” Market Watch, Oct. 20, 2015, <>.

[10] According to a report from Alzheimer’s Disease International. “Nearly 47 Million People Now Have Dementia, Report Shows,” Yahoo Health, Aug. 25, 2015, <>.

[11] Anna Galland, email, MoveOn, Jul. 14, 2015; citing Leslie Savan, “‘Daily News’ to GOP ‘Traitors’: Drop Dead,” The Nation, Mar. 11, 2015, <>.

[12] These teeth, it was said, “…reveal that Homo sapiens may have arrived there [China] 80,000 years ago.” Amina Khan, “Find Alters Human Migration Theories: The Discovery of 47 Teeth in a Chinese Cave Suggests People Arrived There at Least 80,000 Years Ago,” Los Angeles Times, Oct. 17, 2015, p. B2.

[13] The actual text, here, is from: Joel Brown, “3 Ways to Maximize Your Life & Riches – Tai Lopez,” Addicted2Success, <>.

[14] Eidos Interactive, 2000.

[15] Perhaps my perception of the 47s merely owes to my own idiosyncrasies.

[16] Aristotle, Metaphysics, ca. 350 B.C., W. D. Ross, transl., online at <>.

[17] In general, “Neoplatonism” was an “[a]ncient Greek philosophy, metaphysics, [and] philosophy of religion. [It was t]he philosophical tradition founded by Plotinus , developed through his disciple Porphyry , the Syrian School of Iamblichus, the school of Athens, represented by Plutarch, Proclus , and Simplicius, and the Alexandrian school until the fall of Alexandria in 642. Plotinus' Enneads (edited by Porphyry) was the source of this tradition, and Proclus' Elements of Theology was the systematic exposition of its doctrines. Neoplatonism, which was the last philosophical system of the classical world, explained the origin of the world in terms of Plotinus' three hypostases (the one, nous, and the soul) and the process of emanation. Neoplatonism attempted to reconcile the two supposedly incompatible systems of Plato and Aristotle, by considering Aristotle's philosophy as an introduction to Plato's higher wisdom. This attitude led many Neoplatonists to comment extensively on both Plato and Aristotle and thus contributed greatly to the history of philosophy. Neoplatonism advocated polytheism and mysticism and had a favorable attitude toward theology. Hence it became the main opposition of early Christianity, which it directly attacked.” “Neoplatonism,” in Nicholas Bunnin and Jiyuan Yu, The Blackwell Dictionary of Western Philosophy, Oxford: Blackwell, 2004.

[18] Frances Yates, The Occult Philosophy of the Elizabethan Age, reprint ed., London and New York: Routledge, 2001, p. 30. Here is the apparent sense of Yate’s reference to Pico’s “Mathematical Conclusions”: “When Pico went to Rome in 1486 to publicly defend his 900 theses or intellectual propositions drawn from all philosophies, fourteen were conclusions ‘according to the mathematics of Pythagoras’ …Giovanni Pico della Mirandola regarded Pythagoras as a ‘wise man’, observing that according to Iamblichus ‘Pythagoras took the Orphic theology as a model’ after which he patterned and shaped his own philosophy. For that reason alone Pythagoras’ sayings were called ‘sacred’ because they derived from the ‘Orphic initiations’, from which flowed ‘the secret doctrine of numbers and whatever was great and sublime in Greek philosophy’.” Ariel Hessayon, “Gold Tried in the Fire”: The Prophet TheaurauJohn Tany and the English Revolution, Burlington, Vermont: Ashgate Publ., 2007, p. 339; archived online at <>; citing Giovanni Pico della Mirandola, On the Dignity of Man, Charles Glenn Wallis, transl., Paul J. W. Miller, ed., Indianapolis and New York: Bobbs-Merrill, 1965, pp. 15 and 33. (Note: “TheaurauJohn Tany” was the assumed name of the 17th-century English religious figure Thomas Totney.)

[19] For information about the Lord Mayor, see again Bell and Brandon, “Star Trek in Tenebris,” op. cit., <>.

[20] “By Numbers, a way is had, to the searchyng out, and understandyng of euery thyng, hable to be knowen,” Giovanni Pico della Mirandola; quoted by Sir Henry Billingsley, transl., Euclid, The Elements of Geometrie, 1570; citing Conclusiones sive Theses DCCCC, Rome, 1486, 25, 35, no. 11.

[21] Hessayon, loc. cit..

[22] ‘On the Art of the Kabbalah,’ Hagenau, 1517.

[23] Hessayon, loc. cit. According to Frances Yates: “The kind of Cabala which Pico expounds in his seventy-two Cabalist Conclusions is a simplified version of Spanish Cabala. This fact alone is sufficient to indicate that this powerful influence on the Italian thinkers came from Spanish Jews, and was brought about through the disturbances in Spain which uprooted Spanish Jewry and led to the Expulsion of 1492 [by King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella]. Though Pico’s Cabalist Conclusions were formulated by 1486, some years before the actual date of the Expulsion, there seems little doubt that his instructors were Spanish Jews. Chief among them was the mysterious character known as Flavius Mithridates who provided Pico with Cabalist manuscripts. Pico certainly knew Hebrew fairly well, but would have been dependent on Jewish experts for interpreting these difficult sources. And it would seem that Flavius Mithridates encouraged Pico in the Christian interpretation of Cabala, even to the point of inserting into the texts interpolations of his own pointing in a Christian direction. What can have been Flavius’s motive in this encouraging and directing Pico towards his momentous adoption of Cabala into Christianity, as he understood it, remains a problem, and one which awaits further investigations by the Hebrew experts,” Yates, op. cit., p. 19.

[24] Ibid. Michael Hoffman rehearsed much of this history on his “Magic and Paganism in the Reign of Elizabeth I,” audio CD, <>.

[25] For information, see Thomas Greene “The 47th Proposition: The 47th Proposition of the 1st Book of Euclid as Part of the Jewel of a Past Master,” Ars Quator Coronatorum [transactions of the Quator Coronati Lodge, No. 2076], vol. xiv, 1901, London: United Grand Lodge of England, pp. 27-30; archived online at the Grand Lodge of British Columbia and Yukon, <>.

[26] George Thornburgh, Masonic Monitor of the Degrees of Entered Apprentice, Fellow Craft, and Master Mason: Together with the Ceremony of Receiving Visitors, Instituting and Constituting Lodges, Installation, Laying Corner Stones, Dedications, Masonic Burials, and Lodge of Sorrow, Little Rock, Ark.: G. Thornburgh, 1909, p. 70; archived online at <>. “What was there in the discovery of this [i.e., the 47th Problem] that should have given such joy to our ancient friend and brother Pythagoras? From time immemorial, buildings have been constructed as rectangles, which, to be true, must have a perfect angle of 90° in each corner. To erect these angles was the great problem of the Master Mason of ancient times. To the Master only was given the secret by means of which a perfect angle could always be formed. This secret was usually communicated by means of three rods, bearing the relation of 3, 4, and 5. When these three rods were joined together, their ends touching, a right angle was always formed,” “The Swastika in Masonry,” John. H. Brownell, Arthur Maurice Smith, Joseph E. Morcombe, Richard Pride and George T. Campbell, The American Tyler-Keystone: Devoted to Freemasonry and Its Concordant Orders, vol. 24, Ann Arbor, Mich.: Tyler Publ. Co.; J. H. Brownell, 1909-1910, p. 363; archived online at <>.

[27] “And it’s because of this tilt that we have seasons here on Earth,” Fraser Cain, “Earth’s Axis,” Universe Today, Dec. 8, 2009, <>.

[28] “When the lines were named 2000 years ago, the Sun was in the constellation of Capricorn during the winter solstice and Cancer during the summer solstice (hence the names). Now due to the precession of the equinoxes the Sun is no longer in these constellations during these times, but the names remain.” Cathy Jordan, “What is the Significance of the Tropic of Cancer, Tropic of Capricorn, Arctic Circle and Antarctic Circle? (Beginner),” Ask an Astronomer, Cornell Univ., Jun. 27, 2015, <>.

[29] Guy Stanton Ford, ed., Compton’s Pictured Encyclopedia, vol. 8, Chicago: F. E. Compton, 1922, p. 3,862; archived online at <>.

[30] This is the number accepted by scholars of all theological stripes. Academics more congenial to Christian church tradition typically credit 13 or 14 of the New Testament books to Paul.

[31] See The Bible, The Epistle to the Romans, chapt. 11, verse 13.

[32] See The Bible, The Book of the Acts of the Apostles, chapt. 13, verse 4 through chapt. 14, verse 28.

[33] Cuthbert Hamilton Turner, “Bible,” Hugh Chrisholm, ed., The Encyclopædia Britannica: A Dictionary of Arts, Sciences, Literature and General Information, 11th ed., vol. 3, Cambridge [U.K.] and New York: Univ. Press, 1910, p. 892; archived online at <>.

[34] Jordan Hoffman, “One Trek Mind #46: Roddenberry... Beyond Star Trek,” Star Trek [dot] com, Oct. 24, 2012, <>. Too bad it wasn’t recorded under the title “One Trek Mind #47.” Dang it! Another factoid: Some accounts put the later Dead Sea Scroll discoveries in 1947.

[35] As part of his “case” for the number 23, Robert Anton Wilson noted that Ordo Templi Orientis (“Order of the Eastern Temple”) “magician” Aleister Crowley “began the study of magick [sic] in 1898, at the age of 23,” Wilson, “The 23 Phenomenon,” loc. cit. Since Crowley’s persona has retained its occult “aura,” I cannot resist observing that the “Great Beast” died on December 1 in 1947. (He was 72 years old, which number is important in Kabbalism.)

[36] Note that Vice Admiral Roscoe Henry Hillenkoetter, an early director of central intelligence, has also been named as a suspected member of the so-called “Majestic 12” group.

[37] Another avenue of research could revolve around November 14. On that date there are 47 days left in the year. I observe that compulsory school-integration began on a November 14. “On November 14, 1960, the nation watched as six-year-old Ruby Nell Bridges walked into William Frantz Elementary School and into history. A federal court ordered the New Orleans school system to desegregate, making Bridges the first African-American to attend the elementary school,” “Ruby Bridges: A Class of One,” News Hour, PBS, Feb. 18, 1997, <>. The symbolism of the name “Ruby Bridges” should probably not be overlooked. In a previous post, I reviewed the Dorothy’s “ruby slippers” and the JFK assassination’s Jack Ruby, in the light of a particular presentation of Michelle Obama wearing a ruby-colored dress. See Matthew J. Bell, “Al-O,” Bell Curve [weblog], Jan. 23, 2013, <>.

[38] Nesta H. Webster, Secret Societies and Subversive Movements, London: Boswell, 1924; archived online at <>.

[39] New York: G. P. Putnam, 1960.

[40] Ibid., p. 153; archived online at <>.

[41] According to information presented by Itamar Rabinovich and Jehuda Reinharz, eds., Israel in the Middle East: Documents and Readings on Society, Politics, and Foreign Relations, Pre-1948 to the Present, Waltham, Mass: Brandeis Univ. Press; Hanover, N.H. and London: Univ. Press of New England, 2008, p. 424; archived online at <>.

[42] “The Protocol entered into force on 16 February 2005 in accordance with Article 23…”, Status of Ratification of the Kyoto Protocol,” Framework Convention on Climate Change, United Nations, <>. The article number clearly deserved attention by those interested in the 23-phenomenon, which raises the possibility that one number might be a “gateway” to another.

[43] William B. Hopkins, The Pacific War: The Strategy, Politics, and Players that Won the War, Minneapolis, Minn.: Zenith Press; MBI Publ. Co., 2010 [orig. 2008], p. 328; archived online at <>.

[44] This was militarized and designated H-13 Sioux.

[45] One of these “disappeared” under mysterious circumstances, and carrying nuclear material.

[46] Whereas, e.g., 23s are perhaps quintessentially “Fortean,” 33s are characteristically “Masonic,” 22s and 72s are “Kabbalistic” and so on. Do the numbers have well-defined “spheres of influence”? Perhaps not. I would guess that investigators, should any care to look into the issue, would find that the number-symbols blend into each other at the edges.

[47] David Ray Griffin, Cognitive Infiltration, Northampton, Mass.: Olive Branch Press, 2011, p. 68. Cf. David Ray Griffin, 9/11 Ten Years Later: When State Crimes against Democracy Succeed, Northampton, Mass.: Oliver Branch Press; Interlink, 2011, p. 37; archived online at <>. Another interesting tangent might be the genetic angle. Persons with 47 chromosomes are supposed to be anomalous and are variously considered inferior or superior. I explored this theme a bit in my earlier 47-related post.


  1. Intriguingly, over on "The Kitchen Sync" Facebook group, I posted this morning today (Nov. 30, 2015): "Is there a greater significance to 1947 than I personally understand, a la' Black Dahlia, flying saucers' birth, Roswell, the New Look in Paris, Jack Robinson (#42), Marshall Plan, and such?" I say "personally," of course, because I was born in 1947!

    1. All of this is interesting, Loren. Thanks! After writing in the Black Dahlia event, I considered mentioned the "Black Death" (a.k.a. the Bubonic Plague), which was in full-swing by 1347. I left it out merely because it wasn't unique to 1347, having ranged from 1346 when into the 1350s. Still, as synchronicity would have it, after I posted my article I opened John Robinson's Born in Blood where I read: "In 1347 ...the Black Death set foot ashore in Europe." (New York: M. Evans and Co., 1989, p. 3.)

  2. Magformers Amazon Exclusive Pythagoras Set 47 Piece Playset

    1. Thanks for stopping by! That would have to have 47 pieces, wouldn't it? Do the Magformers people have formal Lodge affiliations? I have to confess a private synch: When I recently posted on Saturn under Church Bell ( ) I revisited an earlier post ( ) and wondered what you were up to these days.

  3. Matthew Bell wrote: Possibly any number, when raised to salience in one’s consciousness, may take on symbolic proportions. Maybe I was pre-tuned to 47 in particular, owing to the fact – “coincidentally” – that my father was that very age when I was born. Or, just perhaps, “The 47 Society” has been on to something big. [End quote]

    “...raised to salience in one’s consciousness..” is the $64,000 question (by the way, what about number 64?). Is numerical significance independent of our own fixed attention, or not? With number 33 being the years of Christ’s life on earth and the number of the vertebrae in the spinal column an argument can be made that it has significance independent of our own focus.

    The numbers 40, and 7 and its multiples, have great Biblical significance as do many other numbers of course. In pre-Christian nature religions number 9 ("Nine Maidens") is important in addition to the annual 13 lunations. For this writer, after #33, the number 5 trumps all others in magnitude and this for a reason other than the "salience" of my "consciousness."

    Frances Yates remains one of the best writers about the Neoplatonic and Hermetic Renaissance, though she was maddeningly gullible in her take on what might be termed white magic and the self-advertised goodness of sorcerers like Count Mirandola. Furthermore, we ought not divorce Renaissance era Neoplatonism from the context of the Hermes Trismegistus cult and of course, Kabbalism. Here a caveat is in order. Almost everything Yates channels on Kabbalah she got from Gershom Scholem (as she herself admitted) and as a result she is not always reliable in parsing the doctrine and symbolism of the Zohar and the other cognate books.

    1. Thanks for your insightful thoughts, Michael! You’re onto something; some numbers may have "significance independent of our own focus." Offhand, I can envision a threefold distinction: objective, subjective and inter-subjective numbers.

      If human vertebral columns really do have 33 segments, then as you suggest 33 arguably has an intriguing objective ground. Indeed, "The vertebral column usually consists of 33 vertebrae: 24 presacral vertebrae (7 cervical, 12 thoracic, and 5 lumbar) followed by the sacrum (5 fused sacral vertebrae) and the coccyx (4 frequently fused coccygeal vertebrae)." ( )

      The fact that 2 segments are composed of "fused" vertebrae might give one pause. I’ve found it devilishly difficult to count my own spinal segments and get 33, and this "fusing" tidbit sheds some light on why that is. However, it might be that someone could argue that the "real" count should be 26, since 9 of the "33" are actually present in 2 fused blocks. If so, then it might seem that a case could be made that (something like) an independent human interest on the number 33 guides the reported vertebral count, rather than vice versa. But I won't press the issue.

      In passing, tho, I’d note that a similar issue attends the received view of Jesus's age at the Crucifixion time. One Matt Slick provides a concise argument in favor of declaring that Jesus was 33 years old at the end of his earthly ministry. ( )

      However, as you know, there’s nothing like a clear Biblical statement regarding Jesus's age. A verse such as John 8:57 (which has an astonished antagonist exclaim of Jesus "You are not yet fifty years old..."), while not strictly incompatible with Jesus's having been in his early thirties, nevertheless may seem to call the certainty of that assessment into question. (After all - and I am being somewhat facetious, of course - we have no word as to whether Jesus bristled at that statement's having apparently "aging" him by nearly two decades!)

      Even if there were 33 vertebrae that anyone could obviously count, and even if the Bible had expressly declared Jesus to have been 33 years old at the cross, one might still wonder why - independent of human beings attaching symbolic significance to, let alone a connection between, these facts, the number 33 should attain anything like the status that it seems to have in Freemasonry and other esoteric "sciences."

      Still, your point is a good one. It seems far better to have an objective anchor to our numerological judgments than merely some (individual) predilection. Perhaps a person's having 47 chromosomes might serve this function.

      Finally there are some intermediate considerations of “inter-subjectivity.” Take for instance the tropical zone's being 47 degrees, or 1947's having been the year of numerous events of interest. Had the earth been divided up differently than using the degree system that we in fact have, the tropical zone might not have been "47 degrees" wide (and JFK might not have met his end along a "33 degree" line). Similarly, if dates were reckoned other than they are, then the year of CIA's emergence from the ashes of the OSS and of Roswell might not have been "1947." However, since the degree-system and the date-system were in place prior to the events of interests, it can be argued that while they may not rise to the level of "pure objectivity," neither can they be summarily dismissed as utterly subjective.

      Your dissection of 47 into 40 and 7 suggests numerous avenues of possibly-fruitful follow-up research. It's interesting that you mention the number five. Wilson connected his 23 phenomenon to the number 5 (not least because 2 + 3 = 5).

      There is much to think about. Thank you again for taking the time to comment!

  4. Numerology: Evermore satanic Diversion, Pretended Idiomatic

    Numerology is fascination w. numbers, and fascination is a kind of addiction or obsession. Thus one is addicted (or not) to drugs, drink, and other things, but would one say numerology is "addiction"? I know for myself I'm easily fascinated w. chess, as are others too, but is it same as addiction?

    Thus these fascinations and addictions so often threaten to taking-over fm the consciousness and intellect, and the struggle is always to stay the master of one's pleasures, fascinations, vices, pastimes, etc., this mastery known as philosophy.

    And what then is life itself but an addiction?--for WHY do we bother to living?--answer: well, we're addicted basically and fundamentally. Philosophy then takes this addiction into best consideration. Wisest living then is the management of these addictions, fascinations, etc.

    Thus numerology is to mathematics as astrology is to astronomy, math and astronomy being the most philosophic treatments. So it's okay to be fascinated, even addicted, but best to be philosophical and thus to managing things wisely and best.

    And it's surely true numerology is exploited, no less than is sex-appeal in advertisement and the ad industry.

    Thus sociologically we observe WHO is so much fascinated w. this numerology--Jews and masons--hence criminals. And we see Jews and masons making a kind of idiom out of this numerologic fascination of theirs--it all means something to them, including additionally, at the lower-levels of the criminal culture, their idiotic sign-language they like to flash and and motion w. their hands and bodily postures, even in dances they like to do. Numerology blends-in w. symbology in general.

    Thus numerology is distinct mystic idiom of criminals--others too, perhaps, but especially criminals and gangsters, these always led by the masterminds, especially Jews.

    So if u have a numerologic fascination it may mean u're mathematically inclined, mathematics then the way of wisdom, but if u can't become organized and cannot manage such fascination, then that's not a good sign--as bad as being incapable of managing one's taste for drink, for example.

    And people incapable of managing fascinations are no ultimately better than those who fail for addictions, like to drinking and drugs, though drinking and drugs are more immediately fatal in the scheme of things.

    Thus as we observe our present society continue to degenerate in CYCLIC Spenglerian "Decline of the West," we'll surely continue to see this numerologic fascination evermore emphasized as way of consuming and intimidating, even hypnotizing the poor survivors of ever worsening cultural tumult and disaster.

    Numerology thus is revealed as glorified distraction and pretended idiomatic pushed by satanists and Jews by way of diversion and intimidation--a fascination over the long-term as destructive as any addiction as to drink or drugs--they all go together, actually.

    1. Intriguing comments! As it happens, I have thought before about the problem of “fascination” that you mention. In my 2012 monograph Achilles: Serial/Cereal Killer, I opened with these words (my citations have been removed):

      “Apparently, people (and Americans in particular) have had their imaginations captured by serial killers. This idiom is revealing. What is captured and held captive is, seemingly, not free. Somewhere in the intersection of the writings of Rudolf Otto and Mircea Eliade there is a phrase marking out a relevant concept: Mysterium tremendum et fascinans (‘the mystery of the terrible and fascinating’). To a first approximation, the concept encapsulates one approach to religious experience – one approach to the human encounter with the ‘holy’ (that is, that which is set apart or is wholly other). The ‘other’ is encountered in a religious way when the encounter elicits both dread and fascination.

      “At this juncture I will interject a bit of etymology, both for the sake of its inherent interest and for the purpose of introducing the reader into the strange word of ‘serial murder’ symbology. For immediately upon encountering the word ‘fascinate,’ we plunge headlong into the realm of ancient mythology. Note the history: ‘FASCINUS’ was the name of ‘[a]n early Latin divinity, and identical with Mutinus or Tutinus. He was worshipped as the protector from sorcery, witchcraft, and evil daemons; and represented in the form of a phallus, the genuine Latin for which is fascinum, this symbol being believed to be most efficient in averting all evil influences. He was especially invoked to protect women in childbed and their offspring … [G]enerals, who entered the city in triumph, had the symbol of Fascinus [the phallus] fastened under their chariot, that he might protect them from envy (medicus invidiae), for envy was believed to exercise an injurious influence on those who were envied. ... .’”


    2. satanism Styled In Numerology

      Well, I think numerology is a subject of special interest as the top satanists behind things conspiratorial themselves take it soooo seriously--why?--well because the people they work with and exploit as their close cohorts, but on lower level, actually do very much take numerology so seriously themselves.

      So the numerologic style becomes significant in way of these conspirators making signs to one another, pretending to the great significance of the numbers--as if this numerology makes up a sort of idiom or "lingo" among them, even though there's really nothing too definite ever to be discerned, they all indulging in the mysticism of it.

      I remember reading a book by one S. K. Bain, "Most Dangerous Book...," which was all about the numerologic detail associated w. 9/11 strike. The book recited a lot of stuff and coincidences about the flight numbers of the planes, flight 77 and 93, etc.--none of it made any particular sense I thought, BUT I was struck simply by the heavy numerologic styling and emphasis to it all. For example, the South Tower was hit on the 77th floor, for what that's worth. The author surely thought the numbers were sooooo fascinating, going on for over 300 pages.

      So I guess the pt. to be made is that satanism, which is really just extreme subjectivism at root, likes to cloak itself additionally with this numerologic sort of detail--it doesn't necessarily mean anything except the styling seems to have a significance as internal symbology for the conspiratorial people involved, the lower-level folks being impressed and quite taken by it all, evidently.

  5. 47 is a prime number and the next is 53, They are 3 below and 3 above 50 respectively and together add to equal 100.

    It seems odd that they should equally pivot around 50 , yet one is -3 and the other +3


    1. I hadn't considered the prime-number angle. The word "prime" shows up in the service that I did note, however. It is also striking, now that you mention it, that some of the "Transformer" science-fiction robots are designated "primes." This might be an interesting exploration in its own right. Thank you for this!

  6. Obvious, perhaps, but in the simplest reductive numerology, 4+7= the 'master number' 11

    1. Yes, indeed! Thank you, Maurice. I actually wrote about that connexion in my earlier, 47-themed post, here:

  7. Dear Mr. Bell,

    I was reminded of this post when I saw this news:

    Really enjoy your blogs!


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  9. HP Lovecraft passed away at the age of 47 does that carry any significance?