Platonism Meets Sex Magick on the Prairie

Four time mayor of a Midwestern town, publisher of the American frontier’s only periodical devoted to Plato, Thomas Moore Johnson was also president of the central council of the Hermetic Brotherhood of Luxor, a mystery school that taught sex magic (though their version of it wasn’t as sexy as you might think).  Voters also elected Johnson county prosecutor twice, the second time 24 years after the first; after both terms he refused re-nomination.  Johnson was a member of the board of education for a decade, before becoming its president for 25 years.  He was also a director of a bank.  Since letters were arriving from Ralph Waldo Emerson, Johnson’s metaphysical interests were no secret.  Spiritualism and philosophical pursuits were quite popular.  In the west the better off wives of the bosses of some new towns started culture clubs to study Plato.

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