Dr Cyrus Teed (2007)


Dr Cyrus Reed Teed set up the Koreshan Unity in a place called Estero, Florida in 1891. It was an experimental community which had a wide range of beliefs and political ideals including celibacy, communism, alchemy and reincarnation. Their key belief was that the world is concave rather than convex, a belief which helped to contain their religious beliefs by siting the world as a closed system, with no ‘outside’, no unknown, only ‘the life inside’.

Under the guidance of Dr Teed they did many experiments which all proved to them that the world was concave. These beliefs and experiments then formed part of Teed’s text ‘The Cellular Cosmogony’.

In 1908 Dr Teed died and his followers believed he would be re–incarnated so they left him in a bathtub for 2 weeks expecting him to return. However his body just decomposed and council officials finally ordered its removal. Then in 1921 a hurricane washed his coffin out of its grave and out to sea, removing all trace of Teed.

Teed was never seen again until: On December 26th, 2006 98 years after his last appearance a man claiming to be Dr Cyrus Reed Teed appeared to walk from the sea and onto the beach at Canvey Island, Essex, UK. Whilst on the island Teed attempted to turn Canvey into his New Estero and set out a series of plans to create a community based upond his updated vision of the Cellular Cosmogony. After only 6 months Teed once again disappeared, leaving only his suit behind in Canvey Heights Country Park.

The project documents the second coming of Teed and investigates the plans that he made for Canvey Island. These investigations have lead to the discovery of a documentary that was created by Canvey’s New Unity Foundation called ‘Back to Estero’.