The Double Life of Laurence Oliphant: Victorian Prophet and Pilgrim
Laurence Oliphant, a successful Victorian writer, diplomat and Member of Parliament gave up his glittering career to join an American cult for a life of hard physical labor and sexual mysticism. Later, Oliphant along with his beautiful wife Alice le Strange spent their final years working to save refugees by establishing a Jewish homeland in Palestine. More
In his first life, Laurence Oliphant was born into privilege as a Scottish son of the British Empire. He built a career as a writer, war correspondent, diplomat and Member of Parliament, well-liked by all his contacts throughout the British elite, including Queen Victoria. But then he began a second life trying to find the “real world” which God had intended man to share with the celestial spirits before the fall of Adam and Eve. His goal was to find the way to reunite mankind with its true path, now lost in the distractions of the workaday world. After fourteen years Oliphant and his wife left the cult. They then devoted the rest of their lives to helping desperate Jewish refugees by trying to establish a homeland for Jews in Turkish-controlled Palestine. They almost succeeded–and today they are remembered as two of the earliest Zionists, although they always remained Christian.
Oliphant’s sweeping saga is a story of an unusual life well-lived – and one that refused to be bound by convention.
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