John Allegro’s “The Sacred Mushroom and the Cross” – a Gnostic Media exclusive video

Gnostic Media is happy to present this exclusive video of John Marco Allegro in an interview with Van Kooten & De Bie. Recorded for and broadcast on Dutch TV in December 1976, this is the only available video of Allegro - the Dead Sea Scrolls scholar and author of 13 books, including The Sacred Mushroom and the Cross.

Two other videos exist in the archives of the BBC/CBS, though repeated attempts to acquire them have failed.

Thanks to Dutch researcher Gerrit Keizer for acquiring this video and making it available to Jan Irvin of Gnostic Media, and the Allegro estate.

For more information, please see the official John Allegro website at

Direct link:

  11 comments for “John Allegro’s “The Sacred Mushroom and the Cross” – a Gnostic Media exclusive video

  1. temetnosce
    January 25, 2011 at 1:20 am

    What a brilliant man. Even in this short clip he is able to drop some heavy points, and with such wit and charm.

  2. Bram
    January 25, 2011 at 11:30 am

    Incredible, ‘Van Kooten & De Bie’ used to be a popular comedic duo for a long time in the Netherlands and are def. amongst some of the most greatest Dutch tv-stars, starting on Dutch television around the 1970’s, the stuff my mother and father used to watch. To see now that they used to be one of the few on TV worldwide being interested in Allegro’s research and actually interviewing him is amazing to me. Thanks for sharing this!

  3. Brian
    January 25, 2011 at 7:21 pm

    OK thanks, that explains the silly hats, mushroom-design sweater, the “Should I eat this one?” questions, etc. Interesting that they frame it with parody, but in the interview get down to some serious discussion.

  4. January 25, 2011 at 8:11 pm

    Well done, perhaps an online petition to secure the remaining tapes from the BBC?

  5. AD
    January 26, 2011 at 11:17 am

    Jan, try getting on to adam curtis. He seems to have good contacts in the archives

  6. January 26, 2011 at 8:02 pm

    Good idea.

  7. January 30, 2011 at 3:47 pm

    It was great to see John Allegro as he spoke. This video shows him as approachable and down to earth. I feel like I know him much better.

  8. Eamonn Corbally
    February 4, 2011 at 9:06 am

    Hi. Sorry if I’m being thick but I don’t see video. I only see an image. If I click on the image it opens the image in a new browser window. Help! Thanks, Eamonn

  9. Jan Irvin
    February 4, 2011 at 9:23 am

    Very strange… fixed now.

  10. February 10, 2011 at 2:34 pm

    Jan this is brillant,
    I Have been blown away by the coverage you have given John Allegro’s work. I thank you, many doors have opened up for me in my thinking due to your work and efforts.

  11. david llewellyn foster
    February 10, 2011 at 3:27 pm

    Thanks Jan. That really is a delightfully engaging glimpse into John Allegro’s philological universe. I can’t help thinking about Stephen R. Berlant’s interesting paper on the “Origin and Significance of Anthropomorphic, Goddess Figurines with Particular Emphasis on the Venus of Willendorf” ( after listening to Allegro’s thoughts on the origins of our ancestors’ earliest prehistoric religious intimations. He was writing before the great wave of feminist scholarship erupted of course (Maria Gimbutas et al.) It would be interesting to hear more about the actual plant habitats of the Levant. Surely the fabled cedars of Lebanon must have grown in mushroom rich forest environments?

Leave a Reply