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Radical Spirits: How the Occult Shaped Progressive Politics

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Join PEN Award-winning historian and occult scholar Mitch Horowitz as he explores the spiritual roots of radical politics.

About this Event

Atlas Obscura is excited to present a lively and intellectually vibrant presentation, with PEN Award-winning historian and occult scholar Mitch Horowitz (“Solid gold”—David Lynch), who will explore the little known historical ties between alternative spirituality and radical politics!

During this 90-minute presentation, Mitch will explore the extraordinary connections between Spiritualism, seances, and the development of the suffragist movement, including in the lives of Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony; the unexpectedly progressive roots of mind-power metaphysics in the work of socialist Wallace D. Wattles, black nationalist Marcus Garvey, and punk pioneers Bad Brains; the woman dubbed “Mrs. Satan” who became America’s first female presidential candidate; the radical background of Freemasonry in the U.S.; and the unexpected ties between occultist Madame H.P. Blavatsky, Mahatma Gandhi, and Martin Luther King, Jr., and much more. This special evening casts a new light on the shared history of esoteric spirituality and movements for human dignity and liberation. Mitch always introduces fresh material making each episode of Radical Spirits unique and welcoming to both newcomers and returnees—with lots of time for Q+A!

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Mitch Horowitz is a historian of alternative spirituality and one of today’s most literate voices of esoterica, mysticism, and the occult. He is among the few occult writers whose work touches the bases of academic scholarship, national journalism, and subculture cred. Mitch is a writer-in-residence at the New York Public Library, lecturer-in-residence at the Philosophical Research Society in Los Angeles, and the PEN Award-winning author of books including Occult America; One Simple Idea; and The Miracle Club. Mitch’s book Awakened Mind is one of the first works of New Thought translated into Arabic. The Chinese government has censored his work. Twitter: @MitchHorowitz | Instagram: MitchHorowitz23

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Once registered, you can access the Zoom room for this experience through your confirmation email or Eventbrite account. Atlas Obscura online experiences are recommended for attendees age 13+.

This online experience will be recorded. A temporary link to the recording will be provided in a follow-up email to all ticket holders within 72 hours after the event. Access to this recording will be available for seven days.

This event is one of Atlas Obscura’s Online Experiences. At Atlas Obscura, our mission has always been to inspire wonder and curiosity about the incredible world we all share. Now, more than ever, there’s a need to stay connected—not only to our sense of wonder, but to each other.

We encourage you to follow and share the hashtag #AOExperiences for more incredible online experiences and our newest addition of Online Courses with Atlas Obscura and our friends. And check out AtlasObscura.com, the definitive guide to the world’s hidden wonders, to keep virtually exploring the world through the website’s atlas of amazing places, unique stories, and videos.

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Eventbrite's fee is nonrefundable.

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