) is best known as a British
born occult writer. However, he was also a patented inventor, engineer, and expert fisherman. He was the elder brother of the Masonic author, Albert Churchward (1852-1925.) He was a Tea Planter in Sri Lanka
before coming to the US in the 1890s. In James' biography entitled "My Friend Churchey and His Sunken Continent," he discussed Mu with Augustus LePlongeon
and his wife in the 1890s. He patented NCV Steel, armor plating to protect ships during WWI
, and other steel alloys. After a patent-infringement settlement in 1914, James retired to his 7+ acre estate on Lake Wononskopomuc in Lakeville, Connecticut
, to answer the questions from his Pacific travels. In 1926, at the age of 75, he published The Lost Continent of Mu: Motherland of Man
, which he claimed proved the existence of a lost continent
, called Mu
, in the Pacific Ocean
James was born in Bridestow, Okehampton, Devon at Stone House to Henry and Matilda (nee Gould) Churchward. James had four brothers, George Gould (1839-1924), Matthew Henry (1841-1915), William Gould (1844-1913), and Albert (1852-1925), and four sisters, Matilda (b. 1846), Elizabeth (1849-?), Eleanor Steed (1847-1881), Heroine Roey(1854-1946). In November of 1854, James' father passed away and the family moved to Matilda's parent's home Northcotts Cottage, Hamlet of Kigbear, Okehampton, Devon. Census records indicate the family next moved to London when James was 18 years of age and after his grandfather (George Gould) died.
Claims and hypothesis
According to Churchward, Mu "extended from somewhere north of Hawaii to the south as far as the Fijis
and Easter Island
." He claimed Mu was the site of the Garden of Eden
and the home of 64,000,000 inhabitants - known as the Naacals
. Its civilization, which flourished 50,000 years before Churchward's day, was technologically more advanced than his own, and the ancient civilizations of India
and the Mayas
were merely the decayed remnants of its colonies
Geologically, the existence of Mu, as described by Churchward, is extremely unlikely, since the Andesite Line would run through the western parts of the continent.
Churchward claimed to have gained his knowledge of this lost land after befriending an Indian priest, who taught him to read an ancient dead language (spoken by only three people in all of India). The priest disclosed the existence of several ancient tablets, written by the Naacals, and Churchward gained access to these records after overcoming the priest's initial reluctance. His knowledge remained incomplete, as the available tablets were mere fragments of a larger text, but Churchward claimed to have found verification and further information in the records of other ancient peoples.
His writings attempt to describe the civilization of Mu, its history, inhabitants, and influence on subsequent history and civilization.
Churchward claimed that the ancient Egyptian sun-god Ra originated with the Mu; he claimed that Rah was the word which the Naacals used for "sun" as well as for their god and rulers.
Alfred Metraux undertook research on Easter Island in the 1930s, and in 1940 published a monograph on Easter Island which includes a rebuttal of the hypothesis that Easter Island was a remnant of a sunken continent.
In the second half of the twentieth century, improvements in Oceanography, and in particular seafloor spreading and Plate Tectonics have left no scientific basis for geologically recent lost continents such as Mu.
Churchward is mentioned in fiction in the short story Through the Gates of the Silver Key by H. P. Lovecraft.
Churchward's writings are a key influence for the plot of the anime series RahXephon.
Churchward's writings are used as a source for the following books:
Lemuria and Atlantis: Studying the Past to Survive the Future by Shirley Andrews.
Lost Cities of China, Central Asia & India by David Hatcher Childress
Lost Cities of Atlantis, Ancient Europe & the Mediterranean by David Hatcher Childress
Timeless Earth by Peter Kolosimo
The Christ Conspiracy: The Greatest Story ever Sold by Acharya S
Suns of God: Krishna, Buddha, and Christ Unveiled by Acharya S
- Fishing Among the 1,000 Islands of the St. Lawrence (1894)
- A Big Game and Fishing Guide to Northeastern Maine (1897)
- The Lost Continent of Mu Motherland of Man (1926)
- Copies of Stone Tablets Found by William Niven at Santiago Ahuizoctla Near Mexico City (1927)
- Books of the Golden Age (1927)
- The Children of Mu (1931)
- The Lost Continent of Mu (1931)
- The Sacred Symbols of Mu (1933)
- Cosmic Forces of Mu (1934)
- Second Book of Cosmic Forces of Mu (1935)