Naacal Tablets

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By Megan Wright

The Naacal Tablets are a fabricated set of stone tablets depicting elaborate origin stories about the creation of human civilization. Despite numerous individuals claiming the drastic implications the information from the Naacal Tablets have on human history, there has never been any physical archaeological evidence of such stones. [1] While there is much debate over whether the stone tablets exist in a secret library hidden somewhere in the world, the consequences of the stones inception have shaped entire belief-systems and religions, such as Theosophy. [2] [3]

Book written by James Churchward about the lost spiritual power of humankind [4]

Naacal Tablets: Historical Context:

Augustus and Alice Le Plongeon

Augustus Le Plongeon, a French photographer and amateur archaeologist, was the first to begin shaping the narrative about the Naacal Tablets.[1] In 1896, Plongeon and his wife, Alice Dixon, wrote their controversial book, Queen Moo and the Egyptian Sphinx, in which the Naacals were first mentioned. The Plongeon's claimed the Naacals were a group of missionaries from Mu, tasked with the purpose of spreading the true teachings of the universe. The Plongeon's believed the Naacals were beings from a higher, more powerful dimension of reality, specifically the Naacals held ancient spiritual information that could be understood through a practice of spiritual development. The Naacals also had access to advanced scientific understanding and technology, far more advanced than the technologies and understandings of the early 20th century. Augustus further believed the Naacals taught the ancient Maya how to be an advanced civilization, then by route of the lost continent Atlantis, the Maya spread the teachings of the Naacals to the Egyptians. [5] The hyperdiffusionist standpoint the Plonngeons held as well as their obsession with Mu and the Naacals, discredited their academic reputations and ended their professional careers.

Augustus Le Plongeon with Chac Mool [6]
Augustus Le Plongeon with Chac Mool [6]

While the scientific community does not take the Plongeon's work seriously, they are credited for being skilled in stereophotogrammetric style photography, a 3D method used specifically for archaeological and scenery setting photography [5]. The Plongeon’s were also responsible for several minor archaeological findings;however, they do not receive much credit due to their radical and fringe beliefs. One such discovery was a five-foot statue of a man, dubbed “Prince Chaac Mool,” the Plongeon’s believed this statue was proof of the existence of Queen Mu, and more physical evidence of their elaborate origin story. [1] However, the Plongeon’s merely appropriated Mayan folklore to fit their own narrative, extending elaborate stories of their own imagination to fit a template of traditionalism that they were able to sell to many interested spiritualists and similar sorts.

James Churchward

James Churchward was another key proponent in popularizing the Naacal Tablets[7] Churchward was the first to claim the lost continent Mu was at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean and that Mu was the civilization before Atlantis. In 1872 Churchward invested in a tea plantation in Sri Lanka and shortly moved back to England and commenced to traveling around the United States, writing his antediluvian works, including: The Lost Continent of Mu, The Children of Mu, The Sacred Symbols of Mu, The Cosmic Forces of Mu and The Second Book of the Cosmic Forces of Mu.[8] As utilized by the theosophists, Churchward meshed a variety of methods to conclude his beliefs about the lost continent theory. This flaw led Churchward to take scientific techniques out of context, such as mixing scientific ideas with spiritual intuition.

Churchward’s narrative claims that he discovered Mu through reading ancient texts kept in a secret library in India, the source of this text he referred to as the Naacal Tablets. According to Churchward, the tablets were written in a dead language, Naacal, which he believed was the origin language from which all other language came from. [9] Following his narrative, an Indian priest took a liking to Churchward and agreed to teach him the lost language of Naacal, showing him the texts. Churchward clarified that he did not fully learn the language, instead, when he read the tablets, he was able to obtain the text psychically, which for him, was proof of their divine nature. After Churchward published his findings from the tablets, other such stories popped up in which he took special interest, as they confirmed his interpretation of the reading. Churchward began the New-Age movement by pulling spiritual ideas from multiple sources to fit into his imagination of what ancient advanced civilizations were like.

Helena Petrovna Blavatsky

The Secret Doctrine by Blavatsky

Helena Petrovna Blavatsky (1831-1891) was the co-founder of the Theosophical society. [2] Born of Russian nobility, Blavatsky had an unconventional life from birth. Upon running away after a month of marriage when she was 17, she traveled around the world, making her way as a psychic medium, and learning about spirituality and the occult from her travels. Along with William Quan Judge and Henry Steel Olcott, Blavatsky founded the Theosophical society in New York in 1875, which quickly spread Blavatsky's teaching around the world.[3] Blavatsky wrote two books which became the foundation of the society, Isis Unveiled (1877) and The Secret Doctrine (1888).[2] She claimed to have attained the information about esoteric realms and lost history by channeling and communicating with the “Mahatmas” or masters of these astral realms. Many New Age followers now call these Mahatmas, Ascended Masters, eluding to their nature of enlightenment, showing how Blavatsky's teachings still impact ideas today. Similarly to Churchward, Blavatsky claimed to have traveled to Tibet with the help of the Occult Brotherhood, a secret society product of the Theosophical movement, and was shown ancient texts from a high priest.[2] Through her so called special ability to channel these ascended masters, she transcribed the messages from the ancient tablets. Blavatsky's mediumship was described as being heavily symbolic as only her close followers in elite circles of the Theosophists claimed to have understood the complex symbolism. Many of these followers were given jobs of transcribing her channeling sessions, which further contributed to the spreading of her teachings as well as what sh believed to be said in the elusive Naacal Tablets.[3]

Societal Implications and Deconstruction

Pseudoarchaeological Narrative

Excavation of Absurdity

In Yucatan, Mexico, 1874, Le Plongeon and his wife, Alice, uncovered the five-foot tall reclining man they endearingly refereed to as "Prince Chaacmol." [1] [5] This finding propelled the confidence of the Plongeon's esoteric ideas about the true history of mankind. The statue was found at the archaeological site of Chichen Itza, a region with many followers of traditional Maya religion and legend. Plongeon exploited many of the stories he learned from the indigenous communities of the region and extrapolated their beliefs to fit his lost continent theories. While studying and examining the Maya ruins in Central America, Plongeon began to speculate forces from beyond planet Earth were responsible from shaping ancient civilization, specifically using elaborate architecture as his evidence. [5] After all, why would an ancient people in such a scorching climate as Mexico have the desire to build monuments that would require all the man-power throughout the region? It was the sheer wonder of such ancient architecture paired with the mystery of the ancient religion of the Mayas that drove Plongeon towards his obsession with the idea of lost civilizations and continents. However, there has never been an excavation of such evidence to prove any of the ideas about lost continents or ancient tablets revealing the lost history of humankind. The extremities of the claims of Plongeon, Churchward, and Blavatsky have no place in evidence based archaeology, instead the spiritual aspects of their teachings should be understood in the correct context, which is new-age spiritualism, or absurdity, depending on individual values.[2]

Negative Outcomes: Nationalism and Racism

The cultural and historical consequences of the imagined Naacal Tablets have led to strengthening ideologies of racism and nationalism.[3] Many of the perpetrators responsible for promoting pseudo-origin stories used their imagined ideas to bolster their own ethnocentrism. Many of these thinkers felt there was no possible way that ancient people could have built the Maya ruins since they were too primitive and uncivilized. However, to the perpetrators of pseudothinking, it was not too far-fetched to believe that beings from other worlds and dimensions could have come to earth and interacted with ancient people. The absurdity of believing such ideas leads to a dangerous detachment from reality. By not allowing certain cultures to rightfully own their history, invalidates the potential these ancient civilizations tapped into and used to erect incredible feats of archaeology. [5] [3]

Deconstructing the Pseudoarchaeological Narrative

Churchward was a follower of Theosophy and had closely read Blavatsky’s Stanzas of Dzyan. The Stanzas of Dzyan and the Naacal Tablets claimed similar ancient civilizations existed in lost continents. [7] Churchward’s interpretation of the Naacal tablets followed that Mu was a continent that existed about two million years ago, inhabited by upwards of 65 million people. More recently, Churchwards great-grandson has made claims on his website, stating that the Naacal Tablets were secretly moved to an underground tunnel below a temple in Tamilnadu, India.

Many of the details of the Naacal Tablets were presented in an alleged translation of a diary written by a young boy around 21,000 BCE. Published by Tony Earll in 1970, Mu Revealed, presented insights into the daily life of a citizen of Mu. The diary was apparently preserved within temple ruins that were excavated in 1959 by an archaeologist named Reedson Hurdlop. While the prospect of finding an ancient diary revealing a lost history of mankind would be exciting to anyone, the entire story was forged. As it turned out, Tony Earll was an anagram for “not really” and Reedson Hurdlop spelled out “Rednose Rudolph.” The perpetrator of the hoax was Raymond Buckland who had interests in spreading occult beliefs throughout modern society. [7]

Some of Churchward’s more absurd and extreme beliefs follow that the sun is a frigid celestial body, not the ball of fire which science has proved it be. Further he believed that humans used to be more advanced and civilized than we are now. Churchward was however met with resistance and speculation. After speaking on WNYC in May of 1925, a radio columnist from The Brooklyn Daily Eagle commented on how followers of Churchward’s works would have to take his word with complete blind faith. Since everything about Mu and the Naacal Tablets came directly from individuals claiming supernatural experiences and gifts, and not physical evidence grounded in professional archaeology and scholarship, there is no way to prove such tablets exist. The proof that the tablets do not exist is obvious in similarity of the narratives between Churchward and Blavatsky and the complete absurdity of individuals receiving messages through psychic gifts.

Positive Outcomes:Socialism and Feminism

While most of the outcomes of Theosophy and the Naacal Tablets have led to blatant ignorance, racism, and incorrect understandings of history, there have been some positive outcomes for liberalization within society. Blavatsky was supported by many socialist and communist thinkers since many of the Theosophical ideologies teach about cooperation and universal equality.[2] Blavatsky’s followers ideas' of her teaching about universal brotherhood led many individuals to form orphanages and other philanthropist efforts. Further, feminist philosophy has been linked to many of Blavatsky’s ideas about men and women’s equality and need to be balanced in every sphere evenly. In Blavatsky’s examination of Eve and the Garden of Eden from the Biblical story in Genesis, female empowerment was given to Eve as being brave enough to explore ‘the knowledge of good and evil.’[2] This reversed thinking about women’s role in the fall of mankind and Eve’s original sin according to Christianity, allowed for a reexamination of women’s position towards men. At a time when society was rigidly Christian and oppressive of women, especially outside the realms of childbearing and marriage, Blavatsky’s teachings helped bring a new and empowering perspective to women and influenced many feminist thinkers.[2]


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  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 Faxneld, P. (2013) “Blavatsky the Satanist: luciferianism in theosophy, and its feminist implications. Temenos, 48(2)203-30.
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  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 Desmond, L. G., & Bryan, P. G. (2003). Recording architecture at the archaeological site of Uxmal, Mexico: A historical and contemporary view. The Photogrammetric Record, 18(102), 105-130. doi:10.1111/0031-868x.t01-1-00013.
  6. Zugg, V. (2015). The Mysterious Chacmool. [Photograph] Retrieved from
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 Lanset, Andy. (2017) “WNYC and the Land of Mu.” NYPR Archives and Preservation.
  8. More About Mu: COSMIC FORCES. As They Were Taught in Mu. New York Times (1923-Current file); Aug 12, 1934; ProQuest Historical Newspapers: The New York Times pg. BR19.
  9. Fitzpatrick-Matthews, K. (2011). Mu. Retrieved from