Following on from some brief mentions of Egypt in two previous posts Savile: Loyal and Ancient Shepherd of the Empire, and British Israelites, the Hill of Tara and the Ark of the Covenant, – Egypt, as the scene of the Exodus of the Israelites led by Pharaoh’s ‘adopted’ son turned traitor Moses, features heavily in British Israelite mythology, along with Pyramids or specifically the Great Pyramid as having been built by the Israelites as slaves, where they have according to various myths and bad archaeology left their Britisher future inheritors clues as to their destiny as God’s Chosen People. As Mairead Carew asks in her book on Tara and the Ark of the Covenant (and I will post more about): What was the “Great Irish-Hebraic-cryptogramic hieroglyph” and the Freemason connection? Whatever-it-is-it-sounds-kinda-complicated. The kind of thing you’d need an expert Egyptologist to look into for you, if you had one to hand. Throughout Alison Bellamy’s Authorised biography of Jimmy Savile, asterisked/bullet point factoids appear at the end of each chapter, one of which caught my eye:
“In total Jimmy had 31 nieces and nephews. His sister Marjory, an expert in Egyptology who travelled the world, had 14 children, 12 of whom survived.” (Loc 2336)
Savile’s second eldest sister Marjorie (or Marjory depending on who was doing the spelling) was about twelve or so when Jimmy, her youngest of 3 brothers was born. In 1922, four years before Savile’s birth, the discovery of Tutankhamen’s tomb had renewed the enthusiasm for all things Ancient Egyptian that had swept the empire ever since Napoleon’s 1798 Mediterranean campaign so it is perhaps unsurprising many an amateur archaeologist was inspired during this period in particular. How one gets to be an expert Egyptologist is another matter entirely? It does appear Marjorie went to college. Unlike his siblings Savile, according to his sister Joan, did not get to go to College:
“We all went to college but when it came to [his] turn the money had run out.” [Loc 663 In Plain Sight]
and Joan also recalled Savile’s outlook to his siblings as different,
“Maybe it was because he was a delicate child, ” she offered. ‘Maybe it’s because children who have been snatched from the jaws of death lead a charmed life.” [Loc 691, In Plain Sight, Sunday Times Magazine, 2 August 1992]
For more on this as a belief here’s the good old Daily Mail only in January 2014 with ‘The Children who have near-death experiences – and then lead charmed lives‘. Savile’s contributions to the campaign for Margaret Sinclair’s beatification (the dead nun Savile’s mother had prayed to and is credited with the miracle of bringing him back as a child from his near-death experience), adoption of her as his Guardian Angel, and Sinclair’s own history contained in various Catholic pamphlets suggest a less than shy and retiring campaigner for workers’ rights in various factories she worked in post WWI (Waverley Cabinet Works & McVities) prior to her death in 1925. Margaret Sinclair represents a whole other angle into Savile’s ‘belief system’, to be explored in another post. Back to Marjory, the
amateur expert Egyptologist:
“Marjory Marsden, Guy’s mother, idolised her youngest brother, thanks in no small part to the fact he would occasionally turn up at the Seacroft estate in Leeds carrying a colour television or a new telephone under his arm. As a result, the Marsdens were one of the first families on the estate to own either. But according to Guy, his father, Herbert Marsden, ‘couldn’t stand [Jimmy Savile], he absolutely hated him … hated him with a vengeance.’ (In Plain Sight, Dan Davies, Loc ?)
It was Marjorie’s son Guy, aged 13, who had run away to Euston, London during 1967 to be picked up by a group of men always on the lookout for ‘runaways’ or ‘chickens’ as they liked to call the ‘fresh meat’ for the ‘rack’ (also known as The Wimpy – Piccadilly Circus had always been alluring to men like Abraham Jacob and Charles Hornby loitered, trading runaway children for sex):
“About four days later’, Jimmy Savile turned up at the flat where they were staying. ‘He recognised me and I thought “this is it, I’m going to get in big trouble here”. I hadn’t been in touch with my parents to tell them where I was. But Uncle Jimmy just took us away to a much better place.’ Savile turned up by coincidence at the address because he mixed with ‘fellow child molesters’, said Guy. The group of runaways ended up in a fabulous house – believed to belong to a famous pop impresario – with a big indoor swimming pool. The celebrity home was one of the party venues.” (Uncle Jimmy took me to his sick parties, Daily Mail, 5 October 2012)
Also in 2012, six years after Marjory’s death, her granddaughter, Caroline Robinson was to complain of abuse at the hands of her Great-Uncle Jimmy Savile and claimed that her grandmother knew her brother was a prolific and predatory paedophile.
“His sister turned a blind eye to his abuse of her granddaughter, it was claimed.Caroline Robinson, 49, said Savile, her great-uncle, twice sexually assaulted her as a young girl – aged 12 and again when she was 15. She said that even today the smell of cigar smoke “makes my flesh crawl”. But she said close family members who knew, including her grandmother Marjorie Marsden would be bribed with lavish gifts in return for keeping quiet. Caroline said: “Uncle Jimmy gave Marjorie everything she wanted. She was interested in Egyptology so he bought her a house on the Nile. He paid for the best lawyer for her divorce. He paid for her to live in a smart BUPA care home near his flat in Roundhay Park in Leeds before she died in 2006. “She had private medical insurance and a cottage in Llandudno, courtesy of Jimmy. “He bought her a caravan on the coast there. If Marjorie had blabbed, Jimmy would have had nothing. No fame, no money. In fact, he’d have been in jail. And Marjorie would have had nothing too. “What Jimmy did to me was terrible. But the most unsettling thing of all is that Grandmama, whom I loved dearly, knew exactly what was going on and she kept her mouth shut because Jimmy paid for her silence. She always referred to him as her ‘next of kin’. The camp that has closed ranks and kept silent about all this are those who have benefited financially from him.” (Jimmy Savile and the IRA, by Jimmy Saville, 20 October 2012, The Mirror)
For a man who was notoriously miserly to friends and family Savile’s generosity to Marjorie in her pursuit of her Egyptology studies seems out of character, apart from in the context of the wealth of gifts he was showering her with anyway. The family dynamics between Mary (eldest sister) and Joan (third eldest sister) are visible in Savile’s This is Your Life with Michael Aspel “Not a Word! Ooh you’ve done me! She’s done me good this time!” For a short while Savile stands poised with his fist near his eldest sister Mary’s face (14 years older than he), in a Bruce Lee 1-inch punch pose menacing her to be silent. Mary treats it as the opportunity to get something out of Savile which they both appear to agree will be the case. Jokingly. Marjory however is absent from the introductions and isn’t mentioned as being in the audience. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z-4rIQbyxg0
On how to divine prophecy using the Pyramid Inch
Taylor in turn influenced the Astronomer Royal of Scotland Charles Piazzi Smyth, F.R.S.E., F.R.A.S., who made numerous numerological calculations on the pyramid and published them in a 664-page book Our Inheritance in the Great Pyramid (1864) followed by Life, and Work in the Great Pyramid (1867). These two works fused pyramidology with British Israelism and Smyth first linked the hypothetical pyramid inch to the British metric system.
Smyth’s theories were later expanded upon by early 20th century British Israelites such as Colonel Garnier (Great Pyramid: Its Builder & Its Prophecy, 1905), who began to theorise that chambers within the Great Pyramid contain prophetic dates which concern the future of the British, Celtic, or Anglo-Saxon peoples. However this idea first originated with Robert Menzies, an earlier correspondent of Smyth’s. David Davidson with H. Aldersmith wrote The Great Pyramid, Its Divine Message (1924) and further introduced the idea that Britain’s chronology (including future events) may be unlocked from inside the Great Pyramid. This theme is also found in Basil Stewart’s trilogy on the same subject: Witness of the Great Pyramid (1927), The Great Pyramid, Its Construction, Symbolism and Chronology (1931) and History and Significance of the Great Pyramid… (1935).
Despite Petrie Flinders’ (a respected Egyptologist, whose father was also a British Israelite) thorough debunking of Piazzi Smyth’s notion of a Pyramid inch (1860s) within 20 years of it first being published, any number of British Israelites in the various friendly societies, freemasonry lodges, and protestant evangelical movements had already seized upon the concept gleefully with its promise of predicting the future based on the application of the ‘pyramid inch’. British Israelites’ obsessional desire to prove a divine contract for themselves and a divine origin for their monarchy all for the greater good (and justification) of the Empire didn’t permit them to undo any good work they’d done interpreting as much as they could to confirm they were indeed the chosen people. Even as recently as 1971 Captain E. Raymond published ‘The Great Pyramid Decoded’ claiming it foretold the date of the Exodus when the Israelites would escape bondage and of Christ’s crucifixion.
Savile and his ‘moment of enquiry’ at Qumran, site of the Dead Sea Scrolls
One imagines the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls between 1946 – 1956 was also a time of great excitement for the British Israelites, keen to find out whether the scrolls, as with every other artefact of antiquity they examined, could be persuaded to confirm their greatness too. Savile wants to make it clear he gets some alone time at Qumran, near the Dead Sea and the site of the discovery of the scrolls in the chaos of WWII, during his Jim’ll Fix It Holy Land Christmas Special filmed in December 1976.
“There are times when I’ve felt God very close by me. When I was in the Holy Land, I never felt the need to go into a church because I was far too concerned with being in the wilderness. Now in the wilderness, down by the Dead Sea and at the place where the Good Samaritan looked after the chap who had been set upon by the robbers, I wanted to be on my own and I very much wanted to be with the stillness, with the quietness. I went down, early in the morning, to the area by the Dead Sea where they found the Dead Sea Scrolls. I was able to stand about, before the heat of the day, and look around. I was mightily pleased at that moment; I was able to be in the same area where Jesus Christ had walked and lived and worked out his mental application to the world. That gave me a chance to work out my mental application to the world in exactly the same way as he did. I weighed up form as he might have weighed up form; and I came to certain decisions as he must have come to certain decisions. That was a particularly religious moment. It was rather like totting up the score of life. I tried to see whether I had gone right or whether I had gone wrong in specific instances. Generally, however, I felt I was facing in the right direction; at least I was not marching towards the forces of evil. I was wobbling in between the white lines a little bit, but coming back, as it were. I did not feel at all self-satisfied. It was just a moment of enquiry, a religious moment.” (God’ll Fix It, Jimmy Savile, published 1979, p.34)
While I hear echoes of Jesus wandering the wilderness for 40 days and 40 nights (now known as Lent) there’s no mention of wandering days on end from Savile, quite the opposite in a moment of enquiry he was looking for a sign. Although any mention of ‘wilderness’ reminds me Savile was the Honorary Churchwarden at the Anglican St John the Baptist in the Wilderness at Cragg Vale, near Halifax.[ Savile, St John’s in the Wilderness, Cragg Vale and Hebden Bridge post here]. It appears that at Qumran Savile finds some confirmation that he, in the same physical location as he imagines Jesus to have been, is “not marching towards the forces of evil.” Hmmm…maybe he should have glanced over his shoulder to check which side he thought he was leading in that case?
World Summary: Raiders find scrollTimes, The (London, England) – Monday, December 1, 1986Author: From IAN MURRAY, JERUSALEM
An old leather manuscript, possibly part of a 2,000-year-old Dead Sea scroll, was found in a police raid in Bethlehem during investigations into a fraud case (Ian Murray writes). Experts believe that 30 or more of the Dead Sea scrolls, which were hidden in caves near the monastery of the Essene sect at Qumran around AD70, have been hidden away since their discovery nearly 40 years ago.
Dead Sea scrolls dispute may be settled by scienceTimes, The (London, England) – Tuesday, March 27, 1990Author: Norman Hammond, Archaeology Correspondent
THE Dead Sea Scrolls, one of the greatest surviving archives of the Holy Land, are soon to be carbon-dated, more than 40 years after their discovery in desert caves in Palestine. It is hoped that the dating process will help settle a dispute among scholars that places the scrolls at two different times nearly four centuries apart. Since the scrolls include the earliest known texts of some of the books of the Bible, the dating process will prove to be of interest to Christians, Muslims and Jews alike, and may settle the question of whether the Essenes, a mysterious sect living in ancient Palestine, held “Christian” beliefs centuries before the birth of Christ. Nearly 800 papyrus and leather scrolls have survived, and Mr Magen Broshi, a custodian of the Shrine of the Book at the Israel Museum, where some of the documents are on display, said at least a dozen would be dated. Some experts believe they were written after the birth of Christ by his early followers in Palestine. But the majority of biblical scholars believe that the scrolls date to the second or third century BC and were written by the esoteric Essene sect. Professor Geza Vermes, a professor of Jewish Studies at Oxford University, said yesterday that it was believed that the scrolls were a collection of documents hidden in about AD66 to 70 during the first large Jewish revolution against the Romans.“I would greatly welcome any greater precision in dating these scrolls,” said Professor Vermes. “However, the carbon-dating will not necessarily solve the problem once and for all because the documents were compiled over centuries, most written in 300BC and others only completed in the first century AD.” The dating has been thought necessary because of the claim by critics, such as Professor Robert Eisenman, of California State University, that the unpublished scrolls were the product of early Christian groups. He and his colleagues believe that certain phrases commonly used in the early Church, together with what they interpret as cryptic references to Herod the Great prove the later dating. Although none of the scrolls has been carbon-dated before, part of the linen wrappings of one was dated more than 30 years ago. It gave an age of AD33 plus or minus 200 years, too imprecise to be of use.The new investigation, employing a technique known as accelerator mass spectrometry, will require a piece of parchment only the size of a postage stamp and may give a result accurate to within 50 years. The Israel Antiquities Authority expects work to begin at a laboratory in Europe within weeks. In Switzerland, Professor Willy Woelfli, of the Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich, said he would be prepared to date the scrolls so long as he could direct the operation.
Dead Sea scrolls `kept secret’Times, The (London, England) – Tuesday, November 13, 1990Author: Norman Hammond, Archaeology CorrespondentSCHOLARS wanting to study the Dead Sea scrolls claim they are being denied access to the texts, considered vital to understanding the birth of Christianity. The protests have forced the Harvard professor in charge of publication into setting deadlines for his team, after 40 years in which the scrolls have been kept from many specialists who would find them useful. The argument, which has simmered in the academic community for years, became public earlier this year, when Oxford university was given a complete set of photographs of the texts, but only on condition that access was restricted to those approved by Professor John Strugnell of Harvard. Professor Geza Vermes, who is in charge of the Oxford archive, says in Scientific American that he and scores of his colleagues have tried to gain access for years, without any response. Professor Strugnell says in the same journal that any competent scholar can see the scrolls, and that of about ten requests a year, five were serious. He describes Professor Vermes as “competent in other things, but he doesn’t have the necessary technical skills”. Further allegations of suppression of the scrolls have come from the Jesuit scholar Joseph A. Fitzmyer, who compiled a concordance of all the texts 30 years ago, and Herschel Shanks, editor of Biblical Archaeology Review, who claims that the concordance has been kept secret for years in case anybody used it to create an unpublished scroll. Professor Norman Golb, of the University of Chicago, claims that Professor Strugnell and his colleagues are reluctant to release documents until they can reconcile them to the theory that they were produced by the Essene sect. Professor Golb believes them to be simply a cache of assorted texts hidden when the Romans destroyed Jerusalem in AD 70, and says that at least one unpublished text supports his view. Professor Strugnell and Elisha Qimron of Ben-Gurion university will publish this 112-line manuscript with a commentary next year, and Professor Strugnell says all his documents may be published in ten years. Source: Scientific American 263 No. 5: 36-38.
By the time Savile was born pyramidology had become a firm feature of British Israelite belief, with a number of books published stating a key existed to enable the prediction specifically of Britian’s chronology, past and future, particularly in a flurry of publishing with four books by different authors appearing between 1924 – 1935. As it happens, Savile was keen for others to tell us that he and/or his mother had friends in Cairo from around 1926 at the time of his birth – the Raouf-Cottrell family – living very near the Pyramids and whose daughter would marry an Egyptian revolutionary, providing Savile with the means to insinuate he had access to a man who was later to become the Egyptian President for 11 years.
Cottrell, Cotrell, Cotrill, or Cottrill?
“A friend of Jimmy’s, Manchester businessman Benny Sternberg who has since died, revealed that Jimmy had been approached to explore the possibility of a meeting between Sadat and Begin because of his friendship with the family of the Egyptian president’s wife Jehan. She was the daughter of a Sheffield-born woman, the late Gladys Cottrell whom Jimmy knew well. When approached, much like he was with royalty, Jimmy always refused to confirm the story. But Mr Sternberg insisted that it was the case.” (How’s About That Then? Alison Bellamy Loc 2142) “Savile had once boasted to the Jewish Telegraph newspaper that the Friends of Israel connection and the filming for Jim’ll Fix It were merely a cover for the real purpose of his visit. He claimed he had been invited by Israeli president Ephraim Katzir to advise on matters of national security.” (In Plain Sight, Dan Davies, loc 4817)
Gladys, Jean and Safwat
Jehan Sadat (born 1933), who until aged 11 thought her name is Jean while attending her Christian Missionary school just outside Cairo, grows up with her Egyptian Muslim ‘Pharaonic’ father Safwat, a physician and her Christian mother, Gladys and her three brothers. Later she meets Anwar Sadat when fifteen, they marry when she is 15 years 9 months old and he is 31, and as President of Egypt from 1970 – 1981 she is the First Lady of Egypt until his assassination in 1981.
“The mother of the world”, the historian Ibn el-Khaldun had called Cairo in the fourteenth century. As a child growing up in Roda, it was easy to see why. Everywhere were the signs of Cairo’s rich past. Directly across the Nile to the east was Coptic Cairo, which for more than fifteen hundred years had been the center of Egyptian Coptic art and religion. On my way to School I could see the spires of the fourth-century Abu Serga Church, built on the spot where it is believed the family of Jesus stayed during their flight into Egypt. Beyond Abu Serga, I could sometimes make out the thin Ottoman minarets of the Alabaster Mosque, built by Muhammad ‘Ali in the nineteenth century. Still farther along was the Old City founded by the Fatimids in 973, and el-Azhar Mosque and University. El-Azhar is the oldest university in the world, and attracts more than 100,000 students from countries as far away as Mauritania and Indonesia. All who come are students of Islam, for although el-Azhar is old, our religion is still young and growing. From the other side of Roda, I could look across the Nile to the west and see the river gardens of the rich merchants who lived in Giza, beyond to the campus of Cairo University, and to the Pyramids Road, which if followed to the end, terminated at the Farafra Oasis in the Libyan Desert. On a clear day when no dust or sand blew, I could make out the tips of the Great Pyramids themselves.” (A Woman of Egypt, Jehan Sadat, New York: Simon & Schuster, 1987, p.36-37)
“Often my father would take us for drives out of Cairo into the countryside , to the Pyramids just ten minutes away in the Sahara, or to celebrate our many religious rituals and secular holidays.” (Sadat, p.47)
The Isle of Roda has according to tradition been known as the spot where the Pharaoh’s daughter found the Israelite baby Moses who grew up to be a Pharaoh and would lead his people from Egypt in the Exodus – as illustrated below from The Herald of Christ’s Kingdom, an American BI publication (Vol VIII 1 July 1925, Issue 13 Journeying to the Holy Land – Part III) and it also contained the Nilometer which was the marker of many a celebration related to the Nile flooding.
John Lanchester’s new book ‘How to Speak Money‘ has an extremely pertinent observation about location and access to Nilometers
“As late as 1810, thousands of years after the nilometers had entered use, foreigners were still forbidden access to them. Added to accurate records of flood patterns dating back centuries, the nilometer was an essential tool for control of Egypt. It had to be kept secret by the ruling class and institutions, because it was a central component of their authority.” (p.4)
“My father, Safwat Raouf, had met my mother, Gladys Charles Cotrell, in 1923 in Sheffield, England, where he was studying medicine at the University of Sheffield, England, and she was a music teacher. Their love was very strong from the beginning. It had to be, for a marriage had already been arranged in Cairo between my father and his cousin. “No one in our family has ever married a foreigner,” my grandfather wrote to my father in England. “I will not give you permission to marry this Englishwoman.” (Sadat, p.37) [note the spelling of Cotrell by her daughter – Savile spells it differently]
It’s unknown whether Safwat’s father knew his son’s intended, the 19/20 year old music teacher (Gladys was born in 1904), was already six months pregnant with his first grandson, Magdi when she and Jehan’s father from Upper Egypt (hence the term Pharaonic) tied the knot in what is now Nick Clegg’s constituency of Ecclesall:
“On 2 September 1924, at Ecclesall Bierlow in the county of Derby (UK), Safwat Raouf, a 25 year-old medical student at Sheffield University, married music teacher Gladys Cotterill, the daughter of Charles Henry Cotterill, a Sheffield City police superintendent. Three months later their first born son Magdi was born in Liverpool. Jehan was born in Egypt in August 1933.” [www.egy.com archive: from a March 2005 article by Samia Raafat, which states ‘this article was plagiarized in part or in total in several Egyptian and regional newspapers + Gezira International TV’ suggesting much better sources for biographies of Egypt’s First Ladies are available in Arabic] “My mother and father were married in a civil ceremony in England, and when my father returned home with my mother three years later it was with my brother, who had been born in Liverpool.” (Sadat, ibid p.38) “For thirty years she did not return to England, and when she did she could not recognize the streets or even find her family house in Sheffield. To locate her family, my mother put a notice in the local newspaper, saying what hotel she was staying in. That afternoon her only living sister and other relatives rushed to see her.” (Sadat, p.39) “It was in Upper Egypt that Jehan’s father Ahmed Raouf started his career as a director in the Public Health Department.” [www.egy.com archive as above]
Jehan Sadat’s autobiography ‘A Woman of Egypt’ suggests her parents, the Raouf/Cotrell family, left Liverpool, England around 1927, the time ‘Little Jim’, the last of Agnes’ seven children had just been born 2 days before her 40th birthday, a fact which only Dan Davies has picked up on does not feature in any of Savile’s ‘not again’ child stories of being the last-born. However, on Gladys Cotrell’s return to Sheffield in the mid 1950s Savile would have been in his late twenties/just turned 30 and by this point her daughter Jehan had married Sadat in 1949, who would have already played his role as one of the senior Free Officers responsible for deposing King Farouk in the Egyptian Revolution of 1952. One can only imagine what Gladys’ old friends and family thought of her and her daughter’s adventures and due to the timing of her arrival in England (although very vague) I also have to wonder whether the events of the Suez Crisis of 1956 played any part in Gladys’ decision to return home for the first time since leaving?
Christian Missionary Schools and Hospitals in Egypt
Mohammed Fayed’s recent offer to Scotland should they become independent (The Scotsman, 19 January 2014) of a giant statue of his claimed ancestor, a Princess Scota (on a *reasonable* plinth, no one wants to look immodest) interested me because it appears, that like Jean Cotterill/Jehan Sadat, Fayed attended a British Christian Missionary school in Egypt rich in British Israelite teachings and heritage judging by what he was being taught about Princess Scotia/Scota.
1898: British Israelites Egypt General Mission / Shebeen Hospital
Robin Bryans in The Dust Has Never Settled keeps returning to the great occasion of 1898 in Belfast when seven of Richard ‘Dickie’ Bryans (Robin’s grandfather) young friends establish the British Israelite ‘Egypt General Mission’, setting off for Cairo. As a child growing up in 1930s Belfast, Donegall Avenue, he had enjoyed the Mission’s ‘Magic Lantern’ showing scenes from Egypt as entertainment. Bryans takes care to point out that there were plenty of poor, starving and sick in Belfast’s slums to justify targeting help at home and not Egypt.
Dr Mary Wills would join the Shebeen Hospital as a missionary doctor, serving there during the war and her mother would fund sending the 16 year old Robin to Barry Evangelical College, where Ian Paisley had trained to much applause for his preaching, in the hope Bryans would accompany her daughter out in Egypt. The wealthy Welsh Wills family it appears had become infused with the British Israelite spirit as divine confirmation of their greatness, as did many other Welsh and non-Welsh industrialists of the age.
In 2008 Mike Wade a freelance journalist, wrote a piece on Mohammed Fayed’s republication of an ancient book tracing Scottish heritage from the Egyptians (a shorter version of the article appeared in The Times, 26 April 2008).
All raising the question of a British Israelite-style Trojan Horse effort in terms of what the ‘Egypt General Mission’ was actually up to and whether and which schools were established in Cairo and Alexandria teaching generations of Egyptian children British-Empire supporting myths during 1890s – 1940s?
At the very least, while oscillating violently between philosemitism and anti-semitism in its attitude to the ‘other’ ‘Chosen People’, the British Israelite myth has been extremely adaptive and flexible demonstrating the strength of an empire can lay in its ability to absorb and include peoples into an overarching narrative so that they feel they belong, so completely, that even their original identity is usurped.
Did Savile receive an invitation in 1975 to meet President Sadat in Cairo?
And more to the point, did he go?
‘Whether or not he had any part in the historic 1977 meeting between Begin and Sadat – and he did later claim to have attended the Egyptian embassy in June 1975 to discuss ‘a VIP invitation to meet President Sadat in Cairo’ – something truly momentous happened on Jimmy Savile’s trip to the Holy Land.” (Dan Davies, Loc 4846) (Daily Mirror, 25 June 1977)
Savile never really displayed an interest in Egypt like his sister Marjorie, and certainly not as he did with Israel writing about his trip to Israel in 1979’s God’ll Fix It. Dan Davies, in In Plain Sight, tells us that in December 1976, after the success of series one of Jim’ll Fix It a Christmas Special was commissioned. As it happens, Savile had been invited by the Friends of Israel Educational Trust on a 10-day trip round Israel and coincided it with taking a nine year old boy from Liverpool who’d written asking to see where baby Jesus was born. Savile was known for supporting charities in Israel the Women’s International Zionist organisation (now responsible for running nurseries etc) and the British Friends of the Laniado Hospital in Netanya. This hospital started raising funds in 1975 along with its American Friends too and is according to Wikipedia notable for two ways in which it operates: (1) It follows the Torah in all running and management of the hospital including healing; and (2) Anti-Strike Contractual Clause: None of the staff are allowed to strike because the man who established it said that wasn’t in line with their religious dedication to healing so everyone has this written into their contract that they’re not allowed to strike. I’m not sure Margaret Sinclair, (whose reputation incidentally is now forever shackled to the ‘miracle’ of resurrecting one of the world’s most prolific and predatory child rapist necrophiliacs so that he could walk among us) with her unique brand of trade unionistic Roman Catholic employee welfare would have agreed God sides with employers, even in a hospital context – but as a religious reason for restricting strike action I wonder whether Savile and Thatcher ever spoke about putting one’s duty to God above the right to strike? If Britishers were truly Israelites maybe they’d have to reconsider where their loyalties should lie…but presumably only if Thatcher’s particular brand of Methodism had also become infused with the British Israelite divine patriotism?