«In 1931 Edgar Cayce founded the Association for Research and Enlightenment (ARE) to promote his life’s work, with its headquarters at Virginia Beach, Virginia. This remained a fairly small and underfunded organisation until well after his death in 1945. In the early 1970s there seems to have been a sudden influx of wealthy members. ARE is now a rich and powerful body, which has funded archaeological work in Egypt and elsewhere to try to substantiate Cayce’s claims. In fact, ARE has had a major role in shaping modern Egyptology of both mainstream and new varieties. We have seen how Cayce’s insistence on the significance of 10,500 BCE has crept into major works of the New Orthodoxy camp, and their highly flawed evidence for this is now trotted out as fact by most other writers of the genre. But Cayce and ARE also stand behind at least two major figures from the — apparently - opposite camp.
Mark Lehner - who built the mini pyramid for Secrets of Lost Empires — is the most prominent American Egyptologist stationed in Egypt today. He is highly respected internationally. His 1997 book The Complete Pyramids was hailed as a masterly overview of an only too often thorny subject, and was promoted by many major museums, including the British Museum. It is less well known that in 1974 he wrote a book for ARE entitled The Egyptian Heritage, based on the Edgar Cayce Readings, which attempted to reconcile Cayce’s pronouncements with the findings of modern Egyptology. According to Lehner in his early days, the Great Pyramid was built as a repository of knowledge, and a ‘Temple of Initiation for the White Brotherhood’.92
In 1973 Edgar Cayce’s son, Hugh Lynn Cayce, selected the promising young student Lehner to be ARE’s ‘insider’ within the ranks of academic Egyptology, and it was ARE that paid for his training.93 They also funded his recent carbon-dating tests of material taken from the Great Pyramid94 (which seems to indicate that it is about 300 or 400 years older than was thought - but not the 8,000 hoped for by ARE). Today he no longer advocates Cayceism, and appears not to espouse any ‘alternative’ views, now being very much a mainstream Egyptologist. Perhaps it was as a sly dig at his own past associations with ARE that he recently criticised what he calls ‘New Age archaeology, inspired by revealed information’.95
But Mark Lehner is not the only person on the Giza Plateau to have reason to be grateful to ARE. Amazingly, that arch-enemy of all pyramidiots, Dr Zahi Hawass — who since 1987 has been in the powerful position of Director of the Giza Plateau and who was recently promoted to Undersecretary of State for the Giza Monuments - was also put through his training as an Egyptologist by ARE. Through fellow ARE members, Hugh Lynn Cayce arranged a scholarship for Hawass at the University of Pennsylvania between 1980 and 1987, where he gained his Ph.D. in Egyptology.96 Hawass has maintained his association with ARE ever since, and is a regular lecturer at their conferences at their Virginia Beach headquarters.
It is, to say the least, interesting that the two most prominent and influential representatives of Egyptological orthodoxy at Giza are linked to Edgar Cayce’s organisation».