This man had childhood visions of his past life in a lost civilization, and swore to rebuild what he saw. He first dug a trial tunnel under his own parents house to better understand the science of excavation, and later bought a home on a remote hillside in northern Italy. And from 1978 and on, an international stream of volunteers took to the earth with pickaxes.
The resulting “Temple of Mankind” is twenty times the size of Big Ben. There are nine temples on five levels bedecked with murals, statues, and elaborate stained glass. Sculpted columns reach eight meters high, and are wreathed in gold leaf. When the police finally discovered the temple (by threatening to blow up the hillside with dynamite), they seized it for the government.
The government has since approved everything. The “Damanhurians,” as they are known, now run their own university, supermarkets, and ecovillages. Multiple Damanhurian centers exist throughout Italy, and have chapters as far away as Japan, Slovenia, and Iceland.