Starok, Johann August
Starok, Johann August, a German Cryptocatholic, was born in 1741, at Schwerin, where his father was preacher, and studied theology at Göttingen, at the same time entering zealously the order of Freemasons there. After a visit of several years at St. Petersburg, he traveled, in 1765, over England, and finally went to Paris, but returned in 1768 to St. Petersburg. In 1769 he was appointed professor of Oriental languages at Königsberg, and for several years served as court preacher, becoming professor and doctor of theology in 1776. He afterwards fell into disrepute as unorthodox, in consequence of several publications (for which see Herzog, Real-Encyklop. s.v.), and after becoming successively professor of philosophy at Mitau (1777) and court preacher at Darmstadt (1781), he finally adopted Roman Catholic associations, and died in 1816, with the apparatus for the celebration of the mass in his house.