'This is what magic had been, from Zoroaster to Manes, from Orpheus to Apollonius Thyaneus; when positive Christianity, triumphing over the splendid dreams & gigantic aspirations of the school of Alexandria, publicly crushed this philosophy with its anathemas, & compelled it to become more occult & more mysterious than ever'
- Albert Pike, 'Morals & Dogma' (1871)
Within recent years, few if any institutions have come under as much criticism as the old Catholic Church. To be fair, few institutions have ever warranted a critique like the Church either, exhibiting as it does a vast array of wealth, pageantry, archaic pagan symbolism, strange rituals & the like all in the name of he who had 'no place even to lay his head'. I was born into an Irish Catholic family, went to church & undertook the sacraments as did all who went to our school but as adulthood drew in I began to fall away from the Church & it's practices although I still consider myself Christian, not a great one but I do try. Therefore I'd like to weigh up the plus points against the negatives with my old friend the Church to objectively place whats becoming an ever-increasing damnation into some kind of perspective.
Firstly, the Roman Church was a melding between the teachings of the Bible & the pagan religions of the Roman Empire, the Bible itself had only just been codified & the new church obviously thought of itself as it's patron/protector & duly set itself up as the authority of the Mosaic Law & the teachings of Jesus, as a couple of the Ten Commandments were immediately amended to suit. The Sabbath was changed to the first day of the week & the engraving of images was permitted. In spite of Jesus' pronouncement of, 'do not call anyone on earth ‘father,’ Church leaders were & still are known as 'Father'. It set itself up as intermediary between God & man by introducing Penitence/remission of sin, it proclaimed to transubstantiate bread into the 'Body of Christ' during the mass & then there was the horrors of The Inquisition. But perhaps most damning of all, it taxed the people & built vast pagan temples with the loot. There are of course other indictments but that'll do for now......
That's a pretty damning litany of blasphemies, however, as in all historical study, actions must be placed into context. To begin with, even the pagan Mystery Schools of today accept that in the preservation of the ancient Scriptures, the Church did a noble deed for future generations. In the doing so, it would be difficult to envisage how the Church could have collated & kept the millions of documents it did safely without exercising some means of authoritative control over the populace, & if the truth be known, were it not for the Church, we would witness neither the Christianity we see today nor the Judaism, for the Church patronised that religion also, yes it indulged in persecution occasionally but not to the extent we're now hearing about over the internet or from certain pulpits, the Church in other words made it possible for Judaism to survive. I'm not saying I agree with it's control measures, I'm saying that was probably the price required for the Judaic religions survive & flourish as they did. That's just my opinion although I'll add also that the best thing to happen to Judaism was Jesus Christ, would history have took note of an obscure Middle Eastern sect without the light shon on them by the founder of the Christians? I doubt it.
For the melding of the religions I only have this answer. The early Church 'Fathers' who helped formulate the Catholic Church were adherents of the Mystery Schools & thus would have naturally incorporated their mystical training from these schools into the Scriptures. Just as the 'Founding Fathers' of America (also members of the Mysteries) broke away from the despotism of Europe, a similar schism appeared in the Mysteries because of the varying interpretations of the ministry of Jesus, something that's still a source of dispute within all branches of the Mysteries till this very day. The exigencies of the situation we can only guess at, however, the Roman Empire was the most powerful in the ancient world & it's decline must have come as a shattering experience to all literates well versed in it's history & legends. Therefore, drastic times call for drastic measures as they say, & one would be hard pressed to find a more drastic period to exist than the Fall of the Roman Empire.
(Early Church Fathers)
Whilst it was true some of the early Church Fathers had Gnostic sympathies, others warned about the influence Gnosticism was beginning to have on the Christian Faith. One such writer was Irenaeus, Bishop of Lugdunum (Lyon, France). His book, 'On the Detection & Overthrow of the So-Called Gnosis' (180 AD) was written during terrible persecutions of the Christians by the Romans which lasted some 250yrs. A precept of Gnosticism is the uniting of all religions & it's influence can be most keenly felt in the New Testament in the letters of St Paul, who more than likely was a member. A 1000yrs after Irenaeus had written his tract on the Gnostic threat, southern France was again faced with an immediate Gnostic 'Heresey' as the Church & Irenaeus himself put it. However, the problem this time was just as critical as it was in Irenaeus' day, because behind the movements of the heresy (Cathars, Bogomils, Albigensians etc) lay the Knights Templar. It is a fact that leading authors of the institution which the Knights Templar became, Freemasonry, have stated that the Templars were working towards the overthrow of the Church, Albert Pike being one. Initially the Church attempted mediation with the heretics but eventually resorted to violence. Again, the extent of the 'Albigesian Crusade' depends on whose deposition you read, in any event, this was why the 'Inquisition' was set up in the early 13th Cen, because the Church was being attacked by people who had a history of infiltration & usurpation of the Church as well as violence against it. This is not to mitigate the barbarous nature of the Inquisition, however it may go some to explain why it took place & why the Templars themselves were arrested & outlawed by Christendom a 100yrs later.
(Knight Templar 'Grand Master' Jaques de Molay being led to the stake in 1314.........Paris, France)
'But ye shall not suffer yourselves to be called rabi for one ys you're master, that ys to wit Christ, & ye are brethren. & call no man you're father on the earth for one is you're father, & he is in heaven. be ye not called masters, for one ys you're master, & he ys in Christ.' - Jesus (Matthew 23).
The beginnings of the Gnostics may be traced to the Pythagorean schools of the 6th Cen BC. As did many Greeks of the period, Pythagaros gleaned his knowledge (gnosis) from the priests of Egypt, where he stayed for many years. The Greeks returning to their own land brought back with them a new system of learning they termed 'philosophy' (love of wisdom) as well as a new system of politics they termed 'democracy'. From that moment on, the Greeks embarked upon war after war with friend & foreigner (barbarian) alike, they began colonising the Mediterranean (including southern France) & with Alexander it conquered Egypt & half of Asia. Moreover, what the Greeks introduced into Greek religion was an esoteric/exoteric system of worship, one for the initiates of the Mystery Schools & one for the uninitiated (profane). The Romans acquired from the Greeks their customs, religion & politics albeit with a few alterations, & they may be said to have presided over an even worse ocean of butchery than the Greeks.
The Gnostics aspired to union with the godhead (a dualistic, good/evil deity) through a series of rigorous cathartic disciplines, similar to the yogic disciplines of the Far East & was an early indication of what was to become humanism, the 'gods' being psychological natural & cosmological processes, not supernatural. The Gnostics first appeared on the Middle Eastern scene during the 1st Cen AD, or more accurately, 30AD according to Manly Hall. My point is this, members of these cults, Gnosticism, Neo Platonism etc considered themselves a step above the superstitious, unwashed/uninitiated so could justify wholesale genocidal actions against populaces as an act of mercy, upon those poor souls rummaging around in the dark (they still do), indeed, if one collates a list of wars embarked upon by the Greeks & Romans from the 5th Cen BC -5th Cen AD, then contrast that period with the subsequent 'Dark Ages' of the Churches supremacy...we see a stark difference. Most of the conflicts of the Dark Ages were Europeans fending off the Muslims from the south or the pagans from the north & eastern Europe, Christendom itself was relatively TRANQUIL.
The 1st Crusade of 1099 from a Papal perspective is shrouded in mystery, as the presiding Bishop of Rome at the time left no record of sanctioning it, yet it's Pope Urban II that is said to have 'launched' the Crusades. All we have is later chroniclers saying he did after his demise, however, whether or not the Pope gave it his backing, he still would have been implicated by reason of his originating from the same area of northeast France that spawned all of the 1st Crusades pagan leaders. Only eventually did the Church officially sanction the Knights Hospitaller & Templar Orders (religious term) & is it any wonder that wars amongst European monarchs & states increased at a rapid rate, unabated till this day after the worlds first international bankers, the Knights Templar returned defeated from the Middle East in the 13th Cen? Or is it coincidence that the great cathedral/castle building schemes, employing huge numbers of artisans from the east began in earnest immediately proceeding the capture of Jerusalem in 1099?
'Thus the Order of Knights of the Temple was at its very origin devoted to the cause of opposition to the tiara of Rome & the crowns of Kings, & the Apostolate of Kabalistic Gnosticism was vested in its chiefs......This idea presided at the foundation of the great religious orders, so often at war with the secular authorities, ecclesiastical or civil. Its realization was also the dream of the dissident sects of Gnostics or Illuminati who pretended to connect their faith with the primitive tradition of the Christianity of Saint John.....Commentaries & studies have been multiplied upon the Divine Comedy, the work of DANTE, & yet no one, so far as we know, has pointed out its especial character. The work of the great Ghibellin is a declaration of war against the Papacy, by bold revelations of the Mysteries. The Epic of Dante is Johannite & Gnostic, an audacious application, like that of the Apocalypse, of the figures & numbers of the Kabalah to the Christian dogmas, & a secret negation of every thing absolute in these dogmas.'
- Albert Pike.
'The symbol of Baphomet was used by the Knights Templar to represent Satan' - Anton Lavey 'The Satanic Bible'.
(Modern Templars with their idol 'Baphomet')
'Satan (Set, Seth, Shaitan, Molech or Saturn) is the Lord of Hell & the very god who rules over money & wealth. The name Satan comes to us from Ancient Egypt from a deity named Set'.
'& they built the high places of Baal, which are in the valley of the son of Hinnom, to cause their sons & their daughters to pass through the fire unto Molech which I commanded them not, neither came it into my mind, that they should do this abomination'' - Jeremiah 32:35
'For the highest spiritual working one must accordingly choose that victim which contains the greatest & purest force. A male child of perfect innocence & high intelligence is the most satisfactory & suitable victim.'
- Aleister Crowley 'Magic in Theory & Practice'
Yet it's the Church who've gone down in history for child abuse & these people (the Mysteries) are the source of the accusations. Again, I'm not making excuses for any child abuse the Catholic Church is responsible for, I'm simply asking for whatever has to be compared to the continual slaughter of the innocents by it's accusers, say like the Waco massacre, where the BATF were seen bowing to the inferno they'd just ignited, or perhaps Operation Gomorrah, where 1000's of German children were incinerated by the British in a single Napalm/Phosphorus bombing raid during WW2, or Hiroshima, or Vietnam, Cambodia.......
Adriano Lemmi (1822-1906), a Freemason, sovereign great commendatore of the ancient Scottish Rite & Grand Master of the Grand Orient of Italy said this;'In order to insure great popularity for the rite, he linked it directly with the Templars by a mysterious legend. The high grades of other rites had already thought of pretending to avenge the Templars, condemn- ed in the Middle Ages by the Papacy & the Monar- chy. In the ceremonial of certain initiations, a pretext was thus contrived for swearing hatred & death to royalty & the church. But Isaac Long had found better than that. According to the tradition, the Knights Templar, convicted of secret conspiracy & maleficent occultism, had taken refuge in Scotland where they succeeded in eluding their pursuers. It was said that they had succeeded in buying the head of the Grand Master Jacques Bourgignon de Molay from the executioner, after it had been severed from the body & that they had contrived to place in safety the monstrous idol called Baphomet which they worshipped in their secret assemblies. When Long arrived in Charleston in 1801, he brought with him this Baphomet which he claimed to have recovered as well as a skull which he declared to be that of the Grand Master Molay. They were signal relics, holy things! Long affirmed that he had been assured by the Good God in person that victory over the Church was contingent on these precious relics, & that the Templar Baphomet was the Palladium which would lead Freemasonry to victory'.
So the Catholic Church has been battling an ancient pagan religion since it's inception to the point today where it's been completely overrun from within, by the Franciscans, Jesuits, the leaders of the High Renaissance, the Mafia etc etc. The Mysteries bemoan the burning of the Alexandrian Library in 391 AD under Pope Theophilus, yet as noted, the Christians had just suffered over 200yrs of being crucified, fed to the dogs, burned as decorative torches & so on......did the new supremacy of the Church wreak revenge on the pagans? No, this was one of a few isolated incidents, not to mention the fact that the pagans had burned the library down themselves previously, twice.
The Mysteries lament the extinguishing of their 'Golden Age', yet it was built on slavery, modern historians have a tendency to accuse the Catholics of the first act of genocide; 'The Albigensian Crusade ushered genocide into the West by linking divine salvation to mass murder, by making slaughter as loving an act as His sacrifice on the cross' (Mark Gregory Pegg), yet; 'A cache of bones & artifacts buried at a site near to where the Waal & Meuse rivers meet testify to a genocidal slaughter of tragic proportions. As recorded by Julius Caesar himself, a bloody battle took place in 55 BC resulting in the genocide of between 150,000 & 200,000 Germanic tribespeople, including women & children, in what is now Netherlands.'
For all it's degeneracies, weirdness & problems, I still believe the Catholic Church (not the Jesuits) to have been a positive influence on the people of the world, as have the Protestants, Muslims, Jews or anywhere where a belief in a supreme power (God, not god) & an afterlife has proliferated, if nothing else, the Church quelled the violence for over 500yrs until the Mysteries had regrouped, mainly in the Middle East (Egypt especially) & re-entered Europe as an organised unit via the Balkans during the Dark Ages;
The forces it was up against & finally lost out to, at least temporally were tremendous, it's even a wonder it held out that long. It furthermore reinforces mine & many others belief that man does need to answer to a higher power other than himself, otherwise life becomes cheap in the eyes of those who wield power as evinced in communist/socialist states, even if it's to the mythological River Styx & I think we've made a decent fist of that argument & it's implications for some time now; 'Today we are beginning to realise, especially in communised countries, that the lack of religious instruction & intention may be considered a basic cause of the collapse of a vast, political structure.' (Manly Hall). For whatever reason, whether they felt betrayed, unfairly treated or it's because they're a bunch of insecure, genocidal psychopaths, the Mysteries are utterly intolerant of non-members, especially if they have anything to do with the Catholic Church. The Mysteries tell us that mans evolution stagnates under a theocracy, his beloved intellect cannot develop at the rate in which it was intended & this is probably true, however, twas ever in a master/servile direction their minds wished to remain, whilst palming all the less beneficent aspects of their tyranny off on the avaricious, war mongering scientist.
There's a scene in Monty Pythons 'Life of Brian' (1979) where the leader (Reg) of the 'Peoples Front of Judea' is asking his comrades what benefits the Roman Empire had brought their people, & after a train of positives on behalf of the Romans (hygiene, the aqueduct etc), an exacerbated Reg final asks, apart from all that, 'What have the Romans ever done for us?, to which a comrade responds......'Brought peace?' 'Peace? says Reg, 'Shut up!' & I think the same analogy applies here.
Given a choice between a somewhat dour but relatively peaceful existence under the Catholic Church, or life under the heavy heel of the Mysteries I think I'd choose the former any day.
'At every period of time each has been in conflict with the other, with a variety & multiplicity of weapons & of warfare, although not always with equal ardour & assault. At this period, however, the partisans of evil seems to be combining together, & to be struggling with united vehemence, led on or assisted by that strongly organized & widespread association called the Freemasons. No longer making any secret of their purposes, they are now boldly rising up against God Himself. They are planning the destruction of holy Church publicly & openly, & this with the set purpose of utterly despoiling the nations of Christendom, if it were possible, of the blessings obtained for us through Jesus Christ our Saviour.'
- HUMANUM GENUS
ENCYCLICAL OF POPE LEO XIII
ON FREEMASONRY (1884)
'It is Gnosticism which is the real meaning of the G in the flamboyant star, for, after the grade of Kadosch the Freemasons dedicate themselves to the glorification of Gnosticism (or antiChristianity) which is defined by Albert Pike as "the soul & marrow of Freemasonry."
- Edith Miller 'Occult Theocracy' (1933).