by John Lash
One the most daunting problems posed by the Gnostic Coptic materials
is the question of origins.
Who wrote these documents, and where did
the authors came from? It is exasperating to delve into this
material with no concrete idea of its human origin in cultural,
historical, or geographic terms.
Even assuming that the Egyptian
codices are translations of “original writings” by Gnostics who
belonged to cults scattered around Egypt and the Near East, we are
left in bafflement as to where the Gnostic movement originated in
the first place.
A Tangled Tale
Nag Hammadi treatises are late scribal handiwork, poorly and
erratically executed. They were copied down and translated — not
written — by Coptic scribes using an improvised language. The desert
monks who may have understood precious little of what they were
translating. We do not know anything about the condition of the
Greek texts they used, or why they were charged to make these
This being so, my educated guess is probably as good
as anyone’s: I’d say the “originals” were rough notes taken by
students in the Mystery Schools, or what remained of them. The notes
may have been translated into Coptic — in my opinion, a form of
scribal shorthand or stenography, rather than a genuine language —
as a writing exercise for the scribes, rather than to faithfully
preserve the materials.
This is hard to imagine, perhaps, and
painful to admit. But the awful fact is, these precious documents
are appallingly shoddy, flawed, and incoherent.
We know where the Nag Hammadi codices were hidden, but not who put
them there, or why. (On my notion that they may have been connected
with the temple of Hathor at Dendera, a stone's throw from Hag
Hammadi, see When the Mysteries Died.)
We have no idea where the
originals may have been written and stored, but the Royal Library of
Alexandria is one possibility. There is some artifactual and
architectural evidence that Gnostic sects were established around
the Mediterranean basin, including Palestine, close to the Dead Sea
encampment of the Zaddikim.
The "originals" could have originated in
hundreds of places.
Beyond the question of textual origins for surviving Gnostic
documents looms the larger question of the origins of the Gnostics
themselves? Scholars today ignore this problem as insoluble, and
unworthy of their time. Their only take interest in the Coptic
materials as they reveal something about the origins of
Christianity, not Gnosticism. No serious scholar considers the
content of Gnostic teachings and Mystery School instruction as such
to be worthy of discussion. This disregarding attitude extends to
the cultural, historical, and geographical origins of the Gnostic
It was not always so, however. A hundred years ago, half a century
before the Nag Hammadi find, scholars working on the Berlin, Askew
and Ahkmin codices, and the paraphrases of Gnostic teaching found in
the polemics of the Church Fathers (that is, the dossier of the
prosecution), took a deep interest in the pre-Christian origins of
When Doresse published
The Secret Books of the
Egyptian Gnostics in 1958, there was still some debate over where
the Gnostic movement originated. Amazingly, Doresse, a Catholic
archeologist who was overtly hostile to the Gnostics, was the only
post-Nag Hammadi scholar to cite what the Gnostics themselves had to
say about the sources of their movement.
And thereby hangs a long and tangled tale.
The tale leads from Ephesus eastward past Hattusash, cold citadel of
of the Hittites, and deep into Asia Minor: first to Harran, the
bustling crossroads where Abraham arrived on the last leg of his
exile from Ur in the Chaldees, then on to Ctesiphon, fabled for the
soft heaps of amber in its marketplace, and into Parthia, home of
the greatest archers in the world, past the scattered encampments of
the Sabaeans, star-gazers who read in mystic trance the secrets of
the thirteen heavenly Aeons, then deeper into Asia, beyond Nineveh,
rich in courtesans, and beyond Hecbatana, smoke-filled city of a
hundred gates, turning north toward the rugged Elbruz Mountains, and
mounting to the high plain before Mount Hermon, the White Mountain
of Seir, not far from the glittering, gunmetal blue of the Caspian
In plain English it leads to Azerbaijan, on the border of
There, bounded to the north by the Araxes River,
a high plateau fed by Lake Urmia marks the geographic matrix of the
“There we find legends anterior to
Gnosticism — those, for instance, which attributed a sacred
character to Mount Hermon, the supposed residence of the Children of
Seth at the beginning of human existence."
Once the homeland of the Gnostic movement is located geographically
(black diamond, upper center of map), a remarkable fact comes to
light: the Urmian Plateau was the hidden navel of ancient cultures
in Mesopotamia, aligned to the Fertile Crescent and symmetrically
uniting the Near and Far East with the Mediterranean.
See in below insert, enlarged
view of map for more details.
Map of Alexander's Empire
Showing Origins of the Gnostic Movement
by John Lash
The black diamond marks
the Urmian Plateau, location of the White Mountain of
Seir, geographical matrix of the Gnostic movement.
The gray cross situates
this locale at the generative center of the entire
region shown by the map. The vertical arms extend from
Greece in the west to Ghandara in the east. The
horizontal arm parallels the Fertile Crescent and, at
its extreme extension south, marks Eridu, the ancient
Sumerian port on the Arabian Sea.
Although Near Eastern theocracies emerged in the Fertile
Crescent, the directing agency behind them was the
Magian Order that originated on the Urmian plateau.
From there the Zoroastrian
Magi, later called Illuminati, spread southward and
eastward (blue lines),
setting up the first theocratic states. From the same
point a different branch of the Magian Order, comprising
the telestai or Gnostics as we understand them today,
spread both east and west (brown
lines), establishing the widespread network of
The extreme extension of the telestai in the Near East
is Ephesus (circle at the western end of the horizontal
arm), famous for its statue of
the many-breasted Artemis.
Syria was a stronghold of pre-Christian Gnosticism and
later anti-Christian Gnosticism. From the Levant the
movement spread into the Grecian Isles, mainland Greece,
Italy, and further westward.
The network of the
Mysteries also ran westward across the southern rim of
the Mediterranean Sea, toward Carthage. Note that the
movement covered areas on both sides of the Dead Sea,
i.e., Jerusalem and Qumran to the west, and Nabatea
(modern Jordan) to the east, as well as the Negev Desert
south of the Dead Sea, which was fertile down to the 3rd
The Negev was called Seir
in ancient times, due to the density of the Gnostic
cults in that region.
Egyptian civilization was deeply permeated by the
Gnostic movement from Urmia, but it was not based on the
Magian model of theocracy; rather, on a different model
derived from the native animistic religions of Africa.
One of the last outposts of the movement may have been
the temple of Hathor at Dendera on the bend of the Nile
close to Nag Hammadi (brown loop).
The western extension of the Gnostic movement extended
to Bactria and the Hindu Kush where Greece art and
intellectual culture merged with Buddhism to form a
unique genre, Ghandaran art.
The Magians carried their agenda of patriarchal
statecraft and their master-slave model of social
control southward into the Fertile Cresent as well as
eastward into Turkey. In one instance, the theocratic
regime of the Magians dead-ended violently (blue line T)
in the Hittite Empire in Central Turkey.
Catal Huyuk, a
prehistorical Goddess-oriented society, an example of a
non-theocratic culture in close proximity to a
theocratic one. Catal Huyuk pre-dated the Hittites by
millennia, of course. (Mellart says that the pre-urban,
Goddess-based society of Anatolia "represents the climax
of a process that must have started in the Upper
Paleolithic, c. 35,000-10,000." The Archeology of
Ancient Turkey, p. 22)
After 2000 BCE, theocratic
tyrants run by the Magian priesthood imposed the
patriarchal model more and more aggressively on
surviving gylanic cultures. This is the period of the
invasion of the Eastern Sea Kings, and, of course, the
epoch of Abraham. (See R. A. Boulay,
Flying Serpents and Dragons,
The blue line extending northward from the Urmian
Plateau shows the extension of the Magian Order into the
Caucasus mountains where the
Empire of the Khazars
arose much later, around 740 CE. Long before that time,
this region was inhabited by a northern branch of the
Sumerians, known as the Turanians. The split between
Turan (cis-Caucasian) and Iran (trans-Caucasian)
probably occurred around 6000 BCE (Geminian Age,
According to Steinerite
prehistorian Gunther Wachsmuth (The Evolution of
Mankind), Turanian culture was pathologically violent,
its leaders bent on conquest by sheer force, whereas
ancient Iranian culture was based on a pacifist model of
agricultural society. He compares the Turanians to the
blood-thirsty Aztecs of Central America.
Both cultures shared the
same theology of split-source dualism, however.
The cis-Caucasus was the
ancient cultural and geographic matrix of the Ashkenazi
Jews, a white Eastern European stock totally distinct
from the Biblical Jews.
Turania was the remote
origin, and "Khazaria" a later expression, of the brutal
crypto-fascism of the New World Order whose ideologues
and enforcers are often Ashkenazi Jews. In
Zionist politics and
serve the master plan of domination in ways that have
nothing to do with the genuine religious tradition of
the ancient Hebrews and their true descendents,
Khazaria is the little-known origin of much of the
global conflict today, especially the orchestrated war
of ideologies between Islam and Christianity.
chapter on the Khazars is full of well-documented
research on the Khazars. (Reproduced here: Figure 7 in
C. 4 of
Tales from the Time Loop
by David Icke.)
Turanian-Khazar-Ashkenazi complex is the deep historical
the Illuminati who
operate through religious, political, and military
manipulation in our time. One of their main ploys is
Jewish conspiracy theory.
Icke's research suggests
how the faux-Jewish Illuminati play both sides at once:
they promote false
rumors of a Jewish conspiracy (e.g., "The
Protocols of the Elders of Zion")
at the same time, they
cynically, maliciously promote Zionism as a sacred
cause, even though Ashkenazi Jews have no racial,
religious, or cultural connection to genuine
“Children of Seth” is the legendary name that Gnostics assigned to a
sacred lineage of phosters, or revealers.
The name Seth occurs in
the Bible, in Genesis 4:25:
“And Adam knew his wife again, and she
bore a son, and called his name Seth. For God, said she, hath
appointed me another seed instead of Abel, whom Adam slew.”
Significantly, this is the only time it occurs. Seth belongs to
“another seed,” a lineage set apart from the Judeo-Christian
narrative of “sacred history.” From the inception of their story,
Gnostics are situated outside the conventional narrative of Western
By the Sethians' own account, a tradition of secret knowledge
concerning divine matters was transmitted from remote times by a
succession of men and women who had mastered the illuminist method,
Gnosis. The Revealers were an elite corps operating within a unique
cultural and spiritual complex that emerged in prehistoric Iran: the
Magian Order (MAY-gee-un).
German scholars such as Gustav Widengren,
Richard Reitzenstein, and M. H. Schraeder, who are largely ignored
today, delved deeply into the prehistoric roots of Iranian religion
known as Zurvan. This is the germ of the doctrine of cosmic duality
attributed to the Persian prophet, Zoroaster, and spread throughout
the world by the members of his religious order, the Magi.
Reitzenstein in particular intuited that Gnostic ideas were
influenced by Persian duality, or
Zurvanism, but he was unable to
work out how. No one since his time has done any better. The
investigation is complicated by the remoteness of Iranian religion,
dating to the 6th millennium BCE.
Persian duality is the great enigma in the history of religions. So
far no scholar in the world, not even Mircea Eliade, has cracked the
Zarathustra is said to have been older than Plato by 6,000 years. He
learned universal wisdom from the Good Spirit, that is the excellent
understanding. His name translated into Greek, Astrothutes, means
“star-worshipper" (Plato Prehistorian, p. 211).
In his elegant little book on the Gnostics, Jacques Lacarriere
asserts that Gnosis was a path of illumination based upon ancient
star-wisdom. The Jewish historian Josephus says that the Children of
Seth were widely revered as celestial seers who “discovered the
sciences of the heavenly bodies and their patterns” (Antiquities,
All through the Near East and into Europa, the
astronomer-priests of the Magian Order was known in late times as
"Chaldeans," a rather misleading nickname. This term is a derivation
of the Sumerian Kasdim, related to the Hebrew Chesed (a sepiroth of
the Tree of Life) and Chassidim, "the pious," an ultra-conservative
sect linked to the Zaddikim.
The tendency of Biblical editing is to
conflate Chaldean motifs with the Magian Order, conferring
legitimacy on the patriarchs by way of association. Abraham's
father, Terah, was a priest of the temple of the lunar god, Sin, in
the city of Ur. There is a great deal of astro-mythological lore
encoded in the Old Testament — evidence of Magian and Sethian
influences. And, of course, the Magi figure vividly in the New
Testament fable of the birth of the savior.
A scribal note written on the margin of Alciabides I, a work
attributed to Plato, attests to the legend that Zoroaster lived in
the 7th millennium BCE. Several other classical sources, including
Aristotle, Pliny, and Plutarch, also tell us that “the Magian,”
lived 6,000 years before the death of Plato.
In her extraordinary
and little-known book,
Plato Prehistorian, Mary Settegast situates
the rise of the Magian Order, the original priesthood of ancient
Iranian religion, in the Age of the Twins, around 5500 BCE, a date
supported by the Greek sources. Settegast refers here to Zodiacal
timing based on the precession of the equinoxes.
The Age of the Twins, or Geminian Age, lasted from 6200 to 4300 BCE.
The motif of duality associated with the constellation of the Twins
is consistent with the central theme of Iranian religion, absolute
cosmic duality, Good versus Evil. But this type of duality is not
what we find in Gnostic teachings. In
Not in His Image, I
distinguish single-source duality from two-source duality (the
two-source hologram of Philip K. Dick). The latter is typical of
In the Sophia mythos, there is no internal split
in the Godhead (the Pleroma), but there is an anomalous projection
from it, setting up a two-world scenario.
Most historians do not use Zodiacal timing to frame historical and
pre-historical research, but Settegast does so outstandingly.
Indologist and mythologist Alain
Danielou and cultural historian
William Irwin Thompson also adopt this technique. I myself have
applied it extensively for over thirty years.
Reader take note: Plotting events by precession does not require
adopting the belief that the stars affect human affairs. A Zodiacal
Age is framing device, comparable to a geological age (Pleistocene),
an historical period (Bronze Age), or a cultural epoch (Tang
Dynasty). The framework of the Ages is an heuristic tool, not an
Precession became legitimate in academic research in 1969, due to
the publication of
Hamlet’s Mill by Giorgio de Santillana and
von Dechend, but the book does not systematically apply precession
to analysis of historical events.
Settegast uses precession deftly to coordinate ancient testimony on
the Magian Order with archeological research, on the one hand, and
historical-religious analysis, on the other. In my own researches
with the master tool of precession, the Dendera Zodiac, I have found
that Zodiacal Ages correlate to known historical and archeological evidences with impressive consistency, and often in astonishing
Axis C of the Dendera Zodiac, dated to 5,600 BCE, marks the
Age of the Twins. A white marble figure of the "double goddess" from
Catal Huyuk VI (pictured on right, from Mellaart, The Archeology of
Ancient Turkey, p. 21) clearly present the Twins motif.
Huyuk archeologists have found twelve successive layers of building,
representing distinct stages of the city and reflecting different
eras of its history. The top layers of the mound, containing the
most recent buildings, are dated at 5,600 BCE, the date of Axis C
and the double goddess relic.
I could offer dozens of similar
Astronomer priests of the Magian Order and other skywatching seers
from Hibernia to the Indus Valley would have used precessional
timing to track the course of human experience over the long term.
The Magi brought this method down from the Urmian Plateau and spread
it throughout the Fertile Crescent.
At Eridu (Ur in the Chaldees),
directly south from the hidden navel of the Gnostic movement,
precessional timing would have been imparted to the first Sumerian
theocrats. But once it was turned over to state-supported priests
and social controllers of the early Near Eastern theocracies,
precession lost its value as a tool for educational planning and
The telestai consecrated to guiding humanity fell into
conflict with other Magians whose aims were political. The eventual
split in the Magian Order devolved upon such arcane matters.
The period when the Gnostic movement emerged in prehistory is
identified archeologically by the Hajii Firuz culture (5500 – 5000
BCE) of northwestern Iran and Turkmenia. It is centered on the Urmia
basin, exactly where Gnostics located their spiritual hearth. The
culture is named after an excavated site at the southern
end of Lake Urmia, due east of Lake Van in Armenia.
Over Lake Van looms Mount
Ararat, where Noah’s ark is said to have come to rest. Over Lake Urmia looms Mount Kuh-I-Khwaga, the “White Mountain of Seir” held
sacred by Gnostics down into a period some five or six thousand
years after their tradition was founded there. (Map detail left, from Mary Settegast, Plato Prehistorian. Radius of circle, about 165 miles.)
A legend hinted in Coptic codices says that the Revealer lineage
began at the Mountain of Seir with one illumined couple, Seth and
his consort, Norea.
Mandaeans of the Iraq marshes, whose beliefs
show many similarities to Gnosticism, recount a parallel legend of a
founding couple, Anosh-Uthra and Yohanna, who established their base
at the White Mountain.
Seir is an Indo-Iranian root, cognate with
Syr and Shri, “holy, hallowed, sacred.”
Urmia derives from the
ancient Persian word for water.
Lake Urmia is an UNESCO Biosphere
According to an ancient legend that survives locally to this day,
the lakeside city of Urmia was the birthplace of Zoroaster.
“A very old Magian center was located at Lake Urmia,” Settegast
Some traces of this early settlement survive on the
ground. Excavations at Hajii Firuz have produced rich archeological
evidence, including a fired ceramic dish from the Halafian culture
of Palestine, contemporary with it — i.e., the dish was brought to
Urmia from Palestine.
The décor shows the sixteen petal motif, the
signature of the Mystery cells. (Settegast, plate 121a.) It is
likely that the organization of the Mystery cults in the Near East,
as well as the technique and teaching they transmitted, derive from
the remote Iranian matrix.
The Magian Order spread from the Urmia basin in all directions:
northward into the Caucasus mountains, southward into Iraq, eastward
toward India, and westward into Asia Minor and Europe. But as
dissemination proceeded, the Order gradually split into two distinct
branches, Gnostics and Illuminati, as we might now call them.
branch operated on different motives and methods.
Iraniologists have found the problem of the Magi to be one of the
most compelling, as well as one of the most difficult, in the
history of the ancient world.
(Settegast, p. 215)
Within the Order, Gnostics were given the title of
wise one,” as distinguished from the priest, the zoatar, who
officiated openly in society and advised Middle Eastern theocrats on
matters of statecraft and social morality, not to mention
agricultural planning — for Zoroaster was by all accounts
responsible for the introduction of planned, large-scale
Iraniologists consider the problem of the Magi to be one of the most
compelling, as well as one of the most difficult, in the history of
the ancient world. I maintain that the problem can be elucidated,
although not entirely solved, by distinguishing the Magians who
remained committed to education and enlightenment from those who
became involved in statecraft and social management —those later to
be known as
The Parsi word zoatar is the origin of the Greek word soter,
“savior.” Judeo-Christian-Islamic tradition presents various
permutations of the soter or redeemer figure. Redemptive religion,
based on a superhuman agent who implements the will of the paternal
deity, is termed soteriological. In Hebrew religion, this agent is
the messiah, conceived either as a human person, the King of the
Jews, or a superhuman entity such as Melchizedek (Zaddikim cult).
Christianity, it is Jesus as the incarnation of Christ, the
only-begotten Son of God, following the hybrid theology of Saint
In Islam, the redeemer figure is plural, assuming the form of
various Imams and hidden masters. The Sunni-Shi'ite conflict is
about the succession of Imans after Mohammed. In all cases the
is a patriarchal figure, the central authority in a theocratic cult
whose ultimate aim, make no mistake, is to dominate the entire world
by imposing a social-spiritual order based on the dictates of an
off-planet father god who speaks exclusively to white male
soteriology is the origin of the
One World Order shared
today by neocon schemers and New Age fantasists alike. Over
centuries, it produced the master plan of the Magians who went into
social engineering, "the Illuminati," by contrast to the
Gnostics who restricted their work to educational and spiritual
In the Coptic codices soter occurs frequently to designate
the Gnostic master or teacher. But another term, phoster, is closer
to the meaning of vaedemna, a wise or illuminated person (cognates:
veda, vidya, wisdom, wit). Lest the reader despair, believing that I
am unduly quibbling over terms, I must point out that a huge problem
for humanity hinges on the difference between a seer and a priest,
especially a state-sponsored priest.
Mary Settegast astutely notes
that Iraniologists “hold conflicting views regarding the historical
milieu of the prophet.”
The crucial problem is this:
At one extreme Zarathustra has been described as a primitive
ecstatic, a kind of ‘shaman’; at the other, as a worldly familiar
of Chorasmian kings and court politics.
(p. 215 ff)
Here is that distinction that has baffled all scholars: between the
shaman-seer and the sacerdotal priest who plays a hand in court
politics. For the latter, agriculture was part of a sacred vocation.
Since the cultivation of the earth was central to Zoroaster’s
“missionary priests would presumably have been as
well-versed in agricultural technique as in religious dogma…
Irrigation, fertilization, cattle breeding, would have been part of
a missionary’s wisdom”
Does this sound creepily familiar?
In the mission of the Zoroastrian Magi who took control of social
organization under the theocratic paradigm, we have the ancient
model of invasive colonialism and all it entails, a model still in
Now consider the other side to the story.
According to scholarly
opinion today and popular tradition in ancient times, the Magi were
regarded, not as missionaries with a state agenda to execute, but,
“dedicated servants of the Gods” and “masters of learning, credited
with initiating the ‘cosmological sciences,’ the study of not only
the heavens, but the elements and kingdoms of earth”.
are we describing here?
Missionaries or visionaries?
emissaries of high culture or self-seeking colonialists?
Within the limits of the present (long) article, I can do no more
than introduce the issue of the Magi,
“one of the most compelling,
as well as one of the most difficult, in the history of the ancient
world,” as Mary Settegast observes.
This is not just a problem for
scholars, however, it is a matter that concerns the very fate of
humanity. It determines the way we view human potential and how we
frame moral and ethical criteria by which society is guided. This
long and tangled tale from northwestern Iran brings us to the core
issue of human social experience: how we define what is evil, what
works against life.
Gnostics came from the Magian Order, but, in some
crucial way, they were at odds with it as well. The Gnostic movement
identified by scholars through the Coptic
writings from Nag Hammadi
and elsewhere was a spin-off from the Magian Order, even a sort of
The conflict within the Order was due mainly to two
factors, one ideological and the other practical. Ideologically,
Gnostic seers rejected the conflictual dualism of the Zurvan
Reitzenstein and others who placed the origins of
Gnosticism in Iranian duality did not have enough source material to
recognize that Gnostic dualism is a two-world system, not a
split-source system. By split source, I mean that good and evil come
from the same source. Gnostics rigorously denied this view.
however, the central Zoroastrian doctrine, inherited by an extremist
sect of Palestine, the
Zaddikim of the Dead Sea, and absorbed into
Christianity like a lethal virus.
Today, delivering the State of the Union address, the American
president relies heavily on the rhetoric of split-source dualism. We
the good guys, them the bad guys. Gnostics considered that the
problem facing humanity was not evil, but error. Absolute opposition
of good and evil was an erroneous concept, and completely alien to
their worldview. Gnostic ideas are wonderfully finessed, and their
teachings are most finely nuanced when it comes to the problems of
error and human responsibility.
One finds none of this
sophistication in the rigid, conflictual dualism of Zoroaster.
On the second matter, the practical aspect, the “primitive ecstatic,
or shaman” would and could not act as a political animal.
are intermediaries between society and the Otherworld, the Unknown.
The vaedemna does not enter into the politics of social control, not
even to proffer advice, because he or she is consumed with other
For Gnostic seers, the priorities were to maintain the
lineage of the Revealers, preserve the sacred method of instruction
by the Divine Light, and teach and transmit what they knew to the
world at large. They were consecrated to a sacred aim, a telos, that
embraced two dimensions: the art of guidance and the work of
culture-making. They did guide others, but they did not manipulate
them in the way the zaotar or state-priest did.
individuals by mystic instruction and the example of character. In
short, they maintained a rigorous boundary between their consecrated
aim, to teach, and the political ambition to lead. The best guides
are not leaders. The best guides are like spies, who do not like to
As Dylan sang long ago,
"Don't follow leaders, watch ya parkin'
In his definitive study, “The History of the Term 'Gnostikos' ” (in
Rediscovering Gnosticism; Proceeding of Conference at Yale - March
religious historian Morton Smith wrote that “gnostikos was not a
common word.” He notes that respected initiates such as the Pagan
emperor Marcus Aurelius did not use it. Neither was it common in
Greek-language Judaism. It seems to have been used for the first
time by Plato!
In the Politicus 258e-267a, Plato refers to
techne, “the art of knowing,” or perhaps “the art of managing things
known,” in order to argue that “the ideal politician is defined as
the master of the gnostic art”. Plato asserts that
“if such a being were to appear he would be a god come down to rule
Well, there it is, as plain as day: Plato plays the deification
card. His notion of a gnostikos is an expert advisor in
government. i.e., rulership by the gods or those
gods. But how can this be. It is known that Plato was initiated at
Eleusis. If he had intimate contact with telestai, how could he have
embraced and endorsed the program of the Illuminati, the Magians who
run the theocratic agenda?
I would suggest that the answer lies in well-known analogy of
Plato's Cave. According to this metaphor, objects in the sensory
world are mere shadows cast by the Eidos, the divine Forms in the
supersensory realm. But the Organic Light casts no shadow. I
conclude that Plato, though initiated, never witnessed the Organic
Light, the secret medium of Mystery instruction. Had he done so, he
would never have invented the analogy of the Cave.
A fragment of Plato's manifesto of Illuminati statecraft,
found translated into Coptic at Nag Hammadi (Codex VI,
This is the oldest text in the NHL, dating to almost 700 years
earlier than the other documents. Yet no scholar has remarked on the
highly unusual fact of its inclusion into the corpus.
I have pointed
out before that the guardians of the Mysteries did not call
themselves gnostikoi, but telestai, "those who are aimed."
known that gnostokoi was the term directed at them in ridicule by
the Church Fathers: "smart-ass, know-it-all." I maintain that the
telestai renounced this name because it was associated (via Plato)
with the social engineers and special advisors of theocracy.
It is significant that the sole instance of a Gnostic sect known to
have called themselves gnostokoi was a group of
Carpocratians led by
a woman named
Marcellina. The Carpocratians tended to embrace the
Hindu doctrine of avataric descent, i.e., flesh-and-blood embodiment
of superhuman beings — an element of the theocratic scenario.
group led by Marcellina,
"had pictures and statues of many great
teachers who were held in honor by their school, such as Pythagoras,
Plato, and Aristotle, and also a portrait of Jesus," according to
the report of Origen.
(G. R. S. Mead, Fragments of a Faith Forgotten,
The cult of personality was totally incompatible with the
mission and demeanor of the telestai. They would never have
tolerated such statues, but glorification of "great men" is typical
of the theocratic agenda.
The telestai maintained anonymity within their role as mystics and
guardians of the Mysteries, although as teachers working openly in
society, they of course had names and social identities. In other
words, they did not parade their connection to the Mysteries for
social standing or prestige. The names ascribed to Gnostics and
initiates were actually titles rather than proper names: Asklepios
(Aesculapius), for instance.
The names of very few Gnostics - Simon
Magus, Valentinus, Basilides, Hypatia - have come down to us.
" The kindly old gentleman with the wise and benevolent snake" is an
archetype or icon of a telestes, not a real-life portrait.
of Christ have sometimes owed something to statues of Asklepios. The
consort of the physician was Health (Hygeia)... As for the snake, he
is the most important person in the sanctuary."
Statue from Epidauros, Roman period. Atlas of the Greek World, p. 162
Today we use the insult "Gnostic" to characterize the ancient
movement whose members opposed, not only their own
self-glorification, but the theocratic program of great men and male
leaders established and enforced by the politically oriented Magians.
Theocracy, the prototype of patriarchal rule, is the trump card of
the victim-perpetrator game, as I explain at length in Not in His
Image. If the tyrant who afflicts and rewards his people can
convince them he is appointed to do so by god, or that he himself is
a god, then divine authority rules the day (as Constantine, the faux
convert, understood so well).
But theocracy, and the entire
dominator complex it focalizes, was totally alien to the telestic
mission to teach, enlighten, guide, enrich — in short, to encourage
and cultivate human potential. The will to control and manipulate
human potential can never be reconciled with such a mission. This is
why the original Gnostics, adepts of shamanic ecstasy who taught
from instruction by the Light, defected from the Magian Order.
Order around in the Urmian Plato in the Age of the Twins, around
6000 BCE. The split devolved after 4400 BCE, when the vernal point
was shifting from the Bull into the Ram.
The Age of the Ram (c. 2000 - 120 BCE) is the era of Abraham and the
rise of patriarchy, including the Roman Empire. Alexander the Great
ruled the ancient world when the spring equinox was located in the
head-stars of the Ram, known as Amun to the Egyptians.
Alexander had himself pictured on coins with the horns of Amun, and
he staged an initiation at the Amun sanctuary of Siwa with the
purpose of having himself elevated to a god-like status (yet another
example of historical and artifactual verification of precessional
timing). All this is totally consistent with the advancement of
theocratic agenda in the Arien Age.
From their ancestral ground in the northwestern Iran, Gnostics would
have been able to observe developments in the Fertile Crescent,
including the rise of mass-scale agriculture and urbanization.
status as nomadic sages, the famous “Chaldeans” of antiquity, would
have given them every advantage to observe three momentous
the shift from the sacrificial king (primary scapegoating, the
to the sacred king (modified
rite, requiring the hieros gamos, sacred mating with the Goddess, to
assure the human worthiness of the king )
to the redeemer king (men
anointing men, and to hell with sacred mating)
They could not have
closely analyzed this progression, not detected the pathological
violence driven by redemptive beliefs as deeply as we can, however.
At least, I don’t think so.
The sheer force of it may even have
taken them by surprise, not to mention the insidiousness of
Illuminati techniques, perverting the regenerative rites of the
View of Lake Urmia with salt crystals and island
(Photo by Ehsan Mahdiyan)
We are at the other end of the long drama that began by the shore of
Lake Urmia, with 2000 years worth of hindsight on the Illuminati
program and what the message of divine love packaged in the redeemer
complex can do to life on a small, lonely planet.