The Maverick Religions

THE MAVERICK RELIGIOUS movement of India was a major historical event. It attracted millions of adherents and had a strong civilizing effect on Asia. The movement brought about the creation of the so-called “Six Systems of Salvation.” These were six different methods, developed at different times, for achieving spiritual salvation.

Perhaps the most significant of the Six Systems, because of its similarities to Buddhism, was the system known as ”Samkhya.” The word “Samkhya” means “reason.” The precise origin of Samkhya teachings is unknown. Samkhya doctrines are usually attributed to a man known as Kapila. Who Kapila was, where he came from, and exactly when he lived are still topics of speculation. Some people place Kapila around 550 B.C., during the lifetime of Buddha.


Others believe that Kapila may have lived earlier. Some people contend that he did not exist at all because of the extraordinary mythology which arose around him. Whoever Kapila was, or was not, some of the teachings attributed to him laid significant groundwork for later maverick philosophies. For example, the Samkhya system correctly taught that there were two basic contrasting entities in the universe: the soul (spirit) and matter.


It taught further:

Souls are infinite in number1 and consist of pure intelligence. Each soul is independent, indivisible [cannot be taken apart], unconditioned, incapable of change [alteration], immortal. It appears, however, to be bound in matter.*


* Common sense tells us that there would be a limit to how many souls existed. “Infinite” may mean a number so large so as to be uncountable.

Samkhya teaches that each person is such a soul, and that every soul has participated in the creation and/or perpetuation of the primary elements which constitute the material universe. Souls then created the senses with which to perceive those elements. People therefore had only themselves, not a “God” or Supreme Being, to applaud (or blame, depending upon one’s perspective) for the existence of this universe and for all of the good and bad within it. The soul’s liberation from captivity in matter, according to the Samkhya, comes about through knowledge.


Author Sir Charles Eliot describes the Samkhya belief this way:

Suffering is the result of souls being in bondage to matter, but this bondage does not affect the nature of the soul and in one sense is not real, for when souls acquire discriminating knowledge and see that they are not matter, then the bondage ceases and they attain to eternal peace.2

Several questions arise from these Samkhya teachings. First, how could all spiritual beings have helped create the universe? One peek at a physics book tells us that the universe is an enormously complex affair. Even the great scientist Albert Einstein did not have it all figured out. How, then, is it possible that all of us “lesser mortals,” including drunken winos sleeping off stupors in downtown alleys, could have once had something to do with creating this world? The answer may lie in the fact that matter is built on simple arithmetic and is far less solid than it appears.

The basic building block of physical matter is the atom. An atom is made up of three main components: “protons,” “neutrons,” and “electrons.” Protons and neutrons are joined together to form the nucleus (core) of the atom. Electrons orbit at tremendous speeds around the nucleus and thereby form the “shell” of the atom. The entire arrangement is held together by electromagnetic force.

What makes one type of atom different from another? Nothing more than the number of electrons and protons. For example, hydrogen has only one electron and one proton. Add one more electron and proton to an atom of hydrogen and, voila!, you now have helium. Add 77 more electrons and protons, along with a generous helping of neutrons, and you suddenly own gold. Take some away to get cobalt and then add some more to form zinc. There are 105 basic elements, each existing simply because they have a different number of electrons and protons!


As we can see, physical matter is built upon idiotically simple arithmetic which anyone can do. The reason this arrangement seems to work is that the addition and subtraction of electrons and protons causes a change in the energy created by the atom. Since matter is just condensed energy, a change in an atom’s energy through this simple arithmetic will cause a change in the physical substance which the atom produces. The universe only gets complicated after the substances start interacting.

Another point is that physical matter is far less solid, and much more ephemeral, than it appears. Atoms consist almost entirely of empty space. If the nucleus of a hydrogen atom were to be enlarged to the size of a marble, its single electron would be a quarter of a mile away! The heaviest atom with the most neutrons, protons and electrons is uranium with 92 electrons.


If a uranium atom were enlarged to a half-mile in diameter, the nucleus would be no larger than a baseball! This reveals that atoms are composed almost entirely of empty space and that matter, even the heaviest granite, is therefore surprisingly ephemeral. Our physical perceptions do not detect the almost illusionary nature of matter because the physical senses are constructed to accept the illusion of solidity caused by the extremely rapid motion of atomic particles. (Move something back and forth, or around and around, fast enough and it will appear solid.) If we could see matter for what it truly was, we would see the most solid object as a piece of wispy fluff.

As time went on, many incorrect tenets were added to the basic Samkhya teachings, causing the Samkhya system to eventually decay. The other maverick systems suffered the same fate. In the system of “Yoga,” for example, people reverted back to “God ” idolatry as part of their road to spiritual freedom. In another of the Six Systems, “Mimamsa,” an attempt was made to maintain the Aryan creeds and to incorporate them into the new maverick tenets. This did not work because one cannot mix doctrines aimed at enforcing rigid obedience with teachings designed for spiritual freedom and expect to achieve the latter. To be successful, true spiritual knowledge seems to require the same precision demanded of any other science. Diluting successful spiritual knowledge with erroneous teachings will destroy that precision.

The Indian maverick movement eventually came to a grinding halt as more and more of the Aryan ideas it sought to replace became incorporated back into the movement. At the same time, many maverick teachings were taken out of context and absorbed into the Hindu religion. The result has been a hopeless spiritual mishmash in India ever since.

Before its ultimate decay, the Indian maverick movement brought about one of the largest single religions in history: Buddhism. Founded around the year 525 B.C. by an Indian prince named Gautama Siddharta (who was later known as the “Buddha,” or “Enlightened One”), Buddhism spread rapidly throughout the Far East. Like the Samkhya system, Buddhism in its original form did not worship the Vedic Gods. It opposed the caste system and it did not support Brahminical (advanced Hindu) doctrines. Unlike many modern Buddhists, early Buddhists did not worship Buddha as a God; instead, they respected him as a thinker who had designed a method by which an individual, through his or her own efforts, might achieve spiritual freedom by way of knowledge and spiritual exercises. It is difficult to determine how successful early Buddhists actually were in achieving their aims, although Siddharta did claim to have personally attained a state of spiritual liberation.

Buddhism, like the other maverick systems, underwent a great deal of change, splintering and decay as the centuries progressed. This caused the loss of most of Siddharta’s true teachings. In addition, many teachings and practices not created by Buddha were later added to his religion and mislabeled “Buddhism.” A good example of this decay is found in the definition of “nirvana.”


The word “nirvana” originally referred to that state of existence in which the spirit has achieved full awareness of itself as a spiritual being and no longer experiences suffering due to misidentification with the material universe. “Nirvana” is the state striven for by every Buddhist. “Nirvana” has also been translated as “Nothingness” or the “Void”: horrible-sounding concepts which have come to imply to many people today that ”nirvana” is a state of non-existence or that it involves a loss of contact with the physical universe. In truth, the original maverick goal was to achieve quite the opposite state. Buddha’s true state of “nirvana” included a stronger sense of existence, increased self-identity, and an ability to more accurately perceive the physical universe.

If we compare maverick religion to Custodial religion, we discover a number of very distinct differences by which a person may distinguish between them. A chart comparing the key philosophies by which they most strongly differ might look something like this:


Custodial Religion

Source or inspiration of teachings is said to be a God, angel, or supernatural force; not a human being.

Belief in a single Supreme Being, or God, is a principle cornerstone of faith. (In earlier times, worship of many humanlike "Gods.")

Physical immortality is an important or desired goal in many Custodial religions. Adherence to doctrine, based upon faith or obedience alone, is stressed.

Severe or fatal physical punishments are sometimes employed or advocated during the religion’s history to deal with nonbelievers or backsliders.

Belief that being born in a human body, either once or
many times through reincarnation, is part of a broad spiritual plan which will ultimately benefit every human being.

Belief that there are "higher forces," "Gods," or supernatural entities which control people’s individual or collective fates. Human beings have no control over those forces and can only yield to them.

Belief that only one Supreme Being alone created the physical universe.


Human suffering, toil, and enslavement are part of a broader spiritual plan which will ultimately lead to salvation and freedom for those who obediently endure it.

Spiritual recovery and salvation depend entirely upon the grace of "God" or other supernatural entity.

Maverick Religion

Source or inspiration of teachings is said to be an identifiable human being. Belief in a Supreme Being is usually tolerated, but is a minor or nonexistent part of doctrine.


Emphasis is placed on the role of the individual spiritual being in relation to the universe.

Spiritual freedom and immortality are sought. Endless existence in the same physical body is deemed unimportant or undesirable.

Observation and reason are held to be the proper foundations for adhering to a doctrine. Physical punishments or duress are very mild to nonexistent.
Severest punishment is usually formal exclusion of an
individual from the religious organization.

Belief that there is no hidden spiritual purpose to human existence and that the process of death-amnesia-rebirth causes spiritual decay.

Belief that all people are ultimately responsible for having created their own conditions in life, good and bad, by the known actions and inactions, and that all people can ultimately control their own destinies.

Belief that everyone has something to do with the creation and/or perpetuation of the physical universe.
Human suffering, toil, and enslavement are social ills that have no constructive purpose and stand in the way of spiritual salvation and freedom.

Spiritual recovery and salvation are entirely up to the individual to achieve through his or her own self motivated effort.








Some readers will observe that many Custodial and maverick elements listed above are mixed together in some religions. A good example of this is Hinduism. Such mixtures are usually concocted when maverick ideas are incorporated into a Custodial religion, or when Custodial doctrines are added to maverick teachings. When either happens, the full benefits of the maverick teachings are lost. This is especially clear in modern Buddhism where rituals, idolatry and prayers to Buddha have almost entirely supplanted the practical system Buddha had tried to develop.

Although Buddhism did not free the human race, it left the hope that freedom would one day come. According to Buddhist legend, Gautama knew that he had not accomplished his goal of creating a religion that would bring about full spiritual liberation for all mankind. He therefore promised that a second “Buddha,” or “Enlightened One,” would arrive later in history to complete the task. This promise constitutes the famous “Mettaya” (“Friend”) prophecy which has become a very important element of modern Buddhist faith. Because Buddhism did not originally express a belief in a Supreme Being, the Mettaya legend did not suggest a messenger or a teacher from “God.” Mettaya would simply be an individual with the knowledge and ability to get the job done.

Precisely when in history “Mettaya” was to arrive is hotly debated in some circles. Many Buddhist sources say that Mettaya would come five thousand years after Buddha’s death; others have said half of that. Many Buddhist leaders have come along in history claiming to be Mettaya. None of them were successful in bringing about the world promised by Buddha, so most Buddhists still wait.

As time went on, the Mettaya prophecy decayed with the rest of Buddhism. The legend was slowly absorbed into a very destructive doctrine being spread by Brotherhood sources in the Middle East and elsewhere: the doctrine of the “End of the World,” also known by such dramatic names as the “Day of Judgment,” the “Final Battle,” “Armageddon,” and others.
End of the World teachings have had a catastrophic effect on human society. It is therefore of paramount importance to understand more about where, and why, those teachings began.

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Doom Prophets

ASK ALMOST ANYONE, “DO you believe in a future Judgment Day of some kind?”


Chances are that she or he will answer “yes.” Next to a belief in God, belief in a Judgment Day may be the most widespread religious concept in the modern world. Even many people who are openly atheistic often experience an “innate” feeling that some sort of grand judgment or realignment lies ahead.

Most Judgment Day teachings are found in the writings of religious prophets who claim to have received mystical revelations from God concerning the future of the world. This type of prophetic writing is usually called an “apocalypse.” The word apocalypse comes from the Greek words ”apo-“ (off) and “kalyptein” (to cover). An apocalypse is therefore “the taking off of a cover,” i.e., a revelation.

Most apocalypses follow a similar pattern: Mankind will suffer upheaval during a future global cataclysm. The cataclysm will be followed by a Day of Judgment in which God or a representative of God will decide the fate of every person on Earth. Only those people who are obedient to the religion preaching the apocalypse will be granted mercy on the Day of Judgment. Everyone else will be doomed to death or eternal spiritual damnation. The Judgment Day will be followed by a Utopia on Earth to be enjoyed only by those who believed and obeyed.

Despite promises of a universal Shangri-La, these teachings often terrified people, and they still cause unease today. As we shall discuss shortly, fearsome apocalypses give spiritual truths another false twist and, more obviously, they subdue people into obeying a specific religion or leader. End of the World doctrines also make people afraid to explore competing religious systems, such as those offered by religious mavericks. Judgment Day teachings ultimately amount to extortion: obey or die.
The question is: who implanted apocalyptic beliefs on Earth? A Supreme Being is usually cited—but is a Supreme Being truly the source?


A careful look at history reveals that apocalyptic teachings first arose out of Custodial activity and from sources within the corrupted Brotherhood network. End of the World doctrines were disseminated by early Brotherhood missionaries and conquerors hand-in-hand with monotheism. It is therefore not surprising to learn that Final Battle doctrines have some roots in a famous Brotherhood symbol discovered on ancient Egyptian relics. That symbol was the mythical bird known as the phoenix.

The phoenix is a fictional bird which is said to live five hundred to six hundred years before burning itself to death in a nest of herbs. Out of the ashes emerges a small worm which grows back into the phoenix. The phoenix repeats this life-death-rebirth cycle over and over again, endlessly.

The phoenix legend is an allegory (a story with an underlying meaning), or symbol, designed to impart a deeper truth. Precisely what that truth is has been lost, and so we find people interpreting the phoenix legend in a variety of ways. For example, many people see the phoenix as a symbol of resurrection or spiritual survival after death: a soul is born into a body, the body flowers, the body undergoes the fiery rigors of life and death, and the soul remains intact to rise and build again. Others see the phoenix as a symbol of the birth-growth-decay cycle upon which the physical elements of the universe seem to operate, behind which there lies an indestructible spiritual reality.

Regrettably, the phoenix legend, like so many other mystical allegories of the Egyptian Brotherhood, distorted important truths. The legend came to convey the false idea that there exists some kind of unalterable “law” or “plan” which mandates that spiritual existence must consist of an arduous phoenix-like process of growing, dying by “fire,” emerging out of the ashes, growing again, dying again, and so on forever. While this process does seem to regulate life on Earth, it is neither natural, inevitable nor healthy.

Many “End of the World” teachings take the philosophy expressed in the phoenix myth and apply it to the entire human race. When they do so, they often express the notion that human societies must endure continuous “ordeals by fire” as part of God ’s great plan. Most apocalypses then veer from standard phoenix allegory by proclaiming that this process will culminate in a great “Final Battle” followed by a Utopia. These beliefs encourage people to tolerate, and even welcome, a world of unremitting physical hardship, conflict, and death: the kind of world that ancient writings say Custodians wished their work race to live in. Judgment Day prophesies even spur some people into working to bring about a “final battle” because those believers think that it will mean the dawn of a Utopia.

“End of the World” teachings were widely disseminated in Persia somewhere between 750 B.C. and 550 B.C. by a famous Persian prophet named Zoroaster.*


* Zoroaster probably lived closer to 550 B.C. than to 750 B.C., although there is debate on this issue. Traditionally, he has been placed 258 years “before Alexander,” which some scholars interpret as 258 years before Alexander the Great destroyed the first Persian Empire in 330 B.C.

Zoroaster is also known as Zarathustra—a name that provided inspiration for a famous symphonic work composed by Richard Strauss entitled Thus Spake Zarathustra. Strauss’s composition became the theme song of the American motion picture, 2001: A Space Odyssey.


Zoroaster is cited by historians as one of the earliest prophets to preach the type of monotheism first created by Akhenaton. Zoroaster was an Aryan mystic and priest who also taught a form of Aryanism. Persia at that time was an Aryan nation dominated by an Aryan priest caste. Some Brotherhood branches today state that Zoroaster was an emissary of the ancient Brotherhood.

Zoroaster’s cosmology (theory of the universe) was based on the concept of a struggle between good and evil. Zoroaster said that this struggle was to take place over a period of 12,000 years divided into four stages.

  • The first stage consisted solely of spiritual existence during which time a chief God designed the physical universe.

  • During the second stage, the material universe was created, followed by the entrance of the chief God’s opponent into the new universe for the purpose of creating problems.

  • The third phase consisted of a battle between the chief God and his rivals over the fate of the many souls who came to occupy the universe.

  • In the fourth hand final stage, the chief God was to send in a succession of saviours who would finally defeat the opponent and bring salvation to all spiritual beings in the universe.

According to Zoroaster’s model, the world is in the fourth stage.

Zoroaster appears to have been a sincere and honest reformer. He taught some good lessons about the nature of ethics and its importance to spiritual salvation. He stressed that people have free will. In other matters, however, Zoroaster’s religion fell well short of ideal. To understand why, we need only look at Zoroaster’s ”God.”

The God of Zoroaster was named Ahura Mazda, which means “lord” or “spirit” (“ahura”) of “knowledge” or “wisdom” (“mazda”). Zoroaster states that when he was a 30year-old priest, Ahura Mazda had appeared before him saying that he, Ahura Mazda, was the one true God. Ahura Mazda then proceeded to impart to Zoroaster many of the teachings which constituted Zoroastrianism. When we look to see what sort of creature Ahura Mazda was, we discover good evidence that he was but another Custodian pretending to be “God.” Ahura Mazda is depicted in some places as a bearded human figure who stands in a stylized circular object. From the circular object protrude two stylized wings to indicate that it flies. The round flying object has two jutting struts underneath that resemble legs for landing.

In other words, Ahura Mazda was a humanlike “God” who flew in a round flying object with landing pads: a Custodian. The implication is that Zoroaster’s monotheism, with its apocalyptic message, was spread in Persia with Custodial assistance much in the same way that Judaism had been spread under Moses.

As noted earlier, Zoroaster was an Aryan living in a region ruled by other Aryans. Aryan domination was so strong that the name of Persia was eventually changed to “Iran,” which is a derivative of the word “Aryan.” Zoroastrian works speak of a God fighting for the Aryan nations and helping them bring about good crops. Through its writings (primarily the Zend Avesta), and through its secret mystical teachings, Zoroastrianism did much to spread philosophies of Aryanism to other organizations within the Brotherhood network. We shall see examples later.

Apocalyptic doctrines continued to be spread after the death of Zoroaster, especially by Hebrew prophets. The warnings of those Hebrew prophets can be found in the later books of the Old Testament. One of those prophets was Ezekiel, whose description of bizarre flying objects we looked at in Chapter 7. According to Ezekiel’s narrative, he was taken aboard a strange craft for the very purpose of being given an apocalyptic message to spread, indicating once again that Custodians were the ultimate creators of Judgment Day teachings.

As year 1 A.D. approached, the Hebrew religion had become well-settled in the Middle East. It was, however, undergoing many changes, some of which were caused by the extension of the Roman empire into Palestine. The Romans, who had themselves been driven to conquest by strange mystical religions with definite Brotherhood undertones, often made life difficult for the Jews. In this milieu a number of Jewish sects arose which were often at odds with one another, except in regard to one matter: the Romans were not welcome in Palestine.


Some Hebrew sects, such as the Sadducees, proclaimed the coming of a Messiah from “God”—a Messiah who would prevail in the eternal struggle of good against evil and bring freedom to the oppressed Jews. This idea became quite popular among the Hebrews of Palestine, even though its strong political slant made it dangerous. Old Testament messianic prophecies began as early as 750 B.C. with the prophet Isaiah. Jewish apocalypses appeared sporadically after that, yet often enough to keep fear of a world cataclysm alive.


Examples include prophet Joel circa 400 B.C. and Daniel circa 165 B.C. Ironically, the prophecies were quite dire and expressed tremendous hostility against the Jewish people themselves even though the Hebrews were meant to ultimately benefit from the prophecies. Old Testament seers described the people of Israel as wicked and sinful. They quoted “Jehovah” threatening all manner of calamities against the people of Israel, and against the oppressors of Israel. No one was to be spared. To give the flavor of these predictions, here is a quote from the last book in the Old Testament, written shortly before 445 B.C.:

For look, the day comes that all will burn like an oven; and all the proud; and all those who act wickedly, shall be stubble: and the day that comes shall burn them up, said the Lord of hosts [angels], that it shall leave them neither root nor branch.

But to you who fear my name shall the Sun of Righteousness arise with healing in his wings; and you shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall.

And you will tread down the wicked; for they shall be ashes under the soles of your feet on the day that I shall do this, said the Lord of hosts.

Remember the law of Moses my servant, which I commanded to him in Horeb for all Israel, with the statutes and judgments.

Observe, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD:
And he will turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, so that I do not come and destroy the Earth with a curse.

The above passage preaches the coming of a special messenger from God named Elijah, who was the Hebrew’s competition against Mettaya of the Buddhist religion. The Buddhists, perhaps sensing the one-upmanship or falling prey to corrupted Brotherhood influences, reshaped the Mettaya legend to resemble monotheistic apocalypses. This created the illusion that the Hebrews and Buddhists were waiting for the same person when, in fact, they were not. Brotherhood monotheists were (and still are) waiting for a messenger from God coupled with a Day of Judgment. The Buddhists were simply awaiting a friend who is smart and caring enough to finish Buddha’s work without the necessity of the entire world ending. Modern Hebrews are still waiting for Elijah to appear, while Christians believe that Elijah was John the Baptist, the man who baptized Jesus Christ.

Old Testament prophets expressed another important idea. “Jehovahwould continue to manipulate people into war:

For I [God] will gather all nations against Jerusalem
to battle ... Then shall the Lord go forth, and fight
against those nations .. .

(written c. 520 B.C.)

This is a startling quote because it states “God’s” intention to bring many nations into a conflict by first supporting one side and then backing the other. Such actions are textbook Machiavelli. “God’s” intention to make brother fight brother was expressed in the same year by prophet Haggai:

And I will overthrow the throne of kingdoms, and I will destroy the strength of the heathen; and I will overthrow the chariots, and those that ride in them; and the horses and their riders shall come down, everyone by the sword of his brother.

Bible believers still think that a Supreme Being is behind the vicious Machiavellian intentions described in the Bible. The “ancient astronauts” theory seems to provide a true breakthrough by pointing to a brutal technological society, not a Supreme Being, as the more likely source of such machinations.

When people adhere to apocalyptic prophecies, they usually do so because they believe in predestiny. Predestiny is the idea that the future is already created and unalterable, and that some people have a special ability to see that future.

Does predestiny really exist?

For the sake of discussion, let us assume that it does: at any given moment in the present, there is a future already created that is as solid and as real as any moment in the past or present. Perhaps time is not as linear as we have believed.

If such a future already exists, does that mean that it is inevitable and must occur?


Here is a simple two-part exercise to illustrate this:

Part 1:

Find a timepiece and note the time. Calculate what time it will be in exactly 30 seconds. Now decide exactly where you will be standing when that 30-second moment arrives. Watch the clock and be sure you are standing at the spot you chose.

You have just created a prophecy and fulfilled it.

Part 2:

Look at the clock again and decide on a new location. Ten seconds before the 30-second moment arrives, rethink whether you want to fulfill the prophecy. If you do, be at the place you decided upon; if you do not, choose a new location at random and be there when the 30-second moment arrives.

Repeat the above exercise several times.

Which of the two parts above created the stronger and more solid future? The answer, of course is Part 1. Which of the two futures would a prophet be more likely to foresee? The answer again is Part 1. The point being made is that the future is shaped largely by intention backed by action: the stronger the intention and the better its back-up by action, the more solid the future will tend to be.

The future is therefore malleable. A future reality, no matter how solid it is or how many prophets have agreed to its existence, can be changed. It will be irreversible only if people continue to perform, or fail to perform, those actions which will cause that future to come about, and no one does anything effective enough to counter those actions or inactions.

Some people would argue that the true seer would foresee the change of mind in Part 2 of the above exercise. If this is true, then the prophet has gained an extraordinary ability to influence the future, for he or she may now contact the subject of his or her vision and persuade that person to change his or her mind, or the seer may take actions to ensure or prevent the consequences of the decision.

Prophecy has really only one value: as a tool to either change or ensure the future. The problem with a seer who foresees a tragic event which later comes true is that he or she divined insufficient information to do anything about it. For example, the famous American prophet, Edgar Cayce, predicted a worldwide holocaust in the 1990’s. Because of Mr. Cayce’s reputed ability to perceive such things, many people are convinced that such an event lies in the future. Perhaps it does. Unfortunately, Mr. Cayce was not able to expand enough on his prediction to offer the detailed information which might be used to alter the events he predicted. His prophecy is therefore woefully incomplete.

As we shall see in this book, there have been many ”End of the World ” episodes in world history. They have all fulfilled the religious prophecies except on one very crucial point: not one of them brought about a new era of peace and salvation as promised. Despite that dismal record, many people today are preaching that yet one more ”End of the World” or “Final Battle” is about to make life better.

Shortly before the year 1 A.D., a controversial religious leader was born who tried to prevent himself from being declared an apocalyptic Messiah. He was unsuccessful and would be nailed to a wooden cross as a result. We know him today as Jesus Christ, and his story is an important one.

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The Jesus Ministry

THE STORY MOST people know of Jesus is told in the New Testament. The New Testament, like much of the Old Testament, is in many places a greatly altered version of the original accounts on which it is based. In addition, probably less than 5% of all that Jesus and his original followers taught is found in the Bible.

Many of the changes and deletions to the New Testament were made by special church councils. The editing process began as early as 325 A.D. during the First Council of Nicea, and continued well into the 12th century. For example, the Second Synod [church council] of Constantinople in 553 A.D. deleted from the Bible Jesus’s references to “reincarnation”—an important concept to Jesus and his early followers. Later, the Lateran Councils of the 12th century added a tenet to the Bible that was never taught by Jesus: the concept of the “Holy Trinity.”


The Christian church did not limit itself to changing a few ideas, it also rejected entire books. The church destroyed many documents and records which contradicted the radical changes that were made to Christian doctrine by these councils. Fortunately, the original writings which survived the editing process still offer valuable clues and insights into the life of Jesus.

Many writings rejected by the church councils found their way into a book known as the “Apocrypha” (“hidden writings”).* The Apocrypha consists of writings which were adjudged to be of dubious origin or quality by the church.


* Not to be confused with “apocalypse,” which is a “revelation.”


Some of the material was rightfully rejected. Other Apocryphal works, however, were omitted simply because they contradicted the official church version of Jesus’s life on several crucial details. These are details which, if carefully researched, would offer a somewhat different outlook on the life of Jesus from the one presented in the authorized Bible.

According to the Apocrypha, the story of Jesus begins with his maternal grandparents, Joachim and Anna. Joachim was said to be a priest in a Hebrew temple. Joachim and Anna were happily married except for one problem: they had not been able to produce any children. This was a source of considerable embarrassment to them. Bearing children, especially sons, was quite important in that era.

One day Joachim was standing alone in the fields when an angel appeared. The angel was described as giving off a tremendous amount of light and striking fear into Joachim by its appearance. The angel canned Joachim and told him not to be ashamed any longer because an angel would cause Anna to become pregnant. The only stipulation for this honor was that Joachim and his wife must surrender their child to be raised by the priests and angels at a temple in Jerusalem.

Everything went according to plan. At the age of three, Joachim and Anna’s little girl, Mary, was taken to the temple and left there. Mary was a beautiful child who remained devoted to the priests and angels for about the next eleven years. When Mary and her peers in the temple became 12 or 14 years of age (two different ages are given by two different sources), it was time for them to go back out into the world and get married.

Mary was not free to pick her own husband, however. Her mentors chose one for her. The mate picked for Mary was a very old man by the name of Joseph. Joseph did not agree at first to the marriage because he was quite old and had already had children of his own. After efforts were made to change his mind, Joseph consented to the match and went to his home in Bethlehem to prepare his house for his new wife. Mary went to the home of her parents, Joachim and Anna, in Galilee to make herself ready.

While Mary was in Galilee, an angel named Gabriel appeared before her, announcing that she would give birth to the new Messiah. Mary was confused:

She said, How can that be? For seeing, according to my vow [of chastity], I have never had sexual contact with any man, how can I bear a child without the addition of a man’s seed?

To this the angel replied and said. Think not, Mary, that you will conceive in the ordinary way.

For, without sleeping with a man, while a Virgin, you will conceive and while a Virgin you will give milk from your breast.

For the Holy Ghost will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you, without any of the heats of lust.

So that to which you will give birth will be only holy, because it only is conceived without sin, and being born, shall be called the Son of God.

Then Mary, stretching forth her hands, and lifting her eyes to heaven, said, Take notice of the handmaid of the Lord! Let it be done to me what you have said.
MARY VII: 16-21

Several researchers believe that stories of “virgin births” may be based upon instances of artificial insemination. Virgin birth means only that the woman did not become impregnated by a man, but was caused instead to bear a child through the action of an “angel.” If we consider that many New Testament “angels” are Custodians, artificial insemination becomes a distinct possibility.

The above conversation between Mary and her “angel” expresses a strong moral and spiritual belief connected to the act of conception. Impregnation by an “angel” was deemed holy and desirable, but conception by human means was often considered sin. To someone engaging in artificial insemination, there would be a practical reason for creating such a distinction. Artificial insemination helps guarantee control over the physical characteristics of a future baby, something that cannot be assured in random human mating. By artificially inseminating two or more generations in a row, the purity of the final product is greatly increased.


This is practiced today by animal breeders who closely control the insemination and breeding of livestock from generation to generation in order to bring forth bigger, better, and purer animals. In this respect, it is significant that the human offspring of alleged virgin births were often described as physically unflawed and unusually beautiful in appearance. While some of this flattery was no doubt due to the tendency of followers to view their religious leaders in the best possible light, the stories of angel-induced pregnancies over consecutive generations, such as the tale surrounding Jesus, would strongly suggest a breeding effort. This discussion is not meant to cast disrespect on the personality of Jesus by suggesting that his body was bred like a cow, but that is the picture which emerges.

The disdain expressed to priests by Biblical “angels” for the human method of conception was apparently based upon mere practical concerns to ensure good breeding, but it was nevertheless taken to heart by early priests and became a major element of many monotheistic religions. In Biblical days, human beings were also heavily propagandized as very sinful to justify the barbaric treatment humans suffered at the hands of their Custodial “God ” and “angels.”


By extending this concept of sinfulness to the human method of procreation, every person conceived through human sexual intercourse was to be considered born in sin and therefore spiritually condemned. What a frightful dilemma this created! Every time a man and woman conceived and gave birth to a child, they had condemned a spiritual being; yet the human drives which produce children are strong. The religious teaching of automatic spiritual condemnation because of human procreation generated a powerful conflict between the drive for spiritual freedom and the physical drive to reproduce.


The result was intense anxiety on the subject of sex and an increase in non procreative sexual activity such as homosexuality, autoeroticism, non procreative forms of intercourse, pornography, voyeurism, and abortion. The irony in this is clear. Those religions which have most strongly condemned the “inherent sin” in all human beings have also been those which have most vocally opposed non procreative sex.

These teachings had another important effect. They helped reduce human resistance to engaging in war. It is easier for a religious person to kill someone if he believes that the victim is inherently sinful.

Fortunately, most people today no longer believe that human conception is innately sinful, including most clergy. If anything, giving birth to children is seen as an event of happiness, and that is as it should be. Despite this, we still find some of the old ideas lingering. A small number of philosophers, psychiatrists, religious leaders and sociologists continue to proclaim that human beings are inherently ”bad” or “evil,” be it on religious or “scientific” grounds. This contributes little to our culture except to keep sexual anxiety and warfare alive.

After Mary’s experience with the angel, Joseph travelled from his home in Bethlehem to pick up Mary in Galilee. To his chagrin, Joseph discovered that his young bride was already several months pregnant. Thinking that Mary had become a whore, Joseph made preparations to abandon her. An angel intervened and convinced Joseph that Mary was still a virgin. Joseph stayed with Mary in Galilee until her ninth month of pregnancy. In the ninth month, Joseph and Mary set off for Joseph’s home in Bethlehem to have the child there. According to the Apocrypha, the couple did not reach Joseph’s home in time. Mary went into labor near the outskirts of Bethlehem and a shelter had to be located for her immediately.


What they found was a cave. In that cave young Jesus was born:

And when they came by the cave, Mary confessed to Joseph that her time of giving birth had come, and she could not go on to the city, and said, Let us go into this cave.
At that time the sun was nearly down.
But Joseph hurried away so that he might fetch her a midwife; and when he saw an old Hebrew woman who was from Jerusalem, he said to her, Please come here, good woman, and go into that cave, and you will see a woman just ready to give birth.
It was after sunset, when the old woman and Joseph reached the cave, and they both went into it.
And look, it was all filled with lights, greater than the light of lamps and candle, and greater than the light of the sun itself.
The infant was then wrapped up in swaddling clothes, and sucking the breast of his mother St. Mary.
INFANCY 1:6-11

The unusual lights in the cave indicate to some people the existence of high-tech lighting of some sort. This may not be surprising when we discover that other apparent high-tech phenomena surrounded the birth of Jesus, such as the so-called “Star of Bethlehem.”

Nearly everyone in the Christian world knows the tale of the three wise men who followed a bright star to the baby Jesus in Bethlehem. Most Christians believe that this unusual star, known as the “Star of Bethlehem,” was supernatural in origin—a creation of God. Some scientists, if they have not dismissed the story as a religious myth, believe the Star to have been Halley’s comet making a low pass over Earth, or a rare alignment of Venus and a bright star.


Several UFO writers, on the other hand, assert that the Star of Bethlehem was an aircraft which led the three wise men from their homes in Persia to Bethlehem in the same fashion that Moses and the Hebrew tribes had been guided by an airborne “Jehovah” earlier in history.

If it is true that Jesus was born in a cave, why would the writer of Luke and other early church leaders claim that Jesus’s first bed was a manger?

It was the intention of those who backed Jesus to proclaim him the Hebrew Messiah. For that assertion to be true, they needed to prove that Jesus was a direct descendant of Hebrew King David. Such a lineage was required by the Hebrew prophecies. A number of religious historians, however, have concluded that Jesus belonged to a Hebrew religious sect known as the “Essenes.” Joachim, Anna, and Mary may have all been members of Essene temples. The cave birth would tend to reinforce that conclusion because the Essenes were well known for using caves as shelters and hospices. If Jesus was an Essene, he could not have been a descendant of King David. This is why:

The Essenes were outwardly Jewish, but they also studied the Zend Avesta of the Zoroastrian religion and reportedly practiced Aryanism. This would help explain the visit of the three Persian wise men to baby Jesus in Bethlehem. It further appears that being Aryan was a requirement to becoming an Essene. Jesus himself was white-skinned and redheaded. Because of the racial prerequisite to becoming an Essene, no true Essene could have been a direct descendant of King David because the Hebrew tribes had a different lineage.

Much of what we know today about the Essenes comes from a famous mid-20th-century archaeological discovery: the Dead Sea Scrolls. The Scrolls are a library of very old documents dating from the first century A.D. They were written by members of an Essene community and hidden by them in caves near the Dead Sea. The Scrolls were discovered in 1947 (or possibly 1945) by a young Bedouin tribesman. 

According to historian John Allegro, who analyzes the Scrolls in his book, The People of the Dead Sea Scrolls, the Essenes had many characteristics of a secret society. For example, a person’s admission into the Essene Order was accomplished only after several years probation. The Essenes practiced initiation rituals in which they swore to never divulge their secret teachings. They also held confidential the names of the “angels” said to be living among the Essenes in their closed communities. Essene priests often called themselves “The Sons of Zadok” after high priest Zadok, who had served in the temple of Solomon.

In light of these discoveries, it is not surprising that several Brotherhood branches had claimed long before the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls that the Essene organization was a branch of the Brotherhood in Palestine, perhaps the Brotherhood’s most important offshoot in that region. Albert MacKey’s History of Freemasonry, published in 1898, confirms this by reporting that the Essenes had a system of degrees and used a symbolic apron.

There is much evidence that Jesus remained an Essene throughout his adult life. Historian Will Durant, writing in his work, Caesar and Christ (The Story of Civilization, Part III), points out that the Essenes were the only sect with a Jewish tradition that did not oppose Jesus’s early attempts at religious innovation. Of the three major Hebrew sects existing in Palestine at that time, Jesus condemned only the Pharisees and the Sadducees for their vices and hypocrisy, not the Essenes. The Essenes and Christians shared many traits in common: they held similar beliefs about living in ”The Last Days,” shared common meals, owned property communally, engaged in ritual baths and baptisms, and had some organizational points in common.


Remarkable similarities between several Dead Sea Scroll doctrines and New Testament writings have also been noted. Historians point to Jesus’s close personal friendship to John the Baptist. Many baptismal and ascetic (self-denial) practices of the Essenes were shared by John. While John did differ in other respects from what we know today of standard Essene practices, the similarities are strong enough to suggest that John was himself an Essene. Finally, we have the active presence of “angels” reportedly guiding both the Essenes and Jesus’s ministry.

Despite the strong evidence, some theologians still dispute that Jesus was an Essene. Their objections are based primarily on the fact that many of Jesus’s teachings contradicted Essene ways. There was a good reason for that contradiction. Jesus, though an Essene, had come into contact with the Indian maverick movement and, as a result, had become a rebellious maverick himself. He tried to forge ahead with a religious philosophy which was often at odds with his Essene sponsors, and he would suffer for it.

Most New Testament information about Jesus’s life covers only the three years immediately prior to his crucifixion. Those were the years of Jesus’s public ministry. During that time, Jesus did not live inside the Essene communities for the simple reason that he was engaged in a traveling ministry which would occupy him until his crucifixion. Every Essene was given, or created for himself, a “calling” or life’s goal to pursue. Jesus pursued his as a teacher on the road.

In both the New Testament and Apocrypha, the life of Jesus seems to be fairly well covered up until about the age of 5 or 6. Then, abruptly, there is a complete void of information about where Jesus went or what he did. We find in the New Testament one episode of Jesus appearing before Hebrew scholars at the age of 12, followed by an eighteen-year silence in which Jesus’s activities are unaccounted for.

Suddenly, at about the age of 30, Jesus re-emerged and launched his short and tumultuous religious career. Where
had Jesus gone, and what had he done, during the unknown years?

Most Christians believe that Jesus spent his teens and young adulthood working for his father as a carpenter. No doubt Jesus did occasionally visit his father and learn carpentry on those visits. Many historians, however, feel that there was much more happening in Jesus’s life and they have tried to discover what else Jesus might have done during those critical years when his thoughts, personality, and motives were developing. As it turns out, Jesus was being intensively trained for his future religious role.

It was common for Essene boys to enter an Essene monastery at about the age of 5 to begin their educations. This will account for Jesus’s sudden disappearance from history at that age. Some researchers believe that Jesus was brought up and educated in the Essene community above Haifa by the Mediterranean Sea. He apparently remained there until his teens. At the age of 12, he made a trip to Jerusalem in preparation for his bar mitzvah the following year. It was during that trip that Jesus had the debate with Hebrew scholars. Jesus then vanished from history again. Now where did he go?

Several years ago I happened to see an intriguing film documentary by Richard Bock entitled, The Lost Years. This film regularly shows up on local American television stations around Christmas and Easter. It is well worth watching. The film suggests that Jesus journeyed to Asia where he spent his teens and early adulthood studying the religions practiced there. One source from which the filmmaker drew this remarkable conclusion was the “Legend of Issa,” a very old Buddhist document purportedly discovered in the Himi Monastery of India by Russian traveler Nicolas Notovitchin 1887. Notovitch published his translation of the Buddhist legend in 1890 in his book, The Unknown Life of Jesus.

According to the Buddhist legend uncovered by Notovitch, a remarkable young man named “Issa” had departed for Asia at the age of thirteen. Issa studied under several religious masters of the East, did some preaching of his own, and returned to Palestine sixteen years later at the age of 29. The significant parallels between the lives of “Issa” and Jesus have led to the conclusion that Issa was, in fact, Jesus. If true, such a journey would certainly be omitted from the Bible because it contradicts the idea that Jesus had achieved spiritual enlightenment solely by divine inspiration.

If Jesus was an Essene and he travelled to Asia under Essene sponsorship, and if the Essenes indeed followed an Aryan tradition, we would expect Jesus to be sent to study under the Aryan Brahmans of the Indian subcontinent. According to the Legend of Issa, that is precisely what happened:

In his fourteenth year, young Issa, the Blessed One,
came this side of the Sindh [a province in Western
Pakistan] and settled among the Aryas [Aryans]. . . .’

Upon Jesus’s arrival, “the white priests of Brahma welcomed him joyfully”2 and taught him, among other things, to read and understand the Vedas, and to teach and expound sacred Hindu scriptures. This joyful reception quickly turned sour, however, because Jesus insisted upon associating with the lower castes. That led to friction between the young headstrong Jesus and his Brahmin hosts.


According to the legend:

But the Brahmins and the Kshatriyas [members of the military caste] told him that they were forbidden by the great Para-Brahma [Hindu God] to come near to those who were created from his belly and his feet [the mythical origin of the lower castes];

That the Vaisyas [members of the merchant and agricultural caste] might only hear the recital of the Vedas, and this only on the festival days, and That the Sudras [one of the lower castes] were not only forbidden to attend the readings of the Vedas, but even to look on them; for they were condemned to perpetual servitude, as slaves of the Brahmins, the Kshatriyas and even the Vaisyas.

But Issa, disregarding their words, remained with the Sudras, preaching against the Brahmins and Kshatriyas.
He declaimed strongly against man’s arrogating to himself the authority to deprive his fellow-beings of their human and spiritual rights. “Verily,” he said, “God has made no difference between his children, who are all alike dear to Him.”

Issa denied the divine inspiration of the Vedas and the Puranas [a class of sacred writings]. .. .3


The white priests and warriors were so angered that they sent servants to murder Jesus. Warned of the danger, Jesus fled the holy city of Djagguernat by night and escaped into Buddhist country. There he learned the Pali language and studied sacred Buddhist writings (“Sutras”). After six years, Jesus “could perfectly expound the sacred [Buddhist] scrolls.”4

The Issa legend has some remarkable implications. It portrays Jesus as a sincere religious reformer who found himself turning against the Custodial/Aryan traditions in which he had been raised. His sympathies went instead to the maverick Buddhists. The Buddhist influence in Jesus’s teachings are evident in the Bible, as in Jesus’s “Sermon on the Mount” which contains some philosophy strikingly similar to the Buddhism of his day.

After fifteen or so years in and about Asia, Jesus travelled back to Palestine via Persia, Greece, and Egypt. According to one tradition, Jesus was initiated into the higher ranks of the Brotherhood in the Egyptian city of Heliopolis. After completing that initiation, Jesus returned to Palestine, now a man of 29 or 30. Immediately upon his return, Jesus embarked on his public ministry.

The rift between Jesus and his Aryan hosts in India did not, at first, seem to adversely affect Jesus’s relationship to the Essene Order. It did not take long, however, for trouble to erupt. Jesus did not share the ascetism of his Essene brothers and downplayed the importance of ritualism for achieving spiritual salvation. Jesus was surrounded by Essene sponsors who strongly believed in the coming of a Messiah and they were determined to have their investment, Jesus, proclaimed that new Messiah. Jesus forbade them to do so.


According to historian Will Durant, Jesus “repudiated all claim to Davidic descent”5 and for a long time “forbade the disciples to call him the messiah.. . .”6 Most historians attribute those actions to the political climate of the time. Palestine was under Roman occupation and the Romans took a dim view of the Hebrew prophecies because of their political overtones. Jesus did not wish to run afoul of the Romans, or so the thinking goes.

There is, however, a much better reason why Jesus did not want to be proclaimed the Hebrew Messiah. He knew that the proclamation was untrue and he was being honest about it. Jesus wanted to bring to Palestine a genuine spiritual science of the type the mavericks were still attempting in India. Jesus therefore became a rebel inside of the very Brotherhood organization backing him.


Jesus’s greatest mistake was believing that he could use the channels of the corrupted Brotherhood network to spread a maverick religion, even if he had many close friends and loved ones in the Essene Order. Jesus never had time to establish his maverick religious system because some of his Essene backers and, according to the Bible, even some Custodial “angels,” quickly got him into trouble by proclaiming him the Messiah. It did not take the Romans and some Hebrew leaders long toarrest Jesus and put him on trial.


The Hebrews objected to his unorthodox religious ideas and the Romans his alleged political pretensions. A mere three years after beginning his ministry, Jesus was reportedly nailed to a cross. Although there is evidence that Jesus did not die on the cross but survived to live out the rest of his life in seclusion, the crucifixion ended his public ministry and paved the way for his name to be used to implant the very Judgment Day philosophies he had opposed.*


*A set of documents dating from around 400 A.D.—the Nag Hammadi scrolls—were discovered in Egypt in 1945. The scrolls are hand-inscribed copies of earlier original manuscripts. Many or all of those originals were written no later than 150 A.D., i.e. before the standard New Testament gospels were penned. Some scholars believe many of the Nag Hammadi scrolls to be as authentic, and less altered, than the accepted Gospels of the New Testament. According to the Nag Hammadi, Jesus was not nailed to a cross, but another man, Simon, had been cleverly substituted to suffer Jesus’s fate. Whatever the truth of this might be, what is important to us is simply that the crucifixion signaled the end of Jesus’s public ministry.

’s problems cannot be blamed on his backers alone, however. Certainly Jesus’s own errors contributed to his downfall. Despite his maverick leanings, Jesus was unable to entirely undo within himself a lifetime of indoctrination as an Essene. There is good Biblical and Apocryphal evidence that Jesus tried to mix Custodial dogma with maverick tenets. This will cause any honest attempt at spiritual reform to fail. The Bible also indicates that Jesus taught some of his lessons through a system of mysteries. Jesus’s only hope had been to break completely with the Essene Order and its methods, but it is easy to understand why he had not done so. His life, family, and friends were too much a part of that organization.

Although Jesus had a large enough following to invite attention, he did not preach long enough to enter the history books of his own time. His fame grew after the crucifixion when his disciples traveled far and wide to establish their new apocalyptic sect. With the continued help of their Custodial “angels,” Christian missionaries made Jesus a household name and created a powerful new faction that would further divide human beings into battling groups.

The successful effort to make Jesus the figurehead of a new Judgment Day religion brought about the most famous apocalyptic writing in the western world: the Revelation of St. John. This work, which is also known as the Book of Revelation or Apocalypse, is the last book of the New Testament. It leaves Christians with the same type of dire prophecy that the Hebrews had been left with at the end of the Old Testament:

the coming of a great global catastrophe followed by a Day of Judgment.

The Book of Revelation is well worth taking a closer look at.

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