Category Archives: Jewish history

Freedom of Religion: Fact and Fantasy

1692 Massachusetts Christian Puritans saw the Devil everywhere

1692 Massachusetts Christian Puritans saw the Devil everywhere

Freedom of religion is a centuries-old expression. In most cases freedom of religion does not exist.

Freedom of religion is not accepted by the Supreme Court of the USA, as seen in Sandra Day O’Connor’s rant that the USA is a Christian nation (it is not).  The Roman Catholic majority of justices side with their faith and rule in favor of Christianity.  There is little interest in defending the rights of Muslims, Hindus, atheists, agnostics, free-thinkers and non believers. This is seen in the repeated demands for a god oath or affirmation to tell the truth.  God oath’s are distinctly religious (Ide, Arthur Frederick (1988), Vows, Virgins, Oaths and Orgies. Arlington, TX: Liberal Arts Press).   This has become the rallying cry for sectarian judges at all levels, from the traffic courts in Des Moines, Iowa, to petty courts in Louisiana and the nefarious local courts in Texas.  Most courts or jurists. It is not enshrined in the nation, nor in separate states. At best freedom of religion is a buzzword.  In reality freedom of religion is a fantasy that has enchained and enslaved the mentality and academic advance throughout the USA since its inception as American colonies.

From Maine to Georgia, the North American colonies were not founded as bastions of theological freedom or the right to disbelieve.  What came from pulpits and stages of colonial churches was the same hot loathing of predatory pastors that existed in Europe, with special condemnation of Jews, “pagan” (i.e. Muslim) slaves, and those who did not express exaltation and conviction of the Christian perspective of males who saw in Christianity justification for gynephobia and misogyny, racism and radicalization of theology that still saw Jews as “killers of the Christ” and “naked savages” (American aboriginal Indians) who did not bow before raised bibles, and later were damned as sinners by Joseph Smith Jr–one of the greatest plagiarist and ignorant speakers in USA history.

Those who came to the shores of the Eastern coastline were greedy, self-serving, and self-loathing Puritans, Pilgrims, people in quest of gold and land, and who had little interest in a truly encompassing society freed from the fetters of religion.  Instead, these colonists were determined to create a “New Salem” (Jerusalem) and bring about a theocracy led by theocrats–as with the Matthers, Willis, and other bible bleaters.  The colonists had a narrow definition of what religion was.  Their god had to be prayed to daily, Their god would appoint “ministers of the faith” who would lead congregations like a ram herding sheep into judgemental assemblies in vocal or silent prayer while calling out witches, warlocks, and disbelievers for execution as with the Salem Witch Trials.  The colonial Christians chartered congregations that would give a non-biblical tenth of their possession and production to sustain the slovenly spokespersons of the community’s god.

Puritans in Massachusetts Bay Colony hanging Quakers

Puritans in Massachusetts Bay Colony hanging Quakers

Plymouth colony (Massachusetts) was among the most intolerant colonies.  In part this was due to its Puritan background.  In part this was due to Plymouth colony’s mephistophelean misogyny of its leaders who were more prone to seduce young girls and a few boys but hushed it up under claims of clerical immunity while reading  gynophobia plastered across the pages of what copyists claimed were the epistles (or letters) of a mythological Paul written by various hands from 200-1000 CE.

When any person would speak out in favor of a different form of worship, or for the rights of women to participate in a discussion of a biblical text or a pastor’s sermon (as was the case with Anne Hutchison), the heavy hand of hardened clerics came crashing down with excruciating éclat.  Their denial of human and civil rights for women, people of color and existing LGBT people who were dispatched from the worldly life as “abominations” became routine (read my article on LGBT and Jewish people in colonial America).

Anne Hutchinson

Anne Hutchinson

Mistress Anne Hutchinson was chastised, defamed, libeled and slandered for her outspokenness and denunciation of those who would not let her speak or preach. Hutchinson cited bible verses to justify her reading and speaking with other women–and some men–in defiance of the male antagonists who would keep her quiet based on wrongful readings of the letters of “Paul”.

Anne Hutchinson was better read and more articulate about the scriptures that she interpreted and commented on  far more accurately than the pretensions and modestly educated Puritan preachers who acted more like popes than presbyters within her ossified and odious community.

Born Anne Marbury (1591–1643), Hutchinson was a Puritan woman. She served as a spiritual adviser for many when not performing domestic chores and being an attentive mother of 15. Birth control was unheard, and the misinterpreted line in Genesis  9:7 was not an injunction to act like rabbits or guinea pigs/cuyes, but was an admonition to minister to others so that a group would find freedom in thought.

The controversial Anne Hutchinson was an important participant in the Antinomian Controversy.  Antinomianism is the belief that under the gospel dispensation of grace, moral law is of no use or obligation because faith alone is necessary to obtain salvation. It was in part the teaching of Martin Luther (who had a far greater impact on English theology than did the strictness of Jean Calvin of Geneva), although he qualified his rejection of good works by writing that faith is: “a living, creative, active and powerful thing, this faith. Faith cannot help doing good works constantly. It doesn’t stop to ask if good works ought to be done, but before anyone asks, it already has done them and continues to do them without ceasing. Anyone who does not do good works in this manner is an unbeliever…Thus, it is just as impossible to separate faith and works as it is to separate heat and light from fire” (Luther, Martin. Vermischte Deutsche Schriften, Johann K. Irmischer, ed. Vol. 63 (Erlangen: Heyder and Zimmer, 1854), pp. 124-125. [EA 63:124-125]).   It was Antinomianism, with its view that salvation was for the soul only and not the body, rejecting most of the Old Testament and responding to critics that it matched the debate of the Council of Jerusalem (c. 50 CE) that rejected the necessity of circumcision (Acts 15:5,  19-22, cp. Acts 10:9-16)  that was on part of the Laws of Moses, that doomed early Puritanism to play a minor role in the devolution of faith in Massachusetts.

A charismatic and popular preacher who threatened Puritan pastors, Hutchinson who was expelled from her colony in 1637.  She was walked to the border of Plymouth as her penalty for the crime of challenging the authority of the male ministers who minced words to justify good works that had nothing in common with the Reformation of John Knox, Martin Luther, John Calvin and other would-be reformers turned revolutionaries.

A woman who refused to be silent, Hutchinson exposed the subordination of women in the culture of colonial Massachusetts.  Citing scripture Hutchinson spelling out articulate arguments against the reading of the most heated passages in the Epistles of Paul.  The mother of 15 children rejected the staid sentence sourly secreted into the vastly plagiarized First Letter to the Church of Corinth.  She noted that 1 Corinthians 14:34-35 claimed, wrongly, that women were to be silent.  Hutchinson called attention to the full passage as being a reference to the church, and not a permanent position in discussion of sermons or scripture solely against the preaching of women.  Women, such as Miriam, Deborah, Huldah, and Noadiah, were prophets in the Old Testament, and greeted as “sisters in the faith” in the New Testament (Romans 4:20), becoming judges, priests, and even bishops in the early Church.

1 Corinthians 14:34-35 has traditionally been linked with 1 Timothy 2:8-15. This is the mark of an addition by a copyist, that modern theologians are only now beginning to understand.  While there is no substantial evidence that the Plymouth pioneer knew of this, Hutchinson fought for the right of women to read and study scripture without the menacing mention of women being silent based on the idea that all people were like little children whom Jesus invited to visit him (Matthew 19:14).  Even the Paul of the New Testament saluted women, as in the case of Phoebe (Romans 16:1–2) Priscilla, wife of Aquila (both being tent makers; Acts 18:2) and recognized as leaders in 1 Corinthians 16:19 and Romans 16:3.

What Hutchinson did not argue is the text itself. Such an education was forbidden women by men who were threatened by any thought of equality between the sexes.  Only ennobled women, wealthy women, had any formal education, and then quietly in their homes. The transmogrification of equality is the leftover garbage of the establishment of Christianity as an official religion by the Emperor in the fourth century CE.

If Anne Hutchinson had an education in Biblical text and interpretation, she would have noted that 1 Corinthians 14:34-35 is a declarative statement and the passage does not match the rest of the text. Translation and interpretation have never been strong suits in theological studies from the ancient world to this day when school pretend to teach both sciences not only in the Third World but in most schools in the First World.

A more careful study of the questionable declarative verse would note that the writers of the Pauline epistle to the church at Corinth ignored the scripture’s declaration that women will prophesy (Joel 2:28; Acts 2:17-18) and did so in the church at Corinth (1 Corinthians 11:5).  The persecutor of Christians including at Corinth, Saul of Tarsus (who later takes for himself the name of Paul that means “small”, “humble” and even a “limited gathering of scholars”.  The name Paul is a family’s surname at the time of the first century CE.  It is Roman in heritage and spelled Paulus or Paullus.  Nowhere in the New Testament considered an Apostle except by Saul, himself.  The name Paul had no Hebrew or ancient Greek equivalent.  It is introduced in Biblical Greek.  The man is a self-created legend, and the Bible says nothing about Paul’s death. Only in 2 Timothy 2, do we read Paul writing about anticipating his death. 

1 Corinthians 14 and the silence of women

1 Corinthians 14 and the silence of women

What is unique is the writers of the Epistles, especially the letters to the congregation (there was no church) is that they are filled with repetition and self-rejection.  This is seen, dramatically, in the two verses 34 and 35.  They are self-contradictory, with 1 Corinthians 14:34-35 being at best a gloss or marginalia eased into the text by a medieval monk.

The Paul of the New Testament permitted women to participate when properly adorned (1 Corinthians 11:2-16). 1 Corinthians 14:34-35 stands out in sermons of all Christian cults and creeds–and has no biblical foundation except for itself (as I tell my students, you cannot use one book to prove the validity and credibility of that same book).  It is plagiarized from Old Testament lore that justifies the murders committed by Saul who was nothing more than a poor imitation of Joshua and Gideon who launched a Holocaust quit in keeping with that pushed by Adolf Hitler.

Gideon's Holocaust of Semitic people in Palestine/Canaan

Gideon’s Holocaust of Semitic people in Palestine/Canaan

Few have had the courage of Hutchinson to strike back at the theological terrorists machinations and insipid insanity of the patriarchy that then and now controls Christianity.  This patriarchy, using select sentences that were added to a book compiled and plagiarized from far older sources and passed off by those who would control others who were denied an education.  It was submissively accepted by those who bowed before alleged superiors who threatened their lives, limbs and property in the stagnant claim of being intercessor between god and man (ignoring woman).  Like ancient priests, Plymouth pastors prattled that they controlled all in the name of fear of a wrathful demon known as YHWH who unleashed holocaust after holocaust in the Torah and Book of Prophets (Old Testament) through the mass murderers Joshua and Gideon.  The source from the beginning of the innovation and creation of Christianity claimed their authority from a deliberate misreading of Matthew 16:18-19.

The Bible has always been a sponge of blood, from Genesis through Revelation.  Its pastors dined from burnt sacrifice and were given seats at the head of tables where they would invoke their deity to look upon food and heart with a jubilant spirit while the ecclesiastics ate first.  The idea of a “burnt sacrifice” is Akkadian in origin, passing through the language of Syria. The Hebrew feminine noun qorban (plural qorbanot קָרְבֳּנוֹת) first occurs in the Hebrew Bible in Leviticus 1:2.  It is found in 80 other passages is pronounced similarly in the Arabic language (Arabic kurban قربان).  Women were allowed to participate in the sacrifices–a fact that male preachers ignored, claiming that women were to be “meek and mild like Jesus”.

There was nothing “meek and mild” (a phrase that applies only to the Jesus in the Gospel of Matthew 11:28-30.  In the original Greek (πράος) meek means “in control” and “with great power that is under control”. It defines someone who is not subject to anger) about the Mistress who rattled the Puritan community and distressed the Fathers of the Colony.  None of the male ministers had anything in common with the Jesus of the New Testament.

Anne Hutchinson heartily made her displeasure known with the fools she suffered.  This was especially the situation with witless John Wilson and his rogue interpretation of religion “of one of works”. Having enough of his prattle praising tithing that was barely substantiated within scripture, Mistress Hutchinson got up and left whenever the millstone minister rose to pray or preach parched words of damnation and demons.  Tithing, actually, refers to a bribe (Deuteronomy 12:5-11):, extortion (Numbers 28:20-32), or payment under duress or to obtain spoils of war and theft (Genesis 14:20, 28:20-22) or a forced bribe to keep god from destroying his people (Malachi 3:8-10).

Repeatedly, Goodwife Hutchinson was reprimanded to mind the ministry of men.  She was to “silence herself” as being less than a man in the eyes of a critical, cruel and wrathful god.

Expelled by the “men of god” who declared End Times was “neigh [near]” and an apocalyptic war was about to begin with Jesus (defying the law of gravity) would ride out on a horse from the clouds with sword in hand to take blood from non-believers (Matthew 10:34), Hutchinson was exiled from her original home and community.  With many of her supporters, Hutchinson established the settlement of Portsmouth (that would become the Colony of Rhode Island) and Providence Plantations.  There was no rest for the outspoken Hutchinson. As at Plymouth, so it was at Portsmouth. Hutchinson’s heroic stand for her opinions and interpretations were met with scorn.  The chauvinistic chorus of misanthropic ministers damned her, “for she is but a woman” enfeebling every effort at blind justice and direct democracy.

A feisty firebrand who insisted on faith and with no emphasis on good works, Hutchinson ultimately found a home on the ancient landmark called Split Rock in what later became The Bronx in New York City. Her aspiration to help others, including the original aboriginal population (who became known as Indians), the city fathers launched acidic arguments against her, and leagued with “forces unknown.”  In August 1643, Hutchinson and all but one of the 16 members of her household were massacred during an attack by the native Siwanoy.  Her 9-year-old daughter Susanna was taken captive. 

The travail threaded through the life of Hutchison gave a tortured birth of a hatred-inspired fear of women throughout most of New England.  It spilled its poison into other colonies with a speed unmatched since the imaginary war in heaven between the Advocate of Job 2:1 (a Babylonian tale) known as Satan, and the mythical Akkadian god incorporated into the Bible under the name of Michael.  Religious rites were galvanized, ministers obtained a near god-like authority.  Religious freedom was curtailed, and colonies settled by one group of religionists were forced out by other religionists determined to draft their own ideologies into their charters, as happened to Maryland.

18th century carricature of Pope on Guy Fawkes Night in Boston

18th century caricature of Pope on Guy Fawkes Night in Boston

Maryland was established as a colony for Roman Catholics by Lord George Calvert in 1625. Roman Catholics were quickly disenfranchised as being “papists” and too attached to the plutocracy of the Vatican and the demands of the papacy.  “Good Christians” [Protestants] of Maryland, exploded intemperate against Roman Catholic priests who were rejected as following a foreign potentate  determined to turn the New World colonies into vassal states of the Vatican.  According to broadsheets, the Pope was to rule over splintered states by bishops loyal only to the Vicar of Christ.  This Vicar was caricaturized as a diabolical demons surrounded by vipers who would grow fat on the food denied the poor.

Roman Catholics in Maryland quickly lost their freedom of religion.  They were disenfranchised in 1646. They were, however, allowed along with “all [other] Christians” (emphasis mine) to live and work in Maryland in 1649 by means of the Maryland Toleration Act.

The Maryland Act of Toleration (1649)

The Maryland Act of Toleration (1649)

The Maryland Toleration Act became the source for the First Amendment of the fledgling United States of America. It was never, originally, a popular document nor a well-received First Amendment.

Virginia’s House of Burgesses recognized the Church of England as the official religion of the colony in 1619. The tie to the Established Church in England was, however, weak, and Anglicans in Virginia frequently pursued a course different from their counterparts in London.

In 1775, the bishop of London (Richard Terrick, 1710 – 1777) appointed James Blair to represent his interests in the colony, but there was scant attention to the authority from London in matters of religion, except that all prayer books and services followed the Church of England style that were far more closely related to the doctrines of Martin Luther than those of John Calvin.

The German, a former Augustinian monk who wrote numerous tracts in defence of the papacy and Rome, Martin Luther became over time  contemptuous of Jews (whom initially he had written in defense of) and argued for a strict interpretation of the words of the Bible with little to no tolerance for apostasy or heresy. Jews were not welcome anywhere in the New World when the colonies were formed.  They were slandered as being slayers of “the Christ”–a title Jesus never used in the original New Testament.

New Amsterdam (1626 engraving)

New Amsterdam (1626 engraving)

Little is known about the first Jew to visit the colonies.  The “sons of Israel” were poorly tolerated in colonial America (cf. Warren Blumenfeld (2012), “On The Discursive Construction of Jewish “Racialization” And “Race Passing”: Jews As “U-boats” With A Mysterious ‘Queer Light'”, Journal of Critical Thought and Praxis Vol. 1, Issue 1, pp. 1-28). Jews were accepted only if they could bring supplies to the colonies, as was the case with the second Jew who sailed to the New World: Solomon Franco.

Jews in Colonial America (17th century drawing)

Jews in Colonial America (17th century drawing)

Solomon Franco was a Sephardic Jew from Holland. There is scant record of this enterprising man, except it is believed that he settled in the city of Boston in 1649. 

Franco delivered “needed” supplies to Edward Gibbons, a Major General in the Massachusetts militia.  Franco quickly wore out his welcome when he demanded payment.

Gibbons was astonished that anyone would expect payment from a man of his rank–especially a Jew. A dispute broke out over who should pay Franco (Gibbons or Perada a Dutch merchant who arranged for the shipment of goods). On May 6, 1649, the Massachusetts General Court that Franco was to be expelled from the colony, but granted Franco “six shillings per week out of the Treasury for ten weeks, for sustenance, till he can get his passage to Holland”. The “sustenance allowance quickly ran out.

Jews found a home in New York (August 1654 drawing)

Jews found a home in New York (August 1654 drawing)

Five years later Solomon Pietersen, a merchant from Amsterdam, sailed into Boston. In 1656, Pietersen became the first known Americanized Jew to intermarry with a Christian. This action was deemed scandalous, being tantamount to “race mixing” that was illegal. Pietersen’s marriage to a Christian woman (referred even then to miscegenation, coming from the Latin miscere “to mix” + genus “kind”) is the mixing of different racial groups through marriage, cohabitation, sexual relations, and procreation.  The same bigotry that has been the lot of LGBT people by such biblical illiterates as Bob Vander Plaats of Iowa, Timothy Dolan of New York, Francis George of Chicago, Bryan Fischer, Ann Coulter and the ever-ignorant Benedict XVI (who declared he would resign as pope on February 28–an action that has not occurred since 1415 in the Middle Ages). 

Those who spew hatred against marginalized groups painfully mistranslated and misinterpreted the universal myth of Ham {Greek Χαμ, Kham ; Arabic: حام, Ḥām, “hot” or “burnt”} in reference to skin pigmentation: Black for Africans, “dark brown” for Jews and “Arabs” {the Semitic or Abrahamic people of Mesopotamia Africa}, and so forth; Genesis 9:20-27), “force” Ham’s later generations, according to some records, to formally convert to Christianity. To this end Black slaves in Virginia and other states demanded that their slaves go to Christian churches, and if they went with their white masters, to sit either on benches in balconies or in near-by cabins (some were allowed to sit at the back of the church if it did not have a full congregation).

There are no records showing Pietersen formally converted.  His daughter Anna, however, was baptized in childhood.  The action was one of the forced/enforced requirements of that day to stay in the colony.

Jacob Barsimson arrives at New Amsterdam (1654)

Jacob Barsimson arrives at New Amsterdam (1654)

The third Jew to arrive at New Amsterdam (lower Manhattan, where Wall Street is today) was Jacob Barsimson. Barsimson was born in Holland and worked for the Dutch East India Company. He was among the refugees who was aboard the Peartree on August 22, 1654, fleeing the Portuguese Inquisition when Portugal conquered Batavia (Jakarta).

Around this time 23 more Jews (four couples, two widows, and thirteen children) arrived as refugees from Brasil (that had been a Dutch colony before it was conquered by the Portuguese. The refugees’ spokesperson was Asser Levy, primarily because he represented the legendary priestly class of the ancient Hebrews. Levy argued for Jewish rights in the Dutch Colony of New Amsterdam. Levy won for the Jews basic civil rights including admission into the House of Burghers and was also granted the privilege of serving guard duty for the colony–something no non-Christian was allowed to do, so great was the colonists fear of angering their god of wrath. Levy’s victory was not without a fight.

The Christians of the local Dutch Reformed Church, led by local merchants, appealed to the colonial governor, Peter Stuyvesant, to have the Jews expelled, on the grounds, as Stuyvesant wrote to the Dutch West India Company (September 22, 1654), that the Jews practiced usury and were “deceitful trading with the Christians … [praying] that the deceitful race—such hateful enemies and blasphemers of the name of Christ—ne [be] not allowed to further infect and trouble this new colony to the detraction of your worships and the dissatisfaction of your worships’ most affectionate subjects”.

Peter Stuyvesant in New Amsterdam (New York)

Peter Stuyvesant in New Amsterdam (New York)

The Dutch West India Company declined because of several influential Jews in New Amsterdam who promised to provide “the poor among them shall not become a burden to the company or to the community, but be supported by their own nation”. To the consternation of “good Christians” in New Amsterdam, the Dutch West India Company went further:

We would have liked to effectuate and fulfill your wishes and request that the new territories should no more be allowed to be infected by people of the Jewish nation, for we foresee therefrom the same difficulties which you fear, but after having further weighed and considered the matter, we observe that this would be somewhat unreasonable and unfair, especially because of the considerable loss sustained by this nation, with others, in the taking of Brazil, as also because of the large amount of capital which they still have invested in the shares of this company. Therefore after many deliberations we have finally decided and resolved to apostille [annotate] upon a certain petition presented by said Portuguese Jews that these people may travel and trade to and in New Netherland and live and remain there, provided the poor among them shall not become a burden to the company or to the community, but be supported by their own nation. You will now govern yourself accordingly.”

After New Amsterdam fell to the British, in 1737, the General Assembly, of what was renamed New York, voted that no Jew was to be allowed to vote for members of that body.  Disenfranchised the Jews spent most of their time in business pursuits.

Few Jews moved beyond New York City. There were not sufficient Jews in Upstate New York to form a congregation until 1838, and there were no rabbis to serve until 1846.

There was no recognized Jewish community or congregation in Boston before 1840, and while an occasional Jew made it into Vermont and New Hampshire, there were no congregations until 1882. While there were a few Jews in Massachusetts, there was no significant record of any Jew or of any Jewish congregation before 1800. Even fewer lived in Maryland.

Covenant of Peace (first Jewish synagogue at Eaton, PA) 1839

Covenant of Peace (first Jewish synagogue at Eaton, PA) 1839

Pennsylvania had its first Jewish emigrant, Joseph Simon, in 1730, but there was no synagogue or cemetery for Jews until 1732 at Shaefferstown.  A synagogue was established at Easton in 1839, but its rabbi was not welcomed by any Christian pastor or congregant.

Pennsylvania was carved out for Quakers. While the Quakers were far more tolerant than any other Christian in Colonial America, they were to the far left of the Church of England that was too “popery”.  Quakers’ aversion to war, violence,  and argument made them as distrusted as were the animosities between chrestianos and christianos until the Emperor Constantine I created his crated “catholic [universal] church” in 325 CE (Eusebius, Vita Constantini 36-37, in Greek) by decree with no reference to Matthew 16:18.  There is no biblical proof that Jesus ever anointed a pope nor called for worship centers beyond an empty field (Matthew 18:20) or prayer in secret (Matthew 6:6).  There was never, to this day, a person in the USA who ever followed the teaching of Jesus, those who claim to be Christians are Paulinists, with Roman Catholics in the USA fleeing the teaching of Jesus more than any group.

Anti-Catholic American Patriot showing hatred for the Pope

 Roman Catholicism, having been suppressed in the past (Jenkins, Philip (1 April 2003). The New Anti-Catholicism: The Last Acceptable Prejudice. Oxford University Press. p. 23) throughout the seaboard colonies continued to be feared as being covert workers for a Catholic invasion and take-over orchestrated by the Pope in the Vatican.  

KKK armed to defend the USA from an invasion by Rome and its Catholic priests (19th century)

KKK armed to defend the USA from an invasion by Rome and its Catholic priests (19th century)

Americans, both colonialists and those who came with and after the Revolution, continued to arm themselves against alleged invasion of Roman Catholic Spaniards from Florida, Mexico, Cuba, and other Latin American nations.  Fear of Roman Catholics further spurred the KKK to arm themselves, seek out Roman Catholics and execute them. They were supported by legislators and laws in such hate-filled states as Nebraska, Iowa, Illinois, Missouri, Minnesota, Georgia, Texas and the rest of the southern tier. Governors, Congressional representatives and senators, and state legislatures from West Virginia to California, Texas to Minnesota turned a blind eye to the carnage of many Christians who declared, like Billy Graham, Richard Land, G.Em Melchert and James Dobson, that Roman Catholics were not Christians.  The anger that rang from the roof tops of Nazareth Lutheran Church and College Hill Lutheran Church in Cedar Falls, Iowa, was matched in embittered denunciations by the cult of the Wisconsin Evangelical Synod, the Southern Baptist Convention and its Christ for the Nations ministry, buttressed by Pentecostal predators from Jimmy Bakker to Jimmy Swaggart, Scott Lively to James Dobson, with the support of born-again governors from Rick Perry (R-TX) and Scott Walker (R-WI).

Second Amendment to Constitution of the USA.

Second Amendment to Constitution of the USA.

Many of the most hate-filled people, from legislators in Iowa, Nebraska and the Dakotas, found solace only in the Second Amendment that they believed was their buttress for maintaining guns and other weapons, even though the Amendment said it was to sustain “a militia”.  The people have a right to “keep and bear arms” but for defense.  Previously arms had been housed in community arsenals at public expense. 

Irish Catholics, Jews and Blacks were considered equally evil by White "saved" Christians leadding to establishing the KKK.

Irish Catholics, Jews and Blacks were considered equally evil by White “saved” Christians leading to establishing the KKK.

Blacks and Irish Catholics were considered evil, worthless and expendable  in early USA history.  Irish and Black people were frequently drawn as being equal, with the Irish lampooned as being ape-like.

Cartoons and caricatures depicting the Pope as “the Great Whore” and priests as cutthroats and worse spread from broadsheets to newspapers and books. With the rise of the Khristian Knights of the [KKK] Klan, attacks on Roman Catholics increased along with the slaughter of Blacks and other minorities.

Even the otherwise well-read democrat and orator for human rights and civil liberties for all, Thomas Jefferson, wrote against Roman Catholicism. Jefferson argued: “History, I believe, furnishes no example of a priest-ridden people maintaining a free civil government,” (Letter to Alexander von Humboldt, December 6, 1813) and that “In every country and in every age, the priest has been hostile to liberty. He is always in alliance with the despot, abetting his abuses in return for protection to his own” (Letter to Horatio G. Spafford, March 17, 1814).

"American Patriot" Anti-Catholic articles attacking Pope and End Times theology

“American Patriot” Anti-Catholic articles attacking Pope and End Times theology

By the 1840s the nightmare fantasy fable of End of Times and the invention of a physical hell spawned by ancient Mesopotamian civilizations and plagiarized by most Abrahamic religions and people throughout the Middle East, was directly linked to the influx of Roman Catholics.  Roman Catholics were viewed as being more intent on damnation than on salvation even for the most avid Puritans.  More and more the papacy was labeled the Whore of Babylon (Dante, Inferno Canto 19, drawn from the ranting of John “of Patmos” (an island where those who were determined

In Inferno canto 19 Dante rebukes pope Nicholas III in the fourth bolgia

In Inferno canto 19 Dante rebukes pope Nicholas III in the fourth bolgia

to be insane were housed, with the writer of Revelation being consider “quite mad” even by his coreligionists who thought him suicidal or prone to murder) in Apocalypse 13 and 17:1-2.  Both the Apocalypse and other renderings of End Time theology were, plagiarized from old Babylonian tales and Akkadian folklore interwoven into Egyptian records. The verses in Apocalypse 13, 17:1-2 are closely identified with the tale found in the Babylonian Book of Daniel 5, 9:27). This  lead to the indiscriminate slaughter of Roman Catholics and the burning of their property 1840-1872 (Jimmy Akin (2001-03-01). “The History of Anti-Catholicism”. This Rock. Catholic Answers).  No newspaper, no periodical, no Christian minister raised his voice against this attack on civil rights and human liberties.

Benedict XVI (resigned papacy February 18, 2013)

Benedict XVI (resigned papacy February 18, 2013)

Today’s Roman Catholic Church in the USA. the religion most repressed in early America, is the most oppressive religion within the nation–and within the world.  The Roman Catholic Church continues to deny women the right of choice and the right to be priest–a role women held in the early communities and in the congregations set up by Apostles of Jesus of the New Testament.  The Roman Catholic Church, especially with the ascent of the two most hate-filled pontiffs in modern history, John Paul II and Benedict XVI, rejects basic human rights for various groups from non-Christians (there has been token efforts to dialogue with Buddhists and Jews, but nothing on the scale of John XXIII who reached out to everyone) to LGBT and other marginalized people.  The Roman Catholic Church under John Paul II and his rottweiler cardinal from Germany, Joseph Ratzinger, made a concerted but secretive effort to protect pedophile priests and prelates from Roger Mahoney (Los Angeles) and  Timothy Dolan (New York City read here and here and here)  intones, in the ”name of Jesus Christ”. The German Pope, Benedict XVI, is chief of those who are opposed to the Constitution of the USA’s proclamation of all people being equal and afforded equality before the law.  At the same time, the pontifex maximus continued protecting pedophile priests from the Jesuits in Alaska who sexually assaulted little girls and boys under the age of 12 in tribal villages and in remote areas to secular priests in the Oregon, Iowa, Texas and throughout the USA dioceses and abroad.

Ashlynn Conner, a little Irish American girl, bullied into suicide at age 10 in Illinois

Ashlynn Conner, a little Irish American girl, bullied into suicide at age 10 in Illinois

While Colonial charters and laws contained specific proscriptions against Roman Catholics by state constitutions, atheists are openly attacked in the same way and with an identical fury as the early Roman Catholics and Jews. Atheists, however, are attacked more frequently than either of the groups of oppressed people.  Students in USA schools and universities bullying are among the rising number of self-define “soldiers of Christ” who feel “called upon” to attack atheists.  These “soldiers of Christ” are sworn to rid the USA of atheists, either by murdering them in cold blood or by “encouraging those who doubt or deny god” to commit suicide by channeling their hate on Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and other means of social communication.  This vitriol is even more acute in the “soldiers of Christ” in attacking any LGBT who is either self-acknowledge and proud of himself or herself, regardless of age.  Even young children are singled out for torment that can lead to suicide, as was the case with ten-year-old Ashlynn Conner, to 15-year-old Jamie Hubley, and more.

The majority of the tormentors being parents, siblings, classmates, evangelical groups.  Most of the groups are certified hate organizations, such as Focus on the Family (Alabama), and Bob Vander Plaats’ The FAMiLY that leads the charge against women’s rights in Iowa.  Vander Plaats is sustained by the collective insanity by nine nightmare clinically insane Republican Representatives strangling democracy in the Iowa legislature (House File 153) who seek to enact legislation that would declare sperm, ova, zygote, and fetus a “person” and its “destruction” murder–a tactic used in many other states to deny women personal freedom. 

If this barbaric broadside would past, the Tea Party Republicans would many any woman who was raped stand trial for first degree murder).  This is especially true in carnivorous cults of the Wisconsin Evangelical Synod, Missouri Lutheran church, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (Mormons) and the Roman Catholic Church and the US Council of Roman Catholic Bishops (read here and here).  It is acceptable to abuse a child in any of these cults (my uncles sodomized me when I was younger than eight, and one was a minister in the Missouri Lutheran Church, and the other a student of theology, not yet ordained; when I complained first to my mother (who was convinced I had seduced my uncles) and to my pastor (who argued that I was the sinner), I gave up all interest and faith  in religion.

Charles Darwin on atheism

Charles Darwin on atheism

Atheists cannot hold public office in Arkansas (Article 19, Section 1), Maryland (Article 37), Mississippi (Article 14, Section 265), North Carolina (Article 6, Section 8), Pennsylvania (Article 1, Section 4, while the wording is tricky, the message that those who differ in their interpretation and belief in a god cannot be disqualified), South Carolina (Article 17, Section 4), Tennessee (Article 9, Section 2), Texas (Article 1, Section 4)—while the 14th Amendment, Section 6 technically makes it moot, the states that discriminate reject that amendment, and several contenders for the presidency of the USA have campaigned to have the Amendment overturned.

Atheism in San Diego, California (2013)

Atheism in San Diego, California (2013)

Atheists have only limited rights.  Atheists and those who do not attend churches, synagogues or private meeting houses (Quakers, Unitarian-Universalists, etc), are openly attacked from Virginia to California, Minnesota to Texas and throughout all other states.

A federal court in Indiana dismissed a claim that an Indiana law prohibiting secular celebrants from solemnizing marriages (Indiana code 31-11-6-1).  At the same time the Christian court allowed religious representatives to perform marriages in open violation the First Amendment and the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment of the Constitution of the USA.  The federal court in Indiana rejected a brief submitted by the Center for Inquiry in Center for Inquiry, Inc., et al. v Clerk, Marion Circuit Court, et al (read here, pdf).  It is an overt, court consciously calculated double standard extensively covered in numerous legal cases.

Humanist ads are not attack advertising.

Humanist ads are not attack advertising.

Humanists enjoy life. They seek out the better in themselves and other people. They do not attack. Humanists teach that all things are open to questioning and debate.

To silence debate is the mark of religion that offers no freedom to the individual. Debate silenced is nothing less than mental, and physical slavery.  Socrates was the thinker who best represented humanism: questioning everything, working to change that which could be changed, and accepting fate for what was in store by being a model citizen, an educated teacher, an analytic debater, and a good spouse who made sure all debts were paid

 Aesculapius, Greek God of Medicine and Healing with serpent (Wisdom) on staff, and cock (health and ease of death) on pedestal.

Aesculapius, Greek God of Medicine and Healing with serpent (Wisdom) on staff, and cock (health and ease of death) on pedestal.

It was recorded by Plato that Socrates said:Crito, we owe a rooster (in the original, the word is cock: a male gallinaceous bird: a chicken, turkey, grouse, pheasant, and partridge, grouse, etc., while a rooster is a domestic fowl: a male chicken with no superior powers.  The god of health was partial to cocks because of their curative powers and use in ritual worship) to Asclepius. Please, don’t forget to pay the debt.” Asclepius was the Greek god for curing illness, and for Socrates the greatest cure for illness is death.  ( Plato, Phaedo 115b-118a; cp. Waterfield,Robin (2009). Why Socrates Died: Dispelling the Myths. New York:W.W.Norton and Company).  Socrates was found guilty of corrupting the minds of the youth of Athens and of impiety (“not believing in the gods of the state”), cf. Plato. Apology, 24–27. 

Religion is like genitalia: don't show it off in public or shove it down your children's throat

Religion is like genitalia: don’t show it off in public or shove it down your children’s throat

Distrust in oneself and in those who admit/claim to be atheists is a prime reason for seasoned social ostracization of atheists and atheism. Several psychological studies show that results were consistent with the hypothesis that the relationship between belief in God and atheist distrust was fully mediated by the belief that people behave better if they feel that God is watching them: if you are not a believer you will suffer the pains and fires of hell. Other studies show atheists were systematically socially excluded only in high-trust domains; belief in God, but not authoritarianism, predicted this discriminatory decision-making against atheists in high trust domains (Gervais, Will M.; Shariff, Azim F.; Norenzayan, Ara (December 2011). “Do you believe in atheists? Distrust is central to anti-atheist prejudice”. doi: 10.1037/a0025882 Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Vol 101(6), 1189-1206).

Many people argue that atheists and nonbelievers are expressing hidden anger against a god that/who offended them or did not give them what they asked for (Exline, Julie J.; Park, Crystal L.; Smyth, Joshua M.; Carey, Michael P (January 2011). “Anger toward God: Social-cognitive predictors, prevalence, and links with adjustment to bereavement and cancer”. doi: 10.1037/a0021716 Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Vol 100(1), 129-148). This has been repeatedly been disproven, with research on why many elect atheism, being a study of 350 members of the American Association for the Advancement of Atheism.  Those who vouched that they had no belief in a god had a wide reading of history , science and religion (75 times) that grew throughout their lifetime; disgust with religious hypocrisy (60) as seen in the case of Ted Haggard, Jerry Falwell, Bishop Eddie Long

Bishop Eddie Long's boy friends

Bishop Eddie Long’s boy friends

(whose victims Bishop Eddie Long’s boy friends call him a “monster” as the bishop had no less than four boy-toys, while Long claims the charges are false and he was the victim); influence of particular author or book (55); a byproduct of Socialist materialism (30); effects of college education (25); effects of study of sciences (25); and others in lesser numbers. Less frequently emotional factors were mentioned, such as: illness and death in family, the horrors of war, the futility of prayer, the evils and unhappiness in the world, etc. 36% of the atheists were oldest children, while only 15% were youngest children; about 9% were only children (Vetter, G. B.; Green, M. (July 1932). “Personality and group factors in the making of atheists”. doi: 10.1037/h0075273 The Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology, Vol 27(2), 179-194).

Most people who reject god do so after intensive study of history, science, religion, and philosophy: atheists tend to be more educated and broadly versed than do theists (Teo, Thomas (2009), Editorial. doi: 10.1037/ a0017640 Journal of Theoretical and Philosophical Psychology, Vol 29(2), 61-62). Families do disassociate themselves from members who declare their rejection of any god(s) that the family may believe in and worship, but this is a sign of paternalism and the fear of the family unit not being carried on by future like-minded generations.

States that the deny atheists and agnostics basic human and civil rights

States that the deny atheists and agnostics basic human and civil rights

By 2013, there is only an abridged form of religious freedom with many states within the union, with many states disenfranchising or denying the right to serve in a public office if the individual does not recognize a god. Even the deity is questioned as it was in the past: Jesus has to be Caucasian white, the name of the creator has to be God (not Allah), and so forth.  The act of swearing an oath is said to have religious connotations as it affirms the existence of a deity and a person’s confession of the existence of a deity, but this has no biblical support. On the contrary, the Bible expressly forbids people to swear (Matthew 5:34, James 5:12), therefore to swear “So help me god” is actually biblically prohibited since it is a rejection of YHWH and Jesus and an affirmation of a pagan god.

A Christian pastor does not mean that it is a man or a woman in a suit pounding pulpits as if he or she was/is the Wrath of Moses.  A Christian preacher is not a man in a red dress covered with delicate lace sitting enthroned in a cathedral. 

Christianity from its beginning in 325 CE meant a dictatorship over a group of semi-thinking people.  We find this in the pontifications of John Paul II and Benedict XVI, the US Council of Roman Catholic Bishop and similar church councils around the world, as well as in the proclamations of various cults from those of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Pentecostal group, Ultra Orthodox Jews, and in the estranged world of mind control of Bob Vander Plaats’ The FAMiLY in Iowa, or James Dobson’s American Family Association in Alabama, or other certified hate groups.  The teachings of Jesus of the New Testament is not Constantine’s Christianity that details that select individuals have the right to deny other people personal rights, liberties or freedoms, and have the power to require others to believe or disbelieve as predator (priest, pastor, bishop, cardinal, pope, imam, ayatollah, rabbi, and so forth) demands.  That is slavery.

Various evangelical groups reject non-evangelical groups with their own interpretation of holy books and leaders. These groups ranged from chrestianos to christianos, concerning the warrior messiah of Matthew 10:34 to the prince of peace in Isaiah 9:6.  The two were joined by Constantine who controlled the ultimate canonization of scripture.  For this reason, it can truly be written, that Christianity is among the most barbaric of religions and has been since it was created by the Emperor Constantine I for religion (the Church) claims superiority over the state throughout history, even within the USA where politicians ranging from US Senators Charles Grassley (R-IA), to Jim Inhofe (R-OK) and former (now Governor) Sam Brownback (R-KS, converted to Roman Catholicism by Opus Dei priest Rev. John McCloskey’s guidance) all reject a wall separating state and church.

The Roman Emperor at the time of the assaults on Rome and the City of Constantine, Constantine I created an ecclesia (ἐκκλησίαa: public court, political assembly of citizens of an ancient Greek state [American Heritage Dictionary] who had the obligation to do business and bring wealth to the emperor) where only his interpretation of Paulinity would be held and upheld, and the actual teaching of Jesus would be watered down, and his private life ignored.  There was no placed in the early Church for a renegade man who never had a girl friend, who never married, who never took up arms to defend the empire, who allowed a man to rest his head upon Jesus’ chest, who was followed out of the garden by a nude youth, and most likely was gay, since Jewish society all males to marry and procreate–which Jesus never did–save in one Coptic fragment.  The problem with the ancient fragment is it is too late to consult with other similar fragments that have disintegrated with time or were consigned to the first of Constantine who was busy working on creating his own church.

Coptic fragment referring to Jesus wife (or partner?)

Coptic fragment referring to Jesus wife (or partner?)

The Pauline church was Constantine’s make-believe early “church” in opposition to the brothers of Jesus who saw the movement as a reformed Judaism.  Determined to be the sole arbiter of thought and expression, Constantine’s church would be a national unit that would allow Constantine absolute control over the empire’s faiths.

The Emperor Constantine I orders books burned including gospels considered equal to the synoptic gospels and letters he did not like 325 CE

The Emperor Constantine I orders books burned including gospels considered equal to the synoptic gospels and letters he did not like 325 CE

Constantine burned all books, scrolls, records, gospels, epistles that he did not approve–a common practice especially when it comes to religion and its denial of individual freedoms and human rights. Constantine’s church [business enterprise] was not known as Christianity after the theological coup. To ensure imperial control over the newly created church, Constantine ordered the works of Arius and other “heretics” were burned, in the manner of the Coptic pope in Egypt demanding that the famed library of Alexandria be destroyed.

Hypatia killed by Christians in Alexandria, Egypt on order of the Coptic Pope

Hypatia killed by Christians in Alexandria, Egypt on order of the Coptic Pope

It was under the clerical  Catholic cannibalism of the pseudo-Christian Coptic Pope Cyril that the famed astronomer, philosopher, mathematician, scientist, librarian and atheist Hypatia was torn apart by Coptic Christian monks who shredded her skin, tearing it off while she lived, and throwing her living body onto a pyre of burning scrolls and writings of ancient thinkers in all then-known fields of academic inquiry. The death of Hypatia was planned by the Coptic monks and set a signal for all bibliolators in the conservative Christian community to rise up against the ‘learned scholars’ of Alexandria, a center of knowledge throughout the ancient world and destroy all things that were not of, from, and within the Bible. It was the beginning of the Dark Ages in Egypt that spread like a fungus throughout Europe, turning off all lights that pierced the darkness of biblical literalism and enforced belief (George F. Simmons (1992). Calculus Gems: Brief Lives and Memorable Mathematics. New York, NY: MacGraw Hill; Maria Dzielska (1995). Hypatia of Alexandria, Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, (Revealing Antiquity, 8), p. xi, 157).

With the message of the mythical Paul cannibalizing Christianity, the law body (the actual meaning of the word in the early centuries, first to fourth, ecclesia, changed by the fifth century when courtiers transmogrified the true meaning of the word by attaching to it the incorrect translation and title of “the Church”) gave the world the grotesque Inquisition. The bloody Inquisition did not remain uniquely Roman Catholic.  It quickly was taken up by such “reformers” as Martin Luther, John Calvin, Henry VIII and his heirs, Scandinavian potentates, and the most vile representatives of man in Russia and captive provinces.  All based their “reformations” on spurious tracts that were current but did not reflect original documents designed to ensure peace or protect people. Few men, after the second century CE, realized that there never was a St. Peter, St. Paul, or Roman Popes (the first does not appear or is catalogued before the second century, not even in the first edition of the Catholic Encyclopedia, with some writers arguing that there were no bishops nor a pope in Rome before the end of the fourth century).

Luther, Martin: Von den Jüden und ihren lügen Wittemberg (1543)

Luther, Martin: Von den Jüden und ihren lügen Wittemberg (1543)

The protesting reformer, Martin Luther’s war against the Jews and his books (Von den Jüden und iren Lügen, 1543, that the German ex-Augustinian monk wrote: Conversion of the Jews will be the work of God alone operating from within, and not of man working — or rather playing — from without. If these offences be taken away, worse will follow. For they are thus given over by the wrath of God to reprobation, that they may become incorrigible, as Ecclesiastes says, for every one who is incorrigible is rendered worse rather than better by correction; cf. Oberman, Heiko. Luthers Werke. Erlangen 1854, 32:282, 298, in Grisar, Hartmann. Luther. St. Louis 1915, 4:286 and 5:406; cp. Luther, Martin. Vom Schem Hamphoras und vom Geschlecht Christi) that became the supporting arguments for Hitler’s extermination of the Jews.

These same arguments sprung up like weeds in the mincing of the madman Richard Land and the Southern Baptist Conventions to use them against the LGBT community.  Like slurry it has resurfaced among poorly trained Pentecostal preachers who are personally against Muslims, etc.  There is even the absurdity of the “reverend” Terry Jones of Florida who damns everything Islamic, like Fred Phelps and his cult the Westboro Baptist Church of Topeka, KS, that even his own granddaughters fled.

When a person is in another nation, the visitor must respect or at least obey the laws of that nation.  The visitor has no right to enforce on others his or her own views or theologies.  This happens too frequently as with the carnage called for by Scott Lively and his gaggle of evangelical goons,  flying to Africa to initiate genocide.  Scott Lively, Lou Engle, Caleb Lee Brundidge, and Don Schmierer met at the infamous C Street, Washington, DC “The Family” house that shelters US Senators Charles Grassley (R-IA), James Inhofe (R-OK), John Stennis (R-MS), Richard Lugar (R-IN), adulterers Mark Sanford (R-SC), John Ensign (R-NV) and numerous other dominionists, including Rev. Ted Haggard whose seduction and payment for homosexual prostitute to keep him “company” was forgiven “in the name of Jesus Christ”:  USA leaders who want to throw over democrcy in the USA and establish a theocracy where they would awaken a sleeping Jesus to take up sword for the New Apostolic Reformation and ride a stead from the clouds to Earth and launch an Apocalyptic war (Sharlet, Jeff (2010). C Street: The Fundamentalist Threat to American Democracy. New York: Little Brown; Sharlet, Jeff (2008).  The Family: The Secret Fundamentalism at the Heart of American Power. New York, NY: Harper Perennial). Grassley of Iowa is the least well known–but the most dangerous member of The Family who planned to put his grandson in the Iowa legislature but intends for the youth to take over the USA.

Lively, primarily, is sponsoring the death call to elevate his own desperation to be seen as a pivotal evangelist in the USA and is desperately deceiving members of Parliament in Nigeria and Uganda for personal gain and fame. 

Lively is funneling money into the pockets of Speakers of Parliament to launch an unholy war against minorities.  He has the support with the great racist Benedict XVI who publicly blessed Uganda Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga when she promised a “cleanings” of all LGBT from Uganda by December 25, 2012. Repeating the words of her hero, Adolf Hitler, Kadaga promised that a “final solution” would be Uganda Parliament’s Christmas present for “good Christians”.  

Roman Catholics of Uganda, led by the Roman Catholic episcopacy: its bishops and clergy (most who are admitted pedophiles) demanded the legislation to pass quickly so that they could help the nation murder all LGBT who threatened the children of the nation.  Ugandan Roman Catholics and Anglicans also demanded the slaughter of all Jews and others who do not agree with them, claiming that they had the support of Benedict XVI.  Most were furious when they learned that their beloved pope was already named as a subject for trial for crimes against humanity.   They protested when “liberal” factions claimed that no  evangelist has a right to enter any nation and “convert” others to their insanity, and that a holy war must break out between Christians of Uganda and Muslims in Uganda.

George Carlin on god

George Carlin on god

What maintains religious officiates is the absurdity of tithing. The “tithe” was an ancient law to appease a jealous king who was also considered a god (Genesis 14:20) and came from the “spoils” [theft] of wars. Tithing became a special bribe mortals made to kings/gods (Genesis 28:20-22) and became a part of “the Laws of Moses”.  The Ten Commandments, of which there are three distinct sets in Exodus, were plagiarized from the Code of Hammurabi and other ancient Middle Eastern texts with the arrival of the Egyptian mercenaries known as Apiru (prototypes of the Hebrews) who served in the Akkadian army (Leviticus 27:30-32). The Apiru leaders declared that tithes would be the main support of temple priests (reclassified as Levites in Numbers 18:20-32) whose primary duty after appeasing a cannibal god was to guard the warriors’ wealth (Nehemiah 13:4-12).

There is nothing spiritual about tithing, as throughout the Middle East it was extortion money paid to the most unscrupulous elements of society. TIPS, however, were medieval in origin and meant To Insure Prompt Service that were given out by lords and clergy to get immediate service–it was never a wage paid at the end of a meal, nor required, but, like in the bible, was a bribe.  Only through TIPS and bribes can there be freedom of religion for the few who conform the most to the dictates of the wealthy and those in power.

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Filed under atheism, Bible, Bullying, Christian Terrorists, Church history, History of USA, Jewish history, Ku Klux Klan, Martin Luther, Old Testament, Robert Vander Plaats, separation of church and state, suicide, Torah

Alveda King: allusions, illusions and ego-enhancement and attack on civil and human rights

Alveda King

Alveda Celeste King, the niece of civil rights icon Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and daughter of the late civil rights activist Rev. A. D. William King, Sr. (the younger brother of Martin Luther King) and his wife Naomi Barber King, falsely claims to be a minister: neither ordained nor anointed, and not within her father’s church.  She has none of the charity required by the Jesus of the New Testament as detailed in his sermon on the mountain (Matthew 5-7) and is opposed to affirmative action and assistance for Black people (and people of other races, too), single parents, and individuals with AIDS

Alveda King calls herself a Christian, but she has never met, studied, or introduced in her self-glorifying speeches and harangues against women seeking the right of choice, the LGBT community protesting for basic civil and human rights, or fathers wanting equal rights in a single statement that the Jesus of the New Testament is recorded to have said (Rollan McCleary (2004). A Special Illumination: Authority, Inspiration and Heresy in Gay Spirituality, Queensland, Australia: David Brown Book Co.; London, UK and Oakville, CT : Equinox Publishers.).  If Jesus would have stood before her, Alveda would stone him as he never had a girl friend, he never married, he never had children, he never condemned LGBT person but said to everyone that they were to love one another (John 13:34-35).

Alveda King, unlike the Jewish Jesus of the New Testament (long before the Emperor Constantine catalytically changed the rabbi’s message opening salvation to everyone into a myopic minister mincing for the tranquility of a tarnished Empire), lies each moment she breathes a word in favor of her pet projects.  The young Miss King was known to be headstrong and demanding with her parents, and her father took to drinking to drown his depression. 

Alfred Daniel Williams King (1930 – 1969)

One day, early in her life, Alveda’s father was found dead in his swimming pool that was strange by all accounts as the Reverend   A. D. [Alfred Daniel] William King was known to be a good swimmer (King, Martin Luther (1980). Daddy King: An Autobiography. New York, NY: Morrow, p. 192).  Some argued it was a suicide to escape the anguish he experienced with his daughter, Alveda who had none of his idealism, none of his love for humanity, none of his energy to work for the good of all people–but preferred to strike out in her own interests for herself alone as seen in her serial marriages and private life.

While Alveda promotes the alleged sanctity of marriage, Ms. King seldom practiced what she preached about matrimonial stability, fidelity, and loyalty, as Alveda King was married (once because of date-rape) and divorced three times, giving birth to six living children.  One can comment, as many have before me, that Alveda King, who claims that marriage is a sacred institution as defined  by her god, certainly was not redefining marriage, just exercising her right to it, over and over and over again.  Alveda’s hypocrisy is appalling, and a sign of the mental malaise of narcissistic personality disorder (Naso, Ronald C. (2007). “Beneath the mask: Hypocrisy and the pathology of shame”. doi: 10.1037/0736-9735.24.1.113.  Psychoanalytic Psychology, Vol 24(1), January 2007, 113-125; the mental illness of Alveda King can be illustrated by two points relevant to her own hypocrisy: (a) misperceive one’s behavior as moral and (b) avoid comparing one’s behavior with moral standards: cf. Batson, C. Daniel; Thompson, Elizabeth R.; Seuferling, Greg; Whitney, Heather; Strongman, Jon A. (1999). “Moral hypocrisy: Appearing moral to oneself without being so”. doi: 10.1037/0022-3514.77.3.525. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Vol 77(3), Sep 1999, 525-537; cp. Stone, Jeff; Wiegand, Andrew W.; Cooper, Joel; Aronson, Elliot (1997). “When exemplification fails: Hypocrisy and the motive for self-integrity”. doi: 10.1037/0022-3514.72.1.54. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Vol 72(1), January 1997, 54-65).

Martin Luther King Jr, with Father & Son (Photo by Richard Avedon 1963)

Alveda King had two abortions.  She tried to have a third.  The third quest was met with rebuff as neither her father nor grandfather would pay for it. There were far cheaper forms of birth control, she was told.

Alveda King has moderate literacy but a paucity of understanding the nuances of what she says and shows no mature patterns of reading or relating what is read to her life as she lives it.  She studied journalism and sociology as an undergraduate but left no mark of distinction behind.  Alveda received a Master of Arts degree (not an MBA) in business management from Central Michigan University.  She did not earn a doctoral degree.  Her doctorate is honorary and it is not in theology, bible, or any basic science that she now pretends to possess.  She has no credentials in ministry, theology, bible study, or biblical languages.  She took the honorary doctorate from Saint Anselm College (a Benedictine Roman Catholic school in Manchester, New Hampshire, which has no established criteria in awarding any honorary degree, but has higher standards for undergraduate admission requiring students to be in the upper 23% of their graduating class, and offers 57.7% of its classes with a class size of 20 or less students to facilitate greater teacher-student contact ratio; The average freshman retention rate, an indicator of student satisfaction, is 84.8 percent. Cost is over $33,000 a year, although scholarship of up to $18,000 are available).  Alveda explained her own surprise at being given the degree and told Salon that she may have received it do to “my stand on the support of marriage, and family, and education, and life” (Denvir, Daniel (August 27, 2010). “Meet MLK’s Glenn Beck-loving niece”. Salon). 

Robert F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King, Jr. , June 22, 1963

Her public work consisted of two terms in the Georgia legislature.  She was not responsible for any significant piece of legislation. While she brags that she is for the family and education, her political record has zero bills introduced by the legislator who took no official party label.  Representing the 28th district (see page 2051) her main accomplishment is she accepted a salary.  Today Alveda is a Tea-Party Republican and wrongfully claims that her uncle, Dr. Martin Luther King, was a Republican even though Martin Luther King worked tirelessly against Goldwater and other Republicans throughout his lifetime.  She is on talk shows and working with “Priests for Life” (with no criticism for pedophiles in the priesthood) but exerts no effort in support for the family, marriage, or education. 

Eddie Murphy (actor)

After two disastrous terms in the Georgia legislature, Alveda King left the to write, without stellar success, The Arab Heart. When Eddie Murphy made a movie that she claimed followed her unsold manuscript, Alveda denounced Paramount Pictures claiming that the film industry stole her story.  She sued. The case was given the number 20 F.3d 454: Alveda King Beal, Plaintiff-appellant, v. Paramount Pictures Corporation, et al., Defendants-appellees. 

Ms. King’s claim was thrown out of lower courts.  Their decision was upheld by the United States Court of Appeals, Eleventh Circuit. – 20 F.3d 454, that wrote that the script used by Eddie Murphy had little resemblance to the story written by King.

Ever since Alveda King lost her court case over a unpublishable and unpublished book/script she has been on a roller coaster ride of unleashed and irrational hatred. She is like an Old Testament prophet: outraged, boisterous, damning others and calling for the deaths of those who disagreed with them.

Coretta Scott King

Her aunt, Coretta Scott King, was her apotheosis, especially when Coretta Scott King, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s wife and Alveda’s aunt, said before she passed away in 2006, “I believe all Americans who believe in freedom, tolerance and human rights have a responsibility to oppose bigotry and prejudice based on sexual orientation.” Apparently that was lost on Alveda King, who has done nothing to preserve the true memory of her uncle; rather, she has continued to molest, tarnish and chip away at his memory throughout her lifetime.

Coretta Scott King supported all civil and human rights

After Coretta Scott King came out in support for human rights and LGBT civil liberties in 2004 (read here and watch here), Alveda’s vitriol hit a new high. In 1994, Alveda released a letter condemning Coretta Scott King’s support for abortion and gay and all other human rights, pontificating like any Old Testament Prophet poisoning minds and badgering families or any medieval pope, that such action in support of human rights would bring “curses on your house and your people … cursing, vexation, rebuke in all that you put your hand to, sickness will come to you and your house, your bloodline will be cut off.”

Herndon Davis (L) interviews civil rights activist, Lynn Cothren (R)

Alveda King quickly attacked Lynn Cothren, Coretta Scott King’s openly gay special assistant of 23 years.  Alveda King’s homophobia and lack of quality or significant knowledge about AIDS illustrating an odious irrational mental illness by itself that made her dangerous to those she came in contact with (cf. McGuire, John; Nieri, Deborah; Abbott, David; Sheridan, Kathleen; Fisher, Randy (1995). “Do Tarasoff principles apply in AIDS-related psychotherapy? Ethical decision-making and the role of therapist homophobia and perceived client dangerousness”. doi: 10.1037/0735-7028.26.6.608. Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, Vol 26(6), December 1995, 608-611. Cp. Trezza, Glenn R. (1994). “HIV knowledge and stigmatization of persons with AIDS: Implications for the development of HIV education for young adults”. doi: 10.1037/0735-7028.25.2.141. Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, Vol 25(2), May 1994, 141-148), Cothren recalled Alveda’s vocal opposition to a hospice for AIDS patients in her neighborhood and her rejection of any AIDS sufferer–male or female, heterosexual or homosexual (cf. Morrison, Constance F. (1989). “AIDS: Ethical implications for psychological intervention”. doi: 10.1037/0735-7028.20.3.166. Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, Vol 20(3), Jun 1989, 166-171). Once, says Cothren, Alveda brought religious tracts to the King Center and encouraged him to repent (ref. Slater, Barbara R. (1988). “Essential issues in working with lesbian and gay male youths”. doi: 10.1037/0735-7028.19.2.226. Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, Vol 19(2), Apr 1988, 226-235), but Coretta Scott King dealt with her niece firmly and the separation occurred and it was permanent.  From that time on, Alveda has worked to make a name for herself and to cast aspersions on her aunt who died in 2006.

Glorifying herself with narcissistic servile adulation, Alveda King arrogantly boasted: “I’ve got his DNA [this claim has never been proven]. She [Coretta Scott King] doesn’t, she didn’t … Therefore[,] I know something about him [this is one more god-complex King uses to diminish her own sense of worthlessness] in quest of crowd or group concurring with the boast (cp. Martin, Everett Dean (1920). “The egoism of the crowd-mind,” (pp. 73-91) in The behavior of crowds: A psychological study, (pp. 73-91). New York, NY, US: MacMillan Co, iii, 312 pp). I’m made out of the same stuff (illustrating a manifestation of neediness envy and the malignant potential of envy; cf. Shoshani, Michael; Shoshani, Batya; Kella, Rachel; Becker, Mitchel (2011).  “Green eyes, crows, and scorpions: Envy in the contexts of neediness, separateness, and narcissism”. doi: 10.1037/a0024679. Psychoanalytic Psychology, July 25 , 2011; when a person feels as if they are supplanted by a superior person or fears that there is another individual who receives more recognition, as with Coretta Scott King, the individual, such as Alveda King, reverts to pathological narcissism; cp. Paris, Joel (2012). “Modernity and Narcissistic Personality Disorder”. doi: 10.1037/a0028580. Personality Disorders: Theory, Research, and Treatment, July 16 , 2012).”  Alveda does not understand, or chooses to ignore, that each person has a unique DNA (Deoxyribonucleic acid that contains genetic instructions of cellular composition but it is not absolute as a determiner, and there is no record of Alveda having her DNA compared with her uncle Dr. Martin Luther King or any uncle nor even her grandfather); all a DNA sampling can do is confirm similarity and paternity.

Julian Bond Attacks NOM, Tells AC360 Gay Rights Are Civil Rights

Civil rights activists uniformly reject the protestations and pretenses of Alveda, denouncing her as ruining the legacy of Martin Luther King that she repeatedly demonstrated a lack of familiarity with and view her as a fraud (recollection and familiarity are not the same; performance is more parsimoniously accounted for by a single mnemonic process that drives both recollection and familiarity estimates, and Alveda King shows little familiarity with the Civil Rights movement; cf. Pratte, Michael S.; Rouder, Jeffrey N. (2012). “Assessing the dissociability of recollection and familiarity in recognition memory”. doi: 10.1037/a0028144. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, Vol 38(6), Nov 2012, 1591-1607). David Garrow, a civil rights movement historian at the University of Cambridge has noted that Dr. Martin Luther King was a strong supporter of Planned Parenthood, and that Bayard Rustin, one of the five closest advisors to Dr. King was openly gay—which Dr. Martin Luther King did not denounce.  Julian Bond, President Emeritus of the NAACP, called on all people of Maryland to support same-sex marriage as a basic civil right. 

Alveda King supports war as biblically based: Kill Team Photos Showcasing War Crimes of US Soldiers in Afghanistan …

Alveda supports wars, especially in Afghanistan and Iraq. Claiming “conflicts and tensions, war and murders,” are Biblically based, Alveda says there will always be “wars and rumors of wars [quoting out of context Matthew 24:6]” but in doing so justifies the wars that maim, kill, plunder, pollute and are psychologically harmful (cf. Phipps, Sean (2011). “Positive psychology and war: An oxymoron”. doi: 10.1037/a0024933. American Psychologist, Vol 66(7), Oct 2011, 641-642). People will fight with words as well as guns proving their alleged humanity, but only in their own mind as a form of justification for dangerous and destruction of the self and mental health.  Her comments that made her a favorite of Glenn Beck. 

Alveda King support torture as biblical will of God

What psychologists have learned is if religion increases moral certainty about the justness of a war, then it may also contribute to support for violent warfare, rape, pillage and destruction that, in the end, will cause increased mental illness, collective insanity, and excuses for torture and unspeakable crimes leading to methodologically induced suicides. 

Suicide Rivals The Battlefield In Toll On U.S. Military; Alveda King and Tea Party Republicans claim it is in God’s plan

The rate of suicides among military have skyrocketed with soldiers using weapons engraved or emblazoned with Biblical verses. As Shaw, et al. point out greater religiosity relates to greater moral certainty, and greater moral certainty strengthens the (positive) relation between religiosity and support for violent warfare. Furthermore, moral certainty is a stronger predictor of support for violent warfare in religious conflict than it is in geopolitical conflict and those with the least mental strength but robustness of voice and vocabulary are heralded as spokespeople for divine wrath, as with Alveda King and Glenn Beck (cf. Shaw, Moira; Quezada, Stephanie A.; Zárate, Michael A. (2011). “Violence with a conscience: Religiosity and moral certainty as predictors of support for violent warfare”. doi: 10.1037/ a0025346. Psychology of Violence, Vol 1(4), Oct 2011, 275-286; cp. Crowson, H. Michael (2009). “Right-wing authoritarianism and social dominance orientation: As mediators of worldview beliefs on attitudes related to the war on terror”. doi: 10.1027/1864-9335.40.2.93. Social Psychology,

Suicides by military branch

Vol 40(2), Jun 2009, 93-103).  The stronger the group identity is focused on a holy war (common among jihadists in Afghanistan and the Middle East and evangelical extremists in the USA) the stronger will be the outcry for greater atrocities and war strategies, as advocated by Alveda King and Glenn Beck (cf. Eidelson, Roy J. (2009). “An individual-group belief framework: Predicting life satisfaction, group identification, and support for the “ war on terror”. doi: 10.1080/10781910802435572. Peace and Conflict: Journal of Peace Psychology, Vol 15(1), Jan 2009, 1-26).  Ted Cruz of Texas is the most dangerous man in the USA and is expected to win a Senate seat as a representative of the Tea Party and pro-life/pro-war groups in 2012, with plans to escalate the conflict in the Middle East to bring about his god’s Armageddon and force the god of Matthew 10:34 to ride out of the heavens and bring carnage to the earth to free believers from unbelievers.

Alveda King has verbally attacked everything that her illustrious uncle, Dr. Martin Luther King, preached and practiced.  She has claimed that people who support same-sex marriage equality will go to hell—but there is no such condemnation in the Bible, as the word “homosexual” does not even appear in the Bible before 1954. The concept has a long history used to control thinking and actions; it is a mythology that restricts movements and causes mental collapse so that the individuals declaring its existence stay in power (cf. Bering, Jesse M. (2008). “Why Hell is other people: Distinctively human psychological suffering”. doi: 10.1037/1089-2680.12.1.1. Review of General Psychology, Vol 12(1), Mar 2008, 1-8) .  Hell does not exist on any fragment or scroll in early language: Aramaic, Armenian, Greek, Hebrew, or even Latin save as a dark place (Sheol: Hebrew שְׁאוֹל Šʾôl thattranslates as “grave”, “pit”, “abode/home of the dead” and is defined as the place where everyone, good and bad, righteous and unrighteous will go when each person dies (890 – 300 BCE); some thought that there would be a time when the dead would rise up as “the undead” [zombies] but that does not appear in the Christian Bible until Matthew 27:52-53).  Since Hell is “downward” and dark it is cold and uninviting, while “Heaven” is “upward” and filled with light and warmth, the two conflicting mental attainments lead or coerce people into doing what the authoritarian figure(s: priest, rabbis/teachers, rulers, etc.) determine to be worthy of light and recognition.  The opposite is to be rejected since it determines only obscurity and lack of acceptance (cf. Meier, Brian P.; Hauser, David J.; Robinson, Michael D.; Friesen, Chris Kelland; Schjeldahl, Katie (2007). “What’s “up” with God? Vertical space as a representation of the divine”. doi: 10.1037/0022-3514.93.5.699. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Vol 93(5), Nov 2007, 699-710).  Hell (Gehenna [Greek γέεννα], Gehinnom [Rabbinical Hebrew: גהנום/גהנם] a physical valley) does not appear in any of the early Bibles written by Eusebius under orders from the Emperor Constantine I who commissioned the first fifty Bibles.  For Alveda to blast people with these repulsive terms out of context of any ancient language but relying on fourteenth century mistranslations and erroneous interpretations fashions the niece of Dr. Martin Luther King into an intellectual charlatan and fraud.  Alveda King’s language ability is not even sophomoric or soundly based on competent English but rather a gutter-approach to street English.

King has shown no knowledge at any level about the Bible, as demonstrated in her attendance to Glenn Beck’s pathetic parade of pandering people at his Washington DC Restoring Honor rally. Alveda forgot to read Matthew 6:6: σὺ δὲ ὅταν προσεύχῃ εἴσελθε εἰς τὸ ταμεῖόν σου καὶ κλείσας τὴν θύραν σου πρόσευξαι τῷ πατρί σου τῷ ἐν τῷ κρυπτῷ καὶ ὁ πατήρ σου ὁ βλέπων ἐν τῷ κρυπτῷ ἀποδώσει σοι, Mark 4:36: καὶ ἀφέντες τὸν ὄχλον παραλαμβάνουσιν αὐτὸν ὡς ἦν ἐν τῷ πλοίῳ, καὶ ἄλλα πλοῖα ἦν μετ’ αὐτοῦ, and Matthew 18:20: οὗ γὰρ εἰσιν δύο ἢ τρεῖς συνηγμένοι εἰς τὸ ἐμὸν ὄνομα, ἐκεῖ εἰμι ἐν μέσῳ αὐτῶν; that was no longer a part of Glenn Beck’s religion of choice at that time when Glenn Beck chose an alternate route to truth. 

30,000 at Reliant Stadium in Houston, TX 2012

The majority of those who claim to be Christians (following Imperial laws decreed at the Council of Nicaea) reject those teachings of Jesus in their large assemblies.  This draconian deed dominated Rick Perry’s Day of Prayer in Houston (known as “The Response” that had the markings of a political campaign) that had the same trappings as Jim Jones’ Jonestown, Guyana,

November 19, 1978, Jamestown Massacre for Christ and Rev. Jim Jones

Massacreon November 18, 1978 (one-third of the victims were children as young as new born and others in infancy).  Parents murdered their own children.  Many adults committed suicide as commanded by their reverend Jim Jones, before  Jones was shot on his order by one of his subordinates who was told to obey God–as Jones had become god to most and his orders were never questioned (the Guyanese coroner Cyrill Mootoo claimed it was a self-inflicted gunshot wound; Reiterman, Tim and Jacobs, John (1981). Raven: The Untold Story of Rev. Jim Jones and His People. New York, NY: Dutton,  p. 565)–in a way that Alveda King fashions herself to be a god even within the narrow confines of the Priests for Life of the Roman Catholic Church.  There is no difference in the speeches of Jim Jones or other demigods than is found in the oratory and harangue of Alveda King when she speaks to Blacks–as Jones spoke to  hundreds of Black families who came to experience his heaven on earth.

Martin Luther King, Jr. “I Have A Dream” speech 1963.

It is true that Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. used the Lincoln Memorial as a backdrop for his August 28, 1963, “I Have A Dream” speech (watch it here and here), but it was not an attack upon the rights of people to adequate housing, quality education, or the right to be themselves (the term same-sex and homosexual were not yet in common use, but would be integrated by Julian Bond who would become the leader and President of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) with King’s assassination, and in 2012 say “gay rights are civil rights” read here and here and here) as transmogrified in the war of words by Alveda King and former Roman Catholic (now a convert to the LDS Church) modern-day Sisyphus Glenn Beck, who like Alveda King has little practice following Acts 10:34.

1909 Lincoln Evening News: “No law against woman marrying another woman”

Alveda blasts those who would follow the teaching of the Jesus of the New Testament who forbade judgment against others (Matthew 7:1) in her declaration “Your safety of your very soul is dependent upon not supporting marriage for loving same-sex couples, who already have enough rights”, in this ad she recorded for the anti-gay Maryland Marriage Alliance (click on the underscored link above to hear the verbal screed that is printed below):

Voting on discrimination (2012)

“Hello, I’m Dr. [sic (people with honorary degrees do not use the honorary title)] Alveda King, the niece of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. I understand the civil rights struggle [she was never personally involved in any civil rights struggle, although the home she lived in was fire-bombed in 1963, when she was 12]. During the Civil Rights Movement, we were working for access to education, to decent housing, jobs, and healthcare [there is no record, no photograph, and no other evidence of her participating in any march, any protest, or any other movement for civil rights for any person or people]. As a minister [she is not: she has never been to a seminary, never studied hermeneutics or biblical exegesis nor even textual criticism; Alveda is a “ pastoral associate of African-America outreach for Priests for Life, (her self-written biography styles her a “best-selling author” and jailed for protesting for open housing, although there is no civil record of her arrest; it also claims that Alveda is pushing for Bible curriculum in public schools, and lists herself as accomplished actress and songwriter)” a Roman Catholic anti-choice group, King styles herself a Baptist], I believe that the NAACP leadership and gay rights activists have formed an unholy alliance by trying to convince you and me that marriage should be redefined. We did not define marriage and we cannot redefine marriage. Marriage, by definition, is a holy union [that is not found anywhere in the Bible] between one man and one woman [Alveda ignores the polygamy of all patriarchs, and the incest within families (II Samuel 13:1-22) as with King David’s sons]. Gay and lesbian couples already have rights under Maryland law, like priority hospital visitation, sharing property, tax exemption, adoption, and the list goes on. It’s possible to be tolerant of gay and lesbian rights without redefine [sic: redefining] marriage—God’s holy union. Some preachers are saying that gay marriage is inevitable and that they want to be on the right side of history. Well I believe that we are on the right side of history and the right side of eternity. Support marriage as God’s holy union between one man and one woman—vote against Question Six.” 

Harry Jackson of Maryland

The greatest threats are those ministers like “bishop” Harry Jackson of Maryland, that the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) paid no less than $20,000 for their support in their crusade to deny freedom of choice. Like most Pentecostal pastors Jackson will doing anything for money, preying that he is endowed with the wealth his god intended him to possess.

The right side of eternity? Alveda is God? God is political? Wow.

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Filed under abortion, Bible, Black Americans, Christian Terrorists, Homosexuality, Jesus Christ, Jewish history, Republican Party, suicide

When religion triumphs over reason, faith, psychology, investigation, and research, learning dies

Calvin burns Servetus

Religion is a destructive and totally negative force in life as defined by all official “Church Fathers”, Protestant leaders, and emerging Muslim clerics.  John Calvin wrote: “We cannot think of ourselves as we ought to think without utterly despising everything that may be supposed an excellence in us.  This humility is unfeigned submission of a mind overwhelmed with a weighty sense of its own misery and poverty; for such is the uniform description of it in the word of God [i.e. the Bible]. (Johannes Calvin, Institutes of the Christian Religion (Philadelphia, PA: Presbyterian Board of Christian Education, 1928), p. 681.)

Lake of Fire adopted from Arabian mythology into Constantine’s Christianity (c. 335 CE)

The Calvinist faith, like the all Protestant religions, birthed in the sixteenth century, was a revision of the hell-fire and brimstone theology of the Roman Catholic Church that was dragged into the world 1200 years earlier.  The scattered closed communities of the followers of the Jesus captured in the numerous gospels–before they were decreed and canonized as four–had no need of anger or debasement.  With Constantine I at Nicaea, everything changed for the worse with horror and fear replacing peace and hope.

Threats of torments (200 BCE – 285 CE) a part of most world religions as pictured in this mosaic

Everything was bad in this world, and in this environment that mortals lived, people were plagued with temptations and anger.  All they could do was waiting impatiently for a better world (a “world to come” (עולם הבא) a term or phrase that appears nowhere in the Hebrew Bible)–promised, but one that never would come (Matthew 12:32, Hebrews 2:5, both written more than one generation after the Jesus of the New Testament had, according to various gospels, died).  Antecedents stem from older hieroglyphic writing and cuneiform inscription and are directed toward marginalized people as well as individuals who are seen as “opposing the will of god” or “defying the ruler” who usually was the same authority figure.

Acts of faith? Self-flagellation before crucifixion in The Philippines (2012 CE)

It was the impact of thinking of perdition, rejection, and self-abasement that made people willing to die in the folly of religious wars and suffer various forms of martyrdom in body and spirit as well as mind from enduring church-sanctioned torture of the Inquisition to self-flagellation and crucifixion—giving over to the terrorist tactics of ecclesiastical eunuchs preying for misery who determined rubrics of ritual and righteousness. With this hortatory hounding by the dogs of faith, the psychology of man was cannibalized carnivorously.  The strength of good intention was left circumspect for others to glean fruit from with ritualistic rapiers and capture and mutilate the essence of the original thinker.

John Calvin (Tyrant of Geneva)

John Calvin (French: Jean Calvin, born Jehan Cauvin: 10 July 1509 – 27 May 1564), being trained as a humanist lawyer found his faith uncertain.  Wide fluctuations in the faith gave little stability to a man whose mind was fixated on absolutes.  He broke from the Roman Catholic Church in 1530, and causing an uprising by denouncing the religion of his parents, fled to Switzerland where he attempted to set up a Kingdom of God—a belief that many shared hoping that the Jesus of the New Testament would return to the water planet Earth with a sword to kill unbelievers (Matthew 10:34).

Michael Servetus (drawing c. 1509-1511)

To this end, Calvin, when he took over the canton of Geneva, agreed with the murder of Michael Servetus (also known as Miguel Servet, Miguel Serveto alias Revés, or Michel de Villeneuve and in Spanish as Miguel Serveto Conesa).   Servetus was born 29 September? 1509 or 1511 and was executed for questioning the existence of the Trinity, as he could not find Biblical evidence of this novel idea that originated in ancient Egypt, on 27 October 1553.  Servetus was an Aragonese cartographer, physician and theologian, but most damning to his contemporaries was that he was neither a loyal son of the Roman Catholic Church nor a believer in many of the pagan innovations within the Roman Catholic faith as he had become a Renaissance humanist who put mortals before mythology.  For this the Roman Catholic Church and all existing Protestant sects determined that he had to die.

Calvinist text used in Colonial New England schools

Vilifying Servetus was easy for Calvin who seldom had a kind word for anyone. Calvin was determined that he would be recognized as a priest of a god similar to the ones his parents had worshiped–but without the trappings of Rome and the papacy.  To accomplish this feat, Calvin revamped the concept of education, taking it backward in time, rejecting research and exploration, and identical to the Taliban (the singular is talib and must be translated as a theological student or a student at a religious Islamic school: طالبان .  Initially they were Afghans of Aghanistan–until 1993.  After 1993, the rigid Calvinistic-like religion of Muslim Taliban students of the Qur’an spilled over into Pakistan and spread like a noxious virus throughout the Muslim world with the primary purpose to keep the sexes separated–a goal of Calvin in his schools, and like Calvin stop the enjoyment of music, arts, and refined clothing).  Calvinists modified some of their austerity, but not the Taliban of the twentieth and twenty-first century who commanded that learning be based on and around and on the Qur’an as Calvin had demanded that his version of education be centered on the Protestant Bible and the articles of faith that he invented and wrote down to be printed.

Calvin’s adoption of faith was unique inasmuch as he was the center of that faith, although he always demurred before the godhead as the absolute sovereign.  His faith was monarchical without a shred of democracy anywhere–a prototype for evangelical extremists of today.  Calvin mused on his own “conversion”—giving two different accounts in conflict with one another.  Later in his life, John Calvin wrote two different accounts of his conversion that differ in significant ways. In the first account he portrays his conversion as a sudden change of mind, brought about by God. This account can be found in his Commentary on the Book of Psalms: “God by a sudden conversion subdued and brought my mind to a teachable frame, which was more hardened in such matters than might have been expected from one at my early period of life. Having thus received some taste and knowledge of true godliness, I was immediately inflamed with so intense a desire to make progress therein, that although I did not altogether leave off other studies, yet I pursued them with less ardour” (Calvin, J[ohn] J. Calvin, preface to Commentary on the Book of Psalms, trans. James Anderson, vol. 1 (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1948), pp. xl–xli).

In his second account he speaks of a long process of inner turmoil, followed by spiritual and psychological anguish.  He wrote: “Being exceedingly alarmed at the misery into which I had fallen, and much more at that which threatened me in view of eternal death, I, duty bound, made it my first business to betake myself to your way, condemning my past life, not without groans and tears. And now, O Lord, what remains to a wretch like me, but instead of defence [sic], earnestly to supplicate you not to judge that fearful abandonment of your Word according to its deserts, from which in your wondrous goodness you have at last delivered me” (Gordon, Bruce (2009).  Calvin. New Haven, CT; London, England: Yale University Press, p. 34.)  The difference between the accounts strongly suggests that the epiphany was over a period of years, as contended by Ganoczy, Alexandre (1966) in his book Le Jeune Calvin. Genèse et evolution de sa vocation réformatrice, Wiesbaden, Germany: F. Steiner, p. 302.  He argues that Calvin conversion took place over several years and that it was not a biographical or chronological event. Many factors played a role: economic, social, family, and personal desires both mental and physical.

Rejecting oneself as “each person is a sinner and evil” requires separating the genders to avoid temptation.

By despising the self as Calvin chortled, the mind impoverished itself by failing to strike out and learn that which was forbidden or prohibited by clerics thriving fat on the ignorance of their followers.  Religion became a new form of authoritarianism, and the gods of each ontology became the symbol of power and force that shadowed the denizens of despair and death of individuality.

Priests, bishops, and the pope or patriarch of Orthodoxy became the sacrosanct soothsayers for deities clouded in marble and painted on wood, with saints who had been ancient gods clustered around them in whittled or chiseled relief.  The Führer—the beloved “father of his people” since 374 BCE—became the temporal overlord and determined everything from whom had sex with who and at what time (with the overlord frequently claiming the “right of first night” (droit du seigneur or jus primae noctis is found only in the literature of the 13th to 16th century in Europe, but there are no written laws or statutes that exist today to prove its authenticity, and is sourced only to the epic of Gilgamesh in 1900 BCE) to know that the woman was a virgin before handing her over to a waiting bridegroom), what was eaten by whom, what hours were worked, what taxes were collected, and when belfry bells tolled tidings that thought was to be forsaken, the individual self was to merge into a sterilized community of like-thinkers, and all pawns and serfs would grovel their way to the churches supported by flying buttresses as if the arms of each were holding up the roof so that the unseen god could perch like a bird and listen to praises of his divine name since he was uncertain if mortals truly knew his magnificence and glory.

The gods of the past were never strong enough to protect themselves.  They required spiritual warriors who would pick up swords and later shoulder guns to fight in defense of the names that mortals gave the deities to assure that conformity was (frequently masqueraded as with the Moors of fifteenth century Spain) devotion.

Caravansarai, ca. first half of 8th century BCE. Drawing on a potsherd of Yahweh and the goddess Asherah and her consorts (she would ultimately marry Yahweh).

The young calf nursing at the teat of the great cow became the Yahweh of future generations, and the bastard son of a young girl would be sacrificed on a poll in imitation of the would-be slaughter of another youth who was tied to an altar to prove his devotion to a god (Genesis 22:1-12, where the Jews claimed the youth was Isaac; in Islam, it is Ishmael, the first born of Hagar: Qur’an XXXVII: 100-107; the story is found in many ancient Semitic cultures including early Babylonia and Minæn) all became beams holding up the decaying timber supporting air that was the heart of religions.  The gods in each tale were not omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent, nor unique. They were much like the great Arabian desert barbarian would punch his seven year-old bride in the chest for mirth and pleasure and laugh at her anguish and horror (Qur’an Sahih Muslim 4:2127).

Inbred into this are the false submission of matter or holy books over mind and the conduct of free inquiry that furthers the enslavement of the thought process behind a prison of contrived regulations and rules, commandments and pronouncements from pontiffs and pastors who demand uniform submission to the word of their particular god(s) (Erich Fromm (1941). Escape from Freedom. New York, NY: Farrer & Rinehart, p. 441 f).  The surrendering of personal prerogatives and rights to another is a sign of insecurity and masochism.  Self-renunciation was adopted by many as a means of pain, but by rejecting reality lead and continues to lead people into an unnatural world and a breakdown of human consciousness as pleasure and pain that are both motivators for the individual, like aging, agony and other normal experiences including death (that must be accepted as a part of living) leads to additional neurosis and further complicates adjustment to self and society (ref. Maudsley, Henry (1902), “Pain–life–death” in Life in mind & conduct: Studies of organic in human nature (pp. 394-435). London, Great Britain: Macmillan and Co. xv, 444 p).

John Wycliff (14th century) celebrated pain as surrender to god.

The antithesis of these mortal-created religions is humanism.  Humanism centers on the individual and the individual’s strength of mind, purpose, and being. A strict code or list of prohibitions of what can be read, studied, or done limits the individual and the individual’s growth toward personal self- actualization and contribution to society as a whole.  This idea was repugnant to Wycliffe (14th century translator of the Bible into English, and theologian), Calvin, Luther and other reformers, as well as the Roman Catholic and Greek Orthodox churches, repeating the actions of the ultra-orthodox Jews who argued that life was a testing ground to show the individual’s worthiness for eternal life and to win the favor and forgiveness of the “fearful Lord” who was supreme judge and one who would cast the non-repentant into Hell to experience eternal damnation.

Modern psychology sides with the early humanist movement, but goes further. The individual, alone, develops a sense of power of reason, first to understand the self, then to comprehend those people near and far.  Truth is realized as limited, both in understanding the limitations on the self as well as the potentialities of the self, and reaches out to others in solidarity and friendship.

With the hand extended forward, not raised up in salute to violence as used in ancient Rome, the Second and Third Reich, or to invoke the despicable image of a means of torture, be it pillar, pole, or cross, the mind realizes strength and does not recede into a learned sense of powerlessness and subjection. Virtue becomes self-realization and self-actualization, not groveling in obedience to the whim or will of another: parent, sibling, teacher, governor, religious leader or would-be god of a cult.

Faith is not a memorized or read from catechisms or other holy texts of a brand or branch of theology.  Faith is internal and separate from sectarianism and sadism. Instead, the certainty of one’s conviction based upon experience of thought and action by the body attuned with nature that is the divine brings enlightenment and knowledge of the self and the rights of others.

The epiphany that a person experiences when he or she discovers the inward self arrives with joy and renewed quest for additional knowledge, not labored under a whip and chain plied to the torn skin in a frenzy of self-flagellation as was the custom of Josemaria Escrivá de Balaguer who beat himself severely until his bathroom was anointed with his blood in a feigned sense of religiosity to purge his vile and venal thoughts of the flesh of young women in his quest to understand and create cult-practices in an elitist movement known as Opus Dei in the name of a false sanctity.  There are many priests, especially in Opus Dei, who justify, defend, and encourage physical mortification and abuse of the body, citing” “I pommel my body and subdue it” (1 Corinthians 9:27), but it is translated in Catholicism’s New American Bible as “I drive my body and train it” referencing to a spiritual, not physical, exercise.  It is the same with the Opus Dei credo that mistranslates other words of the legendary Saul of Tarsus: “I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I am filling up what is lacking in the afflictions of Christ on behalf of his body, which is the church” (Colossians 1:24). The Opus Dei affirmations (read here and here and here being a call to give up personal values, interests, growth, and identity: read here) gave rise to Dan Brown’s historically accurate (although, as far as I know, there are no albinos in the mummery at least at this time) book The DaVinci Code (Brown, Dan (2003). The DaVinci Code. New York, NY: Doubleday) that is a measured account of the secretive organization, and its practice of self-flagellation that even Pope John Paul II practiced regularly.  Mortification of the body through starving, thirsting, or flagellation serves no good and causes paranoid behavior.  Many times such paranoia arises, especially among older people, who see personal physical abuse as tantamount to being in a war zone: this time an eternal war between good and evil. Psychologists have studied post-traumatic stress disorders especially among those returning from war fronts that the sufferer equates as being in a near Armageddon situation, and finds it difficult to relate to the traditional family or a more conventional life-style. The perceived evils of the earth and people on the planet are seen as being near to devils, and only by mortification can the PTSD find release from presumed entrapment (ref. Roberts, William R.; Penk, W. E.; Gearing, M. L.; Robinowitz, R.; Dolan, M. P.; Patterson, E. T. (1982). “Interpersonal problems of Vietnam combat veterans with symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder.” doi. 10.1037/0021-843X.91.6.44. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, Vol 91(6), Dec 1982, 444-450).

Mortification and harm to the body is the sign of mental illness, and those who practice it out what they consider to be religious zeal, are excusing their masochism under the guise of religiosity.  Masochism is the surrender to a dominant authority, and when the authority is one in religion, the religion becomes a god by itself and the individual surrenders personal identity and individual growth.  Masochists seek to atone for transgressions by accepting abuse of any nature by anyone in a position of authority, especially in religion (ref. Inbar, Yoel; Pizarro, David A.; Gilovich, Thomas; Ariely, Dan (2012). “Moral Masochism: On the Connection Between Guilt and Self-Punishment.” doi: 10.1037/10029749. Emotion, September 17).  If the one being punished is attacked by the religious authority, the victim sees himself or herself as being a surrogate for the artificial Christ in Mel Gibson’s fantasy “The Passion of Christ” (ref. Hoffman, Thomas (2005). “Freud and Gibson: ‘A child is being beaten’ and the Passion of Christ”. doi: 10.1037/0736-9735.22.1.107. Psychoanalytic Psychology, Vol 22(1), 2005, 107-112).  Such actions, especially being the subject of abuse or mortification, frequently are surrogates for repressed sexual desires, and lead to unbalanced thinking and the rejection of self-actualization and give way to masochistic fantasies and frequently have masochistic-themed dreams (cf. Silverstein, Judith L. (1994). “Power and sexuality: Influence of early object relations.” doi: 10.1037/h0079513. Psychoanalytic Psychology, Vol 11(1), 33-46; cp. Bears, Michael; Cartwright, Rosalind; Mercer, Patricia (2000). “Masochistic dreams: A gender-related diathesis for depression revisited.” doi: 10.1023/A:10094800907418.  Dreaming, Vol 10(4), December, 211-219).

Giles Tremlett of The Guardian

Escrivá is a prime example of the Janus complex of faith, as detailed by British journalist Giles Tremlett, who wrote: “biographies of Escrivá have produced conflicting visions of the saint as either a loving, caring charismatic person or a mean-spirited, manipulative egoist” (Giles Tremlett, “Sainthood beckons for priest linked to Franco“, The Guardian (UK), 5 October 2002).  French historian Édouard de Blaye concurred with Tremlett’s analysis noting that Escrivá was a “mixture of mysticism and ambition” (Blaye, Edouard de. (1976), Franco and the Politics of Spain, Harmondsworth, England: Penguin Books, p. 262).  All

Escrivá with Pope John XXIII

biographers have noted that Escrivá labored to be a part of the world and exercise the strengths that he and his discipleship had, but remained torturously tied to Roman Catholicism that unleashed the schizophrenia in his mind, as Spanish architect Miguel Fisac, who was one of the earliest members of Opus Dei who remained close to Escrivá for nearly twenty years before breaking with him and Opus Dei, gave in his summation–a very different picture of Escrivá than what John Paul II wanted the public to read.

Miguel Fisac

Fisac painfully detailed the obscure mentality of what many considered to be a pious man who in secluded times and places and even at times in public was a vain, secretive, and ambitious man, given to private displays of violent temper.  Fisac wrote that this split personality lead the self-sacrificed soul to demonstrate or offer little charity towards others or genuine concern for the poor who he claimed he served and loved (Fisac, Miguel (1992).  “Nunca le oí hablar bien de nadie”, in Escrivá de Balaguer – ¿Mito o Santo? (Madrid: Libertarias Prodhufi).  Using this criteria, neither Escrivá nor John Paul II would qualify as saints.

While many theists attempt to make humanism a theology, it is not.  Humanism glorifies the magnificence of mortals and what they do for others, their community, and the world, for whom a god is not necessary.  When this is the case any and all gods are ignored along with the various strains of theology that support deities. At the same time, while not wishing to waste moments speculating on that which cannot be known or determined scientifically, humanists do not preoccupy their time with speculation for or against the existence of such a being as a god.  Like Stephen Hawking, the true humanist concentrates on what can be determined and see in such wondrous evolutionary epochs as the unrecorded time of the Big Bang, the emergence of black holes that consume stars and universes, and the unabridged expansion of the universe (Stephen W. Hawking (1990). A Brief History of Time: From the Big Bang to Black Holes. New York, NY: Bantam Books; I am using the Spanish edition: Historia del Tiempo del Big Bang a los Agujeros Negros (trans. Miguel Ortuño, esp. p. 180-181, chapter 8 as the English edition is not available here).

“God” is but a symbol of the powers of the individual.  It is the individual who creates god, not god creates the mortal.

Stephen Hawking and Benedict XVI

Even though Pope John Paul II warned the renowned astrophysicist and Cambridge scholar not to research too deeply into the origins of the universe, the professor ignored the pontiff and continued his investigation–upsetting many in the Roman Catholic and other religious communities (read here and here).  Hawking quoted the pope as saying, “It’s OK to study the universe and where it began. But we should not inquire into the beginning itself because that was the moment of creation and the work of God.”  Later, Hawking noted, no god was necessary to start the universe or anything within it. Gravity and collision did that. Hawking found a slightly more cordial greeting with Benedict XVI.  No friend of “modernism” nor liberty of the individual and individual thought, Benedict XVI, who has been charged with crimes against humanityat the World Court at the Hague, leagued with royalty as had past popes to silence dissent as with

Baroness Warsi meets Pope Benedict XVI (Photo: EYEVINE)

Baroness Warsi (the first female Muslim Cabinet member in the UK and leader of the Conservative Party who gave the Ratzinger a Qur’an) who has criticized the writings and speeches of Richard Dawkins and others.

Hans Kung, senior Swiss Roman Catholic theologian officially silenced by the Roman Catholic Church

The German pope has come out against those who differ with him, and demands obedience in all things, including the closure of schools and societies (such as the Society of St. Pius X), and has written a book on the infancy of Jesus–for which there are no historical records but is conjured from old myths and pseudo-apocrypha secreted in questionable Pseudepigrapha.  The German pope also wants to restore the Latin Mass (that had kept millions of people away from the worship service and sent millions more seeking a more modern responsive church) and a free standing altar (that permits priests to face the people), use of pop[ular] music and guitars, and banishing women from actively participating in the rites and rituals of the church and silence opponents, especially gifted scholars and researchers like Hans Küng who criticized the pope as isolated and out of touch with reality as did Cardinal Martini of Milan who told reporters that the Roman Catholic Church is 200 years out-dated; Küng furthermore accused Pope Benedict of direct responsibilty for “engineering the global cover-up of child rape perpetrated by priests“, and others who are still entitled to opinions no matter how wrong they are when faced with facts (cf. Küng, Hans (2007). Umstrittene Wahrheit. München, Deutschland: Piper, and Kung, Hans (1988). Theologie im Aufbruch: eine okumenische Grundlegung. München, Deutschland: Piper).

Benedict XVI crusades for a return to a pre-Vatican II church

Benedict’s attacks on free and universal education, secular education, and definition of who is qualified to teach further limits individual choice, the ability to conduct research unhampered, and the degradation of scholarly debate ending individual intellectual advances.  It is tantamount to returning to the days when the Roman Catholic Church tried Galileo for affirming the thesis of Copernicus, and marks the current pontificate as a return to the Dark Ages when god ruled cruelly over all people as a tyrant and not a benefactor or protector.

Hesiod: Theogony

Benedict uses outdated theology yet expects total conformity to what he has ordained as definitive, silencing dissent. Even the ancient Greeks recorded that the gods were created by mortals (Hesiod, Theogony).  Socrates did not believe in any god, but visited the Oracles as required by law–before Athens City Council demanded he die: drinking hemlock, on the charge of insulting the gods.

Mortals create gods to explain what they are too lazy to discover for themselves.  It is the irresponsibility of mortals, like most students who do not enjoy reading or read for knowledge, to seek the easiest escape from having to think.  Most people want a job with the least work, like students who do as little as possible to  obtain recognition (a degree or a position).  What is sought is immediate gratification that is sought out not a long-term enlightenment.  This occurs because teachers do not challenge students sufficiently.  Teachers do not constantly demand questions and answers from their charges for fear of dismissal, yet demand that their students pass rigorous state-sponsored examinations without having learned the information required.  This is the modus operandi of organized religion: follow others, do not question, just obey. Blind obedience by indoctrination is stifled propagandization and it is child abuse, regardless if the indoctrination is done by parent, teacher who makes a major impact on a student as the teacher is seen as the fountain of knowledge and corrupt the learning process (cf. Torrance, E. Paul; Mason, Raigh (1958). “Instructor effort to influence: An experimental evaluation of six approaches.”doi: 10.1037/hoo47830. Journal of Educational Psychology, Vol 49(4), Aug 1958, 211-218 and Torrance, E. Paul; Mason, Raigh (1958). “Instructor effort to influence: An experimental evaluation of six approaches.” doi:10.1037/h0047830. Journal of Educational Psychology, Vol 49(4), August, 211-218), military leader (Johnson, W. Brad; Wilson, Ken (1993). “The military internship: A retrospective analysis.” doi.10.1037/0735-7028.24.3.312. Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, Vol 24(3), August, 312-318) especially when it is covert racism or pits race against its own ethnicity (Loo, Chalsa M.; Singh, Karam; Scurfield, Ray; Kilauano, Bill (1998). “Race-related stress among Asian American veterans: A model to enhance diagnosis and treatment.” doi:10.1037/ 1099-9809.4.2.75. Cultural Diversity and Mental Health, Vol 4(2), 75-90), clergy, or others to insure conformism (Kuenzli, Alfred (1952). “Conformism in Contemporary Psychology.” doi:10.1037/h0053921. American Psychologist, Vol 7(10), Oct 1952, 594-595). Collective (or group) indoctrination, especially in the case of religion, can lead to selective or collective suicides, murders, rapes, and other acts of violence in times of conflict, war, and doctrinal disputations (Grimland, Meytal; Apter, Alan; Kerkhof, Ad (2006). “The phenomenon of suicide bombing: A review of psychological and nonpsychological factors”  doi:10.1027/0227- 5910.27.3.107.  Crisis: The Journal of Crisis Intervention and Suicide Prevention, Vol 27(3), 107-118).

Many students remain mere shadows of what potential they could have and become if they furthered the advance of their mind and worked to better their civilization by rejecting old gods and worn-thin truths to be responsive to new ideas and arguments.  Students at every age are eager to obtain a score that is recognizable and laudable, but few students have the willingness (although many do have the capacity) to study independently, read broadly and thoroughly, write copiously,  and question authority.  This is a reality learned as small children tied to priest, pastor, rabbi, mullah or other authority figures in the world’s religions as it is easier to memorize and repeat that which is expected than to proffer new concepts and dispute established facts.  Unfortunately leaders are seldom (if ever) examined for leadership qualities and sound psychology, as seen with the election of the last two popes and the first two presidents of the USA, most South American nations (especially in Perú),  or prime ministers in the UK, in the 1980-1990 period (cp. Lambert, Lisa Schurer; Tepper, Bennett J.; Carr, Jon C.; Holt, Daniel T.; Barelka, Alex J. (2012). “Forgotten but not gone: An examination of fit between leader consideration and initiating structure needed and received.” doi: 10.1037/a0028970. Journal of Applied Psychology, Vol 97(5), Sep 2012, 913-930).

Ancient Assyria: home of the myth of Daniel

Authority figures, especially those who promise peace in times of conflict, or suggest that learning takes a different avenue when academic standards are diminished, know that it is easier to indoctrinate than educate, and for that reason all theologies and all religions start off with texts written by an authority figure (a deity, plural or singular): either with his/her/their hand or finger, as found in the Babylonian myth of Daniel and His Companions that was copied into the canon of the Old Testament (Daniel 5:5).  The account of lions was a symbol of ancient Assyria where a pair of lions were stationed at the entrance of an Assyrian temple dedicated to Ishtar, the goddess of warfare, and fertility: Daniel was understood to be a portrayal of the people, and the lions guardians of sexuality and sexual pleasure.

The Ishtar gate (the Lion Gate) was the eighth gate to the inner city of Babylon

The Daniel myth began as pornography but was later sanitized and made “wholesome” by adding subjection to the will of the gods (accepting sex) but was redacted in its present format hundreds of years after the original writing by Assyria’s mercenary soldiers (Apiru–who become the Hebrews) and was  later plagiarized by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in Book of Mormon (Alma 10:2-3).  Both tracts give answers that others refuse to speculate on: a mythological happening that has no proof and original documentation to support the story.  This leads to mental collapse rather than vigorous inquiry, as the student is exhausted quickly if not accustomed to the rigors and riches of real research that demands investigation, analysis, and projection.

Knowledge is both desirable and despised.  This truism has been recorded as a fact for over 5000 years, as learning has become private property of wealthy interests and education has transmogrified into elevating the id of ownership and partisanship over objectivity as seen in the dramatic case of the censorship of Hans Küng of Switzerland, and the rise of  pseudo-scholars such as Stephen C. Meyer, David Barton, Bob Vander Plaats, and other revisionists who lack any credentials.  Much of this temerarious in dishabille of education is because of the lack of desire to achieve more than what is expected; to this end trite and barren words are repetitively used, vocabulary is underdeveloped, thinking truncated to that which is accepted by authority figures, and the conduct of inquiry abandoned for a cheap and worthless grade.  This is especially true in languages, interpretation and translation courses, and the study of roots and origins of words and concepts.

In Genesis (3:4-5), “woman” (Arabic: امرأة, Greek: γυναίκα, Hebrew: אישה, Armenian: կին that refers to a helpmate), and later “man” (3:22; Arabic: رجل, Greek άνθρωπος, Hebrew גבר, Armenian մարդ) is promised knowledge but forbidden to sample it (eat the forbidden “fruit”–a word for obtaining an education–of the Tree of Knowledge). This is Teutonic (in the broad sense

Tree of Knowledge from an Assyrian cylinder, showing its god-priests

primordially antediluvian) religion: offering the temptation but rejecting any attempt to obtain what is extended by a Tempter or Temptress. The mythological Eve was actually the superior being (far surpassing the cowering man), arguing scripture (before it was written, thereby demonstrating that Genesis was written after the Torah so that “she” could incorporate parts within her debate) with the “Serpent” (Ide, Arthur Frederick (1982). Woman in ancient Israel under the Torah and Talmud, with a translation and critical commentary on Genesis 1-3. Mesquite, TX: IHP). The watchman faulted the man, reflecting the patriarchy of the time, but man, weak and obsequious to the authority figure blamed the superior and copacetic woman for the transgression that the Serpent knew would free mortals.

The Serpent, in all ancient religions, is the Guardian (and sometimes the author) of Knowledge.  The Serpent is the greatest of the gods for it is λογος , from λέγω lego “I say”: meaning the voice of god or wisdom–god was never considered in the earliest days a divine mortal but a teacher) than the garden keeper, or watchman, who walked through the garden in quest of delinquents who were stealing that which was forbidden: knowledge of good and evil (Genesis 2:17, a reference to peace and strife or conflict: the unquestioning acceptance of gods or the rejection (conflict) with superstition that comes with ignorance from lack of learning and obtaining knowledge).

If the garden keeper was a god, that deity in the denizen of superior beings (man and woman) had no god-like characteristics but was more like the ancient pontifex maximus of pre-Republic Rome.  The watchman was not omniscience, omnipresence, or omnipotent.  At best the watchman was an interrogator in quest of information that the watchman failed to note.  The prowess the watchman did not possess belonged to the mortals who learned by “eating the forbidden fruit” that was, by various definitions: an apple (the fruit appears nowhere in Genesis, and its first use is in Proverbs 25:11 in referring to apples of gold in a setting of silver; more significantly, in the sexually charged and erotic Song of Solomon the apple is an erotic symbol indicating sweetness, desire, and the female breast), a pomegranate (going back to Greek mythology), a fig, the carob (the word is a pun for “destruction”), an etrog (in Hebrew a pun on ragag, “desire” or sexual arousement) or citron, grapes (that made Noah drunk and sin) and a pear, and, more recently, the datura and grapefruit; wheat is also denounced by some as a forbidden fruit as it was/is used in making beer and is khitah in Hebrew and thus a pun on khet, “sin” (Genesis 2:16-17;  however, in the Qur’an both Adam and Eve are considered equally culpable: Surah Al-A’raf 7:19-22): a euphemism for study, debate, dialog, and mastery of information.  This “fruit” (פרי a word for “result” or “gain” as in the obtaining of wisdom from the “Tree of Knowledge” another euphemism for “learning center” since a tree was the base and to advance in knowledge the student had to climb into the branches–taking a risk to obtain enlightenment) was only relinquished in exchange for a more placid and less commanding life that ignorance affords: no teachers, no debate, no dialog, no learning required, no questioning demanded; all that was necessary was blind obedience.

Iraq’s Garden of Eden marshes in 2003

The ignorance of the watchman (one of the many אֱלֹהִ֔ים) in the garden comes to fruition when the servant of the Serpent realizes that mortals no longer need a god (a trickster who offers mortals an immediate gratification rather than the ability and encouragement to progress to understanding) and conduct themselves as equal to any savant or sage such as the Serpent. This causes the guard to regret “creating” (actually watching after) mortals and in an hysterical fit vows vengeance and promises to erase all trace

Iraq’s Garden of Eden marshes in 2012 after they dried up.

of his mistake  (Genesis 6:5 ff) with a giant holocaust: a Great Flood.  The actual text notes that the Serpent god does not make mistakes:  The Serpent as the teacher instructs, debates and weighs what the student says.  It is the watchmen who fell asleep, misjudged the wards he was to oversee, and failed in numerous way (Genesis 3:9, proving the absence of knowledge by asking “Where are you?” as well as admitting the lack of omniscience and other godly attributes that come with learning).

Ur of the Chaldees outside of Eden (fertile crescent in Iraq)

It is only after the slaughter of the innocents in the Great Flood that the watchman steps down (Genesis 9:5, 11) and realizes that mortal are equals (Psalm 8:5, plagiarized by the writers of Hebrews 2:7).  This action takes place only after the mortals (people, not one man plus one woman–a mistranslation carried since 331 CE) questioning the watchman with the protestation of the Akkadian created myth of

People of Ur worshiped the moon and a golden calf

Abraham (from the Ur of Chaldees: (אוּר כַּשְׂדִים) in modern day Iraq) accusing the gardener/watchman of violating his own principles: “That be far from thee to do after this manner, to slay the righteous with the wicked: and that the righteous should be as the wicked, that be far from thee. Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?” (Genesis 18:25 KJV).

Even the ancient Jews knew that the Law was not written in heaven.  It was commonly understood that mortals wrote the Torah, not Moses, as no mortal could write of his own death and burial (Deuteronomy 3:23-29; Numbers 27:15-23), but by man.  This was forcefully articulated by Rabbi Jirmijahu who told a congregation of rabbis (teachers) that it was no longer essential to pay attention to the voices from heaven “because it is written: You make your decision according to the majority opinion.” (Talmud, Baba Meziah, 59b).

Humanism demands democratic methods, unlike the totalitarian plutocracy that the reprehensible Congresista Martha Chavez attempted to create as a permanent government in Perú for the scandalous rogue and mass murderer Alberto Fujimori, his graft-accepting colleague and chief spy and extortionist Vladimiro Montesinos, and their death squads of Las Colinas who murdered children, students and teachers without any compassion.  It surprised many that the thoroughly corrupt and contemptible Peruvian Supreme Court, led by the monstrously mercenary court President César San Martin, in a 3-2 decision, cut back their prison time in a distorted and unjustifiable act of compassion. The Perú court ultimately overturned its own ruling and annulled the diminution of the sentences after a public outcry.  What happened with justice in Perú proves that there is no justice in Perú until the people make their voices heard. Power, wealth, and authority speaks louder than fairness, ethical treatment, or responsibility for what is right for the churches in Perú control its politics, police, and government–the people of Perú are as impoverished today as were the Inkas after the arrival of Pizzaro and his band of Franciscans, Dominicans, and other cut-throats and brigands.

Jesus with weapons on evangelical mailings

Today the Christian churches have nothing in common with the teachings of the Jesus of the New Testament.  Simple statements such as “Blessed are the peacemakers” (Matthew 5:9) are smothered under the bellicose promises of Matthew 10:34: Μὴ νομίσητε ὅτι ἦλθον βαλεῖν εἰρήνην ἐπὶ τὴν γῆν· οὐκ ἦλθον βαλεῖν εἰρήνην ἀλλὰ μάχαιραν; the Latin Biblia Sacra Vulgata reads: nolite arbitrari quia venerim mittere pacem in terram non veni pacem mittere sed gladium.   Religion has become an increasingly prevalent neurosis. Instead of enabling people to think and be freed from their own grief and self-abasement, the majority of early followers of Jesus who were poor Am aarez (slaves) the Imperial “catholic [universal] church” of Constantine I was reserved for the wealthy that continued to enslave the poor and rule over them as authority figures once they were entrenched as the guardians of the new state (military imposed)

Bible verses on USA military weapons

religion (325 CE).  Ultimately the authority figures claimed to be intercessors of Constantine’s god, the beginning of numerous lies pushed on the believers that culminated in the nineteenth century when at Vatican Council I, Pius IX was acclaimed a god: infallible, primary, and supreme in matters of faith and morals, removing the last of free will from the people and furthering the

British prelate Newman flip-flops on Infallibility

neurosis of those who claimed to be Roman Catholic.  Infallibility was heatedly contested, but papal politics played passionately among dissenters, many of whom won promotions and a few the cardinal’s hat.  Those who suffered were those struggling to understand reality through thorough investigation and study and did not accept the novel idea that a mortal was as infallible as a god. Dissent was not new in Constantine’s church, but the Doctrine of Infallibility intensified the debate that began in 325 CE at Nicaea.

First Council of Nicaea – 325 CE – Cannon 8 Concerns Cathars (the damned do not have halos)

After the notorious Council at Nicaea, the bishops began an open assault on dissent that would increase yearly to the present day.  The former pagan and later self-proclaimed bishop of Hippo: Augustine who had a child out of wedlock with a whore (and wrote to stifle intellectual growth, citing only established canons and writings that did not offend the empire, glorifying a city no one had visited and of which there was no empirical evidence, and harmonizing his rants with others who blasted dissent as attacks against the Imperial Church) attacked the monk Pelagius (ca. CE 354 – c. CE 420/440) an ascetic who opposed the idea of predestination championed by Augustine but received its greatest boost under the misrule of Jean Calvin in Geneva and John Knox in Scotland, and asserted a strong version of the doctrine of free will.

Pelagius of Wales

Pelagius, a tonsured Culdee Monk from the British Isles who was known as a dedicated ascetic,  was far more “Christian” than Augustine (cf. Pelagius. The Letters of Pelagius: Celtic Soul Friend; edited by Robert Van de Weyer. (Little Gidding books.) Evesham, UK: Arthur James, 1995, and Pelagius’s Expositions of the Thirteen Epistles of St. Paul; edited by A. Souter. (Texts and Studies; 9.) 3 vols. in 1. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1922-1931 1: Introduction – 2: Text – 3: Pseudo-Jerome interpolations).  Pelagius argued that humans were not wounded by Adam’s sin (the eating of the fruit: the acceptance of knowledge) and were perfectly able to fulfill the law apart from any divine aid–a theme Augustine coveted and wrote at lengths on calling on “sinners” to perform good works (a thesis that Martin Luther would reject in the sixteenth century, when he followed Pelagius in arguing that all that a human needed was faith).  He denied the more specific doctrine of original sin as developed by Augustine, but was declared a heretic and felt the weight of the church crush him, while the writings of Arius were burned at the feet of the Emperor.

While Pelagius encouraged studying and intellectual growth (he was fluent in Greek, Latin, and theology, and was even called “saintly” by Augustine) to rid oneself of being robots to rigid religion, Augustine wanted blind faith and good works that increased the wealth of the church and set clerics apart from those they served.

Tridentine Index defined three basic classes of prohibited books

Burning books and silencing dissent is always the sign of tyranny–one that the Roman Catholic Church elevated to an art with its Index of Forbidden Books.  Censorship is not scholarship but a sign of a threatened institution determined to maintain its prerogatives and rule over others by lowering standards and forbidding true scholarship and the conduct of inquiry.  Discovery of the self, the very foundation of psychology and psychoanalysis, was forbidden and mortals have ever since 325 CE been commanded by priests and potentates to follow the rigorous writing of self-proclaimed leaders of “the church”.  The acceptance of definitive forms of censorship, such as book burning, is a collective adherence by an irrational society to drab and erroneous beliefs or doctrines and leads to the lowering of expectations, desires to advance, and rejection of sound scholarship that is especially true in nations and states under religious control (Jahoda, Marie (1956).  “Psychological Issues in Civil Liberties.” American Psychologist, 11, 1956, pp. 234-240).  While Donofrio concurs in part with Jahoda (Donofrio, Anthony F. (1957). “Conformity–Good and Bad”. doi: 10.1037/h0047469. American Psychologist, Vol 12(1), Jan 1957, 37-38), he attacks “liberals” as being nearly anarchists who reject all conformity in government, religion, and other places where rules maintain civility; this I disagree with because rules are valid only for specific times since eternality is not possible for any mortal and thus there must be revisions to constitutions, laws, applications, and so forth as time grows and with it there must be a modification, change, or deletion in rules (something that Antonin Scalia disagrees with emphatically, claiming that the wording of the Constitution of the USA is chiseled in stone and cannot be deviated from: a reason he, like Texas Governor Rick Perry, want to eliminate the 14th and 17th amendment from the US Constitution).  If rules do not change, then Jews, Christians and others who pattern themselves after the Torah and Prophets cannot eat shell fish, wear mixed fibers (such as rayon), and so forth. This will stifle society and intellectual growth.  Similarly, Drenth (Drenth, Pieter J. D. (1993). “Prometheus chained: Social and ethical constraints on psychology”. doi: 10.1027//1016-9040.4.4233.  European Psychologist. Vol. 4(4) December, 233-239), argues that the psychologist and other researchers do not have the freedom to amass knowledge at any price and without any restrictions.  Again, I disagree, as when knowledge is guarded, limited, denied, then society and individuals cannot intellectually, morally, or socially evolve to a high plateau.

In the early days of reformed Judaism that had been the faith of those who proclaimed themselves followers of Jesus, presbyters and women priests nourished and watch grow a strong anti-authoritarian principle especially against political power rejected the “church.  This changed in 325 CE, when bishops were ordered to be men (although there were women bishops in the Roman Catholic Church as late as the fifteenth century) and the term “church” was not used by the embryonic community.  The earliest followers of Jesus referred to their meeting places in gardens, alleys and private homes as αρχοντικού, Κυριάκος (lord’s house) where meetings were held to celebrate life (Matthew 18:20), not to recite prayers and endow the pockets of priests and bishops. What few records exist, these followers were more humanists than religious disciples, as their goal was to help the poor, feed the hungry, give drink to those who had thirst, comfort those who grieved, and fulfill the injunctions given in the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7).  All that mattered was that they loved each other regardless of gender or other outward qualifiers (John 13:34-35: [34] ἐντολὴν καινὴν δίδωμι ὑμῖν ἵνα ἀγαπᾶτε ἀλλήλους, καθὼς ἠγάπησα ὑμᾶς ἵνα καὶ ὑμεῖς ἀγαπᾶτε ἀλλήλους. [35] ἐν τούτῳ γνώσονται πάντες ὅτι ἐμοὶ μαθηταί ἐστε, ἐὰν ἀγάπην ἔχητε ἐν ἀλλήλοις).  Marriage was a private celebration and not a part of the church; sacraments had not yet been defined.  What counted was to be charitable with and toward all people.  There was no rush to martyrdom–that is a later invention; there was no priestly hierarchy (Matthew 20:16) and there was no pope.  Emphasis was on each person reaching his or her fullest potential.

While the early Jesus communities in Rome, Antioch, Jerusalem, Alexandria, and elsewhere were satisfied with meeting in Κυριάκος (homes filled with the lord [spirit]), with the rise of an exclusive and exclusionary state religion it became “church” or εκκλησία.  Church/ecclesia meant “gathering of those summoned” and represented a court or at least an assembly or law court/government as found in ancient Sparta and other Greek states, Rome and throughout the Roman Empire.  With the formal support of the Emperor, the “church” (ecclesia: εκκλησία) was elevated to novel level of being where “bishops” sat (cathedrals) to sit in judgment against heretics—in total contradiction to Matthew 7:1 and Acts 10:34.  By 331 CE, any semblance of Christianity to the teaching of Jesus were obscured, transmogrified, or deleted.  Books, scrolls and tracts denouncing the abandonment of the message of the New Testament Jesus were publicly burned.  Those who dared question the authority of the Church faced Socrates fate by state or church.  Numerous popular and widely copied and read gospels were refused canon (authenticity) including major gnostic works: Gospel of Thomas, Gospel of Peter, Gospel of Judas, Gospel of Mary Magdalene, and so forth.

As the church grew in power, freedom diminished, and popular delusions, illusions, hysterics and signs of mental illness appeared with “talking in tongues” that were gibberish and not the Glossolalia in the Jerusalem community where the brothers of Jesus followed the beloved brother James and their mother, Mary, sat with the Apostles in the upper room and received (or realized) the ability to “speak in the tongue of each person who had gathered” with them (Acts 2:1-11).  The “descent of the Spirit” was an opening to learning, in this case simple language so that all people could understand (The Greeks recognized five languages but 70 “tongues” or dialects–so the speaking was not difficult as most of the people understood some form of Greek; it was similar to an elementary language course at most universities).  The Church in Rome created a new universal language–Latin–that few of the poor or those enslaved understood: it was the lingua franca (or working language of the wealthy that kept them apart from the people), and thus the Mass became a “mystery rite” and the sacraments were born where blind faith was required if a person was to be saved.

With this reinvention of religion as a rope to strangle dissenters—an act that took place regularly with state sanction.  All aspects of divinity were exchanged for writs of power and tyranny.

Constantine’s Christianity quickly became an exercise in mind control.  Constantine’s bishops and priests theological terrorists demanding blind obedience in everything, similar to the autocracy of John Nienstedt bishop of St Paul / Minneapolis, and the German Pope Josef Ratzinger.

As the minority (the new Christians) gained in power, the masses of believers were forced into subjection.  This subjection led to the spread of acute mental malaise.

Worship became a punishment if prayers were not recited carefully and according to religious rubrics.  Striving to select one’s own destiny was forbidden under penalty of death (a penalty realized with the forced introduction of the unholy Inquisition, that was abandoned until it was restored by Joseph Ratzinger (read here and here  and here and here).

Individuals became dependent upon the Roman Catholic Church for everything from food and drink to psychological comforting from sadistic and dominating authoritarian structures.  Given the impoverishment of the economy the early reformed Jews accepted the novel title of “Christian” (a word that suggested a magician) and role of masochists bowing to the greater authority of bishops who replaced presbyters and with their submission accepted their own mental collapse to the point of losing basic motor skills including speech as speech was not welcomed unless voices were raised in prayer and praise.  The poor were told that Jesus wanted people to follow a man, misquoting a mistranslation of Matthew 16:18, and relate only to the power source: priests and bishops.

Giving up the need to relate oneself to and with others is a classic form of insanity (Erich Fromm (1950). Psychoanalysis and Religion. (New Haven, CT and London, England: Yale University Press, p. 54).  This classic form of insanity, the inability to relate to others outside of the self, led to the invention of saints and the worship and adoration, clothing and anointing, bestowing of flowers upon or around statues of various people the official church considered holy.  Many of these were declared to be “virgins” (a mistranslation of people who had not engaged in coital intercourse; the word means a young girl or a young boy in most situations–as with Mary the mother of Jesus, who the church Greek styles as παρθένος and is later styled Μήτηρ Θεοῦ or Mother of God, a term originally used 3000 years earlier as a reference to the goddess Isis)–who had other sons (Acts 1:14) disproving the claims that Mary remained “ever virgin” (Coogan, Michael (October 2010). God and Sex: What the Bible Really Says (1st ed.). New York, NY and Boston, MA: Twelve. Hachette Book Group. p. 39; Tabor, James D. (2006). The Jesus Dynasty: The Hidden History of Jesus, His Royal Family, and the Birth of Christianity. New York, NY and other cities: Simon) & Schuster, pp. 46-47, 73-75 sqq). Sex is a part of the psychology or all living beings; the Christian God is conceived of as a God of love, and chastity and continence are regarded as states of perfection, yet sexual fulfillment and experience is a part of self-actualization and leads to a normal and psychologically balanced life as there exists a connection between the emotions of affection and love, on the one hand, and sexual activity on the other; to that end Moses and most of the Prophets had wives and sex, and led to Coptic writers of the fourth century CE to pen that Jesus had a wife.

Sex is a normal function and experience for all people.  To deny anyone sexual expression and pleasure is tantamount to denying its normality and claiming sex is abnormal and dangerous to the psyche of the individual (Leuba, James H. (1924). “The sex impulse in Christian mysticism”. doi: 10.1037/hoo65o91. The Journal of Abnormal Psychology and Social Psychology, Vol 19(4), January 1924, 357-372).  A reading of St. Teresa of Avila’s Interior Castlereveals

Gian Lorenzo Bernini, Ecstasy of St. Teresa, 1645-52 (Cornaro Chapel, Santa Maria della Vittoria, Rome)

subliminal references to sex as with her comment “my heart was pierced and I felt strangely warmed” (a phrase used later in Wesleyan theology) that the sculpture Bernini captured in marble.  The Interior Castle also has the pregnant line: “Here also forces of evil are felt more deeply” with illustrative phraseology defining penetration. Studies show that the younger the person is who engages in sex tends to have a negative attitude toward sex if it was abusive or unwelcomed by a older person/parental figure, and lowers psychosocial adjustment in selected domains in young adulthood and inhibits educational quests and mastery of attaining knowledge (Haase, Claudia M.; Landberg, Monique; Schmidt, Christoph; Lüdke, Kirsten; Silbereisen, Rainer K. (2012). “The later, the better? Early, average, and late timing of sexual experiences in adolescence and psychological adjustment in young adulthood.”doi: 10.1027/1016-9040/a000082. European Psychologist, Vol 17(3), 2012, 199-212).  The only plausible excuse to avoid sexual intercourse is if the penetration was traumatic and unwelcomed (Petry, Nancy M.; Ford, Julian D.; Barry, Danielle (2011). “Contingency management is especially efficacious in engendering long durations of abstinence in patients with sexual abuse histories.” doi: 10.1037/a0022632. Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, Vol 25(2), Jun 2011, 293-300); there is no record in any sanctioned gospel that Mary approved or rejected the sexual advance of god (similar to the rape of Europa by the god Zeus in the form of a bull, etc.) and follows numerous far older legends from Crete to Egypt and the Middle East.  To deny the reality of sex and its desirability is to reject the psychology of mortal beings.

By cherishing the virgins, lkerwanderung (wandering, or migration, of the peoples), and enforced celibacy, Europe nearly extinguished itself until the absence of labor forces required the church to reinvent the rubric on celibacy and chastity only for those men and women who took positions in the church hierarchy (holy orders)—even though there were no less than 38 married popes (Jean Mathieu-Rosay (1991).  La véritable histoire des papes. Paris, France: Grancher; Rendina, Claudio (1983).  I Papi, Storia e Segreti: dalle biografie dei 264 romani ponteficirivivono retroscena e misteri della cattedra di Pietro tra antipapi, giubilei, conclavi e concili ecumenici. Roma: Newton & Campton, p. 589), and at least eleven homosexual popes, many of whom raised their male lovers to the cardinalate (Burkle-Young, Francis A., and Doerrer, Michael Leopold (1997). The Life of Cardinal Innocenzo del Monte: A Scandal in Scarlet, Lewiston, NY: Edwin Mellen). Education declined with the rise of scriptorum that copied deteriorating texts and inserting words, phrases, and sentences that were out of character with the author and now found to be falsifications by contemporary scholars, as with the claim by the Roman Catholic Church that Tacitus argued for the person Jesus of the New Testament, and other ancients, such as Josephus, gave evidence to support the existence, life and ministry of Jesus.  Education further deteriorated with emphasis on memorizing the Bible, and the rejection of science, mathematics, and secular arts (Pierre Riché, Education and Culture in the Barbarian West: From the Sixth through the Eighth Century, (Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 1976), pp. 100-129, 307-323).

Rationalize behavior is the counterfeit of reason and is a form of paranoia.  Rationalization has no place in psychoanalysis or psychology as it denies some facts and taints others thereby not giving a true picture of what happened or what the mind was thinking.  People, like cattle, follow a leader; this is known as herd psychology and is a form of mental illness as the German people exhibited from 1933 to 1955 spanning the years of Hitler whom most ignored but did understand what was happening—and said nothing.  With racism rampant in the USA, people excused the KKK not for excess but for outcome: the slaughter of Black people, Jews, LGBT people, and marginalized minorities (Brown, S. (1921). “The herd instinct”. doi: 10.1037/h0072279. The Journal of Abnormal Psychology and Social Psychology,Vol 16(4), October-November, 232-242.; MacCurdy, J. T. (1921). “Synthetic view of ego, herd, and sex instincts”. doi: 10.1037/h0075069. The Journal of Abnormal Psychology and Social Psychology, Vol 16(4), October-November, 249-268.  Also see the problems of collective behavior: Swann Jr., William B.; Jetten, Jolanda; Gómez, Ángel; Whitehouse, Harvey; Bastian, Brock (2012). “When group membership gets personal: A theory of identity fushion”. doi: 10.1037/a0028589. Psychological Review, Vol 119(3), July, 441-456. The problem with collective behavior is the character (strength and weakness) of the leader, as detailed by Johnson, Russell E.; Venus, Merlijn; Lanaj, Klodiana; Mao, Changguo; Chang, Chu-Hsiang (2012). “Leader Identity as an Antecedent of the Frequency and Consistency of Transformational, Consideration, and Abusive Leadership Behaviors”. doi: 10.1037/a0029043. Journal of Applied Psychology, Jun 25 , 2012).

Both psychoanalysis and psychology are applicable to an understanding the facts as they occur and in the order that they occur.   When a person attempts to rationalize behavior it is essential to minutely investigate the rationalization to obtain a complete understanding of the individual and what happened.  This seldom occurs, and mental illness grows especially among those most hate-filled, such as the Tea Party, the Birthers and the men and women who are violently anti-Latino/Latina in Arizona in the twenty-first century and are opposed to all Middle Easterners as if they all were Muslims and jihadists.  The psychoanalytic approach to religion must work at understanding mortal reality behind thought systems. It must understand emotional matrices from which opinions develop and determine the strength or weakness of those opinions.  Rick Perry’s mass hysteria at his Day of Prayer shows the significance many feel when they are a collective group and cannot be held responsible for what they do or how they act.

Many of those who are preoccupied with concepts of the soul declare that they find living difficult.  This is a reflex towards uncertainty and the fear that if they live in any way that is not ordained by religion they will go to some imaginary uncomfortable place such as purgatory or hell—which for those in hot lands is a place of eternal fire, but in winter-cold lands is a place of ice.

Pope Paul V forced Jews into a ghetto that flooded regularly

Jews were especially singled out as “Christ killers”.  Jews were restricted to ghettos (the giudecca), work variances at lower wages, and discussion with Christians (save for the “opportunity of conversion”–which many did to escape drudgery of life and poor living conditions, but continued their Jewish celebrations at night in the darkness of their homes and in whispers). The papal Bull Cum Nimis Absurdum created a second ghetto known as Vicus Iudacorum in Rome, consisting of a few narrow, dirty, and unhealthful streets that soon became painfully overcrowded.  The ghetto was an intentional, understood by the pope and curia, and the Christians of Rome as a death trap as it was flooded each year by the Tiber.  As the Jewish population grew, the only way to accommodate it was to build taller and taller buildings, which shut out the light in the narrow streets.  The Jews were restricted from learning as learning was memorizing the New Testament (primarily the writings of Paul), but in the evenings, Jewish families read and recited the Torah (first five books ascribed to Moses created the preface for the Old Testament; they are followed by the writing/sayings of the later Prophets).  On the Jewish Sabbath, the Jews of the Rome ghetto were forced to hear Catholic sermons and recite Catholic prayers under penalties ranging from excessive fines and beatings to death of the one not praying and his or her family.  With the advent of Protestantism (that also turned against the Jews), the corpus Christianorum (body of all believers in Christ [Jesus]) became even more violent and exclusionary toward Jews, with Pope Paul V(17 September 1552 – 28 January 1621), born Camillo Borghese, issuing, on February 26, 1569, the Bull Hebraeorum gens sola. This nefarious document restricted Jews in the Papal States to Rome and Ancona.  Hebraeorum gens sola was made more painful with the printing of Caeca et Obdurata Hebraeorum perfidia – (Blind and obdurate is the perfidy of the Hebrews) of February 25, 1593.  It expelled the Jews from all Papal states and territories other than Rome, Ancona and Avignon, and in particular from Bologna and several other cities.  Similar assaults on the Jewish population of Europe occurred in the North, as seen in the open hatred and antisemitism of Martin Luther and his preamble to the writing and legislation of Adolf Hitler:  Von den Juden und Ihren Lügen (On the Jews and Their Lies) and Vom Schem Hamphoras und vom Geschlecht Christi (Of the Unknowable Name and the Generations of Christ), being under the convert to Christianity, Anton Margaritha, who wrote the grotesque (a word that originated in ancient Greece as κρυφό (hidden place) that took the definition of κρύπτη  (crypt, meaning dark and forbidding) book Der gantze Jüdisch Glaub (The Whole Jewish Belief) whose book was discredited in 1530 leading to Margaritha’s expulsion from the Empire–but Luther used it anyway in the same manner Hitler used the works of Luther with the purpose of retrenching and destroying the conduct of inquiry similar to that of Bryan Fischer and the Tea Party in the USA that champions the unhistorical works of David Barton who has had no formal education in history, and the pseudo-science of Stephen C. Myer and his Intelligent Design Institute.

Hitler was supported by many western powers, including the United Kingdom and the USA with US Senator Prescott Bush helping to finance Hitler’s death camps (read here and here).  The UK refused refuge to Jewish emigrants, and boarded many on planes to Warsaw, Poland where they were arrested and sent to death camps.

While Europe was marginalizing Jews and proceeding down the path of ignorance, the same Jews, along with Muslims (who were Christians by day) maintained many ancient texts, including Plato and Aristotle along with Greek mathematicians and scientists, that the Roman Catholic Church was damning and consigning to the flames to erase “pagan influences” (Lebedel, Claude (2006), Les Croisades, origines et conséquences, Editions Ouest-France, p. 109).  For this reason, the Jews and Muslims of Europe rose to be the intellectual class, and by the seventeenth century began to number among the greatest authorities and authors of the age leading into the Age of Enlightenment from Baruch Spinoza (he later changed his name to Benedict de Spinoza (24 November 1632 – 21 February 1677) to .

What is essential is to enable the person distressed by the “difficulties of life” to understand that life is what the individual makes of it and how the individual perceives life.  In most cases, these difficulties are the result of an irrational fear of death—a fear generated by an uncertainty that there is a life after death even though the individual religious adherent professes to believe in a heaven or other-worldly place. To conquer this fear is to engage in a discussion on whether or not such a positive or negative place can be proven, and whether or not the test or provability even has value for living today.  Too many people suffer dread from that which no one has proof and that which cannot be proven.

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Filed under Bible, Bishop of Rome, Christian Terrorists, Church history, Education, Homosexuality, Jewish history, Martin Luther, Papacy, Roman Catholicism

Christmas, Jesus, December 25, and making merry

On December 20, 2011, I received an e-mail from Fred Edwords, National Director of the Coalition for Reason.  In his e-mail, Edwords cited a passage in an oral presentation that he made to two groups in Pennsylvania and one in New Jersey.  One line struck one of the listeners with concern.  The line in question that Edwords delivered was:

Isis and Horus (Egypt) and Mary and Jesus (Christianity)

The Madonna and Child icon was developed from the mother and child imagery of Cybele and Attis (Mother of God and Sun God), in use at Rome, itself rooted in the older Egyptian imagery of Isis and Osiris–the child in each case being born on December 25th.”

The individual who was troubled by Edwords’ assessment and initially spoke with the National Director then sent Edwords an e-mail.  The cognoscenti queried:

“…you used Osiris in your talk, but the information on Osiris is very, very limited and our source pool comes from the Classical period, which predates Christianity, and from late antiquity, a la Plutarch (who is extremely unreliable as a source).  While some similarities between Jesus and Osiris exists (for example, the resurrection account between Mark and Plutarch dealing with Jesus and Osiris, respectively), there is no record of a date of birth for Osiris, per se.  Plutarch claims that he was the first of the gods of Egypt born during the five-days Egyptians attributed to their births.  It assuredly was not during the solstice, but if you have a source on the matter I’d be interested in giving it a look. I poured over my copy of the ANET trying to find any reference of a seasonal connection to the birth dates surrounding the Egyptian deities. That isn’t to say a source does not exist, but I certainly don’t know of it.

 While I do not claim the luxury of having personally met with Fred Edwords or knowing him as a personal friend, I am quite aware of his objectivity, dedication to track down and determine the veracity of all resource citations (he called me down on a statement I made about Justin Martyr that I  initially  appended to a comment on two of my blogs that I later expanded to demonstrate that Martyr was never a traditional Christian (in fact he was banished for a time by the very church he claimed to defend, and whose life and writings are not certain today) and had created the fantasy of a cross (crux) whereas in the scrolls Jesus of the New Testament was executed on a pole), and works tirelessly to dispel myths and folklore.  I wrote back with these comments (the questioner’s comments are in black, my response is in red): … you used Osiris in your talk, but the information on Osiris is very, very limited (…from the darkest ages in Egypt until its hostile take over initially by the Hyksos (who may have either been or incorporated the Habiru/Hebrews) or the Ptolemy dynasty that included Cleopatra.  The reason is clear, that the individual is referring to one or two papyrus, but (1) there are over 100 different papyrus …, (2) there is tomb and pyramid art with inscriptions that have been … been translated [usually into German] that deal with this subject, (3) there are extra-Egyptiological works left in cuneiform, most likely by Hittites, Hyksos, Phoenicians, etc, (4), etc. which I address in my newest work) and our source pool comes from the Classical period (… your authority is obviously citing Herodotus [“Father of History”] but while there is material, he [like Trajan] recorded what he heard–not saw–and the adiaphora details and references did not exist at that time as a part of the academic buttressing of arguments. …we also have Strabo and his Geography, Plinar and his History (which only specialists seem to know of its existence) and various other writers, but they are writing in the last 500 years BCE, and never entered Egyptian of Mesopotamian tombs, etc, nor studied the work.  Today, for example, there are a growing number of scholars who are refining and redefining the various Mithras/Mithraic works that decorate walls in underground “churches” of Mithras detailing how the Christians were kept busy burning the original texts of the Mithras religion…  I hope I showed in my last article that the first century CE writers, especially Justin Martyr were not considered “Christians” in the first century not only in the East but the west, and that Constantine I ordered in 325/326 the destruction of most “heathen” texts.  …), which predates Christianity, and from late antiquity, a la 

Constantine and Council of Nicaea burning Arian books

Plutarch (who is extremely unreliable as a source [actually no–… NGL (Nicholas Geoffrey Lempriere) Hammond, Chester G. Star [whom I studied ancient History under] and others all cite Plutarch and note his reliability. Plutarch’s Nine Greek Lives (now entitled “Rise and Fall of Athens”) rejects most of your antagonist’s … objections, as do most German and [other] scholars …].  While some similarities between Jesus and Osiris exist (for example, the resurrection account between Mark and Plutarch dealing with Jesus and Osiris, respectively), there is no record of a date of birth for Osiris, per se (actually that is incorrect, [existing records]  all give Osiris’ birth as December 25 [but do not use the current Christian calendar; read about that below]… but it was not proclaimed throughout the Roman Empire until the first century BCE … read). 

Ancient Egyptian calendar

All ancient cultures had different calendars. Most were lunar and dating matched rising and falling of tides, seasonal variations, and so on.  Nearly everything else would officially conform to Roman rule, but not the dating of nativities, resurrections, or holy days.  These would not be suppressed until the Emperor Constantine would seek to strengthen his rule by creating a  church in 325 CE that he could dominate and control: this would be the reason for establishing Christianity as a faith, one that Constantine rejected (the claim that he converted on his death-bed and was baptized by the Arian Bishop Eusebius is fantasized decades later). 

Osiris with shepherd staff and serpent rod (serpent represents wisdom)

Osiris was among the more current gods of salvation within the Empire, where his devotees proclaimed that “his burden is light” and “his rod and shaft” caused no pain.

Osiris pine cone staff

Osiris is a savior-god who had been worshipped as far back as Neolithic times. “He was called Lord of Lords, King of Kings, God of Gods…the Resurrection and the Life, the Good shepherd…the god who ‘made men and women be born again’”  Three wise men announced his birth. His followers ate cakes of wheat that symbolized his body. Many sayings associated with Osiris were taken over into the Bible and the emerging Christian Church adopted his symbols, token, and promises, while incorporating the dress of Mithraist priests for their own sacerdotal leaders. This includes, for example:

Papal pine cone staff

Parts of Psalm 23, where the Egyptian hieroglyphs read: “We appeal to Osiris as the good Shepherd to lead believers through the Valley of the Shadow of Death and to green pastures and still waters”

  • Part of the “Lord’s Prayer”, that in various ancient Egyptian text reads: “O Amen /Amen-Ra [sometimes Amun], who are in the heavens, we keep your name holy…”

Relief of Rameses III "smiting enemies" before Amen-Ra at the God's temple at Thebes

(Cairo Amen Hymn  (Papyrus Cairo CG 58038= Papyrus Boulaq 17)  that  dates, at least in parts, to the late Middle Kingdom: early 17th century BCE) The name of the Egyptian God Amen translates as “the Hidden One” whose name was so holy that only a select few were allowed to pronounce it (ref. Sarcophagus Texts, Formula 44 (CT I, 189f-g)).  He is one of the antecedents of Yahweh/Jehovah/YHWH of the later Jews who would become the Hebrews. Amen and his consort, Amenet were the gods of creation

Rameses II with the gods Amun/Amen, son Khons, wife Mut

Amen was part of the Theban Trinity (along with Mut and their son Khons the moon-god; cf., Brunner, Hellmut, and Beyerlin, Walter (1975).  Religionsgeschichtliches Textbuch zum alten Testament, Göttingen, Germany: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1985; Kees, Hermann (reissued 1956)  Der Götterglaube im alten Ägypten, Leipzig, Germany, 1941: Berlin : Akademie-Verlag, 1956; Lurker, Manfred (1998).  Lexikon der Götter und Symbole der alten Ägypter. Frankfurt am Main, Germany: Fischer-Taschenbuch-Verlag, 2005; originally published in Bern, Switzerland: Scherz, 1987; newest edition: [München], Germany: Barth, 2011).  It was from the Egyptian theology concerning three supreme deities that Constantine would create his Christian Trinity.

Osiris had numerous similarities to Jesus of the New Testament–similarities that Christian apologists deny or brush over.  Osiris was a god who turned water into wine, forgave fallen women, cured blindness and illness and did most things that Jesus did (Frazer, James George (1962). Adonis, Attis, Osiris: studies in the History of Oriental Religion. Reprint, New Hyde Park, NY, USA: University Books; original printing New York, NY and London, UK: The Macmillan Company, 1906).  On the power of Osiris and his champion Horus, read Pyramid Texts, utterance 356, §§ 581-582. 

Western Christianity does not adopt December 25 as the birthday of Jesus of the New Testament until 336 or 379/380 (depending on what document is being read).  The Eastern churches did not accept December 25 until 386 CE, while Egypt (primarily the See of Antioch) did not concur until 432, and Jerusalem more than a century later (the Armenian Christians never accepted the date, but continues to celebrate Christmas, “manifestation of the magi” and baptism on January 6; read more here).  

Orthodox Armenians, Copts, Russians, Georgians and Serbs celebrate the Nativity on January 7th

The year that the Jesus of the New Testament was born was never recorded as the year zero for more than 500 years after his alleged birth; the “Christian” calendar did not exist before the eighth century at the earliest.  Religious scholars and serious, trained historians place the assumed nativity somewhere between 7 and 2 BCE (cf. Carson, D. A. Moo, Douglas J, and Morris, Leon (1992) An Introduction to the New Testament. Grand Rapids, MI, USA: Zondervan).

There is no mention of birth celebrations in the writings of early Christian writers such as Irenaeus (c. 130–200) or Tertullian (c. 160–225). Outside of mythology, there is no historical evidence of there ever being a “bishop of Rome” before the end of the first century.  There is a similar lack of evidence even into the second century, and there are no surviving (if there ever had been) documents from any presbyters or other leaders on a nativity of a Jesus of the Testament or on any other son of god anywhere in the City of Rome or on any of the pagan hills of the Vatican that was home to numerous gods from Vulcan to Mithras, who, according to Herodotus, History Bk. 1, c. 131, goes back to the seventh century BCE. 

Initiation into Mithraism (serpent represents being surrounded by wisdom)

Mithras had an inscription on his altars, on his cave walls where rituals were performed, and in numerous other places.  The inscription reads: “He who will not eat of my body and drink of my blood, so that he will be made on with me and I with him, the same shall not know salvation.”  It was later plagiarized by the writers of John 6:53-54.

Origen of Alexandria (c. 165–264) goes so far as to mock Roman celebrations of birth anniversaries, dismissing them as “pagan” practices—a strong indication that Jesus’ birth was not marked with similar festivities at that place and time (Origen, Homily on Leviticus 8).  Among the most convoluted arguments for December 25, comes from the Father of the Church Tertullian—who would leave the church and become a born-again pagan—of Carthage.  He tried to determine the date Jesus died, placing it at the 14th of Nisan (day of the crucifixion according to the Gospel of John that did not exist in its entirety. That would make it March 25 in the Roman solar calendar—which is precisely nine months before December 25, making March 25 the date (and later commemoration) of Jesus’ conception (Luke 1:26; ovulation was not a science, but it was commonly known that a pregnancy lasted nine months, and that date was determined by referencing Elizabeth’s conception of John the Baptist: Luke 1:10-13; that was based on duties Zacharias performed on the Day of Atonement during the seventh month of the Hebrew lunar calendar, now lunisolar [הלוח העברי], Ethanim or Tishri (Leviticus 16:29, 1 Kings 8:2) which falls in September–October but the precise date is uncertain given the calendar at that time), as apologists for the New Testament Jesus argued that Jesus was conceived and crucified on the same day of the year—thus the birth was pegged at December 25.  This argument appears in an anonymous “Christian” treatise entitled On Solstices and Equinoxes that was appears from fourth-century Africa: De solstitia et aequinoctia conceptionis et nativitatis domini nostri iesu christi et iohannis baptistae.  It is based on Augustine of Hippo (only late in life, after whoring and fathering a bastard did he become a Christian under the scolding of his mother), as found in Augustine, Sermo CCII.

Stone manger to feed cattle in Iran (200 BCE - 2011 CE)

There was no stable, nor any farm animals present at the birth, and the “manger” was a feeding troth in a cave—not in a barn near a hotel (Luke 2:7).  That there were “shepherds in a field” does not indicate that the shepherds were near-by, but that the season was warm and not raining nor cold—this would exclude winter months.  Matthew 2:11 reports that an indefinite number of astrologers visited the cave, not three wise men nor magi. The fantasy of Jesus being wrapped in swaddling clothes and laid in a manger comes from the theology of the Persian/Zoroastrian God Mithra/Mithras. As with Christianity that has its trinity composed of the Father, Son (Jesus) and Holy Ghost/Spirit; Mithra/Mithras was a part of the Zoroastrian Trinity: along with Rashnu “Justice” and Sraosha “Obedience”, Mithra is one of the three judges at the

Mithras Chinva Bridge of Separation (separating souls)

Chinva (or Chinvat) bridge, the “bridge of separation” that all souls must cross, and as with what became Christianity without Jesus (better known as Paulinity), no one could go to the Father without first turning to the Son, nor could one achieve eternal life without confessing the name of Mithra/Mithras as he “quiets the waters and makes the pastures green” (Avestan hymn to Mithra (Yasht 10) and Yasna 1:11-3:13).

Saturnalia celebrated with alcohol and sex on December 25 to initiate fertility

Christmas “traditions” are of recent vintage.  They were never a part of the early, medieval, or renaissance periods. The word “Christmas,” in fact, does not appear in word-formation until 1038, and then only in medieval English. All Christmas celebrations and traditions can be dated back at least 4000 to 15000 years BCE from Egypt to Scandinavia, Eastern Russia to France, Ethiopia to Mesopotamia, and elsewhere. These are found in Scandinavia worship celebration of the God Odin, in the Roman Empire recognizing the joyful sounds of Bacchus and the riotous merrymaking of Saturnalia, in Egypt where fertility rituals were the sport of the day, and numerous other occurrences.  

Nicholas bishop of Myra

The innovation of gift-giving (originally ascribed to a Greek bishop named Nicholas (Νικόλαος) of Myra who left socks of money to poor girls for dowries) whose relics were transferred to the Italian town of Bari (for that reason he is also known as Nicholas of Bari); he has always been favored by fishermen, sailors, and masters of ships and has been considered the Christianized version of the god of the seas: Poseidon. 

Dionysios/Bacchus god of wine: Triumphal Chariot (Tunisia) 200 BCE

Merrymaking goes back to the worshipful practices of the priests of Saturnalia and Bacchus (Roll, Susan K. (1995). Toward the Origins of Christmas, Kampen, The Netherlands: Kok Pharos Publishing House. p. 129 has Pope Benedict XIV being the first to roundly defend December 25 as being the birth of the New Testament Jesus).  Fernand Cabrol, “Les Origines du Culte catholique. Le Paganisme dans la liturgie” in Revue pratique d’apologétique 3 (1906-1907), pp. 210-211 note 2, and 212, note 3 with page 281 is among many who reject Christmas as being a Christian celebration and as an invention in the seventh century but not crystallized into popular canon until the seventeenth century; cp. Blötzer, Joseph (1907), “Das heidnische Mysterienwesen und die Hellenisierung des Christentums,” in Stimmen aus Maria Laach 72, pp. 41-42).  The most frequent use of other religions’ feasts and celebrations was among the Arians, with the established (Constantinian) church incorporating them to battle against Arianism. 

It is not before the seventh century, at the earliest, and continues through the nineteenth century, that Christianity has attempted to justify the mythological birth date of Jesus of the New Testament as December 25—which even science reviewing the New Testament accounts reject (Francis Pagi, Breviarium historic-chronologico-criticum, illustriora Pontificum Romanorum Gesta, Conciliorum Geralium acta, vol. 1 (Antwerp, The Netherlands: Van der Hart, 1717), pp. 89-93, cf. Patrologia Latina  128:24-30, under Anastasius, Vitae Romanorum pontificorum.

Christmas Day 1830: Farmer Giles' Establishment (UK)

Nativity scenes do not appear anywhere in any record until the tenth century CE, and homes are not decorated with “green” (shrubs, ivy, decorations, mistletoe (Viscum album) that was originally hung in honor of Nordic gods in petitioning for greater sexual fertility for poor families so that there would be more hands to work, and so forth) until the sixteenth century.  Commercially produced adornments/ornaments do not appear until 1860 and then only in Germany. When I was a young man attending St. Patrick’s Catholic Church in Cedar Falls, Iowa, there were no Christmas trees allowed in the church in the 1960s. Father McMullan blasted the practice as pagan.  In that the priest was correct, as the tree was adorned in honor of the Nordic god Thor (Allhoff, Fritz; Lowe, Scott C.; and, Nissenbaum, Stephen  (2010). Christmas – Philosophy for Everyone: Better than a Lump of Coal. Chichester, UK: John Wiley & Sons).  The word “Christmas tree” does not appear in the German language until the eighteenth century, and in English it is first recorded in 1835, brought in and translated by Queen Charlotte, wife of King George III,

Queen Victoria and Prince Albert (UK) 1846 Christmas tree

and acculturated by Queen Victoria and Prince Albert.  The Christmas tree, grudgingly, is accepted in the USA by the 1870s, and in South America in the twentieth century. Poinsettia doe not appear outside of Mexico until the nineteenth century, and they were a symbol of an ancient pagan god under the name of Cuitlaxochitl and carried to ancient Chile and Peru. It was initially attacked, then held in reverence by Franciscan friars and fathers who saw it as a symbol of the blood of the New Testament Jesus.

Joel Poinsett

The plant was and is used to produce a red dye and an antipyretic medication.  When the plant was introduced into the United States in 1825 by Joel Poinsett it took the name of Poinsettia.

Christmas carols (religious music) do not appear in any Christian church or community until the fourth century, and then as a means to popular counter Arianism. It is argued by apologists that Ambrose, archbishop of Milan wrote the first Latin hymn: Veni redemptor gentium.  Popular Christian songs do not appear until the thirteenth century and then they were heard only in France, Germany, and Italy.  They appear in England in 1426, and were sung by wassailers who went from house to house in quest of food and drink.

Panetón Todino (Perú) Translation: Let us go, eat, drink, dance, it is party time.

Eating special foods, especially pastries and confections do not reappear until the late Middle Ages and then as a means to wean the common people away from a return to pagan Bacchanalia in honor of the god Bacchus whose ministry and celebration included lavish feasts, drunkenness and sexual license. To this end there became the ritual consumption of bûche de Noël in France, panettone in Italy, and panetón in Spain and its conquered nations, especially in South America.

Martin Luther's Christmas tree

Gift giving was always a part of most pagan celebrations, and in the Roman west gift giving was associated with the theology and ritual of the god Saturnalia.  It was banned by the Roman Catholic Church in the Middle Ages because of its non-Christian origins (it was reinvented by Martin Luther to counter St. Nicholas day, that was actually a Norse legend around the god Odin), but later rationalized in Roman Catholic communities as being a part of the presents to the New Testament infant Jesus by the men who visited him (in bad translations, these men are called magi).  While the magi/astrologers were considered wise, it is because they preached an Apocalyptic end of the world since the days of Zoroaster–and the Star that they followed they believed was the light of the End Times (Yasna 30:3-4).

Zurvan emerged as a deified version of the concept of Infinite Time.  His name may have been borrowed from an earlier Phoenician deity, and is 

Bodleian Ms. J2 fol. 175 Y 28 1: End Times would come with birth of a child

translated as both “fate” and “fortune.”  The Zoroastrian god prophesied that there would be those who would cause a great war between two forces: good and evil (Nyayisn, 1.8), both of whom are his sons: Ahura Mazda and Ahriman, the prototypes for Israel and Ishmael, the children of the ancient Hindu god Brahama (Abraham; see the Pahlavi literature including the Denkart (cf. Dresden, Mark Jan (1966). Denkart: a Pahlavi text: facsimile edition of the manuscript B of the K. R. Cama Oriental Institute Bombay. Wiesbaden, Germany:  Harrassowitz; the original Pahlavi text, that I am using, was published at Bombay, India: Duftur Ashkara Press, 1874-1928), the Menok-i Xrat (Zaehner, Robert Charles (1955). Zurvan: A Zoroastrian Dilemma. Oxford : Clarendon Press; it was reprinted New York, NY, USA: Biblo and Tannen, with a new introduction by the author; multiple languages), and the Selections of Zadspram (a glossary to the ancient text is available from Teheran, Iran: Iranian Culture Foundation, 1973), as these works are a part of what would be generated as Islam and the Qu’ran; they exist in Farsi and Syriac).  Far from Christmas being a time of joy and fulfillment, it was to be a time of warfare, hunger, strife initiated by the gods who did not follow the laws of Zoroastrianism.  The Eternal War promised has not been realized, and “fate” has not found its destiny. It is truly the “mirror of religion”, the “cloak of ignorance” as prophets foretold as people have rejected old gods and they have vanished along with their apocalyptic visions and promises save for those who continue to follow Sharia Law and the damnation of the individual.

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Filed under Ancient Egypt, Bible, Bishop of Rome, Christmas, Church history, crucifixon, Islam, History, Jesus Christ, Jewish history, Martin Luther, Muhammad, Old Testament, Papacy, Roman Catholicism

12 Apostles: Constellations, Numerology, &Theology in the world’s religions: Quest to Understand Origins; a study of textual criticism, translation, interpretation and linguistics

Christianity, like all religions, gives credence to numerology, and over the centuries has attempted to create perfect unions of numbers with beings. In order to fashion the perfect union, Christianity borrowed most of its theology, ontology, theophany, and religious ideology from other religions, philosophies, sciences and mathematics, and the writings the past contained.  From this plagiarism came the invention of a church created in 325 CE by the Emperor Constantine I.  It succeeded only by silencing the opposition, burning their books and their priests, and condemning those who do not accept as heretics, or those who leave the world of priestly disenchantment apostates. 

1520, German religious reformer Martin Luther burning the papal bull

These practices all religions and secular and sacerdotal dictators have used from the beginning of recorded history in an effort to erase the past so they can rewrite it in their own image that was fanciful and lacking fact.  The belief continues that if a “reformer”  erases the words and the scriptures or volumes written by those you oppose, the opposition with melt away and be forced to join the new cult.  It was the raison d’être for the holocaust by the Hebrews in their war on the original inhabitants of Palestine: Canaanites, Palestinians, Philistines, etc., through the carnage of the crusades and Inquisition of the Roman Catholic

Members of the Hitler Youth are shown burning books in Salzburg, Austria

Church and Protestant Thirty Years War, the rise of Adolf Hitler who regularly proclaimed his faith in the God of Christianity, to the organized certified hategroups in the USA (such as Focus on the Family), to radical Islams that demand the death of democracy, freedom, and non-believers in the non-Muslim world while attacking non-Muslims in Muslim lands. This has always been the

Muslims protest against freedom and democracy in the UK

case throughout the history of Christianity, Islam, and other theologies, with most congregations using the books to burn non-believers and apostates. 

Taliban terrorists destroyed the Buddha statues with artillery and explosives in 2001 (carved ca 500 CE)

Today evangelical extremists and religious fundamentalists, especially among the Baptists and Pentecostals, burn comic books, magazines, books, films and whatever they cannot censor: seeing in the unwanted media “pornography”–which has led even to the destruction of centuries old statues, as when Islamic radicals (Taliban) dynamited the famed Buddhas along the Silk Road in Afghanistan in 2001.  The statues had been carved more than 1500 years prior to their destruction, but when Islam conquered Afghanistan after numerous blood baths and the butcher of women, children and the elderly, the theological students (Taliban) of the new faith (Islam) began their systematic destruction of the famed statues.  This did not abate, for religious zealots continued to hurl stones against the great Buddhas who preached peace while Islam called for war (jihad) and demanded the destruction of all images–even though the images of Imams and the Prophet Muhammad continued for more than 1000 years: appearing in books–even the Qur’an–and papers (as I have in my private library).

Public comic book burning in Binghamton, NY by "the faithful"

Constantine accelerated by burning the writings of Arius (that, based on what slender information that exits, was closer to the New Testament Jesus than the Jesus of the official catholic [universal] Church). 

The Emperor Constantine and the Council of Nicaea, with Arius's books being burned, below. (Drawing on vellum. From MS CLXV, Biblioteca Capitolare, Vercelli, a compendium of canon law produced in northern Italy ca. 825)

Constantine I (known as “the Great”) was a firm “pagan” who was far more devoted to the worship of Mithras than any other deity.  He created the catholic [universal] Church to win over the growing number of converts to the new cult out of the Middle East in an effort to stabilize a decaying empire. 

To buttress the Imperial state, he called together a small number of congregational leaders that history has deemed to be “bishops” to meet at the city of Nicaea.  At Nicaea the “bishops” hammered out details that led to a united group–coming out of the wreckage of various splinter entities that originated in Jerusalem and drifted away to Alexandria (the largest ghetto), Rome, numerous Greek πολις (polis: city-states), Egypt and other appendages to the empire.

Christianity and its various sects with different ideologies 325 CE

Constantine tried valiantly to get the various communities of “Christians”  (chrestianos and christianos) to come together.  His solution, was to incorporate as many of the various rites, rituals, adiaphora contents, and so forth into what would emerge as official “Christianity”—but with little in common with the Jesus of the New Testament.  Instead, Constantine’s “church” quickly took on the tapestry of Paulinity: complete with doctrines that are nowhere to be found in the Sayings of Jesus, but popular throughout the Roman Empire: End Times, Apocalypse, and numerology: especially glorifying and elevating the number 12.

A group of twelve things is called a duodecad. Twelve was an appropriate number for the religions of the empire, as it represented a common reality: the number of months in a year in the Western and Eastern European provinces, and the division of the skies represented by constellations reflecting the annual movement of heavenly bodies. Since education was weak to non-existent for most of the people of the empire, religion created mythologies and gave rise to numerous serendipitous superstitions and rank religious beliefs that were piled on top of respect for the number 12.

Zodiac : the constellations on the celestial sphere

Fortuitous fantasies and subsequent superstitions concerning signs of the Zodiac and life events have been, recently, comprehensively shown to be false. However, the shibboleth of ignorance brought with it a phylactery of priestly classes, pastors of congregations, and rabbis of writ to the detriment of learning, all disguised with the mask of the number 12. Eschatological symbolism in Judaism, as with the 12 Tribes of Israel (each being named after one of the twelve sons of Jacob) and early Christianity (with its invention of twelve apostles) was deeply indebted to the number 12, as will be discussed shortly.  But the debt that both Judaism and Christianity owe to this “divine number” goes beyond each of the religion’s history and antecedents.

Zoroastrianism was the religion during most of the Persian Empire

The ancient Zoroastrian religion had twelve commanders (depicted with wings) on the side of light (light being a symbol for the sun).  The ancient Zoroastrian holy book, the Menok i Xrat, says that the “twelve Signs of the Zodiac, as the Religion says, are the twelve commanders on the side of light” (Sagan, Carl (1995). Cosmos. Originally published 1981 by McDonald & Company; the 1995 edition was published at Avenel, NJ, USA: Wings Books: Distributed by Random House Value Pub.; another printing is by Abacus a division of Time Warner Books UK, at London, UK.  p. 58).  

Ahriman tried to destroy Ahura Mazda's creation by starting a battle

Zoroaster’s commanders are like archangels: fighting against evil in a battle for the fate of the world, and their invention came with the introduction of the mythology of End Times, Apocalypse and a universal war.  According to Zoroaster, this Final Battle, the ultimate universal war, would be with Ahura Mazda (Ahura means “light” and Mazda means “wisdom” in the Old Iranian language. Ahura Mazda is the “lord of light and wisdom” a creator god who had no beginning but is now and will “forever be”) ultimately triumphing over wickedness and evil. Ahura Mazda’s counterpart is Angra Mainyu, the “evil spirit”. 

Angra Mainyu is the creator of evil who will be destroyed in the Final Battle.  Zoroaster’s account antedates John of Patmos and his Apocalypse by 3000 years.  Zoroaster relates that Ahura Mazda gave the gods unique attributes: omniscience (all-knowing), omnipotence (all-powerful) and omnipresence (being everywhere).

Zoroaster’s Apostles spread out over the known world, following the same injunction that the followers of Jesus of the New Testament required of his believers, and matched in the nineteenth century CE by the Twelve Apostles of the Church of Latter Day Saints (Mormons).  The Twelve Apostles are the second highest ranking group in the Mormon church. and are known as the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. 

The First Presidency (must be selected unanimously) and the Twelve Apostles in September 1898. Reed Smoot is missing from this photograph

They serve under the direction of the First Presidency, which consists of three high priests (considered by some to be the Mormon Trinity) generally selected from the ranks of the Quorum of the Twelve.  Mormons believe that their Apostles are identical to those selected by the New Testament Jesus.  The Mormon Prophet Joseph Smith said:

They are the Twelve Apostles, who are called to the office of the Traveling High Council, who are to preside over the churches of the Saints, among the Gentiles, where there is a presidency established; and they are to travel and preach among the Gentiles, until the Lord shall command them to go to the Jews. They are to hold the keys of this ministry, to unlock the door of the Kingdom of heaven unto all nations, and to preach the Gospel to every creature. This is the power, authority, and virtue of their apostleship. (Joseph Smith, History of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 7 vols. 2:200)

The Mormon Apostles seek unanimity in all their decisions. (Doctrine and Covenants 107:27).  The determine faith and morals, in the same manner as the Roman Catholic pontiff. 

Current Mormon (LDS) Apostles

Apostles of the LDS serve for their lifetime, unless removed from their position for iniquity or through resignation.  Few resign or are removed.

In all cases there is strong similarity.  All begin with saviour gods who were born during the time of a bright star; are visited by wise men, minister and preach a universal peace, are crucified, die, are born again, and return for a final battle. The star-gazers and sun-worshippers of the ancient world would be proud that they were followed by a long series of cultures that imagined a collection of twelve gods:

Among all the gods worshipped by the Greeks, the twelve deities who dwelt on Mt Olympus, the highest mountain in Greece, formed a special category of their own. The gods of Olympus were usually taken to be Zeus, Hera, Athena, Poseidon, Apollo, Artemis, Demeter, Hermes, Aphrodite, Ares, Hephaestus and Hestia. In certain local variations, positions among the ‘twelve’ were occupied by Pluto, Dionysus, Heracles or other local cult heroes.

(Mavromataki, Maria (1997).  Greek mythology and religion: cosmogony, the gods, religious customs, the heroes. Athens, Greece: Editions Haïtalis (Astrous 13, 13121). p. 24). In short, there was not a single religion in the ancient world through the time of Constantine and even beyond to the present day that did not have a savior god or goddess who called 12 Apostles to minister in his or her name.

The Greeks went further than many other faiths.  While the Greeks imagined 12 Gods living, creating, ruling and judging from Mount Olympus, they were aided by numerous sons and daughters (the more important deities had 12 sons in a manner similar to the Jewish Jacob) who numbered from 12 to 70 or 72 (cp. Luke 10:1; 72 is a more reasonable number for the disciples, as it is more easily divided by 12, the ultimate number being 6 that is half of 12).  I will discuss the spiritual significance of 6 later and how it applies to all theologies from ancient Ethiopia and Egypt to the present plethora of religious faiths and pseudo-religions such as the contemporary New Apostolic Reformation and others.

Fresco of Mithras slaying the bull, 2nd century CE, Marino, Italy

Out of this came the Passion of Mithras: the slaughter of the Sacred Bull, the yeh of Imperial Rome before much of it is incorporated by Imperial decree into Paulinity.  The religion was a direct challenge to the rise of various Jewish sects, including that of Christian Judaism.

Mithras and his 12 Apostles (signs of the Zodiac)

The followers of the God Mithras, who was born out of a rock/stone (petras:

Mithras born from the rock (petra genetrix), Marble, 180-192 AD. From the area of S. Stefano Rotondo, Rome.

πέτρα; cp. Matthew 16:18) that was to be the basis of faith as detailed in decorations and graffitti, including many Roman emperors such as Constantine, believed that the crucified Mithras was their eternal saviour who would transport them to a heavenly realm while having his message sent to all people of all nations by 12 disciples.  The same story is the foundation for what would become the faith of Christians who also believe that their saviour, in most ways identical to Mithras and with the Mithraist religion, had 12 disciples. 

Ancient religions used the number 12, believing, as Pythagoras argued, that it was a god-given gift to mortals and had divine properties and a profound mystical meaning.  This was because it is one of the lowest easily divisible numbers, unlike other numbers it has several dividing factors: 6, 4, 3, and 2. Since 12 was the lowest easily divisible number, it was used to prepare calendars and time pieces (clocks) that were used for and with astronomy (star-gazing, star charting, and that ultimately led to astrology—the study that assumes and attempts to interpret the influence of the heavenly bodies on human affairs—and the believe in a mystical heaven that was centered between the stars and composed of 12 constellations).

Sumerian Zodiac with inscription "the city of Nippur, honored by them as a central shrine"

The oldest preserved zodiac dates from 3100 – 3000 BCE when the Sumerians in Mesopotamia developed their Zodiac based on the six heavenly bodies (known as “houses” or “star groups”) they could see with the naked eye (astronomy).  These celestial objects are now known as planets.

On tablets the Sumerians wrote of visitors from “beyond the stars” who  had selected certain Sumerian cities as special communities for worship. The symbols on the Zodiac were remembrances of those who came, and used to understand (“foretell”) the future.

While the Sumerians used symbols in their Zodiac, theirs were not the first symbols of religious orientation.  Much of ancient Sumerian theology became the foundation for what would emerge as Hebrew theology.  For example:

“In the beginning everything was ocean – the Apsu – Chaos, whence arose a number of divinities, including Tiamat (the sea) and the gods Anu, Enlil and Enki (Ea), the later representatives of the tripartite world. Now Apsu desired to destroy his offspring, but was killed by Enki, who looked upon the Apsu as his home. Then Tiamat, who went forth to revenge Apsu, was vanquished in conflict with Sumer, Babylon and Assur, respectively. Now before the struggle, Tiamat had created, in place of Apsu, huge monsters in animal form.” 

To strengthen the faith, a Zodiac was created with early symbolism and text that includes passages about winged being who came to earth and would return someday from distant planets.  In the Heavenly Ocean were a variety of animal constellations: the “vanished” gods.  By 2600 BCE the Sumerians are writing about a great battle between Sumer, Babylon and Assur: the foundation for what would become Gog and Megog (Hebrew: גּוֹג וּמָגוֹג  that translates as “the four corners/quarters of the earth”; it is the cornerstone for Ezekiel 38-39 that was used as the foundation for Revelation 20; but, in Genesis 10, where Magog is the eponymous ancestor of a people or nation the text is more realistic and most likely written after the battle of the King Gyges of Lydia (687 BCE-652 BCE), although Josephus in separate passages in the “Jewish Antiquities” and “Jewish War” of the 1st century details that Jews of that time identified Gog and Magog with the Scythians, and concluded that Alexander the Great locked these horse-riding barbarians of the far north behind the Caucasus mountains with iron gates (Bietenholz, Peter G. (1994). Historia and fabula: myths and legends in historical thought from antiquity to the modern age. Leiden, Netherlands: E. J. Brill).  It is a myth that has fascinated people from Scandinavia to China, speaks of giant warriors such as Ghengis Khan and contemporary dictators–but it remains an ever-expanding myth that brings out the wildest fears of many self-styled prophets (cp. Derry, T.K (1979). A history of Scandinavia: Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, and Iceland. St. Paul / Minneapolis, MN, USA: University of Minnesota Press; Marshall, Robert (1993). Storm from the East: from Ghengis Khan to Khubilai Khan. London, UK: BBC Books, and Berkeley, CA, USA: University of California Press; and the thesis/dissertation of Christensen, Arne Søby (2002). Cassiodorus, Jordanes, and the History of the Goths: Studies in a Migration Myth. Published in Copenhagen, Denmark: Museum Tusculanum Press).

Gog and Magog appear in Qur’an sura Al-Kahf (The Cave), 18:83-98, as Yajuj and Majuj (Ya-juj/Ya-jewjand Ma-juj/Ma-jewjor يأجوج و مأجوج, in Arabic), but this is a plagiarism from the “Gates of Alexander” story from the Alexander Romance, a thoroughly embellished compilation of Alexander the Great’s wars and adventures (Omrani Rekavandi, H., Sauer, E., Wilkinson, T. & Nokandeh, J. (2008), The enigma of the red snake: revealing one of the world’s greatest frontier walls, Current World Archaeology, No. 27, February/March 2008, pp. 12-22).  As with the Christian or Hebrew Bible or Torah, very little in the Qur’an is original or true.

Scorpio, Kudurru, Meli-Shipak and Nebuchadnezzar boundary stones 12th century BCE

Heavenly symbolism begins ca 4000 BCE and in Europe we have many megaliths and remains from the fourth millennium BCE.  Some megaliths with symbols can be dated back to 6000 BCE. The asterism (the science of the asterisk or “little star”; see: Walker, Christopher B. F. (1996). Astronomy before the Telescope.  London, UK: British Museum Press. pp. 50-67) Scorpio is the common denominator and symbol for the Ritual Age that extended from Northern Scandinavia and the Atlantic to the Pacific. There are no scorpions in Scandinavia so if we find several images it is surely the asterism; on the other hand there are a couple of rock carvings in the shape of Scorpio.

Canchal Mahona cave symbol (Spain)

At the same time, the eye symbol is used for the moon and has been found in a cave in Canhal Mahona (moon cycle; noting that the original first deity was a goddess: Venus) Spain.  It is also seen in Egyptian roof paintings of the celestial world.

It would not be until the rise of Babylon (and Assyria) that the Zodiac would be transmogrified into 12 signs or symbols, arising in the second millennium BCE with a cult growing up around its astrology.  Astrology became a cult in itself, with official claim that it was one of the two chief means at the disposal of the priests (who were called bare or “inspectors”) for ascertaining the will and intention of the gods (the other being through the inspection of the liver of the sacrificial animal).

Sumerian tablet: ancient aliens and the heavenly war

The Sumerians, however, had the number 12 and did more with the number 12 and astronomy than merely calculate the planets or tell times of planting and harvesting.  The number and its mythology played an intricate role in the Sumerian government, as the government was always composed of twelve people.

Sumerian ideas and technologies were passed to other civilizations: from Egypt to Mesopotamian empires, such as that of Babylon (Iraq).  In ancient Egypt, the number 12 stood for maturity, and girls under the age of 12, and boys under the age of 13, remained naked to testify to their innocence.  12 had no special divine qualities, but the Rhind Mathematical Papyrus and the Moscow Mathematical Papyrus show that the ancient Egyptians could perform the four basic mathematical operations: addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division  (Gardiner, Sir Alan (1957). Egyptian Grammar: Being an Introduction to the Study of Hieroglyphs. Oxford, England: Griffith Institute. p. 197).  These were used ultimately, in praise of the Goddess Isis, a part of history’s original Trinity (Isis-Ra-El that the mercenaries known as Habiru/ Hebrews changed into Israel), and her theology.  From it came the obelisks and various calculated structures (Siliotti, Alberto (1998). The Discovery of Ancient Egypt. Edison, NJ, USA: Book Sales, Inc., p. 8 seq.). The Egyptians also used fractions, computed the volumes of boxes and pyramids, and calculate the surface areas of rectangles, triangles, circles and even spheres using principles underlying the Pythagorean Theorem: Area ≈ [(89)D]2 = (25681)r 2 ≈ 3.16r 2 being the basis for Pythagoras πr 2 (Strouhal, Eugen (1989). Life in Ancient Egypt. Norman, OK, USA: University of Oklahoma Press, p. 241).  

Like the Sumerians, the Babylonians, with their numbering system of 60, found the number 12 to be practical and useful for calendars and times—and to explain how their religion influenced the religions throughout the Middle East: from Mesopotamia to Southern Egypt and beyond. The author of Science: a Four Thousand Year History, Patricia Fara, says “the Babylonians split the heavens into twelve equal sections, one for each lunar month and carrying the name of a prominent constellation. Translated into Latin, these now exist as the twelve signs of the zodiac familiar from newspaper horoscopes, such as Aries the Ram and Taurus the Bull” (Fara, Patricia (2009). Science: A Four Thousand Year History. Oxford, UK; New York, NY, USA: Oxford University Press. p. 13). This idea was passed on from culture to culture:

The notion of the zodiac is very ancient, with roots in the early cultures of Mesopotamia. The first 12-signs of the Zodiac were named after the gods of these cultures. The Greeks adopted astrology from the Babylonians, and the Romans, in turn, adopted astrology from the Greeks. These people renamed the signs of the Mesopotamian zodiac in terms of their own mythologies, which is why the familiar zodiac of the contemporary West bears names from Mediterranean mythology.

(Lewis, James R. (2004) in Partridge, Christopher (2004).  Encyclopedia of New Religions (2004 edition). Oxford, UK: Lion Publishing. p. 337.)

Shēngxiào (chinese zodiac)

The same situation occurs in the orient (the Far East). The Chinese zodiac (The Shēngxiào) also had twelve divisions; although they were different to the common ones that Western culture adopted from the Sumerians.  The Chinese used animals to mark the zodiac, not gods.  Some scholars argue that the animals were representations of god, such as the winged-lion in Christianity representing the Apostle Mark.  This Zodiac was used from Korea to Japan and throughout East Asia (the Thais have the most unusual of calendars: “การเปลี่ยนวันใหม่ การนับวัน ทางโหราศาสตร์ไทย การเปลี่ยนปีนักษัตร โหราศาสตร์ ดูดวง ทำนายทายทัก” where the year starts at different times. 

Chinese Zodiac (art object)

The Chinese Zodiac reflected time cycles divided into 12 parts, and each is widely associated with a culture of attributing influence of a person’s relationship to the cycle upon their personality and/or events in their life.  None of the animals of the Chinese zodiac are associated with constellations but are linked to agriculture leading to 24 two-week segments known as Solar Terms that were defined by popular mythology by the Jade Emperor who selected twelve animals to represent the generation of matter: planets, people, and so forth.

Ivory Buddhist Tibetan talisman

When China was influenced by Buddhism, the Zodiac and its cycles were affected, in part. As the division of the divine realm into 12 areas was based on the original stellar usefulness of the number, non-godly religions also developed mystical systems that divided existence into 12 parts. Buddhists hold that life is composed of 12 stages, which together keep the wheel of life turning, ensnaring all life in a samsaric (cyclic) form of existence from which it is hard to escape.

The Buddhist teaching on samsaric existence is […] depicted in the Wheel of Becoming. […] The rim of the wheel is divided into twelve segments and scenes. These show how beings pass from one realm to another, and are call the nidanas. […] These scenes depict Buddhist teaching on Dependent Origination: the causal chain which ensures that the Wheel of Samara keeps revolving.

(Erricker, Clive (1995). Buddhism. Publisher: Lincolnwood (Chicago), Illinois, U.S.A. : NTC Pub. Group, 1995, pp. 45-48; reissued: London : Teach Yourself, 2008.  Cp. Erricker, Clive (1995). Teach Yourself Buddhism. London : Hodder Headline, 1995.)

In nearly every theology there have been lesser gods (usually twelve in number) and twelve superior gods. The ancient Zoroastrian holy book, the Menok i Xrat, says that the “twelve Signs of the Zodiac, as the Religion says, are the twelve commanders on the side of light” (Mavromataki (1997) p. 24); the full passage from the actual text reads:

All welfare and adversity that come to man and other creatures come through the Seven and the Twelve.  Twelve signs of the Zodiac, as the Religion says are the twelve commanders on the side of light; and the seven planets are said to be the seven commanders on the side of darkness.  And the seven planets oppress all creation and deliver it over to death and all manner of evil:  for the twelve signs of the Zodiac and the seven planets rule the fate of the world.

It is also found in cuneiform on stones from Assyria, Samaria and Babylon, which read:

The signs on Earth, just as those in heaven, give us signals.  Sky and Earth both produce portents; though appearing separately, they are not separate:  Sky and Earth are related.

This gave antecedent to the horror mythology of John of Patmos, the alleged author of the Christian Apocalypse. Christianity, like Judaism and Islam, is, indeed, deeply endebted to Zoroastrianism.  In Zoroastrianism, long before the advent of any of the other Mesopotamian/Middle Eastern religions even surfaced to attract any attention, the commanders fight against evil in a battle for the fate of the world. The star-gazers and sun-worshippers of the ancient world would be proud that they were followed by a long series of cultures that imagined a collection of twelve gods:

Among all the gods worshipped by the Greeks, the twelve deities who dwelt on Mt Olympus, the highest mountain in Greece, formed a special category of their own. The gods of Olympus were usually taken to be Zeus, Hera, Athena, Poseidon, Apollo, Artemis, Demeter, Hermes, Aphrodite, Ares, Hephaestus and Hestia. In certain local variations, positions among the ‘twelve’ were occupied by Pluto, Dionysus, Heracles or other local cult heroes.

Maria Mavromataki, Maria (1997).  Greek Mythology and Religion, loc. cit.

Some Gods had twelve sons, and some sun gods had 12 disciples to spread the message across the world that the sun wasn’t dead; it was rising again in the sky in spring, after being defeated in autumn.  This ideological theology transcended boarders, nations, and people, for it reached into Scandinavia, Russia, the Americas, and beyond.  As the stars are divided into twelve, it is only natural to presume that communities of Homo sapiens (even Neanderthals) can be divided into twelve geographical locations, and each one administered by a different personification of the Sun.

The Signs of the Zodiac became Leaders.  It was thought their influence over the lives of individual people could be worked out through a mixture of planet-watching and confused mysticism. The legacy that such lunacy left us was a deep-rooted religious tradition that the affairs of mankind are rightfully led by twelve leaders, with the religious literature of each including the notation: “As in heaven, so on Earth.”  

A detail from runestone G 181 in the Swedish Museum of National Antiquities in Stockholm. The three men are interpreted as Odin, Thor and Freyr.

Odin (Old Norse Óðinn) was referred to by more than 200 names; see: Gylfaginning XX, and Harrison, Dick & Svensson, Kristina (2007). Vikingaliv. Stockholm, Sweden: Natur och Kultur, 2007. p. 63, in Swedish; cp. Finnur Jónsson (1926-28). Ordbog til de af samfund til udg. af gml. nord. litteratur udgivne rímur samt til de af Dr. O. Jiriczek udgivne bósarimur, pp. 51-51. København: J. Jørgensen & Co., in Danish where there is an unfortunate mixture of Biflindi and Byrlindi), for example, who sat on a chair that overlooked all of creation, has 12 sons, and like the sons of Jacob, Odin’s sons represented mortal nations and places.  The best known children of Odin are Thor , Týr , Freyr , Heimdallr , and Loki (the “trickster” who frequently becomes combative and sometimes is considered a devil).  Other sons include Balder, Sigi, Vali, and Vithar.

God Lugh/Lugus

Odin and his children had one special gift: they could change shapes and turn from mortal bodies into those of animals.  There are parallels between Odin and Celtic Lugus: both are intellectual gods, commanding magic and poetry, yet furious in battle using a spear and carrying ravens. Julius Caesar (de Bello Gallico, 6.17.1) mentions Mercury as the chief god of Celtic religion, and Mercury has 12 sons who spread out across the known world to preach to and teach the people. 

Odin (the father) is a part of the Norse Trinity, joined by his son Thor (who is crucified), and son of inspiration—a Holy Ghost—Freyr (Adam of Bremen’s Gesta Hammaburgensis ecclesiae pontificum 26 notes:

In hoc templo, quod totum ex auro paratum est, statuas trium deorum veneratur populus, ita ut potentissimus eorum Thor in medio solium habeat triclinio; hinc et inde locum possident Wodan et Fricco. Quorum significationes eiusmodi sunt : ‘Thor’, inquiunt, ‘praesidet in aere, qui tonitrus et fulmina, ventos ymbresque, serena et fruges gubernat. Alter Wodan, id est furor, bella gerit, hominique ministrat virtutem contra inimicos. Tertius est Fricco, pacem voluptatemque largiens mortalibus’. Cuius etiam simulacrum fingunt cum ingenti priapo. In this temple, entirely decked out in gold, the people worship the statues of three gods in such wise that the mightiest of them, Thor, occupies a throne in the middle of the chamber; Wotan and Frikko have places on either side. The significance of these gods is as follows: Thor, they say, presides over the air, which governs the thunder and lightning, the winds and rains, fair weather and crops. The other, Wotan—that is, the Furious—carries on war and imparts to man strength against his enemies. The third is Frikko, who bestows peace and pleasure on mortals. His likeness, too, they fashion with an immense phallus.

12 "sons" (tribes) of Jacob: astrological symbols

Much of this became the foundation for one of the greatest plagiarism in the ancient world: The Torah and the Talmud.  Not only were their twelve tribes named after the twelve sons of Jacob who is considered both a man (Genesis 32:24, 28) and a god (Genesis 32:28, 30), but Israel knew twelve tribes, called after the twelve sons of Jacob, according to mythology (there is no historical record of a Joseph in Egypt), Joseph had two sons: Manasseh and Ephraim who, by command of Jacob (actually one of the ancient gods of Israel [Is{is}-Ra-El]) were regarded as de facto “tribes” of Israel (Genesis 48:5, to preserve the numerological theology of 12; cp. Joshua 14:3-4). The best known of the sons of Jacob are Benjamin whose lineage produced King Saul and also who the Books of Acts of the Apostles introduces as Saul of Tarsus.  The priestly tribe of Levi produced Moses and the first High Priest, the brother of Moses: Aaron.  Judah’s family tree would boast of Kings David and Solomon and other rulers; the New Testament attached Jesus to the House of David even though there is no historical record to substantiate this Biblical figure.

12 sons/tribes of Jacob/Israel

The lineage of Jacob, in the Torah, includes: Reuben (it translates as “see”, and the tale is found in Genesis 29:32), Simeon (it translates as “hearing” and is also the son of Leah as was Reuben, and detailed in Genesis 29:33; he is not blessed by Moses and most likely was unknown), Levi (also a son of Leah, and translates as “joined” or “attached” and is found in Genesis 29:34), Judah (translates as Yah—not Yahweh—but is the name of an ancient Egyptian bull god, and is read at Genesis 29:35), Dan (a word meaning “judge” and the son of Bilhah who was Rachel’s servant, and is at Genesis 30:6), Naphtali (meaning “my wrestling” and invokes combat, with his nativity at Genesis 30:6), Gad (a word that details the Habiru/Hebrew’s origin, as it means “invader” or “troop” as the ancient Hebrews were mercenaries in Egypt working for the Hyksos; it is found at Genesis 39:11),  and he is the son of Leah’s servant Zilpah, whose story is at Genesis 30:11), Asher (which means “happy” was also the son of Zilpah and is recorded at Genesis 30:13),  Issachar (translates as “man for hire” or “wages” and implies prostitution; he is the son of Leah in Genesis 30:18), Zebulun (meaning “dwelling” and is the son of Leah and implies both greed and ownership, as it is recorded that Leah said “…now my husband will dwell with me, because I have borne him six sons”—six being a division of twelve by two sisters as Jacob committed incest by marrying his two first cousins; the story is at Genesis 30:20b), Joseph (translates as “increaser” and was the son of Rachel, but also was a term used for anticipated future pregnancies and thus the enrichment of the land through additional laborers or soldiers; it is found at Genesis 30:24), and, finally: Benjamin (translates a “son of the right hand” born to Rachel as she was dying (in Genesis 35:18, Rachel calls the infant Ben-Oni—“son of sorrow”—but Jacob renamed him Ben-Jamin, to do his bidding).  There is a popular myth of 10 Lost Tribes of Israel, but there is no historical basis for this claim:  Most Hebrews moved before and after the “Babylonian Captivity” and Jews are found in Alexandria, Egypt in the first century CE.

Judaism includes prophecies that are more condemnation, as with Reuben who “defiled” Jacob’s bed: implying incest with the mother or possibly a sister.  Simeon and Levi were known for sadism, and were cursed to be “scattered”. Judah was the most favored to become a king and ultimately to produce a warrior leader (messiah) to go against the enemies of Jacob and his tribes. Dan who was to be a judge over Israel is also called a serpent: “a viper by the path” that will ultimately force a rider to fall backward—and thus is the foundation for the allegory of Saul of Tarsus trip to Damascus.  Naphtali was a flatterer who “uses beautiful words” but could not always be trusted, and most likely has his origin in Loki or Scandinavia. Gad was to be routed in battle, but becomes a king and a judge. Asher loves “dainties” (delicacies of food) and represents the gluttony of a few both in food and possessions: “Let him dip his foot in oil. Your sandals shall be iron and bronze”. Issachar was considered “strong [as a] donkey”, while Zebulun “shall become a haven for ships”.  Joseph was to wear a crown—for which there is no historical evidence, but he would be permanently separated from his brothers.  Benjamin was to become a warrior but shares in the spoils with his tribe. (Genesis 49:1-27, ref. Deuteronomy 33:6-25).

Besides the “sons of Jacob” (females were seldom counted), there were twelve “minor” prophets (the Hebrew Bible, the Nevi’im, or Prophets): referring to the length of each “book”—not to the writer’s importance.  The Minor Prophets are: Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi.

There were twelve springs and seventy palm trees, (symbolic of the seventy disciples (Luke 10:1) and other groups of seventy) at Elim (אֵילִם : sExodu ), probably 100 km southeast of Suez.  The breast piece of the high priest was decorated with twelve stones bearing the names of the twelve tribes (Ex-28:21) and the “bronze Sea” in the Temple of Jerusalem stood on twelve bulls (1Kings-7:25), for the bull, seen as a Golden Calf, was the symbol of Yeh (Exodus 32:4-5); Yahweh’s original name was El (Genesis 6:3).

Egyptian god Yah a golden calf (Apis)

These are just a few of the many occasions in which the Old Testament mentions the number twelve.  There were twelve stones of Hoshen (breastplate of judgment or priestly breastplate (Hebrew: hoshen חֹשֶׁן) was a sacred breastplate worn by the High Priest for the Israelites that contained 12 jewels: three in four rows), twelve loaves of show-bread on the shulchan (table) in the Beit Hamikdash: “House of Holy” (בֵּית־הַמִּקְדָּשׁ) or the Temple, and it was the age at which Bat Mitzvah is attained in Orthodox Judaism, and so forth.

Many sun-worshipping religions had their god-man figure gather twelve disciples, one for each division of space. The prime example is Mithras, the half-god half-human saviour of Mithraism, a Roman mystery religion. In keeping with other developed sun-worshipping religions, the saviour (Mithras) is depicted in drawing with an aurora behind his head, representing the sun. Followers were seen as stars.

As the stars are divided into twelve groups, it is natural to presume that communities of mortals can be divided into twelve geographical locations, and each one administered by a different personification of the Sun. The Signs of the Zodiac became Leaders; it was thought their influence over the lives of individual people could be worked out through a mixture of planet-watching and confused mysticism. The legacy that such lunacy left us was a deep-rooted religious tradition that the affairs of mankind are rightfully led by twelve leaders: As in (the heavens) heaven, so on Earth. Odin, for example, who sat on a chair that overlooked all of creation, has 12 sons.

Hávamál (Odin the crucified God)

Odin is one of more than 70 crucified saviours of the world. In Rúnatal, a section of the Hávamál (it translates as “Sayings of the High One” and is similar to the “Sayings of Jesus” presenting advice for living, proper conduct and wisdom and is both practical and metaphysical.  The Gestaþáttr is stanzas 1-80 (stanzas 1-79 comprise a set of maxims for how to handle oneself when a guest and traveling, focusing particularly on manners and other behavioral relationships between hosts and guests and the sacred lore of reciprocity and hospitality to the Norse worshippers of “the True God Odin”) and is a collection of proverbs and gnomic wisdom: sententious maxims put into verse to aid the memory that is considered divine opinions (it is best understood in the manner of Greek gnomes, belonging to the family of wisdom literature). Odin sacrifices to himself, being hung from the world tree (verdenstreet and världen träd) Yggdrasil for nine days and nights.  At this point Odin’s name is Hangatýr (meaning “the God who is hanged”; cf. Patton, Kimberley Christine (2009). “Myself to Myself: The Norse Odin and Divine Autosacrifice” in Religion of the Gods: Ritual, Paradox, and Reflexivity. Oxford, UK & New York, NY, USA: Oxford University Press). Odin, the Father God, is pierced by his own spear (cp. John 19:34), in order to learn the wisdom that would give him power in the nine worlds. The worship of Odin, in the Norse form is particularly acknowledged in Ásatrú, the “faith in the Æsir”, an officially recognized religion in Iceland, Denmark, Norway, Sweden and Spain.

Many sun-worshipping religions had their god-man figure gather twelve disciples, one for each division of space. The prime example is Mithras, the half-god half-human saviour of Mithraism, a Roman mystery religion. In keeping with other developed sun-worshipping religions, the saviour (Mithras) is depicted in drawing with an aurora behind his head, representing the sun.  Mithras had twelve apostles, celebrated feasts with twelve loaves of bread and twelve cups of wine that he proclaimed symbolized his body and blood.  Christian apologists, such as J. P. Arendzen, attempt to portray Mithras as being but an offshoot of Hindu theology, or M. J. Vermaseren, who argued that it comes as a “late[r] date for the expansion of Mithraism to the west” affirming that Mithraism borrowed from Christianity (M. J. Vermaseren (1963). Mithras, The Secret God. London, UK: Chatto & Windus, p. 76).  The absurdities in the apologists’ claims are abundant and the result of their desire to disprove Mithras and the theology it inspired: 

The few texts that do refer to the cult come not from Mithraic devotees themselves, but rather from outsiders such as early Church fathers, who mentioned Mithraism in order to attack it, and Platonic philosophers, who attempted to find support in Mithraic symbolism for their own philosophical ideas [emphasis mine].

The majority tried to claim the deity to be of Sanskrit extraction (मित्रा) found in the Rig Veda (3, Hymn 59) but this reasoning is contrived and strained.  (Ulansey, David (1991). The Origins of the Mithraic Mysteries. Oxford, UK & New York, NY, USA: Oxford University Press; it is digested in Biblical Archaeology Review under the title “Solving the Mithraic Mysteries” vol. 20.5 [September/October 1994] pp. 40-53; discussed here).  

The destruction of Mithraic literature and theology was calculated and executed by the emerging community (εκκλσία: ecclesia that originally meant “assembly” as in a debating society, but became the word for a “church” militant”: ecclesia militans, ecclesia penitens, ecclesia triumphans in preparation for battle against an Anti-Christ who was seen in the followers of Mithras, later Roman emperors from Nero to Constantine, and all “foreign” religions, based on Matthew 10:34) of Chrestianos, who were determined to erase any heritage of the past or any item that countered their god Jesus—a reminder that is poignantly portrayed in Umberto Eco’s The Name of the Rose. What exists, lives on in graffiti in the worship centers and in fragments of art (Francis, E.D. (1971). Hinnells, John R. ed. “Mithraic graffiti from Dura-Europos,” in Mithraic Studies, vol. 2. Manchester, UK: Manchester University Press. pp. 424–445).  Mithraic temples were neither isolated nor few.  These subterranean worship centers that numbered in the thousands have been found throughout the Roman Empire: from England in the north and west to Palestine in the south and east. Iconography in the Mithraea, such as that at Dura Europos wall paintings depict prophets carrying scrolls (Hinnells, John R., editor (1971). Mithraic Studies, vol. 2. Manchester University Press.  plate 25)—but their titles and duties are not found given the barbaric treatment the religion felt under the formally declared Christian church in 325 CE and its warrior bishops who were among the world’s most numerous book burners.

Tauroctony of Mithras

The iconography of Mithraism: the so-called tauroctony or “bull-slaying scene” in which the god of the cult, Mithras (Greek Μίθρας; the Persian is Mithra—an early example of the Greek form of the name is in a 4th century BCE work by Xenophon, the Cyropaedia (7.5.53), which is a biography of the Persian king Cyrus the Great; in Porphyry’s Greek text De Abstinentia (Περὶ ἀποχῆς ἐμψύχων II.56 and IV.16 for Pallas, and De antro nympharum 6 (for Euboulus and his history), there is a reference to the now-lost histories of the Mithraic mysteries, the wording of which suggests that these authors treated the name “Mithras” as an indeclinable foreign word), accompanied by a dog, a snake, a raven, and a scorpion, is shown in the act of killing a bull.  Other iconic scenes of Mithras show him being born from a rock (Commodian, Instructiones 1.13), slaughtering a bull, having a banquet (Plutarch, Pompeii 24-25) and sharing a banquet with the god Sol (the Sun). 

Sol and Mithras in a fresco from the Middle Mithraeum at Dura Europos, Syria ca 210 CE

Contrary to early “Christians” who tried to prove their god superior and antedating Mithras, we have written evidence to the contrary.  As Marvin Meyer argues that “early Christianity … in general, resembles Mithraism in a number of respects—enough to make Christian apologists scramble to invent creative theological explanations to account for the similarities” (Meyer, Marvin (2006). “The Mithras Liturgy”, in A.J. Levine, A. J.; Allison, Jr. Dale C.; and Crossan, John Dominic. The Historical Jesus in Context. Princeton, NJ, USA: Princeton University Press. p. 179).  The Romans themselves regarded the mysteries as having Persian or Zoroastrian sources, a view sometimes argued by modern-era scholars. The historian Plutarch says (46 – 127 CE) that in 67 BCE a large band of pirates based in Cilicia (a province on the southeastern coast of Asia Minor) were practicing “secret rites” of Mithras. Initiates called themselves syndexioi, those “united by the handshake”.  Walter Burket noted: “Taking the right hand is the old Iranian form of a promise of allegiance,…” (Burkert, Walter (1987). Ancient mystery cults. Cambridge, MA, USA: Harvard University Press. pp. 16-17). Later, in Judaism and Paulinity (the Christian church), this allegiance was sealed with a kiss (osculum pacis), that is still practiced in different religions and groups.

An army of divine men and the secret army of Mithras (fresco from the catacomb of Priscilla)

The earliest physical remains of the religion of Mithras date from around the end of the first century CE.  While the majority of the faithful came from the ranks of the military (primarily soldiers) who came from all nations under Roman jurisdiction (even worshipping gods associated with Mithras), the

Julius Terentius, tribune of the Cohors XX Palmrenorum,and his men sacrificing sacrifice before the statues of Gordian III, Pupienus, and Balbinus

religion’s membership included significant numbers of bureaucrats and merchants, as well as laborers and “occasional men”: in short, from all walks of life (Clauss, Manfred (1990). “Die sieben Grade des Mithras-Kultes”. Zeitschrift für Papyrologie und Epigraphik [ZPE] 82: 183–194); only women were excluded.

Mummy funerary inscription of the priest of Mithras: Ornouphios, son of Artemis, lived 14 years, Choiak 15, The 3rd year

This accelerated Mithraism‘s revival in the fourth century CE—although it was short-lived given the power being accumulated by the Christian Church (Griffith, Alison. “Mithraism in the private and public lives of 4th-c. senators in Rome”. Electronic Journal of Mithraic Studies [EJMS]).  That Mithraism was a part of far older periods can be seen in the mummy funerary inscription of the prieset of Mithras (MS in Greek on linen cloth, Egypt, late 1st c. BCE, 1 cloth (complete), 14×39 cm, single column, (9×21 cm), 6 lines in Greek half-uncial. Provenance: 1. H.P. Kraus, New York). There are more than 677 papyri, mainly originating in Middle Egypt, including Oxyrhynchus and Fayum, that are in the collection of the renowned papyrologist Prof. Atiyah. We find confirmation in Porphyry (Πορφύριος, ca 234-305 CE, who was best known for his notable and scholarly  De Philosophia ex oraculis [Philosophy from Oracles] (Read: De Philosophia ex oraculis haurienda librorum reliquiae. Wolf, Gustaff, ed. Berlini [Berlin, Germany] 1856: in Greek; a Latin version is available) and Adversus Christianos [Against the Christians] in which he wrote: “The Gods have proclaimed Christ to have been most pious, but the Christians are a confused and vicious sect.” Read: Porphyry, Contra los Cristianos: Recopilación de Fragmentos, Traducción, Introducción y Notas E. A. Ramos Jurado, J. Ritoré Ponce, A. Carmona Vázquez, I. Rodríguez Moreno, J. Ortolá Salas, J. M. Zamora Calvo. Cádiz: Servicio de Publicaciones de la Universidad de Cádiz 2006), De antro nympharum 6 [On the Cave of the Nymphs 6 in On the cave of the nymphs in the thirteenth book of the Odyssey, translation by Thomas Taylor. London: [n.p.], 1895; a Greek edition was reissued by [Buffalo, NY, USA] Arethusa [Dept. of Classics, State University of New York at Buffalo] 1969), and in numerous shards (a few that I possess in my private library), and fragments of graffiti.  Prophyry was among the earliest to declare that parts of the Bible, especially the Book of Daniel, were fraudulent, being the work of a writer in the time of Antiochus Epiphanes (2nd century BCE). St. Jerome details this discovery (Gelasius, Historia Ecclesiastica III.23). 

Muslims of Spain as they depicted themselves

Prophyry’s attack on Christianity caused many faithful to rethink their conversion.  This led Constantine to order the work’s repression.  However, copies survived, being hidden by those who trusted the writer–much in the same manner as Muslims protected the writings of Socrates, Plato, Aristotle and other pagans, and spirited them to the Caliphate while Christian bishops and priests were hunting both the Muslims and the pagan writings in order to destroy them. The major error, however, made by those defending Mithras was in claiming the faith came from an ancient Iranian text—there is no Iranian text, iconography, or other evidence for this assumption.  All that is known by direct evidence is that the worship service and theology was Roman in origin and is older than the legends of the New Testament.

What gives Mithraism scriptural importance is its use of the Zodiac and the use of constellations: Taurus the bull being sacrificed, supported by the images of other astronomical symbols: Canis Minor (the dog), Hydra (the snake), Corvus (the raven), Scorpio (the scorpion), and so forth—all being the elements of a star map.  The “bull-slayer”—the figure of a male killing the bull—is an allegory of the Father slaying his son that does come from the Hindu idea that is personified in Brahama, who is fashioned into Abraham (the final “a” is moved from the back to the front) who was ordered to slay Isaac, as “Theos” (θεός that is both plural and singular and the name of many gods) god of the New Testament.

While the concept of god is monotheistic in Christianity, it has not always been that way in other related faiths.  In fact, in Judaism “god” has 72 Divine Names. Islam has 99 Names for God, and the Hindu scripture Mahabharata contains a thousand names of Vishnu.  In every case the god(s) was/were determined to slay his son (cp. John 3:16). 

Sacrifice of Isaac by Orazio Riminaldi

All of these “religious sacrifices” were made under the constellations. This required that the saviour god(s) died at night—with a “cross” (Justin Martyr: crux, original text has σταυρός: pole) being made of wood: the spear that killed the bull (son) in Mithraism, the stake on which Jesus was sacrificed, the wood on which Isaac was to be burned after being stabbed, and so forth. 

Boninsegna: Jesus Last Supper with the 12 Apostles

From Mithraism came the story of Jesus and ultimately the New Testament. Christianity arose out of Judaism, and from Judaism and its predecessor theologies it inherited the reverence of the number 12. Jesus had 12 disciples. Early Gnostic Christians accepted this as a symbolic and figurative account, but later Pauline Christians took it all literally.

Jesus surrounds himself with 12 disciples [Barnabas was called Zeus, and Paul, in the Bible, is styled Hermes; Acts 14.12 my addition]. This is usually taken to be symbolic of the 12 tribes of Israel. This notion of 12 tribes, however, is itself a symbolic reference to the 12 signs of the zodiac in Babylonian astrology, which the Jews adopted whilst in exile in Babylon. The zodiac was an extremely important symbol in the Pagan world. Osiris-Dionysis is symbolically represented as the still spiritual center of the turning wheel of change represented by the 12 signs. […] [In] the Mysteries of Mithras 12 disciples surrounded the godman, just as the 12 disciples surrounded Jesus. The Mithraic disciples were dressed up to represent the 12 signs of the zodiac and circled the initiate, who represented Mithras himself.

Shamash cylinder seal (Louvre AO9132) Sumerian origins of Mithraism

 Freke, Timothy & Gandy, Peter (1999). The Jesus Mysteries; Was the Original Jesus a Pagan God?  London, UK: Thomas (2000 paperback edition). [Book Review by Vexen Crabtree], p. 51.

Other religious scholars such as “Robertson, Niemojewski, Volney and others” also hold that “as son-god Jesus had twelve apostles representing the twelve houses of the zodiac” (Reynolds, Alfred (1993; originally published 1988).  Jesus versus Christianity.  London, UK: Cambridge International Publishers. p. 77-78).   The number 12 goes beyond the legendary apostles.  Revelation gives a description of the heavenly Jerusalem:  a city laid out like a square with twelve gates and twelve angels.  There are name plates on each of the gates, one for each of the names of the twelve tribes of Jerusalem, build on twelve foundations and with on them the twelve names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb. It is clear that the writer wants to indicate that God’s new chosen people will be the followers of Jesus—no longer is heaven reserved for the Jews.  It is not clear why the heavenly Jerusalem required gates–to keep whom out? Nor is it stated why there would be houses, and angels acting as guards.  This reflects Babylonian theology, and does not take into consideration the laws of gravity.

The writer, whom tradition and redaction has styled as John Patmos, expresses his appreciation for the number twelve: “He measured the city with the rod and found it to be 12000 stadia in length, and as wide and high as it is long. He measured its wall and it was 144 cubits thick, by man’s measurement, which the angel was using” (verse 17). The writer raises the number twelve to the square in order to elevate it above ordinary human dimensions but still an angel was required to use mortal measurements.

The number 12 appears in numerous other “miracles” that the Jesus of the New Testament performed. “And a woman who had a flow of blood for twelve years and could not be healed by any one, came up behind him (Jesus), and touched the fringe of his garment; and immediately her flow of blood ceased” (Luke 8:43).

5 loaves and 2 fish

The number also plays a role in the tale of Jesus feeding “the multitude” with five small barley loaves and two small fish supplied by a boy (in the original it is 5000 men; cf. Mark 8:9, 6:40 NIV, the emphasis is on smallness that becomes greatness; cp. Matthew 14:13-21, Mark 6:31-44, Luke 9:10-17 and John 6:5-15).  When the men had eaten, the remaining food was gathered up into twelve baskets—an imagery found in most mystery religions. The story is repeated as the “Feeding of the 4000” with seven loaves and an unknown quantity of “fishes” [sic] in Mark 8:1-9 and Matthew 15:32-39.

Mary Magdalene’s name is mentioned twelve times in the New Testament: Matthew 27:56 and 61, 28:1; Mark 15:40 and 47, 16:1; Luke 8:2, 24:10, John 19:25, 20:1 and 8.

Ariadne with stars over her head (Tintoretto)

The mythology in the Book of Revelation has “a woman clothed with the sun,

St. Mary with stars above her head and the moon at her feet

with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars” (12:1); this is among the most pagan additions to Patmos’ publication as it comes from Ovid’s Ariadne (Αριάδνη) whose heroine is given a constellation of stars (the Corona Borealis) and became immortal when assumed into heaven, having sat on the lap of the God Dionysius while drinking wine that represented the God’s sacred blood and by imbibing the fluid she became the God’s bride after hanging herself on a tree (crucifixion); she was the mother of numerous deities: Oenopion, the personification of wine, Staphylus (related to grapes), Thoas, Peparethus, Phanus, Eurymedon, Ceramus, Maron, Euanthes, Latramys and Tauropolis and an “unnamed” twelfth (Euanthes, Latramys and Tauropolis are only mentioned in scholia on Apollonius Rhodius, Argonautica, 3. 997, read also Hesiod (ca 750 – 650), Θεογονία (Theogonia) 949 (showing Eastern influences such as the Hittite Song of Kumarbi and the Babylonian Enuma Elis that entered Greek culture by Greek trade with Mesopotamia that became highly popular in the 8th-7th centuries BCE); Ovid, full name Publius Ovidius Naso (20 March 43 BCE – CE 17/18) Metamorphoses (the Latin word comes from the Greek μετά meta and μορφή morphē, meaning “changes of shape”) l. c. ; Gaius Julius Hyginus (ca. 64 BCE – CE 17) Poeticon astronomicon opus utilissimum  ii. 5, while his Latin is acceptable, his Greek is saturated with elementary mistakes, but Hyginus does establish Ariadne theology and the use of stars denoting holiness and even divinity—almost always with women, setting the stage for tales of the assumption of virgins into heaven), setting the stage for the Twelve Gates, Twelve Pillars and other illusions illustrated by Patmos in his Apocalypse. 

Theseus and Ariadne at the Door to the Labyrinth

Homer suggests that the goddess eloped with Theseus after he slew the Minotaur in Odyssey XI, 321-325, but this cannot be verified because of the paucity of records, for that which exists claim that Dionysius demanded the Goddess for his wife, and Theseus abandoned her: Diodorus Siculus iv. 61, v. 51; Pausanias, i. 20. § 2, ix. 40. § 2, x. 29. § 2; the abandonment, however, was rejected by Paeon of Amathus as cited by Plutarch in his vita of Theseus, cf. 20.3-5 that has Theseus’ ship swept off-course in a store, leading Theseus putting his suffering and pregnant Ariadne on land, then attempting to save his ship—but failing and being swept out to sea).  The stars are a symbol of the constellations and as were painted on the lining of the robe of Mithras, will circle the head of the “Blessed Virgin Mary” and numerous saints in various religions, and tie these pictorializations to theologies as late as 800 BCE within the Greek world, and far older in the North and West. 

Revelation also contains a Tree of Life.  It is abundant “with its twelve kinds of fruit yielding its fruit every month” (22:2). 

The Tree of Life is found in every religion that has ever existed.  It is not unique to the Jews or to Revelation.  In Hindu theology, the Tree of Life is the human body (koshas) and its fruit the reproductive elements (this indicates that what was the “sin” of mortals was oral sex) that, if allowed to germinate and grow brings new generations and thus “eternal life” (cf. 135th hymn of the 10th book of Rig-Veda, and in the 15th chapter of Bhagavad-gita(1–4). banyan is

Fragment of a bronze helmet from Urartu, with the "Tree of Life" depicted.

believed to have nourished mortals with its “milk” before the advent of grain and other food. In Urartu around 13th to 6th century BCE, the Tree of Life was a religious symbol that had servants (some winged) standing on either side of the Tree of Life with one of their hands up as if they are taking care of it or petitioning God of Urartu for abundance and protection.  In ancient Egypt it was the same, although sometimes considered the tomb/coffin of Osiris, and at other times the penis of Osiris.

Tomb of Osiris (antecedent for the Ark of the Covenant)

In the Osiris Legend, Osiris was induced by his wicked brother Set to lie down in a magnificent coffer under the pretext of a game at a banquet. Set and his seventy-two (cp. Luke 10:1) conspirators immediately closed the lid and threw the coffer into the Nile.  This led his sister/wife, Isis, to search the globe for it so she could impregnate herself to give birth to a divine child (Horus) and complete the Egyptian Trinity.  Sacred and divine knowledge is associated with the Tree (phallus or coffin) as sacred lotus lilies that by the fourteenth century CE were known as fleur de lis, used by the French kings.

After Judaism and Christianity, Islam became another Abrahamic religion to accept the traditional division of the land into 12 areas (See sura 2:60 of the Qur’an).  “And [remember] when Musa [Moses] asked for water for his people, We said: ‘Strike the stone with your stick.’ Then gushed forth therefrom twelve springs. Each [group of] people knew its own place for water.  “Eat and drink of that which Allah has provided and do not act corruptly, making mischief on the earth.” (Qur’an sura 2.60)

In all religions where there is a discipleship of twelve, those who oversaw in the past and today in the Mormon faith send out missionaries in groups of two, who were/are called Apostles who were and are considered guides to perfection.  They have always been viewed as holy people (singularly and when together in conclave or consortium).  The Apostles are depicted with a bright solar light around their heads (frequently oval, but in the case of some early Christian saints, the halos were square).  This depiction has been universally recognized as a symbol of being either the son of a god/goddess or sons of gods/goddesses (directly: when both parents are deities; indirectly: when one of the parents is a mortal).  Many of these Apostles are accompanied by their brothers and/or sisters (for example, in Christianity the brothers by later redactions were Simon “Peter” and Andrew (Mark 1:16), while Zebedee is given parentage of James and John, (Mark 1:19; the word, used as a name only in Mark 15:40 and Matthew 27:56, means “the gift of god”).  Legend has it that Zebedee was the husband of Salome.

Adolf von Harnack

Scholars since the nineteenth century (at the latest) began to accept the fact that there is no historical proof that there was ever an Apostle, with Adolf von Harnack, a German theologian, criticizing the Act of the Apostles as being historically inaccurate (Harnack, Adolf von (1909). The Acts of the Apostles. New York, NY, USA: G. P. Putnam’s Sons ; London, UK: Williams & Norgate.  In the first century no record keeper or historian, not even Josephus (Yosef ben Matityahu, Hebrew יוסף בן מתתיהו, ca. 37-100 CE), recognizes the existence of any Apostle of the New Testament Jesus, except for “James the Just” who is styled as the “brother of Jesus”, and only briefly mentions Jesus—but the reference in his Testimonium Flavianum found in the Antiquities of the Jews 18.63-64 has been contested by reputable scholars since the seventeenth century with the majority arguing that it is a later addition and even fraud since the words and phrases correspond with standard Christian formulae and were added by a Christian copyist (much like university students who copy and paste together essays) in an effort to create evidence of a real Jesus (cp. Meier, J. P. (1990), “Jesus in Josephus: A Modest Proposal,” Catholic Biblical Quarterly 52, pp. 76-103; Wells, George Albert (1971). The Jesus of the Early Christians. London, UK: Pemberton Books, p. 190; Brandon, S.G.F. (editor). Religion in Ancient History: Studies in Ideas, Men and Events. London, UK: George Allen & Unwin Ltd., p. 309; and, old, but not outdated: Whiston, William (1826), The Works of Flavius Josephus, the learned and authentic Jewish historian and celebrated warrior, vol. 4, London, UK: T. & J. Allman, pp. 380-385).  “Jesus who was the Christ” has been universally rejected as meaning Jesus (Wise, Isaac Mayer (1868). The Origin of Christianity, and a commentary to the Acts of the Apostles. Cincinnati, OH, USA: Bloch & Co., p. 137; Remsburg, John (1909) The Christ: a Critical Review and Analysis of the Evidences of His Existence. New York, NY, USA: The Truth Seeker Company; Wells, George Albert (1986). Did Jesus Exist? London, UK: Pemberton Publishing Co., p.11, with Arthur Drews in The Witnesses to the Historicity of Jesus, stating: “In the edition of Origen published by the Benedictines it is said that there was no mention of Jesus at all in Josephus before the time of Eusebius [about 300 CE, Ecclesiastical History, 1.11).  Moreover, in the sixteenth century Vossius had a manuscript of the text of Josephus in which there was not a word about Jesus” (Drews, Arthur (1912)  The Witnesses to the Historicity of Jesus. Chicago, IL, USA: Open Court Publishing Co.; London: UK: Watts).  Claudia Setzer summarized the debate over the authenticity and historicity of Josephus succinctly:

British scholarship has been relatively positive about Acts’ historicity, from Lightfoot and Ramsay to W.L. Knox and Bruce. German scholarship has, for the most part, evaluated negatively the historical worth of Acts, from Baur and his school to Dibelius, Conzelmann, and Haenchen. North American scholars show a range of opinion. Mattill and Gasque align with the British approach to Acts. Cadbury and Lake take a moderate line and to some degree sidestep the question of accurate historicity.

(Setzer, Claudia (1994). Jewish responses to early Christians: history and polemics, 30-150 C.E. Minneapolis, MN, USA: Fortress Press, p. 94.)

The situation is no different in Islam.  The lineage of the Prophet Muhammad were his relatives and descendants.  His familial successors spoke as if they were infallible popes, on faith and morals.  People listened to them as if they were gods, and from this rose the ayatollahs who claimed that they acted for the god of Muhammad.

Islam, nothing more than a discount version of a combination of Judaism and Christianity, mixed with Greek fables and Bedouin ontology developed one group of faith known as Muslim Shi’ahs.  These followers created a list of 12 ruling Imams or Ithna-‘ashariyyah branch of Shī‘ah Islam following Muhammad.

The Investiture of Ali, at Ghadir Khumm (Edinburgh codex: MS Arab 161, fol. 162r, CE 1309 or 8 Ilkhanid manuscript illustration)

It is believed by Twelver Shi’a Muslims that the Twelve Imams were foretold in the Hadith of the Twelve Successors and each of the Muslim Apostles (who originally were thought to be the twelve sons of Ishmael, the first-born son of Abraham: Genesis 25:13-16, cp. 25:17-20; ref. Sahih Bukhari 89:329), sequentially, is seen as the successor of Muhammad who is an infallible human individual who not only rules over the community with justice, as he is considered free from error and sin, and is chosen by divine decree, or nass, through the Prophet, being foretold by the Prophet he is able to keep and interpret the Divine Law and its esoteric meaning (Nasr, Seyyed Hossein (1979). Ideals and Realities of Islam. London, UK: Unwin Paperbacks. p. 10; and, Momen, Moojan (1985).  An Introduction to Shi`i Islam: The History and Doctrines of Twelve. New Haven, CT, USA: Yale University Press. p.174). 

The Imam has the same stature and command as the Pope of Roman Catholic Church, the Prophet of the LDS Mormons, and the Patriarchs in the Greek Orthodox religion.  The first successor to Muhammad, was Alī ibn Abī Ṭālib (Arabic: علي بن أﺑﻲ طالب) who was the cousin and son-in-law of Muhammad, and ruled the Caliphate from 656-661 CE, having been the first male convert to the new religion (his reign was marked by caravan raids from Mecca, civil wars, and his assassination in the mosque of Kufa).

Congresswoman Michele Bachmann (R-MN) and Bradlee Dean of You Can Run But You Cannot Hide: the voice of Christian hatred

Islam’s history, with the Number 12, has not been glorious nor peaceful, and Islam has devolved into a religion of violence, mind and body control, and hated—matching that of what is contemporary Christianity (for example, the messages of hate bleated by Bradlee Dean (Smith) in Minnesota (a self-confessed drug addict), Dakota Ary in Texas, James Dobson in Colorado, and other would-be demigods).  In the case of Islam, the first eleven Imams were murdered—even though they were heralded as being divinely ordained to preach the gospel of the Qur’an/Koran.  And as it was with the medieval Roman Catholic church that ordained children and even sold bishoprics and the rank of cardinal to small children (as was the case especially under Pope Julius II, to pay for his wars that he rode into, covered with human beloved so he could “preach the gospel of love”).

12 Imam (Apostles) of Islam following death of Muhammad 632 CE

Islam, as with all religions, had its mad prophets:

  • from the illiterate camel driver who married a 6 (or 7, the age is not precisely known) girl (on the age of A’isha, consult: Spellberg, D. A. (1994).  Politics, Gender, and the Islamic Past: the Legacy of A’isha bint Abi Bakr.  New York, NY, USA: Columbia University Press, 1994, p. 40; and, Armstrong, Karen (1992). Muhammad: A Biography of the Prophet.  San Francisco, CA, USA: Harper, p. 157),
  • to Ali (the cousin and son-in-law of the Prophet Muhammad) who was slashed with a poisoned sword while praying in the mosque of Kufa in 661 CE;
  • Hasan who succeeded his father and was poisoned by his fourth wife (Ju’da) in 669,
  • he was followed by his brother Husayn—who was beheaded in the Battle of Karbala—in 680;
  • he was succeeded by Zayn al Abidin (great-grandson of the Prophet Muhammad) who survived the Battle of Karbala because he was too sick to fight but was murdered by poison in 712;
  • Muhammad al-Baqir the son of the previous Imam, took over the caliphate and although it is claimed “he was respected by all”, he was murdered by poisoning in 743;
  • Ja’far al-Sadiq who is best known for expanding Shari’a law to greater barbarity was murdered by poisoning in 765, was next;
  • Musa al-Kazim was next in line and died similarly in 799,
  • he was followed by an eight-year-old Muhammad al-Taqi who was poisoned by his wife in 835, a fate that awaited his successor:
  • Hasan al-Askari, who died of poisoning in 874, and, finally, the
  • twelfth profit, Muhammed Mahdi, son of Hasan al-Askari, went into hiding as a young child, and Shi’a Muslims still believe that he is alive and they are waiting for his return in Apocalyptic glory or gore in a Final Battle.

It has always been common in Islam to bestow Imamships on young children.  It is the belief that the Prophet loved young children so much that he married several, including the now famous Aisha bint Abu Bakr (612 – 678) (Arabic: عائشة‎) who has the unique distinction of achieving near divine status as the “Mother of the Believers” (أمّ المؤمنين in Qur’an/Koran 33.6; cp. Abbott, Nabia (1942). Aishah: the Beloved of Muhammad. Chicago, IL, USA: University of Chicago Press, 1942), and thereby gained for them eternal life following the resurrection of the body (يوم القيامة‎) before being judged (a break with pre-Islamic Arab thought) and sent to either be with Muhammad and the other Prophets (the Islamic heaven (جنّة‎ : paradise) is described in Qur’an/Koran 13:3518:3138:49–54, 35:33–3552:17–27 where everything anyone longs for in this life on earth will be found in paradise that is composed of seven levels, and the faithful obtain a level based upon their good deeds (the highest level has angels building palaces of solid gold for the chosen/most blessed, and everyone wears costly apparel, dines on exquisite banquets of all possible approved foods, and reclines on couches inlaid with gold or precious stones, while rejoicing in the company of their parents, wives, and children), or cast into a fiery hell (كفر‎‎). 

Hell in Islam

Hell was similar to that conjured by Christian prophets and priests. The Islamic hell is also divided into several levels where punishment is done according to the level of evil done in life, and while most of hell is fire (fueled by burning idols (rocks and stones) and human beings who were, in life, nonbelievers.  The hell known as Zamhareer is the coldest and most freezing of all and has regular blizzards, ice, snow, and cold that is unbearable—similar to Dante’s Inferno—and houses hypocrites (the most diabolical of sinners), two-faced people who claim to believe in Allah and his Prophet but denounce both in their hearts. 

Mohammed’s Call to Prophecy and the First Revelation; leaf from a copy of the Majmac al-tawarikhTimurid. From Herat, Afghanistan. In The Metropolitan Museum of Art, ca. 1425 CE

Islam has a special regard for the stars and nature, it is within the realm of Islam  belief  that all things are of divine origin and that Allah is the author of the world and the sky in which there are various homes for the faithful to enjoy worldly delights.  The number 12, since it was twelve years after Muhammad began to preach and with his converts performed the Hijra (“emigration”) to the city of Medina (formerly known as Yathrib) in 622, and converted everyone by the sword.  Unlike other religions, Islam does not have a Zodiac as its calendar is not based on the sun but the moon (which prior to Muhammad represented the goddess of love: Venus) with the invention of a new calendar in 622 CE known as the year 1 AH (التقويم الهجري : Hijra calendar, or anno Hegirae); it is a lunar calendar with days lasting from sunset to sunset.  Islamic holy days fall on fixed dates of the lunar calendar, which means that they occur in different seasons in different years in the Gregorian calendar. Islam dates its history from the First Day: (1 Muharram 1 AH) or Friday, 16 July 622 CE.

Theseus and the Minotaur

More enlightened religions and theosophies also had Apostles but these were exclusively used as symbols of the zodiac that represented time.  This was the case with the advanced theologies of the Gnostics understood things had natural origins and were in quest of truth, and were like the twelve disciples of Mithras who understood the symbols of the Zodiac and the number 12 to be symbolic of the stages of the waning and waxing sun throughout the year and thus the bull (slavery) who was sacrificed is the mark of harvesting and the beginning of repose (death) before renewal (being reborn) in spring.  Later religions took it literally and believed in an actual 12 disciples.  Some religions still do believe that there were 12 actual disciples who spread the message of their god(s)/goddess(es) and rely on disproven theories and numerology, especially glorifying the number 12 and its divisible numbers (6 is numerological common number in Islam, for example).

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Psychology of Saul/St. Paul – A Study of Linguistics, Translation, Interpretation and Biblical Study

Saul (Hebrew: שָׁאוּל) of Tarsus, or שאול התרסי (St. Paul: Παῦλος, the name Paul does not appear until Acts 13:9) is never mentioned by any source other than the Book of Acts in the New Testament.  The reliability of the Book of Acts has been questioned repeatedly by numerous scholars (Walton, Steve (2000). Leadership and Lifestyle: The Portrait of Paul in the Miletus Speech and 1 Thessalonians. New York, NY, USA and Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. p. 3; Hare, Douglas R. A. (1987). “Introduction”, in Knox, John. Chapters in a Life of Paul (Revised ed.). Atlanta, GA, USA: Mercer University Press. pp. xxii; the Book of Acts account of Saul/Paul visiting Jerusalem contradicts the account in Galatians (i.13-24), that Saul/Paul allegedly wrote about the incident, ref. “Paul, St” Cross, F. L., ed. (2005). The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian church. New York: Oxford University Press, see: “Paul, St.”).

Outside of the Book of Acts of the Apostles, there is no historical evidence for a Saul of Tarsus, nor for a St. Paul. Even in the alleged writings of St. Paul, there is nothing to suggest that Saul/Paul was ever a Hebrew, for he relies on Septuagint Koine (Ελληνιστική Κοινή: Hellenistic [common] Greek, or ἡ κοινὴ διάλεκτος, “the common dialect”, was spoken from 300 BCE to 300 CE—but little was written in this language; most compositions were made using Attic Greek; it made its mark by being the language of the Septuagint: the Greek translation of the Hebrew Bible, and of the Christian New Testament, both of which are filled with linguistic errors and grammatical mistakes) Greek, and shows not even a modest knowledge of the Hebrew language, its grammar, or its composition and history (Ανδρίοτης, Νικολαος Π. (1967) Ετυμολογικο  λεξικο της κοινης Νεοελληνικης; Institut d’études néo-helléniques (Thessalonique, Grèce); Publisher: Αριστοτελειο Πανεπιστημιο Θεσσαλονικης  – Ινστιτόυτο Νεοελληνικων Σπουδων (Ιδρυμα Μανολη  Τριανταφυλλιδη); and Ανδρίοτης, Νικολαος Π. (1961). Λυκια. 1α, Το Ιδιωμα του Λιβισιου της Λυκιας. Publisher: Κεντρο Μικρασιατικων Σπουδων).

Saul/Paul is not mentioned by Tacitus, Pliny, or Josephus. Saul/Paul is found only in the Book of Acts. But there is a work far older than the Book of Acts that actually leaves a description of Saul/Paul both physically and psychologically. The description of Paul is preserved in Acta Pauli et Theclæ, an apocryphal book that has been proved to be older and in some respects of greater historic value than the canonical Acts of the Apostles (see Conybeare, Frederick Cornwallis (1894). The Apology and Acts of Apollonius and Other Monuments of Early Christianity. London, UK: S. Sonnenschein & Co. pp. 49-88):

A man of moderate stature, with crisp [scanty] hair, crooked legs, blue eyes, large knit brows, and long nose, at times looking like a man, at times like an angel, Paul came forward and preached to the men of Iconium: ‘Blessed are they that keep themselves chaste [unmarried]; for they shall be called the temple of God. Blessed are they that mortify their bodies and souls; for unto them speaketh God. Blessed are they that despise the world; for they shall be pleasing to God. Blessed be the souls and bodies of virgins; for they shall receive the reward of their chastity.'”

It was by such preaching that “he ensnared the souls of young men and maidens, enjoining them to remain single” (Conybeare, loc. cit. pp. 62, 63, 67; cp. ibid. pp. 24-25; Galatians iii. 38; I Corinthians vii. 34-36; Matthew xix. 12; Clement of Rome, Epistle ii. § 12). The work known as the Book of Acts of the Apostles can be dismissed as a later-day fraud, and the lie of Saul/Paul easily found in the reference of Acts xviii.18: Ὁ δὲ Παῦλος ἔτι προσμείνας ἡμέρας   ἱκανὰς  τοῖς ἀδελφοῖς ἀποταξάμενος ἐξέπλει εἰς τὴν Συρίαν, καὶ σὺν αὐτῷ  Πρίσκιλλα καὶ Ἀκύλας, κειράμενος ἐν Κεγχρεαῖς τὴν κεφαλήν, εἶχεν γὰρ  εὐχήν. 

It would have been impossible for Paul to bring a Nazarite sacrifice in the Temple, as for him the blood of Christ was the only sacrifice to be recognized. Furthermore, Saul/Paul was around women most of the time and never commented on menstruation that Jewish law forbade man to be near or touch (Babylonian Talmud, the Tractate Niddah, and Leviticus xv.19 et seq.) yet the writers of the letters, that are argued to be from his pen, are disparaging of women. It is the authors of the writings ascribed or accredited to Saul/Paul who refer to Jesus as “the high priest after the order of Melchizedek” who atoned for the sins of the world by his own blood (Hebrews iv.14 to v.10, and vii.-xiii).

Saul/Paul’s references to specific Hebrew teachings are sparse (1 Corinthians vii:10-11 and ix.14). When Saul/Paul does speak on social issues, one of the mainstays of Judaism, Saul/Paul counters Hebrew thought and is more Hellenistic than Judaic.  For example, the issue of women in early Christianity has sparked controversy since the Emperor Constantine created his catholic church in 325 CE at Nicaea.

There is evidence that Saul/Paul did not recognize gender of males or females in any way or for any reason, as seen in his comment on baptism.  In early Christianity Saul/Paul suggested that gender hierarchy had been dissolved through baptism.  Those who received baptism into the cult of Christ found a new humanity, one that was beyond gender.  This is expressed in the baptismal formula used by St. Paul in Galatians 3:27-8:

Baptism of Jesus by Giotto

For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

While some feminists, such as Professor Rosemary Radford Reuther argue that the baptism of a convert released the individual from any gender identification, she goes too far in claiming that Saul/Paul required gender-neutrality.  Professor Reuther wrote:

The gender part of this formula was probably linked from its beginning with celibacy. Women became equal with men by dissolving their traditional relations with men as wives. Thereby they were also freed to teach and preach in local assemblies and as traveling evangelists.” 

The issue of celibacy troubled the Saul/Paul of the New Testament.  He is ambiguous.  He only comments that celibacy is preferred, noting “it is better to marry than burn with passion” (1 Corinthians vii.9; my emphasis).

What Luke, Saul/Paul’s “intimate friend” and “scribe” wrote was in keeping with Luke xx.35: marriages would no longer be performed in the Kingdom of God: οἱ δὲ καταξιωθέντες τοῦ αἰῶνος ἐκείνου τυχεῖν καὶ τῆς ἀναστάσεως τῆς ἐκ νεκρῶν οὔτε γαμοῦσιν οὔτε γαμίζονται. The issue at stake in this reference is whether or not a person can “control” himself or herself and his or her sexual passions—a definite problem for Saul/Paul as I argued decades ago in my book Battling with Beasts, especially when he was confronted by numerous admirers: Luke, Timothy, and Titus, for example (Ide, Arthur Frederick (1991). Battling with Beasts: Sex in the Life and Letters of St. Paul: the Issue of Homosexuality, Heterosexuality, and Bisexuality. Garland, TX, USA: Tangelwüld Press).

St Thecla (late first century image)

Women were not a problem for Saul/ Paul.  He numbered many among his closest confidants and admirers, including St. Thecla who preached and baptised when accompanying Saul/Paul (see: Acta Pauli et Theclae, a Coptic text; today it is included in the New Testament Apocrypha, but was acknowledged as canon at the end of the first century–only when males found more believers turning to the ministry of women was it denounced as fraud and denied its place in the canon of the New Testament. It is attested as early as Tertullian, a stinging gynephobe and misogynist, in his De baptimo 17:5 (c 190).  Tertullian veighed against its use in the advocacy of a woman’s right to preach and to baptize). That women could (and did) preach and teach is recorded and granted in 1 Corinthians xi.5.  Biblical literalists with marginal educations and little interpretative or translation skills, such as is common among Southern Baptists, Adventists, the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod, and Ultra-Orthodox Jews argue that women are not allowed to preach or teach, citing 1 Corinthians xiv.33b-35.  That is unscholarly and un-Biblical.

Most contemporary scholars today recognize that 1 Corinthians xiv.33b-35 is an interpolation that was not a part of the original text.  Research into the composition, word order, and such demonstrates how misogyny rose in the early church among male bishops who considered themselves threatened with the advance of female bishops and female priests (Ide, Arthur Frederick (1984). Woman as Priest, Bishop and Laity in the Early Catholic Church to 440 A.D.: with a translation and critical commentary on Romans 16 and other relevant scripture and patrological writings on women in the early Christian Church. Mesquite, TX, USA: IHP) adding I Timothy ii.11-15 to their tortious trophy cases for battering the rights of women to enter the priesthood of all believers (1 Peter ii.9).  It is the chauvinism of Reformation pastors such as Martin Luther, John Knox, Jean Calvin and others who enabled Adolf Hitler to grabbed on to in their move to suppress women, and condemn women to “Kirche, Kueche, Kinder” (church, kitchen, children) that was initially introduced by Kaiser Wilhelm II.

Weddings were performed by women priests (British Museum Sculpture 2307)

Reuther’s comments that women had a secondary status because Pauline Christians wanted women to cover their hair (as it was considered a temptation to sin by men; any part of a woman’s body that was uncovered was considered “naked” and would lead to incest, adultery, and other sexual vices; Talmud, Berakhot  24a) was also true for men by culture and custom, although there is some Biblical justification for it.  A man was required to cover his head as a mark of submitting to the gods Abraham (codified in Exodus xxviii.4-40; the kippah (yarmulke), however, dates to the seventeenth century when David haLevy of Ostrog reasoned that the head-dress was necessary to differentiate between Jews and Christians praying as defined in Leviticus xviii.3 and Shabbat 156b; this changed in the Reformed Jewish movement in the USA in the 1970s).

The historical reality of a Saul/Paul has various interpretations, for he became a part of the brotherhood (Acts ix.28) and is “managed” by the elders, who took him from Damascus (Acts ix.25) and was brought to the table of the original apostles by Barnabas (Acts ix.27). Later he was sent back to Tarsus until Barnabas “brought” Paul back to Antioch (Acts xi.26) and then was “sent” to Jerusalem with famine relief (Acts xi.30).

Saul/Paul does not become a “missionary” until later (Acts xiii.4). When he is sent on a mission, he is directed to go as a messenger and not a leader (Acts xvi.4-5: “As they went through the cities they delivered them the decrees for to keep that were ordained of the apostles and elders who were at Jerusalem and so the congregations were established). Furthermore, Saul/Paul was “sent away” to Berea (Acts xvii.10) and later “brought” to Athens (Acts xvii.14-15), all the time remaining an orthodox Jew who shaves his head in Cenchrea (Acts xviii.18).

Saul/Paul’s name appears 177 times in the Book of Acts.  It is never coupled with the familiar honorific term “apostle”.  Apostle (ἀπόστολος) is not a title but a word for “messenger” in contract to a disciple (μαθητής: mathetes), who is a student and studies under the leadership of a teacher who was to be a subject-matter expert.  The term was  introduced decades later by those who fashioned his biography and wrote the letters they headed with his name. This is unique since Acts was, supposedly, written by Saul/Paul’s companion and “admirer”: the Apostle Luke.

The Letters of Saul/Paul are nothing less than bombastic self-aggrandizing. The author makes certain that the name of Saul/Paul is on all—but one: Hebrews. Saul/Paul is extremely arrogant.  He proclaims his own success with unmatched enthusiasm and bravado.  Saul/Paul says little about the work of his “believers” or what their churches/congregations are doing (2 Corinthians ii, iii). Instead he “admonishes” and “exhorts” the believers like a father would discipline a child.

None of the letters makes any reference to a “Damascene road” conversion or to his being born in Tarsus.  Today, the American Psychiatric Association uses the term “Damascene conversion” to refer to any abrupt change in personality, and as a personality disorder.  In 1987, D. Landsborough, a psychiatrist,  published an article in which he stated that Paul’s conversion experience, with the bright light, loss of normal bodily posture, a message of strong religious content, and his subsequent blindness, suggested “an attack of [temporal lobe epilepsy], perhaps ending in a convulsion … The blindness which followed may have been post-ictal” (Landsborough, D. (1987). “St. Paul and Temporal Lobe Epilepsy,” Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery, and Psychiatry 50; 659-664; cf. Brorson, J.R. and Brewer, K. (1988). “Matters arising: St Paul and temporal lobe epilepsy,” Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery, and Psychiatry 51; 886-887).  Did it happen? That is doubtful as there exists no secondary source, nor even a second primary source that supports this claim.  Science, medicine, and psychiatry equally refute the possibility of such an incident.  No where in The Act of the Apostles is there a statement of Saul/Paul suffering a lack of awareness of blindness (a characteristic of cortical blindness that could be caused by  the total or partial loss of vision in a normal-appearing eye caused by damage to the visual area in the brain’s occipital cortex:  the total or partial loss of vision in a normal-appearing eye caused by damage to the visual area in the brain’s occipital cortex) was reported in Acts, nor is there any indication of memory loss. Additionally, Paul’s blindness remitted in sudden fashion, rather than the gradual resolution typical of post-ictal states, and no mention is made of epileptic convulsions.  Indeed such convulsions may, in Paul’s time, have been interpreted as a sign of demonic influence, unlikely in someone accepted as a religious leader.  This evidence supports my original thesis presented in my work Battling with Beasts where Saul/Paul was attempting to hide his own homosexuality, and persecuting those who were–as was common in Damascus, but which even fundamentalists cannot explain away (Witherington, Ben (1998), The Acts of the Apostles: A socio-rhetorical commentary, Eerdmans, pp. 312-313.). Was Saul/Paul really from Tarsus and on his way to Damascus?  Acts 9:7 and 22:9 raise strong questions against the authenticity of the account and even of Saul/Paul’s existence.  St. Jerome actually reports, in Letter 120: To Hedibia, that Saul/Paul was from Galilee! 

The name of Saul/Paul, connected with the epistle (or “letter”) to the Hebrews in Jerusalem by Church tradition.  It was not attached to it in writing or signature, as was the case with the other epistles.

The Letter to the Hebrews, gives a clear picture of the psychology of Saul/Paul and his irreverent and frequent outbursts of anti-Semitism that slither from his writings–writings that were not completed in the first century.  There are those who argue that the letters are indirectly referenced by Clement of Rome (c. 96 CE in 1 Clement xlvii:1) but the text of 1 Clement xlvii.1-4 references subject found in the Letters ascribed to Saul/Paul.  Clement neither cites the name of the Letter(s) in question, nor does the name Paul appear in any of Clement’s verses.  There is no indication in Clement that the bishop knew of or knew about Saul/Paul.  Instead it is Clement’s cited letter that we read the pseudo-historical narrative from the problems in Eden forward.  These lines were used as the foundation for the plagiarisms that became the Epistles of Paul.  They are obvious forgeries to convince the emerging communities of christianos and chrestianos that there truly was a Jesus and a Paul—and to a minor regard, a Peter. This is especially true in the case of the dubious Letter to the Colossians that presents an unparalleled description (among the writings of Saul/Paul) of Jesus as ‘the image of the invisible God’:  a Christology found elsewhere only in John’s gospel that many have successfully argued in Gnostic in substance.

Colossians closely identifies with the Epistle to the Ephesians, putting both under scrutiny (MacDonald, Margaret Y. (2000). Sacra Pagina: Colossians and Ephesians. Collegeville, MN, USA: Liturgical Press).  In both cases, the message is mangled under the weighty hand of the writer who is busy identifying himself (or herself) as Saul/Paul.

The primary, sultry problem with Saul/Paul is the self-style Apostle’s overwhelming ego.  Saul/Paul praises himself relentlessly: “I magnify my office” (Romans xi.13) “I labored more abundantly than they all” (1 Corinthians xv.10) “As the truth of Christ is in me, no one shall stop me from this boasting in the regions of Achaia” (2 Corinthians xi.10) “for in nothing am I behind the very chiefest [sic] apostles” (2 Corinthians xii.11) and so forth. Half of Saul/Paul’s thirty-seven uses of the word “apostle” are a reference to himself. Saul/Paul is his own advertisement.

It is worthy of note that none of the Gospel writers identify or define Saul/Paul as an apostle.  None of the four gospels even mentions Saul/Paul.   Not even Luke, his scribe, and the Gospel of Luke, by myth and legend is written after Saul/Paul allegedly dies in Rome; dating of the Gospel ranges from 60 to 93 CE and Saul/Paul allegedly dies in 63/64 or 67 CE, along with “Peter”.

As for the celestial “Christ” calling out to “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?” it is amateurish plagiarism.  Myth has it that his companions fell down with him, but this not the tale in any current edition of the Bible:

Biblical translations of Acts 9:7 generally state that Paul’s companions did, indeed, hear the voice (or sound) that spoke to him:

And the men which journeyed with him stood speechless, hearing a voice, but seeing no man.
—Acts 9:7, King James Version (KJV)
The men who were traveling with him stood speechless, for they heard the voice but could see no one.
—Acts 9:7, New American Bible (NAB)
The men traveling with Saul stood there speechless; they heard the sound but did not see anyone.
—Acts 9:7, New International Version (NIV)

By contrast, Catholic translations and older Protestant translations preserve the apparent contradiction in Acts 22:9, while many modern Protestant translations such as the New International Version (NIV) do not:

And they that were with me saw indeed the light, and were afraid; but they heard not the voice of him that spake to me.
—Acts 22:9, King James Version (KJV)
My companions saw the light but did not hear the voice of the one who spoke to me.
—Acts 22:9, New American Bible (NAB)
My companions saw the light, but they did not understand the voice of him who was speaking to me.
—Acts 22:9, New International Version (NIV)

The classic problem is between translation and interpretation.  This fine line is frequently ignored by most schools and universities that twist and contort the two as to being identical, whereas, in reality, they are not.  The NIV, New Living Translation, and similar versions contend that the translation used for Acts 22:9 is inaccurate.  The verb used here — akouō (ἀκούω) — can be translated both “hear” and “understand” (both the KJV and NIV translate akouō as “understand” in 1 Corinthians xiv:2, for example; it often takes a noun in the genitive case for a person is being heard, with a noun in the accusative for the thing being heard).  Late first-century readers and those who were familiar with the document in the second century probably understood the two passages to mean that everybody heard the sound of the voice, but “only Paul understood the articulated words” (Longenecker, Richard N. (1971) The Ministry and Message of Paul, Grand Rapids, MI, USA: Zondervan, p. 32).  This was in keeping with the Oracles of pagan shrines where only the priests/ priestesses were privy to knowledge. To attempt to translate a document that is approximately 1700 years old using contemporary words is an insult to the translation and interpretation process and deletes the original meaning.  This is compounded when it becomes apparent that the fable being expressed as sacred is not from the source cited, but, instead, is far older.  Even more critical is the unanswerable question of why there were no reports of the seizure by any of the companions of Saul/Paul, nor are any mentioned by name, the reason for their accompanying Saul/Paul is not given (and it was unusual for more than two messengers to be sent to any locale, while one was more standard (the one incident of three messengers occurs in the fable of messengers meeting with Abraham: Genesis xvii.1-20, cp. ibid. xviii.1-16, the same being the case with Sarah who alone heard that she would be impregnated with an heir for Abraham).

Tearing apart animals and men to eat their flesh and gain eternal life (Euripides, Bacchanae, 5th century BCE)

The great light and fall comes from the Persecution of Dionysius as related in Euripides Bacchae (404 BCE; note the lines on “getting out of prison” (ll. 968 ff that matches the account of Saul/Paul and their leaving prison; the antecedent for kiss of Judas can be seen in ll. 1670-1674; the persecution is at ll. 1760 sq; most of the stories associated with Jesus and Saul/Paul can be found in the Bacchanae; an English translation is here.  Plagiarism has long been a problem everywhere; even ancient Hebrews plagiarized the line, as read in I Samuel xxvi.18.

Bread in baskets found in Middle East today (as in the past)

If Saul/Paul was the “chiefest [chief]” apostle (not Peter as in Matthew xvi.18), then why did he have to escape (2 Corinthians xi.32, 33)—and why in a basket (Acts ix.25)?  Baskets throughout the Mesopotamian region since as early as 3700 BCE were lowered by a rope by tenement dwellers to buy bread from street vendors. The buyer would first lower the basket with payment for the bread, and then, on seeing the bread put in the basket, pull up the basket to retrieve the family loaf. There is no record that there was a “man-sized”  (adult)  baskets, as baskets, by culture, rule and law were to retrieve food for a family—not for an entire community, and no building contained more than three to four families (there were no skyscrapers). 

Bread and other food baskets in Damascus in 2011 CE

While bread was a staple, it was eaten quickly as there were no preservatives, and bread was baked throughout the day to guarantee freshness.  Baskets, then and today, for other food that was sold commercial were made of light-weight construction material and could not hole the weight of an adult male.

Caption Bronze Coin of Aretas IV with Inscription "Aretas King of Nabathæa"

The biggest question: why did Saul/Paul just not climb down the rope like any normal person? Furthermore, why the escape? It is claimed by the authors of Saul/Paul that he was escaping from “the governor under Aretas the king” (2 Corinthians xi.32,33), but Aretas IV Philopatris was the King of the Nabataeans from roughly 9 BCE to CE 40 andruled a vast area in harmony with the people: Jew and Gentile. His full title, as given in the inscriptions, was “Aretas, King of the Nabataeans, Friend of his People“, which was in direct opposition to the prevalent φιλορώμαις (“Friend of the Romans“) and φιλόκαισαρ (“Friend of the Emperor“).  His daughter Phasaelis married Herod Antipas, who later divorced her, causing her to flee to her father who invaded Harod’s kingdom, destroyed his army (Josephus puts it at 36/37 CE in order to connect it with the beheading of John the Baptist: Josephus, Jewish Antiquities, 18.109-118), before dying in 40 CE.  There is no record of Aretas knowing or corresponding with Saul/Paul, nor is there any record of Saul/Paul speaking to the king’s governor (ethnarch) through a window as noted in (2 Corinthians xi:32, 33, cf Acts ix:23, 24).  The full history of Aretas is not yet known, and it may have been at a later time, for archaeologists have discovered a coin of Aretas dated 101 CE (new style dating). 

Saul/Paul gives no explanation as to how he earned this monarch’s displeasure. Acts ix.23, 24, claims that Saul/Paul offended the Jews, but the Jews were not orthodox in the kingdom of Aretas, and there is no record of them giving any outcry against any preacher.  Most Jewish residents were too intent on earning a living, correcting children, and so forth than to pay attention to an itinerant preacher.

The incident in Acts ix.23,24  is also plagiarized.  It comes from Josephus, Vita xvii that was reused to embellish Acts xvi.25, 29.

There was no estrangement between Jews and Christians as Christians saw themselves, and publicly proclaimed themselves to be a branch of Judaism.  There were no initial hostilities–and no martyrdoms (such as of Stephen; Acts vii; Stephan/Stephanos: Στέφανος is a title, not a name; it means “crown” a term given to those who surrender their life for a cause or event; his death, was the result of his declaration of a theophany: the visual/physical seeing of god,

Theophany on Road to Damascus

“Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God.” In Acts 7:56: a declaration that went against Jewish law and was repetitive of pagan practices–a similar to the seizure and theophany of Saul/Paul on the road to Damascus and notes a mental illness, as Hovarth and Zuckerman defined concerning people who are high sensation seekers and are inclined 1) to thrill and adventure seeking such as skydiving; 2) to unusual activities such as wild parties; 3) at the extremes are usually disinhibited thus prone to heavy drinking, drug use, gambling and sexual experimentation; and 4) exhibit a susceptibility to boredomwith low tolerance for routine repetition; see: Horvath, P., & Zuckerman, M. (1993). Sensation Seeking, Risk Appraisal, and Risky Behavior. Personality and Individual Differences, 14(1), 1147-1152; Scott, R. P. & Potts, R. W. (1995). “Using spiritual interventions in psychotherapy: Practices, successes, failures, and ethical concerns of Mormon psychotherapists.” Professional Psychology Research and Practice, 26:163-170) unless rape, adultery, or murder was involved.

The early Christians considered themselves to be a part of Judaism (Irenæus, Adversus Hæreses, i.26). Its first fifteen “bishops” were circumcised and hostile towards heathens (Sulpicius Severus, Historia Sacra, ii. 31; Eusebius, Historia Ecclesia iv. 5; compare Matthew. xv. 26) that included “the uncircumcised” as well as those who did not attend to purification ceremonies and Jewish holidays.  Furthermore, the “Christian bishops” spoke regularly with the leaders of the synagogue (Grätz, Hirsch. Geschichte der Juden von don altesten Zeiten bis auf die Gegenwart. Leipzig, Germany, iv. 373 et seq) making Saul/Paul unnecessary–until there was a movement to reconcile with the Gentiles–a movement that did not occur until toward the end of the second century and into the third.

The bitterness found in the Pauline letters is apparent throughout church history, but more so under Protestantism that revived Pauline views and notions. This is because the Epistles of Saul/Paul were the true founder of “Christianity” (Paulinity) and not Jesus (nor a man known as Saul/Paul), a reality that even Martin Luther and Jean Calvin accepted in their praises of Paul. With these a biased opinion of Judaism and its Law took possession of Christian writers especially in the days of the Third Reich and currently with Bradlee Dean and contemporary evangelical Christianity (cp., e.g., Weber, Ferdinand Wilhelm (1897). Jüdische Theologie auf Grund des Talmud und verwandter Schriften, gemeinfasslich dargestellt. Leipzig, Germany: Dürffling & Franke, where Judaism is presented throughout simply as “Nomismus”; Schürer’s description of the life of the Jew “under the law” in Schürer, Emil (1898-1902) Geschichte des jüdischen Volkes im Zeitalter Jesu Christi 3d ed., Leipzig, Germany: J. C. Hinrichs, ii. pp. 464-496; Bousset, Wilhelm (1903) Religion des Judenthums in Neu-Testamentlichen Zeitalter. Berlin, Germany: Reuther & Richard. p. 107; and the more popular works by Karnack and others; see also Schechter, Solomon (1890) in Jewish Quarterly Review. [old series] iii. 754-766; Abrahams, Israel (1899). “Prof. Schürer on Life Under the Jewish Law,” ibid. xi. 626; and Schreiner, M. (1902). Die Jüngsten Urtheile über das Judenthum. pp. 26-34 where he comments that the sayings of Jesus are assertions but without substance or law; ref. Chwolson, David Abramovich (1901). Die Blutanklage und Sonstige Mittelalterliche  Beschuldigungen den Juden: eine historische Untersuchung nach den Quellen, Frankfort-on-the-Main, Germany: J. Kauffmann, pp. 1-78).

Anti-Semitism in early Christianity: Christ between Paul (left, with an open church for former pagans) and Peter (right, with closed church for Jews) (Santa Costanza, Rome)

Like the Gospels and Letters, Acts also is a loosely random collection, a collage of various tales interwoven without having justification on the basis of current thought or statements allegedly made by the New Apostle. Among the numerous errors in the Book of Acts is the claim that the “Christians” (they never called themselves that, but referred to themselves as “believers” or “brethren”) were persecuted—but once Saul/Paul returns to Tarsus, the persecution abruptly stops (Acts ix.31). Saul/Paul claims that the Jews were “of murderous intent” (Acts ix.23, 24), but the only record—in Acts—of any Jew having a “murderous intent” was Saul/Paul, himself, who flees to “Arabia” for three years, even though Damascus was a part of Arabia.  Saul/Paul’s flight from Jerusalem was because of perceived dangers (Acts ix.29-30) is nothing but a replay of Josephus, War ii.20.1).

The Book of Acts states that Saul/Paul at the Council of Jerusalem argued heatedly against circumcision—and won (Acts xv.19, 32).  Saul/Paul then promptly circumcised his own disciple, Timothy, whom he found in Lystra (Acts xvi.3)—a destructive act of delusional schizophrenia (a Gestalt psychology of mood-swings and actions) that might have been the result of agorophobia: acting out in panic (anankastic personality disorder) that which was previously denied.  Saul/Paul glories in this sexual mutilation without recording Timothy’s thoughts on the act that even Josephus (Vita xxiii) notes was unnecessary and no one was “constrained by force” to endure it. Saul/Paul, on another occasion, most likely nearly at the same time, graciously spared his other follower, Titus from the barbaric act of circumcision (Galatians ii.3, 4). Why? Both were considered Jew-Christians. This would occur only if they were slaves, but Saul/Paul declared there were no slaves—another contradiction. The fact that Saul/Paul wrote two distinct letters to Timothy and only one to Titus, shows handily that there was a greater preference for Timothy—but for what reason? As for Saul/Paul being a “seeker of wisdom” with a thirst for knowledge, that is not only unbiblical but also fiction, if Acts is to be believed. Acts xix.19 notes that Saul/Paul presided over Christianity’s first book burning and condemned those who had the books, despite the injunction of the Jesus of the New Testament who forbade any mortal to judge another mortal (Matthew vii:1).

Most of Saul/Paul’s other journeys are pious legends at best. It is claimed that Saul/Paul Christianized Ephesus—the very city where the Beloved John lived for decades (Acts xviii.18ff, xix.5, 7; cp. Eusebius, Historia Ecclesia xxiii). As for being an “apostle”—the early church did not accord Saul/Paul that honor until the first half of the second century CE—and only after the Bar Kosiba war

Hadrian Adventus Jud: Wars between the Jews and Romans: Simon ben Kosiba (130-136 CE)

had ended. By then, Saul/Paul was dead and a new Messiah had risen and was seen as the promised warrior—not like the passive Jesus. This war was over whether or not Hadrian (117-138), who is considered to be one of the most remarkable and talented men Rome produced, was the “saviour and god” personally associated with Zeus, by the Greek cities—a worship that spread to Syria and Antioch by 129, or his association with another male.  Most scholars agree that the war was over the issue of his male lover, a beautiful Greek youth named Antinous.  Antinous had been Hadrian’s companion of several years before the youth drowned, under odd circumstances, in the Nile.

Antinous, Hadrian's lover

After the boy’s death, Hadrian instituted a new religion for his worship and built a sanctuary city (Antinoopolis) where the tragedy occurred—and permitted a Christian bishop to enter and proselytize, as well as two other rival theologies who had little sympathy for the dead youth or the relationship the boy had with the Emperor.  It was this intolerance that led to the war. The war was precipitated by an unusual high outpouring of hate-filled messages that came from the Jews who objected to people worshipping a boy whom they saw as a Qadesh/Qedesh (קדשה technically “dog” but it also signifies a dancer, cf. 1 Kings xv.12; 2 Kings xxiii.7; the female religious prostitute (cf. Herodotus, Historia i.199) was a Qedeshah (קדשה) a term–used primarily for a woman–that literally means “consecrated”  (feminine form) from the Semitic root קדש for “holy” or “set apart”.  This term was used for Antonius around whom a cult grew spontaneously.  Its adherents argued that the youth was a virtuous young man who, by self-sacrifice, conquered death and now was able to offer salvation and protection to others (by the

Antinous becomes a god

fourth century, when the pagan Emperor Constantine created his catholic church at his Council of Nicaea in 325 CE, Antinous was presented in statuary as a young god with the grapes of Dionysus in one hand (prior to changing them into wine) and a cross in the other).  While such a sacrifice was applauded and heralded, the complaint was that the youth “changed his sex[ual position] for that of the other [a woman]” (cp. Leviticus xviii:22 that is incomplete in composition and most likely should read: And with a male you shall not lay [in the] lyings of a woman.” That is, two men must not engage in sexual behavior on a woman’s bed, and xx.13 that ignores “as with” indicating a rejection of acceptance of reality, ref. Rabbi Gershon Caudill, “A Heterosexual Jewish Rebbe’s View on the (Supposedly) Homosexual Texts in the Hebrew Bible” (there was no Hebrew word for “homosexual”; it had the same purpose as xix.22 forbidding tattoos). 

Emperor Hadrian

That this term should be applied to a young male only indicates that society then, as it does today, assumes that one party within a homosexual relationship was in the role of the female, the other in the role of the male as society was not sophisticated enough to know that both parties could be equally “feminine” and/or “masculine”. This is what would lead to the alleged condemnation of “effeminancy” in a ritual act, or the “changing of one’s role” that homophobes celebrate when chanting the mantra of hate in Leviticus and Romans. This is the “confusion” that does not exist in the normal and natural psychology of the homosexual (male or female) but led to the prohibition in Deuteronomy xxiii.17-18, which is distinctly not against the act, but rather is a prohibition against “bring[ing] the hire of a prostitute (זנה) or the wages of a dog (כָּלֶב or keleb [Strong Hebrew 3611]) into the house (temple) of the Lord your God to pay a vow…”. It is a reference to ritual or temple/sacred prostitution—not a denunciation or forbiddance of homosexuality.

The fear was over the reinvigoration of Canaanite worship services when Yahweh was but a minor god and ultimate forced to marry the Canaanite goddess Asherah (Venus/Astarte), which grew more intense when the Greek rulers of Jerusalem were accused of bringing prostitutes (hetairai: ἑταῖραι who were courtesans who entertained with song, poetry and conversation) into the Temple in Jerusalem and having sex with them there: 2 Maccabees vi.1-4: Μετ οὐ πολὺν δὲ χρόνον ἐξαπέστειλεν ὁ βασιλεὺς γέροντα Ἀθηναῖον ἀναγκάζειν τοὺς Ιουδαίους μεταβαίνειν ἀπὸ τῶν πατρίων νόμων καὶ τοῖς τοῦ θεοῦ νόμοις μὴ πολιτεύεσθαι, Not long after this, the king sent an Athenian senator to compel the Jews to forsake the laws of their fathers and cease to live by the laws of God, μολῦναι  δὲ καὶ τὸν ἐν Ιεροσολύμοις νεὼ καὶ προσονομάσαι Διὸς Ὀλυμπίου καὶ τὸν ἐν Γαριζιν, καθὼς ἐτύγχανον οἱ τὸν τόπον οἰκοῦντες, Διὸς Ξενίου, and also to pollute the temple in Jerusalem and call it the temple of Olympian Zeus, and to call the one in Gerizim the temple of Zeus the Friend of Strangers, as did the people who dwelt in that place. χαλεπὴ δὲ καὶ τοῖς ὅλοις ἦν δυσχερὴς ἡ ἐπίτασις τῆς  κακίας. Harsh and utterly grievous was the onslaught of evil. τὸ μὲν γὰρ ἱερὸν  ἀσωτίας καὶ κώμων ὑπὸ τῶν ἐθνῶν ἐπεπληροῦτο ῥᾳθυμούντων μεθ’ ἑταιρῶν καὶ ἐν τοῖς ἱεροῖς περιβόλοις γυναιξὶ πλησιαζόντων, ἔτι δὲ τὰ μὴ  καθήκοντα ἔνδον εἰσφερόντων. For the temple was filled with debauchery and reveling by the Gentiles, who dallied with harlots and had intercourse with women within the sacred precincts, and besides brought in things for sacrifice that were unfit.

The Vulgate considers 2 Maccabees to be a deuterocanonical book, but it reads:

1 sed non post multum temporis misit rex senem quendam antiochenum qui conpelleret Iudaeos ut se transferrent a patriis et Dei legibus 2 contaminare etiam quod in Hierosolymis erat templum et cognominare Iovis Olympii et in Garizin prout erant hii qui locum inhabitabant Iovis Hospitalis 3 pessima autem universis et gravis malorum erat incursio 4 nam templum luxuria et comesationibus erat plenum et scortantium cum meretricibus sacratisque aedibus mulieres se ultro ingerebant intro ferentes ea quae non licebat.

The Books of the Maccabees, however, are not trustworthy.  They incorporate many pagan/ancient stories (in much the same way as the Qur’an, Torah, and New Testament), including the trial (apology) execution of Socrates.  Maccabees uses the Greek literary genre in Koine Greek rather than the Hebrew.  At the time of its appearance, its author claimed he was abridging the five-volume work of Jason of Cyrene. There is an Arabic edition: و بعد ذلك بيسير ارسل الملك شيخا اثينيا ليضطر اليهود ان يرتدوا عن شريعة ابائهم ولا يتبعوا شريعة الله و ليدنس هيكل اورشليم ويجعله على اسم زوس الاولمبي ويجعل هيكل جرزيم على اسم زوس مؤوي الغرباء لان اهل الموضع كانوا غرباء فاشتد انفجار الشر وعظم على الجماهير و امتلا الهيكل عمرا وقصوفا واخذ الامم يفسقون بالمابونين ويضاجعون النساء في الدور المقدسة ويدخلون) This multiculturalism (considered an infection by bringing in a different culture, the same psychosis that took control of the mind of the Norwegian mass murderer and Christian terrorist Anders Behring Breivik on July 22, 2011) infuriated Shimon ben Kokhba (שמעון בן כוסבא, deliberately mispronounced by his followers as Bar Kochba, or son of the star: referring to the Star Prophecy of Numbers 24:17, at the instance of his contemporary, the Jewish sage Rabbi Akiva ben Joseph (ca. 17 – ca. 137 CE), who in the Talmud is referred to as “Rosh la-Chachamim”: “Head of all Sages”).

Simon Bar Kokhba coin

Kokhba’s original name wasAntinous becomes a god. To fulfill the “prophecy” of the coming of a messiah to rescue Israel, Simon bar Kokhba had himself led on a horse “as prophecy foretold”.  John of Patmos would later embellish this story to make a saviour return to earth on a horse to join the forces of evil in the battle of Armageddon.

The Jews went to war over the youth’s role in religion once Hadrian’s ban on circumcision was enforced. Hadrian viewed circumcision as nothing less than sexual mutilation (Historia Augusta, Hadrian xiv.2).

It appeared  to Jews and “believers” (proto-Christians who saw themselves as a part of the Jewish world) that the world was at war (Dio Cassius, Historia Romana lxix.9.12-13). Instead of there being four horsemen, each on a different colored horse bringing famine, death, and so forth, there were thousands of horsemen on common horses that brought the plagues Potmos would embellish in his fantasy.

At the end of the War, 500,000 of the three million Jews were slaughtered.  Tens of thousands were sold into slavery and the arena.  The study of the Prophets (scripture) and the Sabbath was outlawed.  Even the name of Judaea was erased from the map, being replaced by Sina Palestinia.

Roman Empire 117 CE

The Christians saw it as fulfillment of the prophecy of Saul/Paul and John of Patmos, that the Jews would incur divine wrath for rejecting their prophet Jesus. There were at most 10,000 early Christians.   With the death of the last circumcised bishop, they were able to install one of their own: Marcus.  History records Marcus as the first bishop of those not circumcised and sixteenth bishop of Jerusalem, according to some chroniclers, and the Gentiles ruled (Eusebius, Eclessia Historia iv.6).

To lessen the assault expected against them, the authors of the epistles attributed to Saul/Paul were toned down. Saul was sanitized, as his zeal became an issue within the early communities, many who did not recognize him as an apostle, as was the case with “Philip the Evangelist” of Caesarea (Acts xxi.8), and it is recorded that Peter controlled the churches in Jerusalem and Antioch (Acts vi-xii), and Paul’s missionary zeal was not unique, but equally matched by that of Philip who proclaimed “The Christ” (anointed one) in Samaria and on the road from Jerusalem to Gaza, where he baptized the eunuch (Acts viii.38).  The Essenes did not recognize Saul/Paul and they were not living only in the wilderness, but in a number of towns in Judaea. According to Josephus they were living in Jerusalem in a very closed community, where they had probably settled after the 31 BC earthquake that disrupted their lives at Qumran (Kesich, Vaselin (1986). “The Historical Jesus: A Challenge From Jerusalem,” St. Vladimir’s Theological Quarterly, vol. 30, No. 1, p. 26.).

It has been argued, on the basis of some archeological findings, that Essenes settled on Mount Zion, which also became the center of Jewish Christianity. The Alexandrian Jews were more receptive to Christians than those from Asia Minor, but here, too, we find no mention of Saul/Paul (Koester, Helmut (1982).  History, Culture and Religion of the Hellenistic Age.  Philadelphia, PA, USA: Fortress Press. vol. II, p. 42, 90). 

There was no Diaspora (διασπορά, “scattering, dispersion”)—as the majority of Jews already lived outside of Judea (it becomes associated with Judaism only after the Bible’s translation into Greek and then to refer to the population of Jews exiled from Israel in ca. 607 BCE by the Babylonians, and from Judea in 70 CE by the Roman Empire). The vanity of Saul/Paul is toned down in the current canon, with his rebuke of Peter who he libeled as having reneged on his commitment to Jesus out of fear (Galatians ii.12-13) and commenting that Barnabas was naively “carried away” in his rejoinder. None of this is found in traits of religious Jews at that time, and this is clearly seen in his writings, for he took all of his scriptural references from the Greek (Septuagint) translation of Jewish scripture, and nothing from the Hebrew.  This reveals that Saul/Paul had difficulty with his own alleged native tongue. As Professor Shlomo San of Tel Aviv University wrote: “The Jews as a self-isolating nation of exiles, who wandered across seas and continents, reached the ends of the earth and finally, with the advent of Zionism, made a U-turn and returned en masse to their orphaned homeland, is nothing but national mythology.” Emphasis mine. (Sand, Shlomo (2009), The Invention of the Jewish People, translated into English by Yael Lotan. London, UK and New York, NY, USA: Verso 2009, also 2010; there is a Turkish edition under the title Yahudi halkı nasıl icat edildi? : Kitabı Mukaddes’ten Siyonizme, translated by Isik Ergüden. Şişli, İstanbul: Doğan Kitap, 2011).

Saul/Paul needed to elevate himself, and tacking himself to an imaginary διασπείρω (used as a verb) served well. To this end, Saul/Paul became the Thirteenth Apostle.

Thirteen was not yet an unlucky number (even after he began to kill the disciples of The Lord: Acts ix.1 but this story is taken directly from Josephus, Antiquities xx.9.4). Thirteen had special significance to ancient Jews, for thirteen was the age a boy became a man; as a man the male became a full member of the Jewish faith and is qualified to be count as a member of Minyan.  Thirteen also has, according to Rabbinic commentary on the Torah, a special place with god has 13 Attributes of Mercy that are the number of principles of Jewish faith according to Maimonides (see his commentary on the Mishnah: tractace Sanhedrin, chapter 10).

We find a mixing of stories in Josephus—not as a testimony to Saul/Paul, nor even to Jesus (whom is mentioned not as a god or a son of god, but as a common brigand, thief and murderer:

“So Jesus the son of Sapphias [chief magistrate of Tiberias], one of those whom we have already mentioned as the leader of a seditious tumult of mariners and poor people, prevented us, and took with him certain Galileans, and set the entire palace on fire … Jesus and his party slew all the Greeks that were inhabitants of Tiberias, and as many others as were their enemies before the war began.”

– Josephus, Vita xii).

It merely recognized the unsettled conditions of the time, and the longing of people for a different life. As the psychologist William James noted, it would initiate the time for a supernatural happening, and gave greater credence to divine revelation: to escape a time of Tribulation in anticipation of the coming of a Messiah (war lord).

Saul/Paul and his apologists claim that he was a Jew before his seizure on the Road to Damascus, but the writings ascribed to the individual belie that assumption. In the Epistle to the Romans, many parts are the product of the second-century Church. In this contempt-filled work, the authors of Romans show a forceful hatred for the Jews and everything Jewish, e.g., such passages as Romans ii. 21-24, in which the writers of this questionable work charge the Jews with theft, adultery, sacrilege, and blasphemy. It is reiterated in Romans ix.22 and xi.28 (cp. Romans iii.2).

The underlying motive of the Pauline theology was to tear down of the partition-wall between Jew and Gentile.  It is best expressed in Ephesians ii.14-22. The redactors of Ephesians, over the years declared that the latter (the Gentiles) are no longer “gerim” (גיור‎: contemplating or actively pursuing הלכה‎: halachic (in accordance with Jewish law) conversion) and הדיירים:  “toshabim” (A. V. “tenants” or “strangers” and “foreigners” as defined in Leviticus xxv.23.  The conversion process requires taking the vow in Ruth i.16-17: כִּי אֶל-אֲשֶׁר תֵּלְכִי אֵלֵךְ, וּבַאֲשֶׁר תָּלִינִי אָלִין—עַמֵּךְ עַמִּי, וֵאלֹהַיִךְ אֱלֹהָי. בַּאֲשֶׁר תָּמוּתִי אָמוּת, וְשָׁם אֶקָּבֵר; כֹּה יַעֲשֶׂה יְהוָה לִי, וְכֹה יוֹסִיף—כִּי הַמָּוֶת, יַפְרִיד בֵּינִי וּבֵינֵךְ.), but “fellow citizens with the saints” of the Church and fully equal members “of the household of God” but a people not yet saved.  Salvation is denied these Jews, Saul/Paul states, because they have not (as of yet) accepted The Christ.

In order to accomplish his purpose of saving the Jews (through a special Messianic promise to bring about a New King), Saul/Paul argues that just as little as the heathen escapes the wrath of God, owing to the horrible sins he is urged to commit by clinging to his idols, so little can the Jew escape by his Law, because “the law worketh sin and wrath” (Rom. iv. 15). As Isaac Troki noted (in Troki, Isaac ben Abraham; Moses Mocatta (1851). ̣חזוק אמונה (Faith Strengthened) or Hizzuk Emunah” London, UK: [s.n.] i.2, 4a, 6) “none of the Messianic promises of a time of perfect peace and unity among men, of love and truth of universal knowledge and undisturbed happiness, of the cessation of all wrong-doing, superstition, idolatry, falsehood, and hatred [Isaiah. ii. 1 et seq., 18; xi.1-9, lxv.19, 23; Jeremiah iii.17; Ezekiel xxxiv.25, xxxvi.25 et seq., xxxvii.26; Zechariah xiii.2, xiv.9; Zephaniah iii.13] have been fulfilled by the Church” of any Christian form, nature, or cult.

The Pauline hatred of Jews was ever more intensified (see Romans. ix.-xi., cp. ix. 31) under Saul/Paul—which is clear evidence of its composition being of a later origin—and culminates in Galatians iii., where, besides the repetition of the argument from Genesis xv.6 and xvii.5, the Law is declared, with reference to Deuteronomy xxviii.26 and Habakkuk ii.4 (cp. Romans i.17), to be a curse from which the crucified Christ—himself “a curse” according to the Law (Deuteronomy xxi.23; probably an argument taken up from controversies with the Jews)—was to redeem the believer. Another sophist argument against the Law, furnished in Galatians iii.19-24, and often repeated in the second century (cp. Hebrews ii.2; Acts vii.38, 53; Aristides, Apologia, xiv.4), is that the Law was received by Moses as mediator from the angels—a quaint notion based upon Deuteronomy xxxiii. 2, LXX.; cp. Josephus, Antiquities xv. 5, § 3. That it is not the law of the Hebrew gods. The laws of the Jews and the idolatrous practices of the heathen are placed equally low as mere servitude of” the weak and beggarly elements” ( cf. “planets”; Galatians iv. 8-11), whereas those who have put on Christ [used as a title, not as a name] by baptism have risen above all distinctions of race, of class, and of sex, and have become children of God and heirs of Abraham (Galatians iii. 26-29; what is meant by the words “There shall be neither male nor female” in verse 28 may be learned from Galatians v. 12, where eunuchism (that includes self-castration and self-sexual mutilation) is advised.

Origen of Alexandria

Origen of Alexandria (185-254 CE) followed this masochistic practice by castrating himself. From a clinical perspective, Origen suffered under the psychiatric sexual disorders category of paraphilias, meaning “abnormal or unnatural attraction to a theory or orientation that denied his natural sexuality (it is very similar to required celibacy in the Roman Catholic monasteries and churches of today). Origen claimed that he castrated himself so he could tutor women without suspicion a form of sadomasochism, and he risked his life countless times in encouraging martyrdom or at least the rejection “of this world” and its “evils” by sexual mutilation and death that is defined as group sadomasochism being psychologically unbalanced, and was especially common among women who gave up sexuality to follow a “religious call” (read: Benjamin, J. (1986). The alienation of desire: Women’s masochism and ideal love.Hillsdale, NJ, England: Analytic Press, Inc., reissued in 1990: New York, NY: New York University Press, cf. Gordon, R. (1991). Masochism: The shadow side of the archetypal need to venerate and worship. New York, NY: Guilford Press, and Montgomery, J. D. (1989). The hero as victim: The development of a masochistic life.Madison, CT: International Universities Press, Inc., Ruderman, E. G. B. (2003). Plus ca change, plus c’est la meme chose: Women’s “masochism” and ambivalence about ambition and success.Madison, CT: International Universities Press, Inc.,and Wurmser, L. (1997). The shame about existing: A comment about the analysis of “moral” masochism. Mahwah, NJ: Analytic Press, with special attention to Jewish males in Boyarin, D. (1994). “Jewish masochism: Couvade, castration, and rabbis in pain”, American ImagoVol 51(1) Spring 1994, 3-36, and Charme, S. L. (1983). “Religion and the theory of masochism” in Journal of Religion & Health Vol 22(3) Fall 1983, 221-233). Origen was among the best known controversial adherents to the new faith (Duchet, C. (2006). “Between life and death drives: Masochism tested by traumatic experiences”, Psychologie Clinique et Projective Vol 12 2006, 101-117; Grassi, A. (1986). Masochism and individuation” Psichiatria e Psicoterapia Analitica Vol 5(1) Apr 1986, 35-50). He was among the earliest teachers in the emerging church that did not agree with everything bishops or councils declared. For example, he found errors in “the inerrant book” (Bible), and taught that there were layers within Scripture:

… And when God is said to “walk in the paradise in the cool of the day”… I don’t think anyone will doubt that these are figurative expressions which indicate certain mysteries through a semblance of history and not through actual events. (De Principiis iv.3.1)

Origen found three levels of meaning in the Scriptures: the common or historical sense, for the simple-minded or beginning reader, the “Soul” of the Scriptures that edifies those who perceive it, and a meaning hidden under those passages that are repugnant to the intellect by means of allegory.  What Origen did not concur with was the transmogrification of individual identity as one cannot hide from god–however, this is what Saul/Paul did after his trip to Damascus.

Saul/Paul changes his name to Paul occurs only in Acts 9:11, 21:39, 22:3. This record exists because of his favored disciple.  The only references to “Paul” are within the Pauline epistles, no other communications exist, correspondence, public record, or government record where it is used, nor is there a Saul of Tarsus on any document.

The claim in Romans 11:1 and Philippians 3:5 merely suggests that he was of the tribe of Benjamin due to the similarity of his name with the first Israelite king.  This is a false later inclusion, done in a trembling effort to justify that which did not exist.  There were no tribal lists at the time that Saul/Paul lived, and such a list does not appear before the fourth century (Eusebius, Historia Ecclesia” i.7, 5; Pesahim 62b; Sachs, Michael (1852). Beiträge zur Sprach- und  Alterthumsforschung: Aus jüdischen Quellen. Berlin, Germany: Veit und Comp, ii. 157).

Gamaliel's council (Acts v)

Saul/Paul’s quotations from scripture show only that he knew Greek scripture

Rabbi Gamaliel's test on the "Glorioous and Horrorfying"

(that he was allegedly taught by Gamaliel I; cp. Book of Wisdom and other Apocrypha, as well as Philo (see Hausrath, Adolf (1956) Neutestamentliche Zeitgeschichte, Berlin [dann] Hamburg, Germany: Furche-Verlag. ii. 18-27, originally published at Heidelberg, Germany: F. Bassermann, 1872—I am using the original edition; Siegfried, Carl (1875). Philo von Alexandria aks Ausleger des Alten Testaments: an sich selbst und  nach seinem geschichtlichen  Einfluss  betrachtet: nebst Undersuchungen  über die Grecitaet Philo’s. Jena: Hermann Fufft, 1875, pp. 304-310; Jowett, Benjamin (1894). The Epistles of St. Paul to the Thessalonians, Galatians and Romans. London: John Murray. i.363-417) as it show none shows any familiarity with the original Hebrew text.

Josephus, neither a reliable historian, nor an eye-witness, does claim that a Saulus went to visit Nero in 66 CE, leading a delegation as an intermediary between the Chief Priests and the Pharisees to Agrippa II to petition the emperor to suppress an uprising during the 60s (the date is not clear). If the account is true, it would have been known to the Jews in the late first century and Saul would have been considered untrustworthy and disreputable—and for that reason is referred to as Saul in the early parts by the authors of the Acts of the Apostles. Saul/Paul’s Hellenistic background is betrayed by his distinguishing between an earthly and a heavenly Adam (I Corinthians xv. 45-49; cp. Philo, De Allegoriis Legum, i.12 in Philonis Judaei Opera Omnia 1. Contiens libb. De opificiis mundi, De allegoriis legume libb. i-iii, De cherubim, De sacrifisiis Abelis et Caini, De eo quod deterius potiori insidiatur (the work is in Greek). Lipsiae, Germany: Schwickert, 1828) that is neither found in Hebrew scripture nor thought.

Saul/Paul’s state of mind shows the influence of the theosophical or Gnostic lore of Alexandria, especially the Hermes literature recently brought to light by Reizenstein in his important work “Poimandres,” 1904 (Reitzenstein, Richard (1904). Poimandres: Studien zur griechisch-āgyptischen  und  frühchristlichen Literatur. Leipzig, Germany: Teubner. see Index, s. v. “Paulus,” “Briefe des Paulus,” and “Philo”); hence his strange belief in supernatural powers (Reizenstein, loc. cit. pp. 77, 287), in fatalism, in “speaking in tongues”: γλωσσολαλία (I Corinthians xii.-xiv.; cp. Reizenstein, loc. cit. p. 58; Dieterich, Albrect; Usener, Hermann; and Societas Philologa Bonnensis (1891), Abraxas: Studien z. Religionsgeschichte d. spāteren Altertums. Leipzig: B. G. Teubner, pp. 5 et seq.; Weinel, Heinrich (1899) Die Wirkungen des Geistes und der Geister im nachapostolischen Zeitalter bis auf Irenāus. Freiburg i B, Germany: J.C.B. Mohr. pp. 72 et seq.; I Corinthians xv. 8; II Corinthians xii. 1-6; Ephesians iii. 3; the verses in Mark xvi:9-20 were not written by the author of Mark; the passage is a later addition by an unknown forger and are unreliable,with open controversy between Acts ii.1-21 and Saul/Paul’s later commentaries, as the author(s) of Acts state(s) that the visitors all heard the preaching in their own language (verse 13 refers to some skeptics in the audience who stated that the men were drunk), in contrast to Saul/Paul’s writings in 1 Corinthians where he mentions that people speaking in tongues cannot be understood by most observers, but have to be first interpreted), and in mysteries or sacraments (Roman xvi. 25; Colossians i. 26, ii. 2, iv. 3; Ephesians i. 9, iii. 4, vi. 19)—a term borrowed solely from heathen rites. Jews do not have sacraments.

Saul/Paul used frequently the Gnostic term τέλειος meaning “perfect,” “mature” (I Thessalonians v. 4, 10; Philippians iii. 12, 15; I Corinthians ii. 6, xiii. 12 et seq., xiv. 20; Ephesians iv. 13; Colossians i. 28). This term, taken from the Greek (see Lightfoot, Joseph Barber (1876). St. Paul’s Epistles to the Colossians and to Philemon, London, UK: Macmillan, ad loc.), and used also in Wisdom iv. 13, ix. 6, suggested an asceticism which in some circles of saints led to the unsexing of man for the sake of fleeing from lust (Wisdom iii. 13-14; Philo, De Eo Quod Deterius Potiori Insidiatur, § 48; Matthew xix. 12; see Conybeare, Frederick Cornwallis. (1894). The Apology and Acts of Apollonius and Other Monuments of Early Christianity. London, UK: S Sonnerschein & Co., New York: Macmillan (reissued in 1896 under the revised title The Armenian Apology and Acts of Apollonius: and other monuments of Early Christianity, my copy having the imprint: London: Swan Sonnenschein & Co.), p. 24). Paul’s “gnosis” (I Corinthians viii. 1, 7; II Corinthians ii. 14; I Timothy vi. 20) is a revival of Persian dualism, which makes of all existence, whether physical, mental, or spiritual, a battle between light and darkness (I Thessalonians v. 4-5; Ephesians v. 8-13; Colossians i. 13), between flesh and spirit (I Corinthians xv. 48; Romans viii. 6-9), between corruption and life everlasting (I Corinthians xv. 50, 53). This lead to the revival/continuation of asceticism and the denial of reality and life in the real world that Max Weber defined as ausserweltliche (a form of mental illness leading to withdrawal from reality; Masson, J. M. (1976). “The Psychology of the Ascetic,” in Journal of Asian Studies. XXXV.4:611-625; cf. Russell, Bertrand (1946). Ideas that have Harmed Human Kind; asceticism leads to subjectivity and reductionism in the psychology of the ascetic; cf. Brown, Peter (1989). The Body and Society; Men, Women and Sexual Renunciation in Early Christianity.  London, UK and Boston, MA, USA: Faber and Faber; Freud, Sigmund. Civilization and its Discontents; translated by J. Strachey. New York, NY, USA: Norton, 1961; and, Glucklich, Ariel  (2001). Sacred Pain; Hurting the Body for the Sake of the Soul. Oxford [NY and UK] and New York, NY, USA: Oxford University Press).

Saul/Paul’s whole state of mind shows the influence of the theosophical or Gnostic lore of Alexandria, especially the Hermes literature. It was the intensity of conflict within his mind, that today we define as classic schizophrenia that led to repeated epileptic seizures. The reality of these seizures—or the denial of one’s own self (as I have written in my biography of Saul/Paul) can be found in the writings allegedly completed by Saul/Paul, who speaks of “a thorn in the flesh” that came as a heavy stroke by “a messenger of Satan” (2 Corinthians xii.7). This “thorn” made Saul/Paul realize his utter helplessness, and made him an object of pity and horror (Galatians iv.13). Max Krenkel (Krenkel, Max (1890). Beiträge zur Aufhellung der Geschichte  und  Briefe des Apostels Paulus. Braunschweig, Germany: C.A. Schwetschke und  Sohn, pp. 47-125) argues that the pressure described by Saul/Paul shows epilepsy, which the Greeks called “the holy disease” and would appeal to Greeks/Gentiles, but it would frighten away Jews who believed that god is above all and such a disease would indicate that Saul/Paul was being punished by the god of the Jews (cp. 2 Corinthians v.13, x.10, xi.1 and 16, xii.6). I offer a different analysis, for Saul/Paul speaks of a “thorn in the flesh” that was a common expression of one “wrestling with evil” (homosexuality) and was unwilling to give into his natural passions and selected, instead, the abnormal and unnatural state of celibacy (cp. Maslow, Abraham H. (1970) Motivation and Personality. New York, NY, USA: Harper & Row; Goleman, Daniel (1985). Vital Lies, Simple Truths–the Psychology of Self-Deception.  New York, NY, USA: Simon & Schuster; Ogden, Sofia K. and Biebers, Ashley D.  (2010). Psychology of Denial. New York, NY, USA: Nova Science Publishers). I base this argument, more so, on the passages that Saul/Paul shrinking from life and normal social discourses and proclaiming that he longed for redemption by deadening all desires for life while striving for another world that he claimed he saw in ecstatic visions. This, in psychological terms, is classic self-denial and the rejection of self-acceptance and self-actualization that was used for to entice others to follow his lifestyle of celibacy that had no coinage in the Jewish world at that time. Saul/Paul had as his goal ensnaring young men and maidens (assumed virgins) as he encouraged them to be celibate and remain single (Galatians iii.18, 1 Corinthians vii.34-36, Matthew xix.12; cp. Clement of Rome, Epistle ii. § 12). Either way, the “seizures” resulted in the variegation within his writing and/or dictations (it is highly likely that Saul/Paul was like the classic Muhammad: totally illiterate and thus was required by necessity to employ a scribe) to Luke or other favored disciples (cp. James, William (1902). The Varieties of Religious Experience: A Study in Human Nature, being the Gifford Lectures on natural religion delivered at Edinburgh in 1901-1902. New York, NY, USA: Modern Library), and hallucinations leading to bad plagiarisms (a neuronal dysfunction).

It is not only chronic neurological dysfunction that can cause religious and supernatural beliefs. Some of the founding experiences leading to the creation of new religions and cults, such as Joseph Smith’s (1805-1844) Latter-Day Saints (Mormons) who dictated “reformed Egyptian” to his wife from behind a curtain (Howe, Eber Dudley (1834), Mormonism Unvailed: Or, A Faithful Account of that Singular Imposition and Delusion, from its Rise to the Present Time, Painesville, Ohio: Telegraph Press; in this author’s private library), Charles Taze Russell’s (1852-1916) Jehovah’s Witnesses who after his death was declared “ruler of all the Lord’s goods” (Watch Tower, March 1, 1923, pages 68 and 71), to the contemporary Harold Camping (1921- ; who retired from his radio station in October 16, 2011) can be based on single neurological events such as isolated strokes or seizures.

Many types of fits or seizures do not involve the motor area of the brain but the transference and transmogrification of thoughts brought on by stress, so they do not result in obvious, physical signs of seizures that usually are associated with epilepsy. They can be purely sensory in nature, involving sights, sounds and feelings that range from subtle through to overwhelming. As psychologists and psychiatrists have explained: “Seizures explain most “religious experiences” as with Partial seizures can […] cause clonic movement of part of a limb [ … or] may trigger an abnormal sensation, or aura, such as an odd smell or sparkling lights. Most bizarre are the partial seizures that elicit more well-formed auras such as déjá vu (the feeling that something has happened before) or hallucinations.” (cf. Bear, Mark F.; Connors, Barry W.; Paradiso, Michael A. (1996). Neuroscience: Exploring the Brain. Baltimore, MD, USA: Williams & Wilkins. p. 464).

As is the case with the New Testament Saul/Paul, the most plausible explanation of the erratic writings of Saul/Paul is that a brain malfunction led the alleged man from Tarsus (in truth, a school of second-class writers in that city) to incorporate many Greek myths and legends, many of which were copied, placing Jesus at the center of them (this is known as mythologizing or fantasizing reality or teleology; cf. Giegerich, Wolfgang; Miller, David;  Mogenson, Greg.  (2005). Dialectics and Analytical Psychology. New Orleans, LA, USA: Spring Journal Books. pp. 43-44, cp. Bruhl, Lucien Lévy (1978). Primitive Mentality. New York, NY, USA: AMS Press, Inc., and Giegerich, Wolfgang (2005). The Neurosis of Psychology: Primary Papers toward a Critical Psychology. New Orleans, Spring Journal Books. p. 115). It was from these myths and other misinformation that Tacitus, never a discerning researcher or reputable historian, added his legends. This shows a strong form of schizophrenia where an individual or a group can create a phantom to express their collective ideas, as with the invention of Paul/Saul (“Emotions and Mind” by Daniel Nettle (2004) in Toates, Frederick; Mackintosh, Bundy; and Nettle, Daniel (2004). Emotions and Mind. London, UK: Open University and Milton Keynes, chapter 3 “Schizophrenia” p. 113 arguing how biochemistry and neurology account for feelings or emotions without the need of a “soul”, deity or accompanying adiaphora of religion; cf. Haselton, Martie and Nettle, Daniel, “The Paranoid Optimist: An Integrative Evolutionary Model of Cognitive Biases,” in Personality and Social Psychology Review 10.1 (2006), pp. 47-66). There was no reason to create a new religion. Judaism had opened its Temple doors to all who would learn. It even incorporated Hellenistic literature to entice Gentiles to convert to the path of Moses (Matthew xxiii.15, cp. Romans iv.3-18, Acts x.2, xiii.16, 26, 43, 50, xvi.14, xvii.4, 17, and xviii.7; cf. Seeberg, Alfred (1903), Der Katechismus der Urchristenheit. Leipzig, Germany: pp. 1-44). The difference had little to do with theology differences; the Jewish life was political and social, while the Christian existence was eschatological. The symbol of circumcision was required, and Saul/Paul removed that commandment given to Abraham claiming authority from a single vision that he referred to as a state of entrancement when he was carried into paradise to the third heaven where he heard “unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter” (2 Corinthians xii.2-4)—but this is not unique with Saul/Paul or Christianity. It comes from the same set of visions experienced by Metatron (Mithra) and Akteriel  and is found in the minds of many including some Jewish mystics. Embedded in the writings of Saul/Paul we read that Jesus was not god, but in the Gnostic sense “the image of god” (2 Corinthians iv.4; Colossians i.15)—almost as “the heavenly Adam” (1 Corinthians xv.49) who would be mediator between god and the world of man (1 Corinthians viii.6) “the first-born of all creation, for by him were all things created (Colossians i.15-17) who was identical with the Holy Spirit that Saul/Paul saw as a magical power that works sanctification and salvation and was void of ethics or ethical consideration, playing favorites as a child who possess a ball determines who will play with it (1 Corinthians x.4, 2 Corinthians iii.17; cp. Wisdom x.1-xii.1; Philo, De Eo Quod Deterius Potiori Insidiari Soleat, § 30). The Holy Spirit, at best, is a selfish demigod who awards salvation, as the congregations (churches) of Saul/Paul are awarded salvation by an arbitrary act of divine grace that justifies one class of people and condemns others (Romans ix). For Saul/Paul, an all-loving and all-forgiving god (as was known and taught by the Jews at that time) did not exist—it was an intangible substance known as πίστις that will determine the fate of each mortal—much like the magic feather of the goddess Maat in ancient Egypt or the Mandaean-Bablonian King of Light descending to Hades to free the faithful (Brandt, August Johann Heinrich Wilhelm (1889). Die māndaische Religion, ihre Entwickelung  und geschichtliche Bedeutung, erforscht, dargestellt und beleuchtet. Originally a thesis/dissertation (Proefschrift) in Dutch; Utrecht: Repelius, in German; pp. 151-156).

Schizophrenia allows people to believe in that for which there is no scientific evidence, no concrete rationality, and the conditioned desire to follow someone or canon/codex blindly as with Martin Luther’s “Faith alone”: sola fide confession that hinges on monergism. Luther argued a part of one technicality in Romans: the doctrine articulus stantis et cadentis ecclesiae (“article of the standing and falling of the church”) (Luther, Martin (1532-1533). XV Psalmos graduum in WA 40/III.352.3 now a part of Augsburg Confession, Article 4, “Of Justification” but the term “faith alone” appears no where in any Protestant (or other) Bible (Luther added it to Romans 3:28), and is, in fact, rejected by James 2:24; cp. Paul Kurtz, Skeptical Inquirer (2006) Sep/Oct) vole 30: Issue 5). It is for this reason that Christianity became an “exclusive”  (rather than an inclusive [as Jesus commanded; Mark xvi.15]) religion. As Lester Kurtz explained: “Elites in virtually every culture use religious legitimation to explain why they are in control and others are not. Similarly, the most effective dissident movements often employ religious arguments to legitimate their own positions.” (Kurtz, Lester R. (1995). Gods in the Global Village: the World’s Religions in Sociological Perspective. Thousand Oaks, CA, USA: Pine Forge Press, p. 17)

Jesus similarly schizophrenic in the writings of Saul/Paul. Jesus was the “king of glory” (1 Corinthians ii.8), although Jesus claimed to be a man (Matthew xxvi.63-64) on the water planet: Earth.  It took Church Fathers until the fourth century to declare Jesus equal to god citing Mark 13:32, an issue and scripture that Arius will debate in 325 CE). The Jesus of Saul/Paul was cosmic in nature and a power more forceful than would ever be known. Jesus would annihilate Satan or Belial, according to Saul/Paul—but not once did Jesus state this future as his own in any work anyone knows of—not even among the Gnostic writings. Not only was Jesus to evaporate Satan, he would destroy Satan’s armies of evil (1 Corinthians xv.24-26), as if he were the reincarnation of the ancient Persian dualism of Ahura-Mazda (1 Thessalonians v.4-5, Ephesians v.8-13, Colossians i.13). In the Final Battle, Jesus would separate flesh from spirit (1 Corinthians xv.48, Romans viii.6-9; quite similar to the way the ancient Egyptians separated flesh from bones and placed basic organs in urns) and end mortal corruption while giving everlasting life (1 Corinthians xv.50, 53).

While the Jesus of the New Testament spoke of peace (e.g. Matthew v.9), Saul/Paul, who claimed he spoke for Jesus, announced war and the need of the faithful to put on the armor of light, the breastplate of love, and the helmet of hope (Romans xiii.12, 2 Corinthians x.4, Ephesians vi.11, 1 Thessalonians v.8, Wisdom v.17-18, Isaiah lix.17), following the interjection by later glossers of Matthew, adding that Jesus came to bring a sword, not peace (Matthew x.34).

Like most fanatics, Saul/Paul believed that Jesus’ Second Coming would be soon. His prophecies were no different from Harold Camping or David Koresh. It would be speedy, and separate the saved and the unjust. Saul/Paul believed he would restore the Gan Eden of Genesis birthed in Babylonian mythology. Once this would happen “believers” would be miraculously lifted up into the clouds and transformed into spiritual bodies that would live forever (1 Thessalonians iv, 1 Corinthians xv, Romans viii). In the revitalized, restored Gan Eden, all would be young and full of light–a future that Saul/Paul was impatient to know and embrace, as long as he was in the company of Barnabas.

Saul/Paul found his ties with Barnabas, a native of Cyprus, to be quite uncomfortable. Barnabas was older than Paul and (apparently) of a more imposing stature (Acts xiv.12). He left Barnabas to travel with a younger and more attractive co-laborer who had the name of a god: Apollos (1 Corinthians i.10, iii.5-23, xvi.12).

At this point, the rift in the emerging group of believers began to appear. The work of spreading the “good news” (gospel) was divided between Peter and Paul. Peter would preach to those who were circumcised (whom Saul/Paul calls “dogs” in Philippians iii.2). Saul/Paul would preach “the gospel of uncircumcision” to the others. Saul/Paul was not well-received; he was stoned by angry mobs, imprisoned, whipped (“punished with stripes”; he claimed he received thirty-nine stripes in the synagogue five different times), and beaten with rods three times (cp. Acts xvi.22) that made him “groan” for deliverance (1 Thessalonians ii.2, 19-iii.1, 2 Corinthians i.8-10, iv.7-v.5, xii.7, Galatians iv.14). He could not make a living as a missionary—he had none of the stellar qualities of a Pat Robertson nor a James Dobson.

Because Saul/Paul had few financial supporters, unlike today’s televangelists like the now-disgraced Jimmy Bakker and Jimmy Swaggart, he made his living as a tent-maker at night (Acts xviii.3, 1 Thessalonians ii.9, 2 Thessalonians iii.8, 1 Corinthians iv.12, ix.6-18). Sound academic studies he called “folly” (1 Corinthians i.17-24) and preferred the ignorance of the masses in Rome (Acts xviii.12-17, xix.35-40). The phantom of Saul/Paul directed the authors of what would be attributed to his authorship, to write the hallucinations they experienced when group psychosis prevailed in an environment that made them uncomfortable: that of Mithraic congregations and similar resurrection-oriented societies. In many ways it is like being drunk “on the Gospels, that were not yet written. 

Saul/Paul was in a state of denial, or as William James wrote: “Knowledge about a thing is not the thing in itself. …to understand the cause of drunkenness, as a physician understands them, is not to be drunk [but to observe it objectively]. A science might come to understand everything about the causes and elements of religion, and might even decide which elements were qualified, by their general harmony with other branches of knowledge, to be considered true: and yet the best man at this science might be the man who found it hardest to be personally devout (William James (1902). The Varieties of Religious Experience From the Gifford Lectures delivered at Edinburgh 1901-1902, first Edition printed 1960. Quotes here are taken from the fifth edition, 1971, Collins. p. 467). As Vexen Crabtree noted:

Emotional and societal factors influence our thinking much more than we like to admit. Our expectations and recent experiences change the way we recall memories. Even our very perceptions are effected by pre-conscious cognitive factors; what we see, feel, taste and hear are all subject to interpretation before we are even aware of them. Our brains were never meant to be the cool, rational, mathematical-logical computers that we like to sometimes pretend them to be.

  • People easily misperceive random events as evidence that backs up their beliefs.
  • We attribute causes to events based on our beliefs even when we don’t know we’re doing it.
  • Physiological causes can lay behind even profound supernatural experiences.
  • Our perception of reality is distorted by our expectations and beliefs.
  • Our experiences are not objective, but are informed by our mindset and culture.

We can take preventative steps. Learning to think skeptically and carefully and to recognize that our very experiences and perceptions can be coloured by societal and subconscious factors should help us to maintain our cool. Beliefs should not be taken lightly, and evidence should be cross-checked. This especially applies to “common-sense” facts that we learn from others by word of mouth and traditional knowledge. Above all, however, our most important tool is knowing what types of cognitive errors we, as a species, are prone to making.

(Crabtree, Vexen (2008). Errors in Thinking: Cognitive Errors, Wishful Thinking and Sacred Truths. On-line

As is the case with William James’ studies, the letters ascribed to Saul/Paul show us a tortured mind filled with confusion and schizophrenia—a trait that is inherent in all religious extremism and its practitioners. Many aspects of religion are drawn-out ideas of childhood—of what the child seeks but does not find. When the child matures and realizes the fantasies are phantoms of the mind, the child puts away the illusions (a distortion of sensory perception; in psychiatry the term illusion refers to a specific form of sensory distortion such as hearing voices that take place when there is the sound of water running or an earthquake is taking place; it is different from a hallucination, which is a sensory experience in the absence of a stimulus, e.g. hearing voices regardless of the environment would be a hallucination and there is no auditory source that would generate the sound of voices; cf.  Bower, J.E. et al. (1998) “The optimal margin of illusion” in Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, 8:176-189; Alicke, M.D. (1985). Global self-evaluation as determined by the desirability and controllability of trait adjectives. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 49:1621-1630; John, Oliver P. and Robins, Richard W. (1994). “Accuracy and Bias in Self-Perception: Individual Differences in Self-Enhancement and the Role of Narcissism.” Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 66.1: 206-219)—but not completely.

People tend to hang on to those mysteries and allusions that seem most comforting at a time of crisis. It is in this psychology that we find the Pauline, the human idea of an ever-present (omnipresent), all-powerful (omnipotent), all-knowing (omniscient) and all-loving parent, with a plethora of antitheses: the feeling of guilt when no-one is looking, the lack of death, the feeling of abandonment and the need to put away our toys. This is the message we find in the Letter recorded as being by Saul/Paul:. 1 Corinthians 13:11: “when I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me”. The putting away of childish (sometimes translated as “childlike”) things is painfully destructive. It removes the security blanket that Linus of the cartoon Peanuts was most reluctant to do, and which most religious devotees still hang onto, as seen among Ultra-Orthodox Judaism, evangelical Christianity as expressed most grotesquely by Bradlee Dean Smith, drummer for the Junkyard Prophets and self-proclaimed pastor and his patron Congressional Representative Michelle Bachmann (R-MN), and Islamic fundamentalism of Taliban and al-Qaeda groups. It is the way that the emotionally insecure, such as Dakota Ary of Fort Worth, Texas, the late David Koresh of Waco, Texas, Maggie Gallagher, and the ramblings of Bob Vander Plaats of Iowa, hang on to in a conspiratorial effort to maintain superiority when they know of their own inferiority and inability to cope in a real world.

Al-lat from Palmyra (with palm branch and lion)

Conversion to a new religion when done at a low point in one’s life, often leads to an improvement, but that improvement is short-lived and the stain and strain of zealotry takes over with the confessor declaring that he or she has the absolute truth and speaks for and illusionary god as with Allah (الله‎; who had sons: Qur’an 6:100, and daughters: Qur’an 53:19-22; 16:57; 37:149) who is the incarnation of three goddess of ancient Arabia: el-Lat or al-Lat (اللات‎; Qur’an Sura53.19; in older sources, Allat is an alternative name of the Mesopotamian goddess of the underworld, now usually known as Ereshkigal), el-Uzza or al-Uzza (العزى‎), and Manat (مناة‎; chief goddess of Mecca; Ibn al-Kalbī; (author) and Nabih Amin Faris (translator & commentary) (1952): The Book of Idols, Being a Translation from the Arabic of the Kitāb al-Asnām. Princeton, NJ, USA:

Al-Uzza of Manatu Temple at Petra

Princeton University Press. pp. 12-14) who are not defrocked until the sixth century CE as a pagan female trinity (Qur’an an-Najm 53:19-22). Muhammad acknowledges this when he refers to it as the “Satanic Verses” (Qur’an 17:73-75, and 22:52-53; ref. Finegan, Jack (1952) The Archeology of World Religions: the background of primitivism, Zoroastrianism, Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism, Confucianism, Taoism, Shinto, Islam, and Sikhism. Princeton, NJ, USA: Princeton University Press. pp. 482-485, 492; cp. Sura 53.19-20; Tabari [Abū-Ga’far Muhammad Ib-Garīr at-Tabarī], Annals of Prophets and Kings. Leiden, Holland: E. J. Brill, distributed by Extenza Turpin (Biggleswade) 2010: i.1192-1193/Tabari vi.108-109 (the original is in Arabic تأريخ الرسل والملوك ; a Persian copy is available, published in Tihrān by Bungāh-i Tarjamah va Nashr-i Kitāb, 1351 [1972]), cf. Peters, Francis Edward (1994). The Hajj: the Muslim Pilgrimage to Mecca and the holy Places. Princeton, NJ, USA: Princeton University Press, pp. 3-41).

Asklepios god of health with snake god of wisdom

The majority of what Saul/Paul and Gospel writers wrote came from the stories of miracles performed by Asklepios (fifth century BCE), although some of his miracles come from the ontological writings about Dionysios in the eighth century BCE. Dionysios was the son of god (Zeus) and a mortal woman, who had compassion on the poor and sick, summoned little children, healed the lame and blind, turned water into wine at a marriage ceremony in a city called Kana, was mortal until he died at which time he rose from the crypt a god and ascended into heaven. Asklepios would heal the blind (he was considered the god of medicine, and had four daughters: Hygieia [goddess of hygiene]. Iaso  [goddess of medicine], Aceso [goddess of healing], and Panacea [goddess of universal remedies] and was one of Apollo’s sons), raise the dead including his “beloved” companion (a prototype for Lazarus), rebuke an adulteress but then tell her to “go forth and do not commit adultery again”, and free slaves, encourage the rich to share their wealth with the poor, and so forth. He was later killed by his heavenly father, the god Zeus, but raised from the dead on the third day. Most of the documents on this deity and his medicinal remedies were destroyed by Constantine’s Christian bishops.

Hercules (Musei Capitolini) 11th feat was to capture the apple (cp. Genesis iii.6-7; a misunderstanding of the Latin "malum") of Hesperides (gilded bronze, Rome, 2d century CE, found in a church)

We find in the theology and mythology surrounding Herakles (fifth century BCE) a male baby born of a virgin who was impregnated by a god (Zeus), and as a young man walked on water, died with the words “father, it is done” (cp. John xix:30 and Matthew xxvi.42) on his lips (and chiseled in stone), before rising into heaven. Most of the Herakles mythology finds its way into the Infancy Narratives of Jesus as with the Gospel of James that is also known as the Protevangelium of James. The early Christian church (fourth century) even dated its calendar and festivals from cult of Hercules, with Eusebius writing (Preparation of the Gospel x.12–in Greek) that Clement of Rome offered historical dates for Hercules as a king in Argos: “from the reign of Hercules in Argos to the deification of Hercules himself and of Asclepius there are comprised thirty-eight years, according to Apollodorus the chronicler: and from that point to the deification of Castor and Pollux fifty-three years: and somewhere about this time was the capture of Troy.”

St. Jerome does the same in his Chronicon. Statues, including those of Herkules and Apollo, covered in gold, were even erected in Christian churches in the second century CE. Documents (epistles) attributed to Saul/Paul are 1 Thessalonians, Galatians, 1 Corinthians, 2 Corinthians, Philippians, Philemon and Romans, but none of the originals exist and what theologians base their arguments on are from the fourth century. Furthermore, by the middle of the second century the communities to which Paul had written his letters are known to have been centers of Marcionite  Gnosticism. Marcion Christians where more tolerant and generous than Pauline Christians and because they followed the precepts allegedly stated

Fragment of Gospel of Marcion

by Jesus of the New Testament, they were persecuted and murdered by Pauline Christians. Marcionite Christians believed in two gods, since the gods of the Old Testament and the New Testament were uniquely different (Gospel of Marcion). The gods of the Old Testament were murderous (Exodus i-iv; Deuteronomy xiii.13-19, xvii.12, xxii.20-21, xxxi.12-15, Numbers i:48-51, Leviticus xx.13, 19), demanding (Nahum i.2, jealous (Exodus xxxiv:14), vocal, and constantly interfering with its people (Leviticus ix), and one who creates evil (Amos iii:6). On the other hand, the gods of the New Testament were more peaceful and reasoned, and the Marcionites believed Jesus came into the world to save them from the wrath of the Old Testament gods (Ehrman, Bart (2003). Lost Christianities. New York, NY, USA: Oxford University Press, pp. 104-105 sq). In this regard, the diligent reader can find in Saul/Paul Marcionite leanings, for Saul/Paul wrote that Jesus came only “in the likeness of flesh” (Romans viii:3) and not as a man—as would become the later confession of Paulinity that adapted itself to the will of the Emperor Constantine. Pseudonymous writings that are attributed to Saul/Paul (1 Timothy, 2 Timothy, Titus, Ephesians, Colossians and 2 Thessalonians) do not have the same style or composition techniques as the others.

First and Second Timothy, and Titus, were written long after Saul/Paul is alleged to have died (Ehrman, Bart (2003), Lost Christianities, New York, NY, USA: Oxford University Press. pp. 235-236). Many contain totally fraudulent commandments, especially as found in the First Letter to Timothy:

  • Don’t wear gold, braids, expensive clothes (1 Tim. 2:9 – Fake)
  • Don’t let women teach/have authority over men (1 Tim. 2:12 – Fake)
  • Don’t give welfare to women under sixty (1 Tim. 5:9 – Fake)

Contradictions exist in Galatians v:2 vs. 3; 1 Timothy v:8 vs. 9; 1 Corinthians viii:1 and 4 are repetitive; women are not prohibited from praying, prophesying, preaching, or being priests—provided that their hair is covered (1 Corinthians xi:5-6 being a tenant from Mithraism—but later, in 1 Corinthians ix:5 women are permitted to prophesy and pray aloud in the church provided they have their heads covered; and then, once more, this is contradicted by 1 Corinthians xiv:34, where the writers state “Let your women keep silence in the churches” that is redacted in 1 Timothy ii:12—a much later addition). Celibacy (1 Corinthians vii.1-8) is declared to be the preferable state, and marriage is allowed only for the sake of preventing fornication (Ephesians v.21-33; cp. 1 Corinthians vii.8-9 and Hebrews xiii.4 where marriage is exalted). Saul/Paul was the first to refer to “Jesus Christ”—two words that do not appear in the original Greek as a unit, but come from the theology of Mithraism that was practiced as early as 67 BCE (according to Plutarch) had a Hellenic Christ as opposed to the Judaic messiah (Freke, Timothy and Gandy, Peter (1999). The Jesus Mysteries 2000 paperback edition published in London by Thorsons, p. 199). Paul mistook the Jewish “Messiah” to mean the Hellenistic “Christ”. The former was a ruler who was to be a great warrior in keeping with Matthew x:34. Prior to the writing of Matthew, a messiah was to be a person who is a great leader who leads your people to freedom.

Cup (ca. 300 BCE) found in Egypt engraved with "dia chrstou o goistais," that translates as “through Christ the magician.”

The title of Christ was taken by Jews from Persian and Egyptian cultures. The later was to be a great magi(cian) who would perform miracles. A christ is a god-king who dies as an offering to some divine being as a sacrifice in return for prosperity, especially agricultural prosperity. Both are anointed with oil as a mystical, sexual rite, as seen in the final days of Jesus when he was followed from The Garden by a naked male youth (Mark xiv:51-52). This happened before anything was written down. It happened during Paul’s conversations with people as he was working through what had happened.

That Saul/Paul of Tarsus would turn to Mithraism is not hard to understand. Tarsus was a seaport that was more than 2000 years old at the time that Saul/Paul allegedly lived, and it was the chief center for the Mithraistic rites that were religiously observed in its numerous popular shrines and seen in the images its craftspeople created to send as far west as to the Danube (Freke, Timothy and Gandy, Peter, op. cit.). It was in Tarsus that the worship of Attis,

Sculpture of Attis. Museum of Ephesus, Efes, Turkey

son of the goddess Nana acclaimed a virgin, was born and taught that he would be a sacrificial victim (he would be sacrificed on a pine tree) and saviour who would bring salvation to the planet (Herodotus, Historia (i.34-45): Ἄττις or Ἄττης). Attis priests were eunuchs, and served as temple priests in sexual rituals (they were passive recipients and frequently wore the clothing of women), as explained by original theology pertaining to Attis who encouraged castration so that they would remain “chaste and celibate for a greater place at the Table in the sky”.  This theoloy would be adopted by many Christians, such as Origen.  Known as the Sun God, Attis was eventually slain by a boar’s tusk (in the shape of a cross) late in the winter (the date is uncertain, but convention puts it at December 25).

Attis was told that his body would be eaten by worshippers who would see it in the form of bread, and only after his death would be resurrected from a tomb to become the “most high god” who would hold the universe together. To this would be added the cult of Osiris of Egypt who would be tricked, killed, returned to life, and for a period of time allow his enemies to rule before returning to claim his throne (cf. Revelation xx).

The worship of Mithra was first recognized by Emperor Aurelian (215-275, emperor 270-275). It was the emperor who instituted the cult of “Sol Invictus” or the Invincible Sun: it had nothing to do with Jesus—as there were no scrolls or official records of a man who as not important to anyone but a few in Judea and Galilee. Even the citations have been repeatedly proven to be forgeries. The Emperor Diocletian also a worshipper of Mithra, the Sun God, burned much of the Christian scriptures in 307 CE. Even Constantine was not a Christian although there are some who claim he was baptized on his death bed—by an Arian bishop (who was considered to be a heretic). No where is there in any existing writing a mention of a Saul/Paul.

The adherents of Mithras were very much like Christians. They believed that by eating the bull’s flesh and drinking its blood they would be born again, just as life itself have been created anew from the blood of the bull. Christians argued that they, too, ate the body and drank the blood of their god in secret ceremonies that they publicly referred to as “love feasts” who practiced cannibalism restricted to believers.  The followers of the god Mithra all people to enter and participate publicly and in the open; it had no secret “love feasts’), and the believers of Mithra were never accused of cannibalism. Participation in this rite would give not only physical strength but lead to the immortality of the soul and to eternal light.

Justin the Martyr mentions the similarity between the Mithras ritual and the Eucharist (Cumont, Franz Valery Marie (1903). Die Mysterien des Mithra, ein Beitrag zur Religionsgeschichte der romischen Kaiserzeit, Leipzig, Germany: Teubner. pp. 101, 118-119).  He argues that it was a part of the mystic conception of faith, πίστις (cp. Reizenstein, Richard (1904). Poimandres: Studien zur griechisch-āgyptischen und frūhchristlichen Literatur. Leipzig, Germany: Teubner. pp. 158-159). According to Mithraic theology, the god Mithra would undergo a cultic transformation into a bull [or] a ram. Mithras would be killed and his flesh and blood would be consumed by the faithful (there are times where the meat was merely singed and eaten, as in a very rare steak). The pictorial and sculpted scenes presenting this sacred meal were the ones that enraged Christian sensitivities, and many smashed-up Mithraeums show the traces of the fury of Christian iconoclasts. Tertullian (160 CE – 240 CE) mentioned (De praescre., 40) this ritual of the Mithras which was a ‘devilish imitation of the Eucharist’. He also mentions that the Mithraists enacted the resurrection (Reynolds, Alfred (1993). Jesus Versus Christianity; originally published in 1988; London, UK: Cambridge International Publishers, pp. 77-78).  Mithra is an ancient vedic deity who was worshipped along with Varuna. Varuna was worshipped in the ancient vedic times as the lord of heavens, and Mitra was worshipped as the lord of light. The birth day of Mitra was celebrated in those days in Rome as the Sun Festival (called dies natalis solis invicti meaning Birth of Invincible Sun) on the Winter Solstice which was on December 25 in those days. Note that winter solstice is one of the most important sacred days in the vedic hindu calendar too. The celebration is to mark the longer days that arrive in the northern hemisphere after winter solstice.

Carvings representing Mithraism in Rome 300 - 400 CE

Mithra’s worship spread from ancient India to ancient Iran ( Zoroastrianism / Parsis where Varuna and Mithra were worshiped), and from there to ancient Rome. Mithra was popularly called Sol Invictus in ancient Rome, and in 274 CE, the Emperor Aurelian made it an official cult alongside the traditional Roman cults. It matched emerging Christianity in every way, from a Trinity to a Divine Feast where the believers drank the blood and ate the flesh of their sacrificed god, to waiting for the Last Day when those who were “faithful unto death” would be united with their saviour.  The Emperor Constantine was a strong believer in the god Mithra, and tried to reconcile it with the hand of Judaic-Christianity that was gaining in popularity as it adopted an increasing number of rituals and messages of Mithraism, as Christianity appeared more exclusive than the universality of Mithraism, and thus those who had been accorded little preference in society (while the military received increased recognition at the expense of the poor) turned to the various cults within the Christian community.

While Jesus is portrayed as a man, the god Mithra was seen as a bull: the original Egyptian Yah. Mithra is described in the Zoroastrian Avesta scriptures as, “Mithra of wide pastures, of the thousand ears, and of the myriad eyes,”(Yasna 1:3), “the lofty, and the everlasting…the province ruler,”(Yasna 1:11), “the Yazad (divinity) of the spoken name”(Yasna 3:5), and “the holy,”(Yasna 3:13).  The Khorda Avesta (Book of Common Prayer) also refer to Mithra in the Litany to the Sun, “Homage to Mithra of wide cattle pastures, “(Khwarshed Niyayesh 5), “Whose word is true, who is of the assembly,Who has a thousand ears, the well-shaped one,Who has ten thousand eyes, the exalted one,Who has wide knowledge, the helpful one,Who sleeps not, the ever wakeful. We sacrifice to Mithra, The lord of all countries,Whom Ahura Mazda created the most glorious, Of the supernatural yazads. So may there come to us for aid, Both Mithra and Ahura, the two exalted ones,”(Khwarshed Niyayesh 6-7), “I shall sacrifice to his mace, well aimed against the skulls of the Daevas,”  (Khwarshed Niyayesh 15). Some recent theories have claimed Mithra represents the sun itself, but the Khorda Avesta refers to the sun as a separate entity as well as the moon with which the sun has “the best of friendships,”  (Khwarshed Niyayesh 15).

The sacrifice of the god Mithra

One of the greatest problems with the Jesus of the New Testament and Mithra is in the last statements of the two gods—both from a pole: σταυρός (defined by Justin Martyr as a “cross” crux), for both cried out “El! Why have you forsaken me?” Both were sons of god–Jesus being “made flesh” (John i:14, there is no divine creation mentioned; he is neither all-knowing: Mark xiii:32 and Matthew xxiv.36, nor all-powerful: John v.19 and subordinate to god: John v.30, rejecting the claim that he was a good man: Luke xviii.19, cf. xxii.42 and John v.30 and was never god but would ascend to god: John xiv.28 and v.30 as god is a spirit John iv.24 while Jesus a man)–while Mithra born a bull to be sacrificed by a knife on a pole that would pierce his side, from which would come holy blood believers would drink to gain eternal life (Boyce, Mary (2001), “Mithra the King and Varuna the Master”, Festschrift für Helmut Humbach zum 80., Trier: WWT, pp. 239–257; cp. John xix.34). It is first recorded in Psalm xxii:1 and has a variety of spellings: אל, إل or إل. It is Akkadian in origin (from ‘ilu) and was a part of the ancient Canaanite religion before Palestine was conquered by the Hapiru/Hebrews (originally mercaneries) who incorporated it into their lexicon of names for their gods: אֱלהִים (it is both a

Yahweh of Samaria and his Asherah (found on a pottery fragment)

singular and plural noun) as the husband of Asherah (Venus), as recorded in the clay tablets of Ugarit (Syria) by whom he had many children, the most famous being Ba’al Hadad (cf. Institute of Religious Iconography. Iconography of Religions. Section 15, Mesopotamia and the Near East, Fasc. 8, Ugaritic religion. Leiden, Netherlands: E. J. Brill. p. 12); Ba’al translates as “master” “lord” and “god” as well as “husband” giving Saul/Paul the foundation to build his case that the husband is master of the house and lord over his wife—an old Mediterranean and Mesopotamian mythology).

Ba'al Hadad: ancient carving of the crescent deity: husband, lord, god

After the fourth century many mistranslations of the crucifixion have the cry as Eloi, Eloi, lema  sabachthani?’ (Mark xv:34); it means, ‘My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? El is a term for a pagan Messiah—a word found used for pagan kings who assumed they were give a divine right to rule. Even in the Gospels, those near the stake/cross questioned if Jesus was calling upon Eli, Elias, or Elijah (Matthew xxvi:46-48): prophets—not gods nor the King of Gods (a phrase that is made more clear in the mythology of Moses in what today is known as the Book of Exodus, where the primary commandment reads: “You shall have no other gods before me”—after the god, it was acceptable to have additional gods in keeping with all ancient religions.

Arch of Constantine (Rome, Italy)

It was the emperor Constantine who officially fused Mithraism into Christianity in an effort to stabilize his empire in the fourth century before he established his “catholic [universal] church [(Εκκλησία; a Congregation): a group to oversee the enactment of secular laws (νόμος) codified as divine]”.  The

Carvings on Arch of Constantine

permanent influence of Mithra and Mithraism is apparent in the Arch of Constantine, built to honor his triumph in the name of the God Mithra. The monument displays no symbolic relevance to a Judaic or Christian God, but does have images of Mithra.  Such an imperial action went against the heart of the message of Saul/Paul who declared that all statutes are worthless human teachings (Colossians ii.22) Saul/Paul incorporates he idea of a sacrificed saviour from Mithraism with its symbolism of bulls, rams, sheep, the blood of a transformed saviour washing away sins and granting eternal life, the seven sacraments (in honor of the gods of the seven hills of Rome), the banishing of an evil host from heaven, apocalyptic end of time when God/Ormuzd (Ormuzd is also known as Ahura Mazda—a name that means Light and Wisdom—

Darius I the_Great's inscription "The Behistun Inscription" contains many references to Ahura Mazda

Ahuramazda, Hourmazd, Hormazd, Hurmuz, Aramazd and Azzandara and was proclaimed the “uncreated God” by Zoroaster, the founder of Zoroastrianism (c. 3000 BCE; he is addressed in Plato’s First Alcibiades 1221a1) that still exists in Persia and is the source for the myth of Armageddon and the eventual and ultimate destruction of evil “although no man shall no the hour of my coming” that is a part of the oldest Avestan and Sanskrit words in the Proto-Indo-Iranian language: mazdhā meaning “wise”) sends the wicked to hell and establishes peace.

Repoussé silver disc of Sol Invictus, Roman, 3rd century, found at Pessinus (British Museum Disc_Sol_BM_GR1899_12-1_2)

What would become the Catholic Church, based in Rome and founded on top of the most venerated Mithraist temple, was nothing less than a transmogrification of ancient deities—requiring its warrior bishops to transform the Pantheon into a temple to the god of Saul/Paul. The religion that was born out of this transmogrification was based on Mithra and other Greek mystery religions (see Aurich, Gustav (1894). Das Antike Mysterienwesen in Seinem Einfluss auf das Christenthum. Göttingen, Germany: Vandenhoeck u. Reuprecht; Wobbermin, Georg (1896).  Religionsgeschichtliche Studien  zur  Frage der Beeinflussung des Urchristenthums Durch das Antike  Mysterienwesen.  Berlin: Germany: E. Ebering, p. 153; Hatch, Edwin (1890). Influence of Greek Ideas and Usages upon the Christian Church. London, UK: Williams and Norgate. pp. 281-296; Cumont, Franz (1903), Die Mysterien des Mithra, Deutsch von Gehrich  Autorisierte  deutsche  Ausgabe  von  Georg Gehrich.   Zweite  vermehrte  und  verbesserte  Auflage.  Mit  26 Abbildungen  im  Text  und  auf  4  Tafeln,  soiwe  einer  Karte.  Leipiz,  Germany  [n.p.]  1903 (reissued  1911),  pp.  101,  118-119;  Anz,  Wilhelm  (1897).  Zur  Frage  nach dem  Ursprung   des  Gnostizismus.   Ein  religionsgeschichtlicher  Versuch. Leipzig,  Germany:  J. C.  Hinrichs,  pp.  98-107).

Mosaic of a Christ (anointed one) Sol or Apollo-Helios in Mausoleum M in the pre-fourth-century necropolis beneath St. Peter's in the Vatican — misinterpreted by many as representing Jesus

Constantine’s lack of interest in Christianity (save as a tool to control a growing “rabble” element of poor who turned to the new religion out of the Middle East) can best be seen in his worship of the Sun.  Constantine decreed (March 7, 321) dies Solis—day of the sun, “Sunday”—as the Roman day of rest:

On the venerable day of the Sun let the magistrates and people residing in cities rest, and let all workshops be closed. In the country however persons engaged in agriculture may freely and lawfully continue their pursuits because it often happens that another day is not suitable for grain-sowing or vine planting; lest by neglecting the proper moment for such operations the bounty of heaven should be lost. (Codex Justinianus, lib. 3, tit. 12, 3c)

Constantine’s triumphal arch was carefully positioned to align with the colossal statue of Sol by the Colosseum.  The Sol formed the dominant backdrop when seen from the direction of the main approach towards the arch.

There was never a historical Paul, nor a Peter or any other apostle—any more than there was a historical Moses, Muhammad or Jesus. While the Pantheon is real, as was the transformation of the temple into a church, nothing else is historically correct or provable. If it is Christian duty to ‘turn the other cheek’ (Matthew v.39), ‘resist not evil’ (ibid.), ‘love your enemies’ (Matthew v.34) and ‘love your neighbors as yourself’ (Mark 12:30-31), then it is clear that the Pauline Christians, who eliminated Marcionism and got to choose the books of the Bible, were not the true Christians any more than are the Christians, like Dakota Ary who does not understand, respect, or practice Matthew vii:1 or Revelation v.9, Acts x:34, 1 Peter i:17 as Dakota Ary of Fort Worth, Texas, has declared himself to be a vengeful and hate-filled deity (Psalm v.5, Proverbs vi.16-19, Leviticus xx.23, Hosea ix.15, Zechariah viii.17 exposing that Yahweh is but mortal and prerogative; cp. John iii.36) much like the mythological Saul/Paul or Mormons or other sects of today (an interesting perspective is Devi, Savitri (1958). Paul de Tarse, ou Christianisme et juiverie. Calcutta, India, privately published 1958, who makes the observation:

Le vrai fondateur du christianisme historique, du christianisme tel que nous le connaissons en pratique, tel qu’il a joué et joue encore un rôle dans l’histoire de l’Occident et du monde, ce n’est ni Jésus, de qui nous ne savons rien, ni son disciple Pierre, de qui nous savons qu’il était galiléen, et simple pêcheur de son état, mais Paul de Tarse, de qui nous savons  qu’il était juif de sang, de formation et de coeur, et, ce qui est plus, juif lettré et «citoyen romain», comme tant d’intellectuels juifs sont  aujourd’hui citoyens français, allemands, russes ou américains.

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Israeli terrorist Rabbi Ovadia Yosef

Rabbi Ovadia Yosef: "Goyim were born only to serve us Jews." 2010

According to the 90-year-old racist Rabbi Ovadia Yosef (born Abdullah Youssef (Hebrew: עובדיה יוסף) on September 23 1920, Basra, Iraq and now living in Jerusalem is a Mizrahi Haredi rabbi), the head of Shas’ Council of Torah Sages and a senior Sephardi adjudicator, the sole purpose of non-Jews is to serve Jews.  He argues for slavery, and continues the ancient and absurd idea that there is a “special race” and a “chosen people” (or the Tanakh) and then does not appear until Deuteronomy 7:6–mythologies that have been current since the beginning of time by every people on this water planet who claim a personal relationship with various gods (the Hebrew “god” is actually both singular and plural: אֱלהִים and is pronounced as elohim, both as a verb and an adjective; the early Israelites were not monotheistic (this does not appear until “Moses”–and even then it was not a truly monotheistic ontology).

Arabia-Gog (Europe)-Magog (Eastern Europe) battle over Canaan

Yosef, in keeping with the absurdity and strained mistranslations and erroneous interpretations of the Torah, common among the Ultra-Orthodox cult that argues that it is a part the Jewish faith, declares that the “Jewish people” are somehow unique.  Following fantasies centuries old, Yosef chimes that Jews were created and commissioned by some deity to reign supreme over others, ignoring the reality that the Habiru/Apiru/Hebrews were mercenaries in Assyrian armies.  In this Yosef follows Akkadian and Hittite fantasies, plagiarizing their theologies to support his own terrorism and goals

Luther's book "On the Jews and their Lies" printed in 1543

of enslave non-Jews.  Yosef’s sermon on Gentiles serving no purpose but to labor for Jews matches Luther’s Von den Jüden und jren Lügen.  In Luther’s Von den Jüden und jren Lügen, the mentally sterlized protestant of what would become East Germany wrote that the Jews were a “base, whoring people, that is, no people of God, and their boast of lineage, circumcision, and law must be accounted as filth”.  The future leader of religious witch hunts in Wittenberg wrote that the Jews are “full of the devil’s feces … which they wallow in like swine” (Luther, Martin.  Werke. Erlangen 1854, 32:282, 298, 4:286 and 5:406).  In Luther’s eyes, and his thoughts quickly flooding pages with withering attacks on the Jews, claimed that the Jewish houses of worship, known as synagogues are an “incorrigible whore and an evil slut”.  From 1520 CE onward, Luther urged the German nobles to act, as he did in his An den christlichen Adel deutscher Nation. Months later in 1543, Martin Luther in another fit of anti-Semiticism wrote Vom Schem Hamphoras  und vom Geschlecht Christi (Of the Unknowable Name and the Generations of Christ)’, in which he equated Jews with the mythological Devil:

Judensau on the Wittenberg Church, built 1300-1470. The imagery of Jews in contact with pigs or representing the devil was common in Germany.

“Here in Wittenburg, in our parish church, there is a sow carved into the stone under which lie young pigs and Jews who are sucking; behind the sow stands a rabbi who is lifting up the right leg of the sow, raises behind the sow, bows down and looks with great effort into the Talmud under the sow, as if he wanted to read and see something most difficult and exceptional; no doubt they gained their Shem Hamphoras from that place.”

Rabbi Ovadia Yosef

According to the online magazine, Jewish World, The theological terrorist declared, “gentiles” exist only to “serve” them being less fit and less worthy than an Orthodox Jew.  The full text of the rabbi’s sermon reads:

“Goyim [non-Jews/Gentiles] were born only to serve us. Without that, they have no place in the world – only to serve the People of Israel,” he said in his weekly Saturday night sermon on the laws regarding the actions non-Jews are permitted to perform on Shabbat.

According to Yosef, the lives of non-Jews in Israel are safeguarded by divinity, to prevent losses to Jews:

“In Israel, death has no dominion over them… With gentiles, it will be like any person – they need to die, but [God] will give them longevity. Why? Imagine that one’s donkey would die, they’d lose their money. [cp. Martin Luther’s comparison in Werk 53:489].

This is his servant… That’s why he gets a long life, to work well for this Jew,” Yosef said. [cp. Hitler, Adolf. Mein Kampf, vol. 1, chap. 11)

“Why are gentiles needed? They will work, they will plow, they will reap. We will sit like an effendi [noble or lord; from the Arabic: أفندي and is Turkish in origin in the early seventeenth century, coming from ancient Assyria and the Akkadian who had Habiru as mercenaries in the Egyptian

Thothmes II campaign of 1479 BCE where Assyrians use Habiru mercenaries in the battle of Armageddon

courts of dynastic pharaohs; it is also found in Persia culture as آفندی but is a corruption of the ancient Greek αὐθέντης that primarily means “murderer, perpetrator”, and connotes a person who will feed off another until the person doing the labor becomes worthless; this is the foundation of Adolf Hitler’s pogrom.  Yosef is telling Ultra-Orthodox that if they initiate the same tactics as Hitler did on the Jewish communities in Europe it would be the judgment of his god “for the enrichment of the Jews”.  There were no historical Jews, however, until after Deuteronomy 5:1-3.  Prior to that time the people of Abraham were known as Israelites] and eat.

That is why gentiles were created,” he added. [Gentile is not a Hebrew word; the closest that comes to it is goy גוי ) for “people”.  The word does not appear in the world’s lexicons until after 325 CE, when the Emperor Constantine establish his catholic {universal} church. It appears as ἔθνη (éthnē) in the New Testament (Acts 10:34-47) and that reflects ethenicity: or “nations”.  Yosef’s linguistic fluency is submarginal in this area, and as a philologist and linguist I would not rank this rabbi above the second grade primary.] 

Yosef is openly launching a cultural war against all who are not Ultra-Orthodox Jews and he has sought to gain equality or even superiority for Sephardi religious interpretations at the expense of what little democracy exists in Israel, claiming to be a “spiritual descendent” of Moses ben Maimon (Maimonides, 1135-1204) (Encyclopaedia Judaica,  vol. 2, pp. 600-604).  A misogynist and gynephobic xenophobic mortal will illusions of grandeur, Yosef’s unflattering remarks about Palestinians and Arabs, as well as statements that those killed in the Holocaust were atoning for sins from previous lives, have set off public outcries of rage, but brought favorable nods and gifts from those he favors (see Ma’ariv, March 19, 2000, Yedioth  Ahranoth, March 19, 2000, Ha’aretz , March 28, 2000 and Jerusalem Report).  

In February 1999, Rabbi Yosef declared that the justices of Israel’s Supreme Court were bo`alei nidot (literally: “they are all [men who] have intercourse with menstruating women” that is forbidden in the Torah (Cited in Ma’ariv, March 19, 2000).  Yosef has heaped scorn on secular women who “do not practice [ritual] purification” and therefore give birth to “sons born of uncleanness.”  In 1997, the rabbi came out more strongly against females, and sermonized that “A man must not walk between two women or between two asses or between two camels. Why? Because women aren’t concerned with the Torah and whoever walks near them will be like them” a statement that led some hostile opponents to argue that he was a closeted homosexual.  The secular public was outraged not at those who suggested that he was most likely homosexual, but that he was casting aspersions on women (Cited in Jerusalem Report). In 2009, Yosef, during his weekly sermon, lashed out against ‘stupid women who come to Western Wall, don a prayer shawl, and pray‘ even though the High Court of Israel ruled that women have the same rights as men, leading Yosef to attack the high court again.  Yosef claims that women want equality–but that is not the goal of heaven; more in keeping with Islam, Yosef sees women as mindless, clueless, and stupid, in constant need of male supervision and being kept in the house. 

Women at the Western Wall in Jerusalem seen as a provocation

Women seeking to pray and to call on their god for help and to be moved in spirit as they were deep in private prayer and worship at the Western Wall were condemned by the Rabbi of the Wall as inciting a provocation, disabling men from concentrating on their prayers.

Yosef’s ramblings reel of the wretched in ancient Magog–an Asian wilderness from which the Habiru (Hebrews) came in their passage through India and ultimately to illegally invade Palestine and steal the lands of Canaan that were ruled by a matriarch giving cause for priests to elevate patriarchy by marrying their tribal agricultural god YHWH to the Canaanite Venus known as Asherah. Yosef’s knowledge of Torah, the Hebrew Bible and history is appallingly minimal.

Martin Luther: Vom Schem Hamphoras (Wittenberg)

Martin Luther had similar sentiments to Yosef. Yosef may easily have read this treatise as Yosef’s message parrots that of Luther.

Shortly before his death on February 18, 1546 Luther preached four sermons in Eisleben.  In his second to last sermon the former Augustinian monk appended, while comforted by his one-time Roman Catholic nun wife Katherine von Bora,what he called his “final warning” against the Jews.  Like Yosef, Martin Luther told the German  authorities that they could expel the Jews from their lands should do so if they would not convert to Christianity.  Those who refused to convert to Christianity, and by nature work for Christians, Luther warned that authorities who tolerated Jews made themselves “partners in another’s sins” (Weimar Ausgabe 51:194-196; J.G. Walch, Dr. Martin Luthers Sämmtliche Schriften, 23 vols. (St. Louis, MO, USA: Concordia, 1883), 3:350 and 371, 12:1264-1267).  As Luther roared from the pulpit:

They are our public enemies. They do not stop blaspheming our Lord Christ, calling the Virgin Mary a whore, Christ, a bastard, and us changelings or “meal calves” (Mahlkälber). If they could kill us all, they would gladly do it. They do it often, especially those who pose as physcians—though sometimes they help—for the devil helps to finish it in the end. They can also practice medicine as in French Switzerland. They administer poison to someone from which he could die in an hour, a month, a year, ten or twenty years. They are able to practice this art.

The Saxon Luther’s words inspired the German nobles to act, swiftly.  In 1543 Luther’s champion and Prince, John Frederick I, Elector of Saxony, revoked some of the concessions he gave to Josel of Rosheim in 1539.  Johann of Küstrin, Margrave of Neumark, repealed the safe-conduct of Jews in his territories. Philip of Hesse added restrictions to his Order Concerning the Jews, while the public began to shun the Jews and curse them when near them.  By 1580, German cities and states began to expel the Jews, or arrest and have

Expulsion of the Jews from Frankfurt on 23 August 1614: "1380 persons old and young were counted at the exit of the gate"

them publicly executed before jubilant crowds.  In 1614 Vincent Fettmilch, who called himself the “new Haman of the Jews”, leads a raid on Frankfurt synagogue that turned into an attack which destroyed the whole community. In 1619, riots in Frankfurt saw the deaths of 3,000 Jews and the expulsion of the rest, as princes and margraves and other rulers declared that the sole reason for the existence of the Jews was to work for Gentiles (Lutherans and Calvinists).  The intolerance of Martin Luther and his Germans match identically the intolerance of Israel’s chief terrorist Rabbi Ovadia Yosef.

Luther’s intolerance of the Jews budded a second time in the twentieth century when Germans from 1930 to 1945 began to reissue Luther’s hate propaganda, and write new tracts against the Jews, using the same words, the same phrases as Rabbi Ovadia Yosef.  In nearly ever case, the new anti-Semitic pamphlets justified their publication and distribution by referring to Martin Luther–a stranglehold on religion that bore bitter fruit in the USA with the establishment of the hate-filled Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod (WELS) that believes creation is a historical event as detailed in the Bible, that women have no power or authority in the church, and that the Bible is the only source of knowing god, and included Martin Luther’s attack on the papacy as “the great whore”.  In 1914, the leaders of the German (Lutheran) clergy wrote a bloodthirsty pamphlet which they entitled: “To the evangelical Christians abroad” urging everyone to work to eradicate the “Jewish problem”.  While most Protestants rejected the letter, WELS did not.

Martin Luther was extremely disgusted with and vilified the Jews, as he wrote in his tract Von den Jüden und jren Lügen:

He did not call them Abraham’s children, but a “brood of vipers” [Matthew 3:7]. Oh, that was too insulting for the noble blood and race of Israel, and they declared, “He has a demon’ [Matthew 11:18]. Our Lord also calls them a “brood of vipers”; furthermore in John 8 [:39,44] he states: “If you were Abraham’s children ye would do what Abraham did…. You are of your father the devil. It was intolerable to them to hear that they were not Abraham’s but the devil’s children, nor can they bear to hear this today.

The idea that Jesus of the New Testament was a man of peace is as untrue (cf. Matthew 10:34) as the claim that he loved all people.  Luther matched this schizophrenia in his writings, equaling the vitriol of Yosef when he commented on the Jews:

“Learn from this, dear Christian, what you are doing if you permit the blind Jews to mislead you. Then the saying will truly apply, “When a blind man leads a blind man, both will fall into the pit” [cf. Luke 6:39]. You cannot learn anything from them except how to misunderstand the divine commandments…” 

A further demonstration that Luther had no love for Jews can be found in his commentaries.  He wrote, giving Christians advice contemporary with the time: “The Jews deserve to be hanged on gallows seven times higher than ordinary thieves” (W53, 502).

Luther’s 1543 pamphlet On the Jews and Their Lies was a “blueprint” for the Kristallnacht (MacCulloch, Diarmaid (2004). Reformation: Europe’s House Divided, 1490-1700. New York, NY, USA: Penguin Books Ltd, pp. 666-667), as Yosef’s sermons are the plan to enslave Gentiles as the Orthodox rabbis of New York City have denied women equal rights on bus B110.  Bishop Martin Sasse, a leading Protestant churchman, published a compendium of Martin Luther’s writings, and urged the German people to salute Hitler and vow allegiance, while warning the German people that they ought to heed these words “of the greatest anti-Semite of his time, the warner of his people against the Jews”: Martin Luther (Bernd Nellessen, “Die schweigende Kirche: Katholiken und  Judenverfolgung,” in Büttner, Ursula (ed), Die Deutschen und die Judenverfolgung im Dritten Reich, Hamburg : Christians, c1992, p. 265). Much of the problem is centered on Luther’s obsessive reliance on the writings of “St. Paul” (whom I will discuss later).

Martin Luther with an inset of Adolf Hitler. Hitler frequently praised Luther.

Adolf Hitler followed Martin Luther rigorously, rigidly, and religiously as the source for his pogroms and murder of Jews. Nearly four hundred years after Luther’s Von den Jüden und jren  Lügen was written, the National Socialists (NAZIs, it is an acronym for Nationalsozialist, and found currency in Adolf Hitler’s Mein Kampf vol. 2 as the name for his political party: Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei (NSDAP) – the National Socialist German Workers’ Party of Adolf Hitler; it is not a word) displayed On the Jews and Their Lies during Nuremberg rallies, and the city of Nuremberg presented a first edition to Julius Streicher, editor of the Nazi newspaper Der Stürmer.  Streicher, in the newspaper described Von den Jüden und jren Lügen as the most radically antisemitic tract ever published and hailed it as a blueprint for god’s destruction of the Jews by the hand of Hitler (Ellis, Marc H. (2004). “Hitler and the Holocaust, Christian Anti-Semitism”, Baylor University Center for American and Jewish Studies, Spring, slide 14; cp. Nuremberg Trial Proceedings, Vol. 12, p. 318, Avalon Project, Yale Law School, April 19, 1946).  Luther is credited with “Germanizing the Christian critique of Judaism and establishing anti-Semitism as a key element of German culture and national identity” (Berger, Ronald (2002). Fathoming the Holocaust: A Social Problems Approach.  New York, NY, USA: Aldine De Gruyter, p. 28).  American historian Lucy Dawidowicz, in her The War Against the Jews, 1933-1945, writes that both Luther and Hitler were obsessed by the “demonologized universe” inhabited by Jews, with Hitler asserting that the later Luther, the author of On the Jews and Their Lies was the real Luther and most documents justify this conclusion (Dawidowicz, Lucy S. (1986). The War Against the Jews, 1933-1945. First published 1975: New York, NY, USA : Holt, Rinehart and Winston; this Bantam edition 1986: Toronto, ONT, Can. and New York, NY, USA: Bantam Books, p.23).  Adolf Hitler, in his autobiography Mein Kampf (vol. 1, chap 8), Hitler referred to Martin Luther as a great warrior, a true statesmen, and a great reformer, alongside Richard Wagner and Frederick the Great.  Hitler wrote:

Among them must be counted the great warriors in this world who, though not understood by the present, are nevertheless prepared to carry the fight for their ideas and ideals to their end. They are the men who some day will be closest to the heart of the people; it almost seems as though every individual feels the duty of compensating in the past for the sins which the present once committed against the great. Their life and work are followed with admiring gratitude and emotion, and especially in days of gloom they have the power to raise up broken hearts and despairing souls. To them belong, not only the truly great statesmen, but all other great reformers as well. Beside Frederick the Great stands Martin Luther as well as Richard Wagner.

Hitler leaves the Marine Church in Wilhelmshaven

Hitler was convinced that he was a great Christian, doing the work of The Lord.  Hitler was convinced that he would receive the blessings of both god and Luther, and in the end convert all Jews to Jesus.  He followed, religiously, Immanuel Kant’s Philosophy of Law: “The supreme Power in the State has only rights and no duties towards the subject” (p. 175), and that of Hegel who penned: “The State is the march of God in the world” (Hegel, Georg Wilhelm Friedrich (1821). Grundlinien der philosophie des rechts originally published in Berlin, Germany: In der Nicolaischen Buchhandlung [Philosophy of Right] Englis translation, Oxford, UK: The Clarendon Press, page 247), “The State is the divine will as a present spirit, which unfolds itself in the actual shape of an organised world” (ibid, page 260). The State is the divine idea as it exists on earth” (Hegel, Georg Wilhelm Friedrich. Vorlesungen über die Philosophie der Geschichte , Philosophy of History, English translation published New York, NY, USA: The Colonial Press [c1899], p. 41).

When the Jews did not convert, but “took advantage” of Gentiles through their commercial dealings, Luther, like Hitler, turned sharply against them (Noble, Graham (2002). “Martin Luther and German anti-Semitism,” History Review No. 42:1-2), as Yosef has against Gentiles in 2011.  Although Luther only wrote a small number of pamphlets and sermons against the Jews, he was consumed with their existence throughout his lifetime, and never spared time to lecture the authorities on sparing Jews: their lives, their properties, their labors–which he firmly believed belonged to Gentiles (Stöhr, Martin. “Die Juden und Martin Luther,” in Kremers, Heinz et al. (eds.) Die Juden und Martin Luther, Martin Luther und die Juden : Geschichte, Wirkungsgeschichte, Herausforderung ; Martin Luther und die Juden. Neukirchen Vluyn, Germany: Neukirchener publishing house, 1985, 1987 (second edition). p. 90; cp. Kaennel, Lucie (1997). Luther était-il antisémite?  Entrée Libre N° 38. Geneva, Switzerland: Labor et Fides), yet another similarity to Israeli terrorist Yosef.

Rabbi Ovadia Yosef condemning women for being born a woman

Ovadia Yosef’s numerous sermons saturated with senseless diatribes against Gentiles/Non-Jews, atheists and agnostics are the ramblings of a demented mind that borders on insanity.  Yosef, like the members of Westboro Baptist Church in Kansas, has gone so far as to proclaim that “unbelieving soldiers die” (which has been condemned by other Jewish leaders) while implying that faith will protect believers:

Rabbi Yosef preaches "unbelieving soldiers die."

“Is it any wonder if, heaven forbid, soldiers are killed in a war?” he said, “when they don’t observe the Sabbath, they don’t observe the Torah, they don’t pray every day, they don’t put on phylacteries every day. Is it any wonder that they’re killed? It’s no wonder.”

Yosef also called Hurricane Katrina “God’s retribution” against President Bush for supporting Israel’s withdrawal of settlers from Gaza.

He has decried health care in favor of prayer, declared that all Palestinians must die (read also here), and has blasted any tolerance of diversity, with his remarks condemned by numerous governments including the Department of State of the USA.

Yosef has banned the internet from Orthodox Jewish homes, declaring it to be 1000 times more dangerous than television to the faith.  The newspaper Degel  Hatorah, one of the strictest of the religious parties in Israel, said the internet was “the world’s leading cause of temptation, it incites and encourages sin and abomination of the worst kind”.

Bombing Gaza homes and killing children are acceptable to Rabbi Yosef

Yosef finds little to no good in people or life on this planet, but wants to purify it with prayer and prosecution of “sin.”  He told the electorate that they would go to the Garden of Eden (which is in Iraq where he was born) if they vote for his party, or to hell if they do not or if they participate in a Gay Pride Parade.  His garden is a center for war, and he sees no evil in bombing the homes of civilians or the military slaughter of children.

Abraham Yosef

His son, another rabbi, is even further out of touch with reality and contemporary civilization.  Chief Rabbi of Holon and son of Shas spiritual leader Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, Abraham Yosef, issued a ruling forbidding women from working as teachers to children over the age of 9.  He claimed that it is “completely forbidden” according to Jewish law.  There is no biblical passage in the Torah or Tankah that forbids it.  It is, however, one of the first laws passed by Nazi Germany when Hitler came to power in 1933.  Female enrollment in secondary schools dropped from 437,000 in 1926 to 205,000 in 1937 (Pauley, Bruce F. (2003). Hitler, Stalin and Mussolini: Totalitarianism in the Twentieth Century. 2nd Edition. Wheeling, IL, USA: Harlan Davidson Inc. p. 119). All subjects from gymnastics to history revolved around, glorified, and were exclusively for men (Gies, Horst (1989). Der Geschichtsunterricht im Dritten Reich als völkische Weihestunde und  historische Nabelschau. In “Schule und Unterricht im Dritten Reich.” Neuwied, Germany: Luchterhand. p. 216).

Book burning by NAZI soldiers and university students (1933)

All “undesireable teachers”, not just females, but also Jewish males, were expelled from their profession under the law Gesetz zur Wiederherstellung des Berufbeamtentums (Hansen, Heinrich and von Leers, Dr. Johannes (1939). Der deutsche Lehrer als Kulturschöpfer. Frankfurt am Main, Germany: Verlag Moritz Diesterweg. p 164)Education for women was limited to domestic work: cleaning house, cooking, working in health care, and such, while men were taught gymnastics, history, and allegiance to the state.  All classes started with the NAZI salute and celebration of the ascent of Hitler to power.

German boys giving the Nazi salute. September 1933. Süddeutscher

Women had no more rights during the Third Reich than under the Ultra-Orthodox Jewish rabbis, as seen in the plight of the Orthodox Jewish women in New York City where they are forced to ride at the back of the bus.  In this the father and son Yosef are joined by past figures harboring hard hatred towards women and all who disagree with them, such as the mad monk Martin Luther of Wittenberg, and the one-time Augustinian priest’s spiritual son: Adolf Hitler and to the religious theocrats who followed him, leading to a rise in the Ultra-Orthodox movement as well as the New Apostolic Reformation.  Those who had no desire to think for themselves, but blindly followed what a few claimed to be the will and word of god, they accepted, and new totalitarian movements grew and prospered worldwide: from the Orthodox control of women’s movement and relegating them to the back of the B110 bus in New York City, to the Tea Party’s endorsement of NOM and movement to limit freedom throughout the USA, to the radicalization of liberty in Israel where ten percent of its people have been denied basic human rights.

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Filed under Adolf Hitler, Education, Jewish history, Martin Luther, Nazis, Orthodox Jew, Third Reich