On the Mysteries
THE PAULICANS & SOME DUBIOUS BAPTIST GENEALOGIES
[Jesus said] "Agree with your adversary quickly, while you are in the way, lest your adversary deliver you to the judge and the judge deliver you to the officer, and you are cast into prison. Truly, I tell you, You shall by no means come out until you have paid the last farthing." - Matt. 5:25- 26
FORGOTTEN FACTS ABOUT BOSNIA AND SERBIA
Although Bosnia and Serbia were not house-hold names until recent weeks, these countries have played a major role in the shaping of Western Civilization. Most Americans are now at least able to locate these countries on a map and they seem to be aware that it is opposing
religious beliefs which has created wide divisions between the peoples of Bosnia, Croatia, Serbia and Albania. Most are also aware that the Albanians are Moslem, while the Serbs are Greek Orthodox but beyond this they do not understand what’s happening over there or why.
In this article, I hope to review some fascinating history about an ancient Christian group known as the Paulicans. We shall examine the ‘mystery religion’ which these people practiced and the great empire, which they managed to create in Europe, consisting of the very lands, we
now see enduring great turmoil and bloodshed. I shall also touch upon the ultimate suppression of the Paulicans by the Greek Orthodox Church. And we shall also see how their secret teachings are currently experiencing a revival.
A LITTLE BACKGROUND ON THE PAULICANS
Some are of the opinion that the name ‘Paulican’ appertained to the followers of the the Apostle Paul, but not so. These people who were saddled with this label, were actually followers of Paul of Samasota, a very learned and holy man, who was also a famous pastor. There is a
lengthy discussion in my book, ‘Forbidden Truths Revealed’ about these people and Paul of Samasota and the various practices they observed; so I shall not dwell upon that phase of their history.
By the Middle Ages, these people were known by several names: Gnostics, Manicheans, Patarens, Good Christians, Cathars and especially Bogumili. From my researches, it appears that they derived the name ‘Bogumili’ from one of their Popes. A record from 1223 speaks of a "Pope" named Bogomil, living "on the frontiers of Bulgaria,
Croatia and Dalmatia, near the Hungarian nation". This is the same Pope, who sent his vicar to the Albigensean (Cathar) churches of southern France and northern Italy. In Germany, he was known as "Gottlieb’ and in Greece as ‘Theophilus’ (both names mean ‘beloved of God’)
THE BULGARIAN EMPIRE
About the 6th Century, great numbers of Paulican missionaries began issuing forth from Armenia, the bastion of Evangelical Christianity. Armenia had broken with the Emperor in Constantinople and formed itself into a free nation, with Tephrice as its capital. They drove out the Orthodox Greek leaders and installed Paulicans in all offices, who taught the people freedom of opinion.
Even though the Orthodox Greeks called the Paulicans ‘Manicheans’ (they did preach a form of Dualism), their missionaries converted thousands of people in Bulgaria, Bosnia, Croatia and Serbia. Over the years their kingdom declined in power and was eventually absorbed by the Moslems but by then, Paulicanism had become the official religion of
Bosnia and the people of Bulgaria (also of Paulican belief) had created their own great empire which stretched along both sides of the Danube River, clear up into parts of Russia. Constantinople, trembled before the armies of Bulgaria and paid their Tzar great sums of gold on more than one occasion.
PERSECUTION OF THE PAULICANS
The Orthodox Church attacked the Paulicans, using the power of the Greek Emperor in Constantinople whenever possible, because they rejected beautiful ornamentation of their churches, as well as bells, pillars, porticoes, naves, transepts chancels. Their priests wore no robes
and used no incense. Their altars were very simple, unbedecked with jewels. But what really angered the Greek Orthodox Church was the fact that they refused to venerate icons and images of the saints. This was probably in keeping with the 1st Commandment from the Law of Moses.
So effective was Paulican preaching against icons, that when Constantine became the Emperor in 741 A.D. he had all the images in the Greek churches destroyed. But at the same time, he transplanted thousands of Paulicans to Trace to protect his borders with the Bulgarians, who were part Tartar and part Sclavonian.
Over the years a couple of the Greek emperors turned against icons and had them removed from the churches but Emperoress Theodora had them restored once and for all and they remain an institution of the Orthodox Church to this day. Theodora used every power available to her to destroy thousands and thousands of Paulicans. Even though they
were Christians, she delivered them to death and torture. As if in judgement from God, the Moslem Turks invaded the West they captured Constantinople and killed those who venerated icons and images. Consequenty Albania is still of Moslem belief. But it seems to me that the current war by N.A.T.O. is aimed at the Greek Orthodox peoples.
DUBIOUS BAPTIST GENEALOGIES
Over the years, I’ve seen Baptist writers, who have attempted to create a genealogy for their churches, tracing their roots back through the Paulicans. I find this most interesting, in that there are some similarities between the two groups but there are also some obvious differences, not the least of which is the method of Initiation, used by the Paulicans, consisting of ‘mystery rituals’ to build great men and women.
One such Baptist, who wanted to make Baptists out of the Paulicans, was a man named L. P. Brockett. He wrote a book entitled ‘Bogomils of Bulgaria & Bosnia’ which drew upon two very ancient Bosnian and Serbian texts for his source material. I was not impressed with the fact
that he left many things unsaid, which could have been said, but then they could not have been Baptists! Mr Brockett did make one interesting observation however. "As a matter of history, we find that most of the Oriental churches and indeed some of those of Asia Minor which
had been founded by the Apostles, were permeated with these dualistic doctrines, though in different degrees. It would not be far from the truth were we to say that there have been traces of it among the most evangelical churches of all the ages since, even down to our own time."1
THE ASCENT OF THE SOUL AFTER DEATH AND THE ‘TOLL-HOUSES’ ALONG THE WAY
Today, the Greek Orthodox Church is having fits of apoplexy because one of its own ‘fathers’ has published a book which seeks to reveal secret teachings of the Ancient Christian Church. Fr. Seraphim Rose says in his book, ‘The Soul After Death’ that the doctrine of souls
being tested at ‘toll-houses’ or ‘places of retention’ by angels, "is the teaching which the Orthodox Church handed down from the very beginning, which is expressed in countless patristic writings and lives of the saints and in the Divine Services of the Orthodox Church."2
Actually, he may be stretching the truth somewhat. These teachings are more Paulican than Orthodox. Fr. Rose writes, "For the testing of souls as they pass through the spaces of the air, there have been established by the dark powers separate judgement places and guards in
a remarkable order, in the layers under-heaven. From earth to heaven itself, there stand guarding legions of fallen spirits. Each division is in charge of a special form of sin and [they] test the soul when the soul reaches that division. The aerial demonic guards and judgment places are called in Patristic writing, the toll houses and the spirits who serve in them are called the tax collectors."3
Fr. Seraphim Rose quotes one of the most famous Orthodox Bishops, Theophan the Recluse as saying in his commentary on Psalm 118:18 (Let my heart be blameless in thy statues, that I may not be put to shame.) "The prophet, does not mention how and where one may not be
‘put to shame’. The nearest ‘not being put to shame’ occurs during the arising of inward battles. . . .The second moment of ‘not being put to shame’ is the time of death and the passage through the toll-houses. No matter how absurd the idea of the toll-houses may seem to our ‘wise
men’ they will not escape passing through them. What do the toll-gathers seek in those who pass through? They seek whether people have some of their goods. What kind of goods? Passions, etc. . . . Therefore, it is very doubtful that a soul as long as there remains in it sympathies for the objects of any passion, will not be ‘put to shame’ at the toll-houses. ‘Being put to shame’ here means that the soul itself is thrown into hell.’"4
Now, Fr. Rose does not seem to be familiar with any of the Gnostic writings but this last quote, by Theophan is straight out of the Gospel of Thomas, "Mary Magdalene asked him, ‘What are your disciples like?’ He answered her, ‘They are like children who have settled in a field
belonging to someone else. When the owners of the field come back, they will say to them, ‘Give us back the field’ Then they will have to undress in their presence and give them back the field. Therefore I tell you, that if the owner of a house knows that a thief is coming, he
will begin his Watch before he comes and will not let him dig through into his house or his domain in order to carry away his goods. You should therefore, be on your guard against the world. Arm yourselves with great strength lest the Robbers find a way to come in to you, because the difficulty you expect will definitely materialize."5
To further establish his theory, that the Greek Orthodox Church taught the existence of the ‘toll-houses’ along the way, Fr. Rose even quotes a revelation which Empress Theodora (d.940) made to the famous saint and elder, Basil the New (d. 944) Now, bear in mind, that
this is the same Theodora who had thousands of Paulicans tortured and put to death. After her death, she appeared in a dream to Basil to tell him about her experiences among the ‘twenty toll-houses’ along the ascent to the Realm of God. Fr. Rose learned of this vision from the 10th Century Greek Gnostic, Gregory of Thrace (Greece).
The Aeons of the ‘twenty toll-houses’ should not be confused with the thirty aeons belonging to the regions of the Most High God. Fr. Rose tells us that the twenty toll-houses correspond to earth and the seven planetary Aeons, plus the twelve zones of the Zodiac. The ancients considered the sun and moon to be part of the seven planetary spheres.
PURGATORY Vs SOUL SLEEP
The Orthodox Greek Church now disowns the doctrine of the toll-houses, while the Roman Catholic Church insists that souls are subjected to the fires of purgation after death. In other words, the soul does not ascend immediately to Heaven. This is why the Catholic church
calls for Liturgy and prayers for the dead. Opposite this teaching is the opinion of the Jehovah’s Witnesses and the Seventh Day Adventists, that the soul ‘sleeps’ after death until the Day of Judgement. In other words, it is unconscious and could not possibly feel the fires of Hades,
spoken of by Jesus in the 16th Chapter of Luke. Such a belief ignores the fact that Christians from the very first Century have believed in the efficacy of prayer for the departed. Why offer Kolyva on the 3rd, 9th 40th day for the departed, if that were true. The Apostolic Church even went one step further.
BAPTISM FOR THE DEAD
Paul, the Apostle speaks of custom which he obviously approved of, saying ". . . what shall they do, who have been baptized for the dead, if the the dead will not ever arise? Why, then are they baptized for the dead?" 6 It is my belief that it was Jesus who taught
his disciples this practice. The toll-house doctrine presupposes another belief which was clearly taught by Jesus in several places and that is the doctrine of the re-incarnation of the soul after each purgation.
In Philip’s ‘Books of the Savior’, we find Mary Magdalene asking Jesus about saving souls from the harsh chastisements after death. ". . . Mary came forward and adored the feet of Jesus and kissed them and asked, ‘My Lord, bear with me if I again question you’. The Savior
answered Mary, ‘Ask what you will and I will reveal it to you openly’. Mary then asked him, ‘My Lord, suppose there is an excellent brother, whom we have filled with all the Mysteries of Light and he has a relative, who has lived a wicked life and has not departed from the body and the
heart of our good brother grieves for him. How are we to extract him out of the harsh judgements and chastisements?’
"’The Savior answered her, I have already spoken a word to you concerning this subject once before, nevertheless, listen to what I say and you will become Perfected in all Mysteries and be called Perfect in the Fullness. Any man who has been a sinner and you desire to save him
from the judgements and violent chastisements, and have him removed into a good body that will find the Mysteries of the Godhead, so that he will be lead on High and inherit the Kingdom of Light, especially one who has been good, perform the third Mystery [belonging] to the
Ineffable and say, ‘Carry the soul of such and such, whom we remember in our hearts out of the chastisements of the Rulers and speedily carry him before the Virgin of Light. And let the Virgin of Light in that very month seal him with a higher seal and cast him into a body
that will be righteous, so that he may go on High and inherit the Kingdom of Light’. I tell you, Amen, that all those who serve in the orders of judgements of the Rulers, will hasten to hand that soul from one to another, until it is led before the Virgin of Light."7
HOW MANY INCARNATIONS AND HOW MANY CHASTISEMENTS?
On another occasion Mary had asked Jesus a question about the chastisements along the way of the Middle. "Mary approached Jesus and fell at his feet, adored them and then kissed his hands. She asked him, My Lord, what use are the ways of the Middle? We have heard you say that they are set over great chastisements. How can one be removed
from them and escape, my Lord? Also, how do they seize hold and how much time do souls spend in their chastisements? Have mercy upon us, our Lord and Savior, so that the Receivers of the way of the Middle do not carry off our souls and judge us with their evil judgements, lest we be destitute of you and of the Light of your Father."
"As Mary spoke these words, she was weeping. So Jesus answered her with great compassion, saying, ‘My beloved brethren because you have forsaken fathers and mothers for my name’s sake, I will give unto you all the Mysteries and all Knowledge. I will give unto you the Mystery of the Rulers of the Twelve Aeons, along with their Seals, their Ciphers and the manner of Invocation for reaching their regions. . . ."
"Jesus continued his discussion, saying to them, ‘But to return to the deeds of Yew, the Father of my Father, it came to pass that he took another three-hundred and sixty Rulers from the Rulers of Adamas and bound them in the airy regions below the Sphere (Zodiac) These were
Rulers who did not have faith in the Mystery of the Light. Over them he placed Five great Lords on the way of the Middle. The name of the first Ruler is Paraplex. This Ruler has the shape of a woman and has hair reaching down to her feet. Under her authority are twenty-five
arch-demons, who rule over the multitude of other demons. It is these demons which enter into men and seduce them to cursing, slander and rage, so that they may carry them off to ravish them in their dark smoke and evil chastisements. . . ."
"It is at this time that Paraplex, the Ruler of those demons carries off the souls of the violent and passionate, who are given to cursing and slander. Through her evil fire and dark smoke, she causes them to be consumed. She torments them in her regions one-hundred-thirty-three years and nine months in the fire of her wickedness.
SOULS IN THE HOUSES OF THE RAM AND THE BALANCES
"After the time is completed, the Sphere turns and comes to the Aeon known in this world as the Ram [belonging to Aphrodite (Boubastis) ]. Eventually, she comes to the house in the Sphere known as the Balance (the Scales). At that time, the veils separating those of the Right from those of the Left are drawn aside and Greater Tzabaoth, the
Good, who is on the Right, looks down from the Height. Now, when he looks out, the whole world and the Sphere become alarmed because his look undoes the regions of Paraplex, causing them to perish. The souls which were undergoing her chastisements are again brought forth and cast anew into the Sphere because they were being destroyed in the chastisements of Paraplex."
"Jesus continued his discussion, saying, the second order is ruled by a female called Ariouth, the Ethiopian. She is completely black and has fourteen arch-demons under her command, who in turn rule over a multitude of other demons. It is these demons, who enter into those who
love strife and harden their hearts by seducing them to anger -stirring them up to commit murder and acts of war. Those souls which are carried off in ravishment, are tormented by this authority and spend one-hundred-thirty years in her wicked fire and dark smoke until they are almost destroyed."
SOULS IN THE HOUSES OF THE CRAB AND THE GOAT
"When the Sphere has turned itself, little Tzabaoth, the Good, who is known in this world as Zeus, comes to the fourth Aeon, called the Crab. At that Time Boubastis, who is known in this world as Aphrodite, comes to the tenth Aeon of the Sphere, known as the Goat. Again the veils which separate those on the Left from those on the Right are drawn
aside and Yew looks out upon the Aeons of the Sphere, causing the whole world to become agitated. As he looks upon the dwellings of Ariouth, the Ethiopian, her regions are ruined and all those souls which she had carried off in ravishment are brought forth and cast anew into the Sphere because she was ruining them with her wicked fire and dark smoke."
"Jesus continued his discourse, saying, ‘The third order is ruled by Hekate, who has three faces. She has under her authority twenty-seven arch-demons. It is these who enter into men causing them to covet that which does not belong to them and seducing them to lying and perjury. The souls which Hekate carries away in ravishment are handed over to demons to be tormented one-hundred-five years and six months. In her wicked fire and dark smoke, they again are brought to the brink of destruction and desolation."
SOULS IN THE HOUSES OF THE SCORPION AND THE BULL
"After the Sphere has turned itself, little Tzabaoth, the Good, who is called Zeus in this world, goes to the eighth Aeon of the Sphere called the Scorpion. At the same time, Boubastis, who is called Aphrodite, comes to the second Aeon, which is called the Bull. At that time, the
veils separating those on the Left from those on the Right are drawn aside and Zoroaster Melchisedec looks down from the height upon the region of Hekate. The world and its mountains become alarmed and the regions of Hekate are destroyed. The souls which had endured her
chastisements are carried off and cast again into the Sphere because they were being destroyed in her chastisements"
"He continued his discussion saying, ‘The fourth order is governed by Parhedron Typhoon, the mighty. Under him are thirty-two demons who enter into men seducing them to lust, to fornication, adultery and the continual practice of intercourse. His demons torment the souls of those who are carried off by him for one-hundred-twenty-eight years in their wicked fire and dark smoke.
SOULS IN THE HOUSES OF THE ARCHER AND THE TWINS
"Then, when the Sphere has turned itself, little Tzabaoth, the Good, who is called Zeus in this world, comes to the ninth Aeon of the Sphere, which is called the Archer. At the same time, Boubastis or Aphrodite, as she is known, comes to the third Aeon of the Sphere called the Twins. The veils that separate those on the Left from those on the Right, are
drawn aside and Zarazaz, who wears the name Maskelli or the mighty Ruler in their region, looks forth upon the dwelling of Parhedron Typhon causing them to be destroyed. All those souls, who were being destroyed in the chastisements of this wicked fire and dark smoke are again cast into the Sphere."
"He continued his discourse, saying, ‘The ruler of the fifth order is called Yachthanabas. Under this mighty Ruler stands a host of other demons. These demons enter into men and cause them to show respect for persons, so that they treat the just with injustice and show partiality in
the cause of sinners. They cause men to become forgetful of their souls and to care for that which brings no benefit, by taking gifts for a just judgement or perverting it against the poor and the needy. The men who are carried away in their ravishment were men who gave no thought to their life; therefore, they spend a hundred-fifty years and eight months in their ravishments, being destroyed by his flaming fire.
IN THE HOUSES OF THE WATER-CARRIER AND THE LION
"When the Sphere has turned itself, little Tzabaoth the Good, who is known as Zeus in this world comes to eleventh Aeon of the Sphere which is called the Water-carrier. And Boubastis comes to the fifth Aeon of the Sphere, called the Lion. The veils between those of the Left and those on the Right are drawn aside and great IAO, the Good, of the
Middle looks forth upon the regions of Yachthanabas causing them to be dissolved. Those souls which were being ruined and destroyed by his chastisements are again cast into the Sphere. These are the working of the ways of the Middle, concerning which you asked me."
"The Disciples upon hearing these words fell down and adored him. They cried out to him, ‘Help us Lord and have mercy upon us so that we may be preserved from all these wicked chastisements, which sinners endure. Woe unto them. Woe to the children of men! They grope as
blind men in darkness! Woe to mankind because of the Forgetfulness and lack of Knowledge which is in them. Have mercy upon us, O Lord because of the great Blindness. Have mercy on the entire race of mankind because they lay in wait for our souls like lions waiting for their prey. Have Mercy upon us and save us from the dreadful stupor."8
MARY MAGDALENE’S FOUR THOUGHTS
Just a little further in his book, Philip records, "When the Savior had completed these teachings, he asked the disciples, ‘Do you understand what I have been teaching you’? Mary again sprang up and spoke as for the whole, ‘Yes, my Lord, I understand the nature of your discussion
with me and I would like to summarize all of it. My Light-power within me exalts and cries out to come forth from me and enter into you. It has given me four thoughts concerning what you have just said. Listen to me, and I will share those four thoughts.
"Mary continued, The first thought that came to me, was when you were saying that the soul would give proper Apologies and Seals before all the Rulers, who belong to the region of King Adamas: It came to me that you spoke to us in the past about this, when they brought you the
coin in the Temple and you looked at its composition, studying its silver and its copper. You asked them ‘Whose image is this?’ and they answered you, ‘The King’s and you said concerning the silver and the copper, ‘Give to the King that which is his and give to God that which is God’s.’ In other words, if a soul has received Mysteries, it will
give the proper Apology to all the Rulers even to those in the region of King Adamas. The soul will give honor and glory to all those in the region of the light. And the silver in the coin is a type of the power in the soul, which is refined, while the copper symbolizes the counterfeit spirit. This, my Lord is my first thought."
"My second thought, Lord, concerning the soul which has received Mysteries, came when you said that when the soul goes into the region of the Rulers of the way of the Middle and gives forth the Mystery, they will come forth in great fear. It would then surrender back its destiny and
send forth its counterfeit spirit back to its region and would offer Songs of glory, honor and praise to those in the region of the Light. This statement reminded me, oh Lord, of your words, which you spoke, when you said to us, ‘Give taxes to whom taxes are due; reverence to
whom reverence is due; tribute to whom tribute is due; honor to whom honor is due; praise to whom praise is due and owe no man anything.’ In other words, my Lord, the soul which has received the Mysteries will give the proper Apology in every region. This was my second though."
"My third thought came, when you told me that the counterfeit spirit is hostile to the soul and entices it into all manner of sin so that it can lead it into chastisements for the sins which it has committed. This reminded me of what you once taught us when you said, ‘A man’s foes are those who live in his own house’, referring to the counterfeit spirit and the destiny, which at times are hostile to the soul and lead it into sin. This was my third thought, my Lord.
"My fourth thought concerns what you said about the soul which comes forth from the body with the counterfeit spirit and has not learned the Mystery for releasing the Bonds and the [seven] Seals that hold it to the soul. You said that it would be led before the Virgin of Light, who would
test it and discover whether it had sinned and that she would then turn it over to her receivers and have it cast back into a body and that it would never cease going through changes of bodies, until it had completed its last circuit. You spoke to us about this before, my Lord, when you said,
‘Be reconciled to your enemy while you are in the way, lest he turn you over to the Judge and the Judge remand you to the custody of the Bailiff, who will cast you into Prison, where you shall remain until you have paid the last penny’. . . .And when Jesus
heard Mary say these words, he said to her, ‘Well spoken Blessed Mary. You are indeed Spiritual because that is truly the meaning of the things I said."9
Dear and blessed friends, I have shared with you some of the secret teachings of the ancient Christian Church. These teachings, for one reason or another have been suppressed by both the Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church. The first Christians in Bosnia, Serbia and Croatia were not Catholic or Orthodox. They were the Paulicans, who
were called Bogolimili in derision because of their constant praying. These people were destroyed by the ‘established’ churches and now we see a war against the Orthodox Christians of Serbia. We can thank Mr. Clinton who promised to save Social Security for baby-boomers. Well thanks to the war in Albania, I think we can kiss the Social Security surplus good bye. As ever, I remain, Jeffrey Brackeen
1. ‘Bogomils of Bosnia and Serbia’, Published by American Baptist Publication
Society, 1879, Philadelphia
2. Pp. 197-200, The Soul After Death, St. Herman Press, Platina CA. 1980
3. P 75, Ibid
4. P 94-95, Ibid.
5. The Gospel of Thomas as found in The Complete Gospel of Jesus Christ, Edited by
Jeffrey Brackeen, Koinonia Communication, Havasu City, AZ.
6. I Cor. 15:29
7. Vs 81-90, Chapter 23, Ibid
8. Vs. 160-166, 171-176, 185-226, Chapter 23, Ibid
9. Vs. 70-94, Chap. 24, Ibid