Apostolic Succession – Fact or Fiction? by Richard, Duc de Palatine

This publication is made available for scholarly purposes and does not necessarily imply any endorsement of the spiritual teachings contained therein.

Richard, Duc de Palatine (1916-77) was an Australian spiritual teacher whose work included the synthesis of esoteric, Masonic and religious authorities in an organization called the Sovereign Imperium of the Mysteries, later the Brotherhood and Order of the Pleroma. He was ordained and consecrated bishop within the Order of Antioch by Mar Georgius of Glastonbury (Hugh George de Willmott Newman) and established the church that later became known as the Pre-Nicene Ekklesia. He was succeeded on his death by Archbishop Count George Boyer (1921-2008), a noted esoteric teacher who in 1983 became a bishop of the Apostolic Episcopal Church. His wife Bishop Leila Boyer led the Pre-Nicene Ekklesia until her death in 2015.

Apost0lic Succession – Fact or Fiction?
Richard, Duc de Palatine
Edited by Bishop Leila Boyer

Part I

Many readers may express astonishment to find us discussing a subject which apparently does not deal with Gnosticism or Immortality.  In their opinion they consider that the matter of Holy Orders in the Christian Church and the Occult Orders are totally unconnected, and has nothing to do with a person seeking Immortality.  In this respect they are utterly mistaken, the Church and Occultism are actually two sides of the same Wisdom Religion or the GNOSIS.  The former is the theoretical version, and the latter, the practical application of the former.

There always was an Outer Ekklesia (Church) to meet the needs of those who were in a hurry.  Conversely there could be found the Chrestian Ekklesia functioning for those who were spiritually capable of understanding the true nature of man and his relationship to the Universe; and who could enter into a form of discipline which would enable them to experience first hand their Immortality.  This was effected by means of a pageant of Initiations as symbolical enactment of the Mysteries of Life, not only in their entirety but also in the wealth of their varied detail.

For some very deep and sinister reason, the theologians have always refused the layman the right to know that his Christian religion was not founded by Jesus of Nazareth but from the time of Emperor Theodosius of 381 A.D.  Thus any attempt made by the layman to know and understand the true history of his Church was rewarded with death.  It was the averred policy of the Latin, Greek and Protestant Churches to persecute and finally destroy all laymen who dared to question the foundations of Christianity.

One thing which has come out in all this opposition to honest and impartial investigation into the origins of Christianity is that there existed at Alexandria in Egypt about 355 B.C., a Mystery System having for its Saviour a Christos named Serapis who was simply Osiris of Ancient Egypt renamed.  It was Alexander the Great, the conqueror of Egypt, who established the “Mysteries of Serapis.”  He embodied the essentials of all the previous Mystery Schools and cults into one system of personal salvation.  The Mysteries of Serapis were mainly based upon the Gnostic philosophy of Pythagoras. Thus the real object of the Pythagorean Gnosis was to teach men in “The Things That Are,” and then to permit them to experience “The Things That Were.”  As a consequence, the man so blessed entered into IMMORTALITY.

The serious student of Gnosticism knows that his philosophy was started by Pythagoras in the 6th Century B.C.  It did not emerge at the end of the 1st and the beginning of the 2nd Centuries A.D., as the opponents of Gnosticism claim.  Further, the student knows better than to believe that Gnosticism is or was an alien or heretical religion directed against Christianity.  Two vital historical facts militate against such a baseless claim.  Gnosticism was in existence long before the supposed date of Jesus; and it was at the Council of Nicaea in 325 A.D. that Constantine the Great transformed the Cult of Jesus into the Religion of Jesus!  This means in fact that it was the Religion of Jesus which was the alien religion to the Gnostic Philosophy from Pythagoras.  But these facts, based upon irrefutable historical evidence, have been deliberately withheld from the ordinary layman of the Church.

By the time of Theodosius, the fashioners of the new Religion of Jesus took over the ordinary vocabulary of the civic and political activities of the Roman Empire.  For instance, Sacramentum (sacraments) was originally the sacred oath of the Roman Armies; Lietourgia (liturgy) was originally the public service of the religio licta of the Roman State; the kleros (clerics) were the officials, and the official meeting place the ekklesia (Church), and the principal spokesmen episkopoi (bishops).  The ekklesia was the general assembly which transacted political laws etc.  It will be seen that even by the end of the 4th Century A.D., the Cult of Jesus had no religious foundation or usage until they took over from the Pagans.  Therefore, the Christian doctrine of the “Apostolic Succession” must have been derived from the Pagan system of “The Right of Succession.”

There is sufficient evidence in the existing writings from pre-Apostolic days to show that there existed a class of men called “The Bishops of Serapis and Christos,” who served the SOTER as the Saviour of Men from the Demons or Aeons of this World.  It was known that they were Initiates of the Mysteries of Serapis; that through them they were able to awaken the Christos-Soul within them, thus enabling them to experience the Immortal State.  Once receiving the final Initiation in the Mysteries of Serapis they became known as “Chrestes,” the outer Oracle of the Inner God.  It was through this final Initiation that they were granted the “Right of Succession” which enabled them to become mediators between God and Man. They formed themselves into what was known as the Chrestian Ekklesia or the Community of Chrestes or Good Men, who received the common title of  “Christos.”

These Chrestes were famous for their purity of life, honesty and power over the visible and invisible forces of nature.  Caligula, Emperor of Rome, banished the Serapaens, Chrestes and all the magicians from Rome and the empire; they were known under the generic title of Gnostics or “Knowers,” but they were not considered as being a “religion,” but simply the ‘Cult of Chrestes.’  After the assassination of Caligula, Claudius ascended the Imperial Throne.  Suetonius, who hated Claudius and the Serapean Cult and their powerful Bishops, sought their banishment from Rome.

It was at Antioch that a large group of Serapean followers were located.  In order to avoid exile, they changed their name in 44 A.D., from that of “Chrestians” to “Christians.”  The psychological effect of this name change on the Chrestians of the Jewish Temple is made quite clear by Lactantius when he says that it is only through ignorance that people call themselves Christians instead of Chrestians: “…qui propter ignorantum errorem cum immutata litera Chrestum solent dicere.” (lib. iv, cap. vii)  Lactantius was followed by Justin Martyr, Clemens Alexandrinus and then Origen, thus proving beyond cavil that the original Christians knew themselves as CHRESTIANS, and not Gnostics as their Christian opponents claimed.  This means that the Antiochan Jewish Chrestians changed their name to avoid persecution and exile at the hands of Caligula and that they were non religio licta of the Roman Empire.

Thus, it came to pass that at the Council of Chalcedon in 381 A.D., the adherents of the old “Chrestes Cult” were duly proscribed and considered heretics of the “Christian Religion!” – a religion that had been founded and enforced by Constantine the Great, which composite religious system had become the religo licta of the Holy Roman Empire from 325 A.D.   It was the work of Eusebius, Bishop of Caesarea, to fabricate a suitable history of the “Christian” Church at the expense of secular history and the records existing before the meeting of the Council of Nicaea in 325 A.D. and all the records available during and after the following council of 381 A.D.

It was this Eusebius, Bishop of Caesarae, who formulated the doctrine of the “Christian” Apostolic Succession.  But in doing so, he gave no historical details except those provided by Irenaeus, Bishop of Symaria.  Yet the latter could not furnish one single valid proof of the historical existence of the Apostolic Succession!  Consequently he resorted to endless lies, forgery and the deliberate falsification of events, so naturally Eusebius followed in his wake.  We know that Jesus did not establish a “Church” and no method of “Succession.”  Yet in 38 A.D., we find one ‘Bishop’: James the Just, praying for the sins of Israel in the Holy of Holies.   Remember that such a place was reserved solely for the Jewish High Priest.  Eventually, because of jealousy, Ananias slew James the Just.  Why? What was a Bishop doing there if Jesus did not found a Church?  The theologians are reluctant to explain this historical event in the light of Christian history!

From the Council of Nicaea, Chalcedon, and the Second Council of Nicaea held in Constantinople, the Catholic faction of the Ekklesia felt secure when they saw all the references to the “hated” Gnostics suppressed or muzzled.  Bear in mind that the accusations of the Patricist accusers of the Gnostics were not based upon the direct evidence of an eye-witness, or upon any manuscripts claimed to be Gnostic.   In fact, there is no historical evidence to show that the followers of the Gnostic philosophy called themselves ‘Gnostics.’  Such writers as Payne Knight, C.W. King, Gerald Massey, Godfrey Higgins and Olshausen of Germany could not find any direct evidence that there was ever a ‘religion’ called “Gnosticism.”  Further, in the writings of Irenaeus, Tertullian, Sozomen, Eusebius, Theodoret and Epiphanius there is no definite proof that the philosophy of the Gnosis was even a religion per se.

In the eleventh century, there appeared hundreds of so-called Gnostic sects, orders and even ekklesias, who brought out many wonderful creeds, systems and cults which the Roman Church grouped under the generic name of Gnosticism.  The Church, fearing that the Truth would be restored, tried to exterminate them under the rigorous execution of the Constantinian and Theodosian Laws of 325 and 381 A.D.  The greatest guilt of these cults in the eyes of the Church was their syncretistic viewpoint and their refusal to accept the traditional account of the life of Jesus of Nazareth and his crucifixion. Schoolmen of the Medieval Church were twittered and cornered at every step by their no less acute adversaries, these Gnostic groups.  Thus they boldly sheltered themselves behind blind faith, and in answer to their merciless and historically founded logic, fell back upon an imaginary tradition ‘invented’ by lying, acts of constant forgeries, and the perpetual stunt of deliberately falsifying existing facts.

From the fall of the Western Roman Empire in the 6th Century to the beginning of the 11th Century, the Pactio Secreta advanced and then protected the emergence of the Gnostics in every century against the encroaching doctrinal and temporal power of the Pope of Rome.  Even as late as the time of Charlemagne, the Serene Highness of Gaul (Franks), this enlightened Emperor resisted the claims of the Pontifex Maximus of Rome, and claimed that he received his “Right of Succession” to the Crown of the Franks from the PACTIO SECRETA, the Guardians of Serapis at Alexandria in Northern Egypt.  Therefore, even at the time of the Emperor of the Franks (8th Century A.D.), The Pactio Secreta was known to exist as the “Council of Nine” who always remained in the background of the successive Orders of Chivalry such as: The San Grael, The Templars, The Order of the Golden Swan, The Brothers of Light, The Brotherhood of The Rosae Crucis and The Illuminati of Avignon and Bavaria.  Therefore, these related Secret Fraternities from the 8th Century to the present day have their foundations upon the Gnostic Philosophy derived from the Mysteries of Serapis in 355 B.C.

Both the so-called Christian Church and the Secret Fraternities under the guidance and protection of the Knights of the Pactio Secreta stem from the ONE ROOT DOCTRINE, that of the Mysteries of Serapis, the heirs to all the Mysteries of the ancient and classical world.  These Mysteries possessed a hierarchical system of officials who were initiated and then raised in their Offices through certain occult matters, forms and intentions in order to ensure the correct transaction and transmission from the Geometrical Man to the Mathematical Man,  and that this method of the transmission of the “Power of God” to Man was always known as The Right of Succession. The fact that James the Just of Jerusalem was a Bishop of the Christos indicates that this method of transmission of the Power of God to man was known long before the alleged Birth of Jesus of Nazareth.  This event further points to the fact that we are dealing here with an older Cult of Joshua (Jesus) that the Christian theologians have taken great pains to muzzle and keep from the people.

The teachings and allegories of the precursors of the Chrestian Ekklesia represented the passing of the human Soul of Man into the tomb of flesh and his eventual return to his Immortal Nature.  Their friends and foes were forced to admit that these Assemblies were most beneficent and greatly prompted virtue in human life and producing the Immortal Poets, Sages and Saints.  It was also common knowledge that these Mystery Systems or Lodges were in their totality the representation in drama and symbol of the journey of the human Soul through all the intricate windings of this mortal life, from birth to death.  But the Christian Church, once they began to reject the Gnosis in the form suitable to the 11th Century onwards and banished it altogether, had no more secrets to give out.

In the 12th Century, the Catholic Church began in earnest to effect the total destruction of these pseudo-Gnostic sects and cults.  They were aware that not all the people of Europe were faithful to the Cult of Jesus.  Far from it . . . most of the intellectuals and nobles still clung to the Old Religion and the old hierarchical system of Episcopi and clerics derived from the original Chrestian Ekklesia, and who were in total opposition to the Roman Christian Ekklesia based in Rome.

These undoubted Bishops of Serapis and Christos in Europe, even to the beginning of the 13th Century, were known as “Episcopi Vagantes.”  Thus, in order to control or reduce their influence, the Roman Church tried every possible means to deny them their ancient rites, while at the same time promoting the bishops who obeyed the temporal and doctrinal Church in Rome.  Again, it was known that these “episcopi” were the Initiates of the Old Religion.  By the 15th Century, these Gnostic Bishops; that is to say, THEY WHO KNEW THE TRUTH, were denominated ‘witches and heretics’.  In 1488 Pope Innocent VIII set the full force of the temporal and doctrinal Churches against them, and he was followed in 1521 by Pope Adrian IV, who, in his Decretal Epistle, denounced the witches and their heretical Gnostic Assemblies throughout Europe and America.  In the MIGNE LIBRARY OF THE FATHERS, it states clearly that Innocent VIII was fully determined to eradicate the pestilent and heretical Episcopi who repudiated the tradition of Jesus and Peter, and still followed the prototype of Jesus – Jeshu ben Pandira of 69 B.C., and to those who still held to the blasphemous Book of the Toldoth Jeshu.  He also stated that at all times the “Knights of The Pactio Secreta” were to be rooted out and destroyed; of course he was referring to the ancient Order of Roman Knights who defied the action of the Church Council of 381 A.D.

It now becomes abundantly clear that the “Christianised” followers of Jeshu ben Pandira, who now operated under the pseudo-ensign of ‘Jesus of Nazareth,’ took great pains to eradicate all possible references or even links with the original Chrestian Ekklesia of before 44 A.D.  It is amazing how the theologians of the Christian Church kept this tell-tale rebuttal of the claims that Jesus of Nazareth founded the Christian Church and instituted the “Apostolic Succession” on the Day of Pentecost.

Again it is obvious that Clemens Alexandrinus and Origen were fully aware of the real meaning of the Latin term “Initiate” and its use up to the year 878 A.D.  They also knew of the Chrestians up to 44 A.D., and of those Bishops who refused to accept the new dogma of Eusebius that Jesus was both the Son of God and then God Himself …. and yet blasphemous dogma was forced upon the dissenting Bishops by threats from Constantine, the first Christian murderer to be saved by the bloody atonement of a myth in time.  The second Church Council of 381 A.D. and its decrees amply show that the Christians after 44 A.D. were and still are the real APOSTATES from the Original Faith which existed from the very origin of the human race.   This again proves beyond all cavil that it was the Chrestian/Gnostics who constituted the Original Ekklesia, and who could and still do, claim an unbroken and legitimate Line of Succession from the Hierophants of Serapis, called by Emperor Hadrian, the “Bishops of Serapis and Christos.”

The term ‘Initiate’’ comes from the Latin ‘Initiatus’: one who had been prepared by special ceremonies and received into the Mysteries and Secrets of the Kingdom of God.  The later Christian term ‘Ordinand’ means the same thing, and is bestowed according to a certain rendering of Matter and Form.  In the Chrestian form of Initiation, the peculiar types of oil used to open the centres in the head, throat and heart had the action of fissioning the human soul safely from the body during the rites.  It has been suggested by some experts that the oil of the amanita muscaria mushroom was the catalyst which enabled the candidate to effect the proper separation of body and human soul.  Thereby, the soul could receive and then experience certain post mortem states of human consciousness out of the body.  At the same time, it could receive the final and absolute proof of its personal identity with its Hero-God who would grant to the Initiate certain geometrical powers which could be used in the service of his brothers upon re-entering the human tabernacle.  There is ample evidence to show that this Mushroom Ceremony was used well before 4,000 B.C. in Egypt, and the actual ceremony differs little from the Chrestian Gnostic method of effecting the Right of Succession.

The present form of the ceremony to pass this Right of Succession from one Episcopus to another, now commonly known as ‘The Christian Apostolic Succession,’ is, in reality, an empty ceremony.  It is used today simply as a means of conferring an office.  It does not effect, as it once did, the correct transaction of projecting the human soul of the Bishop Elect from the mathematical world into the geometrical world of design where the Christ Principle is to be found.  Thus, the candidate, once effecting the fission of the body and the soul, and finding himself within the Christos, does receive the power and glory of his Office from the Christ Himself.  Two things are required from this action to take place within the abstract or Christos world: the consecrating Bishop who can prove his Line of Succession, and the Bishop must have the right intention to transfer to the Bishop Elect from the Bishop himself the power of his own awakened Christos-Soul in order to awaken the Christos-Soul of the Bishop Elect.  The Bishop Elect must be erudite in the Gnosis of himself and of his Soul, and must be fully prepared to make the transaction between the human and the divine during the course of his consecration.

It would appear that in 44 A.D. the Jewish Chrestians, wishing to disassociate themselves from the secret and forbidden Mushroom Cult, discontinued its use in their ceremonies of conferring the authority of the Christos, and began to use olive oil and balsam as substitute.  Yet they still continued to use outward instruments which were used by the Mushroom Cult, such as the umbrella over the Christ (Host) on the altar.  Consider this: if Jesus stated that He came to give nothing new but only to fulfil, then either the Christian system of consecration and ordination is an empty charade or it is based upon an earlier and non-Christian Sacred Ceremony of conferring Spiritual Power and Office.

When we come to deal with the Secret Assemblies espoused by The Knights of the Pactio Secreta after the 11th Century in Europe, it was possible for the Grand Priors of the Order to continue the Sacred Ceremony of the Mushroom, and the anointing with any kind of oil was deleted from their ceremonies.  The transaction of Power was then effected by the determined and disciplined will of the Grand Master of each successive manifestation of the True Religion. The first of the Chivalric Orders instituted by The Pactio Secreta was that of the San Grael.  In this Order of Chivalry, as in all the successive orders, their workings in their totality represented the journey of the human soul through all the intricate windings of this mortal life, from birth to death, and from each of the Initiations the candidate received more than a hint of that which lay beyond.

Again, we find by a close analysis of the many rituals which have been allowed to be made public, that at a certain point in each ceremony or ritual, the candidate was permitted to make the fission between the mortal body and the human soul, and from this, and from the projection of the human soul into the Christos-Soul, he was permitted to receive first-hand knowledge and experience of the nature of the Quest as depicted in each Order.  As always, when the Order becomes known to the public, certain of the Knights retired from the public Order to perpetuate the original nature of the Quest – the finding of the Essential Man.

To summarise, one can see that the Mysteries of Serapis concerned themselves with the nature of the Essential Man, and the method whereby the human man could become restituted with this Essential Self.  Their descendants, the Chrestian Gnostics, followed the same Quest but in a simpler form, assisted by the ancient Sacred Mushroom Rite.  After 44 A.D., certain sections of the Chrestian Movement apparently feared the effect of the civil oppression of the Mushroom Cult and changed their name from ‘Chrestian’ to ‘Christian’ at Antioch, which was, at that time, a vital centre of the Mushroom Cult.  It was also a procuring place for the sacred amanita muscaria which was vital to all the fertility cults in Asia Minor.  We know that Lebanon was the main source of supply of the mushroom, just as Mexico was the source of the drug used in the Mayan and Aztec ceremonies and sacrifices.

History is very definite on this point: It was the Christianised Church which broke away from the Chrestian Ecclesia in 44 A.D.  Thus, in order to establish herself as the Supreme Authority of God on Earth – and you will note minus the sacred ceremonial to effect this transaction – she began a process of persecution and condemnation of the Source of her own authority, namely the Mysteries of Serapis and the Chrestian/ Gnostics.

In the 4th Century the Christian Church usurped the power and authority of the ancient Hierophants and Episcopi, and simply perpetuated this line of “The Rite of Succession” of power and authority in her priests and bishops only, but with a difference: she retained the outward forms but lost the inward operating principles.  We must also keep in mind that such men as Simon Magus, Marcion, Cerinthus, Valentinus, and Basilides lived well before such Christian Bishops as Tertullian, Irenaeus, Hippolytus, Epiphanius and Eusebius; therefore, logic and tradition proves that it was the later Christians and their bishops who were surely the heretics, and not the so-called Gnostics.  In fact, the concept of the Apostolic Succession was invented by the 4th Century Bishops after they had outwardly destroyed the Gnostics.

Again, we must also bear these irrefutable facts in our mind: to say that there is a Christian Apostolic Succession is a palpable fraud.  There is no factual evidence that the man Jesus ever instituted such an idea; nor can there be found any statement of Jesus intimating that he founded a religion or a church.  There is not one word of St. Paul which could be construed as indicating that he knew of the existence of Jesus or of this succession from his person.  The records of the 2nd Church Council of Nicaea, held in Constantinople in 787 A.D., clearly prove that the Christian Church stole the livery of the Mysteries of Serapis from the Chrestian Gnostics, the Essenes and the Mithraic Mysteries and called them Christian.  In fact, Jesus never founded a ‘church’ or even an ‘ekklesia’ while he was alive, and the Gospels were written about a hundred years after his supposed death.   It was Paul, an Initiate of Bacchus at Tarsus, who founded the Church.  Why are the ordinary laymen of the Christian Church not told of these important facts?

St. Augustine, who is generally regarded as being one of the outstanding leaders of the early Christian Church, states: “What is nowadays called the Christian religion was in existence among the ancient people until Christ Himself, having appeared, they began to designate at ‘Christian’ (A.D. 44) the True Religion which had hitherto been in existence.”  This statement alone shows that the Christian Church is but the illegitimate continuation of the Chrestian Ekklesia, except that the names, seasons and times have been changed to fit the framework of the new legend of Jesus of Nazareth.

With the outward destruction of the Gnostic/Chrestian/Ekklesia in the 11th Century, it was the Secret Fraternities who perpetuated the Gnostic Philosophy and its Operating Principles in their pristine purity as well as maintained a continuity of Hierophants and Grand Masters, coming down to the present exposition of the “Order of the Pactio Secreta.”  In fact, the purest form of Gnosticism (The Mysteries of Jeshu) can only be found within these Secret Lodges of Adepts, and here we are not speaking about the public bodies who have nothing of value to give to their people except a decadent rehash of that which has always been, is, and ever will be.

So it is obvious that the ancient term ‘initiation’ and the modern term ‘ordination’ have the same meaning and purpose.  In both cases it is an expansion of consciousness and the granting of certain powers by means of a Sacred Oil or Drink.  In both cases they require the instruments of matter and form:  form is the Imposition of Hands, and matter is the Prayer of Intention.  But in recent centuries the third requirement, that of the catalystic form of oil or drink, has been deliberately overlooked or disregarded as being too dangerous.  So they have substituted the action of thought.  Unfortunately, in the majority of instances, the thought is over-clouded by the “love of status before the public,” or, in the Fraternal Lodges, by the honour of being referred to as the “Worshipful Master.”  It is within the Church, Masonry, Rosicrucianism, etc. that one does find the evil of class distinction the rule of the day.  They have forgotten “The Man of Sorrows.”  The above means that the Initiator, be he a Hierophant, Master or Bishop, is possessed, or should be possessed, of the plenitude of all power and authority; the former from the Indwelling Christos and the latter from the Holy Spirit, the two channels being interchangeable and having the same meaning, according to the intention of the would-be Initiator!

The writer, having reached the highest Office in the Church, in Masonry, and in many other Lodges and Rites, is now in the position to have second thoughts about their efficacy.  That is his personal opinion, but he knows that his detractors will use this against him.  If they do, then they will reveal their own emptiness and ignorance of the purpose of their Great Master.

Part II

To deal with the original question concerning the supposed validity of the Orders of the Church of England and the Episcopal Church in America would take many articles.  In any case, for any Line of Succession to be valid, the succession must be unbroken from its Source, and each successive Bishop of the line must have fulfilled the conditions of matter and form.  It stands to reason that if the line is apparently broken, it can make a vast difference between validity and invalidity.  For example, the validity of the Anglican Orders has been questioned on two main accounts – historical and intentional. This is one of the reasons why the validity of the Grand Lodge of the English Masonic Rite is questionable, since in 1717 the fate of the English Masons was inked to that of the English Church.

This question of validity of authority is also applicable to the Jewish Torah and the Kabbalah: Prior to the 13th century, the Sacred Jewish Tradition was transmitted orally face to face, in order to retain the Rite of Succession pure according to the Mosaic Tradition.  In the 13th century, Moses de Leon of Spain, a converted Jew, began to inscribe to paper the Sacred Tradition of the Jews in Spain.  He did this transcription at the orders of the then reigning Pope of Rome, with the express orders that he should make the writings innocuous and beneficial to the Christian Tradition.  Therefore, all the copies and future translations of the Kabbalah are suspect.  Conversely, the writer was at an early age taught the Sacred Tradition at the knees of the Chief Rabbi of Australia, and he was also taught face to face.

In the 16th century, Henry the VIII, King of England married Catherine of Aragon under a Papal Indult.  Catherine did not give him a son, so the king tried to divorce her in order to marry Anne Boleyn.  He sought the permission of the Ecclesiastical Authorities in the Curia at Rome for the dissolution of this marriage.  This was refused by the Pope. So in retaliation, he seized all the church lands and their endowments mainly because of their wealth.  This process was extended by Edward VI and England was proclaimed ‘Protestant.’  Mary Tudor, a Catholic, tried to undo the work of Edward and became known as “Bloody Mary” for her efforts.  Elizabeth I tried to keep an even balance between the Protestants and the Catholics.

The sequence of events after the death of Henry are: Mary Tudor restored the Catholic Church and upon her death in A.D. 1558, Elizabeth the First ascended the throne and again disestablished the Roman Church and its Hierarchy.  Here we must also remember that the Culdee Chrestian Church in Wales and at York were also involved in this religious tug-of-war.  The Supreme Pontiff of the Culdee went to London to see Elizabeth and asked for a dispensation from her to permit the remaining Culdee Church to continue, and Lord Cecil and the Queen agreed to allow the Culdee Church to carry on as they did before the reign of Henry VIII, her Father by Anne Boleyn. He reminded the English Queen of certain historical facts: The Latin Church from Rome tried to convert the English and Welsh Culdees by missionaries, but they were sent back to Rome.  In A.D. 579, the Latin Church Delegate led by Augustine, met the Culdees at Whitby, England.  The Supreme Pontiff of the Culdees, then called Odin/Christos, replied to Pope Boniface IV; “Your Chair, O Pope, is defiled with heresy.  Deadly errors have crept into it; it harbours horrors and impieties.  Catholic!  The true Catholicism you have lost.  The Chrestians and true Catholics are they who have zealously preserved the True Faith, which was in existence from the beginning of Time.”

Ben Johnson, who was present at the audience of the Supreme Pontiff with the Queen, later commented that: “He did not like Protestantism of the Luther and the Calvin variety, and his dislike of the Roman church was beyond bounds, and he remarked that it is a pity that the Culdees were not given due recognition, as they deserve a great part in our religious life.”  Henry of Navarre, who began as Henry IV of France, was converted to Catholicism.  Yet he was most anxious that the Cathedral of Chartres-Notre-Dame should be restored as it was before the beginning of the Religious Wars of France.  It is at Chartres that he stated that one will find there in that ancient architectural wonder the beginnings of the Protestant action against the pretensions of the Roman Pontiff.  There is a record at Chartres stating that Elizabeth Regina of England sent Walshingham to verify the statements of the Supreme Pontiff of the Culdees. Thus he did find that Culdeeism also was reinforced by the establishment of the Legend of the San Grael.  This order was founded by Sigge, Son of Fridulph, a Pontiff Prince of Azoff, in a province of ancient Edessa, where Bardesanes was the Chrestian Pontiff, in A.D. 72.  When the Romans seized the kingdom, the second migration of these members of the San Grael went to England and Gaul, and became merged with the Druid/Culdee Cult of the Odin/Christos.

Later, the Culdees migrated from Glastonbury to Wales for security and protection against the encroachments of the Church of Rome.  They further went to Gaul (France) and established the Legend of King Arthur at Chartres.  Therefore, in spite of the claims that Arthur was a British prince, he was in actual fact Sigge, son of Fridulph of Azoff. Cardinal Richelieu in the 4th volume of his “Memoirs” makes this cryptic remark about the Huguenots of Chartres: “It is a pity that Charles de Rohan did not espouse the Culdees with their Chrestian doctrines instead of the doctrines of Calvin and Luther, then the Religious Wars of France would never have been possible.”

In 1558, the See of Canterbury was made vacant and by the end of that same year, ten more Sees were vacated by peculiar deaths.  This situation then left Nicholas Heath, Archbishop of York, and fifteen Bishops surviving.  Since they owed obedience to Rome, this meant according to the Roman Curia, that they possessed canonical jurisdiction.  The Supreme Pontiff of the Culdee Church in Wales and at York were never considered, but in fact, if the English Law of Precedence is valid, then the Culdee/Chrestian Church has prior right for England and Gaul.

In 1559, the English Parliament passed the “Act of Supremacy,” which then created Elizabeth “Supreme Governor” of the English Church, and then later Parliament passed the “Act of Uniformity,” enforcing the use of the Protestant “Book of Common Prayer.”  The Cranmer Ordinal states that all future ministers were to be “…a faithful dispenser of the Word of God and of His holy sacraments” the minister, therefore, ceased to be a priest of sacrifice.  The ordinal also laid it down that the laity had no power to call, elect or otherwise authorize the candidates, but must abide by the authority of the Queen’s Majesty, “…as the only supreme head on earth of the Church of England.”  This meant in effect that their ministers are simply the “King’s Ministers” or as we would know them today, Public Servants, in the Ministry of Religion.  This you can see paved the way for the idea of the “Divine Right of Kings.”

The Anglican theologians teach that their ‘priests’ are not called to sacrifice, but to teach the Gospel and administer the mutilated sacraments.  In the Culdee/Chrestian and the Roman Catholic Churches we state that a Catholic Priest is given the power or charisma to offer the Rite of Sacrifice, therefore the intention of the Anglican Ministers are at fault.  By this alone it will be seen that there is a vast gap existing between the Intention of the Culdee Priest, a Catholic Priest and Bishop and that of the various Protestant Clerics.  This question of Matter and Form has been dealt with in full by Apostolicae Curae issued by Pope Leo XIII in 1896.

We now must ask the Roman Curia: if before A.D. 44, you were known as Chrestians and used the Sacred Ceremonial of the Mushroom in your Ritual for the Transference of Power, and then after A.D. 44, you repudiated the name of Chrestian and discarded the Mushroom Ritual, how can you possibly state that you are doing what the Church has done and will do without any alteration, in the face of the declaration of Saint Augustine that the Church has always existed from the very origin of the human race?  Unless this can be clarified, then the pretensions of the Roman and Orthodox Churches to the validity of their orders falls to the ground of Truth.  In that case both sections of the ‘Christian’ Catholic Church has been perpetuating a fraud upon the faithful for nearly 2,000 years.

But to return to the historical aspect of our subject, we find that the lawful hierarchy of fourteen out of the fifteen Bishops who refused to accept the acts of “supremacy” of the Civil Power as legally, canonically and morally binding, were absolutely correct in their stand.  Unfortunately, they were eventually deprived of their Sees. Elizabeth then nominated Matthew Parker, a Protestant, to the vacant See of Canterbury, and she demanded that the ‘deprived’ Bishops consecrate Parker, but all the fifteen Bishops declined to obey her wishes.

In our humble opinion, the actions that followed, taken by Elizabeth in order to attain her ends, is the full pay-off against the conception of the Christian Apostolic Succession and the Anglican Church, bearing in mind that the ten Episcopi Vagantes were Bishops of the Roman Catholic hierarchy in exile.  In order to fulfil her demands, Elizabeth sought out four Episcopi Vagantes from the Roman Church, who had been deprived for heresy by Cardinal Pole.  Naturally, they agreed to her demands, as may well be imagined, since they were Protestants now.  So legally and historically the Bishops of the Anglican Church are the true Episcopi Vagantes who had intruded into the rightful Sees of other Bishops.  The English author [The Revd. Henry R.T. Brandreth] of “Episcopi Vagantes and the Anglican Church” reveals himself to the Christian world as obviously ignorant of his own church origin.  Thus his attacks of others have shown to backfire upon himself and his Church.

Thus it came to pass that certain Bishops – Barlow, Coverdale, Scory and Hodgkins – did on the 17th December 1550, in the Chapel of Lambeth Palace, perform a ceremony whereby they purported to consecrate to the Reformed and Protestant Episcopate one Matthew Parker, Archbishop of Canterbury, and from him to this day, all the Anglican Bishops of England and America owe their “Holy Orders.”

A William Barlow was chosen as one of the four Consecrators of Matthew Parker.  Since there is no record existing of his consecration, his Episcopal status must be challenged, and unless this record can be found, then we must assume that the Right of Succession from another consecrated Bishop as being broken.  Of the other three Bishops, two – Miles Coverdale and John Scory – were consecrated according to the Edwardine Ordinal which was defective in intent and form.  The other, John Hodgkins, although he was consecrated according to the Roman Rite and therefore at least on the surface, as one of the co-consecrators, because of his position he would naturally be incapable of supplying the defects in the standing of the other three Bishops.  Furthermore he could not be able to supply the missing portions of the Anglican Rite of Succession.  So any act performed by these dislocated Bishops would be open to serious doubt.

On the face of the above, it clearly shows that there is a definite break in the Rite of Succession through and from the See of Rome to that of the Protestant See of Canterbury, from which the Episcopal Church of America owes its Line of Succession.

In spite of the efforts of many to try in various ways to regulate this lack found within the Church of England and who thought that by linking themselves with the various Eastern Lines of Succession, to establish and East-West bridge, their efforts produced little or no result.  Among those who valiantly tried are: Vernon Herford, Jules Ferrette, Ambrose Phillips de Lisle, Joseph René Vilatte, His Serene Highness the Prince de Landas (a Prince of the Holy Roman Empire, and a Companion of the Order of the Pactio Secreta), Hugh De Willmott Newman, Patriarch of Glastonbury and Protector of the Pontifical Throne of the Culdees (a Knight of the Pactio Secreta and the British Grand Master).  In every case the attempt failed, mainly because of their complete ignorance of the Pythagorean Philosophy, and not being fully initiated into the Serapean/Chrestian/Ekklesia on the one hand, and on the other, having no definite links with the Secret Fraternities of England and Europe, who held in their hands an assemblance of the ancient Right of Successions embodied in their Rites.  It is by the very act of identifying themselves with the various Protestant Movements from the 11th century, those valiant workers lost the essential principles of their predecessors.

Therefore, we must repeat, the question of the validity of these Orders are open to very serious question. Since, they, the consecrating Bishops, lacking the requisite knowledge and ancient practices, just mimed the ceremony with the lack of correct understanding of the Ancient Law and Usage, and even today all Bishops attempting to perform an act of Consecration just mime the ceremony.

As we have stated on a number of occasions, the True Church and the Secret Fraternities should never have been divorced from one another, but were destined to work side by side.  If this were possible, then the Church would have retained its Inner or Esoteric section to permit the awakened layman access to the Great Secret of the Christos within Man. By the restoration of this Secret, the Christian Writ will be restored to a sense of truth and stability, instead of being riddled through and through by the advancing enlightenment of this age.  Instead of the Fraternities just playing with Great Secret in order to advance their social image, they could act as a barrier to the charlatans, plagiarists, and exploiters of the simple souls who are seeking to know themselves.

However, when the Church under the leadership of Tertullian, Ireanaeus, Hyppolytus and Eusebius began gradual action to separate the two sides of the one coin, then the Church took over only the forms having rejected the substance behind these forms.  From the time of A.D. 325 to the present day the Church has been racked with dissension and conflicting points of view concerning the real origin and purpose of the Apostolic Succession.  As it now stands, it has become a dogma and a superstition of the Church to create a sense of “status before the public.”  This is evidenced by the habit of the Consecrating Bishop to grant to the Bishop-Elect the Degree of Doctor of Divinity.  Further, if it is within his personal grant, a Titular Letters Patent to a Ducal or Principality State which no longer exists, are granted in order to update the social status of the Bishop Elect in the eyes of his future dupes and emotional slaves.

This Christian conception of the Apostolic Succession becomes a superstition when we call it the “Christian Apostolic Succession.”  Then it becomes unreasonable and without support either in the secular or church history.  Certainly it defies the logical mind of today to make head or tail of it.  Thus we say that from the time of the supposed Christ (historical sources know nothing about him) to the time of Eusebius, the arch liar and forger for the glory of the church, that this church never existed, much less had any “apostolic succession!”  It was not until after 381 A.D., at the Council of Trent that the superstition of apostolic succession was proclaimed a dogma and this was forced upon the delegates at this Council because of the outcry against the Church in Rome for being corrupt in every avenue of Church activity.

Once we accept the historical position (and what else can we truthfully accept?), the whole false structure becomes clear.  It was the post-Nicene Fathers of the Church who fabricated it since there is no historically valid record existing concerning the first person to be consecrated an “episcopi” under the new dogma put forward by Eusebius and the Bishops.  In the Council of 381 A.D., it was decreed by the Bishops that the Christian Cult emerging after A.D.44, was to be separated from the earlier Chrestian Ekklesia.  All the Bishops attending were obliged to undergo a new act of consecration, repudiating their original consecration.  Once we marshal all the existing historical facts, and using the laws of analogy and correspondence in order to arrive at the truth, we cannot help to be impressed into asking the question: Does the Church speak with a forked tongue?  Truth based upon “facts” as known by the theologians, and they in turn permit the laymen to interpret what they have found in an emotional/intellectual form.

It was the post-Nicene Fathers who adopted the outward shell of the initiatory practices of the abused Pagan Mysteries and the so-called, as far as the Fathers were concerned, “heresies” of the Chrestian Ekklesia, and then called them “Christian.”  Once this was done, they ceased to be superstition, and again for the Christians they became an Act of Magic for the transmission of certain spiritual powers from one Bishop to another in succession, without a break.  Here you will see the forked tongue, the Right of Succession leading to the transaction of Acts of Magic must be a superstition as long as it was performed outside the Church; but when the Christians adopted the same practices, without Gnosis or Knowledge, it became a legitimate act for God. Once we realize that this double standard has been applied throughout the historical ruling period of the Church, it becomes very difficult to sort out Fact from Fiction.

In all of the above, it must not be construed from the double-talk of the Fathers that we are declaring the Doctrine of the Apostolic Succession to be false, far from it!  What we complain of is the false claims and interpretations placed upon these dogmas by the Post-Nicene Church against the philosophical beliefs of the pre-Christian Gnostics.  What we are trying to say is this: There are two “Churches” – the Chrestian/Gnostic Ekklesia which existed before A.D. 44, and the pre-Nicene Christians, who finally emerged as the post-Nicene Church. Meaning, that the former Ekklesia held to the Esoteric Doctrine based upon the former.  Thus from about 325 A.D., there has existed a silent and terrible conflict.

It becomes now logical and feasible to recognize the Christian Church’s stand regarding Psychism, Occultism, Freemasonry, and the Gnostics when she calls them “heresies.”  The moment the laity of the Church gains access to the documents dealing with Magic, Theurgy, Comparative Religion, Archeology and ancient historical records, the Christian Church loses its boasted uniqueness and is revealed as simply a distorted link  in the Universal Tradition of the Gnosis.

In conclusion, history shows only too clearly that when one religion out-lives its purpose, it then becomes a superstition by the new religion; yet the new always embodies the essential elements of the old.  Thus this Universal Tradition is the fulfilment of the past.  As a result of this process, there is a Root-Doctrine of Universal Purpose, which threads itself through all religions and acts as a stepping-stone to the future.  It is this purpose that has been deliberately obstructed and obscured by the Christian Church in order to uphold her uniqueness.  It is only by the recognition of this vital fact and by the study of the stream of the Wisdom/Gnosis through the various nations and civilizations of man’s past, that we can gain a glimpse of  the continuity of Divine Witnesses and Revelation.  Thus, this human desire for supremacy and uniqueness has become the driving force behind the cause for the falsification of all the origins of every great religious movement.  The same mechanism applies when we try to reconcile the apparent conflicting dogmas which are to be found within all these religions.  Such conflicts arise primarily because of the forgeries used by the ignorant (of the Gnosis) devotees to falsify the origins of their religion.  To correctly understand the Apostolic Succession in its relationship to modern psychology, parapsychology and mysticism, we must turn to the ancient Mysteries and until we have the courage to recognize and then undertake our own investigations, the “Church of God” will always be “be-devilled” by the spectre of the Gnostics.

This article is taken from ‘The Gnostic Forum’  Vol. IV nos. 3, 4 and 5 (1976).