Honours and awards: Dynastic honours from the House of Cseszneky

I have been honoured to receive a number of awards from the Hungarian noble House of Cseszneky (de Csesznek(Vár) et Milvány) and its head, His Illustrious Highness Count Miklós M. M. Cseszneky. H.Ill.H. the Count is my cousin, and we share descent from the House of Rurik of Russia and the medieval Kings of Poland. The awards below have been made in the context of an exchange of honours from my own Royal House and my recent appointment as an Honorary Fellow and  Member of the Academic Advisory Council of the Hungarian Association of African, American, Asian and Oceanian Nobles which is under the Count’s direction.

1. Hereditary Grand Cross of the Order of Duke Ketel

2. Bagatur of Gniezno

The title of Bagatur was originally a Turkic and Mongol honorific that has been compared to a knighthood. Although the title may be (as here) awarded with a territorial designation, this does not refer to a fiefdom, but rather to the holder as hero of that place. Historically, if the title comes with a territorial reference it is because the person carried out a heroic deed in that place, typically in the battlefield. In this regard it is very similar to a British victory title: e.g. Viscount Montgomery of Alamein or Earl Mountbatten of Burma. Nowadays, it can refer to any important event, personal or ancestral achievement that took place there. Therefore, the territorial designation can be any place in the world. The choice of Gniezno therefore reflects and honours my remote ancestors, the first Princes of Gniezno and rulers of the Polanes. Today, each member of the Royal House Polanie-Patrikios is a Prince or Princess of Gniezno, and my heirs will also inherit the title of Bagatur.

3. Elteber of the Krivichs

The hereditary honour of Elteber is the Pecheneg equivalent of Duke or Margrave. It originally referred to the position of a client king within the Turkic khaganates. The Krivichs were a tribal union of Early East Slavs between the 6th and 12th centuries AD, and have a historic connection with Belarus and the Princes of Polotsk, thus directly referencing the position of the Royal House Polanie-Patrikios as pretender to the Byelorussian throne.

4. Blood Brother of His Illustrious Highness the Count Cseszneky

The status of blood brother is the utmost honour one can receive in the Equestrian Civilizations.

5. Companion of Saint Bruno

This title is hereditary, being attached to the Abbey-Principality of San Luigi. It commemorates St Bruno of Querfurt, the first Christian to begin evangelizing the Pechenegs.

6. Apostle of the Pechenegs

This title is hereditary, attached to the Abbey-Principality of San Luigi.

7. Örkönd-oba

The Pecheneg honorific of Örkönd-oba approximately means “Free Lord” or “Father of Liberty”.

Honours and awards: Doctor of Divinity and Doctor of Theology from the William Laud Seminario de Ciencias Humanas Integrales, Ecuador

Between 2021 and 2022, the Iglesia Anglicana Tradicional de Santa Maria Virgen, which is headquartered in Ecuador with communities throughout the Spanish-speaking world, joined the Apostolic Episcopal Church of which I am Primate and Presiding Bishop, becoming constituted as the Province of St Mary the Virgin of the AEC. The William Laud Seminario de Ciencias Humanas Integrales was established in Santo Domingo, Ecuador, as the seminary of the church, which was recognized by the Ministry of Human Rights and Worship of the Ecuadorian government by ministerial agreement no. 1130 of December 17, 2015. I was honoured to receive the degrees of Doctor of Theology and Doctor of Divinity, jure dignitatis, from the Seminary.

Life in the Church: Of collars and clerics

The churches of which I am a member have a distinctive policy on the question of clerical dress. By this is not meant the traditional dress of clerics when participating in a religious service, but what a clergyman wears on those occasions when he is not in church, such as walking down the street or visiting those in need.

The tradition which I have inherited draws from that of the Liberal Catholic Church and others which maintain a non-stipendiary clergy who support themselves and the Church through secular (or in rare cases religious) paid work. Non-stipendiary emphatically does not mean “part-time”, since a vocation of necessity involves the person as a whole, but it reflects both the fact that these churches are generally small communities with relatively limited resources as well as that their character is to some extent formed by the voluntary nature of the endeavour that they attract, uncompromised so far as is possible by Mammon. They also have regard to the fact that their clergy may not be of the financial means necessary to afford expensive specialist clerical dress, which is generally priced much higher than equivalent non-clerical garments.

At the point when the Liberal Catholic Church formed in the years of the First World War, the time was well within living memory, at least in England, when there was no “everyday” clerical dress. The detachable clerical collar (“dog collar”) was invented in 1865 by the Rev. Donald McLeod, a Church of Scotland (Presbyterian) minister in Glasgow. Prior to this, from the 1840s, Anglican clergy sought a means of visually (and perhaps otherwise) separating themselves from the common run of men, initially with black coat and white necktie, and from the 1880s onwards, through adoption of the clerical collar. It may therefore be seen that distinctive clergy dress is a relatively modern invention.

It should also be pointed out that anyone of any religion (or indeed none) may wear a clerical collar; it is not a legally protected mode of dress nor is it associated with one or more Christian denominations exclusively. There are those who believe that wearing a clerical collar “on the street” is a form of ministry, and those who find in doing so a greater strength and purpose. There are also those who believe it serves no useful purpose and may indeed alienate some whose past experience with the clergy has not been positive. The churches to which I belong have always made this an optional matter, recognizing that there will be differing views as well as differing circumstances at issue.

As for me, I nowadays never wear a clerical collar except when performing a specific clerical function. I do not find it helpful to be visually set apart from those whom I serve, and nor is the erroneous assumption that I must be a clergyman of the Church of England one that I would wish to go uncorrected. In addition, I take the view that there is no need to broadcast that I am ordained through wearing clerical dress; that fact should be evident to others from my behaviour and discourse.

The question of what should be worn when I am a congregant in a church of which I am not a member (and when I have not been invited in my clerical capacity) also arises from time to time. In this I remember the answer of the late Bishop Leila Boyer of the Church of the Ascension, who maintained that clerical dress was wholly unnecessary in order to participate spiritually to the full on such occasions; such participation would take place entirely beyond the mundane world. I would also not want the clergy of the church in question to be unsettled by seeing someone in clerical dress in the congregation, perhaps thinking that they had been sent there in order to report in some way on them.

My preference instead is to wear a tie, and in doing so I am looking back to a tradition of decency and proper sartorial standards that should never have been let go in our society. I think above all of my grandfather, a painter and decorator by trade, who was never seen not to wear a tie even when he was in his own home. The tie is deprecated today, but not generally by people who share my outlook on life, and it remains nevertheless a discreet but effective means of the expression of taste and character.

Honours and awards: Grand Cross Chaplain of the Ordo Equestris Reginae Caeli

I have been pleased to accept the appointment of Grand Cross Chaplain of the Ordo Equestris Reginae Caeli, a religious order of knights in the spirit of the Benedictine tradition. An agreement of partnership has also been entered into between the Order and the Abbey-Principality of San Luigi under my leadership.

More information about the Order and its charitable works can be found at its website https://www.oerc.eu

Fellowship of the National Federation of Church Musicians

I have been delighted to receive Fellowship of the National Federation of Church Musicians. The Federation is administered by the National College of Music, It says of the award, “In order to qualify, candidates are expected to demonstrate at least twenty years of fully-documented service in the field of church music in any denomination of the Christian church as an organist, choir director or singer, making the award of the FNFCM a formal recognition of long and distinguished service.”

On marriage

In 2013 and 2014, at the time when the Government was redefining civil marriage, I wrote two essays on the matter that were published on the Libertarian Alliance blog and subsequently included in my collection of talks and essays The Radical Traditionalist Today. Here are those essays, very slightly revised. My conclusion was then and remains that there are now serious obstacles for traditionally-minded Christians (and indeed others who are traditionally-minded) who would want to enter into civil marriage, and my view is that civil marriage as currently constituted in England and Wales does not conform to marriage as that sacrament is understood by traditional Christians.

The trouble with gay marriage

I should begin with a simple statement of libertarian principle. The state has no business being involved in any way with marriage. It has adopted that role as a consequence of the compromise Henry VIII engendered when he merged Church and State. Since marriage within the Church of England is governed by the law of the land, and not simply by canon law, it follows that when marriage takes place between persons who are not members of that church, the state must act as registrar in order that those marriages have equivalent legal standing. One simple answer to the matter would be to disestablish the Church of England and thereby reduce marriage to a matter of private contract with an optional religious component, but this is not under consideration at present.

My purpose here is not primarily a discussion of marriage and same-sex relationships in their religious context, nor the case for the disestablishment of the Church of England. Rather, I want to point out that what is being proposed with regard to same-sex marriage has some important implications for those who are already married (ie. for those of the opposite sex) and further that its hamfisted legal construction is setting up a series of wholly avoidable and undesirable problems.

Let us not forget, however, that the institution of civil partnership has already established a position of legal equality between marriage and same-sex partnerships. Before civil partnerships, there were eminently legitimate complaints that the inequalities that existed in respect of inheritance and status as next-of-kin were iniquitous in a free society, and that there should be a means by which this could be redressed. In civil partnership, an institution was created that was distinct from marriage; indeed that was exclusively and completely a same-sex institution. For those same-sex couples who had said that they did not want marriage with its accompanying associations, but instead something that, while equal to marriage in law, was theirs alone to define, civil partnership could not have fitted the bill better, and its popularity since introduction would appear to have borne this out. Moreover, it was open to those churches that wished to do so to bless civil partnerships, and several have done so. Even the Church of England, which officially forbids such blessings, has a number of parishes where the letter of the law is observed but ways around the prohibition have been found through “services of prayer and dedication”[i]. At their most elaborate, such occasions are so close to the service for the blessing of civil marriage that were it not for the sex of the participants it would be difficult to tell the difference[ii].

Now, though, we find our legislators – without any apparent cause other than the Left’s shibboleth of “equality” – contemplating far-reaching changes to the nature of marriage between both same-sex and opposite-sex couples. Marriage as constituted at present has to do with the Christian viewpoint that the primary purpose of marriage is for the bringing of children into the world and their upbringing. Consequently, marriage is construed as a specifically sexual bond between husband and wife. This finds expression in the law in respect of the definition of marriage as a binding contract that is not entered into unless and until the marriage has been consummated. Non-consummation renders the marriage voidable under the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973, section 12a. Consummation has been defined, both in religion and in secular law, as the “ordinary and complete” act of sexual intercourse, a phrase which needs no amplification.

The problems with regard to same-sex marriage will by now be obvious to the reader. The partners cannot consummate the marriage according to the legal definition of that term. Nor is there any other equivalent sexual act that is universal to same-sex couples. Therefore, the government proposes to create a virtually unprecedented new definition of marriage that has no sexual component to it. Here is the relevant section of the government’s consultation document on the matter:

“2.16 Specifically, non-consummation and adultery are currently concepts that are defined in case law and apply only to marriage law, not civil partnership law. However, with the removal of the ban on same-sex couples having a civil marriage, these concepts will apply equally to same-sex and opposite-sex couples and case law may need to develop, over time, a definition as to what constitutes same-sex consummation and same-sex adultery.”[iii]

In other words, the government can see the problem but has absolutely no idea how to solve it. It therefore proposes to foist the entire matter on to the courts to be resolved sine die.

The implications are interesting. As the law would stand under the proposal, for example, a same-sex married partner cannot commit adultery with another partner of the same sex, since any definition of adultery applies only to heterosexual sexual intercourse. But they can commit adultery against their same-sex married partner with a person of the opposite sex. What will constitute adultery or consummation if a definition needs now to be found that applies both to heterosexual and homosexual marriages? The implication is that acts of a sexual nature that fall short of sexual intercourse and which are not regarded as of paramount significance in such discussions at present may come to be seen in a whole new light. Even without my religious hat on, I cannot see this as in any way being a good thing for our society.

I note, incidentally, that Ben Summerskill, chief executive of the gay rights organization Stonewall, thinks that “This focus on consummation, in particular on the sexual element of it, seems to exercise heterosexuals more than most lesbian and gay people.”[iv] He does not seem to realize that the reason why this exercises heterosexuals is because we, too, are to be significantly affected by the proposed legislation, and in ways that are as yet impossible for anyone to quantify or anticipate with any accuracy. As such, this is a leap into the unknown. There is still time to pull back from the brink.

[i] http://inclusive-church.org.uk/about/church-services-after-civil-partnerships

[ii] http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1026599/Rector-faces-sack-holding-Britains-gay-wedding-Anglican-church.html

[iii] http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/publications/about-us/consultations/equal-civil-marriage/consultation-document?view=Binary

[iv] http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2012/dec/10/legal-definition-consummation-gay-marriage

The new marriage and conscience

The Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act 2013 is one of the most divisive pieces of legislation to have been passed for many years. While the most obvious aspect of this law – that it permits homosexual couples to contract civil marriage – has been widely publicised, there are further aspects whose significance is likely to prove extremely far-reaching.

In preparing this legislation, the Government appears to have considered that, in respect of those religious groups that object to homosexual marriage, it has been sufficient to allow those groups an opt-out, which it assures us is unlikely to be capable of legal challenge. The veracity of the latter claim is currently under test by Barrie and Tony Drewitt-Barlow, who intend to sue in order to compel the Church of England, to which they belong, to solemnize their marriage.

While the legislation takes account of religious groups that have an objection to same-sex marriage, it makes no provision for those people who are not religious but likewise object to same-sex marriage. They are expected and indeed encouraged to enter into civil marriage regardless of the fact that said civil marriage has been profoundly redefined by this law. Both they and members of religious groups that are officially opposed to same-sex marriage (including the Church of England and the Church in Wales, many Jews, almost all Muslims, some Buddhists, Zoroastrians and Bahá’is) are now placed in an extremely difficult position. This was, furthermore, something of which Parliament was clearly warned during the legislative process and that it chose to disregard in its rush to embrace the “equality agenda”.

The historical position of English law has been to define civil marriage according to Christian understanding, and in so doing to promote a position which is common to the Abrahamic faiths. That position is based on definitions of consummation (and thereby the validity of marriage), and of adultery (which constitutes grounds for divorce). A couple of the opposite sex who contracted civil marriage before 2013 could have that marriage blessed in a religious ceremony in the knowledge that they had not, in entering into civil marriage, engaged in a contract that contradicted the teachings of their religious faith. With the abandonment of consummation as a test of the validity of marriage, and the non-universality of adultery (since its definition applies only to members of the opposite sex), it can no longer be said that civil marriage for heterosexual couples does not involve the implicit acceptance of concepts that run directly counter to much religious teaching on the nature of marriage.

I will speak particularly of the Catholic faith here, since it is that with which I am most familiar, and I am aware that my remarks will have applicability to other faiths as well. In Catholicism, marriage is defined as a sacrament instituted by Christ. As such, definitions of marriage before the time of Christ, ie. in Jewish law, or in pre-Christian societies where the state undertook a role in marriage, are disregarded as irrelevant. The only definition of marriage that matters today is that which Christ gave us, and it is His standard by which other commentaries on marriage are to be measured.

Catholic doctrine holds that the state of marriage is opposed to all forms of unnatural, homosexual behaviour[i]. It is unambiguous on this point. While the Catholic Church does not permit divorce, it holds nevertheless that extramarital acts – of which adultery would be among the most serious – are to be seen as a violation of justice. It can therefore be concluded that adultery is highly germane to an understanding of the boundaries of Catholic marriage.

Our question now is whether a member of the Roman Catholic Church can in good conscience contract civil marriage in the light of the 2013 law. In so doing, the civil marriage that they would now contract is far from being opposed to all forms of unnatural and homosexual behaviour. Rather, it considers that behaviour to be on an equal footing with marriage. The Pastoral Letter “The Narrow Gate” of the Archbishop of Westminster on the passage of the 2013 law says,

“The Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act has changed the legal definition of marriage in this land. No longer does this definition assume or support the complementarity of male and female, or expect sexual fidelity between the married couple, or see marriage as oriented towards conceiving and nurturing of children. The titles ‘husband’ and ‘wife’ are now officially gender neutral. This is the deconstruction of marriage as it has been understood for millennia. In effect, this Act completes the privatisation of marriage, so that its central content is whatever the couple wish to construct. Marriage is no longer a truly public institution, at the basis of society.”[ii]

This issue is more complex that it might seem. It should not be thought that the Roman Catholic Church advocates that its members should contract civil marriage in isolation from religious marriage. Rather, the Roman Catholic Church in practice requires that marriages take place in church and are solemnized by a priest, but also that the priest should hold a certificate or license to solemnize marriages from their local Superintendent Registrar. Failing this, it is required that a registrar should be present at the service and should simultaneously complete the necessary paperwork for civil marriage. Under either situation, a Roman Catholic priest effectively performs the marriage service on behalf of the state, under an arrangement that was first agreed in 1895. Whether he should continue to do so given the changed legal position has already been the subject of some discussion.

The present situation requires the acceptance of a moral contradiction that could not be more stark. The acceptance in conscience of civil marriage which directly opposes Catholic teaching on the nature of marriage is a matter of great seriousness. The registrar is taking from the words the priest says during the service those elements that fulfil the requirements of civil marriage as currently constituted. The priest and the couple marrying are therefore actively colluding in the act of civil marriage and not merely treating it as incidental (as would be the case, for example, in France, where church and state are separate, and the registration of a marriage is merely a bureaucratic act). In so colluding, they are forced into a position of the gravest moral compromise.

It may be responded that without civil registration, our Catholic couple would have no standing as married persons in law. Their marriage would be valid in Catholic canon law, but for civil purposes their standing would be as cohabitees. My personal view is that this is now becoming the only route for Catholics that would not involve moral compromise as to the principles of their faith. It would involve a degree of sacrifice – for the legal recognition of marriage brings with it a number of important rights that are not extended to cohabitees – but that is nothing new for Catholics in this country. It would also require the agreement of the Catholic hierarchy, which for all its vocal opposition to the 2013 legislation has tended to take the view that once a law is passed, it must be complied with. While no-one would advocate that Catholics should break the law, there is an important issue as to whether a law that has a distinctive moral element that is opposed to Catholic teaching may be the subject of conscientious objection whereby that law is shunned on those grounds.

It should be mentioned that the existing status of a number of Muslim marriages in England and Wales is of relevance. The Muslim marriage contract or nikah is not automatically recognized as a marriage in English law (in contrast to most Muslim countries, where it is so recognized), and the couple need to contract a civil marriage in order to be recognized as other than cohabitees. The situation is further complicated by the fact that the nikah may be polygamous.

Those Muslims who contract the nikah, and those Christians or others who contract a religious marriage that is not recognized by law, may feel that their religious contract is sufficiently binding in conscience as to constitute all the marriage that they would need. They will need to make additional safeguards in their legal arrangements to ensure that their spouse is treated in the way that they believe is fitting to them, rather than assuming the legal benefits that civil marriage confers, but this may well be an acceptable price for them to pay in order to avoid the moral compromise now involved in contracting civil marriage.

Couples who cohabit have already had to evolve private contracts that serve as alternatives to civil marriage, on whatever terms they may agree. It seems that those who hold religious beliefs that do not equate homosexual partnerships with heterosexual marriage may now be compelled to do likewise. Effectively, we have indeed seen the end of marriage as a public institution in our country, and its aftermath will be one of increasing fragmentation.

[i] See Fr. John Hardon SJ, “Marriage” in  Modern Catholic Dictionary, consulted at http://www.catholicculture.org/culture/library/dictionary/index.cfm?id=34750

[ii] http://www.catholic-ew.org.uk/content/download/38192/291236/file/the-narrow-gate-reflection-abp-nichols.pdf

Personal observations on the episcopate in the smaller churches

These general observations serve as a postscript to my autobiographical series entitled Life in the Church.

I am sometimes asked how my office as a bishop in the smaller churches differs from that of bishops in the larger, mainstream denominations. Clearly there is a difference in the numbers concerned, both in respect of clergy and laity. That makes the bishop a more immediate and accessible figure in the smaller church, and also means that the bishop can undertake more in the way of a presbyteral ministry. Bureaucracy is generally more streamlined internally, but no less so in respect of conformity to external laws and requirements, which can involve multiple jurisdictions and require some degree of legislative expertise and linguistic dexterity.

A smaller church will inevitably bear the imprint of the bishop who leads it. In the modern age of centralized, committee-run churches, this is unusual, as is the directly hierarchical structure in which the presiding bishop has the final say on all matters. The model that works best in this situation is that of the benevolent dictator, but it is crucial that in exercising authority, the bishop is aware of the implications of his decisions on the church as a whole. He may have the ultimate responsibility before God, but he would be foolish not to listen to his clergy and laity. I have been surprised over the years how many outside my churches have wrongly assumed that the policy of my churches is merely a direct reflection of my own views. In fact, policy is carefully crafted bearing in mind the significance of tradition, external requirements (such as legislation), the need for accountability and the nature of the body of active clergy and laity as it may be constituted from time to time. My role is to integrate these factors and to consider, after prayer and reflection, how they may be best expressed in practice.

Probably the biggest point of similarity with the larger churches is in dealing with the clergy and the challenges they face. These raise familiar and universal themes, but within a structure such as the Catholicate of the West where the clergy are all non-stipendiary, there is the additional factor that the connexion between the clergy and their church is more readily frangible; there are many competing denominations, and where church buildings are not owned centrally, they can move jurisdiction with the clergyman in question. This tends to produce a pressure for smaller churches to advance their clergy irrespective of pastoral necessity, in order not to lose them to other churches where they might find such advancement more readily. I have always taken the view that this pressure is to be resisted. Holy Orders are conferred for the Church, not for the individual benefit of the person concerned, and it means considerably more to be a priest in a well-run church than it does to be a bishop in those jurisdictions where the episcopate is indiscriminately conferred. With most smaller churches being “top heavy”, what is actually needed is more deacons and priests, more lay ministers, and of course, more laity.

The experience of working with others within small religious bodies tends to heighten differences that would be more readily absorbed within a larger organization. When the group of clergy is small, there is a risk of dominance of the more extrovert personalities at the expense of others, and where there is a clash of ideologies or personalities it will become more readily apparent at an early stage. Over the years, I have been privileged to work with some outstandingly gifted clergy, who have been every bit the equal of those to be found in the larger churches. Notwithstanding this, there have been occasions when it has been necessary to admit that the paths of clergy have diverged to an incompatible extent from the nature of our church, and occasions where working relationships have sadly broken down. Wherever possible, my duty is to assure stability and to manage change in a way that is organic and that offers reassurance as to the way ahead.

There are inevitable difficulties in relations with members of other churches who have a prejudiced view of our traditions and practices. The smaller churches have not proved immune from the scandals of abuse that have affected the mainstream communions, and so there is a particular need for vigilance in respect of the selection of ordinands and others who may be placed in positions of trust. On a more subjective level, there are issues where I take a particular position in view of some of the more justified criticisms that have been levelled at the smaller churches over the years. I have always insisted that candidates for admission to the clergy be of graduate standing and undergo background checks (including in some cases psychological testing by a qualified professional). Those convicted of criminal offences are not eligible for admission to the clergy. I require of the clergy that they conduct a purposeful and visible ministry in the community, or follow a contemplative vocation guided by a Rule of Life.

More generally, I try to avoid “hard edges” in theological interpretation, mindful that it is the pastoral application of theology that is at the heart of Christian ministry. I have also always taken a studied disinterest in the minutiae of liturgy, ceremonial, and ecclesiastical robes, having too often seen these things lead clergy down the wrong paths and away from our proper priorities. I hold, in the words of Mar Georgius of Glastonbury, that “the most spiritual people are usually the most natural”.

Regarding the question of titles, I believe that these should serve a practical purpose within the body concerned, and be integral to the preservation of its distinctive ethos. Often, those who object to titles are objecting primarily to the hierarchy that they signify, and yet hierarchy is fundamental to the nature and governance of all the churches that I lead today, having been inherited by me as a living tradition and continued accordingly. I do not interpret Christianity as supporting egalitarianism, and neither did the overwhelming majority of Christians prior to the second half of the twentieth-century.

I am a firm believer that integrity in the episcopal office is best served by a thorough knowledge both of the Church and her mission and of oneself. The diversity of character among those called to the episcopacy is considerable; some are obvious saints, some are of a monastic mien, some are parish priests writ large, while others are sadly clearly more at home with administrative responsibilities than with people. My own approach is to be and give of myself as much as I can, and through this, to try to lead people to Jesus by my own, inevitably flawed, example. Key to my approach is to try to meet people at the point they have reached on their spiritual journey.

The Anglican tradition of “muscular Christianity” has a certain appeal for me, and points towards a degree of unstuffiness in which the Christian way becomes the natural context for our values and behaviour, integrated indelibly into the archetypal English character and the history of our nation. I also identify with the concept of the guardian of multiple traditions, maintaining and preserving these in good order so that in due course they will survive me. Although these are sober and sometimes weighty responsibilities, I try to remain as grounded as possible and not take myself too seriously, which is an easy task with three young children.

Life in the Church – part 5 “Quis et unde?”

In 2018, I was faced with a challenging combination of circumstances. With our third child now expected, my family had outgrown San Luigi House and needed a bigger home. Moreover, having elderly family members living on the other side of the country, we no longer wished to make marathon train journeys to see them. Added to this, the AEC had continued to grow overseas, but had dwindled in Great Britain to the point where I was now the only remaining clergyman in major orders. With the exception of my own family, the remaining laity were, through age and geographical disparity, no longer in a position to form a viable worshipping community.

In such circumstances, a public chapel could no longer easily be sustained, and when we moved to Shropshire in December 2018, it was with an awareness that the provision of congregational worship in Great Britain would no longer be a priority. Even in far larger and better-resourced churches than ours, the decline in congregational worship was endemic. For all that our vision of the church is built upon the worshipping community, it proved necessary for us to reconsider how and where ministry can take place when people are no longer turning to the church as they have done in the past. Our immediate solution was in various forms of voluntary service in the community and in the preservation of the distinctive history, tradition and identity of our communion through curation of its archives, the preparation of further book and article publications, and the maintenance of its detailed and informative website. Through all of this, we continued to support our overseas parishes and missions through practical assistance and in prayer. In time, we would develop a more substantial view of the mission of an inner church dedicated to the contemplative tradition.

During 2019, I was particularly pleased when a group of Brazilian clergy joined the Byelorussian Patriarchate, having previously been part of the related Belarusian jurisdiction of the American World Patriarchates (which was now issued a Perpetual Charter in the Catholicate of the West). The creation of the Brazilian Exarchate under Dom Nagui Zayat brought about a new headquarters for our mission there in the form of the Cathedral of St George and St Sebastian in Rio de Janeiro.

The new year and the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic brought a much-needed opportunity to re-think the structure and organization of our missions going forward. The outcome of this was that the Abbey-Principality of San Luigi became the parent body for all jurisdictions, and the Catholicate of the West was established as the ecumenical organization within the Abbey-Principality under which they would be gathered.

The most visible blows dealt to us by the pandemic were the deaths of Dom Nagui Zayat from complications of Covid-19 and the death of the wife of one of our senior priests in Scandinavia as a result of a reaction to the Covid-19 vaccine. Inevitably, public worship was placed under even greater strain than had been the case previously, and in the event, the majority of our congregational and mission outreach would not survive this.

Following the death of Dom Nagui, the Synod of the Byelorussian Patriarchate elected Dom Bartholomews his successor as Exarch. Unfortunately, this appointment was not accepted by some of the clergy, who proceeded to separate their missions from the Patriarchate, and there was further and ongoing legal strife concerning the Cathedral in Rio de Janeiro, which was claimed by Dom Nagui’s family as their personal property. Fortunately, alternative premises were found in which worship could be continued. A new Cathedral was established, and it was not long before the Patriarchate was once more engaged in a productive mission among some of Brazil’s poorest citizens, expanding further overseas in Europe and Africa.

However, this too was not to last, and during Holy Week of 2023 the majority of the clergy decided to repudiate the leadership of Dom Bartholomews. With attempts to bring about a reconciliation having failed, I took the decision to bring a formal end to the Patriarchate’s remaining missions and congregational outreach, returning it to its former role as a purely dynastic ekklesia. This crisis had not in my judgement been the fault of Dom Bartholomews, who had offered generous support and competent leadership only to see this repudiated by clergy who had their own agendas. Accordingly I transferred Dom Bartholomews and his remaining clergy and laity to the Apostolic Episcopal Church and the Order of Antioch in order to make a fresh start, which opportunity was enthusiastically received.

Between October 2021 and November 2022, I also took on responsibility for the oversight of a number of parishes and missions in Spain and Latin America under the aegis of the Apostolic Episcopal Church. These parishes followed the Use of Sarum, a rite with a long tradition within the Catholicate of the West, and had previously been organized under a Continuing Anglican ministry. Unfortunately it was not long before significant internal dissent had developed within this group, with the result that the majority of these parishes were released from our jurisdiction in June 2022 with the last continuing with us until November 2022.

Following the end of the missions of the Patriarchate in April 2023, I implemented a new policy for our communion that sought to refocus our energies upon the spiritual essentials of prayer and private worship, as well as an active openness to the mystic and esoteric aspects of the Christian Faith, so as to create a true inner church that could serve as a counterpart to its external peers. It seemed clear to me that in the decline of our congregational outreach, we were being led to a more inward mission that would concentrate on a smaller number of genuinely committed adherents rather than seeking to continue to involve ourselves in areas that the larger denominations were better equipped to address.

In embracing this new direction, I reflected that it was in fact the approach which was most in keeping with my own spirituality and with which I felt most at home personally. A key inspiration at this point was the work of the Apostolate of the Holy Wisdom (for which I had had responsibility since 2015) as it had been constituted under the late Archbishop William Bernard Crow, which became an important model for the way forward.

As a postscript to this series, I have included some general observations drawing on my experiences of exercising the episcopate in the smaller churches, which can be read here.

Life in the Church – part 4 “Quid non Deo juvante?”

The late Dom Klaus Schlapps OPR (1959-2013) was responsible for the revival of the Order of Port Royal (OPR) and the foundation of its Abbey of St Severin in Germany where he and other men served as Cistercian monks. In 2004, the Order became a part of the Union of Utrecht of the Old Catholic Churches, and Dom Klaus was recognized as a bishop of the Union of Utrecht, sharing a number of the Apostolic lineages that I had myself received at my consecration in 2008. However, the modernist direction of the Union did not sit well with the theology of the Order, and in 2010 it became independent once more, establishing its own synod, the Christ Catholic Church in Germany. This was in 2012 accepted as the German administration of the Nordic Catholic Church under the Union of Scranton. Sister communities were established in the USA, Haiti and Cameroon, the latter two of which were under the protection of Anglican bishops. Dom Klaus was appointed an Honorary Canon of St Michael’s Anglican Cathedral, Cameroon, in 2008. He was German Superintendent of the International Council of Community Churches.

A Cistercian monk’s life is necessarily one dominated by silence, but each day, Dom Klaus and I would set aside time to communicate via an online messaging application. I was struck by the high priority that he gave to this contact, amid the stringent demands of his monastic life and the administration of the monastery. He became both a friend and a mentor.

Dom Klaus was strongly involved in chivalry and was of the same mind as me regarding the sacred nature of kingship and the existence of noble prerogatives within the historic Churches. He held senior office in branches of the Order of St John and the Order of St Lazarus, and was also expert in the nobiliary and chivalric traditions of Africa. When, prompted by my contact with some of its few surviving members, I raised with him the possibility of the revival of the Abbey-Principality of San Luigi, whose headship had been vacant since the death of the seventh Prince-Abbot, Edmond II, in 1998, he became one of the major architects of the revival. San Luigi was briefly an independent monastic state in the Fezzan during 1883-84, and had then passed through a succession of bishops in France and the USA, with notable connexions with European and African royalty. In 1962, King Peter II of Yugoslavia gave official recognition to Prince-Abbot Edmond II, also granting to him Royal Yugoslav honours. Notably, Prince-Abbot Edmond II had also been a bishop of the Apostolic Episcopal Church.

Another important friendship that developed at this period was with Prince Kermit Poling de Polanie-Patrikios. He was a direct descendant of Russian, Polish, European and Byzantine kings, held a number of hereditary titles of nobility, and was head of the Royal House Polanie-Patrikios, which had been established in 1970 when he was elected by the Orthodox Patriarch of Belarus as the candidate for a proposed Belarusian monarchical restoration. Moreover, having been consecrated bishop by Mar Basilius Abdullah III (Dr William Bernard Crow), he was now the only living bishop of the Apostolate of the Holy Wisdom, one of the leading jurisdictions of its time to combine Orthodoxy with esoteric study. He had spent his career in ministerial service, having served in the pastorate of the United Methodist Church, and was now living in retirement in West Virginia. His connexions in the church, nobility and chivalry ranged very widely. Importantly, he had been a good friend of Prince-Abbot Edmond II of San Luigi, and was honoured by him both through senior rank in the San Luigi Orders and with a dukedom.

With Dom Klaus’s and Prince Kermit’s help, it was established that the Supreme Council of San Luigi was the responsible body for electing a successor to the last Prince-Abbot, who had died without nominating an heir, and the present representation of Supreme Council in descent from that body as it had stood in 1998 was traced in detail. Following this work, new appointments were made to the Supreme Council by its President and I was asked by the Supreme Council to accept election to the vacant Prince-Abbacy. I duly became the eighth Prince-Abbot of San Luigi with the regnal name Edmond III on 25 August 2011.

After my election, application for recognition was then made to H.M. the Omukama (King) of Bunyoro-Kitara. Bunyoro-Kitara is today one of the constituent kingdoms of Uganda, with its monarch recognized under the Constitution, but when the monks of San Luigi arrived there in 1885, it was an absolute monarchy under Omukama Chwa II Kabalega. The Omukama had granted to the Prince-Abbot the title of Mukungu, translated as Prince-Governor, in perpetuity, and our application to the present Omukama, who is the grandson of Omukama Chwa II Kabalega, was therefore to recognize the succession to this title. On 25 January 2012, His Majesty responded to our petition by issuing Letters Patent accordingly.

Moreover, H.M. the Omukama graciously consented to become a Royal Patron of the dependent chivalric Orders of San Luigi, the Order of the Crown of Thorns and the Order of the Lion and the Black Cross, and issued new Royal Charters for both Orders. This placed these Orders under the patronage and protection of a reigning monarch.

The work of re-establishing San Luigi would take up many hours of research, writing and administration. From the outset, I took the view that the membership of the San Luigi Orders would be highly selective and that we would take as our model the dynastic Orders of the European former ruling houses. Equally, I was determined that the membership would not be restricted to the wealthy or well-connected. As had always been the case in the past, we looked to merit wherever it was to be found, without distinction of class or background. As part of the administration a Charitable Trust for San Luigi was established in the United Kingdom. A permanent chapel for San Luigi was also established by the membership in France. Prince Kermit became a Royal Patron, and Dom Klaus oversaw the Grand Priory for Continental Europe.

The church tradition of San Luigi was extremely rich, including its Benedictine Roman Catholic foundation, the ecclesiastical jurisdiction of San Luigi itself (re-established by a bishop of the Melkite Greek Catholic Church in 1945), and the Order of Antioch, a religious order which had been established in 1928 by the Western extensions of the Syrian Orthodox Patriarchate. Two past Prince-Abbots had also been Anglican clergymen. New appointments of clergy were made, but as with the Orders, this was done selectively rather than with a view to building up numbers.

On 3 November 2012, Dom Klaus in his capacity as Grand Prior of the Confraternitas Oecumenica Sancti Sepulcri Hierosolymitani (Ecumenical Brotherhood of the Holy Grave of Jerusalem, or COSSH) erected a Prefectory of Great Britain under my leadership. The COSSH is an ecumenical fraternity open to men and women that draws inspiration from the “pilgrims to Jerusalem from the chivalric Brotherhood of the Holy Land in Haarlem” founded in 1394. It was revived in 1996 and Dom Klaus was elected Grand Prior in 2009. In May 2012, I received the Gold Cross of Merit of the COSSH, and in October 2012 I was appointed as a Brother of COSSH honoris causa.

The sudden death of Dom Klaus in January 2013 prevented many of our plans from coming to fruition, and it became necessary in a number of cases to take decisive action in order to preserve the organizations he had led. Accordingly, I exercised the sovereign prerogative of San Luigi in order to ensure that his representation of the Johannine and Lazarite Orders could continue, and worked with the Revd. Christian Kliver, who as Prefect of Bavaria was now the only other remaining senior officer of the COSSH, to ensure that the COSSH was not suppressed as was the intention of some others.

In July 2014, Archbishop Francis C. Spataro appointed me as his co-adjutor with right of succession to the Primacy of the Apostolic Episcopal Church.

Archbishop Spataro subsequently announced that he would retire as AEC Primate on 5 February 2015, his seventy-ninth birthday, and I duly succeeded him the following day. As an urgent priority, I promulgated canons for the AEC after a long period of rule by decree, and worked to re-activate fully the historical, jurisdictional and canonical legacy of the AEC, most particularly in its role as the successor of the Catholicate of the West. This was ultimately the fulfilment of the commission I had received in respect of the Ancient Catholic Church in 2008 and the Apostolic ordination I had received within the communion of the AEC in 2006. The AEC’s corporate nonprofit status had been unclear for some years, and in order to resolve this and manage its affairs effectively, I established a nonprofit religious Corporation Sole for the Primate and Presiding Bishop of the AEC under the special legislative provision that exists for such corporate entities in Hawaii.

To my surprise, after many years of the friendliest contact, Bertil Persson opposed my election to the Primacy, proposing that he should resume that office instead. A power struggle ensued for some months, in which (despite severe provocation and threats) I refused to criticize my opponents or descend to their level. Likewise, Archbishop Spataro was steadfast and unflinching in his support for me. The Persson camp, which consisted of Persson and a young bishop who he had recently consecrated, was implacably opposed to a canonical or hierarchical organization for the AEC, despite this being the original historical basis of the church, and also rejected anything that represented the legacy of Mar Georgius of Glastonbury. It was further apparent that, for them, these issues had become deeply politicized, and that they favoured a progressive theology of the style of Pope Francis rather than my traditionalist Catholic and Anglican outlook. It was necessary to quash the dissenters firmly, and after much forebearance, rejected attempts at dialogue, and an abortive attempt at schism, they were excommunicated by the AEC.

It was also my duty to conduct a thorough review of the serving clergy and the state of the various intercommunions that had been entered into over the years. I came to the conclusion that the extremely wide scope of the ecumenical developments in the AEC during the primacy of Bertil Persson (1986-98) had taken the AEC into a position where its core identity was in danger of being lost. Following the work of Archbishop Spataro, I therefore re-emphasised the Continuing Anglican and Orthodox core identity of the AEC, while making clear its openness to diverse intellectual traditions including the esoteric.

On my accession to the Primacy, I was awarded the honorary degree of Doctor of Sacred Theology by the AEC.

On 1 March, Prince Kermit adopted me as his successor in all his honours, and on 31 March he died, whereupon I succeeded him as Ecclesiast of the Byelorussian Patriarchate of St Andrew the First-Called Apostle and as head of the Apostolate of the Holy Wisdom.

I moved from London to Norfolk in September 2015, and took up residence at what was to become San Luigi House. This was a magnificent Victorian home that was the subject of an extensive and painstaking restoration by the previous owner and myself. It became the headquarters for San Luigi and the AEC.

Among the outbuildings was a former store that I converted into a fully-fledged chapel. I embarked on the project intending that this would serve not only as a domestic chapel for the worship of my young family and myself, but that it would form a focal point for San Luigi and AEC members in Great Britain. The resulting Vilatte Chapel was duly registered with the civil authorities as a place of worship.

On 1 August 2016, Archbishop Peter Paul Brennan, Universal Primate of the Order of Corporate Reunion, died. Archbishop Brennan had been a friend for many years and we would meet on his regular visits to London. He was one of the rare breed of clergymen who had the ability to work both within conservative and liberal church traditions, and sought throughout to bring about unity and to find common ground between groups of Christians. He appointed no successor, and following a period of transition the AEC reasserted its own historic representation of the Order of Corporate Reunion (which dates from 1933). Subsequently, the OCR would be re-organized under the AEC and the Catholicate of the West and incorporated once more in its homeland of England. This also marked a revival of its founding mission as a religious society to bring about unity between Anglicans and Roman Catholics. This mission grew internationally to include both clerical and lay members on several continents.

In 2017, I was also awarded the degree of Doctor of Letters, jure dignitatis, by the Western Orthodox University, which since 1977 has been an integral part of the AEC. Since the degree-granting authority of the University was not only secular (it having been chartered in the Commonwealth of Dominica) but depended upon the Presiding Bishop of the AEC in his office as Catholicos of the West, I had to sign my own certificate. I had previously received the degrees of Doctor of Divinity, Doctor of Canon Law and Bachelor of Letters of the Western Orthodox University during 2015, as well as being formally admitted to its Fellowship. The degrees were awarded in consequence of my having incorporated degrees conferred by other institutions according to the University’s Regulations on such matters.

The AEC has always remained an intentionally small communion, with something of the character of a church society, but under my Primacy I was delighted to see fresh growth with new missions joining us in Scandinavia and in Latin America. I was also particularly pleased to sign an intercommunion agreement between the AEC and the Patriarchate of Bunyoro-Kitara. In Great Britain, I had dialogue with several clergy of the Church of England who were concerned about developments in that communion, and one of our clergy was also accepted to minister in the Free Church of England in parallel with his AEC responsibilities.

Against this, there was the continual difficulty that both clergy and laity were predominantly of the older generation, and one of my duties was to deal with a steady flow of retirements and obituaries. Past experience in the LCAC and EADM had shown that the younger generation rarely stays the course in the smaller communions. This highlights, of course, the considerable challenges of undertaking this kind of independent, self-reliant ministry, but it also speaks of a generation that has either rejected institutional and formal religion, or that regards the larger communions as fulfilling adequately the need for such.

>>Continue to part 5

Life in the Church – part 3 “Adveniat regnam tuum”

Following my ordination and consecration by Dom Phillip Kemp, the church which I co-led experienced a period of growth and development. The new name The Liberal Rite was adopted with effect from 1 January 2007 and reflected our position as part of the Liberal Catholic movement, consisting of churches that used the Liturgy or Rite of the Liberal Catholic Church.

The word “liberal” means different things to different people. I am liberal in some aspects, particularly in my pastoral approach and in my openness to the study of esoteric teachings, but conservative in others, such as the essentials of orthodox theology and my preference for a hierarchical church organization. Others draw the line in different ways. I also believe that liberalism in the context of the Liberal Catholic movement should signify adherence to a positive set of precepts rather than an absence of theological principles and organization.

In many respects, the Liberal Catholic Church from which the Liberal Catholic movement descends is highly conservative. The liturgy is formal, ceremonial in nature and differs little from the pre-Vatican II Tridentine Mass (hence the attraction of the Liberal Catholic Church to a number of Traditional Catholics). The church is administered hierarchically and according to a corpus of canon law, policies and regulations. Its emphasis is sacerdotal rather than evangelical, and it is oriented towards the contemplative and mystic. It has never laid great emphasis on numbers of parishes or followers, and is more concerned with reaching those who have a particular calling to follow its distinctive charism.

What is certainly liberal, however, is the freedom of individual interpretation that is permitted. For many years, this was wholly unrestricted, and in some cases came to embrace a good deal of syncretism and Eastern teachings, but in more recent years more orthodox official Summaries of Doctrine or lists of Teachings have been adopted by some Liberal Catholics. For those who, like the founders of the LCC, had come from a background of Roman dogma and unquestioning constraint, interpretative freedom must have seemed revolutionary. From an Anglican perspective like my own, it was a much more natural approach to faith, in which the intellect is welcomed and the spiritual journey of the individual emphasised. However, during my time, I saw a number of people come into the Liberal Catholic movement whose background was not necessarily in the LCC or its related churches, but instead in theological and liturgical liberalism, with its opposition to traditionalism, hierarchy and formality. This approach was not in line with my own, and indeed it was a major reason why I had left the Church of England.

The principal causes of division between the different churches of the Liberal Catholic movement are long-standing and as seemingly intractable as the other principal obstacles to ecumenical reunion. Firstly, there is controversy as to the importance of Theosophy and its teachings. It should be stated that there has never been an official relationship between the original LCC or any of the churches of the Liberal Catholic movement and the Theosophical Society, and indeed the Theosophical Society early on issued a statement dissociating itself from the LCC. The fact remains, however, that the founding clergy and many other members of the LCC have also been members of the TS, and this has led to a number of Theosophical ideas entering into some Liberal Catholic jurisdictions. Principal among these are belief in the Ascended Masters, compulsory vegetarianism and abstention from alcohol and tobacco. A strong connexion between the LCC and Co-Freemasonry is also evident. In the modern era, there have been further divisions concerning the ordination of women.

The position of The Liberal Rite was that it did not endorse Theosophy or any other esoteric school, holding that it was for the individual to determine to what extent they accepted such views. Nor did it prescribe vegetarianism or teetotalism. It also followed the practice of the non-Theosophical Liberal Catholic churches in ordaining women to the major orders. While I had not been part of the vigorous opposition from Anglo-Catholicism to the ordination of women in the Church of England, neither did I agree with the “progressive” view in favour of the matter that had its origins in egalitarian politics. Instead, influenced by Metropolitan Kallistos Ware’s comments on the female diaconate, the practice of the Greek Orthodox Church and a number of the esoteric churches, and ultimately by the Eglise Gnostique of Doinel, I took the view that the ordination of women was a parallel but separate ministry to that of the ordination of men, with its own distinctive character and charism. Some years later, I would come to see this view as excessively idealistic. The fact was that where the ordination of women was being advocated, it was being done in the name of egalitarianism rather than with reference to any origins in orthodox theology and church history, and it was being used to undermine the traditional values that I wished to support.

Having made positive contact with other Liberal Catholic groups, including The Young Rite on the Continent, The Liberal Rite also had a good working relationship with the Apostolic Episcopal Church and the Ancient Catholic Church as two jurisdictions with similar approaches and aims. Our worship continued to be based in London, but, reflecting both perceived need and our resources and interests, had moved from a general congregational outreach to a more specialized mission that would of its nature be of interest to a smaller group of people.

On 15 August 2007, I was the principal consecrator for two bishops at the former Well Chapel at Witnesham, Suffolk. Assisted by Andrew Linley and Old Catholic bishop Michael Skelly, I consecrated priests Charles Mugleston and Alistair Bate, who had both previously been members of other Liberal Catholic churches. Charles was responsible for the community of the Well Chapel and in secular life is a professional actor. He worked tirelessly to try to achieve reunion between the churches of the Liberal Catholic movement and remains in communion with my church today. After some years during which he served as a bishop in my jurisdictions, Alistair ceased to be in communion on 31 May 2011.

During the earlier part of 2008, I was much occupied with the complex ecclesiastical and legal aftermath of the loss of the Cathedral Church of the Good Shepherd in Clapton to the Ancient Catholic Church, which I have written about elsewhere. The eventual outcome was that the Ancient Catholic Church merged with The Liberal Rite to create the new Liberal Catholic Apostolic Church, which I led as its first Metropolitan Primate.

In August 2008, I returned to the Well Chapel when Bishop Charles Mugleston ordained Sr. Magdalena Stebbing to the priesthood.

With the death of Archbishop George Boyer in the same year, the Apostolic Episcopal Church (AEC) elected me to succeed him as their Archbishop of Great Britain; I was also appointed as Bishop and Rector Pro-Provincial of Canterbury in the Order of Corporate Reunion.

The AEC required me to undergo subconditional consecration, this being necessary since the AEC was a Continuing Anglican body and maintained the Anglican practice of having a minimum of three bishops consecrate rather than allowing for consecrations to take place solus by a single bishop (as is more commonly accepted by Rome). This took place on 23 November 2008 in the beautiful Arts and Crafts setting of Golder’s Green Unitarian Church. The principal consecrator was Archbishop Bertil Persson, Primate Emeritus of the AEC, assisted by Archbishop Paget E.J. Mack of the AEC (acting as Commissary of the Primate, Archbishop Francis C. Spataro) and Archbishop-Primate Phillip Lewis of the Ethiopian Coptic Orthodox Church of North and South America and Europe. Other bishops were present, including Andrew Linley and Alistair Bate of the LCAC and Leila Boyer of the Church of the Ascension. During the service, I was enthroned as Archbishop of Great Britain in the AEC and confirmed in my positions within the LCAC and the Ancient Catholic Church. As well as the outer aspect of the ceremony, there was also an inner aspect, in which all the bishops present gave each other additional commissioning.

This consecration conferred upon me the Apostolic Succession through the Anglican Communion (Philippine Independent Church) and Old Catholic Union of Utrecht successsions. The validity of the orders of the Apostolic Episcopal Church had been confirmed by the Bishop of London in the Church of England during the 1980s when several AEC clergy were incardinated into the Church of England.

Archbishop Bertil Persson signs the major consecration certificate above during the ceremony

Inevitably some reorganization of my responsibilities became necessary, and I retired as Metropolitan Primate of the LCAC in January 2009. There were already tensions in the LCAC between those clergy who were, in line with the Liberal Catholic movement, traditionalists who were open to esotericism, and those clergy who saw the phrase “liberal catholic” as signifying a commitment to liberal theology and practice within a broadly Roman context. On September 26, 2009, Adrian Glover was consecrated bishop for the LCAC at Golder’s Green Unitarian Church and he would eventually succeed to its primacy. The principal consecrator was Andrew Linley, and the assistant consecrators were Alistair Bate, Charles Mugleston and myself.

On Easter Day, 2010, I established a new ekklesia within the Apostolic Episcopal Church called the Ecclesia Apostolica Divinorum Mysteriorum (EADM; Apostolic Church of the Divine Mysteries), in which I was designated by the name Tau Eleutherius. This reflected a number of lessons learned from the way the LCAC had developed. EADM positioned itself as a reformed Liberal Catholic rite in the contemplative tradition. The strands that were of particular importance in its identity were a pre-Nicene Western Rite Orthodoxy and Traditionalist Catholicism emphasising Johannine spirituality, and an openness to esotericism, including the traditions of the Eglise Gnostique, Rosicrucianism and the Wisdom Traditions. EADM was hierarchically and formally governed by a Council of Three operating under a corpus of canon law, and had soon come to include all of the esoterically-minded clergy of the LCAC. As well as activity in London, there was an active parish in Edinburgh and other missions in Europe and the Americas.

On 19 June 2010, EADM chartered the Companions of the Cross and Passion, an order of men following the Passionist charism. In July 2010, EADM provided a charter and constitution for the new Mission Episcopate of Ss. Francis and Clare, and the necessary mandates for the consecration of its two bishops, Br. Thomas and Sr. Magdalena Stebbing. This was to be an independent body whose ministry would be carried out chiefly in the United States. On 14 August, these bishops were consecrated at Newington Green Unitarian Church by Alistair Bate assisted by myself, Andrew Linley, Adrian Glover and Louise Lombard, bishop of The Young Rite.

The impetus of EADM was sound, but it did not succeed in achieving stability. This was largely due to the divergent personalities involved, some of whom were not committed to living within a disciplined and ordered canonical community. As 2011 progressed, the majority of EADM’s clergy defected in order to form a new church that would be more in line with the looser and less accountable norms of the independent sacramental movement. This set in place a process of complete reorganization that saw EADM emerge with its purpose and mission intact, but occupying a more specialized role and with a significantly lower profile compared to the other aspects of my ministry.

Around this time I was completing the research for my biographies of Arnold Harris Mathew and Joseph René Vilatte. These built on a much more extensive earlier book that traced the history of the smaller sacramental churches from the nineteenth-century to the present day. The archival holdings of my jurisdiction were continuing to expand, with many gifts of historic papers and church publications that were often rare and ephemeral. My book on Mathew had been expanded from my doctoral thesis at the Universidad Empresarial de Costa Rica, and I was pleased some years later to see it extensively referenced in further doctoral work at a British university.

Meantime, several events happened that would set the tone for my life in the church during its next phase. The first was my election to the vacant Prince-Abbacy of San Luigi, and the second was the beginning of my friendships with the late Dom Klaus Schlapps and Prince Kermit de Polanie-Patrikios.

>>Continue to part 4

Life in the Church – part 2 “Ora et labora”

As a result of the issues that had arisen concerning Illtyd Thomas (see previous post), it was decided that Andrew Linley and I should undergo subconditional ordination to all the major orders as a cautionary measure.

Dom Phillip Kemp OSB(csr) was Primate of the Old Catholic Church of Great Britain, which had been founded in 1968. He was for twelve years employed at the Department of Work and Pensions, where he rose to become a manager. He then became a learning and development officer, and latterly Regional Manager, for the public service trades union Unison. An able chef, he served for eight years in the Territorial Army Catering Support Regiment, Royal Logistics Corps, and was promoted from the ranks to Second Lieutenant in 1992. Further promotion to Captain followed before he left the T.A. in 1998. Although he had not pursued university education after leaving school, he studied later in life with the Open University.

Phillip Kemp was consecrated by Aelred Peter Distin, then Primate of the Old Catholic Church of Great Britain, as Titular Bishop of Elmham on 6 June 2004 and appointed additionally as Co-Adjutor Metropolitan. He was a professed member of the Benedictine Community of St. Romuald. On 13 September 2004 Distin formally retired as Metropolitan Archbishop of the OCCGB in favour of Kemp. Under Kemp, the OCCGB was regularized and registered as a charity. Undergoing several changes of name, it was known at the time of our ordination and consecration as the Independent Catholic Alliance and latterly was called the Traditional Catholic Orthodox Church.

The services that took place on 11 November 2006 took up an entire day. The venue was the Oratory of the Holy Spirit in Enfield, north London, which was then the principal house-chapel of our church. All services used the Roman Pontifical. The services were open to the public and were attended by laity. Dom Phillip ordained us conditionally to the diaconate and priesthood and then consecrated us to the episcopate. We then at Dom Phillip’s request conditionally consecrated him to the episcopate, and I then conditionally ordained Dom Simon Scruton of the OCCGB to the priesthood.

 

When Dom Phillip died at the early age of 46 in 2012, the Administrator of the Old Catholic Church of Great Britain requested that I, as the senior of the two bishops consecrated by him, should succeed him as Primate and Titular Archbishop of Elmham.

>>Continue to part 3

Life in the Church – part 1 “Dominus regit me”

A number of factors led me to leave the Church of England, the church of my birth and in which I had undertaken lay work as a musician for some twelve years. My background was in the Diocese of Edmonton under the late Bishop Brian Masters. Some of the parishes there, including one where I worked for several years, used the full Roman Rite, and in general there was a strong legacy of High Tory working-class Anglo-Catholicism. When Bishop Brian died in 1998, it was effectively the end of an era. The Times published what I and many others considered a mean-spirited obituary, and my letter protesting at this was duly published by that newspaper in reply.

Having first felt a call to ordination in my teenage years, I now found myself revisiting the idea of non-stipendiary ministry to be pursued alongside my teaching and other work. The response to my enquiries was not encouraging, however, and I was left with the firm impression that someone of my traditionalist theological and political views would not be welcome in the present-day Church of England. This seemed to me to be the case even were I to remain a layman, as liberal evangelicalism enjoyed its ascendancy. Ultimately, I came to feel that it was as much the case that the Church of England had left me as the other way around. Many in a similar position crossed the Tiber; I however found myself unable to accept either of the Vatican Councils in conscience, and regarded the second as an open door to the modernism to which I was opposed. Under the circumstances, I concluded that it was preferable to serve within a smaller communion where my viewpoint would have a chance of accommodation, rather than a larger one where I would be a marginal figure at best. At this point, initially through common interests in other areas, I came to meet some members of the Society of the Divine Spirit.

The Society was a small autocephalous group of Christians that had first formed in South London in 1999. First called the British Liberal Free Church, and later renamed the Society of the Divine Spirit (SDS), the inspiration for this foundation was the work of Revd. J.M. Lloyd Thomas and the Society of Free Catholics earlier in the twentieth-century, with the aim of combining the intellectual freedom of the Free Church tradition with gently Catholic worship. The Society of Free Christians was also formed in 1999 as a ministerial organisation working in parallel with SDS.

Ministerial training in the Society of the Divine Spirit ensued, and resulted in my receiving my licence. For some years, our worship took place in the side chapel of Bloomsbury Baptist Church and the chapel of Wimbledon YMCA, and the community eventually came to be led by three co-equal ministers including myself. A number of liturgies were specially written for our church by the ministers, and resulted in beautiful and moving celebrations.

Subsequent developments saw the evolution of SDS into the English Liberal Free Church (ELFC), a stronger sacramental emphasis to our worship and a more formal administration, in which I served as Chancellor. In 2006, several major changes took place. The longest-serving of our ministers, the Revd. Stephen Callander-Grant, decided to leave ELFC in order to exercise a specifically Unitarian ministry. The other two ministers, the Revd. Andrew Linley and myself, with the support of the laity, decided to seek Holy Orders in the historic Apostolic Succession in order that we might bring sacramental validity to our community.

There was a strong synergy between our approach to theology and church practice and that of the Liberal Catholic Church. The Liberal Catholic Church was formed in 1916 by British Old Catholic clergy who were seeking a church that was historically rooted, liturgically and structurally traditionalist, while also being open to freedom of interpretation, including that provided by esotericism. Later developments in the LCC had led to the existence of a Liberal Catholic movement consisting of a number of different churches. These churches maintained a similar ecclesiology deriving from their common origin, but differed on such matters of practice as the emphasis given to Theosophy, compulsory vegetarianism and abstention from alcohol and tobacco.

In addition to those churches that described themselves as Liberal Catholic, we also became aware of the Apostolic Episcopal Church, which had been founded in the United States in 1925 as a Continuing Anglican and Orthodox body, but that had also had extensive contact with bishops from the esoteric tradition, notably the late Archbishop George Boyer who was then its senior representative in Great Britain. We also came to know the Ancient Catholic Church, then based at the Cathedral Church of the Good Shepherd in Clapton, London, which had been canonically established in 1950 under the aegis of the British archbishop of the Apostolic Episcopal Church, and which had taken a path very similar to that of Liberal Catholicism. The esoteric teachings of John Sebastian Marlow Ward, a bishop of the Catholicate of the West, were also an important discovery, and I formed a friendship with his son Bishop John Cuffe of the Orthodox Catholic Church in Australia that endures to this day.

From this came the overriding concept which has remained with me throughout my ministry, of an orthodox and traditionalist theology and practice within a formal and hierarchically-structured communion that is also intellectually open to other currents, including esotericism. My models in this came to be the bishops Arthur Wolfort Brooks, William Bernard Crow, Harold Percival Nicholson, J.S.M. Ward and, at least in the earlier part of his ministry, Hugh George de Willmott Newman. The connexion between all of these bishops was the Apostolic Episcopal Church and the Catholicate of the West which the AEC eventually absorbed. The summary that I would in time adopt for my work was Orthodox in Faith, Catholic in Practice, Anglican in Outlook.

Although we explored the option of uniting our work with another church through discussion with several bishops, our conclusion was that our jurisdiction had developed its own particular character and that its independence should be maintained. In particular, we did not find that all of the smaller sacramental churches shared our ideas as to the nature and direction of our mission. Nevertheless, it must be said that few of the churches that we encountered corresponded to the Anglican stereotype of uneducated wandering bishops obsessed with extreme ritualism and exaggerated titles, and it was obvious that a number were patently sincere and engaged in laudable work in the community. Our aim was therefore to find a bishop who would be prepared, through ordination in the Apostolic Succession, to bestow valid sacraments upon our communion.

It was certainly not the case that I regarded the prospect of becoming a bishop as desirable per se. But within a traditionalist church hierarchy, there is no viable alternative to episcopally-based organization. Only a bishop can ordain and confirm, and if a church is to be fully autocephalous, it must have its own bishops to ensure its succession and survival. It was with this duty in mind, therefore, that it was accepted that we would need to be consecrated to the episcopate.

The late Thomas Illtyd Thomas was Primate of the Celtic Catholic Church, which was then in communion with the Apostolic Episcopal Church, and had while living in Canada in 1986 served as Assistant Bishop in the Liberal Catholic Diocese of Niagara. Consequently, he represented two of the significant strands with which we wished to unite our heritage. He had been consecrated bishop by the Primate of the Holy Celtic Church, Archbishop Anthony Walter John Williams, in 1979, and in 1985 was subconditionally consecrated by Archbishop Bertil Persson of the Apostolic Episcopal Church, also receiving the Cross of Merit of St Martin the Evangelist from that church. Illtyd Thomas had undertaken many ordinations and episcopal consecrations, and we were interested to note that two of the men who had been consecrated by him also held active office in the Church of England.

Cardinal Hume, then Archbishop of Westminster, with Illtyd Thomas and the wife of one of the deacons of the Celtic Catholic Church

At the time we contacted Illtyd Thomas, he was eighty-nine years old. He was mentally acute and physically vigorous but greatly limited by arthritis and a leg injury. His study contained an extensive library of books on theology and ministry, and although he was clearly self-taught, he was both widely read and knowledgeable. He produced the church magazine, The Visitor, without interruption for twenty-five years, and this enjoyed a wide circulation among members and friends of his church. It was printed for him by a clergyman of the Church in Wales.

Before agreeing to ordain us, Illtyd Thomas examined us thoroughly in theology and ministry, and took a keen interest in understanding the nature and work of our denomination. At the conclusion of his enquiries he not only agreed that we had met the standards required for ordination and consecration, but expressed enthusiasm about our ministry and candidacy for Holy Orders.

The Celtic Catholic Church (in conjunction with the Religious Society of the Good Shepherd in Austria under Bishop Viktor Schoonbroodt) had in 1985 established its own seminary, St David Œcumenical Institute of Divinity. This conferred degrees after the manner of Lambeth degrees, on the basis of the achievement of the candidate, and without charging fees (thus being exempt from the restrictions of the Education Reform Act 1988). As will be seen, the wording of the degree certificate also commends the graduate’s moral character and social status. The Institute decided to confer on me the degree of Sacræ Theologiæ Professor (Doctor of Divinity) as a mark of recognition.

The remainder of our discussions with Illtyd Thomas centred on the history of the smaller churches in England, and I was interested to hear his memories of such figures as Archbishop Geoffrey Peter Paget-King and Archbishop Williams. He also kindly gave us some books, vestments and archival documents that he no longer needed.

While our relationship with Illtyd Thomas was at all times civil and friendly, we had a number of reservations that led us to maintain our distance. Illtyd Thomas was a widower with three adult children, and lived alone (except for his Jack Russell terrier Simon) in a three-bedroom house in London’s Muswell Hill. He operated what was in effect an open house policy at his home, and invited anyone in need of ministry to call at any time. It seemed to us, however, that a number of those who took advantage of his hospitality were in fact unsavoury characters who were exploiting his goodwill, and that he was too naïve to see this. It came as no surprise when he reported to us that some of his regular house guests had stolen money from him and engaged in drunken misbehaviour. Unfortunately, any advice to dissociate himself from these individuals was clearly unwelcome.

The Celtic Catholic Church, like our own, was a small house-church and community ministry movement that would hire church buildings from other denominations for major services. It was Illtyd Thomas’s and our wish that the ordinations should take place in a local church, but it quickly became clear that his age and lack of mobility would not make this possible. We therefore agreed that they would instead take place in his house chapel dedicated to St David. The resulting ceremonies were modest and homely in style (and none the worse for being so), but thanks to the input of a knowledgeable liturgist, every care was taken to ensure that they were conducted to the highest standard. They were open to the public, and lay representatives were present. Concerning the episcopal consecration, Illtyd Thomas acted solus rather than being assisted by other bishops, a practice also seen in several other British Old Catholic churches.

Before we proceeded to ordination, we were conditionally baptised and confirmed by Illtyd Thomas. We were then ordained to the Sacred Diaconate on 10 June 2006:

On 8 July 2006 we were ordained to the Sacred Priesthood:

 

On 8 July 2006, we were elected to the Episcopal Order:

In order to ensure that there was no misunderstanding on certain points, a statement was signed by Illtyd Thomas before our episcopal consecration. This would prove a prudent measure in light of subsequent events.

On 29 July 2006 we were consecrated to the Sacred Episcopate:

A summary of some key points is given below:

1. When we made contact with Illtyd Thomas in 2006, we did so as an existing church (the English Liberal Free Church) which was jointly led by the Revd. Andrew Linley and myself.
2. At no point during my preparation for ordination to the diaconate and priesthood and consecration to the episcopate were either of us under any Oath of Canonical Obedience to Illtyd Thomas.
3. At no time did we ever sign any Instrument of Canonical Obedience to Illtyd Thomas or any other document to similar effect.
4. It was made clear from the outset and understood clearly throughout the entire process of preparation for Holy Orders that Andrew Linley and I had come to Illtyd Thomas as clergy of an independent and fully autocephalous church; as a result, we remained autocephalous before, during and after the ceremonies of ordination and consecration. The sole purpose of these ceremonies was to transmit the Apostolic Succession for the benefit of our church.
5. No payment of money or any benefit in kind was ever made to Illtyd Thomas by us in connection with my ordination and consecration, nor did he ever request the same.

The following photograph and announcement would appear in the magazine of the Celtic Catholic Church, The Visitor, in September 2006, demonstrating its official endorsement of the consecration:

Following my ordination, contact with a former police officer and further contacts with fellow clergy provided me with compelling evidence that showed that Illtyd Thomas had been wholly untruthful with us regarding the details of some of his ordinations, the nature of his associations with others (including individuals with serious criminal convictions), and his own past history, which included a criminal conviction for theft. This information was shared by us with other jurisdictions, including the Apostolic Episcopal Church, and caused us to discontinue our contact with Illtyd Thomas. As a cautionary measure, it was agreed that we would undergo ordination and consecration to all the major orders sub conditione, which took place at the hands of a Traditional Catholic bishop that November.

During the following year, the elderly and vulnerable Illtyd Thomas came under the malign influence of several individuals, including a convicted felon, who sought to use him for their own purposes. Documents have since been posted online by these individuals that they allege were written by Illtyd Thomas, and that purport to be “instruments of laicisation” directed at us and at a bishop of another jurisdiction who was also ordained and consecrated by Illtyd Thomas. It should be added that no contact was ever received by us from Illtyd Thomas directly regarding these matters, nor were enquiries directed to him in their aftermath acknowledged.

We note that Illtyd Thomas habitually took care in the preparation of official documentation, which was generally printed or typed on headed paper and that bore his official seals. Examples are provided on this page. He was not accustomed in our experience to issuing official documents by scrawling them in pencil on scraps of notepaper, not least because his arthritis made it difficult and painful to write. Even if they were to be authentic, the legitimacy of the circumstances in which these documents were procured would be highly questionable.

No bishop can laicize a person who is not a member of his church, and any act or purported act of this kind by Illtyd Thomas would be canonically null and void. The purpose of such behaviour is, of course, to sow discord and to attempt to create doubt. Fortunately, no doubt as to the facts of the case exists, as is clearly demonstrated by the evidence above.

The position of the Apostolic Episcopal Church is as follows:

  • A bishop of another jurisdiction who was affected by these actions performed a solemn excommunication of Illtyd Thomas on 1 March 2007. While this was undertaken outside the Apostolic Episcopal Church, it was done with the support of the Apostolic Episcopal Church and has consequently been recognized as effective within the Apostolic Episcopal Church by decision of Metropolitan Synod.
  • The intercommunion that existed between the Apostolic Episcopal Church and the Celtic Catholic Church has been repudiated.
  • Holy Orders that were conferred by Illtyd Thomas continue to be regarded as valid in principle by the Apostolic Episcopal Church, although a careful examination on a case-by-case basis is necessary in light of the above facts.

>>Continue to part 2

Honours and awards: Gold medal in memory of Bishop Juliusz Nowina-Sokolnicki

 

In my capacity as Primate of the Apostolic Episcopal Church, I authorized the issue of two charity medals in memory of the late Bishop Juliusz Nowina-Sokolnicki. The Most Revd. Juliusz Nowina-Sokolnicki (1920-2009) served as Assistant Bishop of the Apostolic Episcopal Church in Great Britain both as deputy to the late Archbishop-Count George Boyer and as bishop with special responsibilities for the Polish-speaking peoples. He was consecrated for the Apostolic Episcopal Church on 27 May 1983.

Juliusz Nowina-Sokolnicki is best-known in his capacity as the head of one of the two entities that maintained rival claims to be the Polish government-in-exile between 1971 and the fall of communism in 1990. He was Prince Grand Master of the Order of St Stanislas.

The Charity Medals were issued in gold (for outstanding merit) and silver. For each medal, a donation was made to support activity centres for children from poor families in Wrocław, Poland.

The Committee of the Charity Medals in Poland made the decision that I should be one of the recipients of the gold medal.

The Arcane Discipline 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.

The Arcane Discipline
By
Richard, Duc de Palatine
With a foreword by Archbishop Count George Boyer
Edited by Bishop Leila Boyer

This article was first published in 1965, reprinted in 1975 and again published by the Pre-Nicene Ekklesia in 1985 as being a valuable guide for those seeking the ‘Hidden Gnosis of the Soul’

FOREWORD

Since this little book was written over 20 years ago by the late Richard, Duc de Palatine the content has influenced many new groups and has encouraged the quest for the “Hidden Gnosis of the Soul.”

We have decided to re-publish the thoughts and findings of a firmly established Prince of Light and master of many Disciplines in the hope that they will give hope and a new impetus to those who strive with the limitations of the human self.

The Arcane Discipline reveals the true path of the soul to the Inner Light and shows the reason why so many students of the quest fail to achieve real mastership of this planet’s resisting forces.

The work still carries on and will continue to do so until all mankind reaches its true purpose here – the manifestation of the Perfect Godhead in every being.  Throughout the ages our work remains protected from the changing scenes of humanly contributed systems and our Sanctuary receives the true initiate when he or she is ready to take a deeper look into the truth and reality of the Permanent qualities of the Divinity within.

Let us pray that the reader will discover something of value – a precious pearl to add to the countless treasures of heaven which sincere disciples gather on the way.

George W. Boyer
Grand Archon of the Brotherhood & Order of the Pleroma
June 1985.

Introduction
The purpose of this book is to show the reason for the lack of purpose and achievement which one finds in the many systems of Spiritual thought.  It has been found that in most if not all systems there is to be found a lack of ‘The Arcane Discipline’ which has been proved to be the foundation stone of all spiritual endeavour. We have further endeavoured to show that the Brotherhood and Order of the Pleroma is the only system of training which is based upon this very ancient training which history affirms is as old as man himself.  It has been shown in the lives and achievements of the Great Spiritual Souls through the ages that this Discipline does work and has produced such great men as Pythagoras, Plato and Plotinus among hosts of others whose name and fame is known to us today.

In order to show the veracity of this discipline and teaching, we have shown how this Discipline formed the basis of the ancient Mysteries, the Gnostics and Sacred Schools of today.  We have also shown that Jesus and Paul also taught this Discipline and how it carried on through the centuries to become known as the Order of the Pleroma.

We have also tried to show what this Discipline will do for you and how the attainment of the Supreme Knowledge will confer upon you God-like powers and characters.

Readers are asked to draw their own conclusions from what has been given and to judge for themselves whether the Pleroma is founded on sound principles or not.  If you think it is, then you are invited to seek more information concerning the Arcane Discipline.

The Arcane Discipline
Every Mystery Religion and Philosophic System tells us that the Logos or Unknown God is ever passive; if the Deity is boundless, infinite, and unconditioned, it can have no thought nor idea, it therefore acts as the result of an inherent volition, and evolves in obedience to its own nature, and “according to the fatality of the law of which it is itself the embodiment.”  Therefore, everything in the universe is the embodiment of the logos and must, according to the evolutionary and emanatory process of unfoldment, be changeless in its directive power, yet changeable in its modes of expression.

The process of this unfoldment of the nature of the Deity is followed in precise degree by man.  This ancient system of spiritual discipline is as old as man and the details of it have come down to us through the Ancient Mysteries, more especially the Mysteries of Serapis, from which Christian Gnosticism took root.  There can be no doubt that there existed a Christianised form of the Mysteries which was carried on by the Gnostic Doctors and later the monks of the various Catholic Orders.  The basis for this Christianised form was undoubtedly the Arcane Discipline and this discipline remained in operation in the Church for about three hundred years.

That there is a great identity, nay, even continuity of the Mysteries within the framework of Gnosticism, or that the Arcane Christianity was the essential and natural adoption of the Serapean Mysteries of Egypt and Greece there can be no doubt, nor can there be any doubt in our minds that Historic Christianity is the direct outcome of the fusion of the principles of the Arcane Discipline and the great stream of pre-Christian Gnosticism.  History shows that the adoption of the Arcanum was through the introduction of Platonism into the Church of Egypt and therefore into the Gnostic stream.

G.R.S. Mead says: “It is a question of a few years physical enjoyment on earth and – if it has forgotten abuse – of the dissolution of the earthly body being followed by the death of the astral body, which thus is prevented from being united with the highest spirit of the triad, which alone confers on us individual immortality; or, on the other hand, of becoming immortal mystae; initiated before death of the body into the divine truths of the after life.  Demi-gods below, and GODS above…Such was the chief object of the Mysteries represented as diabolical by theology, and ridiculed by modern symbologists” (and we also add by the modern occult movement – including the Masons, Rosicrucians, Theosophists and the various bodies founded by ‘Swamis’ and lastly by modern Spiritualists of all shades.)  To disbelieve that there exist in man certain arcane powers, which by psychological study he can develop in himself to the highest degree, become a hierophant and then impart to others the same conditions of earthly discipline  is the height of folly, such men as Pythagoras, Plato, Plotinus, Iamblichus, Proclus, and many others knew and affirmed the reality of these powers and of the Arcane Discipline which every neophyte was compelled to undergo.

There is ample evidence also from the writings of Tertullian, Origen, Clement Alexandrinus, Cyril, Theodoret, Gregory, Chrysostom, and many others.  They all allude to the Arcane Discipline, in as precise terms as Plato, Plotinus, Proclus, and many others spoke of the Mysteries.  Clement tells us that “It is not lawful to reveal to the profane persons the Mysteries of the Word.”  Paul also hints at the supreme knowledge which was unfolded through the Discipline, when he says: “And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, as unto babes in Christ.”  Jesus also implies that he knew of this supreme knowledge which was hidden from the uninitiated: “Unto you it is given the mystery of the kingdom of God: but unto them that are without, all things are done in parables: that seeing they may see, and not perceive; and hearing they may hear, and not understand.”  (Mark 4:11)  In John, Jesus said to His disciples: “I have yet many things to say to you, but ye cannot hear them now.”

The Christian Fathers spoke openly of the Christian Arcanum, as all students of Church history well know, but this is not so with the ordinary believer.  Polycarp, Bishop of Smyrna, says: “…well versed in the sacred Scriptures and that nothing is hidden from you; but to me this privilege is not yet granted.”  Ignatius, Bishop of Antioch says that he is “not yet perfect in Jesus Christ.  For I now begin to be a disciple, and I speak to you as my fellow disciple.”  Paul also states: “Might I not write to you things more full of mystery?”  Clement again clearly states the rules of the Mysteries when he says: “The Mysteries of the Faith, not to be divulged to all.”

Plato also made it quite clear that it was not lawful for the impure or uninitiated to touch the pure and arcane supreme knowledge concerning man’s divine nature. There is also further evidence that Jesus charged his disciples to receive the “secret traditions of the true knowledge … but not enjoining us to communicate to all without distinction” which has been conveyed in the written word, this meant that the prophecies and oracles were always spoken in enigmas and parables to the untrained and uninstructed people.  In order to prove beyond all cavil that Jesus followed the Arcane Discipline and its system of grades of understanding, and those who still deny this claim, had better think again before they will dare to call us a falsifier of the genuine Primitive Christianity.

Origen, the pupil of Clement states in his DE PRINCIPIIS: “The Scriptures have a meaning, not only such as is apparent at first sight, but also another, which escapes the notice of most men.  For such is written in the forms of certain Mysteries, and the image of divine things.  Respecting which there is one opinion throughout the whole Church, that the whole Law is indeed spiritual; but that the spiritual meaning which the Law conveys is not known to all, but to those only whom the grace of the Holy Spirit is bested in the word of wisdom and knowledge.”  We could fill page after page with facts and figures to show that the Christian Church between 44 – 325 AD did follow the Arcane Discipline and the teachings of the Divine Nature of Man, they all come from undoubted authorities in the Church itself.  But our modern metaphysicians and occultists, having never investigated the true beginnings of the Chrestian Ekklesia, still in their arrogance and conceit, reject all attempts to teach them their homework!

Basileus says that those who retained the Arcane Discipline kept their doctrines secret, whereas their preaching was public. Origen, whom Socrates Scholasticus in his Ecclesiastical History terms “Expositor of the mystical tradition of the Church” obviously knew of the Discipline when he states: “To the literal minded we teach the Gospel in the historic way … but to the proficient (in the Arcanum) fired with the love of divine wisdom, we impart the Logos.”  Synesius, Bishop of Ptolemais, says that: “…the truth must be kept secret, and the masses need a teaching to their imperfect reason.”  Although it is obvious that the Catholic Church did not exist then as we know it today, it is equally obvious that the pro-Gnostic Fathers of the Church both accepted and taught the Discipline and were clearly of the opinion that more should not be given than the intellect could understand.  This was the opinion held by the Gnostics and Philosophers both before and after Anno Domini One.

Therefore, it is obvious to the reader now that the Primitive Church followed the same Discipline as was taught in all the Mystery Religions.  There is also clear evidence that such bodies as the Fratres Lucis, Holy Grail, Knights Templar, Rose Cross and the Illuminati obeyed the same Discipline.  Theosophy of the last century also closely followed the Discipline as was evidenced in Isis Unveiled and by the Pledged Pupils of H.P. Blavatsky. The Pleroma being formerly the Illuminati also adheres to the Discipline.

The writer of Isis Unveiled has shown this adherence, with irrefutable proof based upon extant documents concerning early Christianity, when she says: “ …that stupendous compound of unintelligible dogmas enforced by Irenaeus, Tertullian, and others, which is now termed Christianity itself must be included in the number.  Basilides and Valentinius preceded Irenaeus and Tertullian; and the two latter Fathers had less facts to show that their heresy was plausible.”  It was due to the Fathers who came after the Gnostic Fathers that Arcane Christianity began to be misrepresented and distorted, they desperately tried to decry the source of their own self-created dogmas and historical Jesus.  It has been well-established that the teachings of the Gnostics were deliberately falsified by Eusebius, Irenaeus, Epiphanus, Ambrose and Tertullian in their interpretations of these before the teachings could be called heresies.  The writer of Supernatural Religion has proven conclusively the spuriousness of the four gospels, or at least their complete transformation in the hands of Irenaeus and his champions, he has exposed the extraordinary forgeries of the Fathers with an unprecedented power of logic and historical facts.

There is further evidence given in the very old book Sepher Toldoth Jeshu  that it was a Gospel of the Gnostic Fathers, and from this can clearly be seen the link and identity between Jesus and the Mysteries of Isis in Egypt.  We know that Jesus studied in Egypt for six years and was initiated into the Mysteries and became a Hierophant of them, this has been verified in the Jewish Tulmud and the Gemera.  The fact that the Mysteries were brought forward into Gnosticism is clearly evidenced in the Gnostic work attributed to Valentinius – Pistis Sophia and in the Books of Hermes and further in the  Books of the Saviour and the Gospel of Thomas.

There is also to be found within the framework of the present canonical gospels and the Gospel of John, the outlines of this Arcane Discipline when we realise that Jesus gave his “public sayings” to the mass, but to his own personal disciples he unfolded the Arcane Wisdom by means of the Discipline.  Finally, there is the internal evidence in the Epistles of Paul to show that he also was an adherent to the principles of the Arcane Discipline and attained Illumination by means of it.  It is obvious from his own words he was either an Initiate of Egypt or in the Kabbalah, as we will find that many of his sayings can be found in the Egyptian Book of the Dead.  We can go further and state with absolute proof, that there is not one statement or act of Jesus which cannot be found to have its prototype in the Book of the Dead.  This alone shows either identity or that the Fathers copied their Jesus from the earlier Egyptian Son of God – Horus the Elder and the Younger, and that Mary is simply Isis in a Christianised form.  We also know that the Book of the Dead is about 5,000 years old, if not older, and in this we find the complete outline of the teachings of the Pleroma, although given in the form of a Mythos of Horus, Isis and Osiris, the teaching is identical, both are based upon the principles of the Arcane Discipline which is as old as the human race.

All of the above adds up to the fact that the pagan Mysteries were an offshoot of the Archaic Mysteries, and that the Wisdom and Discipline they contained was passed on to the pre-Christian Gnostics who in turn handed it down to Jeshu ben Pandira and from him it passed to the Christian Gnostics through St Paul and eventually finding its way into Historic Christianity through Valentinius and Basilides.  It was then deliberately changed from the grand Gnostic Mythos of the Soul into the carnal mythos of a man in time – Jesus of Nazareth, a man whom secular history ignores for four centuries until Constantine forced the Eastern empire to accept this mutilated version of the Wisdom and Discipline.  There are no grounds for our Christian brethren to deny this fact as history stands witness to the duplicity of the Church Fathers.  From that time there has existed a conflict between the Arcane Discipline and the Historic Church, between the pseudo-occultists and the spiritualists and the Illuminati of today represented by the Secret Schools and the Order of the Pleroma of today.

The earliest Christian writer, Justin Martyr, in his first Apology, states that “It is only through ignorance that men call themselves Christians instead of ‘Chrestians’.”  We find that the words Chrestos and Christos were borrowed by the Fathers from the temple vocabulary of the Pagans.  Chrestos, means a disciple on probation for the attainment of Hierophantship and, upon attaining that supreme Office he became known as a Christos, or one who has travelled the Path to the Summit; “when the fruits of the arduous labour, uniting the personality of evanescent clay with the indestructible individuality,” he became transformed thereby into the Immortal Soul, or as Plato says: “… we were ourselves pure and immaculate, being liberated from this surrounding vestment, which we denominate body, and to which we are now bound like an oyster to its shell.”

Paul also confirms the results of this process when he states that “ye form the Christos (soul) within yourselves.”  Thus, for Paul and for the Pleroma, the Christ or Christos is the “inner man” or the Sotor meaning the Logos or Saviour and this explains the true name of Jesus being Emmanuel, or God with or in us.  Thus the Gnostic term Chresterion means the seat of the inner oracle – the Divine Soul of every man.

It should now be obvious to the reader, be they a Christian or Mystic, that Christianity is the link in a long unbroken chain of exponents of the Arcane Discipline from the remotest ages to the present-day.  Hence the meaning of the words of Jesus, when he states that he came not to destroy the Law (Discipline) but to fulfil it in his person, as do all Enlightened Adepts.

We have endeavoured to show the descent of the Discipline from the time of the Gnostics in a series of articles which are running in The Lucis Magazine, and we have also shown, that, as a Theosophy, Christian Gnosticism rests upon the faculty of Illumination among those favoured souls who, by discipline or natural insight, could transcend the limitations of the entombed human Soul within the valley of death, to ascend and penetrate the cloud which hides man’s inner sanctuary of the Immortal Soul on the Mount.

The teachings of the Arcane Discipline show us that the way up to union with the Divine within man is divided into many stages, that men through these stages could become gods, and then finally God.  Only when a man has become a Christos can one say that the Divine is really consciously manifest in him, although partially, he has become a god whilst still in the mortal body, but as yet not fully with the Logos – the Immortal Spirit.  The man so blessed by his own labours becomes a Son of God, but not God Himself.  Therefore, all those who have not become the Christos although they have the Divine implicit in them it is not yet unfolded.  The Goal of the Discipline was becoming God which is the consummation of human evolution.  The Discipline also teaches that although the Divine exists in all mankind there are but few who know this throughout their whole being, and that the majority of men are entirely ignorant of its presence, but that these, too, can eventually be awakened to it.

The Whole of God is called the Divine Pleroma which embodies the visible and invisible regions of Nature and for man the whole of the seven vestures.  The Pleroma is yet another name for Nature, into which God infuses Himself to become omnipresent, omnipotent and even omniscient, man himself, being the god imprisoned within the Pleroma, has also latent within him the three-fold Powers of God, but in order for man to become God he must first become aware of and identified with the Divine Pleroma through his seven-fold nature.

This is the basis of the Arcane Discipline without which man remains imprisoned within the tomb of flesh within the valley of death, he must first die to his Godhead and descend into the valley to travel to the foot of the Summit and then climb its steep slopes before he can attain his Godhead again.  This knowledge is just becoming available to the western man with the re-emergence of the Gnosis, but there is yet a third stage which can only be attained by a few chosen disciples, who, by their own labours, have reached the Summit of the Immortal Spirit to become the Mediators between man in the valley and God in the highest heaven.

“The difference between Gnostic and popular Christian doctrine on this point is that whereas the initiated philosophers taught a universal creed and a possibility for all men, the popular exaggeration erected an exclusive dogma which asserted that Jesus was, and will be, the only Christ, and still further that he was Very God of Very God, thus confusing and confounding the verities of the Gnosis, and making the whole Universe and Godhead centre in Jesus alone.”  Thus, by the rejection of the Gnosis of the Soul, most of the occult and spiritual systems have perpetuated this Father-God conception in their slavish adherence to their so-called “Masters” and “Swamis”.  They do not realise that God, the Father or the Guide are all without exception identical to the Immortal Soul, it is this dependence upon these external Father-Figures which holds man back from realising his Godhead.  It is further shown that most of the present systems of thought are devoid of this Arcane Discipline and thus know nothing about the Divine Soul, and it is owing to this lack that most people will reject our teachings and the fact that we are all, from the ignorant native to the god, GOD.

This Discipline is divided into three types of men: (a) the ordinary man who is entirely dead to spiritual things; (b) those who are psychic, for although these are believers in things spiritual, they are believers only and require miracles and signs to strengthen their faith, they require the Father-Figures, such as Masters, Gurus, Adepts, Swamis, Guides, Bishops and priests and leaders.  One finds them among Theosophists, Rosicrucians, Masons, Spiritualists, Self-Realisation, Arcane and Philosophic Schools and others of like nature.  They are not able to think for themselves, but must have the Father-Figure to lean upon and the student must be inspired by the personalities of these before he will progress. This is the main reason why the spiritual movement is riddled with charlatanism, trickery, hocus-pocus, commercialism and pretended “pupils and masters.”

The third type (c) is the truly spiritual man or woman who is capable of letting go of all the above Father-Figures and man-made organisations, once he has done so he becomes capable of receiving and experiencing the knowledge of the Gnosis of the Real Self.  In spite of his advancement and the fact that he no longer needs people, he returns to the ken of man and becomes a Hierophant in order to impart the same conditions of earthly discipline to those who are capable of understanding and experiencing their Divine Nature.   Those who do accept pupils can only teach the Arcane Discipline in the same manner in which they were taught by their teacher and the teacher before him and so on until you have a long line of Hierophants stretching back over the centuries and moving forward into the future.  Each attained discipline becomes the teacher of others and they in turn will become the future teachers of the human race for so long as man needs to be taught, the principles will always remain the same.  The objective form through which the teaching is conveyed will be changed from age to age, but the Discipline will always be that which was pre-ordained by God to our glory.

In ancient days, the Hierophants exacted five years silence from their pupils although it would be too much to follow this practice in the Pleroma, almost, if not all, students would object to this rule.  If such a rule were ordered you would really find a spiritual atmosphere in the Groups, it would not be punctured by the chattering of uncontrolled tongues and the teacher would not have to answer silly questions which have already been answered in the talk or lecture.  It would also help those students who really want to know and would also clear the group of those who just love to hear themselves chatter much to the annoyance of others.  The reason for this rule of silence is obvious, after five years of discussions you would then find all your questions answered as the line of talk proceeds, but the western man is far too impatient to wait for it.  You cannot cross a river until you have completed your bridge.

Clement and Origen, the early Church Fathers devoted their efforts to prove that there was a Christian Gnosis – and Gnosis in its correct sense is The Science of the Soul – therefore, we find that Clement is a direct link between the Gnosis and orthodox Christianity.  All the systems which have appeared between the 4th century to the 20th century, are consequently based upon Gnostic Christianity and not upon Historic Christianity.  In fact, if the truth be known, Theo-Sophia really means the Science of the Soul, and it was Amminos Saccas who first used the word Theosophy, and Clement, the pupil of Saccas, used the term in relation to the Gnosis. H.P. Blavatsky, the founder of modern Theosophy also devoted her efforts to prove that there was a Christian Gnosis as is clearly shown in the two volumes of Isis Unveiled.

To show that what we call occultism today is simply a mutilated and misrepresented story of the Gnosis, if we shear away all the hocus-pocus which surrounds modern occultism we will find emerging the grand Gnostic Mythos of the Soul embodied in the Parable of the Prodigal Son, which simply tells how Lucifer is God’s eldest son (man), who left his Father’s house to seek for freedom and of how God loves him above all His creatures.  It tells how the man Lucifer descends the realms on his journey from the East and the dangers he must seek on the way, how he is abandoned in matter and puts on a robe of flesh and does eat the food of the world and forgot his high mission, and how repentance makes him change his mind and turn to higher things.  An eagle then descends upon him giving him comfort from his Divine Soul, and he remembers that he is a son of God.  He stirs in his tomb of flesh in the valley and as he wakes he has to lull the serpent of his own animal nature which guards the road to the Summit; he slays the serpent and turns his face towards the Mount and then journeys eastward.  During this journey he fights and conquers three Demon Knights and upon winning the last battle with the Knight of Doubt, he is given the glorious Robe of the Soul which he had left behind in his Father’s House.  The human Soul which is now unified with his Divine Soul is now placed higher than his brother-souls who have been lost in the valley and are waiting to be found.  He re-descends into the Valley of Death and strikes off the chains of his brother Souls and shows them the way Home.

A price is always demanded before one can become aware of the Father’s House on the Summit and that price is the complete renunciation of all that men prize and long for here in the dark tomb of flesh; the complete self-abnegation of the lower self; perfect devotion in the service of his brothers; the destruction of all personal desires and opinions and complete detachment from all earthly desires.  This is the first step demanded by the Discipline and unless you obey these injunctions, then you must wait for a more favourable opportunity in some future life.

The man or woman who desires to become aware and then unified with their own Soul must deal with the Serpent of their animal nature, unaided; they must also suppress and control their passions and emotions by the force of their own spiritual will, with the Power of the Divine Self.  This can be summed up as: purity of thought and life, the absolute unswerving devotion to God and Man themselves and finally as persistent effort and aspiration to reach the Summit of the Mount.

To accomplish this demand of the Arcane Discipline the aspirant must lighten or quicken the Soul in order to use the Power or Light of the Self to lead him through the dark labyrinth of human life, but if a man chooses his own way through the labyrinth, he will wander in the darkness and keep the exits locked to him and he will also find the tomb of flesh more difficult to bear.  There is no other path to freedom excepting through the Arcane Discipline. No person other than yourself has the power or right to turn the five keys to your own tomb of flesh, not even a master can do this for you unless you are prepared to pay the terrible price for your ransom from the Guardian of the Tomb – The Lord of Karma.

This has been clearly shown in the Ransom of the thirty pieces of silver which Judas demanded for the betrayal of Jesus.  The silver obviously refers to the forces which must be sent up and along the spinal cord of man.  As this force is carried up along the spinal cord through the Discipline, it will burn through the five chains which hold you here in the body, these five fetters are known as: the desire for earth life and its passions; the desire for sensational existence; the desire for emotional life; the desire for mental life and finally the desire of Soul life.  This can be summed up as meaning that all allusion to the personal self must be destroyed, doubt must be overcome by knowledge and superstition must be outgrown, and when these three are outgrown, the desire for life in form; the desire for life without form, pride of self or attainment; perturbability, and the illusion or mirage of the fleeting self must all be cast off.

Most students and in fact most men, are locked up in this tomb of flesh by their worldly desires, the grasping after the things of the earth, by sloth and indifference to the God within themselves.  The five chains or locks which hold them in the tomb are the uncontrolled power of thought; which creates impurity of motive, untruth, and pity for themselves; lack of discrimination between the real and the false, the love of worldly objects; then the six-fold mental chains: which are lack of mental control; lack of discipline in the body and senses; intolerance; lack of endurance and courage; disbelief in their immortal nature; the lack of balance in their vestures and finally love of the darkness of the tomb matter.

These chains are the gods of this world, they are the gods which every man must first worship and obey until he realises that they are false gods.  “Thou shalt have no other gods before me (soul).”  Among these false gods which man must first worship are money, possessions, love, sex, etc.   He will hold them in high esteem until sooner or later he finds that they are indeed false and that they have become the chains which bind him to the tomb of flesh and that only when he voluntarily lets them go will he become free to appreciate them to the full.  One does not lose them by giving them up; all one does is to change one’s attitude towards them.  They are only evil when you allow them to rule you.

The Arcane Discipline teaches you to cast off the fetters of the domination of the rulers of the world, and these fetters are: the delusion of self or body; doubt in your omnipotent Divine Self; the taint of belief in the value of mere morality; sensuality, the attraction for things; ill-will, the repulsion of existence; the lust for non-form; pride in one’s self and one’s progress; the pride in not being proud and finally, ignorance.

It will be seen that the chains and fetters which bind man to earth are the root of all his and the world’s sufferings.  It is, therefore, only through the application of the Arcane Discipline or Gnosis that man can become free.  Although the student must have a teacher to show him through the marshes of human life, it is fatal to have any emotional or intellectual attachment to the teacher, as this tends to sap every vestige of self-reliance and creates yet another false god.  The teacher will explain to you the Gnosis, a doctrine which is not usually expressed in writing but is passed on from one teacher to another verbally, as there are Truths too deep to be expressible in any written form.  These are deposited in the minds of a few of the wisest in every generation who become the teachers for that generation.

Let us try and show you by analogy what human life is really like and why you must have a qualified teacher to show you the way to the Summit.  If you have ever been at the mouth of the Mississippi River in an aeroplane you will see that it is mainly marshland between the bends of the river, you will see faintly showing through the marsh pathways of firm land.  When you land, however, and begin to move into the marshes you do not see these pathways and there is a danger that you will become bogged down and sucked into the mire.  You are a newcomer to the district and want to move through the marshes.  There are men who have explored the marshes and have discovered through trial and error the paths of firm earth which will take them through. It is only sensible, therefore, for you to seek out one of these qualified guides.

Now this marshland is like our human life and we must have a qualified guide to show us the way through the mire of human life towards solid ground.  In this respect the solid ground is the Divine Self and the marshland is the world we live in.  The mires which are everywhere in this world are slightly covered over with the green grass of glamour.  For a student to enter into the marshland alone is foolhardy, for although he may eventually win through, he would be much quicker and safer if he had a trained guide to lead him.  Hence we will see that the purpose of the Arcane Discipline is to lead us through the darkness of the labyrinth of human life and the Teachers of this Discipline are the Guides.  These Guides are sent to mankind every century and each one of these Guides has himself explored the marshland of human life and found the solid pathway which winds through to the dry land of the Divine Soul.

The Divine Soul is always waiting for his human counterpart at the very beginning of the winding Path through the Valley of Death and even though the human Soul knows not of the existence of his Divine Protector, his Immortal Soul has always known him and watches his efforts to pass through the Valley and reach his Light Source.  The moment the human Soul calls forth to his Divine Soul it will begin to direct his human steps in the right direction and will help to guide him through the labyrinth and speed up his progress.  The Soul ever watches over his human Son with the tender solicitude of a mother, in fact, the Soul is our spiritual Mother, the Soul is enabled to lead us through the marshland with wisdom and experience born of countless sentences of imprisonment by the Judge of Life.

It is due to the desire of the Soul, in accordance with the fatality of the law which is itself the embodiment, and according to the evolutionary and emanatory process of unfoldment which is changeless in its directive power, yet changeable in its modes of expression, that the Soul gains experience and knowledge of the valley of death.  He goes through the tedious process of becoming and assuming the clothing of flesh and of being buried in the sepulchre of matter, life after life, each life within the valley giving him a little more experience, but this process must continue until he has fulfilled his mission here on earth.  The very fact that the Soul returns again and again to the limitation of the valley of matter and endures the dreary conditions of life within the labyrinth, should prove to you that the only way the human counterpart of the Soul can get this experience and knowledge is within the body of flesh.  So the Arcane Discipline or GNOSIS is the manual for our life here and not for some vague heaven-world as stated by our Theosophists and Christians.

Within the heart of hearts of this human-personality of ours there lies hidden a Pearl of Great Price – The Divine Soul – and it is our work here in the valley to find this Pearl of Ourselves as it is our Lode Star which will ever lead us through the labyrinth of human life.  This Soul of ours is the Sword which will rise from the waters of the animal nature and give us the ability to slay the Dragon of our human nature.  We are the only person who can draw the Soul from the Rock of the Body and he who can do this becomes the King of the Realm.  Within the legend of the San Grael this drama can also be seen, we see how Sir Galahad, the pure knight was allowed to see the Holy Grail and sip from it the Eternal Life of the Soul and was thereafter seen no more by men.

The fact that we have been sent by the Soul to enter and dwell within the limitation of the tomb which is to be found within the valley of death, which is in other words, the Hell of the Christians, the Hades of Greece, Amenta of the Egyptians and the Labyrinth of Crete, etc., should again make it quite clear that we are here for a purpose and that purpose is to be perfectly human but at the same time be perfectly divine, to show forth our Divine Nature within the body of flesh.

This descent of the Sons of God from the Logos is shown in Ezekiel’s Wheel.  Hargrave Jennings observes: “All this is incomprehensible, except in the strange mysticism of the Gnostics and the Kabbalists: and the whole theory requires a key of explanation to render it intelligible; which key is only darkly referred to as possible, but refused absolutely, by these extraordinary men, as not permissible to be disclosed.”  Now the said Key to this riddle is Man himself, but this key must be turned seven times, we will give one of the explanations.

This shows the descent of the Immortal Spirit of  Man moving down five stages into matter to become nascent man – Adam or Scorpio, the emblem of sin and matter and then Sagittarius, Capricornus, Aquarius and Pisces.  These represent the first five stages through which the Heavenly Man must pass to become the earthly man through Virgo the sign of generation; then we have Libra or Enoch, who is half-divine and half-terrestrial, then on the ascent the man must pass through the conditions and qualities of Leo, Cancer, Gemini, Taurus and Aries to complete the Grand Cycle of Necessity.  The balance between the two sets of five stages of the earthly man is the centripetal and centrifugal forces, as symbols of Good and Evil, the former force will drive the planets into the sun and the latter chase our Souls into the dreary labyrinth of matter, but the Balance or the Divine Soul is ever there to save us from complete destruction.

The meeting point of heaven and earth is man or Libra and he stands at the mid-point of evolution, this means that Jesus represents the long process of the evolution of the lower kingdoms of form in their process of becoming man and Christ begins the process of man becoming God again.

This is the great mystery of the Rose and the Cross: The Cross symbolises the human and spiritual nature of man and the Rose within the Cross, represents the Soul of Man, white at first and then becoming a Red Rose through the continual sacrifice of the Soul in matter.  As the Rose grows in stature, the Cross decreases until it becomes depicted within the Red Rose, then at the final stage of earthly life the Red Rose becomes the White Rose born out of the Cross of Matter.  This is the Rosicrucian explanation of Ezekiel’s Wheel.

The Arcanum was called a SOD and the Discipline was the same as that held by the Gnostics.  The most sacred of all Oaths was called the Sodalian Oath and was taken by the aspirant at the entrance of the Path and can be explained in this wise:  The neophyte for Light pledges himself to the Divine Self and to the Holy Spirit through the Hierophant, he promises that he will remain true to his great task.  There is not one known instance of a True Brother who has ever dared to break this Bargain or Oath to the Higher Self, but alas, THERE ARE THOUSANDS OF STUDENTS EVERY DAY WHO ARE BREAKING THEIR SACRED OBLIGATION TO THE REAL SELF.  One has only to enter any of the groups and there you will see them chatting about their ‘initiations’, their visions, etc., and even taking pride in telling others that they are “pupils of their Master,” the only pupil they are likely to become for this life-time, is to their human master, the subconscious mind.

This Oath is depicted in the Roman Catholic hymn which was adapted from the Sodalian Hymn of old, and runs:

Faith of our Fathers living still,
In spite of dungeon, fire and sword,
O, how our hearts beat high with joy
When’er they hear that glorious word!
Faith of our Fathers, holy Faith,
We will be true to thee till death.

It is obvious that the Roman Church has usurped this Hymn from the ‘heretics’, the Arcane Christians, for it was the Popish Church who put to the sword those who kept to the True Faith.  We may well ask: Are our modern occultists, especially our Theosophists, faithful to their Oath taken in either some past life or in this one?  The answer must be no if we are to judge by their actions, they are first to break it, simply because they are playing with spiritual things, the histories of these movements resound with hypocrisy, pride, egotism, and, like monkeys, they cannot keep their big mouths shut for one moment, given the chance, they will spew out all their Soul-secrets to those who are willing to listen to them.  There are also some members of the Pleroma who just cannot remain silent, they will learn to their cost, however, that it is prudent to remain silent at all times.

In spite of the failures which one meets every day, it is obvious that the Perfected Ones are not wanting; the steps are not hidden.  It is the heart that is wanting, the love that is lacking, the desire which is absent.  These are the things which keep us back, and not our ignorance of the Way to the Summit.  We have been sent to help you, but you refuse to accept our word, so you must go through the hard way and learn by pain and suffering, but those who have complete trust in their Immortal Self know that we are proving it in their very lives.

The sooner you learn that the traveller on the Path to the Summit wears no crown save that of thorns, there is no patting on the back by friends, but a deep scourging by the seven-thonged Whip of Retribution which makes the neophyte pay a price which the normal man or woman would shudder to contemplate.  There must be a payment of your past sins in some life, either past or present, you cannot escape this justice.  The price which must be paid is unsuspected by the average seeker, they know nothing of the cost which must be met in their lives for the possession of such dynamic Soul Powers, they really know nothing of the sacrifice demanded, and so, when the Law of Life demands repayment, most of them refuse.  This means that they break their Oath – and must then pay the forfeit.  The Divine Law does not allow for ignorance for, in this, as in all other departments of life, ignorantia non excusat lege.

As one writer states: “And this – for them – is the pity of it all.  It cannot be too strongly emphasised that these matters are not to be trifled with.  They are fire – spiritual fire – whose effects (when wrongly used) are unbelievably terrible.  This is not mere mystogogue’s rhetoric; it is only too terribly true.”  It is nothing short of criminal on the part of any teacher to allow the aspirant to enter the Path without indelibly impressing on him well beforehand that this Path to the Summit will either break or make a man, and there is a further fact, which is more terrible than the above, that when the aspirant has entered the Path, to leave it because he becomes swayed by his subconscious mind is worse than death to him.  We know that even a temporary deflection from his bargain will bring the most severe results upon him.

There is no throng to laudate you on your way, but only the mocking of the world of would-be seekers who believe and yet do not know, there is no state carriage to carry the Son of God towards victory, but simply the heavy cross of his sins, there are no friends to help you, only those who will give you the bitter draught of betrayal when you are stripped and bound to the infamy of the cross.  In spite of all this, you must not make one effort to save yourselves.  There is not one true Soul who has ever attempted to shirk this Thorny Path to the Crown of Victory, they have trust in the Divine Will of God, they have absolute faith in the omnipotent protection of their Immortal Soul, and the serene patience and endurance to face the end.

Where do we see these brave souls who have or are travelling this Path?   We see them not, they remain silent in the midst of their earthly sufferings but never for one moment have they ever lost faith in their Soul, they have conquered and attained the Summit of Glory, but never for one moment in time have these uncrowned Martyrs of Light permitted a call for help to go unanswered by them.  Where are these Princes of Light?  Are they to be found within the ranks of the pseudo-occult movements where egotism, pride of attainment, intolerance and separateness is the rule of the day?  No, they will not be found there.  They are to be found by those who have proved themselves worthy to become their pupils, nay, more than pupils, they become the beloved of the Elder Brother.

How many aspirants have earned the priceless privilege of becoming a Son of the Brother?  When the veils have been lifted for them and the Brother is revealed to them as the embodiment of the Light have then turned away because the price demanded by the Teacher is more than they can bear to pay?  The Teacher becomes the rock upon which the aspirant can seek safety from the turbulent seas of his own nature, how many pupils have judged the Rock according to their own lights, and finding not what they expected from the Rock, have slipped back into the aroused tempest of their animal nature and have slipped into the murky depths?  How many pretended teachers have ignored even the smallest cry for help, have turned away with disgust and allowed the aspirant to flounder amid the rocks of Life?  Very many, we are sorry to say.  Go to a boasted member of the Theosophical or Rosicrucian Society and plead for help, they will turn their back upon you.  When we, ourselves, have cried to our members for help, this has always come from the humblest member, from those who claim nothing, know nothing and yet have responded to the call of God in us to the God within them, they are the true aspirants for the Summit.  “Even as you have done it to these, my little ones, you have done it to Me.”  Thus the Great Reformer said.

For such are those who are racing towards the Goal and Victory.  Therefore, this omnipotent Power within man which gives him the strength and determination to succeed in his quest for himself is Divine Love, that Love which is long-suffering and kind: that Love which does not envy: that Love which does not make a vain display of itself, and does not boast.  Does not behave itself unseemly, seeks not its own, is not easily provoked, thinks no evil of man.  Love does not rejoice over iniquity, but will rejoice in the Truth: Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things, Love never fails you.  Love is the Power which allows us to see through the mirror of the flesh darkly, but soon we will come face to face with Love, we know in part, but soon we shall know even as I am known as Yourself.

Power is the greatest force which has been placed within all men, if he would but understand its Nature.  It is the Power which can and will transform him from a weakling into a god, by this inherent power of man’s soul he can command the powers of Nature to obey his wishes.  A man must have Faith in his own indestructibility as a Soul and his ideas must be exalted almost to madness, his brain powers must be increased far beyond the miserable status of modern society.  Before he can be permitted to use the Dynamic Powers of his Soul he must have attained the complete abnegation of the little self, he must become devoid of selfishness, love of power, of ambition, of lucre, and bent on doing good to the world in general.  This Power then becomes Love in operation, it will transform a man from a weakling to a mighty magician.

Therefore, the awakening of the omnipotent power within man can only be accomplished by the absolute obedience to the principles of the Arcane Discipline, the man becomes a God-intoxicated man, he becomes conscious of himself as God and acquires a practical knowledge of the hidden mysteries of Nature known only to a few, because they are so difficult to acquire without falling into sins against Nature.  This becomes logical when we know that God informs all aspects of Nature and that all forms share in His life, therefore, man being a manifestation of God must have the same powers within his very nature as that of God.

Do you think it possible that generations upon generations of Great Souls would have gone on deceiving themselves and the people for the pleasure of perpetuating a belief in “miracles” if this knowledge of the omnipotent power of the Divine Soul was not a fact?  Do you really think that the Mysteries and the Arcane Discipline was established to keep this mighty power reserved for the chosen few out of selfish reasons?  The answer is no, the mysteries were established to protect man from himself, to enable him to tap Nature’s forces without destroying himself.  The Discipline was established by Wise Men in order to gradually prepare man for this great gift, the Oath of Secrecy was imposed upon the aspirant for his own good.

We will meet living examples of men and women who have unconsciously tapped the source of this Power.  We will often meet both men and women of great promise and capability who have achieved nothing because they lack the complete trust in the omnipotent Power of their higher Nature. These unfortunate people are suspended betwixt heaven and earth, they are neither at home in things spiritual nor things of the earth, they eventually find themselves becoming inmates of mental homes or have to face a life of continual doubt and frustration.  In all these half-hearted aspirants for the Soul, there is a curious indecisiveness in all their actions and above all a nebulousity of their personalities that tells its own sad tale.  They have attempted the Path without the Arcane Discipline and they have paid forfeit, and from these torn souls we can learn how terrible this penalty is; they have, at least for this incarnation, lost their Souls!

“It is obvious that this must be.  Nobody seeks occult knowledge unless they are dissatisfied with earthly learning or wish for something it cannot give.  As they journey on the Path, they more and more see, not the uselessness, but the inferiority of mundane things.  Nevertheless, such mundane things are pleasant, very pleasant, and earthly desires are strong in us all.  If, when the call to sacrifice some treasured joy of earth comes to the aspirant on the Path, he is ignorant of the necessity for that sacrifice, he will very likely refuse to make it.  And then, by his refusal, he is cast out of heaven.  This is literally his state.  He wanders unsatisfied over the earth, knowing the impermanence of its rewards and therefore being disinclined to seek them, yet by his recoil from the rigours – or seeming rigours – of the spiritual world, he is cut off from both consolation and compensation from anywhere else.  Initiative; the mainsprings of action – is missing, and he can literally do nothing!”

How many letters we have received from our members who have expressed this very same condition, they refuse to believe that we have passed through the darkness of trial and tribulation and have attained the foot of the Summit, they refuse to believe that what we are doing and teaching is for them and them alone.  How many times have we called to Love in order to help them, and how many times has Love replied in these words: “You cannot help those who will not help themselves, all you can do for them is to show the way and the rest is up to them, if they cannot cut through the glamour of this world, then they will have to wait for another time, in the meantime you have a responsibility towards those who have the insight to realise that you can help them.”

Therefore those who love Him through their Souls will become the Word Made Flesh, the divinity shall dwell among and in us, and we shall see our own Glory like that of the First-born of the Father, full of grace (Divinity) and truth (God) and they shall become Gods walking the earth to save mankind.  Those who have become God do live as gods on earth, they are born in the right circumstances to help us, they may be a beggar or a prince, an adept or pupil, it matters not to Love, for Love must use the best material which is offered to it.  We must always look beyond the mere clothing and seek the Real and through the Real we shall see God within ourselves.

Therefore, the Logos, through His many parts, must descend into the limitations of the flesh to gain experience and knowledge before He can realise His own nature.  It is Love which makes Him sacrifice Himself for us, and it is Love which gave us life and being in the tomb of the valley of death, the Logos through us must die to His own region to become alive in the valley, He must fall asleep in us and it is only we who can awaken the sleeping God and ascend with Him to freedom.

Within the underworld of ours in the body embalmed and buried in the tomb of flesh we are beset by shadows, some terrible to behold, the monsters of the darkness which lie in wait for the faint-hearted ones, the demons of lust, envy, greed, gossip, jealousy, pride, etc. They are all there within ourselves waiting to devour us, there are the bats who love darkness and mystery, there are the jackals waiting to tear us to pieces with their teeth, there are the snakes of deceit and temptation, the vampires who will suck us of our self-reliance.  Then we have to face the fleeting shadows and mirages are ever enticing us away from the beauty and Love of the Divinity within, all these and many more are ever ready to lure you to their den of iniquity, they are clothed in the flesh of human beings who survive upon uncleanliness such as: gossip, scandal-mongering, jealousy, pride of all kinds, greed for lucre, murder and sexual hypocrisy, etc., they are all demons created by your own uncontrolled imaginatory powers of the mind.  But true Love and Faith will cause them to flee from you.

We can conquer these self-created demons within our own nature simply by following the dictates of the Arcane Discipline, through this Gnosis you will awaken the Champion from its long sleep and it will then help you to do battle with these mirages.  The Champion will not come to your aid, however, if you will worship the gods of this world before Him, you cannot serve two masters, you must choose between the Ruler of the Body and Divine Self, the choice is yours and yours alone.

Think not, my Brothers, that you can escape from the thorns and sharp rocks which you have created, they will cut your feet every inch of the Path you follow, there will be many who will make a point of showing themselves as your friends, but be ever on your guard for the snake which lurks behind their profession, be not flattered by others, lest in flattery you are led into the mire of iniquity.  Trust all people but not their human nature.  Be kind and have compassion upon those who misuse you, where ill is done you, return love, pity them not, for pity is like a leech which will suck them dry of self-reliance.  Far better to heal them of their sufferings for their acts will be all but more than they can bear in one life.

The Arcane Discipline teaches you to live and gain the best from your personality, do not penalise it by adopting false habits of mind, emotions and body, do not pander to its wants lest it will devour you, be stern with it and make it work for you and obey you, the Divine Self.  All forms of psychism, yoga practices, etc., are dangerous to you, they are one of the many mirages of earthly life.  Never for one moment lose sight and faith in your Immortal Nature for that is your only true protection from the demons of the body and the only Power which will grant you Immortality.

It is because the principle of the Arcane Discipline have been either ignored or unknown by the many systems of thought, that you find so many people being caught up in their glamourising traps, they profess to teach, yet teach not, they claim to give, but give not, they claim to know and yet know not.  They are suitable for children who just cannot think for themselves, and when their people begin the process of thinking for themselves, they leave the kindergarten, however, when they enter a Brotherhood which does teach the Arcane Discipline and can demonstrate the Soul-Powers.  They believe it not, they claim that it is a mirage, but then fail to realise that it is the same system of discipline which was founded when man came to earth and is the same today.

The Order of the Pleroma can state without any fear of contradiction, that it is the first body to publicly proclaim the Arcane Discipline and that its Leader can demonstrate the Power of the Soul, yet in spite of this, there are people who claim that it is new and different and they will have nothing to do with it.  In fact, it is neither new nor different as history affirms.  The Pleroma is simply restoring the principles of the Discipline which have been hitherto practised in secret.

My brothers, from the day you attain Illumination of the Soul, when you have awakened the Soul out of its long sleep in the tomb, your battle with the demons of the animal self will become fierce, you will have to face the uncharitable acts of those who publicly profess to be ‘pupils’ or ‘advanced’ in spiritual work. You will find them tearing you to pieces behind your back for they will lack the moral fibre to face you.  Curse them not, but bless them greatly, for every scourge they render you gives you more strength, every cup of betrayal will help you to develop discrimination, every action of mocking will reveal to you the snake of the human nature, every cross you have to bear will make you all the more determined to carry on, every deserting friend will make you realise that there is only one Friend and that is the God within your own Soul.

Little do you know of what we have had to put up with from the little minds of misguided people who have come to us professing to know the Light, only to reveal that they are so encrusted with their own importance that because we do not conform to what they considered a teacher should be, they have turned away and in doing so have revealed the blemishes of their own nature.  They have seen in the aureole of the Divinity their own faults and have mistaken the reflection from ourselves to be in us, but actually speaking, an Illuminatus becomes a very clear mirror which will reveal the defects of those who come near it.  Pride and conceit debar them from realising that what they are seeing in us is only themselves as in a mirror.  By this means they are able to see their hidden faults and give themselves the chance to do something about them.

To be misunderstood and slandered by smaller minds is the penalty to be borne by the Illuminatus who has obeyed the principles of the Arcane Discipline.  When this comes your way, be not angry with them, but bless them, for by their acts they are really helping you and also themselves.  This is the real meaning of the Ransom of Thirty Pieces of Silver taken by Judas, the animal nature within you, but you will say for them with your whole heart: “Father forgive them for they know not what they do.”  They are the ones who have sinned and should be healed.

This, my brothers is the terrible price you must pay if you desire to become the Light, it is only through suffering and anguish that you will master the demons of your own nature and attain the Victory.  But, we wish to make it quite clear to you, there is no need for this pain and anguish if you are prepared to obey the injunctions of the Arcane Discipline and are also prepared to accept our assurances on this point, so long as you realise in your mind that we are here to help you, then you can avoid this difficulty.  If you try the Arcane Discipline on your own, then you are asking for very serious trouble. You can cut the link between the human and the Divine and the human will become a soulless creature which will eventually be cast into the Eighth Sphere to be totally destroyed.

Let us make this absolutely clear to you, you cannot come to the Arcane Discipline through the Pleroma unless you have gained sufficient experience in the past.  You must have reached the required standard before your Soul will allow you to enter the ranks of the Pleroma, since the Pleroma is a power-house, and it is dangerous to touch the live wires without pre-training.  Unless you have this training, there is the grave possibility that you will burn the delicate nervous system of the body and find yourself in a mental home.  Before you joined the Pleroma you made the Pledge to the Divine Self that you would accept the training given by us and that you would obey the Arcane Discipline.  That is the bargain you have made, and woe betide you if you attempt to break it.

Think not that just because you leave the Pleroma for some stupid reason and join another society in the hope of escaping the business of paying this just debt to the Real Self that it will be so.  Far from it, you have broken your Pledge and punishment for this act will only accumulate more Karma which will make your remaining years in the body harder to bear.  Hence those who wander from one system to another for petty reasons are those who are very young in Soul experience and should never have come into this work, but those who remain faithful to the Teacher of the Arcane Discipline are those Souls who will manifest the Good and Beauty of the Real Self.

The absolute Truth of the Self is never what we think it to be; it will never conform to what we think; we must conform to its Laws if we are to attain the truth of the Self.  All aspirants have two paths open to them; either they remain with speculations and opinions which one can find in any occult book in a library; or they will leave the speculations alone and seek the Source of Truth within themselves.  Let it be clearly understood, if the many systems have the Truth as they claim, why is it that none of them can demonstrate in their own lives the Truth?

Again we say, you were allowed or will be allowed to enter the Pleroma, not because it is just another society but because it was considered by your own Soul, that you were sufficiently experienced to let go of the world of make-believe to seek for and to become the Reality. Therefore, the choice is yours.  Either you continue your efforts in the Arcane Discipline through the Pleroma and eventually realise the Truth, or you may wander among the conflicting opinions and in the long run gain nothing but disillusionment and uncertainty.

Please understand that we who follow the Arcane Discipline and have achieved the goal of its endeavours do not beg anybody to join us; that would be stupid to the point of being ridiculous.  What we ask is that you use your common sense.  The choice is always yours and not ours; if you cannot continue with the training given, then there are always others who will take your place in the ranks of the Leaders of Humanity.  An individual is of no use to the light unless he or she is willing to accept the ancient Arcane Discipline.

It is extraordinary to find people who desire to know the Truth and above all to become the truth as a personal experience, making excuses for not pursuing the only avenue available to them to know, but rather stopping themselves by accepting the promptings of the Serpent Mind.  There is only one way in which to realise this Personal Truth and that is within and there alone. This has been clearly demonstrated by all those great Souls who have spoken about and obeyed the Gnosis of the Arcane Discipline.  But in order to experience your own Nature you must strip yourselves of all outward attachments such as knowledge and desire and prepare the personality for the manifestation of your Divine Nature.  The method we are teaching is the same as that which has been taught by the greatest minds who by this method have attained the light of Themselves.

Only a damn fool will ignore this tremendous possibility, but we are all human, and to err is human.  We too, erred in our youth, we ignored the call of the Self for many years and during that time we passed through a period of pain and anguish because our love for the things of this world held us back, however, slowly but surely the Divine Self began to guide us into the right channels, we had to leave all organised societies alone and stand on our own feet, then the principles of the Arcane Discipline were conveyed to us during the sleep state, and in 1956 we had reached the end of our training, then the Soul descended into the human tabernacle and manifested to the public as Illumination.

Now we can look back and see what a damn fool we were, and how in our blindness we put off the day when we could experience the joy and security of the Self, then the Self said: “My son, you have accomplished the first stages, you must return to mankind and teach them also of the joy which is yours.”  So we obeyed the Will of Him who sent us and took over the Grand Hierophantship of the suspended Order of the Illuminati which eventually became the Order of the Pleroma, from which time we have been teaching and demonstrating the Power of the Soul within the body.  We rule the Pleroma through the Power of the Self so if we have done this, what can you also do!

We have learnt compassion for others, have ceased to judge others by their errors or because they have done things according to our imagination, for to do otherwise would manifest an appalling lack of spirituality on our part.  Judge no man from the personality levels, but judge him or her from the Soul, that which is shunned in this life will have to be met in some future life, those who judge now, will be judged in the next, those who misuse others in this life will become the victims in the next.

It is possible for man to attain to spiritual freedom from the chains of earth in our lifetime, that is if he is prepared to obey the injunctions of the Arcane Discipline as taught by the Pleroma.  Unfortunately, those who are to accomplish this in one life, are very few indeed, perhaps in a thousand years one has been able to attain complete freedom?  But many more are able to attain partial freedom in one life through the Discipline.  All we can do for the moment is to make the effort and abide by the Discipline and know that obedience to the Divine Law will carry us onwards to Perfection.

The Princes of Light ask of each one of us that we TRY, and if we fail that we pick ourselves up and try again and to do this time and time again until we do attain.  The evil lies in our refusal to make the attempt again, no matter how many time we may think we fail.  Each failure made and each attempt to continue creates the Golden Stairs upon which we can climb the heights to God.  We can only learn by trial and error through the teachings and practice of the Arcane Discipline.

Finally, the teachings of the Arcane Discipline can be summed up in these words; it is in this teaching that the Pleroma becomes different from other systems of thought: Man has a Divine Soul which is the Real Man; in order that you may become a human being, the Soul dies to its own region and is born in this earthly region within the Tomb of Matter in the valley of death – our earth life.  The Soul only puts a portion of Its life into the tomb, but it still remains a Soul.  The Soul of Man is he “who is without father, without mother, without beginning nor end of days.”  The Soul is then the sum-total of all its earthly experiences which it gains life after life in the various tombs of matter. This means that the Essence of each life is absorbed by the Soul; this is the method whereby the Divine Soul is able to unfold its latent God-potentials.  When the Soul has developed to a certain point, then it seeks to take over its human counterpart and if the human counterpart is willing to allow this to happen, then the Soul descends fully into the personality and vouchsafes to it Its Wisdom – the man then becomes an Illuminated Soul – a Master Among Men

You will always remain in a state of uncertainty and disillusionment so long as you do not recognise the existence of the Divinity within your own nature.  It will be of no value for you to study and philosophise about your divine nature and your identity with the Supreme Soul of the Universe; for you cannot know the Immortal Self as long as the spirit of holiness and absolute Truth is not active within yourselves.  So long as you judge all things from the world of the Shadows and the Valley of Death, you will never touch the hem of your own Divine Garment. Therefore, your blind occultism cannot abolish the inherent faith of man in the All-Seeing God Principle, without adoring in its place the blind intellect of the animal man.

Therefore, the Arcane Discipline as taught in the Pleroma is to help you to eradicate these barriers in your mind and body, to prepare the whole of the personality to receive the down-pouring of the Good and Beauty of our own Divine Soul and this has been done by preparing a balanced system of teaching embodying the moral qualifications and the gradual revealing of the Gnosis of the Soul.

“Finally, we teach that the mortal man through this discipline called the ARCANE DISCIPLINE could have intercourse with God and superior spirits, and consequent attainment of superhuman knowledge by metaphysical and alchemistical process, which liberate the mind from its finite consciousness, to become one and be identified with the Immortal Spirit.”

The conception of a secret and unknown international conclave composed of men and women of the highest intelligence, who are spiritually transformed by the profundity of their knowledge, is both an extremely ancient and an ultra-modern one.  These men and women ever seek to protect their powers and knowledge from the curiosity and greed of other men, and above all reserve the right to use their inherent powers for the good of mankind at the right time.  Or else they seek to conceal their knowledge for a number of years and to allow only fragments of it to be published, and even then, only under a double form of writing, one meaning within the other.

Such a conclave of noble souls has always been known as the Ecclesia Spiritualis and represented a society of human beings who had reached a higher state of divine unfoldment than the mass of humanity, and by this unfoldment possessed similar internal characteristics which enabled them to recognise one another at all times.  These beings embrace all the higher potentialities of the human mind and spirit, they are elected to the Conclave by co-option; they are a permanent and continuous society of human beings of exceptional faculties – they have always been feared by officialdom and the established churches – an open conspiracy, in actual fact.

This Ecclesia comes naturally into being each century, and consists of men [and women (Ed.)] of superior intelligence seeking like souls with whom it would be possible to converse and work together in harmony.  Such men are not to be found within the intellectual or academic spheres of human endeavour, outwardly, they appear to be one of the mass of humanity, within, a storehouse of knowledge and power.  These Men and their ideas could only be understood by a limited few in the whole world.

The members of the Ecclesia have, or have nearly, annihilated the importance of and attachment to the human self, and have devoted the whole of their lives to the welfare and advancement of humanity.  They were, and are, able to effect this practically impossible task of being concerned exclusively with the study of Nature and man in relation to the Divine Ideal; but, because of the demands made upon the individual, such a study was illuminating and practical only to the minds of a different calibre from that of ordinary men.  When such exalted minds are brought to bear upon the study of man and nature, they attain to a knowledge and identity of all things and perfect wisdom.

All the far-reaching discoveries regarding the nature of matter and energy, the nature of man and his inherent divine nature, and the laws which govern the Universe and Man have been made possible by the few in spite of the opposition by the majority.  Such discoveries, were worked on by civilisations that have disappeared, had they been preserved throughout the ages, such events could only have been attained by people of superior intelligence through the means of a language utterly incomprehensible to the ordinary man.  By way of the Ecclesia from one age to another, this knowledge has been transmitted through a succession of men of exceptional gifts able to communicate with one another; they are well aware that it is not in their interests or in that of humanity, to display their gifts and powers openly before the majority.

The Ecclesia, or Arcanum, being the spiritual elite, are not anxious to attract attention if only to avoid meeting with obstruction, and would, therefore, have something better to do than plan at being conspirators against the establishment.  The emergence of the Ecclesia in every century was forced upon these men, and if they used a double language, it was because the ideas expressed in this language are inaccessible to the ordinary mind.  “So long as men cherish the dream of getting something for nothing, money without working, knowledge without study, power without knowledge and virtue-less asceticism, so long will pseudo-secret and initiatory societies continue to flourish, with their imitative hierarchies and their mumbo-jumbo that imitates the real secret language, the language of technicians”.

So, the Technicians of Nature and the Spirit can only be found within the Disciplina Arcani of every age and clime, unknown to the majority, but wielding tremendous power and authority by which they change the face and thinking of one century to another.  By such means, mankind takes one step at a time, but always in the vanguard are to be found the Elect, sometimes as scientists, sometimes as great religious leaders, great politicians, kings or philosophers, always taking great pains to hide from their associates their real nature and purpose, possessing the keen vision and courage of a pioneer, facing great odds and sacrifices in order to establish a norm which will be followed by those who come after.

Such men and women, spiritually, are equal in rank in their Divine Nature, but unequal in their spiritual experience, their leader if he is a leader, embodies the stage which their human consciousness seeks to attain.  This being becomes a living dynamo of spiritual force, fearless, outspoken, having no respect for any man or his opinions, knowing that he is the embodiment of the Power of God.  He drives his brothers on relentlessly, reducing their human importance to nothing, having no pity for their struggles and in many cases deliberately intensifying their struggles and frustrations until they reach a point where they find that letting go of the attachment to the self is the only way to alleviate the internal conflict.  By reducing the self to zero, the dynamic energy of the Mediator enables each other to open  the door to the inherent Spirit, then the Conclave is at complete oneness, thinking alike, acting alike in order to advance the purpose of the Army of the Elect.

The Descended God now takes up its abode within the human temple of the leader of the Conclave, this becomes possible through the discipline and training given to him in his early years.  Such training he now passes on to his younger brothers of flesh, egging, spurring, encouraging, and even coaxing them to strive a little harder to allow their own God to descend through their vestures into their mortal temple, until they too become the descended God.  The Conclave is now complete and ready for the work ahead, a work which will have to be done silently and steadfastly, knowing that martyrdom must be their lot, mocked at by the credulous, spurned by the intelligentsia and persecuted by the established churches, but working unswervingly to accomplish the Purpose of God on earth.

From this can be understood why so many, with high hopes, fail to pass through the Door from sensory-intellectual knowledge into spiritual action; why the majority fear to let go of that which they “feel” is true, why they find it difficult to lose all attachment to the little self, and why they fear to be “different” from their brothers.  So long as their society confirms what they already know, they are content with the shell of Truth.  But, once the Light is able to pierce the darkness of their presumption, their conceit, arrogance of self, their attachment to the importance of the self, their opinions, then the spiritual earthquake occurs, their supposed world appears to crumble around them, all that appeared to be true and solid is revealed in its true perspective and they struggle with all their heart and mind to reach and enter the absolute surety of the Ecclesia.

But before they can even reach the Doors to the Ecclesia, their life must be turned upside-down, all their truths and knowledge must be blotted out of the mind, life as a mortal for them must lose its purpose.  Once they have accomplished this stupendous task, a Stranger appears by their side, one who points the way to the safety of the Spiritual Self.

They die utterly to the (Spiritual) Self and are reborn in the Spirit, and the Power and Knowledge of the Soul can now be granted to the purified human consciousness.  Such faculties lift them out of the ranks of the human army, they stand alone, the laws which they follow are too austere for their former friends, their knowledge being subtle to be grasped by their friends, they seek companionship among those of their equals and there find harmony, trust and true love.  From that height, they look back to the humanity they left behind and see the sufferings, the frustrations and pains which mankind continually creates for itself, being pulled from pillar to post, crying out to God for help.  Then is born a deep Love for humanity and the desire to help where they are permitted.

They now have before them the panorama of history wherein they see how the majority has treated those who have turned back to help, they have learned prudence and what the mind does not know the heart will not grieve.  They labour very quietly and unassumingly amongst the people, their true nature always beyond the people’s comprehension, but, by their unselfish efforts, the hearts and mind of the majority are slowly guided to the next step.  One tells another, then there are two, the two tell two more, then there are four, and so, as each century comes and goes, this number is increased, the ideas are planted, but it is left to others to take up the seed and cultivate it.

Such a Conclave or Ecclesia stands behind the Pleroma, in fact, it is the core of the Pleroma itself.  The Brotherhood and Order are the stages through which the aspirant can move towards the Ecclesia, which is the authority for the Pleroma on earth, a compact body of former members of the Pleroma, pledged to work and help one another in order that the aims and objects of the Pleroma may be fulfilled, before the Leader vacates his human body.  These beings do not need the Pleroma, but the Pleroma needs them, they become the Hidden Guides of the outer Pleroma and will steer its efforts along the pathway destined for it.

The Pre-Nicene Catholic Church is also a part of the Ecclesia and is yet another Door, which leads to the Ecclesia.  But the Church is closed to those who still harbour prejudice or suspicion against the Ceremonial Church, for such faults will keep the Door to the Ecclesia closed to them.  They must realise that the Father of All has always arranged many channels on earth through which His Sons may reach and become one with Him.  To have prejudices and suspicion in one’s mind about the Church, must also brand God the Creator as being stupid and blind to the needs of His people.

The Door to the Ecclesia is never closed to the honest aspirant; it is the aspirant himself who keeps the door closed.  The Door can only open when you have taken your foot away from it and allowed it to swing open of its own accord.  The foot, which keeps the Door closed to the Ecclesia, is your human nature, and only when you have annihilated the importance of the self will you be able to take the foot away from the Door.  No matter how much you desire to strive to enter “the straight and narrow way” which leads to the Ecclesia, it will avail you nothing if you cannot let go of your human nature.

If a man cannot respond to any cry of help uttered by his brothers or from the Pleroma, then how can he respond to the deep and agonising cry of humanity?  If a member cannot be trusted to pay his dues to the Pleroma each month how could the Brothers of the Ecclesia trust him to carry our his responsibilities to humanity? If a man’s word of honour, given in writing or by word of mouth means nothing to him, how could the Brothers rely upon your prudence in dealing with God’s Power for humanity?  If a man is continually judging the Divine Truth by what he has read in books, or gained from hearsay, how can the Divine Truth flow from his Soul into the mind without being polluted and distorted by counterfeit ideas?

During your sojourn in the Pleroma, your actions of mind, emotions and acts are assessed according to the immutable Law of the Ecclesia.  If you have failed to implement in your life the simple ethics and morality as taught by the Pleroma, how could you obey the stern and immutable law of ethics and morality which the Brothers are pledged to obey?  If you refuse to honour your dues to the Pleroma when called upon, how could the Brothers trust you to honour the cries for help from humanity?  If your mind is full of your own importance, how could the Brothers trust you to help humanity as being the first importance?

If you desire to aspire to the Ecclesia, then it is your responsibility to obey any call for help, whether from your own Society or from your brothers.  You must make an effort to give what you can, and then forget what you have given.  This is the way of life followed by Richard, your outer leader, he strives with all his strength, might and health to teach you, he gives what he can and then forgets what he has done for you, even to the stage of ruining his bodily health, ebbed out in your service.  If you also wish to become as he is, then you must change your whole attitude towards life and your brothers, service must be your watchword, no longer must you grab what you can and then refuse to pay for it.  In order that the Ecclesia can still be available to you, you must make sure that Richard is well looked after, otherwise with his death, the Door will close again for this century.  The rest is up to you.

—oo0oo—

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?
By
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).

Analogy and Correspondence 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.

Analogy and Correspondence
By
Richard, Duc de Palatine
Edited by Bishop Leila Boyer

One of the problems facing the specialists in pre-history is the correct interpretation of the ancient systems of writing.  It was not until the discovery of the Rosetta Stone that the Egyptian hieroglyphics were decipherable.  Upon the clarification of the Egyptian language they discovered that the whole of the narratives of the Bible were taken from the Pagan Mysteries and made into a history and distorted into the story of Jesus the Man of Galilee.  This was done after A.D. 325.  They did admit that the symbol of “Jesus Christ” was the outward representation of the Divine Soul within man, and could only be understood under allegorical forms and cryptic language.  This Occult Philosophy known as the Gnosis just cannot be explained in the mortal terms of reference, so no terms have been coined in any language by which men can speak of it.

As with all the religions of the world, the basic principle which is common to them all, as well as in Christianity, is that Jesus our Hero-God exists among us today, but as the inner Christ Principle which actually lives and acts, but which is not confined in a body of any kind as the Christos, but in its mortal aspect is confined within the mind of every man, woman and child that has ever existed, is now, and will exist so long as Man is Man.  While the mortal is subject to a physical and chemical death, the Immortal part of Man can never die.  Therefore the Christ or Christos was never a person in a physical and chemical form, but it exists eternally as the Inner Principle within.

With regards to this Wisdom of the Self, Clement Alexandrinus quotes approvingly of Plato, when he says: “We must speak in enigmas; that should the tablet come by chance on its leaves either by sea or land he who reads may remain ignorant.” He also infers that there is a Secret Doctrine within Christianity, which not being understood, is made a subject of ridicule among unbelievers, or those who have not become perfected by the Gnosis.  When the Church in A.D.381, drove the Gnostics and Philosophers out of the Church, they lost the Keys to their Mysteries. Since that time, the Religion of the Inner Christ has been exposed to disdain and ridiculed by the intellectuals to this day, as they speak of the Christian doctrine as being absurd and a rehash of Paganism.  But even those who have taken it as the ipse dixit version, have ignored the Inner or Gnostic interpretation of this Perennial Occult Philosophy.

Those who say that Primitive Christianity does not possess an esoteric doctrine can be refuted by the words of Origen, when he says: “It is good to keep close to the secret of a king, in order that the doctrine of the entrance of souls into animal bodies may not be thrown before the common understanding, nor what is holy given to the dogs, nor the pearls of the Gnosis be cast before swinish hearers….For privately, to His own disciples did Jesus open up all things, esteeming above the multitudes those who desired to know his wisdom.”

In DE PRINCIPIIS, Origen again proves beyond all doubts that “The Scriptures have a meaning, not only such as is apparent at first sight, but also another, which escapes the notice of most men.  For such is written in the forms of certain Mysteries, and the image of divine things.  Respecting which there is one opinion throughout the whole Church, that the whole law is indeed spiritual; but that the spiritual meaning which the law conveys is not known to all, but to those on whom the grace of the Holy Spirit is bestowed in the word of wisdom and Gnosis.”  We could fill many pages with live quotations from the writings of the early Church Fathers from 44 to 325 A.D., and their successors, showing the existence of the Gnosis or the Inner Teachings.  These statements come from undoubted authority.

It was considered by the early Fathers that the Mysteries of the Faith could not be divulged to all. That the LOGIA OF THE LORD was unsuitable to those who are still blind and dumb, not having that inner understanding, or the undazzled and keen inner vision of the contemplative Soul, who must stand outside the Choir of Perfected Soul. It was also obvious that the Teachers of early Christianity spoke in the same manner as the Hierophants of the Pagan Mysteries, that the Mysteries of the Gnosis were delivered mystically under the veils of allegory and parable, which were used to conceal and yet at the same time to reveal the Priceless Gems of the Immortal Self to those who were able to secretly observe what is being delivered.  That which is veiled shall be disclosed to the Soul as Truth; and what is hidden to the many shall appear manifest to the few.  The mysteries are delivered mystically, that which is spoken may be in the mouth of the speaker; rather not in his voice, but in his own understanding.

After the separation of the Jewish Christians at Antioch in A.D.44 from the Gnostic Chrestian stream of the “Mysteries of Jeshu,” many of the Christian teachers still preserved the Inner Circle of Christians, and were recognized as a body of advanced Souls who had unfolded the Christos Principle so far as to be able to comprehend these Superior Mysteries of the Soul in a direct and comprehensible manner.  Polycarp, Bishop of Smyrna, writes to certain others hoping that they are “well versed in the sacred Scriptures and that nothing is hidden from you; but to me this privilege is not yet granted.”

It is clear that the Chrestian Ekklesia was the inner School of Christianity, and that the Christian Church was the public School.  Thus, this division of the Church of Christ is the same as the two divisions existing in the Gnostic and Pagan Mysteries.  The exoteric schools presented the Mysteries under the guise of allegories, symbols, legends, typographical events and places, and mysteries, and it was left to the multitudes to elucidate and interpret these stories according to their understanding.  But the Perfecti in the Pagan and Christian systems adopted the practice of interpreting all sacred legends and narratives, myths and mysteries, by a rule of or principle of analogy and correspondence; so that events which were related as having occurred in the external world were regarded as expressing the nature of the immortal and mortal part of man, and describing the operations and experiences of the human soul while chained to bodies of animals.

Therefore the departure of the Nicene Church from these Inner Teachings of the Gnosis of the Soul was a great calamity, from which the Church and its followers are still suffering.  Iamblichus resolved to reconcile every system of religion by demonstrating in his own life their identical origin to establish one universal creed based on ethics.  Richard, the founder of the present Pleroma, is resolved to follow this same great Plan.  This has become truly possible, since with the help of his members, past and present, he has been permitted to live in his own life the whole of the Grand Drama of the Soul outlined in the various religions of the known world.  We must also keep in mind that such well-known Fathers of the Christian Church endeavoured to follow the life-style of Iamblichus and Porphyry, such as Clement of Alexandrinus, Origen, Longinus, and the neo-Platonics such as Plotinus, Proclus, Ammonius Saccas and Hypatia, who were basically Gnostics after the School of Pythagoras.

Thus it was after the Council of Nicaea in A.D. 325 that the Church began to condemn the Pagan Mysteries, Philosophers and Gnostics, accusing them of perverting the True Faith of the Christ who came in the flesh, which demanded of its followers a blind faith in a mortal man.  Why did the Church turn from its Mother – the Occult and Gnostic Philosophy which had existed from the very origin of the human race – to that of a false and baseless faith founded upon the materialisation of the eternal verities – the Immortal Christos within each and every human being?

This article was first published as a leaflet of The Brotherhood and Order of the Pleroma, The Disciplina Arcani in 1976

Alchemical Physical Regeneration 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.

Alchemical Physical Regeneration
By
Richard, Duc de Palatine
Edited by Bishop Leila Boyer

Man must seek to discriminate between REAL and FALSE knowledge. That which is real is Gnosis or Wisdom; that which is false is the speculation of the human intellect.  The only way, therefore, of exposing the pretensions of false knowledge and to destroy occult and religious superstitions, old and new, that prey upon and paralyse the human mind, is to examine religion from the ROOT – that root being MAN himself, both in his visible and invisible anatomy.  Man must begin by STUDYING the foundations of his beliefs, then he will KNOW their original meaning.  Once an understanding of their original intention is acquired, he must DIGEST what he has been given, and then FOLLOW this in action.  For it is only through these three phases of human activity that we can gain first-hand knowledge and experience with the assistance of the modes of expression which were first expounded by the Divine or Illumined Instructors of the human race.  These modes of expression were obtained by those Teachers from their primordial source – MAN.

Duality Must be Resolved into Unity
If the student has followed the operations of human activity, he will realize that the Cosmos and Man are first guided and worked from within outwards.  Then he will realize that the myths, allegories, and symbols contained in all religious and philosophical activities are simply the outward and visible ideations of the Whole Man.  This interpretation can be realized in the story of the duality of the Christ and Jesus in one person.  This duality in its many layers of understanding represent the relationship between the Soul and its reflection – the human soul within man.  Regeneration is, then, the process whereby the human Soul restores itself to unity with its Divine Counterpart – the Christos.  “Seek and ye shall find,” says the Christ of the New Testament.

There is within the cranium of man an ‘Inner Eye,’ called the “eye behind the physical eye.”  It is also said that the physical eye is the window of the Soul. This Inner Eye is attached to the pineal gland located in the forehead of man by a web of delicate wires or nerves, which we call the WEB OF LIGHT.  Above the pineal gland is the organ called the Optic Thalamus, which is called in the Gnosis, the organ of Light or Soul.  In Alchemy it is known as the ‘Eye of the Chamber.’  This Eye is the Christos which resides within the inner core of man’s being.

Man’s Inner Eye
In The Egyptian and Grecian Mysteries this Thalamus was called “The Light of the World”.  This ‘Inner Eye’ is referred to in the New Testament by veiled hints such as: “The Temple needs no Light of the Sun,” and again, “If thine eye is single, thy whole body shall be filled with Light.”  Once the student has reached the appropriate stage of his training, he becomes Illumined or overshadowed by this Inner Eye and the body is filled with Divine Light.

Dr. Santee in his “Anatomy of the Brain and Spinal Cord” describes the Thalamus as the Optic or Eye, and says: (it) “is the great ganglion of the inner brain, sometimes called the bed or chamber, projecting backwards over the mid-brain; laterally it rests against the superior lamina of the internal capsule, which separates it from the lentiform nucleus.  It is shaped like an egg, with the small end directed forward.  It measures 4cm, or about 1½ inches in length, and 2cm, or one inch in width and thickness and has an interior and posterior extremity and four surfaces.

“The posterior surface (dorsal) of the mid-brain, though free, is entirely concealed by the cerebellar and cerebral hemispheres.  It forms part of the floor of the transverse tissue of the cerebrum and is covered by pia matter.  The lateral sulcus bounds it on each side, from the sulcus laterals it elevates abruptly toward the median, where it presents a longitudinal groove.  This produces two ridges which are sub-divided by a transverse groove into FOUR EMINENCES or I.N.R.I., of the Cross, the colliculi of the corpora quadrigomina, on either side, anterior and a little lateral to the quadrigominal colliculus by an oblique ridge, called the brachium inferius.  The nearly parallel longitudinal ridges below the corpora quadrigomina are formed by the brachia conjunctive of the cerebellum, the bottom of the groove between them is formed by the superior medullary volum of Vieussens, when the trochlear nerve (fourth) is seen issuing.

MID-BRAIN:
1: Corpora quadrigomina and brachia   2. Pedunculi
1: Tegments   2. Substantia nigra   3. Bases Pedunculi
“The four colliculi of the corpora quadrigomina and the four brachia connecting them with the geniculate bodies constitute the quadrigominal lamina, which forms the greater part of the posterior surface of the mid-brain; it is also called the tectum.  This lamina quadrigomina presents a small median triangle between the superior colliculi and the habenula, called the sub-pineal triangle in which the pineal body rests, the lamina is invested with pia matter.”

Man Mirrored in His Ceremonies
The most extraordinary claims of the modern Rosy Cross, Kabalists and Christians, is that they tell us nothing of this triangle and pineal gland which is shown as the “Hidden Eye” within it.  However, the physical ceremonies of these organizations attempt to externally represent the Temple of the Living God, which structure we have just described above in medical terms.  This operation can still be seen during a High Catholic Mass.

Let us see what Santee has to say of this Hidden Eye or the Pineal Gland: “The ancients, from time immemorial, have considered the pine tree as the most sacred of all trees.  The pineal gland or Corpus Pineale, is shaped like a pine cone, and the ancient physiologist who gave it its name, must assuredly have understood its great esoteric function.  It is 6mm (0.25 inches) high, and 4mm (0.17 inches) in diameter, joined to the root of the third ventricle by a flattened stalk, the habenula; it is also called epiphysis and conarium.  It is small, reddish and the size of a pea, its interior is made up of closed follicles surrounded by ingrowths of connective tissue.  These follicles are filled with epithelial cells mixed with calcareous (lime) matter, the brain-sand (acervulus cerebri).  These calcareous deposits are found also in the spinal stalk and along the choiroid plexuses.”

Man and the Great Pyramids
The real meaning of the Great Pyramid will reveal to us the meaning of the Sacred Claustrum and the Stone of the Christos.  Before we enter the King’s Chamber we enter the anti-room and we find the ‘granite leaf’ which are these four grooves which correspond to these four eminences, the colliculi of the corpra quadrigomena in the mid-brain, the anti-chamber of the head.  We then find that the first Chamber, that of the Queen or feminine pituitary gland, and then go on to the higher King’s Chamber, the masculine pineal gland.  The Well which connects the King’s Chamber with the subterranean grotto, corresponds in anatomy to the left sympathetic system, and the grotto is the sacral plexus, where the first crucifixion of the Seed (Jesus-Esse) takes place.  This plexus is the dividing line between the beast-body or the Adam of Earth and the Divine Soul residing within the heart shaped cerebellum.  This is one of the inner meanings of Hiram Abiff by whose death (generation) the Word was lost.

The Oil of the Soul
The Christos has said “I am the Light of the World.”  This refers to the Seat of the Soul within the cerebrum. This word is made up of two words – ‘ceres’ meaning wax and ‘brum’ meaning a whirling wheel, and this is also verified by the fact that our word ‘world’ comes from the word ‘ whirl’ as derived by Dr. Santee.  This now becomes very suggestive to the student.  The Divine Essence or the PIA MATTER in this light emanating from the whirling sand of the cerebrum and thus fills the brain with light.

If this ‘pia matter’ is furnished to the brain by the tithes, the pineal gland becomes like a rock, and seems to have an aura.  This aura is caused by this matter passing up through the channel along the stalk to the cone (perhaps this is the real meaning of the pun upon the Latin name of Petra or Peter the Rock), the vibrations of the pineal gland are vivified or illumined, and pass through the convex lens in the cerebrum, focalised in the “All-Seeing Eye” within the triangle.

A hint may be given here: the Celtic Cross is shown with the four eminences; the circle which is shown behind the cross is the “whirling wheel” and the Eye within the Centre is the All-Seeing Eye of the Divine Soul.  Some of the inscriptions found on these Crosses give various hints of the Christed-Seed crucified within the Cross of Matter or the beast-body.

Learn the Meaning of Jesus or Christ
According to the Timeless Law of God, or as it is known in the East – Karma, error cannot be sanctified by age or custom, so until the student casts aside prejudice and dogma and seeks the Truth of the meaning of the words “Jesus” and “Christ”, he will not understand the Bible as we now have it.  We have discussed these two names fully in our two books “THE GREAT PARABLE” and “CHRIST OR JESUS?”

Constantine the Great at the Council of Nicaea in 325 A.D. was told by the Bishops of his time that there was no forgiveness for the crimes of which he was guilty, so to make sure that he would be saved, he commanded the Bishops to devise a plan of salvation in order that the blood of the innocent and mythical Christ might save him from eternal damnation.  By this means the process was set into motion to destroy the Gnostic Christos within and replace this ideal with that of the physical Christ, hence the reasons why the theologians have not been able to agree upon the true nature of the Christ.

The Seed of Life
Now the Greek word for “Jesus” comes from the word “Icthos” meaning a ‘fish’ and our medical doctors tell us that our creative sex-force has the odour and taste of a fish.  Since there is no “J” to be found in the Jewish language, Jesus becomes “Esse”, thus by adding the letter U, we have the meaning or idea of the “creative esse or seed.”  In this light, we can see that the principal gods of the Greeks, Hebrews and Christianity refer to the “seed of life.”  This means that Jesus refers to this creative seed of life, or the Kundalini Serpent Fire in the spinal cord.

Christ then refers to the oil consistency or ointment within the force as it has been shown by the smear over the doors of the Israelites in the story of Moses.  The fact that the prototype for the legend of Moses appears in the Egyptian Book of the Dead and in the remains of the great Sumarian culture, from which the main parts of the Old Testament can be traced, indicates a uniformity of myth and legend about the workings of the Divine Soul within the human body and how the Soul can and will conquer the beast-nature.

The Seed’s Journey
At the age of twelve years in the life of every man and woman, this Esse begins to move up the spinal cord from the sacrum to the cerebrum through the cerebellum, hence we find Jesus in the Temple within Jerusalem or the cerebellum after he returns from Egypt, which always symbolises the generative organs of the body.  There is an old legend in the Church that no man should become a bishop before the age of 49 years (7 by 7 = 49), and in the man who is wise and seeks to become a Sage or Illumined One, this creative-force ceases to yearn for the wisdom of Egypt, the beast-body, but seeks the wisdom of the Over-Soul.

During every month in the life of every person, that is to say after the age of puberty, about the end of 29½ days when the moon is in the natal Zodiacal sign in which the sun rose at the time of birth, there is a psycho-physical seed or “Son of Man” formed in the solar plexus or the pneumo-gastric plexus, commonly called the “House of Bread” in the likeness to the placenta.  This Esse or Seed will then either find its way up the spinal cord to the thalamus or it will find its outlet in sexual activity.

This Seed Will Redeem Man
The name of the town of “Bethlehem” comes from two words: ‘Beth’, a house, and ‘lehem’, meaning bread; therefore Bethlehem refers to the solar plexus.  This is another meaning of the saying: “Cast thy bread upon the waters and it shall return to thee after many days.”  In Santee’s anatomy, we find that the ‘waters’ refer to the blood and nerve fluids which carry the Fish or Seed on its Divine journey to regenerate the body; therefore this Seed or Esse will save and redeem man from his animal passions.

On the journey up the spinal cord the seed reaches a point called Nazareth where it is cooked or prepared for the work of spiritualising the whole of the body.  Hence we find that any materialised thing is bread, or masso of Catholicism, maso of the Masons, or dough the foundation for bread.  Thus the Catholic Mass, means the materialisation of the divine manna from heaven and in the body – Nazareth.  Since there was at the time of Christ no such village as Nazareth, we can assume that the word NAZAR meant a Wise Man or Sage, or one who had cast the two tablets of the thalamus at the Golden Calf of human generation.

Jesus – a Just Man
Thus the Catholic Mass, means the materialisation of the divine manna from heaven and in Masonry, this word Maso or Hiram Abiff has the same meaning.  It will now be seen why the Mason and Catholics are not in agreement.  For instance the letter N is an abbreviation of the 14th letter of the Hebrew alphabet, NUN the Fish.  Therefore, Joshua and Jesus means the same thing – a fish.  By adding the letter N to Maso, the meaning of the prepared fish in the thalamus becomes clear and some light is shed on the reasons for the Catholic priesthood strenuously objecting to publicly revealing the real meaning of Jesus.

Here the Gnostic and Catholic priesthood were and will always be at variance with each other, for the simple reason that Jesus for the Gnostic was a Just Man, or one who had attained the Christos stage of evolution; whereas the catholic considers Jesus as a Man born in time.  Paul considered that Jesus was a man born out of time; hence, Jesus for Paul was a spiritual divinity and not a physical one.

The symbol of the Fish in Christian Lore
It is interesting to note that the Christ seemed to concentrate upon the symbol of the Fish, as we know that the supposed disciples were called fishermen.  The money to the Gnostic funds were taken from the mouth of a Fish and the sign of the two fishes was their secret symbol of recognition.  The bishops of the church wore a Mitre shaped like a fish’s head.  In the Catacombs of Rome are to be found various forms of lamps, all of which have the symbol of the two fishes – the thalamus, or the symbol of XP, the ancient symbol of Icthos.

This is again one of the underlying meanings of the five loaves of bread and the two fishes, just as Jonah was a devotee of the worship of the Dove (Holy Spirit) being swallowed by Dagon the Fish, the god Moloch of the Canaanites.  Thus the Dove is the symbol of peace, calmness, and attributes of a Just Man.  It was at the Baptism of Jesus in Jordan (spinal cord) that the Dove or Germ was seen descending from the grey matter of the brain, hence the meaning of the sex desire in man.

Man Must Save His Seed
Thus for a man to be saved, he must save his seed of Jesus.  The Catholic Church in imposing celibacy upon its priests and bishops was only following the stern rule of the Gnostics, Essenes, and the Hierophants of the Mysteries of Serapis, who were also called by Hadrian, ‘Bishops of the Christos.’  This indicates the meaning of John when he says:  “He that is born of God cannot sin (or fall short of the Gnosis) for his seed (fish) remaineth in him.”  John was obviously a Gnostic trained in the Platonic School of Philosophy.  This rule is still kept by the Orthodox Church and the Sufis, when they say that you can only become a Just Man after you are married, and with the spouse’s consent, otherwise celibacy is demanded.

The age of puberty is then about the age of twelve years, and up to that age a child does not understand moral responsibility, hence the story that Herod the king sought to destroy the ‘first born’ or the first seed at the age of puberty, bearing in mind that Herod was dead four years before the birth of Jesus of the Gospels.  Again, we see the same glyph in the story of Moses being found in the waters of the spinal cord and Pharaoh, meaning the desire nature, seeking to destroy the first born.  This is shown in the story of Her-Bak, when he is presented to Pharaoh before entering the Sanctum Sanctorum of the Mysteries, Pharaoh says: “You are fortunate, Her-Bak: you will never be King! You can free yourself from the slavery of the Earth; your kingdom will be superior to mine…if you go your own way”!

Geography of the Bible
This means that Egypt is the kingdom of desire below the solar plexus and that which is above the Red Sea (blood), it was also symbolised by Taurus the generative power.  The land which is above the Red Sea is called the Land of Canaan or Heaven, hence the saying that the “…kingdom of heaven is within you.”  Therefore the Balance or Libra is to be found within the higher and lower nature and the solar plexus being the centre represents Enoch, who was half-man and half-fish.

The River Nile is the spinal cord and the Daughter of Pharaoh refers to the City of Jerusalem.  Moses means “drawn from the water” just as the fish was drawn from the water.  This is the sign of Pisces, or the Two Fishes, for as Thomas Vaughan claimed, we have two fishes within our human nature.  Moses in this respect refers to the generative seed and his Laws refer to our life in the physical region of life.  The Pillar of Fire and the Crossing of the Red Sea all refer to the sign of Taurus the Bull, the sign of generation on all regions of the personality.

Salvation
Jesus means the “God of Salvation” which comes from the word ‘saliva’ (see Greek lexicon or works of Pythagoras) which saves the body by digesting or preparing the seed-fish; this saliva is a smear or ointment.  The ‘Sal’ or SOL is the salt which saves the food or ointment.  When Jesus is baptised by John in the Jordan, this refers to the baptising of the fluids – Christ – which are the substance of the spinal cord, and if lifted up, it becomes “…my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased.”   Iohannes refers to the fluids of the body; his Gospel tells of the Spiritual Man – the Soul using the fluids to enter into the body of Jesus, for, if a man lives in wickedness, the human Soul will lose its Divine Soul or Christos.

The Alchemists studied the arts of astrology, biology and biochemistry and these, if applied with wisdom and understanding, will lead us in the great Alchemical Laboratory of the “fearfully and wonderfully made human temple – the Temple made without hands and without the sound of a saw or hammer.” It is within this wonderful Temple that we must seek the Christos.  It was under the alchemical symbols that the Brothers of the Rosae Crucis, Brothers of Light and the Hermetical adepts sought the great Mystery of Life and Light.

Alchemical Interpretations
For them the redeeming Son of God is the ‘Esse’, the Universal Solvent of the Alchemists, and through this Esse or Jesus of the Universal Intelligence moves and brings man to his Goal – Illumination of the Temple of the Living God. This was called the Philosopher’s Stone or the Elixir of Light, which is carried through the lungs into the arteries.  They are the air carriers, where it unites with the inorganic cell-salts, then materialises (cooks) and forms granules, and is then deposited as flesh and bone for the human Temple.  Hence the allusion to the seven years of plenty and seven years of famine, inasmuch as it takes seven years for the whole of the atoms of the body to be changed.

For the student of Illumination to realise the power of the Divine Eye within his own thalamus, it will be necessary for him to know that in the WORD and JORDON, the ‘or’ refers to the gold of the precious substance of the Seed or Esse.  Hence when the alchemists speak of the transmutation of lead – crude sex-force – into gold, the Seed of Redemption, they are referring to the alchemical processes of the Christed Soul within the body, and their symbols were:

Gold                 (Sun)               Sulphur           Sal Ammoniac

Silver               (Moon)            Salt                  Sublimation

Copper            (Venus)           Water              Sublimate of Mercury

Iron                 (Mars)             Fire                  Realgar

Mercury         (Mercury)       Aqua Fortis     Vitriol

Lead               (Saturn)           Earth               Retort

Tin                  (Jupiter)          Air                   Common Salt

A Key to the Gospels
This contains the Key to the meaning of the Gospels in relation to the workings of the Divine Seed.  How it helps the student to attain Illumination or ‘mystical experience’ is in its literary and graphic meanings.  The literary is the method of applying fanciful names to substances and the graphic refers to the applying names and actions to the various parts of the body and its functions.  But we must always keep in mind that this process must never be forced; it will occur when the student has applied the teachings of the Arcane Wisdom or Discipline to, and in, his daily life.  To try and force this process by any external means is only to court danger.  The danger only passes when the student has purified the three-fold nature of the beast-body.  It will then occur automatically.

The word ‘Jordan’ through the letters OR becomes the Hebrew word for JUDGE.  This means that the Creative Power operates through the precious substance and produces judgement or Wisdom, the location of this OR or Gold is to be found within the upper brain, the cerebrum, and this is the grey matter or the ‘Precious Ointment’ or the Christed Seed.  St John calls it the WORD, and this has the same meaning as the Masonic use of this Word. Thus the Lost Word of the Masons is the symbol of the animal thought which eats of the Tree of Life by desire.  This means that you are losing the gold or the OR of the body.  This now reveals yet another meaning of the Garden of Eden and the Forbidden Tree of Knowledge.  Again, in Masonry, the word ‘Hiram’ means high born, and, if the body is squared correctly, the Divine Seed will pass up the 33 degrees or vertebrae of the spinal cord until it reaches the pineal gland and then Illumines the Single Eye of the Thalamus.

Many Meanings in the Biblical Stories
By the conservation and transmutation of the creative seed by a correct and balanced living, the pineal gland becomes firm and hard like a rock (Tetra or Tyre) and has the same meaning as Peter or Petra – a Rock or Pineal.  The ‘Chair of St Peter’ is the thalamus and the two lobes are crossed like Two Keys.  These symbols have been taken over by the Catholic Church without knowledge of their meaning. In Masonry we find that Hiram Abiff was resurrected during the delay caused by searching for his body; in other words a month or 29½ days has passed and another seed is born which the candidate for Initiation is admonished not to slay.

In the drama reported in the New Testament, in the Garden of Gethsemane, Peter cuts off the ear of a soldier who represents the world of the desire nature, but Jesus puts it back.  The meaning of this subtle act should be quite clear to the Mason and to the Illuminee.  Peter assumes two meanings as the drama is played out within the body; First in the garden he is shown as the Rock cutting off the ability to know the Wisdom, then later, with his three-time betrayal of the Christos, he is made to symbolise the desire nature of the three regions or sheaths of the personality.  The rest of this explanation belongs to the Esoteric Tradition of the ages.  The above shows that the meanings of the various personages who play their parts in the Gospels are inter-changeable and only an Illumine or a pupil of an Adept can possibly know all the layers of meaning involved in this drama.

Illumination
Let us press on …The upper brain furnishes all that man contains and Jesus is not the Saviour until he becomes Christed of John in the Jordan (spine).  The Dove then descends down the spinal cord and enters into Jesus, thus making Jesus the Christed One.  So it will be seen that there are two fishes within man: one was Jesus the Carpenter – the human man – and the other the Christed Jesus who becomes the conscious Son of God.  To us it means that Jesus is the human Soul and the Christed Jesus is the Divine Soul united within the waters of the body by means of the ESSE of the Seed of Jesse.

By re-reading THE GREAT PARABLE, it will be seen that when the Christed Seed crossed the two nerves at Golgotha located above the Pons, the veil of the temple or the ‘shimmering web of atomic substances’ is rent and the earthquake occurs.  The whole of the body is re-oriented and the dead matter of the body or tomb comes forth.  This means that the generative cells of the body are quickened, and the body becomes spiritualised, and the Divine Eye of the Soul now shines forth into the darkness of the Virgin Matter of the body and illumines it.

To crucify means to add to or increase a thousand-fold, hence one of the reasons for David dancing before the Ark of God and his thousand wives.  However, he is naked, showing that man is divested of the desire nature.  The Ark of God is the Thalamus with its two lobes symbolised by the two Cherubim whose wings are spread over the opening of the Ark in such a way as to symbolise the Lingham and the Yoni, thus, the Ark of the Covenant was a phallic symbol.

Symbols of the Divine Eye
The Lord Buddha wears a thousand petalled headdress over the pineal gland or the Divine Eye, and the Crown has a thousand petals or spokes.  The winged headdress of the Egyptian Pharaohs also had the same meaning.  The Orb with the two wings symbolised the Flight of the Soul from the body by means of the Asp, the Serpent of Kundalini of the Hindu.  The plumed headdress of the Mayans and Aztecs mean the same thing.  The Tiara of the Pope with its three crowns also has the same meaning, the two lappets which hang down the back of the crown symbolize the two lobes of the thalamus.

The Crucifixion
When the crucifixion takes place at the moment of Illumination, the two nerve energies are crossed, they are the Two Keys of St Peter which will unlock the Holy of Holies. When they cross, they set afire the oil in the cerebrum, thus lighting the whole of the body, just as Moses saw the Divine within a burning bush on the top of the Mountain of Horeb.  Yet the bush was not burned, indicating that it is spiritual fire.  This fire also burns out upon the Two Tablets of Stone the Divine Law for man, the two tablets, of course, representing the two lobes of the Thalamus.

By means of crossing the two impulses within the Divine Seed, power and light is given to the pineal gland at such a rate that it causes the ‘Light of the King’s Chamber’ to fill the whole of the body with Light and send its vibratory forces out along the optic nerve to the physical eyes and thus heal the blind and, if directed along the other nerves of the body, will cause a transmutation of the elements within the body into that of pure Gold.  Hence the Anglo-Saxon WORD is simply two ‘Vs’ placed one on top of the other, making a figure of man, and the OR meaning the vital substance of the body and D is the door through which the Divine Soul enters into the thalamus and illumines the body. Therefore, it is this ESSE or Christos which vivifies the Seed and causes it to germinate within the solar plexus.  There is no Hebrew equivalent for the letter W, but some of the Kabbalists claim that it is the symbol for Celestial Water.  This means that in the original manuscripts, the words WORD and JESSE could not be.  We wonder what the original words were?

Alchemy, then, is the Divine Chemistry of the Body, and those who followed this Quest and achieved its objective were the Christian Mystics who knew the true and original meaning of the Christ and Jesus.  Although we have not given the whole story, we hope that we have given you sufficient hints to encourage you to make your own investigations into this wonderful but very personal story.

This article was first published as a Monograph of The Brotherhood and Order of the Pleroma, The Disciplina Arcani in 1972.

The Hidden Church of the Illuminati 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.

THE HIDDEN CHURCH OF THE ILLUMINATI

BY THE MOST REVD. RICHARD, DUC DE PALATINE

EDITED BY BISHOP LEILA BOYER

WITH A POSTSCRIPT BY ARCHBISHOP COUNT GEORGE BOYER

A review of the Esoteric Tradition from Atlantis to 1963 AD

Updated in 2002 by the Primate of the Pre Nicene Ekklesia

A completely new edition with added material

First Edition:            1963
Second Edition:        1987
Third Edition:           1989
Revised Edition:       2002

The present Grand Hierophant of The Order of the Pleroma who is himself an Initiate of many of the Assemblies of Adepts, can truthfully claim to be in direct succession from the earliest known Mysteries of Light.  It can be established without a shadow of doubt that Richard, Duc de Palatine is the successor of the ancient Mystery Schools, as we shall show.  There is no need for us to fabricate any form of secret history in order to induce people to join the Pleroma; one only has to study the long line of Assemblies which have existed and perpetuated the Gnosis from the last days of Atlantis before it was submerged by the waters in 9,564 B.C.

History shows that there were two streams of the Wisdom Teachings deriving from Atlantis; the first migrating to central Asia and then into India and the Chaldean Mysteries, the second from Atlantis to Egypt (The Mysteries of Isis and Osiris) and then to Greece (Mysteries of Eleusis) then into Asia Minor (Mysteries of Attis and Adonis which were blended with the Mysteries of Mithras and the Essenes).  In B.C. 120 to 70 Christ came to establish the ‘Mysteries of Jesus’ which was a blend of all the earlier Mysteries.  The successions of Christ were the Gnostics and the Essenes (Dead Sea Scrolls); from them came the Catholic Church which destroyed outwardly the Gnostic Movement in the 3rd Century.

The main elements then merged into the Manichaeans of North Africa and Luxor of Egypt; the Tradition then moved to Italy under the guise of the Paulicans and Cathari, thereafter it showed itself in the Orders of Chivalry and then the Templars.  After the Templars were outwardly destroyed the Tradition reappeared in the Fratres Lucis or ‘Brothers of Light’ in Italy in 1498, then it showed itself in the Rose Cross in the 14th Century, and again in the 18th Century came the “UNKNOWN PHILOSOPHERS”, Freemasonry and Luxor in America and the Bavarian Illuminati which embodies the various Illuminised Rose Cross, Alchemists and Masons.  This same Order passed to England under Ill. Bro. John Yarker, Jr., and finally in 1961 was to become THE BROTHERHOOD AND ORDER OF THE PLEROMA.

Into this unbroken line of succession from the Mysteries in the person of Richard, Duc de Palatine was blended the apostolic Catholic Succession from the Gnostic Fathers.  This means that all the lines of power and authority from the Mysteries of Antiquity now merge in the person of the Present Grand Hierophant of the Pleroma, meaning that the authority is not vested in a group of people, but in a single individual – namely Richard, Duc de Palatine.

In all the Mysteries, both ancient and modern, the central theme of the teachings was the Divine Nature of Man.  This central fact has never changed from one century to the next.  Although the names and legends have been changed, the main theme is always the same, and unless an organisation embodies this Central Doctrine, we know that it is not in line with the Esoteric Tradition of the ages.

Outline of Our Doctrine

When the Gnostic Teachings were suppressed by the Christian Churches of the East and West, the Hierophants went underground and continued to give teaching and instruction to those who were proved worthy of receiving the same.  After the 3rd Century the Pagan Mysteries were practically abolished by the Christian Emperors of the East and the Popes of the West, the Gnostics, who were the survivors of the Hierophants, divided themselves into three classes, varying in profession and technique and these classes survive to this day.

The three Divisions of the Gnostic Mysteries were: The Sacerdotal, which told of the drama of the Immortal Soul into the Valley of Death where it enters a temporary trance-death.  The second was The Military or Chivalric Orders which followed the drama of the murdered god, which to them symbolised the Immortal Soul of Man, these two orders were suppressed by the Christian Emperors of Rome, but continued their existence under the guise of “strolling priests”, they became prominent during the Crusades and then as the Knights Templars, the basic doctrine of all these was Gnostic Christianity.

We come now to the third class, that of The Artisan, they learned to ‘close the lips’ and as Art was vital to the Church, they were protected, from them came the body of masons who were guilds of workmen who wandered over the face of medieval Europe and were the descendants of the Dionysiac Artificers.  In Rome they appeared as the Roman Collegia and at the fall of Rome some moved to Arabia and another section moved into Lombardy and then into France.  They also moved into India, China and Babylon by the way of old Egypt and Palestine.

The Secret Schools, that is to say the Inner Schools beyond the public Mysteries of Greece, Egypt and Rome were neither fraternal or political, nor were their ideals the same as modern Masonry or Rosicrucians.  They were essentially philosophic and religious institutions; those who were admitted into the Secret Schools were consecrated to the service of the Hidden Church of the Illuminati.

The Discipline used in the Hidden Church was called The Arcane Discipline and was in definite practice in the Christian Church between the 1st and 4th centuries.  Those who followed it were known as the Arcane or Gnostic Christians and they kept their doctrines secret and taught the exoteric doctrines along the same lines as the ancient Mysteries.  We know from the writings of many of the Christian Fathers that this system was divided into grades and they were known as:  Catecomonois or learners; Pistoi or faithful; Photozomenoi, Illumined or baptised; Menuemenois or initiated; and the Teleioumenoi or perfected.

Therefore within the Gnostic Arcanum this three-fold division was kept alive until the 16th Century when the Chivalric, Masonic and Sacerdotal were separated.  Within the Arcane Church we have the division of 3 x 3 = 9, the name being the Perfected Man.  These three were shown as the inner division, symbolised as baptism, communion and the consecration by chrism, this division has been carried on into the Pleroma as purification, illumination and then perfection.  The second division is comprised of the Deacon, Priest and Bishop, they are shown in the esoteric portion of the Gnostic Church as meaning that every initiate passes through these three stages, but when the Gnostics were finally suppressed, the Catholic Church reserved these three offices for their clergy.  Finally, we have the third division as the monks, members and catechumens and they represent the exoteric division of the church.

We must also remember that the Druids had this 3 x 3 = 9 division in their own system and when they were destroyed they re-appeared as the Culdees, and had rites which resembled the Pagan and Gnostic Mysteries.  In the so-called Apostolican Constitutions, the church is compared to a ship, the minister or bishop is the captain, the deacons become the mariners, and the congregation are the passengers.  This is also shown in the Egyptian, Grecian, Chaldean, Ionic, Gnostic, Druidic and Grail Mysteries, they all refer to the age-old three divisions within the Hidden Church.

In the Stromata of Clemens Alexandrinus the organisation of the Arcane Church is shown as “Degrees of Glory in Heaven corresponding with the dignitaries of the church below”.  Meaning that the 3 x 3 = 9 refers to the invisible anatomy of man – the immortal spirit, the divine soul and the human soul, each aspect is made up of the three vestures or Robes of Glory, these three sets of three Robes of Glory make up the whole man,  which was also shown as the number Nine.  Dionysus the Areopagite states that the divisions were based upon the heavenly and ecclesiastical hierarchies.

In the Catholic Gnostic Mass this three-fold division is called upon in the Preface as: Seraphim, Cherubim and Thrones which comprise the powers of the Hidden Secret Church, then we have the Dominions, Virtues, and Powers making up the Esoteric Church and when Principalities, Archangels and Angels making up the Exoteric Church.  In these one will see that the three sets of three represent the powers inherent within the three aspects of man.

It is obvious that we can only skirt the exoteric and esoteric histories of the Hidden Church, but we will endeavour to give some hints for the reader to continue his own investigations.  If there are any of our readers who are Masons, let them take note: The Speculative Masonry which came into being in 1717 is based upon spurious constitutions and they have changed the Legend from the drama of the Christos to that of Hiram Abiff, by doing so they have destroyed the last vestige of connection with the ancient Gnostics and the Mysteries.

The first three degrees which constitute the Craft or Blue Lodges should constitute the outer or exoteric aspect of the Hidden Church, then we have the 4th and the 18th Degrees which constitute the Esoteric Church and then from the 28th to the 33rd you have the Hidden Church.  The word ‘Lodge’ is the same as Church or Ecclesia.  Therefore, up to 1717 the Operative Masons were also divided into three classes patterned upon the divisions of the Mysteries.

Now it is obvious that there is a definite connection between the Pleroma and the Gnostic Mystery System, otherwise how could it be possible for the Pleroma to have direct connections with the Gnostics?

One of the most sacred and closely guarded secrets contained within the Mysteries and their successors was the knowledge of the Hidden Church which we know as The Invisible Empire of Light (Trans-Himalayan Brotherhood) and the methods whereby an advanced Initiate could gain admittance to the Empire.  But although many seek the Path which leads to the Empire very few are chosen, simply because very few are prepared to undergo the superhuman tests of courage and fortitude.  These tests are not symbolical as given in the speculative masonry of today, but they are, as they were in olden days, actual tests.  Of the hundreds who wait at the doors for admission, very few realise their objective.

Before we can continue with our discussion we must try to trace the line of descent from the Mysteries to the present day Order of the Pleroma.  The Kabbalists owe their system to Esdras and it was carried on to the time of the Roman occupation of Jerusalem, and Philo states: “the law of Moses is like a living creature whose body is the literal sense, but the soul is the more inward and hidden meaning, covered under the sense of the letter.”  They claim that the Kabbalah is divided into ‘three veils’ indicating the exoteric, esoteric and Hidden Church of the Kabbalah, or the Vestibule; the Holy Place; and in the third the Sanctum Sanctorum.  These three are again divided into 3 x 3 = 9 and the One – the Ain Soph Aur, the Supreme Mystery, so we have the Chaldean Book of Numbers and countersigns, somewhat similar to the present Masonic Royal Arch degree.  From them came the Essenes. But it must be remembered that Moses or Moishe received his wisdom from that of the Egyptian blended with the Chaldeans from India.

The Essenes were a branch of the Assideans and Chasidim and were the Hierophants of the Egyptian Mysteries when Ahmasis ruined the sacred Temples, and they sought protection within the Temple Order of Basra.  Their hidden records state that Jeshu ben Pandira (Jesus), a nephew of Queen Salome the widow of Alexandrinus or Alexander Jannuai II, King of Judaea, went to Egypt and became a Hierophant and then returned to the Essenes and proclaimed the Mysteries.  He was stoned to death and hung on a tree at Lydia, about the year 71 BC, as indicated in the Gemera.  These Essenes were called the Jewish Gnostics, but this is not strictly correct, as they were influenced by Adonis in Syria, of Serapis in Egypt, Dionysius and Bacchas in Greece and also by the Mysteries of Mithra.  It is logical, therefore, to state that Jesus tried to blend all these systems into what is known as the ‘Mysteries of Jesus’.  There is also evidence that when the Essene Church faded in about 300 AD, beginning with the destruction of Jerusalem by Titus in 78 AD, the Catholic Church came into being.  We leave the inference to the reader to work out!

There is also evidence to show that the Essenes were but a branch of a yet wider movement directed by a group of powerful Adepts, linked to them we also find the Therapeutae of Egypt who flourished at Alexandria, the real birth place of Christian Gnosticism, then we have the Nazarenes, sometimes called Sabeans – the followers of Sabius who lived on the shores of Galilee.  The Ebionites whom Jerome called the genuine primitive Christians were linked to the Nazarenes in a common bond, and we find that Paul, Joseph, Samson and Samuel all claim to be Nazars.  From them came the founders of the Christian form of the Arcane Discipline which had survived publicly until the end of the 4th Century, then faded from public knowledge to re-emerge in later centuries under different names and guises.

Secret History states that Jeshu ben Pandira (Jesus) founded the ‘Mysteries of Jesus’ in 74 BC, and after his death in 71 BC, the Mysteries remained secret until 46 AD, when Paul of Tarsus became the Grand Hierophant, and there are many statements made by him which link him to the Hidden Church.  In fact, his ‘illumination’ and the qualififications demanded for this power are identical to those taught in the Pleroma.  From Paul came the Christian Gnostics themselves and this is evidenced by the statements of Marcion 136 AD and Prodicus, 120 AD.  He was followed by Valentinius and Basilides about 130 AD, then there were Simon Magnus, Menander, Cerenthius and Dostheus, and after them came Saturnius of Antioch.

If one will read Pistis Sophia  in the three layers of meaning, one will find the exoteric, esoteric and the Arcane Discipline clearly shown.  Later we find Clement of Alexandria, a pupil of Ammonius Saccas himself an Initiate of the Mysteries of Serapis and Isis, he transmitted his Gnosis to Origen and it was he who attempted to blend the Jewish and Egyptian into one.

The Ophites were a Gnostic Fraternity in Egypt.  Their conception of Jesus was that he allowed the Immortal Spirit to descend into the Christos, who in turn descended into Jesus the Man, thus Jesus became the God-Man in the flesh, this teaching is again identical to that of the Pleroma.  The Christos is the Eternal Pilgrim, and was always shown being overshadowed by a Living Serpent with three heads, the three-fold nature of the Soul, and they also claimed that the Good Serpent (soul) descends to earth.

The Gnostics also drew heavily upon the College of Rabbis at Babylon, who also held to the 3 x 3 = 9 system.  The College was founded at Babylon after the destruction of Israel.  Samuel was the chief of a College at Ramah; Elisha at Jericho and Hillel had a regular dual school and became the Founder of the Sect of Pharisees, hence we know the reason for the latter putting Jesus to death, being as he was a Hierophant of the hated Egyptian Mysteries.  Then we have the Carpocratians of Alexandria, whose founder was a direct disciple of Jeshu ben Pandira and claimed that Jeshu derived the Mysteries of his religion from the temple of Isis in Egypt, they also had their grips, signs and words; symbols and degrees and used the 3 x 3 = 9 system of initiation.

Bardisanes was born at Edessa and taught a Gnostic system composed of Indian, Chaldean and Egyptian mystery teachings, he also followed the earlier Gnostic sects in their degrees and initiatory system.  From him, perhaps indirectly came Mani of Persia who became a Gnostic and derived teaching from Buddhist, Brahmin and Egyptian sources, he also had three grades made up of 3 x 3 = 9 and his Gnostic sect in common with the others had secret initiations and forms of recognition.  In fact, the present three Masonic initiations possess the same grips and signs as the Manichaeans, such as ‘sign, oris, manumet finaus’ or a word, the grip, and of the breast.

So the contest between the Catholic Christianity and Gnostic Christianity can be resolved into this: The historical Jesus, the Christ of the Church; and the second, the ancient Christos of the Cult of Serapis, with a spiritual Christos to be developed within the Soul of each Perfected Gnostic.  So we find that the Roman Section followed the views of Peter (?) and the Jewish Gnostics.  The Gnostics opposing the Church followed the teachings of Paul, Origen and the British Culdees.  It was entirely due to the lack of the Arcane Discipline that a conflict ensued between the two opposing ideas, resulting in the Mythos being taken at literal history by one, and the Mythos being interpreted spiritually by the other.  It was the Church, however, which won in the end combining the two aspects of the teaching both exoterically.

With the collapse of the State Mystery Systems, the Hidden Schools still continued in close secret until the time of Jeshu ben Pandira, who, in order to perpetuate the Hidden Wisdom or the Gnosis, founded his own Mysteries.  Then came the great Gnostic Doctors who gave to his Church a practical philosophy, they too drew upon all the existing Mystery Religions, as St Augustine states: “What is nowadays called the Christian religion was in existence among ancient people, and has continually existed from the very origin of the human race…”  When the Church destroyed the great Gnostic Movement and the last public sect, that of the Manichaeans, the Church took over and claimed that Christianity stemmed from the life and death of an unknown (to secular history) Jesus of Nazareth.

In the 6th Century the Manichaeans were put to the sword, some escaped to Europe, others gave much to the Sufis and the Dervishes of Islam.  In 657, the Gnostic Manichaeans re-appeared as the Paulicians in Armenia who followed the teachings of Paul, Marcion and Mani, but the Romish Church instigated their destruction by the sword.  They emerged again as the Cathari in Southern France who were again exterminated by the Roman Inquisition.  They perpetuated in close secret the Arcane Discipline and Gnostic teachings.  In the 8th Century St Benedict founded his Order and retained many of the Gnostic teachings and discipline.

Some of the persecuted Gnostics took the names of the Euchites, the Bogomiles, Albigenses and later as the Lollards, they travelled all over Europe, seeking those who were spiritually worthy and continuing secretly to teach the Arcane Discipline and above all the grand Mythos of the Soul.  In the 8th Century there appeared a society  calling itself the Holy Vehm of German Westphalia and then in Spain appeared a society designated the Hermandad.  Both of these again followed the Arcane Discipline and held to the Gnostic Christos.  Then came the Alchemists who were originally Gnostics and taught the Mystic Marriage of the Sun and Moon or the Divine Soul with the human Soul of Man.

Sufficient has been given to show with proof that up to the 8th Century Gnosticism survived in various forms from its inception many hundreds of years before the beginning of the Christian Era.  It is obvious that the link between Masonry and other Secret Orders is to be founding Gnosticism and the Arcane Discipline.

Historic Christianity

With regards to Historic Christianity, there is evidence to state that historic Christianity did not come into its own until about the 4th Century, and no earlier.  We know now that whilst the Mysteries of Jesus were known to have existed between BC 71 and 46 AD, very few individuals knew anything about them, it was only in the 2nd Century that Valentinius was ordered to allow some portion of the secret rituals to fall into the hands of the Jewish Gnostics.  Before he obeyed his orders, however, he stripped the manuscripts of the Keys to make them innocuous and to keep inviolate the Arcane Discipline and reserved it for those who had advanced spiritually enough to appreciate it.  Those who received this document, being carnal men, did not have the insight to know that it was Mystic Drama concerning the Christ-Soul and the human Soul-Jesus, and they claimed, therefore, that it was the history of their god and accepted the exoteric version and proceeded to take from the old religions those portions which would give the foundations for a historical man.

In spite of the deliberate mistranslations and interpretations of the original gospel, there is still sufficient within the New Testament to give to the discriminating student the teachings of the Arcane Discipline and the method whereby he or she can effect the Mystic Marriage.  It is because they have not the Discipline that the Church is failing every day, this also applies to the present-day Masons and the other so-called Mystic Orders one finds in the West today.  The very fact that they do not follow the Principles of the Arcane Discipline shows with absolute certainly that they are not the real descendants of the Gnostics or the Ancient Mysteries from Atlantis. See: Ignatius Donnelly “Atlantis”.

From the 8th to the 18th Century

We have seen that up to the 8th Century the Gnostic Tradition was still flourishing in various parts of Europe and in the Middle East.  There is sufficient evidence from extant writings to show that the Gnostics were the descendants of the pagan Mystery Schools and also retained the Arcane Discipline.  It is interesting to note that even at this late date, the various Gnostic sects divided their doctrine into three aspects, namely: The Sacredotal, The Military and the Artisan, these became the exoteric, esoteric and Hidden Church.  These three divisions are known today as Masonry, the Occultists and the Mystics.  Unlike the days of old, these three divisions of the Mysteries have today become separate and in many cases antagonistic to one another.

In reality, these divisions are also divided into 3 x 3 = 9, as we shall show.  Masonry is divided into three main groups or stages of initiations, the first three are exoteric, the next three are the esoteric and the final three the Hidden Church, but as with the Church these divisions are interpreted exoterically.  When we come to Occultism we again find these three showing themselves, you have the ordinary member making up the outer or exoteric section, then you have the Inner Schools making up the esoteric and the Initiates and Princes of Light making up the Hidden Church.  In Mysticism, again these three are shown, you have the beginner along the path of purification and then the path of Illumination and finally the Hidden Church of the Perfected Ones which is composed of the Princes, Mediators, Messengers and so on.

Plato states that the Perfect Man is symbolised as the number 10, this means that the nine with the Immortal Spirit, fulfilling the Law of Permutation or the Revolution of the Spiritual Self.  So we have the first set of three – the human Soul (three vehicles); then the second – the Divine Soul (three vehicles) and finally the next three – the Immortal Spirit which becomes ONE with the Godhead making up the Perfect Man or TEN – the Alpha and the Omega of Evolution.

There is still some confusion in the minds of modern scholars as to what we mean by the Sacred Mysteries.  The ‘Mysteries’ were called by the Greeks Teletai, or finishings and this was used in conjunction with the word mou which meant “Keeping a closed mouth”.  The mysteries, therefore, were observances, generally kept secret from the profane and uninitiated, in which were taught by dramatic representation and other methods, the nature of the human Spirit, and its relation to the human Soul, and then the method of its purification, illumination and restoration to its higher life to become the Perfect Man.

The Teacher in the Mysteries was known as the Hierophant, or the OLD MAN, he represented to the Candidate his Divine Soul, and was veiled to symbolise that the Soul is always veiled to the uninitiated and unpurified.  The only part of the Hierophant which was allowed to be seen was his feet, symbolising the human Soul of Man. As the neophyte passed each Initiation the Hierophant, by the clever use of lights, became progressively visible to the neophyte.  This symbolised the man becoming more and more purified in order to allow the glory of the Soul to become visible to the human Soul.  The Hierophant became the revealer or ‘Pater’ of the Mysteries of God in the same manner as the Divine Soul becomes the revealer of the Mysteries to the human Soul of Man.

Plato and many other of the Initiates all state that the Mysteries were highly religious, moral and beneficent.  It was considered that if the neophyte passed through the nine initiations within the School he was eligible to become a Member of the Hidden Church of Illumined Souls.  G R S Mead states: “In short, the Mysteries were in every country a series of dramatic performances, in which the mysteries of cosmogony and nature, in general, were personified by the priests and neophytes, who enacted the parts of the various gods and goddesses, repeating supposed scenes (allegories) from their respective lives.  These were explained in their hidden meaning to the candidates for initiation, and incorporated into philosophical doctrines.”  This is in fact the exoteric teachings of the Arcane Discipline.

The Roman Church having borrowed all their rites and dogmas from the Pagan Mysteries, shows this connection with the Mysteries in the consecration of a Cardinal, the candidate is commanded “to keep his eyes and mouth shut on his consecration,” this was also the injunction given to the Mystae or first-grade Initiate.  The Masonic System also has the same injunction, but not in the modern Rosicrucian Systems.  The drawing of the right hand across the throat indicates that they have to keep their mouth closed at all times concerning their supposed Mysteries.  The Mystae was blindfolded, slip-shod and a cable-tow was put around his neck when he took his Initiation, the rest of the Obligation can be found in the ancient Schools, but again is missing from the present Rosicrucian Systems.  We feel at liberty to divulge these details, as they have already been exposed many times over the last two centuries and Masonically speaking may be found by anyone with the price of the necessary book!

Christian Gnosticism grew out of the teachings of Jeshu ben Pandira (Jesus), who was himself  a Hierophant of the Mysteries of Isis and Osiris at Sais in Egypt, so it is logical to assume, in spite of the lack of substantiating evidence, that Jeshu and the Gnostics faithfully carried on the Tradition intact.  This would seem that Jeshu was the vital link between the Mysteries and the later Gnostics, just as Gnosticism is the vital link between the Orders of Labour, Quest, Military and Masonic Orders.  We must then pose this question: If the Masons and Rosicrucians are the direct descendants of the Gnostics, why is it that they have failed to carry on the Arcane Discipline and the Legend of the Christos?

Just as the Hierophant was the sole expounder of the esoteric secrets and doctrines, he would naturally sit in the East, it was also forbidden to pronounce his name before the uninitiated persons.  Therefore, an Initiate was one who had been received into them and had revealed to him the mysteries and secrets of the Immortal Spirit.  We find that the word initiation comes from the Latin initia, which means the basic or first principles of a science.  The original initiatory system was abolished with the fall of the last of the public Mysteries at Arles in France in the 7th Century.  The only kind of initiation now known to the public is merely a type of initiation but these are definitely not the real Initiations.

In brief, the Mysteries represented the passage of the Soul from a higher life into mortal life and then from mortal life into finite death, and the varied experiences of the disembodied Soul in the world of subjectivity.  In this day, the secrets of initiation have been lost, except within the Hidden Assemblies of the Adepts in Europe, America and the East, and here we are not referring to the Masonic, Rosicrucian or any other fancy-named order or orders.  The latter ask their candidates to pass through sundry meaningless ceremonies to be initiated into a self-concocted solar legend, be it Hiram Abiff or Christian Rosenkreuz.

In order to show clearly that Jesus and Paul were, as is shown in Christian Writ, initiates of the Pagan Mysteries, the word ‘Innocents’ was a nickname given to the Initiates of a system before the Christian era.  Jeshu refers to the ‘Innocents’ and we find that the Innocents of Lydia were put to death by Alexander Jannuai, to the number of several thousands, about 100 BC.  This historical fact gave rise to the legend of the 40,000 innocent babes murdered by Herod while searching for the infant Jesus.  The former is a little known historical fact whereas the second story is a fable, as Herod was dead four years before the supposed birth of Jesus.

The Alchemists came into existence long before Christianity, and we find that most of the Alchemists were Gnostics and formed themselves into secret Brotherhoods beginning with Emperor Julian.  We also find that there appeared a long line of Gnosto-Alchemists such as Cedrinus, 491, then Zosimus the Panopilite, Morenus, the Calid, the son of Gized the Second, Sultan of Egypt about 725.  Geber came about 730, then came Avicenna about 980.  From this time they migrated to Spain and Germany, then we have Gerhard of Cremona, 1130; Arnold de Villanova, 1240; Roger Bacon, 1215; Albertus Magnus, 1270; Raymond Lully, 1320, and many others.  This branch became merged into the Order of the Rose Cross and the Knights Templars.

The Order of the Temple was formed in 1118 and also retained the 3 x 3 = 9 system of discipline until 1313 when they were shamefully destroyed.  After this the remainder of the High Knights went underground and continued their work.  In 1498, a Group of Initiates met in the City of Florence to form the Fratres Lucis they restored the Arcane Discipline and remained in secret in spite of the Church’s attempt to destroy them.  There is a suspicion that Dante was one of their number.  They joined with the Alchemists and Rose Cross Orders.

These were followed by the founding of the Quest of the San Grail in England, France and Germany to which certain of the Templar and Gnostic traditions were blended, as well as that of the Culdees of England.

Many of the survivors of the Albegenses re-appeared among the Troubadours or strolling players and they also carried the 3 x 3 = 9 system and the Arcane Discipline.

In 1115 there appeared at Cologne a society called the Magical Union, their Allegory was the Rose and the Cross.  They also used the 3 x 3 = 9 system.  Their doctrines were based upon the Christos Myth of Gnosticism.  In 1282 there appeared another compact school who were the first to use the word Macon, which was later corrupted to Masonry.  John Tauler, a Dominican monk established a society embodying the Rose and the Cross in the early part of the 14th Century, the members recognised each other by secret grips and also followed the Arcane Discipline.  In the same year there appeared another society called Fraternitas Rose Crucis, and then in 1398, Christian Rosenkreuz founded the Brotherhood of the Rose Cross.  There is also evidence to show that Paracelsus was also a member of the Rose Cross, and became the Monarch of the Rosicrucian Society.

At Lubeck about 1485 there existed a Guild of Compass Brothers.  In 1480 there existed a School in Rome called the Platonic Academy, its objects were the revival of the Platonic and Gnostic teachings.  In the same year the Brotherhood of the Trowel existed in Florence and this continued until the 18th Century.  The above Societies taught the Gnosis under the guise of the Rose and the Cross and embodied the Arcane Discipline.  In the 16th Century Cornelius Agrippa established in Paris and elsewhere a secret body known as the Theosophical Society, and he also formed a branch in London in 1510.  In 1484 there was a Rose Cross society called the Fraternitatus Rosarii at Selwick in Denmark which was connected with the Arcane Discipline.  A Society called Militia Crucifera Evangelica was known to have existed in Lunenburg in 1571 and taught the doctrines of the Inner and Outer Man symbolised by the Rose and the Cross.  In 1570 Michael Maier stated that the Brethren of the Wise Men existed in his day, and this was later revived as the Brethren of the Golden Rosy Cross.

In 1614 there appeared The Fama and  The Confessio by J W Andrae, and it is known that Andrae founded his own society called the  Christian Fraternity.  In 1622 there also existed at The Hague a Rosy Cross Society with branches in many countries in Europe.  The question which the Reader is prompted to ask himself is, if the story of Christian Rosenkreuz is fictitious, how is it that there existed Rose Cross Societies long before Andrae published the Fama and Confessio?  It is obvious that the modern bodies styled ‘Rosicrucian’ have nothing to do with the original Rose Cross bodies, since they lack the 3 x 3 = 9 system and the Arcane Discipline.

We have now come to the beginning of the 17th Century and we must leave this section and revert to the beginnings of the Culdees in England.

There is no clear evidence that Masonry existed before 1717 but we know that before this date there existed the Arcane Colleges which combined the three-fold division of activity.  In circa 45-52 AD, there existed a College of Roman Artisans at Chichester, England, which had originated at Rome and Alexandria, when the Romans left England the members of the College broke up and migrated to various towns and formed the Guilds devoted to the work of building, and from them came what was to be known as the Guilds of Operative Masons.  At the same time we know that the three Archdruids became Archbishops, and the Chief Druids became Bishops, this was done upon the acceptance of Christianity by King Lucius in AD 155. These bishops, monks and priests of the Christian Britons became known as the Culdees, The Servants of God, and they carried the Arcane Discipline with them and embodied it within the framework of Celtic Christianity.  They were considered by Rome to be heretical of course.  Their principle Colleges were at York and they spread their teachings to Bath and as far as Hadrian’s Wall, but they were not Masonic as we know it, they were known as the ARCANE COLLEGE with an integral part of the Discipline.

It was from England in 589, that Columban went to Burgundy and established the Arcane Colleges in France and Germany.  European so-called Masonry is derived from these Culdees of France.  Prior to the 5th Century, the construction of their churches was after the model of the ancient Egyptian temples which were divided into three sections corresponding to the exoteric, the esoteric doctrines and the Hidden Church.  In 524, Arthur, son of Uther Pendragon defeated the Saxons and then called a Council at York.  Arthur was a Romanised Briton and founded the Legend of San Grael embodying the Druidic and Culdee doctrines, blended with the Arcane Discipline from the Roman College at Chichester.

The Holy Grail is the Soul of Man, inheritor and guardian of a Divine Spark wherein dwells an ever-shining and vital mirroring of the Divine Soul-Life.  This legend although essentially Christian in its origin, contains many of the most abstruse doctrines drawn from the Gnostic Mysteries.  Joseph of Arimathea represents the stage of man before the Fall.  The Cycle of Merlin and Arthur is the exoteric cycle, the Cycle of Gawain and Lancelot represent the esoteric and Percival and Galahad represent the Hidden Church. In this, the Soul becomes the abiding place of the Divine Presence.  The Castle of the Grail is the human temple of the Holy Spirit through the Soul and in the Gnostic Mass of the Holy Grail, the Celebrant is the Soul itself, “a priest forever after the Order of Melchizedek.”

With the conquest of England and the Teutonic nations, the Arcane Colleges became extinct insofar as the Military and Sacredotal sections were concerned, these two sections began to fade from public knowledge and remained in existence under a veil of the closest secrecy, but the Artisans remained in their Guilds using their own discipline and landmarks with their main headquarters at York.  At the same time the Roman Collegia was forced to close and fled to Lake Como where it became known as the Magestri Comacenes who hired themselves into Building Guilds and while the Church still needed to build churches and monasteries, these Craftsmen were protected by the Church, not from choice, but from necessity.

The fact there has existed from very ancient times bands or Colleges of Builders does not imply that they were “Masons”.  Even up to 1717, the Guilds were separate and had their own rituals and doctrines.  It is extraordinary that in the year that Speculative Masonry was fully established in England and France the Roman Church declared against them.  There seems to be no attempt to explain this important fact.  Why did the Church suffer the Building Guilds for so long and then suddenly change and rule against them?  We say that from the 18th Century what is known as Masonry changed its purpose and the real Grand Masters withdrew from the Guilds and formed Secret Masonry.

In the 18th Century, the hidden Adepts of the Mysteries remained in the background, they still retained the Arcane Discipline and the 3 x 3 = 9 division, the doctrines were fundamentally Gnostic and Culdee.  As far as the Gentlemen Speculative Masons were concerned, the Secret Masons are absolutely unknown.  It was due to the retirement of the Illumined Masters that Speculative Masons changed the Legend of Christos into the Legend of Hiram Abiff.  This act of Anderson broke off all connection with the great Gnostic stream which began in the 4th Century and faded in the 18th Century, at least from public knowledge.

The 18th Century to Today

From the beginning of the 18th Century all trace of the Arcane Discipline and the Gnostic Tradition seemed to have faded from public knowledge, but it still remained in Europe, it became a closely guarded secret among the Adepts of the Hidden Church.  It was with the withdrawal of the Master Adepts behind the veil of silence that there began to be formed many spurious and clandestine bodies with equally spurious histories.  Because no one could lay hold of the Adepts of the Templars, Rose Cross and Gnostics, these new organisations denied their existence.  This opened the way to unscrupulous men who concocted fabulous histories for their bodies and passed them off on to their unsuspecting dupes and they created spurious rituals with the outward sign of authenticity.  Into this mystery-mongering and spurious orders stepped the Jesuits of Paris and Berlin who finalised the creation of spurious Masonic, Templar and Rose Cross Orders.

Actually, there is very little real evidence and information left of the aims, means and doctrines of the various Secret Fraternities.  This is due to the terrible OBLIGATION which each Brother was obliged to take THE SODALIAN OATHthat he would not reveal any of their teachings or aims and the means to implement their purpose.  There is another reason why the public cannot find the meeting places of the Adepts, because there are none.  The Illumined Adept has the ability to create many thought-images of Himself simultaneously on the emotional region (astral), these thought-images are the simulacra of the Adept’s Soul, they are activated by the consciousness and becomes perceptible to the inhabitants of the emotional region.

For fear of persecution from the Roman and Protestant Churches the Adepts could not show themselves to their pupils, so when a pupil was ready the Adept made himself known through one of these simulacra whilst the pupil was out of his body during the sleep state.  There he was taught and trained, but even when he returned to the body, he still remembered his OATH and training and kept his lips sealed lest the slightest indiscretion would bring upon him the wrath of the Church.  This meant that the Assemblies were actual in name only, as far as this physical plane was concerned, but were actual in fact in the inner realms of the Spirit.  Hence the reasons why so little factual evidence is available to the student.

This meant that you had the genuine Adepts and the spurious adepts.  The histories from the 18th Century abound with the machinations of the spurious adepts and from them have come the present bodies styling themselves Templars, Rose Cross and Hermetic Orders, including many of the present High Grade Masonic Rites.  Because they are self-created orders, they are devoid of any spiritual connection with the Adepts of the Hidden Church.  We are fully aware of the so-called claims made by the various societies and have patiently sifted them and when we have rejected the fabulous histories what have we left?  Simply the results of a group of very fertile speculations, which, when they are placed against the extant sources of knowledge, fact and history, prove themselves to be worthless and can be thrown into the dust bin where all rubbish is normally disposed.

The great European Adept who used the nom-de-plum of the ‘Comte de St Germain’ inspired the formation of the Alumbrados of France and Mystics of Belgium, then the Theosophical Illuminati of Wilhelmsbad which became merged with the Bavarian Illuminati of 1776.  They were the depositories of the Arcane Discipline as their rituals show.  In 1776 The Order of the Illuminati was formed in Bavaria by Adam Weishaupt and he also was inspired to restore the Arcane 3 x 3 = 9 system of degrees.  Their doctrines were based upon those of Mani of Persia and the early Gnostics.

The 3 x 3 = 9 system was made up of the following: 1st degree, Novice; 2nd degree, Minerval; and 3rd degree, the Minor Illuminee, these constitute the exoteric section.  Then we have the 4th degree, Major Illuminee; 5th degree, Director Illuminee, Masonically, now equal to their own Scottish Knight; and finally, 6th degree, Epot, these constituted the esoteric section and then we have 7th degree, Regent; 8th degree, Mage, and finally the 9th degree, King Man.  At the death of Weishaupt, Dr Leopold Engell revived the Order in 1880 and recruited a membership drawn from the various Illuminised Masonic, Templar and Rose Cross Groups.

Finally the Order passed under the control of Ill. Bro. John Yarker, Jr. – Grand Master of the Ancient and Primitive Rite.  He also was an Initiate of all the known Assembles of Adepts and was recognised as one of the leading authorities on Initiatory Orders.  Yarker transmitted the original Order of the Illuminati to Dr Herbert James Monzani-Heard in 1913, who then installed Dr Hugh George de Willmott Newman on 29th January 1945 and then in 1955, Dr Newman installed Richard, Duc de Palatine as the Grand Master of the Order of the Illuminati, who did then withdraw the Order from the Masonic influence and consequently restored the Arcane Discipline and the 3 x 3 = 9 system of degrees, excepting that the Initiations are not taken on the inner levels whilst the neophyte is out of the body during sleep, at least for the present.

In January 1961, The Grand Hierophant changed the name of the Order from that of “Illuminati” into that of the “Pleroma” as it was found that it answered our purpose far more adequately.  One of the reasons being that the original body was brought forward for the conditions of the 18th Century, and since we are now in the 20th Century, the conditions are not the same, also since this is the century when a Messenger descends from the Highest to sound the key-note for this century, the old form of procedure would not and could not meet the new conditions.  It was also realised that since the Illuminati had become mixed up with the political upheavals in the 18th Century due to the machinations of the Jesuits, it was decided to cleanse the Order from all taint of being a political tool.

Now, you may say that all of this is very interesting, but what has it to do with me and my self-realisation of the Divine within me?  My friends, the past is just as important to the present as the present is to the future.  If we believe in evolution of the Spirit, then we must know that the past, present and future is but one moment of time in the consciousness of the Father of All.

We are told that the “law of the Medes and Persians changeth not,” meaning that the Laws which govern the spirit and form changeth not, they were the same yesterday as they are today and will be in the future, that which changes is the form through which the Law operates, the Law is eternal.  By this means, it is logical to assume that we can verify the present through the past, if we are to accept Einsteins’s Theory of Space-Time-Continuum, then we must realise space is the distance between two given points, and the time-sequence, the passing of energy from one point to another with a continuum of consciousness between the two points.

Bearing in mind the above, you will note that, say, about 9564 BC when the Island of Atlantis sunk to the present time, the energy which caused Atlantis to sink did not stop with the sinking, it continued on from then to the present time, there is a space through which the energy had to pass, but it also took time for the energy to reach us here, but there is a unity between the space and the time which is called a continuum.

We know that the Will of God is this continuum and Its purpose is the same today as it was millions of human years ago when this earth became solidified and man appeared on it.  Since God Himself always obeys higher Laws than ours, we in turn obey His Laws just as mankind in the future will continue to obey the Laws of Being.

The institution of the Mysteries began after the sinking of Atlantis, there were certain flexible rules and procedures instituted by the Adepts who founded them for they were designed to be perpetuated to the end of the occupation of the human race on this planet.  Bearing in mind the CONTINUUM OF GOD’S WILL, we will see that the rules and procedures which were instituted untold ages ago also must be applicable today, notwithstanding the constant changing of the form from century to century, the fundamentals of the Mysteries have remained the same.

So in order to prove the authenticity of the present forms, we must trace our steps back to the beginnings, to see if the substance and the intention has been continuous in every century up to the present day.  This is the only means available to un-illumined man whereby he may check the veracity of the system of teaching he is following.  Now we must ask ourselves, what are the Landmarks which have survived through the centuries in spite of the changing forms?  They are very simple:  The implementation of the Arcane Discipline is the first landmark to look for.  The second is the 3 x 3 = 9 System of Initiatory Degrees, the third being an unbroken Line of Grand Masters from the Founder of the particular system you are interest in.

Then we must look for the Doctrine of the Dual Souls of Man and the method of attainment through the three stages of purification, illumination and then perfection.  Then you must look for the three stages of knowledge or the veils through which the neophyte has to pass, they are the exoteric or outer, the esoteric or inner, then the Hidden Church or Section.  Then finally, the Grand Hierophant or Master must be in the position to demonstrate the Powers and Qualities of the Soul through Illumination or Mediatorship.  You may discount any claims made through a Spiritualist medium no matter how high their quality.

Now let us put these examples to the test: Let us take the Pleroma and see if it follows the ancient Landmarks: It does teach the Arcane Discipline and has the initiatory system of 3 x 3 = 9 which are taken by the neophyte whilst out of the body at night, at least for the present.  It also has the three stages, being as they are the Brotherhood giving the exoteric knowledge, the Order teaching the esoteric principles of Illumination, the Hermetic Brotherhood of Light making up the last three degrees of this Section, and finally you have the Hidden Church standing behind the outer three.

We must also check upon the Grand Hierophant and see if he has an unbroken line of succession from the Founders.  This can be shown:  The Power and Authority of the Pleroma is vested in the person of Richard, Duc de Palatine coming from the Illuminati, Rose Cross, the Templars, the Brothers of Light, from the Albigenses and Paulicians, who were the successors of the Cathari and the Manichaeans, they owe their existence to the Gnostics, who were derived from the Mysteries of Egypt, Greece, Chaldea, who again claim that their Masters came from the Island of Atlantis.  Plato states that the Emperor of Atlantis was a Divine Ruler and Grand Master of the Atlanteans. This constitutes the Philosophical Section.

The present Grand Hierophant is also a Gnostic Bishop and claims an unbroken line of succession from the College of Antioch, which owed its existence to St Paul and he in turn claimed authority from Jeshu ben Pandira, who in turn was a Grand Hierophant of the Mysteries of Isis and Serapis.  The Hierophant of the Pleroma links twelve lines of the Apostolic Succession in his person.  This constitutes the Sacredotal Section.

The present Grand Hierophant is also a Sovereign Grand Master General of three High Grades of Masonic Rites.  (a) The Ancient and Primitive Rite, or The Rite of Memphis which claims for its source the Copts of Egypt, who were the last of the Egyptian Initiates (b) The Rite of Misraim which is derived from the Illuminati of Avignon.  In 1782 an Egyptian for the ancient Brotherhood of Luxor, raised Gad Bedarride of Cavillon to another degree and granted him full authority.  The Brotherhood of Luxor (Egyptian branch) owes its authority to the Grand Hierophant of the Temple of Sais in Egypt.  The Brotherhood also founded another branch in America just before the War of Independence and has functioned in that country ever since, practically unknown to the general public, they are in communion with the Brotherhoods of Mt Shasta and Yucatan (c) The Order of the Temple of England and Paris, which was later connected with the Order of the Illuminati and this authority is now vested in the present Grand Hierophant.  Through the Illuminati came the connections with the Rose Cross and Martinists.

Added to this list comes the Grand Inspector General of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Masonry through New York in the United States. Then he became a 33rd Degree Mason of the Ancient and Accepted Rite which was founded by certain members of the Templar Order and of the Rite of Perfection 25th degree, it also owed its existence through the Rite of Strict Observance and the Martinist Order through Martines Pasqually which he received from Count Cagliostro, who again received his own authority from the Comte de St Germain, who in turn claimed to have his authority from the Christians of St John at Basra, in Persia, who, themselves, can prove an unbroken line of authority from the Gnostics.  It is not commonly known that Basilides, the Gnostic Bishop consecrated the first Bishop of Constantinople.  This constitutes the Artisan Section.

As with the Mysteries, the doctrines of the descent of the Soul to earth, its death to its spiritual heritage, burial in the tomb of matter and its final restitution with the Immortal Spirit, was carried on by the Gnostics and their successors to the 15th Century, then it was passed to the Rose Cross and then the Illuminati and finally into the Pleroma, being achieved through purification, illumination and then perfection.

To complete this draft of succession, brief as it is, we must add one more link of authority: The Roman Collegia sent Artisans to the town of Chichester in England between 46-52 AD, they remained there until the Romans left Britain when they migrated to York to become known as the Arcane College.  In 155 AD, at the instigation of King Lucius, the Gnostic Christians who had migrated to the west of England accepted the three Arch-druids as the three future Archbishops of Celtic Britain and joined the Arcane College to become known as the Culdees or Primitive British Christians.  A number migrated to Avignon in France and founded a College there.  The British Church still survived in spite of the Roman Church, one of the lines of Apostolic Succession vested in the Grand Hierophant is derived from the Ancient British Church.

In spite of the brief details given, it must be obvious to any observant student that the Pleroma and its Grand Hierophant stand in the direct line of succession with the Gnostics and the Pagan Mysteries, and the fact that it retains all the ancient Landmarks within its framework should shatter once and for all any doubt in our minds that the Pleroma cannot prove its Spiritual Authority.  As one member states: ‘And if there are those who still doubt, there is one way of absolute proof.  Let them follow the teachings as taught and lived by our Leader, and let their lives subsequently demonstrate to them the unmistakable validity of its Truth.’  Further, we can say, spend a little time studying the histories of the known Chivalric, Alchemistic, Rose Cross and Masonic Orders, and you will find a thin line of authority and succession running through and linking them to the Pagan Mysteries and the Gnostics, then trace from the beginning of the 18th Century the movements of the many occult or spiritual bodies and you will see that they finally merge into the Order of the Pleroma and then down to Richard, Duc de Palatine.

It is not to be wondered that we having in our person so many valid lines of authority, should speak out at the pretensions of many of the pseudo-occult and Masonic bodies which exist today, knowing perfectly well that they are unable to prove their descent from the Pagan Mysteries.

We will now leave the rest to you, make of it what you will!

The Army of the Elect

We have endeavoured to give a brief outline of the descent of the Gnosis from the days of Atlantis to the present day and how it was merged into the Brotherhood and Order of the Pleroma, but it must be clearly understood, that although the Pleroma is publicly known to the world, there are also a number of other bodies who have remained unknown to the general public.  They also are the recipients of the Gnosis.  There is a very definite connection between the Pleroma and the hidden bodies and this link was forged by the initiation of Richard, Duc de Palatine into each and every one of them.  It could be said that the Pleroma is the Outer School belonging to the Hidden Church.

The Hidden Church or The Invisible Empire of Light constitutes the Army of Evolving Souls of all mankind.  This Army is made up of the ordinary soldier in the ranks whose lesson it is to obey the regulations of the Army, but as the human Soul graduates from the ranks and becomes an NCO, he now assumes more responsibility and graduates further and further out of the ranks as he learns more and more of the regulations and learns to accept more important responsibility in order that he shall become a captain or colonel and eventually a general and so on.

As in any army, so you have the various ranks of responsibility in the Army of Souls, as every stage or initiation is successfully passed the student-soldier is granted a commission from the King of the Empire.  This process is known to the outer world as the Path of Holiness.  This Army obeys the Will of the King under its Commanding Officer who is known in the West as St Michael.  This Hidden Church or Empire is governed in the same manner as the Kingdom of Great Britain is governed.  You have the King and His Ministers of the various departments of Life, they are called the Princes of Light.  Each Prince has under Him a descending ladder of Minor Officials, these being the Initiates ranging from the 1st degree to the 4th degree.  Each one of these Initiates has around him a smaller group of pupils whom he directs in the business of the King, they are known as the Younger Brothers whilst the Initiates are the Elder Brothers.  Each Member of the Army owes complete obedience to the King of the Invisible Empire of Light.

The King rules two kingdoms, yet in reality the two kingdoms are but the life and form aspects of the one Kingdom of Light.  So from age to age from the Invisible Church a great Prince of Light becomes an Ambassador of the King and descends to earth to assume a mortal body in order to teach and help mankind along the Path of Light.  These Princes have come to every civilisation and restated in the form and language suitable to the people of the Kingdom of Earth the age-old facts of his eventual restoration to his Spiritual Home.

In every century, seven of these Ambassadors descend to earth and are responsible for the quickening of the seven departments of man’s earthly endeavours, they deal with:  the Leadership, Teaching, Philosophic, The Artisan, The Mystic and the Organisation aspects.  Each Ambassador may be a pupil of a Master or an Initiate and it is his or her responsibility to sound the key-note for the new age, in the main these embodiments of the Light come silently and fulfil their task and then pass away before the majority of the people realise that God has walked amongst them and the great opportunity they have missed.

Let us not run away with the stupid notion that the Ambassador is a creature from another planet or someone who must be bowed down before and adored – in fact, the Ambassador is more likely to appear to be more ordinary than yourselves – in other words, he will be, or is, a person just like the rest of us no different in every way – he may be born a prince or a labourer but this concerns the outer shell only.  The inner nature of the Ambassador is always veiled to the public, for instance, if he is a century Messenger, he will have the human and Divine Souls perfectly aligned, as in the case of Jacob Boehme and H P Blavatsky, he also becomes an embodiment of God.  Should the century be at the end of a minor cycle, then you will find that his human and Divine Souls are aligned with the Immortal Spirit, he then becomes the embodiment of God the Holy Spirit and in the case of a major cycle, he will embody the Consciousness of God the Son through his Spirit, Soul and Human Soul.

Within the Mysteries and the Gnostic System this knowledge of the Invisible Empire of Light was only trusted to the highest Initiates as it was considered that it was far too dangerous to be in the hands of the uneducated and un-initiated.  This has been amply proved with Theosophy and its aftermath.  H P Blavatsky states: ‘There is hardly a medium who has not claimed to have seen them (The Princes of Light.)  Every bogus swindling society, for commercial purposes, now claims to be guided and directed by ‘Masters’ often supposed to be far higher than ours! … prompted either by desire for lucre, vanity, or irresponsible mediumship … had we acted on the principle of silence, such desecration would never have occurred.’  The Princes and their pupils adopt different tactics today and a pupil is under a solemn obligation never to reveal to the public, not even their trusted friends, that they are a pupil of a Prince or Master.

Go into any occult society and you will hear the empty claims of being a pupil of a master, in most cases they are the apt pupil of their own subconscious mind.  Ultimately, the burden of proof rests with them.  We ourselves have often been told that such and such a person is a pupil of ‘Comte de St German’ and we have to laugh silently to ourselves.  We have never heard the Adept who used this title called by this name, we have a secret name for Him, just as He has a secret name for us.

The lives of these Ambassadors embody the outlines of the Wisdom of God, each one dramatises the various stages in the life of the Soul of Man, each one becomes the embodiment of God for a short period of time, then must discard the mortal body and descend again to become the helper of the next Ambassador.  Each Messenger teaches the three-fold stages of attainment, through purification, then attaining Illumination, and reaching Perfection.  They again always embodied the three levels of instruction to their pupils – The Public Teachings which are exoteric in nature, and for their immediate pupils the esoteric and then for the pledged pupils the Knowledge of the Hidden Church.

Many of the earlier Ambassadors who founded the Mysteries were the Gods who descended to earth and instituted the 3 x 3 = 9 system of initiation.  It was considered that if a neophyte had passed through the nine stages of the upward climb to the Summit, he was then ready to take the 1st Initiation into the Empire of Light.  Each stage of the Mysteries enabled the neophyte to become progressively spiritualised and be in the position to behold God face to face, this was the last and most aweful for the Mysteries.

One will find the outlines of the Hidden Church running through their doctrines and in all the succeeding manifestations of the Gnosis up to and including the beginning of the 18th Century.  One of the reasons for the withdrawal of the true Hierophants was due to the coming of the Industrial Revolution which began to sweep Europe and the Americas, men began to turn from spiritual things and concentrated upon the accumulating of worldly wealth, every discovery made by man was turned towards selfish ends.  This was one of the reasons for Their withdrawal and the founding of Masonry and a few of the more genuine occult bodies.

The culmination of the materialisation of science, religion and philosophy had been reached at the beginning of this century (1900).  In order to combat this spread of materialism the Empire sent forth a great Adept, one of the most enigmatic personages of the century.  One thing is certain, the Comte de St Germain – whatever his real patronymic may have been – had a right to his name and title, he bought a property called San Germano, in the Italian Tyrol, and paid the Pope for the title.  He came to re-organise the Schools of Europe, and one will find his moving hand through all the societies between 1700 to the end of the 19th Century, he also came to restore as much as possible the remaining Gnostic bodies and blend them into a single channel, that is to say the outer bodies, and His work and inspiration moved Adam Weishaupt to form The Order of the Illuminati.

There is sufficient evidence to show that he was the agent for the Templars, Rose Cross and many other Secret Assemblies, there is a suspicion, that he was preparing for the Minor Messenger who was to appear in 1975.  Let us see His movements: He inspired the Order of the Illuminati, and showed Anton Mesmer the principles of magnetism or Magnetic Masonry.  We know that the Brothers of Light of 1498 used this form of healing and also that Paracelsus practised it in his own work.  Mesmer discovered the magnetic fluid in man, he was initiated into the Fratres Lucis and the Egyptian Branch of the Brotherhood of Luxor, and it was They who elected him as the Messenger for the 18th Century, and his work was supervised by St Germain, later Cagliostro was brought in to help, but he made mistakes and was recalled and banished to the Bastille to die there.

In 1848, H P Blavatsky was commissioned to act as the Messenger for the 19th Century, her work was two-fold: to show the underlying unity of all religions and philosophies and to reveal the facts concerning the Empire of Light and secondly to reveal as much as that century could accept concerning the nature of the duality of Man and the methods of its restitution to its original purity.  This latter doctrine was entrusted to a few pledged pupils in London.  She was sent to Tibet to finish her three-fold training in the Arcane Discipline, she fulfilled the first stage, that of Purification and Illumination and it was under this natural faculty she was able to write ‘THE SECRET DOCTRINE’ with the help of her two Masters, we also know that ‘St Germain’ gave her considerable help in her work.

It was obviously planned that the Theosophical Society should follow the Arcane Discipline when she formed the Outer Society, with the Society itself she formed the Esoteric Section, and when she came to London she formed the “Pledged Section” of the Hidden Church.  When HPB died in 1891, she left no instructions for the continuation of both the Esoteric and Hidden Sections, they ceased to exist with her death.  The first split occurred in the society when both Judge and Besant claimed to be the Head of the Esoteric Section, but in point of fact, neither of them could claim this authority, as there was no authority to claim!

Dr Besant went to Paris and was initiated into Freemasonry.  She and a number of fellow Theosophists formed Co-Masonry, which, today, has now become a barren and lifeless organisation.  C W Leadbeater, a former Anglican Minister, joined with Bishop Wedgwood to form the Liberal Catholic Church and this also has become a semi-orthodox church teaching Theosophy instead of Gnosticism.  It was obvious that it was the intention of the Two Masters to form a new impulse based upon the three-fold division of the Philosophic (The Theosophical Society), the Sacerdotal (Liberal Catholic Church) and the Artisan (International Co-Masonry), but this effort was frustrated by the blindness of Annie Besant and C W Leadbeater.  Since this triple movement failed to implement the Arcane Discipline and the Gnosis of the Soul, it failed in its purpose and has become a stumbling block for the reception of the new impulse.  By this failure the line of Esoteric Tradition was broken.  What happens next?

H P Blavatsky stated that another Ambassador for the 20th Century would make his or her appearance about 1975, they could be a pupil or Initiate who would reveal and demonstrate the final proofs of the Divine Nature of Man and the method of its restitution with its original purity.  Who the next Messenger will be we will have to leave to the future. 

Since H P Blavatsky was commissioned by the Trans-Himalayan Brotherhood to act as Their Messenger under the guidance of two of its Brothers, her work was obviously devoted to the preparing of the ground for the 20th Century, her work failed to achieve the goal for which it was intended.  Will the next Messenger succeed or fail?  Who can tell?

If Anton Mesmer was commissioned by the Brotherhood of Luxor to be the Messenger for the 18th Century, then he too failed partially in his labours by the blunders of Cagliostro, just as HPB partially failed through the blunders of the governing Council of the Theosophical Society under the Presidency of Henry S Olcott, will the next Messenger also fail to achieve his or her objective through the blindness of one or a number of their Helpers?

If Mesmer was sent by the Brotherhood of Luxor and HPB by the Tibetan Brotherhood, it may be that the next Messenger will be sent forth by the Templars and Rose Cross Brotherhoods and the Messenger for the 21st Century will be sent forth by the Esoteric Arcane College.  This may be supposition, but there are certain facts which could give some substance to the above.  When the ‘Comte de St Germain’  DIED, he was reported to have said that He would be away from Europe for about a century and then He would return to continue His labours for the Empire.

There are reports from various Centres that ‘St Germain’ is again active in Europe, England and America.  In spite of the many and confusing claims both genuine and false, there seems to emerge a fairly clear picture, that this Adept is definitely working for this century, he has been reported to have been in St Petersburg in Russia before the Revolution and to have warned the Czar of Russia of coming events.  At a Council held in Paris before the last war of the Heads of many of the Assemblies, St Germain presided.  From the deliberations of this Council a directive was sent out to a number of the Brothers in various parts of the world to be prepared to work with the new impulse.  It would appear fairly obvious that the next Messenger would work under the supervision of the ‘Comte de St Germain’.

It may be well to make this perfectly clear to all and sundry, The Order of the Pleroma does not claim to be the only organisation teaching and practising the Arcane Discipline, there are many small private Schools scattered around the globe following the Discipline under various forms, but what we do state is that the Pleroma is the only public body proclaiming the ancient Arcane Discipline and that it can trace its descent and authority from the ancient Mystery Schools.

The Pleroma can appeal only to and assist individuals who have outgrown the need for Father-figures and organised spirituality, since they have realised that the real Image of the Father-figure is not external but is an internal Self and that the method to achieve the realisation of this Real Self is by one’s own personal effort.  Therefore, it is logical that achievement of the Real Man cannot be made through organised spirituality, but on the other hand, such organised bodies can and will assist the individual a part of the way, then they are on their own.  The Pleroma is not organised spirituality, it is a method to be followed in one’s personal life, all that the Pleroma can do for its Members is to point the way and assist the member in whatever way it can, but in the main, the work must be done by the members alone.  Hence the reason why the Pleroma cannot make any promises to you, for to do so would be gross dishonesty.

There is sufficient evidence to show that the Princes of Light do try to impress suitable individuals to form organised groups of students in the hope that such a group will become a channel whereby the Will of the Father may become manifest on earth, but there is always the danger of this effort being frustrated by the lower nature of both the leader and its members for when self-seeking, pride and arrogance gain the upper hand the channel becomes clogged and the Power from on High cannot flow forth, the body concerned then becomes useless in the Hand of the Father.   In the main, organisations which have been formed with high and pure aspirations in the beginning generally become crystallised in their ways of thinking and behaviour and are unable to change with the ever increasing tempo of life, they then become outmoded and useless in the New Age.

If the body follows the Arcane Discipline then it must according to the Law of Change also change from time to time in order to meet the conditions of the new impulse, but it is where there manifests a resistance to this change within the Group that we find the group falling short of the Plan of God.

Unlike most organised bodies, the Pleroma is not strictly an organised body, since it only has one Outer Head who realises that the Will of God is directive in its drives and its purpose is unchangeable, but that its form of expression is changeable.  Therefore, the Pleroma remains flexible and can change when it is necessary to change.  This process of change is evident both in the writings of its Head and the framework in 1955.

There is a saying that when a body refuses to change then it ceases to have any value in human life, in fact, it can and does act as a rigid wall to further progress for the student.  Hence the reason for our criticisms of most of the old-established spiritual movements, they have obviously outlived their usefulness and instead of changing with nature, they seek to retain the status quo upon which they first began.  In order to retain this status quo, they are compelled to enter into acts which are in the main antagonistic to the Will of God.

Before the Pleroma accomplishes its objective for this age, there must be further changes in its structure, it must be prepared to scrap its present form of presentation, if it has been proved to be ineffectual and adopt another approach.  Admittedly, there will be those members who will resent this change and will retire, taking with them members of like mind to form another body without due authority from the Empire of Light, but in spite of this and other contingencies, the main directive drive of the Outer Head will continue along the line of the Thought of the Empire.

Finally, there is always a period of slow growth for any group, the foundation stones have to be squared and laid firmly before the super-structure is built, the stones are actually human beings who are able to fit into the foundations for the future.  Each stone must be squared, levelled and oriented to the Higher Self, then the foundations will be firm and lasting.  This period of preparation is nearing an end for the Pleroma when the doors will be opened to all and sundry, but until we have a band of Illumined of partially illumined men and women to build upon, this period of change and preparation must continue until the expansion of the Pleroma, when it is ready then the Hidden Section will be formed, that of The Pre-Nicene Catholic Church and not before.  One stage becomes the foundations for the erection of the next stage and so on ad infinitum.

Pre History

The history of Atlantis is the key to the various mythologies of the ancient Mediterranean and Central American nations and can also be the hidden key to the doctrine of the Army of the Elect.  In order to understand our meaning, we must remember that it always has been the human tendency to attach Divine attributes to great earthly rulers and wise men and this tendency is one deeply implanted in human nature.  In this light there can be no question that these ancient gods and super-men were originally human beings.

The priest of Sais in Egypt said to Solon, the great Law Giver, that the Greeks were ignorant of their past history, whereas it has been proved that the civilisation of Egypt was old and established at the time of Manes, the first known king of Egypt.  This has been shown by their institutions, their laws, and their most brilliant achievements.  Recent findings have placed the beginnings of the Egyptian, Assyrian, and Hindu cultures at round about 11,500 BC, which could coincide with the shattering destruction of Plato’s Island of Atlantis in 9564 BC

There is evidence to show that Egypt was already a colony of Atlantis, whereas Greece became a culture after the fate of Atlantis.  Poseidon, the first King of Atlantis built the first city of Athens and it was his son Eumolpus who founded the Mysteries of Eleusis and became the first Hierophant.  The Traditions of Greece, Attica, and the Egyptians state that their people came from the mountains of an island in the midst of the ocean in the remote west and which stood beyond the western confines of the known earth.  The Greeks say that their gods came from Olympus or the Garden of the Hesperides which was situated at the extreme limit of Africa beyond the Pillars of Hercules, they all speak of the Atlanteans as being wise, and that they communicated their wisdom to men beyond their island, this means that the Rulers of Atlantis civilised the people with whom they came into contact.

Further, when one studies the traditions of the Egyptians, Greeks, North Africans, Chaldeans and Jews, etc., all look to the islands in the west as the source of their civilisations, their mythologies of the people are various memories of the history of Atlantis and its Divine Rulers.  The Empire of the Titans was very extensive, they ruled over Phrygia, Trace, Italy, the Island of Crete, Spain, Ireland and Brittany, Mauritania, Ethiopia, Chaldea are all connected with the post-deluge civilisations of the Mediterranean, then we find similar cultures and civilisations extending from the north to the south in the Americas whose traditions also claim that their forefathers came from the land within the midst of the ocean towards the east.

All of the above tends to show that the foundations and fountain-head of the Arcane Discipline stems from Plato’s fabled Island of Atlantis, a land and a time where men lived in a Golden Age, where the people lived as gods in a land of plenty, with many mountains and a beautiful level plain, through which flowed four navigable rivers which were also used for irrigation the land was divided into ten kingdoms which were ruled by ten fabulous kings who were part-takers of the divine nature and preserved their sanctity and were the Guardians of the Land of Eden wherein were to be found the Golden Apples of Eternal Life.

The Sceptre of Poseidon, the three-pronged Trident, was considered the mark of perfection, but it also indicated the three divisions of the Good Law, and the application of the Good Law in this Golden Age of Atlantis was administered by nine of the fabulous kings which were subject to Poseidon the Divine Emperor, here we have a hint of the 3 x 3 = 9 system which combining the Hierophant gives the perfect number TEN of Plato.  Atlantis was divided into three races, one was warlike, one peaceful, and the third were navigators of the globe.  Here we have the legend of the two opposing natures within man and also the two principles in the cosmos.

The history of Atlantis covered many ages and successive generations of Divine Kings.  The island was surrounded by a great circular ditch into which flowed four rivers in the form of a cross, this was the pre-Christian emblem of the Garden of Eden.  It implies that mankind in those ancient times was fully conscious of their divine nature, but after the destruction of Atlantis the Egyptians claimed that “no divinity has appeared in human shape”, man began to forget that he was a divine being who had descended from the gods.  Once realising that the basis of the legend and teaching of the Arcane Discipline is to be found in Plato’s narrative of Atlantis and Heredotus’s description of the grandeur of ancient Egypt, or Prescott’s picture of the civilisation of Peru, all stand witness to the incredible ancestry of the Discipline.

The wisdom and knowledge of man and the universe attained by the Atlanteans were never lost through its destruction, as Plato tells us that this vast power was gathered into one empire which stretched from Egypt to Peru, a vast consolidated empire covered the whole of the known world.  It was only when the central kingdom of Atlantis was destroyed by water that the memory of this land passed into legend and mythology.  This event occurred about 10,000 years BC

In order to preserve the records of man’s divine past and his history, the descendents of the Divine Kings founded the Mystery Religions of the remaining nations: In Egypt the Mysteries were founded by Thoth a son of the last king of Atlantis and in Athens by Eumolpus, by Moses or Meropes in Judaea, Gilgamesh of Chaldea, Manu of the Hindus, King Satyavrta of the Vedas.  In America, the Aztecs claim that Nata founded their Mysteries.  In all these founders we find the prefix of either AD or AT being placed at the beginning of their names, surely as a reminder of their motherland – Atlantis – the cradle of the present races of mankind.

In order to explain the similarities of the arts, sciences, habits, customs and traditions to be found on both sides of the Atlantic, it is stupid to accept the notion that the people on both sides of the Atlantic invented their cultures simultaneously, the only logical explanation is that where the Atlantic is now was once a vast land or island which acted as stepping stones from one sphere to another.  To state that the Mediterranean expositions of the Arcane Discipline were evolved independently to those exposed on the American continent is foolish, it is logical that they all were derived from a fountain-head, which is to be found in the Lost Atlantis.

It is not our purpose to show that the existence of Atlantis can be proven to be a fact in history, as there are others who are better equipped to deal with this question.  Our purpose in presenting the foregoing is simply to show that the foundations of what we call Occult Science or the Arcane Discipline originated in Atlantis, and that at the root of our legends, myths and traditions of the Mystery System is to be found the memory of a time when men walked the earth as gods and as a living witness that man will again walk the earth as a God-Incarnate.  To those who may try to decry our claims, let them first hesitate a little and study the religious beliefs of the people on both sides of the Atlantic, they will find a continuum of doctrines, principles and the reasons for the establishment of the Mysteries.

The basis of all the Mystery Systems of the planet tell the same story, the story of the fall of man from his divine state and of his being banished to the darkness of the tomb of flesh within the valley of death, and the method of his restitution to his higher nature. For instance, the tradition of Poseidon, the last king of Atlantis being the ruler of the seas, having the Three-fold Trident and being the Emperor over nine kings, should unfold to the reader a vast field of exploration. Here you have the Trinity of Man shown in the Trident – Spirit, Soul and Body.  The Ten Kings are simply the Ten Sephiroths of the Kabala and the Ten Units of Plato.  The Circle around Atlantis and the Four Rivers flowing into it from the plain, are surely the story of the personality of man and its four-fold vestures.  The Golden Apples of the Hesperides and the plucking of them by man, surely is the Biblical Story of Eden.

So the Gnosis or the Wisdom Religion is, surely, the legendising of the memory of man when he was a Divine Man.  Surely the story of the Four Titans (Atlanteans) chaining Prometheus (the divine mankind) to the mountain crag (gross physical bodies) and the tearing out his heart every seven years (the continual fall into gross physical bodies life after life), and many hundreds of other stories to be found in the religious beliefs of the ancients and which have been carried down to our own day, have their origin in the fabulous days of Golden Atlantis.  They are records of what man was and will be in the future.

One of the most sacred of all the tenets of the Mysteries was the knowledge of “The Army of the Elect.”  Just as in the Golden Age when man walked with the gods, they considered themselves as the “Elect of Mankind,” so we have today men who have restored themselves to this station in life.  But as the Cycle of Evolution surged forward, mankind were compelled to leave this Golden Age of Purity and descend into materialisation, the dense clothing which man assumed tended to cloud his memory of his former home and he became conscious of the world around him.  In order not to allow man to entirely forget his Divine Heritage, the Divine Instructors of Atlantis caused the mysteries to be established in the remaining nations, and in these Mysteries were preserved the memory, the aims and the means whereby man could once again become as he was in Atlantis.

The Army of the Elect comprised the whole of the Celestial Hierarchy which stretched like the Ladder of Jacob between the Supreme Man and man in the flesh.  The members of this Great Army are great Souls who have attained, or who are nearing the apex of human evolution.   These Men who have gained mastery over their human nature and thus are able to live unimpeded by the “man of flesh,” and owing to their long training and discipline are once again in possession of knowledge and power commensurate with the stage of man in Atlantis.

Generally the Members of this wonderful army are sometimes called Adepts or Masters who come voluntarily back to earth to help humanity, this means that instead of passing on to higher levels of evolution, they make the supreme sacrifice and remain with humanity until it has reached Their stage.  It is only the Adepts who are called Masters who accept the responsibility of training pupils, but these pupils must have reached a certain standard of inner unfoldment, normally the stage when their Immortal Soul has gained to a measure control over their human reflection in the flesh.  But there are other Adepts who do not take pupils but work with the Great Plan in other directions.

These Adepts have passed what is known as the Fourth Initiation or the Crucifixion in the Christian Writ, but a Master-Adept is one who has attained the Fifth Initiation or the Ascension.  These Initiations are taken within the Invisible Empire of Light.  Therefore, those who have passed the fourth have reached individual salvation, the stage when the Divine Soul is completely merged into the human Soul.  Whereas those who have attained the fifth have completed their human evolution, the stage has been reached when the human Soul ceases to exist as a separate point of consciousness and is merged completely into the Divine Soul.

The SUPREME LODGE or ASSEMBLY is at present called the “Trans-Himalayan Brotherhood” which is at present located in the Gobi Desert in Asia.  The Supreme Lodge was first formed in the “City of the Golden Gate” of Atlantis, and when in 9564 BC, Atlantis sank, the Lodge Migrated to Egypt and then to Asia.  But the residence of the King of the World was moved to the Gobi some million BC, owing to the impending systematic destruction of Atlantis.

The Head of this Hierarchy has for its Head the King of the World, sometimes called the “Divine Emperor”, “Prester John” of the Chivalric Legend, “Sanat Kumara” of the Vedas, “Christ the King” of modern Catholicism, and the “Father” of Jesus.  He was known as Poseidon of Atlantis, the surname of the ancient kings of Atlantis, Chronos of Greece, the Putah of the Egyptians.  This King descended from Venus some 16 million years ago to take over the rulership of this our earth.  We have called this Hierarchy the “Invisible Empire of Light” for obvious reasons.  This Hierarchy of Ten Mighty Beings guide and drives the vast complex machine of Evolution to its final destiny.  It would appear that the civilisation of Atlantis was the materialisation of the Empire of material forms.

This vast Empire of Light which comprises the whole of the visible and invisible Energies of God is composed of Ten great Officials.  This vast field of Evolution is called the PLEROMA and is the Field of Evolution for the Supreme Man-Soul of our Solar System standing above and yet within the Pleroma we have the Logos (God) who shows Himself in Three Aspects: God the Father, the Will to Create; the Son, the Wisdom to Create and finally, the Holy Spirit, the results of the first two.  From the Four comes the Seven Spirits before the Pleromic Throne, they are responsible to the Logos for the evolution of the visible and invisible Planet.

Then we have the Four Lords of Destiny who are responsible for the balancing of the two Forces in Nature and Man, within the Pleroma.  Hence we see the Four Rivers flowing within the Circle of Atlantis.  These Beings never descend lower than the seventh region of the Pleroma, but They are represented by Human Beings on every level within the Pleroma.  Therefore, the word PLEROMA is a Gnostic term denoting the Supreme Soul, it is SPACE, developed and divided into a series of Aeons or Rulers of the Regions of Existence.

We must remember that these Ten Mighty Beings do not belong strictly to our earth Evolution as such, yet in a mysterious way they embody the earth evolution within Themselves.  They belong to the Logos of the Solar System strictly speaking, as we have tried to show in the Monographs of the Order of the Pleroma.  They are actually fragments of the Supreme Solar Soul and are solely responsible for the fulfilment of their part of the Solar Evolution.

Let us explain this paradox in this wise: The Solar Logos follows the same pattern as does the Planetary Logos.  It also manifests as a Solar Trinity, then through the Four Expressions are formed the Seven Planets and the three hidden planets, so you have the Ten Solar Beings.  But the planetary Logos becomes the Ruling Providence or God for its respective Pleroma.  So you have ten smaller Pleromas making up the Solar Pleroma.

Just as the Solar God is compelled to fragment Its Life to form the Ten Planets which make up our Solar System, so does the Planetary Logos follow the same procedure.  It fragments itself into the parts and the parts fall into the various regions of its essence, as the One lives in the parts by virtue of its original fragmentation of Itself, so the parts live in the Whole.

We now know that matter is simply the crystalisation of Divine Energy or Light and since this Light is the Pleroma of all Being, the logical term to give the Governing Intelligences is the “Empire of Light”.  This means that you will have the explanation as to why we say that you are not “members” of the Pleroma, but you are actually the Pleroma itself.  Just as every part of the Pleroma is responsible and dependent upon the parts for its existence and well-being in order to bring the WHOLE to Perfection.

It will now be seen that the choice of title for this organism was not made without careful thought on our part, we took the designation of the Parent Whole.  “As above; as below, that which is mirrored in the Whole must be reflected in the parts, and for the Whole to become perfected, so the parts must first become perfected in man.”

From 1977 Until The Present Day

by

Archbishop Count George Boyer

Since Richard, Duc de Palatine died in 1977 the work of the Gnosis has taken on many guises and has appeared in many forms.

In the USA the Gnostic movement has formed a consortium under the banner of the Eglise Gnostique Catholique Apostolique (EGCA), now consisting on many forms of the Gnostic Church, including the link up with the churches in France. In England we have taken a more secluded approach in order to implement links with the more esoteric side of the Gnostic Teachings

Our church in Britain has been re-named, under Bishop Boyer, and is now known as the Pre Nicene Ekklesia, in succession from the original church, The Pre Nicene Church founded by the Late Richard, Duc de Palatine in 1953.  This church follows the same Eucharist as the original church and teaches the same doctrines.

In an Announcement from the Empire of Light made in October 1997 the Grand Archon, Count George Boyer, changed the name of the Brotherhood and Order of the Pleroma to The Guardians of the Way, retaining the same authorities of that organisation. This change was motivated for the reasons explained on page 21 of this publication, and because Richard, Duc de Palatine’s work, especially the esoteric side, continues in close contact with the Adepts working on the ‘inner levels’.  Little is mentioned about the Inner Section, The Ekklesia Spiritualis, for which Count Boyer has now become the Outer Head and the door will open for those prepared to take the steps required of them to qualify for membership.  This move will take members of the Church into a higher sphere of their spiritual evolution, onwards towards the Hidden Church revealed in this document.

Richard Duc de Palatine has given hints about the Ekklesia Spiritualis in part V. of his work The Disciplina Arcani, and further references are found within this work as the ‘Elect’.

To clarify the difference between Cosmic Initiation and the initiations in most other orders or groups – during the process of Cosmic Initiation the candidate experiences the actual requirements needed for the degree into which he is being initiated, unlike the initiations given in many Masonic, Rose Cross and Martinist Orders where the member is simply stepped up according to the length of time they have been a member, or according to how much has been contributed to the order in material terms, and only go through an exoteric ritual.  During the process of a Cosmic Initiation the candidate comes under the direction of our invisible Mentors, and the candidate can experience either a painful time or one of beautiful peace: in this way the process actually takes one through the portals of inner experience, and one grows nearer to becoming an Adept within the Hidden Church or the Empire of Light.

The present Christian Church is not entirely unaware of the Disciplina Arcani because a Roman Catholic Priest, Edward Yarnold SJ, has written a book called “The Awe-Inspiring Rites of Initiation”, wherein there is a whole chapter on this subject, but because he is not an Initiate of the Mysteries he has missed the real depths of its meaning. Further information can be found in “Gnostic and Historic Christianity” by Gerald Massey, “The Arcane Schools” by John Yarker Jnr., and “The Cloud Upon the Sanctuary” by Karl von Eckhartshausen.  Whilst little reference is given to the Discipline within the present Rose Cross and Masonic type fraternities, it is, nevertheless, still preserved and practiced in the more esoteric schools.

The 3 x 3  = 9 system mentioned in this work by Richard is now operated, mainly by the inner processes that are set to work within the student, and is not applied in a ritual sense.  We have found that when a candidate enters the Mysteries proper, the right conditions are immediately set in place by the Hidden Church to which our work belongs.

The study of the true mysteries is not an intellectual one akin to the pursuit of academic or theological knowledge, although at later stages the candidate needs to become erudite in the application of the doctrines should he be called upon to teach others.  Whilst the early stages of training are done in collectives, the more advanced training is undertaken on a one-to-one basis, during which entry into the higher areas of awareness is made possible.  The teacher cannot give you the advanced initiations, the candidate has to undergo these from the inside of their being.  It is a personal process, and only when the candidate has completed the primary stages of purification can it take place.  The Hidden Church is in control of all work done – it is not the work of the teacher to do this, but he, or she, does trigger the commencement.

Thus, the teachings given by the Guardians have their source within the Solar Intelligence Itself, and are not ‘channelled’ by means of an intervening entity.  They are given to the student directly from this Source, and therefore remain untainted even by the mind of the teacher.  This is the true and genuine method which has always been in existence throughout the ages from those great beings who live unrecognised within the community of mankind.  Only Purity, Patience and Perseverance will get you there.

 

Magna Charta to the Priorato del Tempio Hierosolimitano di Mik’Ael (PTHM)

In 2010, I was approached by a modern Templar group based in Italy, the Priorato del Tempio Hierosolimitano di Mik’Ael (PTHM) with a request that I should provide them with a charter of authority in my capacity as Presiding Bishop of the Ecclesia Apostolica Divinorum Mysteriorum (which body has significant Templar links).

I met with the representatives of the PTHM in London on 3 September 2010. Although this was a cordial occasion, it was made difficult by the language barrier; my spoken Italian was unfortunately inadequate to the task. I issued my Magna Charta to the PTHM, and the PTHM conferred upon me the insignia of their organization.