Let's Talk About Gnostic Movements, Mystery Cults, and Hardcore Antinomianism

>Gnostic
Mandaeism (~100 AD)
Manichaeism (~200 AD)
Bogomilism (~1000 AD)
Druze (~1000 AD)
Catharism (~1100 AD)
Yezidism (~1100 AD)

>Mystery Cults
Eleusinian (~300 BC)
Samothracian (~100 BC)
Mithraic (~100 AD)

>Turbo-Antinomian
Vajrayana Buddhism (~700 AD)
Trika Shaivism (~850 AD)
Sufism (~1200 AD)
Sabbateanism (~1625 AD)
Frankism (~1750 AD)

This is a rough and rounded up timeline of some major sects and movements. Let's talk about this stuff, share reading recommendations, and just jam out. Let's have real threader. We can do this bros!

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  1. 3 months ago
    Anonymous

    In Spain there was a sect from Late Roman Era leaded by a guy called Priscilian

    • 3 months ago
      Anonymous

      Do tell my brother, do tell.

      • 3 months ago
        Anonymous

        1 John 5:7-8 (the Comma Johanneum), the most explicit reference to the Trinity in the Bible, originated from a 4th century writing of Priscillian in Vulgar Latin.

  2. 3 months ago
    Anonymous

    I don't think Druze are quite Gnostic though, are they? I thought they and Alawites mostly developed on their own, caught between Christian and Muslim societies and tried to blend them.

    • 3 months ago
      Anonymous

      It's debatable, but their approach to traditional Abrahamic scriptures appears to be informed by Gnosticism, and they reportedly differentiate between certain characters from the Qur'an and OT being misled by malevolent forces, and those who were consistently in tune with God.

  3. 3 months ago
    Anonymous

    There's was this was moronic english reformation sect called Muggletonianism that lasted until 1953

    • 3 months ago
      Anonymous

      IIRC they believed philosophy was demonic/understanding of the world had be obtained through the bible, that Jesus was God and that he walked the earth while at the same time denying the trinity (which meant Elijah got to sit in God's throne for the 30 odd years Christ lived), they also believed they could place personL blessings and curses upon people. Which they did to rival religious leaders of 17th century england (mostly Quakers), a few of them did actually die soon after.
      Also they believed that if you were exposed to the true teaching and rejected ir you would be damned automatically.
      An anecdote I read about them was that there was a congregation in lobdon and another one in a nearby town. And they were unaware of eachother until a guy went to london for work and met the local Muggletonians by random chance.

      • 3 months ago
        Anonymous

        Also, the eponymous Lodowicke Muggleton and another guy who founded the movement claimed to be figures from the book of revelation.

  4. 3 months ago
    Anonymous

    The mystery cults became gnostic cults as a result of everyone leaving them to become Christian. They adopted a Christian aesthetic and continued their abhorrent works and esoteric structures but were eventually outcompeted by the truth.

    You might be able to throw some later Christian heresies in there for interest, the Cathars in particular come to mind but also maybe the Lollards.

    • 3 months ago
      Anonymous

      >continued their abhorrent works
      What sect are you a part of?

    • 3 months ago
      Anonymous

      >The mystery cults became gnostic cults
      Source: your ass

      • 3 months ago
        Anonymous

        That's literally what happened. Since at least the very first civilisations in Mesopotamia and probably before, the spiritual life of humanity was controlled by an elite clique of priests who used sexuality to control the masses (through temple prostitutes and an ideology of hedonic materialism) and prophecy (as well as their popular support) to control the politicians. Whenever a new power arose (eg, Persia, Egypt, Greece, Rome), these priestesses and oracles would migrate to the centre of power and worm their way into the upper echelons of society until we reached the point where every single Roman Emperor was a member of a Mystery Cult.

        Socrates was the first person we know of to stand up to this, but it wasn't until the Christian movement got well underway in the very late first century that we saw any serious pushback against this force which had dominated humanity for thousands of years already. The cults were well aware of the threat to their power and ideology and that's why they had Jesus and all of his apostles executed (except one, and except Judas who was their informant) through Pilate (who was a cult member and directly related to the Emperor) and the Sanhedrin (which had been allowed to remain in place once they were reformed into compliance with the cults). The cults had pushed their luck too far in allowing hedonic orgies and mass castrations and gladiatorial contests and so on to spread publicly throughout all of the Roman Empire, increasingly devoid of spiritual context, and people were receptive to Christianity's humanist and sexually restrained morality.

        After centuries of persecution failed, the Mystery Cults increasingly incorporated israeli/Christian symbols into their practise in an attempt to corrupt Christianity and divert its followers into aberrant paths. The early Councils put an end to this and the cult members fled to Venice at the fall of Rome.

        More info:
        https://files.catbox.moe/337d29.pdf

        • 3 months ago
          Anonymous

          Nice fanfiction

          • 3 months ago
            Anonymous

            What's wrong with it then?

          • 3 months ago
            Anonymous

            OP here. That other anon was probably thrown off by the title, which obviously comes off as proselytize-ish. That being said, it looks to be worth at least a skim. Since you're the first to share a text ITT, I will share one in return: https://libgen.is/book/index.php?md5=F90650E59410D75D20321247B41497CA

            This is Zaehner's seminal work on Zoroastrianism, but the first half of the book includes an enormous amount of analysis and well-informed speculation on Mithraism, and other mystery cults which were shaped or potentially shaped by Zoroastrian traditions. The whole book is worth reading. Many years back it was Zaehner - and around the same time, Jung - who first catapulted me into a lasting love affair with the history of religions, semiotics, and of course the esoteric.

          • 3 months ago
            Anonymous

            Everything. Gnosticism is just Marcionism combined with Platonism.

          • 3 months ago
            Anonymous

            Gnosticism is far more Aristotle than Plato. And Marcion was far from the first Gnostic, if anyone was its progenitor it was Simon the Magus who lived during Paul's time. But it took longer for the Mystery Cults to worm their way into these divergent groups.

          • 3 months ago
            Anonymous

            Marcion was not a Gnostic

        • 3 months ago
          Anonymous

          > increasingly incorporated israeli/Christian symbols into their practise in an attempt to corrupt Christianity and divert its followers into aberrant paths.
          The problem with everything before this is it’s all unfalsifiable. It’s just your word and any evidence to any other theory can be “oh that’s fake evidence out there by the cult” or “oh that’s coming out of a civilisation corrupted by the cult so it can’t be trusted”.
          >The early Councils put an end to this and the cult members fled to Venice at the fall of Rome.
          And that last part is where you fall into profound mental moronation. The cult was being persecuted by Rome so when Rome collapsed they fled from now not Rome (that place that had FORMALLY been persecuting them). It absurd of the face of it and doesn’t conform with basic human behaviour or logic. This line is just generally shilled by redditors who are ass-blasted as Venice for being successful. Like the Anglos with their Spanish Inquisition myths.
          If any clique of priests were dominating from the background it would be the ascetics in the East.

          • 3 months ago
            Anonymous

            >The problem with everything before this is it’s all unfalsifiable. It’s just your word and any evidence to any other theory can be “oh that’s fake evidence out there by the cult” or “oh that’s coming out of a civilisation corrupted by the cult so it can’t be trusted”.
            It's true, anyone can have any theory about this time because there's so little evidence. What I see:
            >materialist priestess cults often involving sex and violence dominated every ancient civilisation
            >no humanist religions existed whatsoever except Judaism, and that was corrupted through the priesthood during the Second Temple period (Sadducees didn't even believe in an afterlife)
            >Jesus came and established a humanist pacifist chaste religion which spread like wildfire
            >the cults succeeded in using their political power to assassinate or execute nearly every evangelist and bishop but they were still increasingly losing members and power
            >eventually even the politicians (including the Emperor starting with Constantine) became Christian and the cults were forced to go underground
            >since the persecution of Christianity had led to some divergences in practise and there were still cultish pockets of power, they were able to infiltrated these areas and reinsert materialism, sexuality, and violence back into "Christianity"
            >these areas are now known as "Gnostic"
            >to this day, the main foe of humanism is materialism which we see in abortion, troonyism, promiscuity, etc

          • 3 months ago
            Anonymous

            >It's true, anyone can have any theory about this time because there's so little evidence.
            and that’s a problem to me.
            >the why I see it
            >they were able to infiltrated these areas and reinsert materialism, sexuality, and violence back into "Christianity"
            >these areas are now known as "Gnostic"
            Luckily your theory is pretty much falsifiable in this instance. The vast majority of Gnostic sects actually rejected materialism and sexuality. You seem to be embracing Gnosticism which projecting it onto what you disagree with it.
            In truth the gnostics were anti-material (with a few exceptions), the pagans were materialists and the Christians chose the Middle path.
            >to this day, the main foe of humanism is materialism
            troonyism is entirely spiritual not material. It’s a rejection of the material human form in turn for an abstract concept of “womenhood”.
            You are falling for the thing you are accusing your opponents of.
            I can give you some good sauces on this if you want?

          • 3 months ago
            Anonymous

            >The vast majority of Gnostic sects actually rejected materialism and sexuality.
            I shouldn't have used the term "materialism" so liberally, because obviously many Gnostics hated physical reality and their body. However, they were nevertheless anti-humanist because of their hatred for the human body. Any source on their rejection of sexuality?
            >troonyism is entirely spiritual not material.
            I disagree. troonyism is the idea that since there is no transcendent reality, only the material world, and therefore you are free to create your own reality. It is the rejection of the spiritual in favour of a created reality.

          • 3 months ago
            Anonymous

            >Any source on their rejection of sexuality?
            Yep look into the Cathar Perfectii

            Here is a vid on Heavens Gate https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=CKBzG6s6fC0&t=1s

            Manichaeans had a lot of restrictions on sexuality. Especially their priests.

          • 3 months ago
            Anonymous

            I'm not interested in American cults, I'm talking about Gnostic cults in the Roman Empire.

            >since there is no transcendent reality, only the material world.
            I disagree. Their believe in men being women is part of a transcendent reality that sits above and is superior to the material reality.
            >and therefore you are free to create your own reality.
            I think that’s your mistake. They reject objective reality both material and spiritual reality and subordinate it to their own personal reality which they claim is transcendent and existing simultaneously with others (as long as your transcendent reality is heckin wholesome and not frowny face emoji).
            >It is the rejection of the spiritual in favour of a created reality.
            Agree. Material reality isn’t their created reality though, if it was they could just choose to become genetic (material) females. Their false spiritual reality is created. It’s the reason they appeal to 2 things.
            Heckin Democracy
            And the heckin experts.
            Their appeal to them is their attempt to force their created reality to be the transcendent reality. “Im a women because society and the “experts” say so.
            It’s a created reality through a higher knowledge, accessible through the enlightenment of the masses the gnosis of “the experts”.

            I think you are right, and I'm just not used to discussing this stuff and also need more sleep. I duno, I've just been absorbing a bunch of shit from this LeRouche cult (including that article I linked before) and the main thing is Platonic humanism vs Aristotelianist materalism as seen in the Mystic Cults and today in the Tavistock Institute and so on. I don't agree with all of it but it's a very compelling narrative and runs parallel to a lot of Christian thought with which I do agree.

          • 3 months ago
            Anonymous

            >I'm not interested in American cults
            Heavens gate was very influenced by Gnostic thought and had the elements of rejecting materialism, proto-Transgenderism, homosexual eunuchs etc.
            It’s worth considering at least.

          • 3 months ago
            Anonymous

            >since there is no transcendent reality, only the material world.
            I disagree. Their believe in men being women is part of a transcendent reality that sits above and is superior to the material reality.
            >and therefore you are free to create your own reality.
            I think that’s your mistake. They reject objective reality both material and spiritual reality and subordinate it to their own personal reality which they claim is transcendent and existing simultaneously with others (as long as your transcendent reality is heckin wholesome and not frowny face emoji).
            >It is the rejection of the spiritual in favour of a created reality.
            Agree. Material reality isn’t their created reality though, if it was they could just choose to become genetic (material) females. Their false spiritual reality is created. It’s the reason they appeal to 2 things.
            Heckin Democracy
            And the heckin experts.
            Their appeal to them is their attempt to force their created reality to be the transcendent reality. “Im a women because society and the “experts” say so.
            It’s a created reality through a higher knowledge, accessible through the enlightenment of the masses the gnosis of “the experts”.

          • 3 months ago
            Anonymous

            He's the type of moron who probably thinks freemasonry and kabbalah are gnostic.

          • 3 months ago
            Anonymous

            I'll have those sources m8

          • 3 months ago
            Anonymous

            For genera info on Gnosticism

            But that video won’t do the topic justice. Gnostics are so complex and multi-layered. What’s true of one group isn’t true others. There were gnostics who were massive coomers.

            Cathar Perfectii

            %3D%3D
            Kill Them All by Sean McGlynn - it speaks heavily about the Carthars hostility to materialism. They denied the incarnation because matter was evil and the author retells a story of Cathar Villagers beating a women for feeding her sickly/dying child AFTER she had been given the last and only rite by a Perfectii.
            I’ve also got *pic related* but haven’t read it yet.

            Heavens Gate

            Valesians were a sect that practiced self-castration and would forcibly castrate others on occasion.

          • 3 months ago
            Anonymous

            Sorry *pic related*

          • 3 months ago
            Anonymous

            >I'm not interested in American cults
            Heavens gate was very influenced by Gnostic thought and had the elements of rejecting materialism, proto-Transgenderism, homosexual eunuchs etc.
            It’s worth considering at least.

            That Heaven's Gate video is on the dodgiest channel and the thumbnails look like something from last century. I'll check out the others tough they look interesting. That said, I'm not super interested in their beliefs as much as their history since they are no longer relevant.

          • 3 months ago
            Anonymous

            Got any on the Roman Mystery Cults and their origins or legacy?

  5. 3 months ago
    Anonymous

    >Sufism (~1200 AD)
    Why is Sufism here? Sufism is a very broad umbrella with widely diverging beliefs and practices and additionally spans different sects.

    • 3 months ago
      Anonymous

      There is a corpus of Sufi literature and several orders which have well-formulated beliefs.

      • 3 months ago
        Anonymous

        >There is a corpus of Sufi literature and several orders which have well-formulated beliefs.
        Most of whom are nothing related to gnosticism or antinomiamnism.

        The orders vary widely, and the practitioners of the same orders vary widely in their beliefs and practices. Two entirely different groups could claim the same Tariqa (order), and one of them could be the Taliban and the other could be getting their ass beat by the Taliban.

        • 3 months ago
          Anonymous

          I never lumped them in with gnostics, but - in an academic religious studies context - Sufism is antinomian in nature. Next time I'll just stick with "heterodox", so people don't think I'm talking about Christian antinomianism in particular. I should not have assumed that everyone on IQfy is familiar with the jargon being used in an increasingly niche field of study that I blew all my savings on, just to end up teaching western civ at a shitty two-year college, because there's no university within a 500 mile radius that has a religious studies department and I'm too broke, tired, and antisocial to move anywhere else and try to wriggle my way into another position. Frick my life.

          • 3 months ago
            Anonymous

            >I should not have assumed that everyone on IQfy is familiar with the jargon being used in an increasingly niche field of study that I blew all my savings on
            >t.

  6. 3 months ago
    Anonymous

    Vajrayana buddhism has extremely strict and stringent moralethical observances and conditions; boddhisatva vows, root vows, samaya vows, etc In Kalachakra you do semen retention and arent even allowed to have wet dreams

  7. 3 months ago
    Anonymous

    >Druze (~1000 AD)
    >Yezidism (~1100 AD)
    literally shia nonsense that became their own religions

  8. 3 months ago
    Anonymous

    Why are Valdens (Waldensians) on this chart?
    Waldens were and remain to this day proto-Protestants who are largely identical with other reformed traditions such as Presbyterians just with a few unique characteristics such credal rather than pedobaptism.
    They were less gnostic than the Byzantine Church.

    • 3 months ago
      Anonymous

      The creator must have carelessly lumped an antimonian sect in with these gnostic sects. It is worth noting that they often faced waves of persecution at the same time the Cathars did.

      • 3 months ago
        Anonymous

        >The creator must have carelessly lumped an antimonian sect in with these gnostic sects.
        Waldensians weren’t antimonian.
        In fact they very much believed people should observe laws and rules, encouraged voluntary poverty and duty to others.
        Reminder: Waldensians still exist.

        • 3 months ago
          Anonymous

          We're not talking about antinomian in the church sense (as evidenced by the OP including traditions outside of Christendom in the antinomian category). There is a broader sense of the term, which refers to movements that severely break from the established structures - especially ecclesiastical - of the religious traditions that birthed them in some way. In this sense, Waldensians are antinomian. I can understand the confusion, as "antinomian" is highly pejorative in serious Christian circles.

          • 3 months ago
            Anonymous

            Thank you for the clarification.

          • 3 months ago
            Anonymous

            No problem. I did a lot of interfaith stuff in grad school and ran into the issue a bunch at first.

          • 3 months ago
            Anonymous

            I can understand how it would fundamentally cause issues in any discussion with Christians so I’m sure there have to more accurate language out there.

  9. 3 months ago
    Anonymous

    I'm fascinated by Arewordik which are Zoroastrian Armenians that survived in Anatolia until the 1915 genocide

    • 3 months ago
      Anonymous

      This should occupy you for a bit then: https://eprints.soas.ac.uk/29354/1/10731449.pdf

      • 3 months ago
        Anonymous

        Been there done that, even wrote my own papers on the Arewordik

  10. 3 months ago
    Anonymous

    I am more fascinated by the Gnostic pantheon than their beliefs themselves. The 365 minor archons, the 72 archdemons and the 7 main archons, of which the Demiurge is part, being Yaldabaoth. There is also Abrasax, but this subject is complex.

  11. 3 months ago
    Anonymous

    Not really a cult but supposedly Akbar the Mughal Emperor and his closest associates worships some kind of Islamic-Hindu-Buddhist syncretist religion called Din-i-Ilahi

    >The Dīn-i Ilāhī (Persian: دین الهی, lit.'Religion of God'),[1] known during its time as Tawḥīd-i-Ilāhī ("Divine Monotheism", lit.'Oneness of God') or Divine Faith, was a new syncretic religion or spiritual program propounded by the Mughal emperor Akbar in 1582. According to Iqtidar Alam Khan, it was based on the Timurid concept of Yasa-i Changezi (Code of Genghis Khan), to consider all sects as one.[2] The elements were drawn from different religions.

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