Saturday, January 07, 2006


Meet Spin Doctor 2006, Alan AtKisson, new "International Transition Director" of the Earth Charter Initiative.
AtKisson, who consults, sings, writes and blogs, is the emerging shill for the likes of Earth Charter originators Maurice Strong and Mikhail Gorbachev.
Writing to the world on New Year’s Day 2006, AtKisson informed the masses of his arrival on the international stage.
"Last year, my firm was asked to perform a strategic review of the Earth Charter Initiative, and to make recommendations for the next five years. We did not know much about the Charter when we started…and to make a long story very short, at the end of that process, I was invited to change hats from consultant to CEO. This was both a surprise and a "challenging honor"…and I surprised myself by accepting."
During the review process, says AtKissson, he had "changed from an Earth Charter skeptic to a fan, based on both the people and work we found happening around the world, and nudged a bit by watching what happened in New Orleans."

Continue reading...


At a stoplight the other day my attention lighted on the car in front of me...an older model, clean, white Grand Am.

Left bumper sticker: "My karma ran over your dogma."

Right bumper sticker: "People suck."

Center magnetic blue ribbon: "Support lap dancing."

Licence plate numbers were preceded by "DOA."

Is that what passes for being culturally creative these days?

Let's see..."karma over dogma" means Eastern religions with their permissive personal paths to salvation have superceded the dogma of Christianity. People can more easily be rejected from an Eastern perspective that posits a human body fallen into damaged materiality, and suffering the consequences of their previous reincarnations while trying to right those wrongs as they await liberation through death and hopefully avoidance of subsequent reincarnation. Whatever is wrong with our life is our own fault and so not something for which others should feel compassion or practice charity towards us.

Is it any wonder, then, if from this perspective that I look around at my fellow man who is not going to help me in any way; and who is just making my life more difficult by being in my way, preventing me from doing whatever it is I've decided I must do in order to better my situation? From this perspective, people do indeed "suck".

Meanwhile, in order to bring a little relief into this dismal existence I've created for myself, I'll try that panacea that the voices of the culture tell me is a cure-all, namely sex, prettied up to "lap dancing" for this bumper magnet so that no one will throw eggs at my car, or scream at me in the parking lot, or take it.

And "DOA"? Well, you know where lap dancing leads, and those unwanted consequences can be difficult to deal with, so the best solution is dead on arrival.

That's quite a theology lesson for a Grand Am. Who knew cars were so smart!

Friday, January 06, 2006


Amy has linked this AP story about efforts to bring Orthodoxy and Roman Catholicism together. This part of the story is encouraging:

"We are in very good relationships with the present pope, Benedict XVI, and I'm in the very happy position to announce to you that we are going to restart the dialogue on the international global level between the Orthodox church and the Roman Catholic church," Bartholomew said in Greek through an interpreter, Archbishop Demetrios, who is primate of the Greek Orthodox Church in America.


From the same kingsgarden.org Martinist website that brought you The Order of the World Mother comes an introduction to Martinism which contains a section titled "Notes on Louis-Claude de Saint Martin by Manly P. Hall" where you can read:

The writings of Saint-Martin were brought to the consideration of Voltaire. In 1787, Saint-Martin went to Italy with Prince Galatzin, then journeyed to Strasbourg, where he further studied the writings of Boehme, translating parts of them into French. Back in Paris, he was arrested during the Revolution simply because he was a gentleman by birth. His affiliations with the Freemasons saved him from the Reign of Terror.

He visited London, where he remained for several months, made the acquaintance of the astronomer Herschel, and contacted the writings of William Law, the great interpreter of Boehme. Saint-Martin never married, but had a wide circle of friends and admirers, including many leaders of the intellectual world.

The central concept of Saint-Martin's mystical philosophy is that man remains divine in spite of the "fall" reported in the Scriptures. Within the human being lies dormant a high spiritual quality of which man is not always conscious, and which he must develop or release by freeing himself from the illusion of materialism.

Another source--Irving Hexham's _Concise Dictionary of Religion_--offers the following entries:

BOEHME, Jacob (1575-1624): German LUTHERAN MYSTIC whose speculations about GOD and His relationship to CREATION drew upon NEOPLATONISM, the JEWISH CABBALA and ALCHEMY and was expressed in his The Way to Christ (1624). An obscure writer who has been accused of being both a PANTHEIST and a DUALIST. His work influenced PIETISM, ROMANTICISM and modern NEW AGE mystical movements as well as the writings of William LAW and Isaac NEWTON.

William Law translated Boehme. John Wesley, founder of the Holiness Movement, looked to William Law for inspiration.

The Wesley Center Online notes that William Law was John Wesley's mentor for a critical period of his quest for holiness:

In John Wesley's prolonged quest for holiness as the ground upon which, in his thinking, he must claim justification in God's sight, he became enamored with the Christian mystics and their pursuit of perfection. Some of these mystics were what Albert C. Outler (1) has called voluntaristic and others quietistic. By the former we understand Outler to mean activists who take Jesus Christ as their pattern, and strive by a sirenuous legalism to achieve a perfection in accord therewith. Such was William Law, an older contemporary of Wesley and his mentor for a critical period of his quest.

The quietists, on the other hand, were subjectivists who sought inward union with Jesus Christ by way of prayer, passive contemplation, and detachment from the world because of its inherent corruption.

German Moravian Pietism also influenced Wesley according to the _Concise Dictionary of Religion_:

WESLEY, John (1703-179l): English founder of METHODISM who was influenced by German MORAVIAN PIETY and ZINZENDORF. He experienced a dramatic CONVERSION at a PRAYER MEETING in 1738 at Aldersgate Street, London which led him to abandon controversial FORMS of Ministry to preaching to workers and the poor in fields at Bristol the following year. A compulsive traveller, he made hundreds of journeys on horseback preaching, making CONVERTS and organizing Methodist SOCIETIES throughout England, Ireland and Scotland leading to the creation of the METHODIST CHURCH in 1791. A strong opponent of slavery, author of educational treatises, Biblical commentaries, etc., and twenty-three collections of HYMNS. His Journal (1735-90) is both a spiritual classic and a vivid account of life in eighteenth century Britain.

In his book _The Century of the Holy Spirit: 100 Years of Pentecostal and Charismatic Renewal_, in a segment subtitled "Holiness Roots," Vinson Synan writes:

John Wesley, an Anglican priest, experienced his evangelical conversion in a meeting at Aldersgate Street in 1738 where, as he said, "my heart was strangely warmed." This he called his "new birth."

From Wesley, Pentecostals also inherited the idea of a crisis "second blessing" subsequent to salvation. This experience he variously called "entire sanctification," "perfect love," "Christian pefection," or "heart purity." Wesley's colleague John Fletcher was the first to call this a "baptism in the Holy Spirit," an experience that brought spiritual power to the recipient as well as inner cleansing.
(p. 2)

Synan also discusses Wesleyan Pentecostal Churches and Wesleyan Pentecostals in the book.

According to the Wesley Center Online article linked above, like the Martinists, Wesley believed in a doctrine centered in the heart.

A year or two later he read William Law's two classics of devotion, Christian Perfection and Serious Call. These led him "to be all devoted to God--to give Him," he said, "all my soul, my body, my substance."...On January 1, 1833 he reports a sermon which he preached in St. Mary's, Oxford, on the subject "The Circumcision of the Heart." In that sermon he defined a "circumcised heart" in terms of cleansing, holiness, and becoming "perfect even as the Father in heaven is perfect."

Jacob Boehme and Martinism are with us today in the modern charismatic movement. The laying on of hands practiced in Martinism and the laying on of hands practiced in the charismatic renewal are the same thing. The secret societies feared and condemned by many popes have moved into the Roman Catholic Church and found they are welcome once Vatican II rewrote our doctrine. What's more, they give every appearance of having the blessing of several popes.

Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us!

Thursday, January 05, 2006


It has often been said of the New Ecclesial Movements that they are perceived as being elitist. This fact surfaced recently here in the discussion with Robert Duncan about Opus Dei. My own experience with one of these movements at my former liberal parish was that the organization was infected with elitism. I often heard the "in-crowd" comment to a parishioner "You're ready for a Life in the Spirit Seminar." Needless to say, I was among the great unready unwashed.

I find it especially interesting, therefore, to discover that encouraging this very elitism was a tenet of Louis-Claude de Saint Martin's methodology. It's explained at gnostique.net. There you can read the words of Saint Martin:

"The harder we have to struggle for something, the more precious it becomes. Somehow, in sacrificing, we prove to ourselves that what we're seeking is valuable. This holds true when we're pursuing membership.

Sacrifice locks commitment. As people strive to make it through rigorous selection standards, and work to prove their worthiness, they persuade themselves that being a part of the group matters.

Initiation rites - like high walls and narrow gates of entry - build commitment to the group through making acceptance hard to come by. Being allowed to join becomes something special. An achievement. A privilege. And it creates a sense of exclusiveness.

Belonging doesn't count much if almost anybody can drift in or drift out of your group at will. If it's easy to join up, then leave and return, only to leave again, commitment can be hard to find.

Initiation rites also create a common bond of experience that unites all who make it through the ordeal. A strong sense of "we-ness" comes from having gone through a common struggle. This identification with the group feeds commitment.

Finally, stiff criteria for admission cause the weak-hearted to de­select themselves.

Looks like the Pentecostals in Roman Catholicism studied Saint Martin's methods and mastered them to a "T".

This same website also indicates that Saint Martin taught the "heart" doctrine.

There is a quote as well from Rene Chambellant, Patriarch, that indicates a Master Mason degree is required for someone to be ordained to the clergy, and that through these first three degrees of Masonry the candidate achieves "the immortal, liberated and androgynous spirit". He indicates as well that women are ordained "as in the 2nd and 3rd centuries where female bishops held the title of 'Sophia'." That, I presume, means that he is talking about the Cathar/Albigensian Heresy.


From the Bogaard-Roggeremans study:

1968 (1975) Martinisten Orde der Nederlanden / O*M* des

Pays- Bas

The "Martinist Order of the Netherlands" was founded on September 26, 1968 by Philippe Encausse. Like the O*M* Belge, the Martinist Order of the Netherlands was established after Philippe's Encausse's decision to sign the protocol of the alliance between the O*M* de Paris and the Universal Gnostic Church (E.G.A.)

Philippe Encausse appointed Maurice Warnon to organize and lead the order. Warnon was a member of the Supreme Council in Paris and "co-founded" the O*M* de Paris in 1960.


In 1964 Warnon left Belgium and emigrated to the United States. Warnon had studied pedagogy, methodology and psychology at the university of Brussels. He later studied Information-Technology at the IBM Centre at Genval (Belgium), at the "Empire State University Albany", and at the Massachussets Institute of Technology in Boston. Warnon is also a Bishop of the "Liberal Catholic Curch" and is, since 1976, the leader of this church in Canada and Belgium. Warnon's wife, Joanna Mathilde Poortman (born March 27, 1937, The Hague, Holland) leads the "Order of the World-Mother", and is an active member of both the "Order of the Round Table" and of the "Martinist Order of the Netherlands". The Warnon-family are living on "King's Garden" in an old mansion which was build in 1820. "King's Garden" is also the headquarters of the M*O des Pays-Bas and the other orders mentioned.

The Order of the World Mother: a line of female priesthood: An Initiatic and Ritualist Movement for Women.

The history page in the website:

The Order of the World Mother was first inspired at Nice, in the South of France, to its Founder Mrs. Elisabeth Warnon, in November l967. The Order became active in Belgium, and a short time after in France, at the beginning of l968. Shortly after, the Order expanded to the North, in Holland, and to the East in Germany and Switserland.

Continue reading... (Click the "History" link on the left.)

The webpage at the "Presence in the World" link lists the countries where the Order is represented, including Australia, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, The Netherlands, England.

This webpage lists women writers on spirituality--presumably the writers this organization admires--including:

Alice Bailey
Annie Besant
Theresa of Aviola
Alice Bailey
Annie Besant
H.P. Blavatsky
Hildegard von Bingen
Brigitta of Sweden
Catharina of Sienna
Mabel Collins
Evelyn Underhill
Elisabeth Warnon
Marie de l'Incarnation Guyart
Julian of Norwich
Dr. Elisabeth Kubler-Ross
Mother Teresa of Calcutta
Helena Ivanovna Roerich
Theresa of Avila

The same webpage also offers a link to "Martinist Writers" which will take you here. The list includes:

ALVEYDRE, Saint-Yves d' | AMADOU, Robert | AMBELAIN, Robert

| BAADER, Franz von | BALZAC, Honoré de | BARLET | BASSE, Jacqueline | BERNARD, Raymond | BESANT, Annie | BLANCHARD, Victor | BLAVATSKY, Helena Petrovna | BLITZ, Edouard Dr. | BOEHME, Jacob | BOISSE-MORTEMART, Amélie de | BOUCHER, Jules | BRAHY, Gustave Lambert | BRICAUD, Jean | BUISSET, Christiane | BURLAMAQUI, Jean Jacques |

CHABOSEAU, Augustin | CHABOSEAU, Jean | CHAMUEL | CHAPAS, Jean | CHAPTAL, | CHEVILLON, Constantin | CONSTANT, Alphonse, Charles alias LÉVI, Eliphas |

| DANTINE, Emile alias Sâr Hieronymus | DELAAGE, Henri | de MAISTRE, Joseph | DESRAIMES, Maria | DETRÉ, Charles alias TÉDER | Du BOURG |

EHLERS, Emile | ENCAUSSE, Dr. Gérard alias PAPUS | ENCAUSSE, Philippe | ESCUREDO, Bing |


GALITZIN, | GASTIN, Louis | GAY, Maurice | GEBHARD, Franz Gustav | GEBHARD, Rudolf Ernest | GEBHARD-L'ESTRANGE, Arthur Henry Paisley | GEBHARD-L'ESTRANGE, Marie | GICHTEL, Johann Georg | GOETMAKERS, Augustus | GRAINVILLE, | GUAITA, Stanislas |

HARTMANN, Franz | HAVEN, Marc alias LALANDE, Emmanuel |

IKEN, Annie | IKEN, Femke |


LALANDE, Emmanuel alias Marc HAVEN | LEADBEATER, Charles W. | LÉVI, Eliphas alias CONSTANT, Alphonse, Charles | LORENZO, Emilio |

MAISTRE, Joseph de | MARKOW, | Martinez de PASQUALLY | MARTIN, Georges | MONSPEY, Marie-Louise de | MOSCA, Ivan |

OLCOTT, Henry, Steele, Col. | OLIVET, Fabre d' |

PAPUS, alias ENCAUSSE Gérard, Dr. | PASQUALLY, Martinez de | PEEKE, Margaret | PELADAN, Joséphin | PERNETTI, Don | PHILIPPE, Nizier Anthelme, alias Maître | POORTMAN, Henri |

REUSS, Theodor | RIJNBERK Gerard, van |

SAINT-MARTIN, Louis-Claude de | Séguret, Irénée | SAINT-YVES d'Alveydre | SR Hieronymus alias DANTINE, Emile | SWEDENBORG, Emmanuel |

TEDER, alias DETRÉ, Charles |


WARNON, Elisabeth | WEDGWOOD, James Ingall | WILLERMOZ, Jean-Baptiste, Chevalier Arson Moreau | WIRTH, Oswald | WORONTZOFF, | WRONSKI, |

| YARKER, John |


Given this association of Martinism with the Order of the World Mother, it would appear that this feminine order is Martinist.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006


from the study by Milko Bogaard and Marcel Roggeremans.

Early Martinism in Russia:

In 1901 Papus visited Russia, accompanied by his 'spiritual teacher", Maitre de Philippe (Anthelme Philippe Nizier, 1842-1905) from Lyon. Together they visited Czar Nicolas II of Russia. In 1900, supposedly, Maitre Philippe had already been in contact with Grand Duke Wladimir through Papus. Whether Papus did initiate the Czar is not sure, because Martinism had already been introduced in Russia by Prince Kourakine. Saint Martin's first propagandist in the 18th century was Johann Georg Schwarz, who was born in Transylvania and who sought to reorient the Russian (masonic) lodges on the basis of both the Rosicrucian system and Saint-Martin's Lyons Reformation. (p. 20)

Martinism in America.

In America the Order was represented by Edouard Blitz, who was the "Souverain Délégate" for the 'Ordre Martiniste' in America. Blitz was born in Belgium and was a Jewish emigrant, descending from the 'old' Martinists. Blitz was also an initiate of the 'Chévaliers Bienfaisants de la Cité Sainte' and the 'Memphis-Misraim Rite'. He was the direct successor of the 'Elus Cohen', being the successors of Antoine Pont in America.On June 21, 1902 Blitz broke with the Martinists in France and founded the "AMERICAN RECTIFIED MARTINIST ORDER". It is said that Blitz did not want to be associated with a Martinist Order that had 'changed' to a quasi-Masonic rite. On June 2, 1902 a General Convocation was held in Cleveland, Ohio, where an official 'Manifesto' was issued by Blitz' Council. The 'American Manifesto' referred, amongst others, to certain hidden Grades within Blitz' Rite "which came out of that marriage between Martinism and the Rite of the Strict Observance", thus A.E.Waite in his 'Encyclopaedia of Freemasonry". After the foundation of the "Ordre Martiniste" with its three Degrees in 1891, through the years the O:::M::: would develop into an order which also conferred higher degrees upon their members. Being a 'regular' Mason himself, Blitz did not want to be associated with an order that could be considered clandestine by regular, legitimate Masonry. (p. 21)

Oddly enough, regular Masonry claims it did not initiate Jews until quite recently.

Both the Masons and the Martinists honor the GAOTU (Grand Architect of the Universe). (p. 31)

Occultism can be dangerous:

Due to the F.U.D.O.S.I. Supreme Coucil its refusal to confirm Jean Chaboseau as Grand Master of the Ordre Martiniste Traditionnel, many members left the O*T*M*.

One of these members who left the O*T*M* was the Grand Secretary of the order, Jules Boucher ( Phalgus, 1902/02/28 - 1955/06/09 ). Boucher was initiated by Robert Ambelain on April 4, 1942. Boucher apparently also received an initiation by Augustin Chaboseau (date unknown).

In 1922 Boucher started his occult carreer with Jean-Julliet Champagne, who took Boucher and Eugene Canseliet on as students (Alchemy). This group of students would become known as LES FRERES D'HELIOPOLIS, "the Brotherhood of Heliopolis".

This brotherhood studied the works of the great Alchemists and was "lead" by the legendary "Fulcanelli" ( Who Fulcanelli really was is still a mystery ; some occultists think that "Fd'H" is synonymous to "Fulcanelli") . This group, however, was limited to Champagne, Canseliet, Sauvage, Jules Boucher, and a couple of others. Champagne and Canseliet were both directly connected with Fulcanelli's book "Le Mystere des Cathedrals".

Another group Boucher was involved with, was a group called GRAND LUNAIRE.

The Sigil of the Grand Lunaire was the Baphometis. According to Robert Ambelain the group was also involved in Black Magic.

Besides Boucher, men like Champagne and Rene Schwaller de Lubicz were members at one time. Just for the record, when Jules Boucher left the Grand Lunaire the Gnostic Bishop of Lyon seems to have performed an exorcism on Boucher.
(emphasis mine)

The Martinists subscribe to the primordial Tradition, sometimes called the "ancient wisdom":

"The "Ordre Martiniste Rectificié" is a Spiritual fraternal order linking all those who freely admit the need for an individual and collective Redemption based on the lessons of Louis Claude de Saint-Martin. In accordance with the teachings of Saint-Martin the O*M*R acknowledges the truth of the Fall of mankind and affirms the need for Reconciliation of Man with his Principle (the Adept on the Path of Wisdom). The O*M*R respects all forms of the Tradition which are basically fragments of the One, primeordial Tradition" (p. 52)

That claim is uncannily like the claims made in interreligious dialogue which also posits that fragments of the faith can be found in all religions.

The study claims that French Masonry is "in majority 'hostile' towards Christianity." (p. 53)

Kabbalah (p. 5) and spiritism or spiritualism are both mentioned in the study. (p. 4, 6, 50)

The Royal Society stems from Martinism:

As mentioned before " the "Ordre Martiniste Initiatique" represents an "esoteric school " based upon the teachings of Martinez de Pasqually, Louis Claude de Saint-Martin, and Eliphas Lévi ". There's a 'historical outline' on the tradition of the order (6 pages). The O*M* Initiatique refers to "the year 1570 as the date of birth of the " Fraternitas Crucis Aureae" ( "Gold und Rosenkreuzer", "Golden Rosicrucians").

The order also refers to the 16 th century "Militia Crucifera Evangelica". The Traditional history of the O*M* Initiatique states that the M.C.E. merged with the Golden Rosicrucians of 1570. On a later date the M.C.E. / Golden R+C seperated into the "Aurea Crucis Fratres" and the "Rosae Crucis Fratres". According to the O*M* Initiatique the Fratres Rosae Crucis later developed into the first "Invisible College" which eventually became the famous "Royal Society" -.

Vilatte founded a gnostic church which he left to a former Catholic priest who became an occultist and faith healer:

Eglise Catholique Francaise, founded in 1907 in Paris by Joseph Rene Vilatte (1854-1929), the church was inherited from Vilatte by Abbe Julio. Abbe Julio. The Eglise Catholique Francaise is an Occult-Gnostic church. 'Abbe Julio' was a former Catholic Priest an Occultist and ' faith-healer'. He's primary responsible for the occult infusion into the Apostolic succession.. One of his disciples, Giraud, consecrated Jean Bricaud (Tau Jean II ) into the Gallican Church in 1913. Abbe Julio was never a member of the "Ordre Martiniste", "but he had a friendly and deeply sympathetic attitude to Master Phillipe" ( Elias Ibrahim) . (p. 75)

A Martinist was the initiator and teacher of Eliphas Levi:

The Ordine Martinista Napolitano states that the first Grand Master was Don Raimondo de Sangro (1710-1771), Prince of Sansevero, who was one of the most famous Alchemists and Masons in the 18th century. (p. 82)

According to the study the Initiatic transmission of the "Alchemical Lineage" of Grand Master Don Raymondo di Sangro, Prince of Sansevero places Don Antonio Marino, initiator of Eliphas Levi, as the fourth successor of Sangro. (p. 82)

Among the Martinist journals was an English version of L'Initiation which appeared under the name of "INRI." (p. 6)

The Journal "L'Initiation" was placed on the Index in 1891. (p. 10)

Albigensians, disembodied spirits, Valentinus II, Bishop of the Holy Assembly of the Paraclete and of the Gnostic Church are mentioned:

In 1888, while working as archivist for the library of Orleans in France, a Jules Doinel discovered an original charter dated 1022, which had been written by Canon Stephan of Orleans, a schoolmaster and forerunner of the Cathars who taught Gnostic doctrines ( He was burned for heresy that same year). Doinel had a vision in which the "Aeon Jesus" appeared, 'He' charged Doinel with the work of establishing a new church. Doinel was a "Grand Orient Freemason" and a practising Spiritist. "In May of 1890 (although specific dates vary) Jules Doinel attended a séance of sorts in the oratorie of the ' Duchess of Pomar (The Countess of Caithness)…. It appears that the disembodied spirits of ancient Albigensians, joined by a heavenly voice, laid spiritual hands on Doinel, creating him "Valentinus II, Bishop of the Holy Assembly of the Paraclete and of the Gnostic Church". (p. 12)

Is it merely coincidence that this Gnostic Church is called the "Holy Assembly of the Paraclete" and today one group of Pentecostals is called the "Assemblies of God"?

Bishop of the Liberal Catholic Church, Maurice Henri Joseph Warnon, is married to the leader of the Order of the World-Mother. (p. 58)


This is some of what is available on the web:

Syriac Orthodox Church of Antioch

The Syrian Orthodox Church of Antioch

Syrian Orthodox Church of Antioch (Jacobite) (a statistics page)

The Syriac Orthodox Church of Antioch & all the East

Universal Syrian Orthodox Church (There is a declaration here signed by John Paul II and Patriarch Zakka) Here is their homepage.

The Orthodox Catholic Church of America uses the Vilatte succession. (That succession is also mentioned in the history of Martinism)

Aftimios Ofeish is mentioned in this website for the North American Holy Synod: Sobor, May 2002:

Our Church is celebrating its 75th Anniversary in this year of 2002 and seventy five years of American Orthodoxy within its rightful jurisdiction. The Holy Eastern Orthodox Catholic and Apostolic Church in North America was founded in 1927 by the Synod of Russian Bishops outside of Russia with the blessings of the Russian Patriarch +Tikhon. The first Archbishop was +Aftimios Ofeish, a Syrian Orthodox Bishop of Brooklyn. It has continued quietly to serve its rightful jurisdiction despite the scourge of Communism, the Second World War, and the Cold War. The Church has survived through a spirit of altruism and highest spirituality and careful avoidance of political issues which have so schismed the Orthodox jurisdictions in America. Its members are small congregations in areas of high poverty and crime. We also have several consecrated hermits within our Church who are Hesychasts and in solitude meditate day and night on the Name of Jesus Christ. (emphasis mine)

The Syrian Antiochian Orthodox Church of America (Scroll down. Aftimios Ofeish is mentioned here.)

There are more hits in Google, but I have to stop here for the present. Justin, does any of this connect with Martinism?

Tuesday, January 03, 2006


has been one of the more elusive occult streams until recently. Now there is a history of Martinism online. It prints out as 93 pages in small print. Some interesting points are made in this history, and I will try to list them in no particular order. (The page references I'm including here are primarily for my own use, but they will give you an idea of how far into the study the various points appear.)

Martinism, it turns out, is not a totally independent stream of thought. Bogaard writes:

"Martinism" is generally considered to be a collective noun representing the followers of the 18th century French mystic Louis Claude de Saint-Martin. It is in particular based on the writings of this French mystic. Martinism has also a strong bond with the Elus Cohen of Martinez De Pasqually, as a matter of fact the followers of Martinez de Pasqually (1727-1774) are also known as 'Martinists'. Disciples of De Pasqually follow the technique of theurgic operations, those of Saint-Martin follow the method of inner guidance and illumination, which is known as the "Inner way" or "Way of the Heart". (p. 4)

Leading Martinists are/were also members of other occult orders as well, especially Rosicrucianism (A.M.O.R.C.) and Egyptian Rite Freemasonry (Memphis-Mizraim Orders). The gnostic churches figured prominently in Martinism. Lingering in the background of Martinism is the same German occultist, Jacob Boehme, who lurks in the background of Pentecostalism. Martinist groups/lodges have been named after Jacob Boehme. Saint Martin, the founder of Martinism, had an affinity with the theosophical philosophy of Jacob Boehme. (p. 2, 66, 20) Martinist orders are passed on by a laying on of hands which sounds quite similar to the way that Pentecostalism passes on its initiation. The study says that "Saint-Martin employed the biblical 'laying on of hands' upon the initiate'." (p. 25)

According to the author, Milko Bogaard, who prepared the study on Martinism, he is a former member of AMORC (p. 46), an American Rosicrucian Order which is active today in San Jose, California. Some Martinist orders use Rosicrucian orders as their inner circle. (p. 88) In Colorado there is a Rose+Croix Martinist Order. (p. 74)

"The Work" is a term applied to Martinism. (p. 77) A Co-Masonic rite called Pansophic Freemasonic obedience, was founded by Grand Master Lewis Keizer in 1998. (p. 77) Co-Masonry is an irregular masonic obedience founded by the leaders of Blavatsky's Theosophy. "The Way" has been applied to Martinist teachings. According to the study, "The Superior Unknowns: As Guardians of the Martinist Tradition, they deepen the Way (we give the word the same meaning as the sense of the word "Tao"). (p. 62) "Tao" is a word Stratford Caldecott used in describing Catholic mysticism, and he referred to C. S. Lewis' use of the word in THE ABOLITION OF MAN.

Martinist orders are sometimes given chivalric names, or names that put one in mind of religious orders, such as the "Religious Order of the Christos and of the Rose Cross", "Ordre Martiniste des Pauvres Chevaliers du Christ", Martinist Order of the Knights of Christ", to name a few. (p. 62) The Martinist Order has presented itself as the "Order of Christian- or Spiritual Knighthood." (p. 24) But the names of the orders are not always Christian. Martinists split over membership in the Lodge. Some groups require members to be Masons. Other groups which call themselves Christian reject Lodge membership. One order is called "La Coleuvre Noire" - "Cult of the Black Snake," and another group is called "Les Templiers Noires", "the Black Templars." (p. 91) A Lodge Melchisedech conferred degrees in 1911. (p. 27)

The Eglise gnostique apostolique, the ritual arm of Ordre des Elus Cohen, claims the Vilatte succession (p. 70) It also includes the lineage of the Syrian Jacobite Orthodox Church, the Syrian Orthodox Church of Antioch, the Armenian Apostolic Orthodox Church, the Caldean Syrian Church, the Orthodox Coptic Church and the Old Catholic Church of Utrecht. Some groups use the designation "First Temple" and "Second Temple" in their orders. (p. 71)

Martinism claims that its circumference is everywhere, it's center is nowhere. (p. 32) Martinism aims to awaken the Conscience and finally achieve interior harmony. (p. 27) The method used is/was known as "The Way of the Heart." (p. 6, 39) Is this the same method recommended by the "Paths to the Heart Conference", an interreligious conference which attempted to propose similarities between Sufism and the Christian East? The similarity in terminology is difficult to ignore.

One of the Martinist degrees is the "Unknown Philosopher." The study reports: "The 3rd initiation came from the Order of Unknown Philosophers...As I understand it, the Order of Unknown Philosopher's initiation is the actual initiation that the Martinist Order was created to perpetuate and is it's raison d'etre." (p. 29) Valentin Tomberg's book, MEDITATIONS ON THE TAROT, published under the appellation "Unknown Author", "is an appellation becoming increasingly common when referring to its author, and reminiscent of the Martinist 'Unknown Philosopher'" according to the review of the book at the Association for Tarot Studies website. Balthasar, of course, wrote the complimentary Forword for this book. According to the Study, Saint-Martin is known as the "Unknown Philosopher". (p. 4, 16) The tarot and kabbalah and the teachings of Eliphas Levi are mentioned in connection with Gerard Encausse (Papus), an early and famous occultist. The study says: "Papus became acquainted with a circle of Gnostics, Rosicrucians, and 'older' Martinists, all students of the late Eliphas Levi. (p. 5) Levi was the father of the Paris occult revival.

Traditionalism plays a part in Martinism. One branch of the rite is named "Ordre Martiniste Traditionnel". (p. 17)

Johannites are part of Martinist tradition. From the study:

The first Martinist Lodges in Belgium were founded in 1892. Brussels' first and main lodge was Lodge 'KVMRIS'. The Lodge was lead by Francis Vurgey and Nicolas Brossel, the latter being its President. Evidently the Lodge also represented the Belgian branch of Papus' G.I.D.E.E. ( "Independent Group of Esoteric Studies" ). According to Koenig, the G.I.D.E.E. (its Belgian branch included) carried a line of succession of Fabré-Palaprat's "Order of the Temple" (1). The Templar-lineage is confirmed by several sources. As a matter of fact, some state that the KVMRIS-Lodge was directly linked to Fabré-Palaprat's Templar Order. After Fabré-Palaprat's death in 1838, the neo-Templar Order slowly died out under the direction of a small group of French and Belgian noblemen. According to these sources, the Orthodox Templar order died out, but some sort of 'Primitive Christian Church' ("Johannites") that was attached to the neo-templars continued its activities in secret. At first the members of the "Order of the Temple" had professed the Roman Catholic religion, but in or about the year 1814, Fabré-Palaprat had obtained possession of a manuscript copy of a "spurious Gospel of St.John, which is supposed to have been forged in the 15th century". Fabré-Palaprat used the Gospel, together with an introduction and commentary called the "Levitkon" which was said to have been written by Nicephorus, to compose a liturgy. The Order established a religious rite which they called "Johannism", or "Johannite Church". Their church propagated the idea of an "alternative" Apolostic succession from John through the Grand Masters of the Templars. When the "Order of the Temple" was disbanded, the "Johannite Church" continued its activities and it is said that out of this church, which was lead by French and Belgian noblemen, evolved a circle of men which would finally establish Lodge KVMRIS. The Gnostic elements which influenced the works of such lodge-members as Clement de Saint-Marcq were part of the doctrine of the Johannite church. (p. 23)

There is a Russian branch of Martinism which plays an important part. You may have noticed when looking at the book review for MEDITATIONS ON THE TAROT, linked above, that Tomberg was a Russian ex-patriot living in London. Bogaard devotes space to the Russian branch, indicating that in the 18th century there were lodges all over Russia, and that Russian Martinism was tied to German Rosicrucianism. He writes:

The traditions of these Masonic-Rosicrucian Lodges included "the practice of Christian virtues and self-improvement, philanthropy, Christian mysticism, and opposition to atheism, materialism, and revolutionary tendencies". In 1788 a lodge in Moscow was established, others would follow. within 30 years there were lodges established all over Russia, including Siberia; St. Petersburg (1802, a stronghold of Rosicrucian/Mrtinist activities in Russia), Orel, Simbirsk, Mohilef, Wologda, Jaroslaf, and Techernigov (1920). (p. 64)

What I found most interesting of all was the following:

Kaznatcheev was the leader of lodge "Saint Jean l'apotre". The Moscow lodge was one of the main lodges in Russia, and many candidates received their initiations, among which Ouspensky (pupil of Gurdieff) and Bely, a friend of Rudolf Steiner. (p. 65)

Some branches of Martinism intend to be distinctly mystical rather than magical. According to the study: "Martinism, as advocatd by the writings of LC de Saint-Martin. As Mike Revisto explains; "the Rose+Croix Martinist Order, alone among Martinism, represents a return to the pure Christian Mystical tradition suggested by Louis-Claude de Saint-Martin." (p. 68)

There is a "Martinist Christian Community". (p. 79)

As this history easily demonstrates schism is Martinism's last name. Orders are formed, last for perhaps 10 years, then infighting causes them to break apart and new orders are formed. The philosophy continues, with additions, subtractions, and alterations, down through the 18th, 19th, and 20th centuries, but tracing one particular order is an impossibility. The history of Martinism is better traced through the most prominent players than through their organizations. What makes this even more difficult is the fact that the information was held in secret. Bogaard makes note of the fact that some of the information was turned over to the "Philalethes". (p. 1, 48) Today there is a Masonic Research Lodge by that name. Whether this is what he means or there is some other meaning, I can't tell.

There have been several attempts to unite the esoteric orders. A current one is the Order of the Grail. The order is described here, and the terminology is rather Catholic.

Given these facts--

** that liturgies play a part in the gnostic churches

** that Russian Rosicrucianism-Martinism is closely linked with the German variety and that John Paul II was sympathetic to the Russian variety and we now have a German pope

** that Stratford Caldecott's paper on the New Age discusses in a positive manner some of these very Martinist ideas

** that von Balthasar gave his approval to MEDITATIONS, was written, apparently, by a third degree Martinist

** that interreligious dialogue moves us ever closer to a syncretistic conception of religion

** that von Balthasar is a theologian of choice for both John Paul II and Benedict-16

** that the monks of Monastic Interreligious Dialogue are promoting centering prayer and delivering talks at a Gurdjieffian church which is practicing occultism, and that Gurdjieff's follower, Ouspensky, was an initiated Martinist and Gurdjieff's chief apologist

** that the Center for Action and Contemplation is promoting the enneagram attributed to Gurdjieff and Ichazo

** that Pentecostalism has made significant inroads into Catholicism and can be traced back to Jacob Boehme, the same occultist who caught the fancy of the founder of Martinism

and probably more similarities that I've neglected to mention--given all of these things, I have come to believe that Martinism has invaded Catholicism and made itself at home, that it is the spirituality of those who are in charge of our doctrine, and that Martinist occultism is the future of the Roman Catholic Church.

The question I can't answer is what a Roman Catholic in the pew should think and/or do about this.

Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us!!

Monday, January 02, 2006


Cyril O'Regan
(B.A., 1974, and M.A., 1978, University College Dublin; M.A., 1983, M.Phil., 1984, and Ph.D., 1989, Yale University)
Huisking Professor of Theology

O'Regan specializes in systematic and historical theology. He has specific interests in the intersection of continental philosophy and theology, religion and literature, mystical theology, and postmodern thought. He has written The Heterodox Hegel, Gnostic Return in Modernity, and Gnostic Apocalypse: Jacob Boehme's Haunted Narrative. He has published numerous articles on such topics as the nature of tradition, negative theology, the sources of Hegel's thought and Hegel as a theological source, and on figures such as John Henry Newman and Hans Urs von Balthasar. O'Regan is currently working on books on Romanticism and Gnosticism and on Han Urs von Balthasar and postmodern thought.

Isn't that a curious combination of topics and teachers!!

There is one question I would so very much like to ask this theology professor...was Hans Urs von Balthasar a Christian Martinist? If the answer is "yes", it would go a long way toward explaining what seems to be unexplainable about the current direction of some circles in the Church.

Two of O'Regan's books are reviewed by Dermot Moran, University College Dublin. From the review:

Early in his first book in the series, Gnostic Return in Modernity (p. 6), O’Regan quotes another scholar of gnosticism, Ioan Culianu, bemoaning the fact that everyone is a gnostic according to someone:

Not only was Gnosis gnostic, but the catholic authors were gnostic, the neoplatonists too, Reformation was gnostic, Communism was gnostic, Nazism was gnostic, liberalism, existentialism and psychoanalysis were gnostic too, modern biology was gnostic, Blake, Yeats, Kafka, Rilke, Proust, Joyce, Musil, Hesse and Thomas Mann were gnostic. From very authoritative interpreters of Gnosis, I learned further that science is gnostic and superstition is gnostic … Hegel is gnostic and Marx is gnostic; Freud is gnostic and Jung is gnostic; all things and their opposite are equally gnostic.

I must say I agree with Culianu; it seems that anyone who puts forward a systematic account (Hegel, Marx, Heidegger) can be defined as a gnostic. It is not a neutral term but carries some sense of flawed, Faustian, overweaning ambition.

Is it a valid criticism? Is an orthodox Catholic belief that God interacts in an unseen way with His creation actually a gnostic conception? And so is there really a variety of authentic Catholic gnosticism? Is it possible to believe in a transcendent God without being, to a certain extent, gnostic? It's a question that presents itself more demandingly the more I read of the novelties in theology that seem to be growing in popularity in the Church.

Related to that is a further question...if there is a genuine Catholic gnosis, how does one distinguish it from the heretical variety? The answer, I presume, lies in a close adherence to doctrine. Our theologians need to work on this to come up with something that those of us who are not theologians can put to use in evaluating our culture. Right now all we have to work with is a confused jumble of theories.

Stratford Caldecott seems to be saying the same thing in his article "The Secret Path: A Catholic Response to the New Age." He writes in conclusion:

But how is one to help awaken that mystical vision of the true nature of the Church, and the organic structure of the Christian mysteries sheltered by adamantine tenderness in creed and dogma? This is the question I have been trying to face: the question of how to develop an appropriate mystagogy for our time. Gnostics have always been attracted by the beauty and fascination of an elaborate mythology of cosmic spheres and powers, of "secret teachings" and "hidden transmissions". While the Catholic Church should not try to compete with Gnosticism at this level, it is worth noting that the arguments of Irenaeus against the heresies are based not only on the inconsistencies and crudities of the Gnostic myth, but on the superior attractive power of the Christian revelation once correctly understood. I have given in the preceding pages a few indications of where I would begin to look for an orthodox Christian Gnosis capable of rekindling the interest and enthusiasm of a new generation. The Centre for Faith & Culture in America and Britain hopes one day to be able to offer courses along these lines. Three possible approaches suggest themselves immediately.

The first is based upon the Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary. This popular and ancient devotion is a system of prayer arranged around a series of fifteen Mysteries, summarizing the entire content of Christian faith - it provides a Marian perspective on the life of Christ. There could be no better foundation for a mystagogic programme capable of integrating prayer and study. Another approach would be based around a suitable textbook. Olivier Clément’s The Roots of Christian Mysticism, supplemented by a range of longer readings from the tradition, would be one such text. Jean Borella’s The Secret of the Christian Way (mentioned earlier) would serve those of a more metaphysical disposition - and again, a variety of supplementary readings could be provided.

If he doesn't have the answers, he is at least asking the right questions. Catholics can hardly continue to muddle along side-by-side with New Age gnostic concepts, allowing ourselves to be seduced by mysticism that is not Catholic. Somehow we must escape from pure Catholic rationalism--rule following--into a recovered belief in a living relationship with the unseen God who created us, a relationship that can span the hours of our everyday life. A Sunday-morning God is no longer adequate. Materialism has shown us its inadequacy. The human heart was made for a 24/7 friendship with its Creator, and nothing less will satisfy. There was a time, 40 years ago, when we knew this. The intervening years have robbed us of that relationship. Perhaps Benedict's focus on the liturgy is the answer. The liturgy is not everything, but it just may generate the rest. This Catholic can only hope so!

Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us!


Benedict XVI wants us to see a relationship in the three Abrahamic faiths, and he visits synagogues. He wants us to see the Jews as our elder brothers in the faith. I wonder if he knows what takes place in Israeli high schools?

Ynetnews.com offers a sample:

Students present 'porn flick'

Movie on porn world produced by Rehovot high school students and containing some provocative scenes wins award, spurs controversy in film competition

[by] Moran Zelikovitch

A sexy production: Twelfth grade cinema students from the town of Rehovot have selected an unusual subject to stand at the heart of their high school graduation project - the porn world.

The movie, recently screened as part of a local film competition between Rehovot schools, prompted the outrage of several religious girls who attended the event, and left the movie hall in protest when the screening of the movie began.

Scenes from the movie "Granny Tales"

The film, titled "Granny Tales," deals with the porn world from the point of view of an ageing porn star, "granny" (portrayed by one of the students). It includes interviews with major players in the Israeli porn industry and feminists, as well as clips depicting female students in provocative outfits.

Bondage scene

The more controversial parts of the production include scenes with students performing "dirty dances"; a tied up student wearing tight and revealing clothes who sends seductive glares to the camera; a male student putting his hand down his pants, and then being undressed by two female students; a student examining a vibrator; and two students dressed in lingerie and portrayed as "sex dolls."

"The object of the movie is not to offend people, but to get them to be more open… we didn't show anything very provocative, we were mild," Osnat Kishlinsky, one of the film's directors explained.

"Mild"? In comparison to what? What does an Israeli high school student have in his experience that he can use as a comparison? He is talking about bondage here, for goodness sake!

The teacher who instructed the students in making the movie, Galit Yogev, said the film's contents were granted the approval by the school, and that the students' parents were highly supportive of the production.

The high school principle Edna Levin said she was slightly less convinced that all the scenes in the movie were appropriate, but stressed she believed the movie was humoristic and ironic.

"I did have an argument with the students about one of the scenes, but they insisted, and finally the parent called me up and talked me into allowing it," Levin said.

If you want to see a sample of what the parents talked the principal into approving, go to the website and play the clips. That kind of thing played at the blue movie house when I was in high school, and I knew absolutely nothing about it. This is sick, but the principal found it humorous! How long will American high school students wait before clamoring for similar freedom?

Hat tip to a reader for the link.

Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us!


We can do it sometimes, but if we make a habit of it, if we always reject the vegetables, our physical health suffers. Our spiritual health suffers, too, if we reject the hard, "vegetable" sayings of Jesus and just grab for the grace of chocolate cake. Yet that is precisely what the American Catholic Church advocates according to an article sent in by a reader:

It’s like clockwork, meeting every other Sunday at noon in a rented room of St. George’s Episcopal Church. Normally it’s an intimate setting of 25 or so parishioners, all gathering for the same reason.

They are all members of the American Catholic Church, most whom have disassociated themselves from the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church.

Although they are not affiliated with the Roman Catholic Church, the American Catholic Church of New England bases its beliefs on most of the teachings of the Roman Catholic faith.

"Our church basically holds the same faith tenets of the Roman Catholic Church, but our practice is more liberal in that we have married, celibate and women clergy, we openly welcome the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered, and the divorced and married communities," said Bishop Stephen Burke.

Members often refer to the teachings of the American Catholic Church as the "progressive alternative" to the teachings of the Roman Catholic faith tradition.

Burke was ordained about 55 years ago and served as a priest in the Roman Catholic Church for most of his vocation. However, as years passed, he felt it more difficult to enforce some of the beliefs of Roman Catholic teachings.

He then made what he described as "the change of a lifetime" and disconnected himself from the Roman Catholic Church. Choosing to become a member of the American Catholic Church of New England.

Through the American Catholic Church, women are also allowed to be ordained as priests and bishops, unlike the Roman Catholic Church that limits this option to men only.

Burke added that unlike the Roman Catholic Church that has an "ideal of Christian life," the American Catholic Church accepts everyone regardless of their mistakes.

"Not all of us reach that ideal," said Burke. "We don’t always measure up to that ideal."

Instead, Burke said parishioners of the American Catholic Church base their worship around believing there is "a loving, accepting, caring God." Burke said parishioners of the American Catholic Church do not view God as punishing.

Continue reading...

This compassion sounds so appealing. We all want to be part of God's family, and Christ is eager to accept all of us. But He has a stipulation: "Go and sin no more." That stipulation tells us that there is something called "sin" which has been defined; and that He asks us to avoid it. Granted we fail, but that doesn't exempt us from the attempt.

The American Catholic Church simply dispenses with the attempt, as their website indicates:

Our clergy come from all walks of life. You name it, we’ve got it! Male, female, married, single, celibate, gay, straight, transgendered, etc. As Jesus accepted everyone for who they were, so do we. We are very proud of each and every is a priest and deacon within our Church, because EVERY SINGLE PERSON IS INVOLVED IN AN ACTIVE, LEGITIMATE MINISTRY!

They are affiliated with the Old Catholics though the line of succession they claim isn't mentioned. Oddly enough they claim:

Old Catholic bishops rejected the doctrine of Infallibility of the Pope, and his direct jurisdiction over local churches at the expense of the bishops and their proper authority over their dioceses. We recognize the Pope as the first among equals.

If collegiality takes root, will they then seek to be part of the Roman Catholic Church?

I suspect they would applaud if they knew that Cdl. Ratzinger has questioned the legitimacy of the teaching on original sin. Now that he is Pope, will the American Catholic Church qualify for ecumenism?


Fr. Richard Arko was the Catholic priest in Barberton, Ohio who grew marijuana in the rectory bedroom closet until the police took notice.

He has reinvented himself.

Meet Rudra, founder of Sacred Ground Yoga. Don't those blue eyes just melt your heart? He's cheap. Ten bucks for a lesson. Maybe my Red Hat Society should sign up. We could wear purple sweat pants and some red feathers in our hair for the sessions. Our Queen Mum would have to specify, though, that we didn't want Judy, Cynthia, Pam, Sue, Lois, Patricia, Aileen, Cheryl, Paula, or Monique to conduct our sessions. Greg, who lives in Fairlawn with a partner and three cats, won't do either. We want Mr. Blue Eyes, himself. Maybe he could hold a special session of his workshop, "Divine Indwelling: Discovering the Light Within." Might be interesting to explore the gods of choice of a former Roman Catholic priest.

According to Judy's bio, she has been practicing at Sacred Ground Yoga for seven years. Arko apparently had his little realm in the making for awhile. I guess those yoga sessions he conducted in the parish hall were the beginning of something big.

There doesn't seem to be anything of his former incarnation as Catholic priest in his website except for the meditation class. I wouldn't suppose he is channeling the Trinity.

We are so, so in need of a housecleaning!

Thanks to a reader for the link.

Sunday, January 01, 2006


They've been made available to parishes, courtesy of funeral homes usually, for as long as I can remember. In recent years in my area, the funeral homes quit providing them, and the Catholic cemetary association took over. Now the Catholic cemetary association has stopped providing them, and one local funeral home provided them just for my parish. Which was generous of them.

The pictures are lovely landscape scenes. It's the first Catholic calendar I've seen with nature pictures instead of religious pictures. Granted, they are pictures of God's creation. Which is lovely. It just isn't particularly religious. I would think that the Sierra Club would be equally delighted with this calendar. Or even an association of American atheists.

~ ~ ~ HAPPY NEW YEAR ! ~ ~ ~

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