Saturday, December 01, 2007
FYI - LET THE CATHOLIC BEWARE
JEWISH MAGIC AND SUPERSTITION: A STUDY IN FOLK RELIGION, Joshua Trachtenberg, Foreword by Moshe Idel
Chapter 3 - "The Powers of Evil", subheading "Terminology"
It may not be amiss if before we proceed to a consideration of the features of this demonology, we devote a few lines to the nomenclature employed in our literature. The terms most frequently met with are those made familiar in the ancient literature of the Jews:mazzik, from a root which means "to damage, destroy"; shed, an obscure word which occurs in the Bible in the plural, and which in the Talmudic literature acquired the exclusive sense of "demon"; and ruah, "spirit," often ra'ah, "evil spirit." (Trachtenberg, p. 27, emphasis mine - ct)
Welcome to the Ruah Spirituality Center of the Sisters of Charity of The Incarnate Word in Houston, Texas where you can read "Ruah cannot be translated by any single English word."
But apparently it can, since it is a Jewish word that means "spirit" according to an expert in Jewish spirituality, and it is often used in conjunction with ra'ah to designate an evil spirit.
So what's it doing in a Catholic retreat center when we have a perfectly good Catholic word to designate spirit--"Holy Spirit" or "Holy Ghost"? Why is it trendy in Roman Catholicism to borrow from the Jews?
Of course since the nuns are offering centering prayer, Taize prayer, Tai Chi and yoga, it just might be that ruah ra'ah has made an appearance in their spirituality center and found itself at home.
CANCER JOURNAL - OINK
I've done a little research into the drug Lovenox which I'm taking by injection daily.
One website I visited indicated Lovenox is made from the mucus in pig intestines. Ewwwwwwwwwwwwww. I checked it out further. This one seems to confirm it.
So now I have pig floating around in my body. Oinking is not listed among the side effects.
The drug is injected "in your belly" as the nurse told me and then demonstrated. Why there? She seemed to be reaching for an inventive answer which came off sounding as though she had no idea what she was doing. I'm beginning to understand, though. If they injected this stuff in your butt, and then you sat down, the bruise would spread widely. You can't rub the injection site let alone sit on it. If they injected it in your arm, you wouldn't be wearing short sleeves even in 90 deg. weather.
The bruise on my belly from yesterday's injection is 4-1/2 inches by 3 inches. Each day the bruise at the injection site has been larger than the day before. I wonder what today's is going to look like?
The bright idea from our medical establishment was that I would inject this drug in my belly twice a day. I promptly nixed that notion considering I'd be laid out flat on my back before I got the needle out. Next idea was that I would come to the hospital twice a day for the injections. That one bit the dust as well when I said "It's not going to happen." We settled on my arrival at the hospital once a day for one larger injection instead of two smaller ones.
This drug has another interesting complication. It's neutralized by Vitamin K. Which is in every green vegetable. Which means that to keep the levels constant in your bloodstream you either eat no green vegetables or eat the same amount of them each day. The nurse suggested I should go online to find what is considered one serving of each of vegetable so that I could keep them constant. Guess what, they tell you about the pig in those websites.
Needless to say after 30+ hours of no sleep I was not in the proper frame of mind to hear this development. After I told the nurse how this sat from my perspective, she told me to just go on doing what I always did and we would work with it.
I have not gone back on the Femara yet. Last night I took Pamprin in order to get some sleep because another sleepless night was more than I could deal with. Pamprin, of course, is on the list of drugs that don't interact well with blood thinners.
The way I see it, cancer is a death sentence. Once you face that reality, small stuff like broccoli and aspirin are not even worth thinking about. So I'm doing what the nurse suggested and living the way I always did.
Which means that this morning I feel a little more human after actually sleeping for a few hours straight.
Friday, November 30, 2007
"THE POWERS OF GOOD - DEPUTY ANGELS"
I finished a book in the hospital. The title is JEWISH MAGIC AND SUPERSTITION: A STUDY IN FOLK RELIGION, by Joshua Trachtenberg with a Forword by Moshe Idel. The copyright date is 1939, and as you can see it's published by the University of Pennsylvania Press. Portions of the book are available online at Google Books. Moshe Idel, incidentally, is termed "one of the most eminent and influential scholars of Jewish mysticism in the world" by the University of California
I found the sixth chapter with the same title as this blog to be particularly interesting. Here's why:
The characteristic and distinguishing feature of medieval Jewish magic was the function which it assigned to the angels, the agents of God. The magical use of angels was of course predicated upon the assumption that the world is very thickly populated with them, and that they play a unique role in nature.....every single thing on earth, animate or inanimate...owns its angelic representative above. This is the heart of the angel-lore. Houses and cities, winds and seasons, months and hours and days, each star above, each speck of dust underfoot, no thing in nature or in fancy exists independently of itsmemuneh, its heavenly "deputy"....This belief was coupled with the conception of astrology that each man is accompanied by a star which governs his existence....
If a man's prayers are to be answered, the angel of his star must have first offered them directly before the Throne of Glory....
This idea constitutes the main theoretical basis of medieval Jewish magic. Ubiquitour and all-powerful, the "deputy angels" were the perfect medium through which the sorcerer, when he had acquired the requisite secret knowledge and skill, could influence man and nature to obey him.....
The long lists in such a work as Sefer Raziel are proof of the arduous training that the novice in magic must undergo if he would learn how to direct a situation at a given moment....
This system was a singular translation of Platonic idealism into the theosophical lingo of the early Kabbalah....Sefer Hasidim and the works of Eleazar of Worms display the influence of this doctrine on almost every page. The unparalled luxuriousness of invention that characterized thirteenth-century Jewish angelology, sired by this theory, seems at first glance to have been a striking departure from traditional Jewish belief. But a brief review of the development of Jewish angel-lore discloses its thoroughly orthodox mystical antecedents....
In the Talmudic period the Biblical angelology was elaborated and enriched in three directions: angelic ministration was frequently inferred in Biblical narratives which made no mention of it, thus broadening the concept of angels as intermediaries between man and God; the personality of the angels was more clearly delineated through the effort to describe them, to name the more important ones, and to accord them peculiar spheres of influence, so that we have "princes" of fire, of hail, of rain, of night, of the sea, of healing, and so on; and finally they were appointed man's guardians to accompany him through his daily routine. The Essenes were said to have possessed an especially well-developed angel-lore, and the Enoch literature, reflecting Gnostic sources, had much to say concerning them, and implied their control of nature, man, and the future. These two founts of mystical doctrine, while never formally admitted into Jewish thought and in fact frowned upon by rabbinic authorities, exercised a profound influence upon the extramural activities of the mystics. (Trachtenberg, pp 69 - 72)
Thursday, November 29, 2007
Susanna, Mailer Deamon is returning any email I attempt to send to you.
MORE ON THE INFLUENCE OF SABBATAI ZEVI
This time I turned to another source to see what was being said from that perspective. The source is the Ordo Templi Orientis where I found papers by T. Allen Greenfield. As you can see from his website, Greenfield is an esoteric prelate in the Doinel lineage, a native of Augusta, Georgia.
In Greenfield's paper titled "The Frankist Ecstatics of the Eighteenth Century" are the following passages:
-- In recent years there has been some effort made among Jewish revisionist historians to more-or-less rehabilitate Shabbetai Tzvi as a kind of protoZionist leader. It is certainly true that the messianic movement's collapse led in the 1700s to the development of the mystical-ecstatic Chassidic Judaism. Under the leadership of Israel Baal Shem Tov, this has been far more widely accepted as a legitimate Jewish religious trend. Scholars of the stature of the late existentialist Martin Buber have done much to establish the legitimacy of Chassidic thought and practice. It has nonetheless continued as a movement to have both a Qabalistic and messianic undertone, as witnessed by the messianic expectations centered on the Lubovicher Rebbe that reached a peak shortly before his recent death.
-- Like the Chassidim, the Zoharists were deeply steeped in Qabala and magick and ecstatic religious expression. Like the followers of Tzvi, they were also messianic. Unique to the Frankists was a doctrine of salvation through sexual ecstasy that had not characterized these other tendencies. Indeed, the Zoharists anticipated the sexual magick that emerged a century and more later under the influence of such luminaries as P.B. Randolph, Max Theon and, ultimately, Aleister Crowley. There is a bare chance, in fact, that the Zoharists may have influenced these later exponents of sexual spirituality.
-- Be it noted that later in the 19th century another enigmatic Polish Jew, the son of Rabbi Judes Lion Bimstein of Warsaw, came to teach an almost identical sacred sexuality as the Grand Master of the Hermetic Brotherhood of Light. This man was one Louis Maximilian Bimstein, better known as Aia Aziz, and better still as Max Theon.
Turning to another of Greenfield's papers, "The Authentic Magical Tradition in the 18th & 19th Centuries", he tells us:
-- Although the greater magical community does a great deal with qabalistic studies, and the Freemasonic influence upon at least the structure of contemporary magick are so pervasive as to be taken as given, almost no sympathetic writers in modern times have given much thought to the influence of 17th and 18th century Jewish Mysticism has had on modern magick. ...The sane magical community's commentators and historians rarely mention this influence, though it is a matter of standard interest now in Judaic studies, and is currently having a profound effect even in Reform Judaism, as well as being something of the latest "new age" fad.
-- ...the Haskala [enlightenment] arrived in the middle of a mystical revolution that had been going on in Judaism behind the ghetto walls for a hundred years. This was a war between the messianic visions of Shabbati Tzvi and Nathan of Gaza, and later Jacob Franck and his daughter Eva; the ecstatic Qabalistic mysticism of Israel Baal Shem Tov and the first generation of Hassidism in the middle; with traditional Orthodox Judaism at one end of the spectrum, and early Reform Judaism at the other.
-- From its earliest origins, the Ethical Deism and egalitarian ideals of Freemasonry in America attracted and was influenced by Jewish Brethren. As Paul Bessel put it, "Jews were actively involved in the beginnings of Freemasonry in America.
-- Wyants informs us: "The rituals and information of The Asiatic Brethern/Fratres Lucis later became an inspiration for the Rose of Perfect Silence in Paris of which P.B. Randolph became a member and obtained a charter to run his own Rosicrucian organization. Randolph sold scryer’s mirrors from the Paris motherlodge to the members of his USA branch. In London Francis Irwin, S.R.I.A. members A.F.A. Woodford and S.C. Bingham had the material, and later the Golden Dawn in England and Francesco Brunelli’s Arcana Arcanorum in Italy, yes even Theodor Ruess’s original O.T.O. idea, all were inspired by the overrated Fratres Lucis."
In fact this entire paper is an interesting read.
CANCER JOURNAL - SIDE EFFECTS
I learned a new lesson about the subject yesterday. Chemo drugs cause blood clots. This is not good.
One arm is bigger than the other--obviously swollen. It's been this way for nearly three weeks. I thought it was the result of flying back from Philly and that it would eventually go away, but no, apparently not. I happened to mention it to my GP while seeing him for something else yesterday. He sort of hit the panic button. Instead of leaving his office and going back home to take a nap because I had only gotten 4-1/2 hrs. of sleep the previous night, I went to the hospital for a doppler ultrasound that found the blood clot. Then I checked into a room.
Bottom line, two more medications. Now if I take the ibuprofen that makes the Femara bearable, I run the risk of bleeding because of the blood thinners. But if I don't take the ibuprofen that makes the Femara bearable, some mornings my arm and hand are so numb that I can't hold a pen or a fork. And sometimes it lasts all day. Typing with pins and needles in your hand is--ah--interesting to say the least.
My GP's conclusion is that this blood clot is the result of the changes the chemotherapy caused in my blood. I'd be willing to bet the bank that when I next see my oncologist she will be absolutely sure that it has nothing to do with anything she has given me.
So for the next I don't know how many days I get to make a trip back to the hospital to get the blood thinner shot. Won't that be fun during the Christmas season!
My dresser looks like a pharmacy. My bank account is headed for a zero balance.
My temper is two hairs short of exploding since I haven't had any sleep for about 30 hours. A hospital is about the last place you want to be if you need to sleep.
The frosting on this cake...I had just walked in the door to get the message on the machine that my GP has made an appointment for me to visit an allergist to try to get to the bottom of the problem I went to see the GP for in the first place. It took me about two seconds to decide to cancel the allergist. There has got to be more to life than visits to doctor's offices!
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
THE RELATIVITY OF THE TERM "CRUELTY TO ANIMALS"
I was watching the Animal Planet channel while working on a craft project last night. One program was about teaching tigers born in captivity to live like jungle animals. During the program the tigers were taught how to capture food, and the shots were quite graphic with two tigers pouncing on one poor victim from the antelope family. We were supposed to be happy to see that the tigers had discovered how to catch lunch, proving in the process that they were still capable of being real tigers even though they were raised as pets. They term it "releasing into the wild."
The tigers, of course, had names, elevating them to a status somewhere between man and animal, and certainly above the level of the antelope. It was a vicious killing and was accomplished with the aid and encouragement of the tiger's trainers.
Following the tiger program was Animal Cops--at least I think that's what it's called. During that program the animal police hauled a dog owner and a horse owner before the judge for cruelty since the dog had been starved to death, and the horse had an injured leg that wasn't cared for. They talked a lot about pain and suffering. In other words, those with power over the animals didn't take care of them and so they were presented as sub-human misfits.
But in the tiger program, those with power over the antelope didn't take care of it either, and encouraged the brutal slaughter of the beast who surely felt intense pain as it died.
I just don't get it. I kept wanting to tell them "but wait a minute..." The logical disconnect for me was so intense that I shut the TV off. How can you be in sympathy with an animal lover who wants to get even with the cruel people, then switch off those emotions for the next so that you can see the value of teaching a tiger to kill? Either animal life is sacred and inviolable, as the Animal Cops seem to portray, or animal life is animalistic, which is what the conservation of tigers program portrayed. I don't think you can have it both ways.
Or is it that giving the animal a name and taking note of its personality in some mysterious way elevates the animal above the animal kingdom and thus entitles it to privileges not granted to other species or even to other animals of its own specie?
Is this concern for animals of historical duration, or is it flowing out of the generation that has decided babies are a bad idea, but is still stuck with the need to nurture?
THE GOLDEN COMPASS CONTROVERSY
It's being advertised heavily on cable, and the ads are intriguing. The trilogy is being featured prominently at Borders.
Daniel Craig, leading actor in the film, is quoted in a Guardian article:
"I'm not surprised at the criticism," said Craig. "I get that. But I think the majority of people who are criticising it haven't read it. These books are not anti-religious. Mainly they're anti-misuse of power - whether it's religious or political. They sell [The Da Vinci Code author] Dan Brown now in the Vatican so I'm sure they'll be selling this there too eventually because it presents a very healthy debate.
In Canada two school districts have been alerted to the controversy by U.S. activity and are combing their libraries for copies of the books which they indicate are particularly well-written and will "teach children about literary culture" and "make them better readers":
The Algonquin and Lakeshore Catholic District School Board is combing its elementary school libraries, looking for copies of the controversial children's fantasy novel The Golden Compass.
If a copy is found, a review of the novel - already pulled and under scrutiny by two other Catholic school boards in the Toronto area - will be conducted by local board officials and parents to determine if it is appropriate for students to read.
"When it came to our attention, I asked our team if it was in our schools. It's not a prescribed book," said board director Michael Schmitt, who admitted he'd never heard of The Golden Compass before receiving a call from the Whig-Standard.
The acclaimed 1995 novel, the first in a trilogy written by British author Philip Pullman, is being reviewed by both the Dufferin-Peel and Halton Catholic school boards in the Toronto area after they received complaints about its "anti-God" content.
The fantasy books feature a parallel universe, homosexual angels and a church that wants to separate prepubescent children from their demons before they lose their innocence - a metaphorical reference to sex.
"I can almost guarantee the book is there," said Queen's University assistant English professor Shelley King, who has taught The Golden Compass in her courses. "I think it's a pity if children don't get to read it. My perspective is that education is about free inquiry." King said the book received the Carnegie of Carnegies award this year for being the best of the Carnegie Medal award winners of the last 70 years.
According to the article in Halton the December Scholastic book order will not be distributed since The Golden Compass is on the list.
An article at the Irish Independent provides some clues about the story line:
It tells the story of 12-year-old Lyra Belacqua, who lives in a parallel universe which resembles our own in many ways, with some crucial differences. The most important of these is that human beings are physically separated from their souls, which live outside them as animals, or "daemons". The daemons of children slip from one animal form to another, only taking on a permanent appearance when their human counterpart reaches adulthood.
Lyra has been left by her Uncle Asriel, played by Craig, to be raised by the fellows of Jordan College, Oxford, but when a mysterious and beautiful woman by the name of Mrs Coulter (Kidman) arrives and offers to take her north in the footsteps of her uncle, she is swift to accept. Too late, she realises that Mrs Coulter is not what she seems, but is connected to a sinister organisation called the Magisterium.
Some people have interpreted the Magisterium to be a representation of the Roman Catholic Church. While there is little doubt that Pullman intended to portray a theocracy wielding dangerous power, nowhere in the novels is the Catholic Church overtly criticised. Rather, Pullman's supporters contend, the books attempt to show the dangers inherent in all organised religion when political power rather than spirituality becomes its driving focus.
Over at the Catholic League website Bill Donohue answers criticism directed at him over his campaign to expose the anti-religious content:
“In the current Newsweek, Pullman lashes out at me saying, ‘To regard it [his storytelling] as this Donohue man has said—that I’m a militant atheist, and my intention is to convert people—how the hell does he know that?’ That’s easy—I just quote him: ‘I’m trying to undermine the basis of Christian belief.’
“In his books, Pullman refers to ‘Dust’ as an invisible substance with mysterious qualities. To Dr. Spin, Freitas, ‘Dust is the Holy Spirit.’ Really? Then why did the screenwriter, Chris Weitz, tell Hanna Rosin of the Atlantic Monthly that the producers of the movie told him to take the following line out of the film: ‘Dust is sin’?
“Weitz recently said it is ‘wrongheaded’ to say Pullman wants to ‘kill God.’ Yet Pullman has admitted that ‘My books are about killing God.’
There is a claim in the advertising world that there is no such thing as bad publicity. Dan Brown could attest to the truth of the claim, and Pullman looks to be traveling down the same road.
THE JUDGES LIKED MY MARGARET SANGER POEM
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
CHANGING THE RULES - ST. THOMAS UNIVERSITY
ST. PAUL, Minnesota, November 21, 2007 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Minnesota’s St. Thomas University has voted to remove the bylaw that maintained the sitting archbishop of St. Paul-Minneapolis as the Vicar General and Priest President of the University. The board of directors voted unanimously to change the university’s bylaw and install soon-to-retire Archbishop Harry Flynn as chairman for a five year term. The move is feared to be an effort by the university to override the authority of and possible reforms by Archbishop John Nienstedt, Flynn’s more orthodox Catholic coadjutor bishop who will fully succeed him as head of the archdiocese next year.
The surprise move has alarmed some Catholics who attend St. Thomas, the only Catholic university in the US founded directly by a bishop, who fear that the break with its historic ties to the archdiocese presages the “complete secularization” of the university, widely known as one of the US’ more doctrinally liberal Catholic schools.
A memo from the board of directors said, “Implementing a process the Board Affairs Committee began last February, the board also elected Archbishop Flynn to a five-year term as chairman of the board after making appropriate changes to the university's bylaws which heretofore had stipulated that the ordinary (head) of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis serve ex officio as chairman.”
Is this what is meant by "Bishop opposing Bishop"?
Perhaps this decision by Bishop Nienstedt is the background for this latest stunt.
It's war folks. The liberals don't go away quietly!
Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us!
THE GOLDEN COMPASS
The British author Philip Pullman has attacked leading American Catholics as "nitwits" after they called for a boycott of The Golden Compass, which has its world premiere in London tonight.
In an escalation of the religious row over the film adaptation of the first of the Pullman trilogy, the north American Catholic League claimed that the movie is being used to pursue his "atheist agenda" and should be banned.
Bill Donohoe, the league's President, added that the production, starring Nicole Kidman and Daniel Craig, could prompt parents to buy the books for their children unaware that the trilogy climaxes with an epic battle to "destroy God".
Read the rest...
Calling Catholics "nitwits" isn't exactly a good way to win friends and influence people, but it does make it pretty clear where Pullman stands on the subject of Catholicism.
Will you take your kids to see it this Christmas?
SABBATAI ZEVI AND THE LOST TRIBES
Strangely enough Sabbatai Zevi has also turned up in the Database of Jewish Communities website. The website belongs to The Nahum Goldmann Museum of the Jewish Diaspora which is dedicated to uncovering "The Myth of the Ten Lost Tribes of Israel". In that website I found a drawing of Zevi's prophet Nathan of Gaza leading the Tribes, and the following:
The medieval speculations about the fate of the lost tribes were enhanced by the Christian traditions about Prester John, a powerful ruler of vast regions believed to be located in either the Far East or in Africa. Most medieval Christian commentaries about Prester John contain references to the Ten Lost Tribes, many of them quite similar to the descriptions of Eldad ha-Dani. R. Obadiah ben Abraham of Bertinoro in northern Italy, a pilgrim to Jerusalem at the end of the 15th century, noted the information he gathered about the Ten Lost Tribes, especially about descendants of the Tribe of Dan who are at constant warfare with Prester John....
The interest in the fate of the Ten Lost Tribes received a new impetus from a number of developments, among them the growth of the Kabbalah and of the Jewish mysticism after the 16th century, including various messianic movements, of them that of Shabbetai Zvi (1626-1676) having the strongest impact...In the 17th century, the myth of the Ten Lost Tribes became a central theme of Sabbatean propaganda – Shabbetai Zvi; the false messiah is depicted as commander of the Ten Tribes. At the same period, R. Manasseh ben Israel of Amsterdam (1604-1657) in his book Mikve Israel (Hope of Israel, London, 1652) brings the testimony of the Portuguese crypto-Jew, Aaron Levi (known as Antonio de Montezinos), who claimed to have encountered during his travels to South America (Ecuador, Peru, Colombia, Venezuela) Indian tribes practicing some Jewish rituals and who allegedly were descendants of the tribes of Reuben and Levi. Manasseh ben Israel used the legend of the lost tribes in pleading successfully for the admission of Jews into England during Oliver Cromwell's regime.
The website links many websites which share the interest, among them Brit-Am, an organization whose website carried an article by Athol Bloomer, a member of the Association of Hebrew Catholics, when I was researching his writing.
British Israelism is also mentioned in the article:
...it was John Wilson (d.1871), an Irishman, who turned these ideas into the movement of British Israelism. He and his followers strove to discover and describe the historic connection between the Ten Lost Tribes and the British people, via various waves of migrations and immigrations from Central Asia to the north shores of the Black Sea and ultimately to Britain. The movement consequently gained many adherents in Britain and from there it spread to other English speaking countries, especially to the US. British Israelism continued to flourish in the first half of the 20th century and still has followers in many countries.
Monday, November 26, 2007
Why would a divorced atheist with a live-in want to make a video that would promote the sainthood of JPII?
The late Pope John Paul II is the star in a new “trip hop” music video backed by the Vatican which is expected to challenge for the number one slot in the Christmas DVD charts.
With music composed by British composer Simon Boswell, an agnostic who made his name scoring for Italian horror movies, Santo Subito! is intended to build on the growing cultic veneration of the late Pope and add impetus to the campaign to make him a saint.
The DVD, to be launched in the UK by Universal, the company that publishes Amy Winehouse, takes its title from the “Make him a Saint immediately” chants cried out by crowds at the Vatican at the funeral.
Mr Boswell, who wrote the music for films such as Shallow Grave and Midsummer Night’s Dream, said the style of the music in Santo Subito! could be described as “trip hop, trance-like and contemplative.”
Read the rest...
That very traditional Latin Church music is a sharp contrast to what JPII presented to us at his sometimes bizarre Masses. Is this an attempt to shine up a tarnished image? Either the producer of this video has an agenda, or the money is really good.
I'm afraid I don't get it at all.
This is one video I won't be buying!
Hat tip to NOR for the link.
THE ORDER OF THE ASIATIC BRETHREN
Once one begins a careful look at Sabbatai Zevi and Jacob Frank, many of the details about the contemporary occult scene begin to fall into place. One of those details is the Order of the Asiatic Brethren.
Jewish historian Jacob Katz is an important source. His book, JEWS AND FREEMASONS IN EUROPE, is online. Katz recounts the founding of this Masonic lodge that was the first to admit Jews. The history of the order can be traced back to Sabbatai Zevi. Katz writes:
The earliest attempt to found a Masonic order with the avowed purpose of accepting both Jews and Christians in its ranks was the formation of the Order of the Asiatic Brethren or, to give it its full name, Die Brьder St. Johannes des Evangelisten aus Asien in Europa. We are fully familiar with the history of this society which was more important than all the others because of the scope of its activities and its influence. Founded in Vienna in 1780-81, its central figure and promoter was Hans Heinrich von Ecker und Eckhoffen, of Bavarian extraction. He and his younger brother Hans Carl...had behind them a rich past in the history of the Masonic societies in Germany...Heinrich...had been active among the Rosicrucians in Bavaria and Austria, whose dabbling in alchemy served as confidence schemes to swindle money out of the naive and reckless. As a result of some quarrel, he severed his connections with them and, in 1781, published a book denouncing them. At that very time he was busy forming a new order, later to become renowned as the Order of the Asiatic Brethren but known in its first manifestation as Die Ritter vom wahren Licht.
Katz tells us that "the connection of the Asiatic brethren with the Sabbatian movement is conclusively proved."
Another prominent figure in the founding of this Order was Baron Thomas von Schoenfeld, an "apostate Jew".
Mosheh Dobruschka, alias Thomas von Schoenfeld, actually had been an active adherent of the Sabbatian movement. As we shall see later, he incorporated liberal portions of Sabbatian doctrines in the teachings of the Order...he wanted to tie the Order to a tradition derived, in some manner, from the Orient, as the name, "The Asiatic Brethren in Europe," clearly shows. The Order had to possess some novel trait to set it off from the other lodges and orders, and its novelty was the tracing of its descent to some Oriental source...Schoenfeld's provision of Cabalistic source material gave this contention some semblance of authenticity.
"Melchizedek lodges" were formed with the intention of distinguishing them from the Masonic lodges named after John the Baptist. A claim was made that these lodges used a well-known "Melchizedek rite", but this was a fabrication. According to Katz, "Jewish admission was made conditional...in practice if not in theory, on the candidate's relinquishing the Judaism prevailed at that time."
He writes further:
The ideology of the Asiatic Brethren has been subjected to a critical analysis by Professor Gershom Scholem. His study has revealed that on its theoretical level this ideology was a conglomeration of principles drawn from Christian and Jewish sources. Cabalistic and Sabbatian ideas were jumbled together with Christian theosophic doctrines. The same applied to symbols and festive and memorial days, which were fundamental to the activities of the various degrees of the Order. Along with Christian holidays, such as Christmas and John the Apostle's Day, Jewish festivals, such as the anniversaries of the birth and death of Moses, of the Exodus, and of the Giving of the Law, were celebrated. The Christian Asiatic, however, did not have to suffer pangs of conscience. He could easily have regarded himself as completely faithful to the tenets of his religion-and even look upon himself as reverting to the same pristine form of Christianity which was preserved within Judaism. The Jew, on the other hand, could hardly remain oblivious to the fact that he was trespassing beyond the boundaries of his own traditions. The adoption of Christian symbols could on no account be reconciled with the doctrines of Judaism. And, if these acts were not a sufficiently serious breach of his faith, he was also required, as a member of the Order, to eat pork with milk as part of some solemn celebration. Even the most ignorant of Jews was fully aware that he was thereby violating a law of his own religion. Such antinomian tendencies could only be found in Sabbatian conceptions, and this influence, as we have seen before, was clearly prevalent. The apostate and Sabbatian Moses Dobrushka-Schoenfeld served as the transmission line, carrying this influence to the Order of the Asiatics. Others too may have possessed a similar Sabbatian background, and their sectarian past paved the way for their participation in a Judeo-Christian society which had adopted their previous doctrines and observances.
The Asiatic Brethren practiced syncretism as do today's Masonic lodges:
The other members of the Order were not known as past Sabbatians, but rather as adherents of the disintegrating tendencies of the Haskalah which, explicitly or tacitly, provided the justification for abandoning Jewish traditions. The histories of the Itzig and Arnstein families in Berlin and Vienna respectively furnish a clear example of this process of alienation, which impelled many to forsake Judaism altogether and left others behind, with their bearings lost and the security of their environment destroyed. The lost souls of the latter group were easy targets for recruitment in orders of the Asiatic Brethren variety, since such an association offered them a new social haven, beyond the borders of Judaism, but where they were not called upon to sever their former connections and to adopt Christianity. The religious syncretism of the Order, which might be interpreted as according a status to Judaism within Christianity, was less of a restraint and more of a stimulus and an attraction.
Katz equates the Asiatics with the Rosicrucians:
Admittedly, the members of the Order of the Asiatics had held themselves out as opposed to the Rosicrucians, but the two were, in truth, of the same type.
The Kabbalah used in the lodge was thought to be independent of any religion so that the member who used it would "pass beyond the confines of his specific religious tradition and reach 'the one and only, true, pure, and over-all religion." The basis for this was a belief that "there was a single, mystic wisdom common to all religions."
The lodge failed, but the concept is still with us today.
Katz indicates that two lodge members made the acquaintance of the occultist St. Martin while in Strasbourg.
Sunday, November 25, 2007
9-11 A GOVERNMENT PLOT
Matt's Abbott's recent column opens with quotes from SSPX Bishop Williamson:
Bishop Richard Williamson, seemingly the most outspoken and controversial bishop of the Society of St. Pius X, asserted in a recent talk that the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks were committed "to get the American public to accept the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq," according to a news item by Jack Kenny in the Nov. 15, 2007 issue of The Wanderer.
Bishop Williamson, whose talk was held Nov. 4, 2007 in Bedford, Mass., is quoted as saying:
"Without 9-11, it would have been impossible to attack in Afghanistan or Iraq. The forces inside the United States government and driving the United States government absolutely wanted to attack and destroy Iraq. The destruction wrought upon Iraq is unspeakable. And now the same forces want to do the same thing to Iran . . . They may well be plotting another 9-11."
TLM IN AKRON
A couple of people have sent in a link to the Angelqueen.org website announcing plans to bring the Latin Mass to Akron on a regular basis. The announcement reads as follows:
I am very happy to announce that St. Mary's Church in Akron will begin having the Traditional Latin Mass each Sunday at 1:00 PM, beginning December 2nd.
Up until now, the Mass was only offered on the 1st and 3rd Sunday of each month.
St. Mary's is located at 750 S Main St., Akron, OH 44311
I spoke to Father Doug Brown after Mass this past weekend. He will be offering the Mass there once each month. On the other Sundays they will have a priest from the FSSP in Vienna, Ohio, or Father Bede Kotlinski, OSB, who also says the Mass twice each month at Immaculate Conception Parish in Cleveland. (I believe they have another priest who helps out when needed to offer the Mass, but I don't know his name.)
They are looking for people who would like to sing in the choir, and also would like to train more altar boys. You should be able to contact the church to get more information. (Up until now, this particular church did not even list the TLM in their bulletin. However, this is supposed to change once it is officially a "weekly" Mass.)
There is more of a potential for forming a regular congregation out of this weekly Mass, and that seems to be reflected in the call for choir members and altar boys. It's also interesting to see that the FSSP will be active here. But what happened to Fr. Hilkert who used to say the bi-weekly TLM?