Saturday, October 09, 2004
IT SEEMS TO BE A GROWING TREND
THE MASONIC LABYRINTH
at the Loge "La Fraternite" website that was linked in the Loge Maconnique Rene Guenon, No. 76, Grande Loge Suisse Alpins website.
BABIES CONCEIVED WITHOUT PARENTS
A reader sent in this story from LifeSite: October 8, 2004 (LifeSiteNews.com) - One of a series of articles in the National Post on "Extreme Babymaking" has alarmed a US bioethics expert who warns that the creation of children from corpses is only the beginning if current research is allowed to continue. Dr. Dianne Irving, PhD, a graduate of the Kennedy Center for Bioethics at Georgetown University, told LifeSiteNews.com that research is moving forward to create cloned children out of left-over body parts from aborted babies and 'spare' IVF embryos. ... Dr. Irving calls for an honest public debate on such issues, which she says, has not been forthcoming while these and nearly identical laws are being passed around the world. She says that the era of human genetic engineering has already begun. "Similar scenarios describing the asexual reproduction of human beings -- or a combination of both -- should also be addressed publicly."
The Catholic Church opposes genetic experimentation such as this. There is one of considerable influence who protests the Church's opposition:
ATT. RAFFI (GOI) SAYS ITALY IS GOING BACK TO RELIGIOUS PREJUDICES
Rome, Sept.2nd (Adnkronos) -"The law in effect relative to assisted reproduction not only demonstrates the return of religious prejudices which attempt to take the place of the right to choose of the individual, but also the usual attempt by the church to subordinate free-thinking scientific research to metaphysical dogmas. As with Galileo Galilei, today, religious obscurantism is trying to place legal limits on science, progress and human creativity" said Attorney Gustavo Raffi, the Grand Master of the Grand Orient of Italy at Palazzo Giustiniani in his intervention at the debate on assisted reproduction.
E-MAIL FROM DR. BOND
The Times Leader of Wilkes-Barre reported today that Fr. Carlos Urrutigoity and Fr. Eric Ensey "are losing" the legal battle that has now spilled over into the Canadian courts. The spillage was caused by Urrutigoity's and Ensey's efforts to prevent their psychosexual records from being released by the Canadian institute where they were sent for evaluations by then Bishop James Timlin.
What the Times Leader article does not mention is that James Bendell, the attorney for the young man who is suing Urrutigoity and Ensey for sexual abuse, has filed a motion for sanctions against Ensey. This motion, which appears on the PACER web site, is attached below. In sum, the motion accuses Ensey of willful obstruction of discovery as ordered by a federal judge.
I think it is fair to say that Ensey is concerned about the contents of his psychosexual evaluation.
Dr. Jeffrey M. Bond
Plaintiff's Motion for Sanctions Against Fr. Eric Ensey
COME NOW Plaintiffs, by and through counsel, pursuant to Local Rule 37.1 and Local Rules 83.1 et seq., and move this court for an order imposing sanctions against defendant Eric Ensey for his willful obstruction of discovery in this matter. This motion is based upon the memorandum below, the exhibits attached hereto, and pleadings previously filed with the court.
On March 23, 2004, this court issued a Memorandum Opinion and Order regarding the psychological evaluations of defendants Ensey and Urrutigoity. In that opinion the court ordered Fr. Urrutigoity's records turned over to plaintiffs' counsel as part of discovery. With regard to Fr. Ensey's records, the court deferred ruling until Fr. Ensey's records from Southdown Institute (in Canada) were sent to the court. At footnote 18 the court noted that the Southdown records were in the possession of Dr. Mikhail of the Southdown Institute. During oral argument at that hearing, attorney Sal Cognetti assured the court that every effort had been made to obtain those records from Dr. Mikhail but that the doctor was refusing to send the records to the court. The court's Opinion refers to correspondence between Mr. Cognetti and Dr. Mikhail. However, contrary to Federal Civil Rule 5, Mr. Cognetti did not copy this correspondence to opposing counsel, and has not copied that correspondence to this date.
After the court's ruling, counsel for Plaintiffs retained a Canadian attorney, Mr. Andrew Kerr, for the purpose of having Fr. Ensey's Southdown records subpoenaed and sent to this court. Mr. Kerr served his Canadian application upon counsel for Fr. Ensey and Urrutigoity. Fr. Ensey subsequently obtained a Canadian attorney, Mr. Andrew MacDonald, to fight the production of these records to this court. Attached hereto as Exhibit 'A' is a letter from Fr. Ensey's Canadian attorney to plaintiffs' Canadian attorney. The letter not only obstructs the production of Fr. Ensey's records, but even threatens the imposition of costs and attorney fees against Plaintiffs for seeking the records.
Fr. Ensey's conduct flies in sharp contrasts to the assurances of his attorney, Sal Cognetti, that he had attempted to have the Southdown Institute send his psychological records to this court. Accordingly, Fr. Ensey should be sanctioned. Because the conduct involves an already pending order, Plaintiffs request that Fr. Ensey's Answer in this case be stricken.
These days in the realm of spirituality everything is acceptable, or so some believe, even within Catholicism, where a Catholic group which is a part of Dignity and called The Defenders promotes leather sex. Honestly, the first time I saw it, I had to actually blog "leather sex" to confirm that it really was what I suspected it was.
It seems to have gone mainstream. The American Academy of Religion's 2004 Annual Meeting in San Antonia will feature workshops on leather sex, according to WorldNetDaily:
An annual convention of American religion scholars from prominent institutions will feature sessions favorable toward sadomasochism, transvestism, transsexualism and polyamory – participation in multiple sexual relationships.
One paper scheduled to be presented interprets a passage in the book of Jeremiah "through the lens" of a sadomasochistic encounter between God and a man.
The presentations offered at the American Academy of Religion's 2004 Annual Meeting in San Antonio next month demonstrates that "bringing male homosexual behavior into the mainstream produces a slippery slope" that serves only to destroy basic societal norms rather than tame risky behavior, says Robert A. J. Gagnon, associate professor of New Testament at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary.
Two workshops on the sexual themes are being offered by the Gay Men's Issues in Religion Group at the meeting, scheduled for Nov. 20-23.
"One wonders what is next for the Gay Men's group at AAR – the promotion of incest, 'pedosexuality' and bestiality?" Gagnon asked in a written critique. "There is certainly little or nothing in the presenters' theology that would lead away from such ultimate absurdities."
Their website indicates they are engaged in "Fostering Excellence in the Study of Relgion." How exactly do they define the word "excellence"?
Here are the Program Unit Types, most of which are expected topics for a religious forum to discuss. Except for a couple of them which could easily be overlooked in the long list.
Here is the "Call for Papers on gay men's Issues In Religion Group." The S/M topic really is in there.
They also have Tantric studies on the agenda, described here in the "Call for Papers."
Such creative ways to legitimize sexual practices that even within my lifetime were considered deviant back-room topics. Come to think of it, all sex used to be considered a back-room topic. Now we talk about it so much that the heterosexual event has become boring and more novel encounters are the topic of conversation. And religious symposiums as well apparently. Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us!
VATICAN BANK SCANDAL STILL HAUNTS US
The class action lawsuit accuses the Vatican Bank of receiving hundreds of millions of dollars of gold and other assets looted from victims of Croatia's brutal Ustasha regime from 1941-1945. As many as 700,000 people, most of them Serbs, were killed at death camps run by the Nazi-allied government. Vatican Bank attorney Jeffrey Lena argued foreign policy, not lawsuits, should address such historical claims.
"Losses that occur in the chaos of war need to be handled by the state which suffers the loss," he said. "It is well beyond the provenance of the district court to manage."
"Getting to the merits of this case...would require the gathering of evidence from multiple countries, evidence that is more than 50 years old."
The lawsuit does not seek any specific monetary amount but, at least initially, a review of how much money is involved.
The plaintiffs say the illicit funds may have been funneled to groups working to smuggle Nazis out of Europe after the war, including Adolf Eichmann.
Friday, October 08, 2004
IS THAT A COMMITMENT, SENATOR ?
He wants to decide the fate of America, but he has trouble picking a hair color.
UNITY IN DIVERSITY
Crux News links a report from the International Herald Tribune on recent statements concerning French culture:
President Jacques Chirac of France warned Thursday of a catastrophe for global diversity if the United States' cultural leadership goes unchallenged. ...
The French president warned that the world's different cultures could be "choked" by U.S. values.
Did he consider that one of the reasons U.S. values are "choking" other cultures is that there is something desirable about U.S. values, at least in the eyes of those other cultures? If "global diversity" is a cherished value, all of the world's cultural values are offered for the taking. If true freedom is sought, the cultures of the world then have the freedom to choose. It is not greater freedom, but rather lesser freedom that Chirac is hinting at.
The Pope also speaks of diversity.
In an address to the Oblates of Mary Immaculate on Sept. 24:
First, he invited them to live "a renewed fraternal union" so that the congregation will be "a family, whose members form only one heart and soul."
...the Pope acknowledged that they face a "compromising challenge," but "extremely important for humanity, called to journey the path of solidarity in diversity." ...
On January 13, 2003, in a statement to the ambassadors to the Holy See, he said:
Today’s Europe [is] at once united and enlarged. Europe has succeeded in tearing down the walls which disfigured her. She has committed herself to planning and creating a new reality capable of combining unity and diversity, national sovereignty and joint activity, economic progress and social justice. This new Europe is the bearer of the values which have borne fruit for two thousand years in an "art" of thinking and living from which the whole world has benefited. Among these values Christianity holds a privileged position...
In a statement made at the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem, he said:
"God of our fathers, you chose Abraham and his descendants to bring your name to the nations: We are deeply saddened by the behavior of those who in the course of history have caused these children of yours to suffer, and, asking your forgiveness, we wish to commit ourselves to genuine brotherhood with the people of the covenant."
In his just released apostolic letter opening the Year of the Eucharist, he said:
The Eucharist, John Paul writes, opens the possibility for "a culture of dialogue." In a world torn by tragedy and terrorism, the Church finds in the Blessed Sacrament "a great school of peace."
"Fraternal union," "solidarity in diversity," "unity and diversity," "brotherhood," "dialogue" and "peace" are all phrases that have fallen from the Pope's lips repeatedly, and anyone who reads news about him is familiar with them. These words are unique to this papacy, but they are not unique to this time period.
Another voice in Rome is using them as well--the voice of Gustavo Raffi, the Most Worshipful Grand Master of the Grande Oriente d'Italia, when speaking to members of the Grand Lodge.
In an Allocution made in 2002 to the Brothers of the Grand Lodge, titled "The Ways of Dialogue," he said:
If we have faith in the virtuous side of man and we work to limit that which is obscure everyone of us must make an effort to spread and reinforce those values which are the bedrock of civilized life and an expression of the potential of every man, the ethic of brotherhood and equality, which freemasonry has always brought to the forefront and transfused in society, are thus placed at the centre of social life and in relationships between human beings.
Albeit this attitude is fundamental, it is not sufficient, we must go beyond it, realize the historical importance of an apply these values and principles to the specific conditions of a human society, rendered equal in its diversity, its differing points of view, opinions and outlook on the world, cultural traditions, religious creeds, having clearly injested the idea that the architecture of sharing has it foundation in the principle of reciprocation. ...
The pedagogical-educative way is therefore the one which stimulates personal growth with respect for differences and puts at the disposition of the individual judgement those values which are the fundamental expression of one's own individuality and of community living.
The second way is that of dialogue.
Without dialogue one distances oneself, remains anchored to one's own horizon, fast in the fortress of one's own limited interests one remains on the other side of the barricade and so the other person appears far away and not in frequently becomes the enemy. Without dialogue there is meeting and our point of view appears as the sole horizon of our actions. In the actual condition of man we believe that dialogue between adherents of opposing positions is the only way to get people to meet, to get to know one another, to put on the table their own points of view, to declare their interests in order to enable them to mature and negotiate possible solutions. ...
These sound bites about dialogue are alluring. We don't want to fight with anyone. We certainly don't want war, and especially over our faith. And so the Pope has instituted programs of interreligious dialogue in an attempt to alleviate growing animosity engendered by globalism.
We can't stuff the genie back into the bottle. Ease of transportation and communication together with transient populations spreading their ideaologies around the globe have made a solution to religious differences imperative. But at what price?
Gustavo Raffi expresses the Masonic philosophy on this interreligious dialogue:
Freemasonry has, since its beginnings, always sought to encourage dialogue and has urged men to meet in a climate of mutual respect.
The masons do not espouse one particular philosophy or ideology but a method of co-habitation between all possible philosophies and ideologies stating the lay principle which consists of the rule "do not lay claim to possessing the truth more than every other person who may claim likewise."
The condemnation of this intolerant attitude is an integral part of the cultural heritage of universal freemasonry, which not by mistake, has seen its best men fight absolutism and tyranny, working in the construction of organizations for peace and aid such as the red cross, the United Nations, Amnesty International and many others.
If we may not "lay claim to possessing the truth," what then may we lay claim to? The Pope indicates we must lay claim to the superiority of Jesus Christ. That is not compatible with meeting members of other religions in "brotherhood and equality."
And in fact, Europe has just recently shown the world how this works, by refusing to acknowledge Christianity in the constitution of the European Union, much to the Pope's dismay. His cherished "solidarity in diversity" does not accommodate Christ the King. In fact, no religion can be accommodated in this scheme. As Raffi puts it:
Let them come to our temples to shout that peace, dialogue and respect should be banned. Let them try to erect new pyres to universal brotherhood, to the profound sense of the divine who unites every one beneath the light of reason and with different faiths. They even go so far as to say that heaven is with them whilst raising shouts of hatred.
Our faith is unfailing. A faith in the highest values of mankind and of he who gave life; a faith in the reason for comparison and of peace in the hope that one day, would that it is not too far off, even those who today would forbid us to speak will understand the superiority of respect and dialogue.
We have interreligious dialogue going on all over the Catholic Church. Meanwhile, we are witnessing the destruction of the faith. In the Pope's own diocese, adherence to Catholicism is slipping away. Christ is no longer "the way the truth and the life" but rather merely another god in the pantheon from which mankind can pick and choose in his diversity.
In an address to the Omayyad Mosque of Damascus, May 6, 2001, the Holy Father stated:
I truly hope that our meeting today in the Umayyad Mosque will signal our determination to advance interreligious dialogue between the Catholic Church and Islam. This dialogue has gained momentum in recent decades; and today we can be grateful for the road we have travelled together so far. At the highest level, the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue represents the Catholic Church in this task. For more than thirty years the Council has sent a message to Muslims on the occasion of Îd al-Fitr at the close of Ramadan, and I am very happy that this gesture has been welcomed by many Muslims as a sign of growing friendship between us.
If we are friends traveling the road together, isn't it reasonable to travel in either your car or mine?
CATHARISM IN THE LIGHT OF THE SOPHIA PERENNIS
With respect to neo-Catharism, anti-traditional in essence, some of our readers may rightfully wonder what convinced us to create a Cathar section, the "Perfect Heresy". A quick overview of the writings of our friend Philippe Roy may have convinced them that his perspective is not that of the Perennialists, far from it. No reference there is made to Guénon or to Schuon but instead to C. G. Jung as well as some sharp critiques of the Catholic church.
Then, why Catharism ?
In reality, many dimensions of Catharism belong to the world of the Tradition. The Consolamentum is not a mere sacrament but a purely initiatic and esoteric rite in its essence, which, according to the Cathars, dates from Christ Himself ! Also are found, in the writings of the Cathars and in the Inquisition testimonies, a doctrine of posthumous conditions which differs much, as far as the Perfecti are concerned, from a gross reincarnationism. At last, their doctrine as a whole, as far as it is possible to know it, appears a way of knowledge, not necessarily a doctrine purely metaphysical but a path including some jnanic elements.
Thursday, October 07, 2004
PAINTINGS OF FRITHJOF SCHUON
I've found the source of the icon--which is really a painting--in the Sophia Perennis website. It's Frithjof Schuon's work. I wonder if Lentz copied Schuon's style in writing his icons?
He did a lot of paintings of Indians.
GRAND MASTERS ON KOSOVO
A Joint Statement of the Grand Lodges of Italy and Yugoslavia, signed by Grand Master Gustavo Raffi, and Grand Master Novak Jaukovic, reads in part:
Freemasonry, on the basis of its cosmopolitan view refuses and condemns ethnic, racial and religious fanatism. Defend and supports fraternity among men and people.
Strives toward the end of the war and favour international negotiations, aiming to conciliate civil freedom, autonomy and territorial integrity of States; towards immediate solution that has to be reached within the UN, custodian of the Universale Declaration of Human Rights, generated in European Lodges and inspired by masonic ideals and practice.
GRANDE ORIENTE d'ITALIA AND ESOTERICISM
It is often said that Freemasonry does not concern itself with occult topics. There is a paper online at the Italian Grand Orient website titled "The Esoteric Way, Social Engagement and Moral Conduct" by Gustavo Raffi, to the Brothers of the Grand Lodge, 2001, that makes clear this is a concern of the lodge. It reads in part:
What we call our esoteric tradition, which is parallel and complementary to our ideals of illuministic nature, is seen from diverse perspectives, such as Hermeticism, the Cabbalah, Pythagoreanism, Templarism, Rosicrucianism, alchemy, and others again, that are, so to speak, the esoteric foundation that characterizes our Institution, that make it unique and render it possible that the Freemasons can consider themselves like initiates, beyond any kind of self-certification.
We do not presume to hold that the Freemasons are the sole heirs of these traditions, and neither to think of a direct historical derivation from these associations, but it is certain that such esoteric traditions are our point of reference to which we must look to give meaning to our initiation, to our spiritual journey, and to our beings as Freemasons.
Grand Lodge is a senior governing body of a particular obedience, in this case Italian Grand Orient Freemasonry.
Access the paper here. If that doesn't work, go to the Italian Grand Orient websiteand click the logo. On the page that comes up, the right-hand top column, beside the year 2001, there are two entries. Click "Via esoterica, partecipazione sociale e condotta morale." This paper will come up.
Wednesday, October 06, 2004
Rene Guenon is compared to Joseph Campbell here:
Sophia Perennis announces a new addition to The Collected Works of René Guénon:
Symbols of Sacred Science
What Joseph Campbell and Robert Graves did for comparative mythology on the exoteric level, René Guénon does on the level of esoterism. In this quintessential work, Guénon proves himself a master of mythopoetic exegesis as well as "pure" metaphysics.
Cover drawing by Ananda K. Coomaraswamy
(available through Ingram)
Sophia Perennis, 2004; 464 pp.
PB: ISBN 0900588772, $25.95;
HB: ISBN 0900588780, $40.95
Lee Penn lumps Campbell with Stanislav Groff in his description of Jean Houston's Labyrinth Project:
Houston can thus add the Veriditas Project to her long list of accomplishments on behalf of the New Age movement. Houston claims wide influence, having "worked to implement cultural growth and social transition in more than 40 countries with international development agencies, and in Bangladesh and Burma with UNICEF. She consults to CEOs and leads workshops at companies such as Kraft, Xerox, General Electric, Beatrice Foods, and others."(614) Over the years, Houston's collaborators and advisers have included a host of advocates for the post-1965 spiritual upheaval in the US and Western Europe, including Stanislav Grof, Elaine Pagels, Joseph Campbell, Margaret Mead, Alan Watts, Moshe Feldenkrais, and Edgar Mitchell.(615)
Ken McCormick, in a paper titled "The Magical Journey," says this of Campbell:
In any case, Neopagan Eric S. Raymond in his Internet FAQ on Neopaganism says of Joseph Campbell's four-volume The Masks of God that "the theoretical framework of these books is a form of pragmatic neo-Jungianism which has enormously influenced the neopagans; we can accurately be described as the practice for which Campbell and Jung were theorizing."
I look forward to reading what Lee has to say about Guenon in his forthcoming book to be published this fall by Sophia Perennis Press.
But to continue on with Traditionalism...
Take a look at the very brief history of Masonry in the Harpers' Encyclopedia. In that history you will find the following passage:
Followers of Sufic mysticism believe that the builders of King Solomon's temple were really Sufi architects incorporating the holy words of God in numerical equivalents expressed in temple measurements, making Freemasonry Arabic in origin. According to this view, the Saxon King Aethelstan (A.D. 894-939) introduced Masonry to England after learning of it from the Spanish Moors.
If you read the entire passage on Freemasonry in Harpers, you will get a good overview of the variety of threads of belief contained in the various rites and obediences. Take note, also, of this passage which will come up again:
Many of these rites passed quickly into oblivion, but not all. Thirty higher degrees, representing more spiritual and esoteric understanding, became the Antient and Accepted Rite of the Thirty-Third Degree. Philosopher Manly P. Hall, who himself achieved the Thirty-Third Degree, compares the ascension to the Higher Degrees to "passing beyond the veil" to true mystic union with God.
That "mystic union with God" is the Alchemical Wedding?
This passage from the article explains the position of the Catholic Church with regard to Freemasonry:
Many readers of the above list might liken the Brotherhood to an elaborate fraternity, blessed with an abundance of mystical offices. But the Roman Catholic Church and some other Christian faiths take Freemasonry's hermetic side very seriously and outlaw its practice among church members.
The Vatican issued its first papal condemnation of Freemasonry in 1738, and by 1917 decreed that anyone joining a Masonic organization was excommunicated. Many Catholics, including Vatican prelates, had joined Masonic lodges in the beginning. Many church officials continue to look the other way, especially in England, home of most European Masons. The Greek Orthodox church officially condemned Freemasonry in 1933, calling it a system reminiscent of heathen mystery religions.
S. R. Parchment, author of Operative Masonry and founder of the Rosicrucian Anthroposophic League, stated in no uncertain terms that Masons believe in the potential of Christ in each man, but not in Jesus as the Son of God. Even the Anglican vicar and Masonic apologist Vindex called Freemasonry the embodiment of all religious systems and ancient mysteries, not the Christian organization inherited from the guilds. Of course, many Masons are not Christians.
Turning to the publication "Freemasonry Today," edited by Michael Baigent, one of the authors of "Holy Blood, Holy Grail" on which Dan Brown based his book, this passage from Issue 17 explains the view of religion held by Masonry:
Initiation was, and is, the entrance into direct knowledge of that eternal other world, one suffused by omnipresent Divinity, perceived, to this very day, in the form of an endless clear and living light. Research currently progressing at the University of Wales has revealed – contrary to the endless sceptical arguments of philosophers of religion – the existence of a "common core" to religious experiences which cuts across the differences of faith and culture. 1000 members of Christianity, Islam and Judaism have all described having religious experiences of "intense light and a sense of encompassing love". The researchers suggest that humans "share a common spirituality regardless of religious affiliations".
That seems to be the same message as The Foundation for Traditional Studies offers. That same concept is contained in the interreligious dialogue of the Catholics which has been ongoing since Vatican II, but which was anathema prior to that Council. Notice also at the beginning of the article a Sufi poet is quoted.
Some postulate a relationship to the Grail Mysteries in Sufi mysticism. Here is an example of this at the Alchemy Lab website:
2. Sufi Alchemists and the Grail Myth
Marcel Eliade has commented that there may be a Zoroastrian (here referred to as Parsi) origin for the Grail Myth: “In a work published in 1939, the Parsi Scholar Sir Jahangir C. Coyajee has also remarked upon the analogy between the Grail and the Iranian Glory, xvarenah , and the similarities between the legends of Arthur and those of the fabulous King Kay Khorsaw.” Interestingly the xvarenah mentioned, is the same substance the sacred Haoma was said to be rich in. Eliade goes on to say that in one of the many forms of the legend, the Grail is found in India: “Let us add that in the cycle of compositions posterior to Wolfram Von Eschenbauch, the Grail is won in India by Lohengrin, Parzival’s son, accompanied by all the knights .”
Barbara Walker tells us that the whole wasteland motif is of an Arab origin, and that the early crusaders brought it back to Europe believing that if the grail were not recovered then the wasteland that befell the Saudi-Arabian dessert would befall their more fertile land. The story about Parzival and his son is closely paralleled in the following account given by Idries Shaw in The Sufis:
It is just possible that Baigent, et. al. got their idea for the Priory of Sion from Sufi mysticism, but that will take further research to verify.
In any case, Pallavicini's Milan Sufis are Ahmadiyyas. The Ahmadiyyas believe Jesus survived the crucifixion and went to India. From the website:
In about 1949, Abd al-Wahid Pallavicini (1926- ), a wealthy young Italian who had read Guénon's Crise du monde moderne, visited its Italian translator, Evola. Evola told Pallavicini that his own interests were more in temporal than spiritual power, and referred him instead to Burckhardt. In 1951, Pallavicini became Muslim at Burckhardt's hands and took the Alawi tariqa, and the name of Abd al-Wahid Yahya.(98) Having earlier broken with Schuon over the vexed question of the validity of Christian initiation, Pallavicini visited (in 1971) the zawiya in Singapore of the Ahmadi shaykh Abd al-Rashid ibn Muhammad Said (1918-92), an Azhari alim [scholar trained at the prestigious Azhar mosque-university in Cairo] as well as an important shaykh.(99)
according to the ancient and noted historian, Flavius Josephus whom we quoted above, it was more than common for a crucifixion victim to be taken down from the cross alive and given “treatment so they could get better.” And, in the case of Flavius’s friends, one of them recovered from his crucifixion wounds. Dr. James Deardorff views Josephus’s testimony as the most powerful evidence that crucifixion victims could survive their ordeal.
Notice that the last section proposes 29 saviors before Jesus. Is that the fate of the Son of God? To become just another one of a number of saviors? The issue comes down to who Jesus was. Was he man or was he God? From the Ahmadiyya website:
The debate over Jesus as a simple human being versus Jesus as the Son of God, or God Himself, is occurring both inside and outside of Christianity. The commonality between the debates inside and the debates outside of Christianity is that both are rooted in the subject of Jesus’ divinity or lack thereof.
A TRADITIONALIST WEBSITE
The founder and webmaster of this one is Associate Professor in French Cultural Studies at Miami University, Patricia Reynaud. In her current research she is focused on Simon Weil, Rene Guenon and Frithjof Schuon, Hinduism, Islam, and Medieval Catharism. Clicking the "Religio Perennis" button on her website takes you here where a picture of Rene Guenon and that very unusual icon of the Indian Virgin Mary can be found again.
I've attempted to discover the iconographer, but so far been unsuccessful. It is written very much in the style of Franciscan Brother Robert Lentz who is also known for his Celtic Trinity.
Here is another website devoted to Traditionalism. Authors here include Wendell Berry, Titus Burckhardt, Ananda K. Coomaraswamy, The Dalai Lama, Rene Guenon, Thomas Merton, Seyyed Hossein Nasr, E. F. Schumacher, Frithjof Schuon, and Huston Smith.
The whole concept of Traditionalism as presented in these two websites and in The Foundation for Traditional Studies website appears to be syncretistic in the sense that a foundation spirituality or "perennial philosophy" is said to be the source for all religions. While it is currently being acknowledged that different paths have grown out of the common source, the emphasis still remains on the commonality. Albert Pike said much the same thing in Morals and Dogma.
NATIONMASTER.COM DESCRIBES CATHOLIC TRADITIONALISM
GUENON, SCHUON, PALLAVICINI
Mark Sedgwick has a paper online about "Traditionalist Sufism." In it he describes some of Guenon's activities during his years in Paris, including these passages:
Guénon, meanwhile, had taken part in the Spiritualist and Masonic Congress in Paris in 1908,(14) and in the same year had founded his own Ordre du temple rénové, in which one authority has distinguished elements of Theosophy and of the Hermetic Brotherhood of Luxor.(15) As a result of the establishment of the Ordre du temple, Guénon and his followers were expelled from the Ordre martiniste by Encausse. In 1909, Guénon joined the Gnostic Church of Fabre des Essarts ('the Patriarch Synésius'), and edited until 1912 the periodical La Gnose, described as 'the official organ of the Universal Gnostic Church.'(16) ...
Guénon's conversion to Islam was followed by an unequivocal repudiation of his earliest connections and interests, testified to by two books in which he attacked and exposed Theosophy and spiritualism in general and, in particular, a number of organizations ranging from Aleister Crowley's Golden Dawn to the Hermetic Brotherhood of Luxor.(27) He however retained a conviction of the efficacy of magic, as we will see, as well as an involvement in Masonry, which he considered to contain the vestiges of 'valid' Western 'initiatic traditions.'(28) Lings suggests that Guénon's secluded lifestyle in Cairo - extending to a refusal to give his actual address even to regular correspondents - was the result of fear of attack by magic by certain Europeans.(29) These included, according to a slightly dubious source, Téder / Charles Detré, an enemy of his from the days of the Ordre du temple.(30) In a letter to Evola in 1948, Guénon wrote that an 'attack of rheumatism' in 1939 had been caused by 'une influence maléfique,' and disagreed with Evola, who had evidently said that such things could not hurt those who have spiritual stature. Guénon pointed out that the Prophet himself was made ill by sorcerers.(31) Most Guénonian biographers tend to gloss over Guénon's concern with magic, sometimes referring to attacks of persecution mania when Guénon was ill, but in one sense such apologies are unnecessary. A belief in the efficacy of magic is not un-Islamic, as Guénon's own reference to the Prophet reminds us. Such a belief was (and is) widespread in Egypt amongst all types and classes of person,(32) and so may be described as traditional within Islam. ...
Guénon is perhaps best described as an influential commentator on modernity, which - he argues - is the Last Age (kali yuga)....Guénon is also the great exponent of Tradition in a second sense, in the sense of the need to adhere to one of the great orthodox religious traditions which embody 'perennial' Truth. This concept of the Transcendent Unity of Religions is one of Guénon's most important and problematic legacies...
A proponent of Guenonian ideas, Frithjof Schuon, is described in the paper as a visionary:
In 1937, Schuon received, in a vision, 'Six Themes of Meditation' from God; these themes were introduced into the Alawi practice of his zawiya.(65) The receipt of some special practice, often in a vision, frequently heralds the creation of a new tariqa; receipt from God directly, without any intermediary, is highly unusual, if not otherwise unheard of.
His tariqa, which he called Maryamiyya, was unusual in that the Virgin Mary had a place of prominence:
In 1965, Schuon had a vision of the Virgin (Maryam in Arabic), as a result of which he changed the name of his tariqa to 'Maryamiyya.'(83) Shortly afterwards, rumors of unorthodoxy were circulating, notably of the display of pictures of the Virgin in the Lausanne zawiya. Such pictures, referred to as 'icons,' were used (at least by the 1980s) as a focus for meditation in the practice of the tariqa.(84) Maryamis stress that these icons are not used 'in the zawiya,'(85) but this is a distinction which would mean little to most Muslims. In 1985, in a further vision of the Virgin, Schuon received the unusual wird [element of litany; office] 'Ya Maryam aleyka al-salam ya rahman ya rahim' [O Mary, on you be peace, O Compassionate, O Merciful].(86)
Eventually Schuon and Guenon came to a parting of ways:
The immediate grounds of the breach between Schuon and Guénon were the ever problematic question of the Transcendent Unity of Religions.(67) Schuon went further than Guénon on this point, holding that Christian initiation retained 'virtual' validity, and needed only to be somehow 'activated.' Whilst Guénon agreed with Schuon in accepting the validity of Masonic initiation, he held that Christian baptism had ceased to have any esoteric value at the end of the Middle Ages.(68) Schuon held that it was impossible for the Christian baptism to lose all validity, since this would be a betrayal by the Holy Ghost.(69)
Schuon had both Christian and Buddhist followers. He "saw the Christian sacraments as 'initiatory' and Christians as thus able to follow a Master while remaining Christian."
Ultimately, near the end of his life, his spirituality drifted into that of the American Indians. He was adopted into the Lakota tribe and took part in Primordial Gatherings and Pow Wows. He also developed an interest in nakedness following his 1965 vision of the Virgin. Both he and the Virgin appear naked in certain "Tantric icons." In Primordial Gatherings women wore a sort of American Indianized bikini or loin-cloths. Schuon maintained that nakedness was compatible with Islam. He "married" the wife of one of Guenon's followers, Whithall Perry in what Schuon termed a "vertical" marriage" while she was still married to her husband in a "horizontal marriage."
Another follower of Guenon, Abd al-Wahid Pallavicini, became involved in Muslim-Christian dialogue in Rome and used his fame from this to spread the Guenonian message:
One of the high points of Pallavicini's involvement with this dialogue was the Day of Prayer held by Pope John Paul in Assisi on 27 October 1986, at which representatives of twelve religions met together to pray for peace.(106) Ten delegations represented Islam; Pallavicini went with the CICI, the main Islamic organization in Rome, made a speech to a 'round table of the representatives of religions,' and issued a press release.(107) Pallavicini became a popular interviewee for the Italian newspapers,(108) reflecting the role he had played at Assisi, both because a much interviewed person becomes newsworthy anyhow, and because at this time the position of Islam in Italy was changing significantly. By 1990, Pallavicini had become the most interviewed Muslim in Catholic papers, a sort of Muslim 'de confiance.'(109) He was even being described by the major newspaper Corriere della Sera as shaykh 'of one of the most important Sufi brotherhoods.'(110)
During his Muslim-Christian dialogue, Pallavicini did not try to proselytize for Islam, but found that many of those persons with whom he was trying to carry out an inter-religious dialogue became Muslim (and Ahmadi), so that in the end the 'dialogue with Christians' became a 'monologue of Muslims.'(111)
Zenit also indicates his involvement with interreligious dialogue:
For his part, Abd al Wahid Pallavicini, president of the Italian Islamic Religious Community in Milan, expressed his disagreement with Imam Moussa's words, and said the threats are not part of native Italian Islam.
Pallavicini was the official representative of Islam at the 1986 interreligious meeting at Assisi. He also represents the Rome mosque at the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue. He said that the group in Milan stands for an Islam that is "fully compatible with society and with the Italian juridical ordering."
Tuesday, October 05, 2004
E-MAIL FROM LEE PENN
Early this summer, I did a story for The Christian Challenge on the "coronation" of Rev. Moon and his wife at the Dirksen Senate Office Building on March 23 of this year. Now, I am forwarding this update ... with new information, showing broader Congressional involvement in the event, and noting that President G. H. W. Bush spoke on Moon's behalf in 1996.
The Christian Challenge - wfsection-3. Focus
Scroll down toward the bottom of the page, where the headline reads "Washington Mooned." Or, use the text that I copied into this e-mail.
Use, blog, post, forward, or link as you wish.
Two Lawmakers Join In “Coronation”
Of Unification Church Leader, Wife
Report/Analysis By Lee Penn
YOU MAY NOT KNOW IT YET, but a pair of Messiahs is among us, and were crowned as such at a federal building in the nation’s capital this spring.
Two U.S. Congressmen, Rep. Danny K. Davis (D-IL) and Rep. Roscoe Bartlett (R-MD), helped to crown Unification Church leader Rev. Sun Myung Moon and his wife as “True Parents” of mankind at a March 23, 2004, banquet held at the Dirksen Senate Office Building in Washington D.C.
Photos from a video of the event produced by Moon’s church show that Rep. Davis carried a crown toward the Rev. Moon and his wife as a prelude to their dual coronation. Rep. Bartlett was seen “holding Moon’s robes, bowing to Moon and his wife, and participating in a four-way handshake with the couple.”
In his speech after the ceremony, Moon said that the spirit world has “declared to all Heaven and Earth that Reverend Sun Myung Moon is none other than humanity’s Savior, Messiah, Returning Lord and True Parent.”
A number of other House and Senate members also were involved or claimed by Moon’s organization to be involved with the coronation/banquet, though most denied any connection with it or said they were misled about the nature of the event or its link to Moon; the gathering was billed as a function of the Interreligious and International Peace Council (IIPC)—which, however, is one of Moon’s groups.
Rev. Moon claimed shortly thereafter, though, that “the Senate and House together offered the Crown as Peace King to True Parents.”
When interviewed earlier this summer by THE CHRISTIAN CHALLENGE, Rep. Davis confirmed his role in the event. He said, “I was attempting to provide an accolade to the Rev. Moon and his wife for promoting visions of world peace” and “family structure.”
He added, “From my vantage point, it did not have anything to do with religion. I am a practicing Baptist, and have been a Protestant all my life.” According to Davis, Moon’s speech “was similar to a baseball team owner telling team members that ‘we are the greatest team on earth’” just before a game.
Davis’ reason for supporting Moon is that “if we try to bring people from different races, religions, and ethnic groups back together, this becomes good for the world order.”
Rep. Bartlett’s press secretary, Lisa Wright, told TCC that Bartlett received an “Ambassadors for Peace Award” from the Washington Times Foundation (the conservative-leaning Times is owned by Moon) for his work in Congress, and attended part of the banquet. She said that “this was the sum total of his participation...His attendance in no way reflects an endorsement of what the Rev. Moon said or did at that event, or at any other time.”
However, in early July, Rep. Bartlett defended his participation in the crowning. “What was so strange?” he asked. “I’m not rude, and if I was there and asked to do something that was benign, handing a robe to an old person and honoring him for his contribution to world peace and fundamental morality, now why wouldn’t I do that if I was asked to?”
On March 24, The Washington Times identified Reps. Davis, Bartlett, Harold Ford Jr. (D-TN), Curt Weldon (R-PA), Chris Cannon (R-UT), Sanford Bishop (D-GA), and Sen. Mark Dayton (D-MN), as “assisting at” the March 23 banquet.
Other than Davis and Bartlett, all but one of these lawmakers have denied that they support Moon and the Unificationists. Those who attended the event said that they were there briefly to honor constituents who were receiving awards, or to receive a peace award themselves. Chris Lisi, the press secretary for Sen. Dayton, said that the meeting planners “were not being up front as to who was sponsoring the event. We would never have been there if we knew what the event really was.”
A knowledgeable source on Capitol Hill confirmed that some legislators attended the March 23 banquet without knowing the real sponsorship and intent of the gathering. “There was a mass exodus from the event as soon as folks realized that it was a Rev. Moon event, and that he was there,” the informant said.
The Moonies claim in a video of the banquet that, in all, “81 U.S. senators and members of Congress...26 ambassadors to the United States...and some 450 leaders from various fields... came to participate in an Ambassadors for Peace Awards...and Crown of Peace Ceremony.” If this is true, it would account for a “mass exodus” when assembled legislators realized whose party they were unwittingly attending.
However, the Unificationists have denied tricking the congressmen, saying those invited knew Moon would be there. In response to the coronation controversy, a Unificationist spokesman said “an invitation letter sent initially to every Congressional office clearly identified Rev. and Mrs. Moon as the founders of the [IIPC], and stated that they would participate and be honored at this event.”
At deadline, TCC had not received a reply to its questions from the office of Rep. Cannon. However, Cannon was photographed in attendance at a Moon event at the Reagan Building on February 4, 2004; at this gathering, Moon’s son, Hyun Jin, accepted royal crowns on behalf of the Rev. Moon.
Go to the website to read the rest of the story -ct.)
ELECTION FRAUD ?
Remember the last presidential election when the Democrats caused such a stir in Florida over counting ballots? At the time it seemed very odd...almost as though the decision were much more important than other presidential elections had been.
A reader sent in this News Max article:
1. More Evidence of Massive Vote Fraud Plans?
NewsMax's Insider Report has been warning our readers that Democrats and their supporters may be laying the groundwork for a massive effort to "steal" the election come Election Day.
But that is not how it will be played by the big media. If John Kerry wins, the media spin will be about the "new voters" who threw the election to Kerry in swing states and were "undercounted" by the polls.
The New York Times headlined in Monday's editions: "As Deadlines Hit, Rolls of Voters Show Big Surge."
NewsMax previously reported that Democrats have been out-registering Republican voters by 5 to 1 in key states such as Ohio and Florida. In some states, such as Iowa, Democrats already have supplied absentee ballots to election boards at a rate of more than 2 to 1 over Republicans.
In its latest article the Times confirms these trends, reporting that in so-called swing states all across the nation potential voters seeking to register in time for the November presidential election are swamping election officials.
The record rise in the number of registrants has jammed boards of election from Pennsylvania to Oregon, as the registration deadlines for the largest of the crucial swing states was today (Oct. 4).
Once again it appears there is more at stake than we know.
Here in northeast Ohio, there are Kerry-Edwards signs everywhere, and very few Bush-Cheney signs. The Catholic vote is vital. And the Catholic vote must take abortion into consideration.
For what it's worth, the four leading states in Masonic Lodge membership are California, Texas, Pennsylvania, and Ohio. That may mean nothing at all. On the other hand...?
Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us!
WE'VE BEEN HERE BEFORE
and we survived it. In fact, we triumphed over it. So says an article sent in by a reader from The Washington Times: The following are excerpts of a sermon given recently by the Rev. Franklyn McAfee at St. Catherine of Siena Catholic Church in Great Falls, Va.
A certain depression has taken hold of Catholics today, caused by the clerical scandals of the past few years plus the overwhelming incompetency of so many bishops to deal with the problems or even to recognize a problem.
These things verify what Pope Paul VI said, that the smoke of Satan was in the church, and the church was undergoing a Good Friday. We worry about the church we love; we hear the media criticize her. We are confused.
He goes on to describe the condition of the church in the years leading up to 1,000 A.D. The litany sounds all too familiar. There really is nothing new under the sun. The sermon closes:
The church, beaten and scourged by scandal and betrayed by her own leaders, rose like the phoenix from her own ashes, more beautiful, more splendid, more strong, more fruitful than ever before. The church always buries her undertakers.
Looking back on this sorry, sordid time, historian Daniel Rops comments, "During two centuries of increasing night, there then appeared innumerable indications, however small, of a splendid dawn to come. New hordes of barbarians might overcome Christian lands, the children of light might compromise with the sons of darkness, even the very successors of St. Peter might prove themselves unequal to the crisis — but the soul of the church continues to declare herself so youthfully and so vigorously that she ultimately triumphs."
The Catholic Church continues to triumph, because the church is more than her members, she is more than her leaders; she is the very body of Christ.
Now that is a homily that needs to be delivered in every Roman Catholic church across America!
IS THIS AN EXAMPLE OF DISHONOR AMONG THIEVES
or just naked greed in action?
Crux News has linked this story from the Telegraph:
The Da Vinci Code has sold more than 12 million copies and has been translated into 42 languages. But now two writers are suing its publishers, claiming that it was copied from their bestseller that first appeared more than 20 years ago.
Michael Baigent and Richard Leigh claim that Dan Brown, the 39-year-old former English teacher from New Hampshire, has "lifted the whole architecture" of the research that they carried out for their non-fiction work The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail, which they co-wrote with Henry Lincoln.
They claim that the similarities between the two books are such that they have no choice but to sue Random House, whose imprint Doubleday is the publisher of Brown's novel.
Leigh told the Telegraph after issuing the writ: "It's not that Dan Brown has lifted certain ideas because a number of people have done that before. It's rather that he's lifted the whole architecture - the whole jigsaw puzzle - and hung it on to the peg of a fictional thriller."
So they want exclusive rights to their invention? It would be hard to see much of anything else in this lawsuit.
Baigent and Leigh claim that the novel's premise and chunks of factual research are plagiarised from their original historical hypothesis, which has sold more than two million copies despite being denounced by several Church commentators as "pseudo-history". Baigent said: "Whether our hypothesis is right or wrong is irrelevant. The fact is that this is work that we put together and spent years and years building up."
Suddenly Baigent, Lincoln, and Leigh's "historical research" has become "our hypothesis".
The name Leigh Teabing is an anagram of Leigh and Baigent, the authors point out, while his physical description - he walks with the aid of crutches - is allegedly based on the third author, Henry Lincoln, who walks with a limp.
Monday, October 04, 2004
THE FOUNDATION FOR TRADITIONAL STUDIES
sells Ananda Coomaraswamy's video. The organization sells a number of books, some of which are written by the followers of Frithjof Schuon.
Here is a link to the Board of Directors of the Foundation for Traditional Studies where you will find Rama Coomaraswamy, Huston Smith, and Sayyed Hossein Nasr listed.
The Foundation also publishes "Sophia Journal." The Back issues of the journal are available online. Going through the issues is an interesting study in topics and authors. The first issue contains articles by Frithjof Schuon, Martin Lings, William Stoddart. Articles include "Norms and Paradoxes of Spiritual Alchemy," and "Rene Guenon."
Reading the second article, one discovers that Guenon was a Catholic, a member of the Paris occult revival who became disillusioned with occultism, and subsequently turned to the Sufi branch of Islam, an esoteric spirituality. Schuon is a follower of Guenon.
Volume 4, No. 2, Winter 1998 has a long list of authors which includes Rama Coomaraswamy and Sayyed Hossein Nasr.
Volume 8, Number 1 includes the article by Rama Coomaraswamy on the perennial philosophy, which I've linked in a blog earlier today.
There is an article on Sai Baba in Volume 10, No. 1 Articles by Huston Smith appear in several volumes.
Sophia Journal appears in another website as well, the website of the Rene Guenon Lodge. For an English translation of the website, click the appropriate link at the bottom of the webpage.
In clicking around this website, I came upon this webpage. It doesn't offer a translation. Perhaps there is someone out there who reads French?
Does this homepage look familiar? This is the same lodge that supports the work of the Good Shepherd Sisters which I've linked below. It's a part of the Grande Loge Suisse Alpina.
The Loggia Rene Guenon. Look down at the very bottom of the website. There you will see "Grande Oriente d'Italia." This is Italian Grand Orient Freemasonry.
This has been a most interesting exercise in connecting the dots!
FOCOLARE AND WCRP
Very curious involvement of this organization with the World Conference on Religion and Peace:
From a website Dialogue among believers of different faiths:
The Focolare Movement is a member of the World Conference on Religion and Peace (WCRP). Since 1994 Chiara Lubich is one of the honorary Presidents.
More than 30.000 followers of other religions are committed in he Focolare Movement: they collaborate in various activities and, in as much as they can, practise its spirituality.
On the International Governing Structure website of the WCRP, a listing of the International Governing Board includes the following:
Rabbi John Levi, Jewish, AUSTRALIA Regional Director, World Union for Progressive Judaism Ms. Chiara Lubich, Roman Catholic, ITALY Founder and President, Focolare Movement Haja Mariatu Madhi, Muslim, SIERRA LEONE Co-Moderator, Interreligious Council of Sierra Leone
WCRP is a worldwide interreligious forum, which works to resolve situations and issues that endanger world peace and human dignity. Recognized by the United Nations as a nongovernmental organization, the conference is present in more than 60 countries. Its co-presidents include Cardinal William Keeler, archbishop of Baltimore, Maryland; Chiara Lubich, founder of the Focolare Movement; and the president of Indonesia.
The URI considers WCRP to be sympathetic to its goals if its listing on the URI website is any indication.
A History of Religions for Peace at the WCRP website indicates that the UUA is part of this history. In fact UUA was the first organization to attempt to unite the religions in 1893 at the Chicago Exposition, with the World Parliament for Religions and Peace.
At this time in history, UUA encompasses a variety of faiths including Paganism.
RAMA COOMARASWAMY ON PEDOPHILIA
Dr. Coomaraswamy is coming from the ultra-right perspective. He is a proponent of the Tridentine and from the article appears to have doubts about the current pontificate. One might consider him to be a sedevacantist. One of his books is "The Problems with the New Mass." That will give you some idea of his perspective. With that in mind, his understanding of our current crisis is rather different than you will get from other commentators.
Coomaraswamy has several articles online. I decided to look at "I'm the Only One Ordained!" In this essay he spells out the real confusion within the Traditional movement, explaining why it is nearly impossible to determine who is validly consecrated as a bishop. Hence, of course, priestly ordinations become suspect. Near the end of the article he begins to sound so much like the Liberal Catholic Church statements on apostolic succession of their consecrations as to be almost indistinguishable. It is much closer to the occultists than to anything taught by the Roman Catholic Church prior to Vatican II. I'm sure the record of Apostolic Succession has always been kept somewhere, but we never had any doubt who was a bishop and who was not, and we had no reason to look up any documents. If Coomaraswamy's arguments--that there are few validly consecrated bishops--are to be accepted, we must conclude that Catholics have been abandoned by God.
Coomaraswamy's article on the Perennial Philosophy, a philosophy that fuels Masonic lodge ceremonies and occult activities, is explained in this passage from his article:
And so it is that it is possible for a Catholic to hold to the position usually described as “perennial or universal philosophy.” The only requirement is that he hold to it as a Catholic who accepts all the teachings of the Church as encompassed in the traditional Magisterium, and this for the simple reason that if one steps outside the Magisterium and entertains one’s own personal opinion as being “true,” one contradicts all that the sanatana dharma holds sacred.
He brings it back home with the passage that follows the one above:
All this has little to do with the false ecumenism that seems to pervade the atmosphere in our days, an ecumenism that would accept not only Protestantism, but every new age deviation imaginable on - as Vatican II puts it - “on an equal footing.” This ecumenical outreach often extends itself to Eastern religions where those responsible have little true knowledge and understanding. For example, many will speak of the Trinity in Hinduism as being represented by the exclamation of sat chit ananda - which is perhaps best translated as being, knowledge and bliss - names of God equivalent in Islam to qudrah, hikmah and rahmah.. The Hindu Trinity of Powers consists of the solar Father above, a fiery Son on earth (whence he ascends to heaven), and the Gale of their common spiration. St. Frances of Sales warned against those who speak of other religions without adequate knowledge, and indeed, even for those familiar with their own theological terminology (which is rare among current scholars), would have difficulty in understanding ways of expression foreign to their intellectual world.
And so it is that we as faithful Christians can, and indeed must accept the idea of a sophia perennis. Wisdom has always been there, it is Christ, the Word made flesh who opens the door and the Church which gives us access to it.
He goes on to cite more of the Perennial Philosophy in his exposition of the Tree of Jesse, citing the work of Ananda Coomaraswamy, who, I believe, was his father and a Hindu. He even goes so far as to indicate that this Tree first appeared in the 11th century. That is near the time when the Zohar made a debut. Gershom Scholem places the first circulation of the Zohar in 1280-1290s, by Moses de Leon. The Zohar is a central text of the Kabbalah.
He goes on to state:
...we have a single example of the many close parallels between mediaeval Christian and Oriental thought and symbolism which are best understood by an ultimate derivation of both from a common source (of which our earliest knowledge is, perhaps, Sumerian); diversities of formulation representing as it were the dialects of one spiritual tradition common to humanity. From this point of views there is no difficulty in assimilating Isaiah XI, 1-3 to the Vedic texts cited in my Tree of Jesse and Indian Parallels or Sources” (Art Bulletin, Vol. XI) without suggesting any derivation of one text from the other. In just the same way Exodus XIV corresponds to Rg. Veda III, 33 and VII, 18 ...
Albert Pike devotes the entire content of Morals and Dogma to this same concept that there is a single philosophy pervading all of the world's religions, and each religion is a different expression of it. Pike sees all religions as equal. Coomaraswamy argues that Christianity, and only Christianity, contains the fullness of truth.
He speaks of simultaneous development in a variety of religions of the same concepts which are found within Catholicism, and proposes that the reason is that God is working in all cultures to make His presence known:
In the present case it is not impossible that the transmission of a doctrine of the Tree of Jesse had taken place in Kabbalistic circles; the Zohar (e.g. Vo. V, pp. 203,221; in the Simon and Sperling version) is often most informative as to the Tree of Life or Tres of Life and Death, and that the former is above the latter may be compared with the Bazaklik representation, in which the lotus grounds of the mundane and heavenly levels of being are distinguished by position in the same sense.
Albert Pike speaks of the Tree of Life and Death on p. 844 of Morals and Dogma:
The Secret of the Occult Science is that of Nature itself, the Secret of the generation of the Angels and Worlds, that of the Omnipotence of God.
"Ye shall be like the Elohim, knowing good and evil," had the Serpent of Genesis said, and the Tree of Knowledge became the Tree of Death.
For six thousand years the Martyrs of Knowledge toil and die at the foot of this tree, that it may again become the Tree of Life.
The Absolute sought for unsuccessfully by the insensate and found by the Sages, is the Truth, the Reality, and the Reason of the universal equilibrium!
Equilibrium is the Harmony that results from the analogy of Contraries.
If we were to accept this theory of Coomaraswamy, we would have to reject the teaching of numerous Popes who opposed Freemasonry. Is that where we are headed, and if it is, why did the Masons and occultists get there before us?
WHY IS A PROJECT OF THE GOOD SHEPHERD SISTERS BEING SUPPORETED BY TWO MASONIC LODGES ?
First, the project...
Village Weaver Handicrafts: A Self-Help Project, Nong Khai, Thailand
It appears to be a very good project apparently funded at least in part by Catholic Charities, giving poor villages a source of income, as the website explains:
This project was originally initiated in 1981 by the Good Shepherd Sisters, a Catholic charity that promotes whole-life development.
Here are the Good Shepherd Sisters. In the bottom center of the website is a link for "Trading Circle". If you click it, you will end up here. Click the link for "The Producers," which will take you to a list of the centers in the Good Shepherd Trading Circle, one of which is the Fatima Self-Help Centre, Bangkok, Thailand. Interesting name.
Next, the website of the Soutien, la fraternite aujourd'hui, known in English as Schoelcher Lodge. Notice the Masonic pavement, square and compass at the bottom left of the website. For those of you who read French, this is the original website. Near the bottom of the website, located between pictures, is the following:
Depuis1999, " Sawatdi " collabore également avec la Fondation " Village Weaver ", dirigée par les " Good Shepherd Sisters " et qui offre en permanence un apprentissage à environ 100 jeunes filles ainsi que du travail à domicile pour plus de 200 femmes, principalement mères célibataires avec des enfants en bas âge
Depuis 1999, "Sawatdi" also collaborates with the Foundation "Weaver Village", directed by "Good Shepherd Sisters" and which permanently offers a training to approximately 100 girls as well as domestic industry for more than 200 women, mainly unmarried mothers with infants
Another page in the website also mentions the Good Shepherd Sisters and Bangkok.
Another lodge also mentions the Good Shepherd Sisters:
Créée en 1997, "Sawatdi" est une Association sans but lucratif, formée de sympathisants désireux de soutenir, dans un esprit d'entraide et d'encouragement, le développement de l'artisanat local dans quelques villages du Nord-Est de la Thaïlande, afin de permettre aux habitants de cette région défavorisée de retrouver leur dignité par le travail. Depuis 1999, "Sawatdi" collabore également avec la Fondation Village Weaver, dirigée par les Good Shepherd Sisters, du diocèse de Nogkaï ainsi qu'avec le Centre de Réhabilitation pour infirmes de Loeï.
Created in 1997, "Sawatdi" an Association without lucrative goal, formed of getting along desirous to support, in a spirit of helps each other and of encouragement, the development of local craft industry in some towns of the Northeast of Thailand, in order to allow the inhabitants of this disadvantaged region to rediscover their dignity by the work. Since 1999, "Sawatdi" collaborates equally with Foundation Town Weaver, directed by the Good Shepherd Sisters, diocese of Nogkaï as well as with the Rehabilitation Center for infirm of Loeï.
Here is the home page for the lodge which is part of the Grande Loge Suisse Alpina obedience, the Grand Lodge of Switzerland. To get back to the webpage that mentions the Good Shepherd Sisters, click the link for "Solidaire" on the left.
Sunday, October 03, 2004
SR. CHRISTINE VLADIMIROFF SPEAKS AT NEWMAN CENTER IN LEXINGTON DIOCESE
Efrain Cortes reports on the event at Against All Heresies:
At the Newman Center Sr. Vladimiroff implied that the Catholic Church is a "monarchy," she compared the Roman Catholic Church to a "bleak and Baron mountain" in need of "change." The same type of "change" which is advocated by the above mentioned dissident groups! This is the same type of "change" that has left the diocese of Lexington with a self imposed shortage of priests, the same type of "change" that has left the Lexington diocese reeling with homosexual and heterosexual sex scandals, and this is the same type of "change" that has left the Lexington diocese with a shortage of funds. And yet, Sr. Vladimiroff has had the audacity, to simply stroll into the Lexington diocese, and shamelessly advocate more of that same type of "change!?" Exactly how bleak and baron does Sr. Vladimiroff want the church in Lexington to become fellow Catholics?
The Newman Center is out of control fellow Catholics! Do they not see the damage that has already been inflicted upon the Lexington diocese? Can they not see the hand of SATAN in all of this? Apparently not! On November 29, 2004 the Newman Foundation will be presenting Fr. James Bacik. Yet another "distinguished speaker" with ties to Call to Action!
Now before I go fellow Catholics, there is a question that remains to be asked in all of this. And that is, could the Newman Center have planned this any better? You see, Bishop Gainer just so happened to be out of the country on pilgrimage with Lexington parishioners on September 24. Considering that these pilgrimages are advertised months in advance, could the Newman Center have taken advantage of the fact that the good Bishop Gainer would be out of the country? Could they have been scheming this all along? "Naaah, not those guys?"
As Sr. Vladimiroff ended her speech, and I once again made my way towards those doors, There was once again something that caught my eyes. there by the entry doors, in plain view, were copies of Church Watch, and New Women New Church. These fellow Catholics, are newsletters/newspapers published by Call to Action and the Women's ordination Conference. Both angered and saddened, I glanced over at Jesus in the Tabernacle, uttered one final inward prayer, and exited the Lion's Den - the Newman Center!
AN INTERVIEW WITH DAVID LIVINGSTONE
Dan Brown’s best seller, The Da Vinci Code, has blown through the Catholic Community like a hurricane, leaving many believers disoriented. Among the refutations of the book’s claims, David Livingstone offers a distinctly different slant in his online review.
In another online article titled “Lucifer and the Cult of Freedom,” Livingstone looks at Gnosticism and Satanism from the perspective of religious belief, and suggests that “...through the influence of Satanism, Hollywood is promoting exhibitionism as ‘body consciousness’.” He believes this has come about via the Masonic revolt against all restraint imposed by religion--that specifically Freemasonry’s stands for liberty, equality, and fraternity will ultimately devolve into Aleister Crowley’s “Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law.”
He further adds that “ ‘inalienable rights,’ first conceived and discussed in the meetings of the Illuminati, and which were designed to supplant the commandments of the Bible” were the result of a teaching that reason alone was sufficient for man to formulate laws to govern society, making religious belief unnecessary.
Livingstone is the author of the book The Dying God: The Hidden History of Western Civilization. His website offers the startling concept that “There is no such thing as ‘Western Civilization’.” He opposes “...the beligerence of Western nations, who impose their ideology on others, out of an arrogance justified by the corrupt view that Europeans have been the leading proponents of human history.” Clearly his worldview is not typical of the Western worldview.
His biography indicates that he was born in Montreal and educated at the Liberal Arts College of Concordia University.
Livingstone recently consented to an interview.
CT - How much of “The Da Vinci Code” do you believe is true?
DL - Not very much. First of all, Dan Brown begins his book by informing the reader of that which is fact in the novel. First, there is the existence of the Priory of Zion. But there is no way that could be stated as fact. It is basically regarded as a hoax, perpetuated by the enigmatic Pierre Plantard, and records of its existence date back to only 1956.
Basically, Brown is merely rehashing various myths and legends about the Holy Grail which have become popular in occult circles. This craze was originally inspired by the Holy Blood, Holy Grail, which claimed to expose a grand conspiracy, whereby the Church sought to suppress not only that Jesus was not crucified, but that he had children through Mary Magdalene.
His descendants supposedly intermarried with the Merovingians, a Frankish dynasty that ruled France beginning in the fifth century AD. Finally, the authors claim that it was about this bloodline that the Holy Grail was referring to, and that the purpose of the Priory of Zion was not only its protection throughout history, but ultimately its reestablishment.
While the Priory may not have existed, that is not to say that such a program did not either. Rather, such concerns were typical throughout the history of the Western occult tradition, but were largely unfounded.
CT - We wrestle with the questions of life from the perspective of our cosmology. Readers of my blog are familiar with the Judeo-Christian cosmology. I get the impression yours is somewhat different. Could you describe yours?
DL - Yes, I am a Muslim. I converted to Islam from Christianity about 12 years ago. It is this faith that gives me a particular perspective that has allowed me to perhaps discover certain points that others have not.
Essentially, I believe Christians are inhibited by their need to believe in the infallibility of the Bible. This has led them to accept ideas as Christian which are clearly foreign, and thereby also to fail to assess the nature of occult teachings.
I believe in Jesus as a prophet, as I believe also in the prophets before him, like Moses, David, and Solomon. But, I can accept what scholars have established about the Bible as a corrupted text, and still hold to the belief of its original teachings.
These teachings are made certain in the Koran, which also helps to elucidate many controversial areas of history. Most importantly, what the Koran explains about Jesus adheres more closely to what is attributed to the Early Church in Jerusalem.
But, their teachings also conflict with Gnosticism. Yet, precisely the claim that Brown and other occultists insist upon is that Jesus was a Gnostic. However, if we know that Judaism was a monotheistic tradition, then the evident paganism of Gnosticism would be in conflict with it.
But neither did the Catholic version of Christianity preserve a purer truth. Rather, Catholic doctrine was inspired by Paul, who also reflected a Gnostic interpretation, for which he was opposed by the Early Church.
As made evident in the Koran, Judaism was originally a monotheistic faith. And, through a study of history, we can arrive at a discovery that it was corrupted by the paganism of foreign nations. The two separate traditions are both evident in the Bible, but only if one is willilng to accept that it is a corrupted text.
Specifically, it was the gods of the Canaanites, Baal and Astarte, twin versions of the single androgynous dying-god, worshipped throughout the ancient Middle East, which the Jews had been forbidden from worshipping. Gnosticism merely attempts to assimilate these ancient teachings to the message of Jesus, and therefore cannot be representative of him.
CT - How do you view the concept of truth?
DL - Truth is fairly simple. We are human. We all share the same predicament. Therefore, we should behave towards others as we would want them to towards us.
While truth is that simple, the ramifications of it are immense. Because, we are then forced to acknowledge the great inequalities that pervade in this world.
Our task, obviously, is to rectify them. We must identify the source of the problem, and then address it. In the most simplest terms, it is globalization. we have to bring a stop to the stifling consequences of Western greed.
Basically, through the policies of Western corporations, the World Bank and IMF, the Third World has been kept back deliberately at dire levels of poverty, to ensure the supply of cheap labor and natural resources.
Then, brutal dictatorships are either installed or supported in order to suppress dissent against these same policies.
CT - Do you believe Freemasonry and occultism which blossomed in the latter part of the 19th century have been instrumental in preserving your cosmology and worldview?
DL - No, I believe they have been busy opposing it.
CT - Is there an esoteric branch of Islam?
DL - Although its contribution has been largely ignored, almost every fundamental aspect of Western civilization was appropriated by way of the Arabs.
But this transfer was not always good.
After the inception of the occult tradition in Babylon in the sixth century BC, it penetrated all subsequent leading civilizations, exercising powerful influences.
Among the Greeks were the philosophers. During Roman times, various “ancient mysteries” prevailed, until the advent of Christianity, which only reinterpreted these doctrines rather than actually displacing them.
And, usually referred to as a Dark Age, it was the Muslims who dominated the Middle Ages. While they made important advances in the arts and the sciences, simultaneously, they also absorbed aspects of the occult tradition.
This influence resulted in various deviations from the teachings of Islam among certain sects. Most importantly, it was the Ismailies who were supposedly responsible for introducing such ideas to the Templars, the first of a series of occult organizations that led to the Freemasons.
CT - What part do you envision Christians playing in the future of your world?
DL - To be tolerant is not to believe that truth is relative, and that everyone is right. To be tolerant is to accept others even though you don’t agree with them.
I believe when Jesus said love your neighbor, he meant all people. The point of the story of the “Good Samaritan” is to teach that all people, regardless of their race or creed, are your neighbors.
We all share a common predicament: the future establishment of a global tyranny by deceptive means. My concern is to alert any who are able to recognize this potential threat, and to work together with them for an end which is for the benefit of us all.
Needless to say, I share David's hope that we can both hold on to our own faith while working peacefully with those of other faiths to oppose those who would make religion unwelcome in the civilization of our world.