Rev. Father A. Maximiadis
This article first appeared on this website in the ‘Forum’ section in May 2007. It has been transferred to the ‘Articles’ section and assigned the above title. The original subject matter and typographical layout has, for the most part, remained unaltered, except a few very necessary deletions. Moreover, additions for the purposes of clarification; to render the article more readable for visitors.
The American cult, who call themselves the “Jehovah’s Witnesses,” have made assertions that deserve responses. This article is written to address a few of their assertions, one of which is their denial of ‘Saint Peter’s Episcopacy at Rome’.
Firstly, this article will clarify the reason this cult will not be called the “Jehovah’s Witnesses”. This so-called name is a Renaissance, sit venia verbo, a bastardization of the consonants of the Shem ha-Meforash (‘Tetragrammaton’). Moreover, the vowels of ‘Adonai’ (‘ó κύριος’) in the Massoretic Text. The Jews, the faithful custodians of the Torah, withdrew the use of the Shem ha-Meforash from secular use; in the postexilic period in 300BC. To ensure that the sacred name would not be profaned. It was reserved solely for use by the Temple High Priests during the Day of Atonement.
Secondly, the “Jehovah’s Witnesses”, notwithstanding this sacred 2,300-year observances of Judaism, label God with a 16th-century counterfeit name, and claim it as God’s real personal name. Labelling God with a counterfeit name is tantamount to pronouncing the Tetragrammaton itself, if that were at all possible and is sheer blasphemy! No mere mortal can give a personal name to the Omnipotent God. Only God Himself has the divine privilege to do that, and to had revealed it; if He had wished to do so. This cult ought to have adopted the appropriate name after their founder Charles Taze Russell (1852-1916): “Charlie’s Witnesses”. For further information read: ‘Names of God in Judaism’ at Wikipedia.
The Origin of The ‘Russellites’.
The ‘Russellites’ were founded, in the early 1870s, by Russell (February 16, 1852 – October 31, 1916), (a Pittsburgh haberdasher), popularly known as “Pastor” Russell. At first his cult was known as the ‘Russellites’ and later designated, ‘The International Bible Students Association’. Moreover, in 1931 (v.i.) the “Jehovah’s Witnesses”. The activities, of the Russellites, are int al. principally printing and door-to-door distribution, of religious publications by voluntary proselyters. These activities are controlled and directed by three United States-based corporations. The ‘Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania,’ the ‘Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society Incorporated, of New York’; and the ‘International Bible Students Association’. These corporations were first under the directorship of Russell (sq. 1916). Also, then his successors: “Judge” Joseph Franklin Rutherford (1869 – 1942), under whom the cult transformed into an absolute autocracy. Nathan Homer Knorr (April 23, 1905 – June 8, 1977). Knorr oversaw the cult’s translation (of sorts) of the Bible, “New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures (1984)”. Frederick William Franz (September 12, 1893 – December 22, 1992). Followed by Milton George Henschel (August 9, 1920 – March 22, 2003), and Don A. Adams (1925 (age 89–90)).
“μακάριοι οἱ εἰρηνοποιοί, ὅτι αὐτοὶ υἱοὶ θεοϋ κληθήσονται”.
Μαθθαῖος, v:9. GNT.
“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God”.
Matthew, v:9. NKJV.
The Russellites have a notorious reputation for their antagonism towards the Christian Church, its orthodoxy, and its clergy. This interminable stance is sustained by vitriolic, condemnatory propaganda against the Churches, and disseminated in their numerous publications.
Views on Worship.
The following pronouncement (v.i.), is a self-revealing case in point of the cult’s idiosyncratic loathing. It condemns “Christendom (for) having “…forsaken God’s clean worship …”, (and allegedly) becoming part of “… Satan’s wicked organization that oppresses the people…” and supposedly having “… failed to show concern for the poor…”. (brackets mine) (Watch Tower, sine nomine, 1 December, 1951, pp. 732-33).
“…oh wicked Christendom why have you forsaken God’s clean worship? Why have you joined forces and become part of Satan’s wicked organization that oppress the people? Why have you failed to show concern for the poor as Jehovah commands?”
The above pronouncement is flamboyantly arrogant, judgemental, and absent of even a soupçon of rationality.
“Μὴ κρίνετε, ἵνα μὴ κριθῆτε ἐν ᾧ γὰρ κρίματι κρίνετε κριθήσεσθε, καὶ ἐν ᾧ μέτρῳ μετρεῖτε μετρηθήσεται ὑμῖν”.
Μαθθαῖος, vii:1,2. GNT.
“Judge not, that you be not judged. For with what judgment you judge,you will be judged; and with the same measure you use, it will be measured back to you”.
Matthew, vii:1,2. NKJV.
Do the Russellites really expect its readership to believe that Christendom’s meagrely 2,000-year liturgio-hermeneutic tradition is ‘part of Satan’s wicked organization?’ From the Russellites’ vast 81-year reservoir of knowledge, where, when, and how, in their opinion, did Christendom allegedly ‘forsake God’s clean worship?’ And the historical source from where their founder, Mr Russell, and his successors; obtain their moral authority to make such Judgements?
Φαρισαῖε τυφλέΦαρισαῖε τυφλέ, καθάρισον πρῶτον τὸ ἐντὸς τοῡ ποτηρίου, ἵνα γένηται καὶ τὸ ἐκτὸς αὐτοῦ καθαρόν. Οὐαὶ ὑμῖν, γραμματεῖς καὶ Φαρισαῖοι ὑποκριταί, ὅτι παρομοιάζετε τάφοις κεκονιαμένοις, οἵτινες ἔξωθεν μὲν Φαίνονται ὡραῑοι, ἔσωθεν δὲ γέμουσιν ὀστέων νεκρῶν καὶ πάσης ἀκαθαρσίας.
Μαθθαῖος, xxiii:26,27. GNT.
“Blind Pharisee “Blind Pharisee, first cleanse the inside of the cup and dish, that the outside of them may be clean also. “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which indeed appear beautiful outwardly, but inside are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness.
Matthew, xxiii:26,27. NKJV.
Judicial Practises, Then and Now.
The Russellites’ suggestion that Christendom “oppresses the people” is, in my opinion, a historically distorted and misplaced notion with absolutely no relevance to the church today. The religious, social, and political mores today are entirely different from those predating the early 19th century. The Russellites are attempting to vilify the church by superimposing their distorted views of the historical past onto the historical present. The historical circumstances are not as simple as the Russellites would have its readership believe, i.e., “Freedom of religious expression was stifled”. (‘Mankind’s Search for God’, sine nomine, Watchtower Bible and Tract Society, New York 1990, p.282). The cult luxuriates in denigrating others who, in the past, allegedly “oppress the people” without looking at their repressive practises in the present.
The actual circumstances qu., the historic past, was faced with threatening forces that were bent on destroying the church and all the established institutions of contemporary society. These crucial events occurred during the late Dark Ages, the latter part of the Mediaeval period; and most of the Renaissance. Anarchy and heresy were creating havoc in both church and state. For example, Donatism and Priscillianism; in the 4th and 5th centuries. The Catharist (Albigenses) 12th and 13th centuries. And the disruptive forces that gave cause for the so-called “Spanish Inquisition” from 1479 to 1808 (and reintroduced, six years later, in 1814 to 1834). These are the facts of the historical past that the Russellites omitted from their pronouncement of the historical present.
These disruptive forces were curbed to assure national unity and security, and ecclesiastical protection of souls under its care. Some judicial practices were in some isolated cases excessive, e.g., Tomas de Torquemada (1420-98). They were the accepted legal procedures of the state in those centuries. Some state approved practises of this time will be viewed censoriously in the centuries ahead. However, these procedures, whether we approve or not, have to be considered in the context of the accepted societal norms of the period.
Christian Philanthropic Activities.
The Christian church has, since the early centuries, demonstrated a generous philanthropic spirit organized for serving the spiritual and temporal needs of orphans, sick, poor, and the aged. The social work of the Salvation Army, an evangelistic and social work organization was founded by William Booth (1829-1912) in London’s East End in 1865 And from 1880 spread to mainland Europe, United States, Australia; et al. In the United Kingdom alone, their full time Officers, with 70,000 volunteers, are mcauleydelivering numerous welfare services daily to thousands of the needy.
Numerous religious orders and congregations of the Roman Catholic Church has, for many centuries, tirelessly made incalculable contributions to social service; amongst a great diversity of other works. For example, the Sisters of Mercy, a non-cloistered order of nuns, founded by Mother Catherine Elizabeth McAuley (1787-1841) in Dublin; 1831. At present order numbers 13,629 nuns, who operate scores of hospitals, orphanages, schools, and colleges.
Numerous congregations of the Daughters of Charity (founded in Paris by Vincent de Paul (1580-1600) [canonized in 1737 by Pope Clement XII]. And Louise de Marillac (1591-1660) [canonized in 1934 by Pope Pius XI]; in 1633)), numbering 27,000 nuns, dedicated to education, nursing, care of the aged; and the poor. The Russellites have accumulated vast wealth over the past 81-years. Prime real estate with modern buildings to house offices, factories, and staff residences; in the United States, England, South Africa, Spain, New Zealand, et alibi. They hypocritically accuse the Churches of “… fail(ing) (brackets mine) to show concern for the poor” (op. cit. p. 733). While they direct their financial resources towards worldwide expansionary activities of “witnessing” (their euphemism for ‘converting’). Or rather ‘poaching’ the faithful from other jurisdictions in 64 countries (Mankind’s Search for God, sine nomine, Watchtower Bible and Tract Society, New York, Inc. 1990. p. 361), to accumulate even further wealth.
Their pronouncement condemning Christendom for ‘failing to show concern for the poor’ is unadulterated hypocrisy at its worst. From the vast wealth accumulated, from the Russellites’ multinational corporations, how much have they contributed towards relieving the afflicted? How many (if any) orphanages, hospitals, schools, shelters for the poor, foundling homes, have they established?
Πορεύεσθε ἀπ’ ἐμοῦΠορεύεσθε ἀπ’ ἐμοῦ [οἱ] κατηραμένοι εἰς τὸ πῡρ τὸ αἰώνιον τὸ ἡτοιμασμένον τῷ διαβόλῳ καὶ τοῖς ἀγγέλοις αὐτοῦ. Ἐπείνασα γὰρ καὶ οὐκ ἐδώκατέ μοι φαγεῖν, ἐδίψησα καὶ οὐκ ἐποτίσατέ με, ξένος ἤμην καὶ οὐ συνηγάγετέ με, γυμνὸς καὶ οὐ φυλακῇ καὶ οὐκ ἐπεσκέψασθέ με.
Μαθθαῖος, xxv:41b-43. GNT
“…’Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels: ‘for I was hungry and you gave Me no food; I was thirsty and you gave Me no drink; ‘I was a stranger and you did not take Me in, naked and you did not clothe Me, sick and in prison and you did not visit Me'”.
Matthew, xxv:41b-43. NKJV
Anti-Christians in Christian Clothes.
Are the Russellites entitled to refer to themselves as Christians? They have appropriated the Holy Bible and sacrilegiously interpolated it with their perversions. They have hijacked the Christian agenda and corrupted it with ancient heresies. They either ignore or vilify the Historical Traditions of the Christian Church. They encroach on other’s ecclesiastic territories with total disregard for church membership, ethnicity, and traditions. They conduct worldwide aggressive, and coercive ‘poaching’ activities, to colonize, and metamorphose, the unquestioning into a ‘theological’ culture of middle-America. They are in practise tyrannical and unrepresentative of the principals of the Christian Church, and the principals upon which their parent nation, the United States of America; was founded. They have assumed the sole monopoly on ‘truth’. They have put themselves forward as the “true religion”, and regard all others as “Satan’s world empire of the false religion”. (op. cit. p. 370). Are these the characteristics of a Christian church?
“ὁ μὴ ὢν μετ᾿ ἐμοϋ κατ᾿ ἐμοϋ ἐστιν, καὶ ὁ μὴ συνάγων μετ᾿ ἐμοϋ σκορπίζει”.
Μαθθαῖος, xiii:30. GNT.
“He who is not with Me is against Me, and he who does not gather with me scatters abroad”.
Matthew, xii:30. NKJV.
The Russellites unequivocally state, “Christendom… (has become)… part of Satan’s wicked organization” (brackets mine) (Watch Tower, sine nomine, 1 December, 1951, pp. 732-33); without providing, even a soupçon; of sound evidential support. The Russellites, by their admission (vs.) define themselves as an ‘anti-Christian’ organization.
Sect or Cult?
Ought the Russellites be referred to as a ‘sect?’ or ‘cult?’ Broadly speaking, ‘cult’ automatically suggests itself due to the extreme separatist stance from orthodoxy. Moreover, exponent of the teachings of the ‘millennialist’ mélange of so-called “churches”. Namely, the Seventh Day Adventists, Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter-Day Saints, Worldwide Church of God, and the British Israel Movement. The Russellites make an assertion int. al., that the Holy Roman Catholic Apostolic Church has no claim to apostolic succession. These opinions are based upon Holy Scripture, the Patristics.
The Questian of St. Peter’s ‘Episcopacy at Rome’.
The Russellites make the following assertion regarding Saint Peter’s Episcopacy at Rome:
“The Catholic Church claims that Jesus built his church on Peter, who, they say, was the first of an unbroken line of Bishops of Rome, and Peter’s successors” … “There is not even any absolute proof that Peter was ever in Rome”.
‘Mankind’s Search for God’, sine nomine, Watch Tower Bible Tract Society of Pennsylvania, 1990, p. 268.
The above assertion exemplifies a naïvety and uncultivated comprehension of hermeneutics, and a conspicuous absence of evidential support. St. Peter’s status of the primacy of honour as first and equal to the Apostles, and their episcopal repetition (‘apostolic succession’); is unmistakably attested in sq. ‘Petrine texts,’
“κἀγὼ δέ σοι λέγω ὅτι σὺ εῗ Πέτρος, καὶ ἐπὶ ταύτῃ τῇ πέτρᾳ οἰκοδομήσω μου τὴν ἐκκλησίαν καὶ πύλαι ᾅδου οὐ κατισχύσουσιν αὐτῆς”.
Μαθθαῖος, xvi:18 GNT.
“And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.”
Matthew. Xvi, 18. NKJV (cf. Luke xxii, 32; John xxi, 15-17).
This Matthaean account is quite clear: Firstly, Jesus names Simon bar-Jona ‘Peter’ (‘rock’), upon whom, viz., ‘rock’ (πέτρᾳ fem. n. of Πέτρος), that Jesus “will build” (implying a later date (vide: Acts ii: 2-4)) His Church on St. Peter equally with the other Apostles (vide: Matthew, xviii:18). Secondly, Jesus assures Peter that “the gates of Hades (ᾅδου = ‘Sheol’) will not prevail against it (q.e., ἐκκλησίαν (‘church’))”, and it is to endure “…to the end of the age” (ἕως τὴν συντελείας τοῦ αἰῶνος). Moreover, will continue to do so (Matthew, xxviii:20b), as it can be historically demonstrated to had done so; for the past 2000-years. Therefore, the Russellites’ assumption, ut supra, reveals a jejune inaptitude in ecclesiastic history.
Lexicological Deception: The Rock and the Stone.
Furthermore, the Russellites put forward the following question accompanied with ripostes of sorts.
“Who was the rock that Jesus indicated at Matthew xvi:18, Peter or Jesus? The context shows that the point of the discussion was the identification of Jesus as “the Christ, the Son of the living God”, as Peter himself confessed. Logically, therefore, Jesus himself would be that solid rock foundation of the church, not Peter, who would later deny Christ three times. – Matthew 26:33-35, 69-75.” (op.cit. p. 268).
[Underline mine to indicate one of the Russellites’ favourite words, viz. “logic”.]
The question and ripostes are, sit venia verbo, ‘garbled’, and ‘contextually’ confused. Evidently, the Russellites’ forte lies in semantic bickering from lexicons and dictionaries. Rather than arguing “logically” from original hermeneutic and patristic sources. Quite clearly, Jesus founded His Church on St. Peter (Matthew, xvi:18a) near the Graeco-Roman city of Caesarea Philippi (Matt. xvi:13). Where He asks St. Peter, the following question: “But who do you say that I am?” (Matt. xvi:15b). Secondly, St. Peter responds to Jesus’ with his Confession: “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God” (Matt. xvi:16b). “Σὺ εἶ ὁ Χριστὸς ὁ υἱὸς τοῦ θεοῦ τοῦ ζῶντος” (Μαθθαῖος, xvi:16b GNT)). St. Peter has vocalized the collective faith, in the presence of his fellow Apostles (Matt.xvi:13). Thirdly, it is through this faith in, “Christ, the Son of the living God”, the Church was to be Founded (cf. Acts. ii:1-13) on St. Peter (e.q., ‘rock’), first among equals with his fellow Apostles as the first Bishop of Rome [Ancient episcopal catalogues name St. Peter second after St. Linus].
Notwithstanding Matthew, xvi:18a et al., the cult contradict the apparent meaning of Jesus’ words: “you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church”. The meaning of the text could not be any clearer, either in Greek or English. Therefore, it does not follow “logically” that “Jesus himself would be that solid rock foundation of the church, not Peter” (op. cit. p. 268). This incoherent assumption is apparently based on the Russellites’ misconceptions of the contexts of: “rock” (‘πέτρᾳ’) (Matt. xvi:18a 18a), “living stone” (‘λίθον ζῶντα’) (1 Peter, ii:4, 5), “cornerstone” (‘ἀκρογωνιαίου’) (Ephesians ii:20), and “chief cornerstone” (‘λίθον ἀκρογωνιαϊον ἐκλεκτὸν’) (1 Peter, ii:6).
A contextual analyses of these words in the above sources, et alibi, demonstrate beyond doubt that ‘rock’ (‘πέτρᾳ’) is quite different from ‘stone’ (‘λιθον’). [vide: ‘Theologisches Begriffslexikon zum Neuen Testament’, vol. iii, Brown, C. (ed.), Eng. transl. 1978. pp. 383.3(a)-84.(b), et cf. p.393.2(a)]. The former context is indicative of ‘whom’ Jesus is to build His Church, viz. St. Peter and his fellow Apostles, whereas the latter ‘λιθον’ unmistakably signifies “Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone” (‘ἀκρογωνιαίου αὐτοῦ Χριστοῦ Ιησοῦ’) (Ephesians, ii:20b). “Logically, therefore,” Jesus Himself (the ‘chief cornerstone’), ‘moulds’ and ‘directs’ the Church which He founded upon St. Peter (‘πετρα’) and his fellow Apostles.
Misappropriation of Sacred Text.
The Russellites, in their inimitable modus operandi, attempt to frustrate the discussion by importing St. Peter’s ‘denial’ (Mark, xiv:30,68,70) into the Petrine text discussion (v.s.). This indicates the cult’s inability to provide exegetical evidence to argue against the, historically verifiable, succession of the Roman Catholic (and Graeco-Russian Orthodox) Bishops succeeding St. Peter and the Apostles.
St. Peter’s ‘denial’ Mk . xiv:30,68,70 speaks of temporary ‘unfaithfulness’ to Jesus. “Logically, therefore”, this Marcan material has no analogical relationship with the Petrine text (vs.). Therefore, the cult’s misappropriation of Sacred Text, to promote their brand of ‘Adventism’, is Machiavellian and hermeneutically dishonest. Moreover, its continuous deprecation of the Holy and Apostolic See (Cathedra) of Rome (op. cit. pp. 268-72); is morally reprehensible.
The Question of St. Peter’s Residentiary at Rome.
The Russellite’s assumption is suggesting, “There is not even any absolute proof that Peter was ever in Rome” is unreasoned and suppositional. The evidence becomes apparent by chronologically juxtaposing the New Testament (NT) texts internally, exempli gratia: in John xxi:18 – 19 the location of St. Peter’s martyrdom is described to be the place “where you do not wish to go” (“ὅπου οὐ θέλεις”), and in Acts, xii:17 the obscure “place” (‘τόπον’) where St. Peter “went” (‘ἐπορεύθη’) Acts, xii:17. Although these two samples are silent as to the precise place, they do not constitute sufficient grounds for the cult to disregard St. Peter’s residentiary at Rome.
The conspicuous exclusion of specific details of St. Peter’s residentiary, and martyrdom (64 – 5 AD), in the imperial capital, is due to the metaphoric nuances employed by the writers. The exclusion was to secure the uninterrupted growth of the fledgling Church, and security of its members, during the Neronian persecutions; following the fire of Rome in 64. These persecutions occurred intermittently, in the capital, and possibly elsewhere in the Empire; until c. 150. This repressive ambience was, of course, contemporaneous with the writers and their contemporaries, who would have been familiar with these metaphoric nuances, throughout the 86-year period. For example, the author of the Apokalipsis cryptically referred to Rome as “Babylon” (‘Βαβυλὼν’) (xiv:8), and to Nero as “the number of the beast … 666” (‘τὸν ἀριθμὸν τοῦ θηρίου’) (xiii:18), [vide: D. R. Hillers, Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research, 170 (1963) p. 65].
Although early evidence in the NT sources are, prima facie, not forthright in providing “absolute proof,” there are sufficient indicia in the external literature, e.g., the Epistles of the four following Patristics, v.i., substantiating St. Peter’s residentiary at Rome. The first example is that of St. Clement (fl. circa 96), the third Bishop of Rome after St. Peter, who, in his Epistle to the Church at Corinth; wrote,
Peter, through unrighteous envy, endured not one or two, but numerous labours; and when he had at length suffered martyrdom, departed to the place of glory due to him”.
1 Clement: chap. v, (cf. chap. Vi).
Second is St. Ignatius (circa 35 – c. 107), the third Bishop of Antioch, in his Epistle to the congregation at Rome,
“Rather entice the wild beasts, that they may become my tomb, and may leave nothing of my body; so that when I have fallen asleep [in death], I may not be found troublesome to any one. Then shall I be a true disciple of Jesus Christ when the world shall not see so much as my body. Entreat the Lord for me, that these instruments I may be found a sacrifice to God. I do not, as Peter and Paul, issue commandments unto you.”
Ignatius, Rom. iv:3b.
Thirdly, St. Gaius’ (circa. 280), twenty-ninth Bishop of Rome after St. Peter, made reference to: ‘ta tropea ton apostolon,
“I can point out the trophies of the apostles. For if you are willing to go to the Vatican or to the Ostian Way you will find the trophies of those who founded the church”.
Eusebius, Historia Ecclesiastica II. xxv.vii.
And fourthly, St. Irenaeus (circa 130 – c. 200) Bishop of Lyons, who wrote,
“…that tradition derived from the apostles, of the very great, the very ancient, and universally known Church founded and organized at Rome by the two most glorious apostles, Peter and Paul; as also [by pointing out] the faith preached to men, which comes down to our time by means of the succession of the bishops”.
‘Irenaeus Against Heresies’, bk.iii,chap.iii:2b.
The examples given above suffice to demonstrate the profound inaptitude, of the cult’s basic understanding of Christian text, and its willful perversions of Sacred Scripture, and vigorous denigration of the most fundamental Christological and soteriological Teachings, and Tradition, passed down from the Apostles and Patristics; by the time-honoured ancient Church.
“ὁ δὲ Ἱησοῦς ἢρξατο λέγειν αὐτοῖς, Βλέπετε μή τις ὑμᾶς πλανήσῃ πολλοὶ ἐλεύσονται ἐπὶ τῷ ὀνόματί μου λέγοντες ὅτι Εγώ εἰμι, καὶ πολλοὺς πλανήσουσιν”.
Μᾶρκος, xiii:5,6. Greek New Testament.
“Take heed that no one deceives you. For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am He’, and will deceive many.”
Mark, xiii:5,6. NKJV.
The Russellites vigorously publish and disseminate abusive and hostile propaganda against all institutional religion, viz., The Protestant Churches, The Anglo-Catholic Church, The Holy Orthodox Catholic Apostolic Church; and particularly against the Holy Roman Catholic Apostolic Church.
C. T. Rutherford: “Religion is Against God”
The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church, Cross, F.L. (Ed. in Ch.) et al. (2nd ed.), 1974. p. 729.
The cult is, by its admission, opposed to ‘religion,’ and, therefore, forfeit the right to describe their organization as “religious”, or their society as a “Christian” organization. They rebuke even the most fundamental doctrines of the Christian Church, verbi gratia the physical Resurrection of Jesus Christ (Acts, ii:22-36, 1 Peter, i:3), which they believe,
“…the man Jesus is dead, forever dead”
‘Studies in the Scriptures’, Russell , C. T. vol. v, p.454).
The visible manifestation of the Parousia , (Matthew, xxiv:30. Apocalypse, i:7), which they reject as they believe ‘He has already returned (“invisibly”) in 1914’ (‘The Truth Shall Make You Free,’ sine nomine, et anno). The Trinitarian dogma, because they believe “…Satan is the originator of the trinity doctrine” (‘Let God Be True,’ sine nomine, rev. ed. 1952, p.101) – non obst., seq., overwhelming evidential triadic parallelisms in the Pauline sources: I Cor. ii:7 – 16; vi:11; xii: 4 – 6; II Cor. i:21 – 22; xiii:14, et cetera. Moreover, they have revived the 4th-century heresy of Arianism (condemned at Nicaea in 325), which rebukes the ‘Deity of Jesus Christ ‘ (John, i:1, Colossians, ii:9).
“…καὶ ἑν πλεονεξίᾳ πλαστοῖς λόγοις ὑμᾶς ἐμπορεύσονται…”
2 Πέτρος, ii:2. GNT.
And many will follow their destructive ways, because of whom the way of truth will be blasphemed.
2 Peter, ii:2 . NKJV
‘Tower’ of lies, and Deception.
‘The Watchtower,’ is considered to be,
‘The prophet of God’
‘The Watchtower’, sine nomine, 1 April, 1972, p.197).
‘The Watchtower’ publication has a notoriously impudent reputation of avoiding historical data, and exegeses. The cult’s proselytizing propaganda is illusory, superficial and anti-intellectual. Recently it has included numerous paradisiacal multiracial illustrations, presumedly to neutralize some of the cult’s past apartheid practises. This is sheer rhetoric. When are Afro-Americans, Hispanics et al., expected to appear in the upper echelons of the cult’s autocracy? It promotes apocalypticalism and is unashamedly belligerent towards Christology and soteriology. It is unscrupulously Machiavellian in its mendacious analogies, and contextual misquotes from hermeneutical and other sources. Its pseudo-scholarship appeals to the susceptible, unquestioning; and particularly the disenchanted members of society. Outré writings under anonymity (presumably to avoid accountability), and fabrication in misquoting, and partially quoting from other author’s intellectual property – and the Sacred Scriptures! – is morally reprehensible. Avoidance of the overt conventions (practised in bona fide literary circles) is gross discourtesy. Including essential details of others’ material – viz., author’s name, journal or book title, et cetera is de rigueur.
“ἀπὸ τῶν καρπῶν αὐτῶν ἐπιγνώσεσθε”.
Μαθθαῖος, vii:16. GNT.
“You will know them by their fruits”.
Matthew, vii:16. NKJV.
The Lucrative Russell Empire.
In 1896, Russell founded the ‘Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society’, as well as other commercially lucrative enterprises. These companies were conducted through some subsidiaries. Russell was the principal recipient of approximately 99% of the wealth that stemmed from these subsidiaries through a single anchor company of which he held almost 100% shares. Russell, and his wife Maria F. Russell, née Ackley, directed these enterprises jointly until their separation in 1897. A certain unpleasant, matter, int. al., was dealt with, at law, over a 12-year period. Mrs Russell obtained a dissolution of their marriage (1909), and a handsome settlement of $6,036.
Προσέχετε ἀπὸ τῶν ψευδοπροφητῶν, οἵτινες ἔρχονται πρὸς ὑμᾶς ἐν ἐνδύμασιν προβάτων, ἔσωθεν δέ εἰσιν λύκοι ἅρπαγες.
Μαθθαῖος, vii:15. GNT
“Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves.
Matthew, vii:15. NKJV.
The Penultimate Heresiarch.
Approximately 6,000,000 people worldwide obsequiously relegate their spiritual destinies to the anti-Christian legacy of the indubitable heresiarch, the unlettered Charles Taze Russell, described on public record as a “perjurer,” and soi-disant “pastor,” ‘scholar,’ and ‘theologian’.
Russell elevates the status of his ‘Scripture Studies’ above the Canon of Sacred Scripture,
“If the six volumes of ‘Scripture Studies’ are practically the Bible, topically arranged with Bible proof texts given, we might not improperly name the volumes ‘The Bible in an Arranged Form.’ That is to say, they are not mere comments on the Bible, but they are practically the Bible itself furthermore, not only do we find that people cannot see the divine plan in studying the Bible by itself, but we see, also, that if anyone lays the ‘Scripture Studies’ aside, even after he has used them, after he has become familiar with them, after he has read them for ten years – if he then lays them aside and ignores them and goes to the Bible alone he has understood his Bible for ten years, our experience shows that within two years, he goes into darkness. On the other hand, if he had merely read the ‘Scripture Studies’ with their references and had not read a page of the Bible as such, he would be in the light at the end of two years, because he would have the light of the Scriptures”. [sic]
‘The Watch Tower’, 15 September, 1910, p. 298.
“Prophet” of Irrational Beliefs (Astrology, and Failed Prophecies).
Russell is elevated to the status of a “prophet” seven months following his demise,
“Truly there lived among us in these last days a Prophet of the Lord; and although now he has passed from human sight, his works remain an enduring witness to his wisdom and his faithfulness!”
‘The Watch Tower’, Rutherford, J. F. 1 June 1917.)
“Works remain(ing) an enduring witness to his wisdom and his faithfulness” [brackets mine] include his teachings of the irrational ‘science’ of astrology. He tought that the influence of “Uranus and Jupiter” (presumedly referring to the conjunction (0º) in 9º.30′.00″ Aquarius on 4 March 1914) would set “… man free to work out his own salvation” (v.i.). “Uranus” and “Jupiter” who are “setting man free”, no mention of God!
“When Uranus and Jupiter meet in the humane sign of Aquarius in 1914, the long promised era will have made a fair start in the work of setting man free to work out his own salvation, and will insure the ultimate realisation of dreams and ideals of all poets and sages in history”.
Watchtower’, Russell , C. T. 15 June, 1922. cf. ‘Studies in the Scriptures’, vol. iii, p.327, ‘The Golden Age,’ sine nomine , September, 1924.
The ‘Watchtower’ vacillates in its theological positions. In 1914 (q. v.) astrology was published in the ‘Watchtower’ as an accepted theological component of its teachings. 81-years later it is rejected because it “…lead(s) to demon harassment or even possession by wicked spirits” [brackets mine] (v.i.).
“The practice of spiritism can lead to demon harassment or even possession by wicked spirits. Therefore, God lovingly, warns us not to get envolved in any spiritistic practices. (Deuteronomy xviii:14; Galatians 5:19-21) … One popular form of spiritism is divination – attempting to find out about the future or the unknown with the help of spirits. Some forms of divination are astrology …”.
Knowledge That Leads to Everlasting Life’, sine nomine, Watchtower Bible Tract Society, New York, Inc. 1995, p.112)
This raises the questions as to whether or not the ‘Watchtower Bible and Tract Society’ was under “… demon harassment or even possession by wicked spirits”; in 1914? Moreover, 80-years from now on, which of the current teachings, will be considered as ‘demon possessed?’ Notwithstanding Russell’s failure as a founder of a “religious” society, his followers have continued adhering to his guileful directives for the past 101-years. Their “Prophet” failed in his predictions of the second Advent of Christ in 1874, and ‘end of the world’ in 1914. Their “Prophet’s” integrity failed dismally in his “Miracle Wheat” libel suit against ‘The Brooklyn Daily Eagle’ for $100,000 damages; 1 January 1913. Their “Prophet” failed by his premeditated ‘perjury’ under oath in the matter concerning: ‘Russell vs. Ross’, at the High Court session, Ontario (17 March 1913).
Corruption of The Holy Bible.
The Russellites promote loathsome propaganda against that which they profess to be. They denigrate the ancient Churches of Christendom. They corrupt the Holy Bible, deny, or falsify historical facts, to promote their heresies, and quote from Holy Scripture – to lure the impressionable – as the Devil attempted with Jesus during the Second Temptation (Matthew, iv:6).
The colporteurs of Russellism are proselytizing (or poaching) the unwary from the Christian Church to the heretical beliefs of Arianism. They disseminate pseudo-spiritual, and anti-ecclesiastical propaganda, and aid and abet in fragmenting Christ’s Church. Russellism is a doctrine of hate. It’s assertion that “Christendom” is part of “… Satan’s wicked organization” (v.s) is not compatible with Jesus’ comments on love, or the Church He founded.
Αγαπήσεις κύριον τὸν θεόν σου ἐν ὅλῃ τῇ καρδίᾳ σου καὶ ἑν ὅλῃ τῇ ψυχῇ σου καὶ ἐν ὅλῃ τῇ διανοίᾳ σου αὕτη ἐστὶν ἡ μεγάλη καὶ πρώτη ἐντολή. δευτέρα δε ὁμοία αὑτῇ, ̍̓̓̓Αγαπήσεις τὸν πλησίον σου ὡς σεαυτόν. ἐν ταύταις ταῖς δυσὶν ἐντολαῖς ὅλος ὁ νόμος κρέμαται καὶ οί προφῆται.
Μαθθαῖος, xxii:37-40. GNT.
“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.”
Matthew, xxii:37-40. NKJV.
“Ὦ οἱ ποιμένες οἱ διασκορπίζοντες καὶ ἀπολλύοντες τὰ πρόβατα τῆς νομῆς μου”.
Ιερεμίας, xxiii:1 LXX.
“Woe to the shepherds who destroy and scatter the sheep of My pasture!” says the Lord”.
Jeremiah, xxiii:1. NKJV.
~ Finis ~
Copyright © 2001 by Daniel. S. Maximiadis.
Two very authoritative books on the cults are listed below: Graeme Webber’s ‘a WOLF among the SHEEP’, KeyStone PRESS, Tomerong NSW, Australia, and Walter R. Martin’s ‘The Kingdom of the Cults’, Bethany House Publishers, Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA.
Graeme Webber’s book: ‘a WOLF among the SHEEP’ was the catalyst that exposed the entire activities of cult leader William Kamm who, for decades, indulged in sexual exploitation of children as well as unscrupulous financial manipulations; whilst church leaders and federal and state governments stood by with no effective action. Webber’s highly influential book was the sole primary source for the TV Channel 9 network’s ‘A Current Affair’ (ACA) programme that aired on 22 August 2010. ‘A WOLF among the SHEEP’ makes compelling reading, but more importantly, serves as an across-the-board crucial tool, providing a schema of the criminal mind and activities of iniquitous cult figures. And paedophiles like Kamm. ‘A WOLF among the SHEEP’ is strongly recommended for those genuinely concerned about the proliferation of the cults.
Walter R. Martin’s ‘The Kingdom of the Cults’, was first published in 1965 and has since been revised. Martin’s book focuses upon the active cultic expansionism and has served as a leading reference source.
Recycling ‘Old Age’ Irrationalities.
Rev Father Maximiadis
‘Old Age’ Superstitious practices have re-emerged from the Medieval period ( circa 1000AD to 1450AD ) and migrated to the United States between the late 20th c. and early 21th c. Superstitious practices spread expeditiously into the American mindset, by way of the subcultural fringe (or counterculture of the ‘hippy’ movement). The advent of the so-called ‘Age of Aquarius’ in the 1960s and 1970s. After that, the ‘Old Age’ irrational beliefs, i.e., the residual remains of primitive belief systems, proliferated into the global mindset; repackaged under the ‘New Age’ brand.
The Movement’s precursors included the likes of Paracelsus (1493-1541), Emanuel Swedenborg (1688-1772), and Franz Mesmer (1734-1815). Other influential precursors were Godfrey Higgins (1772-1833), Eliphas Levi (1810-1875), Helena Blavatsky (1831-1891). The Fox sisters (1814-1893) George Gurdjieff (1866-1949), Alice Baily (1880-1949), and Swami Vivekananda (1863-1902). Their writings (or activities), espoused a disparate mélange. Including astrology, alchemy, Hermeticism’s spurious pseudepigrapha (ψευδής ἐπιγραφή) of circa 18th c., mysticism. Animal magnetism, ceremonial magic, metempsychosis (μετεμψύχωσις), and the supernatural. In New Age parlance, the supernatural is mistakenly understood in the sense of the various hypothesised paranormal phenomena and the preternatural, et cetera.
Belief in the Supreme God or the ultimate ‘reality’ above the natural is transparently absent. Furthermore, there is a mistaken notion, int. al., of the definition of spiritualism, and spiritism. The former means belief, or faith, in the supreme God. The word Spiritism [codified, in 19th c., by Hippolyte Léon Denizard Rivail who wrote under the Allan Kardec pseudonym] refers to particular beliefs. These beliefs include the illusory (or delusional) faculty of futuristic sense perceptions outside the normal human range. For example, communications between the living, and hypothesized deceased entities, through mediums. For example, clairvoyance, or channelling [which the channeler purportedly hears messages from disembodied masters, angels, or others], or talking [Ouija] boards, crystal balls; or other such appurtenances.
Subsequent to the 1960s and 1970s, the New Age advocates, have gained widespread acceptance, of their beliefs and practices, by the masses. The movement was popularised by the eager incautious, support of the transatlantic mass-media, without regard to concerns for unproven beliefs and practices; and the fragmenting effects on established institutions.
An evidential identifying feature of New Age Movement’s beliefs, amongst many others, verge on blurring boundaries between reality and fiction, between ‘truth’ and ‘transient fancies’. Through oversimplification or ‘dumbing down,’ – i.e., reducing intellectual contents so as to make it accessible to a larger readership – to the cognitive bias, which are contrary to objective reality. A further identifying feature of the Movement is insulating its intellectually limiting teachings, and practices, from analytical inquiries, at the expense of recourse to systematic reasoning.
The pre-rational, quasi-spiritual rhetoric of New Age advocates (et alii) has influenced the mindset and vocabulary of ‘popular culture’. In New Age parlance, the Church has been downgraded to the anti-Christian phrase: “organized religion”. Furthermore, Western values, and the time-honoured 2,000-year traditional Christian Church and mainstream Protestant traditions have gradually been displaced with ‘borrowings’ from exotic sources. These sources include Hinduism, Kabbalah, Buddhism, Sufism, and Taoism, forming a conglomeration of eclectic ideas (eclecticism). These ideas include, but not limited to Neopaganism, pantheism, polytheism, Perennialism. Other ideas include pseudoscience, parapsychology, UFO religions, pseudoscientific medicine (e.g., crystal healing, Reiki, chiropractics, naturopathy), and alien abductions, et cetera.
Advocates of the New Age ‘spiritist’ subculture are not amenable to open debate, and are patently hostile, in their continuous railings determined to fragment the very foundations of the Christian church. They consider Christian teachings inferior to their own without acknowledging the prominent role the Christian church played in the history of Western civilisation.
The “NEW AGE” Cults.
The cults include the Gardnerian Wicca cult that draws from ancient pre-Christian pagan practices. Pagan beliefs and practices were restored and inaugurated under the new name ‘Wicca’ in 1945, by Gerald Brosseau Gardner (1884-1964), a retired civil servant, amateur anthropologist and archaeologist. He adopted concepts, structures of ritual practice and 20-centuary hermetic motifs from the Golden Dawn or The Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn. William Wynn Westcott (1848-1925) et al., established the Order in London circa 1890. The Wiccans and other pagan cults have gained considerable popularity since the 60s and 70s.
Lafayette Ronald Hubbard also known as L. Ron Hubbard (1911-1986), a science fiction writer, founded The ‘Church’ [sic] of Scientology in 1954. Since 1954, it has become a significant addition to the ‘New Age’ religions. Its teaching and practices of Dianetics include int. al., the abreactive therapy technique that removes longstanding repressed emotions, through recollection, i.e., ‘recall,’ facilitated through a modified ohm-meter into a pseudo-scientific “E-meter”. The instrument is believed to indicate the construction or destruction of “mental mass,” through the movement of a needle. These concepts are regarded, by the medical community, as pseudoscience. Scientology’s teachings stem from Gnosticism (circa 2nd c.), and occultist and ceremonial magician; Aleister Crowley. Additionally, it includes borrowings from the psychotherapist, Carl Gustav Jung, also known as C. G. Jung (1875-1961), who initiated the concepts of the ‘archetypes’ and ‘collective unconscious’. Moreover, neurologist, Sigismund Schlomo Freud, also known as Sigmund Freud (1856–1939); who was instrumental in founding psychoanalysis. High profile celebrities, such as the like of filmic actors, Tom Cruse and John Travolta; who are Scientology’s chief proselytisers. Vide: ‘Tinsel Mecca and The Celluloid New Agers – para., New Age Heresy and Celeb-idolatry’ at:
Oprah Winfrey Cult is the most menacing adversary to the Christian Church. Oprah, a former television hostess who metamorphosed into an aggressive, hostile New Age ‘theologian’ of a sort; bent on demolishing the traditional Church, and the mainstream, Protestant Churches. She denies God’s Command (regarding idolatry) in the Decalogue. “You shall not worship them or serve them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God…” (Exodus 20:5 NASB) And she denies Jesus’ teachings. For example,” Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me” (John 14:6 KJV). Vide: ‘Tinsel Mecca and The Celluloid New Agers – para., The Oprah Winfrey Cult’ at:
She aggressively promotes her New Age opinions that are profoundly contrary to what is universally accepted by the Apostolic Churches, and the Protestant Churches. She categorically, claims to be a Christian and stubbornly denying that she is a ‘New Ager’. New Ageism is pantheistic, and Christianity is monotheistic. Clearly, an example of inconsistency and contradiction; Oprah cannot have it both ways.
In 2010, Life magazine described her as ‘one of the most important people who have changed the world; up there with Jesus Christ and Elvis Presley! Presley extrapolated his beliefs from over 200-books in his portable library. His portable library included writings of Paramahansa Yogananda, Manley Palmer, Baird Spalding, Cheiro, Blavatsky, Leadbetter, Urantia Book, Alice Bailey and Krishnamurti. Presley was an adherent of New Age beliefs, e.g., Theosophy, Hinduism, numerology, et cetera. Furthermore, he was never baptised, made a profession of faith, or belonged to a church. However, he did spend a lifetime extolling rock and roll music, and a lifestyle of drug abuse; both of which are contrary to Christian standards.
Time magazine relating the recalcitrant anti-Christian Oprah Winfrey, and Elvis Presley adherent of New Age beliefs as ‘having changed the world, up there with Jesus Christ’ is perplexing. Many Christians would regard this as offensive, and perhaps sheer blasphemy. New Ageism is the indubitable toxic residua recycled from ‘Old Age’ irrationalities.
~ Finis ~
The Difference between Worshiping God and the Sun?
Rev. Father A. Maximiadis
The above illustration, including its question, regarding the ‘sun’s actual existence’ within the context of the “difference between” [sic] God, and the sun argument are a gross contradiction. Both the illustration and argument has unmistakable, identifying features of the broad New Age Movement; and atheism (αθεϊσμός). The following refutation, of their argument, will question the atheistic ‘difference between’ argument, suggesting ‘God does not exist,’ by reason of: “the sun actually exists” [sic]. Serious discussions of God’s ‘existence’ is usually spoken, or written, about in the disciplines of theology, philosophy, academic metaphysics, or psychology. The sun is usually discussed within solar physics, a sub-branch of astrophysics. Both these discussions are in their respective fields (or orientations), diametrically opposite; notwithstanding the ‘difference between’ argument. God’s supernatural existence, which is quintessentially spiritual, beyond the limited known (and unknown) material universe.
Whether the sun exists is open to interpretation. For example, from the geocentric model of the solar system, i.e., the earth-centred perspective, the ‘existent’ sun from the terrestrial vantage point, ascends on the apparent eastern horizon. Moreover, travels longitudinally across the ecliptic to where it descends, on the apparent, western horizon, only by virtue of sensory-based observation; without which the sun’s phenomenon would be non-existent. Furthermore, according to the observational evidence, of the obscuration of the sun, predicated between the sunset and sunrise cycle, demonstrates the ‘sun’s actual non-existence’. Moreover, would the sun’s nonexistence, to sensory-based observation, between sunset and sunrise; not exist? Furthermore, from the heliocentric model of the solar system, i.e., the sun centred perspective, the sun, contrary to sensory-based observations, does not orbit around the earth. However, rather the earth rotates [366.26 times per orbital period, on its axis, counter-clockwise from west to east] around the sun; producing a sidereal year or 365.26 solar days. Therefore, the sun’s actual existence rather depends on interpretations, of sensory-based observations [based on contemporary laws of physics]; from various vantage points of the mechanical world. From there, it is impossible to substantiate the realm of the spiritual with measurable empirical evidence. The difference argument is antithetical to the spiritual and temporal. Firstly, the temporal (temporalis) is dependent on the ontological theory of physicalism (or atheism) suggesting ‘nothing is above the single stuff’ universe (monism). Secondly, the spiritual is understood to mean ‘above the laws of physics’. That is to say, an ontological view suggesting either the ‘dual stuff’ (dualism); or “multi stuff” (pluralism) theory.
“Difference” either way is dependent on faith.
Both physicalism and atheism have failed to provide a cognitive construct for ‘meaning,’ of “the physical,” from the perspective of conceptual and formal semantics; free of editorialising. Moreover, furthermore, provide a rationale for ‘non-physical attributes and qualities’ that are ‘nothing over and above’ the physical. Discussions, of the temporal, in principle, involve ‘faith’ (πίστη), confidently believing with (or without) empirical evidence. Examples being, ‘faith’ in pure science, which is theoretical, absent of prior reference to mathematical or logical applications. Moreover, ‘faith’ in scientific technology, is reliant on pre-existing scientific technology. Both physicalism and atheism, are undeniably faith-orientated in their complete trust, and confidence, with respect to their demands of ‘faith’ in the doctrines (or teachings) of empirical science.
Worshipping God? [sic]
The monotheistic religions are quintessentially identical which believe in the oneness of God. Or faith in a personal, transcendent God, which is monotheistic; and diametrically opposite of polytheism (Hinduism) and pantheism (Taoism). For example, the Abrahamic traditions: viz: 1.) Judaism, which has no explicit definition of faith’s existence, but believe YHWH (יהוה) is the ultimate cause of all that exists. 2.) The Christian traditions that have differences, but agree that faith (πίστη) is Christ-centred, and in the belief in the concept of Godhead revealed as the Holy Trinity. 3.) Muhammadism, which is faith-based, i.e., al-īmān (الإيمان), an austere, and rigid form of monotheism. “Worshiping God,” and ‘faith’ is trusting beyond the transitory, sensory-based ‘proof’ that is reliant on conclusions deduced from the physical world. Facilitated through the processes [of receptor neurones (the windows) of the visual, auditory, olfactory, tactile and gustatory, by way of the neuronal afferent fibres] to the cognitive faculties of the mind.
Not all is verifiable by the empirical.
The ontological thesis of physicalism is a single ultimate reality, i.e., a “one-stuff” universe (monism). Without the two opposing separate realities, namely the “two-stuff” (dualism) and “many-stuff” (pluralism). The ‘physical’ is left undefined, with no heed paid to a rationale, for the substance of ‘nothingness above the physical’. Furthermore, physicalism is dependent upon Aristotelian logic, i.e., data that is verifiable by empirical and measurable evidence. Although prima facie case seems feasible, however, on closer examination, this view can, in some circumstances, be fraught with ambiguities. For example, in the field of neuroscience. Neuroscience has made no progress towards understanding the connectivity of the central nervous system (CNS) including the brain (εγκέφαλος) and spinal cord. Moreover, the qualitative, subjective conscious phenomenon, i.e., the mind (μένος). Atheistic arguments are denying God’s existence, by standards of empirical science, while not applying the same standards to the non-physical cognitive faculties. For example, consciousness, identification and interpretation of sensory data, intellectual functions, concept-formations, symbolic processing, memory, and conclusions (or judgements). Atheistic arguments based on abstract concepts of ‘mind’ et cetera, is incongruous and anti-intellectual. The earth was believed to be flat in the pre-Columbian period (circa 1492). Moreover, believed to be the centre of the solar system, prior to the Copernican Revolution (circa 1543). Subsequently, both these beliefs, or paradigms, underwent fundamental changes, in the established canons of science. The flat earth becomes viewed as an oblate sphere shape, and its geocentric earth-centred orientation was superceded by the heliocentric schema of the sun at the centre of the solar system.
In conclusion, notwithstanding many of the advances made in the various branches of sciences, there remain the infinitely enormous unknowns. For example, neuroscience has not rationalised the totality of the hypothesised, abstract mind, and the complex physical brain. The abstract mind is as semantically incommensurable; as the argument of “the difference between worshiping God and worshiping the sun” [sic]. Atheists deny God’s existence, by standards of empirical science, while not applying the same standards to the non-physical (abstract) mind; is not de rigueur
~ Finis ~
A Failed Mission For Prostitutes.
Rev. Father A. Maximiadis
For German language version press here.
This article is an account of attempted missionary activities that were undertaken almost two decades ago to serve the women in the “sex industry”. Over-the-counter medicines and illicit drugs 1. were not uncommon throughout the “industry”. There was a need for a specialized service to provide the women with a place for temporary relief, re-establishment for their sense of purpose, and identity. An agency was set up under the name ‘The Sanctuary’. The Mission was based upon Judaic and Christian sources. ‘Plans for welfare to give a future and a hope’ (Jeremiah, 29:11) 2. The parable of the man who ‘fell among robbers’ (Luke, 10:30) 3. And the narrative of the ‘woman who had been caught in adultery’ (John, 7:538:11) 4.
The Mission began seventeen years ago prior to the formation of the ‘Prostitutes’ Action Group’ (November 1978), almost a decade before the ‘Australian Prostitutes’ Collective’ (1984). And the ‘Neave Report’ (December 1985). No specialized agency was available to serve the needs of the women or learned body of books treating the subject of prostitution. Feminists of the day did not appear to have prostitution on their agenda. Subsequently the Mission evolved, tentatively, absent of any knowledge, expertise or skills. For pragmatic purposes, it was established where it was accessible, in the hub of the “industry”; rather than a conservatively detached location
Anonymity will not apply, in this article, to persons named in media reports. Geoffrey Francis Lamb 5. signed an agreement with the writer (February 1977) for a Mission to be established. Lamb, was described by the media as “brothel king”. 6. Activities of the Mission were to include: counselling members of his staff, videlicet, women working as prostitutes, particularly those addicted to either ‘prescribed’ or ‘illicit’ drugs. And ‘to assist former employees to establish themselves in conventional employment,’ and the Mission was to have ‘total autonomy’. The agreement was accepted in principle. The writer frequently visited Brothels in Melbourne metropolitan area, from Frankston to Brunswick and Clayton to Footscray. These represented approximately 200 brothels and 50 home services. An estimated total of 2,000 women – the highest figures in ratio to a population in the world. 7. The writer extended pastoral activities to interstate brothels in Sydney and Adelaide.
A publication entitled: ‘Parlour Weekly’ begun on 10 June 1977. It circulated for the women in the “industry”, firstly in Melbourne and eventually Sydney and Adelaide. It comprised of advice columns, letters and articles from the women themselves. Editorials, advertising space for owners and operators agreeing not to advertise in newspapers for workers. Supplements included namely: information and health promoting supplements ‘Breast examination,’ ‘Drugs and the Law’. Supplements supplied by Victoria Police (‘Police Life’), ‘National Drug Information Service, Health Education Centre, Anti-cancer Council of Victoria, and the National Standing Committee on Drug Dependence. Occasionally, the media quoted from articles in the ‘Parlour Weekly’, e.g., in sociological studies at Melbourne University 8.
In May 1978, with the generous co-operation of Margaret Dee, Secretary of The Prostitution Law Repeal Association N.S.W; the ‘Parlour Weekly incorporated ‘Quills and Quims’. The ‘Parlour Weekly’ is believed to be the first publication of its kind; it reached a circulation of 300. Due to insufficient resources the ‘Parlour Weekly’ ceased publication on 16 June 1978.
‘The Ideas Exchange’ – A Women’s health education project.
A programme on health was launched, under the name: ‘The Ideas Exchange’, on 6 November 1977. The first guest speaker, Dr. Peter Rennie, Victoria Health Department, presented an informal talk and colour film on the history, occurrence, process, diagnosis, treatment and prevention of syphilis and gonorrhoea.
In February 1978, a Centre was established, in an unused brothel at 91 Nicholson Street Carlton (now a private home). The aims were to integrate the spiritual, social and health-care activities of other organisations with concern for women from either the streets or brothels. The Centre was named ‘The Sanctuary’. It was supported by an informal advisory committee consisting of two priests (Roman Catholic and Anglican), a visiting medical practitioner and a social worker. 9. It received no funding, and services were free; it survived from hand to mouth. Women in Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide, recognized ‘The Sanctuary’ as a place to have faith in, and a place to call ‘their own’.
‘The Sanctuary’ provided accommodation for five women, one mother and infant or child, and emergency accommodation for one woman and two children. A total of thirty women and several children were received into ‘The Sanctuary’ over a seven-month period (February – September 1978). Admissions were by direct client contact, referrals by police 10. and social work departments at two public hospitals (The Royal Melbourne Hospital and the Alfred Hospital). Additional services included: accompanying women and police, during ‘record of interview,’ when invited by both women and police. Organising legal referrals, attending court with defendants (magistrates and county), and submitting recommendative pre-sentence reports. 11. 12.
‘The Sanctuary’ was apparently a unique welfare model for research of its principles and practice worthy of copying. It attracted the attention of other agencies, medical students, nurses, and social workers; two of whom conducted a research study for the Social Work Department, University of Melbourne. Invitations were also made to talk about the work of ‘The Sanctuary,’ at The Royal Melbourne University of Technology, Swinburne University of Technology and the Phillip Institute of Technology. An invitation was also made for participation in preliminary discussions with the Attorney General for impending legislation. 13.
Eight years later, the Social Questions Committee of The Catholic Women’s League of Victoria requested input in preparing for their ‘Submission to The Inquiry into Prostitution 1983, 1984’ (vide infra). The Mission occasionally attracted sceptical and scathing media coverage, particularly from: ‘The Herald’, ‘Peter Couchman Show’ (ATV Channel 10) and ‘This Day Tonight’ (ABC Channel 2). 14.
“Striptease Dancers, Psyche-delic Light Show, and an Old Fashioned Booze-up”
‘Parlour Weekly ‘ 30 July, 1978.
An additional activity of the Mission was celebrating the Feast Day of Saint Mary Magdalene. 15. It was an exercise to promote constructive recreational activities, sense of self, basic satisfaction, power control and forward-looking plans. Additionally, it also helped to defuse volatile undercurrents present in the “industry” at that period. The celebration was held on 23 July 1978. Participating brothels closed down, for the day, while others operated with minimal staff to enable the others to attend the party. The party included prayers, an address by the writer, a band (Paul Maddigan and The Humans), striptease dancers, psychedelic light show and “refreshments”. The event attracted almost 100 including three favourite members of the vice squad who were invited by the women.
“Cops Raid Parlor Girls’ Haven” [sic]
‘Melbourne Truth’ 12/8/1978.
Five detectives with search warrants 16. raided ‘The Sanctuary’ on 3 August 1978, following the bombing of the ‘Gas Light’ brothel in Richmond. Two women (now deceased) who were under care (one suffering from chronic physical withdrawal symptoms 17.) were traumatized by the raid, and particularly by the aggressive body searches. The detectives attempted to access the writer’s files and case histories. Consequently, the women lost faith in ‘The Sanctuary’ as a place of security, refuge and protection, and adverse reaction came from within the “industry” itself. A few brothel owners, seeking retribution against their former workers, threatened closure of ‘The Sanctuary’ if it provided services to those individuals. 18. Subsequently the ‘Parlour Weekly’ was banned, and the writer prohibited from visiting a group of brothels. ‘The Sanctuary’ was burgled, power supply disconnected and bullets fired through the ceiling below the office, fortunately lodging in the floorboards.
The coup de grâce followed a ‘discussion’ between several brothel owners and the writer concerning unscrupulous ‘work practices’. The writer was told “the property housing the Sanctuary wouldn’t be available for very much longer”. 19. These circumstances (amongst others) forced the Mission and ‘The Sanctuary’ to close on 8 September 1978
Four days later, the body of 23-year-old Susan Cairns was discovered in the building20. and according to the inquest on 23 March 1979 she “was killed by an overdose of a mixture of drugs, including Diphenhydramine, Methadone, Methaqualone and Oxazepam”. 21.
“A Health Centre Geared to the Needs of Prostitutes Should be Available”.
The Catholic Women’s League ( Victoria )
In 1984, The Social Questions Committee of The Catholic Women’s League (Victoria) offered the following recommendations:
“A closer working relationship between volunteer organisations and welfare workers should be encouraged. “Premises should be available round [sic] the inner-city where street workers and others can find a temporary ‘refuge’ from the trade. “Premises away from the street environment but geared to the needs of prostitutes should be made available. “Church organisations should be encouraged to view concerns for prostitutes as part of their mission to the poor. “Programs geared to the interests of prostitutes e.g., on health, drugs and life skills should be designed to them. “A health centre geared to the needs of prostitutes should be available in the area where they are most likely to be found. “Outreach programs in education and health care should be promoted. “Many more beds should be available for the care and rehabilitation of drug addicts”. 22.
“Those who cannot remember the part are condemned to repeat it”.
History has demonstrated, time and again, that ‘regulating’ prostitution has failed dismally. Ellis cites five classical instances of failure: Rotterdam, New York, Cincinnati, Rome and Denmark. 23. The writer is curious to see if the Australian exercise proves to be an exception to overseas experience. The women themselves, the human face of prostitution, should be at the centre of any discussion on prostitution, rather than the profit-driven sex “industry” and politically driven legislature.
The writer hopes this article might generate interest and debate, perhaps from a ‘shepherding’ perspective (vide infra). Perhaps on possibilities of re-establishing a specialized agency offering a broad range of authentic services concerning self-esteem, survival, child care, behavioural patterns, drug abuse, human relations and unborn infants.
Τὸ ἠσθενηκὸς οὐκ ἐνισχύσατε καὶ τὸ κακῶς ἔχον οὐκ ἐσωματοποιήσατε καὶ τὸ συντετριμμένον οὐ κατεδήσατε καὶ τὸ πλανώμενον οὐκ ἐπεστρέψατε καὶ τὸ ἀπολωλὸς οὐκ ἐζητήσατε καὶ τὸ ἰσχυρὸν κατειργάσασθε μόχθῳ. Καὶ διεσπάρη τὰ πρόβατά μου διὰ τὸ μὴ εἶναι ποιμένας καὶ ἐγενήθη εἰς κατάβρωμα πᾶσι τοῖς θηρίοις τοῦ ἀγροῦ
Ιεζέκιηλ, xxxiv: 4,5. LXX.
The weak you have not strengthen, nor have you healed those who were sick, nor bound up the broken, nor brought back what was driven away, nor sought what was lost; but with force and cruelty you have ruled them. So they were scattered because there was no shepherd; and they became food for all the beasts of the field when they were scattered.
Ezekiel 34: 4, 5.
The Mission was not the singular work of the writer, but the work of many. I am most grateful to the numerous people and organizations who contributed to the establishing and running of the Mission. Without their support, the Mission would not have been possible.
Many thanks to the women themselves, whom I’m privileged to have known and count among my friends. ‘Tracy’ who spent countless hours, between ‘clients’, writing and preparing articles for the ‘Parlour Weekly’. And the late Diana, Vanda, Lorraine, Susan, and ‘Sky’; who are fondly remembered.
Thanks to the Anglican and Roman Catholic priests for their wise counsel and guidance. And the generosity of Dr. J. M. Cohen for his voluntary visits, diagnoses and ongoing treatments at ‘The Sanctuary’.
Many thanks also to Margaret Dee (Secretary of the Prostitution Law Repeal Association NSW) for incorporating ‘Quills Quims’ into the ‘Parlour Weekly’. The Victorian Health Department for the ongoing supply of pamphlets for distribution throughout the brothels, and for medical practitioners, projectors and films for the ‘Ideas Exchange’ programme. Victoria Police for legal/drug-related literature and ‘Police Life’ for distribution. GTV Channel 9 and Wards Air Express Service for covering the costs of interstate travel.
A special thanks to Geoffrey Frances Lamb, without whose cooperation the Mission would not have been possible. Geoff took a personal interest in the Mission and kept himself informed on its progress on a day-to-day basis. He provided “industry” related advice when called upon at any time of the day or night. Geoff was a popular figure among the women who worked in his brothels and throughout the “industry”.
I am privileged to know the compassionate character of Geoff, and to have his friendship. The media portrayed him as an infamous character. I would hope that Geoff be remembered for his enthusiastic support for the Mission. Perhaps Shakespeare wasn’t far from the mark in having Antony say: “The evil that men do lives after them; The good is oft interred with their bones”, (Julius Caesar, act 3, sc.2).
I am indebted to the Roman Catholic nun (Brigittine Sisters), who undertook the laborious task of preparing all documentation for Church organisations in preparing their ‘position papers’ for submission to the Victorian Government; many thanks.
Many thanks to Ms. Regule Ranch for the German translation: ‘Ein Misslungener Versuch für das Wohlergehen von Prostituierten’. And proofreading the English 2nd Edition, and for proposing suggestions that necessitated a 3rd Revised Edition; many thanks.
I’m also indebted to my wife, Lolita, who spent countless nights alone and for carrying our domestic financial burdens. And generously sharing her time on the telephone with the women who needed someone with whom they could talk. For her ongoing support and love (particularly during those occasions when I was in the ‘hot seat’ or getting my ‘fingers burnt’); many thanks.
- The consensus of public opinion regarding misappropriation of drugs focuses primarily on illicit drugs, e.g., heroin and cannabis. The media, quite often, is the protagonist to this unsatisfactory situation by its inadequate methods of news-gathering and reporting; subsequently sustaining distorted public opinion. Illicit drugs are comparatively at low ebb to socially approved drugs. A medial estimate of drug-related deaths per 100,000 population between 1977 to 1987 indicate 2.4% due to opiates and barbiturates. And 23.7% attributable to alcohol; and 73.9% due to tobacco ( see: Statistics on Drug Abuse in Australia 1988, Commonwealth Department of Community Services and Health, 1988. p.35. ). Rev. Father A. Maximiadis.
- Holy Bible NASB, The Lockman Foundation, Syndics of the Cambridge University Press, New York, 1960. p.826.
- Ibid, p. 81.
- Ibid, p. 116.
- Geoffrey Lamb was the director of two companies: T.D.C. Investments and Golden Mile; owning and controlling a total of 23 brothels, generating an income of approximately $56,000.
- ‘The Age’, 28/10/1987.
- ‘The Bulletin’, 6/2/1979.
- ‘The Age’, 19/10/1978.
- ‘The Age’, 17/10/1978.
- Ibid, 17/1
- Truth, 8/101977.
- ‘Herald’, 18/8/1978.
- ‘Profiteering’ from prostitution or its ‘organizing’ is quite clearly condemned in the Resolution passed at the United Nation (UN) in 1951. The UN did not condemn prostitution but those who ‘organize’ it and ‘profit’ from it. The writer would hope that the Australian exercise is not contravening the international convention.
- Forums of community discussion had only a soupçon of information and understanding of prostitution at that time.
- Not to be confused with the narrative of the ‘woman who had been caught in adultery’ (John 7.53-8.11). [This story is not included in the earliest Greek, Syriac, Coptic and Latin manuscripts.] The celebration of the Feast Day of Mary Magdalene was based on a Western romantic tradition well known by prostitutes.
- The five detectives were not from the Vice Squad. Occasionally vice squad members visited ‘The Sanctuary’ but with commiseration for the women under its care.
- ‘Truth’, 9,12/8/1978.
- According to the contract signed February 1977; the Missionary activities, were to have the status of “total autonomy”.
- ‘Truth’, 7/10/1978.
- Ibid, 7/10/1978.
- ‘Sunday Observer’, 20/4/1980.
- ‘Submission to The Inquiry into Prostitution 1983,1984. pp. 21,22. ‘The Social Questions Committee’, Catholic Women’s League, Victoria.
- Ellis, H. ‘Studies in The Psychology of Sex’, Random House, New York. 1905. Vol. II, Chap. 3, pp. 250-52.
- Jessup, C.P. (Act. Ch. Supdt.) Victorian Police (Ref:10-6-002795, 28/2/1996).
- Batten, M. (Act. Senr. is.) National Library of Australia. (Ref:P22/1/3B), 27/8/1997.
All the editions of the ‘Parlour Weekly’ were borrowed by the Victoria Police (11 November, 1986) for matters concerning the Crown vs. Higgins, Strang and Glare. These editions were borrowed for an investigation (named Operation “Cobra”) by the Internal Investigations Department. Assurance was given that they would be returned. The trial of Higgins et al., concluded on 25 March 1993. Following numerous correspondence, between February 1990 to July 1995, requesting the return of the material, photostats of some of the originals were returned. The original copies of the ‘Parlour Weekly’ were “mislaid” during the “complicated and drawn out” court proceedings. 24.
The photostats consisted of eleven editions, and fifty-four loose pages:Vol.1, No.2, 24/6/1977. Vol.1, No.3, 8/7/1977. Vol.1, No.4, 15/7/1977. Vol.1, No.6, 19/8/1977. Vol.1, No.7, 2/9/1977. Vol. 1, No.8, 23/9/1977. Vol.1, No.11, 21/11/1977. Vol.1, No.12, (2 pgs.only), 23/12/1977. Vol.1, No.13, (1pg. only), 4/3/1978. Vol.1, No.14, 20/5/1978. Vol.1, No.15, 16/ 6/1978. And 54 loose pages.The subject matter in these surviving editions are considered by the Australian National Library, to be ‘rare’ and ‘unique’. They are now included, with the first edition of this pamphlet, into the Australian Serials at the National Library of Australia; in the ACT. 25.
A FAILED MISSION FOR PROSTITUTES. Copyright © 1994, 1997 by George G. Amad. All rights reserved. No part of this pamphlet or the ‘Parlour Weekly’ may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without written permission. The inquiry should be made to Hannigan’s Lawyers, Solicitors Attorneys, 92 Casino Street, Casino NSW Australia 2470.EIN MISSLUNGENER VERSUCH FÜR DAS WOHLERGEHEN VON PROSTITUIERTEN. Translation Copyright © 1997 by Regula Ranch. All rights reserved. No part of this pamphlet may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without written permission. The inquiry should be made to Hannigan’s Lawyers, Solicitors Attorneys, 92 Casino Street, Casino NSW Australia 2470.
Booerie Creek, NSW. (1st éd.) March 1994
Green Pigeon, NSW. (2nd éd. incl. Appendix.) October 1997
Green Pigeon, NSW. (3rd éd. Revised incl. Ger. transl.) December 1997
Green Pigeon, NSW. (4th éd. Revised) May 2015
~ Finis ~
William Kamm the Fragmented Pebble.
Rev. Father A. Maximiadis
“If you really want to make a million… the quickest way is to start your own religion”.
Ron Hubbard (1911-86) Founder of the Church of Scientology. L. Ron Hubbard Jr. L. Ron Hubbard. (1987). ch. 3
I was inspired to write ‘William Kamm the Fragmented Pebble’ when I read “a WOLF among the SHEEP”, a biography of Australian cult leader William Kamm (alias The Little Pebble). I had wanted to learn more about the self-styled ecclesiastical leader, millionaire, would-be “pope,” “prophet,” and convicted child sex offender. Kamm was reported in the media approximately fifty-seven times (q.v.) during the years leading up to his incarceration in 2005. The synoptic coverage left a false preconception that all had been reported, and the story had ended. I followed these condensed media reports for seven years, gaining not one iota of the background information behind Kamm, e.g., “… stockpiling weapons in preparation for the Apocalypse” 1. the full extent of his adulterous activities; and paedophilic crimes. So troubled was I by the book’s revelations about Kamm’s destructive life that I wanted to help warn people about this treacherous cult leader by writing my article, which is only the tip of the iceberg. Graeme Webber, a young journalist with ethical concerns for in-depth reporting and social responsibility, plunged into the entire 360-degrees of Kamm’s world, and left no stone (or ‘Pebble’) unturned. Kamm’s sordid and reprehensible world behind his sanctimonious façade has been stripped, and fully exposed in Webber’s book: ‘a WOLF among the SHEEP’ – 2. An exposé of Kamm’s iniquitous socio-psychological, financial manipulations of millions of dollars, et cetera that covers religious/ecclesiastic and secular perspectives for those genuinely concerned about serial paedophiles, and the proliferation of cults.
The Origin of a Heresiarch.
William Kamm, was born two months (q.l.) prematurely to German mother Geretrudis Simons, and Italian father named Giovanni, in Köln Germany; 1950 (q.l.). Soon afterwards Geretrudis married Hans Schüttler, and they gave birth to a baby girl named Karen; in 1952. Two years later (1954) the Schüttlers migrated to Australia and settled in South Australia (SA) with many other German émigrés. 3.
Apparitions and Little Altars.
Kamm’s early formative years in SA appear to have been inconsequential. During the nine-year period in SA, there occurred a progressive impairment of the family unit, which culminated in divorce proceedings being instigated in 1963. Geretrudis and the children (William and Karen then age 13 and 11 respectively (q.l.)) moved to Sunshine in Victoria, where she married compatriot Hans Kamm. While in Sunshine, William increasingly developed an enthusiastic interest in apparitions of saints, and ‘building little altars in his room.’ 4.
Two years later (1965) the family relocated to Wollongong in New South Wales (NSW). Kamm, then age 15, discontinued his secondary education, and attached himself to Saint Francis Xavier Cathedral, serving as an altar boy. He claims to have begun talking with “God and the Virgin Mary” in 1968. 5. He had ambitions to become a priest, but for whatever reason that didn’t actualize (1972). 6. He is believed to have worked as a ‘bank employee, debt collector and factory worker,’ int. al. 7.
In the early 1970s, Kamm formed informal rosary groups dedicated to devotion to Mary (B.V.M.). He established these groups in the suburbs of Sydney, Canberra, and Wollongong, which, in 1987, he formalized as the ‘Marian Work of Atonement, Ltd’. In the intervening 17-year period, he had travelled twice to New York in the United States, first in 1978 and then in 1980. While there, he made brief visits to the controversial, and infamous, oracular organization known as ‘Bayside,’ 8. Established in 1968 by the canonically discredited Veronica Lueken.
The late Bishop Francis Mugavero † (1914-91), the then Bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn NY, made a Declaration Concerning the “Bayside Movement”, (4/11/1986). He stated:
“No credibility can be given to the so-called “apparitions” reported by Veronica Lueken and her followers … “Anyone promoting this devotion in any way, be it by participating in the “vigils,” organizing pilgrimages, publishing or disseminating the literature related to it, is contributing to the confusion which is being created in the faith of God’s people, as well as encouraging them to act against the determinations made by the legitimate pastor of this particular Church”. 9.
Notwithstanding Bishop Mugavero’s earlier ‘Declaration’, Kamm continued his false pretensions, appropriating and disseminating Lueken’s discredited falsehoods, and so-called “apparitions”.
Qualified “Seer’ and “Pope.
Subsequent to Kamm’s return to Australia, he metamorphosed into a soi-disant“seer”, 10. with self-given grandiose titles: “New Abraham,” 11. “Little Moses,” 12.“ last Pope,” 13. “modern day prophet” 14. int. al. He began having his own “apparitions” beginning on 11 November, 1983 (q.v.) 15. And from the Bayside blueprint established his own cult (1984), duplicating the prophetic and millenarian model he plagiarized from ‘Bayside,’ disseminating well rehearsed Lueken’s mélange of apocalyptic millenarian falsehoods, and “apparitions”; continuing these follies beyond 1986; notwithstanding Bishop Mugavero’s ‘Declaration’. An example of Kamm’s sterile imagination occurred in December 1984 when he alleged that Jesus said:
“I tell you most solemnly, my dear child, my Little Pebble of Love: it was on Peter the rock that I built my Church and it is upon you, the Pebble, that I will renew and save my Church”.16.
Sixteen years later, in October 2000, he claimed to have received:
“revelations” with “…some four hundred other mystics throughout the Church … that I [he] will be the Pope and not the next one but the last one…” [brackets mine]; 17. and “the new Abraham”. 18.
Kamm would face fierce opposition from several other contenders for the papal leadership, e.g., David Allen Bawden (or “Pope Michael I”), Delia Kansas U.S., and Manuel Alonso Corral (“Pope Peter II”), of Palmaria Spain.
Kamm began his cult on a 10-hectare property, to become known as ‘Gethsemane’, in Cambewarra, west of Nowra NSW. On 2 February 1984 he assumed the alias “Little Pebble,” and began expanding his activities globally. He accumulated numerous “seers” within his network. Webber lists sixteen adults and fifteen children of the Cambewarra constellation, and five outside the compound, and a further twenty-four in fifteen other countries. 19. Furthermore, Webber in his footnotes [in part] says:
Neither Kamm nor any purported seers from Cambewarra have been recognised as such by the mainstream Church”, and that the “…list is only a small selection; hundreds of seers from virtually every continent have exchanged Messages with The Little Pebble”.20.
In the following year (1985) Kamm formally established his cult naming it the “Order of Saint Charbel”; after Lebanon’s Saint Charbel. The cult has nothing whatsoever in common with Saint Charbel, or organic affiliation with the Maronites; or with the Holy Roman Catholic Apostolic Church. It claims to be a part of the Church, and its bishops, whilst conducting vitriolic campaigns against it. There is something puzzling about obdurately deprecating something whilst simultaneously claiming to be a part of it, particularly with grandiose ambitions of ascending leadership and control over it. If one were not to leave their cerebral faculties from the equation, one would perceive this as unadulterated megalomania. The activities of Kamm are, in my opinion, sanctimonious flimflamming, and pietistic affectations of delusory dialogues; purportedly with ‘Jesus and Mary’.
Photographs of the Pope’s ‘Approval’ and ‘Blessing’.
Kamm publishes photographs of himself, with Pope John Paul II, taken whilst he was on pilgrimage in Rome; April 1985. He uses these photographs purporting to have received the Pope’s “approval” and “blessing” of his alleged “visions”.
The power of imagery in popularizing goods and services, and disseminating partisan politics is generally understood. A few classical examples are the universal influence of Jim Schindler’s McDonalds logo which has, since 1962, evolved into a powerful symbol of Americanization, and economic expansionism. And Leni Riefenstahl’s powerful, and artistic, Nazi propaganda piece: ‘Triumph des Willems’ (1935), which glorified Adolf Hitler and his Nazi Party.
An image could convey numerous interpretations, but an unsubstantiated narrative of an image – particularly from a practised deceiver and pathological liar – has absolutely no credibility. I suggest that Kamm’s narrative of these images was a semiotic manipulation and deception, to canvass support for his megalo-messianic delusions. Only an undiscerning audience would accept Kamm’s story about the photographs, perhaps lapsed Roman Catholics disenchanted with the unexpected large reforms and ecumenism following Vatican II (1962-5).
Debunking Kamm’s Photographic Humbugs.
Notwithstanding a prima facie persuasive impression that Kamm’s images might convey, they are in fact static in character, and following due consideration, could in all probability have other narratives quite apart from the Pope’s alleged “approval” and “blessing”. Kamm’s misrepresentation of those images was exposed, three months later (q.v.), as a tissue of lies. The Pope’s nuncio to Australia, Archbishop Barbarito, received the following message from the Pope’s chief secretary, Archbishop Edward Martinez (17/7/1985) who enlightened Bishop William Murray of Wollongong, as to the truth behind Kamm’s photograph of the Holy Father:
“I ask you to inform Bishop Murray that though… Mr Kamm met the Holy Father… and took part with others of the faithful at the Mass in the Holy Father’s private chapel, nevertheless he did not receive any approval of his alleged ‘visions’ on the part of the Holy Father”. 21.
Subsequent to Bishop Francis Mugavero’s warnings (1986) other warnings followed over a period of fifteen years, between 1984 and 1999, including a statement issued by Archbishop George Pell, of Melbourne (13/6/1997), a Pastoral Letter by Bishop William Murray (2/12/1984), and two Decrees – endorsed by The Australian Catholic Bishops Conference – issued by Bishop William Ingham (16/6/2002, 10/6/2003), and another by Archbishop Philip Wilson (27/9/1999); the latter three of whom officially, and unambiguously, outlawed Kamm’s “Order of Saint Charbel” global network.
Machiavellian Box of Tricks.
Kamm attempted an artless wirepulling dodge against Bishop Philip Wilson’s Decree (27/9/1999) by taking recourse to Archbishop Edward Bede Clancy of Sydney NSW (2/11/1999), and to the Pope (8/12/1999) on the erroneous opinion that he, in doing so, would invalidate Bishop Wilson’s Decree. Consequently, a Commission, involving two theologians and two canon lawyers, was launched by Bishop Wilson on 5 May 2000 to examine the writings and activities of Kamm. And acceding to Kamm’s insistence, an Interview was conducted by Rev. Kevin Matthews JCD, five months later in Saint Michael’s Catholic Church, Nowra NSW (21/10/2000).
During the Interview Kamm was asked by, a Licentiate in Canon Law, Fr. John Woods [in part]:
Father John Woods:“Are you prepared to take an oath to tell the truth in the testimony you will give to this enquiry?”
William Kamm: (with hand on the Bible):“I swear.”
Father John Woods: [Q.50b] “Well if the Pope, the present Pope, condemns you and your movement?”
William Kamm: [A.] “Yes, I will accept that, of course he is the Vicar of Christ”. 22.
Subsequently, the Commission revealed that there was:
“… nothing supernatural about the alleged visions”, and that both Kamm’s “teachings” and “claims to authority” are “false”, and in “…contradiction to the teachings, discipline and authority of the Catholic Church”. 23.
Braying yet Another Headwind Tune.
Kamm wrote his own ‘transcript’ of the October Interview (17/11/2000); in his inimitable modus operandi. During the Commission’s Interview, he assured Fr. John Woods – under oath – that he ‘would accept the Pope’s condemnation.’ (vs.). Almost two years later (18 June 2002) by recanting his assurance (sacramentum), thus revealing the perjurer, and egregious vacillator, and back-pedalling character behind his ‘Little Pebble’ persona. He is a recalcitrant indubitable heresiarch in full contempt of the Church, its authority and discipline. Subsequent to the four-year Investigation, the Vatican instructed Bishop Peter Ingham, of the Wollongong diocese, to serve a Decree on Kamm. Ordering that: Mr Kamm immediately ceases all his activities contrary to the teachings, authority and discipline of the Catholic Church and disband his various movements and associations. Namely, the so-called Order of St Charbel, in all its various communities in Australia (including the communities of Gethsemane, Cambewarra, New South Wales; the Sacred Heart, Tyaak, Victoria; the Most Precious Blood, Meredith, Victoria; the Holy Ghost, Ormeau, Queensland; and the Most Pure Heart of St Joseph, Reeves, South Australia). And in all its communities established in other countries, immediately disband and cease all activities that are contrary to the teachings, authority and discipline of the Catholic Church. 24.
Mr Kamm immediately cease all his activities contrary to the teachings, authority and discipline of the Catholic Church and disband his various movements and associations; The so-called Order of St Charbel, in all its various communities in Australia (including the communities of Gethsemane, Cambewarra, New South Wales; the Sacred Heart, Tyaak, Victoria; the Most Precious Blood, Meredith, Victoria; the Holy Ghost, Ormeau, Queensland; and the Most Pure Heart of St Joseph, Reeves, South Australia) and in all its communities established in other countries, immediately disband and cease all activities that are contrary to the teachings, authority and discipline of the Catholic Church. 24.
Two days later, Kamm rejected the Decree saying:
“I operate on the authority God gave me … and I will continue my work”. 25. And furthermore he planned to ‘sue the Holy See, the Sydney and Melbourne Archdiocese and the Wollongong Diocese for “defamation, discrimination, calumny and deception”, 26. and also “sue the Wollongong Diocese for $300 million in damages”. 27.
Notwithstanding Bishop Ingham’s Decrees (supported by La Congregazione per la Dottrina della Fede), and those of his predecessors (Bishop William Murray in 1984, and Bishop Philip Wilson in 1999 [Archbishop since 3 December 2001]), Kamm continues asserting to have ‘church approval’; and “personal blessings” from the Pope. 28. He has maintained this deception for more than 24-years (q.v.), 29. during which time he has provided not a shred of evidence to the contrary.
Little Pebble’s Lebensborn.
“Die breite Masse eines Volkes … fällt einer grossen Lüge leichter zum Opfer als einer kleinen.”
“The broad mass of a nation … will more easily fall victim to a big lie than to a small one.”
Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf (1925) vol. 1, ch. 10
Kamm claimed that he received a heavenly instruction to select eighty-four mystical wives (12 queens and 72 princesses) with whom he was to propagate a pure new race for the new era. Kamm’s claim is reminiscent of Hitler’s Lebensborn und Das Drittes Reich. Many followers, hearing of this, protested and relinquished their association with his cult. 30.
Sixteen months (q.v.) later, Kamm – presumedly defending his polygamy – was alleged to have said:
“I am permitted to have intercourse with all the princesses without violating the law … All will conceive their children from me, even the married ones, because I carry the holy seed”. 31.
His followers naïvely believed ‘miraculous pregnancies’ would result from his ‘holy embraces’ rather than from coitus. Evidently there was much begetting on the compound. Webber suggests that:
“The Little Pebble’s living legacy is unclear, but the total number of his descendants is understood to exceed twenty”. 32.
Allegations of Links to Ugandan Murder Suspect.
On 18 April 2000, Giles Foden and Anna Borzello, of the UK’s ‘Observer,’ reported on alleged links between Kamm and a mass murder suspect. The headline read: ‘Cult papers reveal new massacre link’. The former Ugandan cult leader Joseph Kibwetere, now wanted for murder, was linked to an Australian doomsday group, the Marian Workers of Atonement, according to documents found at his home; in the Guardian. According to his wife, Teresa, she and her husband attended talks on supernatural manifestations given by the leader of the Australian group, William Kamm. Whose spiritual name is “Little Pebble” – in Kampala, Uganda’s capital. 33.
The ABC-Australian News reported that Kamm distanced his group from the Ugandan cult. 34. ABC’s reporter Mark Colvin interviewed Uniting Church Minister David Milliken, head of the Centre for Christianity and Culture.
Compere, Mark Colvin: Well, David Milliken is a Uniting Church Minister and now head of the Centre for Christianity and Culture, who’s become an expert on cults in Australia. He once spent several weeks living with William Kamm and his followers. I asked him about the group.
David Milliken: “It is really the manifestation of something that’s occurring in many places round the world actually, with these apparition sites. There are more than 150 of them, and these have sprung into life within the Catholic Church within the last 150 years, and more recently, like in our time, they’ve just gone berserk. And Australia has only two of them, but in Europe and in America they are in the dozens, and people flock to these sites.”
Mark Colvin “William Kamm says it’s not about the end of the world. Is he splitting hairs or is that right?”
David Milliken: “A bit, a bit. Every new religious movement like this tends – especially when it has this very strong and sort of dominant figure like Kamm – it tends to be part of the package, that you have an expectation that the world is about to end. Now, Kamm has made a whole series of prophecies over the years about the end of the world, and all of them have proved false, and he seems to just power on regardless.”
Mark Colvin: “What do you think in William Kamm’s creed he might have inspired Joseph Kibwetere, the leader of the Ugandan cult?”
David Milliken: “Well, there is a sort of circle of people who are in conversation with Mary, and Kamm himself gave me an intro into this circle, and there are dozens upon dozens of these characters who gain authentication by communicating with other apparition receivers and by sending their messages and their revelations around and getting some sort of acknowledgment from others, that “Oh, yes, it’s the same sort of thing that I was hearing,” and so forth.
“Kamm was quite compulsive in his early years, to make sure he was part of that circle, so that he could say, “You see, I’m being recognised by some of the great seers around the world.”
Now, this chap in Uganda was in his early days, he was part of that circle, but what happened was around about the end of the ’80s, early ’90s, Kamm began to move into instead of just communicating with these people and sending his messages, his messages from the Blessed Virgin were starting to say that he, in fact, was the leader of them all, and then it all sort of started to wind down after that. But he would have been on the circuit, this chap in Uganda, I would say.”
MARK COLVIN: “And so Mr Kibwetare in Uganda was seeing or professing to see visions of the Virgin Mary and in some way getting authentication from Kamm, is what you’re saying?”
David Milliken: “Yes, yes, as he would from a whole range of others, yes.”
Compere Mark Colvin: “David Milliken, Uniting Church Minister and head of the Centre for Christianity and Culture.” 35.
Following a story in Britain’s Guardian newspaper, Mark Colvin conducted the following interview with William Kamm on the ABC’s PM programme:
Compere, Mark Colvin: Britain’s influential Guardian newspaper has printed a story linking the death cult in Uganda – in which hundreds of people died in fires which may have been either suicide or murder – to a cult in Australia.
The paper says the leader of the Ugandan cult – Joseph Kibwetere, who’s now wanted for murder – was inspired by William Kamm, also known as Little Pebble, who leads a group known as the Marian Workers of Atonement – that’s one of its names.
The Guardian found documents at Kibwetere’s home in which his wife wrote about seeing Kamm at meetings in Kampala, and the paper quotes his son, Rugambwa, as saying that “Little Pebble’s visit had filled him with new hope”.
I contacted Little Pebble, or William Kamm, at his group’s headquarters south of Sydney this afternoon, and asked him about his connection to Joseph Kibwetere and his death cult.
William Kamm: “First of all we don’t know that person.”
Mark Colvin: “You don’t know which person, Kibwetere ?”
William Kamm: “That’s right, that’s the first thing.”
MARK COLVIN: “You’ve never met Kibwetere ?”
William Kamm: “No, no. I don’t even know who he is. I don’t know about this group. I only knew about this group when I saw on the media.”
Mark Colvin: “Have you been to Uganda?”
William Kamm: “Yes, I have. I went to Uganda in 1989 in October, by the invitation of the Cardinal at that time, Cardinal Emmanuel, and we were invited to come there to speak to his people, which I did.”
Mark Colvin: “Did you go, as the documents say, to the Kampala Police mess during that time?”
William Kamm: “Yes, that’s right, we were – the police department gave us that hall, and we were – our visit there was broadcasted over Uganda on national TV and radio for four days non stop, and I .”
Mark Colvin: “Is it possible that – because they have papers in which they talk about going to see you – is it possible that they went to see you talk and that you wouldn’t have known who they were?”
William Kamm: “That’s correct, because there were 5000 people each day there, and I’m sure that if they said they came to that meeting, I’m sure they were at that meeting. But as for me meeting them personally, I wouldn’t know them from a bar of soap.”
Mark Colvin: “Kibwetere ‘s son says that Little Pebble had filled his father with new hope.”
WILLIAM KAMM: “Yes. I would assume that if you knew or had known anything about Kampala at that time, it was only a few years prior to that that Idi Amin had ravaged that country, and I know that that country was in a very, very bad state even when I arrived there, and all my preaching which I give throughout the world many times is about hope and about the Second Coming of the Messiah or Second Coming of Jesus, and this would have probably given the man a tremendous amount of hope. So I’m very surprised that if that hope was given, why on earth this situation even occurred.”
Mark Colvin: “Is there anything that you can see that would explain what happened in Uganda with this mass death?”
William Kamm: “No, not at all. I find it absolutely ludicrous in any form or way, because the media already for so many years have been trying to link us with all these Doomsday groups, which is totally idiotic, because our group has nothing to do with Doomsday.”
Mark Colvin: “And yet Archbishop Pell has accused you of millenarianism, warning signs, torments, days of darkness .”
William Kamm: “Yes.”
Mark Colvin: “All the kinds of things that are usually associated with Doomsday cults.”
William Kamm: “Well, then Archbishop Pell had better go back and read his Scriptures, because our Lord Himself speaks about the Second Coming of the Messiah and what is to occur, and John Paul II has also spoken about that in his homilies over the last 20 years.”
Mark Colvin: “Your web site talks about certain signs in the stars as warnings, and again this is end of days rhetoric really, isn’t it?”
William Kamm: “Yeah, but not end of the world. Now, there’s a great difference between end of days and the end of the world. We talk about the Second Coming of the Messiah, we talk about – that the world itself will be plunged into many difficulties, apart from war and other things that will come and, of course, this has already come in many, many ways, but nothing to do with the end of the world.”
Compere: “William Kamm or Little Pebble who leads the group variously known as the Marian Workers of Atonement, Our Lady of the Ark and the Order of St Charbel”. 36.
But notwithstanding police concerns and a potentially hazardous situation, multitudes remained on board the “prophet’s” heretical bandwagon evidently choosing to turn a deaf ear to He who warned:
Denn es werden falsche Christi und falsche Propheten aufstehen und große Zeichen und Wunder tun, daß verführt werden in dem Irrtum (wo es möglich wäre) auch die Auser-wählten.
“For false christs and false prophets will arise and show great signs and wonders, so as to deceive, if possible, even the elect”.
Kamm, intoxicated by his concupiscence, sanctimonious duplicity and celestial delusions, fluffed the prophecies of his impending criminal matters. That were dealt with by the New South Wales Police, District and High Courts. Eventually culminating in sentences totalling seven and a half year (q.v.) incarceration; at the Queen’s pleasure.
Irreverential Cat out of The Bag.
“Wer zugrunde gehen soll, der wird zuvor stolz; und Hochmut kommt vor dem Fall”.
Die Sprüche salomos
“Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall”.
The soi-disant “Little Moses,” “Last Pope,” and “Prophet,” boastings of the “authority” God gave him. His ‘continuing work’ (vs.) automatically brings into question his predictive powers as a “prophet” (int. al.). And whence he drew this “authority” for this “work” (of sorts). A burning bush in the Transjordan? or an epiphany on a Damascus Road?
The hard facts of the “Prophet” and his ‘continuing work’ has been unearthed by Webber, and published in his book ‘a WOLF among the SHEEP’. Webber exposed Kamm’s “authority” to have more of the carte blanche. To suchlike reprehensible acts (int. al), as ‘sexually molesting at least seventeen underage girls both in Australia and abroad’. 37.
A NSW District Court jury decided that “…his embraces with a 15-year-old girl sexually to the point of breast fondling; his kisses were performed with his tongue and on one occasion he parked his car on a public street and masturbated her in broad daylight”. 38.
Kamm faced two separate trials – during which he pleaded ‘not guilty’ – for having sexual relations with two of his former underage “queens”. And he was gaoled for a total of 10-years with a seven and a half year non-parole. 39. These reprehensible acts Judge John Williams described as: “an inexcusable and gross breach of trust”. 40.
Throughout the court proceedings there were fifty-seven reports (qq.v) published in the Australian media et al. These reports were only summaries. Evidently, there is a gross negligence in editorial decision making (outside the national broadcaster) in serving the public interest and historical record. One newspaper reported the Victorian Police Service having: “…raised fears that the cult, which has headquarters in Nowra, NSW, was stockpiling weapons, food and clothing in preparation for the Apocalypse”. 41. And another reported District Court Judge Peter Berman sentencing Kamm to a further four years, in addition to the minimum three and a half year term he was serving. The Sydney Morning Herald, under the heading: ‘Cult Leader Gets Extra Four Years – Kamm … took advantage by satisfying his desire to have sex with young girls’.
Cult leader and self-proclaimed prophet William Kamm has been sentenced to an extra four years in jail for raping one of his former followers.
Kamm, 56, ordered the girl, then 14, to have sex with him, saying it was God’s will, because she was chosen by the Virgin Mary to help him repopulate the earth with his mystical seed.
The purported seer known to his followers as the “Little Pebble” is already serving a minimum three-and-a-half year term for an almost identical offence.
Sentencing him to an additional four-year non-parole term today, District Court Judge Peter Berman said ‘Kamm took advantage of his position as leader of his cult near Nowra, on the NSW South Coast, to satisfy his own desires’.
“Many people think that William Kamm is a prophet able to communicate directly with God and the Virgin Mary,”Judge Berman said.
“This gives him enormous power over those who hold these deluded beliefs.
“He has taken advantage of these people by satisfying his desire to have sex with young girls.”
Judge Berman said Kamm had used his religion in a deliberate plot to manipulate the girl’s family into consenting to her chosen role.
When his previous sentence is taken into account, Kamm will serve at least seven and a half years in jail.
He will first become eligible for release in April 2013. 42.
Kamm conducts his cult outside the jurisdiction of the Catholic Church. His claim purporting to be a ‘New Form of Consecrated Life (Canon 605),’ has no legal existence in the Catholic Church. 43. His cult is both counterfeit and sheer folly.
Habere non potest Deum patrem qui ecclesiam non habet matrem.
He cannot have God for his father who has not the church for his mother.
St. Cyprian. De Ecclesiae Catholicae Unitate sect. vi.
Subsequent to Kamm’s release from the Junee Corrective Centre, 13 April 2013 (q.v.), will his followers continue ‘not relying on human intelligence’. 44. Preferring rather continue believing his delusions to ascend the Chair of Peter, and become the “last pope”? 45. Both the ecclesial and civil justiciary have acted in agreement with natural justice in providing Kamm an equitable trial. One can only hope that his cult will also fragmentize; and that his followers will return to the mainstream Church.
Grateful acknowledgment is made to Graeme Webber, for the three-years he spent in researching, writing, and publishing ‘a WOLF among the SHEEP – How “God’s prophet” The Little Pebble became a womanising, millionaire cult leader’.
Graeme’s career as a journalist spans over sixteen years. He has gathered and reported news for Australian Associated Press (AAP) et al., and given television and radio interviews. His writing style is thorough, candid, compelling, and comprehensible to the general readership. His ‘a WOLF among the SHEEP’ is a masterpiece – an exposé of shocking crimes craftily hidden behind a theological and ecclesiastical façade – deserving serious attention from those concerned with crimes against children, and the proliferation of cults.
For those who consider that everything about William Kamm has already been published in either my little article or elsewhere, they are sorely mistaken. It wasn’t until I discovered all the unreported information published in ‘a WOLF among the SHEEP’ that I realized the extent of the dirty linen in Kamm’s closet, e.g., alleged anomalies in financial dealings (which perhaps left many stuck in financial limbo) and other allegations involving commonwealth and state funding. Graeme’s book also revealed Kamm’s systematic manipulations to alter beliefs and attitudes towards dictatorial self-serving control over the membership of his cult; and clandestine underage sexual rendezvous to boot.
The media handling of this affair was very rather scant. It published only spasmodic sanitized accounts of Kamm’s trial proceedings. Evidently, public interest was served only by the sole efforts of a single individual whose journalistic skill and tenacity ensured that key court proceedings were covered, as well as numerous other lines of inquiries, to unearth the entire facts that remained secret until the publication of his ‘a WOLF among the SHEEP’. This book is a comprehensive account of Kamm’s startling origin, his journey and ambitions towards wealth and his messianic zeal towards becoming the “last Pope” of the Catholic Church; and his insatiable paedophilic appetite. Graeme’s courageous project placed him at risk amid possible litigious minefields.
I believe that his ‘a WOLF among the SHEEP’ is an achievement that would rate him as one of the brightest investigative journalists of his generation. I am very much obliged to Graeme, for providing such an invaluable source of information about William Kamm and his cult; without which my own article ‘William Kamm the Fragmented Pebble’ would not have been possible.
Rev. Father A. Maximiadis.
For further information on Graeme Webber’s ‘a WOLF among the SHEEP’ please visit:
- Hodgson, S. ‘Sunday Herald Sun’, 23/6/2002.
- Webber, G. ‘a WOLF among the SHEEP, KeyStone PRESS, Tomerong NSW, Australia, 2008
- Webber, G. op. cit, ch.2, p.21.
- Webber, G. op. cit, ch.2, p.25.
- Stevenson, A. ‘Sydney Morning Herald’, 22/6/2002.
- Webber, G. op. cit, ch. 2, pp. 26-7.
- Stevenson, A. op. cit, 22/6/2002.
- Webber, G. op. cit, ch. 3, pp. 39-43.
- LeBar, J. ‘Cults, Sects, and the New Age’, 1989.
- Webber, G. op. cit, ch. 3, p.41.
- Senescall, R. ‘Illawarra Mercury’, Australia 9/7/2005.
- Stevenson, A. op. cit, 22/6/2002.
- AAP, Australia, 14/10/2005.
- Allan, L. News.com, Australia. 14/2/2007.
- Stevenson, A. op. cit, 22/6/2002.
- Webber, G. op. cit. ch. 4, p.54.
- ‘Interview’, Saint Michael’s Catholic Church, Nowra NSW 21/10/2000
- Senescall, R. op. cit. 9/7/2005.
- Webber, G. op. cit, pp.viii-xi
- Webber, G. ibid, pp. ix-xi.
- Bishop Wilson. ‘Press Statement’, 17/6/1997
- ‘Interview’, op. cit, [Q.50b].
- Stevenson, A. op. cit, 22/6/2002.
- Bishop Ingham, ‘Decree’, 16 June 2006.
- Sofios, S. ‘Daily Telegraph’, 18/6/2002.
- Hodgson, S. op. cit, 23/6/2002
- Stevenson, A. op. cit, 22/6/2002.
- Stevenson, A. ibid.
- Stevenson, A. ibid.
- AAP, Australia. Ibid.14/10/2005.
- Allan, L. op. cit,14/2/2007.
- Webber, G. op. cit. ch. 9, p. 179.
- ‘Observer’ UK. 18/4/2000.
- ABC-Australian News, 18 April, 2000.
- ABC Radio National, 18 April, 2000.
- ABC PM programme, 18 April, 2000.
- Webber, G. op. cit, ch. 17, p. 359.
- Senescall, R. op. cit, 9/7/2005.
- AAP, Australia. ibid, 14/10/2005.
- Hodgson, S. op. cit, 23/6/2002.
- AAP. The Sydney Morning Herald, 24/8/2007.
- Bishop Ingham’s ‘Decree’, 16 June, 2006.
- Webber, G. op. cit, ch. 3, p. 48.
- ‘Interview’ op. cit, [Q.6].
~ Finis ~
Anthropocentric Humanism & Monotheism.
Rev. Father A. Maximiadis
19th-Century Phenomenon of Systematic Selfishness.
We ought to recognize the curious phenomenon of most people, in the West, who prioritize ‘wealth’ and ‘achievement’ above all else. This phenomenon appears to have an analogy with the ‘individualism’ that evolved from 19th-century industrial capitalism. Moreover, the theories of Adam Smith (1723 – 1790), Jeremy Bentham (1748 – 1832) (et al). They argue for politico-economic principles of congruent free determination, the laissez-faire and the hedonic concept of ‘utilitarianism’.These are an extreme asocial form of ‘individualism’, and has all the earmarks characteristic of self-indulgence, recusancy, and total disregard to social coherence, and mores. In a nutshell: systematic selfishness. This form of ‘individualism’ found expression in the ethics of the 19-century American Protestant bourgeoisie. The traditional Churches were attempting to address the impact of large business corporations. Who were (and continue to do so to this present day) prioritizing profit growth of returns for their shareholders above the interests of those in their employ, and the community. This phenomenon is quite apart from the form of ‘individualism’ of one, who perceives themselves as inexpungible from the organized society in which they live. Moreover, who has an authentic concern for others while remaining uninfluenced by undesirable pressures, opinions, and attitudes of others within the society. This model of ‘individualism’ contributes to the advancement of both the individual and society. It is in harmony with the Judaeo-Christian understanding. Moreover, is quite apart from the extreme ‘individualism’ of selfishness, and tyrannical ‘collectivism’. That gave rise to Nationalism in France (1789), Communism in Russia (1917); and Nazism in Germany (1939).
14th-Century ‘Individualist’ and “Monotheist”: Pharaoh Akhnaton ( Amenophis IV ); 1379-62 BC.
The Egyptologist, James Breasted (1865-1935), described the 14th-centuryBC Egyptian Pharaoh Akhnaton (or Ikhnaton) as “… the world’s first individual” (A History of Egypt, p. 356). Others have suggested that he was the first “monotheist” to appear in recorded history. This may have been deduced from his, or his Pharaonic poet’s Hymn to Aton. “O thou sole god, whose powers no other possesseth…” (Velikovsky, I. Oedipus and Akhnaton. p.63, 1960). But Geoffrey Parrinder (1910-2005), Professor of Comparative Study of Religions at the University of London, suggested that Akhnaton:
“…favoured the worship of Aton the sun, and its disk with rays shining out. While the names of some other gods were chiselled out, they were not all denied, the name of Rë was usually untouched, and it was Amün who was particularly attacked. Ikhnaton would thus rather be a henotheist”.
Dictionary of Non-Christian Religions, p.132 – 3. 1971.
Akhnaton may have perceived himself as the catalyst, for the ‘monotheistic’ religious movement. “…There is no other that knoweth thee, Save thy son Akhnaton”. The notion of ‘monotheism’ was historically akin to its seminal stages 21-centuries prior to Akhnaton appearance in history. Akhnaton was in appearance asthenic, had a malformed cranium and lower limbs. He was an aesthetic, pacifist, a “revelations” social semi-naturist (nudist), and abolitionist of capital punishment and appears not to have engaged in blood sports. Akhnaton was a beautiful and fragile soul, but ‘monotheism’ demanded a different type of catalyst to translate the ‘monotheistic’ concept from metaphysical poetics to the mundane practicalities of human life. It took the awesome figure of Moses (c. 1445-05) the monotheistic supremo. Moses was the culmination of a revolutionist, fugitive, shepherd, leader, judge, prophet, priest, and pragmatist. To indelibly impress into the Jewish heart and mind the highest conception of the ‘monotheistic’ God.
Jeremiah and Ezekiel, 627-571 BC.
Eight centuries later between 627-580 BC Jeremiah wrote:
“οὐκ ἐκάθισα ἐν συνεδρίῳ αὐτῶν παιζόντων, ἀλλὰ εὐλαβούμην ἀπὸ προσώπου χειρός σου κατὰ μόνας ἐκαθήμην, ὅτι πικρίας ἐνεπλήσθην.”
(Ιερεμιας xv:17. LXX)
“I did not sit in the assembly of the mockers, Nor did I rejoice; I sat alone because of Your hand, For You have filled me with indignation.”
(Jeremiah, xv:17. NKJV )
From this passage, can be clearly deduced the theme of the individual, of one who is disengaged from the group. Ezekiel, in either 593 or 571 BC, had advanced the same motif further by identifying both the community corpus delicti, by parents for their children.
“καὶ εἶπα πρὸς τὰ τέκνα αὐτῶν ἐν τῇ ἐρήμῳ ̓Εν τοῖς νομίμοις τῶν πατέρων ὐμῶν μὴ πορεύεσθε καὶ τὰ δικαιώματα αὐτῶν μὴ φυλάσσεσθε καὶ ἐν τοῖς ἐπιτηδεύμασιν αὐτῶν μὴ συναναμίσγεσθε καὶ μὴ μιαίνεσθε.
(Ιεζέκινλ xx:18. LXX)
“But I said to their children in the wilderness, ‘Do not walk in the statutes of your fathers, nor observe their judgments, nor defile yourselves with their idols.
(Ezekiel, xx:18. NKJV)
Moreover, the injurious effects of the individual.
“καὶ μνησθήσονταί μου οἱ ἀνασῳζόμενοι ἐξ ὐμῶν ἐν τοῖς ἔθνεσιν, οὗ ᾐχμαλωτεύθησαν ἐκεῖ ὀμώμοκα τῇ καρδίᾳ αὐτῶν τῇ ἐκπορνευούσῃ ἀπ ̓ ἐμοῦ καὶ τοῖς ὀφθαλμοῖς αὐτῶν τοῖς πορνεύουσιν ὀπίσω τῶν ἐπιτηδευμάτων αὐτῶν, καὶ κόψονται πρόσωπα αὐτῶν ἐν πᾶσι βδελύγμασιν αὐτῶν.
(Ιεζέκινλ vi:9. LXX)
“Then those of you who escape will remember Me among the nations where they are carried captive, because I was crushed by their adulterous heart which has departed from Me, and by their eyes which play the harlot after their idols; they will loathe themselves for the evils which they committed in all their abominations.
(Ezekiel, vi: 9. NKJV )
A person becomes human in his interpersonal relationships with others. Personhood, in toto, depends on growth from the individual: conscience, family ties, and religion. ‘Individualism’ and ‘collectivism’ stagnates the atmosphere of freedom (with accountability) quod est the prerequisite of the spiritual, psychological, physical growth of the human person in the community.
~ Finis ~
Astrology – A Cursory Gaze
Rev. Father A. Maximiadis.
Recently astrology has re-emerged and became part of Western popular culture as a result of the rise of the utopian ‘new age’ counter-culture of the 1960s. This article, ‘Astrology – A Cursory Gaze’, has been written to challenge some of the principal astrological concepts, and to serve as an exploratory exercise to stimulate serious interest for those who wish to scratch below the surface to discover whether or not astrology has any intellectual value.
A Chronological Western Glimpse of Astrology From 626 to 1727 AD.
Western astrology stems from two sources, the Hellenistic and Jewish. The former is derived from the ‘Corpus Hermeticum’ text, for the most part, the ‘ Hermes Trismegistos ‘ (circa. 2nd cent. AD) containing a synthesis of Neo-Pythagorean, Platonic, and Stoic elements, as well as Eastern religions. The latter, the Kabbalah (12th cent. AD), id est., ‘traditional lore’ evolved from two reciprocal Jewish traditions: Firstly, the Talmudic Sages, the originators of Rabbinic Judaism, who perceived logic as their prime principal in comprehending YHVH (‘God’).
Secondly, the Kabbalists, who had the same objectives as the Sages, but with the addition of systematized mysticism. The Talmudic tradition is based primarily upon the three great canons of text: The Mishnah the canons of Oral Law (3rd cent. AD), the Jerusalem Gemara (amplification and comments on the Mishnah text) 4th cent. AD; and the Midrash (discourse on the Tanach (‘Bible’)) circa 500 AD.
The Jewish Kabbalists adopted the astrological system of the South Babylonians, also known as the “Chaldeans”, during the collapse of the Assyrian Empire (circa. 626-539 BC). This astrological system was also taken over, at the same time, by the Greeks (who were the source of Indian astrology circa. 2nd and 3rd cent. AD), Egyptians; and the Romans. Greek and Indian astrology was exported to Persia, now Iran, during the period of the Sasanian Empire; circa. 226 AD.
Hellenistic astrology reached its zenith in Byzantium, also called ‘Eastern Roman Empire’, in the 5th and 6th cent. AD, after which it declined, but was later revived in the 8th and 9th cent. In the same period the Muslims espoused astrology from the Greeks, Indians, and Persians. Abu Ma’shar (9th cent. AD) interpolated Islamic astrology with borrowings from both Neoplatonism (a philosophical religious system developed by Plotinus from Plato, circa 205-70), and Aristotelianism (based on the scientific and philosophic writings of Aristotle (384-322 BC)). The Muslims rejected astrology 400 years later; in the 13th century.
Astrology first attracted attention, in Western Europe, through the writings of Manilius’ Astronomica (circa 15-20 AD), Maternus’ Matheseos libri (circa 335 AD), and the Liber Hermetis (circa 6th cent). It reached its peak during the Renaissance (14th-16th cent) following translations of Muslim astrological treatises from Arabic to Italian and Spanish; in the 12th and 13th centuries.
Two centuries later, the status of astrology diminished during the scientific revolution; 15th to 17th centuries, arising, firstly from the publication of Copernicus’ ‘De revolutionibus orbium coelestium’ (1543) advocating the heliocentric hypothesis, id est, the Sun as the centre of the universe as opposed to the geocentric hypothesis; earth centred universe. Then followed: the anti-Aristotelian dynamics of Galileo in 1633, Kepler’s ‘De Fundamentis Astrologiae Certioribus’ (1601) rebuffing irrational beliefs of stars affecting human life, and Newton’s mechanistic physics; ‘Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica’ (1687).
Historical Perspectives From Two Professional Astrologers.
Margaret E. Hone (1892-1969), was the principal of the Faculty of Astrological Studies, London. She made the following assertion in her ‘Historical Background of Astrology’:
“Astrology through the ages was once pictorially represented as a river, curving along in its broad sweeps. At each curve … stood an irate little man, saying, “Stop this, it is nonsense!” But the river increasingly rolled on, ever getting fuller and wider. It now seems to have reached vast proportions and is in danger unless in the future, it is fed by tributaries from healthy sources and controlled by banks as in the past. Its modern necessity is the “banking” given by sensible, well informed, well practised students, who will exert the control necessary to stop “woolliness” and vague repetition of unproved statements and will press for the clarity which the present age demands and will work to add to proof and reasoning and not be content merely to listen comfortably to others” . 1.
Llewellyn George (1876-1954), was an American author of eighteen standard astrological text books. He made the following historical assumptions in his ‘Introduction’ and ‘Preface’:
“Astrology was the first science known to man and the present age is beginning to realize that it is the greatest, the parent of them all … the antiquity of astrology is such as to place it among the very earliest records of human learning. Later, astrology and astronomy were one science, but the latter now treats only of distances, magnitudes, masses, compositions, motions, speed, etc., and is founded upon observations made with various instruments; therefore astronomy may be termed a purely objective science, concerned as it is with the outer expressions of other worlds, (with their form or body) while astrology may be considered as subjective, dealing with the influence of the life within the form and its effect upon surrounding bodies, the Earth and its inhabitants in particular and so may properly be termed, The Study of Life’s Reactions to Planetary Vibrations”. 2.
Hone’s metaphoric “river” and apocryphal “little man” has more the character of “woolliness” than “clarity”, “proof” and ” reasoning” of which she herself has failed, in providing an historical background, with “the clarity which the present age demands”. And George’s view of ‘astrology as the first science known to man’and “the parent of them all” is audacious and supercilious. His comment regarding ‘life’s reactions to planetary vibrations’ is scientifically untenable. Both Hone and George’s assertions were incoherent and totally dislocated from any serious historical context.
The Legal Status of Astrology Under British and Australian Law.
The practises of astrologers, as well as other fortune tellers, were regarded illegal under British Law (Vagrancy Act 1829), and Australian federal and state legislation. In Australia it is illegal under the Commonwealth Post and Telegraph Act, Sect. 57, 1901 – 66, and the Psychological Practices Act, Sect. 2, 1965. It is also illegal under the Police Act, Sect. 86 (1) (d), and the Vagrancy Act, Sc. 2 (2) (n), 1902 (see: Stonehouse vs. Masson (1921) 2K.B.818, Arriola vs. Harris 1943) S.A.S.R. at P.175, Copeland (1939) 55 W.N. (NSW.) At P.90, Isherwood vs. O’Brien (1920) 23 W.A.L.R. 10). Although astrology had an illegal status under Australian law, predictions were published, as they continue to do so today, in popular magazines throughout Australian States and Territories.
The Origins of The Great War 1914-18
[A synopsis from a political and religio-sociological perspective]
Rev. Father A. Maximiadis
This article contains historic images
depicting war-time violence.
~ PREAMBLE ~
In popular parlance, it is believed that the origins of the Great War (1914-18) ensued from the controversial assassination, at Sarajevo (Сарајево); on 28 June 1914 (v.i.). Archduke Franz Ferdinand von Österreich-Este of Austria, and his morganatic wife Sophie (née Chotkova), the Duchess of Hohenberg (Herzogin von Hohenberg); were assassinated by young Bosnians. Young Bosnians dedicated to liberating their homeland from the Austro-Hungarian rule.
The assassination was the catalyst that acted like a desperate fuel to a series of volatile issues. For example, national rivalry, colonial and commercial disputes, amidst the tangled politics of continental Europe; that had been brewing up for a very long time leading up to the 20-century. Behind the façade of idealism and a determined esprit de corps lied lust for conquest; and forceful acquisition from the vanquished. Moreover, the destruction of cultural identities, divisions of nation states; and booty among the victors.
This thesis includes many centuries of broad-brush strokes in the historic landscape in the Mecca to Sarajevo timeline. These form a continuum of wars feeding off each other that constituted a far larger picture beyond the single brushstroke of that June attentat.
The decision was taken to begin this story (ἱστορία) at Mecca in Saudi Arabia, a beeline distance of 1,962 miles (3,157.5 km) to Sarajevo. The decisive point in the overall story from where the origin of the zeitgeist that led to the Great War. There are numerous continuous parallel narratives, within the Mecca to Sarajevo timeline. These parallels have been purposefully omitted to avoid an informational quagmire, which would detract from the central continuum of the story. Also, saturate the article with superfluous details. Data has been extrapolated from the most authoritative sources, including academics and aficionados. Affixing specific transitional dates – observing contemporary rules – to some of the data was difficult, due to the varying points of view. For example, lack of consensus amongst scholars, determining the precise beginning and end, of the mid-twentieth century Italian agglomeration, or il Risorgimento Italiano, of self-ruling states on the Italian Peninsula 1. Included also is the early discussion of the Roman and Byzantine Empires. Differing points of view, regarding the annihilation of the Jews during the Crusades. Professor Madden (Saint Louis University), suggested: “Many acts of cruelty waged against the Jews in the Rhineland, but not at the behest of Urban or any subsequent popes. Urban censured the renegade elements, amongst the Crusaders, but, unfortunately, they were ignored”. 2. Alternative reading of David Shyovitz, Ph.D. (University of Pennsylvania) partially agrees with Madden, in that the Pope did condemn, “attacks on Jews,” but argues:
“Is important to note that while the Pope occasionally condemned these attacks on Jews, the condemnations were neither vocal nor frequent. Moreover, the lack of any punishment or reprisals against the violators of the Pope’s orders gave the rioters implicit approval, and the attacks continued during the next seven crusades in the 12th and 13th centuries”.
Both arguments ought to be rationalized, acknowledging the undeniable anti-Semitic ambience prevalent in continental Europe et al., at that time; and indeed in some places even today. 3. Additionally, there were also difficulties, drawing definitive lines as to either the beginnings or ends of particular periods. Furthermore, the concept of ‘nation state’ was absent in the Medieval mindset (c. 1000 to 1450AD). The term did not come into usage, in the socio-political vocabulary, until the 19-century. For example, the conquered territories, in the so-called “Balkans” were identified according to distorted boundaries, subsequent to invasions by alien conquers, who enforced their cultural values to the detriment of the indigenous peoples. The name, i.e., Balkans, was an invention by a German geographer, Johann August Zeune in 1806 who was a lecturer at the Berlinisches Gymnasium, zum Grauen Kloster. 4. Territories were identified according to distorted boundaries, subsequent to invasions by alien conquers, who enforced their cultural values to the detriment of the indigenous peoples. Data from historical studies may be open to interpretation. Wading through maps poses problems in delineating actual geopolitical boundaries; subsequent to the renaming of various districts in the ensuing centuries. Therefore, this thesis ought not to be understood as anti-status quo of the writings of the universally accepted discourses; by experts in the field. The reader ought to consider this article as an approximation, rather than a definitive article on the subject. The reader would be well-advised to research academic sources for more accurate information. Furthermore the reader may finds, at least some degree, of logical consistency in these chronological events, that link to form the essential story of The Origins Of The Great War.
“Der Krieg ist nichts als eine Fortsetzung des politischen Verkehrs mit Einmischung anderer Mittel”.
“War is nothing but a continuation of politics with the admixture of other means”.
Karl von Clausewitz (1780- 1831)Von
Kriege (1832-4) bk. 8, ch. 6, sect. B.
~ Part One ~
The Precursor: The Islamic Expansionist Champaign(614-1453).
The ‘story’ begins at the time the “prophet” Muhammad,[also spelt Mohammed or Mahomet] who was born in the Arabian City of Mecca c. 570AD and died in Medina c. 632AD; who was the founder of Islam.
In January 630AD, Muhammad seized the cities of Mecca (Makkah al-Mukarramah), and the Arabian subcontinent (Ǧazīrat al ‘Arab). These seizures were the first occasions a ǧihād (“Holy War”) was staged. The concept of ǧihād was a component of the “prophet’s” teachings from the very beginning; as recorded in the Quar’an, e.g., “… Fight and slay the Pagans wherever ye find them, and seize them, beleaguer them, and lie in wait for them in every stratagem [of war]” (Qur’an, 9:5).
A theological concept of ǧihād was foreign to the Christian mindset until the time of Saint Augustine (circa 354-430), and Thomas Aquinas (c. 1225-74). Both Augustine in his ‘City of God’ 5. and Aquinas in his ‘Summa Theologica,’ 6. suggested the doctrine of ‘Just War’ (Bellum iustum) to defend the Christian Empire. Notwithstanding the activities (or “holy wars”) of the Crusades (v.i.), the undeserving affirmative portrayal of war as “holy,” is a gross contradiction to Christian thought. Whether or not the activities of the Crusaders was mitigatory or militated, exercise against the nefarious infidels or an opportunistic attack on Byzantine Christians; and among other things wanton destruction of Constantinople. These are contradictory to Augustine and Aquinas’ doctrines. And furthermore, to the modern rules, of ‘just war,’ which are, quintessentially, towards maintenance of international justice and peace.
Subsequent to Muhammad’s death (c. 632AD), his expansionist campaigns were based upon wars of conquest rather than defence. They had a clear Quar’anic mandate of continued expansionism and economics to Islamised all countries under a continued leadership of the Khilāfas (خلافة), i.e., ‘Successors’. Namely Abdullah ibn Abi Quhafa, Umar ibn al-Khaṭṭāb et al., in the 839-year militant campaigns; beyond the borders of Arabia. The Khilāfas moved aggressively, with fire and sword, into other countries, during hostile sectarian and political disputes amongst themselves, e.g., Shīʿah and Sunnī branches of Islam. In a period of 104-years, they laid siege to Jerusalem (Ἱεροσόλυμα) (614). Jerusalem is the epicenter of the main Abrahamic beliefs viz: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. 7. Professor Eric H. Cline, George Washington University, Washington, DC; says: ‘Jerusalem, throughout its history, has been razed to the ground twice, laid sieged to 23-times, attacked 52-times, and recaptured 44-times’. 8. The concept of ‘Islam as a religion and a state,’ (‘al-Islam dinun was dawlatun’) is nowhere to be found in the Quar’an or the Aḥādīth collection. This concept of the rule was invented by the Salafi movement as a slogan, in the second half of the 19-century, to further their political ambitions.
Following the siege of Jerusalem in 614, the Khilāfas seized Palestine (Παλαιστίνη) (635) and Damascus (Δαμασκός); subsequent to the battle at the Yarmük River (636). Other territories that were laid sieged to included: Mesopotamia (Μεσοποταμία), at the Battle of al-Qadisiyyah (637); which they renamed ‘Irāq’.
The Khilāfas within 79-years seized hold of Armenia (Ἀρμένιος) (639), Egypt (Αἴγυπτος) (641), the Pentapolis (Πέντεπόλις) (643-44) in Italy, andCappadocia (Καππαδοκία) (644) in Anatolē (Ἀνατολή) (637). 9. Between 638 and 650, they seized Irān (Περσίς), Sūryā (Ἀσσυρία) (639-642), Cyprus (Κύπρος) (643-650). North Africa (647-709), Afġānistān (642–870 (q.l.)). And Sind [Ba’ab-ul-Islam] Pākistān, the lower Indus Valley; and Spain (España) (711-718 (q.l.)). The Khilāfas campaigns included the sieges of Constantinople (Κωνσταντινούπολις), first between 674-678, 10. followed by the second in 717-718, 11. and thirdly between 8 and 12 April, 1204. The Khilāfas’ ambitions were then extended to the seizure of the territories of continental Europe and the Balkans en route from Constantinople. However, they were thwarted by the efforts of Emperor Leo III – Pope from 795 to 816 – who defended the walls of the imperial city from 15 August 717 to 15 August 718. Their campaign, to seize continental Europe, concluded subsequent the Battle of Tours (Ma‘arakat Balâṭ ash-Shuhadâ, Battle of the Court of the Martyrs). Also called: The Battle of Poitiers (معركة بلاط الشهداء), in north-central France; in October 732 or 733. 12.
However, this situation reversed when the Seljuk Turks, overpowered Asia Minor (Μικρὰ Ἀσία, i.e., ‘Small Asia’), at the battle at Malâzgird in eastern Turkey (1071). 13 Eastern Christendom was in a precarious position. The reduction of the Byzantine boundaries and its leadership as a world power was now reduced to a minor Hellenic State struggling for its survival. 14. The historic record reveals the magnitude of Islam’s 839-year militant Campaign to conquer other territories beyond the borders of Arabia; from the siege of Jerusalem in 614.
The Byzantive Empire.
The Roman Empire (Imperivm Romanvm) flourished from circa 499BC until c. 400AD, during which time its capital relocated to Byzantium (Βυζάντιον) in 330AD, where it evolved into the most influential cultural, economic and military force until 1453 (q.l.). Christians had maintained a presence there dating back to the second-century. 15. Greek culture influenced the new capital new capital – its monotheistic religious beliefs and practices, and the Greek language – as distinct from the Latin-speaking Romans and their pagan polytheistic beliefs and practices. Between the ninth and tenth centuries, Constantinople reached a population of 400,000 (q.l.) and had burgeoned into the largest and wealthiest metropolis than continental Europe. 16. Professor Mark Mazower (Birkbeck College, London, and former professor, history department, Princeton University) wrote:
“By 1600, Constantinople was the largest city in Europe; even if we accept a low estimate of 250,000 inhabitants, it still overshadowed London (200,000), Paris (220,000) and Rome (105,000). Berlin (25,000), Madrid and Vienna (both 50,000) were unremarkable towns of the middling rank … 17.
The denominated “Byzantines” was a historiographical description the inhabitants didn’t recognize. It didn’t come into usage by historians until the 18-century. The inhabitants depicted themselves as ‘Romaioi,’ or ‘Romans,’ (Ρωμαίοι) citizens of the Roman Empire (Βασιλεία Ῥωμαίων) until the establishment of the neo-Hellenic state in 1832.
Furthermore, the Hellenes (Ἑλληνες) or Dōrieis (Δωριεῖς), had established their Hellenistic civilization at Constantinople in the seven-century BC 18. as a Doric colony. They named the colony after their king Byzas, and indeed, had also established the highly defined Ionic culture, on the coast of Asia Minor. ‘Asia Minor,’ now ‘Turkey,’ is a part of ‘Asia’ which is geographically apart from continental Europe. Bridging Asia Minor to Continental Europe with the ‘Bosphorus’ (Boğaziçi Köprüsü) and the ‘Fatih Sultan Mehmet’ (F.S.M. Köprüsü) bridges does not make ‘Asia Minor’ a part of Europe. Nor does it change the historical cartogramme or the geopolitical definition of ‘Asia Minor’. It does not follow that today’s Turkey is part of continental Europe. Quite clearly – ethnocentricity aside – east is east and west is west.
The new capital was inaugurated ‘Constantinople’ – the “New Rome” – by Constantine the Great, in 330AD; 19.moreover, remained the epicentre, and influence, of the Christian world for 874-years (q.l.). There was a mutual relationship between the supranational church and the multinational empire. During this period (324-1453) it developed into an advanced social and cultural entity and led to monasticism and the missionary movement. Amongst its architectural achievements were: orphanages, hospitals, forums, arenas, palaces, bazaars, baths, towers, monuments, monasteries and libraries. Also, the zenith of its achievements, the magnificent Hagia Sophia (Ἁγία Σοφία), i.e., Divine Wisdom, (v.i.). Philosophical and metaphysical literary tradition of classical antiquity were continued and expressed contemporaneously in the sciences. 20. 21. The Hagia Sophia was the noteworthy achievement in architectural design and was most influential in both Western church, and mosque constructions, from far away as Russia, South Africa, Egypt, and Arabia.
Other contributions were in the fields of astronomy, mathematics and jurisprudence. 22. Modification, and new legal codes, e.g., Ecloga (᾽Εκλογή τω̑ν νόμων, i.e., “selection of the laws”), issued by Leo III and Constantine V in March 741. The Roman Law (Corpus Juris Civilis) become Byzantine Law for contemporary usage; the influence of which spread beyond the Byzantine borders. 23. There was also the furtherance of classical theories, ecclesiastical unification; through the formulation of creeds and dogmas of the Christian church. Through the three of the seven Great Oecumenical Councils convened between 381 to 680; at Constantinople. 24. The University of Constantinople then called: ‘The Palace Hall of Magnaura’ (‘Πανδιδακτήριον της Μαγναύρας’), now in ruins, was arguably the first university, predating those of continental Europe. It had secular curricula of learning founded under the name: ‘Pandidakterion‘ (Πανδιδακτήριον), by Emperor Theodosius II; in 425. 25.
The ‘Pandidakterion’ included faculties of mathematics, astronomy, geometry, jurisprudence, philosophy, music, metaphysics, law and medicine, and was surrounded by other institutions e.g., schools, polytechnics, colleges and academies of fine arts as well as other branches of learning (apart from theology) which flourished – as coeducational schools – down to the fall of the city to the Ottoman Turks; 29 May, 1453. The Western Church copied many liturgical practices of the Orthodox Church. For example the Divine Liturgy of Saint John Chrysostom (Η Θεια Λειτουργια του Αγιου Ιωαννου του Χρυσοστομου) c. 347-407. Known in the West as the ‘Mass’ (‘Missa’). The Byzantines excelled in mosaics, frescos, and iconography. The celebrated 15-century Byzantine icon marked: MP-ΘΥ (Μήτηρ Θεού, Mother of God). Western Christians are quite familiar with this icon. The other marks on this image include OAM (Áρχάγγελος Μιχάλης, Archangel Michael); OAΓ (Áρχάγγελος Γαβριήλ, Archangel Gabriel), and Iς-Xς (Ἰησοῦς Χριστός, Jesus Christ). [Ultra-violet and Carbon-14-testing puts the icon between 1325-1480] Pope Pius IX renamed the icon: ‘Mater de Perpetuo Succursu’ (Mother of Perpetual Succour). The image has been in the church of Sant’Alfonso de Liguori all’Esquilino since 1499. The Italian Renaissance achievements were not without the benefits from Byzantine literature, scholarship, and artists who migrated to Italy subsequent to the fall of Constantinople (1453). 26. 27.
Byzantines, and their neighbours (Bulgarians, Kievan Rus, Khazarians and, the Magyars), had been defending themselves from attacks by hostile Nomadic warriors from circa 499. Namely the Pechenegs (Πετσενέγοι) from the Black Sea region, who were an immediate threat, and the Koumanoi (Κουμάνοι) – also called Kypchaks – a tribal confederation from Greece.
The Cain and Abel Narrative
Rev. Father A. Maximiadis
The Cain and Abel narrative (Genesis, 4:1-17) has several layers, some of which are obscure, incongruous, and disconcerting. For example, the cryptic narrative concerning Cain and Abel’s “offerings, ” i.e., their “fruit,” and ‘firstlings of the flock’ respectively.
The Lord “did not respect Cain and his offering”. (Genesis, iv:5a. NKJV). δὲ Καιν καὶ ἐπὶ ταῖς θυσίαις αὐτοῦ οὐ προσέσχεν. Γενεσις, iv:6,7. LXX, yet He respects Abel’s “firstlings.” ἐπεῖδεν ὁ θεὸς ἐπὶ Αβελ καὶ ἐπὶ τοῖς δώροις αὐτοῦ. (Γενεσις, iv:4b. LXX.), “… Cain was very angry, and his countenance fell”. “καὶ ἐλύπησεν τὸν Καιν λίαν, καὶ συνέπεσεν τῷ προσώπῳ”. (Γενεσις, iv:5b. LXX).
The Lord responds:
“Why are you angry? And why has your countenance fallen? “If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin lies at the door. And its desire is for you, but you should rule over it”.(Genesis, iv:6,7. NKJV)
‘καὶ εἶπεν κύριος ὁ θεὸς τῷ καιν ῞Ινα τί περίλυπος ἐγένου, καὶ ἵνα τί συνέπεσεν τὸ πρόσωπόν σου; οὐκ, ἐὰν ὀρθῶς προσενέγκῃς, ὀρθῶς δὲ μὴ διέλης, ἥμαρτες; ἡσύχασον πρὸς σὲ ἡ ἀποστροΦὴ αὐτοῦ, καὶ σὺ ἄρξεις αὐτοῦ’.(Γενεσις, iv:6,7. LXX).
Then followed the first recorded homicide in the Bible.
“Now Cain talked with Abel his brother; and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose against Abel his brother and killed him”.(Genesis, 4:8, NKJV).
“καὶ εἶπεν Καιν πρὸς Αβελ τὸν ἀδελφὸν αὐτοῦ Διέλϴωμεν εἰς τὸ πεδίον. καὶ ἐγένετο ἐν τῷ εἶναι αὐτοὺς ἐν τῷ πεδίῳ καὶ ἀνέστη Καιν ἐπὶ Αβελ τὸν ἀδελϕὸν αὐτοῦ καὶ ἀπέκτεινεν αὐτόν”.(Γενεσις, iv:8. LXX).
Some of the other layers include the presence of another community in which Cain can find a spouse (Genesis, 4:16,17). Moreover, the ritual slaying of Abel (Genesis, 4:8-11), But the focus of this article will be on the implied existence of organized ‘religion’; both theoretical and practical.
The Mythic Parallels.
The Cain and Abel narrative is a continuation of the myths, the cosmogenesis; or ‘Origin’ stories:
“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth”(Genesis, 1:1. NKJV),
Εν ἀρχῇ ἐποίησεν ὁ θεὸς τὸν οὐρανὸν καὶ τὴν γῆν”
And Anthropogenesis; or Creation of Man:
“So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them”
“καὶ ἐποίησεν ὁ θεὸς τὸν ἄνθρωπον, κατʾ ϵἰκόνα θεοῦ ἐποίησεν αὐτόν, ἄρσεν καὶ θῆλυ ἐποίησεν αὐτοὺς”
The narrative includes the first breach of the relationship between our proto-parents and God (Genesis iii:6); and the consequential ‘Fall’ (Genesis, 3:6,7). Within the narrative, there are transparent Mesopotamian mythic parallels. Anthropomorphically speaking, serve to pragmatize the aesthetically appealing omnipresent, omnipotent, and omniscient God in a unique and intimate union with humankind, rather than an imageless, distal abstract supernatural power.
The Nomadic and Sedentary People.
The narrative’s literary tradition, in Biblical scholarship, is known as the “Yahwist,” and dates approximately 1,000 BC. Scripturally, it speaks of the nomadic, seminomadic, and sedentary lives of the people of those times. Perhaps the Kenites who inhabited Tell ‘Arad, 14 km west of Al-Bahr al-Mayyit, in the late Bronze Age, 1,300 BC (Judges. 1:16). The Canaanites who, presumedly, occupied the lands from Egypt to Syria, and the Jordan to the Mediterranean during the period of Israelite settlement from 1,400 to 1,300 BC (cf. Genesis 10:19). Moreover, the Bedouin Midianites in the Syro-Arabian Desert, early 1,300 BC (Exodus. 2:15). The actual boundaries of the territories in which they wandered have not, as yet, been delimited.
The Nucleus of Religion.
Verifiable religious concepts and practises had their origins in the Upper Palaeolithic period approximately 40,000 BC. This period is regarded by many as an epoch-making cultural stratum in human history. In the absence of verifiable data in the 960,000 years predating the Palaeolithic period, it could not be assumed that there was the inactivity of religion; even in the most seminal form.
Religious idées reçues and mores are regarded, by some social theorists, synonymous with the early civilizations, but it is not inconceivable to assume independence of one from the other. Theorists have also suggested that religion emerged out of economies, the division of labour and its exploitation, and concentration of power. This supposition is both arrogant and ludicrous and has the effect of secularizing the topic that quite clearly belong to metaphysical, theological, and philosophical discourses.
The most influential theorists, in the field, is Durkheim, Marx (who was not at all au fait with religion), and Weber, who were themselves not religious. Furthermore, their conclusions were based upon limited samples. The exception, of course, was Weber, who made in-depth studies of the great world religions: Hinduism, Buddhism, Taoism, Judaism, and Christianity; resulting in an impressive and unparalleled corpus of literature.
Although these theorists provide an important understanding of the social context, the core of religion concerns man’s psycho-spiritual evolution involving the meaning and purpose of life. Discussions of which, are more appropriate to metaphysics, philosophy, and theology.
The Evidence in The Cain and Abel Narrative.
The Cain and Abel narrative, although historically flawed, by today’s standards, does provide us with a glimpse at interesting data. For example the existence of developed communities (Genesis 4:14-15), and established sacrificial rituals for pastoralists and agriculturalists (Genesis, 4:2b-5. NKJV). However, notwithstanding the wanting text, God’s infinite benevolence and incalculable mercy are quite evident:
“Therefore, whoever kills Cain, vengeance shall be taken on him sevenfold.” and the Lord set a mark on Cain, lest anyone finding him should kill him.”
(Genesis iv:15 NKJV)
“καὶ εἶπεν αὐτῷ κύριος ὁ θεός Οὐχ οὕτως πᾶς ὁ ἀποκτείνας Καιν ἑπτὰ ἐκδικούμενα παραλύσει. καὶ ἔθετο κύριος ὁ θεός σημεῖον τῷ Καιν τοῦ μὴ ἀνελεῖν αὐτὸν πάντα τὸν εὑρίσκοντα αὐτόν
Cain is found guilty of the ritual slaying of Abel. The second breach – that of human relationships – for which he was banished from a sedentary to a nomadic life as a marked fugitive under God’s protection. Unmistakable evidence of an early phase in the evolution of religion.
Raw Religious Infrastructure.
A traditional and historical understanding of ‘religion’ (‘θρησκεία’) suggests a reverential covenant and alliance between man and God. The word itself, in the Biblical text, is very uncommon because a construct of ‘religion’, per se, was quite foreign to the writers of Judaic and the early Christian writings. The word (or concept) doesn’t appear until the latter part of the New Testament (Acts 26:5, Jas.1:26,27). The Cain and Abel narrative reveal an unmistakeable background of raw religious infrastructure in its seminal phase of evolution. From a primordial distal stage of man’s powerlessness over control of fire, (prior to the Neolithic age 7,000 BC) and crops (between 9,000 to 7,000 BC).
Regular agricultural and pastoral ritual sacrifices were essential in the struggle for securing the life-giving provisions from the soil (Genesis, 4:3,4). Ritual sacrifices are clearly seen through traditions and mythical elements extrapolated from outside the Hebrew tradition. Moreover, woven by the Yahwist into the narrative. Examples of these pre-Judaic components are the imported Accadian rôbhës malevolent figure from Accad, north-west of modern day Bagdad. Who ‘croucheth’ in the soil waiting to be appeased by the ritual fertilizing the soil with human blood (Genesis, 4:10,11), and the ‘marked’ (‘simeion’) Cain (Genesis, 4:15). To guarantee his protection from tribal retaliation. Cain, the ritual slayer, escaper, and sacrosanct figure; representing the collective guilt, has an indubitable parallel with other ancient rituals. Examples of which are the ritual at Nabu Temple in Babylonia, and the Bouphonia (Βουφόνια, i.e., “ox-slayings”) ritual at Athens. The Cain and Abel narrative, although historically non-specific, does provide a view of an organized religious institution (reliant on both the theoretical and practical). Demonstrating man’s search for ‘truth’ during the most unsophisticated stages of religious development characteristic of the period.
~ Finis ~
Dramatic Art – The Hellenic Origins.
Hellenic gods and The Neolithic Epoch.
The origins of the Hellenic gods, superheroes, and mythological devices date back to the Neolithic epoch in Central Europe prior to the Hellenes relocating southward into the Peninsula in the second millennium BC. Moreover, to most of the islands of the Aegean, and west coast of Anatolia; in 1000 BC. These gods et al., are quite transparent in German, French and English science, drama, and literature.
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For example: in the field of psychoanalysis, in which the Moravian-born neuropathologist, Sigmund Freud, developed the theory of the Oedipus complex. A tripartite theory, of a universal phenomenon suggesting the emergence of the unconscious (not to be confused with the ‘subconscious’) feelings and thoughts. During the first five years of the three psychosexual phases of human life namely the oral, anal, and phallic. The libidinal focus is on the parent of the opposite gender, and the same sex parent is perceived, perhaps with hostility; as a rival. With male children, this syndrome is called ‘Oedipus complex’, and girls ‘Electra complex’. The term ‘Oedipus complex’ is now preferred to describe this syndrome for both genders. Freud based the Oedipal syndrome upon the legendary King in Sophocles’ great dramatic masterpiece: ‘Oedipus the King’. The universality of the ‘Oedipus complex’ is quite patent in Jocasta’s dialogue with Oedipus:
“And as for this marriage with your mother – have no fear. Many a man before you, in his dreams, has shared his mother’s bed”.
[Robert Fagles (transl.), Sophocles The Three Theban Plays, Penguin Books, New York U.S.A. 1982. p. 215, ll.1073-75].
Eugene O’Neill borrowed Freud’s hypothesis of the unconscious, and the Greek concept of fate based upon Aeschylus’ Oresteia; for the creation of his trilogy ‘Mourning Becomes Electra’. Moreover, in literature, French novelist and existentialist Jean-Paul Sartre.
The English noun, mythology is taken from two Greek words: μϋθος (story), and λỏγια (knowledge or study). Μϋθος is a traditional narrative of supernatural (deities) or imaginary persons, figures, or mythological devices and represents concepts about their activities in their objective world. These traditional narratives include gods, superheroes, as well as stones, plants, and animals, which have been the seminal ingredients for many of the filmic characters, plots, and stories.
Mary Shelly’s reconstruction of the Titan demigod Prometheus in James Whale’s early sound chiller ‘Frankenstein’ (Universal Pictures, 1931). Bernard Shaw’s comedic masterpiece ‘Pygmalion’ (Anthony Asquith, Leslie Howard, MGM, UK 1938.). Moreover, 26-years later, the musical adaption ‘My Fair Lady’ (George Cukor, Warner Bros, US 1964). Both these films were Shaw’s renditions of Pygmalion, king of Cyprus, who fell in love with a statue of Aphrodite. Jean Cocteau’s enduring masterpiece ‘Oprhée’ (Andre Paulve, Films du Palais Royal, France 1949) an adaptation of the legend of Orpheus the lyre player; and his wife, Eurydice.
HELLENIC GODS AND LEGENDS IN PSYCHOANALYSIS
Myths, in Jungian psychological theory, are conceptualized as components for the analysis of the universal unconscious, for example, his hypothesis of the anima, animus, ego, shadow, and persona. Jung refers to these components as archetypes; that is to say, inherent concepts and imagery within human mentation independent of conscious processes. These components are an absolute law of their own in that they are the non-specific vocabulary that imply rather than stating specifically. They point to affairs beyond the mundane human world, they are transpersonal and consist of the residue of human development from the primordial period of man’s psychological and biological evolution.
THE GREEK PLAYERS ON STAGE.
The Greeks players wore rather elaborate masks and costumes. They performed on a ορχηστρα (orchestra) which means a semi-circular space in front of the stage. In 1720, ‘Orchestra’ was used as an English noun to describe a company of musicians. The Greeks built the orchestra in front of a σκηνή, which is to say: tent, booth, or scene [σκηνή is where the English noun ‘scene’ came; perhaps in 1540].
The use of signs represented the particular place of the play. Songs and dances were devices used for breaks between scenes; the use of drapes evolved at a later date. Plays were based upon legends, heroes, myths and history borrowed mostly from the Homeric sources, that is to say, the Iliad and Odyssey, which depended mostly on dialogue and monologue rather than action. Violent actions, of any kind, were prohibited on stage, but were narrated on stage by messengers. Flying deities were featured on stage by suspending them from a device called ‘μηχαν’, thus the English adjective: mechanical (‘μηχανικός’); perhaps 1450. The chorus, intermediary between protagonist and audience, provided an interlude to create an effect of lapsed time.
Prior to the 6th century BC, Greek drama consisted of four elements: dance, costume, mime and decor. Comedies were also featured which were a mix of clownery, topical satire and bawdy frolicking sometimes wearing an ithyphallic fertility device. At Dionysia, in 534 BC, Thespis introduced the fifth element, that is to say, words and literary sophistication into Greek theatre. He is considered to be the first playwright and prize winner for tragedy. His name in the English language was first related to dramatic art in 1599, and later in 1827, as a noun.