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The Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered in caves south of Jerusalem in 1947, but the significance of these documents, many of which date from the first century of the Common Era, was kept from the world for nearly fifty years. In 1991 a man named Herschel Shanks, editor of the Biblical Archeology Review, working in close alliance with Biblical scholars, broke the Vatican's control on DSS research and translation. (The story is told in The Dead Sea Scrolls Deception, listed in recommended reading under Basic Orientation to Metahistory.) The main scholar whose work on the DSS led the breakthrough, and entirely redefined Biblical studies, was Robert Eisenman. His interpretation of the content of the scrolls, and, even more importantly, of their authorship, completely upsets all previous theories of the origins of Christianity.
One of the most widespread beliefs about the religion founded on the
person of Jesus Christ is that it somehow grew out of ancient Judaism,
the tribal religion of the Hebrews dating back to the time of the patriarch
Abraham (circa 1800 BCE). As the story goes, Jesus was a reformist rabbi
who looked beyond doctrinal Judaism toward ethical teachings that apply
to humankind universally, rather than to the Jews as a separate race,
or even as the "Chosen People," but he was not merely that.
He was also a superhuman or supernatural agent of God's will. In some
manner, which is endlessly explained by apologists, the wrathful "Father
God" of the Old Testament has been equated with the loving "Father
in Heaven" who sent a supernatural intercessor, his only-begotten
son, Jesus, to redeem the sins of the world. Although orthodox Jews reject
Jesus as the long-awaited "Messiah" of their pre-Christian
faith, and deny the superhuman status attributed to "Jesus Christ," most
Christians assume that Jesus really was the messianic figure the ancient
Jews were expecting, and they insist on his unique status of divinity.
Eisenman's work, supplemented by the investigations of other scholars such as Hugh Schonfield and John Allegro, shows that the rites, the ethics and the ideology (that is, the supernatural element) of Christianity did not emerge from mainstream Judaism, but from the beliefs held by a minor sect of ultra-radical Jews who were violently at odds with their own tradition. In no way was Christianity a simple outgrowth of the everyday Judaism that flourished in ancient Palestine, maintaining a peaceful coexistence with Pagan religion in its rainbow coalition of local cults and sects. Devout Jews of the pre-Christian era followed strict rules of hygeine and ritual, certainly, but they did not impose their way of life on non-Jews. Like Paganism, Palestinian Judaism was innately tolerant, adopting a social philosophy of live and let live. Scholars such as Martin Hengel (Judaism and Hellenism, 1974) have shown that Judaism, even in its strictest orthodoxy, co-existed peacefully with the Greco-Oriental Mysteries in ancient Palestine, including the cult centers where Gnostic taught and initiated.
The Zaddikim were anything but tolerant, however, and they wished to impose their views on the entire world — or the world be damned. In fact, this little-known sect introduced into the religious life of humanity the notion of a superhuman standard for human behavior, a standard impossible to realize in human and corporeal terms. Tzaddik, "absolute righteousness," is not just an ideal for good behavior: it is a callous demand for conformity to an impossible standard of purity and self-control, an inhumane ideal. The minute sect who lived in self-exile in the caves by the Dead Sea were infected with the belief that they were, if not better than the rest of humanity, at least cognizant of what was required to be better, to excell and surpass the human race, to be Tzaddik, pure and righteous. This ideal was incorporated by Christianity into the figure of the human/divine hybrid, Jesus Christ.
Wrathful Buddha: Buffalo-headed Vajrabhairava, image
The Power Behind the Messiah
Of course, the entire Jewish world awaited the coming of the Messiah, their racial-religious liberator, since the days of the Babylonian Exile (circa 600 BCE). But the Zaddikkim sect held special notions regarding the identity of the long-awaited King. According to the secret teachings of the Zaddikite elect, even the Messiah (who was in fact two Messiahs in one, but that is another story) was not the ultimate model, for there was a power hidden behind the Messiah, and that power alone was the ultimate source of spiritual authority for the Zaddikite elect. The name of this entity was rarely spoken, and his operations were jealously guarded from the time of the first Jewish king, Saul.
Yet Saul of Tarsus, who became known as the Apostle Paul, arrogantly declared the secret teaching he had received in Damascus when he was abducted, brainwashed, and converted to the Zaddikite cause (as Robert Eisenman explains, or as may be inferred from his explanations of the political features of the DSS). It is extremely strange that theologians and lay devotees of the Christian faith studiously ignore the bizarre disclosure of "Saint Paul." It occurs in Hebrews, Chapter 5, where Paul discusses the authority of the "priesthood" he hopes to establish through faith in the divine-human hybrid, "Christ Jesus":
For every high priest taken among men is ordained for men in things pertaining to God... And no man taketh this honor unto himself. So also Christ glorified not himself to be made a high priest; but he that said unto him, Thou art my Son, to day I have begotten thee. And he saith also in another place, Thou art a priest forever after the order of Melchizedek... And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation to all that obey him; called of God an high priest after the order of Melchizedek. (5, 1- 10)
Chirst is the Anointed One, as every Christian knows. But who did the anointing? For someone to be anointed, there must be someone of a higher spiritual standing who anoints. Anointing is an empowerment, but the transfer of power must be from the anointer, who bestows it, to the anointed, who receives it. In his amazing disclosure, Paul declares the obvious: the Christ-Messiah must receive his power and authority from elsewhere: "Christ glorified not himself to be made a high priest." Most theologians would argue that it is from the Father God, Jehovah, that the anointing power derives, and that it was symbolically enacted through the baptism by John in the Jordan, but Paul tells a different story. He attributes the power to anoint (or ordain) Christ to a secret agent, Melchizedek. This name means "prince or regent" (melchi-) of "righteousness" (zaddik).
Paul continues his disclosure of Zaddikite secret doctrine by describing in a specific manner the nature of the Anointer, Melchizedek:
Melchizedek is the secret agent behind the Zaddikite ideology of divine (read: impossible) perfection, which also implies divine retribution for all those who do not meet the Transhuman Ideal, or who harm and oppose those who revere the Transhuman Ideal, the faithful ones who look to it for their salvation, for their release from the human condition. Here is the source of what George Steiner has called "the blackmail of transcendence," the inhumane belief system that arose, not from Judaic religion, but from the Zaddakim. (Bluebeard's Castle, cited in Paul Shepard, Nature and Madness, p. 58.) Steiner wrote that "the creed of Sinai tore up the human psyche by its most ancient roots," (p. 38) but the Zaddikite ideology of perfection was even more devastating than the guilt-complex incurred by the divinely ordained rules of the Mosaic Code. "The Judaic summons to perfection" (Steiner again, cited in Shepard, p. 106) has put a curse upon the entire world.
The Transhuman Ideal is the main psychological tool of the Dominator mindset (cf. Terence McKenna, Riane Eisler) that operates in the religious-governmental alliance of the global power game. Whether those who propogate the Ideal are Nazis or Neocons — and lately it is pretty hard to tell the dfference — the effect is the same: dissociation from the human condition and alienation from the body ("the basic schizoid position," Sherpar, p. 85) Melchizedek lurks in the long dark shadow of patriarchy.
But Gnostics, who could stand in the darkness even while they downloaded the Light, were aware of what hides in that shadow. Among the Mystery centers in Palestine was the encampment of the Archontics, just below Qumran Khirbet on the west bank of the Dead Sea. Gnostic seers detected the Archons by the paranormal faculties they acquired through training in the Mysteries, but they also perceived the infection of an alien mindset in the doctrines of the Zaddikites. In violation of their sacred vow of anonymity, some Gnostics came out openly and protested the Judeo-Christian ideology of the Divine Redeemer, the Christ-Messiah anointed by Melchizedek. They warned against the "counterfeiting spirit" (antimimon) of the Archons, "who lead Adam astray so that it might lose its connection to the Pleroma." (The Apocryphon of John, II, 21). For Gnostics, "Adam" was the code-word for the true humanitas, as well as for our capacity to recognize it: to know ourselves. They attributed the virulent and hateful emotions of the Zaddakite fanatics, horrifically evident in the language of the Dead Sea Scrolls, to madness due to Archontic deviation:
The beliefs of the Zaddikim present some of the most intolerant and hateful ideas ever spawned by the human mind. Both in language and content, the Dead Sea Scrolls literally seethe with hatred. In passage after passage, these sectarian writings incite racial and religious violence. They are blatant testaments to virulent and genocidal rage. They alternately scream damnation and plead for retribution. They call for the destruction of the world by supernatural powers so that those faithful to the ideal of Tzaddik can be "culled" from the lot, rescued from the well-deserved damnation of the human race. The Tzaddikim resemble a combination of the Branch Davidians of Waco and the Heaven's Gate suicide cult, with all the worst features of these sects magnified to the tenth degree.
And this madness was the source of Christian religion.
Gnostic spies on the Dead Sea who attempted to alert the general population to the dangers of Zaddikite salvationist ideology were silenced, and the Mystery Schools were targeted for eradication, "spiritual cleansing." But in the fragments of Gnostic teaching that survive, the warning is clear enough:
Many others, also, who oppose truth and are messengers of error (plane) will set up their errors into a system of law to work against the pure knowing of the heart, and looking from their distorted perspective, will believe that good and evil are from the same source [the Father God].
And they will propagate a harsh fate for the entire world.