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Chapter 1

Joseph Wheless

             32 page printout, pages 24 to 55 of 322
                     FORGERY IN CHRISTIANITY

                    "Being crafty, I caught you with guile" ...
                     For if the truth of God hath more abounded
                     through my LIE unto his glory; why yet am
                     I also adjudged a sinner?"
                                                  St. Paul.

                    "What profit has not that fable of Christ
                     brought us!"
                                                  Pope Leo X.

                          ****    ****

                            CHAPTER I

              PAGAN FRAUDS -- CHRISTIAN PRECEDENTS

          "Neither in the confusion of paganism, nor in the
     defilement of heresy, nor yet in the blindness of Judaism, is
     religion to be sought, but among those alone who are called
     Catholic Christians." (St. Augustine, De Vera Religions, v.)

     EVERY RELIGION, PRIESTCRAFT, and Sacred Book, other than the
Roman Catholic Christian, is thus branded as false in fact and
fraudulent in practice. The Jews, however, excluded by those who
have expropriated their ancient faith, make the same imputations of
falsity and fraud against the Christian religion, based on their
own ancient sacred Scriptures, and founded, as the Christians
claim, by a Jewish Incarnation of the Hebrew God, -- which, say the
Jews, is a horrid blasphemy; and they brand the Sacred Books of
Christian origin as false and forged.

     The Christians, all their hundreds of warring Sects, in their
turn impute to the Jews the blasphemous repudiation and monstrous
murder of the Son of the ancient Hebrew God, Yahweh; and with ample
usury of blood and torture have visited that fabulous iniquity upon
the hapless sons and daughters of Jewry unto half a hundred
generations of "God's Chosen People."

     But, of the countless Sects of Christians, one alone, it
avers, is of the True Faith; all the others are false and beyond
the hope of heaven: "Whoever will be saved, it is necessary above
all else that he hold to the Catholic Faith," -- so reads the
venerable forged Athanasian Creed. (CE. ii, 33, 34.) The Protestant
Sects, however, though they all admit the same origin and accept in
full fatuity of faith most of the same forged sacred writings for
their rule of faith as the One True Church, yet apply the scornful
epithet "Antichrist" to their venerable Mother in Christ; freely
dub a dozen of her canonical sacred Books of Jewish origin, and
most of her thousands of canonized Saints, forgeries and frauds;
and assert many of her most holy dogmas and sacraments to be
blasphemous and degrading superstitions. The while their own scores
of hostile factions mutually recriminate each the other as blind
leaders of the blind and perverters of the sacred Truth.

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                     FORGERY IN CHRISTIANITY

     It will serve a useful purpose to take a look behind all this
dust-and-smoke screen of "Odium Theologicum" and make a brief
survey of the origins of religious superstitions and priestcraft,
and of the known and admitted falsities and frauds of Paganism, and
some venerable other religious 'isms.' This will demonstrate that
these same things are now part and parcel of Christianity. This
induces the inquiry, Wherein the data of Christianity as a whole
may haply differ from the admitted frauds of the false religions
and priestcrafts of the Past. We shall learn whether and to what
degree truth may be found in any of the confused and confusing
Christian claims of Truth.

                   THE DAWN-MAN AND THE SHAMAN

          "There is no origin for the idea of an after-life save
     the conclusion which the savage draws from the notion
     suggested by dreams." -- Herbert Spencer.

     Lo, the poor Indian, with his untutored mind, saw his god in
clouds and heard him in the wind. Ages before him, the Dawn-man,
the earliest Cave-man, saw his shadow in the sun, his reflection in
the water, and crudely thought that he had a sort of shadowy
double, which accompanied him and at times showed itself visible to
him. At night, when the Dawn-man, gorged with raw and often putrid
flesh, in a night-mare dream saw terrible monsters assailing him,
or in more normal sleep wandered forth and visited distant scenes
of his previous roamings, or saw, as in the flesh living and acting
before his eyes, his dead father or friend, thus he got further
immature notions of a double, "ka," or detachable spirit of man,
dwelling within him, which could leave the body and return at will,
or which survived the death of the body and lived on in spirit
form, and could revisit the old habitation and hold converse with,
do good or harm to, the frightened living. Thus came the belief in
the existence and survival after death of this double or spirit-
ghost, thus the notion of the immortality of the soul, it primitive
belief held by every people of antiquity, and surviving yet by
inheritance among the priest-taught of modern times.

     These strange phantoms of the night naturally worked further
upon the fear-filled mind of the early child-men, terrified by the
frightful vicissitudes of life, the violent deaths by wild animals,
the storms and floods that killed and maimed them, the lightnings
and thunders that terrified them. All these things were to them
clearly the manifestations of the anger and revenge of the departed
spirits, especially of the Old  Man of the clan who had bossed it
in life and had grudges against all who had not been sufficiently
obedient to him. Awaking from these dread visions of the night, the
frightened Down-man would relate the uncanny visitations to his
fellows, who would have like ghostly dream-stuff to exchange;
together they would wonder whether something could be done to
propitiate or pileate the wandering ghost-men and to win their
favor for benefits to be had from their superior other-worldly
status and powers.

     It could not be long before some old and crafty member of the
nomadic clan would hint that he had known the Old Man well during
life, had been very friendly with him living and had a powerful 

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influence with him; that he was wise to the ways and whims of
ghosts or gods; and no doubt he could get in touch with his spirit
and cajole him into reasonableness and favor. This suggestion
meeting with awed acquiescence, it would quickly be followed by the
forthright bold claim to super-ghostly powers, and by sundry weird
mumblings and mystic rites and incantations the old faker would
further awe the clan into credulous faith in the claim. The new
spiritualist would pretend to get into communion with the Old Man's
spirit, and to receive from him "revelations" of his will and
commands for the obedience of the clan. Thus began spirit-worship
or religion -- the fancied relations between man and the spirits of
the dead or gods. Here, too, we have the first shaman, medicine-
man, magician, witch-doctor, or what-not; in a word, the first
priest; and the priestly game was on. The pretended ghost-cajoler
would naturally be held in dread awe and reverence by his credulous
dupes, and would gain enormous respect and prestige: he could quit
the drudgery of hunting and fishing for his precarious living, and
let the awed and believing members of the clan keep him in food and
idle ease; here the first social parasite. This is priestcraft --
by whatever name and in whatever age and guise pursued.

     A very modern instance comes to hand and is added for
confirmation. Fortunately, or lamentably for Christian pretensions,
there yet exist in the world races of very primitive descendants of
Adam, who yet preserve their primeval forms of superstition and
priestcraft, wherein may be seen their origins in yet active
reality of operation. In no more remote a region of these our
United States than the Diomede Islands of the Aleutian archipelago
of Alaska, tribal superstition and primitive priestcraft may be
seen in all their ridiculous crudity today. In the Report of the
Stoll-McCracken Expedition of the American Museum of Natural
History, 1928, primitive religious superstition and the power of
the priest are graphically described; with simple change of form
and ritual it is Religion through the Ages, the war-blessers and
rain-makers in action to cajole and control the deity through his
priests. As one reads the following extracts from the Report, let
him see what differences he may discover, other than of technique,
between the Diomeder and the Dupe of any other Cult. "For the
Diomeder humbles himself before the imaginary forces of his spirit
world, often disregarding the realities of life with typical
primitive inconsistency. ... The only powers really worthy of his
respect are the supernatural ones. This is why the Eskimo medicine
man, or angutkok, as he is called, holds a position of such
influence. He is the middleman between the natural and supernatural
world. The Diomeders have no real chiefs or any system of
government. Each family is able to manage its own affairs. The
common events of life take care of themselves. But whatever is
unusual, whatever cannot be readily understood, engages the
attention of every Diomeder. Such things as sickness and weather,
good or bad luck and the complicated workings of nature fascinate
him because they are utterly beyond his comprehension. Indeed,
superstition is the basis of the angutkok's hold over his people.
It is chiefly for his supposed alliance with the forces of the
supernatural that he is venerated. ... He is supposed to have
marvelous powers over bodily ailments. ... The power of
conversation with the ancestral spirits is one of the angutkok's
strongest holds upon his public. For the ancestral spirits are said

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                     FORGERY IN CHRISTIANITY

to exert a tremendous influence over the lives of the natives. The
Diomeder's attitude toward them is more than one of wholesome
respect. It is made up of a definite and deep-sated fear. This is
because the spirits, if they choose, can send down either good luck
or bad -- and usually elect the latter. And clever must be the
ruses whereby they may be tricked into benignity. For a departed
soul, no matter how kindly has been its earthly owner, is a
potential agent of misfortune and must be treated accordingly" (New
York Times Magazine, Dee. 16, 1928, p. 9.) The methods of
incantation, of placating the spirits and gods, the charms and
amulets used for these conjurations, differ only in material from
those in holy vogue today in some very Christian countries.
Angutkok, shaman, medicine-man, exorciser, priest, Pennsylvania
Witch-doctors, nature-fakers and superstition-mongers, parasites
preying on ignorance and fear -- the whole genealogy of dupe-craft,
of priest-craft, -- what difference in kind and craft is
discernible between the one and the others of the god-placating,
devil-chasing Genus Shamanensis? Bombarding the irate god with
eggs, as with the Diomedes, or by the prayer of faith as with more
up-to-date God-compellers, the cause is the same, and the effect is
equally ineffective and desultory.

     The Catholic Encyclopedia, describing the Doctors of Divinity
as in vogue among sundry African tribes, well describes the entire
confraternity in all religions: "Certain specialists, however,
exist, known to us as sorcerers, witch-doctors, etc. who are
familiar with the mysterious secrets of things, who make use of
them on behalf of those interested, and hand them down to chosen
disciples." (CE. i, 183.) One of the highest and most potent
functions of all these primitive shamans and devil-doctors is the
conjuring of the infinitude of devils which afflict the inner-works
of the superstitious, and work havoc in weather, crops, herds,
etc.; the practice and its ceremonial of incantation are very
elaborate in some modern schemes: "This ceremony takes up over
thirty pages of the Roman Ritual. It is, however, but rarely used
-- [in these more enlightened and skeptical days], and never
without the express permission of the Bishop, for there is room for
no end of deception and hallucination when it is a question of
dealing with the unseen powers"! (CE. i, 142). Thus the System is
yet in vogue; and its priestcraft has waxed very powerful and very
wealthy. Artificial Fear and Credulity are its sole source and
sustenance. As the Roman poet Lucretius said: "Fear was the first
thing on earth to make gods."

     Reinach, after a critique of many varied definitions of
Religion, thus formulates his own -- which a moment's reflection
upon the infinite sacred "Thou Shalt Not's" of Faith will fully
justify: "A sum of scruples (Taboos) which impede the, free
exercise of our faculties." (Orpheus, 1930 ed. p. 3.)

     As primitive society progressed towards organization, the
Headman of the clan or tribe would find advantage in a close and
not disinterested association with the Shaman, whose intimations of
good from the spirits or dreadful evil would assist powerfully in
the subordination and control of maybe otherwise ambitious or
unruly subjects: thus began the cooperation of ruler and priest for
the subjection of the ruled. Later yet, as government and 

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priestcraft developed, the ruler was also priest or the priest
ruler, as in early Egypt and Assyria, and as in ancient theocratic
Israel before the Kings and after the return from Captivity. So
too, later, in Greece and Rome. In Egypt and under the Empire in
Rome the King was God, in Egypt by divine descent, in Rome by
apotheosis. Even Alexander of Macedon was a god by divine
generation, as declared by the Pagan Oracle of Jupiter Ammon, to
the great scandal of Alexander's mother Olympias, who was wont to
complain, "I wish that Alexander would cease from incessantly
embroiling me with the wife of Jupiter!" Thus priestcraft thrived
and gained immense dominion over the superstitious minds of men, to
say nothing of powers and prestige unlimited, privileges,
immunities, wealth and aggrandizement beyond rivalry -- in ancient
Pagan times.

     The temples of the ancient gods throughout Pagandom were
marvels of sumptuous wealth and beauty, thanks to the lavish
munificence of rulers and the offerings of the votaries of the
respective false gods. The Temple of Diana at Ephesus, the
Parthenon or Temple of the Virgin-goddess at Athens, were wonders
of the ancient world. The greatest ruins of antiquity yet standing
in splendid ruin or unearthed by the excavations of the
archaeologists, are the temples of the Pagan gods, testifying in
their decayed grandeur to their pristine magnificence and wealth.

     Through the priests and the fear of the gods the rulers ruled:
"Thus saith our god" was the awful sanction of their commands and
of their legal enactments. The Hebrews had no word for religion";
their nearest approximation to the idea is the oft-repeated Bible
phrase, "The fear of Yahweh [the Lord]." The ancient Code of
Hammurabi, graven on the stela discovered by De Morgan in the ruins
of Susa at the beginning of this century and now preserved in the
Louvre at Paris, represents the King humbly receiving the Code of
Laws from the great god Bel through the Sun-god Shamash; this for
its greater sanction to obedience by the superstitious people, who
knew no better than to believe the pious fraud of the priests and
King. A thousand years more or less later, the Hebrew God Yahweh,
along with many divine laws, delivered to Moses his Code of
Commandments neatly scratched with his own finger on two stone
slabs; of these, like the grave of Moses, no man knoweth the
whereabouts unto this day. It was plain but pious fraud for
Hammurabi to issue his laws under the name of his god. Common sense
and common honesty make us disbelieve and condemn the Hammurabi
fraud, and no one chides us for disbelieving it. Perforce we must
believe the Moses-tale of identical import, or be dubbed atheists,
reviled and ostracized, and be damned in the Christian Hell
forever, to boot. Both fables of Divine enactment were invented for
and served the same purpose to dupe the credulous to believe and
obey King and Priest. Is it honest?

     This principle, involved in the pretense of divine Sanctions,
and effective through the cooperation of King and Priest for
dominion over the ruled, was frankly recognized by many ancient
writers, and even by some lauded as salutary for the ignorant.
Critics, friend of Socrates, saw the State "with false reason
covering truth," which by this device "quenched lawlessness,; with
laws." Diodorus Siculus admitted it to be the duty of the State "to

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establish effective gods to do the work of police," and laid it
down, that "It is to the interest of States to be deceived in
religion." Livy admires the wisdom of Numa, who "introduced the
fear of the gods as a most efficacious means of controlling an
ignorant and barbarous populace." Polybius, the celebrated Greet
historian, gives his philosophic admiration to the religious system
of the Romans as an effective means of government of the populace:

     "In my opinion their object is to use it as a cheek upon the
common people. If it were possible to form a State wholly of
philosophers, such a custom would perhaps be unnecessary. But
seeing that every multitude is fickle and full of lawless desires,
unreasoning anger and violent passions, the only recourse is to
keep them in check by mysterious terrors and scenic effects of this
sort. Wherefore, to my mind the ancients were not acting without
purpose or it random, when they brought in among the Vulgar those
opinions about the gods and the belief in the punishments in
Hades." (Historiae, quoted by Grover, The Conflict of Religions in
the Early Roman Empire, pp. 3-4.)

     This pious notion of God and religion as the Big Policeman of
the common herd, is not yet extinct. the Attorney General of
England, in a celebrated State trial for the sale of it copy of
Thomas Paine's The Age of Reason, urged to the jury the necessity
"to prevent its circulation among the industrious poor"; for, he
declaimed, "Of all human beings they stand most in need of the
consolations of religion; ... because no man can be expected to be
faithful to the authority of man who revolts against the government
of God"! (Williams' Case, 26 Howard's State Trials, p. 719;
1798-99.) But times and creeds change; this is the Twentieth
century. The professional religionists of today, however, forever
dingdong the old "Morality Lie," that without the God-given Ten
Commandments and like divine laws, ministered by them and reenacted
and enforced by the State there can be no morality, no human
virtues, no decent government. The "True Church" makes mighty boast
of its "saving civilization" after the Fall of Rome by the
industrious preachment -- as we shall amply see -- of pious lies
and practice of most unholy frauds among the semi-pagan Christian
peoples who rose -- despite the Church -- on the ruins of Rome, --

                         . . . Whilst human kind
          Throughout the lands lay miserably crushed
          Before all eyes beneath Religion -- who
          Would show her head along the region skies,
          Glowering on mortals with her hideous face."
                              (Lucretius, De Rerum Natura, I.)

          PAGANISM AT THE CROSS-ROADS WITH CHRISTIANITY

     At the time of the advent of "that newer form of Paganism
later called Christianity," the Greeco-Roman world seethed with
religions in a great state of flux and re-formation. Wonder-
workers, miracle-mongers, impostors in the guise of gods and
Christs abounded. Simon Magus, Apollonius of Tyana, Apuleius,
Alexander, Porphyry, Iamblichus, -- performed prodigies of divine
power and were hailed as genuine gods, -- just as were Paul and
Barnabas (Acts xiv, 11-12), and, later, Jesus the Christ. Of these 

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Pagan and Jewish "Christs" two will be briefly noted, for their
very important Christian contacts and analogies. But first, some
analogies of Pagan priestly fakeries.

     The petty frauds of the Pagan priests to dupe their credulous
votaries would fill a large book; the ancient poets and
philosophers, and modern histories of Gentilic religions, abound in
instances. Simply for examples of a few of the more common frauds
of the Pagan priests, outdone a thousand-fold by the Christian
priests and church, as -- (out of the Catholic Encyclopedia) we
shall see, -- we may mention some well-known pious frauds of the
Greeks and Romans prevalent around the beginning of the Christian
era and forming the religious atmosphere of the times in which the
new faith was born and propagated.

     False prophecies and miracles and fraudulent relics were the
chief reliance among the Pagans, as among the Christians, for
stimulating the faith, or credulity, of the ignorant and
superstitious masses. The images of the gods were believed to be
endowed with supernatural power. Of some, the wounds could bleed;
of others, the eyes could wink, of others, the heads could nod, the
limbs could be raised; the statues of Minerva could brandish
spears, those of Venus could weep; others could sweat; paintings
there were which could blush. The Holy Crucifix of Boxley, in Kent,
moved, lifted its head, moved its lips and eyes; it was broken up
in London, and the springs exposed, and shown to the deriding
public;, but this relation is out of place, -- this was a pious
Christian, not Pagan, fake. One of the marvels of many centuries
was the vocal statue of Memnon, whose divine voice was heard at the
first dawn of day, "the sweet voice of Memnon" which greeted the
sun, as sung by poets and attested by inscriptions on the statue
made by noted visitors, who credited the assertion of the priests
that the voice was that of the god Ammon; the secret was discovered
by Wilkinson: a cavity in which a priest was concealed, who struck
a stone at sunrise when the worshippers were assembled, thus giving
out a melodious ringing sound. Very famous was the Palladium or
statute of Minerva, thrown down from heaven by Zeus into Troy, and
guarded sacredly in the citadel as protection of the city, which
was believed to be impregnable so long as the statue was in the
city; Ulysses and Diomede entered the city in disguise and stole
out the sacred statue to the Greek camp; thence AEneas is said to
have taken it to Italy, where it was preserved in the Temple of
Vesta. Many cities of Greece and Rome claimed to have the genuine
original. Another miraculous statue of like divine origin was that
of "the great goddess, Diana" at Ephesus, which the Town-clerk (in
Acts 3 xix, 35) declared that all men knew "fell down from
Jupiter." Other holy relics galore were preserved and shown to the
pious: The AEgis of Jove, forged by Vulcan and ornamented with the
head of the Gorgon; the very tools with which the Trojan horse was
made, at Metapontum; the scepter of Pelops, at Chaeronea; the spear
of Achilles, at Pharselis; the sword of Memnon, at Nicomedia; the
hide of the Chalcydonian boar, among the Tegeates; the stone
bearing the authentic marks of the trident of Neptune, at Athens;
the Cretans exhibited the tomb of Zeus, which earned for them their
reputation as Liars. But Mohammedans show the tomb of Adam and
Christians that of Peter! There were endless shrines and
sanctuaries at which miracle-cures could be performed: oracular 

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temples full of caverns, and secret passages, -- that of the
Cumaean Sibyl has recently been explored, and its fraudulent
devices exposed. The gods themselves came down regularly and ate
the fine feasts spread before their statues. In the apocryphal
History of Bel and the Dragon, interpolated in the True Church's
Book of Daniel (Chapter xiv), the Holy Ghost tells how this hero
trapped the priests who stole at night through secret passages into
the throne-room of the god and ate the good things furnished by the
pious King and people. The gods came frequently to earth, too, and
with the connivance of the priests kept amorous tryst in the
temples with unsuspecting pious ladies, edifying instances of which
are related by Herodotus and Josephus, among other chroniclers of
the wiles of priestcraft.

     Pagan prodigies of every conceivable kind were articles of
popular credulity, affectitig the commonalty as well as many of the
highest category. The great Emperor Augustus, obedient to dreams,
went begging money through the streets of Rome, and used to wear
the skin of a sea-calf to protect himself against lightning.
Tiberius placed greater faith in the efficacy of laurel leaves;
both remedies are highly praised by Pliny. Caligula would crawl
under the bed in thunder storms; the augurs had listed eleven kinds
of lightning with different significations. Comets and dreanis
portended the gravest crises. Cicero and Valerius Alaximus cite
numerous instances of dreams being verified by the event. Livy
relates with perfect faith innumerable prodigies, though he acutely
observed, that "the more prodigies are believed, the more they are
announced." The Emperors made numerous enactments against sorcery,
divination, and all kinds of magic; the "Christian" Emperor,
Constantine, prohibited all forms of magic, but specially excepted
and authorized "that which was intended to avert hail and
lightning," one of the specialties of the Christian priests. Such
puerilities of the prevalent superstitions might be multiplied to
fill volumes. (See case, Experiences with the Supernatural, etc.)

                       APOLLONIUS OF TYANA

     Apollonius of Tyana was one of the most notable of these
wonder-working Christs. So extremely moral and pure were his
doctrines and his conduct, and so mighty the works he wrought, that
the Pagans insisted that Apollonius was the actual personage whom
the Christians called Jesus Christ. By all reports, implicitly
credited, Apollonius had raised the dead, healed the sick, cast out
devils, freed a young man from a lamia or vampire with whom he was
enamored, prophesied, seen in one country events which were
occurring in another, as from Ephesus the assassination of Domitian
at Rome, and had filled the world with the fame of his miracles and
of his sanctity, just as did Jesus Christ. Apollonius was born
about the same time as Jesus of Nazareth; the legends of their
lives and deeds were very similar; the former, at least, has been
justly described as "among that least obnoxious class of impostors,
who pretend to be divinely gifted, with a view to secure attention
and obedience to precepts, which, delivered in the usual way, would
be generally neglected." (Anthon, Clairsical Dictintiary, p. 165;
see generally, Lecky, Hist. of European Morals, i, 372, passim; any
good Encyclopedia.) Recall the current histories of Mohammed, the
Mormon Joseph Smith, Mother Eddy -- Jesus Christ -- for instances 
of analogous pretensions.

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     This customary pretense of wonder-workers is confirmed by the
great Church Fathers Lactantius, in his Divine Institutes,
dedicated to the "Christian" Emperor Constantine, in which he
combated the Pagan imputation that Jesus was a magician, like
Apollonius and Aputeius, whose wonder-workings he admits. Like all
the Fathers, as we shall see, Lactantius, an ex-Pagan, had firm
faith in magic, and believed all the magical wonders of the Pagan
magicians as veritable miracles wrought by the divine power of
demons or devils. He says that the Pagans "endeavored to overthrow
his [Jesus'] wonderful deeds [by showing] that Appllonius performed
equal or even greater deeds." But, "It is strange," he argues,
"that he omitted to mention Apuleius, of whom many and wonderful
things are accustomed to be related. ... If Christ is a magician
because He performed wonderful deeds, it is plain that Apollonius,
who, according to your description, when Domitian wished to punish
him, suddenly disappeared on his trial, was more skilful than He
who was both arrested and crucified. ... It was evident, therefore,
that he [Apollonius] was both a man and a magician; and for this
reason he affected divinity under the title of a name belonging to
another [Hercules], for in his own name he was unable to attain
it." (Lact. Div. Inst. Bk. V, ch. iii; ANP. vii, 138, 139,)

                           SIMON MAGUS

     Most notorious and important, from the viewpoint of the rising
Christianity, was the Samaritan impostor, Simon Magus, the "great
power of God," vouched for by divine inspiration as having "used
sorcery, and bewitched the people of Samaria," he having "of a long
time bewitched them with sorceries," as the Holy Ghost of God
ridiculously assures us in Acts viii. Not content with his own
"great power of God," Simon, heaving seen some of the apostles at
work bestowing the holy Ghost on the peasants, offered money for
the gift of like power to himself, but was curtly rebuked and
refused by Peter. The especial importance of Simon Magus is his
legendary Scriptural contact with the fisherman Peter, which
developed, under the early Christian propensity for expansive
mendacity, into a veritable literature of pious lies and prodigies
associated with Simon and Peter, which was the chiefest if not sole
basis, be it remembered for the false pretense, later developed, as
we shall duly see, of the "sojourn" of Peter at Rome as Bishop and
Pope. As legends of the Samaritan impostor are wholly Christian
impostures, the Catholic Encyclopedia will be called upon for an
account of the Patristic canards. "By his magic arts," says our
exponent of "Catholic Truth," Simon was called Magus, or the
Magician, the account just given from Acts is "the sole
authoritative [?] report that we have about him": and it confesses
the chronic mendadacity of the Fathers by the remark, "The
statements of the [clerical] writers of the second century
concerning him are largely legendary, and it is difficult or rather
impossible to extract from them any historical fact the details of
which are established with certainty." Let us remember this
characterization of these same Fatherly writers, who, lying about
Simon and Peter together, in Rome, yet tell unvarnished truth about
Peter alone, or Peter and Paul together, in Rome.

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     I may remark, that serious argument is made, that Paul himself
is maliciously intended by some of the Fathers under the name of 
Simon, the constant conflict between Paul and Peter being disguised
under the accounts of the inveterate struggles of Simon and Peter,
(See Ency. Bib. vol. iv, Art, Simon Magus.) The childish and
fabulous histories of the Fathers regarding Simon and Peter and
Paul in Rome and their contests of magic powers, are thus related:

     "St. Justin of Rome ('First Apolog.' xxvi, lvi; 'Dialog. c.
Tryphonem, cxx), describes Simon as a man who, at the instigation
of demons, claimed to be a god. Justin says further that Simon came
to Rome during the reign of the Emperor Claudius and by his magic
arts won many followers so that these erected on an island in the
Tiber a statue to him as a divinity with the inscription 'Simon the
Holy God.' The statue, however, that Justin took for one dedicated
to Simon was undoubtedly one to the old Sabine divinity Semo Sancus
(797) ... The later anti-heretical writers who report Simon's
residence at Rome, take Justin and the apocryphal Acts of Peter as
their authority, so that their testimony is of no value. [p. 798.]

          "Simon plays an important part in the 'Pseudo-
     Clementines.' He appears here as the chief antagonist of the
     Apostle Peter, by whom he is everywhere followed and opposed.
     The alleged magical arts of the magician and Peter's efforts
     against him are described in a way that is absolutely
     imaginary. The entire account lacks all historical basis
     [citing several WORKS] ... The apocryphal Acts of St. Peter
     give an entirely different account of Simon's condition at
     Rome and of his death. In this work also great stress is laid
     upon the straggle between Simon and the Apostles Peter and
     Paul at Rome. By his magic arts Simon had also sought to win
     the Emperor Nero for himself, an attempt in which he had been
     thwarted by the apostles. As proof of the truth of his
     doctrines Simon offered to ascend into the heavens before the
     eyes of Nero and the Roman populace; by magic did he rise in
     the air in the Roman Forum, but the prayers of the Apostles
     Peter and Paul caused him to fall, so that he was severely
     injured and shortly afterwards died miserably. ... This legend
     led later to the erection of a church dedicated to the
     apostles on the alleged spot of Simon's fall near the Via
     Sacra above the Forum. The stones of the pavement on which the
     apostles knelt in prayer and which are said to contain the
     impression of their knees, are now in the wall of the Church
     of Santa Francesca Romana." (CE. xiii, 797, 798.)

     With respect to that statue erected in the Tiber to "Simon the
Holy Hod," the account, above mentioned, does not do justice to
Father Justin's invention; it is thus explicit: he says that Simon
"performed feats of magic by demonic arts in Rome during the reign
of Claudius, was held to be a god, and was honored by Senate and
people with a statue in the middle of the Tiber, between the two
bridges, bearing the inscription in Latin: 'Simoni, Deo sancto ...
To Simon the holy God.' The base of the pillar refereed to was dug
up on the island in the Tiber, at the place indicated by Justin, in
1574; the inscription, which was deciphered, runs: 'Semoni Sanco
deo fidio sacrum ... Sex. Pompeius ... donum dedit.' Thus the
pillar was dedicated to the Sabine god Semo Sancus, and not by the
Senate and people, but by the piety of a private individual." (EB. 

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iv, 4538-9; cf. CE. xiii, 797-8.) The same authority, referring to
the clerical fabrications above mentioned, says: "The Pseudo-
Clementine Homilies and Recognitions contain yet another element of
the very greatest importance. In them Simon displays features which
are unquestionably derived from Paul, and plainly show him to be a
caricature of that apostle drawn by an unfriendly hand." (EB. iv,
4540, with citations in proof.) Simon proclaimed as his doctrine --
"asserting that none could possibly have salvation without being
baptized in his name" (Tert., adv. Haereyes, c.i; ANF. iii, 649);
which group plagiarized the sentiment from the other, Christians,
or Simoneans, I cannot verify.

                  SUPERSTITIONS AND REVELATIONS

     The Pagans would appear almost to have been good Christians:
they had their gods, (whom they fondly called Savior and Messiah)
the death and resurrections of gods; devils, angels, and spirits
good, bad and indifferent; their heavens, hells and purgatories;
they believed in immortality of the soul, -- witness the Pyramids
and the tombs of the Kings, as of Tut-ankh-Amen in Egypt, and of
the Queen Shub-Ad, just unearthed in Ur of the Chaldees; their
elaborate sacrifices, animal and human, even of their dear little
children to appease their gods, as in Carthage and Canaan, -- a
chronic Hebrew practice. Virgin-births of demigods by the
intervention of gods and human maids were common-places of Pagan
faith, as were Virgin-mothers and god-child: the Christians
imported theirs from Egypt -- the Madonna statues of Isis and the
Child Horus -- of universal vogue at the beginning of this era of
the Christ -- may be seen in almost any first-class Museum, as the
Metropolitan in New York and the University in Philadelphia. This
popular Pagan device, the "Mother of God" and her God-baby-in-arms,
was taken over as a Christian sop to the crowds of Pagans who were
being enticed and forced into the Church; it was violently opposed
by many of the more intelligent Churchmen: "Nestorius [Bishop of
Constantinople about 404] had declared against the new and, as he
asserted, idolatrous expression 'Mother of God' (Theotokos),
thereby opposing the sentiments and wishes of the humbler people"
(CE. iii, 101); and in protest Nestorius left the Catholic Church
and founded one of the most wide-spread and powerful "heresies,"
which exists in the East to the present time. The Pagans had their
holy mysteries and sacraments, baptisms of water and of blood,
communions with the gods at their sacred altars, partaking of
sacred meals to ingest the divine spirit and become godlike. they
believed in the resurrection of the dead, and in final judgments
meting rewards and punishments according to the deeds done in the
flesh, -- the Egyptian Book of the Dead, 3000 years B.C., giving
priestly prescriptions for use before the judgment seat of Osiris,
is found in almost every tomb of those able to pay for the
hieroglyphic papyrus rolls. The Pagans had their holy days (from
which the Christians plagiarized their Christmas, Easter, Rogation
Days, etc.); their monks, nuns, religious processions carrying
images of idols (like those of saints today); incense, holy water,
holy oil, chants, hymns, liturgies, confessions of sins to priests,
forgiveness of sins by priests, revelations by gods to priests,
prophecies, sacred writings of "holy bibles," Pontiffs, Holy
Fathers, holy crafty priesthood. All these sacrosanct things of
Christian "Revealed Religion," were age-old pre-Christian Pagan 
myths and superstitions.

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     I puzzle myself to understand how there could be "divine
revelations," to Jews and Christians, of things which for ages had
been identically ancient Pagan delusions and the inventions and
common holy stock in trade of all Pagan priestcrafts. Indeed and in
truth, there can be no divine revelation of miraculous "facts" and
"heavenly dogmas" which for centuries had been, and in the early
Christian ages were, the current mythology of credulous Pagandom.
this I shall make exceeding clear.

          CHRISTIAN "REVELATION" DEFINED AND DISPROVED

     This paragraph is one of the most important in this book, and
to it I invite Specially serious attention and thought. It will
disclose the substantial identity of Christianity with the most
popular and wide-spread "Pagan" religion of the times, Mithraism,
or the Persian Zoroastrian religion, the closest and all but
successful rival of Christianity in the Roman world, and which
might indeed have been successful, but that, soon after Constantine
prostituted the Empire to the Church, -- "with the triumph of
Christianity Mythraism came to a sudden end. The laws of Theodosius
signed its death warrant." (CE. x, 402.) That there may be no
suspicion that the recital of these remarkable identities of
Christian "revelation" with Pagan inventions is fanciful or
exaggerated, the tale shall be told in the quoted words of the
Catholic Encyclopedia, which naively makes so many extraordinary
admissions without seeming to be aware of their fatal Implications.

     "The essence of Revelation lies in the fact that it is the
direct speech of God to man," says the Holy Ghost speaking through
the Vatican Council (1870), thus confirming what I have above said,
that "divine revelation" cannot be of Pagan myths already current
and long known to everyone. The same Heavenly Instructor tells us
what Revelation is: "Revelation may be defined as the communication
of some truth by God to a rational creature through means which are
beyond the ordinary course of nature. The truths thus revealed may
be such as are otherwise inaccessible to the human mind --
mysteries, which even when revealed, the intellect of man is
incapable of fully penetrating. ... The Decree 'Lamentabili' (3
July, 1907) declares that the dogmas which the Church proposes as
revealed are 'truths which have come down to us from heaven' and
not 'an interpretation of religious facts which the human mind has
acquired by its own strenuous efforts.'" (Vatican Decrees, 1870;
CE. xiii, 1.) And, asserts CE.: "The existence of revelation is as
reasonably established as any historical fact"! (CE. xiii, 607.)
Isn't CE. funny!

     Divine Revelation is thus of things not previously known and
which the revelationless mind of man is incapable of acquiring or
inventing by its own efforts. Divine Revelation rests thus upon the
same principle as the Law of Patents and Copyright, A book
published, that is made known and given to the world cannot be the
subject of subsequent copyright even by its author. When an
application for a patent is presented, the first act is to search
the records to ascertain whether a similar art or article has ever
previously been known and in use: if so, no patent can be obtained:
the thing lacks novelty. So exactly with "revelation": if some
impostor or deluded person (e.g. Mohammed or Joseph Smith) claims 

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that hie has received a personal -- and therefore necessarily
private -- "revelation" from some god, the only way whereby he can
get a valid patent of authenticity and credibility for his
"revelation," is to prove that its subject-matter has never before
been known and in credulous circulation, the moment that from the
search of the records -- of other, or comparative religions, -- it
is shown that the same proposition has been previously known and
current, in use and practice among some other priestcraft and its
votaries -- the thing is no revelation: the claim is a fraud. Let
us see how this indisputable rule works to the destruction and
proof of fraudulence of the "divine revelations" of Christian
credulity.

                 MITHRAISM -- AND CHRISTIAN MYTH

     The religion of Zoroaster, known as Mithraism, is confessed by
CE. to be a divinely revealed Monotheism, or worship of a One God,
and having a divinely revealed Moral Code comparable to the
Christian, -- a sacred system claimed by Christians to be a
monopoly of the Hebrew-Christian religion to the exclusion of all
heathen systems. This notable confession reads: "The Avesta system
may be best defined as MONOTHEISM, modified by a physical and moral
dualism, with an ethical system based on a Divinely revealed moral
code and human free will." (CE. ii, 156.) Though it quotes a Jesuit
as saying: "Mithraism is the highest religious result to which
human reason unaided by Revelation, can attain." (Id.) Revealed or
invented, it is virtually identical with Christianity; but as the
mythic Mithraic god could not "reveal" anything, the human reason
which devised Mithraism was quite equal to the Christian God so far
as devising mythology and ethics is an attribute of godhead.

     Mithraism is one of the oldest religious systems on earth, as
it dates from the dawn of history before the primitive Iranian race
divided into the sections which became Persian and Indian, as this
same religion is contained both in the Persian Avesta and Indian
Vedas. This its "revealed" or invented Monotheism by ages outdates
the "revelation" of Yahweh to Moses; and it is yet a living faith
to some thousands of surviving Parsees: "The religious cult is
[yet] scrupulously maintained as of old. The ancient traditional
and nationally characteristic national virtues of truth and
open-handed generosity flourish exceedingly in the small, but
highly intelligent community" of Parsees in India. (CE. ii, 156.)

     The religion of Mithra anciently dominated Persia and the vast
regions of the Orient; it entered Europe following the conquests of
Alexander the Great. When in 65-63 B.C. the conquering armies of
Pompey were largely converted by its high precepts, they brought it
with them into the Roman Empire. Mithraism spread with great
rapidity throughout the Empire, and was adopted patronized and
protected by a number of the Emperors up to the time of
Constantine; it was only overthrown by the prescriptive laws and
sword of Constantine and Theodosius, who "signed its death warrant"
at the behest of the triumphant and intolerant Christians, who
absorbed virtually the entire system of Mithraism. But let CE,
proceed with the story. The reader is asked to cheek mentally each
of the uninspired details of Pagan invention with the "divinely
revealed" identities of the Christian Faith.

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            "MITHRAISM" -- PRE-CHRISTIAN CHRISTIANITY

     "Mithraism is a pagan religion consisting mainly of the cult
of the ancient Indo-Iranian Sun-God Mithra. It entered Europe from
Asia Minor after Alexander's conquest, spread rapidly over the
whole Roman Empire at the beginning of our era, reached its zenith
during the third century, and vanished under the repressive
regulations of Theodosius at the end of the fourth, [Of late it has
been] brought into prominence mainly because of its supposed [?]
similarity to Christianity.

     "The origin of the cult of Mithra dates from the time that
Hindus and Persians still formed one people, for the god Mithra
occurs in the religion and sacred books of both races, i.e. in the
Vedas and in the Avesta. ... After the conquest of Babylon (538
B.C.) this Persian cult came into contact with Chaldean astrology
and with the national worship of Marduk. For a time the two
priesthood of Mithra and Marduk coexisted in the capital and
Mithraism borrowed much from this intercourse. ... This religion,
in which the Iranian element remained predominant, came, after
Alexander's conquest, in touch with the Western world. When finally
the Romans took possession of the Kingdom of Pergamum (in 133
B.C.), occupied Asia Minor, and stationed two legions of soldiers
on the Euphrates, the success of Mithraism was secured. It spread
rapidly from the Bosphorus to the Atlantic, from Illyria to
Britain. Its foremost apostles were the legionaries; hence it
spread first to the frontier stations of the Roman army.

     "Mithraism was emphatically a soldier religion; Mithra, its
hero, was especially a divinity of fidelity, manliness, and
bravery; the stress it laid on good-fellowship and brotherliness,
its exclusion of women, and the secret bond among its members have
suggested the idea that Mithraism was Masonry among the Roman
soldiery." Several of the Roman Emperors, down to Licinius,
colleague of Constantine, built temples to Mithra, and issued coins
with his symbols. "But with the triumph of Christianity [after
Constantine] Mithraism came to a sudden end. The laws of Theodosius
[proscribing it under penalty of death, to please the Christians]
signed its death warrant. Though he was still worshiped a thousand
years later by the Manichees (p. 402). ...

     "Ahura Mazda and Ahriman. -- This incarnate evil (Ahriman)
rose; with the army of darkness to attack and depose Oromasdes
(Ahura Mazda) They were however thrown back into hell, whence they
escape, wander over the face of the earth and afflict man. ... As
evil spirits ever lie in wait for hapless man, he needs a friend
and savior, who is Mithra. ... Mithra is the Mediator between God
and Man. The Mithraists... battled on Mithra's side against all
impurity, against all evil within and without. They believed in the
immortality of the soul; sinners after death were dragged down to
hell; the just passed through the seven spheres of the planets,
leaving at each planet a part of their lower humanity until, as
pure spirits, they stood before God. At the end of the world Mithra
will desectid to earth, ... and will make all drink the beverage of
immortality. He will thus have proved himself Nabarses, 'the never
conquered.' ...

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     "The fathers conducted the worship. The chief of the fathers,
a sort of pope, who always lived at Rome, was called 'Pater
Patratus' ... The members below the grade of pater called one
another 'brother,' and social distinctions were forgotten in
Mithraic unity. ... A sacred meal was celebrated of bread and haoma
juce for which in the West wine was substituted. This meal was
supposed to give the participants supernatural virtue. ...

     "Three times a day prayer was offered the sun towards east,
south, or west according to the hour. SUNDAY was kept holy in honor
of Mithra, and the sixteenth of each month was sacred to him as
Mediator. The 25 December was observed as his birthday, the Natalis
Invictis, the rebirth of the winter-sun, unconquered by the rigors
of the season." (pp. 403-104.) It may be noted that Sunday was made
a Pagan holiday by edict of Constantine, In the fifth Tablet of the
Babylonian (Chaldean) Epic of Creation, by the great God Marduk, we
read, lines 17 and 18: "On the seventh day he appointed a holy day,
And to cease from all work he commanded." (Records of the Past,
vol. ix; quoted, Clarke, Ten Great Religions, ii, p. 383.)

     To resume with CE.: "No proof of immorality or obscene
practices has ever been established against Mithraism; and as far
as can be ascertained, or rixther conjectured, it had an elevating
and invigorating effect on its followers. [So different from
Christianity!] ...

     "Relation to Christianity. -- A similarity between Mithra and
Christ struck even early observers, such as Justin, Tertullian, and
other Fathers, and in recent times has been urged to prove that
Christianity is but an adaptation of Mithraism, or at least the
outcome of the same religious ideas and aspirations. Some apparent
[they are very apparent] similarities exist; but in a number of
details -- [it is substance that is identical] -- it is quite as
probable that Mithraism was the borrower from Christianity. -- [But
these essential identities are found in the Vedas and Avesta, of
maybe two thousand years before Christianity; Zoroaster, who, gave
final form to the creed, lived some 600 years before the Christ!]
-- It is not unnatural to suppose that a religion which swept the
whole world, should have been copied at least in some details by
another religion which was quite popular daring the third century
-- [and for nine, Or twenty centuries before!] Similarity in words
and names means nothing; it is the sense that matters. [To be sure;
we proceed to see more of the sense, -- the essence -- to be
identical] ...

     "Mithra is called a mediator; and so is Christ ... And so in
similar instances. Mithraism had a Eucharist, but the idea of the
sacred banquet is as old as the human race and existed at all ages
and amongst all peoples. -- [Not much "divine revelation" in this
greatest of Christian mysteries!]. Mithra saved the world by
sacrificing a bull -- [just as the Jews saved themselves] Christ by
sacrificing himself. ... Mithraism was all comprehensive and
tolerant of every other cult; Christianity was essentially
exclusive, condemning every other religion in the world, alone and
unique in its majesty." (CE. x, 402-404.)

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     But this "unique majesty" was hidden away in the catacombs of
Rome for quite three centuries; coming out, it condemned and
persecuted to death every other religion because rivals for the
rich perquisites of priestcraft and dominion.

     The above striking analogies, or identities, between the ages-
old Mithraism and the "newer Paganism called Christianity,"
compelling as they are of the certainty of "borrowing" by
Christianity, are dwarfed by the evidences now to be presented in
the confessions of CE., that the Jews first, then the Christians,
took over bodily from the Babylonians and the Persians, not only
the entire celestial and infernal systems of those two closely
related religions, but virtually that high ethic, or moral code --
"the highest religious result to which human reason, unaided by
revelation, can attain'" -- which Christians so loudly pretend is,
by "divine revelation" of their God -- theirs alone, while all
other peoples "sat in darkness and in the shadow of death" without
its saving light. Christianity looks with disdain on the Mithraic
religion because it is a "dualism"; that is, the Evil Spirit was
separately created apart from the Good God; while it is a
fundamental tenet of the Christian Faith, that its God himself
created the Christian Devil and all evil -- and is therefore
morally responsible for all his deviltry,

     Speaking particularly of Angiology, -- though the admission
will be found to apply to all the other features to be noticed, --
CE. shows that all this is an importation into Judaism from the
Persians and Babylonians: "That the Persian domination and the
Babylonian Captivity exercised a large influence upon the Hebrew
conception -- [not, therefore, a revelation] -- of the angels is
acknowledge in the Talmud of Jerusalem (Rosh Haschanna, 56) where
it is said that [even] the names of the angels were introduced from
Babylon. ... Stress has been laid upon the similarity of the 'seven
who stand before God' and the seven Amesha-Spentas of the Zend-
Avesta. ... it is easy for the student to trace the influence of
surrounding nations and of other religions in the Biblical account
of angels" (CE. i, 481); -- which seriously cripples the notion of
divine revelation regarding these celestial messengers of God.
Again it indicates the "connection between the angels of the Bible,
and the greatt archangels' or 'Amesha-Spentas' of the Zend-Avesta";
also "we find an interesting parallel to the 'angel of the Lord' in
Nebo, 'the minister of Merodach.' ... The Babylonian sukalli
corresponded to the spirit-messengers of the Bible; they declared
their Lord's will and executed his behests." ... "The belief in
guardian angels ... was also the belief of the Babylonians and
Assyrians"; the origin of the Bible "cherubim" was the same, as
also of guardian angels, "as their monuments testify, for a figure
now in the British Museum might well serv for a modern
representation." For detailed accounts, see the articles "Angels"
and Guardian Angels." in CE. And so of Demons and Demonology, and
Demoniac possession: "In many ways one of the most remarkable
demonologies is that presented in the Avesta"; Ahriman being their
chief devil, or Daeva; "the original meaning of the word is
'shinning one,' and it comes from a primitive Aryan root 'div,'
which is likewise the source of the Greek Zeus and the Latin Deus.
But while these words, like the Sanskrit 'deva,' retain the good
meaning, 'daeva' has come to mean 'an evil spirit.' There is at 

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least a coincidence, if no deeper significance, in the fact that,
while the word in its original sense was synonymous with 'Lucifer,'
it has now come to mean much the same as devil" (CE iv, 714-15,
pasism; 764). Lucifer, in the Bible, having also been originally "a
shinning one" in Heaven, was cast out into Hell and is now the
Devil.

     With these preliminaries of identity between the invention of
angels and devils of Mathraic Paganism and Hebrew-Christian
"revelation," we will now let CE. confess further identities, both
of "revelation" and of the "divinely revealed moral codes," --
summarized from the Mithraic Zend-Avesta. We seem to be reading the
Catechism or a tract on "Christian Evidences."

     "The name of the Supreme God of the Avestic system is Ahura
Mazda, which probably signifies the All-Wise Lord. ... Ahura Mazda
is a pure Spirit; his chief attributes are eternity, wisdom, truth,
goodness, majesty, power. He is the creator of all good creatures
-- not, however, of Evil, of evil being, -- [as is the Christian
God]. He is the supreme Lawgiver, the Rewarder of moral good, and
the Punisher of moral evil. He dwells in Eternal Light, ... a kind
of manifestation of His presence, like the Old Testament Shekinah.
... We find frequent enumerations of the attributes of Ahura Mazda;
thus these are said to be 'omniscience, all-sovereignty, all
goodness.' Again He is styled 'Supreme Sovereign, Wise Creator,
Supporter, Protector, Giver of good things, Virtuous in acts,
Merciful, Pure Lawgiver, Lord of the Good Creations.' ...

     "Opposed to Ahura Mazda, or Ormuzd, is His rival, Anro
Mainyus, (later Ahriman), the Evil Spirit. He is conceived as
existing quite independently of Ahura Mazda, apparently from
eternity, but destined to destruction at the end of time. Evil by
nature and in every detail the exact opposite of Ahura Mazda, he is
the creator of all both moral and physical. -- [But of the
Christian God: "I Jehovah create evil"; Isa. xlv, 7]. ...

     "The specific name of Ahura Mazda in opposition to the Evil
Spirit is Spento Mainyus, THE HOLY SPIRIT: and Ahura Mazda and
Spento Mainyus are synonymous throughout the Avesta. [p. 154] ...

     "Around Ahura Mazda is a whole hierarchy of spirits,
corresponding very closely to our 'angels.' ... Of the good spirits
who surround Ahura, the most important are the Amesha Spentas
('Holy Immortals' or 'Holy Saints'), generally reckoned as six in
number (but seven when Ahura Mazda is included). ... Most of all
Vohu Manah rises to a position of unique importance. ... Vohu Manah
is conceived as the 'SON OF THE CREATOR,' and identified with the
Alexandrian LOGOS [of John i, 1]. Asha, also, is the Divine Law,
Right, Sanctity (cf. Psalm 118), and occupies a most conspicuous
place throughout the Avesta. ... With him are associated in a trio
[TRINITY], Rashnu (Right, Justice), and MITHRA. -- [These Aryan
names sound unfamiliar; but as CE. has assured, "names mean
nothing; it is the sense that matters"; -- and here we have the
whole Jewish-Christian hierarchies of Heaven and Hell a thousand
years before Jewish-Christian "revelation" identities!l ...

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     "Face to face with the hierarchy of celestial spirits is a
diabolical one, that of the daevas (Pers. div or dev) and druj's of
the Evil Spirit. They fill exactly the places of the devils in
Christian and Jewish theology. ... perhaps the most frequently
mentioned of all is Aesmma, the Demon of Wrath or Violence, whose
name has come down to us in the Asmodeus (Aeshmo daeva) of the Book
of Tobias [Tobit]...

     "In the midst of the secular warfare that has gone on from the
beginning between the two hosts of good and Evil stands Man. Man is
the creature of the Good Spirit, but endowed with a free will and
power of choice, able to place himself on the side of Ahura Mazda
or on that of Anro Mainyus. The former has given him, through His
Prophet Zarathushtra (Zoroaster) His Divine Revelation and law.
According as man obeys or disobeys this Divine Law his future lot
will be decided; by it he will be judged at his death. The whole
ethical system is built upon this great principle, as in the
Christian theology -- ["revelation"?]. Moral good, righteousness,
sanctity (asha) is according to the Divine will and decrees; Man by
his free will conforms to, or transgresses, these. The Evil Spirit
and his innumerable hosts tempt Man to deny or transgress the
Divine Law, as he tempted Zoroaster himself, promising him as a
reward the sovereignty of the whole world. -- [Exactly Jesus and
the Devil.] -- 'No,' replied the Prophet, 'I will not renounce it,
even if body and soul and life should be severed!' (Vendidad, xix,
25, 26). -- ["Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God, for it is
written," -- way sound more Godlike but maybe little more heroic.]
...

     "The moral teaching is closely akin to our own. Stress is
constantly laid on the necessity of goodness in thought, word, and
deed. -- ["Through the Three Steps, the good thought, the good
word, and the good deed, I enter Paradise."] -- Note the emphatic
recognition of sin in thought. Virtues and vices are enumerated and
estimated much as in Christian ethics. Special value is attributed
to the virtues of religion, truthfulness, purity, and generosity to
the poor (p. 155). Heresy, untruthfulness perjury, sexual sins,
violence, tyranny, are especially reprobated. ...

     "The soul of the just passes over the bridge into a happy
eternity, into heaven, the abode of Ahura and His blessed angels.
The wicked soul falls from the fatal bridge and is precipitated
into hell. Of this abode of misery a lively description occurs in
the later Pahlavi 'Vision of Arda Viraf,' whose visit to the
Inferno, with realistic description of the torments, vividly
recalls that of Dante. ...

     "At the end of time, the approach of which is described in the
Pahlavi literature in terms strikingly like those of our
Apocalypse, will come Saoshyant (SAVIOR) under whom will occur the
Resurrection of the dead, the General Judgment, the renewal of the
whole world -- ["a new heaven and a new earth"] -- by a general
conflagration and terrible flood of burning matter ["the heavens
being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with
fervent heat"]. This terrible flood will purify all creatures; even
the wicked will be purified from all stains, and even hell will be
cleansed and added to the 'new heavens and new earth.' Meanwhile a 

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mighty combat takes place between Soashyant [the "Savior"] and his
followers and the demon hosts of the Evil Spirit, who are utterly
routed and destroyed forever. ...

     "The highest religious result to which human reason unaided by
Revelation can attain"! (CE. ii, 154-156, passim.)

     Thus "human reason unaided by revelation" had attained, ages
before Moses, the Prophets, and Jesus Christ, a system of religious
beliefs and a moral code in substantial identity with the "divine
revelations" of God to Moses, the Prophets, and his Son Jesus
Christ. At the time of the Advent of the Latter, and for three
hundred years later, throughout the Roman Empire, that is,
throughout the then known world, this wonderful Pagan invention,
with its "Pope" and Scat in Imperial Rome, and patronized by the
Emperors, lived along side with and mightily rivalled the
struggling Faith hid in the catacombs, -- until its rival
Christians got hold of the sword under Constantine, and
"triumphed," its "death warrant was signed" in blood by the laws of
the persecuting Christians. Did any God wondrously "reveal" to the
Christians these holy Pagan dreams and myths? What a waste of while
for a God to mysteriously "reveal" these "heathen deceits"
thousands of years old, and that everybody in the world already
knew!

                    BUDDHISM IN CHRISTIANITY

     The account given by CE. of the Lord Buddha and of Buddhism,
by the simple substitution of the names Christ -- [the Savior of
Buddhism is Crishna, the 'incarnation" of the supreme god Vishnu]
-- and Christianity, might well be mistaken for a homily on our own
holy faith and its Founder -- who would no more recognize present-
day Christianity than would Buddha the crass superstition which is
today tagged with his holy name. Says CE.:

     "It is note worthy that Buddha was a contemporary of two other
famous religious philosophers, Pythagoras and Confucius. In the
sacred books of later times Buddha is depicted as a character
without a flaw, adorned with every grace of mind and heart. There
may be some hesitation in taking the highly colored portrait of
Buddhist tradition as an exact representation of the original, but
Buddha may be credited with the qualities of a great and good man.
... In all pagan antiquity no character has been depicted as so
noble and attractive. ...

     "Buddha's order was composed only of those who renounced the
world to live a life of contemplation as monks and nuns. ... [In
the time of King Asoka, 3rd century B.C.) Buddhism was in a most
flourishing condition; it had become a formidable rival of the
older religion [Brahmanism), while a tolerant and kindly spirit --
[unknown to Christianity] -- was displayed towards other forms of
religion. ... [By the seventh century A.D. -- here it parallels
Christianity again] an excessive devotion to statues and relies,
the employment of magic arts to keep off evil spirits, and the
observance of many gross superstitions, complete the picture of
Buddhism, a sorry representation of what Buddha made known to men.
... The vast majority of the adherents of Buddhism cling to forms 

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of creed and worship that Buddha, if alive, would reprobate -- [as
would Christ in the case of Christianity]. Northern Buddhism became
the very opposite of what Buddha taught to men, and in spreading to
foreign lands accommodated itself to the degrading superstition of
the people it Sought to win -- [precisely as we shall see that
Christianity did to inveigle the Pagans). ...

     "Between Buddhism and Christianity there are a number of
resemblances, at first sight striking. The Buddhist order of monks
and nuns offers points of similarity with Christian monastic
systems, particularly the mendicant orders. There are moral
aphorisms ascribed to Buddha that are not unlike some of the
sayings of Christ. Most of all, in the legendary life of Buddha ...
there are many parallelisms, some more, some less striking, to the
Gospel stories of Christ. A few third rate scholars [contend that
these are borrowings from Buddhism. Why not, as everything else is
"borrowed" or filched?]. ...

     "One of its most attractive features was its practice of
benevolence towards the sick and needy. Between Buddhists and
Brahmins there was a commendable rivalry in maintaining
dispensaries of food and medicine" -- long claimed as a holy
monopoly of "Christian charity." (CE. iii, 28-34, passim.)

     As elsewhere recounted, the Holy Ghost made a curious mistake
in inspiring the certification of sundry Saints, and the lord
Buddha was himself canonized by Holy Church, as St. Josaphat, and
the "Life" of this holy Saint was highly edifying to the Faithful
as well as effective in spreading the Christian truth: "During the
Middle Ages the 'life of Barlaam and Josaphat' had been translated
into some twenty languages, English included, so that in reality
the story of Buddha became the vehicle of Christian truth in many
nations"' (CE. i, 713.)

     It is now evident, and will further so appear, that there is
no single novel feature nor "revealed truth" in all the Christian
religion: our Holy Faith is all a hodgepodge or pot pourri of the
credulitles of every superstition from Afric Voodooism to the
latest one anywhere in holy vogue among the credulous. Even our
"idea" of God with its superlatives of "revealed" high attributes
is very primitive: "The idea of a Being higher than man, invisible,
inaccessible, master of life and death, orderer of all things,
seems to exist everywhere, among the Negritos, the Hottentots, the
Bantu, the Nigritians, the Hamites; for everywhere this Being has
a name. He is the 'Great,' the 'Ancient One,' the 'Heavenly One,'
the 'Bright one,' the 'Master,' sometimes the 'Author' or
'Creator'. ... Nowhere is He represented under any image, for He is
incapable of representation." (CE. i, 183, 184.)

     Cardinal Newman, commenting on Dean Milman's "History of the
Jews," groups a number of these Paganisms in Christianity, and says
that Milman arrays facts "admitted on all hands," to wit: "that the
doctrine of the Logos is Platonic; that of the Incarnation Indian;
that of a divine Kingdom Judaic; that of angels and demons (and a
Mediator) Persian; that, the connection of sin with the body is
Gnostic; the idea of a new birth Chinese and Eleusinian; that of
sacramental virtue Pythagorian; that of Trinity common to East and 

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West; and that of the rites of baptism and sacrifice equally
ubiquitous"! (Newman, Essays, Critical and Historical, 7th ed., p.
231; as summarized by the Rt. Hon. J.M. Robertson in A History of
Freethought in the XIXth Century, p. 145-6. London, 1929.)

     Such is our holy Christian "Faith which was once delivered
unto the saints," which "superstition, drunk in with their mother's
milk," yet persists with the ignorant and those who do not or will
not know the truth.

     That Christianity is indeed but a "new form of Paganism," and
especially after it became the official or State religion,
consciously and purposely, in furtherance of the Imperial policy of
"One State, one Religion," perfected the amalgamation of the
salient features of all the fluxing religions of the Empire so as
to bring all Pagans within the one State-Church, is accredited by
secular and Church history; and is quite ingenuously revealed by
CE., treating of the influence of Constantine on Christianity:

          "Long before this, belief in the old polytheism had been
     shaken. The world was fully ripe for monotheism or its
     modified form, henotheism; but this monotheism offered itself
     in varied guises, under the forms of Oriental religions; in
     the worship of the Sun, in the veneration of Mithras, in
     Judaism, and in Christianity. Whoever wished to make a violent
     break with the past and his surroundings sought out some,
     Oriental form of worship which did not demand from him too
     great a sacrifice. Some ... believed that they could
     appropriate [the truth contained in Judaism and Christianity]
     without being obliged on that account to renounce the beauty
     of other worships. Such a man was the Emperor Alexander
     Severus (222-235); another so minded was Aurelian (270-275),
     whose opinions were confirmed by Christians like Paul of
     Samosata. Not only Gnostics and other heretics, but Christians
     who considered themselves faithful, held in a measure to the
     worship of the Sun. Leo the Great in his day (440-461) says
     that it was the custom of many Christians to stand on the
     steps of the Church of St. Peter and pay homage to the Sun by
     obeisance and prayers.

          "When such conditions prevailed it is easy to understand
     that many of the emperors yielded to the delusion that they
     could unite all their subjects in the adoration of the one
     San-god who combined in himself the Father-God of the
     Christians and the much-worshipped Mithras; thus the empire
     could be founded anew on the unity of religion. It looks
     almost as though the last persecution of the Christians were
     directed more against all irreconcilable and extremists than
     against the great body of Christians. ...

          "It was especially in the West that the veneration of
     Mithras predominated -- [after centuries of Christianity!].
     Would it not be possible to gather all the different
     nationalities around his altars? Could not Sol Deus Invictus,
     to whom even Constantine dedicated his coins for a long time,
     or Sol Mithras Deus Invictus, venerated by Diocletian and
     Galerius, become the supreme god of the empire? Constantine 

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... had not absolutely rejected the thought even after a miraculous
event [!] had strongly influenced him in favor of the God of the
Christians, -- (who, however, worshipped the Sun!).

          "For a time it seemed as if merely tolerance and equality
     were to prevail. Constaintine showed equal favor to both
     religions. As pontifex maximus he watched over the heathen
     worship and protected its rights. ... In the dedication of
     Constantinople in 330 a ceremonial half pagan, half Christian
     was used, The chariot of the Sun-god was set in the market-
     place, and over its head was placed the Cross of Christ --
     [not the original, which his mother had not yet been reputed
     by the priests to have discovered -- i.e. "invented," -- of
     which more anon], while the Kyrie Eleison was sung. Shortly
     before his death Constantine confirmed the privileges of the
     priests of the ancient gods. ...

          "In the same way religious freedom and tolerance could
     not continue as a form of equality; the age was not ready for
     such a conception; [with more of the like, p. 299; -- which is
     untrue, as Constantine himself had proclaimed religious
     freedom in the Edict of Milan of 313 and we have just seen it
     admitted in Buddhism, and it prevailed at all tunes in the
     Roman Empire, until the "Christian Emperors" gave the Church
     the sword, as in Chapter VII exemplified]. ... Without
     realizing the full import of his actions, Constantine granted
     the Church one privilege, after another. As early as 313 the
     Church obtained immunity for its ecclesiastics, including
     freedom from taxation. ... Constantine moreover placed Sunday
     under the protection of the State [as a Pagan holiday, as
     cited. post]. It is true that the believers in Mithras also
     observed Sunday as well as Christmas. Consequently Constantine
     speaks not of the day of the lord, but of the everlasting day
     of the Sun. ...

          "Of Constantine's sons the eldest, Constantine II, showed
     decided leanings to heathenism, and his coins bear many pagan
     emblems; the second and favorite son, Constantius, was a more
     pronounced Christian, but it was Arian -- [anti-Divinity of
     Christ] -- Christianity to which he adhered. Constantius was
     an unwavering opponent of paganism; he closed all the temples
     and forbade, sacrifices under pain of death. His maxim was:
     'Cesset superstitio; sacrificiorum aboleatur insania' -- ('Let
     superstition cease; let the folly of sacrifices be
     abolished'). Their successors had recourse to persecution
     against heretics and pagans. Their laws (Cod. Theod. XVI v;
     [post, Chapter VII]) had an unfavorable influence on the
     Middle Ages and were the basis of the much-abused[!]
     Inquisition." (CE. iv, 297-301, passim.)

     Thus was the ultimate merger and total identity of Paganism
with "the new Paganism called Christianity" finally established by
law and by Imperial policy of "One State and One Religion," to
which conformity was enforced by laws of confiscation and death;
all the other religions of the Empire were fused by fire and sword
into a bastard Christianity; and the mental and moral benightedness
known as the Dark Ages of Faith fell as a pall over Christendom for
a thousand years until the renaissance of Pagan culture and freedom

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of thought darkly dawned over the world, and has fearfully
struggled into a brightening day, whose motto of Hope is again
"Cesset Superstitio"! when Constantine's funest "League with Death
and Covenant with Hell" of State and Church will soon in reality be
a forgotten Scrap of Paper!

                    ALL DEVILISH IMITATIONS!

     The pious Christian Fathers were themselves sorely puzzled and
scandalized by these same things; their books are replete with
naive attempts to explain the mystery of it, -- which they
attributed to the blasphemous wiles of the Devil, -- that "the
Devil had blasphemously imitated the Christian rites and
doctrines"; -- "always seeing in pagan analogies the trickery of
devils." (CE. 393.) "It having reached the Devil's ears," says the
devout Father Justin Martyr, "that the prophets had foretold the
coming of Christ, the Son of God, he set the heathen Poets to bring
forward a great many who should be called the sons of Jove. The
Devil laying his scheme in this, to get men to imagine that, the
true history of Christ was of the same character as the prodigious
fables related of the sons of Jove." (I Apology, ch. 54; INF. i,
181-182.)

     Not only the Fathers, but the Bible, Hebrew and Christian,
recognized and affirmed the actuality and ever-living reality of
the Pagan gods, though the late post-exilic writer of the 95th
Psalm maliciously dubs them devils: "All the gods [Heb. elohim] of
the nations are devils" (Heb. elilim -- not much difference between
them -- in Hebrew; Ps. xevi, 5); and this view the Christian forger
of the Epistle under the name of Paul to the Corinthians confirms:
"The things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to devils"
(I Cor. x, 20). Though these malevolent flings at the venerable
divinities of Pagandom are in direct violation of the Siniatic Law
of God -- "Thou shalt not revile the gods" (Ex. xxii, 28); -- the
Hebrew Yahvah being, according to divine revelation, simply one of
many gods -- "a God above all gods," even "God of gods and Lord of
lords," who "judgeth among the [other] gods."

     Father Justin, Tertullian, and many another, says the CE.,
could "see in all the gods, Moses"; the error and folly of which
notions argues our authority, is demonstrated by reference to
Middleton's letter from Rome, in which he, with Calvin, "saw an
exact conformity between popery and paganism." (CE. xii, 393.)
Whether Middleton and Calvin were so far in error and folly in this
opinion, our researches will reveal. Collins, too, in his
Discourse, supports with good authorities the opinions of Middleton
and Calvin. He cites Father Origen as "so far from disowning an
agreement between [Pagan] Plutonism and Christianity, that a great
part of his book Contra Celsum consists in showing the conformity
between them." Likewise, he says, Amelius, a heathen Platonist, who
flourished in the third century, upon reading the first verses of
St. John the Evangelist, exclaimed: "Per Jovem, barbarous iste cum
nostro Platone sentit -- By Jove, this barbarian agrees with
Plato"; and he quotes the celebrated saying of Cardinal Palavicino
-- "Senza Aristotele noi mancavamo di molti Articoli di Fede --
Without, Aristotle we should be without many Articles of Faith"
(Colins, Discourse of Free Thinking, p. 127.)

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     Not only did the Fathers and the Church admit with implicit
faith the living reality of the gods of heathendom, their powers,
oracles, miracles and other "analogies" to the Christian faith,
they even made of such anthologies their strongest apologies, or
arguments, in defense of the truth of the Christian tenets. In his
Apologia addressed to the Emperor Hadrian, Father Justin reasons
from analogy thus:

     "By declaring the Logos, the first-begotten of God, our
Master, Jesus Christ, to be born of a Virgin, without any human
mixture, we [Christians] may no more in this than what you [Pagans]
say of those whom you style the Sons of Jove. For you need not be
told what a parcel of sons the writers most in vogue among you
assign to Jove. ...

     "As to the Son of God, called Jesus, should we allow him to be
nothing more than man, yet the title of 'the Son of God' is very
justifiable, upon the account of his wisdom, considering that you
[Pagans] have your Mercury in worship under the title of The Word,
a messenger of God. ...

     "As to his [Jesus] being born of a Virgin, you have your
Perseus to balance that." (Justin, Apologia, I. ch. xxii; ANF. i,
170.)

     The good Fathers carried their argument by analogy into proof
of all sorts of holy Christian mysteries; the Pagan Oracles and
miracles were undeniably valid and true, why not therefore their
new Christian counterparts? "Without a single exception," says the
historian of European Mortals, "the Fathers maintained the reality
of the Pagan miracles as fully as their own. The oracles had been
ridiculed and rejected by numbers of the philosophers, but the
Christians unanimously admitted their reality. They appealed to a
long series of Oracles as predictions of their faith; not until
1696 was there a denial of their supernatural character, when a
Dutch Anabaptist minister, Van Dale, in a remarkable book, De
Origine Progressu Idolatriae, asserted in opposition to the
unanimous voice of ecclesiastical authority, that they were simple
impostures." (Lecky, History of European Morals, i, 374-375, et
seq.; see pp. 378-381, et seq.) The Christian Fathers and their
followers made themselves so ridiculous by their fatuous faith in
the Sibyls that they were derisively called "Sibyllists" by the
Pagans.

                      THE SIBYLLINE ORACLES

     The most curious in all respects, and for our purposes the
most instructive of the ancient Pagan religious frauds, are the
Sibtlline Oracles, which, extensively reinforced by Jewish and
Christian forgeries, were perhaps the most potent and popular
"proofs" of the early Church for the divinity of Jesus Christ and
the truth of the Christian religion; thus they derive special
notice here. All will remember, from their school histories of
ancient Rome, the well-known legend of one of the Sibyls who came
to King Tarquin the Second with nine volumes of Oracles, which she
offered to sell to him for a very high price; being refused, she
went away and burned three of the books, and returning offered the 

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remaining six at the same price; again the King refused to buy, and
she departed, burned three more of the books, and returned with the
last three for which she demanded the original price. Astonished at
this conduct and greatly impressed, the King consulted his augurs
and was advised to secure the remaining treasures of prophecy
before it was too late; he did So, and immediately the Seeress
disappeared and was never seen again. The precious tomes were
deposited with great care and jealously guarded in the Temple of
Jupiter Capitolinus; a college of priests was instituted to have
charge of them; and the divine Oracles were consulted with great
solemnity only in times of the greatest crises of the State. The
books were finally destroyed when the Capitol was burned during the
wars of Sylla, but many ethers continued in existence.

     The oracles were composed in Alexandrine verse, and claimed to
be the work of inspired Pagan prophetesses called Sibyls; they
enjoyed the greatest vogue and were believed with the most implicit
faith by Pagans and Christians alike. There were a number of these
Sibyls, and the number of the volumes of oracles is differently
estimated as a dozen or more; those with which we are chiefly
concerned are the Roman Cumaean and Greek Erythraean Sibyls and the
Oracles going under their names. The inveterate bent of the
priestly mind for forgery in furtherance of its holy mission of
imposture, led to the prompt adoption and corruption of these Pagan
frauds, for the propagation first of the Jewish, then of the
Christian Faith. "Because of the vogue enjoyed by these heathen
oracles," says the Catholic Encyclopedia, "and because of the
influence they had in, shaping the religious views of the period,
the Hellenistic Jews in Alexandria, during the second century b.c,.
composed [i.e. forged] verses in the same form, and circulated them
among the Pagans as a means of diffusing Judaistic doctrines and
teaching. This custom was continued down into Christian times, and
was borrowed by some Christians, so that in the second or third
century, a new class of Oracles emanating from Christian sources
came into being, Hence the Sibylline Oracles can be classed as
Paggan, Jewish, or Christian. In many cases, however, the
Christians merely revised or interpolated the Jewish documents, and
thus we have two classes of Christian oracles, those adopted from
Jewish sources and those entirely written by Christians. ... It
seems clear, however, that the Christian Oracles and those revised
from Jewish sources all emanated from the same circle [or band of
Christian forgers] and were intended to aid in the diffusion of
Christianity.

     "The Sibyls are quoted frequently by the early Fathers and
Christian writers, Justin, Athenagoras, Theophilus, Clement of
Alexandria, etc. ... They were known and used during the Middle
Ages in both the East and the West. ... They all purport to be the
work of the Sibyls." (CE. v. xiii, p. 770.)

     Most notable of these forged Christian addenda to the Pagan-
Jewish forged Oracles, 'Is found in Book VIII, a lengthy composite
of Jewish and Christian fraud, consisting of some 500 hexameter
verses. The first 216 verses, says the CE., "are most likely the
work of a second century Jew, while the latter part (verses 217-
500), beginning with an acrostic on the symbolical Christian word
Ichthus is undoubtedly Christian, and dates most probably from the 

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third century." (CE. xiii, 770.) Ichthus is the Greek word for
fish, and the fish was the fitting and universal symbol of the
early Christians as typical of the "catch" of the Apostolic fishers
of men. This cabalistic word Ichthus, worked into the professedly
Pagan Oracle in the form of an acrostic, is composed of the initial
letters of the popular name and title of the Son of the Christian
God, in the Greek: "Iesous Christos Theou Uios Soter -- Jesus
Christ, Son of God, Savior" This fish anagram was an ancient Pagan
symbol of fecundity, of great vogue and veneration throughout
Pagandom, and was adopted by Christendom for the double reason that
the initials acrostically formed the name and title of its new
deity, and that in the ancient science fish were supposed to be
generated in the water without carnal copulation, and were thus
peculiarly symbolic of the Virgin-born Christ. Says Tertuilian:
"We, little fishes, after the example of our Ichthus, are born in
water." (On Baptism, ch. i; ANP. iii, 669.)

     The Church historian, Bishop Eusebius, preserves the Acrostic,
taken from the Erythraean Sibyl, but says: "Many people, though
they allowed the Erythrian Sibyl to have been a prophetess, yet
reject this Acrostic, suspecting it to have been forged by the
Christians"; which suspicion the good Bishop refutes by an appeal
to Cicero, who, he assures, had read and translated it into Latin.
(Eusebius, Oration on Const., chs. 18-19; I, 274-5.) Father St.
Augustine quotes the verses and says: "The Erythraean Sibyl has
indeed written some things clearly and manifestly relating to
Christ. ... There are some, who suspected all these prophecies
which relate to Christ and passed under the name of the Sibyl, to
have been forged by the Christians." (Aug., De Civ. Dei, xviii, 23;
N,&PNF. ii, 3723.) Father Clement of Alexandria attributes to the
Sibyls the same inspiration as the Old Testament, and cites Peter
and Paul as appealing to them for a prediction of the life and
character of Jesus Christ, Peter and Paul speaking thus: "Take the
Greek books in your hand, and look into the Sibyl. How clearly she
speaks of one God, and of the things to come; then take Hystaspes
also and read, and you will find the Son of God much more clearly
and evidently described." (Strom. I, 6, p. 761, Ed. Oxon.; also
Lact., De ver. sap., I, 4, 15; Free Inquiry, p. 34.)

     The importance of the Sibylline Oracles, speaking through
countless "interpolations" forged by Christian pens, for not only
the propagation of the faith among the Pagans, but as actual proofs
of the truth of the fictitious "facts" of Christianity, cannot be
overestimated; this justifies the following extracts from the
Divine Institutes of Lactantius. The greater part, I dare say, of
the seven Books of that notable work, addressed to the "mighty
Emperor Constantine," is devoted to arguments and proofs of Jesus
Christ and the principal events of his recorded life and acts,
drawn copiously from the heathen gods and the forged Oracles of the
Sibyls. These proofs, to the minds of Father Lactantius and of all
the Fathers, as to the Pagans generally, were "more strong than
proofs of Holy Writ"; for, he says, "perhaps the sacred writings
[in the Old Testament] speak falsely when they teach [such and so
about Jesus); ... the Sibyls before taught the same things in their
verses." Citing scores of Sibylline "prophecies" forged by the
Christians for the belief and persuasion of the Pagans, who were
effectively "refuted by these testimonies" and thus "brought to 

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Christ," some of them, says Lactantius, urge that these prophetic
verses "were not by the Sibyls, but made up and composed by our own
writers," as the fact is above confessed by CE.; but not so, argues
the great Apologist; "do not Cicero and other Pagan authors, dead
long before Jesus, testify to the Sibyls?" -- Yes, to the Sibyls
and their utterances then extant; not to the later Christian
forgeries in their names. Moreover, these Christian
"interpolations" imputed to the Sibyls, exactly as the muddled,
ambiguous, meaningless "prophecies" of the Old Testament writings,
meant nothing and were not understood to mean anything, until Jesus
Christ came along, and these Jewish and Pagan mummeries were seized
upon by the avid forging Christians to make up and pad out the
pretended life and wondrous acts of the Christ. Even a cursory
examination and the marginal cross-references will demonstrate,
that virtually every act imputed in the New Testament Gospels to
the Nazarene, was cut to fit of some scrap of mummery or pretended
"prophecy" of Hebrew Scriptures and Sibylline Oracles. Of
numberless instances of the latter quoted in the, Divine
Institutes, a few typical ones only can be here cited, but they are
illuminating of the Christ-tales.

     In Book I, chapter vi is entitled, "Of Divine Testimonies, and
of the Sibyls and their Predictions." Appealing for faith to
Constantine, the chapter begins: "Now let us pass to divine
testimonies?; and he cites and quotes, in numerous chapters, the
Pagan gods Mercury, Hermes Trismegistus, Apollo, and other mystic
deities and personages, all testifying to the One Christian God and
to his Son Jesus. After infinite such appeals for proofs, we come
to Book IV, a veritable arsenal of manufactured "divine
testimonies"; and we pause to con with wonder chapter xv, "Of the
life and Miracles of Jesus, and Testimonies concerning Him." Jesus,
after his baptism, says Lactantius, "began to perform the greatest
miracles, not by magical powers, but by heavenly strength and
power. ... His powers were those which Apollo called wonderful. ...
And he performed all these things not by His hands, or the
application of any remedy, but by His word and command, as the
Sibyl had foretold: 'Doing all things by His word, and healing
every disease.'"

     Many chapters are replete with instances of the miracles of
Jesus, alleged each of them to have been foretold by one or another
of the Sibyls, and quoting the Christian-forged prophetic verses in
proof. The Christ came to fulfill the Law; "and the Sibyl shows
that it would come to pass that this law would be destroyed by the
Son of God: 'But when all these things which I told you shall be
accomplished, then all the law is fulfilled with respect to Him.'"
(c. xvii.) Of a few others, and the arguments above sketched, I
quote the text:

          "What can be more wonderful, either in narration or in
     action? But the Sibyl had before foretold that it would take
     place, whose verses are related to this effect.

          "With five loaves at the same time, and with two fishes,
           He shall satisfy five thousand men in the wilderness;
           And Afterwards taking all the fragments that remain,
           He shall fill twelve baskets to the hope of many.'

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     "But perhaps the sacred writings speak falsely when they teach
that there was such power in Him, that by His command He compelled
the winds to obey Him, the seas to serve Him, disease to depart,
the dead to be submissive. Why should I say that the Sibyls before
had taught the same things in their one verses? One of whom,
already mentioned, thus speaks:

          "But shall still the winds by His word, and calm the sea
           As it rages, treading with feet of peace and in faith.'

     "And again another which says:

          'He shall walk on the waves, He shall release men from
     disease.
           He shall raise the dead, and drive away many pains;
     And from the bread of one wallet there shall be a satisfying
     [of men].'

          "Some, refuted by these testimonies, are accustomed to
     have recourse to the assertion that these poems were not by
     the Sibyls, but made up and composed by our own writers. But
     he, will assuredly not think this who has read Cicero [De
     Natura Deorum, ii], and Varro, and other ancient writers, who
     make mention of the Erythraean and other Sibyls from whose
     books we bring forth these examples; And these authors died
     before the birth of Christ according to the flesh. But I do
     not doubt that these poems were in former times regarded as
     ravings, since no one understood them. For they announced some
     marvelous wonders, of which neither the manner, nor the time,
     nor the author was signified. Lastly the Erythraean Sibyl says
     that it would come to pass that she would be called mad and
     deceitful. But assuredly

                         'They will say that the Sibyl
     is mad, and deceitful: but when all things shall come to pass,
     Then ye will remember me; and no one will any longer
     Say that I, the prophetess of the great God, am mad.'

          "Therefore they were neglected for many ages; but they
     received attention after the nativity and passion of Christ
     had revealed secret things. Thus it was also with the
     utterances of the prophets, which were read by the people of
     the Jews for fifteen hundred [!] years and more, but yet were
     not understood until after Christ had explained them by His
     word and by His works. For the prophets spoke of Him; nor
     could the things which they said have been in any way
     understood, unless they had been altogether fulfilled."
     (Lact., Div. Inst., Bk. IV, chap. xv; ANF. vii, 115, 116.)

     In view of these "divine testimonies" of Pagan Oracles forged
by pious Christians in proof of their Christ, need one wonder that
the like testimonies in the Gospels themselves may be under
suspicion of like forgery? We shall have the proofs in their due
order. Father Justin Martyr treats these Pagan books of Christian
evidences, as prophetic Scriptures and divine, and speaking of
their prohibition by the Roman Emperors, says: "By the contrivance 

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                     FORGERY IN CHRISTIANITY

of Demons it was made a capital crime to read them, in order to
deter men from coming to a knowledge of what is good." (Apologia,
I, ch. 77; ANF. i, 178.)

     That heathens and even devils may be specially endued with the
gift of prophecy by God for his glory, and God may make use of the
Devil-in-Chief for this purpose, is expressly asserted by Pope
Benedict XIV" (Heroic Virtue, III, 144, 150). And "the Angelic
Doctor," St. Thomas Aquinas, "in order to prove that the heathens
were capable of prophecy, refers to the instance of the Sibyls, who
make clear mention of the mysteries of the Trinity, of the
Incarnation of the Word, of the Life, Passion, and Resurrection of
Christ. It is true that the Sibylline poems now extant became in
course of time interpolated; but as Benedict XIV (1740-1758)
remarks, this does not hinder much of them, especially what the
early Fathers referred to, from being genuine and in no wise
apocryphal"! (CE. xii, 474.)

     Thus the Holy Ghost of God, speaking through its official
mouthpiece, its Vive-God on earth, infallibly guarded by the Spirit
against the possibility of error, in the year 1742 of our Era of
Christ, sings the Doxology of these admitted frauds of paganish and
forging Christianity, and canonizes them as the God-inspired origin
of the holiest mysteries of Christian revelation. The inference is
inevitable, that Pagan Sibyls, Christian Church Fathers, and Vicars
of God, are strongly characterized by Ignorance and Imposture.

     A noted classical and critical authority, Anthon,
contemplating the shifts of the new Christianity rising from the
debacle of Paganism, falls into a philosophical reflection,
pertinent alike to the old and the new systems of priestcraft:

          "When a religion has fallen and been succeeded by
     another, the more zealous advocates of the new belief
     sometimes find themselves in a curious state of embarrassment.
     So it is with regard to the heathen system and the Christian
     code. Among the numerous oracles given to the world in former
     days, some have chanced to find a remarkable accomplishment;
     and the pious but ill-judging Christian, unable to ascribe
     them to deities in whom men no longer believes, is driven to
     create for them a different origin. 'God,' says Rollin, 'in
     order to punish the blindness of the heathen, sometimes
     permits evil spirits to give responses conformable to the
     truth.' (Rollin, Histoire Ancienne, I, 887.) The only evil
     spirit which had an agency in the oracular responses of
     antiquity was that spirit of craft imposture which finds so
     congenial a home among an artful and cunning priesthood."
     (Anthon, Classical Dictionary, 4th ed., p. 929; Art. Orv
     alum.)

     The historian of European Morals, in his amazing review of the
infinite variety and number of superstitions, frauds, forgeries,
false miracles and lying oracles of Pagandom, which were taken over
almost 'in masse' by the Christians, and implicitly and with
childlike credulity accepted and believed, taught and preached by
every Christian Father of the Church, by the infallible popes, and
the millions of their ignorant and superstitious ex-Pagan lay 

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                     FORGERY IN CHRISTIANITY

dupes, makes this very pertinent and just remark apropos the value
of their pious opinions, testimonies and "traditions" of the
origins of the Christian faith:

          "To suppose that men who held these opinions were
     capable, in the second and third centuries, of ascertaining
     with any degree of just confidence whether miracles had taken
     place in Judaea in the first century, is grossly absurd; nor
     would the conviction of their reality have made any great
     impression on their minds at a time when miracles were
     supposed to be so abundantly diffused." (Lecky, Hist. Europ.
     Morals, i, 375.)

     The confession that the vast mass of Christian miracles were
Pagan frauds and lies taken 'en bloc' over into Christianity to
make a good showing as against the Pagans and to dupe the
superstitious new converts, is made by CE., with the notable
further admission that the only alteration made was that the Pagan
gods were made over into Christian saints: "This transference was
promoted by the numerous cases in which Christian saints became the
successors of local deities, and Christian worship supplanted the
ancient local worship. This explains the great number of
similarities between gods and saints. For the often maintained
metamorphosis of gods into saints no proof is to be found." This
immense confession of Christian fraudulence and imposture, in
conjuring fictitious Pagan gods -- which according to Christian
faith were all actual devils -- into canonized Saints of God and
Holy Church, is several times reported by CE., of which this
instance is before me: "It has indeed been said that the 'Saints
are the successors to the Gods.' Instances have been cited ... of
statues of pagan Gods baptized and transformed into Christian
Saints"! (CE. xv. 710; cf. Is It God's Word? 5, 7-9.) This truly
wonderful psycho-religious miracle is thereupon wrought: The
idolatrous Pagan who just before the "baptism" actually worshipped
these "statues of the Pagan gods," immediately afterwards simply
venerated or adored the same gods "baptized and transformed into
Christian saints" -- fully comprehending the non-understandable
hair-splitting theological distinction between pious "dulia" and
idolatrous "latria," as defined by Holy Church and droned by CE. in
its article on Idolatry. And vast hoards of utterly illiterate and
stupid Faithful go into the True Churches every day, kneel before
and pray to these same Pagan gods conjured into Christian saints --
with countless other counterfeit near-divinities of their near-
Idolatry -- and appreciate the difference to a split-second of
devotion and true faith. Tis passing strange.

     A very remarkable confession of purposeful fraud, with the
mechanics of the fraud, and the vast extent of it in faking Pagan
miracle-lies into Christian truth of the most driveling nonsense,
reads:

          "Manifold as the varieties of [miracle] legends now seem
     to be, there are fundamentally not so very many different
     notions utilized. The legend considers the saint as a kind of
     lord of the elements, who commands the water, rain, fire,
     mountain, and rock; he changes, enlarges, or diminishes
     objects; flies through the air; delivers from dungeons --
     (examples, Peter, Paul) -- and gallows; takes part in battles,
     
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                     FORGERY IN CHRISTIANITY

     and even in martyrdom is invulnerable; animals, the wildest
     and the most timid, serve him (e.g., the stories of the bear
     as a beast of burden; the ring in the fish; the frogs becoming
     silent, etc.); his birth is glorified by a miracle; a voice,
     or letters, from Heaven proclaim his identity -- [all these
     score for Jesus the Christ]; bells ring of themselves; the
     heavenly ones enter into personal intercourse with him
     (betrothal of Mary); he speaks with the dead and beholds
     heaven, hell, and purgatory; forces the devil to release
     people from compacts; he is victorious over dragons; etc. Of
     all this the authentic [?] Christian narratives know nothing
     -- [a confession that every saint-tale of Bible and Church is
     a lie].

     "But whence does this world of fantastic concepts arise? A
glance at the pre-christian religious narratives will dispel every
doubt. All these stories are anticipated by the Greek chroniclers,
writers of myths, collectors of strange tales, neo-Plutonism, and
neo-Pythagorism. One need only refer to the 'Ellados Periegesis' of
Pausanius, or glance through the codices collected by Photius in
his 'Bibliotheca,' to recognize what great importance was attached
to the reports of miracles in antiquity by both the educated and
uneducated." ...

     Reversing only the order of the sentences, and CE. reversing
the truth of the answer it gives to its own question, the
confession of shame continues:

          "But how was the transference of [these miracle] legends
     to Christianity consummated? ... Hellenism had already
     recognized this [fraudulent] characteristic of the religious
     fable, and would thus have been obliged to free itself from it
     in the coarse of time, had not the competition with
     Christianity forced the champions of the ancient polytheism to
     seek again in the ancient fables incidents to set against the
     miraculous power of Christ. [!] In this way popular illusions
     found their way from Hellenism to Christianity." (CE. ix,
     129-30.)

     And in 1900 years no priest, bishop, pope, depositaries and
guardians of divine truth, has ever said a word to prevent or put
end to this shameful prostitution of mind of their poor grovelling
dupes, but to this day perpetuate them in it. Far from ending the
shameful thing, many bishops and popes have won the title Mendax
Maximus by peddling these Pagan lies as God's truth; as witness
this one instance from the article we are quoting: "St. Augustine
(De Cura, xii) and also [Pope] St. Gregory the Great (Dialogues,
IV, xxxvi) -- [the greatest book of Lies outside the Bible] --
relate of a man, who died by an error of the Angel of Death and was
again restored to life, the same story which is already given by
Lucian in his 'Philopseudes.'" (Ib. p. 130.) Such, verily for
shame, is "that new Paganism later called Christianity."

     Mythology has well been called the Theology of dead religions.
The world is a vast cemetery of deceased gods and teeming scrap-
heap of decayed and discarded priest-imposed religious beliefs --
superstitions. All the dead gods and religions of Paganism, all the

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                     FORGERY IN CHRISTIANITY

yet surviving but fast moribund deities and faiths of the XXth
Century world, all -- (except -- the Jews and Christians say, their
own), -- all were admittedly the fraudulent handiwork of priests
and professional god-and-myth makers. In a word, short and ugly,
but true -- every priest of every god and religion (saving, for the
nonce, the Jewish-Christian ones) -- was a conscious and
unconscionable falsifier and impostor, -- a common liar for his
god. All plied their artful, unholy priestcraft in the name of
gods; for power and pelf, those grafting Pagan priests. No
Christian will, or truthfully can, deny their portentous fact, The
verdict of lying guilt of Pagan Priestcraft is unanimous.

     No one can now doubt that Lecky, after voluminous review of
pre-Christian frauds and impostures, spoke the precise historical
truth: "Christianity floated into the Roman Empire on the wave of
credulity that brought with it this long train of Oriental
superstitions and legends." (Hist. of European Morals, i, 373-4.)

     The mainstream of Oriental superstition and priestly imposture
will now be seen to swell with the turgid flood of Hebrew fables
and forgery, before pouring the mingled flood of myth and fraud
into the pure tide of Christian Truth; -- where, Presto! change! it
is beheld transformed -- "baptized" -- into the "revealed
mysteries" and "Catholic Truth" of God!

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                     FORGERY IN CHRISTIANITY

           Abbreviations for most often used sources:

     The libraries of the Union Theological Seminary and of
Columbia University, in New York City, were the places of the finds
here recorded. Cited so often, space will be saved for more
valuable uses by citing by their initials, -- which will become
very familiar -- my chief ecclesiastical authorities, towit:

     The Ante-Nicene Fathers, cited as ANF.; A Collection of the
extant Writings of all the Founders of Christianity down to the
Council of Nicaea, or Nice, in 325 A.D. American Reprint, eight
volumes. The Christian Literature Publishing Co., Buffalo, N.Y.,
1885. [xxx]

     The Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, cited as N&PNF.; First and
Second Series; many volumes; same publishers.

     The Catholic Encyclopedia, cited as CE.; fifteen volumes and
index, published under the Imprimatur of Archbishop Farley; New
York, Robert Appleton Co., 1907-9.

     The Encyclopedia Biblica, cited as EB., four volumes; Adam & 
Charles Black, London, 1899; American Reprint, The Macmillan Co.,
New York, 1914.

                          ****     ****

    Reproducible Electronic Publishing can defeat censorship.

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