Friday, July 24, 2009
The Occult History Of America
George Washington in Masonic apron
I wasn't initially going to post on this until I read THIS ARTICLE in The Guardian, UK.
Apparantly, the Christian Right is attempting to change the way history is taught in Texas schools. This is a great concern, since nearly all school textbooks originate from a Texas clearing house. From the article:
"The Christian right is making a fresh push to force religion onto the school curriculum in Texas with the state's education board about to consider recommendations that children be taught that there would be no United States if it had not been for God".
"One of the panel, David Barton, founder of a Christian heritage group called WallBuilders, argues that the curriculum should reflect the fact that the US Constitution was written with God in mind including that "there is a fixed moral law derived from God and nature", that "there is a creator" and "government exists primarily to protect God-given rights to every individual".
"Another of the experts is Reverend Peter Marshall, who heads his own Christian ministry and preaches that Hurricane Katrina and defeat in the Vietnam war were God's punishment for sexual promiscuity and tolerance of homosexuals. Marshall recommended that children be taught about the "motivational role" of the Bible and Christianity in establishing the original colonies that later became the US".
So with this in mind, I found this great article reprinted on a forum, with links to the original.
Mitch Horowitz has written a book titled "Occult Empire: The hidden history of America". I am going to post a few snips of the article to help rebut the idea that America has always been a "Christian Nation". Christians consistantly mis-quote the founding fathers, such as Washington, Jefferson or Franklin to support their position, while these men and many of the other founders were athiests, deists, and Masons. Here is a very brief reading from this lengthy article:
"Even in its colonial history, America was entwined with esoteric spirituality. North America's first intentional mystical community reached its shores in the summer of 1694. That year, the determined spiritual philosopher Johannes Kelpius led about forty pilgrims out of Central Germany - a region decimated by the Thirty Years' War - and to the banks of the Wissahickon Creek, just beyond Philadelphia. The city then hosted only about 500 houses, but it represented a Mecca of freedom for the Kelpius circle, who longed for a new homeland where they could practice their brands of astrology, alchemy, numerology, and mystical Christianity without fear of harassment from church or government".
"The robust growth of occult and mystical movements in nineteenth-century America was aided by the influence of three mighty social and spiritual movements: Freemasonry, Transcendentalism, and Spiritualism. Each helped transform the young nation into a laboratory for religious experiment and a springboard for the revolutions in nontraditional and therapeutic spirituality that eventually swept the globe. Consider:
Freemasonry is, perhaps, a direct remnant of the most radical thought movement to emerge from the Reformation, and it instilled a strong anti-authoritarian streak in America's early religious culture. Masonry's penchant for occult and pagan symbolism suggests how some of the nation's Founders - many of whom were Masons - understood religious truth as emanating from a common source that could be found in different cultures throughout history, including those of a mystical and pre-Christian past. American Masonry emphasized religious tolerance, which its highly placed members, including George Washington (pictured in Masonic garb at left) and Benjamin Franklin, modeled and interwove throughout American life. Early in his presidency, Washington took matters a step further. In a letter to the congregation of a Rhode Island synagogue, the first president wrote: "It is now no more that toleration is spoken of, as if it was by the indulgence of one class of people that another enjoyed the exercise of their inherent national gifts." In other words, minority religions were no longer guests of the new republic, but full members. Whatever Freemasonry's airs of secrecy and images of skulls, pyramids, and all-seeing eyes, it is in this principle where one finds the order's truly most radical, even dangerous, idea: the encouragement of different faiths within a single nation.
In New England in the mid-nineteenth century, the writings of Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, and their contemporaries extolled the individual's capacity for spiritual self-discovery beyond the boundaries of established religion. Their thought movement called itself Transcendentalism and introduced mystical concepts from Eastern and Western esoteric traditions into the bloodstream of American life. As defined by these "Yankee mystics," Transcendentalism believed the seat of worship - the place of communion with the Divine - existed within. As the Transcendentalists saw it, the individual mirrors a larger cosmos, which bestows a natural order, or ebb and flow of life, and a sense of objective truth. This truth can be verified by lived experience, as it has by seekers throughout history".
"Quimby treated a patient named Mary Baker Eddy, who went on to establish one of the nation's most significant new religions, Christian Science.
But it was not within any single religion that Quimby's ideas took flight. Indeed, the taciturn Mrs. Eddy (as followers called her) soon denounced her old mentor as little more than a carnival Mesmerist. Nonetheless, his "mental healing" philosophy seemed to ride the winds all across America, winning far-flung adherents and evangelizers who in turn brought their own novel twists to it. It was these inheritors who morphed into the loosely bound psycho-spiritual school known by the late nineteenth century as New Thought. In later decades, this belief system attained mass popularity in the form of Norman Vincent Peale's "power of positive thinking." As such, it reached into nearly every church, living room, and bookstore in America.
Ironically, few Americans today have heard the term or of the movement called New Thought. Its ideas have been so widely adopted that the movement itself - which persists in metaphysical churches throughout America, sometimes under the names of Unity or Religious Science - has become almost unseen. Americans like ideas, but not necessarily movements, which they discard like outer wrapping once an idea has been embraced. Moreover, secularized elements of the New Thought philosophy had already appeared by the last decade of the nineteenth century and successfully vied for influence with the more religiously inspired variants. By the mid-twentieth century, non-religious figures like Dale Carnegie (How to Win Friends and Influence People) and Napoleon Hill (Think and Grow Rich) rode the wings of New Thought to worldwide fame. Today, every life coach, motivational speaker, and self-help program uses the concept of an attitudinal approach to success, of mind over circumstance, and so on. It is easy to forget that this now-familiar concept was very much a mystical philosophy at its birth".
I'm sure people accuse me of being too hard on Christians, but I suggest I am not. I have no problem with any beneficent, non-dogmatic community organization. There is however, a radical movement out there that wants to create a Christian Theocracy, something that is in direct conflict with the values of the American spirit.
As the last paragraph above describes, many of the concepts of the "New Thought" pioneers have become very mainstream in our lives, even to the relm of Gnostic, or "Mystical Christianity".