Origins of Christianity

“And the four and twenty elders, who sit before God on their thrones, fell upon their faces and worshiped God…” —Revelations 11:16

Strange Greece and Italy would absorb a religion created in Judea, but the fertile crescent is where much of the action took place at the dawn of civilization, and it’s where written language appeared 3,000 years before Christianity. The West has always maintained their fascination with Eastern spirituality.

The Scythians are the most overlooked culture in this story. They traveled in hemp-covered wagons pulled by oxen and were ardent explorers, traders, and warriors, and they built the silk road.

King Darius went to war against them because they were the only people other than the Greeks he’d failed to subjugate. Even more amazing, the Scythians were the first knight culture and covered their bodies with psychedelic tattoos of griffins and dragons.

They are likely overlooked because of the affection and use of cannabis. They threw the flowers on hot coals in tipis in order to inhale the smoke, a ritual described by Herodotus, who witnessed it first-hand.

The arrival of the written word could be compared with the invention of the Internet. Suddenly, ideas could be sent to all corners of the world. The Phoenicians brought written language to the Greeks after it had already been established in the fertile crescent, and some say Homer was a Phoenician.

Despite being over 10,000 lines of poetry, the Iliad was an oral tradition for centuries, recited at festivals and games. Any child with a prodigious memory would have likely been recruited by the nearest temple. Even in the fertile crescent, the altar boys were the ones who recited the sacred words with accuracy. The Iliad is the bible of Greece, and established a pantheon of gods and goddesses who ruled the universe from a nearby mountain top. The Greeks triumphed over Persia largely because of their democracy. Free men were more committed than slaves when it came to combat, especially as they had families to protect and were defending their homeland.

Several hundred years later, Rome built its culture on top of Greek tradition, and Virgil wrote the Aeneid establishing Rome’s divine right to rule. Epic poems were designed to enchant and entertain with allegory and parable, but also to keep the population in place by anointing the oligarchy with divine connections. I’m sure there were many aspiring poets in all cultures who never made it into the history books, while others who pleased the rulers got recited at games and festivals.

In ancient times, slavery was a fact of life, and cultures with the most slaves built the biggest temples. It was not unknown for poor people to sell their children into slavery.

Just about everything in the Jesus myth has origins in some previous culture. His birth and death are based largely on Zoroastrian sun worship, which is why the Magi attend his birth, and parts of his early years were lifted from the bio of Mani, a real living avatar who tried to foment world peace, but ended up crucified around 270 AD.

Mani’s murder only made his hybrid synthesis of Zoroastrianism, Buddhism, Christianity and Judaism more popular than ever, something that greatly alarmed Emperor Constantine. This is likely why Mani was erased from history, and cannabis was erased along with him.

The word “Christ” originally meant “anointed” and was a reference to anyone treated with the sacred oil of Moses. But hundreds of years after the fact, the words Jesus and Christ were fused together, and could have had their origins in Zeus Krishna.

Egyptian creation myths

tumblr_mir1vuh1yS1qb4tuwo1_500
Shu and Tefnut beget Mother Earth and Father Sky. If you look at the paintings, you can tell Nu by her blue skin, and Mother Earth by her green hair.

In Sumeria and Babylon the priests were in charge of water engineering, and had to construct elaborate aqueducts to keep crops irrigated, and these works required constant supervision.
Religion was created to anoint the local King with a divine right to rule, while giving his High Priest a ceremonial tradition stretching back to creation. By building the big temple, they were able to sweep aside the privately-controlled shaman traditions from each tribe. But they also must have co-opted those traditions as much as possible. Costumes and rituals provided the sense of enchantment required to keep the populace happy and productive.
Egyptian creation myths seem influenced by the Sumerian one, as the same basic pantheon of Gods is put into play. However, the biggest difference in Egypt from Sumeria and Babylon is that no aqueducts are necessary because the Nile delivers the needed water when it floods every season, and leaves a nutrient-rich soil behind when it recedes.
In the beginning there was only Nu, dark, watery abyss of chaos.
Out of Nu rose Benben. (A great earthen pyramid believed to have happened near Thebes.)
Above Benben, Ra, (Sun God) was born.
Then Atum was born, King of all Gods, who self-created the God of Wind and Goddess of Fertility.

“I had union with my hand, and I embraced my shadow in a love embrace; I poured seed into my own mouth and I sent forth from myself issue in the form of the Gods Shu and Tefnut”

Code of Hammurabi

Written in BC 1754, Hammurabi’s Code began with a brief creation myth, and then proceeded to list 282 laws for ancient Babylon, covering all sorts of minutiae, with many violations punishable by death.

When Father Sky, sublime king of Angels, and also God of Wind, lord of heaven and earth, decreed the fate of the land, they assigned Lord Marduk, the over-ruling son of the God of Water, God of righteousness, dominion over earthly man, and made him great among the Angels.

Marduk called Babylon by its illustrious name, made it great on earth, and founded an everlasting kingdom, whose foundations are laid as solidly as those of heaven and earth.

Then Father Sky and God of Water called me by name, Hammurabi, the exalted prince, who fears God, to bring about the rule of righteousness in the land, to destroy the wicked and the evil-doers, so that the strong should not harm the weak, so that I should rule over human beings like the Lord Sun, and enlighten the land, to further the well-being of mankind.

CODE OF LAWS
1. If anyone traps another by placing an evil curse on him, and the accuser cannot prove it, the accuser will be put to death.
2. If any one accuse another, and it cannot be proved, the accused will go to the sacred river, jump in and if he drowns in the river, his accuser shall take possession of his house. But if he escape the river unhurt, then he who had brought the accusation shall be put to death, while he who leaped into the river shall take possession of the house that had belonged to his accuser.
3. If one bears false witness in a trial, and it is proven, the accuser shall be put to death.
4. If anyone satisfy the elders to impose a fine of grain or money, he shall receive the fine.
5. If a judge try a case, reach a decision, and present his judgment in writing; if later error shall appear in his decision, and it be through his own fault, then he shall pay twelve times the fine set by him in the case, and he shall be publicly removed from the judge’s bench, and never again shall he sit is judgment.
6. If anyone steal the property of a temple or of the court, he shall be put to death, and also the one who received the stolen thing from him shall be put to death.
7. If any one buy from a son or the slave of another man, without witnesses or a contract, silver or gold, a male or female slave, an ox or a sheep, an ass or anything, or if he take it in charge, he is considered a thief and shall be put to death.
8. If any one steal cattle or sheep, or an ass, or a pig or a goat, if it belong to a god or to the court, the thief shall pay thirty-fold. If they belonged to a freed man of the king he shall pay tenfold. If the thief has nothing with which to pay he shall be put to death.
9. If any one lose an article, and it is found in the possession of another: if the person in whose possession the thing is found say “A merchant sold it to me, I paid for it before witnesses,” and if the owner of the thing say, “I will bring witnesses who know my property,” then shall the purchaser bring the merchant who sold it to him, and the witnesses before whom he bought it, and the owner shall bring witnesses who can identify his property. The judge shall examine their testimony, both of the witnesses before whom the price was paid, and of the witnesses who identify the lost article on oath. If the merchant is then proved a thief, he shall be put to death. The owner of the lost article receives his property, and he who bought it receives the money he paid from the estate of the merchant.
10. If the purchaser does not bring the merchant and the witnesses before whom he bought the article, but its owner bring witnesses who identify it, then the buyer is the thief and shall be put to death, and the owner receives the lost article.

The Story of Creation

Six thousand years ago, when horses were first being domesticated in the Ukraine, the first written language appeared in Sumeria, 550 miles from where Jerusalem would be founded one thousand years later. The Sumerians had a Bible that anointed their rulers with a divine right to rule, one with a creation myth that contained a flood story mirroring the story of Jonah that would appear much later in the Old Testament.
“For the sake of Mother Goddess, I will stop the annihilation of my creatures, and return the people from their dwelling grounds. Let them build many cities so that I can refresh myself in their shade. Let them lay the bricks of many cities in pure places, let them establish places of divination in pure places, and when the divine rites and exalted powers are perfected, and the earth is irrigated, I will establish well-being there.”

After Father Sky, Wind, Water and Goddess of Fertility fashioned the humans, they made animals multiply everywhere, and made herds of four-legged animals exist on the plains, as was befitting. The builder of the universe started with a solid foundation. The right of Kings to rule descended from heaven, and after the exalted crown and throne of kingship descended from heaven, the divine rites, and exalted powers were perfected, and bricks of the cities laid in holy places, and their names announced and proper notifications distributed.

The first city was Eridug, given to Nudimmud the leader. The second, Bad-tibira, was given to the Mistress.The third, Larag, was given to Pabilsaĝ. The fourth, Zimbir, was given to the hero Utu. The fifth, Šuruppag, was given to Sud.
Something that was not a dream appeared, and it told Zi-ud-sura to build a huge boat and fill it with all the seeds of the earth and the animals.

And the Gods of Sky, Wind and Water said, “Heed our words, pay attention to our instructions. A flood will sweep over the world. A decision has been made that the seed of mankind must be destroyed. The verdict, the word of the divine assembly, cannot be revoked. The order announced by Father Sky and Mother Goddess cannot be overturned.”

All the windstorms and gales arose together, and the flood swept over the world. After the water swept over the land, and waves and windstorms rocked the huge boat for seven days and seven nights, the Sun God came out, illuminating heaven and earth. Zi-ud-sura drilled an opening in roof of the huge boat and the Sun God entered the huge boat with his rays. Zi-ud-sura the King prostrated himself before the Sun God. The King sacrificed oxen and offered innumerable sheep. More and more animals disembarked. Zi-ud-sura the King prostrated himself before Father Sky and Mother Goddess and they treated him kindly and granted him eternal life. At that time, because of preserving the animals and the seeds of mankind, they settled Zi-ud-sura the King in an overseas country, to the east, in the land Dilmun.

Judgment in Jerusalem

Remember when they laughed about Wikipedia? I can assure you the sections on Christianity are well-researched and edited, and abound with links to primary sources, making the trails so much easier to navigate.

You might as well call the Internet the Jesus Channel because it’s so packed with documentation and debate concerning every possible nook and cranny. Except one. That one dark hole in the center of the Jesus story.

Meet James the Just, first Bishop of Jerusalem, (above) which makes him the first Pope in Christendom. Wonder why almost nobody heard of him or celebrates his name? There’s a reason for that, and it’s because he led the movement that was sweeping through the Jewish ghetto in Jerusalem. James didn’t eat meat, drink alcohol, cut his hair, respect Roman authority.

But he did respect Jewish authority, for James and his congregation all had to be circumcised in order to get baptized, as they considered themselves a Hebrew sect and not a completely separate religion.

Any sick among the new inductees would have been treated with their holy anointing oil, whose primary ingredient was cannabis, which was having a miraculous success rate. James was a conservative who respected the ancient ways of Moses and the prophets, and rejected the materialism of Rome. He was leading a non-violent movement, family friendly, and not a bunch of gangsters plotting a government coup. I don’t believe James and his crew were getting high on cannabis, at least not on a daily basis, but I could be wrong.

Paul was a relative of King Herod, a Roman citizen, and he led a goon squad on a mission to wipe Christianity off the face of the earth. Despite the oppression, or maybe because of it, the First Christian Church of Jerusalem took off like a rocket.

Paul conspired with Peter to seize control of the church from within, and they do this through the Council in Jerusalem in the year 50. In the New Testament version of this epic meeting, Peter submits a proposal saying gentiles do not need to be circumcised to be baptized and James accepts idea and makes it dogma, thereby dividing Christianity and Judaism into two separate religions.

I would submit to you it is far more likely that the vegetarian James, who likely had hair past his waist as a razor had never touched his head, rejected this proposal and kept his church firmly within the realms of Judaism. Meanwhile, Peter had to be put in protective custody because everyone was so outraged by this proposal. Fortunately, Peter is rescued by an angel and whisked off to Rome, and anytime a magic story like that appears, I suspect some real story is being covered-up.

Paul had a vision of meeting Jesus on the road to Damascus, was blinded and then healed by a Christian and converted.  But soon he had to flee to Rome, because nobody in Jerusalem believed this conversion.

Paul eventually met up with the incredibly talented Luke, who will write a third of the New Testament in highly literate Greek, while blending Egyptian and Greek art styles into the first Christian art movement. The bulk of the rest of the New Testament are letters written by Paul discussing various aspects of church dogma.

Soon after his Judgment in Jerusalem, James was lured to a parapet under guise of speaking to the multitudes and then pushed off, stoned and battered with a bat used to beat-out dirty laundry, sparking some of the worst riots the city has ever seen.  When the population cannot be brought back under control, the Romans were forced to destroy the Temple and banish all Jews from Judea.

Think about it. Jesus crucified, no big deal, and no riots. James murdered, tear down the Temple and make the Jews homeless. The only way this makes sense is if Jesus never lived and was given human form 50 years after the fact.

Discovery in Nag Hammadi

Apocalypse_of_PeterTwo years before a Bedouin shepherd discovered the Dead Sea scrolls hidden in a cave not far Jerusalem, a farmer in Southern Egypt made a similar discovery when he turned up some old sealed jars in his field containing some leather-bound papyrus manuscripts, one of which ended up being used by his mother as fire-starter before they realized how ancient and valuable they were. Unlike the Dead Sea Scrolls, which were written in Aramaic and Hebrew, these were written in Coptic.
The documents date from the 2rd to the 4th centuries and are assumed to have been copied from Greek originals. Over the years many more Gnostic texts written in Coptic have been uncovered in Egypt. These texts are available free online and tell a different story from the one told by the New Testament.

The Dead Sea Scrolls

qumran_cave4_fjenkins_040808_157tOne of the most important discoveries in archaeology was made in a cave located near the Dead Sea in 1947, when a young Bedouin shepherd discovered a stash of seven documents written on animal skin in jars sealed for two thousand years. The boy sold the documents to two antiques dealers in Bethlehem for a fraction of their value and four quickly ended up at the Syrian Orthodox Monastery of St. Mark in Jerusalem, although they soon would be relocated to a Syrian Church in New Jersey for safe-keeping.
Over the next decade 11 stashes were uncovered representing 800 manuscripts, although most were in fragments. They included copies of the Old Testament 1,000 years older than any previously known copies, and much original material never before published.  One scroll was etched in copper and it was the treasure map detailing where other material was buried.
But perhaps the most important documents were the ones relating to the time of Jesus, and they were over 100 years older than any Christian documents previously known to history, so this represented the first opportunity for a glimpse past the censorship that had taken place during the early centuries of Christianity. In 1954, an advertisement in the Wall Street Journal offered four scrolls for sale, and these were secretly purchased by Israel.
When the second Temple in Jerusalem was razed and Jews banished from Judea, many scrolls from the Temple were apparently saved by the Christians of Jerusalem, who were being led at the time by Bishop James, the alleged brother of Jesus. It was the assassination of James that led to the riots that culminated in the destruction of the Temple and banishment of the Jews from Judea.
Less than a dozen scholars were assembled, and given exclusive access to the scrolls. This was a complex jig-saw puzzle involving 15,000 fragments laid out on tables. The opportunity for distortions to creep in were obvious when dealing with such fragmented pieces. In 1991, 44 years after their discovery, very little from the scrolls had reached the public, despite a few of them being found relatively intact, most notably the Temple Scroll from Cave 11, found in 1956, which was 28 feet long, and included Moses’ instruction on building and operating the Temple.
Today, however, many of the scrolls are online and free to read, and they tell a much different story from the New Testament.

Praising Sula Benet

Photo of peasant girl from one of Benet’s books.

Someday Sula Benet is going to be widely celebrated inside the cannabis community. Born in Poland in 1903, she became fascinated by early peasant life while still a young girl, and ended up attending Warsaw University, and then was off to Columbia University in New York City for a PhD in Anthropology obtained during WWII.

But before she left for New York, in 1936, Benet announced “Kaneh-bosm,” (fragrant cane), a frequent reference from the Old Testament universally translated as “calamus,” was actually a reference to cannabis. This was 11 years before the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls, 21 years before R. Gordon Wasson wrote a cover story for Life magazine on magic mushrooms, and 34 years before John Allegro published Sacred Mushrooms and the Cross.

Benet’s work should have led to many breakthroughs in the history of religion, as cannabis played a crucial role virtually unpublicized to this day, but instead the academic community was suddenly diverted into the study of mushrooms. There’s no doubt considerable mushroom iconography appeared during the reign of the Knights Templars, the central bankers of their day. But why was this mushroom angle getting stretched to hide the much bigger cannabis factor?

For over two thousand years, the powers-that-be have had a profoundly anti-cannabis agenda. Possession of cannabis flowers or concentrates used to be considered proof of witchcraft. And when this honest researcher from Poland came along and tried to point out the obvious, she was treated with universal academic disdain and I only found out about her through the efforts of Chris Bennett, who for the past two decades has been the lone voice of reason on this subject, and has written several books documenting the impact of cannabis on civilization and its key role in the evolution of religion. Nice they have the same last name.

The Ten Commandments

Screen Shot 2015-02-10 at 11.58.53 AMExodus 20

I am the Lord your God. I am the one who freed you from the land of Egypt, where you were slaves.

Do not worship any other gods but me.
Do not make any idols. Don’t make statues or pictures of anything from the sky, the earth, or the water.  Don’t worship idols of any kind, because I, the Lord, am your God and I hate my people worshiping other gods. People who sin against me become my enemies, and I will punish them, and I will punish their children, their grandchildren, and even their great-grandchildren. But I will be very kind to people who love me and obey my commands. I will be kind to their families for thousands of generations.

Don’t invoke my name when making empty promises. If you do, I will punish you.
Take Saturday off. You can work Sunday to Friday, but the seventh day is a day of rest so don’t go to work—not you, your sons and daughters, or your men and women slaves. Even your animals and the foreigners living in your cities must not work!  That is because the Lord worked six days and made the sky, the earth, the sea, and everything. And on the seventh day, he rested. And what’s good for the Lord is good for you.
 You must honor and respect your father and your mother. Do this so that you will have a happy family life.
Don’t kill anyone.
Don’t mess around with anyone’s wife or husband.

Don’t steal.
Don’t tell lies.
Don’t lust after your neighbor’s house or his wife or his men and women servants, or his cattle or his donkeys. You must not lust after anything that does not belong to you.”

Lost Gospel of Judas

Scene 1: The Eucharist

The disciples were in Judea doing breakfast dabs when Jesus approached and laughed.

“We said a prayer first, like you advised, so why laugh?”

“Did I say anything was wrong? Nothing is ever wrong. Everything happens for a reason.”

“Aren’t you Son of the One?” said Judas.

“Did I ever say that?” said Jesus. “None in my lifetime will ever truly know me.”

When the disciples heard these words, they cursed Jesus and grew angry, so he challenged them to a stare-down if any thought they could go eye-ball to eye-ball and tell Jesus to his face that they truly knew him and where he came from.

Judas said, “No problem,” but when Judas got in the face of Jesus, he looked away and said, “You come from Sophia, the first thought of the One, whose name is also “love.”

Jesus seemed impressed with this answer, and took Judas aside for a private conversation.

“Sometimes the truth can be painful,” he said. “And it needs to be unveiled gradually.”

Judas was so flattered by this private attention he whispered, “Does this mean I’m in the Anointed Ones?” But Jesus had disappeared, and did not re-appear for three days.

The next time Judas saw Jesus, he confronted him with many questions.

“How long will death prevail?”

“As long as women bear children.”

“Is it wrong to bear children then?”

“Eat every plant, avoid the bitter ones.”

“When will I get inducted into the Anointed Ones?”

“After you have trampled on the garment of shame, and the inner becomes the outer, and the male is not male, and the female is not female, then and only then you’ll be inducted into the Anointed Ones.”

A nursing mother walked by.

“That baby is truly enlightened at this moment.”

“Does that mean I should become more childlike to get into the Anointed Ones?” asked Judas.

But Jesus had already disappeared, and did not reappear for another three days.