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Sunday, December 16, 2012

Secret sects of Syria and the Lebanon part II




{In the public domain} Part I here: God and His Messiah Jesus Christ our Lord - our right and duty to witness to Him: Secret sects of Syria and the Lebanon part I


Part II

SECRET SECTS OF SYRIA 
AND THE LEBANON 



SECRET SECTS OF SYRIA 
AND THE LEBANON A 

CONSIDERATION OF THEIR ORIGIN, 
CREEDS AND RELIGIOUS CEREMONIES, 
AND THEIR CONNECTION WITH AND IN- 
FLUENCE UPON MODERN FREEMASONRY 
By BERNARD H. SPRINGETT, P.M., P.Z. 
(continued from part I)


and with my full consent and preference, do now absolve 
myself from all sects and religions which contradict the 
religion of our Lord El Hakem of infinite power ; and do 
acknowledge that there is no adored GOD in heaven, or 
existing Lord on earth, except our Lord El Hakem (may 
his name be praised !) I do give up myself, soul and body, 
unto him ; and undertake to submit to all his orders, and 
to know nothing but the obedience of our Lord, who appeared 
in Egypt in the human form. I shall render the homage 
due to him to none else, whether past, present, or expected. 
I submit to whatever he sees fit to decree respecting me. 
I shall keep the secrets of my religion and speak of them 
1 The Epistle on Warning and Exhortation. 



THE RELIGION OF THE DRUSES 195 

to none but Unitarians. If I ever forsake the religion of 
our Lord, or disobey any of his commands, may I be absolved 
from the adored Creator, and cut off from the privileges 
of the ministers ; and I shall justly deserve immediate 
punishment/' This rite of induction is performed by the 
Akkal, when they simply put the books of Wisdom into 
his hands. 

The Akkal are also divided into two classes the simply 
initiated and those who have entirely devoted themselves 
to the interests and duties of religion, and who aspire to 
a higher degree of sanctity. The latter are distinguished 
by the additional title of Iwayid, though this distinction 
is not always observed. The simply initiated are required 
to abstain in their dress from gaudy colours and fashions, 
and in conversation from swearing and obscene language. 
Their deportment should always be grave and dignified ; 
and they are in no wise to drink spirituous liquors, or even 
to smoke. They are forbidden to eat or drink in the houses 
of governors, or in any place where they have reason to 
suppose that such articles are bought with money, extorted 
or otherwise unrighteously got. 

The Iwayid aspire to a much higher degree of outward 
sanctity. Their dress is peculiar, and made of the simplest 
materials, in the simplest and most primitive fashion. The 
turban and coat, however, are their particular badge 
the former being made of a narrow slip of white cloth wound 
round a cap of red cloth in a peculiar spherical manner ; 
and the coat is made of homespun wool, streaked with 
broad stripes of white and black. The most distinguished 
among them assume an air of profound humility ; and as 
they accustom themselves with this object in view, to a 
downcast attitude of the head, this forced position becomes 
eventually natural to them. In conversation they never 
use a bad word or oath, or even a word which the most 
fastidious taste of the country does not pronounce to be 
perfectly proper. They are very scrupulous in using choice 
expressions, which shall convey neither more nor less than 
the truth. No extravagant or even hyperbolical language 
ever escapes from their lips without due qualification. 
Suppose one of this class desired to say that he had eaten 



196 SECRET SECTS OF SYRIA 

a loaf of bread when he had eaten one-half or three-quarters, 
he would express himself in this way, " I have eaten a whole 
loaf a part of it." In this way, hyperbole and other 
figures of speech being very common in every language 
especially in the Oriental style they are under the necessity 
of retrenching or qualifying very much of what they say. 
This gives them a hesitation in their speech, and a sancti- 
moniousness in their demeanour, which are very annoying, 
and sometimes very disgusting. They never engage in 
trade, as such, for a means of livelihood ; but always have 
more or less of landed property, which they cultivate, and 
from which they derive their living. The money which 
they get in exchange for their goods, when they have reason 
to apprehend it was obtained in some improper way, they 
always exchange with some Christian or Jew. 

The general conduct of the higher grade of Akkal is 
good. They are almost always very temperate and ab- 
stemious, and in their morals are generally very correct. 
In their manners, they are dignified ; and in their social 
habits, kind, respectful, and hospitable. During disease 
and other afflictions, they generally manfully bear pain and 
sorrow, attribute all to the inscrutable wisdom and goodness 
of the Almighty, and wear a calm air of perfect resignation. 
As a work of penance, some of them deny themselves the 
luxury of eating fresh meat and fruits, or sleeping on a 
bed, through life. 

But we must not forget that such acts of piety are real 
only when brother believers are benefited by them ; to 
others a system of deception and hypocrisy, which is called 
El Zahir (outward appearance), is carried on with consummate 
skill. Nor does their religion recognize any acts of mercy, 
or charity, or neighbourly love, to be acceptable before 
GOD, except so far as they may serve to establish a good 
reputation for themselves and their religion. For this 
however, we have only collateral proofs, such as intima- 
tions in their sacred books to that effect ; their habitual 
practice, which, in spite of all their powers of deception, 
often exposes their principles ; and the great system of 
duplicity which is taught in their books, and which governs 
all their intercourse with others. 



THE RELIGION OP THE DRUSES 197 

This is perhaps the worst feature of the religion of the 
Druses. The system of dissimulation which they act out 
on principle most justly class them with the most deceptive 
and fraudulent people in existence. The person who praises 
your religion, tells you that he is a firm believer in its 
doctrines, and will even submit to take its peculiar rites 
on him, when every word he utters is false, and when his 
religion completely absolves him from every culpability in 
this nefarious fraud, can never claim or deserve any degree 
of confidence in his honesty or integrity. Nor can you 
ever tell whether your smooth-tongued friend, who is lavish 
in his expressions of affection and attachment, may not 
all the while be meditating your injury. 



CHAPTER XXII 
RELIGIOUS CEREMONIES OF THE DRUSES 

THE place where the Druses meet for exercising the worship 
of their religion is called a Khalweh, which means a place where 
secret meetings are held. It is very simple, and sometimes 
rude in its structure, and contains a few mats for the 
worshippers to sit on, some of their sacred books, and some- 
times eatables and bedding for the accommodation of strange 
Druses who stop there over a night. They meet only once 
a week, on Thursday evenings, which, according to the 
Eastern mode of computing time, is reckoned as Friday evening. 
The injunctions of Hamzeh on this point are these : 
11 Unitarians ! our Lord has disappeared and left his covenant 
with me. He disappeared on Friday evening, and on such 
a night will he appear again to subdue the world. It is there- 
fore your duty to meet on every Friday evening, and read 
the books of wisdom which our Lord has left with you. Study 
them, and be careful of them. You should, moreover, 
instruct your sisters in the faith, but let them be secluded 
from you by a partition, and let them not lift up their voices." 
It is evident, therefore, that their worship consists principally 
on the perusal and explanation of their sacred books. We 
understand that they are always chanted, not read ; and this 
is generally done by the best singer in the audience. Towards 
the close of the meeting they sing some epic poems written 
by their poets, whose subject is a glowing description of the 
invasion and subjugation of the world by the Eastern army 
under the command of the five ministers, whose appearance 
is now almost daily anticipated by them. Prayer, as such, 
they have not ; though the}' have some forms which they use 
in private at option. The following is one of them : " Praise 
to Thee, O Thou whose grace is invisible ! Praise to Thee, 
O Thou who has the best names ! Praise to Thee, O Thou 

108 



RELIGIOUS CEREMONIES OF THE DRUSES 199 

whose greatness is inimitable ! I pray Thee, O GOD, the most 
generous of hearers, through the five (ministers) and the 
three (ministers) who submitted themselves to Thee, to grant 
me purity of heart, prayer in my tongue, pardon in my end, 
a sufficiency of righteous provision, and a translation to a 
pure and holy tabernacle not to the tabernacle of a wi etched 
infidel. I pray not for a reversal of Thy decrees, but that 
grace may accompany them. O Thou whose commands 
none can put away, and whose decrees none can frustrate, 
Thou ait the high, and Thou the great ! " 

These meetings, however, are not devoted exclusively 
to religious purposes ; for the Druses regard politics as an 
important part of the interests and services of religion. 
Accordingly, in these assemblies, after the usual course of 
their religious worship, the women and the general body of 
Akkal, who have been inducted only into the first principles 
and secrets of the Druse religion, retire, and leave the place 
to the elder and higher grade of the initiated. The object 
of this ulterior meeting is purely political ; every item of 
information in reference to politics, gained by any member, 
is laid before the whole ; and every step to be taken is 
discussed. In order to provide, among the Druse community, 
for a universal union of sentiment and action, two or three 
distinguished places, which have constant communication 
between them, take the lead bv general consent. 1 

Like every secret association, they have a general sign 
by which they recognize each other. That which they have 
heretofoie adopted is that the one party ask the other whether 
the farmers in his country sow the seed of the mysobalanus. 
The proper answer is that they sow it in the hearts of believers. 
To ensure recognition, other questions are then asked about 
the ministers, their names, titles and offices. These being 
properly answered, the stranger is admitted to the privileges 
of the fraternity. It was, we believe, the celebrated traveller 
Burkhardt that was once asked about the seed. He did not 
know the object of the question, and he relates the incident 
with much nalveti. The Rev. Dr. Eli Smith was once asked 

1 Baaklin in Lebanon, near Deir el Kamar, and Ei Bayada in the Hermon, 
near Hasbeiya, are the two places which hold the first rank of eminence 
among others oi their kind. 



200 SECRET SECTS OF SYRIA 

the same question, while travelling in the Hauran, and though 
he knew the proper answer, he very wisely, and to the great 
peace of his mind, evaded it. They were evidently supposed 
to be foreign Druses, who had outwardly adopted Christianity, 
as they themselves had Mohammedanism. 

In refuting the licentious doctrines of the Nusairis, Hamzeh 
takes occasion to enforce the duty of chastity. " The 
animal appetites," he says, in speaking of physical love, 
" are produced by the concunence of the four elements which 
exist in all animals ; and whoever prefers them to his religion 
is below the beasts, and even more lost in their ways He, 
on the contrary, who abstains from the indulgence of his 
brutal passions, is more excellent than the exalted angels." 

The Christians of the Lebanon are not loth to affix to 
the Druses a character for Idoseness of morals, which, in 
reality, they by no means deserve. This tendency to depreciate 
them may, indeed, be founded upon traditional accounts of 
the conduct of those sectarians, who so justly merited the 
censures of Hamzeh and Moktana. And as the Druses have 
always carefully, and, until lately, successfully concealed 
their religion, it is not surprising that the Christians fell into 
the error of supposing, that so much caution and dissimulation 
were intended to cover practices which would not bear the 
light of day. 

The duty of submission to legitimate authority, so 
peremptorily laid down in the Koran, which the disciples of 
the exterior law interpret into submission to Abu-Bekr, 
Omar, Othman, the family of Omeyah, and that of Attbas, 
and which the Schiites make to imply submission to Ali, 
son of Abu-Talib and his issue, is also declared to be vain 
and nugatory. 

" When we consider," says Boha-edden, " the belief of 
all those who profess the worship of one GOD, we recognize 
that men are divided on this point into three classes. The 
first seek him with the eyes, and by the testimony of corporeal 
view ; the second strive to know him by the aid of words, 
logic, and sophistry ; the last class, avoiding all that, confess 
his Unity by the Intelligence." " Men," says Temeami, 
" are divided into three classes. Some profess the exterior 
law, they are called Musseliuen, Some profess the interior 



RELIGIOUS CEREMONIES OF THE DRUSES 201 

law, they are called Believers. The last are attached to the 
Kaim Alzeman, they are named Unitarians. 

" Whoever professes himself to be a Unitarian, and pays 
any attention whatever to the exterior law, is a liar and a 
deceiver ; and whoever pays any regard to the interior law, 
and at the same time calls himself a Unitarian, is guilty 
of treachery and falsehood. He is a polytheist, inasmucli 
as he associates anything with our Lord." 

It is thus that Hamzeh and his coadjutors, by a successive 
series of mystical explanations and anathemas, sweep away 
Mohammedanism in all its phases. Yet many of the Druse 
Sheiks, who are Akkals, may be seen carrying very neat 
pocket editions of the Koran, enveloped in rich gilt cases, 
suspended from their girdles ! 

" The Unitarians, 1 as has appeared from numerous 
passages, aie called brethren and sisters, in the writings of 
Hamzeh and the ministers. It is this quality of brotherhood, 
which supposes brotherly love, that Hamzeh constitutes as 
the basis of his injunctions of mutual assistance." 

It is this principle, notwithstanding some deviations caused 
at times by external and political reasons, which has been 
the mainstay of the Druses, and gives them that attitude 
of strength and compactness in presence of a Mohammedan 
and Christian population, the first secretly, the latter openly 
inimical to them ; and which has enabled them, in spite of 
reverses, to hold their ground and maintain even an aspect 
of superiority and independence. 

Hamzeh tells them to watch reciprocally over each other's 
safety, and enjoins them never to go unarmed and without 
having at least a cutlass. He gives even a further develop- 
ment of this precept : "I recommend you to watch over 
the safety of the brethren, for by this your faith will be 
perfected ; administer to their necessities, \ satisfy their 
demands (whether in matters of religion or in temporal 
concerns), receive their excuses when they excuse them- 
sejves to you, look upon those who deceive them as your 
enemies, visit those of them who are sick, do good to the 
poor among you, and relieve them, not holding short your 
hand." 

CUurphill, Mount Lebanon, vol. ii. pp. 228 ft 



202 SECRET SECTS OF SYRIA 

Boha-edden, in like manner, in a letter addressed to 
the " Inhabitants of Mount Lebanon, Antioch, Syria, and 
Mesopotamia/' dated lyth year of Hamzeh, 425 Hegira, 
lays down this principle : " It is expressly forbidden for any 
man who is distinguished by the profession of Unitarianism, 
and whose belief is consequently entirely different from that 
of the sectarians of heresy and incredulity, to exact any 
contribution from his brother, if he has wherewithal to support 
himself ; and it is equally forbidden for a faithful Unitarian, 
when he knows that his brother is in want, to reduce him to 
the necessity of seeking relief elsewhere/ 7 

The spirit of independence and self-respect on the one 
hand, and of mutual support which proudly scorns external 
aid on the other, here inculcated, needs no comment. These 
feelings have become inherent in the Druse character. No 
one has ever seen a Druse begging. 

" The cautious advances made by the apostles of the 
new sect/ 1 says Colonel Churchill, " based upon principles 
of proselytism long dominant in the East, offered nothing 
offensive to the religious prejudices (if such existed), of those 
to whom they appealed. They appeared with the Koran 
in hand, and professed to have the key to its mystical import. 
But it was only after the mind had been irresistibly engaged 
in the process of thought, that the abstruse and subversive 
doctrines of Hamzeh were fully presented and developed. A 
religion which required no outward rites and ceremonies, while 
it pretended to elevate the heart into spiritual communion 
with superior spirits of the highest and most exalted nature, 
was well calculated to make an impression upon, and 
so become popular, amongst a race whose position and habits 
kept them aloof from any permanent contact with the 
fanatical adherents of the Prophets. The singular and un- 
precedented licence likewise which Hanrseh granted to his 
followers, even upon religious principle, of continuing to 
profess outwardly the creed of the ruling power, while they 
inwardly embraced the dogmas which he had laid down, 
must have tended considerably to pave the way to their 
adoption, by soothing down all those fears and apprehension^ 
which might naturally have suggested themselves to the new 
Mount Lebanon, ii pp. 269 ff, 2 vols., London, 1853. 



RELIGIOUS CEREMONIES OF THE DRUSES 203 

converts, had they been called upon to make an open profession 
of their adopted belief. 

" When a Druse enters the mosque, none is more fervent 
in his devotions, or more exact in his genuflexions ; and should 
it be clear to him that it was his interest to profess Christianity, 
he would offer not the slightest objection to baptism, or even 
immersion. Indeed, at the period when Ibrahim Pasha 
pressed his levies so severely amongst the Druses, numbers 
of them, to escape the conscription, demanded admission 
and were received into the bosom of the Catholic Church, 
were baptized by the Bishop, and became very expert in 
making the sign of the Cross. It is needless to state that, 
when the conscription was over, the Church had to deplore 
the loss of its proselytes. Another principle of security 
which distinguishes the Druse religion is, as has been already 
shown, that all attempts at proselytism are strictly for- 
bidden, nay, more than that, no converts are accepted. Thus 
the pliancy which makes the Druses ready to profess the 
religion dominant in the country where they live, whatever 
that religion may be ; the self-satisfied pride which makes 
them scorn all attempts at increasing their numbers by 
proselytism ; and the inviolable secrecy which they maintain 
as to their real religion ; these three principles, it may be 
broadly asserted, have enabled them to maintain an almost 
undisturbed existence for upwards of eight centuries." 

So far as is known, only one Western initiate has ever been 
received into full brotherhood with the Druses. This was 
the late Professor A. L. Rawson, of New York, a well-known 
artist and traveller, who passed many years in the East, 
four times visiting Palestine. Under a misapprehension, 
apparently, that Madam Blavatsky had also been received 
into this mysterious sect, he wrote to her an account of his 
initiation ceremony in which fuller details are given than have 
before been made public. The following is the letter, as 
given in Isis Unveiled, vol. ii, pp. 313, 314 : 

34, BOND STREET, NEW YORK. 
June 6, 1877. 

" . . . . Your note, asking me to give you an account of 
my initiation into a secret Order among the people commonly 



204 SECRET SECTS OF SYRIA 

known as Druses, in Mount Lebanon, was received this 
morning. I took, as you are fully aware, an obligation at 
that time to conceal within my own memory the greater 
part of the ' mysteries ' with the most interesting parts of 
the ' instructions ' ; so that what is left may not be of 
any service to the public. Such information as I can right- 
fully give, you are welcome to have and use as you may have 
occasion. 

" The probation in my case was, by special dispensation, 
made one month, during which time I was ' shadowed ' by 
a priest, who served as my cook, guide, interpreter, and 
general servant, that he might be able to testify to the fact of 
my having strictly conformed to the rules in diet, ablutions 
and other matters. He was also my instructor in the text 
of the ritual, which we recited from time to time for practice, 
in dialogue or in song, as it may have been. Whenever 
we happened to be near a Druse village, on a Thursday, we 
attended the ' open ' meetings, where men and women 
assembled for instruction and worship, and to expose to the 
world generally their religious practices. I was never 
present at a ' Friday close ' meeting before my initiation, 
nor do I believe anyone else, man or woman, ever was, 
except by collusion with a priest, and that is not probable, 
for a false priest forfeits his life. The practical jokers among 
them sometimes * fool ' a too curious ' Frank ' by a sham 
initiation, especially if such a one is suspected of having 
some connection with the missionaries at Beirut or elsewhere. 

" The initiates include both men and women, and the 
ceremonies are of so peculiar a nature that both sexes are 
required to assist in the ritual and ' work/ The ' furniture ' 
of the ' prayer-house ' and of the ' vision-chamber * is simple, 
and except for convenience may consist of but a strip of carpet. 
In the ' Gray Hall " (the place is never named, and is under- 
ground, not far from Bayt-el-Deen) there are some rich 
decorations and valuable pieces of ancient furniture, the 
work of Arab silversmiths five or six centuries ago, inscribed 
and dated. The day of initiation must be a continual fast 
from daylight to sunset in winter, or six o'clock in summer, 
and the ceremony is from beginning to end a series of trials 
and temptations, calculated to test the endurance of the 



RELIGIOUS CEREMONIES OF THE DRUSES 205 

candidate under physical and mental pressure. It is seldom 
that any but the young man or woman succeeds in ' winning ' 
all the prizes, since Nature will sometimes exert itself in spite 
of the most stubborn will, and the neophyte fail of passing 
some of the tests. In such a case the probation is extended 
another year, when another trial is held. 

" Among other tests of the neophyte's self-control are the 
following : choice pieces of cooked meat, savoury soup, 
pilau, and other appetizing dishes, with sherbet, coffee, 
wine and water, are set, as if accidentally, in his way, and he 
is left alone for a time with the tempting things. To a hungry 
and fainting soul the trial is severe. But a more difficult 
ordeal is when the seven priestesses retire, all but one, the 
youngest and prettiest, and the door is closed and barred 
on the outside, after warning the candidate that he will be left 
to his ' reflections ' for half an hour. Wearied by the long- 
continued ceremonial, weak with hunger, parched with thirst, 
and a sweet reaction coming after the tremendous strain to 
keep his animal nature in subjection, this moment of privacy 
and of temptation is brimful of peril. The beautiful young 
vestal, timidly approaching and with glances which lend a 
double magnetic allurement to her words, begs him in low 
tones to ' bless her/ Woe to him if he does ! A hundred 
eyes see him from secret peep-holes, and only to the ignorant 
neophyte is there the appearance of concealment and 
opportunity. 

" There is no infidelity, idolatry, or other really bad 
feature in the system. They have the relics of what was 
once a grand form of Nature worship, which has been con- 
tracted under a despotism into a secret Order, hidden from the 
light of day, and exposed only in the smoky glare of a few 
burning lamps, in some damp cave or chapel underground. 
The chief tenets of their religious teachings are comprised 
in seven ' tablets/ which are these, to state them in general 
terms : 

" i. The Unity of GOD, or the infinite oneness of deity. 
"2. The essential excellence of truth. 
" 3. The law of toleration as to all men and women in 
opinion. 



206 SECRET SECTS OF SYRIA 

" 4. Respect for all men and women as to character and 
conduct. 

" 5. Entire submission to GOD'S decrees as to fate. 
" 6. Chastity of body and mind and soul. 
" 7. Mutual help under all conditions. 

" These tenets are not printed or written. Another set 
is printed or written to mislead the unwary, but with these 
we are not concerned. 

" The chief results of the initiation seemed to be a kind 
of mental illusion or sleep-waking, in which the neophyte 
saw, or thought he saw, the images of people who were known 
to be absent, and in some cases thousands of miles away. 
I thought (or perhaps it was my mind at work) I saw friends 
and relatives that I knew at the time were in New York 
State, while I was then in Lebanon. How these results 
were produced I cannot say. They appeared in a dark 
room, when the ' guide ' was talking, the ' company ' singing 
in the ' chamber/ and near the close of the day, when I was 
tired out with fasting, walking, talking, singing, robing, 
unrobing, seeing a great many people in various conditions 
as to dress and undress, and with great mental strain in 
resisting certain physical manifestations that result from the 
appetites when they overcome the will, and in paying close 
attention to the passing scenes, hoping to remember them 
so that I may have been unfit to judge of any new and 
surprising phenomena, and more especially of those apparently 
magical appearances which have always excited my suspicion 
and distrust. I know the various uses of the magic-lantern, 
and other apparatus, and took care to examine the room 
when the ' visions ' appeared to me the same evening, and 
the next day, and several times afterwards, and knew that, 
in my case, there was no use made of any machinery or other 
means besides the voice of the ' guide and instructor/ On 
several occasions afterward, when at a great distance from 
the ' chamber/ the same or similar visions were produced, 
as, for instance, in Hornstein's Hotel at Jerusalem. A 
daughter-in-law of a well-known Jewish merchant is an 
initiated ' sister ' and can produce the visions almost at will 
on anyone who will live strictly according to the rules of 



RELIGIOUS CEREMONIES OF THE DRUSES 207 

the Order for a few weeks, more or less, according to their 
nature, as gross or refined, etc. 

" I am quite safe in saying that the initiation is so peculiar 
that it could not be printed so as to instruct one who had not 
been ' worked ' through the ' chamber/ So it would be even 
more impossible to make an expose of them than of the 
Freemasons. The real secrets are acted and not spoken, 
and require several initiated persons to assist in the work. 

" It is not necessary for me to say how some of the notions 
of that people seem to perpetuate certain beliefs of the ancient 
Greeks as, for instance, the idea that a man has two souls, 
and many others for you probably were made familiar 
with them in your passage through the ' upper ' and ' lower ' 
chamber. If I am mistaken in supposing you an * initiate,' 
please excuse me. I am aware that the closest friends often 
conceal that ' sacred secret ' from each other ; and even 
husband and wife may live as I was informed in Dayr-el- 
Kamar was the fact in one family there for twenty years 
together and yet neither knew anything of the initiation of 
the other. You, undoubtedly, have good reasons for keeping 
your own counsel. 

" Yours truly, 

" A. L. RAWSON." 



CHAPTER XXIII 
RELIGIOUS CREED OF THE DRUSES 

THIS interesting and extraordinary creed, which has been 
very carefully translated by Mr. G. W. Chasseaud, is included 
in his book, The Druses of the Lebanon, published in London 
in 1855. It is from an Arabic manuscript which he obtained 
in 1851, with a great deal of trouble, from a Maronite 
gentleman, residing in the village of Hadded, on the Lebanon, 
who was then engaged in initiating him into the mysteries 
of the Arabic language. I have preferred to give it here in 
full, rather than, like others, content myself with a series 
of too often unconnected extracts. 

SECTION i 

A SHORT EXPLANATION OF THE OCEAN OF TIME 

The Creator, the Supreme, created all things. 

The first thing He created was the minister " Universal 
Mind " (the praises of GOD be upon him !), and the Creator 
gave to " Mind " the power to create, classify and arrange 
all things. 

The Spirit " Mind " has the following attributes : " The 
Virgin of Power/' " The Receiver of Revelation/' " The 
Knower of the Wishes, or Desires" " The Explainer of 
Commands," "The Spring of Light," "The Will of 
Production," " The Chosen of the Creator," and so forth. 

In was this spirit, *' Mind," known by the above attributes, 
that arranged the world. 

The " Mind " is the Pen which writes upon stone, and the 
stone which it writes upon is " The Soul." 

The " Mind " is a perfect being, which being is at liberty 
to act, and is possessed of a free will ; all he ordains or 
creates is in accordance with the will of the Creator. 



RELIGIOUS CREED OP THE DRUSES 209 

When the Creator created " Mind/' He made him possessed 
of a free will, and with power to separate, or to remain and 
dwell with the Creator. 

Ultimately " Mind " rebelled and abandoned the Creator, 
and thus became the spirit of sin, which sin was predestined 
to create the devil. 

And the existence or creation of the devil occasioned the 
creation of another spirit called " Universal Soul," and this 
spirit was the cause of the creation of all things existing. 

The devil is perfect sin, and the creation of this spirit 
was permitted by the Creator, to show the unlimited power 
of the Creator in creating an opposite spirit to GOD. 

Now when " Mind " rebelled against the Creator, the 
Creator threw him out of heaven ; but " Mind " knew that 
this was done by the Creator to test his faith, and to punish 
him for his sin ; so he repented and asked for forgiveness, 
and implored help against the devil. 

And the Creator pitied " Mind/' and created him a 
helpmate called " Universal Soul " ; this spirit GOD created 
from the spirits of knowledge of good and evil. 

Then "Mind" told "Soul" to yield obedience to the 
Creator, and " Soul " yielded, and became a helpmate to 
" Mind " ; and these two spirits tried to force into submission 
to the Creator the evil spirit or devil. 

They came to the evil one, " Mind " from behind, and 
" Soul " from before, in this fashion to marshal the devil 
into the presence of the Creator ; but the devil evaded them, 
being unguarded on cither side, which enabled him to escape 
from them to the right and left. 

The " Mind " and " Soul," finding this to be the case, 
required each of them a helpmate : " Mind " required a 
helpmate to keep the evil one from the right side, " Soul " 
one to guard him on the left, so as to hem in the devil between 
them, and prevent his escape on any side. 

So they moved and immediately two spirits were created ; 
the one called " Word " and the other " the Preceding." 

The devil now found himself hemmed in on all four sides, 
and felt the want of a spirit to help him ; and as to all things 
there must be an opposite, the Creator knowing the thoughts 
of the devil, inspired " Mind," and thus created him a 

14 



210 SECRET SECTS OF SYRIA 

supporter ; and when this supporter was created it was 
against the wishes of " Soul/' 

The " Mind " and " Soul " commanded this supporter 
to yield to the Creator, and he yielded and worshipped the 
Creator. 

And the Creator commanded the supporter to yield to 
" Mind " and " Soul " ; but being instigated by the devil 
and tempted to disobedience, this supporter refused submission 
to " Mind " and " Soul/' whereupon being cast out of heaven, 
he clung to the devil. 

Then the Creator inspired " Mind," and " Mind" inspired 
" Soul/' and created the " Word " (as aheady said). 

And the " Word " could do good or evil. 

And the " Mind " and " Soul " told " Word " to yield to 
the Creator, and the " Word " yielded ; and the four spirits, 
" Mind/' " Devil," " Soul," and the supporter, having 
inspired " Word," created t( Preceding " ; who had good 
and evil in him, but more of the former than the latter ; so 
that " Preceding " yielded ready obedience to the Creator, 
and was also subservient to " Mind " and " Soul." 

Now all these spirits above enumerated inspired 
" Preceding," and thus created " Ultimum," the last spirit 
created, and he yielded to the Creator. 

And the Creator commanded " Ultimum " to be sub- 
servient to " Mind," " Soul," " Word," and " Preceding," 
and " Ultimum " was subservient. 

Now all these spirits were true spirits before they entered 
the modern world, and their generation is as follows : The 
Creatof created "Mind," and "Mind" created "Soul," 
and "Soul" created "Word," and "Word" created 
" Preceding," and " Preceding " created " Ultimum," and 
" Ultimum " created the heavens and the earth and all 
therein. 

And it came to pass that the aforesaid five spirits came to 
the devil, "Mind" from behind, "Soul" from before, 
" Word " from the left, and " Preceding " and " Ultimum " 
from the right, in order to force him to yield submission to 
the Creator ; but the devil refused submission, and finding 
himself confined on all sides, with no means of issue except 
upwards and downwards, and as, moreover, he feared fleeing 



RELIGIOUS CREEDi OF THE DRUSES 211 

upwards, where he must needs encounter the Creator, the 
devil fled downwards, or sunk into the earth ; and this was the 
origin of hell. 

SECTION 2 

When the world was created it was at the will of the 
Creator who called it " The World of Souls/ 1 and these 
souls are masculine or feminine. 

All the spirits created were created from, or out of, " Mind." 

The origin, or root, of these spirits is the Creator ; next 
to him ranks " Mind/' then " Soul/' and so on in regular 
succession, as they were created, down to " Ultimum." 

The souls that have been created in the world, that is 
Mankind, were numbered from the beginning, and have 
never diminished or increased, and will remain so for all 
eternity. 

Each soul is perfect in itself, possessing all the senses, 
such as hearing, seeing, feeling, tasting, smelling, and touching, 
and possessing all the attributes and senses which originated 
by the regular successive creation of the first seven spirits ; 
and each spirit created possessed, in addition to its own 
peculiar gifts, the capacity and senses of the others. 

All the souls that were created in the world possessed 
the knowledge of all things except of their Creator, for which 
cause the Creator placed them in separate bodies (earthly 
tabernacles), and by this means they obtained knowledge of 
their Creator. 

All the stars, suns, moons, which are in sight of the earth 
were created for the use and good of these souls. 

The bodies, or encasements, of these souls are all corruptible, 
but the souls themselves are incorruptible and unchangeable, 
shifting from one man or beast to another, and never differing 
from what they were and continue to be. 

SECTION 3 

Whatever exists that is in possession of the senses of 
hearing, seeing, feeling, was created from or made out of the 
seven original spirits, and gained by them the additional 
sensation of heat and cold. 



212 SECRET SECTS OF SYRIA 

Heat was masculine ; cold, feminine ; and by the marriage 
of these two was produced solidity. Again, they produced 
a second offspring called mildness. 

When these four were created, then the world, Chaos, 
received a body and the Image. 

By Image, is signified length, breadth, height, and depth. 

This Chaos is round ; and the further star, called Atlas, 
was created by him. 

Then Chaos came to the orbits of the constellation, and 
immediately were created the twelve signs of the Zodiac ; 
some fixed, others in perpetual motion. 

The Chaos created Zahil, and, from thence, from one 
orbit to the other till the seven planets were made ; and none 
of them travel on the same orbit, but each has a different 
orbit. 

All this was done by Chaos by the help of the seven 
original spirits, who in their turn derived aid from the 
Creator. 

The names and the order of the orbits that are furthest 
from the sun are as follows : (i) Huilah ; (2) Atlas ; (3) 
Abrage ; (4) Zahil ; and so on, to the last orbit nearest 
the sun. 

The names of the seven planets are Zahil, Mushtari, 
Marrih, Shams, Zahrat, Aatarid, and Kamar. 

These seven arranged the interior economy of the earth, 
and all that happens to the animal or vegetable and mineral 
creation is through the agency of these seven stars, or planets ; 
fortune and misfortune are ruled by them. 

All the aforesaid planets combined, or moved, and heat fell 
downwards to a medium spot, and there forming a mass, 
constituted fire. Further downwards the air was gathered 
together and became the medium, or concentrated spot for 
atmosphere. 

And from the dampness exuding hence, water was created. 
This water was made half a circle (not being a circle), and 
from the water again was created a half circle of land. 

The light particles of heat ascending upwards towards 
the moon caused the existence of winds ; and what 
remained of the original mass of heat occupied the spot 
where it feU. 



RELIGIOUS CREED OF THE DRUSES 213 

The light particles of heat that remained became fire 
and the light particles of water became breezes, or zephyrs. 

The rest became earth. 

The light particles of earth bpcame dust, sand, stones, 
etc. ; and the remainder rocks, mines; minerals. 

SECTION 4 

The Creator having made man, made him perfect, more 
so than the beast. 

When the Creator determined upon creating man, He 
created the first man and woman ; and after them, pro- 
creation was to take place and mankind was to be born from 
the woman. 

The bodies of the first man and woman were like unto 
houses without inmates, which required to be inhabited, 
and about which, when once inhabited, peace would reign. 

All the virtues that " Mind " possessed were given to the 
human body, and from the time that " Mind " entered into 
the body nothing more was created ; everything having been 
already provided against the wants of man and beast. 

The souls which were placed in the bodies had each, before 
being thus confined, the privilege granted them by the Creator 
of speaking, feeling, and possessing and enjoying all the 
senses. 

Only they were ignorant of the truth of the origin of their 
existence ; nor were they acquainted with the Creator. 

They did not seek GOD by their works, nor did they in their 
ignorance consider or reflect on their end and future punish- 
ment. 

It was therefore necessary that there should be specific 
or peculiar orders among them. 

And the Almighty Creator had compassion on the people 
and granted them those specific orders. 

And those specific orders are the borders, or order, of 
Truth and the order of Falsehood. 

The right direction, or path, emanates from the order of 
Truth ; but there is no true direction, or path, in the order 
of Falsehood, which is also the confines of error and 
corruption, 



214 SECRET SECTS OF SYRIA 

The order of Truth began to enlighten the people, and teach 
them to follow the truth, and know and acknowledge their 
Creator ; and souls were turned to the knowledge of GOD, 
and they were persuaded of His existence by His Creatures. 

Then again the Creator had mercy upon His people, and 
manifested to them an entire separation, in which separation 
there is no priesthood. 

And the Creator showed Himself to them in His name and 
by His works and mercy, and He granted them miraculous 
revelations which proved His greatness and pointed out, 
or testified, to His Unity, by instilling in their hearts such 
exclamations as, GOD is Great ! There is no GOD but GOD ! 
GOD be praised ! In the name of GOD the element and 
merciful ! and so forth. 

His manifestation, or appearance, was of the highest of 
high importance, for He called them unto Him by invitation, 
and spoke to them, saying " Am I not your GOD ? " 

And all the people believed in the Unity of the Most High, 
hence they had no excuse for sin. 

It was necessary that they should regard GOD as superior 
to them all, wherefore repentance and punishment were 
established. 

It was the wisest " Mind " (may GOD have mercy upon 
him !) that was standing with GOD in the place of the Priest- 
hood, inviting the people to the knowledge of their Creator, 
the Most High, and of His Unity. 

" Mind " manifested to the people, the arts and sciences, 
and GOD Almighty aided " Mind " with his Holy assistance, 
and gave him knowledge, and directions, and other requisites ; 
and He appointed to " Mind " spiritual powers, and gave him 
the titles of Priest, Prophet, Director, Advisor, and the like 
attributes and appellations. 

He appointed to him also such manifest signs as the sun, 
the stars, the mountains, the heaven, the earth, and the 
narrow path leading to heaven. 

The order of Truth exists in perfect men who teach the 
people to distinguish between what is lawful and what is 
unlawful, and who caution them against sin and crimes, and 
instruct them in sciences and arts. 

And the bendiction of GOD Almighty was promulgated 



RELIGIOUS CREED OF THE DRUSES 215 

over the earth, and no man remained to whom the blessing 
did not extend ; therefore was there no excuse for man to 
rebel. 

SECTION 5 

GOD Almighty saw the existence of the Highest of the 
High in the image of humanity for a long period, and He 
is the origin, or cause, of the motion of the world and the 
establishment of all the worlds that are turning round it. 

And, in the course of time, it was necessary that the 
people who were in simplicity should be made perfect in 
their intentions, and that they should be able to distinguish 
the obedient from the rebellious, the constant from the 
inconstant, the just from the unjust. 

The Exalted did not disappear until the people were 
divided into two divisions ; one division to the assembly, 
the other to perdition. 

The division of the righteous people was predestined from 
that very beginning to happiness and good. 

The division of those who are born to perdition was 
predestined to disobedience from the beginning to the very 
last day. 

And the Almighty manifestation was repeated and 
reiterated at different epochs, and He had much patience 
in order that His works might be completed, that the people 
might have time for repentance, and that the decrees of 
GOD might be established and punishments appointed. 

When GOD Almighty disappeared, His setting star, which 
is the Perfect " Mind " (may God bless him !) also disappeared 
and left behind him the perfect " Soul/ 1 and my lord ' ' Word " 
was his supporter. 

SECTION 6 

The existing orders, or disciples, of Truth that were in 
the " Word " invited the people to recognize the Unity of 
the Creator, and to aspire to the knowledge of the Creator's 
setting sun, the perfect " Mind." 

And when " Soul " disappeared, he created himself a 
supporter, who is " Word," and the existing disciples of Truth 
were in the service of " Soul/ 1 



216 SECRET SECTS OF SYRIA 

And when " Word " disappeared, there was created after 
him seven priests from amongst the disciples of Truth, and 
each priest has a spiritual invitation to the recognition of the 
Unity of the Great GOD. 

Meanwhile the disciples of justice were looking to the 
disciples of injustice that this latter should repent and unite 
with the assembly. 

The disciples of Truth had a law which they regarded 
as their faith, and they followed its injunctions. 

After some time the seven priests declared that the cursed 
Iblis was manifested in the " Pronouncer of invitation/' 
and in the law of his invitation ; moreover, that he established 
to himself a supporter, and the people of falsehood were with 
him and with his supporter. 

The " Pronouncer of invitation " had twelve decrees, and 
his supporter had twelve decrees, established for the 
furtherance of eloquence and falsehood. 

The existence of this speaker, or Pronouncer of invitation, 
was, in the days of the confines of Truth, imitating and 
studying the rules of the law, distinguishing good from evil, 
and cognizant of all except what was yet to come on the 
manifestation of the Unity in the millennium, at the second 
coming of Ali Almighty. 

Possessing this knowledge, it came to pass that the 
disciples of Truth were deceived by the law of the 
" Pronouncer of invitation/ 1 which is the despised law 
as manifested by its works. 

This " Pronouncer of invitation " was wont to declare 
himself a prophet, and one based upon a solid foundation. 

He was also wont to rise upon the people with a sword, 
and with compulsion, in order to force them to embrace 
his law. 

After the death of this eloquent one, his creed was pro- 
pagated on the confines of Truth in order to explain the 
meaning of the descent from heaven. 

And this eloquent one established, himself, an inward or 
secret law and was possessed of a sufficient knowledge of 
the true law to base his own creed thereon. 

After the passing away of the supporter of this eloquent 
one, the seven priests arose and embraced his law. 



RELIGIOUS CREED OF THE DRUSES 217 

And every one of these priests had a long and lengthened 
duration, and the experience, or duration, of each of them is 
a hundred thousand years. 

And the nations of the earth inherited the knowledge of 
the law of each priest that came forward obeying its 
injunctions, and appointing doctors, chosen from among 
themselves, to instruct others in the law of each priest, until 
the whole seven had passed away. 

The whole of the duration of the seven priests extended 
over seven hundred thousand years. 

Then appeared the Creator in uncovering the glory and 
shame of the Amr and established the all-powerful Ali to 
reveal his Unity and the extent of his power, to establish 
prayer, to separate knowledge, to give laws, to establish 
decrees, and to refer to the promises and the promised. 

Then again the Creator appeared in a third manifestation, 
and all was repeated as in the second. 

Meanwhile the renowned law continued to grow more 
feeble, or to lose supporters. 

SECTION 7 

And the people of Truth followed the direction of the 
law, holding fast by the truths, and reposing on the promises 
of the person promised them, for relief from the oppressions 
of the laws of each new revolution, until the seventieth 
revolution should have been completed, which revolution 
precedes the revolution of the Creator Almighty. 

And the Creator established the law for the people in 
ten things: 

First, in their equality in production. 

Second, He established the power of materiality. 

Third, He exhibited in the people the grace of existence. 

Fourth, He granted mediators. 

Fifth, He granted the power of choice. 

Sixth, He made freedom of action necessary to the people. 

Seventh, He widened the prolongation of patience. 

Eighth, He established pre-eminence by means of one's 
best endeavours. 

Ninth, He opened the gates of repentance, 



218 SECRET SECTS OF SYRIA 

And, tenth, He spread before the people the promises 
of the promised. 

When these ten epochs were completed, the existing 
disciples of Truth followed the faith of the Priests of the 
Creator, and did their best endeavours to bring forward 
Shutneel, the Doctor (the praises of GOD be upon him !) 

And GOD Almighty on his manifestation established 
Shutneel as a priest to the people, and ordered the angels 
to worship him, and all obeyed, except Hareth, the son of 
Tirmah ; he refused, and was proud. 

SECTION 8 

Hareth was serving in the priesthood with all the other 
angels, and he was among them when the Creator commanded 
them to be subjected to Shutneel. 

And the angels worshipped Shutneel, but Hareth refused 
and abandoned Paradise, and, quitting its borders, all the 
disciples of Falsehood fell with him, and Paradise was rid 
of their presence. 

The Paradise of the Creator extended all over the earth, 
and the disciples of Truth entered therein and received the 
commands of Shutneel, the Doctor. 

And they kept apart from those who deny the Unity of 
GOD, and turned out the disciples of falsehood from among 
them. 

Then were established the order of Truth, and the words 
of verity. (GOD'S peace be upon them !) 

And the priesthood belonged to Shutneel, who is Adam 
the happy ; and Hareth and his followers were jealous, 
and plotted contrivances to deprive him of his paradise, and 
to establish an enmity between him and his race. 

Now these deceivers never desisted from their object ; 
they came and said, " We have a piece of advice to give to 
you, O our Lord, Enoch ; and to your partner, Sharkh, which 
is good for you both." 

This they kept repeating until they were admitted into 
the presence of Enoch and of his partner Sharkh. 

When they came before them they worshipped them ; 
and Enoch, who is the second Ada,m, said, " Perhaps you have 



RELIGIOUS CREED OF THE DRUSES 219 

repented and seek forgiveness for your blasphemy and 
disobedience to the priesthood in having assisted Iblis and 
his associates." 

But the deceiver replied, " No, I swear by your head and 
by the Creator, I have come to give you advice by reason 
of the interest I take in your welfare, and to warn you against 
the injustice of Shutneel in having compelled you to be 
subjected to him." 

I have heard our Lord the Creator (praises be to Him !) 
say that the priesthood belonged only to Enoch and Sharkh, 
caliphs in paradise. 

Hereupon Enoch made him swear, and he swore to him. 

And as it was the custom that whosoever swore by GOD 
falsely should be punished, no one dared to swear by Him 
falsely. 

And when the deceiver swore to Enoch and Sharkh that 
he was sincere in what he said, true in his deeds, and most 
pure in his words, they believed him, and fell into sin in 
many ways. 

First, by neglecting the commandments of Shutneel. 

Secondly, by changing the priesthood from the person 
to whom it belonged. 

Thirdly, by changing the will of the Creator (praises 
be to Him !) and opposing what He commanded them ; for 
the Creator had said, " Do not approach this tree, that ye 
be not of the unjust." 

Fourthly, by believing in the words of one they knew 
to be deceitful. 

And, fifthly, by accepting advice from the father of 
deceit. 

Now after they had committed these sins, and had so 
far forgotten themselves, Enoch and Sharkh awoke to a 
sense of what they had done and perceived their baseness. 

Knowing that Shutneel was aware of their thoughts, 
and that they had no other way left them but that of 
repentance and of suing for forgiveness, they went to 
Shutneel. 

They went to him crying, repenting of, and confessing 
their sins, and spoke to the following effect : 

Thou art the forgiver, and we are the transgressors, 



220 SECRET SECTS OF SYRIA 

thou art the pardoner of sins, thou art the merciful, thou 
are the Creator, thou art the clement, oh ! our GOD, 
forgive us. 

With such like words they sued for mercy. 

And when Shutneel knew that Enoch and Sharkh were 
truly repentant he begged the Creator to forgive them and 
to restore them to the position, or grade, they formerly 
occupied. 

The creatures who committed this sin were five in number, 
Enoch, Sharkh, Aneel, Tarbookh, and Hibal. 

And Enoch is the " Soul/' Sharkh, is my lord the 
" Word/ 1 Aneel is the plaintiff, and Tabookh, their speaker. 

And the deceiver is the supporter of the devil, not Iblis, 
and he blasphemed against Shutneel. 

SECTION 9 

Some people have been foolish, or ignorant enough to 
imagine that Enoch and Sharkh are the " Prophet " and 
" Foundation/' but this belief is erroneous. 

Moreover, such a belief would be the real cause of perdition, 
for Enoch is the perfect " Soul/' and " Sharkh " is my 
lord " Word/' the eternal. 

And this is the decree of Adam, the happy. 

And the Priest, the truthful, has said, that Adam is three 
Adams Adam the first, and Adam the happy, the entire, 
and Adam the forgetful, the resolute. 

And it is said with regard to Adam the second, in the 
Koran, that he rebelled against his GOD ; now this man 
was Enoch. 

And Adam the forgetful, who was also called Shait, 
is Sharkh. 

Moreover, it is said that Shutneel chose them from among 
his people, and that each of them is related to him. 

And it is furthermore said, that Adam the second and 
Adam the third, who is Sharkh, served in the presence of 
Adam the first (Shutneel). 

Enoch and Sharkh are the " Soul " and the " Word," 
and whosoever believeth contrary to this creed, is of the 
unjust in this world, and in the jiext world, of those who 
are lost. 



RELIGIOUS CREED OF THE DRUSES 221 

So may GOD make us and all our brethren disciples of the 
true faith, and deliver us from doubts after having attained 
to the truths ! Amen. 

SECTION 10 

Now when the disciples of Truth beheld the paradise of 
GOD and the change in the law of the " Djin," they combined 
together to contradict the existence of the Unity. 

And this unbelief grew upon them until respect for the 
Creator (praises be to Him !) had left them. 

Whereupon the pure Shutneel passed away and left 
behind him Enoch, who is the perfect " Soul/' and his 
supporter, Sharkh, who is " Word/' 

And the disciples of Truth that remained, followed the 
doctrines of Enoch during his presence upon earth. 

When Enoch disappeared, his supporter, who is my lord, 
the Word, established the spiritual law and declared the 
Unity of the Creator (praises be to Him !). 

And when the Word disappeared, there came after him 
seven praiseworthy priests from among the disciples of Truth, 
similar to those that came in the time of Shutneel. 

On the appearance of each of these priests they severally 
declared the Unity of the Creator, and the disciples of Truth 
followed the law of Enoch, receiving in their priesthood only 
the Morteddeens and no others. 

Now these Morteddeens were companions of those in the 
human race who recognize the Unity of GOD from the 
beginning to the day of resurrection, which is the day 
of judgment. 

SECTION n 

Now when the term of the law of Adam (Shutneel) , which 
term was a thousand years (a short time in comparison to 
the term that preceded it, which was the term of the praise- 
worthy law) had passed away, the will of GOD commanded 
the appearance of the prophets, the invited. 

And the Creator was wrath against the people of those 
days^ for they inclined towards the believers in the Trinity, 
and fie took away His grace from them. 



222 SECRET SECTS OF SYRIA 

Then appeared Noah, the son of Lamech, as a prophet, 
and he was the first who established the law which invited 
the people to worship and believe in the unity of an 
image. 

Shem was the supporter of Noah, and he possessed twelve 
decrees. 

And Noah continued in the faith of the people of Truth, 
who profited by his revelations, and invited them to cognizance 
of the book Wahi, which taught the difference between good 
and evil. 

After Shem, appeared seven priests, and the disciples of 
Truth entered into their beliefs ; and when the laws which 
established the greatness of the Creator had been developed, 
and their sources studied, then the people began to desire a 
new organization. 

And the faith of Noah extended to all people, because the 
punishment of the deluge had collected all the people under 
one head, and moreover, the miracles that had taken place 
before the appearance of Noah continued to direct the 
attention of the people to the unity of the Creator. 

Now, when Noah appeared, the signs that were established 
in the law pointed out that which is to come, by divulging 
the unity of Hakem (may his power be glorified !). 

At the time of Noah, the disciples of Truth were strong 
in the knowledge of the unity of Hakem, but weak in the 
knowledge of the Son, and of his existing in the Father. 

And when the term of the law of Noah was completed, 
there appeared Abraham, the son of Azr, and his supporter, 
one of the sons of Ishmael, and after them, seven priests. 

And the people of Truth acknowledged the law of Abraham, 
and accepted the invitations of the priests that came after 
him, and the knowledge of the unity of Hakem. 

And from the seed of Abraham prophets appeared, like 
unto Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, and others. 

Then appeared Moses, the son of Isaac, and the people of 
Truth followed his law, and the interpretation of his supporter, 
who was Joshua, the son of Nun. 

Then there appeared other prophets, and their power in 
the knowledge of the unity was as the amount of saliva in 
the throat of man. 



RELIGIOUS CREED OF THE DRUSES 228 

And these were Isaiah, Hezekiah, Nathaniel, Daniel, 
Doodoosalem, and the like, among the prophets. 

From among the respectable Doctors- Pythagoras, Plato, 
and Aristotle ; the peace of GOD be upon them ! 

SECTION 12 

Now when Jesus, the son of Joseph, appeared with the 
New Testament, and established himself as the Lord, the 
Messiah who is Jesus (the peace of GOD be upon him), he 
was accompanied by his four apostles, John, Matthew, Mark 
and Luke (the peace of GOD be upon them), and the people 
of Truth profited by his revelations, although they pretended 
to the truth, in the law, and copied the law of Moses in 
explaining the law of Jesus. 

Then appeared Simon the happy, and the people of Truth 
were on his side, until the time of the seven priests had passed 
away. 

And the strength of the belief, of the seven priests, in the 
unity was as the amount of saliva in the throat of man. 

After this, Mohammed, the son of Abdallah, appeared 
with his law, which is the law of Islam. 

And Mohammed established Ali-Ibn-Abu-Talib as his 
supporter, and all the disciples of Truth followed the law of 
Islam, as they had done every other law that had preceded 
it. 

Now Mohammed was in the time of Suleiman, the 
Persian. 

When Ali-Ibn-Abu-Talib came forward with his explana- 
tions of the law of Islam, the people of Truth believed in 
them, and continued therein, until seven priests had passed 
away after him. 

These seven priests were of the seed of Mohammed, and 
are Hassan, Hussein, Ali-Ibn-Abu il Hussein, Ibn-Mohammed 
Ali, Jaffar Ibn-Mohammed, Ismail Ibn-Jaffar, and the name 
of the seventh is not known. 

The time of Mohammed Ibn -Abdallah was more evident, 
and more demonstrative of power, than all the epochs that 
preceded him ; consequently, they pretended for singleness 
in Ali-Ibn-Abu-Talib, moreover because the prophets Noah, 



224 SECRET SECTS OF SYRIA 

Abraham, Moses, and Jesus foretold the appearance of a 
man, the highest of the high, whose rank is great, whose 
name be gorified. 

This was Ali-Ibn-Abu-Talib. 

When the term of the priesthood of Mohammed Ibn- 
Abdallah was completed, Mohammed Ibn-Ismail, the prophet, 
appeared, whose law is the final of all laws inciting to the aright 
path ; and he is from the seed of Ali-Ibn-Abu-Talib. 

And to Mohammed Ibn-Ismail there is a supporter secretly 
established in Paradise, and no one knows his name, because 
he does not appear in the manifestation of the law which we 
have. 

But it is certain that Mohammed is a prophet, and that 
GOD has sent him an evident book ; and he has an open law 
and a secret law, and his works are the works of the eloquent 
that have passed before him. 

Not that Mohammed is not like unto one of them, but that 
he is their partner against injustice. 

And he has brought forward the law, the invitation to 
annihilation, the establishment of a delegate, and the 
promulgation of licentiousness. 

SECTION 13 

When Mohammed Ibn-Ismail appeared and introduced 
his law, the disciples of Truth believed in his law and in his 
prophecies, and they recognized his excellence and his 
supporter, who was Sayeed il Muhdi Ibn-Ahmed. 

And it is through Mohammed Ibn-Ismail and his supporter 
that are made perfect the perfect in eloquence, the holy men; 
and the priesthood. 

Then the power of Mohammed passed to his descendants, 
who are the priests, the respected, until it reached Sayeed il 
Muhdi, and from Sayeed il-Muhdi it passed to the sessions, 
and ultimately appeared openly in the kingdom and in the 
government, through Kaem, Mansoor, Maaz, Azeez, and 
Hakem, the Eternal, the Assisted, the Cherished, the 
Beloved, and the Governor. 

When the time of rejoicing and of the last Godly mani- 
festation arrived, the wisdom of GOD ordained the appearance 



RELIGIOUS CREED OF THE DRUSES 225 

of the Prophet Zacharias, and this time was that of the third 
priest of the priesthood of Mohammed Ibn-Ismail. 

Before this time, the perfect " Mind " became manifested 
in Abi Zacharias in the form of verse from the Creator, sent 
through Karoon, and the Lord had given forth a law which 
was the perfect " Soul " represented by Abi Saad, the twenty- 
first anointed. 

And the existing of Abi Zacharias was in the assembly 
spiritually, and to him are attributed miracles secretly 
performed, which will be explained by the most powerful of 
the Unitarians to the weak among them. 

SECTION 14 

Abi Zacharias sent Karoon to the country of the Yeman, 
and surnamed him the Muhdi (director). 

And Karoon understood the secrets of the four books, viz., 
the Psalms, the Old Testament, the New Testament, and the 
Koran ; and his faith was promulgated all over the earth. 

And his faith was in the place of one whole day, of the 
three days mentioned in the Gospel, on the preaching of 
Jesus, who said to the people, " Destroy this temple, and I 
will raise it after three days/' 

And it was meant by the three days that the faith of 
Jesus should last half a day, from twelve o'clock to the 
evening ; and the faith of Suleiman the Persian, from the time 
of the appearing of the Comforter, who is Mohammed, was 
to last one entire day ; and the faith of Karoon also one entire 
day ; and the faith of Kaem il Muntazar Hamzeh Ibn-Ali, 
at the time of his manifestation, half a day from morning 
to noon. 

In the preaching of the Lord the Messiah, no manifestation 
takes place ; for Jesus said unto the people, ' ' My time is 
not consummated ; after me will appear a director who is 
prevented from coming at this time." 

And the Creator (may He be praised !) manifested Himself 
corporeally, in the time of the fourth Heaven, in Abdallah 
Ibn Ahmed, under the name of Ali ; He is the exalted over 
all exalted, unto whom belongeth the right of command. 

He also manifested Himself corporeally in the time of the 

15 



226 SECRET SECTS OF SYRIA 

fifth Heaven, which is Mohammed Ibn-Abdallah, under the 
name of Maal. 

The appearing of Maal (may he be honoured and 
glorified ! ) was in the country of Tadmor to the east, and 
his appearance was extremely beautiful and glorious, and he 
was most rich, and travelled alone with one thousand camels 
laden with goods and merchandise. 

The duration of Maal, the exalted, lasted until the time 
of the fifth priest was completed, who is Mohammed the 
aforesaid. 

After him appeared his son Husein, who is the sixth 
Heaven, and after Husein his son Abdallah il Muhdi, who is 
called Ibn Ahmed, but who should be called Muhdi, and after 
him, Sayeed il Muhdi, who is the seventh from among the 
prophets. 

The Creator again manifested Himself under the name of 
Kaem, as an infant, and in appearance as the son of Maal. 

And when the Almighty Maal chose to disappear, he called 
unto him Sayeed il Muhdi, and commanded him to serve our 
Lord Kaem (may his name be glorified !), and made him lord 
of the priesthood, and consigned to his care property and 
merchandise, and appointed him regent over the education 
of Kaem. 

And the power of the disciples of Truth, during the time 
of Sayeed il Muhdi, and during the time of his supporter 
Cadah, was most great. 

And the government of the prophets, and of the advisers, 
and of the priests, came to an end with the disappearance 
of Sayeed il Muhdi, in whom mercy was most perfect, and 
whose coming to give advice to the world, and whose growing 
up, and the passing of whose spirit, gave knowledge to the 
souls of those who were in the Truth ; and he was glorified, 
the most glorious. 

And then appeared as a true prophet Hamzeh Ibn-Ali, 
GOD'S praises be upon him ! 

SECTION 15 

At the completion of this era of the world, there 
commenced a second era, and the wisdom of GOD thought 



RELIGIOUS CREED OF THE DRUSES 227 

proper to produce Kaein, the Almighty, with Sayeed il 
Muhdi. 

And those who recognized the unity of GOD were stead- 
fast in the secrets of truth, and in the faith of Ali-Ibn-Abu- 
Talib, his progeny. 

And the secrets of Truth succeeded from one to another 
unto Sayeed il Muhdi, and from Sayeed il Muhdi the secrets 
of Truth reached the Lord of Truth (may his name be 
reverenced !), and the people recognized Kaem as a power- 
ful GOD, because they had witnessed his miracles, and 
because he made manifest unto them wonderful miracles 
whilst he was an infant under the guardianship of Sayeed 
il Muhdi. 

When II Kaem grew up, he took to the priesthood, and 
when he appeared in public, mounted on horseback, with the 
soldiers in his service, Sayeed il Muhdi used to walk before 
him, calling aloud, " I am the servant and slave of our Lord 
II Kaem, and the priesthood was a thing in my consignment, 
and he has taken it from me/' 

After this, Sayeed died, and his soul passed to Makhled 
Ibn-Kebdad, one of the kings of the West. 

Now, before Sayeed died, he had been an enemy of Keis 
Dad, the father of Makhled. 

And when Makhled grew up, and his age was six, he was 
informed that Sayeed had been the enemy of his father ; 
so he prepared to fight, and assembled his soldiers to go 
against II Kaem (may his name be reverenced !). 

And when Makhled was eleven years old the number of 
his soldiers reached four hundred thousand. 

The reason for his assembling all these was because the 
Almighty had said : " Behold the people of the cursed and 
abominable Makhled Ibn-Kebdad, surnamed Abu-Yazeed, 
there are no people who are more sinful, more disorderly, 
and drunkards." 

Now Abu-Yazeed desired to have a contention with II 
Kaem (may his glory be sanctified !), and among his soldiers 
there was cheapness, and health, and peace, whilst to II 
Kaem's soldiers there was only his presence and the presence 
of the forty-six. 

And the soldiers of II Kaem were few ; but he granted 



228 SECRET SECTS OF SYRIA 

them his assistance and majesty, and went forth in person 
with them, to fight Abu*Yazeed. 

And he defeated them, and killed them, and destroyed 
them, and revenged himself ; and when this great miracle 
became known, the faith of II Kaem, the most glorious, 
reached the country of the West, and was promulgated all 
over the earth. 

SECTION 16 

At the close of the time of the Almighty Kaem, the Creator 
most praised manifested Himself bodily and in the priesthood 
in Mansoor, and it was apparently visible that he was the 
son of II Kaem, and that II Kaem had transferred upon him 
the priesthood, and had clothed him with the Caliphat, and 
assigned his power to him. 

And the faith of Mansoor was promulgated all over the 
earth, and made known to all assemblies, and Mansoor 
performed miracles, and changed some of the articles of the 
law, as the Almighty Kaem had also done before him, and his 
priesthood took place in the country of the West. 

And Maaz sent Abdallah, whose name was Gouhair, 
with soldiers to Egypt, and he defeated the sons of Abbas, 
and conquered Cairo. 

After this, the Almighty Maaz went to Cairo, and 
concluded his faith in that city. 

After Maaz, appeared the chief Azeez, the Almighty, and 
his appearance took place in Cairo, and to him Maaz consigned 
the priesthood. 

And the Almighty Azeez manifested signs which explained 
and made evident the unity, and he performed miracles 
which could not be performed by anyone, unless one inspired 
by GOD. 

And he proclaimed his faith, and his miracles were known 
throughout the world, and there remained not a single man 
who did not receive the faith. Praises be to him whose grace 
has been so promulgated by reason of his mercy ! 

Then the Creator most praised appeared in Hakem ; 
may his power be glorified, in Cairo ! 

And the five chiefs, II Kaem, Mansoor, Maaz, Azeez, and 



RELIGIOUS CREED OP THf DRUSES 229 

Hakem appeared as though they were sons of each other, 
and this secret priesthood passed together with the heavenly 
posts, from the post of Zacharias to the post of Hakem 
(may his power be glorified !), until it reached its real 
proprietor, Hamzeh, who, in truth, is the Kaem ; the celebrated 
Hamzeh Ibn-Ali ; the blessings of GOD be upon him ! 

SECTION 17 

The repetition of these heavenly characters in human 
bodies, with the change of names and appearances, was to 
facilitate the understanding of the people, to make perfect 
the way, and to establish a permanent law ; otherwise these 
heavenly characters are all one. 

When Hakem, who is most praiseworthy, renounced 
the priesthood, and clothed II Kaem therewith, from whom 
it came eventually to Hamzeh Ibn-Ali (the praises of GOD 
be upon him !), the Kaem, that is, Hamzeh, established his 
faith, and made the " Soul " his law, and my lord the 
" Word " weak among the powerful. 

And Hamzeh established the Order of the Truth in his 
faith, and also ordered Hakem to follow the unity of GOD 
and the Godhead, and the Unitarians entered into his faith 
with many people from among the people of tradition and 
the accepted ; and their entering was in ease, and with 
inclination to rest. 

But there arose among the people a dispute and 
contention, and they discovered that GOD was angry, for 
He punished them, and hid Himself from them ; then the 
faith was changed, and innovations were introduced. 

After a year, the Creator Almighty again manifested His 
unity, and He was glorified, and the faith re-established, 
the laws were made manifest, the covenants were written, 
and II Kaem (the praises of GOD be upon him !) invited the 
people to the Unity, established the law, and taught the people 
of Truth to contend among each other to enter into the faith. 

And when it pleased GOD Almighty to withdraw Himself, 
He brought Ali the Evident, and made him take forty oaths 
to the effect that he could not raise affliction or misfortune on 
His chosen ones, ihe Unitarians. 



280 SECRET SECTS OF SYRIA 

SECTION 18 

Then the Almighty withdrew Himself, and then appeared 
upon earth as an Evil Spirit ; and this Evil Spirit remained 
on earth seven years, and his limits were from Antioch to 
Alexandria. 

And the companions of this evil spirit were tempting the 
Unitarians, of whom they gained a great number, both men, 
women, and children. 

This great Tempter had been spoken of and alluded to in 
the Gospel in several places, and Suleiman the Persian 
(peace be upon him !) had also referred to him in the following 
verse : 

The Evil Spirit of Resurrection had only one eye from the time of 
his setting out from Aleppo, in the days of evil ; 

And all the Greeks were his supporters in his undertakings which 
were only defeated by making war. 

Since this Tempter was formerly prophesied of, the 
Unitarians supported the evils and misfortunes brought upon 
them with patience. 

Then appeared my Lord Boha-eddin, and he was possessed 
of " the Order of Truth," and Moktanna Boha-eddin was the 
last that appeared ; after him no laws remained uncompleted ; 
he fulfilled the creation, and completed the conversion of the 
people, and delivered the rest of the Unitarians. 

The time of the prophecy of Moktanna was seventeen 
years, and he used to refer his Epistles to the priest that was 
concealed in a place known to him, and also to the three 
spirits, the " Soul," the " Word," and the " Preceding," who 
were also concealed in a place known to my Lord Moktanna. 

And when Moktanna disappeared, he published his noble 
Epistles, with the Epistles of II Kaem, and the Epistles of 
Hamzeh, the wisdom of Unitarianism, which Epistles showed 
that these noble persons appeared personally, and set down 
a law, which law teaches us to know the Laws, the Beginning, 
the End, the Promise, the Threat, the Reward, the Punish- 
ment, the Past, and the Future. 

And this is what we think proper to show from the 'time 
of revelation to the day of the last resurrection. 



RELIGIOUS CREED OF THE DRUSES 231 

ABSTRACT OF WHAT is NECESSARY FOR A UNITARIAN TO 
KNOW, TO BELIEVE, AND TO OBSERVE, TAKEN BRIEFLY 
FROM THE BOOK OF LAW. 

It is necessary that the Unitarian should possess the 
knowledge of four things : 

1. The knowledge of our Lord GOD (may His name be 
exalted !). 

2. The knowledge of II Kaem. 

3. The knowledge of the Prophets. 

4. The knowledge of those virtues which it is necessary 
to observe. 

It is also necessary that the Unitarian should believe in 
the Almighty GOD in His human form, without mixing it 
with questions of " Where/' or " How much/' or " Who/' 
and that he should believe that that same figure had no 
flesh, no blood, nor body, nor weight ; but that it is like unto 
a mirror when you put the same into a scale to weigh it, and 
look at yourself in it ; for does it weigh more by your looking 
at your face in it ? So is the figure of the Almighty ; it does 
not eat, nor drink, not feel, nor can incidents or time alter 
it. It is invisible, but contains the power of being ever 
present, and it appeared to us on earth in human form, that 
we should be better able to comprehend it, there being no 
power in us wherewith to compare the divinity. 

It is also necessary that the Unitarian should believe in 
the Almighty GOD represented in the Ten Directors, who 
are Ali, El Bar, Zacharias, Elias, Maal, II Kaem, Mansoor, 
Maaz, Azeez, and Hakem, and all are One GOD, and there 
is no other GOD but Him. 

The highest Ali was all his time invisible, and there was 
no Priesthood with him, and his appearance was at the 
beginning of the world. El Bar was invisible in the Priest- 
hood. 

After El Bar appeared Adam il Gerone, who is Enoch, 
with the Unitarian Law, and he followed the Unitarian 
steps of El Bar. After him, appeared seven priests from the 
" Order of Truth/' who followed his steps ; and after these, 
appeared the givers of the Laws, who are Noah, Abraham, 



282 SECRET SECTS OF SYRIA 

Moses, Jesus, Mohammed, Mohammed the second, and 
Sayeed il Muhdi, and all these were one Soul. Then the 
Priesthood reached its rightful owner, who is the victorious 
Kaem Hamzeh Ibn-Ali (the praises of GOD be upon him !). 

ON THE KNOWLEDGE OF THE SEVEN LAWS, 

that is, " The Truth of the Tongue," " The Preservance 
of Friendship between Brothers/' " The Abandonment of 
the Worship of Idols," " The Disbelief in Evil Spirits and 
Deceivers/ 1 " The Worship of Our Lord in every Age and 
Generation/' " To be Satisfied with the Acts of GOD what- 
ever they might be/' and " To be Resigned to His Will." 

" The Truth of the Tongue " is the belief in the divinity 
of El Hakem (praises be to him !), the belief in the priesthood 
of the Kaem (Hamzeh), and in the virtue of the Four Prophets, 
their nobility and their perfection ; the belief in the Prophets 
of Truth, and in their prophecy and their qualifications ; 
the belief in the Priests, the Leaders ; the belief in the Noble 
Wisdom which is the saving religion ; the belief in the 
Transmigration of Souls from one body to another ; the belief 
in the Resurrection from the Dead and in the reward or 
punishment which will assuredly follow it. 

" The Preservance of Friendship between Brothers " is 
to recognize their ranks, and to love them whether they be 
near or far from us ; to humble ourselves before our superiors ; 
to treat well those who are low in rank among us, to support 
them both secretly and publicly, to give them their due 
rights whether temporal or spiritual, and to regard them as 
friends. 

" The Abandonment of the Worship of Idols " is the 
abandonment of the doctrine of those who believe in the 
Tanzeel (Koran), and those who say that GOD is not present 
everywhere, and those who believe in the Traditions, and who 
make Ali-Ibn-Abu-Talib like unto GOD, and say that GOD is 
not One. 

" The Disbelief in Evil Spirits and Deceivers " is to curse 
the devils and those who belong to the " Order of False- 
hood/' 

" The Worship of our Lord in every Age and Generation/' 



RELIGIOUS CREED OF THE DRUSES 288 

is, that man should believe that He is separate in His person, 
and has no visible body, form, or weight. 

" The Law to be Satisfied with his Acts whatever they 
might be," is to He resigned to His will, and this resignation 
has ten degrees, namely : the Knowledge, the Belief, the 
Authority, the Obedience, the Acceptance, the Hearing, 
the Trust, the Reference, the Patience, and the Thanks- 
giving. The Acts of the Almighty Creator, of which it is 
man's duty to be satisfied, are numerous, and the greatest 
of them have ten degrees also, namely, the Revelation, 
the Concealment, the Weakness, the Miracles, the System, 
Humility, Lawfulness, Unlawfulness, Fate and Destiny. 

And these are the Seven Laws which belong to the Unity, 
and " The Truth of the Tongue " is instead of Prayer, and 
" The Preservance of Friendship between Brothers " is 
instead of giving Alms, and " The Abandonment of the 
Worship of Idols " is instead of Fasting, and " the Disbelief 
in Evil Spirits " is instead of the " Proofs/' and " The 
Acknowledgment of Our Lord " is instead of the " Two 
Proofs,' 1 and "To be Satisfied with his Acts " is instead of 
Warfare, and " The Resignation to his Will " is instead of 
Authority. 

The conclusion is, whosoever knows and believes in what 
has preceded, and is sound of mind and body, and of full 
age, and free from servitude, will be of those who are destined 
to the ranks, and entitled to be present at the private 
assemblies, at which whosoever is present will be saved by 
Almighty GOD, and whosoever is absent will repent. May 
GOD facilitate His ways of good, and pour upon us His 
blessing! He is the Assistant, the Giver of Victory, the 
Wise and the Experienced ! Amen. 



CHAPTER XXIV 

RESEMBLANCE OF THE DRUSE RELIGION TO 
THAT OF THE LAMA OF THIBET 

ANY inquiry into the religion and customs of the Druses 
would be incomplete without including an article by Madam 
Blavatsky, tracing the resemblance she found between the 
Druses and the Lamas. Whatever may be the general 
opinion as to the veracity and learning of Madam Blavatsky, 
no one will deny that she had an unrivalled acquaintance 
with all the religious and ancient literature of the East. 

The following article, which is given in full, with the 
original notes, appeared in an early issue of The Theosophist : 

Mr. L. Oliphant's new work, Land of Gilead, attracts 
considerable attention. Reviews appeared some time since, 
but we had to lay the subject aside, until now, for lack of 
space. We shall now have something to say, not of the work 
itself though justice can hardly be sufficiently done to the 
writings of that clever author but of what he tells us 
respecting the Druses, those mystics cf Mount Lebanon of 
whom so little is known. We may perchance shed some new 
light on the subject. Mr. Oiiphant thinks that 

" The Druse has a firm conviction that the end of 
the world is at hand. Recent events have so far tallied 
with the enigmatical prophecies of his sacred books, that he 
looks forward to the speedy resurrection of El Hakim, the 
founder and divine personage of the sect. In order to 
comprehend this, the connection between China and Druse 
theology has to be remembered. The souls of all pious 
Druses are supposed to be occupying, in large numbers, 
certain cities in the west of China. The end of the world 

281 



DRUSE RELIGION AND THIBETAN LAMAISM 235 

will be signalized by the approach of a mighty army from the 
East against the contending powers of Islam and Christianity. 
This army will be under the command of the Universal Mind 
and will consist of millions of Chinese Unitarians. To it 
Christians and Mohammedans will surrender and march 
before it to Mecca. El Hakim will then appear ; at his 
command the Kaaba will be demolished by fire from Heaven, 
and the resurrection of the dead will take place. Now that 
Russia has come into collision with China, the Druses see 
the fulfilment of their sacred prophecies, and are eagerly 
waiting for an Armageddon in which they believe themselves 
destined to play a prominent part/' 

Mr. Laurence Oliphant is, in our opinion, one of England's 
best writers. He is also more deeply acquainted with the 
inner life of the East than most of the travellers and writers 
who have written on the subject not even excepting Captain 
and Mrs. R. Burton, But even this acute and observing 
intellect could hardly fathom the secret of the profoundly 
mystical beliefs of the Druses. To begin with, El Hakim 
is not the founder of their sect. Their ritual and dogmas 
were never made known but to those who had been admitted 
into their brotherhood. Their origin is next to unknown. 
As to their external religion, or rather what has transpired 
of it, that can be told in a few words. The Druses are 
believed to be a mixture of Kurds, Mardi-Arabs, and other 
semi-civilized tribes. We humbly maintain that they are 
the descendants of and a mixture of, mystics of all nations 
mystics who, in the face of cruel and unrelenting persecution 
by the Orthodox Christian Church and Orthodox Islamism, 
have, ever since the first centuries of Mohammedan pro- 
paganda, been gathered together, and who gradually made a 
permanent settlement in- the fastnesses of Syria and Mount 
Lebanon, where they had from the first found refuge. Since 
then they have preserved the strictest silence upon their 
beliefs and truly occult rites. Later on their warlike character, 
great bravery and unity of purpose, which made their foes, 
either Mussulmans or Christians, equally fear them, helped 
them toward forming an independent community, or, as we 
may term it, an impenum in imperio. They are the Sikhs 
of Asia Minor, and their polity offers many points of similarity 



286 SECRET SECTS OF SYRIA 

with the late " commonwealth " of the followers of Guru 
Nanak, even extending to their mysticism and indomitable 
bravery. But the two are even more closely related to a 
third and far more mysterious community of religionists, 
of which nothing or next to nothing is known by outsiders : 
we mean that fraternity of Thibetan Lamaists, known as 
the Brotherhood of Khe-lang, who mix but little with the 
rest. Even Csoma de Koros, who passed several years with the 
Lamas, learned hardly more of the religion of these Chakra- 
vartins (wheel-turners) than what they chose to let him know 
of their esoteric rites, and of the Khe-langs he learned 
positively nothing. 

The mystery that hangs over the scriptures and religion 
of the Druses is far more impenetrable than that connected 
with the Amritsar and Lahore " Disciples/' whose Grantha 
is well known and has been translated into European languages 
more than once. Of the alleged forty- five sacred books I of the 
Lebanon mystics none were ever seen, let alone examined, 
by any European scholar. 

Many manuscripts have never left the underground 
Khalwehs (place of religious meeting), invariably built under 
the meeting-room on the ground floor, and the public 
Thursday assemblies of the Druses are simply blinds intended 
for over-curious travellers and neighbours. 

Verily a strange sect are the disciples of Hamzeh, as they 
call themselves. Their Akkals, or spiritual teachers, besides 
having, like the Sikh Akkali, the duty of defending the visible 
place of worship, which is merely a large unfurnished room, 
are also the guardians of the Mystical Temple and the " wise 
men," of the Initiates of their mysteries as their name of 
Akkal implies, Akl being in Arabic " intelligence " or 
" wisdom.' 1 It is improper to call them Druses, as they 

1 The work presented by Nasr-Allah to the French king as a portion 
of the Druse scriptures, and translated by Petis de la Croix in 1701, is pro- 
nounced a forgery. Not one of the copies now in the possession of the 
Bodleian, Vienna, or Vatican Libraries is genuine ; and, besides, each of 
them is a copy from the other. Great was always the curiosity of the 
travellers, and greater yet the efforts of the indomitable and ever-prying 
missionary, to penetrate behind the veil of Druse worship, but all have 
resulted in failure. The strictest secrecy as to the nature of their beliefs, 
the peculiar rites practised in their subterranean khalwehs, and the contents 
of their canonical books, was enjoined upon their followers by Hamzeh and 
Boha-eddin, the chief and first disciple of the former, 



DRUSE RELIGION AND THIBETAN LAMAISM 237 

regard it as an insult ; nor are they in reality the followers 
of Dorazi, a heretical pupil of Hamzeh, but the true disciples 
of the latter. The origin of that personage, who appeared 
among them in the eleventh century, coming from Central 
Asia, and whose secret or mystery name is El Hamma, is 
quite unknown to our European scholars. His spiritual 
titles are " Universal Source of Mind/' " Ocean of Light/' 
and " Absolute or Divine Intelligence." They are, in short, 
repetitions of those of the Thibetan Dalai-Lama, whose 
appellation, " Path to the Ocean/' * means Path or " Way 
to the Ocean of Light " (Intelligence) or Divine Wisdom 
both titles being identically the same. It is curious that the 
Hebrew word lamad should also mean the " God-taught." 

An English Orientalist recently found that the religion 
of Nanak had a good deal of Buddhism in it (art. " Diwali," 
in Calcutta Review). This would only be natural, since the 
Empire of Hindustan is the land of Buddhas and Bodhisattvas 
But that the religion of the Druses, between whose 
geographical and ethnological position and that of the Hindus 
there is an abyss \ should be so, is far more incomprehensible 
and strange. Y^t it is a fact. They are more Lamaists 
in their beliefs and certain rites, than any other people on 
the face of the globe. The fact may be contradicted, but 
it will only be because Europe knows next to nothing of either. 
Their system of government is set down as feudal and 
patriarchal, while it is as theocratic as that of the Lamaists 
or as that of the Sikhs, as it used to be. The mysterious 
representation of the Deity appears in Hamzeh, whose spirit 
is said to guide them, and periodically reincarnates itself 
in the person of the chief Akkal of the Druses, as it does in 
the Guru-Kings of the Sikhs, some of whom, like Guru 

i " Lama " means path or road in the vulgar Thibetan language, but 
iru^hat figurative sense it conveys the meaning of way ; as the "way to 
vjjdom or salvation/' Strangely enough it also means "cross." It is 
the Roman figure X or ten, the emblem of perfection or perfect number, 
and stood for ten with the Egyptians, Chinese, Phoenicians, Romans, etc. 
It is also found in the Mexican secular calendars. The Tartars call it Lama 
from the Scytho-Turanian word lamh, hand (from the number of fingers 
on both hands), and it is synonymous with the jod of the Chaldees, " and 
thus became the name of a cross, of the High Priest of the Tartars, and of 
the Lamaic Messenger of God," says the author of The Book of God, in the 
" Commentaries on the Apocalypse." With the Irish, luam signifies the 
head of the church, a spiritual chief. 



288 SECRET SECTS OF SYRIA 

Govind, claimed to be the reincarnations of Nanak, while the 
Dalai Lamas of Thibet claim to be those of Buddha. The 
latter, by the way, are loosely called Shaberons and Hobilgans 
(both in various degrees reincarnations not of Buddha, the 
man, but of his Buddh-like divine spirit) by Abb6 Hue 
and others, without any regard to the difference in the appella- 
tion ; El Hamma or Hamzeh came from the " land of the 
Word of GOD." Where was that land ? Swedenborg, the 
Northern Seer, advised his followers to search for the Lost 
Word among the hierophants of Tartary, Thibet and China. 
To this we may add a few explanatory and corroborative 
facts. LFhassa, the theocratic metropolis of Thibet, is 
commonly translated as " God-land/' that is to say, this is 
the only English equivalent that we can find. 1 

Though separated by the Karakorum range and Little 
Thibet, the Great Thibet is on the same Asiatic plateau 
in which our Biblical scholars designate the table-land of 
Pamir.* Thibet, or Ti-Boutta, will yield, etymologically, 
the words Ti which is the equivalent for GOD in Chinese 
and Buddha or Wisdom ; the land then of the Wisdom Deity, 
or the incarnations of Wisdom. It is also called " Bod-Jod." 
Now " Jid " and " Jod " are synonymous apocalyptic and 
phallic names for the Deity Yod being the Hebrew name 
for GOD. Godfrey Higgins shows in his Celtic Dmids the 
Welsh Druids altering the name Bod- Jid into Budd-ud, 
which with them too meant the " Wisdom of Jid " what 
people now call " GOD." 3 

The religion of the Druses is said to be a compound of 

1 And a most unsatisfactory term it is, as the Lamaists have no con- 
ception of the anthropomorphic Deity which the English word " God " 
represents. For Buddha (the latter name being quite unknown to the 
common people) is their equivalent for that All-embracing, Superior Good 
or Wisdom from which all proceeds as does the light from the sun, the cause 
being nothing personal, but simply an abstract principle. And it is this 
that in all our theosophical writing, for the want of a better word, we have 
to term " God-like " and " Divine." 

* There are several Pamirs in Central Asia. There is the Alichur Pamir 
which lies more north than either ; the Great Pamir with Lake Victoria 
in its vicinity ; Taghdumbash Pamir and the Little Pamir more south ; 
and eastward another chain of Pamirs dividing Mustagh Pass and Little 
Guhjal. We would like to know on which of these we have to look for the 
Garden of Eden. 

3 The name in Hebrew for sanctuary is te-bah, and ti-boutta and te-bet, 
also a cradle of the human race, thebeth meaning a " box/' the " ark " of 
Noah and the floating cradle of Moses. 



DRUSE RELIGION AND THIBETAN LAMAISM 239 

Judaism, Mohammedanism and Christianity, strongly tinged 
with Gnosticism and the Magian system of Persia. Were 
people to call things by their right names, sacrificing all self- 
conceit to truth, they might confess things otherwise. They 
could say, for instance, that Mohammedanism being a 
compound of Chaldeeism, Christianity and Judaism ; 
Christianity a mixture of Judaism, Gnosticism and Paganism ; 
and Judaism a wholesale Egypty-Chaldean Kabalism, 
masquerading under differing names and fables, made to 
fit the bits and scraps of the real history of the Israelite tribes 
the religious system of the Druses would then be found one 
of the last survivals of the archaic Wisdom- Religion, It 
is entirely based on that element of practical mysticism of 
which branches have from time to time sprung into existence. 
They pass under the unpopular names of Kabalism, Theosophy 
and Occultism. Except Christianity which, owing to the 
importance it gives to the principal prop of its doctrine of 
salvation (we mean the dogmas of Satan), had to anathematise 
the practice of theurgy every religion, including Judaism 
and Mohammedanism, credits these above-named branches. 
Civilization having touched with its materialistic, all-levelling 
and all-destroying hand even India and Turkey, amid the 
din and chaos of crumbling faiths and old sciences, the 
reminiscence of archaic truths is now fast dying out. 

It has become popular and fashionable to denounce " the 
old and mouldy superstitions of our forefathers," verily 
even amongst the most natural allies of the students of theurgy 
or occultism the Spiritualists. Among the many creeds 
and faiths striving to follow the cyclic tide, and helping it 
themselves to sweep away the knowledge of old, strangely 
blind to the fact that the same powerful wave of materialism 
and modern science also sweeps away their own foundations, 
the only religions which have remained alive as ever to these 
forgotten truths of old, are those which from the first have 
kept strictly aloof from the rest. The Druses, while outwardly 
mixing with Moslems and Christians, and alike ever ready 
to read the Koran as well as the Gospels in their Thursday 
public meetings, have never allowed an uninitiated stranger 
to penetrate the mysteries of their own doctrines. Intelligence 
alone, they say, communicates to the soul (which to them is 



240 SECRET SECTS OF SYRIA 

mortal, though it survives the body) the enlivening and divine 
spark of the Supreme Wisdom, or Ti-meami, but it must be 
screened from all non-believers in Hamzeh. The work of the 
soul is to seek Wisdom, and the substance of earthly wisdom 
is to know Universal Wisdom, or " GOD/' as other religionists 
call that principle. This is the doctrine of the Buddhists 
and Lamaists who say " Buddha " where the Druses say 
" Wisdom " one word being the translation of the other. 
" In spite of their external adoption of the religious customs 
of the Moslems, of their readiness to educate their children 
in Christian schools, their use of the Arabic language, and their 
free intercourse with strangers, the Druses remain even 
more than the Jews a peculiar people," says a writer. 

They are very rarely, if ever, converted ; they marry 
within their own race, and adhere most tenaciously to their 
traditions, baffling all efforts to discover their cherished secrets. 
Yet neither are they fanatical nor do they covet proselytes. 

In his Travels in Tartary, Thibet and China, Hue speaks 
with great surprise ol the extreme tolerance and even outward 
respect shown by the Thibetans to other religions. A Grand 
Lama or a " living Buddha/' as he calls him, whom the 
two missionaries met at Choang Lond, near Koum-Boum, 
certainly had the best of them in good breeding as well as 
tact and deference to their feelings. The two Frenchmen, 
however, neither understood nor appreciated the act, since 
they seemed quite proud of the insult offered by them to the 
Hobilgan. " We were waiting for him . . . seated on the 
kang, and purposely did not rise to receive him, but merely 
made him a slight salutation," boasts Hue (vol. ii., pp. 35, 
36). The Grand Lama " did not appear disconcerted," 
though ; upon seeing that they as " purposely withheld from 
him " an invitation to sit down, " he only looked at them 
surprised," as well he might. A breviary of theirs having 
attracted his attention, he demanded " permission to examine 
it/ 1 and then carrying it solemnly to his brow, he said, 
"It is your book of prayer ; we must always honour and 
reverence other people's prayers." It was a good lesson, 
yet they understood it not. We would like to see that 
Christian missionary who would reverently carry to his brow 
the Vedas, the Tripitaka, of the Grantha, and publicly honour 



DRUSE RELIGION AND THIBETAN LAMAISM 241 

other people's prayers ! While the Thibetan " savage," 
the heathen Hobilgan, was all affability and politeness, the 
two French " Lamas of Jehovah," as Abb6 Hue called his 
companion and himself, behaved like two uneducated bullies. 
And to think that they even boast of it in print ! 

No more than the Druses do the Lamaists seek to make 
proselytes. Both people have their " schools of magic," 
those in Thibet being attached to some La-khang (lamaseries), 
and those among the Druses in the closely-guarded crypts 
of initiation, no stranger being even allowed Inside the 
buildings. As the Thibetan Hobilgans are the incarnations 
of Buddha's spirit, so the Druse Akkals erroneously called 
" Spiritualists " by some writers are the incarnations of 
Hamzeh. Both peoples have a regular system of pass-words 
and signs of recognition among the neophytes, and we know 
them to be nearly identical. 

In the mystical system of the Druses there are five 
" Messengers," or interpreters of the " Word of the Supreme 
Wisdom," who occupy the same position as the five chief 
Bodhisattvas, or Hobilgans of Thibet, each of whom is the 
bodily temple of the spirit of one of the five Buddhas. Let 
us see what can be made known of both classes. The names 
of the five principal Druse " Messengers," or rather their 
titles as these names are generic, in both the Druse and 
Thibetan hierarchies, and the title passes at the death of each 
to his successor are : 

1. Hamzeh, 1 or El Hamma (Spiritual Wisdom), considered 
as the Messiah, through whom speaks Incarnate Wisdom. 

2. Ismail-Ti-meami (the Universal Soul). He prepares 
the Druses before their initiation to receive " Wisdom." 

* Very curiously the Druses Identify their Hamzeh with Hemsa, the 
Prophet Mohammed's uncle, who, they say, tired of the world and its deceit- 
ful temptations, simulated death at the battle of Dhod, A.D. 625, and retired 
to the fastnesses of a great mountain in Central Asia, where he became a 
saint. He never died in spirit. When several centuries after that he 
appeared among them it was in his second spiritual body, and when their 
Messiah had, after founding the Brotherhood, disappeared, Se-lama and 
Boha-eddin were the only ones to know the retreat of their Master. They 
alone knew the bodies into which he went on successively reincarnating 
himself, as he is not permitted to die until the return of the Highest Messenger, 
the last one of the ten avatars. He alone the now invisible but expected 
one stands higher than Hamzeh. But it is not, BM erroneously believed, 
" 1 Hakem," the Fatimitt Caliph of bad name. % 

It 



242 SECRET SECTS OF SYRIA 

3. Mohammed (the Word). His duty is to watch over 
the behaviour and necessities of the brethren ; a kind of 
bishop. 

4. Se-lama (the Preceding), called the " Right Wing." 

5. Mokshatana, Boha-eddin (the Following), named the 
" Left Wing/' 

These last are both messengers between Hamzeh and the 
Brotherhood. Above these living mediators who remain 
ever unknown to all but the chief Akkals, stand the ten 
incarnates of the ' Supreme Wisdom/ the last of whom is 
to return at the end of the cycle, which is fast approaching, 
though no one but El Hamma knows the day that last 
" Messenger/' in accordance with the cyclic recurrences 
of events, being also the first who came with Hamzeh, hence 
Boha-eddin. The names of the Druse incarnations are All 
A-llal, who appeared in India (Kabir, we believe) ; Albar, 
in Persia ; Alya, in Yemen ; Moill and Kahim, in Eastern 
Africa ; Moessa and Had-di, in Central Asia ; Albou and 
Manssour, in China ; and Budea, that is Boha-eddin, 1 in 
Tartary, whence he came and whither he returned. This 
last one, some say, was dual-sexed on earth. Having entered 
into El Hakim the Caliph, a monster of wickedness he 
caused him to be assassinated, and then sent Hamsa to preach 
and to found the Brotherhood of Lebanon. El Hakim, 
then, is but a mask. It is Budea, i.e. Boha-eddin, they 
expect ! a 

And now for the lamaic hierachy. Of the living, or 
incarnate, Buddhas, there are five also, the chief of whom is 
Dalai, or rather, Talay, Lama from tale, " ocean " or 
" sea " ; he being called " Ocean of Wisdom/' Above him, 
as above Hamzeh, there is but the " Supreme Wisdom," the 
abstract principle from which emanated the five Buddhas 
Maitrei-Buddha (the last Bodhisattva or Vishnu in the 

* One of the names of Minerva, Goddess of Wisdom, was Budea. 

* In the Druse system there is no room for a personal deity, unless a 
portion of the divine impersonal and abstract wisdom incarnates itself in 
a mortal man. The deific principle with them is the essence of Life, the 
All, and as impersonal as the Parabraham of the Vedantins, or the Nirvana 
state of the Buddhists ever invisible, all-pervading and incomprehensible, 
to be known but by occasional incarnations of the spirit in human form, 
These ten incarnations or human avatars, as above specified, are called the 
'* Temples of Ti-meam " (Universal Spirit). 



DRUSE RELIGION AND THIBETAN LAMAISM 248 

Kalki Avatar), the tenth " Messenger " expected on earth, 
included. But this will be the One Wisdom, and will incarnate 
itself in the whole humanity collectively, not in a single 
individual. But of this mystery no more at present. These 
five Hobilgans are distributed to the following order : 

1. Talay-Lama, of Lha-ssa, the incarnation of the 
" spiritual, passive " wisdom, which proceeds from Gautama 
or Siddhartha Buddha, or Fo. 

2. Bande-cha-an Rem-boo-tchi, at Djashi-Loombo. He 
is " the active earthly wisdom." 

3. Sa-deha-fo, or the " Mouthpiece of Buddha," other- 
wise the " Word," at Ssamboo. 

4. Khi-sson-Tamba, the " Precursor " (of Buddha) at 
the Grand Kooren. 

5. Tchang-Zya-Fo-lang, in the Altai Mountains. He 
is called the " Successor " (of Buddha). 

The Shaberons are one degree lower. They, like the chief 
Akkals of the Druses, are the Initiates of the Great Wisdom, 
or Buddh, esoteric religion. This double list of the " five " 
shows great similarity at least between the polity of the two 
systems. The reader must bear in mind that they have sprung 
into their present visible conditions nearly at the same time. 
It was from the ninth to the fifteenth centuries that modern 
Lamaism evolved its ritual and popular religion, which serves 
the Hobilgans and Shaberons as a blind, even against the 
average Chinamen and Thibetan. It was in the eleventh 
century that Hamzeh founded the Brotherhood of Lebanon, 
and till now no one has acquired its secrets ! 

It is supremely strange that both the Lamas and the 
Druses should have the same mystical statistics. They 
reckon the bulk of the human race at 1,332,000,000. When 
good and evil, they say, will come to an equilibrium in the 
scales of human actions (now evil is far the heavier), then the 
breath of " Wisdom " will annihilate in the wink of an eye 
just 666,000,000 of men. The surviving 666,000,000 will 
have " Supreme Wisdom " incarnated in them. 1 This may 

' The Hindus have the same belief. In the Deva-Yuga they will all 
be Devs or Gods. See Lamanim-tshen-po t or Great Road to Perfection, 
a work of the fifteenth century. The author of this book is the great 



244 SECRET SECTS OF SYRIA 

have and probably has an allegorical meaning. But what 
relation might it possibly bear to the number of the " beast " 
of St. John's Revelation ? 

If more were known than really is of the religions of 
Thibet and the Druses, then would scholars see that there 
is more affinity between Turanian Lamaists and the Semitic 
" El Hammists," or Druses, than was ever suspected. But 
all is darkness, conjecture, and mere guesswork whenever 
the writers speak of either the one or the other. The little 
that has transpired of their beliefs is generally so disfigured 
by prejudice and ignorance that no learned Lama or Druse 
would ever recognize a glimpse of likeness to his faith in these 
speculative phantasies. Even the profoundly suggestive 
conclusion to which Godfrey Higgins came (Celtic Druids, 
Part I, p. 101), however true, is but half so. " It is evident," 
he writes, " that there was a secret science possessed some- 
where (by the ancients) which must have been guarded by the 
most solemn oaths . . . and I cannot help suspecting that 
there is still a secret doctrine known only in the deep recesses 
of the crypts of Thibet." 

To conclude with the Druses. As Se-lama and Boha-eddin 
two names more than suggestive of the words " Lama " 
and " Buddha " are the only ones entrusted with the secret 
of Hamsa's retreat, and having the means of consulting with 
their Master, they from time to time bring his directions and 
commands to the Brotherhood ; so even to this day do the 
Akkals of that name travel every seventh year through 
Bussora and Persia into Tartary and Thibet to the very west 
of China, and return at the expiration of the eleventh year, 
bringing fresh orders from " El Hamma." Owing to the 
expectation of war between China and Russia, only last 
year * a Druse messenger passed through Bombay on his way 
to Thibet and Tartary. This would explain the " super- 
stitious " belief that " the souls of all pious Druses are 

reformer of Lamaism, the famous Tzong-ka-pa, from whose hair sprang up 
the famous Koum-boum letter tree, a tree whose leaves all bear sacred 
Thibetan inscriptions, according to tradition. This tree was seen by Abbe" 
Hue some forty years ago, and was seen last year by the Hungarian traveller 
Count Szitcheny, who, however (begging his pardon), could not, ,under its 
physical surroundings, have parried away a branch of it as he pretends to 
have dome. 

1 This was written in 1880. 



DRUSE RELIGION AND THIBETAN LAMAISM 245 

supposed to be occupying, in large numbers, certain cities in 
China." It is around the plateau of the Pamirs they say, 
with the Biblical scholars that the cradle of the true race 
must be located but the cradle of initiated humanity only, 
of those who have for the first time tasted of the fruit of 
knowledge, and those are in Thibet, Mongolia, Tartary, 
China and India, where also the souls of their pious and 
initiated brethren transmigrate and become " Sons of GOD." 
What this language means every theosophist ought to know. 
They discredit the fable of Adam and Eve, and say that they 
who first ate of the forbidden fruit, and thus became Elohim, 
were Enoch or Hermes (the supposed father of Masonry), 
and Seth Sat'an, the father of secret wisdom and learning, 
whose abode, they say, is now in the planet Mercury, 1 and 
whom the Christians were kind enough to convert into a chief 
devil, the " fallen angel, 11 Their evil one is an abstract 
principle, and called the " Rival." 

The " millions of Chinese Unitarians " may mean Thibetan 
Lamas, Hindus, and others of the East, as well as Chinamen. 
It is true that the Druses believe in and expect their 
resurrection day in Armageddon, which, however, they 
pronounce otherwise. As the phrase occurs in the Apocalypse 
it may seem to some that they get the idea from St. John's 
Revelation. It is nothing of the kind. On that day, which, 
according to the Druse teaching, will consummate the great 
spiritual plan, " the bodies of the wise and faithful will be 
absorbed into the absolute essence, and transformed from the 
many into the One." This is pre-eminently the Buddhist 
idea of Nirvana, and that of the Vedantin final absorb- 
tion into Parabraham. Their " Persian Magianism and 

1 Buddha is son of Maya, and (according to the Brahamanic notion) 
Vishnu ; Maia is mother of Mercury by Jupiter. Buddha means the " wise/' 
and Mercury is God of Wisdom (Hermes) ; and the planet sacred to Gautama 
Buddha is Mercury ; Venus and Isis presided over navigation, as Mary or 
Maria, the Madonna, presides now. Is not the latter hymned to this day 
by the Church : 

" Ave maris Stella, 
Dei Mater alma." 
or 

" Hail, Star of the Sea, 
Dear Mother of God." 

thus identified with Venus ? 



246 SECRET SECTS OF SYRIA 

Gnosticism " makes them regard St. John as Cannes, the 
Chaldean manfish, 1 hence connects their belief at once with 
the Indian Vishnu and the Lamaic symbology. Their 
" Armageddon " is simply " Ramdagon," * and this is how 
it is explained. 

The sentence in Revelation is no better interpreted than 
so many other things by Christians, while even the non- 
Kabalistic Jews know nothing of its real meaning. 
Armageddon is mistaken for a geographical locality the 
elevated table of Esdraelon or Ar-mageddon, the mountain 
of Megiddo, where Gideon triumphed over the Midianites ! 3 
It is an erroneous notion, for the name in the Revelation 
refers to a mythical place mentioned in one of the most 
archaic traditions of the heathen East, especially among the 
Turanian and Semitic races. It is simply a kind of 

1 See " Legend of Jonah " in the Appendix. 

* Rama, of the solar race, is an incarnation of Vishnu a Sun-God. In 
the " Matsya," or first avatar, in order to save humanity from final destruc- 
tion (see Vishnu Purana) that God appears to King Satyavrata and the 
seven saints who accompany him on the vessel to escape universal deluge, 
as an enormous fish with one stupendous horn. To this horn the King is 
commanded by Hari to tie the ship with a serpent (the emblem of eternity) 
instead of a cable. The Dalai-Lama, besides his name of " Ocean," is also 
called Sarou, which in Thibetan means the " unicorn " or one-horned. He 
wears on his head-gear a prominent horn, set over a Yung-dang, or mystic 
cross, which is the Jain and Hindu Swastika. The " fish " and the sea 6r 
water are the most archaic emblems of the Messiahs, or incarnations of divine 
wisdom, among all the ancient peoples. Fishes play a prominent figure 
on old Christian medals ; and in the catacombs of Rome the " Mystic Cross " 
or " Anchor " stands between two fishes as supporters. Dagh-dae, the 
name of Zaratushtra's mother, means the " Divine Fish/' or Holy Wisdom. 
The " Mover on the Waters," whether we call him Narayana or Abatur 
(the Kabalistic Superior Father and " Ancient of the World "), or " Holy 
Spirit " is all one. According to Codex Nazarceus, Kabala and Genesis, 
the Holy Spirit, when moving on the waters, mirrored himself and " Adam 
Kadmon was born." Mare in Latin is the sea. Water is associated with 
every creed, Mary and Venus are both patronesses of the sea and 
of sailors and both mothers of Gods of Love whether divine or earthly. 
The mother of Jesus is called Mary or Mariah the word meaning in Hebrew 
mirror, that in which we find but the reflection instead of a reality, and 600 
years before Christianity there was Maya, Buddha's mother, whose name 
means illusion identically the same. Another curious " coincidence " is 
found in the selections ot new Dalai-Lamas in Thibet. The new incarnation 
of Buddha is ascertained by a curious ichthyomancy with three gold fishes. 
Shutting themselves up in the Buddha-La (temple), the Hobilgans place 
three gold fishes in an urn, and on one of these ancient emblems of Supreme 
Wisdom shortly appears the name of the child into whom the soul of the 
late Dalai-Lama is supposd to have transmigrated. 

s It is not the " Valley of Megeddo," for there is no such valley known, 
Dr. Robinson's typographical and Biblical notions being no better than 
hypotheses. 



DRUSE RELIGION AND THIBETAN LAMAISM 247 

purgatorial Elysium, in which departed spirits are collected 
to await the day of final judgment. That it is so is proved 
by the verses in Revelation : " And he gathered them together 
into a place called . . . Armageddon. And the seventh 
angel poured out his vial into the air " (xvi. 16, 17). The 
Druses pronounce the name of that mystical locality " Ram- 
dagon." It is, then, highly probable that the word is an 
anagram, as shown by the author of the Commentary 
on the Apocalypse. It means " Rama-Dagon," I the first 
signifying Sun-Goo of that name, and the second " Dagon," 
or the Chaldean Holy Wisdom incarnated in their 
" Messenger," Cannes, the Man-Fish, and descending on 
the " Sons of GOD " or the initiates of whatever country ; 
those, in fact, through whom Deific Wisdom occasionally 
reveals itself to the world. 

1 Ram is also womb and valley, and in Thibetan " goat " ; Dag is fish, 
from Dagon, the man-fish, or perfect wisdom. 



CHAPTER XXV 

THE RELATION OF THE DRUSES TO FREEMASONRY 

THE Rev. Haskett Smith prepared a paper on the relation of 
the Druses to Freemasonry, which was published in the 
Ars Quator Coronatum of Jan. 2, 1891. In this paper 
he advanced two propositions : 

1. That the Druses are none other than the original 
subjects of Hiram, King of Tyre, and that their ancestors 
were the builders of King Solomon's Temple. 

2. That, to this very day, the Druses retain many evident 
tokens of their close and intimate connection with the Ancient 
Craft of Freemasonry. 

In introducing the first proposition Mr. Haskett Smith 
reminded his audience that " anyone who has the most 
elementary knowledge of the history of the East is aware 
that the subjects of Hiram, King of Tyre, were known by 
the name of Phoenicians. He is also, doubtless, aware that 
the Phoenicians were the great navigators and merchants 
of ancient days. They have been compared by many 
writers to the English ; and, indeed, so far as the spirit of 
enterprise, adventure, commerce, and colonization were 
concerned, the comparison is by no means inappropriate; 
but there was another section ot the Phoenician race who were, 
in every sense, their brethren and kindred in blood and 
family, their fellow-subjects in the same realm, partakers 
with them of the same ancestral stock. This other section 
presented, however, in the features of their daily life and 
occupation, a diametrical contrast to their more famous 
brethren. They were a pastoral and agricultural class of 
peasants, inhabiting the mountain glens and valleys of 
the Lebanon, dwelling above and undisturbed in the secluded 
retirement of their village homes. They were brought into 

9*8 



RELATION OF DRUSES TO FREEMASONRY 249 

contact with no outsiders ; they had no relations of business 
or friendship with other races ; and, with one solitary 
exception in their history, nothing ever occurred to bring 
their names into notice. The solitary exception was 
occasioned by the building of Solomon's Temple. Hiram, 
Kjng of Tyre, sovereign of all Phoenicia, maritime and 
mountainous, proffered his services to his royal neighbour, 
and, in the prosecution of his friendly assistance, he com- 
missioned that portion of his subjects who inhabited the rural 
districts on the Lebanon slopes, to hew down the cedar trees, 
to fashion the timbers, to quarry the stones, and to perform 
all the other necessary labours in connection with the under- 
taking upon which he had embarked. Thus, when we read, 
either in the pages of the Bible or in the history of the Craft, 
of the subjects of Hiram, King of Tyre, who assisted in the 
erection of Solomon's Temple, we must remember that these 
were principally those Phoenicians who belonged to the 
agricultural and domestic class. It is true that their brethren 
of the seaboard had also their share in the work, for it was they 
who were responsible for the safe transfer of all the materials 
from the Phoenician ports to Joppa, and from thence to their 
destination at Jerusalem. But the Craftsmen and Masons 
themselves were mountaineering Phoenicians, inhabitants 
of those very districts where, many centuries afterwards, 
Hamzeh preached his new religion and founded the sacred 
worship of Drusedom. 

" Now I would earnestly draw the attention of the brethren 
to one cardinal feature of Oriental life. Except under 
extraordinary and abnormal circumstances such, for 
example, as those I have enumerated in connection with the 
mercantile section of Phoenicia there is a universal 
tendency amongst all Eastern tribes to maintain unchanged 
for centuries upon centuries their habits, customs, race 
distinctions, and places of abode. Such would especially 
be the case with an exclusive, retiring, and pastoral peasantry 
such as the mountaineering subjects of the kings of Phoenicia. 
Just exactly as the very condition of life under which the 
navigating Phoenicians lived brought about two results, 
viz., their fame and prosperity for a time, and their subsequent 
extinction as a race ; so did the opposite conditions of life 



250 SECRET SECTS OF SYRIA 

tinder which their agricultural brethren lived, produce two 
results, the opposite of these, viz., their obscurity of renown, 
and their permanence of existence. Long after Phoenicia, 
as a nation, had become nothing more than an interesting 
matter of past history to the world in general, this portion 
of Phoenicia was still maintaining, in unknown seclusion, its 
integrity of character, race and blood. The downfall of 
Tyre and Sidon had caused the worship of Baal and Ashteroth 
to fall into decay, and when Hamzeh came amongst this people 
he found them practically without a religion. Their rigid 
exclusiveness of Nature had forbidden them to embrace any 
religion, such, e.g., as Christianity or Mohammedanism, which 
would have brought them into communion with the outside 
world ; and one of the chief recommendations of Hamzeh's 
faith was that it supplied them with a religion which they 
could have entirely to themselves. 

" It is, however, a matter of the most significant note that, 
though Hamzeh could not detect amongst this people any 
trace of a sacred religion, in the strictest sense of the word, 
beyond their vague acceptance of the idea of One GOD, 
he nevertheless found the existence amongst them of certain 
sacred and mystic rites. To these he alludes particularly 
in his writings. He speaks of their signs and passwords, 
of their different degrees of initiation, and of their assemblies 
within closed doors. These ancient traditional rites and 
mysteries he appears to have incorporated with his new 
religion, and some of their phrases, ideas, and sentiments 
he employs and makes use of as if they were his own. 

" I have thus been enabled to trace without, as it seems 
to me, any missing link, the unbroken continuity between the 
pastoral subjects of Hiram, King of Tyre, and the Druses 
of the present day. The historical connection thus established 
is confirmed in many ways by collateral evidence. Thus, 
an intimate acquaintance with the inner life of the Druses 
reveals to one's observing mind many characteristics in 
regard to them which are just the very ones we should expect 
to find among the modern representatives of these ancient 
highlanders. In the first place, the Druses are essentially a 
mountaineering, agricultural and pastoral race. Amongst 
all their many settlements in the Lebanon, the Hauran, 



RELATION OF DRUSES TO FREEMASONRY 251 

Palestine, and Syria, there is not, so far as I am aware, 
a single Druse village in the plain. They are all on mountain 
heights, perched like eagles' nests on the summit of lofty 
hills, difficult of access, and implying from their inhabitants 
the characteristics of highlanders. 

" Again, in all my researches and I have been very 
diligent in my inquiries in this direction I have never seen 
or heard of a Druse who is engaged in manufacturing or 
commercial pursuits. They are, without exception, agricultural 
peasants. 

" We come now to another remarkable point. The 
Druses invariably assert with confidence that they were the 
builders of Solomon's Temple. I have questioned them again 
and again upon this matter ; with some I have feigned 
astonishment at their claim, with others I have pretended 
to dispute its truth, with others again I have adopted an 
attitude of perfect ignorance on the subject. But by all, 
I have been met with an assured declaration that their 
ancestors most undoubtedly built the Temple at Jerusalem. 
The Druses know very little about the Bible or the history 
of the ancient Israelites. Most of the prophets and heroes 
of old, with whose names we have been familiar from child- 
hood, are quite unknown by those people of Syria, but there 
is one name of ancient Old Testament story that stands out 
conspicuous in the traditions of the Druses. That one name 
is Solomon. He is their fabled hero ; it is in him that all 
their legends and wonderful stories concentre ; and next 
to Hakem he occupies the most sacred place in their 
sanctology. 

" All these facts, duly considered and weighed together 
in conjunction, appear to my mind a satisfactory and 
conclusive proof of the First Proposition which I have laid 
before the brethren that the Druses are the original subjects 
of Hiram, King of Tyre, and that their ancestors were the 
builders of Solomon's Temple. 

" I come now to the Second Proposition, and shall 
endeavour to establish with equal, if not with even more 
convincing clearness, the fact that the Druses present many 
evident tokens of their intimate connection with the Ancient 
Craft of Freemasonry. 



253 SECRET SECTS OF SYRIA 

" And here I may remark, by way of parenthesis, that 
if it be so we have a very remarkable and overpowering 
corroboration of the claim which Freemasonry makes to 
its mystic relation to the builders of the Temple. If it be 
true, as I have already endeavoured to show, that the Druses 
assisted to build the Temple, and if it be also true, as I shall 
now proceed to demonstrate, that the Druses are connected 
with Mystic Craft, then it follows, as a necessary and logical 
consequence, that Freemasonry played an important part 
in the erection of the House of GOD upon Moriah ; if, indeed, 
it did not actually take its rise in that important and 
memorable undertaking. 

" The arguments which I shall bring forward in support 
of my second proposition are so numerous and varied that, 
for the sake of clearness, it is better to distinguish them 
numerically, (i) It is well known to every brother of the 
Craft that a three-fold condition is laid down for the eligibility 
of a candidate to initiation into the mysteries of Freemasonry. 
This threefold condition is as follows : ' The candidate must 
be of full age, free-born, and of good report.' In the 
Book of Testimonies to the Mysteries of the Unity, which 
contains the principles and code as laid down by Hamzeh, 
there are enumerated, in like manner, three conditions for 
the admission of a candidate into the Druse religion. Now, 
let it be carefully observed, this threefold condition is critically 
identical in every respect with that for initiation into 
Freemasonry. It is thus expressed : ' He that believeth 
in the truths which have been set forth in this book is eligible 
for admission to the ranks (i.e., degrees of initiation), and to 
take his place in the secret assemblies (i.e., the Lodges), 
provided that he be of full age, free from servitude, and sound 
of mind and body.' I must confess that, when I first read this 
sentence in the sacred book of the Druses, I was perfectly 
overwhelmed at what appeared to me so convincing a 
confirmation of the theory I had formed as to the relation 
between Freemasonry and the Druses, for it appeared to 
me that an identity so exact could scarcely be the result of 
mere coincidence, nor did it seem at all probable that either 
the Craft could have copied the conditions of the Eastern 
sect, or the latter have taken their phrase from Freemasonry. 



RELATION OF DRUSES TO FREEMASONRY 253 

There remained, to my mind, no other alternative than that 
the two mysteries were co-related. 

" (2) I have referred indirectly to the different degrees 
of initiation which have been customary amongst the Druses 
from time immemorial, I may here state that they are at 
least three in number. There are first those who are called 
' Jahels ' or ' unlearned.' These are Druses who have 
merely passed through the preliminary stage of initiation in 
their childhood, which consists of a ceremony of shaving 
the head and other mystic observances when the boy is about 
six years old. I may here state that the females go through 
no forms of initiation, and, though some few are admitted 
to certain services in their Khalwehs, or sacred buildings, 
yet I can find no proof that any of them really belong to, 
what we may call, the Inner Craft. Here, then we have, 
by the way, a trifling parallel to the exclusion of women frojn 
the mysteries of Freemasonry, though the matter is so 
comparatively trivial, regarded as a proof of my present 
proposition, that I have not thought it worth while to give 
it a separate paragraph to itself. The first class of Druse 
initiates, then, of which I have spoken, the Entered 
Apprentices, as it were, are admitted only to the general 
assemblies of the Church. They are allowed to wear no 
distinctive garment, and they can scarcely be discriminated 
by a casual observer from the ordinary Arab or Syrian of 
the country. The second class are called ' Akkals/ or 
' learned/ and are admitted by some mystic secret rite, 
the nature of which I have been unable to learn. These 
correspond, so to speak, to the Fellow-Crafts of Freemasonry, 
and they form, perhaps, the majority of adult Druses. They 
wear a white turban round a red tarboosh or fez, and they 
can be readily distinguished whenever they are met. They 
are not allowed to smoke, nor drink any intoxicating liquors, 
and they have many other restrictive customs upon which 
I cannot enlarge in this paper. 

" The third class is that to which the ' Khateebs ' or 
' priests/ belong, and they correspond to the Master- 
Masons. Their initiation is, I believe, of a very solemn and 
mystic character ; and inasmuch as they occupy a higher and 
more sacred position than the others, they have, in their turn, 



254 SECRET SECTS OF SYRIA 

certain further prescriptions laid upon them. Thus, for 
example, they may not even drink tea or coffee nothing, 
in fact, but water. They are regarded with the utmost 
reverence and respect by the Druses in general, as being the 
sacred repositories of the more hidden and mysterious secrets 
of their faith. 

" In addition to these, which constitute the general 
Orders of Drusedom, just as the three degrees constitute 
the general Orders of Freemasonry, there are, I believe, in 
some villages of the Lebanon and Hauran, certain Druses of a 
higher and more mystic degree, who are known by their 
brethren as Prophets and Seers ; such, for example, as the 
Star-Diviner, as their chief astrologer is called. For the 
esoteric aspect of Drusedom has much to do with astrology. 

" In the main we may say that, so far as regards initiations 
and degrees, the Druse system is closely allied to Free- 
masonry. 

" (3) We now come to tokens, passwords, and signs. And 
here let me acknowledge at once that, whatever may be the 
passwords in vogue among the Druses, they are certainly 
not words familiar to Freemasons. I have made many 
attempts to gain the ear of a Druse by words, mysteriously 
whispered, as a dramatic theatrical aside, solemnly pro- 
nounced, or casually uttered when the Druse would be least 
on his guard, and I have never succeeded in producing the 
slightest impression. I have rendered them in the original 
Hebrew dialect, so far as I have been able to give the right 
accent ; I have tried the modern Arabic forms ; but always 
with the same barren result. I can only come to one of two 
conclusions: either their passwords are different entirely 
from anything known in modern Freemasonry, or else they 
employ the ancient Phoenician versions of the words. The 
latter supposition is quite possible, and if it should prove 
correct it will be highly interesting and remarkable. 
Unfortunately, I am not acquainted with the ancient 
Phoenician language, and, therefore, I have been unable to 
experiment in this direction. 

" But, if the passwords are such as I have been unable 
to recognize, the case is somewhat otherwise with respect to 
tokens and signs. Regarding the latter I will mention two 



RELATION OF DRUSES TO FREEMASONRY 255 

particulars. First, that certain points of fellowship, 
amounting to five or more among the higher classes of the 
Druses, are common to the sect or society. This is worthy 
of reflection amongst the brethren, but the second particular 
is even more so. Upon one occasion I had to enter upon a bar- 
gain with a certain Druse farmer in my village. It was neces- 
sary that a formal and binding agreement should be ratified 
between the farmer and myself. As he could neither read nor 
write, he suggested that an agreement should be made in 
the manner customary among the Druses. Not knowing in 
the least what this form of ratification might be, but being 
always on the look-out for any new information concerning 
their customs and ceremonies I readily agreed to the Druse's 
proposal. Thereupon he brought to me the Khateeb of 
the village and two other Druses as witnesses. The Khateeb 
bade us join hands, and each in turn repeat after him our 
respective formula of agreement. When it came to the 
Druse's turn to speak and to make his formal compact with 
me . . . and as soon as the business was finished he turned 
to me and asked how and when I had learned the secrets of 
the Druses. This was one of the first incidents that started 
me on the scent of the track, which I have since pursued 
with eager zest, ever accumulating fresh evidence in support 
of my belief as to the relation of Drusedom with Free- 
masonry. 

" (4) Having spoken of the conditions of initiation, the 
different degrees, the passwords, signs and tokens of the 
Druses, I go on to say a few words about their Khalwehs* 
Every Druse village and settlement has its Khalweh, or 
place of sacred meeting. In common language it might be 
called the Druse church, but I prefer to entitle it, more 
accurately, the ' Lodge.' Besides those attached to each 
village there are Khalwehs to be seen in secluded nooks, 
amongst the glens, ravines, and dells, on the mountain 
ranges where the Druses dwell. TlTSeTare chiefly used for 
extraordinary occasions and great festivals, and for the 
gathering together of Druse assemblies from several villages 
and differing districts. The ordinary Khalweh is invariably 
situated on the outside of a Druse village, on a plot of ground 
apart by itself ; and no houses or buildings are allowed to 



256 SECRET SECTS OF SYRIA 

be erected within a certain distance of it. This is for the 
purpose of more effectually securing the absolute privacy 
of their mystic meetings. During the time of meeting, a 
man is always to be seen stationed on the outside of the 
Khalweh, and his business is to prevent the approach of 
any outsider near the place. He is, in fact, the Tyler of 
the Druse Lodge, whose duty it is to keep off all cowans and 
intruders from the mysteries of the Craft. I have myself 
frequently seen the Tyler at his post ; and no Masonic Outer 
Guard, however faithful and zealous in the discharge of his 
functions, can outvie the watchful vigilance of a Druse 
doorkeeper to the house of his religion. This being the case, 
it is needless for me to say that I have never been able to 
penetrate into the hidden sanctum of the Khalweh, whilst 
the brethren of the Druses are assembled in the ' Lodge.' 
But I have been given to understand by the Druses themselves 
that at such times they have an Inner Guard duly posted, 
who bears the same relation to the Masonic official of that 
name as the outer guard does to the Masonic Tyler. 

" (5) I have said that the moral law of the Druses religion 
is contained in summary in seven articles, of which the first 
three may be regarded as the chief. What are these three ? 

(i) The Belief in One GOD and in His Eternal Truth, 
(ii) The Exercise of Brotherly Love, 
(iii) The Practice of Acts of Charity. 

In the words of their lawgiver, ' The true belief in the Truth 
of the One GOD shall take the place of Prayer ; the exercise 
of Brotherly Love shall take the place of Fasting ; and the 
practice of daily acts of Oharity shall take the place of 
Almsgiving. 

" Thus the practical religion upon which the Druses' 
conduct is to be regulated may be summed up in the well- 
known words ' Brotherly Love, Relief, and Truth/ 

" Owing to the jealous exclusiveness and inscrutable 
mystery with which the Druses hedge themselves around, 
the whole work of inquiry and investigation is attended with 
the utmost difficulty and discouragement. If, for example, 
one of the brethren, interested by the facts which I have 
stated In this paper, were to determine to undertake a 



RELATION OF DRUSES TO FREEMASONRY 257 

personal pilgrimage to the Druses, and to further examine the 
matter for himself, I warn him that he would, in all probability, 
find himself grievously disappointed. It is, indeed, a matter 
of practical impossibility for a stranger or outsider to learn 
anything of the secret details of the Druse religious system. 
It is only after a close and intimate abode amongst them for 
several years, a familiar intercourse with them in their 
daily life, engaging in their occupations and pursuits, eating 
at their meals, sleeping in their houses, sharing in their 
domestic cares and troubles, sympathizing with them in their 
personal sorrows and joys, that I have been able, little by 
little, and here and there, to gather together the various 
items of my knowledge concerning their inner life. And 
even now, thoroughly as I am acquainted with them, honestly 
as they have learned to trust me, cordially as they have cast 
off all suspicion concerning me, I find it absolutely 
impracticable to question them openly upon the subject of 
their creed. Whenever I attempt to broach the matter, 
I am either met with what I know to be a deliberately false 
reply, or else the whole subject is adroitly turned, in a manner 
which a Druse alone could have the skill to adopt. 

" It has been suggested to me more than nee that an 
effectual mode of prosecuting my researches to their utmost 
limit, would be to offer myself as a candidate for initiation 
into Drusedom. But this again is impossible ; for the Druses 
have a standard saying of their own ; ' The door is shut ; 
none can enter in, and none can pass out/ None but the 
offspring and blood of Druses are eligible for admission to 
their mystic rites. It is a matter of sheer impossibility to 
convert a Druse to any other religion, and it is an equal 
impossibility to be inititated into Drusedom. 

" Hence, as they say, c the door is shut/ The Tyler 
stands on duty at the outside ; the Inner Guard keeps watch 
within. The anxious inquirer must still remain in the 
obscurity and darkness of the outer world ; and all that he 
can hope for is to catch some passing glimpse of the internal 
mysteries through some chink in the walls laid bare by the 
careless indiscretion of a stray remark, or by the interchange 
of courtesies between a couple of Druses, observed by the 
anxious glance of unsuspected scrutiny. During the great 

17 



258 SECRET SECTS OF SYRIA 

outbreak in the Lebanon, in the year 1860, between the Druses 
and the Maronites, some Druse Khalwehs were forcibly 
entered, and a lew sacred books were captured. Some of 
these have since been translated and published by Professor 
De Sacy and others, but they have shed very little light upon 
the hidden mysteries of the Druse system. They were, after 
all, but very superficial books ; the real records of their 
secret religion all of which are, of course, in manuscript 
alone are kept in safe custody by the Khateebs themselves, 
and are never left in the Khalwehs. When one of these shall 
have been unearthed and published, and not until then, 
can we hope to have sufficient means at our disposal to 
investigate thoroughly the Druse mysteries ; and, meanwhile, 
I can but ask that the brethren will accept the results of 
my research for what they are worth, and that they will 
consider them an honest 'and, I will hope, a not uninteresting 
contribution towards the solution of the problem of the 
origin of Freemasonry." 



CHAPTER XXVI 
THE YEZIDIS, OR DEVIL- WORSHIPPERS 

ANOTHER religious sect to be found in the neighbourhood of 
the Lebanon is that of the Yezidis, in whom again there is 
a distinct trace of Persian origin, and who have obtained, 
more even than the Druses, from certain authors, the 
reputation of being " Sheitani," or devil- worshippers, and 
addicted to dark and mysterious rites, which, like those 
attributed equally to Freemasons in general, have their 
sole existence in the imaginations of those who are disinclined 
to look with any favour on secret rites and doctrines of any 
kind. The Yezidi tribes, while inhabiting chiefly the country 
round Mosul, have an appreciable number of followers in 
Syria among their total membership of something like 
200,000. 

Madam Blavatsky, who claimed to have visited them, 
says that they are erroneously described as a branch of the 
Koords. She says, 1 that " they are called and known 
everywhere as devil- worshippers, and most certainly it is 
not either through ignorance or mental obscuration that 
they have set up the worship of and a regular inter- 
communication with the lowest and most malicious of both 
elemei\al$ and elementaiies. They recognize the present 
wickedness of the chief of the ' black powers ' ; but, at the 
same time, they dread his power, and so try to conciliate to 
themselves his favours. He is in constant quarrel with Allah, 
they say, but a reconciliation can take place between the two 
at any day ; and those who have shown marks of their 
disrespect to the ' black one ' now may suffer for it at some 
future time, and thus have both GOD and Devil against 
them." 

1 I sis Unveiled, vol. ii. p. 571. 
250 



260 SECRET SECTS OF SYRIA 

During their prayer-meetings, they join hands, and form 
immense rings, with their Sheikh, or an officiating priest, 
in the middle, who claps his hands, and intones every verse 
in honour of Sheitan (Satan). Then they whirl, and leap in 
the air. When the frenzy is at its climax, they often wound 
and cut themselves with their daggers, occasionally rendering 
the same service to their next neighbours. But their wounds 
do not heal and cicatrize as easily as in the case of lamas and 
holy men ; for but too often they fall victims to these self- 
inflicted wounds. While dancing and flourishing high their 
daggers without unclasping hands for this would be con- 
sidered a sacrilege, and the spell instantly broken they coax 
and praise Sheitan, and entreat him to manifest himself in his 
works by ' miracles/ As their rites are chiefly accomplished 
by night, they do not fail to obtain manifestations of a varied 
character, the least of which are enormous globes of fire, which 
take the shapes of the most uncouth animals. 

" Lady Hester Stanhope," continues Madame Blavatsky, 
" whose name was for many years a power among the 
Masonic fraternities of the East, is said to have witnessed, 
personally, several of these Yezidean ceremonies. We 
(H.P.B. invariably speaks of herself in the plural) were told 
by an Akkal of the sect of the Druses that after having been 
present at one of the ' Devil's Masses ' of the Yezidis, as 
they are called, this extraordinary lady, so noted for personal 
courage and daring bravery, fainted, and notwithstanding 
her usual Emir's male attire, was recalled to life and health 
with the greatest difficulty. Personally, we regret to say, 
all our efforts to witness one of these performances failed." 

The Earl of Carnarvon, who visited the Lebanon in 1853, 
and who was a close observer of all these secret sects, of whose 
travels and observations there is a most valuable record, 1 
formed a different opinion altogether of the doctrines and 
practices of the Yezidis. He says : " There appears to 
be among the Yezidis the same adoption of the Jewish and 
Christian Scriptures as is to be found in the Druse theology, 
the same curious mixture of Christian and Mohammedan 
ceremonial (quoted from earlier authors by Hyde,* and 

1 Recollections of the Druses of the Lebanon, London, 1860. 
Hyde, Rel. Vet. Pevs., pp. 517, 518. 



THE YEZIDIS, OR DEVIL- WORSHIPPERS 261 

endorsed by himself) as in the case of baptism and 
circumcision, and a similar, although a much greater, respect 
for the sun, and for the fire which is his symbol. In some 
other points an equally curious correspondence of practice 
might be traced. The rule which forbids the use of pork and 
sanctions that of wine is the same in each race ; the law which 
admits women alike to the priesthood among the Yezidis, 
and to the secret conclaves of the Druse faith, is too singular 
an exception to Oriental prejudice and custom to be omitted 
from consideration. The alleged worship of the metal figure 
of a bird called the ' Malek Taoos ' l might find its parallel 
in the supposed adoration of the calf, as the tales of midnight 
orgies and unhallowed rites have been often told alike 
of Yezidi and Druse. 1 ' 

Mr. Layard says that this bird is either a cock or a peacock, 
and Hyde 2 expressly states that the Evil Principle, whom 
the Yezidis refuse to curse, or even name, is named by them 
the Pavlo-Angelus. If then, as seems most probable, the 
Malek Taoos is a peacock, it is very curious to notice the Druse 
tradition which assigns to that bird the part of a spiritual 
and deceiving minister in the temptation and fall of our first 
parents. M. de Sacy 3 observes in a note on this point that 
the Druse writers often designate the founders of false creeds 
by the title of peacocks. If this be so, the analogy between 
the Malek Taoos, or Peacock of the Yezidi, and Doruzi, 
or the Calf of the Druse, would repay the attention of Oriental 
scholars. The only question is, whether it is, like Doruzi, 
an emblem of reverence or detestation. If indeed, the 
Yezidi belief be one deprecatory of the Devil, and if, as Mr. 
Layard intimates, the peacock be symbolic of Satan, who is, 
in their eyes, only the chief of the rebel angels, then the 
Malek Taoos would represent the bad rather than the good 
principle, and so far would be akin to the golden calf of the 
Druses, and imply also the Persian origin of the sect, and the 
ancient Persian ideas of Ahura-Mazda (or Ormuzd) and 
Ahriman. Mr. Layard was indeed told by the Yezidi chief 
that the figure was only a symbol, and not an idol ; but he 

* See Appendix, " Worship of the Peacock." 

> Hyde, Rel. Vet. Pers. p. 518, 

3 Religion dts Druzts, vol. ii. p. 131. 



862 SECRET SECTS OF SYRIA 

adds, as from himself, " it is held in great reverence." * 
These charges of devil-worship, midnight orgies, and un- 
hallowed rites have been equally made concerning the 
Manicheans, the Gnostics, and the Order of the Templars, 
and in each case based on equally unproven allegations. The 
whole charges are probably due to the intolerance of both 
Christians and Mohammedans to any sect whose minority 
rendered habits of secrecy essential to its maintenance of 
nationality and independence. M. de Sacy, one of the highest 
authorities on the subject, evidently does not believe in the 
allegation : Niebuhr in his account of the Lebanon is obviously 
indisposed to give credit to a tale which of itself is little 
credible ; and Col. Churchill, whose close acquaintance 
with the people and country gives weight to his opinion, 
appears to attach very little importance to the common 
report. 

Especially as regards the Druses, those who have really 
studied their character express opinions quite inconsistent 
with this serious accusation, which may very fairly be set 
against the mere hearsay on which it is so evidently founded. 
For such charges are disproved with difficulty where the 
nature of the religion itself forbids the production of actual 
evidence, and the secrecy which inevitably shrouds their 
proceedings invariably, in the popular mind, weighs against 
a favourable consideration of the true faith and real practices 
of the sect under discussion. 

The Yezidis are ruled by two Sheikhs, one having the 
direction of the civil affairs of the tribe, the other presiding 
over their religious rites, and especially entrusted with the 
care of their Sanctuary, named after their chief Saint, Sheikh 
Adi, after whom the valley in which they are mostly found is 
called. Badger, in his Nestorian Christians, suggests 
that this Adi represents the incarnation of a certain Yezd, 
who appeared on earth to instruct the Yezidis in their 
particular faith, and that the title of Sheikh was given to 
him by his followers in order to conceal from the Moslems the 
true signification of his name. The Yezidis very strictly 
preserve the sanctity of their hierarchy, which includes 
four orders of Priests Pirs, Sheikhs, Kawals and Fakirs. 
1 Nineveh and its fiemains, vol. i. p. 298. 



THE YEZIDIS, OR DEVIL-WORSHIPPERS 268 

These orders are hereditary, and can also be filled by females 
when they come in the line of succession. 

The Pirs, whose number is much less than that of the 
other Orders, are the most respected, after the Grand Sheikh 
himself. They are credited with possessing supernatural 
powers, and pass their lives in a state of great sanctity, with- 
out holding any particular offices. The Sheikhs have acquired 
some education, and fill the office of scribes among the sect. 
They dress entirely in white, with the exception of a black 
plume above their turban. They have charge of the tomb 
of Sheikh Adi, and, like the women who carry out the menial 
work connected with this care, wear a red and orange girdle 
as a symbol of their office. The Kawals are the orators and 
musicians of the sect, and are the most numerous. They 
travel from village to village instructing the younger members 
in the doctrines of the sect. The Fakirs are an inferior Order 
altogether, and are distinguished by their tightly fitting dress 
of black or brown, reaching to the knees, and their black 
turban, surmounted by a red kerchief. 

According to Menant, 1 the rite of circumcision is practised 
among the Yezidis, but is not compulsory, like baptism. 
They only submit to it in order to impose on the Mussulmans. 
As soon as a child is born, a Kawal enters the tent ; the mother 
makes a pretence of concealing it ; as soon as he has found 
it, he cuts off its hair, and then proceeds to baptize it, by 
placing it on a plate shaped like a cock, which is then plunged 
into the sacred basin. This ceremony always takes place 
in the Sanctuary of Sheikh-Adi if the child is born within 
any reasonable distance ; otherwise, it is performed in the 
house of the Sheikh, with holy water provided by the Kawals 
as one of their specific duties. 

Badger * says that the Yezidis believe in the existence 
of a supreme being who is the essence of goodness. Some 
pretend that his name is Ayid and that the name of the sect 
is thus derived. But they never address him in prayer, or 
offer him any sacrifice, and they appear to shun any reference 
in conversation to this being whom they adore, and to the 
attributes they ascribe to him. They equally revere Satan, 

* Les Yezidis. 

Badger, The Nestorians and their Rituals, vol, i, pp, 125 If. 



264 SECRET SECTS OF SYRIA 

though they never pronounce his name, or anything 
approaching it, and they are most disturbed if it should be 
casually mentioned by travellers, as many have experienced. 
They appear therefore to worship both the Good and Evil 
deities of the ancient Persians, but say, as the latter can some- 
times do good, while the former cannot possibly do anything 
evil, it is the Evil principle that must be conciliated. Their 
religious ceremonies are all, therefore, more propitiatory 
than eucharistic, expressing the sentiments of persons fearing 
some punishment for their faults, rather than returning 
thanks to GOD for the benefits they have received. 

They believe that Satan is the chief of the fallen angels, 
and that at present he is suffering punishment for his rebellion 
against the Deity, but that he still remains powerful, and will 
one day be restored to the position which he formerly occupied, 
in the Celestail Hierarchy. At the side of Satan, and 
immediately below him, in power and might, they speak 
of seven Archangels, who exercise great influence over the 
world. These are Gabriel, Michael, Raphael, Ariel, Dedrael, 
Azrafel, and Shemkeel ; and according to them, Christ is 
also an Angel who took the form of a man. They do not 
believe that He died upon the Cross, but affirm that He 
ascended into Heaven, from whence He will return at the 
Second Coming for which they wait, in common with Christians 
and Mussulmans. 

Their religion, in many respects, resembles that of the 
Sabeans : like them, they hold the colour blue in aversion ; 
they never use it in their clothing, nor in the decoration 
of their dwellings. The cleanliness of their dwellings, the 
frequent ablutions which they practise, and their custom 
of turning towards the Sun or the Pole Star when worshipping, 
all have a resemblance to the Sabeans, whom, however, they 
do not closely follow in everything. They have a great 
respect for fire, although they do not pay it any particular 
worship. But they often pass their hands over a flame to 
purify them, especially over the lamps which are kept alight 
round the tomb of their Prophet. They are careful never 
to spit in the fire, for fear of soiling the flame. 

The Yezidis believe in the immortality of the soul, and 
In its transmigration. The world, according to them, has 



THE YEZIDIS, OR DEVIL-WORSHIPPERS 266 

had anterior successive creations, and we are in the seventieth 
of these. Each creation ought to last ten thousand years, 
although they do not seem to possess any idea of how these 
cycles are accomplished. They hope to return to the world 
seven years after their death has taken place, in the form 
of men, horses, dogs or sheep, according to the actions of 
their former lives, but these are not re-born in human form 
until after seventy-two years passed in the life beyond, 
while receiving punishment for their misdeeds. They hold 
the belief that they have the power of recognizing each 
other in these different stages of existence, and in proof of 
this they repeat the following legend. Three young men, 
travelling from Sindjaz to the tomb of Sheikh Adi, met a 
boy about seven years of age, who said to them : " I know 
you well, you are my grandsons/' " Maybe they replied, 
" but can you prove it ? " The Sheikh interposed, and told 
the boy to prove his assertion. He said : " The house which 
I lived in during my anterior existence is in such and such a 
place in Sindjaz ; it is there still." The description tallied. 
Then he went on : "I had one prodigal son, your father ; for 
fear that he should dissipate my fortune I buried it in a place 
which I could find again, and it is there still." By command 
of the Sheikh, the child conducted the three young men 
into Sindjaz, went to the spot he had spoken of, took a pick, 
and without any hesitation unearthed the treasure which 
he handed over to his grandsons. 

This sect possesses an extremely prized sacred book, 
which was shown, without any reluctance, to both Layard and 
Badger, who describe it as written in Arabic, without any 
great appearance of antiquity, and it consists of a poetical 
rhapsody on the merits and attributes of their saint, Sheikh 
Adi. 

Layard 1 gives the following interesting account of a 
grand festival of the Yezidis in which he was allowed to 
participate : 

" Before the cluster of buildings assigned to the people of 

Semil, in the Valley of Sheikh Adi, is a small white spire, 

springing from a low edifice, neatly constructed, and, like 

all the sacred edifices of the Yezidi, kept as pure as repeated 

* Layard, Ninwth and Us Remains t vol. i. p. 289. 2 vols, London, 1849, 



266 SECRET SECTS OF SYRIA 

coats of whitewash can make it. It is called the Sanctuary 
of Sheikh Shems, or the Sun ; and is so built, that the first 
rays ot that luminary should, as frequently as possible, fall 
upon it. Near the door is carved on a slab an invocation to 
Sheikh Shems ; and one or two more votive tablets, raised 
by the father of Hussein Bey, and other chiefs of the Yezidis, 
are built into the walls. The interior, which is a very holy 
place, is lighted by a very few small lamps. At sunset, 
as I sat in the alcove in front of the entrance, a herdsman led 
into a pen, adjoining the building, a drove of white oxen, 
I asked a Kawal, who was near me, to whom the beasts 
belonged. ' They are dedicated/ he said, ' to Sheikh Shems, 
and are never slain except on great festivals, when their 
flesh is distributed among the poor.' This unexpected 
answer reminded me that the dedication of the bull to the 
sun, so generally recognized in the religious systems of the 
ancients, probably originated in Assyria, and the Yezidis 
may have unconsciously preserved a myth of their 
ancestors. 

" As the twilight faded, the Fakirs, or lower Orders of 
priests, dressed in brown garments of coarse cloth, closely 
fitting to their bodies, and wearing black turbans on their 
heads, issued from the tomb, each bearing a light in one hand, 
and a pot of oil, with a bundle of cotton wicks, in the other. 
They filled and trimmed lamps placed in niches in the walls 
of the courtyard, and scattered over the buildings on the 
side of the valley, and even on isolated rocks, and in the 
hollow trunks of trees. As the priests made their way through 
the crowd, to perform their task, men and women passed 
their right hand through the flame, and after nibbing the 
right eyebrow with the part which had been purified by the 
sacred element, they devoutly carried it to their lips. Some 
who bore children in their arms, anointed them in like manner ; 
whilst others held out their hands to be touched by those 
who, less fortunate than themselves, could not reach the 
flame. 

" As night advanced, those who had assembled, who 
must now have amounted to five thousand persons, lighted 
torches, which they carried with them as they wandered 
through the forest* Thousands of lights were reflected in 



THE YEZIDIS, OR DEVIL-WORSHIPPERS 26T 

the fountains and streams, glimmered amongst the foliage 
of the trees, and danced in the distance. As I was gazing 
on this extraordinary scene, the hum of human voices was 
suddenly hushed, and a strain, solemn and melancholy, 
arose from the valley. It resembled some majestic chant 
which years before I had listened to in the cathedral of a 
distant land. Music so pathetic and sweet I had never 
before heard in the East. The voices of men and women 
were blended in harmony with the soft notes of many flutes. 
At measured intervals the song was broken by the loud clash 
of cymbals and tambourines ; and those who were without 
the precincts of the tomb then joined in the melody. I 
hastened to the sanctuary, and found Sheikh Nasr, the 
Religious Sheikh, surrounded by the priests, seated in the 
inner court. The place was illuminated by torches and 
lamps, which threw a soft light over the white walls of the 
tomb and green foliage of the arbour. 

" The Sheikhs, in their white turbans and robes, all vener- 
able men with long grey beards, were ranged on one side ; on 
the opposite, seated on the stones, were about thirty Kawals 
in their motley dresses of black and white each performing 
on a tambourine or flute. Around stood the Fakirs in their 
dark garments, and the women of the Orders of the priesthood, 
also arrayed in pure white. No others were admitted within 
the walls of the court. 

" The same slow and solemn strain, occasionally varied 
in the melody, lasted for nearly an hour ; a part of it was 
called ' Makam Azerat Esau/ or the Song of the Lord Jesus. 
It was sung by the Sheikhs, the Kawals, and the women ; 
and occasionally by those without. I could not catch the 
words ; nor could I prevail upon any of those present to 
repeat them to me. They were in Arabic ; and, as few of 
the Yezidis can speak or pronounce that language, they 
were not intelligible, even to the experienced ear of the 
Dragoman from the Vice-Consulate who accompanied me. 
The tambourines, which were struck simultaneously, only 
interrupted at intervals the song of the priests. As the time 
quickened, they broke in more frequently. The chant 
gradually gave way to a lively melody, which, increasing 
in measure, was finally lost in a confusion of sounds. The 



268 SECRET SECTS OF SYRIA 

tambourines were beaten with extraordinary energy ; the 
flutes poured forth a rapid flood of notes ; the voices were 
raised to their highest pitch ; the men outside joined in 
the cry, whilst the women made the rocks resound with their 
shrill ' Tahlehl.' The musicians, giving way to the excite- 
ment, threw their instruments in the air, and strained their 
limbs into every contortion, until they fell exhausted to the 
ground. I never heard a more frightful yell than that which 
rose in the valley. It was midnight. The time and place 
were ^yell suited to the occasion ; and I gazed with wonder 
upon the extraordinary scene around me. Thus were probably 
celebrated, ages ago, the mysterious rites of the Coryhantes, 
when they met in some consecrated grove. I did not marvel 
that such wild ceremonies had given rise to those stories of 
unhallowed rites, and obscene mysteries, which have rendered 
the name of Yezidi an abomination in the East. Notwith- 
standing the uncontrollable excitement which appeared to 
prevail amongst all present, there were no indecent gestures, 
nor unseemly ceremonies. When the musicians and singers 
were exhausted, the noise suddenly died away ; the various 
groups resumed their previous cheerfulness, and again 
wandered through the valley, or seated themselves under 
the trees. So far from Sheikh Adi being the scene of the 
orgies attributed to the Yezidis, the whole valley is held 
sacred ; and no acts, such as the Jewish law has declared to 
be impure, are permitted within the sacred precincts. No 
other than the High Priest and the chiefs of the sect are 
buried near the tomb. Many pilgrims take off their shoes 
on approaching it, and go barefooted as long as they remain 
in its vicinity. 

" Some ceremony took place before I joined the assembly 
at the tomb, at which no stranger can be present, nor could 
I learn its nature from the Kawals. Sheikh Nasr gave me to 
understand that their holy symbol, the Malek Taoos, was then 
exhibited to the priests, and he declared that, as far as he 
was concerned, he had no objection to my witnessing the 
whole of their rites ; but that many of the Sheikhs were 
averse to it, and he did not wish to create any ill feeling in 
the tribe." 

The Yezidis have a tradition that they originally came 



THE YEZIDIS, OR DEVIL-WORSHIPPERS 269 

from Basrah, and from the country watered by the lower 
part of the Euphrates ; that, after their emigration, they 
settled first in Syria, and subsequently took possession of 
the Sindjar hill, and the districts they now inhabit in 
Kurdistan. This tradition, with the peculiar nature of their 
tenets and ceremonies, points to a Sabean or Chaldean origin. 
There is in them a strange mixture of Sabeanism, 
Christianity and Mohammedanism, with a tincture of the 
doctrines of the Gnostics and Manicheans. Sabeanism, 
however, appears to be the prevailing feature, and it is not 
improbable that the sect may be a remnant of the ancient 
Chaldees, who have, at various times, outwardly adopted the 
forms and tenets of the ruling people to save themselves 
from persecution and oppression, and have gradually, 
through ignorance, confounded them with their own belief 
and mode of worship. This has been the case with the other 
remarkable sect of the Sabeans, the Mandaites, or Christians 
of St. John, who still inhabit the banks of the Euphrates and 
the districts of ancient Susiana. 



CHAPTER XXVII 
MODERN ARABIAN FREEMASONRY 

IN a recent issue of an American Masonic publication 1 some 
very interesting, and hitherto unpublished, details are given 
as to the existence of an Order in Masonry which carries on 
at the present day, in both hemispheres, the ancient and 
primitive rite as practised amongst the Arabs from time 
immemorial. Until the commencement of the war, Dr. H. R. 
Coleman, who introduced into America the " Oriental Order 
of Pilgrim Knights/' was Supreme Chancellor of that Order 
under Francis Ferdinand Oddi, of Cairo, the Supreme Chief. 
Dr. Coleman translated the ritual he had found in use among 
certain Arab tribes while journeying in the Holy Land in 
1879 and 1880, when he came into touch with Arab 
Masonry, and was initiated by a Sheikh in the Cave of 
Jeremiah near Jerusalem, after proving himself entitled to 
that honour and privilege. 

According to the Arabs, who apparently know nothing 
of degrees, and who give the ordinary Masonic signs without 
the due guards to which we are accustomed, King Solomon 
made Masons of his workmen when he first began preparations 
for the building of the great Temple. They have a tradition 
that he made three cubic-length metal squares from the 
soft iron of a meteorite said to have fallen from heaven at 
his birth and these were the squares used in the rites, during 
which he sacrificed a sheep after the old Jewish manner of 
cutting its throat, severing its body, etc., and instructed his 
newly made brothers that if they proved false to their vows, 
the wrath of GOD would visit them with the same penalties. 
By this method King Solomon was able to preserve harmony 
among his innumerable workmen. 

Light, Louisiana, Ky., April i, 1918. 
270 



MODERN ARABIAN FREEMASONRY 271 

When the Temple was completed, say the Arabs, King 
Solomon rewarded all those whom he considered w>rthy of 
the name of Mason by permitting them to depart about their 
business, with power vested in each one to make other Masons, 
providing they came up to the moral requirements. And this 
is the manner in which Masonry is propagated among the 
Arabs to this day. Some of the workmen, they say, went back 
to tilling the soil as before : others remained artisans : 
others travelled wheresoever their fancy led them into 
Egypt, India and Europe. All followed whatever trade they 
pleased. But all were Masons, and usually fathers made 
their sons Masons, after raising them up from childhood in 
preparation for it. 

The Arabs hold that King Solomon was the direct founder 
of Masonry. Dr. Coleman says that they know nothing of 
the Hiramic legend, nor of King Hiram of Tyre being equally 
interested with King Solomon in the building of the Temple. 

In addition to the signs of the three degrees of modern 
Masons, they have other signs, and while they could easily 
recognize our sign of distress, their own is different. And 
they do not have our " Master's grip/ 1 The instruction, or 
charge, is entirely given by word of mouth, and a sheep of 
certain size and colour was sacrificed at Dr. Coleman's 
initiation, according to the ancient ritual, to explain the 
signs. 

The Arabs themselves call this " Masonry." They say 
that after the Temple was completed many of the workmen 
and their descendants travelled to the West, every man 
conferring Masonry at his discretion, and under the ancient 
charges of King Solomon. In this way it spread throughout 
Europe, and was not by any means confined to guilds of 
stone masons, though, naturally, largely appealing to such. 
For a long time, only those who were true descendants of 
the workmen on the Temple were permitted to become Masons, 
but as time went on some noblemen were created Masons 
that they might protect the Order, and finally others who were 
not nobles were accepted, and became " free of the Order/* 
hence the present name of Freemasons. 

All the primitive forms are still used by the Bedouin 
Arabs. The father rears his son from infancy as a Mason, 



272 SECRET SECTS OF SYRIA 

teaching him the laws and doctrines of the Order. But he 
must be *' of full age " before he is made acquainted with the 
secret work, signs, etc. Dr. Coleman, in his travels amongst 
the Arabs, found that an Arab Mason is literally ready to 
lay down his life for a brother, and that the obligations of 
Masonry are alwkys looked upon as the most sacred ties. 

While stopping in Damascus, in 1883, Dr. Coleman was 
visited by the local Sheikh of the Masons, who informed him 
that a reception had been arranged for him, and that as 
Chancellor he was expected to confer the degrees that night 
on five candidates. Dr. Coleman was afraid that his Arabic 
would not prove equal to the occasion, so he spoke English 
while a native lawyer, (the British Consul at the time) stood 
beside him, and repeated the words in Arabic after him, 
and when the ceremony of initiation was over the Arab 
brethren gathered round him, declaring that it was perfect. 
Two of the candidates that night were direct descendants 
of Mohammed, he was told. 

Dr. Coleman states that Arab Masonry is practically 
the same as that of the Druses, with the exception that the 
Druses require an extra obligation from a candidate not born 
of a Druse mother. He is also of opinion that it was fronrthe 
Druses the Knights Templar acquired the principles of 
Freemasonry, or added, more likely, to their own previous 
knowledge. 

It is a mistake to suppose that Arab Masonry is the same 
as that practised by the Dervishes, to which I devote another 
chapter. Dr. Coleman says that he knows nothing of the 
Bektash unless it was organized in Egypt on the foundation 
of the primitive Arabian rites. Nor are the Sinyuseyeh, 
a " political " Order of the Arabs, in any way connected with 
Masonry, so far as he could judge. 

Writing on this subject of Arab Masonry, the late John 
Yarker, 1 under the heading " Benai Ibraham," says : " I 
am aware, what I have never seen mentioned by any Masonic 
writer, that among the Moslems, throughout the world, there 
is a very ancient secret society, which claims to derive from 
the Koreish, or Guardians of the Kaaba, who were a very 
uperior Arab race, and the descendants of Ishmael, and of 

* Arcant Schools, pp. 183 fi. 



MODERN ARABIAN FREEMASONRY 27S 

which Mohammed was a scion. In the first and second 
degrees of this system precisely the same assertions are made 
as in the MS. Constitutions of Masonry, while the third 
degree is devoted to the erection of the Kaaba by Ibrahim, 
Ismael and Isaque, as the three presiding G.M.M. Sale, in 
his Preliminary Observations to his translation of the 
Koran, gives a full account of the legend of the erection by 
Abraham of a square temple similar to one destroyed in the 
Deluge, plans of which were ethereally let down from Heaven 
on the prayer of Adam. 

" I am inclined to give credit to the alleged great antiquity 
of these three degrees of the Sons of Ibrahim, for two reasons, 
or rather three. In the first place, Mohammed himself 
confirms the legend in treating of Abraham ; in the second 
place, the thirteenth-century account of the erection on 
' Salvation Mount ' of the square temple of San Graal, the 
plans being similarly heaven-designed, is admittedly, by the 
writer himself, taken from Moslem sources ; and, in the third 
place, I believe, with Ashmole, that the present system of 
Masonry was a thirteenth-century reform of an older system. 
In 1872, the late Bro. Mackenzie organized the ' Order of 
Ishmael/ of thirty-six degrees, the basis of which, he informed 
me, he received from an Arab in Paris, and in 1884 I was 
myself in relation with Prince Moustafa ben Ismael, ex-Prime 
Minister of Tunis, then in Paris. Mackenzie's idea seems to 
have been that our Biblical legends were the transmission 
of the * Order of Ishmael/ of which the ' Sons of Ibraham/ 
were a very ancient branch, or, as he terms it, the oldest 
secret society in the world. 11 

M. Edmond Demoulins, in his work Anglo-Saxon 
Superiority, which has created an immense sensation in 
France, says that in all the oases, or deserts, under Moslem 
rule Secret Brotherhoods (Zalouahs) exist, and he quotes, 
in confirmation, M. L. Ponsard, in Ancient Egypt and 
Chaldea in Prehistoric Times. He says : " They have their 
passwords, their signs of recognition, and are ruled by an 
official hierarchy, which starts from the Grand Master or 
Caliph, and ends with such subaltern agents as the messengers, 
banner-bearers, guards, etc. There are general assemblies 
for the purpose of receiving instructions from the Caliph, 

18 



274 SECRET SECTS OF SYRIA 

or for the initiation of fresh members, or again to promote 
the rising of the population against some interior, or exterior, 
foe. This variety of patriotism inspired the societies which 
formerly occupied the two large oases of Assyria and Egypt, 
at least, during the first part of their history, which extends 
over the time when, recently issued from the desert, they 
were still under the more or less domination of the Brother- 
hoods and Priests of Ammon. Mohammed and his votaries 
also partook of this species of patriotism, and so did all the 
societies started under the inspiration of Islam, whether 
in the Arabian Desert and the Sahara, or at their two 
extremities from Asia Minor to Spain." 



CHAPTER XXVIII 
SYRIAN INFLUENCES ON MODERN FREEMASONRY 

MASONRY being a " course of ancient hieroglyphic moral 
instruction, taught agreeably to ancient usages by types, 
emblems, and allegorical figures," does not present its lessons 
in either the didactic form of the pedagogue, nor the dogmatic 
form of the theologian. It presents its lessons in that peculiar 
form of appealing to the senses which the ancients found 
most effective, foreshadowing the discoveries of modern 
psychologists by thousands of years. 

This indirect illusive and allusive method was evidently 
adopted for the purpose of compelling those who received 
the lessons to use initiative in seeking to apprehend the 
meanings hidden in the allegories. 

No man who has ever received the Masonic degrees will 
ever forget the physical, mental, and moral contacts in those 
degrees. If he has given the subject any thought he will 
remember that the contacts were made in the order given. 
He will remember that his first sense contact was one of touch, 
instead of either sight or hearing. He will remember that 
the mission of the physical senses was explained to him. 
He will remember that in this explanation his mental faculties 
were brought into play. He will remember that moral 
lessons were drawn from his experiences with physical 
and mental contacts. 

It appears to me that Modern Freemasonry has drawn 
very largely for its rituals on the Stellar Cult, whether in the 
three Craft degrees culminating in the Royal Arch, the thirty- 
three degrees of the Ancient and Accepted Rite, the Order 
of Knights Templar, or many others of great interest and 
sublime religious teaching which perhaps do not come within 
the reach of the rank and file of Masonry until some years 

275 



276 SECRET SECTS OF SYRIA 

after their entrance into it. This Stellar Cult originated 
in Egypt, long centuries before the Deluge, spread over Asia 
after that period, was incorporated with Solar worship by 
the Persian and Chaldean Magians, and has remained, to a 
very large extent as inherited, among the Syrian sects of 
the present day. Either through the Phoenicians, from this 
Magian source, or direct from submerged Atlantis, the 
undoubted origin of North, Mid, and South American preserva- 
tion of the Ancient Mysteries from which Masonry derives 
its existence, the Druids in Britain have handed down to us, 
as used by them, many landmarks. Already possessed 
of a certain amount of traditionary Masonic knowledge, 
the Crusaders, during their sojourning in Syria, came 
constantly in contact with races further advanced in such 
knowledge, and influenced by later stages of Persian and 
Hindu teaching. The ruthless destruction of the Templars, 
as with all religious sects, failed to root out their doctrines, 
their rites and ceremonies. These laid dormant, but revived 
about the fourteenth century, were strengthened in the 
fifteenth by the Rosicrucian development in Germany, to 
receive entirely new life in the eighteenth century, when 
much additional ancient ceremonial, legendary history, 
and descriptive symbolizing, and moral language were 
interwoven to form the rituals of the various degrees as we 
have them in our day. 

For any English Mason to assert, and presumably believe, 
that Freemasonry as we know it is a pure concoction of the 
seventeenth century shows a most lamentable ignorance, 
inexplicable when considered in conjunction with the keen- 
ness often displayed by such unbelievers in practising rituals 
which they would have us believe are purely modern 
inventions, mainly for religious or political purposes, whereas 
the smallest attempt at research would have surely taught 
them the certainty of the landmarks, the antiquity of the 
symbolism, the origin and inner meaning of the ceremonies 
practised for so many thousand years. 

From the preceding chapters, in which I have endeavoured 
to combine the result of much careful research on the part 
of many travellers, students, and authors, it will be noticed, 
as Mr. Haskett Smith pointed out in his paper, that the name 



INFLUENCES ON MODERN FREEMASONRY 277 

of King Solomon is held in extreme respect by the inhabitants 
of the Lebanon. Their own traditions, confirming our 
Bible records, show plainly the important part taken in the 
erection of that stately and superb edifice, the First Temple 
at Jerusalem, by Syrian and Phoenician artificers. The 
Jews were a pastoral people. What more natural, then, than 
to turn to their neighbours in the Lebanon, left undisturbed 
there by the express design and command of the GOD 
who had led the Israelites to a dominance in Canaan by the 
extermination of surrounding tribes, for assistance in the 
provision of materials, and their preparation for, and 
construction into the Temple of which, as in its predecessor, 
the Tabernacle, the plans were inspirationally received from 
the Almighty Architect of the Universe ? Details of the 
classes of these workmen which were found appropriate for 
facility and perfection in construction are handed down to 
us in our own Holy Scriptures : in the history compiled by 
Josephus, the historian from whom we get so much confirma- 
tion of Biblical records : in the traditional history of the 
Druses. Why, therefore, is it to be despised as purely 
legendary when similar allusion is made in our Masonic ritual ? 
The descendants of the builders of Ammon and of Baalbec 
showed equal ability in the construction of King Solomon's 
Temple. Here, engaged in one common work, for years the 
talk and object of admiration of all surrounding nations, 
Jewish Unitarian, Syrian Star Worshipper, Phoenician Sun 
Worshipper, met, and exchanged views, with a resulting 
effect on the doctrines of the Kabala and the Lebanon. 

Before attempting to trace the resemblance between 
Modern Freemasonry and the preservation of the Ancient 
Mysteries in the Lebanon, it is well to dwell again briefly 
on the significance of those Mysteries. We may take it that, 
while previous to the Atlantean submersion Egypt was the 
home of the Mysteries, after that period Ancient Chaldea was 
as much responsible as Egypt for their dissemination and 
preservation, and that Asia was more responsible than 
Northern Africa for their progress westward. 

The original ceremonies of initiation, few in number, 
were intended to symbolize the progress of the Human Soul, 
as outward, visible signs of an inward, spiritual fact. In 



278 SECRET SECTS OF SYRIA 

other words, initiation was Regeneration, or Re-birth. 
The candidate himself became the personality symbolized, 
whether Hermes, Buddha, or Christ, as the human evolved 
into the divine. But, as time went on, the spiritual became 
more and more merged in the material. The inner meanings 
became first clouded, then lost. The Master's Word, formerly 
in plain evidence, had to be looked for. The Key to all the 
sciences was so little used that it got hidden from view, and 
also lost, so that, in time, the door became fast closed, and 
when succeeding generations of seekers discovered it, over- 
grown with weeds and rubbish, the key to unlock it promptly 
was not forthcoming, a new one had to be made, and the 
various wards necessary wrought in it, one by one. 

All the Mysteries, the Lesser and the Greater, the 
Preliminary and the Advanced, had outer forms and ceremonies 
which stood for and symbolized the True Mysteries. Just 
so modern Masonry can never be completely realized in all 
the magnificence of its inward significance unless the heart 
of the candidate is opened to receive the impress of what is 
pictured before his eyes, and the inward soul receives the 
vibrations transmitted through the tympanum of the ear. 

The ceremonies were undoubtedly altered in the course 
of time, but much of their ancient wisdom and hidden 
symbolism has survived, and is to be found in modern Masonry, 
by all who receive true light, as the reward of faithful quest. 

One of the most important points of resemblance is, 
assuredly, the persistence with which the Unitarian doctrines 
of the Druses, as in Freemasonry, are intermingled with a 
belief in, and teaching of, the Trinity, showing the common 
source of origin of both. The Druses invariably like to call 
themselves Unitarians. Masonry opens its arms the wider 
to embrace men of all creeds because it is looked upon as 
distinctly Unitarian in its teaching and beliefs. Yet it is 
in the Doctrine of the Trinity we are going to trace our first 
influences of Syrian ritual. 

This great Doctrine of the Trinity is much in evidence in 
the Craft Degrees, still more so in Royal Arch Masonry, 
more or less concealed or revealed in all other Masonic 
Degrees directly allied to Masonry, or derived from a common 
source. In the Lodge, for instance, we have it presented 



INFLUENCES ON MODERN FREEMASONRY 279 

to us under the symbolism of the three chief officers, the three 
steps, the three working tools, the three Lesser Lights, and 
the three Greater, and many other forms which will readily 
occur to the Masonic mind, without being more explicit 
here. In the Royal Arch, we have, in addition to these other 
references the express information that the Triangle refers 
to the creative, preservative, and annihilative power of the 
Deity. 

Now this Doctrine of the Trinity runs most plainly through 
the whole of the systems of the Nusairis and the Druses, with 
traces, of course, in all the other sects mentioned in preceding 
chapters. The fundamental doctrine is the Mystery of Ain- 
Mim-Sin, the Archetypal Deity, the Intermediary, the 
Communicator, and in proof of the antiquity of this belief 
we are given the names of the Three Great Principals from 
Adam, Seth and Enoch down to AH, Mohammed, and Salman 
al-Farisee. Unitarians as they were, they were compelled 
to invariably attribute to Supreme Deity a Triplicity, the 
Maana, the Ism and the Bab Meaning, Name, Door : the 
Reality of the Over-shadowing Presence, the Glorious Majesty 
which enveloped It, the Free Access thereto open to all 
true believers. It seems, therefore, more reasonable to suppose 
that it is to this source, rather than to the earlier Egyptian 
use of the Triangle, and its symbolism of the Trinity, that we 
owe its constant use in our own rituals. At the same time, 
when clothed as Masons, we have in our Badges the combina- 
tion of both Stellar and Solar symbolisms of Deity, the 
Triangle overlapping the Square, as unmistakable evidence 
of the incompleteness of the Unity without the Trinity. 
Again, while in the centre of the Lodge we have the letter 
G., attributed to the Great Architect of the Universe 
remaining as the influence of the Stellar worship of the Pole 
Star, in the situation of the Master and his Wardens we have 
the influence of the Magians and their Solar worship. 

Another of the earliest resemblances to be noticed is in 
the requisite qualifications of all candidates for Freemasonry. 
It is expressly laid down in the religious code of the Druses, 
as drawn up for them by Hamzeh, that there are three 
conditions for the admission of a candidate into their religious 
rites. " He that belie veth in the truths which have been 



280 SECRET SECTS OF SYRIA 

set forth in this book is eligible for admission to the ranks 
(or degrees) of initiation, and to take his place in the secret 
assemblies (or Lodges), provided that he be of full age, free 
from servitude, and sound of mind and body." 

In the preparation of the candidate for initiation we find 
full evidences again of the Syrian influences. He has to be 
barefoot : " Take off thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place 
whereon thou standest is holy ground," was the command 
given to our Grand Master Moses, and still rigidly adhered 
to in the East. But the sanctity of the floor of the Lodge 
is progressive, like everything else in Masonry. Therefore 
one foot is bared in the First Degree, another in the Second, 
both in the Third. 

Though an impression may now be given that poverty 
is symbolized by divesting of clothing, a truer meaning is 
reached in Operative Masonic ritual, and purity of body is 
what is implied, if no longer carried out, a cleansing of the 
body by casting off all previous covering before being clothed 
with a pure white garment, emblematical of the soul in its 
final stages of spiritual evolution. Hence the investing 
the candidate with a pure white badge as his first Masonic 
clothing. And in certain rituals of undoubted remote 
derivation it is especially prescribed that, before the 
ceremonies commence, all taking part are to take a warm 
bath, put on all fresh and clean underclothing, and put 
a white garment over all, if they desire, as it may be supposed 
they do, to secure the highest share in the lofty and soul- 
inspiring rituals they are about to participate in. 

The white robe, and white turban, of the Druse and the 
Dervish may be now simply replaced by the white apron 
of the Masonic initiate. But the principle remains the same, 
the landmark is there still, unmoved, just as the white robes 
of the Druid Priests are commemorated in the surplices of 
priests and choristers in every Christian church of to-day, 
and the more impressive and decorative the vestments which 
are worn over them, the nearer the resemblance to the 
elaborate clothing of the Magus or the Hierophant. 

Outside every Druse Khalweh, whether permanent 
structure or mountain cavern or glen, stands a wary sentinel, 
fully armed, to keep off all intruders, and perfectly prepared 



INFLUENCES ON MODERN FREEMASONRY 281 

to execute his trust if occasion arise. And the young Mason 
is reminded that our ancient Brethren were accustomed to 
meet in these open-air assemblies, where real dangers of 
intrusion had to be guarded against. I have been present 
at two open-air Lodges, one held in Knole Park, the other 
in the grounds of Windsor Castle, and realized then, as never 
before, the antiquity, as well as the responsibility, of the 
Tyler's office, as well as the impressiveness of meeting under 
the open canopy of heaven instead of the usual pictorial 
representation of the Firmament. 

In the Mysteries the candidate was led along as a slave 
desiring his freedom, by a rope round his neck, and this 
sacred cord of three threads also implied, in a forcible manner, 
the protection of the Trinity under whom he entered on his 
path of instruction. The actual darkness that could be felt, 
whilst the sun is absent below the horizon, was followed, 
in an endeavour to drive home grand root principles by 
sudden impressions on the mind of the candidate which may 
outlast his natural life, by a sudden emergence into the 
meridian blaze of full sunlight, in which he could be given 
his first lessons on the inner meaning of outward symbolism. 

In his various progresses round the Lodge the candidate 
follows the course of the sun, though he no longer exclaims 
on arriving each time in the south, as did his predecessor 
in Baalbec, " I copy the example of the sun, and follow his 
benevolent example." 

To gain the desired goal certain steps, he is told, are needed, 
and amongst these he takes the exact steps which tradition 
ascribes to Vishnu, 1 at the suggestion of Brahm at the Creation, 
steps taken by the Brahmin of to-day as they were by his 
ancestors thousands of years before him. 

The Covenant he makes is ratified by an oath for the 
infringement of which a penalty is orally communicated, with- 
out the visible symbolism presented to the Syrian Dervish, 
of slaying a sheep by cutting its throat across, ripping open 
the warm carcase, and tearing therefrom the reeking entrails, 
for purposes of divination. 

It will be noticed, in the initiation ceremony of the 
Nusairis, that the penalties mentioned in case of breach of 
* See Appendix, " The Three Steps of Vishnu." 



282 SECRET SECTS OF SYRIA 

faith on the part of the candidate, are very intimately 
associated with the penalties of various degrees in Craft, 
Royal Arch, and Mark Masonry. " Wilt thou suffer the 
cutting off of they head, hands, and feet, and not disclose 
this august mystery ? " " In case he discloses this mystery, 
will ye bring him to us, so that we may cut him to pieces, 
and drink his blood ? " " Know that the earth will not suffer 
thee to be buried in it, shouldst thou disclose this mystery." 
The oath of secrecy, it will be noticed, has to be repeated 
three times, accompanied by the placing of the hand upon 
the Summary, the equivalent of our V.S.L. 

When light is restored in a Druse Khalweh, the first 
object on which the candidate's eyes rest is the Volume of 
the Sacred Law, by which his path of advancement must be 
guided throughout, if his desire to reach the goal be a genuine 
one, and enduring. Next he observes the three Magi, 
stationed in the East, the West and the South, to determine 
the periods of the Sun's course, synchronizing with the progress 
of the Pole Star from the North to the Centre, at which point 
when arrived, it typifies all the Omniscience, Omnipotence, 
and Omni-presence of the Deity Whose All- Seeing Eye and 
Initial Letter are emblems of the foundation principles 
underlying every religion, of the union of the learning of 
East and West, of Magus and Druid. 

The North is always occupied by the table of the Secretary, 
typifying the wisdom of research, in the quarter to which 
all eyes turned in the Greater Mysteries, when the Circle was 
completed by the Visiting Presences from a higher plane, 
therefore left unoccupied by ceremonial officers in every 
degree with the exception of those extremely high ones in 
which the Celebrants, after due preparation, themselves 
become manifestation of such Presences. 

It is probably in the two great pillars which are so notice- 
able in our ritual, even if not always unfortunately in the 
furniture of our modern Lodges, that we shall find our deepest 
traces of this Syrian influence, and permanent landmarks. 
The two pillars which Enoch erected, to escape if possible 
the coming Deluge which threatened to destroy all existing 
archives, have stood, through all the ages, as monuments 
of Wisdom, Strength, and Beauty, in all ancient temples, 



INFLUENCES ON MODERN FREEMASONRY 283 

in all mediaeval and modern places of worship, to establish, 
and hold firm for ever the Dual Principle of the Almighty 
Creator, El Shaddai and Matrona, permeating and uniting 
the Unity and the Trinity. The Phoenician builders of the 
Temple were accustomed to see such pillars forming a 
distinctive and prominent feature of every previous temple 
they had assisted in erecting, or taken as a model for their 
own work. Wherever the Sabean architects built, whether 
in Baalbec or Ammon, Marib or Zimbabgwi, Mexico or Peru, 
Stonehenge or Thibet, we find their expression of this Dual 
Principle, and usually in the form of the two pillars, the Male 
and the Female. They had no scholarly mystic like Arthur 
Waite in the earliest ages to teach them the real significance 
of the Way of Divine Union. The Hebrew Prophets, the 
Arabian Alchemists intended those who read their writings 
in the inner sense to grasp the true meaning of their symbolical 
language, for the latter, with the aid of their faithful disciples, 
have taught us far more with regard to the development of 
the Soul than ever they can of the transmutation of metals 
under which their teaching was veiled. 

Just as each separate attribute of the Deity had to be 
expressed as a subsidiary god or goddess, and each phase 
in the alchemical process was described under a material 
figure, so the two natures of the One Supreme All-Father 
could only be expressed as Male and Female. Thus, and thus 
only, was it possible, apparently, to attempt to express the 
Creative and Annihilative, the Merciful and the Severe, 
the Ever-Loving and the All- Just characteristics of Jehovah. 
The form may vary, from the King and Queen at Stonehenge 
to the two western towers of St. Paul's, supporting, as in 
so many other of our great churches, the three doors with 
which reverent architects of by-gone days always symbolized 
the Trinity : from the obelisks by which the Persian Magus 
marked the course of the Sun and the Planets to the Minarets 
from which the Mussulman Muezzin proclaims the hours 
of prayer ; from the symbolical pass words of the present- 
day Mason to the actual pillars through which alone he can 
progress in the highest and most impressive degree practised 
in this country. Throughout remains the same grand root- 
principle, the final return to the Centre, to the Point within 



284 SECRET SECTS OF SYRIA 

the Circle which all have an equal opportunity given them 
of attaining do they but know it, where each is able to find 
At-one-ment with the Creator, and there is no longer a need 
to wear the triangle and the square over the solar plexus, 
for the Spirit of GOD is within. 

Our ancient brethren had to find, it would seem, some 
more matter-of-fact derivation to which to ascribe the two 
Lodge Pillars, hence the totally absurd meaning which the 
candidate is given, memorials to an ancestor of King David 
and to an ecclesiastical functionary whose office was non- 
existent ! Instead of the initiate seeing in the Lodge the 
actual embodiment of the symbolism, far too many of our 
English Lodges neglect to provide the Pillars as an essential 
part of their furniture, he is given an absurd reason for their 
introduction into the ceremony as merely convenient pass- 
words, and left to discover, in some higher degree, their true 
significance. 

St. John's Day, the Festival of the Summer Solstice, a 
day so closely connected with Freemasonry in various degrees, 
shows the influence of the Mandaites, continuing the Solar 
Worship of their ancestors interwoven with the reverence 
paid to their Founder, St. John the Baptist, whose name is 
intimately associated with various points in our rituals. 
It appealed to the Crusaders, this keeping in mind the 
Messenger of the Messiah by .allotting to his memory the 
most important day in the solstitial year, when the Sun 
attained the plenitude of his power. It would naturally 
follow, in their revival of Druidic rites, this change should 
be introduced, and St. John's Day be constituted a landmark 
in Freemasonry in the same way as the Christian Church has 
for ages perpetuated the Winter Solstice by assigning to it, 
without any justification whatever but rather the reverse, 
the Birth of Jesus Christ, which hibtorical and astrological 
research has pointed out must have taken place at quite a 
different period of the year. How little does the average 
devout Christian woi shipper, like the average Mason, realize 
how great an influence on his religion has been the Solar 
Worship of his forefathers, in its turn replacing the Star 
Worship of still earlier ancestors. Does it ever cross the 
mind of the Evangelical Vicar, rigorously condemning 



INFLUENCES ON MODERN FREEMASONRY 285 

the Eastward Position, that he himself in the North is simply 
showing more respect for the Pole Star than the Sun as the 
Visible Emblem of the Almighty Architect of the Universe ? 

The Royal Arch Degree, the completion of Craft Masonry, 
is particularly rich in Eastern references. As mentioned 
earlier in this work, the Chaldean words employed must 
have been orally transmitted down the ages since the language 
was in use, as it was totally unknown at the date when the 
present ritual was compiled and printed. In this degree 
we have the Syrian combination of the three representatives 
of the Deity, the four Caliphs, and the twelve Imaums 
presented in a distinctly Hebrew setting ; the Altar in its 
original position, in the centre of the Lodge, round which the 
principal ceremonies take place. The Signs, Robes, and 
whole aspect of the degree are distinctly Eastern, and would 
be still more so were the Passing of the Veils, and ceitain 
other symbolical repiesentations, seen by English Masons 
as they are carried out in America and elsewhere. A feature 
of Royal Arch Masonry, closely uniting it with the i8th 
degree, and forming another of those links which run through- 
out all degrees in Masonry for those who care to trace a 
common source of antiquity, is the formation of a presumably 
complete circle and the almost immediate breaking of it, to 
admit an extra link in the chain previously forged. Rose 
Croix Masons will recognize I am alluding to a point in the 
closing ceremony when the circle already formed is opened to 
admit the candidate and his guide. In the ancient ceremony 
of opening and closing a R.A. Chapter, which I should much 
like to see worked in English Chapters, the circle formed by 
the Companions is opened to admit the three Principals, 
and is then, as in the former case, found to be complete. 
I have vainly endeavoured so far to trace the original significa- 
tion of this completion of an already formed circle. I can 
only surmise that it refers, as in another extremely ancient 
ritual I am acquainted with, to inviting the presence of 
Visitants from the Unseen World, to assist, as they 
undoubtedly do, in the completion of the Rite for those who 
desire to participate in it faithfully. 

The " Fire " after the toasts is not explained to the new 
Companion who is so carefully instructed as to its correct 



286 SECRET SECTS OF SYRIA 

manipulation. But if he should ever chance to mix with an 
extremely ancient body of Zoroastrian Sun-Worshippers 
in this country, he will at once grasp the origin and the 
significance of this particular association of the circle and the 
triangle with the central point. 

While there is much that is purely Hebrew in modern 
ceremonial Freemasonry, justifying the contention that it 
is a survival of Syrian, Phoenician and Chaldean rites, there 
is much that closely resembles Druidism, intimating that 
both are derived from a common source. 

The Ovade had a gold chain placed around his neck. 
He was blindfolded, and led in various directions, as in a 
labyrinth. 

Thunder and lightning were counterfeited in the initiation 
of a Druid. In the original Royal Arch ceremonies, and as 
still practised in some parts of the United States, the 
Companions, at a particular point in the ritual, are directed 
to fire pistols, clash swords, overturn chairs, and roll cannon- 
balls across the floor, apparently to produce a similar effect. 

Just as the Entered Apprentice beholds as a prominent 
object in the Lodge the Volume of the Sacred Law, so the 
Hindu candidate is shown the Vedas, and to the Egyptian 
candidate on his initiation the Hierophant displayed the 
holy volume of hieroglyphics, which he then restored to its 
customary safe repository. Similarly, the Ovade was 
allowed, for the first time, to become acquainted with the 
written secrets of the Druids, inscribed in characters taught 
them by Phoenician traders we may presume. 

In all the Ancient Mysteries, before an aspirant could 
claim participation in the higher secrets, he was placed 
within a pastos, or coffin, and was subjected to a confinement 
in darkness for a certain time. Remains of such coffin-like 
cells are found in many Hindu, Egyptian and Druidic temples, 
being distinctly traceable in many Druidic cromlechs in 
this country and Brittany. The grand festival of the Druids 
was on Midsummer Day which, as mentioned above, modern 
Freemasons have no doubt preserved, together with other 
Syrian rites, from a Phoenician origin. But the derivation, 
though undoubtedly from the same original Solar cult, 
may have been through the Druids. 



INFLUENCES ON MODERN FREEMASONRY 287 

The processions of the Druids, as of Freemasons, were 
circular. An ear of corn is a prominent symbol in Masonry, 
proving that the Order did not confine their intellects, their 
lessons, and their labours solely to building, but in some 
degree to agriculture. And the proximity of water is a 
distinctly Syrian allegorical allusion. 

A sprig of acacia is one of the emblems revered by Masons, 
and answers to the Egyptian lotus, to the ipyrtle of Eleusis, 
to the golden bough of Virgil, and to the Druidic mistletoe, 
" It is curious, 1 ' says Reade, 1 " that Houzza, which Mahomet 
esteemed an idol Houzza so honoured in the Arabian works 
of Ghatfan, Koreisch, Kananah and Salem should be simply 
the acacia. Thence was derived the word Hussa ! in our 
language, which was probably at first a religious exclamation 
like the Evohe ! of the Bacchantes." 

* Winwood Reade, Veil of Isis. 



CHAPTER XXIX 

SYRIAN INFLUENCES ON THE ORDER OF KNIGHTS 
TEMPLAR AND THE ANCIENT AND ACCEPTED 
SCOTTISH RITE 

WITHOUT in any way desiring or attempting to advance a 
theory that what we know as Freemasonry has been practised 
uninterruptedly through the centuries, my contention is 
that there are sufficient traces in the principal features of 
our present rituals of their having been derived, and not 
merely manufactured, as so many would have us believe. 
And the greatest weight of evidence goes to prove that the 
Crusaders are largely responsible for European continuation 
of the Ancient Mysteries, successive courses being built on the 
foundations laid by Phoenician travellers in much more 
remote periods of the world's history. 

Now the principal religious sect that the Crusaders would 
come in contact with in their attempts to free the Holy Land 
from the domination of the Infidels would be the Manicheans, 
whose doctrines have been mentioned in a previous chapter. 
After the death of their founder, Manes, there was a fusion 
of the Order with some of the leading Christian Gnostic sects, 
thus further intermingling two rich streams of divine wisdom, 
one coming from Egypt through Palestine, the other from 
India through Persia. An American Masonic author, Rev. 
C. H. Vail, has devoted considerable space in his book, 
Ancient Mysteries and Modern Masonry, to this particular 
point, also dealt with by John Yarker. They show that 
this particular sect changed its name more than any other 
body, being known as Paulicians, Cathari, Euchites, Bogo- 
miles, Lollards, Albigenses, but " always a secret society, 
with degrees, distinguished by signs, tokens, and words, 
like Freemasonry. 1 ' * The name of the external form was 
* John Yarlcer, in " Tfco KnepV vol. v. No. 4. 



THE ORDER OP KNIGHTS TEMPLAR 289 

ever changing, so we are not surprised to find tradition 
tracing Freemasonry to the Brotherhood of St. John, to 
Albigenses, Johannite Christians, or Troubadours and a 
host of others, all possessing the same mystic tradition, 
and transmitting their knowledge from age to age. When 
persecuted under one name, they concealed their Mysteries 
under another. 

Manes, as already pointed out, founded his Order upon 
a restatement of the old truths of the Mysteries, together 
with the true Gnosis. He combined the teachings of Zoroaster 
with those of Jesus, both being aspects of the same Wisdom, 
but these were regarded as heretical by the established 
orthodoxy of both religions, and in consequence, while he 
was slain by the Persians, his disciples similarly suffered 
death under the Christian persecution they encountered. 

The Manicheans, from the fourth century, were bitterly 
persecuted by the Roman Church ; so were the Templars ; 
so, to this day, would be Freemasons, if present conditions 
of opinion and freedom of thought would permit it. Instead 
the Roman Church has to content itself with placing a ban 
on Freemasonry whenever and wherever possible, which 
has in no way prevented its rapid spread and modern vigorous 
life. And the heartless suppression of the Order of the Temple 
by the co-operation of Pope Clement V. and King Philip IV 
of France, the former distrusting the fidelity of the Templars 
to the papacy, and the latter coveting their possessions, 
which culminated in the murder of the Grand Master Jacques 
de Molai, treacherously entrapped with true Jesuitical 
advances of friendship and sympathy, would seem to have 
given a fresh impetus, as so often happens, to the very 
doctrines sought to be thus ruthlessly exterminated. The 
murder of Jesus Christ by fanatical Jews has given to the 
World a lasting Gospel of Love and Way of Salvation. The 
murder of the Templars, by equally fanatical papists, has 
given us, there seems good reason to believe, the Royal 
Order of Scotland, as well as the Ancient and Accepted 
Scottish Rite, which has extended and beautified the teaching 
of Craft Masonry in every part of the world, while equally 
preserving for us many of the particular rites of the Templars 
themselves. For while De Molai was in prison, awaiting 

19 



2&0 SECRET SECTS OF SYRIA 

execution at the stake, he is reported to have instituted 
several Masonic bodies, to keep alive the rites he had presided 
over, and it was from this source, it is generally agreed by 
unbiassed authorities, that the Scottish Rite was derived. 
And although the hopes of the dying Grand Master of a 
possible ultimate revival of his Order, with all its original 
wealth and power, were not destined to be fulfilled, it has, 
none the less, been preserved under other names, in Occult, 
Hermetic, and Scottish Masonry, linking up, on the one hand, 
the Operative Masons with whom the Templars were so 
intimately associated in the building of their churches, 
preceptories and strongholds, all over Europe, and on the 
other the Rosicrucian students of Mysticism, many of whom 
attached themselves to the Order of the Strict Observance. 

Returning to the influence of the Manicheans on the 
Crusaders, a very careful and painstaking writer on Masonic 
traditional history and research, Mrs. Cooper-Oakley, thus 
quotes Reghellina da Schio, a well-known Italian Mason : 
" In the lifetime of Manes his pupil, Herman, had spread 
his teaching in Egypt, where the Coptic priests and other 
Christians mingled it with the Mysteries adopted from the 
Jews. It was through these same Coptic priests and the 
Eastern Christians that both the Mysteries of the Children of 
the Widow, and the Cult of the Great Architect, came to 
us in consequence of apparently unforeseen events, and it 
will be seen that it was principally by means of the Crusades 
that they obtained a secure footing in the West. The 
Mysteries maintained their existence under the name of the 
Cult of the Great Architect of the Universe, a name that has 
its origin in the allegory of Hiram, which represented in the 
Mysteries ' the unknown GOD, the Eternal/ The long time 
that elapsed during the war of the Crusades gave them the 
opportunity of being admitted into all the Mysteries of the 
Children of the Widow, and those who had been initiated 
therein imparted them, on their return home, to their pupils 
in Europe. 1 ' * 

German Masonic writers trace the connection of the 
Manicheans with the Western Brotherhood of St. John, 
relying on what is known as the Cologne Record, whose 
* Cooper-Oakley, Hidden Sources of Masonry, p. 37, 



THE ORDER OF KNIGHTS TEMPLAR 291 

authenticity is, as would be expected, rejected by materialistic 
Masons, but usually accepted as genuine by the more 
enlightened and broad-minded Mystics. This record, which 
is dated 1535, states that a secret society under the name of 
the Brotherhood of St. John existed before 1440, and since 
then, and up to 1535, under the title of St. John's Order of 
Freemasonry, or Masonic Brotherhood. This record contains 
the following passage : " The Brotherhood, or the Order of 
Freemason Brothers, bound together according to St. John's 
holy rules, traces its origin neither from the Templars, nor 
from any other spiritual or temporal Knightly Order, but 
it is older than all similar Orders, and has existed in Palestine 
and Greece, as well as in various parts of the Roman Empire. 
Before the Crusades our Brotherhood arose, at a time when, 
in consequence of the strife between the sects teaching 
Christian morals, a small number of the initiated, entrusted 
with the tiue teaching of virtue, and the sensible exposition 
of the secret teaching separated themselves from the 
mass." The value of this testimony, as Vail points out, to 
the known existence of this secret teaching, is important ; 
whether Masonry received it from the Templars, or from 
some older organization, is not so important. 

The opinions of the leading Freemasons of Germany are 
thus summed up by their great and reliable authority, 
Findel * : 

" The Grand Lodge of Germany further assumes that, 
in the Building Fraternities of the Middle Ages, besides their 
art, a secret science was carried on, the substratum of which 
was real Christian Mystery, serving as a preparatory or 
elementary school and stepping-stone to that and the St. 
John's Masonry, which latter was not a mere system of 
moral philosophy, but closely allied and connected with this 
Mystery. It was conceded that the Freemasonry of our 
days (St. John's Freemasonry), sprang from the Building 
Fraternities of the Middle Ages, but at the same time asserted 
that in the early ages there existed a secret society which 
strove to compass the perfecting of the human race, precisely 
in the same manner, and employing similar means, as did 
the Swedish system, which in fact only followed in the wake 
* Findel, History of Freemasonry, pp. 29^310, 



292 SECRET SECTS OF SYRIA 

of its predecessor, being concealed in the Building Fraternities, 
so that our society did not arise from them, but made its 
way through them. The secret science, the Mystery, was 
very ancient indeed. This Mystery formed the secret of 
the Higher Degrees of the Rite, which were not merely kept 
hidden from the rest of the confederation, but also from the 
members of the inferior degrees of the system itself. This 
Mystery was fully confirmed by documents which the Grand 
Lodge of Germany had in its keeping. This secret legend 
is the same as that of the Carpocratians, which is that Jesus 
chose some of the Apostles, and confided to them a secret 
science, which was transmitted afterwards to the priests 
of the Order of Knights Templar, and through them to the 
Building Fraternities, down to the present Freemasons of 
the Swedish Rite. The Swedish system teaches that there 
have been men of all nations who have worshipped GOD in 
spirit and in truth, and, surrounded by idolatry and 
superstition, have yet preserved their purer faith. Separate 
from the world, and unknown to it, this Wisdom has been 
preserved by them, and handed down as a Mystery. In 
the time of the Jews, they made use of the Essenes, in which 
sect Jesus was brought up, and spent the greater part of 
His life. 

" Having been instructed by Him in a more perfect 
knowledge of Holy Things, they had, amid persecution, 
taught in silence that which was committed to their keeping. 
At the period of the Saracens and the Crusades they were 
so greatly oppressed that they must ultimately have sought 
for protection from without. As fate, however, would have 
it, seven of them, Syriac Christians, pursued by unbelievers, 
near Bastrum, were rescued by Knights Templar, and 
afterwards taken under their protection. When they had 
lived there for a certain time they begged for permission to 
dwell with the Canons or Prebendaries of Jerusalem, as the 
life there agreed better with their own inclinations and 
habits. This was accorded them, and Andreas Montebarrensis 
effected a union of these Syrians with the Canons, to whom, 
out of gratitude, they imparted all their science, and so 
completely did they make the priests of the Order the 
depositories of their secrets that they kept and handed them 



THE ORDER OP KNIGHTS TEMPLAR 298 

over to others under certain conditions. Thus, the secret 
knowledge lived on in the very heart of the Order of Knights 
Templar until its abolition. The clergy were dispersed 
with the persecution that ensued, but as the secular arm did 
not touch them, as it did the Knights, they managed to rescue 
many of their secret writings, and when the Knights sought 
refuge in Scotland, they founded a Chapter at Aberdeen, 
the first Prior of which was Petrus de Bononia. The science 
was disseminated from this place, but very cautiously, first 
to Italy, then to the extreme north (Sweden and Russia ?) 
and France/ 1 Here is an opinion on the subject by Cardinal 
Manning who, no doubt, was speaking as one in full possession 
of certain records of the Roman Church which are inaccessible 
to all but the very elect : " As far back as the I2th century, 
the Lodges of the Guild enjoyed the special protection of 
the Knights Templar. It is easy to understand, in this way, 
how the symbolical allusion to Solomon and his Temple 
might have passed from the Knights into the Masonic 
formulary. In this way, too, might be explained how, after 
the suppression of the Order of the Temple, some of the 
recalcitrant knights, maintaining their influence over the 
Freemasons, would be able to pervert what hitherto had 
been a harmless ceremony into an elaborate ritual that 
should impart some of the errors of the Templars to the 
initiated." 

Some writers on this subject have contended that the 
Knights Templar could not have continued to exist for 
nearly 450 years unknown to the outside world. To refute 
this objection, King says : " Considering how widely the 
Order has spread it would be a mere absurdity to believe that 
all its traditions were swept away at one stroke by the 
suppression of the Templars in 1307." * 

Stark, described by Gould, although he regarded him as 
an impostor, as " a student of Gottingen, and a very learned 
man, an Oriental linguist of great attainments, holding 
scientific appointments in Paris, St. Petersburg, Wismar, 
and elsewhere," wrote in reply to a critic, Dr. Biester : 
" If he had been somewhat better acquainted with 

1 The Gnostics and their Remains, p. 399. 
* History of Freemasonry, vol. v, p. 104. 



294 SECRET SECTS OF SYRIA 

ecclesiastical history, he would have found not only one, but 
several religious bodies, which under far more violent 
opposition and persecution than those endured by the 
Templars have secretly continued to exist for a longer period 
than four hundred and fifty years." * 

Other resemblances that will readily occur to the mind 
of those assisting in the degree of Knights Templar are the 
two journeys of seven years' symbolical duration, common to 
all descendants of worshippers of the planetary system : 
the libations, which form so prominent a feature in the 
ceremonial rites of the Nusairis : the white cubic stone, 
referred to in the Dervish initiation ceremony : the cock 
taken as a symbol, like the peacocks of the Yezidis : 
and the peculiar penalty, strongly reminiscent of the 
Saracens. 

In the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite, I only propose 
to allude to the degrees worked in this country, the i8th and 
the 30th, the intermediate degrees, though interesting in 
their teaching and symbolism, being of quite different 
construction and derivation. But the i8th degree is full 
of resemblances to the Mysteries, and would seem to have 
been handed down to us via the East. It is a most impressive 
degree, and one always greatly appreciated by those who 
are privileged to attain to it, allied as It is to true 
Rosicrucianism, and so very far removed from the modern 
degree known to the outside world as such. This i8th degree 
would seem to be derived from an extremely early Christian 
desire to make use of the symbolism of the Ancient Mysteries 
under a new aspect, just as every modern Christian Church 
is, sensibly or insensibly, deliberately or in complete ignorance, 
similarly preserving the same ceremonial observances. On 
the ancient foundation of awe-inspiring journeys in the dark- 
ness, terrifying encounters with the powers of darkness, and 
mystical death before finally arising from the tomb of 
transgression, is built a superstructure of pure Eastern 
Salutation, hospitable reception with bread and salt into 
permanent friendship, combined with the Nabathean doctrine 
of the Saving Grace of the LOGOS. The seven step ladder 
by which the Eleusinian candidate proceeded from one 
1 Cooper-Oakley, Traces of a Hidden Traditioh in Freemasonry, p. 86, 



THE ORDER OF KNIGHTS TEMPLAR 295 

stage in his progress to the succeeding one becomes, in this 
degree, a symbol of that LOGOS, revealed to his view in the 
glorious closing of this majestic rite, when, after emerg- 
ing from all the trials of his fortitude in the darkness 
into the blazing light of the Sanctuary, the initiate finds 
I. N.R.I, awaiting him at the completion of his seventh 
step. 

Similarly, in the 3Oth degree, fresh lessons are taught by 
the symbolism of the seven steps, amongst new surroundings, 
familiar enough to those acquainted with Chaldean and 
Syrian history. 

Mark Masons can look back with pleasurable pride on 
the antiquity of their " Marks/' the source of which can be 
so plainly traced in the masons' marks affixed by the ancient 
Syrian workmen. It seems to have been a regular custom 
with all ancient workmen in stone to affix a distinguishing 
mark, to certify for all time the handiwork of the particular 
artificer, priding himself on his devout and faithful participa- 
tion in the erection of some stately and superb edifice. And 
the very form of those marks, as found on the stones of 
Baalbec or Rhodesia, is closely followed by Mark Masons, 
in their adaptation of right lines and angles. 

The Orde^of the Secret Monitor, amongst many modern 
additions, prd&erves distinctly Eastern forms of salutation, 
while using more than any other Masonic degree the double 
triangle, or Seal of Solomon and I venture to think that many 
a Druse would find much of interest to him in attending a 
Conclave of this Order, previous to visiting the Faithist 
Community in Balham at a Sunday evening service ! So 
wide are the ramifications of Freemasonry, and so little 
known its many connecting links. The Postulant in the 
Supreme of all Masonic rites, holding aloft a red lamp while 
crossing the floor of a modern temple, is less exposed to real 
danger than his ancestor, with a similar lamp bound to his 
forehead, struggling through the black waters of some awe- 
inspiring pool in a subterranean chamber in Syria or Greece. 
But the goal remains the same. In the Craft Degrees we 
find preserved the inner symbolism of the Mysteries, the 
passage of the Soul through a mystical death in the materia 
surroundings of the world to a spiritual resurrection in the 



296 SECRET SECTS OF SYRIA 

life beyond the grave. In the Royal Arch, the Rending of 
the Veils shows us an Infant in a Manger. In the Order of 
Knights Templar we are shown the Empty Tomb of the 
Risen Christ. Elsewhere, those that seek faithfully are 
shown effectually the real ending of their Quest, the Presence 
of GOD Within. 



BIBLIOGRAPHY 



THE following list comprises most of the works which have been 
published dealing with Syria and its religious sects, a very large 
proportion of these having been consulted by the author. 

ABLER, BISHOP. Druse Catechism in Museum Cuficum Bergianum, 

1782, Eichner's edition and version in Reportorium fur Bible 

and Morgenl. Lit. 

ADLER, BISHOP. Drusus Montis Libani. Rome, 1786. 
ANON. The Modern Syrians, or Native Society in Damascus, Aleppo, 

and the Mountains of the Druses. By an Oriental Student. 

8vo. London, 1844. 
ANON. Memoirs des Trois Plus Fameuses Sectes de Musulmanisme, 

les Wahibis, les Nosaircs, et les Ismaehs. 8vo. Paris, 1818. 
BABELON, E. Les Mendaites, leur histoire et leur doctrines 

religieuses. 8vo. Paris, 1881. 
BLAVATSKY, H. P. Isis Unveiled. 2 vols., large 8vo. New York, 

1878. 

BLAVATSKY, H. P. Lamas and Druses (" Theosophist," vol. ii.), re- 
issued in " A Modern Panarion." London, 1895. 
BOCK, M. DE B. DE. Essai sur 1'Histoire de Sabeisme, auquel on a 

joint un Catechisme qui contient les principaux dogine de la 

Religion des Druses. 8vo. Metz, 1788. 
BOWEN, DR. SERAMUS. The Druids. Boston, 1887. 
BRACE, C. LORING. The Unknown God ; or Inspiration among Pre- 
Christian Races. Large 8vo. London, 1890. 
BRIGHAM, C. H. The Druses and their Religion. (North American 

Review, 1885.) 
BRYANT, Jacob. New System of Ancient Mythology. 6 vols., 

8vo. London, 1807. 
BURCKHARDT, JOHN L. Travels in Syria and the Holy Land. 4to. 

London, 1822. 
BURTON, RICHARD F., and DRAKE, C. F. T. Unexplored Syria : 

Visits to the Libanus, etc. 2 vols., 8vo. London, 1872. 
CARNARVON, EARL OF. Recollections of the Druses of the Lebanon, 

and Notes on their Religion. 8vo. London, 1860. 
CHASSEAUD, GEo. W. The Druses of the Lebanon : their Manners, 

Customs and History. With a Translation of their Religious 

Code. 8vo. London, 1855. 

297 



298 SECRET SECTS OF SYRIA 

CHURCHILL, COLONEL C. H. Mount Lebanon: a Ten Years' Resi- 
dence from 1842 to 1852. 3 vols., 8vo. London, 1853. 
CHURCHWARD, DR. ALBERT. The Arcana of Freemasonry. Large 

8vo. London, 1915. 
CHURCHWARD, DR. ALBERT. Signs and Symbols of Primordial Man. 

Large 8vo. London, 1913. 
CHWOLSOHN, DR. D. Die Sabier under Sabism. 2 vols., 8vo. St. 

Petersburg, 1856. 
CODEX NAZAR^BUS. Liber Adami appellatus, Syriac trans, et Latine 

redditus. Norberg edition. 
CONDER, C. R. Syrian Stone Lore : or the Monumental History of 

Palestine. 8vo. London, 1886. 
DALBERG, BARON DE. Mehaled and Sedli, or the History of a Druse 

Family. 2 vols., 8vo. London, 1816. 
DANDINI, JEROME. A Voyage to Mount Libanus. Translated from 

the Italian. 8vo. London, 1698. 
DEFREMENY, M. C. Recherches sur les Ismaeliens et Bathiniens de 

Syrie. Paris, N.D. 

DOWLING, EVA S. The Aquarian Gospel. 4to. Los Angeles, 1916. 
DUNLAP, S. F. Sod : a Mystery. 8vo. London, 1861. 
DUNLAP, S. F. The Ghebers of Hebron. 8vo. London, 1894. 
FACCARDINO. Istoria di Faccardino, Grand Emir die Drusi. 8vo. 

Leghorn, 1787. 
FOURMONT. Memoire Historique sur la Sabism, ou la Religion des 

anciens Sabiens, appel^s aujourd'hui Sabis, Sabaites, Mandaites, 

ou les Chretiens de St. Jean. 4to. Paris, N.D. 
GARNETT, LUCY M. J. Mysticism and Magic in Turkey. 8vo. 

London, 1912. 

GOULD, R. F. History of Freemasonry. 6 vols., 4to. London, N.D. 
GRAHAM, CYRIL. Exploration of the Desert East of the Hauran. 
GRANT, DR. ASCHEL. The Nestorians. 8vo. London, 1841. 
GUYS, H. La Theogonie des Druses, trad, de 1'Arabe. Paris, 1863. 
GUYS, H. La Nation Druse. Paris, 1864. 
HAMMER, JOSEPH VON. History of the Assassins from Oriental 

Sources. Translated from the German by O. C. Wood. 8vo. 

London, 1835. 
HECKETHORN, C. W. Secret Societies of all Ages and Countries. 

2 vols., 8vo. London, 1897. 
HEWITT, J. F. Primitive Traditional HLtory. 2 vols., large 8vo. 

London, 1907. 

HISLOP, REV. ALEX. The Two Babylons. 8vo. London, 1871. 
HOFFMANN, A. G. Article on the Druses in Herzog's Real- 

Encyclopedic. 

HUTCHINSON, WILLIAM. Spirit of Masonry. Small 8vo. London, 1755. 
HYDE, THOMAS. Historia Religionis Veterum Persanim corumque 

Magorum. 4to. Oxford, 1700. 

INMAN, THOMAS, Ancient Faiths and Modern. 8vo. New York, 
1876. 



BIBLIOGRAPHY 299 

JABRAIL, JOSEPH. The Druses. (Palestine Exploration Fund 

Quarterly Statement, July, 1889.) 

JOSEPHUS, FLAVIUS. Whiston's edition. Large 8vo. London, N.D. 
KAYAT, ASSAD K. A Voice from the Lebanon. 8vo. London, 1847. 
KENEALY, DR. E. V. The Book of God : the Apocalypse of Adam- 

Oannes. 3 vols., 8vo. London, 1870. 
KING, C. W. The Gnostics and their Remains. 2nd edition. 

Large 8vo. London, 1887. 
LAURENT, ACHILLE. La Relation Historique des Affaires de Syrie, 

depuis 1840 jusqu'en 1842. 2 vols., 8vo. Paris, 1886. 
LAURIE, A. G. Druses and Assassins. 
LA YARD, A. H. Nineveh and its Remains. With an Account of a 

Visit to the Chaldean Christians of Kurdistan, and the Yezidis. 

2 vols., 8vo. London. 1849. 
LYDE, SAMUEL. The Ansyreeh and Ismaeleeh : a Visit to the Secret 

Sects of Syria. 8vo. London, 1853. 
LYDE, SAMUEL. The Asian Mystery, a Religious History of the 

Nusairis of Syria. 8vo. London, 1860. 
MEASON, M. L. The Druses of Lebanon. 
MENANT, J. Les Yezidis. Small 8vo. Paris, 1893. 
NEY, NAPOLEON. Les Socie"ts Secretes Musulmanes. 8vo. Paris, 

1890. 

NIEBUHR, C. Voyage de 1'Arabie, etc. 2 vols., 410. Amsterdam, 1776. 
OLIVER, DR. G. Historical Landmarks of Freemasonry. 2 vols., 

8vo. London, 1845. 

OLIPHANT, LAURENCE. Life in a Druse Village. 
OLIPHANT, LAURENCE. The Land of Gilead, with Excursions in the 

Lebanon. (Articles quoted, no details given.) 
O'NEILL, JOHN. The Night of the Gods. 2 vols. Large 8vo. 

London, 1893. 

PAINE, T. O. Solomon's Temple. Large 8vo. Boston, U.S.A., 1861. 
PARFIT, CANON. Among the Druses of Lebanon. London, 1917. 
PARRY, O. H. Six Months in a Syrian Monastery ; with some Account 

of the Yezidis, and El Jilweh, their Sacred Book. 8vo. 

London, 1895. 

PORTER, J. L. Five Years in Damascus. 2 vols., 8vo. London, 1855. 
PETERMANN, H. Reisen im Orient. 2 vols. Leipzig. 1860. 
PETERMANN, H. Thesaurus, eine Liber Magnus, vulgo Liber Adami 

appellatus, opus Mandaeorum summi ponderis. 2 vols. Berlin, 

1867. 

PUGET DE ST. PIERRE. Histoire des Druses. i2mo. Paris, 1763. 
PRESTON, WILLIAM Illustrations of Masonry. i6mo. London, 1801, 
ROBINSON, E. The Druses of Mount Lebanon. 
ROUSSEAU, JEAN B. L. J. Memoires sur les Ismaelis ou les Nusaires 

de Syrie. 
SALISBURY, E. E. Translation of two Arabic Documents, relating to 

the Doctrines of the Ismailis and other Batinean Sects. Journal 

of the American Oriental Society. 1886. 



800 SECRET SECTS OF SYRIA 

SACY, BARON SILVESTRE DE. Rechcrchcs snr 1 'Initiation a la Sccte 

des Ismachcns. 8vo Pans, 1824. 
SACY, BARON S. nt Expose de la .Religion des Diusrs, the des 

hvrt-s reli^ieusf s dc cette sccte, etc 2 vols , 8vo. Paris, 1838. 
SHAHRASTANI. Book of Religious and Philosophical Sects. Jn 

Arabic ; edited by W. Cureton. 2 vols. 1842 
SIONFFI, M. N. Etudes sur la Religion des Soublas on Sabeens. Leur 

Dogmes, letir Mceurs, etc. 8vo. Paris, 1880. 
SMITH, Rev. HASKETI The Druses of Syria and their Relation to 

Freemasonry. Transactions of A Q C., Jan., i8<>i. 
STANHOPE, LADY HESTER M< moirs. 3 vols, 8vo Ixmdon, 1846. 
SCHUPE, EDOUARD. The Great Initiates. 2 vols., 8vo. London, 



SIMPSON, WILLIAM. The Jonah I^egend. 8vo. London, 1899. 
TAYLOR, W. C. History of Mohammedanism and its Sects. I2mo. 

London, 1851. 
TOTT, BARON DE. Memoirs sur les Turcs. 2 vols., 8vo. Amsterdam, 

1784. 
URQUHART, DAVID. The Lebanon : a History and a Diary. 2 vols., 

8vo. London, 1860. 
VAIL, Rev. C. H. The Ancient Mysteries and Modern Masonry. 

Small 8vo. New York, 1909. 
VARIOUS AUTHORS. The Religious Systems of the World. Large 

8vo. London, 1890. 

VENTURE Historical Memoir on the Druses. London, 1786. 
VOLNEY, M. C. Voyage en Egypte et en Syne. 2 vols Pans, 1787. 
WAJTE, A. E. The Real History of the Rosier uciazis. 8vo. London, 

1887. 
WAITE, A. E. Secret Tradition in Freemasonry. 2 vols., 410. 

London, 1911. 
WALPOLE, LIEUT. HON. F. The Ansayrii and the Assassins. 3 vols., 

8vo. London, 1851. 
WILDER, DR. ALEX. The Egyptian Mysteries of lamblichus. Large 

8vo. London, 1911. 
WALLIS-BUDGE, DR. E. A. The Book of the Dead. 3 vols., small 

8vo. London, 1909. 
WOLFF, PHILIP. Die Drusen und ihre Verlaufer. 8vo. Leipzig, 

1845. 
WORBS, J. G. Geschichte des Landes dei Drusen in Syrien. 8vo. 

Gorl, 1799. 
WORTABET, REV. JOHN, M.D. Researches into the Religions of Syria. 

8vo. London, 1860. 
YARKER, JOHN. The Arcane Schools. Large 8vo. Belfast, 1909. 



APPENDIX 

NEW YEAR'S EVE CEREMONY AMONG THE MANDAITES . 303 

THE NUSAIRI FESTIVAL OF CHRISTMAS, OR M EEL AD . 308 

THE NUSAIRI FESTIVAL OF NUROOZ 310 

MOHAMMEDAN FESTIVAL OF MOHURRAM .... 310 

LAMENTATIONS FOR ADONIS 311 

DISCUSSION OF HASKETT SMITH'S PAPER ON THE DRUSES 312 

FAITH HEALING AMONG THE DRUSES 313 

THE TWO PILLARS OF NIMROD 314 

TWO PILLARS IN CASTLE OF HARAN 315 

THE TWO PILLARS OF SETH 3 ! 5 

JACHIN AND BOAZ 316 

LEGENDS OF ENOCH 31 7 

MOSES' KNOWLEDGE OF ASTRONOMY 318 

DISPUTE BETWEEN ADAM AND MOSES 318 

MOSES DID NOT TEACH THE DOCTRINE OF IMMORTALITY 319 

ELIAS THE FOUNDER OF THE ESSENES 319 

THE ANCIENT BOOK OF JASHER 319 

CLASSIFICATION OF THE TEMPLE WORKMEN .... 320 

JEWISH FREEMASONRY IN THE BABYLONISH CAPTIVITY 321 

GNOSTIC EMPHASIS ON "RIGHT" AND "LEFT" , . 321 

THE SPIRIT OF GNOSTICISM 322 

PORPHYRY 322 

MANES MEANS COMFORTER 323 

GEBAIL, THE ANCIENT BYBLUS 323 

801 



802 APPENDIX 

ANTIQUITY OF SIDON 323 

RUINS NEAR MARAH, WITH MASONS 1 MARKS ... 324 

ANCIENT OLIVE GROVES OF SYRIA 324 

AQUEDUCT OF SEMIRAMIS 324 

THE MYTH OF THE PHCENIX 325 

WORSHIP OF THE PEACOCK 326 

THE TRIQUETRA AND PENTALPHA 327 

THE SANCTITY OF THE TREFOIL 328 

EASTERN IDEAS OF PARADISE 328 

NAMES AND FUNCTIONS OF THE SEVEN ARCHANGELS . 329 

ORIGIN OF THE KORAN 330 

CREATION OF THE KORAN 330 

ORIGIN OF THE SWASTIKA 331 

CIRCUMAMBULATING THE LODGE 331 

CIRCUIT WITH THE SUN, FROM LEFT TO RIGHT . . 332 

THE THREE STEPS OF VISHNU 332 

ORIENTATION OF LODGES 333 

MASONIC TRACING BOARDS AND ANCIENT CHRISTIAN 

CHURCHES 333 

RELIGIOUS WORK OF THE ANCIENT FREEMASONS . . 335 

THE PATRIARCHAL SOURCE OF FREEMASONRY ... 336 

TRANSITION FROM ANCIENT TO MODERN INITIATIONS . 336 

KHONX-OM-PAX 337 

THREE STARS OF ORION'S BELT 337 

SYRIAN USE OF TOBACCO 337 

FAMA FRATERNITATIS : THE FOUNDING OF THE ROSICRU- 

CIAN ORDER 33 8 

KABALISM 34 o 

THE TEMPLE AND THE CHURCH 340 

JdASONIC MEETING IN A MOSQUE 341 



APPENDIX 



NEW YEAR'S EVE CEREMONY AMONG THE MANDAITES 

THE following interesting account of a New Year's Eve ceremony 
among the Mandaites, or Followers of John the Baptist, was published 
in the London Standard of October 19, 1894, under the title of 

A PRAYER MEETING OF THE STAR-WORSHIPPERS 

Sook-es-Shookh, on the River Euphrates, in the Mesopotamian 
villayet, though an interesting spot, is not an imposing or attractive 
place. Like most of the townlets in this part of Asia Minor, it is just 
a straggling overgrown village ; a few one-storied plastered houses, 
with flat roofs and narrow doorways, dotted here and there, a number 
of wattled and mud-daubed huts huddled irregularly about, a mesjid 
of course, a khan or caravanserai, and one or two open spaces with 
the inevitable refuse and rubbish heaps, where a bazaar or market 
is held on Fridays. It looks, however, picturesque and peaceful 
enough as we ride into it in the deepening twilight of a late September 
evening. The stars are beginning already to twinkle overhead ; but 
there is still light left to note the strange white-robed figures moving 
stealthily about in the semi-gloom down by the riverside. Clad in 
long, snowy garments, reaching nearly to the ground, they pass to and 
fro near the edge of the water, some wading into midstream, while 
the sound of a strange salutation exchanged in a strange tongue, Sood 
havilakh, strikes oddly upon the ear, long accustomed to the ordinary 
salutation, Salem Alekum, of the Arab-speaking Moslemin. " Paderha 
Sutekh " (" Their fathers were burned ") cries our Persian Charvadar 
and guide in disgust as he catches a glimpse of their white-robed 
figures : thus delicately hinting that they are not followers of Islam : 
and a Jew from Hamadan, who accompanies our party on his way 
to the tomb of Ezekiel, deliberately spits upon the ground and exclaims 
in pure Hebrew, " Obde kokhabim umazaloth " (" Servants of the stars 
and planets "). And the Hebrew is not wrong. The forms gathering 
by the riverside in the twilight are those of Star-worshippers, the last 
remnants of the famous Magi of ancient Chaldea and their followers, 
the Babylonian adorers of the host of heaven. To the number of 
about four thousand in all, they still survive in their Mesopotamian 
native land, principally along the banks of the Euphrates river, where 
they form small village communities. They invariably keep their 
settlements somewhere near a stream, for their religious rites and 
ceremonies are preceded by frequent bathings and ablutions, and a 

$08 



804 SECRET SECTS OF SYRIA 

rill of flowing water passing near or through their tabernacle or meeting- 
place is indispensable. Hence this edifice is always raised quite close 
to the river. 

They call themselves Mandaya, Mandaites, possessors of the 
" word," the " living word " ; keep strictly to their own customs 
and observances, and language, and never intermarry with Moslems, 
who call them Sabba, Sabeans. Their dialect is a remnant of the 
later Babylonian, and resembles closely the idiom of the Palestinian 
Talmud, and their liturgy is a compound of fragments of the ancient 
Chaldean cosmogony, with Gnostic mysticism influenced by later 
superstitions. They are a quiet and inoffensive people, noted, oddly 
enough, for the quality of their dairy produce in the villages, and for 
their skill as metal workers and goldsmiths in the towns where they 
reside. Their principal settlement is, or was, at Mardin, in the Baghdad 
district, but there has always been a small community of them at 
Sook-es-Shookh, on the banks of their favourite stream, the Euphrates. 

It happens to be the festival of the Star-worshippers, celebrated 
on the last day of the year, and known as the Kanshio Zahlo, or day 
of renunciation. This is the eve of the New Year, the great watch- 
night of the sect, when the annual prayer meeting is held, and a solemn 
sacrifice made to Avatar Ramo, the Judge of the under world, and 
Ptahiel his colleagueT and the white-robed figures we observe down 
by the riverside are those of members of the sect making the needful 
preparations for the prayer meeting and its attendant ceremonies. 
First they have to erect their niishkana, their tabernacle or outdoor 
temple ; for the sect has, strange to say, no permanent house of worship 
or meeting-place, but raises one previous to their festival, and only 
just in time for the celebration. And this is what they are now busy 
doing within a few yards of the water as we ride into the place. The 
elders in charge of a Shkando, or deacon who directs them, are gathering 
bundles of long reeds and wattles, which they weave quickly and deftly 
into a sort of basket work. An oblong space is marked out, about 
16 feet long and 12 feet broad by stouter reeds, which are driven firmly 
into the ground close together, and then tied with strong cord. To 
these the squares of woven reeds and wattles are securely attached 
forming the outer containing walls of the tabernacle. The side walls 
run from north to south, and are not more than 7 feet high. Two 
windows, or rather openings for windows, are left east and west, and 
space for a door is njade on the southern Side, so that the priest when 
entering the edifice has the Nqrth^Star, the great object of their 
adoration, immediately facing him. An altar of beaten earth is raised 
in the centre of the reed-encircled enclosure, and the interstices of 
the walls well daubed with clay and soft earth, which speedily hardens. 
On one side of the altar is placed a little furnace of dark earthenware, 
and on the other side a little handmill, such as is generally used in 
the East for grinding meal, together with a small quantity of charcoal. 
Close to the southern wall a circular basin is now excavated in the 
ground, about 8 feet across, and from the river a short canal, or channel, 



APPENDIX 805 

is dug, leading to it. Into this the water flows from the stream and 
soon fills the little reservoir to the brim. Two tiny cabins, or huts, 
made also of reeds and wicker-work each just long enough to hold 
a single person are then roughly put together, one by the side of 
the basin of water, the other at the further extremity of the southern 
wall beyond the entrance. The second of these cabins or huts is 
sacred to the Ganzivo, or high priest of the Star- worshippers, and no 
layman is allowed to so much as to touch the walls with his hands 
after it is built and placed in position. The doorway and window 
openings of the edifice are now hung with white curtains, and long 
before midnight, the hour at which the prayer meeting commences, 
the little Mishkna, or tabernacle, open to the sky, is finished and ready 
for the solemnity. 

Towards midnight the Star-worshippers, men and women, come 
slowly down to the Mishkna by the riverside. Each, as he or she 
arrives, enters the tiny wattled hut by the southern wall, disrobes, 
and bathes in the little circular reservoir ; the tarmido, or priest, 
standing by and pronouncing over each the formula : " Eshmo d'hai 
Eshmo d'manda hai madkhar elakh " (" The name of the Living One, 
the name of the living world, be remembered upon thee.") On 
emerging from the water each one robes himself or herself in the 
rasta, that is the ceremonial white garments peculiar to the Star- 
worshippers, consisting of a sadro, a long white shirt reaching to the 
ground, a nassifo, or stole, round the neck falling to the knees, a hiniamo, 
or girdle of woollen material, a gabooa, square headpiece reaching to 
the eyebrows, a shalooal, or white overmantle, and a kanzolo, or turban, 
wound round the gabooa headpiece, of which one end is left hanging 
down over the shoulder. Peculiar sanctity attaches to the rasta, 
for the garments composing it are those in which every Star- worshipper 
is buried, and in which he believes he will appear for judgment before 
the Avatar in the nether world, Matherotho. Each one, as soon as 
he is thus attired crosses to the open space in front of the door of 
the tabernacle and seats himself upon the ground there, saluting those 
present with the customary " Sood havildakh " (" Blessing be with 
thee "), and receiving in return the usual reply, " Assootah d'hai 
havilakh " (" Blessing of the Living One be with thee "). The numbers 
increase as the hour of the ceremonial comes near, and by midnight 
there are some twenty rows of these white-robed figures, men and 
women, ranked in orderly array facing the Mishkna, and awaiting 
in silent expectation the coming of the priests.* A couple of tarmidos, 
lamp in hand, guard the entry to the tabernacle and keep their eyes 
fixed upon the pointers of the Great Bear in the sky above. As soon 
as these attain the position indicating midnight the priests give a 
signal by waving the lamps they hold, and in a few moments the clergy 
of the sect march down in procession. In front are four of the 
shkandos, young deacons, attired in the rasta, with the addition of a 
silk cap or tagha under the turban to indicate their rank. Following 
them come four tarmidos, ordained priests, who have undergone the 

20 



806 SECRET SECTS OF SYRIA 

baptism of the dead. Each wears a gold ring on the little finger of 
the right hand, and carries a tan-shaped cross of olive wood to show 
his standing. Behind the tarmidos comes the spiritual head of the 
sect, the Ganzivro, a priest elected by his colleagues, who has made 
complete renunciation of the world, and is regarded as one dead and 
in the realms of the blessed. He is escorted by four other deacons. 
One holds aloft the large wooden tau cross, known as the derashvod 
zivo, that symbolizes his religious office, a second bears the sacred 
scriptures of the Star- worshippers, the Sidra Rabba, "the great Order," 
two-thirds of which form the liturgy of the living, and one-third the 
ritual of the dead. The third of the deacons carries two live pigeons 
in a cage, and the last a measure of barley and of sesame seeds. The 
procession marches through the ranks of the seated worshippers, who 
bend and kiss the garments of the Ganzivro as he passes near them. 
The tarmidos guarding the entrance of the tabernacle draw back the 
hanging over the doorway, and the priests file in, the deacons and 
tarmidos to right and left, and the Ganzivro standing alone in the centre, 
in front of the earthen altar facing the North Star, " Polaris." The 
Sacred Book, Sidra Rabba, is laid upon the altar, folded back where 
the liturgy of the living is divided from the ritual of the dead. The 
high priest takes one of the live pigeons handed to him by a shkando, 
extends his hands towards the Polar Star, upon which he fixes his 
eyes, and lets the bird fly, calling aloud : " Bahma d'hai rabba mshabbah 
zivo kadmaya ElahaEdmanNarshi Ebrah " (" In the name of the Living 
One blessed be the primitive light, the ancient light, the Divinity self- 
created "). The words clearly enunciated within are distinctly heard 
by the worshippers without, and with one accord the white-robed 
figures rise from their places and prostrate themselves upon the 
ground towards the North Star, on which they have silently been 
gazing. 

Noiselessly the worshippers resume their seated position on the 
ground outside. Within the Mishkna, or tabernacle, the Ganzivro 
steps on one side and his place is immediately taken by the senior 
priest, a tarmido, who opens the Sidra Rabba before him on the altar 
and begins to read the Shomshotto, " confession," of the sect in a 
modulated chant, his voice rising and falling as he reads ; and ever 
and anon terminating in a loud and swelling " mshobbo havi eshmakhyuo 
manda d'hai " (" Blessed be Thy Name, O Source of Life "), which 
the congregation without take up and repeat with bowed heads, their 
hands covering their eyes. While the reading is in progress two other 
priests turn and prepare the Peto elayat, or high mystery, as they 
term their Communion. One kindles a charcoal fire in the earthen- 
ware stove by the side of the altar, and the other grinds small some 
of the barley brought by the deacon. He then presses out some oil 
from the sesame seed, and, mixing the barley meal and oil, prepares 
a mass of dough, which he kneads and separates into small cakes the 
size of a two-shilling piece. These are quickly thrust into or on to 
the oven and baked, the chanting of the liturgy Shomshotto still 



APPENDIX 807 

proceeding with its steady sing-song and response, Mshobbo havi 
eshmakhyo from outside. The fourth of the tarmidos now takes the 
pigeon left in the cage from the shkando, or deacon, standing near 
him, and cuts its throat quickly with a very sharp knife, taking care 
that no blood is lost. The little cakes are then brought to him by 
his colleagues ; and still holding the dying pigeon he strains its neck 
over them in such a way that four drops fall on each one, so as to form 
the sacred tau or cross. Amid the continued reading of the liturgy 
the cakes are carried round to the worshippers outside by the two 
principal priests who prepared them, who themselves pop them direct 
into the mouths of the members with the words, " Rshimot bereshm 
d'hai " (" Marked be thou with the mark of the Living One "). The 
four deacons inside the Mishkna walk round to the rear of the altar 
and dig a little hole, in which the body of the dead pigeon is then 
buried. The chanting of the confession is now closed by the officiating 
tarrnido and the high priest, the Ganzivro, resuming his former place 
in front of the Sacred Book, begins the recitation of the Massakhto, 
or " renunciation " of the dead, ever directing his prayers towards 
the North Star, on which the gaze of the worshippers outside continues 
fixed throughout the whole of the ceremonial observances and prayers. 
This star is the Olma d'nhoora ! literally, " the world of light " ; the 
primitive sun of the Star- worshippers' theogony, the paradise of the 
elect, and the abode of the pious hereafter. For three hours the 
reading of the renunciation by the high priest continues, interrupted 
only ever and anon by the Mshobbo havi eshmakhyo (" Blessed be Thy 
Name ") of the participants seated outside, until towards dawn a 
loud and ringing " Ano asborlakh ano asborli ya Avatar" ("I mind 
me of Thee, mind Thou of me, O Avatar ") comes from the mouth of 
the priests, and signalizes the termination of the prayers. 

Before the North Star fades in the pale ashen grey of the approaching 
dawn a sheep, penned overnight near the river, is led into the taber- 
nacle by one of the four shkandos for sacrifice to Avatar and his com- 
panion deity, Ptahiel. It is a wether, for the Star-worshippers never kill 
ewes or eat their flesh when killed. The animal is laid upon some reeds, 
its head west and its tail east, the Ganzivro behind it facing the star. 
He first pours water over his hands, then over his feet, the water being 
brought to him by a deacon . One of the tarmidos takes up a position 
at his elbow, and places his hand on the Ganzivro's shoulder, saying 
" Ana shaddakh " (" I bear witness "). The high priest bends towards 
the North Star, draws a sharp knife from his left side, and, reciting 
the formula, " In the name of Alaha, Ptahiel created thee, Hibel 
Sivo permitted thee, and it is I who slay thee," cuts the sheep's throat 
from ear to ear, and allows the blood to escape on to the matted reeds 
upon which the animal is stretched out. The four deacons go outside, 
wash their hands and feet, then flay the sheep and cut it into as many 
portions as there are communicants outside. The pieces are now 
distributed among the worshippers, the priests leave the tabernacle 
in the same order as they came, and, with a parting benediction from 



SOS SECRET SECTS OF SYRIA 

the Ganzivro, " Assootad d'hai havilakh " (" The benison of the Living 
One attend thee "), the prayer-meeting terminates, and the Star- 
worshippers quietly return to their homes before the crimson sun has 
time to peep above the horizon. 

THE NUSAIRI FESTIVAL OF CHRISTMAS, OR M EEL AD 

THE festival of Meelad, which commences on the eve of the 25th of 
December, is one of great merit and solemnity. From the following 
description of it, from an old MS., given by M. Catafago in the Journal 
Asiatique, February 1848, it would appear to be a very strange blending 
of Christian and Mohammedan tenets. 

" The Lord, the Messiah (may peace be with Him), manifested in 
that night His birth of the holy, pure, and spotless Virgin Mary, 
daughter of Amran, of which God has made mention in His holy book, 
where He praises it in these terms : ' Mary, the daughter of Amran, 
preserved her virginity intact ; we breathed our spirit upon her ; 
she believed in the word of her Lord, gave credence to His books, 
and was obedient.' 

" However, she is none other, in the Mohammedan Dome (period) 
than Amina, daughter of Wahab, mother of our lord Mohammed. 
Many of our co-religionists say that she is the same as Fatimah (may 
peace be with her) ; they base their assertion on the words which our 
lord Mohammed addressed to her once, when she entered his presence : 
' Come in, O thou who art the mother of thine own father ; or, as 
others say, " Welcome, O thou who art the mother of thine own 
father." ' But the prophet only used this language to her to indicate 
that she was the mother of the three letters H, that is to say, Hassan, 
Hussein, and Hohsin. 

" As to the mother of our lord Mohammed, she was no other than 
Amina, daughter of Wahab, who, under the name of Mary, gave birth 
under the Christian Dome to the lord the Messiah, in the same way 
that lord Mohammed manifested his birth in his mother Amina, the 
daughter of Wahab. The proof of what I advance is the recital which 
my lord and sheikh made to me. He said to me : ' Having betaken 
myself to my lord, the virtuous Sheikh Abu-il-Hosein Mohammed, 
son of AH Al-Djalee, and having questioned him, among other things, 
about Mary, daughter of Amran, he replied to me that she was the 
same who, in the Mohammedan period, was called Amina, daughter 
of Wahab, mother of lord Mohammed (may peace be with him) '. 
He added that God had spoken of her in His revealed book, in these 
terms : ' Celebrated is Mary ; celebrated is the day in which she 
separated herself from her family, on the side of the East : she took 
in secret a veil which belonged not to her parents, and we sent her 
our spirit under a human form/ 

"Our lord El Khaseebee has spoken on the subject of the holy virgin 
in his poem, which commences with these words : ' The daughter 
of Amran, Mary, having presented her son to her family, God caused 



APPENDIX 309 

Him to speak, although He was in His cradle. I am the servant of 
God, said the child to them ; He will save Me. I am His spirit, whom 
He has sanctified ; It is He who has created Me, if He will, He can 
make me live, or make Me die/ 

" Besides, God has said in another passage of His holy book : ' We 
presented Jesus and His mother to the admirations of the universe ; 
we took them to a place of sojourning, where dwells peace and flows 
pure water.' 

" Our lord El Khaseebee has spoken on the subject of the pure 
virgin in his poem, winch commences with these words : ' In a dwelling 
where sojourns peace, and ilows pure water, Mary brought forth 
Jesus Christ, the Messiah, the Redeemer, whom I love sincerely.' 
The celestial degrees of Ahmad (this is the name by which Mohammed 
says He was mentioned in the Gospels), for which I give my soul, 
are between the letter H and the letter L. The Lord Chnst (may 
peace be with Him) effected His birth through the Virgin, and spake 
miraculously, as lias said our lord in his book : ' He will make His 
word be heard by men, from the cradle to old age, and will be of the 
number of the just/ 

" Since then the Lord Christ (may peace be with Him) spoke in 
this night, and manifested Hnnsult in it, it has been sanctified and 
honoured. 

" It is then the duty of the faithful to sanctify and honour this same 
night as it deserves, and to bless it by prayers addressed to God. 

PRAYER OF THE EVE OF CHRISTMAS. 

" Thou shait say : ' O Lord my God, Thou art the lofty and great 
One, the Sole, the only One, the Eternal ; Thou has neither been born, 
nor hast begotten, nor hast Thou any equal. Thou has manifested 
in this night Thy Name, which is Thy Soul, Thy Veil, Thy Throne, 
to all creatures as a child, and under human form ; whilst that, with 
Thee, this same Name is the greatest and most sacred thing of all 
that is found in Thy kingdom. Thou hast manifested it to men to 
prove Thine Eternity and Thy Divinity. Thou wilt manifest Thyself 
to them in the person of Thy demonstration, to recompense those 
who shall have recognized Thy Divinity at the epoch when Thou 
calledst to Thy religion, in sacrificing Thyself for their redemption. 
Most blessed Lord, my God, \Vho is so great as to be put in comparison 
with Thee ? Who is so wise as to attain to Thy wisdom ? Who is 
so merciful as to be as much as Thou art ? Who is so generous as 
to attain to the same degree of generosity as Thyself ? Thou fillest 
all creatures with Thy bounty. Thou callest to them by Thy benevo- 
lence, Thy periodic manifestations in the turnings (transmigrations) 
and revolutions. Thy mercy fills those who have been already the 
object of Thine infinite goodness. I adjure Thee, O Lord, my God, 
by Thy most great Maana, by Thy great Ism, and by Tlime honourable 
Bab, to increase in us Thy favour ; I adjure Thee, O Lord, by the 
merits of this night, not to deprive our hearts of Thy knowledge. 



810 SECRET SECTS OF SYRIA 

After having placed us in Thy right way, grant to us, O Lord, entire 
mercy, pardon, forgiveness, and indulgence for our sins ; make us 
hope to meet Thee ; grant us Thy satisfaction, and give us what none 
other but Thee can give. O Lord our God, suffer us not to be deprived 
of Thy favour, nor to be subjected to those who would lead us to adore 
another besides Thee. O Prince of Bees, great Ali, be our aid and 
refuge/ Here you will make a prostration, praying for thyself and 
thy brethren that God will hear your wishes and prayers." 

THE NUSAIRI FESTIVAL OF NUROOZ 

THE most important festival kept by the Nusairis is that of Nurooz 
a Persian word for the Vernal Equinox. It is celebrated on the 
4th April (Old Style), the first day of the Persian year. It is quite 
distinct from the popular festivals, in which men, women, and 
children freely participate, being strictly reserved for initiated adults 
and is usually held in a private house, lent by some prominent member 
of the sect. Makrisi mentions this festival as kept by the Fatimite 
Caliphs, and calls it the Nurooz-41-Kubtee, or Copt. But if it is the 
same as the same festival as is kept by the Copts of to-day, Lane 
(Modern Egyptians, vol. ii. p. 268) says that it is kept as their New 
Year's Day, on the loth or nth of September. Makrisi goes on to 
say that the Nurooz was first kept by Djamsheed, one of the early 
Persian kings. It was reputed to be the day on which King Solomon's 
ring was restored to him, and the birds brought water in their beaks, 
and sprinkled it before him ; hence the Persian kings used to keep 
it as a festival, with sprinkling of water. M. Catafago (Journal 
Asiatique, February 1848, p. 154) speaks of it as a very holy and 
solemn day. Quoting from an old Arab MS. in his possession, he 
says that " the kings of the line of Chosroes sanctified this day, and 
recognized its excellence. They carried on this day crowns of myrtle 
and chrysanthemums, and celebrated the ceremony of sprinkling 
with water. They regarded this day as fruitful in great blessing." 

MOHAMMEDAN FESTIVAL OF MOHURRAM 
(SIMPSON : The Jonah Legend, p. 30. London, 1899.) 

ANOTHER religious rite, which is still practised in own our day, as a 
dramatic performance, is that of the Mohurrem of the Shia Moham- 
medans. The Persians are Shias, and every year this celebration takes 
place in almost every town ; and it is also performed in most of the 
Mohammedan towns in India. In Persia there are regular erections, 
known as Imambarrahs, which I suppose might be called theatres, for 
these dramatic exhibitions. The subject of the piece is the martyrdom 
of Hassan and Hussein, the sons of Ali* Their death is represented, and 
in India the performers carry richly adorned T abuts, or biers, supposed 
to be the coffins of the martyrs. At Bombay the ceremony ends by 
throwing the Tabuts into the sea; but at inland places they are buried, 



APPENDIX 811 

This ceremony is so unlike anything in Mohammed's teaching, it might 
even be affirmed that it is entirely antagonistic to the spirit of 
Islamism it becomes difficult to account for its origin ; and up to the 
present I have not chanced to come upon any explanation as to the 
source from which the Shias derived it. The whole performance has 
the appearance of being a descendant from some ceremony such as 
the weeping for Adonis or Tammuz, or it might be from the wailing 
for the death of Dionysius. 

LAMENTATIONS FOR ADONIS 
(SIMPSON : The Jonah Legend, p. 82. London, 1899.) 

THE wailing for Tammuz was acted every year ; and Professor Sayce 
seems to believe that there was another feast, " in which grief gave 
place to joy at his restoration to life," J the same as it was in the case 
of Adonis. Although nothing definitive can be derived from the 
Istar myth, it is fortunate that there has turned up among the cuneiform 
inscriptions an account of an initiatory rite, and one, too, which 
described the neophyte as passing to the world below. Here is Pro- 
fessor Sayce's explanation of it. He says it is a " tablet which described 
the initiation of an Augur," that is, a soothsayer or prophet, one who 
foretells the future the exact character is of some importance to 
bear in mind, as will be seen further on. The inscription states " how 
he must be of pure lineage, unblemished in hand and foot/' and speaks 
thus of the vision which is revealed to him before he is " initiated 
and instructed in the presence of Samas and Rimmon in, the use of 
the book and stylus " by " the scribe, the instructed one, who keeps 
the oracle of the great gods " ; he is made to descend into an artificial 
imitation of the lower world, and there beholds " the altars amid the 
waters, the treasures of Anu, Bel, and Ea, the tablets of the gods, 
the delivering of the oracle of heaven and earth, and the cedar -tree, 
the beloved of the great gods, which their hand has caused to grow I " * 
It should be noted here that there was an " artificial imitation of the 
lower world/' that with the cedar-tree, the altars, etc., would imply 
the existences of a large amount of what, in theatrical phrase, is known 
as " properties." 

This rite in the country of the Two Rivers may have been Semitic 
or Accadian in its first origin. There are many passages in the Old 
Testament that are suggestive of initiation, and some of them will 
be here referred to. The Semites, we know, had the one initiatory 
rite known among the Jews as the Covenant of Abraham. The 
history of the Semites covers a long period of time, and it also spreads 
itself over a considerable space of ground, and that might imply more 
than one initiatory system, the Jonah legend being at least one of them. 
The system of becoming Nazarites existed before the time of Moses. 
John the Baptist was a Nazarite, whose name connects him with 

Simpson refers to Hibbert Lectures, p. 231, 
* Jtyd, p. 340, 



312 SECRET SECTS OF SYRIA 

the origin of the Christian initiatory rite. There were the Essenes, 
who had more than one degree ; and Josephus tells us something 
about their system and the initiations belonging to it, but it is very 
doubtful if he knew much about their rites. They were ascetics of 
a very rigid kind. The same may be said of the Ebionites, but our 
knowledge regarding them also is of the slightest. 

DISCUSSION ON THE REV. HASKETT SMITH'S PAPER 
ON THE DRUSES OF SYRIA AND THEIR RELATION 
TO FREEMASONRY 

(Transactions of A.Q.C., January 1891.) 

BRO. GOULD, acting as I. P.M., said : The paper deals with an actual 
living society, fellowship, class, sect, or whatever noun of multitude 
may be the most applicable to such a body as the Druses of Syria, 
between which and our own Masonic fraternity there are points of 
similarity, consisting of secret signs and tokens revealed only to the 
initiated. The remarks of Bro. Haskett Smith will no doubt receive, 
as indeed they amply merit, a careful criticism as the discussion pro- 
ceeds, but I shall address myself a few observations to the brethren, 
based not so much upon the paper of the evening, as upon the class 
of papers of which I hope it is destined to be the precursor. . . . The 
paper of the evening lays before us a couple of propositions, and if 
we accept the first of them it will carry us a great way towards an 
agreement with the other one. But I am of opinion that if the present 
customs of the Druses resemble in any way the present customs of 
the Freemasons, the origin of the similitude will not be found in the 
theory or supposition of Bro. Haskett Smith. If points of similarity 
exist as alleged, and I do not for one instance impeach the good faith 
of the narrator, though I think it just possible that he may, in certain 
instances, have been misled by resemblances, more or less fanciful 
and imaginary I believe they were copied by the Druses from the 
Freemasons, and the greater the analogy between the customs of the two 
bodies at this day, the more clearly, in my view, does the finger of prob- 
ability point to modern Masonry as the fount or source whence the usages 
and traditions were derived, on which are based the two propositions 
or conclusions contained in the paper under discussion. 

Bro. W. Simpson said : It is, I think, something new to find a 
traveller looking out for light and knowledge respecting our Craft 
in Eastern lands (! !). The two propositions are startling, and would 
be of great significance in the history of the Craft if they can be sustained. 
But I confess I should like some further evidence before accepting 
them. 

Bro. W. Wynn Westcott said he thought that Bro. Haskett Smith's 
zeal had outrun his discretion. His contention that the builders of 
the Temple were suddenly produced from a race of simple mountaineers 
required some faith. It was odd that these Druses, great admirers, 
as be said they were, of the Royal Solomon, should not appreciate 



APPENDIX 818 

the reference to the very famous ornaments of the Temple entrance, 
with which the name of the great Temple King is so closely connected. 
But then, there have been scoffers who have said that Solomon was 
a myth of the sun-god, and not a mortal man at all, and that his name 
consists of the name of the sun in three languages. 

Bro. W. H. Rolands said the paper did not carry conviction. He 
thought the early age at which the candidate began his initiation, 
when he was neither free nor of mature age, and the fact that the 
number of degrees extended to four or five instead of three, were weak 
points in the argument. To attempt to compare the moral teaching 
of Freemasonry at the present time with the Operative Masonry of 
the earliest times appeared to him to be an impossibility. We did 
not know, and probably never should know, what that early Masonry 
was, or whether there was any moral teaching in it at all. 

Bro. Speth said he was not disposed to accept the author's theory, 
though unwilling to regard it all as an impossibility. He thought 
that the Druses' tradition that they built the Temple might be due 
to a bona fide reminiscence, a fact handed down from father to sons in 
all the centuries. But he could not give his adhesion to the second pro- 
position, that to the present day the Dr uses ictain many evident tokens 
of their intimate connection with the Ancient Craft of Freemasonry. 

Bro. E. Macbean, in summing up the paper and the discussion, 
regretted his inability to accept as decisive any one of the conclusions 
which the writer of the paper formulated. The similarities he noticed 
were no more striking than can be observed, with even greater clear- 
ness, in many other directions, widely scattered over the Orient. He 
could not trace any closer resemblance between Druse ceremonial, 
and modwn Freemasonry than could be easily discovered between 
almost any other of the mystic societies which have various degrees 
of knowledge, and correspondingly higher observances with each 
grade. The different cults always marked the advancement of the 
neophyte by definite instruction and special secrets, and Oriental 
religions were still closely allied with peculiar modes of recognition. 
In Scottish Freemasonry he found a certain custom which was identical 
with a very ancient Brahminical token, and another which had so 
strong a likeness to an Indian practice that he had seen a bright 
Mason startled into impropriety. 

(Apparently Bro, Macbean had inherited some of the character- 
istics attributed to Balaam, and in his attempts to refute the proposi- 
tions of Bro. Haskett Smith acted as a powerful exponent of the 
" universality of the science," which, after all, was a reason for the 
compilation of the paper.) 

FAITH HEALING AMONG THE DRUSES 
(CHASSEAUD : The Druses of the Lebanon, p. 380.) 

THE Druses are not a people who can lay claim to any very extensive 
acquaintance with the art of kealing. In this respect they must be 



814 SECRET SECTS OF SYRIA 

considered behind the age. Their methods of cure are of the most 
simple description, and there are no medicines to be found among 
them but such as are in common use among all native-born Syrians. 
In surgery, however, they are by no means incapable practitioners, 
and their performances in this respect have often elicited the wonder 
and admiration of those who prided themselves upon superior education 
and more extensive experience. 

A story is related in Beyrout which, however much it may excite 
surprise or incredulity, is nevertheless perfectly true. In 1887, 
when the great earthquake shook Sidon, the wife of the French Consular 
Agent there ' received some very dangerous fractures. All the 
European doctors in Beyrout and Sidon were called in, and all pro- 
nounced that immediate amputation was necessary. The lady, 
however, refused to undergo the process of amputation ; and perhaps 
having had too much experience of European doctors to think them 
infallible, determined to consign herself to the care of a native-born 
doctor. 

This man was renowned for having in his possession medicinal 
herbs of a most wonderful virtue, which were said to have effected 
astonishing cures ; and when he was summoned to the lady's bedside 
he rejected all thoughts of the knife, and merely commenced plastering 
the injured limbs with his potent herbs ; and all through the illness 
of his patient he never resorted to anything else but his medicinal 
herbs and outward applications, In the space of two months, after 
the lady was consigned to the care of this celebrated hakeem, she was 
so far recovered as to be able to leave her room and walk about 
without support, and it was not long before the limbs regained their 
wonted strength and a perfect cure was effected . * 



THE TWO PILLARS OF NIMROD 
(WALPOLE : The Ansayrii, vol. i. p. 291.) 

" ENTERING the walls of the town of Orfa we mounted the steep hill 
on which the castle stands. On the wall near the gate by which we 
entered are carved two twisted snakes and numerous lions ; the interior 
presents nothing but a confused mass of ruins, save the two fine 
Corinthian pillars that form, from a distance, such a prominent land- 
mark. The rest are all Mahometan a mosque, a bath, and other 
buildings, in bad Saracenic style. The pillars, two in number, on 
which, according to tradition, the throne of Nimrod rested, stand 
on rudely-built basements, nor could I find any remnant of a third, 
or of any building to which they seemed to have belonged. The pillars 
are, perhaps, seven feet in diameter, but their height does away 
with all appearance of heaviness : they are built in pieces, and 
projecting knobs left on each piece. Here and there, likewise, are 
notches also made for some purpose, probably of building on tQ 
the pillar/ 1 . 



APPENDIX 815 

TWO PILLARS IN THE CASTLE OF HARAN 

(Ibid., p. 314.) 

" The walls of the Castle of Haran are much ruined, though what 
remains is well built : the south gate also is perfect. Over it is an 
Arabic inscription ; it consists of a single arch, perfectly plain : the 
spring has a little ornamental work on it ; the gate itself is square ; 
over the doorway the stones are curious dovetailed ; the work well 
done. There was formerly a tower over the gateway. Pliny lived 
A.D. 29 ; his history would have been written, perhaps, in A.T>. 70 ; 
so his account of Haran at the time may have been correct. But the 
walls are built of blocks of stone, totally uncemented, though well 
put together, and solid through their whole thickness. They are 
defended by towers, some round and some square. The vaulted 
chambers within are fine and lofty, the roofs of bricks, small, and well 
put together : these spite of becoming black with fleas and scratching 
J explored ; and my research was rewarded by finding two pillars, 
built into the wall, of great beauty. Small, but well proportioned, 
of an extremely black, close-grained marble, the capital lotus leaves 
clustered round the stone. There were several other fluted shafts, 
but I saw no capitals." 

THE TWO PILLARS OF SETH 

According to Josephus, " the descendants of Seth invented the 
wisdom that is concerned with the heavenly bodies, and their orderly 
arrangement. Having made two pillars, one of brick, the other of 
stones, on both they described their discoveries/' Josephus also 
quotes Apion as saying that " Moses set up two pillars upon which 
was a representation of a bark, and the shadow of a man disposed 
upon it ; as if that in the aether He accompanies the sun through 
this his eternal course." Prescott, in his History of Peru, says: 
" That the two pillars were a means, perhaps, of determining the sun's 
crossing the line. The Peruvians determined the period of the 
equinoxes by the help of a solitary pillar placed in the centre of a 
circle, which was described in the area of the Great Temple, and 
traversed by a diameter that was drawn from east to west." Lucian 
tells us that on the top of one of the two pillars which Bacchus set 
up in the temple at Byblus a man remained for seven days, twice each 
year, " evidently on the look-out for Noah's ark ! " 

According to Arabic traditions one of the Pyramids is the tomb 
of Seth, and John Greaves, the old Oxford astronomer, considers it 
probable that the Pyramids are the Pillars of Seth, which, according 
to Josephus, were in the very same place where Manethod placed 
the Pillars of Thoth, called Siriad. The words of Josephus respecting 
these pillars are : " They (the children of Seth) were the inventors 
of that peculiar sort of wisdom which is concerned with the heavenly 
bodies and their order. And that their inventions might not be lost 



816 SECRET SECTS OF SYRIA 

before they were sufficiently known, upon Adam's prediction that 
the world was to be destroyed at one time by the force of fire, and 
at another time by the violence and quantity of waters, they made 
two pillars, the one of brick, the other of stone ; they inscribed their 
discoveries upon both, that, in case the pillar of brick should be 
destroyed by the flood, the pillar of stone might remain, and exhibit 
those discoveries to mankind, and also inform them that there was 
another pillar of brick erected by them. Now this remains in the 
land of Siriad to this day." The place where the Pillars of Seth are 
said to have stood is called Siriad, which may be taken to mean the 
place of Anubis, who marked the solstitial or midsummer sun, and 
it is therefore the region of the abode of the sun. John Greaves also 
considers Siriad is a name equally appropriate to the site of the 
Great Pyramid. 

JACHIN AND BOAZ 
(HEWITT : Primitive Traditional History, pp. 220 ff.) 

THE Phoenicians worshipped the Boetyh, or sun-pillars, the Hebrew 
Beth-el, called in the North the Hirmen sol, or great stone of the 
sun. These were in Greece the pillars of Hermes, god of the boundary 
stone erma. The two pillars erected in front of Phoenician and Egyptian 
temples described by Herodotus (ii. 44) were year-pillars of a race 
who measured the lapse of daily and annual time by the shadows 
cast by the sun of day, a totally different deity from the southern god 
of the setting sun, who ruled the primitive year of the solstices. The 
first of these two pillars, the god Chiun, or the pillar, the Jachin of 
Solomon's temple, is called in the Septuagint version of Amos v. 26, 
the god Raiphon, that is, the ape-star, Canopus, the pillar of the south. 
This was the green or spring pillar of Usof the hunter, the Pole Star 
god of Orion's year, beginning its solar year in the south at the winter 
solstice, called Baal Khammam, or Hammam. The second was the 
golden pillar of Hypsuranos, the brother of Usof, which was in 
Solomon's temple that of Boaz, or the moving god, who returned from 
the north to the south between the summer and winter solstice, 
when human sacrifices were offered him at the close of each year by 
the Phoenicians and Carthaginians, and at Rhodes and Salamis. 
Jacob went to Bethlehem (Gen. xxxv. 8-22), where Benjamin, the 
son of his right hand, was born simultaneously with the death of his 
mother Rachael. This son of the right-hand was born as the rising 
sun-god of the worshippers of the Pole Star, now represented by the 
Sabean Mandaites, who, in worshipping the Pole, turn their faces 
to the north, and thus have the rising sun of the east, which they 
worship, on their right hand, and not on their left, like the Haranites, 
who face southward while worshipping. The Sabean Mandaites, in 
their annual New Year's service at the autumnal equinox, fix the 
hour by referring to the position of the Great Bear and the Pole Star, 
and mark their connection with the sexless gods of the cycle-year 



APPENDIX 817 

by sacrificing a wether as a substitute for the ram offered on their 
New Year's day. It was at Bethlehem, according to Jerome (Ep. xix) 
that the annual sun-festival of the death and re-birth of Tammuz, 
the year-god Orion, was held. 

LEGENDS OF ENOCH 

(SIMPSON : The Jonah Legend, p. 83. London, 1899.) 

WE have only a few fragments that have come down to us about 
Enoch in the Bible, but these, slight as they are, become suggestive 
when compared with our late knowledge. The name Enoch means 
" initiated," or " initiating," and is derived from a word with a similar 
meaning, including " to imbue," " to train," " to dedicate," and " to 
consecrate." Like Oannes the Fish- god, Enoch has the reputation of 
being a great teacher, and of having produced a large number of books. 
He is credited as having been the inventor of writing, arithmetic, and 
astronomy. This reputation is, perhaps, of a late date, but these 
are exactly the attributes those of the Culture Hero that would 
be given to the typical figure of an initiatory system. Now if we 
suppose that Enoch was such a figure, it explains, in a very simple 
way, the origin of the well-known legend about him, that he was 
translated to the other world. 

From other sources numerous legends about Enoch are recorded, 
and Mirkhond, a Mohammedan writer, supplies one that suggests 
quite another character to the translation of the Patriarch. In this 
he is called " Edris," the learned ; and when A'zrayil, " the angel of 
death/' came to him, Edris made a request that he wished to see hell, 
which was granted. After that he desired to behold paradise. On 
being taken there and seeing everything, after some time A'zrayil 
wishes to take Edris away from the garden, but Edris, who was aware 
of the state of affairs, and initiated into secrets, refused to comply, 
and, taking refuge near a tree, resisted all the invitations of his guide, 
saying : " Unless the Creator of paradise and of hell removes me, I 
shall not quit this place." Meanwhile the Almighty Whose name 
be exalted sent an angel to arbitrate between them who, after 
conversing with A'zrayil, asked Edris, who replied : " Every soul 
shall taste of death. I have eaten of the poison of the extinction of 
life, and, according to the edict, ' There is none of you but will go down 
to it, 1 I descended to hell ; and, lastly, according to the command of 
the Most High and Glorious concerning the inhabitants of paradise, 
' And they shall not go out from it/ I shall not go out merely because 
of A'zrayil's words until the Omnipotent Inscrutable One orders me 
to do so." Then the divine announcement arrived : " By my per- 
mission he entered, and by my permission he acted ; leave him alone, 
for the right is on his side," * This reads more like a piece of acting 
than anything else, and instead of anyone being able to avoid death, 
the very contrary is declared. Edris here, it is said, went below, and, 
' Simpson refers to Rauzat-us-Safa, Rehatsck's translation, vol. i. pp. 70-1, 



818 SECRET SECTS OF SYRIA 

being " initiated into secrets," when he reached paradise he refused 
to leave, and claimed that he had a right to remain. The correctness 
of his claim was recognized. 

Mirkhond states that the Hebrew name of Edris, or Enoch, was 
Ekhnuh, and Khunuh ; he was born at Manaf, or Memphis, in Egypt, 
and he was identified by the Arabs with Hermes, who was the same 
as Thoth. 

MOSES' KNOWLEDGE OF ASTRONOMY 
(ANON. : The Canon, p. 159. London, 1897.) 

WE learn from Philo Judaeus that Moses was thoroughly well versed 
in all the learning of the Egyptians, the Assyrians, the Chaldeans, 
and the Greeks, although most of the Fathers declare that the latter 
people learnt their philosophy from him. All this knowledge was 
said to be contained in the five books of Moses, and the Ark, Camp, 
and Tabernacle are the embodiment of the mathematical and astro- 
nomical part of it. Besides the account in the Scriptures, the 
Tabernacle is fully described by Philo, Josephus, and Clement of 
Alexandria. In recent times Sir William Drummond (CEdipus Judaicus, 
1811, p. 119) has pointed out all that can be said in a general way as 
to the cosmic symbolism of the Tabernacle and the Temple. From 
all these sources it is made evident that this structure was a mystical 
image of the universe, intended as a shrine for the Deity Whose nature 
is enigmatically shadowed forth in the Law. If it be open to question 
whether the measures of the Tabernacle relate to the structure of 
the universe (Josephus, in his Antiquities, Book III, chap, vi, calls 
them an " imitation of the system of the world "), there can at least 
be no doubt that the furniture of this mystical shrine is symbolical 
of the heavenly order. In the Holy Place there stood on the north 
side a table " like those at Delphi " (Josephus), upon which were 
placed twelve loaves, arranged in two heaps of six each, typical of 
the twelve months of the year. And opposite the table, on the south 
side, stood the golden candlestick, having seven branches, which 
" carried seven lamps, one by one, in imitation of the planets " 
(Josephus, Book III, chap, vi), " and the candlestick was set obliquely, 
like the ecliptic." Philo agrees with this view, and says also : " For 
the symbols of heaven and earth are placed side by side, as the Holy 
Scripture shows, the candlestick being the symbol of heaven, and 
that which is truly called the altar of incense, on which all the 
fumigatory offerings are made, being emblems of things of earth " 
{Life of Moses , Book III). 

DISPUTE BETWEEN ADAM AND MOSES 
(Mischcat-ul-Mas'abih t vol. i, p. 26.) 

ABU-HOREIRA, a companion of Mohammed (whose name, signifying 
the father of a cat, was given him from his attachment to that animal) 
reported : " The Prophet of God said that Adam and Moses (in the 



APPENDIX 819 

world of spirits) maintained a debate before God, and Adam got the 
better of Moses : the latter said, ' Thou art that Adam whom God 
created by the power of His hand, and breathed into thee from His 
own spirit, and made the angels bow before thee, and gave thee an 
habitation in His own paradise ; after which, thou threwest man 
upon the earth, from the fault which thou didst commit.' Adam said : 
' Thou art that Moses, whom God selected for His prophecy, and to 
converse with, and He gave thee twelve tables, in which are explained 
everything, and God made thee His confidant, and the bearer of His 
secrets ; how long was the Bible written before I was created ? ' 
Moses said, ' Forty years.' Then Adam said, ' Didst thou see in 
the Bible that Adam disobeyed God ? ' He said, * Yes.' Adam 
said, ' Dost thou reproach me on a matter which God wrote in the 
Bible forty years before creating me ? ' " 

MOSES DID NOT TEACH THE DOCTRINE OF IMMORTALITY 
(VoN HAMMER : History of the Assassins, p. 39.) 

Moses, imbued with the Egyptian policy, and initiated into the 
mysteries of the sacerdotal colleges, among many other of their 
institutions, retained this, of not imparting to his people the doctrine 
of immortality, which, in all probability, remained, as in Egypt, the 
peculiar privilege of the priestly order. We find no trace of it in the 
books of the Hebrews, except in the Arabic book of Job, which, in 
fact, does not belong to them. 

ELIAS THE FOUNDER OF THE ESSENES 
(GODFREY HIGGINS : The Celtic Druids, p. 164.) 

UPON the pedestal of the colossal statue of Elias, under the cupola 
of St. Peter's, at Rome, is the inscription : Elias Fundator Ordints 
Carmelitarum. From Elias came the Essenes, and from the Essenes 
the Carmelites, monks who were in fact Christian Essenes. These 
people, in the early and middle ages of the Church, retained very 
little of the character given them by Philo and Josephus, These 
Essenes, in Egypt, Persia, and other countries, had probably grown 
into the prevailing adoration of the heavenly bodies, previously to 
the time of Philo, and when they became converts to Christianity they 
formed an odd mixture of the two religions. 

THE ANCIENT BOOK OF JASHER 

(EMMANUEL SWEDENBORG : True Christian Religion, p. 279. 
London, 1876.) 

" ABOUT seven years ago, as I was calling to mind what Moses had 
transcribed from the two books called ' The Wars of Jehovah ' and 
* The Enunciations ' (Numbers xxi), there were some angels present 
who told me that those books were called the Ancient Word, the 



820 SECRET SECTS OF SYRIA 

historical parts of which were called ' The Wars of Jehovah ' and the 
prophetic parts ' The Enunciations.' They said that that Word is 
still preserved in heaven, and is in use among the ancients there, who 
were in possession of it during their abode on earth, as natives of the 
Land of Canaan, and its confines, as Syria, Mesopotamia, Arabia, 
Chaldea, Assyria, Egypt, Sidon, Tyre, and Nineveh, the inhabitants 
of all which kingdoms were in the practice of representative worship, 
and consequently were skilled in the science of correspondence. The 
wisdom of those times was derived from that science, and then they 
enjoyed interior perception and communication with the heavens. 
Those who were acquainted with the correspondence of that Word 
were called wise men and intelligent, and in succeeding ages diviners 
and magi : but as that Word was full of such correspondences as 
were remotely significant of celestial and spiritual things, and in 
consequence began to be falsified by many, by the divine providence 
of the Lord, in process of time it was removed, and another Word 
written by correspondences less remote was given, which was that 
delivered by the prophets among the children of Israel. Concerning 
that Ancient Word, which was in Asia before the Israelitish Word, 
I am at liberty to state that it is still preserved among the people of 
Great Tartary. I have conversed with spirits and angels in the 
Spiritual World who came from that country, and who informed me 
that they were in possession of the Word, and that they have possessed 
it from time immemorial : that according to this Word they celebrate 
their divine worship, and that it consists of more correspondences. 
They said likewise that it contains the Book of Jasher (mentioned in 
Joshua x. 12, 15, and 2 Sam. i. 17, 18), and that they are also in posses- 
sion of the books called ' The Wars of Jehovah ' and ' The Enuncia- 
tions/ mentioned by Moses (Numbers xxi. 14, 15, 27-30) : and when 
I read to them the words which Moses had quoted from these books, 
they examined whether they were in the original, and found they were ; 
from which circumstances it was evident to me that they are still in 
possession of the Ancient Word. I have been further informed by 
the angels that the first chapters of Genesis, which treat of the creation 
of Adam and Eve, of the Garden of Eden, and of their children and 
posterity till the Flood, and likewise of Noah and his children, are 
contained in that word, and so copied from it by Moses. 1 ' (I have in 
my own library some fragments of this Book of Jasher, reputed to 
have been used by Moses in compiling his own books, to which there 
is a very close resemblance indeed. I have also what purports to be 
an inspired reproduction of the " Wars of Jehovah," also a most 
interesting record.) 

CLASSIFICATION OF THE TEMPLE WORKMEN 

MASONIC tradition, confirmed by Biblical and Jewish records, affirms 
that each operative mason employed at the erection of Solomon's 
Temple was known and distinguished by a peculiar mark, and this 
was affixed by him to all details of his workmanship. That no confusion 



APPENDIX 821 

might arise, owing to the great numbers employed In paying the 
workmen their wages, they were divided into three classes, according 
to the degree of professional knowledge possessed by each, Apprentices, 
Fellowcrafts, and Masters. Each class had particular signs and words 
entrusted to its members, and different places were assigned for the 
payment of each at the stated periods. The superior workmen were 
again divided into three classes : the Harodim, princes, rulers, or 
provosts, numbering 300 ; the Menatzchim, overseers, numbering 
3,300 ; and the Ghiblim, or " stone squarers," numbering 80,000. 
Maundrell says that these latter were inhabitants of Byblus, or Gebail. 
The Hebrew version of i Kings v. 18, translated in our Bible " stone 
squarers," is Giblim, or Giblites ; in the Septuagint version it is given 
as Bubloi, Byblus being the Greek name for Gebail. 

The names of various members of the Harodim, many of which 
are given in the Book of Chronicles, are preserved to us in the thirty- 
three degrees of the A. and A.K.. 

JEWISH FREEMASONRY IN THE BABYLONISH CAPTIVITY 
(OLIVER : Historical Landmarks of Freemasonry, pp. 425 et seq.) 

DURING the captivity in Babylon, the Jews had practised Freemasonry, 
and consoled themselves by brotherly communications in regular 
Lodges, until the appointed time of their deliverance. And those 
that chose to remain continued to observe their Masonic duties, and 
for this purpose they had three Colleges, or Grand Lodges : one at 
Sora, one at Pompcditha, and one at Neharda. (This is confirmed 
by a rabbinical author, who says : " The tribes which had been carried 
into captivity to Babylon founded the celebrated fraternity of Neharda, 
on the Euphrates, for the preservation of traditional knowledge, and 
its transmission to a selected few, while it was kept secret from the 
rest of the world. Zerubbabel the prince, Jeshua the priest, and 
Esdras the scribe carried away all the secret knowledge which was so 
carefully preserved within the closed recesses of this mysterious 
institution with them to Jerusalem ; and they established in the 
latter city a similar fraternity for the same purpose.") 

This mention of Esdras, as the Third Principal, is no doubt the 
authority for American R.A. Masons substituting his name for that 
of Haggai the Prophet. It is more usual to ascribe the holding of 
the resuscitated Grand Lodge to Zerubbabel, Haggai, and Joshua, 
with Esdras as the scribe, being succeeded in that office by Ezra and 
Nehemiah, while Daniel, Zachariah, and Malachi are traditionally 
asserted to have been members of the Lodge, together with Hananiah, 
Misael, and Azariah. 

GNOSTIC EMPHASIS ON "RIGHT 1 ' AND "LEFT" 
(Box. : Apocalypse of Abraham, Introduction, p. arix.) 

AMONG the Gnostic features in the text of this book may be reckoned 
the significant emphasis laid upon " right " and " left " in the 

21 



822 SECRET SECTS OF SYRIA 

apocalyptic representation, the " right " side being the source of 
purity and light, the " left " that of impurity and darkness. This 
idea is ancient, depending on the dualism which insists upon the 
category of light and darkness, and can be traced back to ancient 
Zoroastrianism. But it was developed, according to Irenaeus, in the 
early Gnostic systems, and in the Jewish Kabala, where " right side " 
and " left side " become technical terms. In the Emanistic system 
of the Zohar, the whole world is divided between " right " and " left," 
where pure and impure powers respectively operate, on the right 
side the Holy One and His powers, on the left the serpent Sammael 
and his powers. 

THE SPIRIT OF GNOSTICISM 
(HECKETHORN : Secret Societies, vol. i, p. 96.) 

THE widely opposite ideas of polytheism, pantheism, monotheism, 
the philosophical systems of Plato, Pythagoras, Heraclitus, together 
with the mysticism and demonology that after the Jewish captivity 
created the Cabbal all these went towards forming Gnosticism. And 
the aristocracy of mind, powerful and numerous as none had ever 
been before, that arose in the first centuries of our era, even when 
adopting the new faith, could not but loathe the thought of sharing 
it completely with the crowd of freed and unfreed slaves around them 
with the low and poor in spirit. The exclusiveness of Gnosticism, 
which was one of the causes why it was violently persecuted by the 
Fathers of the Church, as damnable heresy, was undoubtedly, next 
to the attractiveness of its dogmas, one of the chief reasons of its 
rapid propagation, and its lasting influence on modern religious 
systems. 

PORPHYRY 

(The Egyptian Mysteries by lamblichus. Note by Dr. A. WILDER, 
the translator and annotator.) 

PORPHYRY was a distinguished scholar, and the foremost writer in 
the later Platonic School. He was a native of Tyre, and his name, 
Molech, of King, was rendered by Longinus into Porphurios, denoting 
the royal purple, as a proper equivalent. He was a disciple of Plotinus, 
who had broadened the field of philosophic study till it included the 
" Wisdom of the East." In personal habits he followed the Pythagorean 
discipline. He was a severe critic of the Gnostic beliefs then current, 
and he evidently included with them also the new Christian faith. 
His mysticism was spiritual and contemplative, and he regarded the 
ceremonial rites of the Egyptian theurgy with distrust. He favoured 
Mythraism, which prevailed in Asia, while lamblichus belonged rather 
to the cult of Serapis, which was the State religion of Egypt. In this 
work by lamblichus, Porphyry, himself an " Epoptes," or initiated 
person, asks Anebo, an Egyptian priest, a " Prophet," or expounder 



APPENDIX 828 

of the oracles of which he was a servant, to explain the Egyptian 
theosophical doctrines, which he specifies, respecting the Divine Being, 
rites, and religious faith ; which explanation is fully made by Abammon 
the Teacher. 

MANES MEANS COMFORTER 
(TAYLOR'S History of Mohammedanism, p. 101.) 

IT was long disputed among the learned, why the great Persian 
heresiarch assumed the name of Mani or Manes, and why his followers 
asserted that this name proved him to be the promised Comforter. 
Archbishop Usher has completely explained both difficulties, though 
the circumstances seems not to be generally known ; he has shown 
that Mani in Persian, and Manes in Greek, is precisely the same as 
the Hebrew Meneham, or rather Menachem, " a Comforter." This 
also explains the reason why the Manicheans rejected the Acts of the 
Apostles ; the account of the descent of the Holy Ghost on the day 
of Pentecost completely destroys the pretensions of Man ; to be the 
promised Paraclete, or Comforter. 

GEBAIL, THE ANCIENT BYBLUS 
(WALPOLE : The Ansayrii, vol. iii, pp. 26-28.) 

THE Moslem town of Gebail is situated on a spur of the Lebanon that 
runs here down to the sea, walled on three sides, the surface alone 
being opened. The walls are patched with modern ill-built repairs, 
defended, at certain distances, by plain, square towers. On one of 
these, the newest one, there is a rose, carved in stone, but it seems 
rather added than made for the building. Gebail is an ancient, and 
has been an important town. It is mentioned (Joshua xiii. 5) as the 
sea boundary on the north of the land the Lord would give unto 
Israel. It furnished workmen to Hiram in his preparation of the 
materials for King Solomon's Temple ; it furnished caulkers to the 
Syrians. If it is the Byblus of the ancients, and the text quoted above 
would lead one to suppose so, it was the birthplace of Adonis that 
loved one of the queen of love. Here his father had a stately palace, 
and the city afterwards became famous for the worship of Adonis, 
and the temples it raised to his honour. 

ANTIQUITY OF SIDON 

FEW cities lay claim to greater antiquity than Sidon. It is supposed 
to have been founded by Sidon, the eldest son of Canaan ; and, if 
this be the case, it is now nigh upon four thousand years old. A 
Phoenician colony afterwards existed at Sidon ; and after the subver- 
sion of the Greek empire Sidon fell into the hands of the Romans, 
who deprived it of its freedom to punish the citizens for their frequent 
revolts, 



824 SECRET SECTS OF SYRIA 

From this date Sidon fell successively under the Saracen, SeljuMan, 
Turkish, and Egyptian Sultans, till at the date above recorded the 
last act of spoliation was committed ; and in 1841 Sidon, in common 
with Syria and Palestine, again fell under the sway of the Ottoman 
empire, after having been ruled by Ibraham Pasha for a few brief 
years. 

RUINS NEAR MARAH, WITH MASONS' MARKS 
(WALPOLE: The Ansayrii, vol. i. p. 192.) 

" ABOUT one and a half hours south-west of Marah, I visited some 
heaps of ruins, standing on the breast of a hill. Several walls, of large 
massive stones, well built, were still standing ; and the whole hill, 
for two miles or more one way, and certainly five or six in circumfer- 
ence, was literally deep in stones squared for building, and fallen 
columns. To the south remained one corner of a wall, some forty feet 
high, built of stones five feet long by three thick, broad, and uncemcnted. 
I found the subscribed sign, which I copied (this author is always 
mysteriously reserved in any Masonic allusions). In another portion 
is a wall, and spring of an arch, which, in its style and workmanship, 
reminded me of Baalbec. At the corner is a small pilaster on the 
wall, more Corinthian than anything else, but richly ornamented. 
The whole bears a striking resemblance to the gate of the famous 
temple at Baalbec, and I cannot but think the same hands built both/' 

ANCIENT OLIVE GROVES OF SYRIA 
(URQUHART : History of the Lebanon, vol. ii. p. 85.) 

THE olive groves of Athens were in their vigour in the time of Pericles, 
and are a fine middle-aged grove to-day. The grove south of Tripoli 
has every tree in its place, and it is 1,100 years old. The proportion 
of timber to foliage is excessive ; as the tree becomes old the trunk 
extends, assuming distorted forms, and opens into fretwork ; the 
branches break off, so that tney come, when very decrepid, to look 
like a piece of ruin, with some shrubs on the top. This is the character 
of the trees scattered over this plain, which, therefore, were in full 
vigour when Abraham crossed the Euphrates. At the time of the 
building of the Pyramids this whole country was planting, or had 
been planted, with olives in rows. 

AQUEDUCT OF SEMIRAMIS, AND ANCIENT ORDERS 
OF ARCHITECTURE 

(URQUHART : History of the Lebanon, vol. ii. p. 210.) 

ALONG the path were scattered blocks of stone, pierced as a water 
pipe, and grooved deeply, so as to fit into one another. They formed 
a duct to bring water to Deir el-Kaalah along the ridge, which, however, 
rises considerably, so that there can be no doubt that, at the time 



APPENDIX 825 

of its construction, they understood the principle of the ascent of 
confined liquids. To see if any memory of its epoch was preserved, 
I inquired by whom it had been made, and was answered " by Siti 
Simrit." Nearly two thousand years ago Strabo was told that the 
mounds, water conduits, and " stairs of the mountains " were the 
works of Semiramis. 

In the ruins of Deir el-Kaalah three trunks of large columns 
stand, and the lower layers of the cella of a temple, in very large blocks. 
Several Greek inscriptions show the Divinity to have been a Phoenician, 
one unknown before, Baal Markios, or Baal the Dancer. A second 
temple has smaller columns, with Etruscan capitals. Mr. Berton 
found a piece of an Ionic capital, of archaic form, and has fortunately 
given a picture of it, which exactly corresponds with one in the Palace 
of Nimroud, in a bas-relief, representing the attack of a maritime 
people, which Mr. Layard supposes to be Tyre. Over a window I 
saw an Ionic volute, The Doric, the first Order of Greece, has been 
found at Beni Hassan, 1,400 years older than Pericles. Now I behold 
the Etruscan, the original Order of Italy, in the land from which, 
through Lydia, we must derive that people, 

THE MYTH OF THE PHCENIX 

OVID represents Pythagoras as adducing the story of the Phoenix 
by way of exemplifying the perpetual destruction and reproduction 
of the world ; and in point of application there is reason to believe 
that the Mythos originated from this very doctrine. Herodotus tells 
us that the Egyptians have a sacred bird called the Phoenix, which 
he never saw except in a pictiire. Its form, according to the delinea- 
tion of it, was that of an eagle ; and its wings were of the blended 
colour of gold and ruby. It was wont to make its appearance only 
once at the end of six hundred years, and that upon the death of the 
parent bird. Hie Heliopolitans asserted that whenever that event 
took place it came from Arabia to the Temple of the Sun, bearing the 
dead body of its parent enclosed in a ball of myrrh, which it prepared 
in the following manner. First it made a ball shaped like an egg, 
of such a size as it found itself, by trial, able to carry. Next it hollowed 
out the ball and introduced the body of the dead bird into the excava- 
tion. Lastly, it closed the aperture with rnyrrh, and, the ball being 
thus made of the same weight as it originally was, it carried it to the 
Temple of the Sun at Heliopolis. In several of these particulars 
Ovid agrees with Herodotus, and he further informs us that the 
Phoenix possessed the power of self-reproduction, which peculiarity 
fitted it to be the type of the world. When its long life of six centuries 
was drawing to a close, it prepared for itself an aromatic nest in the 
branches of an oak, or on the summit of a palm-tree. Its work being 
finished, it placed itself upon it and ended its life in the midst of sweet 
odours. From the body of the deceased bird soon sprang a young 
Phoenix, destined to live through the same long period as its parent 



826 SECRET SECTS OF SYRIA 

had done before it. With pious care it hovered near the nest which 
had given it birth ; and as soon as its strength was equal to the task 
it bore away that which had been equally its own cradle and the 
tomb of its parent, and deposited it before the gates of the Temple 
of the Sun at Heliopolis. Nonnus extends the life of the Phoenix to 
a thousand years, and alludes to the familiar story, which is not 
mentioned by either Ovid or Herodotus, of the parent bird burning 
itself upon the odoriferous pile which it had carefully prepared, and 
of a young Phoenix springing to life from the ashes of its' parent. 
Amongst the Chaldeans it was known as Clo, the letters of which 
word made up the number 600, as they did in. the Phoenician, Greek, 
and Coptic languages. In Egypt the word Pthas, which in Greek 
numerals also stood for 600, denoted Thoth, or Hermes, under the 
symbol of the c%ux ansata, and a lake bearing that name, near one of 
the temples in Mount Lebanon, in honour of Venus, according to 
Zosimus, artificially formed in the shape of a star, at regular period 
showed a burning light of globular form. The Phoenix seems often 
confounded with the Peacock, another sacred bird of the ancients, 
and also with the raven, also reverenced by them. Mrs. Atwood, the 
learned authoress of A Suggestive Inquiry, connects the myth of 
the Phoenix with the land of Phoenicia, and the rising again from the 
ashes as symbolizing the smelting carried on in that country, where, 
by the assistance of the fire, metal obtained new life and purity. 

WORSHIP OF THE PEACOCK 

VARIOUS writers connect the worship of the peacock with that of the 
mythical Phoenix, and the description of the plumage of the latter 
bird would in many respects favour this assumption. Faber says that 
it is not improbable that the Sema-Rama of the Assyrians, when 
complete, exhibited the appearance of a woman bearing on her head 
a dove, surrounded by the rainbow " at least I think it abundantly 
clear that the peacock was consecrated to the Queen of the Gods, 
because, in its gaudy plumage, it exhibits the various tints of the 
rainbow." According to this idea, the peacock would be a symbolical 
representation of the dove, or Holy Spirit, resplendent with all the 
glory of the rainbow. In the religion of the Hindus, Parvati, the 
consort of Siva, is usually depicted as accompanied by her son, 
Cartikeya, the commander of the celestial armies, and in many respects 
typifying the Messiah, who rides upon a peacock. For this reason 
probably the Emperor of China, according to early writers, while 
assuming to himself a full share of divinity, caused himself to be 
carried on a peacock, " made with much ingenuity," when appearing 
in public. In Sanscrit, the word Salivahna used to describe the 
Messiah, means " The rider on a winged horse. 11 The favourite bird 
of Juno, the peacock was called in Greek Taos, which is also a pure 
Chinese word. Accordingly to Kenealy, it is derived from the divine 
name, AO, and TAO, the Holy Spirit and God of the Chinese, having 



APPENDIX 827 

thus the sacred Tau prefixed, and the S, the monogram of the Saviour, 
affixed to it. Argos, who was said in the fable to have been changed 
into the peacock, means Son of the Holy Spirit, so-called from Argha, 
her mystic name. And the bird itself, by its varied colours, and 
burnished splendour, was a symbol of the mystic Phoenix, another 
name for the Messiah, and said by Sir W. Drummond to represent 
Enoch, with the old Egyptian definite article, .Pi, prefixed. The 
Phoenix resembled an eagle, which, in casting away its old feathers, 
and acquiring new ones, presents us with a livety image of renovation, 
and is therefore a well-known ecclesiastical symbolical figure. 

THE TRIQUETRA AND PENTALPHA 
(URQUHART : History of the Lebanon, vol. ii, p. 48.) 
THE forenoon was occupied in a learned discussion with the Jesuit 
missionaries, which arose out of the figure of the " Triquetra " on a 
saddle-cloth. They were vexed at these indications of antiquity, 
but found it not very easy to dispose of them. Why the Catholics 
should seek to shut their eyes against the evidences of a high descent 
for their co-religionaries, the Maronites, is incomprehensible, except 
that, making war on usages, they dislike them. On the present occa- 
sion we did not travel beyond ornaments. The Triquetra had been 
suggested by presenting itself. I instanced its use as an emblem in 
Pamphylia, in Sicily, and in the Isle of Man ; in each being a national 
blazon, but without traditionary explanation, or social use. Here 
it is in the usage of the people, but solely in reference to horses. So 
that it is here more primitive than it could have been among the races 
who have left its record two thousand years ago in Asia Minor, or 
in Sicilly, or who preserve it to this day in an English island. Being 
connected with the horse, there may be an association with the horse 
tribes of the East : it is found among the Tartars. The ornament 
is, moreover, always worked in felt, which is the earliest species of 
clothing, and which is also connected with the horse. 

But this ornament does not stand alone. There is the " Seal 
of Solomon, 1 ' or Pentalpha, five triangles interwoven, that mystic 
symbol of the Jews which to-day adorns the houses in Morocco as 
well as in the Lebanon. The " Open Hand " is equally stamped on 
the buildings in the two countries. This sign can have nothing to do 
with the Arabs. The number five is so offensive to them that they 
will not utter it, because it is associated with the hand. It is not 
only that there are these three ornaments, but that they are, if not 
the exclusive, the predominating ones, and that, being associated 
with numbers, they have a mystic and religious sense. The Triquetra 
is the number Three, the Trinity, whether of the Godhead or man's 
nature, and so belongs to the earliest religions. It is worn to this 
day by the horse tribes, the descendants of the followers of Oguz 
Khan, the conquerors of China and India, probably also of Asia Minor 
and Egypt, and the professors of the religion of Japhet. The 
Pentalpha and the hand are severally connected with the number five, 



828 SECRET SECTS OF SYRIA 

fcnd therefore with the great Indian Buddhist Reformation, of which ftvt 
was the number of predilection, although the Cross was the symbol. 

In the Arabian Nights the Seal of Solomon is constantly introduced, 
showing the traditions of that work not to have been Arab ; indeed, 
what is there in Arabia that is not plagiarism ? Their conversion to 
Islam had taken off the edge of the Sabean antipathy to the sign. 

... In passing by the walls of Gebail, which are made up of old 
stones and fragments of columns and carved stones, I observed a 
singular combination of the numbers three and five ; it was the Seal 
of Solomon with a trefoil at each angle. One of these ancient blocks 
so employed has the figure of the coins of Byblus, which is a repre- 
sentation of its temple. 

. . . About two hours from Tripoli I saw, near the road, some 
felt-covered tents of a very mean description, belonging to a poor 
gipsy-looking tribe, the remnants of a tribe of Turcoman. Again 
the Triquetra ! 

THE SANCTITY OF THE TREFOIL 
(HisLOP : The Two Babylons, p. 185. London, 1860.) 

THE " falling of the crown from the head of Osiris " was specially 
commemorated in Egypt. That crown at different times was repre- 
sented in different ways, but in the most famous myth of Osiris it 
was represented as a " MeHlot Garland." Melilot is a species of trefoil ; 
and trefoil in the Pagan system was one of the emblems of the 
Trinity. This clover leaf was evidently a symbol of high import 
among the ancient Persians ; for thus we find Herodotus referring to 
it in describing the rites of the Persian Magi : "If any Persian intends 
to offer to a god, he leads the animal to a consecrated spot. Then, 
dividing the victim into parts, he boils the flesh, and lays it upon the 
most tender herbs, especially trefoil. This done, a magus without 
a magus no sacrifice can be performed sings a sacred hymn " (Historia, 
lib. I, cap. 132, pp. 62, 63). In Greece the clover, or trefoil, in some 
form or other, had also occupied an important place ; for the rod of 
Mercury, the conductor of souls, to which such potency was ascribed, 
was called " Rabdos Tripetelos," or the three-leaved rod. Among the 
British Druids the white clover leaf was held in high esteem as an 
emblem of their Triune God, and was borrowed from the same Baby- 
lonian source as the rest of their religion. 

Hislop does not allude to the Irish shamrock, as one would have 
expected, for which at the present day treioil is so often sold as a 
substitute to the unwary, or more probably he is alluding to it under 
the name of trefoil, when speaking of the use of it by the Druids. 

EASTERN IDEAS OF PARADISE 
(TAYLOR'S History of Mohammedanism, p. 117,) 

THE geography of paradise was a favourite subject with the early 
in tbe Eastern churches ; the Magians and the Rabbins 



APPENDIX 

Also their speculations on this curious topic, in which they showed th 
most monstrous ignorance, not merely of the earth's shape, but even 
of the geographical information common in their age and country. 
The Byzantine Syncellus gives us the following summary of the pre- 
vailing theory respecting paradise and the earth ; it is the same as 
that recognized in the Koran : 

The sacred Scripture says : " He expelled Adam, and placed him 
opposite the Paradise of Delight " ; but Babylonia, and all our earth 
is at a great distance from Eden, which lies in the Eastern clime, 
where we place paradise. And that we should quote an inspired 
evidence for this assertion, let us summon as a witness the divine 
Ephraim (Ephrem Syrus), that tongue rolling an ocean of eloquence, 
who, in his dogmatic orations, speaks thus of paradise : " Paradise 
is higher than all the lofty pleasant places of the earth ; the waters of 
the deluge only reached its foundations. But the men older than the 
deluge dwelt between the ocean and paradise ; the offspring of Cain, 
indeed, inhabited the land of Nod, which signifies ' tremulous ' ; the 
sons of Seth dwelt on the higher grounds in obedience to the command 
of Adam, that they should not mix with the offspring of the fratricidal 
Cain. The descendants of Cain were of low stature, on -account of 
the curse pronounced upon their progenitor, but the children of Seth 
were giants, and like the angels of God in the upper regions. But the 
daughters of Cain, going to them with various musical instruments, 
brought them down from the upper regions and married them ; con- 
tempt of the law consequently increasing, the deluge arose. And 
God brought Noah's ark (across the ocean) to Mount Ararat, and thence- 
forward, men dwelt on the earth. From whence it is evident that 
the earth now cultivated was then deserted, for by the mercy of God 
men dwelt before the deluge in regions near paradise, between paradise 
and the ocean. But the outward darkness, of which Christ spoke, 
lies beyond paradise. For paradise, with the ocean, goes all round 
the earth. Eden is on the eastern side, and the two lights of the sun 
and moon rise within paradise, and, having traversed it, set outside. 1 * 
The classical scholar will at once recognize the almost perfect identity 
between this and the geographical system adopted by Homer ; and 
those acquainted with Indian literature will see that this account of 
paradise is exactly the same as that of Mount Meru, in the Hindu 
mythology. 

NAMES AND FUNCTIONS OF THE SEVEN ARCHANGELS 
(CHARLES : Boob of Enoch, xx.) 

AND these are the names of the holy angels who watch. Uriel, one 
of the holy angels, who is over the world and over Tartarus. Raphael, 
one of the holy angels, who is over the spints of men. Raguel, one 
of the holy angels, who takes vengeance on the world of luminaries. 
Michael, one of the holy angels, to wit, he that is set over the best 
part of mankind and over chaos, Saraqael, one of the holy angels. 



880 SECRET SECTS OF SYRIA 

who is set over the spirits, who sin in the spirit. Gabriel, one of the 
holy angels, who is over paradise, and the serpents and the Cherubim. 
Remiel, one of the holy angels, whom God sets over those who rise. 

ORIGIN OF THE KORAN 
(CONDER : Syrian Stone-lore, p. 335.) 

THE more we examine the Koran, the more we must see how little 
there is in it that was original, or unknown before Mohammed ; and 
when we turn to the Moslem heresies, which date back to the estab- 
lishment of the power of the Caliphs in Persia, we find the same elements 
Gnostic, Christian, Greek, Jewish, Indian, and Mazdian lying at 
their roots. It is impossible in these pages to follow to its full extent 
this comparison of Islam with the older religions of Western Asia, 
but a glance may be given at some of the evidence, which is sufficiently 
copious to fill a volume by itself. The Koran, as it now exists, is not 
older than A.D. 652, or twenty years after the death of the Prophet, 
when the authorized version was published. In A.D. 634, Zeid, the 
secretary of Mohammed, collected the scattered Suras, some at least 
of which had never been written down. Considering how late is the 
literary evidence as to the history of the Koran, and how great is the 
difference between the wild poetic outbursts of the earlier Mecca 
poems of Mohammed, and the argumentative and legal provisions 
of the later Suras of Medina, it would be rash to affirm that all the 
Koran is attributed to Mohammed, and that no additions or alterations 
were made by his successors. 

CREATION OF THE KORAN 
(TAYLOR'S History of Mohammedanism, p. 104.) 

WHETHER the Koran was created or eternal, continues to be still a 
fierce subject of contention among the Mohammedan theologians : 
for asserting the former opinion the Caliph Vathek was stigmatized 
as an infidel, and sentenced to unenviable immortality, both in the 
East and West, as the worst of tyrants and sinners. Abou Yacoub 
relates a curious account of a public controversy on the subject between 
Shafai, the poet and theologian, and Hafs, a sectarian preacher at 
Baghdad. Hafs asserted that the Koran was created at the moment 
of its revelation. Shafai quoted the verse, " God said be, and it was," 
and asked, " Did not God create all things by the word be ? " Hafs 
assented. " If then, the Koran was created, must not the word be 
have been created with it ? " Hafs could not deny so plain a proposi- 
tion. " Then/ 1 said Shafai, " all things, according to you, were 
created by a created being, which is a gross inconsistency and manifest 
impiety.*' Hafs was reduced to silence, and such an effect had Shafai's 
logic on the audience, that they put Hafs to death as a pestilent 
heretic, 

Shafai was the founder of one of the four orthodox sects, and was 



APPENDIX 881 

so celebrated by the Sunnites that his presence was said to be " like 
the sun to the world, or health to the body," 

ORIGIN OF THE SWASTIKA 
(HEWITT : Primitive Traditional History, vol. i, p. 119.) 

THE Solstitial Year of the ancient races of South-eastern Asia was 
represented in archaic symbolism by the St. Andrew's Cross, with its 
its N.W., N.E., S.E., and S.W. corners depicting theflightof thecloud- 
bird in its annual flights. This, which was the Centre sign of the later 
eight-rayed star, is the first form of the first Swastika, called female in 
India, in which the arms turn to the left, the annual flight of the 
sun-bird Su (Su-Astika, or Ashtika, the god of the New Year) round 
the heavens, going first northward at the winter solstice, returning 
southwards at midsummer, and moving in its circuit contrary to the 
course of the sun. It is more universally found distributed amongst 
all ancient nations in its right-hand form, as following the circuit of 
the sun, known as the male Swastika, but the female symbol is found 
in China, and among the Bompos of Tibet. The religion of the flying 
bird circling the heavens, originally the cloud-bird driven by the wind, 
was that of the maritime races, so consequently it is near the sea that 
the Su-vastika symbol is most frequently found. On a sculpture in 
an ancient Mexican temple the Yucatan god, Cop an cum-ahau, Lord 
of the bowl, is depicted like the Indian elephant-headed god Gan-isha, 
Lord of the land, seated on the two united Su-astikas, the male and 
the female, combined to form a square, with his legs crossed in the 
form of a St. Andrew's Cross, thus representing the solstitial sun in 
both winter and summer solstices. It must have been the Turanians, 
in their antedeluvian wanderings, who took this symbol from Asia 
to the Algonquin Indians of North America, and the Mexican and 
South American races as the universal symbol of the revolving sun. 
Another form of the ancient Hindu Swastika is the Fylfot Cross, 
sometimes called Thor's Hammer ; it was also employed as an emblem 
by the Buddhists. By certain early Christians it was known as 
" Tetragammaton," the unspeakable name of the Deity, as repre- 
sented by the four " Gammas," the Greek " G," which go to make 
up the Swastika, themselves a quarter of the perfect square, an emblem 
of the Perfect Deity from the earliest ages, as the triangle has always 
been of the Trinity. The Swastika is found in Assyria, at Troy, in 
the Catacombs of Rome, on the ruins of South Africa, Mexico, and 
South America ; on old Greek coins and Etruscan vases ; on the rocks of 
Cornwall, as well as on bells in the Norse settlements in Lincolnshire and 
Yorkshire. It is the Croix Cramponne*e, and also an Indian caste-mark, 

CIRCUMAMBULATING THE LODGE 
(SIMPSON : The Jonah Legend, p. 18, London, 1899.) 

WITH the Semites there is one example which appears to be a good 
illustration of the principle. The pilgrims of Mecca perform what 



882 SECRET SECTS OF SYRIA 

is considered -to be a very sacred part of the ceremonies ; that is, 
the tawuf, or circumambulation of the Kaabah. The reason given for 
this is, that the first Kaabah was an imitation of the celestial throne 
which is constantly being circumambulated by the angels. Going 
round sacred places and things is not peculiar to the Semites : it is 
a ritualistic custom that can be traced through most parts of the ancient 
world, and in many cases it is continued down to our own times. 
Being part of the ritual at the Kaabah, it is not difficult to uflderstand 
how it gave birth to the mythos of the angels and the throne. 

CIRCUIT WITH THE SUN, FROM LEFT TO RIGHT 
(HEWITT : Primitive Traditional History.) 

IN ancient astronomical astronomy it was believed that the retrograde 
left-hand circuits of the Great Bear round the Pole accurately repre- 
sented the circular tracks of the sun and moon through the stars. 
Apparently the belief in the sun-wise motion of the sun, which is 
marked in ritual by the adoption of the sun-wise circles used in the 
age of the last Vedic worship, only began to be widely entertained 
after the last Vedic year of twelve thirty-day months, each of three 
ten-day weeks, was substituted for the eighteen -months year, for 
in Mexico, where it existed later, all processions proceeded to the 
left-hand still (this idea prevailed also in one form of the Swastika, 
as mentioned in the paragraph under that heading). A sect in Thibet, 
the Bombos, or black-hat sect, who hold a special New Year's festival 
on the 1 5th August, make their circuits round their sacred buildings 
from right to left, contrary therefore to the course of the sun, as 
prescribed by the regular Buddhists. In the ritual of the Brahmana 
Htriyajna worship of the dead the priests make six circuits of the 
altar, the first three retrograde from right to left, contrary to the course 
of the sun, and the other three sun-wise, from left to right. During 
these services the sacrificial cord is worn by the priests on the right 
shoulder, and it is only moved to the left shoulder, on which it is worn 
by all Vedic Brahmans, when they make their butter-offerings, and 
resume the sun- wise circuits. Thus, in these rites, the worship of 
Pole Star, Sun and Moon are intermingled, marking the sacrifice as 
one of the age of transition from the primeval stellar lunar worship 
to that of the rising sun of day which succeeded the setting sun of 
night. 

THE THREE STEPS OF VISHNU 

THE Hindus have a tradition that when Brahm, the Almighty Father, 
determined to create the world in which we live he entrusted the 
task to Vishnu, the avatar, represented as a dwarfish being to sym- 
bolize his inferiority to the Supreme Deity. Vishnu having completed 
the task of creation in six days, Brahm was so pleased that he promised 
Vishnu dominion over as much of his creation as ho could compass 



APPENDIX 888 

in three steps. Thereupon Vishnu, taking a step to the left, passed 
right over the earth : with another step to the right he encompassed 
the sea ; with a third, straight in front of him, he included the heavens 
also, so claiming, and obtaining, dominion over all that he had 
created. Master Masons may reflect whether this has any claims to 
consideration in determining the source of our ritual. 

ORIENTATION OF LODGES 
(OLIVER : Antiquities of Freemasonry.) 

MASONS assign three reasons for placing their Lodges due east and 
west, where possible, or for at least preserving an imputed Orientation : 
the rising and setting of the sun, the propagation of learning and 
science, and the disposition of the Tabernacle of Moses, and its later 
counterpart, the Temple of Solomon. The spread of Christianity, as 
of Masonry, began in the East, and thus Christians, like Mohammedans, 
face the east in their worship. The Koran (chap. 2) says : " Every 
sect hath a certain tract of heaven to which they turn themselves in 
prayer ; wherever ye be, God will bring you all luck at the resurrection, 
for God is Almighty. And from what place soever thou earnest forth, 
turn thy face towards the holy temple ; for this is truth from thy 
Lord ; neither is God regardless of that which ye do ; and, wherever 
ye be, turn your face towards the holy temple, lest men have matter 
of dispute against you/' The Persians, in commencing their adora- 
tions in the early part of the day, always worshipped towards the 
east, and Daniel, as we know, observed this practice. The ancient 
Jews were particular in following the course of the sun in passing 
round the altar in the course of their devotions. The Druids had 
the slope of their cromlechs, or stone altars, erected in their vast 
roofless temple stretching from earth to heaven unfettered, turned 
towards the east, where they might catch, along the full extent of its 
inclined surface, the first glimpse of the sun. The same custom, we 
know, prevailed among the pre-historic races of South Africa, and of 
Central and South America. All, therefore, point to one common 
source of all religious rites, and the habit of regarding the sun as the 
most glorious symbol of the majesty of the Almighty Father. 

MASONIC TRACING BOARDS AND ANCIENT CHRISTIAN 

CHURCHES 

(ANON. : The Canon, pp. 294 ff. London, 1897.) 

THE east end of the Gothic churches was built in the form of a Tau 
cross, the western half of the church being of a long rectangular shape, 
resembling Noah's Ark, which is probably connected with the name, 
ship, or nave, given to this part of the building. Therefore the east 
end of the church exhibits the symbol of the Macrocosm, or Father, 
who is the antithesis of the Bride, allocated to the west. The choir, 
between the two, figuratively contained the seven circles of the planets, 



884 SECRET SECTS OF SYRIA 

with the body of Christ in the midst of them. (This has been mentioned 
earlier in the work quoted from.) That this threefold arrangement 
of the Christian churches agrees with the pattern of a Masonic Lodge 
may be shown from an examination of an old " Tracing Board/' 
preserved at Freemasons' Hall. 

In the working of a Masonic degree the symbolical Lodge is not 
the room in which the ceremony is performed, but the emblematical 
design painted upon the tracing board, which is laid upon the floor. 
As the initiate advances the Lodge changes its character and in every 
degree he finds a new board before him, the symbolic devices upon it 
being appropriate to each step in the ritual. The particular specimen 
before us is not more than a hundred years old, but it was probably 
designed according to a traditional plan handed down from remote 
times. On one side it shows a Lodge of the first and second degrees, 
and on the other that of the third degree. The proportion of this 
board is very nearly in the ratio of 3 : i, that is to say, it is composed 
of three squares laid in a row, and is consequently of the same propor- 
tions as the floor of the tabernacle. 

The events enacted in the Masonic ritual are, of course, supposed 
to take place at the building of King Solomon's Temple, and in the 
first degree the Apprentice enters into the porch, which is symbolized 
on the Lodge board by the two pillars, with a doorway between them. 
It has been said that the Temple of Solomon is figuratively set forth 
in every church, and if, as we have supposed, the temple followed the 
pattern of the Kabalistic diagram, then the Apprentice, being brought 
into the porch, which has been identified with the tenth step, must 
symbolically ascend from the earth to the highest heaven. At first 
the candidate sees only one portion of the board, for he is admitted 
no further than the porch or sublunary world. 

In the next degree, as a Fellow Craft, he enters into the Holy 
Place of the Temple, when, the next portion of the tracing board being 
unfolded, he sees a " point within a circle " bounded by two parallel 
lines denoting the universe, the ladder expressing the intervals between 
the planetary orbits, and the sun, moon, and seven stars completing the 
number of the heavenly bodies. It has already been shown that 
the six steps, intermediate between the tenth and the third, were 
referred by Kabalists to the Logos, or the Second Person in the Triad. 
Accordingly the Fellow Craft sees in these emblems on the floor a 
figure of the Microcosm, whose body occupies the region between the 
moon and the zodiac. The choir in the middle of a church corresponds 
to the Fellow Craft's tracing board. 

For the third degree the tracing board is turned over, and the 
candidate is confronted with the half-open coffin. He has passed 
through the elements as an embryo, traversed the planetary orbits 
as a man, and now, having left the material world behind, he enters 
the Empyreum, or three hypothetical circles which surround the 
zodiac. The Holy of Holies of the Temple was supposed to symbolize 
this region, corresponding to the three upper steps of the Kabala 



APPENDIX 885 

under the name of the Macrocosm, or Father. So the initiate now 
personates Father Hiram, the Master Builder of King Solomon, whose 
spirit in death ascends to the spheres of heaven, which the ancients 
supposed to be the dwelling-place of souls. Thus the Masonic ritual 
epitomises, in its three stages, the whole compass of existence, both cosmic 
and human. The Apprentice personates the man in his embryonic or 
antenatal period ; the Fellow Craft represents him in the flesh, while 
the Master's death allegorically signifies the transmission of the soul 
to the starry fluid of the Empyreum, from which it re-issues into a 
new sphere of life, in another incarnation. The fitness of the altar, 
approached by its three steps, for celebrating the mystical rite of the 
Eucharist, or the passing of the spirit to its new body, will now be 
apparent. 

It is inadvisable to discuss the Masonic legend further here, but 
all who are truly initiated know that the import of Hiram's death is 
exactly analogous to that of Christ, and that the third degree is 
symbolically similar to the Eucharistic rite, which in the Early Church 
was enacted with the same secrecy and mystery as is still observed 
in the Raising of a Master Mason. 

RELIGIOUS WORK OF THE ANCIENT FREEMASONS 
(ANON. : The Canon, p. 184. London, 1897.) 

AMONGST other changes at the beginning of the sixteenth century, 
coincident with the decay of so much else, we notice at this time the 
gradual disappearance of the old Order of practical Freemasons, and 
a corresponding decline in all the architectural arts. The change of 
religious opinions affecting the whole basis of theology, necessarily 
extended to the design of the churches, entrusted during the Middle 
Ages to the Freemasons, who had worked according to the ancient 
rules, received in continuity from their predecessors, who had worshipped 
the older gods of earlier systems, whose rites still survived and accorded 
with the primitive Christianity of the mediaeval Church. 

It was when this old conception of religion began to be superseded 
at the Reformation that the need for a body of architects instructed 
in theological mysteries no longer acknowledged, ceased to exist, 
and the secret methods of all previous temple-builders, left in the 
hands of the Freemasons, fell into disuse and were gradually forgotten. 

Out of the records of the modern Lodges, and other collateral 
sources, it is possible to derive a clue to the mysterious rules which 
constituted the canonical method of building churches, according to 
ecclesiastical use and practice. It i^ an unquestionable fact that 
there was a canonical art of building, just as there was a canon of 
the Mass, canonical books, canonical robes, canonical hours, canons 
of chronology, and canonized saints. All these canonical forms appear 
to depend upon one fundamental mystery. The geometrical figure 
which appears to have formed the basis of most mediaeval churches 
is the Rhombus, or Vesica. Speaking of the secret rites at Eleusis, 



886 SECRET SECTS OP SYRIA 

Hippolytus tells us that the mystery of the Greeks was called " Eleusin " 
and " Anactorion." " Eleusin," because we who are spiritual come 
flowing down from Adam above : for the word " Eleusesthi " is of 
the same import with the words " to come." But " Anactorion " 
is of the same import with the expression " to ascend upwards " 
(Revelation v. 3). This also was the mystery of the Christian Church, 
and every cathedral symbolized, by its plan, those two mysterious 
factors of existence. By the Cross they symbolized " Eleusin/ 1 and 
by the Rhombus " Anactorion." 

THE PATRIARCHAL SOURCE OF FREEMASONRY 

FREEMASONRY, says Dr. Oliver in his Landmarks, being a moral 
institution attached to every system of worshipping the true and only 
God, in Lodges which are intended to represent the structure of the 
world, and consequently directing the attention to a common Creator, 
Redeemer, and Judge, without any reference to peculiar creeds or 
tenets, it necessarily includes a view of that majestic scheme by which 
the Deity was graciously pleased to reveal himself personally to man 
the Mosaic Dispensation. (Hutchinson terms the three Dispensa- 
tions the Patriarchal, the Mosaic, and the Christian the three 
stages of Masonry.) For it includes a survey of the Patriarchal mode 
of devotion, which indeed forms the primitive model of Freemasonry. 

TRANSITION FROM ANCIENT TO MODERN INITIATIONS 
(HECKETHORN : Secret Societies, vol. i. p. 137.) 

AN order of facts now claims our attention which in a certain manner 
signalizes the transition from ancient to modern initiations. An 
extraordinary phenomenon in social conditions becomes apparent, 
so strikingly different from what we meet with in antiquity, as to 
present itself as a new starting-point. Hitherto we have seen the 
secret organizing itself in the higher social classes, so as to deprive 
the multitude of truths, whose revelation could not have taken place 
without injury and danger to the hierarchy. At the base we find 
polytheism, superstition ; at the summit, deism, rationalism, tho 
most abstract philosophy. 

The secret societies of antiquity were theological, and theology 
frequently inculcated superstition ; but in the deepest recesses of the 
sanctuary there was a place where it would laugh at itself and the 
deluded people, and draw to itself the intelligences that rebelled 
against the servitude of fear, by initiating them into the only creed 
worthy of a free man. To that theology, therefore, otherwise very 
learned and not cruel, and which promoted art and science, much 
may be forgiven, attributing perhaps not to base calculation, but to 
sincere conviction and thoughtful prudence, the dissimulation with 
which it concealed the treasures of truth and knowledge, that formed 
its power, glory, and, in a certain manner, its privileges. 



APPENDIX 887 

KHONX-OM-PAX 

THESE words, to which by many an unsolved mysterious meaning is 
attached, were used at the conclusion of the Eleusinian Mysteries to 
dismiss the initiated, and their signification is " The object of my most 
ardent desire is holy rest with God." They are from the ancient 
Sanscrit Kansch, Aum, Paksch, as they are used to this day by the 
Brahmins at the conclusion of their religious rites. They were also 
used in the Egyptian Mysteries, and in one ancient ritual in use in 
this country, to which an Egyptian origin is attributed, the meaning 
is given as " Light in Extension." 

THREE STARS OF ORION'S BELT 
(HEWITT : Primitive Traditional History, vol. i. p. 158.) 

THE three stars of Orion's belt, denoting the three seasons of the 
year of the arrow slaying the sun-god, appear again in the girdle of 
three strands of Munja grass, which every Brahmin, at his initiation, 
ties round his waist with three knots, saying, as he does so, that they 
represent the three stars on Orion's belt, the three seasons of the 
year ; and these three stars are called, in Teutonic mythology, Frigg-jar 
rockr, the belt " of Frigga," wife of Wodan, the supreme god. This 
three-knotted girdle, called the Kamberiah, is worn by all sects of 
Dervishes in South-western Asia, who are the modern representatives 
of the ancient dancing-priests, such as the Kouretes and Daktuloi, 
the priests of the five fingers, who nursed and danced round the infant 
Zeus, the Cretan god Tan, as the village women of the Matriarchal 
age danced round the maypole, the mother-tree. 

SYRIAN USE OF TOBACCO 
(WALPOLE : The Ansayrii, vol. i. p. 232.) 

" WITH the legendary descriptions of how tobacco first came into 
use in the East, through the example and advice of an extremely holy 
recluse, we can hardly suppose that it was imported hither from 
America ! In making inquiries on this subject while at Mosul, an 
old Arabic MS. was found, extending to over one hundred closely 
written pages, treating of the origin and use of tobacco, and of its 
good and evil propensities. The author, in his first chapter, says 
that Nimrod smoked. Poor Sir Walter Raleigh's claim fades before 
that of the mighty hunter, clad in the garments of Adam. If the 
curious reader will go to the British Museum he will see there an 
Assyrian cylinder, found at Mosul, and presented to the institution 
by Mr. Badger, whereon is represented a king smoking from a round 
vessel, to which is attached a long reed. We can hardly suppose that 
in the comparatively short space of time since the continent of America 
was discovered by us, it would have spread through Europe to the 
centre of Asia and its very utmost corners." 

22 



888 SECRET SECTS OF SYRIA 

But considering the strong grounds for attributing to the inhabitants 
of the Syrian mountains the same parentage as the North and South 
American races, there need be small wonder at similar habits existing 
among them. 

FAMA FRATERNITATIS : THE FOUNDING OF THE 
ROSICRUCIAN ORDER 

(WAITE : Real History of the Rosicrucians, pp. 64 ff ., 
London, 1887.) 

OUR Brother, C.R.C., the chief and original of our Fraternity, hath 
much and long time laboured, who, by reason of his poverty (although 
descended of noble parents), in the fifth year of his age, was placed 
in a cloyster, where he had learned indifferently the Greek and Latin 
tongues, and (upon his earnest desire and request), being yet in his 
growing years, was associated to a Brother, P.A.L., who had deter- 
mined to go to the Holy Land. Although this Brother dyed in Ciprus, 
and so never came to Jerusalem, yet our Brother C.R.C. did not return, 
but shipped himself over, and went to Damasco, minding from thence 
to go to Jerusalem. But by reason of the feebleness of his body he 
remained still there, and by his skill in physics he obtained much 
favour with the Turks, and in the meantime he became acquainted 
with the Wise Men of Damcar in Arabia, and beheld what great 
wonders they wrought, and how Nature was discovered unto them. 
Hereby was that high and noble spirit of Brother C.R.C. so stirred 
up, that Jerusalem was not so much now in his mind as Damascus ; * 
also he could not bridle his desires any longer, but made a bargain 
with the Arabians that they should carry him for a certain sum of 
money to Damcar. 

He was but of the age of sixteen years when he came hither, yet 
of a strong Dutch constitution. There the Wise Men received him, 
not as a stranger (as he himself witnesseth), but as one whom they had 
long expected ; they called him by his name, and showed him other 
secrets out of his cloyster, whereat he could not but mightily wonder. 
He learned there better the Arabian tongue, so that the year 
following he translated the book M . into good Latin, which he after- 
wards brought with him. This is the place where he did learn his 
Physick and his Mathematics, whereof the world hath much cause 
to rejoice, if there were more love and less envy. 

After three years he returned again with good consent, shipped 
himself over Sinus Arabicus into Egypt, where he remained not long, 
but only took better notice there of the plants and creatures. He 

1 Waite says in a footnote : " Damascus and the unknown city denomi- 
nated Damcar are continually confused in the German editions. Brother 
C.R.C. evidently did not project a journey to Damascus, which he had 
already reached ; nevertheless this is the name appearing in this place, and 
I have decided on retaining it for reasons which will subsequently be made 
evident." 



APPENDIX 889 

sailed over the whole Mediterranean Sea, for to come unto Fez, where 
the Arabians had directed him. 

It is a great shame unto us that wise men, so far remote the one 
from the other, should not only be of one opinion, hating all contentious 
writings, but also be so willing and ready, under the seal of secrecy, 
to impart their secrets to others. Every year the Arabians and 
Africans do send one to another, inquiring one of another out of 
their arts, or if experience had weakened their reasons. Yearly there 
came something to light whereby Mathematics, Physic, and Magic 
(for in those are they of Fez most skilful) were amended. There is 
now-a-days no want of learned men in Germany, Magicians, Kabalists, 
Physicians, and Philosophers, were there but more love and kindness 
among them, or that the most part of them would not keep their 
secrets close only to themselves. 

At Fez he did get acquaintance with those which are commonly 
called the Elementary inhabitants, who revealed unto him many of their 
secrets, as we Germans likewise might gather together many things if 
there were the like unity and desire of searching out secrets amongst us. 
After two years Brother C.R. quitted the city Fez, and sailed 
with many costly things into Spain, hoping well, as he himself bad 
so well and profitably spent his time in his travel, that the learned 
in Europe would highly rejoyce with him, and begin to rule and order 
all their studies according to those sure and sound foundations. He 
therefore conferred with the learned in Spain, showing unto them the 
errors of our arts, and how they might be corrected, and from whence 
they should gather the true Inditia of the times to come, and wherein 
they ought to agree with those things that are past ; also how the 
faults of the Church and the whole Philosophic* Moralis were to be 
amended. He showed them new growths, new fruits, and beasts, 
which did concord with old philosophy, and prescribed them new 
Axiomata, whereby all things might fully be restored. But it was 
to them a laughing matter, and being a new thing unto them, they 
feared that their great name should be lessened if they should now 
again begin to learn, and acknowledge their many years' errors, to which 
they were accustomed, and wherewith they had gained them enough. 

So Brother C.R., after many painful travels, and his fruitless true 
instructions, returned again into Germany, the which he heartily 
loved, by reason of the alterations which were shortly to come, and 
of the strange and dangerous contentions. There, although he could 
have bragged with his art, but especially of the transmutations of 
metals, yet did he esteem more heaven, and man, the citizens thereof, 
than all vain glory and pomp. 

Nevertheless, he builded a fitting and neat habitation (Domus 
Sancti Spiyitus], in the which he ruminated his voyage and philosophy, 
and reduced them together in a true memorial. In this house he spent 
a great time in the mathematics, and made many fine instruments, 
ex omnibus hujus aytis partibus, whereof there is but little remaining 
to us, as hereafter you shall understand. 



840 SECRET SECTS OF SYRIA 

KABALISM 
(GOULD : History of Freemasonry, vol. ii. pp. 58, 59.) 

" THE esoteric doctrine of the Kabalist (Kabala signifying ' to 
receive ') is said in their tradition to have been derived from Adam, 
to whom, while in Paradise, it was communicated by the angel Rasiel, 
wherein may perhaps be traced the notion that Masonry is as old as 
Adam. This learning was bequeathed to Seth, and, having been nearly 
lost in the deg^iMjrate days that followed, was miraculously restored 
to Abraham, ^ho committed it to writing in the book known as the 
Sepher Yezirah. The revelation was renewed to Moses, who received 
a traditionary and mystical as well as a written and preceptive Law 
from God, which, being again lost in the calamities of the Babylonish 
Captivity and once again delivered to Esdras was finally transmitted 
to posterity through the hands of Simeon-ben-Selath and others. 
When the sects of the Essencs and Therapeutae were formed, foreign 
tenets and institutions were borrowed from the Egyptians and the 
Greeks and in the form of allegorical interpolation of the Law were 
admitted into the Jewish Mysteries. These innovations were derived 
from the Alexandrian schools, where the Platonic and Pythagorean 
doctrines had already been much altered from being mixed with Orien- 
talism. The Jewish Mysteries thus enlarged by the addition of 
heathen dogmas, were conveyed from Egypt to Palestine, when the 
Pharisees, who had been driven into Egypt under Hyrcanus, returned 
to their own country. From this time, the Kabalistic Mysteries 
continued to be taught in the Jewish schools, till at length they were 
adulterated in Peripatetic doctrines and other tenets which sprang 
up in the Middle Ages, and were particularly corrupted by the prevalence 
of the Aristotelian philosophy. 

" The Kabala itself may be divided into three portions : the Theoret- 
ical, which treats of the highest order of metaphysics, that relating to 
the Divinity, and the relation of the Divinity to man ; the Enigmatical, 
consisting of certain symbolical transpositions of the words and 
letters of the Scriptures ; and the Practical, which professes to teach 
the art of curing diseases and performing other wonders by means of 
certain arrangements of secret letters and words." 

THE TEMPLE AND THE CHURCH 
(HECKETHORN : Secret Societies, vol. i. p. 117.) 

THE very name of Knights Templar may, in a certain manner, point 
to a rebellious ambition. Temple is a more august, a vaster, and 
more comprehensive denomination than that of Church. The Temple 
is above the Church ; this latter has a date of its foundation, a local 
habitation ; the former has always existed. Churches fall ; the 
Temple remains as a symbol of the parentage of religions and the 
perpetuity of their spirit. The Templars might thus consider them- 



APPENDIX 841 

selves as the priosts of that religion, not transitory, but permanent ; 
and the aspirants could believe that the Order constituting them the 
defenders of the Temple intended to initiate them into a second and 
better Christianity, a purer religion. Whilst the Temple meant for 
the Christian the Holy Sepulchre, it recalled to the Mussulman the 
Temple of Solomon , and the legend which referred to the latter served 
as a bond to the rituals of Freemasons and other secret societies. 
Further, the Church might be tailed the house of Christ; but the 
Temple was the house of the Holy Spirit. It was that religion of the 
spirit which the Templars inherited from the Matiicheans, from the 
Albigenscs, from the sectarian chivalry which had preceded them. The 
initiatory practices, the monuments, even the trial, showed this preva- 
lence of the religion of the Spirit in the secret doctrines of the Templars. 
They diew a great portion of their sectarian and heterodox tendencies 
from that period in which chivalry, purified and organized, became a 
pilgrimage in search of the San Greal, the mystic cup that received 
the blood of the Saviour ; from that epoch in which the East, m 
invasions, armed and unarmed, with the science of the Arabs, with 
poesies and heresies, had turned upon the West. 

MASONIC MEETING IN A MOSQUE 
(London Evening News, September 3, 1918.) 

FREEMASONS in Palestine have held a Masonic meeting on the historic 
site of King Solomon's Temple, where Freemasonry is supposed to 
have originated about 1000 B.C. 

This meeting was organized by members of tbe New Zealand Expedi- 
tionary Force in Palestine. The Mosque of Omar being on the site of 
the Temple, the New Zealand ers approached the Great Sheikh in 
charge of the mosque for permission. 

Then occurred an incident showing the universality of the Order. 
The Sheikh listened to what the strangers had to say, and then to their 
amazement he asked if there were any Masons among them. The 
rest was easy. 

He declared himself a Mason, and at the meeting he acted as one 
of the Guards of the Lodge. 

The place within the mosque where the meeting was held is known 
as the " Cave of the Rock of the Dome," and is believed to have been 
the Holy of Holies of the old Temple, as it is to-day of the Mosque of 
Omar. Soldiers of all ranks were present, and after a Lodge had been 
duly constituted and opened resolutions were passed conveying 
fraternal greetings and good wishes to the various Grand Lodges, to 
the Lodges in New Zealand, and the brethren on service in France. 



PRINCIPAL AUTHORS QUOTED 



Ameer All, 117, 180 

Blavatsky, Madam, 6, 64, 71, 191, 259 
Box, Canon, App. 321 
Brace, C. Lormg, 36 
Bryant, Jacob, 38, 39 

14 Canon, The," 32, App. 318, 333, 

335 

Charles, Canon, App. 329 
Chasseaud, G. W., 40, 183, App. 313 
Churchill, Colonel, 183, 201, 202 
Churchward, Dr. A., 7, 16 
Conder, C. R., 95, App. 330 
Cumont, Franz, 22 

Duniap, S, F., 49, 64 
Epiphanius, 22 

Faber, J., 27 
Findel, G., 291 

Gamett, Miss L. M. J., 75 et seq. 
Gibbon, Edward, 56, 67 
Ginsburg, Rev. Dr., 90 
Gould, R. H., 293, App. 340 

Heckethorn, C. W., 96, App. 322, 336, 

340 
Hewitt, J. F., 44, 46, App. 316, 331, 

332, 337 

Higgins, Godfrey, App. 319 
Hislop, Rev. Alex., App. 328 
Hyde, Thomas, 261 

Inman, Thomas, 89 



Kenealy, Dr., 27, 50 

King, C. W., 52, 59, 71, 293 

Layard, A. H., 261 

Mead, G. R. S., 21, 54, 104 

Oliver, Dr. G., App. 321, 333, 336 
O'Neill, John, 46 

Porphyry, App. 322 
Preston, William, 15, 105 

Rawson, Professor A. L., 203 

Sacy, M. de, 261 

Sayce, Professor, 37, 45 

Schure, Edouard, 98 

Simpson, William, App. 310, 311, 

317. 331 
Smith, Rev. Haskett, 248 

Taylor, W. C., 107, 117, App. 323, 
328, 330 

Urquhart, David, App. 324, 327 

Von Hammer, Joseph, 58, App. 
319 

Waite, Arthur E., 59, 338 

Walpole, Lieut. Hon. F., App. 314, 

315. 323. 324. 337 
Wetzstein, Dr., 49 
Wortabet, Rev. John, 83, 188, 193 

Yarker, John, 92, 290 



343 



INDEX 



Abdullah, son of Maimoun, Ismaeli 
chief, 109 ; his system described, 
no 

Abraxas, principal deity of the 
Basilideans, 62 

Abu-Bekr, the first Caliph, 133 

Acacia used in the Mysteries, 28 

Accadians, a race of mountaineers, 
36 

Adam, the first Messenger, 51 ; con- 
tending with Moses, App. 318 

Akkals, a Druse Order, 194 

Al Mokanna, " The Veiled Prophet," 
107 

Ali, grandson of Ali-Ibn-Abu-Talib, 
fourth Imaum, 137 

Ali-Ibn-Abu-Talib : a candidate for 
the Caliphate, 133 ; the fourth 
Caliph, 135 ; considered to be 
the first Imaum, 1 36 ; called 
Prince of Bees, 155 

Ali Ir-Reda, eighth Imaum, 138 

Ali the Askerite, tenth Imaum, 138 

Ammonites journeyed to Britain, 39 

Ancient and Accepted Scottish 
Rite : reiemblances to Ancient 
Mysteries, 294 

Ancient landmarks preserved un- 
changeable, 6 

Aquarian Gospels : description of 
Essenes, 92 

Aqueduct of Semiramis, App. 324 

Arab Freemasonry, 270 ; three 
degrees in, 273 

Archangels, functions of the, App. 

329 

Assassins : eight degrees of ini- 
tiation, 57 ; their origin, 



107 ; founded by Hassan- Ibn- 
Mohammed-as-Salah, 116; des- 
cribed by Taylor, 117 ; by Ameer 
Ali, 117 ; their Grand Master 
called " Old Man of the Moun- 
tains " (Sheikh-ul-Jabal), 117; 
their territory, 118 
Australian Aborigines use Solar 
Cult ritual, 19 

Baal-Hermon : founded by Cad- 
mians, 39 ; Hivite inhabitants, 
39 

Basilideans : their doctrines resemble 
Kabalism, 62 ; legend of Simon 
of Cyrene, 63 ; doctrines des- 
cribed by Irenaeus, 63 ; called 
" Illusionists," 64 ; Madam 
Blavatsky describes their system, 
64 

Bektashis : an Order of Dervishes, 
72 ; novitiate for, 77 ; initiation 
ceremony, 77 

Book of Jubilees quoted, 35 
Brahm, the fourth Messenger, 51 
Brigoo, the Druid name for Brahm, 

5i 

Buddha or Brahm, the fourth Mes- 
senger, 51 

Cadmians founded Baal-Hermon, 39 

Caliphs, the first four, 133 

Canaan, son of Ham, first dweller in 

the Lebanon, 36 
Central America : Crucifixion and 

Christian symbols, 16 
Chinese north point under Pole Star, 

48 



845 



846 



SECRET SECTS OF SYRIA 



Circomambulations : of the Druids, 

287 ; of the Lodge, App. 331 ; 

'with the Sun, App. 332 
Circumcision practised among the 

Yezidis, 263 
Classification of Temple workmen, 

App. 320 

Creation of the Koran, App. 330 
Creed : of the Mohammedans, 123 ; 

of the Druses, 208 
Crusaders found traces of Masonry, 5 
Cushites occupied sea-coast of Syria, 

38 

Dais, missionaries of Ismaeli, 109 

Dalai, or Talay, Lama, 248 

Dervishes : their Orders, 68 ; Bek- 
tashis, 72 ; Khalvetis, 73 ; Janis- 
saries, 73 ; Howling Dervishes, 
73 ; Dancirg Dervishes, 73 ; rules 
for neophytes, 75 ; admission 
into Mevlevi Order, 75 ; novitiate 
for Bektashi Order, 77 ; initiation 
ceremony, 77 ; vows of celibacy, 
79; entrance upon "The Path," 
8 1 ; spiritual guide appointed, as 
with Jesuits, 81 ; stage of " Spirit- 
ual Knowledge," 82 

Djaafar elected sixth Imaum, 137 

Dorazi : founder of Druse sect, 180, 
182 ; forced to flee from Cairo, 
181 

Druids : their ritual developed from 
Stellar Cult, 6 ; preserve Phoeni- 
cian name of Deity, 18 ; religion 
akin to Mithraism, 60 ; traces of 
Gnostic teaching, 60 

Druses : their antiquity, 34 ; 
" Exalted Horn," 34 ; " Sur " 
their own name, 34 ; probably the 
ancient Hivites, 35, 40 ; like 
Hivites, a " thorn in the side," 
41 ; tradition of European Grand 
Master, 59 ; sect founded by 
Dorazi and Hamzeh, 180 ; their 
blended doctrines, 183 ; the 
Akkals, 184 ; their meeting- 
places, or Khalwehs, 186 ; deriva- 
tion of their religion, 188 ; their 
sacred books, 189 ; traces of 
Magianism and Gnosticism in their 
religion, 191 ; fundamental parts 



of their religion summed up, 
192 ; their extreme secrecy, 193 ; 
divided into classes, Akkals, 
Juhhals and Iwayid, 194 ; initia- 
tion ceremony, 194 ; their meet- 
ings political as well as religious, 
199 ; signs of recognition, 199 ; 
fervent devotions, 203 ; reli- 
gious creed, 208 ; their religion 
resembles that of the Lama of 
Thibet, 234 ; a compound of 
Judaism, Mohammedanism and 
Christianity, 239 ; their five 
Messengers, 241 ; descendants of 
Phoenicians, 249 ; unchanged cus- 
toms, 249 ; assertion of building 
King Solomon's Temple, 251 ; 
resemblances to Freemasonry in 
regard to candidates, 252 ; 
degrees, 253 ; tokens, pass- words 
and signs, 254 ; duties of Tyler, 
255 ; their moral law, 256 ; jealous 
exclusiveness, 256 ; practice of 
faith healing, App. 313 

Eastern ideas of Paradise, App. 328 
Ebionites descendants of Sabeans, 50 
Egypt : Horus, God of North Pole 
Star, 17 ; Solar Cult introduced, 

17 

Eleusinian Mysteries : traces in Isle 
of Anglesea, 28 ; candidates 
marked with Tau cross, 28 

Elias, the founder of the Essenes, 
App. 318 

El Shaddai, God of the South Pole 
Star, 17 

Elysian Fields variously situated, 27 

Enocn : legendary founder of the 
Mysteries, 22 ; the second Mes- 
senger, 51 ; Druse traditions, 
218 ; legends of, App. 317 

Ennoia, the Power of the Thought 
Divine, 64 

Essenes : possibly founded by 
Buddhist missionaries, 89 ; 
closely connected with Free- 
masonry, 89 ; described by Dr. 
Ginsburg, 90 ; by Josephus, 90 ; 
Jesus of Nazareth probably an 
Essene, 91 ; Yarker's description 
of, 92 ; coeval with Maccabees, 



INDEX 



347 



92 ; compared with Pytha- 
goreans, 92 ; branches who 
became Christians, 92 ; initia- 
tion ceremonies described by 
Heckethorn, 96 ; described by 
Conder, 95 ; Eusebius considers 
resemble Christians, 92 

Faith healing practised by Druses, 

App. 313 
Fakirs, an Order of Yezidi Priests, 

263 
Fama Fraternitas, the founding of 

the Rosicrucian Order, App. 338 
Fohi, the third Messenger, 51 
Freemasonry : came from the East, 

5 ; practised in Middle East, 5 ; 

traces found by Templars, 5 ; 

its patriarchal source, App. 336 

Gebail, the ancient Byblus, App. 323 

Genghis Khan, the eleventh Mes- 
senger, 51 

Ghasl, a Mohammedan lustration 
ceremony, 1 30 

Gnosticism : defined by Naaseni, 
52 ; Greek derivation, 52 ; 
attempt to remedy by Kaba- 
lists, 53 ; eight degrees of the 
Assassins, 57 ; close resemblance 
to Templars, 58 ; emphasis of 
right and left, App. 321 ; the 
Spirit of, App. 322 

Gnostics : a general name, 52 ; 
strove for the knowledge of God, 
54 ; attached value to numbers, 
54 ; their book " Pistis Sophia," 
54 

Hakem, a Fatimite Caliph, claims 
divinity by help of Dorazi, 181 

Hamzeh : real founder of Druse 
sect, 1 80 ; founds Druse religion, 
182 ; blends various doctrines 
into one belief, 183 ; writes the 
sacred books of the Druses, 189 

Hassan, son of Ali-Ibn-Abu-Talib, 
the second Imaum, 137 

Hasan Il-Askeri, the eleventh 
Imaum, 138 

Hauran cities with Sabean names, 
49 



Hippolytus on system of Simon 
Magus, 65 

Hivites of Baal-Hermon, 39 

Hossein, son of Ali-Ibn-Abu-Alib, 
third Imaum, 137 

House of Wisdom at Cairo : possible 
source of Rosicrucian legends, 7 ; 
founded by Caliph Abu-Moham- 
med Abdullah, 180 

Imaum s, the twelve : their names, 
136 ; Schiite tradition of re- 
appearance, 139 

Initiation rites : in Mithraism, 24 ; 
among ancient Hindus, 28 ; in 
Egyptian Mysteries, 30 ; among 
Marcians, 51 ; Assassins, 57 ; 
Dervishes, 75 ; in Pythagorean 
system, 100 ; among Nusairis. 
121, 148; Druses, 194; transi- 
tion from ancient to modem, 
App. 336 

Irenaeus describes doctrines of Basi- 
lides, 63 

Ismaeli : their branches, 107 ; 
founded by Hakim Ibn-Hashem, 
107 ; doctrines reduced to a 
system by Abdullah, 109 ; degrees 
described by Makrisi, no 

Iwayid, a class of the Druses, 195 

Jachin and Boaz, App. 316 

Janissaries founded, 73 

Jasher, the ancient Book of, App. 319 

Jesus of Nazareth : the ninth Mes- 
senger, 51 ; probably an Essene, 
91 ; Druse account of, 223, 225 

Jewish Freemasonry in Babylonish 
captivity, App. 321 

Juhhals, a class of the Druses, 194 

Kabala : an important part of 
Masonic traditions, 33 ; its eso- 
teric doctrine, App. 340 

Kalazians, a sect of Nusairis, 154 

Kalender Dervishes, 73 

Karmath, founder of a new sect, 108 

Karmatians : their foundation, 108 ; 
their doctrines described by 
D'Herbelot, 113; by Vott 
Hammer, 113; by Ibn-Atheer, 
114; their festivals, 114 



848 



SECRET SECTS OF SYRIA 



Kawals, an Order of Yezidi Priests, 

263 

Khalvetis, an Order of Dervishes, 72 
Knights Templar : possible Syrian 
origin, 288 ; resemblance to 
Manicheans, 288 ; introduce 
Coptic ideas into Western 
Europe, 290 ; preserved the 
secret knowledge, 293 
Khonx-Om-Pax, 19, App. 337 
Koran : excerpts from, 123 ; its 
origin, App. 330 ; its creation, 
33<> 

Lamentations for Adonis, App. 311 
Lao-Tseu, the eighth Messenger, 51 
Lebanon, the, Canaan first inhabi- 
tant, 36 

Legends of Enoch, App. 317 
Lodges : circumambulating, App. 
331 ; orientation of, 333 ; 
Masonic tracing boards, 333 

Maana-lsm-Bab, Nusairi Trinity, 
140 

Malek Taoos, sacred bird of Yezidis, 
261 

Mandaites : worshippers of Pole 
Star, 45 ; New Year's Eve cere- 
monies, App. 303 

Manes : founder of new sect, 55 ; 
name means Comforter, App. 

323 

Manicheans : a development of 
Gnosticism, 55 ; their system 
followed by Constantine and 
St. Augustine, 55 ; penetrates 
into Western Europe, 55 ; reaches 
Britain, 56 ; union with Zoroas- 
trianism, 56 ; division into grades, 
56 ; resemblance to Knights 
Templar, 288 ; connection with 
Western Brotherhood of St. John, 
290 

Marcians, their initiation ceremonies, 
51 

Markosians described, 96 

Masonic meeting in a mosque, App. 

34i 

Masonic tracing-boards, App. 333 
Masons' marks used in Syria, 295 ; 
in ruins near Marah, App. 324 



Masonry: its earliest foundation, 
15 ; its universal principles, 15 

Mazdaism, influence of European 
thought, 22 

Meeland, the Christmas festival of 
Nusairis, App. 308 

Metawileh : a Schiite sect, 83 ; their 
doctrines, 83 ; office of Imaum, 
85 ; descendants of Hassan and 
Hussein, 86 ; methods of prayer, 
86 ; ablutions, 86 ; Pharisaical 
demeanour, 87 ; feelings towards 
Christianity, 88 

Mevlevi, or Dancing Dervishes, 73 ; 
novitiate for, 75 

Mexican Indians use Knights of 
Malta signs, 19 

Mithraism : deep influence on Occi- 
dental culture, 22 ; reasons for 
final defeat, 23 ; ceremonies des- 
cribed by Jerome, 24 ; by Por- 
phyry, 24 ; seven degrees of 
initiation, 24 ; celebrate the 
Mysteries on December 25th, 28 

Moawiyah, fifth Caliph, founder of 
the Omeyades, 135 

Mohammed Bin Nusair, founder of 
Nusairi religion, 157 

Mohammed, great grandson of Ali- 
Ibn-Abu-Talib, fifth Imaum, 137 

Mohammed Ibn-Ismail, founder of 
Islam, 224 

Mohammed Il-Djawwad, the ninth 
Imaum, 138 

Mohammed : the tenth Messenger, 
51 ; his death, 133 

Mohammed, the twelfth Imaum, 139 

Mohammedan Creed : Faith in God, 
124 ; of Angels, 125 ; the Divine, 
Books, 126 ; the Ambassadors 
of God, 127 ; the Last Day, 128 ; 
Predestination, 129 ; Lustra- 
tions, 130; Purification by sand, 
130; Prayer, 131; Alms, 131; 
Abstinence, 132 ; Pilgrimage to 
Mecca, 132 

Mohammedan festival of Mohurram, 
App. 310 

Mohammedans divided into Schiites 
and Sunnites, 136 

Mohurram, a Mohammedan festival, 
App. 310 



INDEX 



349 



Moktanna Baha-eddin, a Druse 
teacher, 182; explains belief in 
God, 200 

Moses, the seventh Messenger, 51 ; 
his knowledge of astronomy, 
App. 318 ; dispute with Adam, 
318 ; did not teach doctrine of 
Immortality, 319 

Mousa elected seventh Imaum, 138 

Mysteries : their institution, 21 ; 
important secrets, 21 ; legendary 
foundation by Enoch, 22 ; sanc- 
tuaries always subterranean, 25 ; 
three degrees described by Hecke- 
thorn, 25 ; by Banier, 26 ; Lesser 
served as preparation for Greater, 
26 ; five stages described by 
Theo of Smyrna, 26 ; by Faber, 
27 ; acacia used in, 28 

Myth of the Phoenix, App. 325 

Naaseni, another name for Ophites, 
6 1 ; first Gnostics, 63 

Nabatheans : first inhabitants of 
Mount Libanus, 49 ; followers of 
St. John the Baptist, 51 

New Year's Eve ceremonies of 
Mandaites, App. 303 

Nimrod, Pillars of, App. 314 

Northerners : a sect of Nusairis, 
154 ; their dispute with Kalazians 
on salutations, 159 

Nurooz, a festival of the Karmatians, 
114 

Nusairi festival of Nurooz, App. 310 

Nusairi Prayer book, its various 
chapters : " The Commence- 
ment," 154 ; " The Canonization 
of Ibn-al-Wali," 155 ; of Abu- 
Said, 156 ; " The Pedigree," 157 ; 
"The Victory," 158; "The 
Bowing of the Head/' 159 ; " The 
Salutation," 159 ; " The Be- 
tokening," 1 60 ; " The Ain of 
Ah," 161 ; " The Covenant," 
161 ; " The Testimony," 161 ; 
" The Imaum Chapter," 162 ; 
" The Journeying Chapter," 162 ; 
" The Reverenced House," 163 

Nusairis : their approximate num- 
bers, 119; described by Lieut. 
Walpole, 1 20 ; their secretive- 



ness, 1 20 ; initiation ceremonies, 
121, 148; religious system, 130; 
four divisions. Northerners, Kala- 
zians, worshippers of the twilight, 
worshippers of the air, 154, 160 ; 
their fourteen Orders described, 
159 ; religious festivals, 165 ; Per* 
sians the only alien sect admitted, 
1 75 ; simulation of all sects, 
176 ; tokens of recognition, 176 ; 
peculiar sexual ideas, 177; festival 
of Cnristmas, App. 308 

" Old Man of the Mountains," Grand 

Master of the Assassins, 117 
Olive Groves in Syria, App. 324 
Operative Masons preserve both 
Stellar and Solar Cult symbolism, 
18 

Ophites : founded by Eucrates, 61 ; 
reject Old Testament, 61 ; prin- 
cipal doctrine emanation, 62 ; re- 
garded " The Naas " as identical 
with Christ, 62 ; differences from 
other systems, 65 
Omar, the second Caliph, 134 
Orientation of Lodges, App. 333 
Origin of the Koran, 330 
Origin of the Swastika, 331 
Othman, the third Caliph, 134 

Paradise, Eastern ideas of, App. 

328 
Parseeism, its distinct impression on 

Judaism, 22 
Patriarchal source of Freemasonry, 

App. 336 

Peacock, worship of the, App. 326, 
Phoenicians : influencing visits of 

their merchants, 6 ; ancestors of 

Druses, 249 

Phoenix, Myth of the, App. 325 
Pillars, The Two: their Syrian 

origin, 282 ; male and female 

symbolism, 283 ; of Nimrod, 

App, 314 ; in the Castle of 

Haran, 315 ; of Seth, 315 ; 

Jachin and Boaz, 316 
Pirs, an Order of Yezidi Priests, 

263 
Pistis Sophia, a Gnostic book, 

54 



850 



SECRET SECTS OF SYRIA 



Points of Fellowship : recognized 
by Nusairis, 19 ; on Druid stone 
in Glammis, 19 

Pole Star : worshipped by Sabeans, 
43 ; in China, 43 ; by Suraerians 
44 ; by Sabean Mandaites, 45 
by Subbas of Mesopotamia, 46 
by St. John's Christians, 47 
stands over Chinese North point, 
48 

Prince of Bees, a title of Ali-Ibn- 
Abu-Talib, 155 

Pythagoras : his early life, 98 ; visit 
to Egypt, 99 ; taken prisoner to 
Babylon, 99 ; visits Eleusinian 
Mysteries and Delphi, 99 ; founds 
his Order at Croton, 99 ; his 
beautiful conception of the Deity, 
103 ; responsible for introduction 
of Freemasonry into Britain, 105 

Pythagorean system : its degrees, 
100; its teachings, 101 ; described 
by Plato, 1 02 ; by lamblichus, 
103 ; by G. R. S. Mead, 104 

Religious creed of the Druses, 208 
Religious Festivals of Nusairis, 165 ; 
the Perfume Mass, 167 ; the 
Perfume String, 168 ; the In- 
cense Mass, 1 68 ; the Incense 
String, 169 ; Formula of Dis- 
burdening, 171 

Religious System of Nusairis, 140 ; 
the secret of the Trinity, 141 ; 
seven hierarchies, 141 ; seven 
degrees of believers, 141 ; seven 
great manifestations of the Deity, 
142 ; twelve manifestations of 
the Imaums, 142 ; belief in 
transmigration of souls, 143 ; 
religious literature, 144 ; Cate- 
chism, 144 ; doctrines of Euchar- 
istic celebrations and Masses, 

M5 

Religious work of the ancient Free- 
masons, App. 335 

Rosicrucians : resemblance to " House 
of Wisdom " at Cairo, 7 ; Order 
founded, App. 338 

Royal Arch Masonry : use of ancient 
Chaldee words, 18 ; its Syrian 
origin, 285 



Sabeans ; worshippers of the Pole 
Star, 43 ; belief as to four 
cardinal points, 48 ; their sacred 
books, 50 

St. John's Christians worship Pole 
Star, 47 ; lay stress on baptism, 
96 

St. John's Day, a Masonic festival, 

shows influence of Mandaites, 284 

St. John's Masonry derived through 

Knights Templar from Syria, 290, 

291 

Sanctity of the Trefoil, App. 328 
Schiite sects, 68 ; Mussulmans who 

reject " Sunnah," 69 
Secret Monitor Degree of Eastern 

origin, 295 

Seth, Pillars of, App. 315 
Seveners, a name for Ismaeli, in 
Shepherd Kings carry Masonry back 

to Egypt, 17 

Sidon, antiquity of, App. 323 
Simon Magus : his system described 
by Hippolytus, 65 ; views on 
creation, 66 ; his disciples teach 
pronounced Male and Female 
principle, 67 

Smith, Rev. Haskett : his cold recep- 
tion by A.Q.C., 6 ; his paper 
on the Druses, 248 ; descendants 
of ancient Phoenicians, 248 ; asser- 
tion they built King Solomon's 
Temple, 251 ; their requirements 
in candidates similar to those in 
Freemasonry, 253 ; their three 
degrees, 252 ; tokens, pass-words 
and signs, 254 ; Khalwehs, or 
Lodges, 256 ; their belief, 256 ; 
mysterious exclusiveness, 257 ; 
duties of the Tyler, 257 ; discus- 
sion on the paper, App. 312 
Solar Cult introduced into Egypt, 

i? 
Star Worshippers' New Year's Eve 

ceremony, App. 303 
Stellar Cult : probable source of 

Masonry, 6 ; merged in Solar 

Cult, 17; traces preserved by 

Freemasons, 278; by Catholic 

clergy, 279 
Steps : in Masonry, 281 ; of Vishnu, 

281 



INDEX 



851 



Subbas always worship towards Pole 

Star, 47 
Sufeeism : described by Madam 

Blavatsky; 71 ; by King, 71 
Sufees : mystic Persian philosophers, 

68; searchers after Truth, 69; 

doctrines introduced into Persia 

about A.D. 1499, 69 ; believe in 

Unity of God, 70 
Sulaiman Effendi of Adhanah, 147 ; 

his initiation as a Nusairi, 148 
Sunnites, orthodox Mohammedans, 

83 
Sr, ancient name of people of the 

Lebanon, 34 

Swastika, origin of the, App. 33 1 
Syrians : debasing customs imitated 
according to non-Masonic writers, 
7 ; influences on modern Free- 
masonry, 275 ; use tobacco, App. 
337 

Temple and the Church, App. 340 
Therapeutae, offspring of Essenes, 

50 

Thibet : religion compared to that 
of Druses, 234 ; " Shaberons " 
and " Hobilgans," 238 ; extreme 
tolerance to other religions, 240 
Thoth, the Sixth Messenger, 51 
Three Stars of Orion's belt, App. 

337 

Three Steps of Vishnu, App. 332 
Ti-meami, a Druse " Messenger," 

241 



Tokens of recognition : amon&st 
Nusairis, 176 ; among Druses, 

254 
Transition from ancient to modern 

initiations, App. 336 
Trefoil, sanctity of the, App. 328 
Trinity, Doctrine of, plainly seen in 

systems of Nusairis and Druses, 

279 
Triquetra ami Pentalpha, App. 327 

Ur of t ie Chaidees, 36 

Vishnu, three steps of, App. 332 

White garments symbolical of puri- 
fication ceremonies, 280 

Wodu, ablution ceremony of Kanrta- 
tians, 114 

Worship of the Peacock, App. 326 

Yezidis, or Devil Worshippers, 259 ; 
their sacred rites, 260; sacred 
peacock, 261 ; civil and religious 
sheikhs, 262 ; their different 
Orders, 263 ; belief in a Supreme 
Being, 263 ; practise circum- 
cision, 263 ; conception of Satan, 
264 ; religion resembles that of 
Sabeans, 264 ; belief in immor- 
tality of the soul and transmigra- 
tion, 264 ; grand festival, 265 

Zoroaster : institutes ancient Persian 
rites, 23 ; the fifth Messenger, 51 



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