THE NINETEENTH CENTURY OCCULT REVIVAL
By Barbara Aho
"We learn from history that we do not learn from history," observed the German philosopher, Georg W.F. Hegel. The familiar axiom is at once lamentable and understandable. For the common man does not have at his disposal a store of reliable information upon which to base educated judgments, but a bewildering mass of half-truth, untruth and skewed data. Among the purveyors of misinformation are undiscerning historians, who scarcely take notice of those organizations which maintain a covert existence, and revisionist historians who misrepresent the secret societies to serve their agenda.
Exceptional recorders of human events who probe beyond the aura of mystery surrounding the arcane Traditions discover that a veritable "occult underground" exists and has existed throughout human history. The more perceptive find within the multiform kingdom of the cults that individual persuasions share a common agenda: to conform their society to a mutual set of philosophical ideals. Among these few will be found historian James Webb. With the pen of a ready writer, Webb has explored The Occult Underground of Western Civilization -- from the Renaissance through the rise of modern Spiritualism.
The Renaissance or rebirth describes the radical and comprehensive changes which occurred in European culture during the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. The Protestant Reformation commenced in 1517, being firmly established in Europe fifty years later. Webb explains:
"From one point of view, what had occurred during the Renaissance/Reformation was roughly this: what might be called the Establishment culture of Western Europe, based entirely upon Christian values as defined by Rome, had at last yielded up its monopoly of jurisdiction -- never in theory, of course, but certainly in practice . . . The Renaissance represents the cultural release from the papal strait-jacket; the Reformation, the same release expressed in religious terms." (1)
Renaissance scholars believed that Western Civilization had progressed beyond the barbarism of the Middle Ages, having found its inspiration and closest parallel in the ancient civilizations of Greece and Rome. Humanism replaced medieval duty to God and the King and Renaissance men, such as Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci and Marsilio Ficino of the Platonic Academy in Florence, revived the artistic styles and metaphysical values of classical antiquity, notably in Italy. However, freedom from religious conscription produced a form of culture shock. Under the veneer of the revival of arts and refinement of culture, interest in the occult, magic and astrology flourished as a substitute for religious faith.
"In other words, the material of the occult Traditions, whether in the rarified form of Metaphysical speculation, or in the practical manifestation of magic, was common currency. This resulted from a period of uncertainty during which both the cultivated and the uncultured alike were searching for a departed security. The New Man of the Renaissance, liberated from his prison of the Middle Ages, flexed his muscles, and tried them on the Traditions . . .The figure of the Renaissance man is not complete if the place of the Magician is forgotten. Ficino was scholar, priest, and magician." (2)
Ficino incorporated Platonic literature and the Hermetic sciences - astrology, alchemy and magic - with Scripture, professing a Christian form of Neo-Platonism.
"Another source from which occultists have drawn their Secret Tradition is the school of speculation called Neo-Platonism. It has been argued that the seeds of Neo-Platonic doctrine were sown by Plato himself; but it is equally possible that the originators were his first-generation pupils in the Academy of Athens. Even the 'magico-religious' complexion of Neo-Platonism seems to have sprung from the Academy, where there was an interest in demonology and occult phenomena . . . " (3)
The Catholic Church, in its alliance with secular powers, had permitted in a limited way theories deriving from Plato and Neo-Platonism as a secular support for religious doctrine. However, the works of Aristotle had obtained entrance to Western Europe along with Neo-Platonism. Aristotle introduced the "scientific method," which was based upon observation rather than faith.
"Plato is the philosopher of the beyond, of the great metaphysical questions, and of the religious spirit. Aristotle is the exponent of what has come to be called the 'scientific method,' the careful study of observed data, and the commonsensical drawing of conclusions . . . " (4)
Roman Catholicism and other mystical religions such as Neo-Platonism, regardless of their differences, have more in common with Plato than with Aristotle. When the scientific approach obtained a foothold in Western Europe, it represented a serious threat to the existing order and undermined religious faith. By the end of the Renaissance, the two systems of philosophy which historically had competed for preeminence were reversed and Aristotle became the philosopher of choice.
"At the collapse of medieval society, Aristotle, the philosopher of observation and the scientific method vanquished Plato, the Metaphysician, logician of the beyond, and father of much occult Tradition . . . " (5)
The Age of Reason
The Renaissance had been a severe but not fatal assault on the established Church and its alliance with European monarchies. The scientific method, which would be a threat to "faith in Christ," was now granted an uneasy tolerance. Webb notes that, "For a time, this dangerous aspect of Aristotle was not appreciated by the Church -- not until it was too late."
"The Traditions had entered Europe with Aristotle, but, as has been explained, they were totally alien to the spirit of that philosopher. For a time the two strands of thought could draw support from the same sources. Both were opposed to the over-subtle theological approach of the late Middle Ages, and both employed practical experiment -- for magical experiment is as 'practical' as any other. But the Traditional view is founded on faith, and is a religious attitude, while the approach of the Aristotelians was that of discovery by observation of what was. . . But by the 18th century the scientific method had triumphed and the Age of Reason began its much-publicized career . . . " (6)
The triumph of Aristotle over Plato during the Renaissance eventuated in a mass departure from established religion, which was superseded by reliance on human achievement. The popular opinion of the Age of Reason or Enlightenment was Deism, which held that the universe revolved around man and although God had created the world, man was left alone to manage things.
"In the earlier period ideas of duty to God and King had given way to a recognition of secular standards and the pursuit of profit. During the 18th century there gradually developed an attitude of mind which enabled man to pursue with more success his worldly activities. In its extreme form this became Rationalism, and the Age of Reason was characterized, if not by a devotion to the things of this world, at any rate by a neglect of things belonging to the next. The Industrial, Social, Scientific and Romantic revolutions were all, in one way or another, the outcome of this concentration." (7)
In this atmosphere of scientific rationalism, faith in the unseen realm diminished producing a decline in orthodox religion. Likewise, the pursuit of occult or hidden knowledge was adjudged by the Establishment to be of equally doubtful intellectual respectability.
"But after the turmoil of the transitional period had subsided the Traditions returned to their status as the interest of a tiny minority. They went underground -- joined once more the opposition -- because during the crisis of the Renaissance and Reformation, Aristotle and the scientific method had won." (8)
The Romantic Period
The conversion from worship of a Supreme Being to Human Reason had produced no minor insecurity and many failed to make the transition. The Romantic era was an artistic and intellectual movement of the late eighteenth century which also glorified Man, however with emphasis upon strong emotion, imagination, freedom from classical correctness in art forms, and rebellion against social convention. Discontent with the pursuit of materialism to the exclusion of transcendent ideals, the Romantic search for significance found fulfillment in occult mysticism and artists turned to the mysterious East with its Tradition of Oriental wisdom. The music and poetry of the Romantic masters became "conduits of essential truth" and "middle class drawing rooms…seedbeds for discussion of literary, political and musical topics among the intellectually progressive." (9)
The German metaphysician, Immanuel Kant, "challenged the salon culture to consign both the arid logic of ostensibly omnicompetent reason and tired reliance upon religious dogmas to the ash heap of bankrupt ideologies." (10) Kant further advocated the establishment of a world federation of republican states and Georg Hegel later developed the Kantian method of reasoning by "antinomies" as the basis for his dialectical method upon which the structure of Marxism was built. (11)
In the 1780's, young Frederich Schleiermacher readily absorbed Kant's philosophy. Although he had abandoned faith in the deity and vicarious atonement of Christ, Schleiermacher would enter ministry and become the "Father of Modern Theology." The evolution of his theology is described by Dr. Mark Devine in The Apologetic Betrayal of the Gospel as published in the Premise Journal:
"Doctrine then, odious to Kant in that it boasts of epistemological capabilities denied to it, is not dismissed by Schleiermacher so much as it is dethroned and domesticated. No longer will dogmas judge of true faith." (12)
As minister and metaphysician, Schleiermacher enthroned, instead of doctrine, "the power of Jesus self-consciousness" which was diffused through the believing community and taught that conversion is an arousal of the universal God-consciousness. Since the unity of the original church was the influence of the Savior, in Schleiermacher's view, "the essence of the church is fellowship." (13) The extensive influence of Schleiermacher would uproot the German church from its doctrinal base, giving rise to new principles of higher criticism which rejected the authenticity of the Gospels, particularly the miracles, and also the cardinal doctrines of the Christian faith.
The Occult Revival
Nineteenth century England and Western Europe experienced several major revolutions simultaneously. The Industrial Revolution had reconstructed the European economy; the scientific method of inquiry had challenged accepted religious norms; international communications removed geographical barriers; and the French Revolution of 1789 had created a milieu of abiding discontent among disenfranchised lower classes. James Webb records that "…in the short but significant upheavals of 1848 over fifty violent attempts took place to topple established governments." (14) Socialist organizations proliferated which received their inspiration from the dialectical writings of Karl Marx (Capital) and Frederich Engels. In 1859, in the midst of these converging revolutions, Charles Darwin published the Origin of Species, which evolutionary thesis shattered the already frail faith of many in the established Church.
James Webb likens the crisis of consciousness which overtook the nineteenth century to the cultural adjustment of the Renaissance period and contends that it was, in fact, "a belated continuation of the intellectual upheavals of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries."
"What was happening was the final collapse of the old world-order which had first been rudely assaulted during the Renaissance and Reformation.. ..just when the Age of Reason seemed to be bearing fruit in the 19th century, there was an unexpected reaction against the very method which had brought success, a wild return to archaic forms of belief, and among the intelligentsia a sinister concentration on superstitions which had been thought buried . . . " (15)
"Reason died sometime before 1865…" wrote the historian. "…after the Age of Reason came the Age of the Irrational." Bereft of assurances of immortality after so great an attack on biblical revelation were masses of hopeless people "begging for a revelation which was scientifically demonstrable." Ensuing was a widespread flight from reason and a revival of the occult Traditions that had been discredited during the Enlightenment.
The foundation for a modern Spiritualist movement was already in place through the enterprises of three eccentrics. Emanuel Swedenborg, "a Swedish engineer turned prophet," who communicated with angels and spirits, had published the Arcana Coelestia in London in 1749; Franz Mesmer, "an Austrian physician branded unacceptable by the world of learning," popularized the idea of trance and the concept of Animal Magnetism (c. 1775); and Andrew Jackson Davis, "a young American good-for-nothing who took to seeing visions," became the first theorist of the Spiritualist movement through the publication in 1847 of his channeled work, The Principles of Nature, Her Divine Revelations." (16)
In 1848 it was announced, "The gods came down to earth again…" (17) Mysterious rappings of spirits were reported by the Fox family in their home in Hydesville, New York. Modern communications catapulted this isolated affair to international prominence and ignited a revival of occult interest and activity which would become the modern Spiritualist movement. People longed for a new religion and it was estimated that, by 1851, there were 100 mediums in New York City alone. Séances became the vogue in Europe where mediums were in demand to entertain guests with physical and mental phenomena at private parties. In England, clairvoyants would consult the dead for a guinea a sitting. James Webb draws the inference,
"They could shout in the face of the bogey Darwin that they knew they were more than the outcome of biological process, that they too had 'scientific proof'--and theirs was of the reality of the after-life." (18)
Alan Gauld, author of The Founders of Psychical Research, estimated that, in England, by the 1860's and 70's "…the existence of four fairly successful periodicals suggests that the number of active Spiritualists must have been well into five figures. The numbers of those influenced by Spiritualism, or at least interested in it, may have been perhaps ten times greater." (19)
The Anglican Spiritualists
The perplexity and inquisitiveness of the age had led to the formation of numerous Spiritualist societies. One of the early pioneers of Spiritualist inquiry was the Ghost Society at the University of Cambridge, England. The Founders of Psychical Research records the stated objective of the Cambridge Ghost Society:
"In 1851, was founded at Cambridge a Society to 'conduct a serious and earnest inquiry into the nature of the phenomena vaguely called supernatural,' and a number of distinguished persons became members." (20)
The Ghost Society is also described in the biography of one of its founding members, The Life and Letters of Fenton John Anthony Hort, by Arthur Hort.
"Two other societies…were started…in both of which Hort seems to have been the moving spirit…the other called by its members ‘The Ghostly Guild.' The object was to collect and classify authenticated instances of what are now called ‘psychical phenomena’…the 'Bogie Club' as scoffers called it, aroused a certain amount of derision, and even some alarm; it was apparently born too soon." (21)
The Society for Psychical Research: An Outline of its History and the Life of Edward White Benson by his son, Arthur, present further documentation of the distinguished founders of the Cambridge Ghost Society:
"Among the numerous persons and groups who in the middle of the nineteenth century were making enquiries into psychical occurrences may be mentioned a society from which our own can claim direct descent. In the Life of Edward White Benson, Archbishop of Canterbury, by his son, A. C. Benson, will be found, under the year 1851-2, the following paragraph:
'Among my father's diversions at Cambridge was the foundation of a 'Ghost Society,' the forerunner of the Psychical Society [meaning the S.P.R.] for the investigation of the supernatural. Lightfoot, Westcott and Hort were among the members. He was then, as always, more interested in psychical phenomena than he cared to admit.'
"Lightfoot and Westcott both became bishops, and Hort Professor of Divinity. The S.P.R. has hardly lived up to the standard of ecclesiastical eminence set by the parent society." (22)
Canon J.B. Lightfoot, Bishop B.F. Westcott, and Professor of Divinity F.J.A. Hort also served on the Revision Committee for the English Revised Version of 1881. Drs. Westcott and Hort produced a New Greek Text and created a new theory of textual criticism for this revision of the Authorized Version of 1611. Edward White Benson, who became Archbishop of Canterbury in 1883, married Mary Sidgwick. Edward and Mary became the parents of Robert Hugh Benson, who converted to Roman Catholicism during the Oxford Movement led by John Henry Newman. (23) Mary's brother, Henry Sidgwick married Eleanor Balfour, the sister of Arthur Balfour, who became a future Prime Minister of England. Gauld reflects --
"To say that the Sidgwicks had friends in high places would be an enormous understatement. They were also, I should guess, among the most intellectual couples of the century." (24)
Arthur Balfour's brother, Gerald, was also the brother-in-law of Emily Lutyens, a disciple of Theosophist Annie Besant and foster-mother of Jiddu Krishnamurti, who was thought to be Lord Maitreya, the World Teacher of the new age.
"Lady Emily Lutyens, the wife of the architect, is interesting in this context. Before joining the Theosophical Society she had interested herself in state-regulated prostitution, and toyed with the notion of Women's Suffrage. Her sister, Constance, went the whole way, was jailed and forcibly fed. Converted by Mrs. Besant, Emily became for ten years the devoted "foster-mother" and adherent of Krishnamurti. . . even among the highest reaches of society the crisis of consciousness made itself felt. The supernatural was no stranger to the family of Emily Lutyens.
"She herself had been born Emily Lytton, the granddaughter of the occultist Bulwer Lytton, and was the sister-in-law of Gerald Balfour, who with his brother Arthur became president of the Society for Psychical Research. The Balfours' sister, Nora, married Henry Sidgwick, whose own sister, Mary, became the wife of Edward White Benson, and the mother of Robert Hugh. Within this family connection, it is quite natural to find at least one devoted Theosophist." (25)
As an undergraduate at Cambridge, B.F. Westcott also founded the Hermes Club, which he named after the Graeco-Egyptian deity, Hermes Trismegistus. Subsequent Hermetic societies founded by other Spiritualists would become famous in England -- one organized in 1884 by Anna Kingsford and Edward Maitland, which was in close contact with the Theosophical Society, (26) and The Order of the Golden Dawn founded by MacGregor Mathers and Wynn Westcott. James Webb has elucidated the meaning of Hermes:
"In the history of the Secret Traditions the Hermetica became important because of the great value place on them in Renaissance Europe; in their context they are significant because they typify this magical attitude to life. The fact that Hermes is taken here as the founder of astrology, alchemy, or magic, the revealer of occult correspondences, is useful to emphasize that European attempts at practicing astrology, alchemy, or magic, often called the "Hermetic sciences," have their origins in the same period of religious ferment as saw the flourishing of the Mysteries and the birth of Neo-Platonism… the philosophical position of the Hermetica, with its doctrine that matter is evil and to be escaped, can be paralleled by the Gnostics." (27)
In her Theosophical Glossary, Madame H.P. Blavatsky also reported the extensive use of Hermetic doctrines in Gnostic writings:
"Hermetic. Any doctrine or writing connected with the esoteric teachings of Hermes . . . Though mostly considered as spurious, nevertheless the Hermetic writings were highly prized by St. Augustine, Lactantius, Cyril and others. In the words of Mr. J. Bonwick, 'They are more or less touched up by the Platonic philosophers among the early Christians (such as Origin and Clemens Alexandrinus) who sought to substantiate their Christian arguments by appeals to these heathen and revered writings, though they could not resist the temptation of making them say a little too much.' Though represented by some clever and interested writers as teaching pure monotheism, the Hermetic or Trismegistic books are, nevertheless, purely pantheistic . . . " (28)
A contemporary of B.F. Westcott, Mme. Blavatsky classified Westcott with the Gnostic philosophers, even laughing him to scorn in her channeled work, Isis Unveiled, for his credulity of The Pastor of Hermas. It seems that Anglican scholars gave the weight of Scripture to apocryphal literature from the occult underground with which she was familiar:
"In their immoderate desire to find evidence for the authenticity of the New Testament, the best men, the most erudite scholars even among Protestant divines, but too often fall into deplorable traps. We cannot believe that such a learned commentator as Canon Westcott could have left himself in ignorance as to Talmudistic and purely kabalistic writings. How then is it that we find him quoting, with such serene assurance as presenting 'striking analogies to the Gospel of St. John,' passages from the work of The Pastor of Hermas, which are complete sentences from kabalistic literature?" (29)
The Anglican Apostasy
In the early nineteenth century, England had experienced a series of Christian revivals which were continuations of the Methodist revival and during which formed the Evangelical party of the Anglican Church.
Evangelicals converted during this awakening recovered the doctrines of salvation which had long been obscured by the sacramentalism and other enormities of the Church of England. Secular historian Alan Gauld noted the profound influence of the Evangelicals upon English society:
"By the eighteen-thirties Evangelicalism had begun to affect the whole life of the nation . . . Many writers have suggested that it was from the zeal and influence of the Evangelicals, and even from the legislation which they brought about, that some of the factors most characteristic of the Victorian middle-class way of life derived. Halevy says that Evangelical religion was 'the moral cement of English society.'" (30)
Gauld highlighted the distinguishing feature of the Evangelical community: "It is indeed the pattern of family life which Evangelicalism disseminated so widely that seems in retrospect its most important legacy." Notwithstanding so rich a religious heritage, the spiritual casualties among Evangelical youth were legion.
"The faith of children who were born into such households during the second quarter of the nineteenth century was to be severely tested. These children grew to maturity in a period when, for the first time in almost two hundred years, the discoveries and speculations of scientists and scholars were coming into marked and public conflict with the teachings of Christianity. It was, tragically enough, the most sensitive and the most intelligent Christians who were the most liable to succumb." (31)
As detrimental as Darwin's theory of natural selection, were other pernicious elements corrupting the younger generation of England and future clergy of the Anglican Church. The German scholar, Schleiermacher, was by this time molding the theology of Oxford and Cambridge in the Gnostic tradition. And the High Romantic poets of pantheism, William Wordsworth and Samuel Taylor Coleridge, were assiduously read and highly revered among the university intelligentsia. Coleridge, who ultimately died of an opium addiction,
"…had been to Germany and returned as a fervent devotee of its theology and textual criticism. At Cambridge University he became the star around which grouped a constellation of leaders in thought, Thirwall, (F.J.A.) Hort, Moulton and Milligan, who were all later members of the English Revision Committee." (32)
Another corruptive catalyst was the empiricist philosophy of John Stuart Mill, whose works attained enormous prestige at Cambridge and throughout England. The dominant theme of Mill's Logic, (1843) was that the only legitimate source of information man has about the world is the physical senses; conversely, "faith" is not a valid foundation for belief.
The failure of many Anglican hierarchy to repudiate the higher critics and radical freethinkers scandalized the Evangelicals, whose outraged response was considered reactionary by the scholarly community. In 1861, Benjamin Jowett and six liberal Churchmen published a volume entitled Essays and Reviews, in which they expressed alarm lest, "…the majority of Churchmen, by holding fast the narrow, fundamental beliefs, should estrange themselves more and more from contemporary thought." (33) Jowett himself maintained, "Scripture must be interpreted like any other book and some of the essayists were even more radical in their tone." The portents of apostasy in the Church of England were ominous.
"It seemed to conservative Christians quite appalling that at a time when the impregnable rock of Holy Scripture was being undermined by Darwin and his allies, a group of those whose sacred duty should have been to shore it up again had conspired to hammer their wedges not under it but into it." (34)
Many of the younger men of Trinity College at Cambridge were repelled by the Orthodox censure of the new speculations. In 1861 Henry Sidgwick, a Fellow and leading figure at Trinity, publicly defended the liberal manifesto of the clerical freethinkers: "As a learned divine (Mr. Westcott) expresses it, they love their early faith, but they love truth more." (35) Sidgwick finally resigned his Fellowship at Trinity College in 1869 on the grounds that he "could not continue in that assent to the doctrines of the Church of England which had been a condition of his appointment." It is noteworthy that in spite of this declaration, Sidgwick would be appointed to a position as professor of moral philosophy in 1892. Gauld records the rapid decline in spiritual aspirations among younger Cambridge men:
"Scepticism based on science flowed into and reinforced the older stream of doubt stemming from historical and ethical considerations. Their joint effect may be traced in the fact that whilst the outstanding Cambridge men of the 1840's -- B. F. Westcott, C. B. Scott, J. Llewellyn Davies, J.E.B. Mayer, Lord Alwyne Compton, E.H, Bickersteth, C. F. Mackenzie, Charles Evans, J. B. Lightfoot, E. W. Benson and F.J.A. Hort -- all took Orders (three of them becoming great clerical headmasters and six bishops), the outstanding Cambridge intellectuals of the 1870's -- the Trinity group centring on Henry Sidgwick and Henry Jackson and including Frederic Myers, G. W. and A. J. Balfour, Walter Leaf, Edmund Gurney, Arthur Verrall, F. W. Maitland, Henry Butcher and George Prothero -- tended towards agnosticism or hesitant Deism." (36)
Henry Sidgwick, Frederic Myers and Edmund Gurney were from devout Evangelical families and were sons of clergymen, as were their mentors at Cambridge, Brook Foss Westcott, Fenton John Anthony Hort and Edward White Benson. Sidgwick and Myers had matriculated at Trinity with the intent of entering the episcopate of the Church of England, Sidgwick having been influenced by his cousin E. W. Benson, who was a master at Cambridge before becoming a bishop and eventually the head of the Anglican Church.
Alan Gauld explains Henry Sidgwick's mysterious change of mind:
"…the waning of his clerical ambition seems to have been the result of his election in 1857 to membership of the Apostles, a small but extremely select discussion society founded in the early part of the century." (37)
Gauld hints that the ideological disposition of this elite society was toward the design of a future global harmonization: "(The) Apostles had hoped that developments in the social sciences would before long make possible an equitable and frictionless society." (38) He notes also the club's profound effect upon its members: "The spirit of the society gradually came to absorb and dominate Sidgwick completely and to influence the whole direction of his life." (39) Sidgwick's memoirs state, "…the tie of attachment to this society is much the strongest corporate bond which I have known in my life." F.J.A. Hort and B.F. Westcott were also members, Arthur Hort describing his father's ardor and influence:
"…in June (1851) joined the mysterious Company of the Apostles…He remained always a grateful and loyal member of the secret Club, which has now become famous for the number of distinguished men who have belonged to it. In his time the Club was in a manner reinvigorated, and he was mainly responsible for the wording of an oath which binds members to a conspiracy of silence. " (40)
Young Fenton Hort had initial reservations about joining the Apostles, but a letter from Dr. F. D. Maurice whose "teaching was the most powerful element in his religious development," persuaded him to join. In Hort's words, Maurice was "the well-known radical" who was expelled from his position at King's College in 1853 for heretical views on cardinal doctrines of the faith, having published a story on the "divine unconscious humanity." (41) Hort explained his change of heart to a Rev. John Ellerton:
"Meanwhile I had (don't open your eyes to wide!) been asked to join the 'Apostles'; I declined, but after hearing a good deal which shook me, begged time to consider. Meanwhile I wrote to Maurice for impartial counsel, telling my objections, and his second letter contained a P.S. which left me no alternative. He said 'he could not advise me impartially.' His 'connection with them had moulded his character and determined the whole course of his life'; he owed them more than he could express in any words…" (42)
An elite club for elder Apostles, the Eranus, was founded in 1872 by B.F. Westcott, J.B. Lightfoot and F.J.A. Hort. Arthur Hort records his father's membership in this select society:
"He also regularly went to the meetings of a sort of senior 'Apostles' called the 'Eranus,' a club composed of elder men of various tastes and pursuits…" (43)
Henry Sidgwick, also a member, provided Arthur a profile of the Eranus for his father's biography:
"The originator of the idea was the present Bishop of Durham (Westcott), and he, together with Lightfoot and your father, may be regarded as constituting the original nucleus of the club…It was not designed to have, nor has it from first to last had, a preponderantly theological character; on the contrary, its fundamental idea was that it should contain representatives of different departments of academic study, and afford them regular opportunities for meeting and for an interchange of ideas…" (44)
One eminent scholar who addressed the Eranus in 1897 was Lord Acton, a Roman Catholic who was appointed by Gladstone to the position of Professor of History at Cambridge. Lord Acton was distinguished for his vision of the ultimate "Universal History," a mystical belief in a universal conscience of the human race which enables mankind to gradually evolve morally, and to progress in civilization to overcome the world. (45) James Webb correlated Lord Acton's Universalism with the vision of religious unity undertaken by the Parliament of the World's Religions at its opening conference in 1893." (46)
The Society For Psychical Research
The Anglican clergymen who founded societies for Spiritualist inquiry became dignitaries in the Church of England. However, the younger Cambridge intellectuals whom they had discipled in Spiritualist endeavors settled to work to establish a scientific basis for Spiritualistic investigation and proceeded to develop psychical research into a respected branch of knowledge.
"Of these (groups) the most important was that centered round Henry Sidgwick, Frederic Myers and Edmund Gurney, all Fellows of Trinity College, Cambridge and deriving its inspiration from the Cambridge University Ghost Society, founded by no less a person than Edward White Benson, the future Archbishop of Canterbury." (47)
In 1882, Henry Sidgwick, Frederic Myers, Edmund Gurney, Arthur and Gerald Balfour founded the Society for Psychical Research. Sidgwick who became the first president of the S.P.R. continued in this position for nine years. His prestigious connections and influence at Cambridge drew a number of distinguished persons into the Society, which James Webb speculates fulfilled the function of "Spiritualist church for intellectuals." Future Prime Minister Arthur Balfour, who was Sidgwick's ablest student at Cambridge, would serve as president of the S.P.R., as did his brother, Gerald Balfour, and sister, Eleanor Sidgwick. The record shows:
"In 1887, Council Members and Honorary Members of the SPR included a past Prime Minister (William Gladstone)…and a future Prime Minister (Arthur Balfour); …2 bishops; and Tennyson and Ruskin, two of the outstanding literary figures of the day;…'Lewis Carroll'…with a surprising number of titled persons." (48)
William Gladstone, Prime Minister from 1865-74, called psychical research, "The most important work, which is being done in the world. By far the most important work." William James, the famous psychologist, philosopher and father of author Henry James, became president of the American S.P.R. in 1885. However, in its industry and operation,
"… the driving force of the S.P.R. came very largely from the group of younger Trinity men of the 1870's mentioned previously (p. 64), as having turned, often with reluctance, towards agnosticism. Among the eleven who were named, six -- Sidgwick, Myers, Gurney, the two Balfours, and Walter Leaf became not merely members of the S.P.R., but its principle organizers, its very engine room. Closely linked with them was Sidgwick's wife, Nora, and one of his former students, Richard Hodgson." (49)
The Society for Psychical Research: An Outline of Its History, by W.H. Salter, President in 1947-8, mentions this detail as to Nora Sidgwick, who became principal of Newnham College, Cambridge in 1892:
"Mrs. Sidgwick…did not join the Society till 1884, for fear, apparently, that an open connection with so unorthodox a venture might prejudice Newnham College, in which then recent foundation she held a responsible position." (50)
The original objective of the S.P.R. was to conduct research into "that large group of debatable phenomena designated by such terms as mesmeric, psychical and spiritualistic." Committees were organized to examine telepathy, hypnotism, mesmeric trance, clairvoyance, ESP, apparitions, haunted houses, and to determine the laws of physical spiritualistic phenomena. In recognition of the important work accomplished by Benson, Westcott and Hort -- the leaders of its precursor, the Cambridge Ghost Society -- the S.P.R. Historical Outline posits,
"It would hardly have been possible for the new Society to undertake an enquiry of such a kind or on such as scale if several of its leading members had not already gained previous experience of the difficulties attaching to that type of investigation." (51)
In its early stages, the S.P.R. held séances in the townhouse of Arthur Balfour of which his sister Eleanor was the principle organizer. Various mediums of reputation were investigated with the purpose of ruling out charlatans and determining if entities from the spirit realm or deceased persons did in fact communicate with the living. In 1884, Madame H.P. Blavatsky, founder of the Theosophical Society, was graciously interviewed by a committee of the S.P.R. Although Richard Hodgson later would report "the tangle of fraud, intrigue and credulity" associated with her work in India, the SPR was at first --
"…considerably impressed by the evidence of Mme Blavatsky and her friends, and in a report, circulated within the Society but not published, declared: 'On the whole (though with some serious reserves) it seems undeniable that there is a prima facie case for some part at least of the claim made.'" (52)
Later investigations yielded positive results in the area of mental phenomena from prominent mediums, such as Mrs. Thompson and Piper, who were able to conduct "cross correspondences" devised by the spirits of deceased S.P.R. members to communicate with their colleagues. (53) Edmund Gurney and Frank Podmore, as Secretaries of the S.P.R., investigated and classified information on numerous mediums and, with Frederic Myers, wrote Phantasms of the Living. Gauld notes that Myers and Podmore, who wrote the classic Modern Spiritualism, may have been practicing homosexuals. (54) Gurney died unexpectedly in 1888 from an overdose of chloroform and there was considerable speculation of suicide. Frank Podmore was found drowned in 1910. (55)
In 1896, Frederic Myers joined the Synthetic Society, founded by Arthur Balfour and modeled upon the famous Metaphysical Society. The Synthetic Society was devoted, not to mere discussion of religious and philosophical questions, but to "contribute towards a working philosophy of religious belief." Myers read two papers to this Society, which Gauld surmises "were based upon communications from the departed spirits with whom he was now convinced that he was in genuine contact." (56) Myers had developed and written in the SPR Proceedings a detailed theory of the subliminal self, upon which he based his worldview and which emerges in Gauld's summary of the five points presented in these papers:
"(1) The 'preamble of all religions,' the primary belief from which they all begin, is that our . . . material world is interpenetrated and to an extent acted upon, by another order of things, an unseen spiritual world. . . it is only if the existence and nature of such a world can be established scientifically that we may expect any rapprochement between the warring sects; (2) 'The founders of religions have attempted to begin at once with the highest generalizations. Starting from the existence of God…It is possible that in all this mankind may have begun at the wrong end…'(3) …we possess or are evolving capacities which transcend merely terrene laws; (4) We can therefore obtain information about the metetherial plane by 'communicating' with the discarnate in the orthodox ways…their state is one of endless evolution in wisdom and love; (5)…the metetherial realm (is) a World Soul from contact with which we can in a suitable frame of mind draw in a revitalising strength and Grace…And linked to all…is a Universal Spirit…(whose) benefits may come directly through the World Soul…or are so to speak channelled through spirits nearer to, but still above, us." (57)
In the early 20th century, Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung were SPR Corresponding Members and contributed to the S.P.R. Journal of Proceedings. (58) In a recent expose of Jung's occult proclivities, The Jung Cult, Richard Noll gives substantial credit to Myers and the S.P.R. for Jung's major theories.
"With the founding of the Society for Psychical Research in England in 1882, and the copious publications of its investigators, new models of the unconscious mind emerged. The most respected model was that of the 'subliminal self' by Frederick Myers (1843-1901), the 'mytho-poetic' (myth-making) function of which resembles Jung's later conception of a collective unconscious. Jung read widely in the literature of psychical research in medical school and his 1902 dissertation cites the work of Myers and others in this school." (59)
The Founders of Psychical Research closes with the observation that psychical research emerged from the occult underground to a position of respectability within the establishment, largely due to the intellectual stature of the Society for Psychical Research.
"The concluding volume of the popular Harnsworth History of the World (1909) presents the work of the S.P.R. as the culminating point in the story of Mankind. Twenty or thirty years previously psychical research had met with much derision and hostility; but now the climate of opinion seemed to be changing for the better." (60)
In 1887, based on his investigation of deceased persons believed to inhabit the spirit realm, Frederic Myers forecast the future of psychical research:
"I do not feel the smallest doubt now that we survive death, and I am pretty confident that the whole world will have accepted this before A.D. 2000." (61)
The Society for Psychical Research is still active in London and is also accessible on the Internet. Current publications offered by the S.P.R. to interested seekers include:
"Hints On Sitting With Mediums; Tests For Extrasensory Perception and Psychokinesis; Trance Mediumship: An Introductory Study of Mrs. Piper and Mrs Leonard; Guide to the Investigation of Apparitions, Hauntings, Poltergeists and Kindred Phenomena; Psychical Research Past and Present; Survival: A Reconsideration, Do We Survive Bodily Death? Parapsychology and the UFO . . ." (62)
The Fabian Society
In 1881, Frank Podmore, who had joined the early Sidgwick group, met Edward Pease at one of the Spiritualist séances that were the vogue in London, at which time they became close friends. The next year he invited Pease to attend a meeting of this group in which the S.P.R. was formed. Norman and Jeanne MacKenzie relate this epic event in their history of The Fabians:
"In this same period a group of young dons from Trinity College, Cambridge, were also turning to psychic research as a substitute for their lost Evangelical faith. In February 1882, Podmore took Pease to a meeting at which this group founded the Society for Psychical Research . . . Among those who founded the SPR were Henry Sidgwick, Arthur Balfour -- later a conservative Prime Minister -- and his brother, Gerald." (63)
Edward Pease spent one year in the S.P.R. as secretary of its haunted-houses committee, but then turned to politics with the conviction that a social revolution was necessary. For a time he worked with an associate of Karl Marx, Henry Hyndman who founded the radical Social Democratic Federation. However, Pease was of the opinion that social revolution must begin with educating the intellectual and wealthy classes rather than fomenting agitation among the working class. He organized a Progressive Association which was joined by Podmore and other young fallen away Evangelicals.
The Association split into the Fellowship of the New Life, a commune with utopian illusions, and a research/debating group which Podmore named the Fabian Society, after the Roman general who defeated Hannibal. Fabius Cunctator's strategy which was to guide the Fabians was summarized in Podmore's words: "For the right moment you must wait…when the time comes you must strike hard." The Fabians soon attracted intellectuals from various other dissident organizations. Of these, Sidney Webb, Bernard Shaw and Annie Besant were members of the Dialectical Society influenced by the liberal millenarian aspirations of John Stuart Mill. As of 1886, the Fabian executive committee was comprised of Pease, Podmore, Besant, Shaw and Webb. However in 1889, Annie Besant was converted to the cult of Theosophy by Madame Blavatsky, whom she succeeded in 1891 as president of the Theosophical Society.
Upon this revolutionary base, Sidney Webb, his wife Beatrice and playwright George Bernard Shaw built an organization which educated the intellectuals, bohemians and disillusioned clergy of England in the art of "permeating" and using the machinery of government for their own socialist ends. The MacKenzie's observed, "There was, indeed, no clear dividing line between spiritual discontent and political radicalism in the netherworld of dissent." Bernard Shaw and Sidney Webb argued that "socialism could be proposed without forfeiture of moral credit by a bishop as well as a desperado." (64) The formation of the Christian Socialists and Christian Social Union created the vehicle by which socialist doctrine would permeate the Anglican Church.
"…the first Fabians…had almost all been lapsed Anglicans from Evangelical homes. There was a Christian fringe to the London socialism of the eighties, but this too was Anglican. The Christian Socialists came together in Stewart Headlam's Guild of St. Matthew and the Land Reform Union; and the more respectable Christian Social Union, formed in 1889 -- seeking in Fabian style to permeate the Anglican Church -- soon attracted more than two thousand clerical members. Dissenting clergymen too began to find a place in the Fabian Society and the London Progressives, while Unitarian churches and centres like Stanton Coit's Ethical Church provided a meeting place for believers and idealist agnostics . . . Socialism was for all of them, the new Evangelism." (65)
As Bishop of Durham, B.F. Westcott also served as first president of the Christian Social Union. The subject of an address at Manchester in November of 1895 was Christian Law, which Westcott postulated changes to adapt to variable social conditions:
"The Christian Law, then is the embodiment of the truth for action, in forms answering to the conditions of society from age to age. The embodiment takes place slowly and can never be complete. It is impossible for us to rest indolently in conclusions of the past. In each generation the obligation is laid on Christians to bring new problems of conduct into the divine light and to find their solution under the teaching of the Spirit." (66)
In 1894, the Fabian Society designated a large bequest to found the London School of Economics and Political Science. Philosopher Bertrand Russell served on the Administration Committee while Arthur Balfour contributed £2000 and also collaborated with Sidney Webb to introduce legislation in Parliament which would give the school university status. H.G. Wells, who had recently joined the Fabians, was "branching out into speculations about a new social order which naturally interested the Webbs." (67) An elite group of Twelve Wise Men, which included Russell and Wells, were selected as the
"Co-Efficients" who met to discuss and formulate:
"Ideas about racial improvement by selecting out the efficient…and Shaw was working on these 'eugenic' notions in his new play Man and Superman. Beatrice Webb called it 'the most important of all questions, the breeding of the right sort of man.'
"…Above all they were avowed elitists, intolerant of the cumbersome and apparently wasteful processes of democracy, who wanted to see England ruled by a superior caste which matched an enlightened sense of duty with a competence to govern effectively. All of them, moreover, shared Sidney's belief -- which had led him to spend so much effort on London education and on the School of Economics -- that social improvement depended upon the training of the superior manpower needed to carry out schemes of reform. Shaw was suggesting in his latest play that universal suffrage was a disaster, putting power in the hands of the 'riff-raff' and… Webb who could not wait until a new race of supermen had been bred up to establish the millennium, felt that improved education and intelligent politics would at least start the necessary process of regeneration." (68)
Established as a long-term investment to educate and train an elite workforce to carry out the schemes of socialist reform, the London School of Economicsis now one of the largest schools of the University of London, having also an international reputation. Over half of its 5,000 students and academic staff are from outside of the United Kingdom. Five of its former staff members have won Nobel Prizes and its Journal of International Studies, Millennium,enjoys world-wide circulation and recognition. The L.S.E. also provides consultants to many organizations, including the U.K. government, international bodies such as the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund and the United Nations. (69) The Ford Foundation, which funds and whose members serve as trustees on the Council of Foreign Relations, (70) provided a grant in 1967 to the LSE for a Centre for International Studies. The European Institute of the LSE participates actively in the European Series conferences and hosted the 1996 conference which held discussions on European Union, i.e., EMU: How Would a Single European Currency be Managed? European Governance and Law, Europe in the World Economy. (71)
The New Testament Scheme
The progenitor of the Society for Psychical Research and the Fabian Society was the Cambridge University Ghost Society, founded in 1851. In 1853, two years after founding said Ghost Society, F.J.A. Hort and B. F. Westcott agreed, upon the suggestion of publisher Daniel Macmillan, to take part in "an interesting and comprehensive 'New Testament Scheme,'" that is, to undertake a joint revision of the Greek New Testament. (72) The project was withheld from public knowledge during the twenty years required by Westcott and Hort to complete the New Greek Text and during the subsequent ten years during which an English Revision Committee revised the 1611 Authorized Version. However, during this period of nearly thirty years, Drs. Westcott and Hort maintained their involvement in the Spiritualist pursuits of their various secret societies and political cabals: the Hermes Club, Ghost Society, Company of Apostles, and Eranus. The following entry appears in April, 1853 in The Life and Letters of Fenton John Anthony Hort:
"One result of our talk I may as well tell you. He (Westcott) and I are going to edit a Greek text of the New Testament some two or three years hence, if possible. Lachmann and Tischendorf will supply rich materials, but not nearly enough; and we hope to do a good deal with Oriental versions. Our object is to supply clergymen generally, schools, etc., with a portable Greek text which shall not be disfigured with Byzantine corruptions." (Italics in original) (73)
The elimination of "Byzantine corruptions" would be the substitution of minority (1%) Alexandrian manuscripts for the Greek Textus Receptus, the Received Text which had been recognized for nearly two millennia of church history and which agrees with the majority (99%) of manuscripts extant. (74) Karl Lachmann (1793-1851) was professor of Classical and German Philology in Berlin, and also a German rationalist and textual critic who produced modern editions of the New Testament in Germany in 1842 and 1850. David Cloud expounds:
"(Lachmann) began to apply to the New Testament Greek text the same rules that he had used in editing texts of the Greek classics, which had been radically altered over the years… Lachmann had set up a series of several presuppositions and rules which he used for arriving at the original text of the Greek classics… He now began with these same presuppositions and rules to correct the New Testament which he also presupposed was hopelessly corrupted." (75)
Lachmann furnished the critical authority for Drs. Westcott and Hort in their formulation of a method of Textual Criticism, known as the Westcott and Hort Textual Theory. They hypothesized that that the original New Testament text had survived in near perfect condition in two manuscripts other than the Received Greek Text, which theory according to translators of the New King James Bible, "has since been discredited for lack of historical evidence." (76) In The Revision Revised, the brilliant textual scholar Dean John William Burgon refuted the claims of the Westcott-Hort Theory as:
"…the latest outcome of that violent recoil from the Traditional Greek Text, -- that strange impatience of its authority, or rather denial that it possesses any authority at all, -- which began with Lachmann just 50 years ago (viz. In 1831), and has prevailed ever since; its most conspicuous promoters being Tregelles (1857-72) and Tischendorf (1865-72) . . . Drs. Westcott and Hort have in fact outstripped their predecessors in this singular race. Their absolute contempt for the Traditional Text, -- their superstitious veneration for a few ancient documents; (which documents however they freely confess are not more ancient than the 'Traditional Text' which they despise;) -- knows no bounds." (77)
Dr. Hort had, in fact, repudiated the authority of Scripture, writing to a Rev. Rowland Williams in 1858, "There are, I fear still more serious differences between us on the subject of authority and especially the authority of the Bible." (78) To B.F. Westcott he wrote in 1860, "But I am not able to go as far as you in asserting the infallibility of a canonical writing." (79) In response to this admission of a heretical position, Westcott wrote:
"For I too 'must disclaim settling for infallibility.' In the front of my convictions all I hold is the more I learn, the more I am convinced that fresh doubts come from my own ignorance, and that at present I find the presumption in favor of the absolute truth -- I reject the word infallibility -- of Holy Scripture overwhelming." (80)
Constantin Tischendorf (1815-74) was a German textual editor whom Dr. Frederick Scrivener of the English Revision Committee ranked "the first Bible critic in Europe." Tischendorf traveled extensively in search of ancient documents and was responsible for finding the two manuscripts most relied upon in the Westcott-Hort Greek Text, the Codex Sinaiticus and Codex Vaticanus. Tischendorf discovered (c. A.D. 1844) the Vaticanus B manuscript in the Vatican Library and Sinaiticus Aleph in a waste basket in a Catholic Convent at the base of Mt. Sinai. (81) In The Revision Revised, Dean Burgon described for his English readers the corrupt character of the manuscripts primarily used by Westcott and Hort, not to revise the Textus Receptus, but to create an altogether new Greek Text.
"It matters nothing that all four are discovered on careful scrutiny to differ essentially, not only from ninety-nine out of a hundred of the whole body of extant MSS, besides, but even from one another. This last circumstance, obviously fatal to their corporate pretensions, is unaccountably overlooked. And yet it admits of only one satisfactory explanation: viz. That in different degrees they all five exhibit a fabricated text. . .We venture to assure [the reader] without a particle of hesitation, that Aleph, B, D, are three of the most scandalously corrupt copies extant: -- exhibit the most shamefully mutilated texts which are anywhere to be met with: -- have become, by whatever process (for their history is wholly unknown), the depositories of the largest amount of fabricated readings, ancient blunders, and intentional perversions of Truth, -- which are discoverable in any known copies of the Word of God." (82)
The manuscripts in question were found to derive from an underground of occult scripture within Christendom that has been passed through successive generations since the apostolic era. As the occult Traditions have sought to infiltrate and transform the secular establishment, the Church has historically been attended by an Alexandrian Tradition, which seeks to smuggle Gnostic doctrines into the Sacred Canon via the "revision" or "correction" of Scripture. Bible scholar, Dr. Herman Hoskier parallels the folly of Israel returning to Egypt to the Anglican scribes searching for inspired writings in the ancient house of bondage:
"Nearly all revision appears to center in Egypt, and to suppose all the other documents wrong when opposed to these Egyptian documents is unsound and unscientific . . . those who accept the Westcott and Hort text are basing their accusations of untruth as to the Gospellists upon an Egyptian revision current 200 to 450 A.D. and abandoned between 500 to 1881, merely revived in our day and stamped as genuine." (83)
The Revision Committee
In 1857, liberal Anglican churchmen petitioned the Government to revise the 1611 Authorized Version, but were refused permission. A general distrust of revising the sacred text was prevalent and Archbishop Trench, later a member of the Revision Committee, called the issue, "A question affecting…profoundly the whole moral and spiritual life of the English people… (with) vast and solemn issues depending on it." Nevertheless, in 1871, the Convocation of the Southern Province was appealed to and consented to a revision.
The Revision Committee was divided from the beginning, the majority of two-thirds being those in favor of applying German methods of higher criticism to the revision process. The first chairman, Bishop Wilberforce, resigned calling the work a "miserable business," and protested the presence on the committee of a Unitarian scholar, Dr. G. Vance Smith. Dr. Smith, who denied the divinity of Christ, had nonetheless participated in a communion service at Westminster Abbey upon the invitation of Bishop Westcott prior to the first committee meeting. (84) Dean John Burgon has recorded that committee members were bound to a pledge of silence. (85) David Otis Fuller stated in Which Bible? that the Westcott-Hort New Greek Text, which altered the Textus Receptus in 5,337 places,
". . . was, portion by portion, secretly committed into the hands of the Revision Committee . . . The minority members of the Revision Committee, and especially the world, had no knowledge of the twenty years' effort of these two Cambridge professors to base their own Greek Testament upon these two [Aleph and B] manuscripts." (86)
The liberal majority was guided by F.J.A. Hort, B.F. Westcott and J.B. Lightfoot, of whom "Hort's was the strongest will of the whole Company, and his adroit-ness in debate was only equaled by his pertinacity." Arthur Hort confirms that on the committee, "Hort seems to have been the dominating influence…" In 1861, Dr. Hort implied the necessity of stealth to Dr. Westcott --
"Also -- but this may be cowardice -- I have sort of a craving our text should be cast upon the world before we deal with matters likely to brand us with suspicion. I mean a text issued by men already known for what will undoubtedly be treated as dangerous heresy, will have great difficulties in finding its way to regions which it might otherwise reach, and whence it would not be easily banished by subsequent alarms." (87)
Subsequently pleased with the progress of the "New Testament Scheme," Dr. Hort wrote in 1870 to a friend:
"It is quite impossible to judge the value of what appear to be trifling alterations merely by reading them one after another. Taken together, they have often important bearings which few would think of at first…The difference between a picture say of Raffaelle and a feeble copy of it is made up of a number of trivial differences…We have successfully resisted being warned off dangerous ground…It is, one can hardly doubt, the beginning of a new period in Church history. So far the angry objectors have reason for their astonishment."(88)
In 1881, the English Revision Committee cast upon the world a New Greek Text and an English Bible which, in the words of one reviser contained "between eight and nine changes in every five verses, and in about every ten verses, three of these were made for critical purposes." A treatise on modern translations, "Another Bible, Another Gospel" includes twenty tables which compare hundreds of Scripture verses -- in the English Revised Version and in modern versions based on the New Greek Text -- which undermine fundamental doctrines of the Christian faith. (89) One table examines modifications in the modern versions which change the interpretation of key verses pertaining to Bible prophecy. Obscured in the ERV and modern Bible versions are the identities of the future man of sin "who sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God", the occult Mark of the Beast which he will cause all to receive and the Harlot religious system which is situated upon seven mountains. (II Thess. 3:3,4; Rev. 13:16-18; Rev. 17:9,10)
The secular historians of the nineteenth century progressive underground -- James Webb, Alan Gauld, the MacKenzies -- agree that the dominant figures in the occult/socialist movements were, with few exceptions, from Evangelical homes and whose the fathers were Anglican clergymen. The onslaught of skepticism, higher criticism and mysticism had assailed the citadel of Scripture but not the lofty ideal of social transformation which inspired Evangelical activism. The authors of The Fabians explained this anomaly --
"The lesson instilled by Evangelical parents had been given a secular form. Evolution or what (Sidney) Webb called Zeitgeist, had taken the place of Providence, yet what Webb described as 'blind social forces…which went on inexorably working out social salvation' did not relieve men of their moral responsibility. Victorian religion had taught that a belief in God's purposes must be accompanied by an effort to discern and advance them. Socialists who substituted a secular religion for the faith of their youth felt the same compulsion." (90)
Of the nineteenth century cast of noteworthy characters, it may be postulated that two figures stand preeminently at the fountainhead of the converging streams of twentieth century Spiritualism and globalism. During the thirty year period in which B.F. Westcott and F.J.A. Hort were employed in the creation of a New Testament Greek Text and revision of the English Bible, they also guided organizations dealing in matters occult and conspiratorial. Their progeny includes not only the plethora of contemporary versions based upon Egyptian recensions, but also the Society for Psychical Research, which first propounded the principles of both modern Spiritualism and Psychology, and the S.P.R. derivative, the socialist Fabian Society, which founded the globalist London School of Economics and Political Science. The contribution of Westcott and Hort to modern spiritualism and global integration is indeed vast and is increasing exponentially as the modern prophets of occult Traditions receive international power to give full expression to MYSTERY BABYLON, which rides the Beast of the apocalyptic vision.