Friday, January 29, 2010

The Assassins and Roshaniya

The Assassins and Roshaniya
Thomas Allen

[Editor’s note: Footnotes in the original are omitted.]

During the seventh century, a great disturbance came out of Arabia and swept across North Africa into Spain and across the Middle East to Afghanistan and into the Balkans eventually to Austria and Hungary. It was Islam. Mohammed founded Islam, which he built on three basic dogmas: monotheism, belief in the Prophet (Mohammed), and the law of retribution.

Out of Islam came the Assassins. The Assassins formed a secret society that appeared in the eleventh century in Persia. The Assassins were drug users; they used hashish. They grew out of Ismailism.

In the middle of the seventh century following Mohammed’s death, the Moslem world split between the Sunni and the Shia (Shiite) sects.

The Sunni were the orthodox Moslems. They believed that Mohammed was the giver of divine revelation.

The Shia believed in absolute obedience to the imams, or priest-kings, who were the direct descendants of Mohammed through his daughter. They regarded Ali, the fourth imam, more highly than Mohammed.

In the eighth century the Shia sect split into the Twelvers (the majority) and the Seveners or Ismailis. The Twelvers believed that the millennium would come with the twelfth imam of the Mohammedan line. The Seveners believed that the millennium would come with the seventh imam of the Mohammedan line.

The Sunni far out numbered the Shia. To survive, the Shia resorted to secret societies. With secret societies, the Shia sought to gain control of the Moslem world and, eventually, the whole world.

One of their most successful secret societies of the Shia was the House of Wisdom (Abode of Learning, House of Knowledge) in Cairo. In 1004, the sixth Caliph, Hakim, established the House of Wisdom, which was a repository of ancient illuministic knowledge. It trained Moslems to become fanatics. This society operated under the direction of the Caliph of the Fatimites. The instructors in this society were high-ranking officials and included the supreme judge, the commander-in-chief of the army, and the minister of the court. The House of Wisdom had nine degrees of initiation. The Fatimites endeavored to substituted a natural religion for a revealed religion. To do this, they instilled doubt in the minds of their followers. Nothing was to be believed, and everything was lawful. The House of Wisdom provided the foundation for the Assassins.

Hasan-i Sabbah, founder of the Assassins, was reared in a Twelver Shia family in Khorasan of western Persia. As a young man he converted to Ismailism. After the Sultan of Persia exiled him for accounting irregularities, Hasan went to Cairo in 1078 and asked the Caliph’s permission to carry Ismailism to Persia. Permission was granted. Hasan went to Persia and the Assassins or Nizaris were born in 1090. (Abu Mansur Sadakah ibn Yussuf, a Jew and vizier of the Caliph of Egypt, was Hasan’s protector during his missionary work in Persia.[1])

Hasan began using political power to gain spiritual power. To achieve this power, he changed the role of the Ismaili initiate to the role of assassin. He eventually made himself the absolute ruler of the territory around Alamut on the Caspian Sea.

He established a loyal obedient following of assassins through the awesomeness of his authority and the use of drugs. These followers unhesitantly obeyed his commands even unto death. The lower ranks of the uninitiated were required to follow strict Islamic beliefs. The higher-ranking adepts believed in nothing but power. They disregarded all acts or means with indifference. (A basic tenet of the higher initiates of the Assassins was “nothing is true and all is allowed”—the end justifies the means.) Only the ultimate goal of world donation was considered. Concealing their lust for power in religious piety, a few men sought to achieve world donation. The method by which this was to be established was the wholesale assassination of those who opposed them.

The murderous practices of the Assassins lead to a divided disorganized Moslem world, which aided the Christian Crusaders when they arrived in the Holy Land.

By the twelfth century, the Assassins had fractured. The Persian Assassins had adopted the Sunni version of Moslem law. The Syrian branch had become assassins for hire.

When the Mongols conquered Persia and Syria in the thirteenth century, they destroyed the Assassins. The Mongols utterly slaughtered the Persian Assassins. Sultan Baybars turned all the Syrian Assassins into his hired killers.

The Assassins provided a model for the Templars, Bavarian Illuminati, Carbonari, and Irish Republican Brotherhood.

In the sixteenth century a powerful secret society called the Roshaniya, or Illuminated Ones, arose in Afghanistan. Its roots go at least as far back as the House of Wisdom at Cairo. Bayezid Ansari founded this society after he had converted to an Ismaili cult that claimed to hold a secret doctrine handed down in the family of Mohammed.

Ansari established a school near Peshawar where he instructed initiates in the knowledge of the supernatural. During the course of instruction, the initiate “was to receive the illumination which was emanated from the supreme being, who desired a class of perfect men—and women—to carry out the organization and direction of the world.”[2]

The Roshaniya planned to reform and reorganize the social system of the world by taking control of individual countries one by one. Among its basic tenets was the abolition of private prosperity, religion, and nation states.

Members of the Roshaniya did not worship any particular deity. They “believe that there was a supreme overall power, which was known by the sum of its individual powers (lordship, protection, and so on) and when one had meditated upon them all, and they had become the ‘property’ of the invocant, he would thence forward be a man of complete power.”[3] Once an Illuminists reached this state (the Enlightened One of the fourth degree in the Roshaniya), he was no longer limited by any theological or social bonds. He was free to do as he pleased. Once an adept reached the fourth degree, he could communicate directly with the unknown superiors who had revealed secret knowledge to their followers throughout the ages.

Later Ansari moved his headquarters to the Hindu Kush of Afghanistan. From here he directed his empire to conquer the East. Many merchants and soldiers joined his society. As his society grew more powerful, Ansari began to preach a hedonistic doctrine: eat, drink, and be merry; look after yourself; gain all the power you can; your only allegiance is to the Roshaniya; anyone not a member of the Roshaniya is lawful prey.

Ansari created much havoc in the Mogul Empire. Eventually, Mohsin Khan, Governor of Kabul, arrested and imprisoned him. On the advice of Sheikh Attari, the Governor’s religious guide, Ansari was allowed to escape. (Attari was suspected of being a secret adherent of the Roshaniya.)

After his escape, his power and popularity grew. He set about to take India and Persia by force. He later died of a wound that he received in India in an encounter with Mohsin Khan’s army. His son and grandson in turn became leaders of the society, and each in turn died in battle against the Moguls.

The basic structure and tenets of the Roshaniya appeared in Europe in various Illuminati orders of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, such as the Alombrados or Illuminated Ones of Spain, the Illuminated Guerinets of France, and the Order of the Illuminati of Bavaria.

1. Lady Queenborough (Edith Starr Miller), Occult Theocracy. (Two vols. Hawthorne, California: The Christian Book Club of America, 1933), p. 140.

2. Arkon Daraul, A History of Secret Societies (New York, New York: The Citadel Press, 1961), p. 221.

3. Ibid., p. 222.

Daraul, Arkon. A History of Secret Societies. New York, New York: The Citadel Press, 1961.

Frost, Thomas. The Secret Societies of the European Revolutions, 1776–1876. Two volumes. London, England: Tinsley Brothers, 1876.

Larson, Bob. Larson’s Book of Cults. Wheaton, Illinois: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. 1982.

MacKenzie, Norman, ed. Secret Societies. New York, New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1967.

Marrs, Jim. Rule by Secrecy: The Hidden History That Connects the Trilateral Commission, the Freemasons, and the Great Pyramids. New York, New York: Harper Collins Publishers, 2000.

Queenborough, Lady (Edith Starr Miller). Occult Theocracy. Two Volumes. Hawthorne, California: The Christian Book Club of America, 1933.

Ward, J. S. M., Freemasonry and the Ancient Gods. London, England: Simpkin, Marshall, Hamilton, Kent & Co. Ltd., 1921.

Webster, Nesta H. Secret Societies and Subversive Movements. Palmdale, California: Omni Publication, 1924.

Copyright © 2009 by Thomas Coley Allen.

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