Today we are going to talk about the Albigensian Crusade or the crusade of the Church against the Cathars. The Cathars possessed valid spiritual and magical techniques and the “perfected ones”, the ones that really had traveled the path and done the work, performed many impressive miracles in front of the population.
The sect grew rapidly. Smaller sects were formed which mangled and destroyed the Christian faith, all under the name of the Cathars or Albigensian’s. They were all lumped together under the same name. Some believed one thing, some believed another and it was a real tangled mess.
But here are a few examples of what they did with Orthodox Christian theology.
If God knew that Adam and Eve would die from eating of the tree of knowledge, why did he let them eat it in the first place? And you know they didn’t die from eating from the tree of knowledge, but they became mortal and died later on in life after living long lives. They died because they were mortal.
Why were both good people and evil people allowed to perish at the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah or in the great flood? These questions went on and on. The entire world couldn’t have been filled with only only evil people.
Christians said that God suffered death upon the cross, that he died upon the cross. How can a God suffer, and how can a god die? How can a God come down to earth at all, and how was the earth created from his own body?
How can a God eat and drink like Jesus did. What’s this thing about communion and eating the body of Christ. It should’ve long been eaten up by now after all these centuries!
Then there was the subject of sexuality and sin. Why is sex sinful? How can we sin, by procreating? We are meant to continue the human species!
These were just a few of the questions the Cathars discussed.
Rome was a den of murderers. This was the epic war written of in the book of revelations.
Things became violent. They mocked and killed priests wherever they could find them and they used the holy implements for obscene purposes. A large part of their ritual became a mockery or parity of the Catholic mass and became what has been called the black mass which they performed upon entry into their cult.
At induction every novice had to denounce all Catholic belief, spit upon the cross, renounce baptism and unction. After this he would be kissed by the entire congregation and hands would be laid in blessing upon his or her head.
You can see just how reactive the Cathars were against Christianity but you have to remember that the Catholic Church at that time was mostly filled with rational atheists.
The Church elders didn’t really believe in the spiritual side of the Church at all. The Church was political. They believed in the temporal power of the Church itself, and tried to dominate the population. This movement of the people was a big threat to their authority.
A crusade against the heretics was preached. St. Dominic, the creator of the holy Inquisition, was charged with conducting the campaign and he became one of the most gruesome executioners that world history has ever known.
Simon de Montfort led the crusade against his own countrymen, most of whom were Cathars. It was a horrible massacre.
During the conquest of Bériers 60,000 people were killed, whether they were Christian or Cathar.
“For God knows who are his!” cried the abbot of Citeaux.
He also confessed to Pope Innocent that he was only able to kill 20,000. The surviving population fled to the forests and the mountains. Only Carcassonne remained as a fortification and no one dared defend it.
Hundreds there were hanged, and 500 burned. The people tried running to the nobles for protection, but the nobles fell one by one as the kindness of the Savior shone in its full brilliance.
At the fortress of Minerva it was promised that those who repented would be allowed to live. They were burned anyway!
“If he lies, he will get what he deserves. If he converts to the true faith the fire will extinguish his sin.”
That was the standard procedure which they used during the entire Inquisition. These Knights of the Holy Spirit, murdered, hanged, burned and broke on the wheel, not just individuals, but hundreds and thousands of people.
The church needs to own this. It’s part of their history. A few hundred were killed at Lavour with love and with extreme joy. 12,000 were murdered at Maurillac and Toulouse with unspeakable joy.
The entire South of France was destroyed and not a single stone remained standing. All the fortresses were destroyed. The nobles were hanged or burned, and the noble ladies were stoned out of gallantry so they didn’t have to suffer the indignity of being hanged or burned at the stake.
The church thought it had won and on the outside it seemed that way. The land was decimated. There was no trace of the heresy or the deeply hidden beliefs. But that was only on the outside. Never before had such a hatred penetrated so deeply into the hearts of the general population as after the massacre at Toulouse. Scarcely had the last Cathar finished spitting out his dying venomous curse against Jesus as he burned at the stake before the new priestess of Satan proudly and powerfully raised her terrible head, the witch!
But that is a totally different story for another time. Right now we are talking about the Albigensian crusade of the church against its own population in southern France.
I mentioned earlier, that southern France was actually the high point of civilization at that time in the whole Western world with its mingling of cultures. It consisted of the cultures of the Christians, of the Arabs, of the the Jewish people and of the Bogomils.
PS: I have started a new Facebook discussion group called Organic Gnosticism. Feel free to join if interested.