Conspiracy in History: Examples from the Old Testament
The conspiratorial view of History is rejected by the liberals, for it is incompatible with their belief in the natural goodness of man. This view of History is exposed in a ridiculous manner by a certain anti-masonic literature, which seems to find secret actions, meetings, phantasmagorical crafty schemes, entangled intrigues everywhere and imagine mysterious cabalistic symbologies in ordinary things. It was the universal conspirative view which Umberto Eco caricaturized in his book "Il Pendolo de Foucault" (Foucault's Pendulum).
What we have here are two opposing viewpoints. One position denies any conspiracy whatsoever, because man is good and a conspiracy would suppose an inexistent cunning and evilness. The other position sees evil in everything, almost always supposedly catching a glimpse of the disguised freemason, the marrano, and revolutionary, Jew, and the terrorist behind each corner of History. Both fail for their excesses. And if there is in fact a conspiracy in History, both the naive liberalism as it's opposing, and imaginative, anti-masonic right-wing help conceal it: the first by it's foolish denial; the second by it's comical excess.
Conspire comes from the Latin conspirare, which literally means aspire with others, aspire collectively, that is, to work along with others to achieve an end.
Since man is a rational and social being, it's natural for him to try to associate with others to reach ends which he cannot achieve alone. Literally, man is always conspiring. When he organizes a party or a game with his friends, he aspires together, conspires. When he applies to a course or organizes a business with partners, he conspires, that is, aspires jointly with others to attain knowledge or profit.
If a group of outlaws organizes an ambush, a hostage-taking, a revolution, they're also conspiring. In these cases, in which illicit ends are aimed at, it's clear that the conspiracy must be secret. No one organizes a cartel, like that of Medellín, publicly and openly. A criminal association is disguised to make it seem that it has innocent undertakings. The term conspiracy is due, in a particular sense, both to the criminally-oriented associations with secret objectives as to the secret societies.
However, the ordinary man has difficulty believing in conspiracies. It's troublesome for the innocent and honest to imagine malice and crime. They tend to see in everything correctness and lawfulness. Add to this the sentimental romanticism, the influence of the liberal ideas about the goodness of man, the difficulty or incapacity of most people in conceiving lengthy plans and the belief in the inexistence or retirement of the devil, and it becomes comprehensible how hard it is, today, to show that in History — ever since the first times — there exists an enormous diabolical conspiracy aimed at the damnation of souls.
What makes History explainable is the fight between two conspiracies, the conspiracy of God and that of the devil. For the salvation of souls, God organized the divine "conspiracy" of the church. For the damnation of souls, the devil organizes that which Pope Saint Gregory the Great calls, in the Morales, the Anti-Church. It's what Saint Augustine described with mastery in Civitas Dei:
"Accordingly, two cities have been formed by two loves: the earthly by the love of self, even to the contempt of God; the heavenly by the love of God, even to the contempt of self." (De Civit. Dei, lib. XIV, c. 28).
This same idea is described by Saint Ignatius as the battle of the two flags, Christ's flag against that of the devil. It's the fight which the Gospel of Saint John asserts to exist between the children of light and the children of darkness, and which was announced in Genesis by God himself when He said: "I will put enmities between thee (the serpent) and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed: she shall crush thy head, and thou shalt lie in wait for her heel." (Gen. III, 15).
God, infinitely wise, uses some men to save others. The devil, cunningly, also seeks to use men, so as to lead others to damnation. God organized the Church. The devil organizes the wicked — his offspring — into an anti-Church, which, due to its nature — considering its aims — , must be secret.
We said that since the first times there's been a diabolical conspiracy for the damnation of souls. In this article we do not intend to make an exhaustive demonstration that, in History, from the beginning — as Leo XIII put it in Humanum Genus — the wicked join themselves up to combat goodness, the Church and Christ. All we want is to draw attention to some signs/evidences of this conspiracy in the times before Christ, based on Sacred Scripture itself. We hereby intend to make it clear to the minds of those Catholics which refuse to see that there is a conspiracy in History, or those who naively imagine that the conspiracy only began in 1714 with Anderson's masonic constitution, as quoted in masonic, and anti-masonic, literature.
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It is read in Scripture that, with God's permission, Satan destroyed Job's posessions, killed his children and inflicted him with grave sores from head to toes. To perform these evils, it's written that Satan, besides using natural forces (lightning, hurricanes), instigated the Sabeans and organized the Chaldeans into three squadrons (Job I, 13-20). God reveled in this text that the devil, with His permission, may use either natural phenomena or men and even organize entire peoples to perform evil.
In Job's case, the diabolic action was aimed at only one man. But with the propagation of idolatry, what the devil seeked was the damnation of entire peoples, because — it must not be forgotten — the pagan gods were devils, as it is read in the Psalms and in Saint Paul. "For all the gods of the Gentiles are devils" (Ps. XCV, 5) and "Do I say that what is offered in sacrifice to idols is any thing? Or that the idol is any thing? But the things which the heathens sacrifice, they sacrifice to devils" (Saint Paul, I Cor. X, 19-20).
With idolatry, the devil took over all the gentiles. The Gospel narrates that when Christ was tempted, "the devil took him up into a very high mountain, and shewed him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them. And said to him: All these will I give thee, if falling down thou wilt adore me" (Mt. IV, 8-9).
"And the devil led him into a high mountain, and shewed him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time; And he said to him: To thee will I give all this power, and the glory of them (the kingdoms); for to me they are delivered, and to whom I will, I give them. If thou therefore wilt adore before me, all shall be thine" (Lk IV, 5-8).
Christ repelled the temptation, saying that only to God is worship due, but did not deny what Satan affirmed: that all the kingdoms of the world were his at the time in which Christ came to earth. They were his through idolatry, for while adoring these idols all these peoples adored the devil himself. So much so that its kings and leaders plotted plans against God and His Christ. They conspired and God laughed at their pretensions.
"Why have the Gentiles raged, and the people devised vain things? The kings of the earth stood up, and the princes met together, against the Lord and against his Christ. Let us break (they said) their bonds asunder: and let us cast away their yoke from us. He that dwelleth in heaven shall laugh at them: and the Lord shall deride them" (Ps. II, 1-4).
And was Israel included in the 'all this is mine' affirmed by Lucifer, when he tempted Christ?
The blindness with which they denied to see the light of Christ shows that yes, they were. Besides, Christ himself affirmed that the Pharisees, who were the leaders of the Jewish people, were children of the devil. "You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you will do (...) he is a liar, and the father thereof" (John VIII, 44).
How and when did the father of lies take over the Jews?
The destruction of Jerusalem by Nabucodonosor in the VI century B.C. proves that ever since then the Jews had given themselves to the devil. God then showed the prophet Ezechiel, in a vision, that He would allow such a punishment for the sins of idolatry secretly perpetrated by the priests and leaders of the people. The vision's description reminds that of a mystery story.
"And he brought me in to the door of the court: and I saw, and behold a hole in the wall. And he said to me: Son of man, dig in the wall. And when I had dug in the wall, behold a door. And he said to me: Go in, and see the wicked abominations which they commit here. And I went in and saw, and behold every form of creeping things, and of living creatures, the abomination, and all the idols of the house of Israel, were painted on the wall all round about. And seventy men of the ancients of the house of Israel, and Jezonias the son of Saaphan stood in the midst of them, that stood before the pictures: and every one had a censer in his hand: and a cloud of smoke went up from the incense. And He said to me: Surely thou seest. O son of man, what the ancients of the house of Israel do in the dark, every one in private in his chamber; for they say: The Lord seeth us not, the Lord hath forsaken the earth" (Ez. VIII, 7-13).
Next, God makes him see that even "between the porch and the altar" there were those who "adored towards the rising of the sun" (Ez. VIII, 16).
In this curious vision, God reveals that the priests of Israel, in the dark, in secret, committed themselves to idolatry. To reach the scene of their crimes it was necessary to use secret passages ... On the outside, the priests taught the true religion. In the dark, in secret, they practiced another. Almost 600 years before Christ, the Jewish priests and leaders had renegaded their true religion, occultly.
If they acted secretly it's because the people was faithful enough as to not tolerate public idolatry. However, God destroyed Jerusalem punishing the entire people for the sin of their leaders, because the rulers' crime affects the whole nation as such.
It is continuously read in the prophecies that the people's apostasy is attributed specifically to the Jewish priests, elders and rulers.
"Indeed the lying pen of the scribes hath wrought falsehood" (...) "from the prophet even to the priest, all deal deceitfully" (Jer. VIII, 8,10).
The priests were the ones who lost the faith, doubting Scripture and adoring Baal. The invisible God was beyond the clouds, far away. The idol, the demon, seemed closer and more accessible to them.
"The priests did not say: Where is the Lord? They that held the law knew me not, and the pastors transgressed against me: and the prophets prophesied in Baal, and followed idols" (Jer. II, 8).
Instead of caring for the people, its leaders mishandled and mislead them. "The Lord will enter into judgment with the ancients of his people, and its princes: for you have devoured the vineyard, and the spoil of the poor is in your house" (Isaias III, 14).
"Because the pastors have done foolishly, and have not sought the Lord: therefore have they not understood, and all their flock is scattered" (Jer. X, 21).
"As the thief is confounded when he is taken, so is the house of Israel confounded, they and their kings, their princes and their priests, and their prophets. Saying to a stock: `Thou art my father'; and to a stone: `Thou hast begotten me' " (Jer. II, 26-27).
"Astonishing and wonderful things have been done in the land. The prophets prophesied falsehood, and the priests clapped their hands: and my people loved such things" (Jer. V, 30-31).
"And I have seen the likeness of adulterers (or idolaters), and the way of lying in the prophets of Jerusalem: and they strengthened the hand of the wicked, that no man should return from his evil doings" (Jer. XXIII, 14).
"For from the prophets of Jerusalem corruption has gone forth into all the land" (Jer. XXIII, 15).
These very curious texts always assert that the chiefs, the priests and the prophets were the ones who lost God's people, believing in the lie (singular) and occultly adoring the idols.
It was useless, however, to hiddenly conspire, for God sees all, knows the secret plots and the most intimate mysteries of the heart:
"Shall a man be hid in secret places, and I not see him, saith the Lord? (...) I have heard what the prophets said, that prophesied lies in my name (...) the prophets that prophesy lies (...) who seek to make my people forget my name" (Jer. XXIII, 24-27).
Therefore, the punishments inflicted by God on the Kingdom of Judah were caused by an occult apostasy arranged by the priests which intended to corrupt the people by teaching the lie, in the name of the God of Truth.
That there was a conspiracy in the etymological and due sense is made manifest in Sacred Scripture by the prophet Isaias who records these words of God:
"For thus saith the Lord to me: As he hath taught me, (taking me) with a strong arm, that I should not walk in the way of this people, saying: 'Say ye not: A conspiracy: for all that this people speaketh, is a conspiracy" (Isaias VIII, 11-12).
The purpose of this conspiracy is clearly expressed in the book of Jeremias:
"And the Lord said to me: A conspiracy is found among the men of Judah, and among the inhabitants of Jerusalem. They are returned to the former iniquities of their fathers, who refused to hear my words: so these likewise have gone after strange gods, to serve them: the house of Israel, and the house of Judah have made void my covenant, which I made with their fathers." (Jer. XI, 9-10).
The conspiracy of the leaders of Israel and Judah was made to lead the elect to idol worshiping, that is, to the worship of the devil.
"Wherefore hear the word of the Lord, ye scornful men, who rule over my people that is in Jerusalem. For you have said: We have entered into a league with death, and we have made a covenant with hell (...) for we have placed our hope in lies, and by falsehood we are protected. (Isaias XXVIII, 14-15).
The conspiracy of the Jewish leaders in the Old Testament to lead the people to adore the idols, was sealed by a pact with hell itself, that is, with the devil. The conspiracy was diabolic for its aim was the adoration of the devil and was conducted by him.
"And they have set their idols in the house, in which my name is called upon, to defile it." (Jer. XXXII, 34). Because for the devil, it’s not enough to be adored: he wants to profane God’s Temple, getting the abomination to be placed in the sacred place.
All this evil was the result of a conscious adhesion to lie, a resolute will to do evil which lead the conspirators to plot and study the most efficacious way of leading the people to sin.
"Jerusalem (...) hast trusted in falsehood" (Jer. XIII, 25).
"They have laid hold on lying, and have refused to return" (Jer. VIII, 5).
"They have taught their tongue to speak lies: they have laboured to commit iniquity" (Jer. IX, 5) and imitated "the (evil) ways of the Gentiles" (Jer. X, 2).
Why do the prophets unremittingly say that the Jewish leaders laid hold, wrote down and taught the lie, employing the word in the singular form?
This must be related with the affirmation of Christ, who called the devil "father of the lie" ["You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and he stood not in the truth; because truth is not in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father thereof. (Saint John VIII, 44)], on the occasion of His great discussion with the Pharisees, whom He called sons of the devil, that is, members of the serpent's seed (Gen. III, 15). What is this lie par excellence of which the devil is the father?
God is the Truth and, as He is one, there is only one Truth. An essential sign of the true faith is unity (Saint Paul, EF. IV, 5-13). Why, the devil attacks the one and only faith with a thousand diverse heresies, for it is multiplicity which is peculiar to error and not unity. However, if we study the heresies, we will see that there is some underlying aspect common to all, besides their hate and denial about the one and only Truth. Thus, in the endless multiplicity of errors there is a certain form of unity (unity secundum quid), hidden under the myths and lies of the heretical systems. This common substract, matrix of all errors, denies the most profound and fundamental truths regarding God, that is, the Being. The common substract of all heresies is Gnosticism. It is the surname of the lie. It's the anti-metaphysical revolt.
The term Gnosis, in greek, means knowledge. This doctrine intends to give man a salvific, redeeming, knowledge when providing him with:
1) the knowledge of divine essence;
2) that of the secret and divine nature of man;
3) the knowledge of what is the evil and the sin. (1)
In regard to the gnostic unity underlying the various heretic sects, it's worth reading what Saint Irenaeus says in Adversus Haeresis, Migne, vol. VII; St. Hippolytus of Rome, La Gnose et le temps, Gallimard, Paris, vol., p. 235; Serge Hutin, Les gnostiques, pp. 6-9; Robert M. Grant, La Gnose et les origines chretiènes, Seuil, Paris, 1964, p. 17.
What Gnosticism intends to know, in the first place, is the essence of the divinity, or its interior process.
Why, in the Proverbs, God symptomatically forewarns against this pretension, by saying:
"As it is not good for a man to eat much honey, so he that is a searcher of (divine) majesty, shall be overwhelmed by glory" (Prov. XXV, 27). If God reprehended this pretension, it is because already in the Old Testament times there where amongst the Jews those who aimed at "exploring the divine majesty", as did the gnostics.(2)
For Gnosticism, God is not he who is (Ex. III, 14), but a constant becoming. He would be the change. Why, it's interesting that God had advised the Jews against this lie by saying: "For I am the Lord, and I change not, "Ego enim Dominus et non mutor" (Mal. III, 6).
For various gnostic sects, the original divinity is contradictorily or dialectically called the All and the Nothing at the same time. In Greece, this divinity was the Pan (all) and Bythos (the emptiness). In India it's Brahman (all) and the Nirvana (absolute nothingness). The Bhagavad Gita says that this divinity is "being and nonbeing, he who is beyond" (Bhagavad Gita, XI, 37).
"Both being and nonbeing are in Me" (Bhagavad Gita, IX, 19).
In the heraclitan fragments it is read: "The Wise is one only. It is unwilling and willing to be called by the name of Zeus." (Heraclitus, Frag. 32, Diels.)
The gnostic Basilides used to say that the name of that which exists and doesn’t exist is nothing (St. Hip., Philosophoumena, I, 21, VII, 20-21, vol. II, p. 103).
In the Cabala it is taught that the Ein-Sof is the nothing (cfr. G. G. Scholem, Major trends in Jewish mysticism, pp. 12-13). G. G. Scholem says that "being and non-being are only but different aspects of divine reality which is intrinsically a super-being" (G. G. Scholem, Les origines de la Kabbale, p. 448).
Why, it is curious to note that God reprehends, in the Old Testament, those who have trusted in the nothing:
"Your lips have spoken lies, and your tongue uttereth iniquity. There is none that calleth upon justice, neither is there any one that judgeth truly: but they trust in a mere nothing" (Isaias LIX, 3-4).
Gnosticism holds that man has a divine particle in the innermost of his being, a spark from God, a Fünkenlein, as master Eckhart used to say. Therefore, man's ultimate essence would be divine. Man would be, as it were, a fallen-away god which need be set free from the imprisonment of materiality, of rationality, of morals.
If all the divine particles which are spread out throughout nature were to reunite again, the divinity would come back into existence and would have the form of a man. That is why, for Manichaeism, the primordial man was God himself:
"Firstly, it's worth noting that primitive man is only a hypostasis of the Father of Greatness, God himself (...). Primitive man is therefore identical to this soul (of God) or, as the Manichean Faustus said to St. Augustine, he is made out "of the substance of God, being exactly what God is" (H. C. Puech, Le manicheisme, in Histoire Générale des Religions, vol. III, p. 96).
In India, the Supreme god, Brahman, was called Man (Puruska).
"You are the supreme imperishable which is necessary to know. You are the supreme support of the entire universe, you are the eternal guardian of the old law, to me, I think, you are the everlasting Man" (Bhagavad Gita X, 12).
"You alone know Yourself by Your own potencies, O Supreme Man, O origin of beings, Lord of all creatures, God of gods, Ruler of the universe! (Bhagavad Gita X, 15).
"You are the main god, O ancient Man (...) you permeate the Universe, O limitless form! (Bhagavad Gita, XI, 38).
The Cabala, in its turn, identifies the God manifested in the sephirots as being the Primordial Man, the Adam Kadmon. To prove this, one of the arguments used is that, according to the method of guematria, the letters that form the name of God - iod, he, vaw, he (IHWH) - have a numerical value of 45. Now, the letters which form the word Adam (alef, dalet, mem) also give a total of 45. Therefore (??), Adam is equal to God for both are worth 45 (cfr. G. G. Scholem, On the Kabbalah and Its Symbolism, Schocken Books, p. 125).
The mysterious Jewish gnostic book, Schiur Komá, describes the body of God as being that of an immense man which also identifies itself with the Universe. Thus God, Universe and Man would be only one thing (Cfr. G. G. Scholem, Major trends in Jewish mysticism, pp. 64-65).
Therefore, the same divinity which gnostic authors and religious texts refer to as Nothing, is also called Man.
We've already noted that God, in the book of Isaias, reproached the followers of the lie which "trust in a mere nothing" (Isaias LIX, 3-4). This same prophet cries out God's words against the Jews:
"Cease ye therefore from trusting man, in whose nostrils there is (only) breath, for only God is what is high" (Isaias II, 22).
This text shouldn’t be taken only as a moral counsel. This verse is the conclusion of a text regarding the causes of the humiliation of the wicked during the judgment day, in which God reprehends the house of Jacob - the Jewish people - for being so superstitious as the Philistines (v. 6); for having filled the country with idols which will be crushed in the day of judgment (v. 10-18) and that therefore those who have betrayed God shall cast away their idols (v. 21).
The quoted verse opposes trust in man to the trust in God the Highest. It associates idolatry with trusting in man. God, through Isaias, therefore cries out against those who "trust in the Nothing" and against them who confide in Man, exactly in the Nothing and in the Man, which Gnosticism and the Cabala assure to be names of God.
For Gnosticism, divine evolution comes about by a dialectic process, in as much as God and every being are formed by two opposite and equal principles.
For Heraclitus, "God is day and night, winter and summer, war and peace, surfeit and hunger" (Diels. 12 B, 67).
"Life and death, wake and sleep, youth and oldness are the same thing: they are many metamorphoses" (Diels. 12 B, 88).
We've seen that according to Bhagavad Gita, God is "being and nonbeing", at the same time (Bhagavad Gita XI, 37; IX, 19). It's well known that in Manichaeism, the dualism of God and the metaphysical dualism are clearly taught (cfr. H.C. Puech, Le Manicheisme, in Histoire Générale des Religions, vol. III, p. 96, 1st column).
Like Gnosticism, the Cabala assures there are two opposing principles in God: that of good and that of evil (cfr. G.G. Scholem, Major trends in Jewish mysticism, pp. 237-291). "All that is devilish has its roots in some part of the mystery of God" (G.G. Scholem, Major trends in Jewish mysticism, p. 240). This dualistic notion of God was expressed more clearly by the cabalistic system of Isaac Luria of Safed and by Natham of Gaza (cfr. G.G. Scholem, Sabbatai Sevi, The mystical Messiah, Princeton University Press, Princeton, New Jersey, 1975, pp. 301-302).
In consequence it therefore results not only in a metaphysical dualism, which maintains the equality of opposites, as also a dialectic dualism in the field of morals, which identifies sanctity with iniquity, virtue with sin. The Mischnah (Berahot IX, 5) asserts that God must be loved with all thy heart, that is, with the good and evil impulses.
"Man is bound to bless (God) for the evil even as he blesses (God) for the good, for it is written. And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. (Deut. VI, 5). With all thy heart (lebab) — with both thine impulses, thy good impulses and thine evil impulses." (The Mischnah, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 1980, 1ª ed., 1933, trad. Herbert Dowley).
Metaphysical dualism and dialectic morals peculiar to Gnosticism and the Cabala make it possible to identify being and nonbeing, good and evil, light and darkness, true and false, virtue and sin. Why, the proof that already in the Old Testament this gnostic dualistic dialectic secretly infiltrated amongst the Jews is in the book of Isaias, were God, Who upbraided the scribes and priests for adhering to the lie, says: "Woe to you that call evil good, and good evil: that put darkness for light, and light for darkness: that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter" (Isaias V, 20).
This complete reversal of truth and morals perpetuated itself secretly amongst the Jews up until the time of Christ and later in the Talmud, which affirms that "the most perfect way to practice the law is by violating it".
According to cabalistic messianism, the kingdom of the Messiah will bring about the abolition of the law and even its reversal, making lawful what was forbidden (cfr. G.G. Scholem, Major trends in Jewish mysticism, pp. 181, 314).
In the messianic age there would come "the abolition of the norm of permitted and forbidden, pure and impure" (G.G. Scholem, Sabbatai Sevi, The Mystical Messiah, p. 321). If there was a gnostic conspiracy already in the Old Testament, it becomes then clear why Our Lord Jesus Christ prevented the Pharisees telling them: "Do not think that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets. I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill. For amen I say unto you, till heaven and earth pass, one jot, or one title shall not pass of the law, till all be fulfilled" (Mt. V, 17-18). And in the following verse he condemns those who violate even one of the least commandments of the law and "so teach men" (Mt. V, 19).
Finally, Christ affirms that the Pharisees, because of their tradition, nullified the law: " Why do you also transgress the commandment of God for your tradition?" (Mt. XV, 3). "And in vain do they worship me, teaching doctrines and commandments of men" (Mt. XV, 9).
Why, the Jewish Cabala was intended to be a doctrine revealed by God to Moses and passed on by oral tradition, so much so that Cabala means tradition. It is not strange then the assertion that already in the Old Testament, the Jewish rabbis had abandoned the revealed truth to follow the lie of Gnosticism (which amongst the Jews is called Cabala). The Scripture texts which we quoted indicate this. But, for those who trust in Man, here is the confirmation of what we have said in the words of a man who is the greatest expert, of our time, in the Cabala:
"We know that already at the time of the Second Temple an esoteric doctrine was taught in pharisaical circles" (G.G. Scholem, Major trends in Jewish mysticism, p. 41).
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By all this, it is made very clear that the Jews deviated from their mission and abandoned the Revelation and the Law of God due to a diabolical conspiracy conducted by the priests and scribes.
Some questions remain to be asked: would this devilish conspiracy, which seeks to dam souls, have ceased with the advent of Christ? Or did it become still more occult, more ferocious and more diabolically hypocritical?
Those who deny the existence of the "conspiracy" of the wicked in History, are either naive, or... are part of it.
(1) (cfr H. C. Puech, Enquête de la Gnose, Gallimard, Paris, 1978, vol. I, pp. 168-236; Robert M. Grant, La Gnose et les origines chretiènes, Seuil, Paris, 1964, pp. 18-19).
(2) "We know that already at the time of the Second Temple an esoteric doctrine was taught in pharisaical circles" (Gershom Gerhard Scholem, Major trends in jewish mysticism - A mística judaica, Perspectiva, São Paulo, 1972, p. 41)