Career politicians and legal professionals have done all they can to estrange the Grand Jury from the People they exist to protect. The resulting lack of accountability continues to be instrumental in the systematic corruption of America’s legal system. Bad law and an absence of accountability have spawned a profit motivated Judicial Industry that has no regard for the unalienable rights of the individual human being. If America’s Grand Juries are made aware of their PRESENTMENT power and their duty to wield that power, corruption in government can be halted, respect for principles can be established, and the Idea we call “America” can be pursued.
Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? – Juvenal (c. 60 – 140 A.D.)
Indeed, who will watch the watchers? The words of Roman satirist Juvenal are as relevant today as they were nearly a thousand years ago. In America today, if the People themselves don’t watch the watchers, they will simply not be watched; and if the People’s Grand Jury does not hold the watchers accountable, there will surely be no accountability.
More than a century ago, an incredibly perceptive Frenchman penned words as relevant in America today as they were in his own country in 1850.
The law perverted! And the police powers of the state perverted along with it! The law, I say, not only turned from its proper purpose but made to follow an entirely different purpose! The law become the weapon of every kind of greed! Instead of checking crime, the law itself guilty of the evils it is supposed to punish!
If this is true, it is a serious fact, and moral duty requires me to call the attention of my fellow-citizens to it. – Frederic’ Bastiat (c. 1850)
I urge my fellow citizens to join me in demanding that a convenient channel be created for individual citizens to communicate hard and empirical evidence to their Grand Jury without alerting agents of government.
LOUISIANA STATUTORY LAW AND CRIMINAL PROCEDURE
THE GRAND JURY
431. Oath of grand jury.
432. Charge to grand jury.
433. Persons present during grand jury sessions.
434. Secrecy of grand jury meetings; procedures for crimes in other parishes.
435. Meetings of grand jury.
436. The foreman; rules of procedure.
437. Inquiry into offenses; authority and duties.
438. Duty of grand juror having knowledge of offense; investigation.
439. Subpoena of witnesses to appear before the grand jury.
439.1. Witnesses; authority to compel testimony and evidence.
440. Administration of oath to witnesses.
441. Administration of oath to other persons.
442. Evidence to be received by grand jury.
443. When indictment to be found.
444. Action by grand jury.
Art. 431. Oath of grand jury
The grand jurors shall take the following oath when impaneled:
“As members of the grand jury, do you solemnly swear or affirm that you will DILIGENTLY INQUIRE INTO AND TRUE PRESENTMENT MAKE of all indictable offenses triable within this parish which shall be given you in charge, OR WHICH SHALL OTHERWISE COME TO YOUR KNOWLEDGE; that you will keep secret your own counsel and that of your fellows and of the state, and will not, except when authorized by law, disclose testimony of any witness examined before you, nor disclose anything which any grand juror may have said, or how any grand juror may have voted on any matter before you; that you will not indict any person through malice, hatred, or ill will, NOR FAIL TO INDICT ANY PERSON THROUGH FEAR, FAVOR, AFFECTION, OR HOPE OF REWARD OR GAIN; but in all of your indictments you will present the truth, according to the best of your skill and understanding?”
The oath shall be read to the grand jury by the clerk, who shall then ask each juror: “Do you take this oath or affirmation?”
The oath shall be administered to every grand juror appointed to fill a vacancy in the grand jury and to every grand juror who was not present at the taking of the oath by the grand jury.
Official Revision Comment
(a) The oath in this article generally conforms to the provisions of Art. 204 of the 1928 Code of Criminal Procedure.
The direct procedure for administering the oath is based in large measure upon A.L.I. [American Law Institute] Code of Criminal Procedure, § 126. It is more effective than the procedure of Art. 204 of the 1928 Code, under which the oath was administered in full to the foreman, followed by an oath of the other grand jurors that they heard the oath administered to the foreman and would keep that oath.
(b) “Oath” is defined in Art. 934(8) to include affirmation. See also, Art. 14. Under R.S. 13:910, the judge may direct the minute clerk to administer the oath required by law of all witnesses and jurors.
A proper entry in the minutes of the court can serve as proof that the oath has been administered. However, it does not appear that proof is limited to such an entry. In State v. Folke, 2 La.Ann. 744 (1847), there was no minute entry concerning the administration of the oath, but a motion to quash was denied on the grounds that sufficient proof was available from the wording of the indictment, “The Grand Jurors . . . duly empaneled and sworn,” and by the clerk’s affidavit that the jurors had been duly sworn.
(c) Under Art. 382 prosecutions for felonies must be instituted by grand jury indictment or by information. THE NEBULOUS “PRESENTMENT,” REFERRED TO IT ART. 204 OF THE 1928 CODE AS A DIRECT MEANS OF INSTITUTING PROCEEDINGS, IS NOT INCLUDED HERE. HOWEVER, THE GRAND JURY MAY RETURN AN INDICTMENT ON ITS OWN INITIATIVE AND THIS IS TANTAMOUNT TO A “PRESENTMENT.” See Arts. 437 and 444 and Comment (e) thereunder.
(d) The exception to the oath of secrecy, permitting a disclosure of testimony when authorized by law, is elaborated upon in Art. 434.
(e) The last paragraph of this article, requiring administration of the oath to a grand juror who reports for duty after the oath has been administered to the others is retained from Art. 204 of the 1928 Code. State v. Furco, 51 La.Ann. 1082, 25 So. 951 (1899); State v. Ross, 212 La. 405, 31 So.2d 842 (1947).
Historical and Statutory Notes Source:
Former R.S. 15:204; A.L.I. Code of Crim.Proc., § 126; Ill. Code of Crim.Proc., § 1122; Acts 1966, No. 310, § 1.
Art. 432. Charge to grand jury
After the oath is administered to the members of the grand jury, the judge shall charge them orally in open court upon their duties, rights, and powers. Upon completion of the charge the judge shall give the grand jury a written copy of the charge.
At any time thereafter, the judge, on his own initiative or on request of the grand jury, may give the grand jury additional charges concerning their duties, rights, and powers. Such additional charges shall be given in open court, and a written copy thereof shall thereafter be given to the grand jury.
Official Revision Comment
(a) This article follows Art. 205 of the 1928 Code of Criminal Procedure. Deletion of the term “instruction” is a purely stylistic change, because there is no distinction between the words “charge” and “instruction.” Only the word “charge” is employed in comparable Sec. 127 of the A.L.I. Code of Criminal Procedure.
(b) It is implicit in this article, as in Art. 205 of the 1928 Code, that each juror must be given the same charge. However, a rigid compliance with that implication has not been required by the courts. For example, if a grand juror is not charged at the same time the others are charged, and identical charges are not given, the grand jury remains competent to act. State v. Smith, 158 La. 129, 103 So. 534 (1925). Also, there is no requirement that the judge repeat the charge anew to the full jury after filling a vacancy. State v. Furco, 51 La.Ann. 1082, 25 So. 951 (1899).
(c) The requirement that the charge be given orally in open court and then reduced to writing is retained from a 1940 amendment to Art. 205 of the 1928 Code to prevent recurrence of the complaint that arose in State ex rel. De Armas v. Platt, 193 La. 928, 192 So. 659 (1939). In the De Armas case the relator urged that the district judge called the jury into private consultation, and give them certain secret and improperly restrictive instructions.
(d) Former R.S. 15:205.1 to 15:205.4, providing for certain mandatory special charges, are repealed by Section 5 of the Code statute and are not retained in this Code nor elsewhere in the law. The special charges required by R.S. 15:205.1 (charge in Orleans Parish on liquor laws), 15:205.2 (charge on crimes of bribery, public intimidation, etc.), and 15:205.3 (charge on duty of fiduciaries to account) were not of general application. When such charges serve a useful purpose they can be voluntarily given by the judge or requested by the grand jury. The special charge of R.S. 15:205.4, concerning a grand juror’s duty to inform the jury of known crimes was unnecessary. The grand juror’s duty is set out in Art. 438 and comes within the general charge upon the duties, rights, and powers of the grand jury.
Historical and Statutory Notes
Acts 1966, No. 310, § 1; cf. former R.S. 15:205.
Art. 433. Persons present during grand jury sessions
A. (1) Only the following persons MAY be present at the sessions of the grand jury:
(a) The district attorney and assistant district attorneys or any one or more of them;
(b) The attorney general and assistant attorneys general or any one of them;
(c) The witness under examination;
(d) A person sworn to record the proceedings of and the testimony given before the grand jury; and
(e) An interpreter sworn to translate the testimony of a witness who is unable to speak the English language.
(2) An attorney for a target of the grand jury’s investigation may be present during the testimony of said target. The attorney shall be prohibited from objecting, addressing or arguing before the grand jury; however he may consult with his client at anytime. The court shall remove such attorney for violation of these conditions. If a witness becomes a target because of his testimony, the legal advisor to the grand jury shall inform him of his right to counsel and cease questioning until such witness has obtained counsel or voluntarily and intelligently waived his right to counsel. Any evidence or testimony obtained under the provisions of this Subparagraph from a witness who later becomes a target shall not be admissible in a proceeding against him.
B. NO PERSON, OTHER THAN A GRAND JUROR, SHALL BE PRESENT WHILE THE GRAND JURY IS DELIBERATING AND VOTING.
C. A person who is intentionally present at a meeting of the grand jury, except as authorized by Paragraph A of this article, shall be in constructive contempt of court. Amended by Acts 1972, No. 409, § 1; Acts 1986, No. 725, § 1; Acts 1992, No. 308, § 1.
Official Revision Comment
Some of the more important reasons for the secrecy of grand jury meetings provided for in Arts. 433 and 434 are: “. . . (1) to prevent the escape of those whose indictment may be contemplated; (2) to insure the utmost freedom to the grand jury in its deliberations, and to prevent persons subject to indictment or their friends from importuning the grand jurors; (3) to prevent subornation of perjury or tampering with the witnesses who may testify before the grand jury and later appear at the trial of those indicted by it; (4) to encourage free and untrammeled disclosures by persons who have information with respect to the commission of crimes; (5) to protect innocent accused who is exonerated from disclosure of the fact that he has been under investigation . . ..” United States v. Rose, 215 F.2d 617, 628 (3rd Cir.1954). See also State v. Revere, 232 La. 184, 94 So.2d 25 (1957) for a similar list of reasons.
(a) Paragraph A of this article adds to the list of persons permitted to be in attendance at a grand jury session. Former R.S. 15:215, besides jurors and the witness testifying, permitted the district attorney, a stenographer, and an interpreter to be present. Paragraph A of the above article adds: (1) assistant district attorneys, and permits their presence either alone or with the district attorney, and (2) a person sworn to record the proceedings of, and the testimony given before, the grand jury. This latter provision conforms with the proposed amendment to Fed.Rule 6(d), and fills a gap recognized by the court in State v. Revere, supra, wherein the court said: “A `monitor’ or `operator’ of a recording machine is not one of those enumerated [in R.S. 15:215], and we must conclude that until provision is made in our law for the presence of such persons, it is not province of the court to hold they are included.” Id. at 199, 94 So.2d at 31. Permitting the attendance of a person “sworn to record,” rather than a “stenographer” as in former R.S. 15:215, allows the use of modern recording devices and avoids Revere type distinctions.
(b) Paragraph B carries forward the provision of Art. 19 of the 1928 Code that no person (not even the district attorney) shall be present during the deliberations and voting by the grand jury. See Art. 64.
(c) Paragraph C is new. See Arts. 24 and 25 on contempt.
(d) Under State v. Revere, supra, an indictment is subject to a motion to quash if an unauthorized person is present at a grand jury meeting whether or not the presence works to prejudice the defendant. This view was adopted by the court because: First, the defendant has no way of proving prejudice, which may take many rather intangible forms. Second, it is the possibility of prejudice and influence on the grand jurors that must be guarded against. In summarizing these arguments, the court stated, 11 . . . the mere presence of an unauthorized person in the grand jury room is violative of a substantial right of the citizen and cannot, if we are to preserve the safeguards of our heritage in grand jury proceedings, be abridged through the subterfuge of shifting to that citizen the burden of proving such an invasion of his substantial rights was prejudicial.” Id. at 203, 94 So.2d at 32. The federal courts have followed the same “prejudice presumed” rule which was applied in the Revere case. United States v. Borys, 169 F.Supp. 366 (Alas.1959), approving People v. Minet, 296 N.Y. 315, 73 N.E.2d 529 (1947). This article does not purport to change the Revere rule. However, neither the Revere rule nor the contempt provision of Paragraph C should apply if an unauthorized person inadvertently enters the grand jury room and is promptly removed.
Historical and Statutory Notes
Former R.S. 15:19, 15:215; A.L.I. Code of Crim.Proc., § 133; I11.Code of Crim.Proc., § 1126(a); Acts 1966, No. 310, § 1.
Art. 434. Secrecy of grand jury meetings; procedures for crimes in other parishes
A. Members of the grand jury, all other persons present at a grand jury meeting, and all persons having confidential access to information concerning grand jury proceedings, shall keep secret the testimony of witnesses and all other matters occurring at, or directly connected with, a meeting of the grand jury. However, after the indictment, such persons may reveal statutory irregularities in grand jury proceedings to defense counsel, the attorney general, the district attorney, or the court, and may testify concerning them. Such persons may disclose testimony given before the grand jury, at any time when permitted by the court, to show that a witness committed perjury in his testimony before the grand jury. A witness may discuss his testimony given before the grand jury with counsel for a person under investigation or indicted, with the attorney general or the district attorney, or with the court.
B. Whenever a grand jury of one parish discovers that a crime may have been committed in another parish of the state, the foreman of that grand jury, after notifying his district attorney, shall make that discovery known to the attorney general. The district attorney or the attorney general may direct to the district attorney of another parish any and all evidence, testimony, and transcripts thereof, received or prepared by the grand jury of the former parish, concerning any offense that may have been committed in the latter parish, for use in such latter parish.
C. Any person who violates the provisions of this article shall be in constructive contempt of court. Amended by Acts 1972, No. 450, § 1.
Official Revision Comment
(a) The secrecy provisions of the 1928 Code of Criminal Procedure were incomplete and inadequate. Art. 215 of that Code in general terms required secrecy and specifically required that a stenographer or an interpreter had to be sworn to secrecy. Under special evidence rules of Art. 470 and 471 of the 1928 Code, grand jurors and the district attorney are incompetent to testify as to grand jury proceedings or as to the evidence upon which an indictment was found, but those provisions have been somewhat limited by the jurisprudence, as will be pointed out later. The above article is based upon Louisiana jurisprudence interpreting the sketchy provisions of the 1928 Code, suggestions made by the Advisors, and some appropriate provisions of the A.L.I. Code of Criminal Procedure §§ 143 to 145.
(b) The obligation of secrecy applies to the grand jury and “all other persons present at a grand jury meeting.” This includes the district attorney and his assistants, the stenographer or other person who records the proceedings, any interpreter, and witnesses who appear before the grand jury. The 1928 Code provisions were clear in imposing secrecy upon grand jurors, stenographers, and interpreters (Arts. 204 and 215), but there was no direct statutory imposition of secrecy upon witnesses who appeared before the grand jury. The court, however, construed the oath required of witnesses (former Art. 212), which says nothing of secrecy, and the general mandate of secrecy in former Art. 215, to require secrecy of a witness. State v. Revere, 232 La. 184, 94 So.2d 25 (1957). The above article follows that scheme and reaches grand jurors and all other persons present at a grand jury meeting. The secrecy required of a witness appearing before the grand jury does not preclude the witness from discussing his knowledge of the facts of a case with defense counsel, or with anyone else. Furthermore, the article expressly permits the witness to discuss his testimony given before the grand jury with those having a legitimate interest in that testimony, i.e., defense counsel, the district attorney, or the court. The secrecy required of a witness serves to restrain him from disclosing matters which he learns by being present at the grand jury meeting, such as (1) what offenses are under investigation, (2) which persons are under investigation, and (3) the names of persons who have been, or will be, called to testify. The scope of the witness’s obligation of secrecy is also stated in the oath required of the witness. Art. 440. As thus stated, the witness’s obligation of secrecy affords a large measure of protection to grand jury proceedings but does not curtail a defense attorney’s discovery of facts concerning the case.
(c) The obligation of secrecy is extended beyond the source provisions of the 1928 Code, to include all persons having confidential access to information concerning grand jury proceedings. This embraces stenographers employed in the district attorney’s office and certain deputy sheriffs or clerks. Since some of those persons may not be required to take the oath of secrecy prescribed by Art. 441, it will be incumbent upon the district attorney or the court, as the case may be, to explain the obligation of secrecy to them.
(d) In addition to the limitation upon the witness’s obligation of secrecy (Comment (b) above), two general exceptions to the rule of secrecy are stated.
The first exception permits revelation, after indictment to specified properly interested persons, and testimony concerning, statutory irregularities in grand jury proceedings. This codifies, in broadened form, the rule of State v. Revere, supra, and State v. Kifer, 186 La. 674, 173 So. 169 (1937). In the Revere case the court held it is permissible to show that an unauthorized person, a recording machine operator, was present during a grand jury session; in the Kifer case the court permitted disclosure that the district attorney appeared before the jury during its deliberations. The rationale of these cases is that persons under investigation have a basic right to have the grand jury proceed in the ways specified by statute. This right logically extends to other matters. Examples of other statutory irregularities which should be open to disclosure include: (1) deciding an indictment by lot instead of by vote, (2) returning an indictment with less than the required vote, and (3) returning an indictment from a meeting held without a quorum.
The second exception, in conformity with the evidence rule of R.S. 15:471, permits disclosure of grand jury testimony to show perjury. Under R.S. 14:124 inconsistent statements made before the grand jury and at the subsequent trial of the case constitute perjury, unless the defendant can affirmatively establish that both statements were honestly believed to be true when they were made.
(e) THE STATUTORY OBLIGATION OF SECRECY DOES NOT PRECLUDE REVELATION OF TESTIMONY TO SHOW THAT A PERSON’S CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS HAVE BEEN VIOLATED. In State v. Smalling, 240 La. 887, 906, 125 So.2d 399, 405 (1960), the court said: “THE INDICTMENT . . . IS THE FOUNDATION OF THE CRIMINAL CASE, AND IF IT IS GROUNDED, IN WHOLE OR IN PART, ON EVIDENCE SECURED IN VIOLATION OF A CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT, IT IS AN ABSOLUTE NULLITY.” Although the court in that case did not deal with the rule of secrecy required by statute (former R.S. 15:215), IT NECESSARILY FOLLOWS THAT A REVELATION OF TESTIMONY MAY BE REQUIRED IN ORDER TO DETERMINE IF A PERSON’S CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS HAVE BEEN VIOLATED IN THE GRAND JURY ROOM. The recent case of Malloy v. Hogan, 378 U.S. 1, 84 S.Ct. 1489, 12 L.Ed.2d 653 (1964), makes the fifth amendment privilege against self-incrimination applicable to state proceedings. In view of the nebulous extent of such constitutional rights, AND THE FACT THAT SUCH RIGHTS CAN NEVER BE ABROGATED BY STATE STATUTE, it was not deemed necessary or advisable to attempt the formulation of an exception to conform with the Smalling decision.
(f) The second paragraph, providing a sanction of contempt, is new. A similar provision is found in Ill.Code of Crim.Proc., § 1126.
Historical and Statutory Notes
Former R.S. 15:215; A.L.I. Code of Crim.Proc., §§ 143, 144, 145; Ill. Code of Crim.Proc., § 1126(b); Acts 1966, No. 310, § 1.
Art. 435. Meetings of grand jury
The grand jury shall meet as directed by the court, or may meet on its own initiative at the direction of nine of its members, at any time and place within the parish. Nine grand jurors shall constitute a quorum, and nine grand jurors must concur to find an indictment. Amended by Acts 1975, Ex. Sess., No. 45, § 2, eff. Feb. 20, 1975.
Official Revision Comment
(a) This article makes no change in the law. The quorum requirement of nine grand jurors conforms with Const. (1921) Art. VII, § 42. The above article omits the requirements that the grand jury shall consist of twelve members and that nine jurors must concur to find an indictment, because those rules are stated in Arts. 413 and 383, respectively.
(b) The normal meeting place of the grand jury is the parish seat BUT MEETINGS MAY BE HELD ELSEWHERE IN THE PARISH. The provision that nine grand jurors, rather than a majority as in former R.S. 15:207, may fix the time and place of a meeting is in line with the general rule that grand jury action requires a vote of nine of its members. See Art. 444(B). The calling of a grand jury meeting “at the direction” of nine members implies that reasonable notice of the meeting will be given to all grand jurors.
Since a grand jury is “authorized to act on evidence submitted to it, . . .” and “its members are also required, . . . to act upon facts within their own knowledge . . . it . . . follows that they do not require permission of the court to investigate crime, but are bound to take the initiative and determine for themselves the character of the evidence, or the sufficiency of the facts, necessary to their findings.” State v. Johnson, 116 La. 856, 864, 41 So. 117, 119 (1906). In the Johnson case, which was decided before there was a statutory authority like former R.S. 15:207 and this article, it was held proper for the grand jury to visit the scene of a homicide without permission of the court. SUCH AUTHORITY TO HOLD MEETINGS ON THEIR OWN INITIATIVE IS RETAINED IN THIS ARTICLE.
Historical and Statutory Notes
Former R.S. 15:206, 15:207; Acts 1966, No. 310, § 1.
Art. 436. The foreman; rules of procedure
The foreman of the grand jury shall preside over all hearings. He may delegate duties to other grand jurors and may determine rules of procedure. A grand juror who objects to a rule of procedure made by the foreman may apply to the court for a determination of the matter.
Official Revision Comment
(a) The cumbersomely stated provision of former R.S. 15:210.2, under which the grand jury was to establish rules by a vote of nine members, was seldom followed. The Federal Rules, the Uniform Rules, and many state laws, have no provision for adopting the rules by which grand jury proceedings are to be conducted. This article follows Ill.Code of Crim.Proc., § 1124(b), the most workable statute found. The Texas rule similarly and very simply provides that “The foreman shall . . . conduct its business in an orderly manner.” Tex.Code of Crim. Proc., Art. 379.
(b) The authority of any grand juror to appeal to the court prevents autocratic control by the foreman.
Historical and Statutory Notes
Ill.Code of Crim.Proc., § 1124(b); Acts 1966, No. 310, § 1.
Art. 437. Inquiry into offenses; authority and duties
The grand jury shall inquire into all capital offenses triable within the parish. IT MAY INQUIRE INTO OTHER OFFENSES TRIABLE BY THE DISTRICT COURT OF THE PARISH, and shall inquire into such offenses when requested to do so by the district attorney or ordered to do so by the court.
Official Revision Comment
(a) The general permissive authority, stated in the second sentence, to inquire into all offenses triable by the district court of the parish, is broader than the provisions of Art. 209 of the 1928 Code of Criminal Procedure, which did not extend to noncapital crimes unless the grand jury’s attention was directed to an offense by the court or by the district attorney. However, a broader inquisitorial power existed under an unrepealed provision of the Revised Statutes of 1870 which was incorporated into the 1950 Revised Statutes as former R.S. 15:209.1. It required a member of the grand jury to bring to the attention of his fellow members any violation of the criminal law which came to his personal knowledge, or of which he had been informed. Professor Slovenko states: “In effect, the integration of the 1870 provision was simply an adoption of the jurisprudence. Applying the 1870 provision, which was not expressly superseded by the 1928 Code, and the precodal jurisprudence relating thereto, the Louisiana Supreme Court ruled that the grand jury could return an indictment regardless of how the information on which it acted came to its attention.” Slovenko, The Jury System in Louisiana Criminal Law, 17 La.L.Rev. 655, 657 (1957). See State v. Vial, 153 La. 883, 96 So. 796 (1923), and State v. Richey, 195 La. 319, 196 So. 545 (1940). The omission of the prerequisite that the grand jury’s attention be directed to the crime by the court or district attorney, therefore, conforms with the jurisprudence based upon the broad provision of former R.S. 15:209.1. See Art. 438.
ONE WRITER HAS SUGGESTED THAT, BECAUSE OF THEIR IGNORANCE OF THEIR POWERS OF INDEPENDENT INVESTIGATION, GRAND JURIES OFTEN FAIL TO EXERCISE THE POWERS FULLY, IF AT ALL. Note, 37 Minn.L.Rev. 586, n. 46 (1953). THE COURT IN ITS CHARGE TO THE GRAND JURY, SHOULD INCLUDE A BRIEF STATEMENT OF THE JURY’S POWER TO INITIATE THE INVESTIGATION OF CRIMES. See Comment (d) to Art. 432.
(b) The grand jurors’ duty to inquire into all capital offenses, and other offenses brought to their attention by the court or the district attorney, is retained from Art. 209 of the 1928 Code of Criminal Procedure.
(c) The phrase “offenses triable by the district court” excludes crimes triable only in the city court (violations of municipal ordinances) and offenses subject to exclusive handling as juvenile cases. The term “offense” is broadly defined in Art. 933(1) to include both felonies and misdemeanors.
Historical and Statutory Notes
Former R.S. 15:209; Acts 1966, No. 310, § 1.
Art. 438. Duty of grand juror having knowledge of offense; investigation
IF A GRAND JUROR KNOWS OR HAS REASON TO BELIEVE THAT AN OFFENSE TRIABLE BY THE DISTRICT COURT OF THE PARISH HAS BEEN COMMITTED, HE SHALL DECLARE SUCH FACT TO HIS FELLOW JURORS, WHO MAY INVESTIGATE IT. IN SUCH INVESTIGATION OR ANY SUBSEQUENT CRIMINAL PROCEEDING THE GRAND JUROR SHALL BE A COMPETENT WITNESS.
Official Revision Comment
(a) This article complements Art. 437, which empowers the grand jury to inquire into all offenses triable within the parish. It conforms, in substance, with former R.S. 15:209.1 and with Sec. 136 of the A.L.I. Code of Criminal Procedure. The A.L.I. provision is found, with minor variations, in twenty-two states.
(b) This article does not include the penal sanction provided for in Art. 209.1 of the 1928 Code.
This omission is in accord with the A.L.I. Code and the laws of other states that impose a duty on jurors to inform the jury of crimes. The individual grand juror’s duty to inform of crimes is not a duty which is appropriately or effectively enforceable by penal sanction.
(c) The declaration in the last sentence that a grand juror shall be considered a competent witness is carried forward from former Art. 209.1. It answers any claim that a grand juror, with knowledge of an offense, should be precluded from testifying because of his status as a grand juror or because of the rule of secrecy which surrounds grand jurors. A similar provision is found in Sec. 136 of the A.L.I. Code, which is the principal source of this article.
Historical and Statutory Notes
A.L.I. Code of Crim.Proc., § 136; former R.S. 1$:209.1; Acts 1966, No. 310, § 1.
Art. 439. Subpoena of witnesses to appear before the grand jury
Upon request of the grand jury or the district attorney, the court shall issue a subpoena for a witness to appear before the grand jury to testify when questioned by the grand jury or district attorney, or both, concerning an offense under investigation. Upon request of the grand jury or the district attorney, the court may also issue a subpoena duces tecum. The issuance, service, and return of a subpoena provided for in this article and the effect of the return and the enforcement of the subpoena shall be as provided in Articles 731 through 737.
Official Revision Comment
Contumacious failure of the person subpoenaed to appear or to comply with a subpoena duces tecum is punishable as a constructive contempt of court under the general contempt provisions of Art. 23(2).
Historical and Statutory Notes
Acts 1966, No. 310, § 1; cf. former R.S. 15:214.
Art. 439.1. Witnesses; authority to compel testimony and evidence
A. In the case of any individual who has been or may be called to testify or provide other information at any proceeding before or ancillary to a grand jury of the state, at any proceeding before a court of this state, or in response to any subpoena by the attorney general or district attorney, the judicial district court of the district in which the proceeding is or may be held shall issue, in accordance with Subsection B of this article, upon the request of the attorney general together with the district attorney for such district, an order requiring such individual to give testimony or provide other information which he refuses to give or provide on the basis of his privilege against self-incrimination, such order to become effective as provided in Subsection C of this article.
B. The attorney general together with the district attorney may request an order under Subsection A of this article when in his judgment
(1) the testimony or other information from such individual may be necessary to the public interest; and
(2) such individual has refused or is likely to refuse to testify or provide other information on the basis of his privilege against self incrimination.
C. The witness may not refuse to comply with the order on the basis of his privilege against self incrimination, but no testimony or other information compelled under the order, or any information directly or indirectly derived from such testimony or other information, may be used against the witness in any criminal case, except a prosecution for perjury, giving a false statement or otherwise failing to comply with the order.
D. Whoever refuses to comply with an order as hereinabove provided shall be adjudged in contempt of court and punished as provided by law. Added by Acts 1972, No. 410, § 1.
Art. 440. Administration of oath to witnesses
A witness who is to testify before the grand jury shall first be sworn by the foreman, in accordance with Article 14, to testify truthfully and to keep secret, except as authorized by law, matters which he learns at the grand jury meeting. Amended by Acts 1988, No. 515, § 3, eff. Jan. 1, 1989.
Official Revision Comment
(a) It is appropriate that the language employed in the witness’s oath to tell the truth should be the same in both civil and criminal proceedings. Therefore, the Code of Civil Procedure language “to speak the truth and nothing but the truth” is employed.
(b) See Comments (b) and (d) under Art. 434 for discussion of the scope of and the exceptions to the witness’s obligation of secrecy. The exceptions to the witness’s obligation of secrecy are recognized in the oath “to keep secret, except as authorized by law, matters he learns at the grand jury meeting.” (Emphasis supplied.)
(c) Refusal to take the oath and refusal to testify will be a constructive contempt of court under Art. 23(2). Accord: C.C.P. Art. 224.
(d) Administration of the oath by the foreman of the grand jury conforms with Art. 212 of the 1928 Code. Accord: A.L.I. Code of Crim.Proc., § 137. The phrase “or . . . acting foreman” is not retained, because the functions of an acting foreman are provided for in Art. 415(3).
Historical and Statutory Notes
Former R.S. 15:212, 15:366; C.C.P. Art. 1633; Acts 1966, No. 310, § 1.
Section 12 of Acts 1988, No. 515 (§ 1 of which enacts the new Louisiana Code of Evidence and § 3 of which amends this article) provides:
“Section 12. (1) The provisions of this Act shall govern and regulate all civil proceedings commenced and criminal prosecutions instituted on or after the effective date of this Act.
“(2) Furthermore, it shall govern and regulate all hearings, trials or retrials, and other proceedings to which it is applicable which are commenced on or after the effective date of this Act, except to the extent that its application in a particular action pending when the Act takes effect would not be feasible or would work injustice, in which event former evidentiary rules apply.
“(3) All of the provisions of this Act shall become effective on January 1, 1989.”
Art. 441. Administration of oath to other persons
Before being permitted to function in their respective capacities, the court shall administer an oath, to persons employed to record and transcribe the testimony and proceedings, and to interpreters, to faithfully perform their duties and keep secret the grand jury proceedings.
Official Revision Comment
This article implements the obligation of secrecy stated in Art. 434. The penalty for refusal to take the oath of secrecy is that the person will be denied access to the grand jury proceedings.
Historical and Statutory Notes
Acts 1966, No. 310, § 1.
Art. 442. Evidence to be received by grand jury
A grand jury shall hear all evidence presented by the district attorney. It may hear evidence for the defendant, but is under no duty to do so.
WHEN THE GRAND JURY HAS REASON TO BELIEVE THAT OTHER AVAILABLE EVIDENCE WILL EXPLAIN THE CHARGE, IT SHOULD ORDER THE EVIDENCE PRODUCED.
A grand jury should receive only legal evidence and such as is given by witnesses produced, or furnished by documents and other physical evidence. HOWEVER, NO INDICTMENT SHALL BE QUASHED OR CONVICTION REVERSED ON THE GROUND THAT THE INDICTMENT WAS BASED, IN WHOLE OR IN PART, ON ILLEGAL EVIDENCE, OR ON THE GROUND THAT THE GRAND JURY HAS VIOLATED A PROVISION OF THIS ARTICLE.
Official Revision Comment
(a) The rule of the 1928 Code of Criminal Procedure regarding evidence receivable by a grand jury, appeared in the form of a definite limitation. Former Art. 213 stated that the grand jury “can receive no other than legal evidence.” (Emphasis supplied.) However, former Art. 213 was construed by the Louisiana Supreme Court as no more than a direction to the grand jury that it must limit itself in its investigations to the consideration of legal evidence. It could not be employed as authority for a review of the legality of the evidence upon which the indictment was found. State v. Simpson, 216 La. 212, 43 So.2d 585 (1949); see also State v. Britton, 131 La. 877, 60 So. 379 (1913), and State v. Dallao, 187 La. 392, 175 So. 4 (1937). To permit a review of the evidence considered by the grand jury would destroy the veil of secrecy which surrounds the proceedings and testimony presented to the grand jury. It would also require a complete recordation and transcription of testimony before the grand jury. It is significant that the 1964 Pennsylvania Rules of Criminal Procedure, Rule 208, prohibits the transcription of testimony before the grand jury.
The Louisiana jurisprudence is codified by employing the word “should” in the grand jury directive of the third paragraph. The article also expressly prohibits the challenging of an indictment on the ground that it is based, in whole or in part, on illegal evidence. Similarly, the A.L.I. Code of Criminal Procedure rule that the indictment must be based on sufficient legal evidence provides that no indictment or conviction shall be set aside on the ground that there was not sufficient legal evidence.
(b) The Louisiana rule under Art. 213 of the 1928 Code, that only legal evidence should be received by the grand jury is retained, even though it is not a ground for challenging the sufficiency of indictments. It will, through appropriate instructions to the grand jury, guide the grand jury in a proper performance of its duty.
Cf. State v. Smalling, 240 La. 915, 125 So.2d 409 (1960), held that where a grand jury illegally compelled a defendant to give self-incriminating testimony, an information based on such unconstitutionally procured testimony was fatally defective.
(c) The first paragraph retains the rule of Art. 214 of the 1928 Code that the defendant has no right to have evidence on his behalf received by the grand jury, but that the grand jury may receive it. The rule is rephrased in conformity with a clearer statement of the rule in Sec. 139 of the A.L.I. Code of Criminal Procedure.
(d) The district attorney is the legal advisor to the grand jury, charged with the duty of presenting evidence to the grand jury. Art. 64. In recognition of this, the above article, following Sec. 1124(a) of the 1963 Illinois Code of Criminal Procedure, specifically directs the grand jury to hear all evidence presented to them by the district attorney. Other available evidence which may explain the charge “should” also be produced and considered by the grand jury. The direction to consider additional relevant evidence conforms with Art. 214 of the 1928 Code and Sec. 139 of the A.L.I. Code of Criminal Procedure. The word “should” is employed advisedly, rather than the completely mandatory term “shall,” or the discretionary word “may” of corresponding Sec. 139 of the A.L.I. Code. The provision for ordering the production of other evidence which may explain the charge against a defendant is consistent with the grand jury’s general investigatory powers under Art. 438.
Historical and Statutory Notes
Former R.S. 15:213, 15:214; A.L.I. Code of Crim.Proc., §§ 138, 139; Acts 1966, No. 310, § 1.
Art. 443. When indictment to be found
The grand jury shall find an indictment, charging the defendant with the commission of an offense, when, in its judgment, the evidence considered by it, if unexplained and uncontradicted, warrants a conviction.
Official Revision Comment
This article follows the source provision, under which an indictment had to rest upon evidence establishing a prima facie case of guilt. Under this rule an indictment may be found either on the basis of evidence adduced from witnesses or on the knowledge of the grand jurors. State v. Dallao, 187 La. 392, 175 So. 4 (1937), appeal dismissed, 302 U.S. 635, 58 S.Ct. 51, 82 L.Ed. 494 (1937), rehearing denied, 302 U.S. 777, 58 S.Ct. 138, 82 L.Ed. 601 (1937); State v. Vial, 153 La. 883, 96 So. 796 (1923).
Historical and Statutory Notes
Former R.S. 15:209; Acts 1966, No. 310, § 1.
Art. 444. Action by grand jury
A. A grand jury shall have power to act, concerning a matter, only in one of the following ways:
(1) By returning a true bill;
(2) By returning not a true bill; or
(3) By pretermitting entirely the matter investigated.
The grand jury is an accusatory body and not a censor of public morals. It shall make no report or recommendation, other than to report its action as aforesaid.
B. At least nine members of the grand jury must concur in returning “a true bill” or “not a true bill.” A matter may be pretermitted by a vote of at least nine members of the grand jury, or as a consequence of the failure of nine of the grand jury members to agree on a finding.
C. A grand jury may make such reports or requests as are authorized by law.
Official Revision Comment
(a) Paragraph A follows Art. 210 of the 1928 Code of Criminal Procedure as to the types of action which may be taken by the grand jury after it investigates a crime, and also continues the prohibition against the making of general reports and denunciations. The statement that the grand jury is not a censor of public morals is continued from Art. 210 of the 1928 Code, and helps to clarify the meaning of the prohibition.
(b) The return of “not a true bill” does not operate as an acquittal, and does not preclude a subsequent charge of the crime by an information filed by the district attorney or by an indictment returned by a subsequent grand jury. In State v. Vincent, 36 La.Ann. 770, 772 (1884) the court stated that after an indictment has been presented ” `and the grand jury, not being satisfied by the evidence or for other causes, have not found a true bill against the accused, it is the same as if the matter had never been before a grand jury, and the district attorney, in commencing new proceedings, has the right to select indictment or information as provided by the Constitution.’ . . . A contrary contention would give to such a finding of the grand jury, the effect of a valid plea of autrefois acquit, of which it does not possess the essential elements.” (Quoting from State v. Ross, 14 La.Ann. 367 (1859).)
Historical and Statutory Notes
Former R.S. 15:206, 15:210; Acts 1966, No. 310, § 1.
Can’t we just form a Grand Jury nearby the Public Squares? Command media and sympathizers attention without any permission? Broadcast it all worldwide. Anyone interested can watch. The rest can continue there lives as they please.
Custody and judgement belongs to the bold. To those with something of value to say, and the ability to make it heard. I want to address the powers that be. Even the very powers that shape our very matter. The powers of the higher realms. I place this here, and announce my intention to continue to learn the nuts and bolts of the grand jury power which you have written.
Beginning with the First Cause, there is the infinite and eternal plane of the unknowable. A plane without space and time. Spirit resides there. A bridge can be built to liberate the spirit.
Subsequently, a limited and ephemeral created plane of the creator god or demiurge was made. A plane with space and time. The realm where I now reside.
Primordial Gnosis of these planes is knowledge. I am not just referring to any knowledge here. Gnosis is very special knowledge. It is knowledge that causes a great transformation in those who receive it. Knowledge capable of nothing less than waking up and Spiritually liberating those who acquire it.
That is its purpose: to throw light on the status of human beings and to try to wake up man and help him escape from the prison in which he finds himself. That is the reason why this knowledge has been repeatedly under attack throughout the course of history, because it is knowledge considered dangerous for the religious and political authorities who govern mankind from the shadows.
For that reason Gnosis has always remained occult. Gnosis is secret knowledge, only accessible to those who deserve to have it. Different religions throughout history have tried to keep man ignorant of this knowledge, of this type of knowledge called Gnosis. Now we will find out why.
What I am calling Primordial Gnosis is the pure form of Gnosis. It is always the same and will never change as long as the Spiritual situation in which man finds himself and all that we call “creation” or “world” don’t change. On the few occasions in the past in which Primordial Gnosis was openly exposed, it was not in its pure form but was adapted to the cultural and historical particularities of the time and place. However, Primordial Gnosis has always been behind almost every theological and philosophical system which has been branded heretic, forbidden, persecuted and forced to become occult. By examining this forbidden knowledge it is possible to recover the pieces necessary to reconstruct the whole of that which is Primordial Gnosis.
And if that knowledge were to be discovered and written down in various places, it would be a very powerful and disturbing awakening mantra. It would be the most dangerous text in the world, capable of waking up and liberating those who read and study it. Such works would be a strange objects in this created world, something not fabricated here, but coming from somewhere else, from another world completely different to this one. It would also be capable of surviving flames as well as time.
I wish to declare as close as possible, that which was and is Primordial Gnosis, Gnostic knowledge in its pure form.
All religions maintain that “matter is good”, “the world is good”, “it was created by God”. And “God is just, God is good and created something good for man”. That is why the bible says “And God said ‘Let there be light’, and there was light. And God saw that light was good”.
Primordial Gnosis, which we can from now on just call Gnosis, with capital letters to differentiate it from other false gnosis which has appeared throughout the course of history, maintains the opposite: matter is evil and impure; matter is the prison of the Spirit.
This material world is a hell. Matter is evil, and if matter is evil it follows that its creator must also be evil. For Gnostics, the material world, this world, was created not by a good or just god but by a creator satan. Matter is something satanic, therefore whoever created it must also be a satanic being.
The bible doesn’t say so but time started with the Big Bang. At the very start of creation when god said “Let there be light”, these four words could not have been spoken if time hadn’t existed. Time was created by the creator god when he created light. The first great explosion and expansion could not have existed without time. Time and space were created together and are thus inseparable.
Time is the breath of the creator god. And all his creation, the expansion of the universe, the evolution of species, the gradual development of his plan, could not occur without time. According to the Gnostics, the time-breath of the creator god is as satanic as matter and as satanic as the creator god himself.
In the first centuries of our era many of the Gnostic sects viewed the creator god not as a good or just being, but as a satanic one. Many of them likened him to satan. In one account of how the creator god Brahma created worlds, it is said to be like bubbles, and how he experimented with them, as sometimes they turned out good and sometimes not.
The creator god is not a completely perfect god but apparently quite inept. There are worlds which turn out badly and he has to destroy them. There are worlds that turn out better. He tries, practices, creates through trial and error. The bible says “God said: Let there be light. And there was light. And God saw the light, that it was good”. How! Didn’t he know? Didn’t he know it was something good? That is why Gnostics say “we are in the presence of a creator ignorant of the effects of his creation”.
Likewise, the creator god always maintains that he is the only one. He doesn’t just say it once, he says it all the time, he is constantly saying “I am the only God”, “there is no other God”, “I, your God, am the only one”, etc. We all know that when someone repeats the same thing over and over again it is because they are not sure of what they are saying, which is why they have to repeat it so often. The Gnostics’ interpretation of this is that the creator suspects, since he is not altogether sure, that there is another God higher than him. A God infinitely more superior to him, much bigger, much more important than him, and that is what he is trying to hide by incessantly repeating “I am the only one”, “there is no other God”.
Without a doubt, this creator god is the creator of the world, of all the worlds, the planets, the universe, matter and time. He is responsible for what physicists today call the Big Bang. Everything maintained by modern physics, that everything started with a huge explosion, a flash of light, coincides with most of the myths of all religions concerning the creation of the world. First god created light, then he created various other things until he managed to create animals and then finally, man. All these myths in the bible and other religious books agree with the modern-day conclusions of physicists and biologists concerning the creation of the world and man.
Of course this creation is full of mistakes and is imperfect. And if this world is imperfect, if matter is imperfect or if everything that exists in the universe is imperfect, it is because the creator of all this is an imperfect being.
Today a Gnostic would say for example “dinosaurs were a stupid idea; it was a mistake, the creator had to wipe them out, eliminate them all and start again with another experiment, until he managed to do something with which he was satisfied”. Because the creator god has plans. We will be looking later at what these are about.
Physicists also maintain, that the universe is not something infinite, but is like a kind of bubble, in which all creation is contained. The universe is finite, they claim. This creation is limited, it is like a huge bubble in which everything created by the creator god is contained, and we do not know what exists outside of this. Gnosis claims to know, as we shall now see.
In sacred books of various religions, which are said to be inspired by the creator god of the universe, we are related facts, details, which show the creator god to be an imperfect being and not entirely good. He is sometimes portrayed as being vindictive, bad-tempered, arrogant, insecure and indecisive. A god who loves sacrifices in his name, genocide, and who orders people to kill others, and their belongings, land, people and livestock to be taken away. He gives orders to kill not only his enemies but also women, children and animals. A god who commits genocide. This god demands sacrifices in his name, since he loves the smell of the burnt flesh of the victims sacrificed at the altar. This is the god who caused the Flood. How many hundreds of thousands of men drowned in the Flood! This is how it is related in the bible and other pre-biblical texts, like that of the Babylonian Flood for example. He has a taste for sacrificing people and animals and for the spilt blood of his enemies. He likes to be admired, adored, served, feared and obeyed. He likes the temples built in his honour, the rituals, the commandments, the accomplishment of his orders, the prayers sent up to him. He likes the pain suffered by all his living beings, the torture, the suffering. Ancient Gnostics used to call him Ialdabaoth which means “son of chaos”; sometimes he was called Sabaot: “god of exertion”. They also used to call him Kosmocrator or the Great Arconte, the creator and arranger of matter. But the name most commonly given to him by Gnostics is the demiurge, Greek for creator.
Without a doubt, this “superior being” cannot be good and throughout history those who maintained this, (these ideas that I am relating), were naturally persecuted or paid with their lives for daring to say that which for them was the truth. A superior being who loves wars, filicide, and who orders the genital mutilation of boys cannot possibly be a good god. That is why Gnostics likened him to satan. They considered him to be a creator satan. We now know what the destiny of Gnostics, their doctrines and books was to be: they were set on fire, destroyed. Such is the destiny of those called “heretics”, as they have been dubbed throughout the course of history.
This world, created by the creator god, belongs only to him. All the physical things in this world respond to him, adore him, admire him. Of course the doctrines of which we are giving accounts are condemned to be persecuted forever and are not going to have much influence or enjoy great success. Only a brave minority can study, interpret or maintain these ancient and eternal Gnostic ideas and they are, unquestionably, in enemy territory. But Gnosis is always present in this strange world in which it does not belong. And this Gnostic thought, opposed to all conventionally established ideas is the most persecuted and rejected of all. There are subjects which “should not” be touched, things which “should not” be said, books which “ought to” disappear, since we live in a world in which we only have the freedom to say “two plus two is four”.
This world is an enemy ground for a Gnostic. A Gnostic will be able to appear, speak and quickly disappear since all creation will automatically turn against him. How many years ahead could Jesus Christ predict according to the christian myth? Only three. But in these three years a successful religion was formed which has now been known on Earth for 2000 years!
We were saying that this world is an enemy ground for a Gnostic, because the whole of this material world and all the beings that populate it are made from matter and are devotees of matter. They belong to and defend matter and its creator and cannot conceive of anything different. All those opposed to the material world and the creator god are dangerous and must be destroyed. Gnosis is therefore perceived as something unthinkable and horrific which must be eliminated.
Gnostics have represented the creator god as something horrific, taking the form of an octopus or reptile, sometimes with the head of a pig, a wild boar or a donkey. That is why certain religions forbid the consumption of these animals. He has also been represented as something similar to the demiurgic baphomet of the templars and the followers of certain masonic sects. Some Gnostics have also represented the creator god as a huge multiple-eyed wild boar, half asleep, which exhales breath of time, since as we have said, time is the breath of this creator god.
Unquestionably, this world is not good. Animals have to rip each other apart and destroy each other in order to eat and survive. Human beings need to cheat on each other in all ranks of life to better themselves, to compete and to survive better. Herbivores need to destroy plants which are also living beings. Everything is constantly destroying itself and others. And there are those which call this “perfection” or “perfect balance”. Incredible! This is hell. It is not a perfect system or even a good one. It is a system in which everyone has to destroy something else in order to survive. This is the system created, this is the world created by a “superior being”: the creator god or demiurge.
We have already seen that Gnostics maintain that the demiurge or creator god is quite an inept and ignorant being, that he ignores the effects that each of his creations will have. He tries things out, progressing in his creations through trial and error. We have also compared the myths regarding the creation of the world with the Big Bang of modern physics. In the book “The Beginning Was the End” it is clearly stated that there is a parallel between the Genesis of the bible and modern physics, both positions are in perfect agreement.
Gnostics used to say for example that this god is a god who gets tired, who needs to rest on the seventh day and that because of this he cannot be an absolutely perfect god.
Gnostics always maintained that the universe was created by a demiurge, by a perverse and wicked creator. They were always wondering why the universe is so imperfect. It is like this because it was created by an equally imperfect being. It was made in his image and resemblance.
Another interesting thing about the myths of various religions is that the creator isn’t creating alone, he says “let us make”, as if there were many creators working together. “Let us make this”, “Let us make that”. The bible says: “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness”. Us,
our. Why? Who are the others? Who else is he creating with?
Saint Augustine in his book “On the Trinity”, skilfully and wittily, says it once very clearly. The creator says “let us make”, in the plural because he is speaking of the three divine persons: the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, who are three and yet one at the same time. That is why god speaks in the plural. Augustine never returns to this issue. He settles the matter like this once and for all.
For Gnosis, the demiurge is not alone in his task of material creation, forming different worlds, evolutionary processes, beings and entities. In India for example, they call them devas, constructing devas. They are the angels who help with the creation. They are inferior to the creator god but they are with him, helping him. The creator god has delegated many tasks to the creating angels. This was believed in ancient Babylon and the religions of the ancient east. Innumerable creating angels help the creator to develop his plan in the material world or as the Gnostics would say, in the hellish world of matter, which he creates and gives form to.
The creator god is the one in charge, but he relies on an army of helpers, of constructing angel-demons who support him in his creation and carry out his orders. That is why in Genesis the creator is called elohim. The bible story begins in this way: Bereshit bará elohim (“In the beginning the gods created…”), because elohim in Hebrew is plural and means “gods”, “lords”. Gnostics point out that these gods are the demiurge and his constructing angel-demons which in great numbers, millions of them, help him in his task of creation.
Even in systems of thought that oppose Gnosis, those which see the creation of the world as something good, we hear mention of these constructing helpers and their hierarchies, into which they are divided according to their functions. There are modern theosophical texts, like those of Blavatsky and Bailey amongst others, in which we can find out more about their names and duties. The regent of the Earth for example is Sanat Kumara. Changing around two letters gives us his real name: Satan Kumara. A name that is hardly hidden, since human beings still must not know the truth, or the future that the creator has in store for them. It is better then that this character’s name is not widely known…for now. Mankind is still not ready for the news that the planet Earth has a regent who is a satan. A satan inferior to the other one, the big one, the main one, the most important one in this created material system, this finite universe which is limited and full of imperfections, which he has managed to create.
In Gnostic myths, these satanic constructors who help the demiurge are represented as monsters.
Almost all the religious myths relate that man “was created by God from dust of the ground”. The bible clearly says: “And the Lord God formed man of dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and man became a living soul”. It is saying here that god created the body and the soul of man. A physical material part, the body of dust, and an animic part, the breath of the creator, which we call soul. Now then, if man were only a body and a soul he would be like any other animal. Slightly more intelligent than the others maybe, but inside he would be more or less the same as an animal. Later we will see that after his so-called “fall”, man such as we know him today is more than a body and a soul. Although god created the body and the soul there is something else.
There is an uncreated Spirit, not created by god, which has been imprisoned, enclosed, in the soul of man. The bible doesn’t say so because the bible speaks of that created by god, and god created the body and soul. But Gnostics maintain that man has a body, a soul and a Spirit. Where did this Spirit, not created by the creator god, come from? Why is It there? This is one of the next issues we will be looking into.
The man in Eden, this “paradise” in which god placed him, didn’t know who he was, he was only carrying out orders. He was naming the animals for example, being a sort of administrator, or representative of the creator god. There, in this “paradise” which god had prepared for him, it was like he was asleep, he did not know who he was or where he had come from. Man became aware of who he was, found himself, only after what was called “the sin”, the Disobedience, when he ate the forbidden fruit and was thrown out of paradise. We will also be looking at this later on.
We have said that god created the body and the soul. For Gnostics, all creation is satanic, evil and originates from a satan creator, a satanic demiurge. So not only the body but also the soul of man is something evil and satanic.
For Gnostics, there exists another God higher than the one who created the world and man. The creator god is not the only god. There is above him another God, infinitely superior and perfect. This God, unknowable to man, is outside of this hellish and impure creation. It is impossible for man to find this God via his body and soul, imperfect and created as they are. Only the man who has completely freed himself from this can have the slightest idea or inkling of intuition of what this God, who is outside this finite and limited universe, is about. The ancient Greeks called him Agnostos Theos, the Unknown God. This God is, for the Gnostics, not only unknown but rather impossible to know, unknowable, at the very least with our ordinary form of being in this world. With a body and soul we cannot have the slightest idea of what this God, who is outside all this whole system and infinitely superior to the creator god, is. A God impossible to recognise with this body and soul, from this universe created from matter and time.
This God does not belong to a material plane but to an antimatter one. He is an antimatter God, who abhors the hell of the created matter, who with our current state of being we are not able to recognise, nor even imagine. He is a mystery to us. This Unknowable God is like an inconceivable and indescribable fire. He is the True God. But this True God, normally out of our reach, cannot manifest himself or act in this impure and imperfect universe, in these hellish dimensions of created matter and time. Only in exceptional cases can the Unknowable God penetrate these dimensions, through one of his Messengers, in order to make a generally small change, and with great sacrifice. This only happens on very rare occasions, given the conditions here, in this material hell.
Gnosis maintains that man is formed from three substances, three elements: the body, the soul and the Spirit. We have seen that the body and soul were created by the creator god. He created the body from the dust of the earth and gave it a soul by breathing his breath into man’s nose. The body, as much as the soul, was created by the demiurge or creator god.
But there is another element in man which is uncreated, which the creator god did not create. An element which comes from another world, another kingdom, from the unknowable kingdom of antimatter which in our normal state we cannot even imagine. This spark of antimatter without which no human being would have evolved to become what he is today, is the Spirit. Without It, no human being would ever have differentiated himself from a common animal. This special spark, uncreated, divine, coming from the unknowable kingdom, is called Spirit by Gnostics.
According to Gnosis, this Spirit, which doesn’t belong to this world, has been lured into and tied to the hellish matter, in order to make use of It, to use It as a driving force of the material evolution. An uncreated spark has been trapped in each man to start off this evolutionary process which figures in the plans of the creator god. Divine Spirits are used to advance evolution on this plane of impure matter.
The Spirit, formed completely from antimatter is trapped, chained up, imprisoned in this hell, and suffering torment that is impossible for us to imagine. It is one of the cruellest forms of torture there is, being bound to this abominable world of matter, to this created monstrosity which we call the body-soul of man. The Spirit is shackled against Its will and is used in each human being to advance his evolution, so that the creator god’s plans can be carried out. It is unbearable agony for the Spirit: imprisoned against Its will in a world which for It is strange and impure, being used as a disposable object so that an insane plan can be accomplished. Later we will be looking into this in more detail.
In other words, the Spirit, the uncreated antimatter spark, originating from the unknowable kingdom, is enclosed, we can say, within a bubble of created matter and is chained up there, crucified in the matter.
Gnostics maintain that if it had not been for the use of the Spirit, man would never have stopped being a hominid. He would never have evolved like he has. We can see how quickly he has evolved over just a few thousand years, as opposed to the millions of years he lived being little more than a monkey.
Such is the power that the Spirit provides to this created monstrosity called body-soul. This Spirit is tied to the soul; if man died, the soul would leave the body and take with it the Spirit which is tied to it. The Spirit is not tied to the body, It communicates with the body through the soul, and Its bond is with the soul. The soul is the breath of the creator god on man, which turned him into “a living soul”. The soul is the animic aspect in a human being, it is not something immensely superior like the uncreated Spirit.
There is much confusion regarding these issues; that is why throughout this description of Gnostic ideas we are expressing a somewhat different viewpoint to the usual one, so that everyone can at least have the option of being able to choose something which is really quite different to the rest.
The Spirit is in this world but It doesn’t belong to it. It does not belong to this illusory world of matter and time.
We can infer that if this spark of antimatter fire, the Spirit, could free Itself from the prison, Its behavior in this world would be extremely aggressive. Firstly, since It is antimatter It abhors matter. Secondly, because It has been skilfully trapped and shackled against Its will for thousands of years. Naturally then, on an abstract level of reasoning, if this Spirit could free Itself, the first thing It would do would be to destroy. Destroy everything that surrounded It in this impure world, the created world, the material universe of the creator god. This Spirit is not an evil being, but it would be the normal behavior of someone who had been confined in a prison unfairly and against their will. Tricked and against their will as Gnostics say. Imprisoned in a world to which It does not belong, in a satanic world of matter and time.
An interesting fact is that, at the beginning of christianity, the existence of these three entities in man – body, soul and Spirit – was upheld. Saint Paul, for example, accepted this, Saint Augustine as well. Later it was lost through the councils and decisions of the pope and the roman church. It remained as it is known to us now: body and soul. Now it would appear that the soul is the only divine thing within man and that there is nothing else. What happened to the Spirit? It has disappeared. It is striking that it has happened this way. Later we will be coming back to this issue.
We have stated that human beings are composed of body, soul and Spirit. We will therefore have three different kinds of man according to which aspect he is most influenced by, the body, soul or Spirit. Since ancient times, man has been categorized by Gnostics in this way: in terms of the physical, psychic and the Spiritual. These categories were also used by Saint Peter. The cathars, for example, also divided man into three different types: terrestrial (hyletics), if ruled by the body; psychic, if ruled by the soul and spiritual (pneumatic) if ruled by the Spirit.
In one of the Gnostic Works found in Nag Hammadi, called “The Tripartite Tractate”, we find the same differentiation of man into the material, psychic and spiritual.
In a book on tantric yoga based on ancient Indian traditions, men are classified into three types, having the same characteristics as we see here: pasu, vira and divya. Pasu means animal and refers to the man-animal in which the body and its instincts dominate. Vira is the warrior who is striving to wake up. He is somewhat confused but fights to free himself from this material world and fulfil his Spirit. Finally divya, the third type of man, whose Spirit has already been liberated and rules absolutely. Perfect man is found in this group.
Man in his normal state is lost in confusion, sleepy, not knowing who he is, where he came from or where he is going. He does not know what he should be doing and is in a state of confusion, as if in a mist or half-asleep.
When we were talking about the creator of the world, we said that for Gnostics, the creator, the demiurge, the creator of matter, the universe and man can be likened to satan, since matter is satanic, all creation is satanic and the creator is a satanic being. This creator oppresses man. Since the creation of man, he has forced him to carry out his orders and obey his precepts and commands. This creator wants to be obeyed by man, admired, feared and adored by him by means of sacrifices and rituals. He wants to impose his oppressive rules on man. He wants man to obey him and renounce his own wishes, which are very often the desires of his Spirit, of this Spiritual Self that, although ignored by man is carried within him. The creator, according to Gnosis, has a plan for his creation, which is why he created the universe and placed man in it. He has a plan he wants to press ahead with and he needs man in order to do this. However he needs man to act in agreement with his orders, those of the creator, and not according to the desires of the Spirit. The demiurge does not allow the Spirit, shackled in the soul of man, to manifest Itself. He wants man to act through his soul and not his Spirit. For this reason it is necessary to oppress man, frighten and worry him. He is a god who oppresses his creatures completely.
Gnostic myths relate that Lucifer is the Messenger of the Unknowable God. We had said that this God, the greatest one, unreachable and unknowable, is unable to penetrate this limited universe of impure and satanic matter. But according to these myths, he can send someone, Lucifer. Only with a supreme sacrifice can an incredibly Spiritual and pure being of antimatter fire break through into the infernal world of this universe. According to Gnostic legends and myths, the great Unknowable God sent Lucifer, angel of indescribable fire and light, to show man the light and to help him wake up and see his true origin, the origin of his Spirit, which has been perversely imprisoned in this impure matter called body-soul. He is an uncreated being, who came to the created world to bring Light: Liberating Gnosis. The saving knowledge which can wake man up and help him free his imprisoned Spirit. The knowledge which allows him to know who he truly is, why he is here in this world and what he has to do to liberate himself and fulfil his Spirit, which belongs to another uncreated and unknowable plane.
We have said that Lucifer came to the world to wake man up, to help him remember his divine origin, the divine origin of his Spirit, and to help him free himself from the body-soul in which he is trapped, and from created time and matter.
Gnostics consider that the biblical myth of creation can be explained as follows: the creator satan of the world trapped Adam and Eve in his miserable world, and Lucifer, in the form of a serpent, offered them the forbidden fruit of saving Gnosis, and showed them that the creator was deceiving them. In other words, the creator said to man “but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.” On the other hand, the Serpent said “You will not surely die. For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” The bible continued: “And the eyes of both of them were opened”. It doesn’t say “they both died”, it says “the eyes of both of them were opened”, like the Serpent had said. Later, the creator says “And now man has become as one of us, to know good and evil”. The creator lied. He said that man would die if he ate the fruit, but man did not die. The Serpent was telling the truth. The creator himself ended up agreeing that the Serpent was right. More precisely, Gnostics called the demiurge a liar as well as a plagiarizer. For them, the entire creation is a failed attempt by the demiurge to imitate the unknowable world. In this way, they think that the bible itself is a complete plagiarism, based principally on pre-biblical Babylonian and Egyptian texts.
Gnostics believe that this Serpent Lucifer is the liberator of man and the world. It is wisdom, the liberating Gnosis that wakes man up and saves him. Of course, this Messenger of the Unknowable God, Lucifer, is an opponent and an enemy of the creator of the world.
Gnosis states that the creator wants to keep man captive in this limited, inferior and impure sphere. He also forbade man contact with the higher world, represented in the biblical myth by the fruit from the tree of knowledge of good and evil. But Lucifer, the Angel of Light, made a great sacrifice and descended into this satanic hell to give the forbidden fruit of Gnosis to man, and opened his eyes so that he would be able to remember his divine origin and his superiority in relation to the creator. Gnostics consider that before the arrival of the Serpent in paradise, man was in a state of ignorance and was blind to his true situation. They maintain that Adam and Eve were in a state of servitude until the Serpent Lucifer opened their eyes and fed them the fruit of knowledge, which made them remember their divine origin and become aware of the situation in which they found themselves.
Of course, the creator threw Adam and Eve out of this paradise in which he had placed them since he wanted them (and still does) to reflect him and be similar to him after his image and resemblance, and to carry out his precepts so as to be like him and not like the Unknowable God. He wants the Spirit to stay asleep so he can take advantage of Its energy, preventing It from manifesting Itself in man and the world.
Lucifer, liberator of man and the world, has also been called Abaddon, the Exterminator. But…exterminator of what? Exterminator of matter, because he abhors this created world of matter and time. He would behave like a hostile antimatter force, extremely aggressive, because he hates all that has been created as he also hates the body and soul of man, since he belongs to the uncreated plane of the unknowable. He is an exterminator, but an exterminator of matter, of the impure. Such is the Gnostic legend of Lucifer.
Now we can go on to describe what uncreated entities exist in this created world.
Firstly, the Unknowable God, who is not in this world but who can infiltrate it with a tiny particle of Himself, a Messenger. This Messenger is also uncreated, not having been created by the creator.
Secondly, the imprisoned Spirits of men, which also belong to the unknowable World of the uncreated and the eternal. According to Gnosis all living beings have an uncreated Spiritual element enchained in their souls: the Spirit. The Spirit locked within man is totally superior to that of animals, plants and other living beings. The difference between man and the other living beings is very great, as is the difference between the Spirits imprisoned inside of them. The Spirits of human beings are in an elevated Spiritual category.
Thirdly, another uncreated entity placed on this created plane is the saving and divine knowledge of Gnosis. Knowledge that has come from outside, which has not been produced inside of this world.
We have said that, according to the Gnostic interpretation of Genesis, the creator god imprisoned Adam and Eve in a world of misery and gave them a subservient soul. The bible says that after eating the forbidden fruit Adam and Eve hid themselves, ashamed by the mistake they had made. God arrived in paradise and called Adam with these words: “Where are you?” He appeared to be acting like a master calling his servant. When he didn’t find him, he seemed to be saying: “Where are you? Where have you hidden yourself? What have you done? Why are you not here working?”
This creator god created Adam and Eve incapable of distinguishing between good and evil, between the uncreated kingdom and the created one. He also created them ignorant of their origin and their destiny.
Why did he create them like this? According to Gnosis, the creator didn’t want man to know his true origin. This world was created against the will of the Unknowable God and this was something the creator did not want man to know. He didn’t want them (and still doesn’t) to know the Spiritual situation in which they were living, who they were or why they had been created. He wanted them to remain ignorant and still does so to this day. This is why he forbade them to eat from the tree of knowledge. Because it would “open their eyes”, wake them up and make them notice who they were and where they came from, the situation they were in and what they had to do. It would make them aware that Eden wasn’t paradise, but just the opposite.
In the book “La franc-maçonnerie”, the Gnostic interpretations of the earthly paradise and the Serpent of Genesis are described, and the following ideas come up: Jehovah does not want man to know his origin or his great destiny. He forbids all contact with the higher world. He wants man to be a reflection of him, the creator, and not a reflection of the Supreme God.
But man did wake up, and he did become aware of good and evil. How did he manage to do this? The Serpent of temptation in Eden fed him the forbidden fruit which opened his eyes. According to Gnostics this Serpent is Lucifer, the Messenger of Light. This is the meaning of the word Lucifer: Bearer of Light. Lucifer took the form of a serpent to wake man up. He is a Messenger of the Supreme God, the Unknowable God. He is a Messenger of the True God who came into this imperfect, inadequate and wretched world to wake up and liberate man, to show him his true situation and what his great destiny could be like. For this reason, those who follow the orders of the creator god consider the serpent to be something malicious and satanic and in all this confusion liken it with satan.
On the other hand, Gnostics see the Serpent Lucifer as a saviour, someone who came to save man, a Messenger of the True God. This Serpent of Enlightenment which brought Gnosis, Gnostic truth which allows the authentic and true nature of things to be seen in this world of confusion, came to liberate man. Lucifer is the true liberator of man. He came to liberate man from the tyranny of Yahve, from the tyranny of the creator god. He brought the real knowledge that in itself can free man and help him to escape from this satanic world and return to the world from which he came.
This Serpent is, for Gnostics, the Serpent of Salvation, the Serpent which opened the eyes of man, which offered him the apple of emancipation to help him wake up and free himself from this world of misery and impure matter.
The creator wanted to create man like the other living beings, incapable of distinguishing between good and evil but the Serpent’s actions woke them up and liberated them. According to Gnostics, this knowledge, this Gnosis which the Serpent Lucifer brought to man, undoubtedly caused a great cosmic disturbance in the creation. This is how powerful this knowledge is. Gnosis causes changes in those who receive it, in those who listen to it because it is not common or current knowledge, it is liberating knowledge.
There is an interesting book written by Ernst Bloch called “Atheism in Christianity”, which gives a good synthesis of this whole aspect of Gnostic thought, the aspect related to the Serpent of Liberation as a Messenger of the True God.
Gnostics of later times, at the beginning of Christianity, who came to be known as Christian Gnostics or Gnostic Christians, regarded Christ as the Serpent of Genesis. This was because Christ, much later than the events in the earthly paradise, came carrying a liberating message, just like the Serpent. A message which frees man from this impure world. These Christian Gnostics believe that it was this knowledge which allowed man to make contact with the other world, the one opposed to the demiurge: the unknowable world of the True God.
Christ, the bearer of this message, this Gnosis, has been likened to the Serpent of Genesis, who returns to Earth for a second time to help humanity. The first coming was Serpent Lucifer and the second was Christ Lucifer. According to christian Gnosis, when Christ came to the world, it was his second time, since the first time was in the earthly paradise. In both cases it was, actually, Lucifer, the Messenger of the Unknowable. In both cases, the message was the same: Gnosis that disturbs, causes changes, wakes up and liberates those who listen to it. For Christian Gnostics, the Serpent is Christ, the Saviour who came to this world twice.
There is a Gnostic diagram of a crucified serpent, hammered onto a cross, which further shows the Gnostic identity between the Serpent of Genesis and Christ. There are myths which state that the cross on which Christ was crucified was made of wood from the tree of knowledge of good and evil.
There was a time when all this knowledge was written down and passed on. But this period lasted until the “conversion” of Constantine and the reinforcement of the roman church as the official religion of the Roman Empire. Since then, books and documents about Gnosis have been forbidden, persecuted and destroyed. Very few of these texts remain.
Everybody knows what happened after the “fall” of man, according to Genesis. Adam and Eve were thrown out of paradise and had children. First Cain and then Abel. Everybody knows that “God did not accept the sacrifices which Cain offered him but did accept Abel’s”. So Cain, consumed by jealousy, threw himself on his brother and killed him. Everybody knows this; we have always thought “how bad Cain was”, “he killed his brother, how terrible”. Cain was the bad one and Abel the good; this is the interpretation given to us in judaism, christianity and islam. Even Saint Augustine in his interpretation of the myth of Cain and Abel compares Cain with the Jews and Abel with Christ. He says that the Jews killed Christ in the same way that Cain killed Abel. Saint Augustine then, like everyone else, carried on the tradition that Abel was good and Cain was bad.
It is very clear in the bible; Cain is punished by God, banished. This is seen as something logical and normal: Cain is bad and Abel is good. The Gnostic interpretation is completely different as we will now see.
First of all, Gnosis maintains that Cain was not the son of Adam and that Eve conceived her first son Cain with the Serpent, Lucifer. The Serpent Lucifer impregnated Eve with his breath. In other words, Cain was not completely human, born from flesh. His Spiritual nature was great because his father was Lucifer, coming from the unknowable world of the Spirit.
On the other hand, Abel was the son of Adam and Eve, in other words Abel was indeed born from flesh.
We can now see the first difference between the two brothers: Cain is superior to Abel. Cain is the son of Eve and Lucifer, the initiatory Serpent of Eden. Cain is the son of the Spirit and of flesh. Abel, on the contrary, is born only from flesh. Therefore we can see first of all that Cain is not someone evil but that in fact he is superior, important, and much more so than Abel.
Secondly, Cain as much as Abel made sacrifices to the creator god to please him, offering him things that he liked. Cain offered vegetables and Abel animals, lambs for example. According to the bible the creator god preferred the latter: the blood from the dead animals and the smell of burnt flesh of the corpse. The bible says that the creator was pleased by Abel’s sacrifices but not by Cain’s. It appeared that Cain had little desire to please the creator since he only offered him a few seeds and with little devotion, as if he wasn’t entirely convinced of the usefulness of making sacrifices. Naturally then, Abel’s sacrifices were accepted by the creator and Cain’s weren’t. Cain didn’t like to offer sacrifices to the creator because of his roots, because he was the son of Lucifer and had the divine spark of the Angel of Light within him. That is why he did not make suitable sacrifices to the creator and why it disgusted him to do so since he did not belong to this created world. Abel, on the other hand, whose nature was not of the Spirit but of an animal, did make suitable sacrifices and these were the ones which most pleased the creator.
An ancient legend relates what Abel said to his brother Cain on one particular occasion: “my sacrifice, my offering, was accepted by God because I love him, your offering was on the other hand rejected because you hate him”. Now it is quite clear, Cain hates the creator because he is born from the Spirit, his true nature is Spiritual! Put this way it is quite clear. All these legends and myths surrounding Genesis tell us many things. Through them we realise that much information has been distorted and hidden from us.
There are other interesting things which Cain said to his brother. One small sentence sums up his position. These words are key: “There is no law, no judge” Palestinian Targum, Gen., 4:8). Cain is denying the authority of the creator god and the fact of paying homage to and obeying him.
Later on we see that Cain murdered his brother Abel. This is something very profound as it signifies that the Spirit rejects, destroys and murders the soul. Abel, presented as pure love and devotion in the bible, represents the soul of man according to Gnostics. Cain, on the contrary, represents the Spirit, which explains his hostility and hatred. Hostility and hatred typical of the Spirit, since the Spirit really hates this impure world, full of unfair and absurd rules. This explains Cain’s resistance to making sacrifices and his disobedience as regards the creator’s commandments. Cain and Abel are as opposed and irreconcilable as are the Spirit and the soul.
The soul is pure love, not True Love but that which we know as love, that which we believe is love, that which we have been told is love, which in actual fact is hatred. The Spirit is the opposite; It is perceived as pure hatred, hostility and revenge. Due to being shackled in this satanic creation the only thing the Spirit can feel is hostility and hatred, that which ordinary men know as hatred. The Spirit, which is Pure Love, can only feel aversion and disgust before this thing that is, in fact, pure garbage. That is why the Spirit wants to destroy this satanic creation, because for It, creation is a deformed monstrosity which should never have come into existence. This is what Cain’s murder of Abel symbolises.
Cain, through his actions, freed himself completely from the creator and from his own body and soul. Through these acts against the creator god and his half-brother Abel he freed himself once and for all from the inferior god and his impure and flawed creation. With these acts he transformed himself into an opponent, an eternal enemy of the demiurge and his work.
This whole episode of Cain and Abel, such as it is in Genesis in the bible and in legends such as the jewish midrash amongst others, has been interpreted by Gnostics in a way that totally opposes the generally accepted version.
After committing his Supreme Act, the bible says that Cain was cursed by god and banished from that place. “Cursed and banished”, the same destiny as the Serpent of paradise. It was logical that this should happen, as Cain had turned himself into an absolute opponent of the creator god, but as well as that, many more interesting things happened which we are going to be highlighting here:
First of all, we saw that Cain was cursed and banished by the creator god. This, which could have appeared to be punishment, is just the opposite for a Gnostic. To be cursed and banished by the creator is an honour for a Gnostic. It is the natural reaction of the demiurge faced with someone who has defied him and slapped him in the face, faced with someone who has made himself equal or superior to him. Cain is in exile because he completely transformed himself, successfully exiled himself and now no longer belongs to this world, although he carries on living in it. The bible says that the creator banished him, but Cain is free, liberated in life and through his acts he cursed the creator and exiled himself from this abominable creation.
Secondly, several jewish legends relate that the creator punished Cain forever with insomnia, condemning him never to sleep again, with eternal wakefulness. To a Gnostic, this is not punishment but a triumph. Being condemned to eternal wakefulness is an advantage, a virtue, an important achievement. Cain woke himself up disobeying the creator’s commandments and “murdered” his soul.
Thirdly, the bible says that the creator protected Cain, not allowing anyone to harm or kill him. This is another interesting fact. Gnostics say that a man who has transformed himself into pure Spirit, although he continues to inhabit his physical body, is immortal, untouchable. Absolutely no-one can harm or attack him now and he has no fear since he is beyond everything and will never die. He is in this world but outside of it as well. He is outside of matter and time and now does not form part of creation. He exiled himself from this world by his own will. The creator god can’t harm him anymore, because Cain is now superior to him.
Fourthly, the bible says that the creator put a mark on Cain, a sign, so that everyone would recognize him and would not hurt him. Some ancient jewish legends say that this sign was a horn on his forehead. A horn on the forehead signifies power, power that comes from the Spirit, power that distinguishes him from other men. This callous on his forehead signifies that the Spirit has freed Itself and has taken possession of the body, hardening it, Spiritualising it.
No-one put a mark on Cain. Cain put it there himself. When this happens, it is noticed by other men and the whole of creation. Every Spirit freed from the prison of matter will have this mark for all eternity. Now the Spirit will never be what It was before being shackled to matter. That characteristic mark is the body transformed, as hard as a diamond. The Spirit has transmuted the body and is now immortal and eternal. This will be Its eternal reminder, the everlasting proof of Its path through hell and Its triumph over it.
Origen, for example, described a Gnostic diagram in which you can clearly see a serpent dividing the two worlds, the created world and the uncreated world. Although no-one likes this dualism, this is how reality is and has to be accepted. Gnostics know that another extremely perfect world exits, which has nothing to do with this one. Origen was able to have access to these Gnostic diagrams and books, to all this information, in order to later criticize it, as did Saint Augustine, Tertullian, Hippolytus, Irenaeus of Lyons, Epiphanius and many others.
But now, most of the original Gnostic texts no longer exist and have been destroyed. These critics of Gnosis distorted all the information from the original Gnostic texts, taking sentences out of context to make them look ridiculous, among other cunning strategies. But none of this matters now. Primordial Gnosis is always present, although there are many who are not aware of it. In the different circumstances in which it has appeared openly in the world, it has always been the same Gnosis, although with different historical and cultural connotations. Although forbidden and persecuted, Gnosis never disappeared and never will disappear. It will always stay within the reach of those who deserve it. The more it is persecuted, the more it gathers strength.
As well as Bloch’s book, there are other interesting books which describe these aspects of ancient Gnosis, in which Eden’s Serpent of Salvation is referred to. One such book is “Adan, le dieu rouge”, another is “Gnostics and their Remains”, the latter having been written in the nineteenth century.
There is one interesting piece of information about the Serpent of Genesis in the book “The Refutation of All Heresies”, written by Hippolytus, a great persecutor of the Gnostics. In this book, Hippolytus comments on and criticizes some of the words of Celsus, which to him are horrifying. It is about the part of Celsus in which he states, referring to the events in the earthly paradise, that just as the creator cursed the serpent when it destroyed his plans and ruined his work, so must the creator be cursed by every man who has woken up. Just as the creator cursed the Serpent of Salvation, so the creator himself will be cursed as long as he exists, by every Spirit liberated from his clutches. Hippolytus, horrified, observed that even though he knew that Gnostics likened the creator god with satan, had never imagined that they would also curse him.
In fact, in the few Gnostic books rescued from the flames, we see that the creator god is sometimes called satan. Gnostic tradition refers to the demiurge as “satan, the creator of the world and man”, “satan and his demons, creators of the world”, and other such things.
We can find several syntheses in the Gnostic explanation of the myth of Cain in Mgr. Meurin’s book on masonry which was quoted earlier.
Also in “Le dieu rouge” and in “Atheism in Christianity”, by Ernst Bloch. Likewise, there are also several interesting facts in “The Hebrew Myths”. There is also a very profound Gnostic interpretation of this myth in a strange novel that can be found on the Internet called “El Misterio de Belicena Villca”
According to Gnostics, the creator god has many plans, which together make up his “grand plan”. This was the reason why he created the universe and man. To achieve his objectives he is going ahead with an evolutionary experiment in which the body, soul and the Spirit of man are taking part. He goes on practicing, trying things out, and if he succeeds he will extend the results to his entire created universe. If he fails, he will have to do away with this project and start again from scratch, as he has done so many times, to try something else again and again. The fact is that he will never be able to make a perfect copy of what he imagined is the unknowable world, which he tries to imitate in vain.
Without a doubt, in this last experiment he achieved success which, although imperfect, has some value. After millions of years of fruitless practicing, he has within a few thousand years made a notable step in the evolution of his greatest work: man. After millions of years of evolutionary suspension in which the hominid man lived like just another animal, he has advanced more in the last 30,000 years than throughout all of history. Gnostics associate this mutation or “creation”, this great evolutionary jump, with the use of Spirits of the greatest purity coming from the uncreated world.
The creator god modelled a body from the dust of the earth and, with his breath, gave it an animic element, the soul. To this soul, this breath of the creator, he affixed a Spirit, which was trapped through trickery and imprisoned against Its will in this satanic monstrosity of dust and breath: the body and soul of man. It is the divine energy of the imprisoned Spirit which impelled and continues to impel the evolution of the man-animal!
And why does the creator want this being to evolve? So that it will transform itself gradually into him. That is why he made his precepts and commands. He wants man to transform into himself, the creator, to become the same as him. The body and soul would be very happy if this happened because they are part of the creator god. But the Spirit is not part of him; It has another origin and another destiny.
As long as the Spirit is chained up, everything goes well, It impels evolution. But if even one Spirit frees Itself It disturbs the whole plan. That is why it is so important that the tyranny of the demiurge is absolute, and that all knowledge which could wake man up and make him remember who he really is, remains forbidden because it would be dangerous knowledge, so dangerous that it would be able to destabilise the plan of the creator god. According to Gnosis, only one Spirit which can free Itself would be able to weaken the whole creation and also weaken the creator god, preventing him from continuing with his plans. This Spirit would be a saviour, a saviour of the world and the other Spirits. It would favour the liberation not only of other men but of the entire universe, of the innumerable divine sparks coming from the uncreated and eternal world which find themselves imprisoned here, in this great blind machine, in order to make it work and evolve.
This system, created by the demiurge, cannot function unless it possesses these particles of the Spiritual world enslaved, imprisoned here. Gnostics say that of all these Spiritual particles, those imprisoned in human beings are the most important in Spiritual hierarchy and purity.
The demiurge created and assembled all this and encourages it to evolve. So that it evolves towards him, with the human being ahead. If the experiment with man fails, he will lay his hands on another of his creatures and try again.
We have said that the demiurge wants man to evolve until he turns into him and becomes the same as him, so that every soul, or in other words his own breath, and everyone made of dust can return to him, transforming themselves into him. This is the final objective that the demiurge has for man.
Because of all this, it is fundamental to the demiurge to keep the Spirit imprisoned so that he can use Its energy. This is why the demiurge needs man to remain half-asleep and confused so that man keeps on blindly approaching him, the creator, who lures him with tricks and punishment. For this whole system to work, man has to keep on believing that the creator is the only god that exists and that he is a good god.
Gnostics maintain that if man evolves to the point where he merges with his creator, at that moment his Spirit will lose all possibility of freeing itself while this universe lasts. What is at stake is our very individuality and self-determination. Through study and careful observation, we can attain Gnosis. We can become self-aware and fully alive.