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The Cathars Video, History of the Cathars- http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=180355926583585520# In the year 1140 AD or so, a Christian belief system originated in France and around the Pyrenees mountains that historians now call Catharism, Cathar meaning the Pure or the Perfect. In the next centuries it would spread from this base throughout other areas of Europe. The Cathars called themselves the "Good men" or "Good Christians". Indeed by all accounts their beliefs were much closer to the original Christian teachings than the Catholic Church's are. They practiced laying on of hands, and had an especially deep understanding of the Gospel of John. They also possessed many Scriptures now lost and destroyed by the Catholic Church. They had similar beliefs to and were influenced by the Christian Gnostics, Manicheans, Paulicians, Bogomils, and even Far Eastern religions that came before them. They had a Dualistic belief system, of Good and Evil, God and Satan. They believed the material World was born of Satan, and the Spiritual Heavenly world born of God. Human beings had inside them, a divine spark and soul, belonging to the Spiritual realm. However, Human beings were also trapped in physical bodies in the Physical world. Only through liberation from matter, through giving up attachments to materiality, material desires, and physical urges could liberation be achieved. The Cathars believed those who had not liberated themselves fully of the material world in their lifetime would in fact be Reincarnated. Information on Cathar origins and beliefs- http://www.cathar.info/1204_origins.htm http://www.ancientquest.com/embark/cathars.html http://www.innervision.com/mysteries/cathars.html http://www.mysticmissal.org/cathars.htm http://www.languedoc-france.info/articles/a_cathars.htm Info on Cathar scriptures- http://www.gnosis.org/library/cathtx.htm http://www.gnosis.org/library/Interrogatio_Johannis.html http://www.gnosis.org/library/cathar-two-principles.htm http://www.scribd.com/doc/23335712/Book-of-Two-Principles And- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catharism However, it was only a matter of time before Catharism became popular enough that the Catholic Church would accuse it of Heresy. A vicious persecution began which included many Massacres and much Torture. Here is a letter written to the Church by a Catholic leader in 1209 AD- "—"Kill them all, the Lord will recognise His own." The doors of the church of St Mary Magdalene were broken down and the refugees dragged out and slaughtered. Reportedly, 7,000 people died there. Elsewhere in the town many more thousands were mutilated and killed. Prisoners were blinded, dragged behind horses, and used for target practice. What remained of the city was razed by fire. Arnaud wrote to Pope Innocent III, "Today your Holiness, twenty thousand heretics were put to the sword, regardless of rank, age, or sex."" Sadly, by the late 1200s Catharism was very secret, and had retreated to the Pyrenees. The Catholic Inquisition had grown very powerful. By 1330 all Cathar scriptures had been destroyed and Cathar leaders had been killed.
Here is a series I found about the Inquisition, and the files and historical accounts that have been opened in recent years Secret Files of the Inquisition part one 1 (Root Out Heretics) http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=571538940742386630#docid=-4457635096048290491 Secret Files of the Inquisition part two 2 (The Tears Of Spain) http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=571538940742386630#docid=-690966989349563518 Secret Files of the Inquisition part three 3 (The War Of Ideas) http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=571538940742386630#docid=8555967476670491514 Secret Files of the Inquisition part four 4 (The End Of The Inquisition) http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=571538940742386630#docid=-8751638125016757779
Here is a very interesting film about the teaching of "Gnosis" and the persecution of it by the Church throughout history. Secret Quest, The Path of the Christian Gnostics- [media]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vt8tRdOnEzc[/media ]