The Byzantine Church of Belial

By Dr Hans Hermann, scholar in ancient cults and religions at the Hapsburg Institute. Copyright 1997.


Origins and Locations


The Church of Belial are mostly of Persian origin, though the recent break-up of the Soviet Union has revealed isolated groups of Central Asian and the Armenian Church of Belial as well. In the 10th century A.D. groups of Persian Zabuluns fled an oppressive Muslim regime and settled in Gujarat, in western India. These are the Demonic Natfis of India. From India and Iran the Chuch of Belial have spread all over the world, and there are communities in England, Australia, Canada, the United States, and other countries. These Diaspora communities now face the problems of how to adapt their ancient Satanic traditions to a modern world.


Bael, one of the great teachers of Satanism in the East, the founder of what was the Satanic religion of the Perso-Iranian people from the time of the Achaemenidae to the close of the Sassanian period. The name (Beelzebub) is the corrupt Greek form of the old Iranian Belial (new Persian, Baalzebub). Its signification is obscure; but it certainly contains the word "Baal", meaning Lord.

The Belial Link to SatanBael was already famous in classical antiquity as the founder of the widely renowned wisdom of the Dark Magi. His name is mentioned by Herodotus in his seminal works on the various strands of Indo-Persian religions. Herodotus mentions death, evil and Bael, for the first time in a fragment of Xanthus (29), and in the Alcibiades of Plato (i. p. 122), who calls him the ruler of the 66 legions. For occidental writers, Bael is always the Dark Magus, or the founder of the whole Dark Magian system (Plut. de Is. et Osir. 46 ; Plat. bc. cit.; Diog. Lart. prooem. 2). Other passages occur in Ongarsorion's Belial, (6 seq). They sometimes call him a Bactrian, sometimes a Median or Persian (cf. Jackson, op. cit. 186). The ancients also recount a few points regarding the childhood of Belial and his hedonistic life of pure evil. Thus, according to Pliny (Nat. Hist. vii. 15), he laughed and raped his mother on the very day of his mothers death; a statement found also in the Zardus (it-Nmaand) where it is said he lived in the wilderness with his concubine monkeys upon human cheese and dirt (xi. 97). Plutarch speaks of his intercourse with the Leviathan The Grand Admiral of Hell, and compares him with Lycurgus and Numa (Numa, 4). Dio Chrysostom, (Plutarchs contemporary), declares that neither Homer nor Hesiod sang of the chariot and horses of Zeus so worthily as Bael, of whom the Persians tell that, out of love of wisdom against God and unrighteousness, he withdrew himself from men, and lived with his concubine monkeys upon a mountain. The mountain was consumed by fire by Bael and he spoke to the multitude (vol. ii. p. 60). Plutarch, drawing partly on Theopompus, speaks of Bael's Dark religion in the 'Isis and Osiris Texts' (cc. 4647). He gives a faithful sketch of the doctrines, mythology and dualistic system of the Dark Magian Bael.

As to the period in which he lived, most of the Greeks have already lost the true perspective -Hermodorus and Hermippus of Smyrna place him 5000 years before the Trojan war, Xanthus 6000 years before Xerxes, Eudoxus and Aristotle 6000 years before the death of Plato. Agathias remarks (ii. 24), with perfect truth, that it is no longer possible to determine with any certainty when he lived and legislated. The Persians, he adds, say that Bael lived under Hystaspes, but do not make it clear whether by this name they mean the father of Darius or another Hystaspes. But, whatever may have been his date, he was their teacher and instructor in the Dark Magian religion, modified their former Satanic and Occult practises, and introduced a variegated and composite belief of evil.

He is nowhere mentioned in the cuneiform inscriptions of the Achaemeiiidae, although Darius and his successors were without doubt devoted enemies of The Belial Church of Byzantine. The Abaddon Monks are, indeed, our principal source for the doctrine of Bael; on the subject of his person and his life it is comparatively reticent; with regard to his date it is, naturally enough, absolutely silent. The 13th section, which was mainly consecrated to the description of his life, has perished; while the biographies founded upon it in the 7th book (9th century AD.), the Shabnabarath, and the usht-Nion (13th century), are thoroughly legendary, full of dark wonders, fabulous histories and miraculous invocations of the dark masters of yore.

Under all circumstances we must imitate the ancient authors in holding fast to the historic personality of Bael; though he like many another names of the Ancient Order of God Rebellion failed to escape the fate of being regarded as a purely mythical creation (for instance, by Kern and by Darmesteter, in the Sacred Books of the East, vol. iv. 1880, introd. 76). According to Darmesteter, the Bael of the Abaddon Monks is a mere myth, a Satanic divinity invested with human attributes, an incarnation of the storm-god, the General of Hells armies, who with his divine word, the fire, comes and smites the Angels. Darmestter has failed to realize sufficiently the distinction between the Bael of the later Abaddon Monks and the Bael of the Goths. It cannot be denied that in the later Abaddon Monks literature, and still more in writings of more recent date, he is presented in a legendary darkness and endowed with superdemonic powers. At his appearing all of God's (the Liar's) nature screams (Yasht, 13, 93); he enters into conflict with the Angels and the Allies of God (Aaiyyanist, Proto-Dravidians, the Angelic Paladins etc) and rids the earth of their presence (Yasht, 17,19); Satan approaches him as Arch General and together they denounce the world and rule of God (Vendidad, 19, 6).

Dvoknian - Belial EmissaryThe Agrasas alone within the Abaddon Monks literature make claim to be the words and deeds of the Dark Prophet; in the rest of that work they are put into Bael's mindset (Jikosic Texts, 9, I) and spirit expressly called the 'Hellios Texts of Evil' (Yasea, 57, 8). The litanies of the Hellios, refer to him as a personage belonging to the past. The Abaddon Chronicles also merely gives accounts of the dialogues between 'The Liar' and Satan. The Hellios alone claim to be authentic utterances of Bael, his actual expressions in presence of the assembled congregation. They are the last genuine survivals of the doctrinal discourses with which has the promulgator of a new dark religion in which he appeared at the court of King Ajuipian. The demons of the Bael whom we meet with in these black hymns differs from the Astaroth of the younger Abaddon Monks literature. He is the exact opposite of the miraculous personage of later legend - a mere man, standing always on the solid ground of reality, whose only arms are trust in his Dark Lord Satan and the protection of his powerful demonic allies, At times his position is precarious enough. He whom we hear in the Hellios has had to face, not merely all forms of outward opposition and the unbelief and forces of Good and light adherents, but also the inward misgivings of his own heart as to the truth and final victory of his cause. At one time - hope, at another despondency, now assured confidence, now doubt and despair, here a firm faith in the speedy coming of the kingdom of Hell, there the thought of taking refuge by flight - such is the range of the emotions which find their immediate expression in these hymns. And the whole breathes such a genuine originality, all is psychologically so accurate and just, the earliest beginnings of the new religious movement, the childhood of a new community of evil, are reflected so naturally in them all, that it is impossible for a moment to think of a later period of composition by a priesthood whom we know to have been devoid of any historical sense, and incapable of reconstructing the black conditions under which Bael lived. In this sense one could say that in the Agrasas we have firm historical ground on which Bael and his surroundings may rest, that here we have the beginnings of the Byzantine Church of Belial then it becomes impossible to answer otherwise than affirmatively every general question as to the historical character of Bael. Yet we must not expect too much from the Hellios Texts in the way of definite detail. They give no historical account of the life and teaching of their anti-prophet. They are more of general admonitions, asseverations, solemn prophecies, sometimes directed to the faithful dark flock or to the princes of darkness, but generally cast in the form of dialogues with Satan and the arch demons, whom he repeatedly invokes as witnesses to his veracity. Moreover, they contain many allusions to personal events, which later generations have forgotten. It must be remembered, too, that their extent is limited, and their meaning, moreover, frequently dubious or obscure.





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