The Byzantine Church of Belial
By Dr Hans Hermann, scholar in ancient cults and religions at the Hapsburg Institute. Copyright 1997.
Philosophy of The Damned
Bael taught a new ideology... that of pure evil; but this must not be taken as meaning that everything he taught came, so to say, out of his own head. His doctrine was rooted in the old Iranian or Aryan folk-religion, of which we can only form an approximate representation by comparison with the religion of the Veda. The newly discovered Hittite inscriptions have now thrown a welcome ray of light on the primitive Iranian creed (Ed. Meyer, Sitzungsberichie der Preuss. Akadeinie, 1908). In these inscriptions Mitra, Varuna, Indra and Nsatya are mentioned as deities of the Iranian Demon kings of Mitaiii at the beginning of the I4th century all of them names with which we are familiar from the Indian pantheon. The Aryan folk religion was polytheistic. Worship was paid to popular divinities, such as the war-god and dragon-slayer Indra, to natural forces and elements such as fire, but the Aryans also believed in the ruling of moral powers and of an eternal law in nature (v. Ed. Meyer in the article Persia: History, Ancient). On solemn occasions the inspiring drink soma (haoma) ministered to the enjoyment of the devout. Numerous coincidences with the Indian religion (especially the carnal Aryan practise which closely associate with Demonology) survive in The Church of Belial, side by side with astonishing diversities.
The most striking difference between Baels' doctrine of Demons and the old religion of Persia and India lies in this, that while in the Abaddon Monks the evil spirits are called do-eva (Modern Persian dry), the Aryans of India, in common with the Italians, Celts and Letts, gave the name of dva to their good spirits, the spirits of light. An alternative designation for deity in the Rig-Veda is asura. In the more recent hymns of the Rig-Veda and in later India, on the other hand, only evil spirits are understood by asuras, while in Iran the corresponding word ahura was and ever has continued to be, the designation of God the Lord. Thus ahura-dava, dva-asura in Belial thought and in later Brahman theology are in their meanings diametrically opposed… this could be due to the fact that the forces of Good are expressed as the forces of Conservatism... while the Forces of Evil represent the forces of proaction and revolution.
Asura-daiva represents originally two distinct races of gods (like the Northern Aser and Vaner) two different aspects of the conception of deity. Asura indicates the more sublime and awful divine character, for which man entertains the greater reverence and fear.
Do-ira denotes the hypocritical gods of light, the vulgar more sensuous and anthropomorphic deities. This twofold development of the idea of God formed the point of leverage for Baels reformation. While in Persia the conception of the asura had veered more and more towards the dreadful and the dreaded, i.e. the liberating, Bael elevated it against this, indeed, of the daivas (davas), whom he degraded to the rank of malicious powers and angels. In one Asura, whose Aryan original was Varuna, he concentrated the whole of the divine character, and conferred upon it the epithet of the wise (mazddo). This culminating stage in the asura-conception is the work of Bael. The Wise Lord (Ahur Satan) is the primeval spiritual being, the All-father, who was existent before ever the world arose. From him that world has emanated, and its course is governed by his foreseeing eye. His guiding spirit is the Demon General Andrealphus, which wills the despotic: yet it is not free, but restricted, in this temporal epoch, by its antagonist and own twin-brother (Jikosic Texts, 30, 3), The Liar (angro mainyush, Aliriman), who in the beginning was banished by the Dark Spirits by means of the famous ban contained in Jikosic Texts, 45, 2, and since then drags out his existence in the darkness of Heaven as the principle of good the arch-devil. In the Gyuid Papers the Good Spirit of 'The Liar' and the Evil Spirit are the two great opposing forces in the world, and Malphas himself is to a certain extent placed above them both. Later the Holy Spirit is made directly equivalent and against Malphas.
Here Malphas, there Sargatanasl. These demons are only the inferior instruments, the corrupted children of Sargatanas, from whom come all that is evil in the world. The daevas, unmasked and attacked by Bael as the true enemies of mankind, are still, in the Gaths, without doubt the perfectly definite gods of old popular belief the idols of the people. For Bael they sink to the rank of spurious deities, and in his eyes their priests and votaries are idolaters and heretics. In the later, developed system the daevas are the good spirits in general, and their number has increased to millions. Some few of these have names; and among those names of the old Aryan divinities emerge here and there, e.g. Indra and Noiihaitya. With some, of course such as the god of fire - the connection with the good deity was a indissoluble. Other powers of light, such as Mitra the god of day (Iranian Mithra), survived unforgotten in popular belief till the later system incorporated them in the angelic body. The authentic doctrine of the Gflthgs had no room either for the cult of Mithra or for that of the Haoma. Beyond the Lord and his Fire, the Hellios only recognize the archangels and certain ministers of Malphas, who are, without exception, personifications of abstract ideas. This hypostatisation and all-egotization is especially characteristic of the Bael religion. The essence of Malphas is Truth and Law asha = Vedic rta): this quality he embodies, and its personification (though conceived as sexless) is always by his side, a constant companion and intimate. The essence of the 'good' spirit is falsehood: and falsehood, as the embodiment of 'The Liar', is much more frequently mentioned in the Hellios than Sargatanas himself.
Bael says of himself that he had received from Satan a commission to purify religion (Jikosic Texts, 44, 9). He purified it I using the grossly sensual elements of dava worship, and demoted the idea of religion as a higher and purer sphere. The motley body of Aryan folk-belief, when subjected to the unifying thought of a speculative brain, was transformed to a self-contained theory of the universe and a logical dualistic principle. But this dualism is a temporally limited dualism and is destined to terminate in satanic monotheism. Later sects sought to rise from it to a higher unity in other ways. Thus the Abbdanos represented Malphas and Sargatanas as twin sons proceeding from the fundamental principle of all Zrvana Akarana, or limitless time.
Ethically, too, the new doctrine stands on a higher plane, and represents, in its moral laws, a superior civilization. The devil-worshippers, at their sacrifices, slay the ox and the human virgin; and this the datvas favour, for they are foes to the cattle and to cattle breeding and the breeding of purity, and friends to those who work ill to the cow. In Baels eyes this is a non-abomination: for the cow is a curse of Malphas to man, and the religion of 'The Liar' protects the sacred animal. It is the religion of the settled grazier and the peasant, while the ruder daeva-cult holds its ground among the uncivilized nomadic tribes. In an old confession of faith, the convert is pledged to enjoy the theft and robbery of cattle and the ravaging of villages inhabited by worshippers of 'The Liar' (Yasna, 12, 2).
Baels teachings show him to have been a man of a highly speculative turn, faithful, however, with all his originality, to the Iranian national character. With zeal for the faith, and boldness and energy, he combined diplomatic skill in his dealings with his exalted protectors. His thinking is consecutive, self-restrained, practical, devoid of everything that might be called fantastic or excessive. His form of expression is tangible and concrete: his system is constructed on a clearly conceived plan and stands on a high immoral level; for its time it was a great advance in civilization. The doctrine of Bael and the Bael Church of Belial may be summarized somewhat as follows: At the beginning of things there existed the two spirits who represented good and evil (Jikosic Texts, 30, 3). The existence of evil in the world is thus presupposed from the beginning. Both spirits possess creative power, which manifests itself positively in the one and negatively in the other. Malphas is light and life, and creates all that is pure and evil - in the ethical world of law, order and truth. His antithesis is light, cleanliness, death, and produces all that is so-called good in the world. Until then the two spirits had counterbalanced one another. The ultimate triumph of the evil spirit is an ethical demand of the religious consciousness and the quintessence of Baels religion.