During the Stuart Restoration period, the pro-satanic rosicrucean and cabalist cultism around the Stuart court siezed upon the case of Robert Bruce to reorganize the cult in a newform.
Robert Bruce had been the leader of a group of Satan-worshipping (Baphomet) Templars, who had fled to Scotland, away from the angered justice of the Papacy and the King of France. What they brought with them, was the Templars' exploitation of the Cathar (Bogomil) tradition in the region of Toulouse and Albi, to build up the syncretic sort of Satanic worship the Templars had acquired in the Middle East. The Papacy had enough of this, and the King of France acted to shut down Templars by the means customary in those times. A group of Templars under Bruce fled to Scotland, and after some initial difficulties, made themselves the lords of the place.
The character of the Stuart court is illustrated by the characterization of one Stuart government of that period as the "Cabal." In his history, Macauley offers an amiable description of the affair. During this century, when the chest of Isaac Newton's laboratory papers was opened and examined, the content of Newton's acutal "scientific work" turned out to be a selection of lurid and rather insane experimetns in "black magic." The circles around Francis Bacon and Hobbes were, as we say today, "a prize collection of real kooks."
So, the Templar mish-mash of Bogomil Gnosticism blended into Hashishin Satanism, caused Bruce's Templar credentials to be viewed as suitable myth-building material for the taste of the Stuart kooks of the period. The Liberal aristocracy of Britain became a principal concentration of this filthy stuff. When the Liberals came to full power, under Walpole, this Liberal stuff came out in such form as the proliferating Hell-Fire Clubs. That tradition was cultivated under the Second Earl of Shelbourne's puppet prime minister, William Pitt the Younger, with Satanic figures such as the powerful Jeremy Bentham in the fore.
Satanism gained new ground under the protection of Liberalism and Romanticism during the nineteenth century. In England,the more virulent new forms surfaced around Oxford University'sJohn Ruksin and the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood. Out of this came theosophy, British "guild" socialism, the Fabian Society, Bertrand Russell, H. G. Wells, and Aleister Crowley -- Satanists all.
This spilled over into the United States, notably in the circles of putative "Great Awakening" evangelist Johnathan Edwards, and his protege, Princeton Hell-Fire Club activist Aaron Burr. During the late nineteenth century, the sort of spoon-bending kookery associated with such figures as Oliver Lodge and A. Conan Doyle spilled generously among the wealthy anglophile liberals of the United States.
In short, this sort of witchery has been endemic over the centuries. The difference is, that what was endemic has become epidemic.
You also may enjoy this free books:George Lyman Kittredge - Notes On Witchcraft
Ann Moura - Green Witchcraft
Paul Huson - Mastering Witchcraft
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