52. The Protestant Reformation. Luther’s emulators.
All the above resulted in an irrational hatred towards all that was Latin or Roman. The Germanic and Anglo-Saxon peoples, by following Protestantism and thus rejecting Latinization and Rome which had partially brought them into civilization, returned to their barbaric origins. This terrible crisis of the Western world caused a decreasing power of the Empire and the Church. The latter, responsible during the Middle Ages of casting the Latin civilization into chaos by plotting against the Empire for temporal hegemony, realized too late that it had mainly damaged itself. As soon as the Lutheran heresy was born what was left of the Church came under the protection of the Emperor, who although cut back was still powerful and respected by all the kingdoms of the fragmented Christianity.
The Germans, as already mentioned, were divided into a large number of kingdoms, duchies, marquisates, ecclesiastical or noble fiefdoms and free communes, all directly dependent on the Holy Roman Empire. The great feudal lords envied the kings of the national states, namely France and England who, although nominally still part of the Empire, managed to detach themselves from it thanks to their military power and vastness of their territories. At the same time France and England had also achieved to be almost entirely autonomous from the papal authority. The German princes saw in Luther’s rebellious preaching the opportunity to emancipate themselves from the two powers of the medieval tradition, and thus acquire national independence1.
In the early 16th century, the outrageous enrichment of the “fat people”2 had ruined not only the city plebs and the peasants, but also the small and medium nobility. The great feudal lords, on the other hand, formed an alliance with the new rich, distancing themselves furthermore from the impoverished nobility and the urban patriciate. This important part of German society also sympathised with the vulgar and poor religiosity preached by Martin Luther. From 1524 to 1526, under the leadership of indebted and ruined knights, a mass uprising of thousands of hungry commoners broke out against the princes. Martin Luther had to choose whom to side with: and he decided for those who could most support his work of international subversion to Catholicism. He chose the princes. “[…] Anyone who can, must tear them to pieces, strangle them, pierced them secretly or publicly, as a stray dog must be beaten to death”3, he declared lovingly about the rebels. The revolt was forcefully suppressed with more than one hundred thousand dead.
Sheltered by his illustrious protectors, who took advantage of the fairness and chivalry of Emperor Charles V4, this champion of virtue believed that Jesus Christ himself had acquitted him of his various oaths and vows that he had took as a monk. And so, Luther not only married a nun, but he also chose as residence for him and his family the entire deconsecrated monastery of Wittemberg, where he had occupied a cell as a monk. He spent his last years to consolidated the heresy he created. But by that time his protectors had already fully exploited his work for their own gains. Feeling isolated, he dedicated himself to composing repetitive but increasingly harsh writings, and to consoling himself by taking refuge in binge and lust. He died in 1546.
Other reformers rose in the wake of the Lutheran protest. The Swiss German Huldreich Zwingli (1484-1531) leveraged on the nationalism of the German cantons to start a reform very similar to Luther’s one, but definitely more bourgeois and more aggressive. He endorsed the idea of predestination, but stressed the importance of the divine grace in favour of those cultured people blessed by luck, thereby revealing his attachment to the humanistic mentality. He started a bitter conflict with the Protestant sect of the Anabaptists of Zurich who in 1526 were all sentenced to death by drowning. He fell in battle against the Swiss German troops still loyal to Catholicism.
John Calvin (1509-1564) at the beginning followed the footsteps of Zwingli who was just few years older than him. From his native France he fled to Switzerland to escape the Inquisition. In Basel and Geneva, he tried to create a utopian society, but his new ideas clashed equally with Catholicism and Protestant sects. He preached that faith reveals itself solely through absolute certainty (Institutio Christianae Religionis, III.2.6) and that this absolute certainty was the only proof that the faith was established by the Holy Spirit (Ibid. III.2.7). This entailed the belief that God assigned salvation to some and eternal damnation to others, forging thus the idea of an inevitable predestination5; good luck in life was then seen as a sign of divine predilection6 (Ibid. III, 21, 5).
His fanaticism finally prevailed in the city of Geneva and took the most violent forms. Massacres, killings, torture, burning of witches and heretics did not decreased with the Protestant reform, on the contrary they increased tremendously. In Calvin’s Geneva, strict rules, spiritual police, denunciation, spying and bloody penalties were imposed. Those who disagree with the reformer were sent to the torture chamber or burnt at the stake7 even without having committed any action against the new laws. He introduced the “stake of vanities” (Bildersturm, “statue-storm” or the outbreak of iconoclastic fury) where everything beautiful, sacred or considered superfluous was burned8.
But the worst forms of ugliness and depravation were performed by the reformed Anabaptist sect9. This sect, born in Switzerland in 1525, showed little difference from Lutheranism. The main distinctive trait, however, consisted in trying to be possessed (sskrt. aveśana) by God and thus to prophesy. In 1534 two Anabaptist “prophets” from the Netherlands10 arrived in the city of Münster. In a short time, they roused to fanaticism the population of the city and they established a lawless regime of terror. Family was destroyed, the moral proscribed and the gratuitous violence was considered God’s will.
Also, the new Anabaptist converts began to be possessed, mainly women, with scandalous and shocking results. The city, besieged by both Catholic and Lutheran feudal troops, resisted for eighteen months during which acts of collective madness were committed11. When the city was finally liberated, the population was more than halved not as a result of the armed clashes, but because of the summary executions carried out among the besieged Anabaptists. The surviving prophet, who had ludicrously declared himself King and adorned himself with gold crown and ornaments, retracted in vain in order to save his life12.
Following the example of the Protestant reformation, in 1533 Henry VIII of England proclaimed himself head of the Anglican church. The reason for this rift with Rome was really trivial: the King wanted to divorce his Queen in order to marry another woman, but that was not possible for the Catholic Church which considered marriage as indissoluble13. With this latter heresy the Catholic church returned to be essentially Latin14.
In conclusion, Protestantism in its numerous sects is characterized by the absence of rituals, replaced by social or commemorative ceremonies, and the real theology substituted by moral theories. As such it cannot be properly considered in a religious nor in a dhārmika context. And neither it can in any way be considered as an exotericism on which any initiatic school survived in the West could legitimately rely on.
Lastly, Protestantism finds its only base on the words expressed orally or in writing, and it was extremely important the use of the press for its great diffusion15. This technological innovation, closely connected to the legend of Mephistopheles, for the first time in the history of humanity acted as tool of propaganda and popularization16.
From the German-Anglo-Saxon peoples developed and spread the so-called modern civilization, a true cancer that has brought the entire planet to agony. Nowadays their postcolonial weapons are represented by savage capitalism and the usury by banks that stem from the Protestant morality and the constant inspiration from Judaism17. With ignoble shamelessness, even in official documents, they continue to define P.I.G.S.18 non-Protestant peoples, those Latin and Southern peoples who were the only representative of the tradition in the West.
Only a dunce can call them “separate brothers”!
Maria Chiara de’ Fenzi
- These princes miscalculated the outcome: Charles V (1500-1558), the young Emperor and King of Spain, demonstrated skills of great leader and politician. Without ever breaking the chivalric code, he overcame all the intrigues of his vassals and maintained the prestige of the Holy Roman Empire. We must stress the greatness of this Catholic sovereign, since only the external form of the ancient Empire was surviving by then. In fact, the Empire of Charles V was completely devoided of its initiatic substratum after the destruction of the Order of the Temple and he had to witness the conversion to Protestantism of half of his German vassals. On the other hand, Germany had to wait until 1871 to achieve its unification as a national state. Moreover, the plots of the German princes, who used Luther for their own interests, irreversibly destabilized Central Europe, spreading wars, revenge, chauvinisms and hegemonic claims that are still virulent today.
- These emerging classes mostly used usury to enrich themselves. The Council of Vienna (1311) had decisively condemned usury even at minimum interest. This prompted the new rich to turn their attention towards the Old Testament more than to the Gospel: “Thou shalt lend to many nations, and thou shalt not borrow from any man. You will rule over many nations and no one will rule over you” (Deuteronomy, xv.6). And thus, a new “ethic” was born, what today is believed to be the ‘Judaeo-Christian origin’ of European civilization.
- “[…] Man soll sie zerschmeißen, würgen, stechen, heimlich und öffentlich, wer da kann, wie man einen tollen Hund erschlagen muss.” Martin Lutherus, Wider die Mordischen und Reubischen Rotten der Bawren (Against the Murderous, Thieving Hordes of Peasants).
- Although the Diet of Worms condemned the rebel monk, the Emperor respected the safe-conduct he had issued to him, allowing him to leave and hide.
- Luther’s denial of free will led to the theory of predestination. Calvin radicalized this idea: the “elects” could sin without compromising their predestination to salvation, on the contrary the “reprobates”, although leading a virtuous life, could not hope for salvation. Hence the dreadful question: how can you know if you are an elect or a reprobate? Having doubts about not being predestined to salvation would be already seen as a sign of little faith and of being already close to the state of reprobation. At this point fully engaging in a professional occupation becomes a self-motivation exercise that would bring “self-confidence”, by removing religious anxieties and inspiring a sense of presumption of being already saved. The ‘self-made-man’ which succeeds in ‘do it’, to “made it” in his profession or in his business is kissed by God and his wealth becomes a sign of divine predestination” (Pietro Ferrari. La questione monetaria, Cermenate, Ed. Radio Spada, 2018, p. 38). This Calvinist mentality spread nowadays on the wave of the Americanization of the world, and it takes the form of the most ruthless competitiveness and unprincipled self-affirmation. Because of the multimedia reality this frenzy approach to work persecutes each and every one even in private life and free time.
- It is easy to understand where the greedy business mentality of the Swiss bankers comes from.
- In a few years more than ninety people were burned alive for having expressed ideas not aligned to the insane Calvinist republic.
- This information is largely and comprehensively presented in detail by Stefan Zweig, Die Discipline, Frankfurt am Main, Fischer Verlag, 1987, pp. 54-65. In the present “ecumenical” climate an attempt was made in vain to pass these cruelties as legend, when the true leyanda negra was created exclusively in a Protestant context with anti-traditional purpose.
- This name implies the need to re-baptize the new believers.
- The Netherlands, since the Middle Ages, always had an anti-traditional role, representing the merging point of the worst tendencies of the German and English peoples. Even today, the ill European habits find breeding ground in this area of northern Europe.
- We can easily see this event as a macroscopic example of collective possession, that can be found more or less extensively only in modern revolutions, from Cromwell’s up to the more recent insane examples of the Khmer Rouge or the neo-khilafah.
- Friedrich Reck Malleczewen, Il re degli anabattisti. Storia di una rivoluzione moderna, Milano, Rusconi, 1971.
- The Franciscan Francesco Zorzi was commissioned by Henry VIII to find a theological loophole to justify his divorce. Zorzi, an alchemist and Christian qabbalist, belonged to an illustrious Venetian patrician family, and was related to the ruling Doge Andrea Gritti. At the beginning of the sixteenth century Venice, under the influence of the profane Renaissance mentality, carried out an anti-imperial and anti-papal political action. Francis A. Yates, Cabbala e Occultismo nell’età elisabettiana, Torino, Einaudi, 1982, pp. 37-47.
- The only exceptions were some southern German princedoms, such as Bavaria and Austria, which remained loyal to the ancient religion. The Calvinists represented about ten percent of the population in France, known there as Huguenots, and the reformed Waldensians could be found in Piedmont and Savoy. A particular intellectually rigid mentality can still be found nowadays in the areas where these Protestant enclaves flourished.
- Protestant or neo-Qabbalist printers often offered shelter and financial support to Protestants in those areas still under Catholic control. The printer Aldus Manucius, friend and disciple of Pico della Mirandola, and his descendants, had a central role in the change of mentality in Venice.
- The name of the devil who holds a grimoire, Mephistopheles, is probably composed by the words of the Hebrew מֵפִיץ (mepis), propagator, diffuser, and the German teufel, devil, liar; name that is well suited to the patron spirit of the printing art. His name appears already in 1527 in the pseudo-Jewish and pseudo-Greek book entitled Praxis Magia Faustiana, printed in Passau in Bavaria. It is no fortuitous that this demon happens to live in the woods surrounding Wittemberg. On the black magic origins of printing see Sarah Wall-Rendell, “Doctor Faustus and Printer’s devil”, Studies in English Literature 1500-1900, Vol. 48, No. 2, Tudor and Stuart Drama (Spring, 2008) Rice University Pbl., Pp. 259-281.
- The ethical revolution of Calvinism, by erasing the sin of usury, relegated man to a servant and an instrument of money by reversing the natural order and thus opposing the Aristotelian conception of money as “nomisma” that considered it merely an econometric tool created by law; Calvinism paved the way to ruthless competition and to a financial and anarchist capitalism which, with Adam Smith, determined that currency was indispensably a commodity. The Calvinist Netherlands attacked England, which since the Norman conquest of the 12th century had only known an ‘Aristotelian’ monetary system based on silver […] In 1692 the Catholic King James II of England was overthrown by William of Orange, who had to pay his debts to his war financiers. Cromwell’s dictatorship erased all of this wealth and patrimony, paving the way for private bankers (Goldsmith) who wanted an indebted State. With William of Orange in 1689 and then with the foundation in 1694 of the Bank of England, it was established a Dutch-style system with a private institution issuing money, a monopoly created from nothing with the only aim of indebt the State” (Ferrari, cit., pp.38-39).
- Portugal, Italy, Greece and Spain.