User:Nygdan

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The Bohemian Club is a fascinating sociological phenomenon, the RV are something of an off-shoot of them.

Below are crypto-pagan religious sects. Most are from the middle east. When Islam expanded, it encountered populations of christians zoroasterians, pagans, and other sects that were'nt intersted in converting. Some were more or less left to their own business. Others were persecuted. The ones that were persecuted strongly, they often adopted a programme of pretending to have converted; they'd use islamic and arabic terms like 'sheik', they'd dress like muslims, and most importantly, their religion went underground and became a secret mystery for its initiates. For some groups, this hidding has become so great that they more or less don't recognize themselves as being crypto-pagans, just as being 'unusual' muslims. Most Shia sects, when they were first encountered by modern ethnographers, were thought to be crpypto-pagans, but this is undoubtedly wrong.

The current dictator of Syria is a member of the alawis faith. They are possibly the only crypto-pagan religion that has managed to have its community in charge of a modern state. The Druze, however, are, by the rule of the Lebanese constitution, guarenteed a member of their community with-in the State's Executive.

The motif of the Tree of Life in the Kabbalah has antecedents in assyrian religion. Indeed, the worship of trees in association with a pillar cult seems to have been widespread throughout what is sometimes called the 'indo-european' world.