Chapter 2 – Secret Societies and Subversive Movements


WE have followed the efforts of subversive sects hitherto directed against Christianity and orthodox Judaism ; we shall now see this attempt, reduced by gradual stages to a working system of extraordinary efficiency, organized for the purpose of undermining all moral and religious beliefs in the minds of Moslems. In the middle of the seventh century an immense schism was created in Islam by the rival advocates of successors to the Prophet, the orthodox Islamites known by the name of Sunnis adhering to the elected Khalifas Abu Bakr, Omar, and Othman, whilst the party of revolt, known as the Shiahs, claimed the Khalifate for the descendants of Mohammed through Ali, son of Abu-Talib and husband of Fatima, the Prophet’s daughter. This division ended in open warfare ; Ali was finally assassinated, his elder son Hasan was poisoned in Medina, his younger son Husain fell at the battle of Kerbela fighting against the supporters of Othman. The deaths of Hasan and Husain are still mourned yearly by the Shiahs at the Moharram.


The Shiahs themselves split again over the question of Ali’s successors into four factions, the fourth of which shiah divided again into two further sects. Both of these retained their allegiance to the descendants of Ali as far as Jafar-as-Sadik but whilst one party, known as the Imamias or Isna-Asharias i.e. the Twelvers), supported the succession through his younger son Musa to the twelfth Imam Mohammed, son of Askeri, the Ismailis (or Seveners) adhered to Ismail, the elder son of Jafar-as-Sadik.

So far, however, in spite of divisions, no body of Shiahs had ever deviated from the fundamental doctrines of Islamism but merely claimed that these had been handed down through a different line from that recognized by the Sunnis. The earliest Ismailis, who formed themselves into a party at about the time of the death of Mohammed, son of Ismail (i.e.circ. A.D. 770) still remained believers, declaring only that the true teaching of the Prophet had descended to Mohammed, who was not dead but would return in the fullness of time and that he was the Mahdi whom Moslems must await. But in about A.D. 87, an intriguer of extraordinary subtlety succeeded in capturing the movement, which, hitherto merely schismatic, now became definitely subversive, not only of Islamism, but of all religious belief.

This man, Abdullah ibn Maymn, the son of a learned and free-thinking doctor in Southern Persia, brought up in the doctrines of Gnostic Dualism and profoundly versed in all religions, was in reality, like his father, a pure materialist. By professing adherence to the creed of orthodox Shi-ism, and proclaiming a knowledge of the mystic doctrines which the Ismailis believed to have descended through Ismail to his son Mohammed, Abdullah succeeded in placing himself at the head of the Ismailis.

His advocacy of Ismail was thus merely a mask, his real aim being materialism, which he now proceeded to make into a system by founding a sect known as the Batinis with seven degrees of initiation. Dozy has given the following description of this amazing project :

To link together into one body the vanquished and the conquerors ; to unite in the form of a vast secret society with many degrees of initiation free-thinkers–who regarded religion only as curb for the people–and bigots of all sects ; to make tools of believers in order to give power to sceptics ; to induce conquerors to overturn the empires they had founded ; to build up a party, numerous, compact, and disciplined, which in due time would give the throne, if not to himself, at least to his descendants, such was Abdullah ibn Maymn’s general aim–an extraordinary conception which he worked out with marvellous tact, incomparable skill, and profound knowledge of the human heart. The means which he adopted were devised with diabolical cunning. . . .
It was . . . not among the Shi-ites that he sought his true supporters, but among the Ghebers, the Manicheans, the pagans of Harran, and the students of Greek philosophy ; on the last alone could he rely, to them alone could he gradually unfold the final mystery, and reveal that Imams, religions, and morality were nothing but an imposture and an absurdity. The rest of mankind–the ” asses,” as Abdullah called them–were incapable of understanding such doctrines. But to gain his end he by no means disdained their aid ; on the contrary, he solicited it, but he took care to initiate devout and lowly souls only in the first grades of the sect. His missionaries, who were inculcated with the idea that their first duty was to conceal their true sentiments and adapt themselves to the views of their auditors, appeared in many guises, and spoke, as it were, in a different language to each class. They won over the ignorant vulgar by feats of legerdemain which passed for miracles or excited their curiosity by enigmatical discourse. In the presence of the devout they assumed the mask of virtue and piety. With mystics they were mystical, and unfolded the inner meanings of phenomena, or explained allegories and the figurative sense of the allegories themselves. . . .

By means such as these the extraordinary result was brought about that a multitude of men of diverse beliefs were all working together for an object known only to a few of them. . . .(2)

I quote this passage at length because it is of immense importance in throwing a light on the organization of modern secret societies. It does not matter what the end may be, whether political, social, or religious, the system remains the same–the setting in motion of a vast number of people and making them work in a cause unknown to them. That this was the method adopted by Weishaupt in organizing the Illuminati and that it came to him from the East will be shown later on. We shall now see how the system of the philosopher Abdullah paved the way for bloodshed by the most terrible sect the world had ever seen.


The first open acts of violence resulting from the doctrines of Abdullah were carried out by the Karmathites, a new development of the Ismailis. Amongst the many Dais sent out by the leader–which included his son Ahmed and Ahmed’s son–was the Dai Hosein Ahwazi, Abdullah’s envoy to Irak in Persia, who initiated a certain Hamdan surnamed Karmath into the secrets of the sect. Karmath, who was a born intriguer and believed in nothing, became the leader of the Karmathites in Arabia, where a number of Arabs were soon enlisted in the society. With extraordinary skill he succeeded in persuading these dupes to make over all their money to him, first by means of small contributions, later by larger sums, until at last he convinced them of the advantages of abolishing all private property and establishing the system of the community of goods and wives. This principle was enforced by the passage of the Koran : ” Remember the grace of God in that whilst you were enemies, He has united your hearts, so that by His grace you have become brothers. . . .” De Sacy thus transcribes the methods employed as given by the historian Nowairi :

When Karmath had succeeded in establishing all this, and everyone had agreed to conform to it, he ordered the Dais to assemble all the women on a certain night so that they should mingle promiscuously with all the men. This, he said, was perfection and the last degree of friendship and fraternal union. Often a husband led his wife and presented her himself to one of his brothers when that gave him pleasure. When he (Karmath) saw that he had become absolute master of their minds, had assured himself of their obedience, and found out the degree of their intelligence and discernment, he began to lead them quite astray. He put before them arguments borrowed from the doctrines of the Dualists. They fell in easily with all that he proposed, and then he took away from them all religion and released them from all those duties of piety, devotion, and the fear of God that he prescribed for them in the beginning. He permitted them pillage, and every sort of immoral licence, and taught them to throw off the yoke of prayer, fasting, and other precepts. He taught them that they were held by no obligations, and that they could pillage the goods and shed the blood of their adversaries with impunity, that the knowledge of the master of truth to whom he had called them took the place of everything else, and that with this knowledge they need no longer fear sin or punishment.
As the result of these teachings the Karmathites rapidly became a band of brigands, pillaging and massacring all those who opposed them and spreading terror throughout all the surrounding districts.

Peaceful fraternity was thus turned into a wild lust for conquest ; the Karmathites succeeded in dominating a great part of Arabia and the mouth of the Euphrates, and in A.D. 920 extended their ravages westwards. They took possession of the holy city of Mecca, in the defence of which 30,000 Moslems fell. ” For a whole century,” says von Hammer, ” the pernicious doctrines of Karmath raged with fire and sword in the very bosom of Islamism, until the widespread conflagration was extinguished in blood.”

But in proclaiming themselves revolutionaries the Karmathites had departed from the plan laid down by the originator of their creed, Abdullah ibn Maymn, which had consisted not in acts of open violence but in a secret doctrine which should lead to the gradual undermining of all religious faith and a condition of mental anarchy rather than of material chaos. For violence, as always, had produced counter violence, and it was thus that while the Karmathites were rushing to their own destruction through a series of bloody conflicts, another branch of the Ismailis were quietly reorganizing their forces more in conformity with the original method of their founder. These were the Fatimites, so-called from their professed belief that the doctrine of the Prophet had descended from Ali, husband of Fatima, Mohammed’s daughter. Whilst less extreme than the Karmathites, or than their predecessor Abdullah ibn Maymn, the Fatimites, according to the historian Makrizi, adopted the method of instilling doubts into the minds of believers and aimed at the substitution of a natural for a revealed religion. Indeed, after the establishment of their power in Egypt, it is difficult to distinguish any appreciable degree of difference in the character of their teaching from the anarchic code of Abdullah and his more violent exponent Karmath.


The founder of the Fatimite dynasty of the Khalifas was one Ubeidallah, known as the Mahdi, accused of Jewish ancestry by his adversaries the Abbasides, who declared — apparently without truth–that he was the son or grandson of Ahmed, son of Abdullah ibn Maymn, by a Jewess. Under the fourth Fatimite Khalifa Egypt fell into the power of the dynasty and, before long, bi-weekly assemblages of both men and women known as ” societies of wisdom ” were instituted in Cairo. In 1004 these acquired a greater importance by the establishment of the Dar ul Hikmat, or the House of Knowledge, by the sixth Khalifa Hakim, who was raised to a deity after his death and is worshipped to this day by the Druses. Under the direction of the Dar ul Hikmat or Grand Lodge of Cairo, the Fatimites continued the plan of Abdullah ibn Maymn’s secret society with the addition of two more degrees making nine in all. Their method of enlisting proselytes and stem of initiation –which, as Claudio Jannet points out, ” are absolutely those which Weishaupt, the founder of the Illuminati, prescribed to the ‘ Insinuating Brothers ‘ ” (3)–were transcribed by the fourteenth-century historian Nowairi in a description that may be briefly summarized thus (4) :

The proselytes were broadly divided into two classes, the learned and the ignorant. The Dai was to agree with the former, applauding his wisdom, and to impress the latter with his own knowledge by asking him perplexing questions on the Koran. Thus in initiating him into the first degree the Dai assumed an air of profundity and explained that religious doctrines were too abstruse for the ordinary mind, but must be interpreted by men who, like the Dais, had a special knowledge of this science. The initiate was bound to absolute secrecy concerning the truths to be revealed to him and obliged to pay in advance for these revelations. In order to pique his curiosity, the Dai would suddenly stop short in the middle of a discourse, and should the novice finally decline to pay the required sum, he was left in a state of bewilderment which inspired him with the desire to know more.

In the second degree the initiate was persuaded that all his ormer teachers were wrong and that he must place his confidence solely in those Imams endowed with authority from God ; in the third he learnt that these Imams were those of the Ismailis, seven in number ending with Mohammed, son of Ismail, in contradistinction to the twelve Imams of the Imamias who supported the claims of Ismail’s brother Musa ; in the fourth he was told that the prophets preceding the Imams descending from Ali were also seven in number–namely Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses, Jesus, the first Mohammed, and finally Mohammed son of Ismail.

So far, then, nothing was said to the initiate in contradiction to the broad tenets of orthodox Islamism. But with the fifth degree the process of undermining his religion began, he was now told to reject tradition and to disregard the precepts of Mohammed ; in the sixth he was taught that all religious observances–prayer, fasting, etc.–were only emblematic that in fact all these things were devices to keep the common herd of men in subordination ; in the seventh the doctrines of Dualism, of a greater and a lesser deity, were introduced and the unity of God–fundamental doctrine of Islamism was destroyed ; in the eighth a great vagueness was expressed on the attributes of the first and greatest of these deities, and it was pointed out that real prophets were those who concerned themselves with practical matters–political institutions and good forms of government ; finally, in the ninth, the adept was shown that all religious teaching was allegorical and the religious precepts need only be observed in so far as it is necessary to maintain order, but the man who understands the truth may disregard all such doctrines. Abraham, Moses, Jesus, and the other prophets were therefore only teachers who had profited by the lessons of philosophy. All belief in revealed religion was thus destroyed. It will be seen then that in the last degrees the whole teaching of the first five was reversed and therefore shown to be a fraud. Fraud in fact constituted the system of the society ; in the instructions to the Dais every artifice is described for enlisting proselytes by misrepresentation : Jews were to be won by speaking ill of Christians, Christians by speaking ill of Jews and Moslems alike, Sunnis by referring with respect to the orthodox Khalifas Abu Bakr and Omar and criticizing Ali and his descendants. Above all, care was to be taken not to put before proselytes doctrines that might revolt them, but to make them advance step by step. By these means they would be ready to obey any commands. As the instructions express it :

If you were to give the order to whoever it might be to take from him all that he holds most precious, above all his money, he would oppose none of your orders, and if death surprised him he would leave you all that he possesses in his will and make you his heir. He will think that in the whole world he cannot find a man more worthy than you.
Such was the great secret society which was to form the model for the Illuminati of the eighteenth century, to whom the summary of von Hammer might with equal truth apply:

To believe nothing and to dare all was, in two words, the sum of this system, which annihilated every principle of religion and morality, and had no other object than to execute ambitious designs with suitable ministers who, daring all and knowing nothing, since they consider everything a cheat and nothing forbidden, are the best tools of an infernal policy. A system which, with no other aim than the gratification of an insatiable lust for domination, instead of seeking the highest of human objects, precipitates itself into the abyss, and mangling itself, is buried amidst the ruins of thrones and altars, the wreck of national happiness, and the universal execration of mankind.(5)


The terrible Grand Lodge of Cairo before long became the centre of a new and extraordinary cult. Hakim sixth Fatimite Khalifa and founder of the Dar ul Hikmat–a monster of tyranny and crime whose reign can only be compared to that of Caligula or Nero–was now raised to the place of a divinity by one Ismail Darazi, a Turk who in 1016 announced in a mosque in Cairo that the Khalifa should be made an object of worship. Hakim, who ” believed that divine reason was incarnate in him,” four years later proclaimed itself a deity, and the cult was finally established by one of his viziers, the Persian mystic Hamza ibn Ali. Hakim’s cruelties, however, had so outraged the people of Egypt that a year later he was murdered by a band of malcontents, led, it is said, by his sister, who afterwards concealed his body–circumstance which gave his followers the opportunity to declare that the divinity had merely vanished in order to test the faith of believers, but would reappear in time and punish apostates. This belief became the doctrine of the Druses of Lebanon, whom Darazi had won over to the worship of Hakim.

It is unnecessary to enter into the details of this strange religion, which still persists to-day in the range of Lebanon ; suffice it to say that, although the outcome of the Ismailis, the Druses do not appear to have embraced the materialism of Abdullah ibn Maymn, but to have grafted on a primitive form of Nature-worship and of Sabeism the avowed belief of the Ismailis in the dynasty of Ali and his successors, and beyond this an abstruse, esoteric creed concerning the nature of the Supreme Deity. God they declare to be ” Universal Reason,” who manifests Himself by a series of ” avatars.” Hakim was the last of the divine embodiments, and ” when evil and misery have increased to the predestined height he will again appear, to conquer the world and to make his religion supreme.”

It is, however, as a secret society that the Druses enter into the scope of this book, for their organization presents several analogies with that which we now know as ” masonic.” Instead of the nine degrees instituted by the Lodge of Cairo, the Druses are divided into only three–Profanes, Aspirants, and Wise–to whom their doctrines are gradually unfolded under seal of the strictest secrecy, to ensure which signs and pass words are employed after the manner of Freemasonry. A certain degree of duplicity appears to enter into their scheme much resembling that enjoined to the Ismaili Dais when enlisting proselytes belonging to other religions : thus in talking to Mohammedans, the Druses profess to be followers of the Prophet ; with Christians, they pretend to hold the doctrines of Christianity, an attitude they defend on the score that it is unlawful to reveal the secret dogmas of their creed to a “Black,” or unbeliever.

The Druses are in the habit of holding meetings where, as in the Dar ul Hikmat, both men and women assemble and religious and political questions are discussed ; the uninitiated, however, are allowed to exercise no influence on decisions, which are reached by the inner circle, to which only the “Wise” are admitted. The resemblance between this organization and that of Grand Orient Freemasonry is clearly apparent. The Druses also have modes of recognition which are common to Freemasonry, and M. Achille Laurent has observed : ” The formula or catechism of the Druses resembles that of the Freemasons ; one can learn it only from the Akals (or Akels = Intelligent, a small group of higher initiates), who only reveal its mysteries after having subjected one to tests and made one take terrible oaths.”

I shall refer again later in this book to the affinity between the Druses and Freemasons of the Grand Orient.


It will be seen that the Druses, distinguishing themselves from other Ismaili sects by their worship of Hakim, yet retaining genuine religious beliefs, had not carried on the atheistical tradition of Abdullah ibn Maymn and of the Grand Lodge of Cairo. But this tradition was to find in 1090 an exponent in the Persian Hasan Saba, a native of Khorasan, the son of Ali, a strict Shiah, who, finding himself suspected heretical ideas, ended by declaring himself a Sunni. Hasan brought up in this atmosphere of duplicity, was therefore well fitted to play the Machiavellian rôle of an Ismaili Dai.

Von Hammer regards Hasan as a mighty genius, one of a splendid triad, of which the two others were his schoolfellows the poet Omar Khayyám and Nizam ul Mulk, Grand Vizier under the Seljuk Sultan, Malik Shah. Hasan, having through the protection of Nizam ul Mulk secured titles and revenues and finally risen to office at the Court of the Sultan attempted to supplant his benefactor and eventually retired in disgrace, vowing vengeance against the Sultan and vizier. At this juncture he encountered several Ismailis, one of whom, a Dai named Mumin, finally converted him to the principles of his sect, and Hasan, declaring himself now to be a convinced adherent of the Fatimite Khalifas, journeyed to Cairo, where he was received with honour by the Dar ul Hikmat and also by the Khalifa Mustansir, to whom he became counsellor. But his intrigues once more involving him in disgrace, he fled to Aleppo and laid the foundations of his new sect. After enlisting proselytes in Bagdad, Ispahan, Khusistan, and Damaghan, he succeeded in obtaining by strategy the fortress of Alamut in Persia on the Caspian Sea, where he completed the plans for his great secret society which was to become for ever infamous under the name of the Hashishiyn, or Assassins.

Under the pretence of belief in the doctrines of Islam and also of adherence to the Ismaili line of succession from the Prophet, Hasan Saba now set out to pave his way to power and in order to achieve this and adopted the same method as Abdullah ibn Maymn. But the terrible efficiency of Hasan’s society consisted in the fact that a system of physical force was now organized in a manner undreamt of by his predecessor. As von Hammer has observed in an admirable passage :

Opinions are powerless, so long as they only confuse the brain, without arming the hand. Scepticism and free-thinking, as long as they occupied only the minds of the indolent and philosophical, have caused the ruin of no throne, for which purpose religious and political fanaticism are the strongest levers in the hands of nations. It is nothing to the ambitious man what people believe, but it is everything to know how he may turn them for the execution of his projects.(6)
Thus, as in the case of the French Revolution, ” whose first movers,” von Hammer also observes, ” were the tools or leaders of secret societies,” it was not mere theory but the method of enlisting numerous dupes and placing weapons in their hands that brought about the ” Terror ” of the Assassins six centuries before that of their spiritual descendants, the Jacobins of 1793.

Taking as his groundwork the organization of the Grand Lodge of Cairo, Hasan reduced the nine degrees to their original number of seven, but these now received a definite nomenclature, and included not only real initiates but active agents.

Descending downwards, the degrees of the Assassins were thus as follows : first, the Grand Master, known as the Shaikh-al-Jabal or ” Old Man of the Mountain “–owing to the fact that the Order always possessed itself of castles in mountainous regions ; second, the Dail Kebir or Grand Priors; third, the fully initiated Dais, religious nuncios and political emissaries ; fourth, the Rafiqs or associates, in training for the higher degrees ; fifth, the Fadais or ” devoted,” who undertook to deliver the secret blow on which their superiors had decided; sixth, the Lasiqus, or lay brothers ; and lastly the ” common people,” who were to be simply blind instruments. If the equivalents to the words ” Dai,” ” Rafiqs,” and ” Fadais ” given by von Hammer and Dr. Bussell as ” Master Masons,” ” Fellow Crafts,” and ” Entered Apprentices ” are accepted, an interesting analogy with the degrees Freemasonry is provided.

Designs against religion were, of course, not admitted by the Order ; ” strict uniformity to Islam was demanded from all the lower rank of uninitiated, but the adept was taught to see through the deception of ‘ faith and works.’ He believed in nothing and recognized that all acts or means were indifferent and the (secular) end alone to be considered.”(7)

Thus the final object was domination by a few men consumed with the lust of power ” under the cloak of religion and piety,” and the method by which this was to be established was the wholesale assassination of those who opposed them.

In order to stimulate the energy of the Fadais, who were required to carry out these crimes, the superiors of the Order had recourse to an ingenious system of delusion. Throughout the territory occupied by the Assassins were exquisite gardens with fruit trees, bowers of roses, and sparkling streams. Here are arranged luxurious resting-places with Persian carpets and soft divans, around which hovered black-eyed ” houris ” bearing wine in gold and silver drinking-vessels, whilst soft music mingled with the murmuring water and the song of birds. The young man whom the Assassins desired to train for a career of crime was introduced to the Grand Master of he Order and intoxicated with haschisch–hence the name ” Hashishiyn ” applied to the sect, from which the word assassin is derived. Under the brief spell of unconsciousness induced by this seductive drug the prospective Fadai was then carried into the garden, where on awaking he believed himself to be in Paradise. After enjoying all its delights he was given a fresh dose of the opiate, and, once more unconscious, was transported back to the presence of the Grand Master, who assured him that he had never left his side but had merely experienced a foretaste of the Paradise that awaited him if he obeyed the orders of his chiefs. The neophyte, thus spurred on by the belief that he was carrying out the commands of the Prophet, who would reward him with eternal bliss, eagerly entered into the schemes laid down for him and devoted his life to murder. Thus by the lure of Paradise the Assassins enlisted instruments for their criminal work and established a system of organized murder on a basis of religious fervour. ” ‘ Nothing is true and all is allowed ‘ was the ground of their secret doctrine, which, however, being imparted but to few and concealed under the veil of the most austere religionism and piety, restrained the mind under the yoke of blind obedience.” (8) To the outside world all this remained a profound mystery ; fidelity to Islam was proclaimed as the fundamental doctrine of the sect, and when the envoy of Sultan Sajar was sent to collect information on the religious beliefs of the Order he was met with the assurance : ” We believe in the unity of God, and consider that only as true wisdom which accords with His word and the commands of the prophet.”

Von Hammer, answering the possible contention that, as in the case of the Templars and the Bavarian Illuminati these methods of deception might be declared a calumny on the Order, points out that in the case of the Assassins no possible doubt existed, for their secret doctrines were eventually revealed by the leaders themselves, first by Hasan II, the third successor of Hasan Saba, and later by Jalal-ud-din Hasan, who publicly anathematized the founders of the sect and ordered the burning of the books that contained their designs against religion–a proceeding which, however, appears to have been a strategical manouvre for restoring confidence in the Order and enabling him to continue the work of subversion and crime. A veritable Reign of Terror was thus established throughout the East ; the Rafiqs and Fadais ” spread themselves in troops over the whole of Asia and darkened the face of the earth “; and ” in the annals of the Assassins is found the chronological enumeration of celebrated men of all nations who have fallen the victims of the Ismailis to the joy of their murderers and the sorrow of the world.”(9)

Inevitably this long and systematic indulgence in blood lust recoiled on the heads of the leaders, and the Assassins like the Terrorists of France, ended by turning on each other. The Old Man of the Mountain himself was murdered by his brother-in-law and his son Mohammed ; Mohammed, in his turn, whilst ” aiming at the life of his son Jalal-ud-din, was anticipated by him with poison, which murder was again avenged by poison ” so that from ” Hasan the Illuminator ” down to the last of his line the Grand Masters fell by the hands of their next-of-kin, and ” poison and the dagger prepared the grave which the Order had opened for so many.”(10) Finally in 1256 the conquering hordes of the Mongol Mangu Khan swept away the dynasty of the Assassins.

But, although as reigning powers the Assassins and Fatimites ceased to exist, the sects from which they derived have continued up to the present day ; still every year at the celebration of the Moharram the Shiahs beat their breasts and besprinkle themselves with blood, calling aloud on the martyred heroes Hasan and Husain ; the Druses of the Lebanon still await the return of Hakim, and in that inscrutable East, the cradle of all the mysteries, the profoundest European adept of secret society intrigue may find himself outdistanced by pastmasters in the art in which he believed himself proficient.

The sect of Hasan Saba was the supreme model on which all systems of organized murder working through fanaticism, such as the Carbonari and the Irish Republican Brotherhood were based, and the signs, the symbols, the initiations, of the Grand Lodge of Cairo formed the groundwork for the great secret societies of Europe.

How came this system to be transported to the West ? By what channel did the ideas of these succeeding Eastern sects penetrate to the Christian world ? In order to answer this question we must turn to the history of the Crusades.

  1. Principal authorities consulted for this chapter : Joseph von Hammer, The History of the Assassins (Eng. trans., 1835); Silvestre de Sacy, Exposé de la Religion des Druses (1838) and Mémoires sur la Dynastie des Assassins in Mémoires de l’Institut Royal de France, Vol. IV. (1818) Hastings’ Encyclopædia of Religion and Ethics ; Syed Ameer Ali, The Spirit of Islam (1922) ; Dr.W. Bussell, Religious Thought and Heresy in the Middle Ages (1918).
  2. Reinhart Dozy, Spanish Islam (Eng. trans.), pp. 403-5.
  3. Claudio Jannet, Les Précurseurs de la Franc-Maçonnerie, p. 58 (1887).
  4. The following account is given by de Sacy in connexion with Abdullah ibn Maymn (op. cit., I. lxxiv), and Dr. Bussell (Religious Thought and Heresy in the Middle Ages, p. 353) includes it in his chapter on the Karmathites. Von Hammer, however, gives it as the programme of the Dar ul Hikmat, and this seems more probable since the initiation consists of nine degrees and Abdullah’s society of Batinis, into which Karmath had been initiated, included only seven. Yarker (The Arcane Schools, p. 185) says two additional degrees were added by the Dar ul Hikmat. It would appear then that de Sacy, in placing this account before his description of the Karmathites, was anticipating. The point is immaterial, the fact being that the same system was common to all these ramifications of Ismailis, and that of the Dar ul Hikmat varied but little from that of Abdullah and Karmath.
  5. Von Hammer, op. cit. (Eng. trans.), pp. 36, 37.
  6. Von Hammer, The History of the Assassins, pp. 45, 46.
  7. Dr. F.W. Bussell, Religious Thought and Heresy in the Middle Ages, p. 368.
  8. Von Hammer, op. cit., p. 55.
  9. Von Hammer, op. cit., pp. 83, 89.
  10. Ibid., p. 164.

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