The Gnostic Society Library

Gnostic John the Baptizer:

Selections from the MandŠan John-Book

by G. R. S. Mead


This book was reduced to HTML by Christopher M. Weimer, March 2002, revised August 2002. All HTML content is copyright and freely distributable for noncommercial use without the expressed consent of the author.


Note to the HTML transcription

The MandŠans are a small and little-known religious community living principally in Iraq. They are the last group of traditional gnostics left in the world and as such present a facinating and edifying 'field of study.' They are not Christians,but trace their earthy heritage back to the same John known as the 'Baptist' or 'Baptizer' in Christian tradition, but they hold themselves radically aloof from both Christianity and Judaism which they regard, in true gnostic fashion, as perverted versions of the true relgion.

The author of this work, G. R. S. Mead, was a very prolific writer early in the twentieth century, and most of his work focused on gnosticism and other forms of western esoteric religion dating from the early centuries of the Christian Era. He was also very active in the Theosophical movement, serving for many years as H. P. Blavatsky's secretary. His work is rarely mentioned in scholarly works these days, and his credentials as a 'scholar' may be shaky, but given his background, he had an understanding of esoteric religion that many university people cannot approach to.

The translations contained in this book were almost all made at second-hand from German translations of the originals, but the fact remains that they are the only substantial source material on MandŠanism that is in the public domain. More texts relating to the MandŠans are available at the Gnostic Archives.