Name: Mike Manos
Name of Book: GOD’S POOR (Amazon-E-Bay, Infinity Publishing)
How did you come up with the idea for your book?
The idea of the story comes from a great man of Christian faith, Panteleimon, the late Bishop of Corinth, Greece, and more specifically from his book about the old heresies.
Although I am a scholar of history and archaeology, I confess the era of the first century of Christianity isn’t my expertise. I then read the book and I realized I was looking in murky and deep waters for a faith long ago forgotten. The heresy of the Valdecians was in particular a great influence to me. After searching, reading more books and discussing with the Bishop, I found out that they survived up to our days under different names. Hussites, Serbian Calogers, Renan Eusebists, Cathars and some other heretical movements, were all influenced by the Valdesians. Certain sects of the Calvinists were also influenced by them. As you know, Calvin was the founder of the Presbyterian Church.
After searching all the way back to their roots, I found their origins in the first centuries of Christianity under different names. Paulicians, Manichaeans, Euchetists, Bogomils, all shared the same believes, which were similar to Valdesians. They used to be so popular as movements that they mobilized indigenous elements with ethno-generic effects, mainly in the Balkans.
In the 12th century their doctrines were transmitted in dualistic affinities all across Central and Western Europe. The real influence behind all these heresies was Marcion who, at the past, almost became Bishop of Rome.
The Valdesians and all previously mentioned sects, under constant persecution from Emperors, Popes and Patriarchs, had to hide their believes in order to survive. In other words, pretending was a routine for them. The ancestors of today’s Bosnian Muslims were in fact Bogomils.
Off course there were the doctrines of their faith and the “Apocrypha”, the heretical Gospels. In particular the Gospel of Thomas is very questioning. It is very different from all the other Gospels and Gnosticism influences it by a great deal. Every chapter of my book starts with an extract from the Gospel of Thomas, so every reader would be in touch and have ‘’food for thought’’. It is divided in 114 verses, which in reality are small chapters. In verses 2-4 the main theme is that nothing will be covered up and everything will be revealed. So what is revealed? Nothing less than the secret Knowledge, which Jesus had told Apostle Thomas, and Thomas alone. And what about the “blasphemy” which stated that Thomas was the twin brother of Jesus? The name Thomas derives from the ancient Syrian word “Tauma,” which means twin.
The important thing behind the old powerful heresies is their dualistic origin. It is the old believes of the people, under a new skin, against
the new Triadic faith of Christianity. Light and Dark, Bad and Good, Virtue and Sin, against the Triadic God. It is not easy to erase the past, and when the past mixes with the present the lines become to blur.
One of the believes shared between almost all these sects is the distinction between the God who made and governs the material world and the God of heaven who created souls, who alone should be adored. Consequently all matter is bad, an idea that has Manichean origins. But since they also rejected the Old Testament, they have a strong Marcionite element too.
The heresy of the Valdesians was capable of finding its way till our days under constant persecution, using different names and pretending, and for this reason alone this is a true miracle. The legend has that the leader of one of the sects, God’s Poor, was capable of doing unbelievable things, a great magician indeed. If you add to the above the story of Jerusalem and the quest for immortality, then you have an extraordinary book, which took me four years to complete. A novel that mixes reality with legend to create a great story, as my colleagues assured me.
And don’t forget HAARP. The end is never certain, same as the old powerful heresies.
Visit Mike Manos at his tour page at Pump Up Your Book