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Humiliation behind “greatness”? Empress Catherine of Russia. Part 2

The first article described the period of Catherine/Sofia/Fredericka Holstein-Gottrop-Romanov ventured out of Prussia in 1744 (she was 15 years old) to be betrothed to the immature and senile child Peter of Russia; how she suffered humiliation and then managed to bid her time to acceding to power in 1762 as the most powerful monarch of all the Russian Empire.

Most of this period was dominated by King Frederick II, known by history as “Frederick the Great”; Frederick was ruling Prussia and raised and training a strong army for expansion. Empress Elizabeth was the sole powerful monarch in Russia until her death in 1761. Elizabeth had acceded to power by overthrowing young Ivan VI.

Louis 15th was the monarch of France.

Catherine of Russia kept a detailed diary since childhood until she died.

She mastered 3 languages:  French (the most dominant language in all of Europe during the 18 and 19th centuries), German, and then she learned Russian.

She communicated with most of the famous authors and thinkers of her time and supported them financially and politically when in dire need.  She changed from Lutheran to Russian Orthodox Church for political reasons and to be able to accede to the throne; her father sent her a cold letter blaming her for that conversion.

The chamberlain to Empress Elizabeth welcomed the party at the Russian border and wrote:

The daughter is plain but healthy; she is taller than most women 5′ 5″; she resembles her father in facial characteristics:  She has a large nose and heavy chin, but she is taller than normal women.  I noticed from her gait that she suffered frost bites in several toes of her left foot. The mother is a complete snob and cares only of how she look. 

The mother reprimanded her daughter for missing her dad saying: “Your father is an insignificant person, focus to learn the Russian language and don’t think to returning to Prussia for visits.  The guest felt very comfortable in our heated sleighs; they were using carriages in wheels that left many bruises on their bodies.

The mother felt humiliated from the first meeting with Elizabeth who didn’t even look her way or addressed her; she had to wait over 2 years in Russia, relegated close to the servants’ apartment, until her daughter got married in late 1945.

Catherine gave birth to Paul in 1954; she had named him Pavel but Elizabeth changed his name to Paul and didn’t permit Catherine to see and care for her child until her death in 1761; thus, this overwhelming anger of Catherine toward Elizabeth and of her idiot of nephew Peter “who stood there grinning as Elizabeth snatched the baby from my arms”

Catherine wrote in her diary:

“Elizabeth is the bossiest lady I have ever met.  She catered for the minute details and never allowed me to dress as I wished”.

Elizabeth was a tall, svelte, beautiful woman with blue eyes before she died of overweight and aged prematurely.  Elizabeth confronted Frederick II militarily for over 7 years in order to halt Prussia expansion at the detriment of Austria”.  The Russian treasury was depleted when Elizabeth died in 1761.

Peter III was the new Emperor and he used to strut in Prussian army uniforms and declare that Prussia is the better than Russia in every thing and that Frederick II is the greatest monarch.  Catherine never dared to challenge Elizabeth but bid her time until the strong-willed Empress died.

Catherine dreaded that Elizabeth might demand from Peter to divorce her and be sent back to her family that no longer cared for her presence.

In the mean while, Catherine worked on her connections with the highest personality  in the noble class, the military, the clergymen, and foreign diplomats.  She had countless love affairs, especially with military officers such as Gregory Orlov and much later with Gregory Pushkin. A military coup organized by Catherine removed Peter from power, less than a year later, before his official coronation.  Peter was strangled in prison.

The day of the revolt, Catherine went straight to the main cathedral in St. Petersburg and got acclaimed by the archbishop as the new monarch.

The treasury was depleted and the treasurer’s report extended two quick alternative solutions to replenishing the coffer.  The first option was to wage war against China and capture vast lands and serfs.  The second option that Catherine preferred was to seizing vast fertile lands owned by the Orthodox church.

For the next 8 years, Catherine pursued this policy of regaining church lands to the crown.

In 1768, Turkey had enjoyed 5 years of good economic expansion and was buying weapons from France.  Catherine decide to expand in the south before Turkey becomes too powerful militarily.  The Russian army had a string of successful military victories that kept Europe on its toes.

The end result was devastating:  First, treasury was empty again; the treasurer wrote “All the money collected east of the Volga River is not covering the cost of breaking horses sent to the Turkish front.”  The Russian army was tied up in front of Turkey and whatever land acquired could not be used to generating any profit.

In 1970, the plague reached Moscow:  It had already killed over 20,000 in Austria the previous year.  For two years, the plague in Moscow left over 100,000 dead.  It was the custom to quarantine entire districts:  No entrance or exit to these closed areas.  People died of famine more than the plague, especially infants, for lack of food supply.

The well-off in Moscow had long vacated the Capital and a rudiment of police force still existed there.  In 1771, the downtrodden in Moscow overflow the center city and even managed to enter the Kremlin fortress.  Looting and killing of officials was rampant.  Catherine sent regiments headed by Gregory Orlov in September to recapture order.

Orlov realized that the best strategy was to bring food supplies to Moscow.  Teams were organized to gathering corpses and burning them then, collecting the garbage that city governments never “had money” to spend on cleaning the city.  Winter was the other factor that slowed down the dissemination of the plague that died down by the coming spring season.

To make matter worse, a rebellion broke out in the southern region in 1772.  Pugachev, a discharged army officer, was the leader of the revolt; he claimed to carrying the “imperial scars” and to being the incarnation of former emperor Peter (the slain late husband of Catherine).

The rebellion gathered thousands of members and it captured canons and plenty of guns and expanded eastward and entered many cities, including Kazar, the Capital of the Tatar province on the Volga River and 800 kilometer east of Moscow.

The Russian army was tied up on the Turkish front and negotiations for a peace treaty was experiencing a dead lock on Catherine insistence for war reparations.  There were no regiments fit with horses and canons to be dispatched to quell the expanding rebellion.  Catherine dropped the war reparation clause and went after the leader of the revolt.

Paul, the son of Catherine, wrote: “It was the first time I saw a glimpse of a smile on Catherine’s face”:  Catherine entered the court room to listen to the verdict for the hanging sentence of the leader of the revolt.

Once again the crown treasury was empty and Catherine agreed with Frederick II to dividing the Polish Kingdom that had backed Russia in its war against Prussia.  Catherine gained the easter portion of Poland around 1773.  The European nations of France, England, and Austria didn’t like this aggression.

After the treasury was again depleted, Catherine decided to expand into the Crimea Peninsula on the Black Sea.  She first bribed the Turkish king of the province with plenty of gold bars and secured a treaty of favored nation to doing commerce and having a military advisory role.  Russia quickly plotted and started a civil war and then entered heavily the Crimea before Turkey was ready to intervene militarily.

Catherine wrote: “The Crimea is the pearl in my crown”  In fact, Russia secured another water outlet to its navy.

Catherine visited part of her vast empire.  She ventured as far as Kazan by the Volga River (800 km east of Moscow.  The officials of the city boasted that half of Russia commerce is moved on the Volga River. The Empress wrote in her diary: “From my observations of the activities on the river  I know that the city government has far exaggerated the claim.” Currently, it is estimated that two-third of internal trade in Russia is moved on the Volga River.

There were no love affair or any kind of caring between Catherine and her son Paul:  In critical situations, Catherine would summon Paul to attend meetings or parties just to strengthen her legitimacy; in a sense, appeasing the Russian people of a secure succession to the throne. As the second stroke killed Catherine in 1796 at the age of 69 (she had reigned for 34 years) Paul became Emperor.

Paul was harassed by the British because he refused to join the coalition against the French First Consul Bonaparte.  Paul wrote to Napoleon: “You are not an Emperor or a King, but you have proven to be someone who can deliver.  That’s what count to me.

The British Ambassador plotted and assassinated Emperor Paul in 1801.  Three years later, Napoleon annihilated the armies of three emperors (Prussia, Austria, and Russia) who were present at the battle of Austerlitz.

Catherine committed the worst long-term error by focusing on short-term needs to sustaining her hold on power:  She overextended the privileges and rights of the nobility at the expense of the rights of the serfs working the lands.  The nobleman was secured in his title and the ownership of his land (except in cases of treason) and the nobleman could only be judged by his peers.  In the 19th century, Russia was racked by frequent revolts and assassinations of officials. Ironically, Emperor Alexander II was assassinated the day he was to sign the document on the Constitutional Monarchy. The communist Bolchviks took power in 1917 and liquidated the Romanov dynasty.

Catherine was warned plenty of times of the shortsightedness of strengthening the noble classes.  Diderot, the French who published the first encyclopedia, spent three years in St. Petersburg and Catherine met with him for hours almost everyday.  The Empress asked that her discussion sessions be recorded.  Here is a sample of the dialogue:

Diderot: “You have passed laws that made it impossible for serfs to leave their employment, to seeking new masters, and to move without their lords’ permission.”

Catherine: “Only troublemaker of serfs do what you suggested.  For all your new ideas, governing a country is very different from your bookish theories.”

Diderot: “If the world is to change we must begin somewhere.  That place is with new ideas on paper and in books.”

Catherine: “The empty page is always flexible.  I must work with physical human lives.  There are people to be fed and new generations to nurture.  I don’t have the luxury to pause while experimenting.”

In any case, Catherine witnessed the consequences of the French Revolution in 1789 and had plenty of warnings to reform her political system.

I don’t see much “greatness” in just expanding frontiers of an empire simply to replenishing depleted the treasury.

Part two: What is your cult? (Jan. 15, 2010)

The “Pendulum of Foucault” by Umberto Eco; part two

The book query three authors specializing in the occult or diabolic manuscripts that were written and published in Europe in the last 600 years after the persecution of the Templar Knights.

The authors tried to put together the many pieces of the puzzle that were gleamed from ancient manuscripts in order to construct a rational and logical story of Europe history events.

The Templar Knights were persecuted around 1344 by the French monarch Philip Le Bel and the pope of Rome: Templar Knights over extended their power base in acquiring vast lands and lending money to monarchs and princes and had become the most influential secret organization in Europe. The “initiates” or members were willing to die rather than divulge secrets.

The story starts from a cryptic message that it was attributed to the Templar Knights and found in the town of Provins in south-west France near the Cathar sect region. The various interpretations led to the belief that the fleeing Knights took refuge in the town of Tomar in Portugal and devised a plan to be executed for a period of 600 years.

Every 120 years, the headquarters of the “Invisible 36 Superiors” would be relocated to six different places so that each headquarters would relinquish the secret to the next headquarters.

Apparently, there are two secrets.

The initial secret was of religious nature and it became a cover up to the second secret for dominating the world.  The initial cult was based on the premises that either Jesus was not crucified and was whisked to Marseille in France and his descended initiated the Merovingian French monarchic dynasty or that Jesus died but Marie Magdalena was impregnated by Jesus and was whisked away to start a new dynasty.

The other more enduring secret says that earth underground is traversed by currents that can be controlled to spread havoc on earth crust if only the center or “Umbilicus” of the current could be determined; the center could be discovered if the entire pieces of a particular world cartographical chart can be put together and the sun ray hitting the right location on June 23 or Saint John Day at the beginning of earth summer solstice.

A quick summary of part one might be needed.  The plan would move from Tomar in 1344 to Scotland in 1464, then to Paris in 1584 at Saint Martin des Champs, then to Germany in 1704 at Marienburg near Dantzig, then to Bulgaria in 1824, and finally to Jerusalem (The Rock) in 1944.

The headquarters was transferred to Scotland but the next transfer to Paris didn’t take place and problems started. Every sub-cult wanted to put the pieces together all by itself since serious discontinuity of the pieces of the plan to rule the world was ruined.

One rumor is that the Jewish Diaspora got wind that the Christians have an important secret and got into their own investigative whirlwind and the Kabbala cult was expanded.  The ghettos were targeted for information because the abbot Pic de la Mirandolla referred in one of his speeches that Hebrew is the language to learn in order to decipher the cryptic messages using the Talmud.  The trend became to learn Hebrew and applying all kinds of combinational cryptology on the Talmud.

In fact, the Templar Knights had no connections with the Jewish religion; they had no Jewish sources or learned Hebrew.  The Free Masons inherited their cult from the Templar and added this myth related to Hiram and the Temple of Jerusalem.

Another rumor was that the Jesuits organization of Ignacio de Loyola was attuned to these secrets and working to put together the puzzle; the Jesuits were behind switching from the Julian to the Georgian calendar?  Anyway, France’s Grand Master Guillaume Postel died in 1581 and a Jesuit abbot confessed him.

Francis Bacon traveled to Prussia to connect with the Grand Master in Marienburg and he instituted many Templar Knights cults around Europe to gather information.

Most of the scholars in Europe were initiates in one or more of these cults such as Leonardo da Vinci, Newton, Voltaire, Condorcet, Diderot, d’Alembert, Lavoisier, Goethe, Mirabeau, Jules Verne, Francis Bacon, and on.   

Alexander Dumas wrote “Joseph Balsamo”, representing a Grand Master of Templar Knights; most of the heroes of Jules Verne are permutations on Cultists names such as “John Garral” in reference to the Graal or Robur le Conquerent and many of his novels are located underground and in the bowel of earth.  The frenzied endeavors to constructing vast underground tunnels, sewer systems, and metro lines in most European Capitals were decided and initiated by cultist sects; Salomon de Caus, one of the initiates, started the sewer system in Paris around 1665 at the demand of Colbert; Paris ended up with 23 kilometers of underground system.

Napoleon summoned the Jews in Europe to a conclave in 1806; the name of the convention was “Grand Sanhedrin”.  Apparently, Napoleon needed three pieces of the puzzle; since Napoleon failed to invade England then he wanted the last piece of the puzzle that he judged would be in the hands of the Jewish cults, the hierosolymitaine supposed to be waiting in Jerusalem (don’t ask me what is this sect).  The piece of puzzle, before the last, was supposed in the hands of the Paulician sect settled in Russia.

Who are the Paulicians? The sect is one of the hundreds of “heretic” Christian sects according to the Orthodox Byzantium Church. The Paulician refuses the Ancient Testament, the sacraments, despises the cross, and does not honor the Virgin Mary: she was just a fast conduit to Christ already made in heaven.  The sect became widespread and engaged in many wars along side the Byzantium Empire; it reached the Euphrates River in Syria and established communities in the Arabic Peninsula. Emperor Basil of Byzantium ended up persecuting the Paulician sect that fled to Slavic lands.

Now, the Orthodox Synod in Moscow lambasted Napoleon as trying to establish the antichrist reign and rule the world. Napoleon would in 1812 invade Russia to connect with the Paulician branch of the Templar Knights and fail in his endeavor.

Baron von Brunswick convened all the European Templar branches to reaching a consensus: the cultists met and the meeting failed.

The secret service of Tsar Nicholas II, the Okhrana, disseminated protocols in ancient manuscripts and labeled it “Protocols of the Wises of Sion” and the Jews were persecuted in order to get a piece of the puzzle.

Hitler also wanted a piece of the pie.  He tried to invade England and Russia for the same reasons.  Hitler was very meticulous in killing as many Jews as possible, in a well oiled process, in order to discover the secret of the hierosolymitaine branch.

At this stage, the authors of the occults realized that the story was advancing in the wrong direction.

Since the Templar Knights had no connections with Jewish sources then the last branch is not in Jerusalem but the fort of Alamut in the south-east region of the Caspian Sea.  The “Old of the Mountain” was Hassan Ibn Al Sabbah who instituted what the European called the “Assassins sect” based on the word “hashasheen” or those that consumed hashish.

The initiates of Al Sabbah had terrorized all Moslem monarchs and princes and frightened the Crusaders when they attempted to kill a few of their leaders.  The Templar Knights were owed by this sect and valued those fearless initiates and connect with Al Sabbah sect and learned their underground current secret, their organization, and the techniques for training suicidal members.

Al Sabbah would kidnap select young men, drug them, and then move them to the fort.  The young man would wake up and be feasted for many weeks with best food, women, hashish, and everything that might give the man the impression of transplanted in heaven.  Then, when time is ripe, the young man would be drugged again and relocated outside the fort Alamut with instructions.  The move would be to kill an enemy at very close range and then commit suicide (feddayins) if not killed on the spot.  Sultan Salah El Din came very close to be assassinated twice and he decided to desist persecuting this sect.

The sect of Al Sabbah is a variant of the Shiaa Islamic schism: they believe that Ali, the son-in-law of Prophet Mohammad, is also a prophet as are all his descendents; the last prophet is to unveil his existence at the end of time.  This sect is one of the Ismailia sects that the Fatimid dynasty in Egypt disseminated.  The Druze sect in Lebanon is a variant of Ismailia.  Actually, one of the misinterpretations in transcribing manuscripts was confounding Ismaili with Israeli.

In the end, the authors interpreted the cryptic message the right way: the message was based on a commission list of a merchant at Provins; this list was not hidden in a case encrusted with diamonds but a rotting one. Actually, the commission list mentions streets, churches, and forts that are located in the town of Provins.  The town was famous for clothing and growing red flowers imported from Syria during the crusading campaigns.  The merchant jotted down in short hand the locations to deliver six bouquets of roses, 6 roses in each bouquet for 20 sous, for a total of 120 sous.

The cultist mentality wrecked havoc in Europe for 600 years based on rumors and the need for secrets to assemble people in organizations and associations.

Cultists are “Big” kids in need of secrets to perpetuate before merging into adulthood.

Famous Manuscripts Banned by the Vatican: (Part 2, April 19, 2009)

Thousands of literary works were indexed by the Vatican from around 1200 to 1966.

Virtually no author was spared indexing. Pascal, Descartes, Locke, Spinoza, Rousseau, Kant, Diderot, Stendhal, Lamartine, Hugo, Flaubert, Balzac, Saint-Simon, Proudhon, Zola, Sartre, and even Gide were indexed for part of their work. 

Voltaire was the most indexed: each of his manuscripts was automatically indexed before reading it. Voltaire would occasionally sign Ecralinf meaning (Let us crush the despicable infamous Church of Rome)

Ironically, Darwin, Karl Marx, and Hitler were spared INDEXING.

The Defender of Peace” by Marsile of Padua (Rector of the University of Paris) is published in 1324 and banned by the Church. The manuscript said that the function of governance does not suit the Bishop of Rome (the Pope) because this urge for domination of the Church is the bane of all discords.  Communities should be governed by their own councils.

Baruch Spinoza published “Treaty on Theological-Politics” in 1670.  He is excommunicated (herem) by the Jewish Wise Men of the synagogue of Amsterdam and later indexed by the Vatican. Spinoza claimed that the Torah is false, that soul dies with the body, and that God exist only philosophically.  Religions instituted a God with 7 main characteristics so that their logical scaffold can hold: God should be One, Unique, Omnipresent, has absolute authority and rights over everything, that obeisance to God consist in justice and charity, that Heaven and Hell are the consequences of our behaviors, and finally that God is forgiving because everyone is a sinner. Faith does not dwell on whether God is fire, spirit, light, or thought.

Pierre-Augustin de Beaumarchais published “The Wedding of Figaro” in 1781. This manuscript said of the aristocrats “You were given the pain of being born, and nothing else”; and thus was blamed for disturbing the social construct.  Beaumarchais published also “The Barber of Seville”

“Praise of Folly” (L’Eloge de la Folie) by Erasmus of Rotterdam was indexed in 1511.  Under the mask of irony, Erasmus creates a Foul dominating the World and supported by ignorant idiots with humongous Ego; he attacks the theologians and scholastic specialties whom thrive in adding subtlety over subtlety in order to obscure any kind of comprehension.  In just the same century, the manuscript is re-edited 600 times.

“The Prince” of Nicolas Machiavelli is published in 1513 in Florence.  The book explains how a Prince should behave to acquire and then retain power and would be one of the founders of modern political thinking.

“The Third Book” of Francois Rabelais was published in 1532.  The previous publications “Pantagruel” and “Gargantua” were not spared indexing too.  The art of mockery far exceed that of Erasmus and his farces scorch all the princes.  Moliere would rely on Rabelais’ works for his comedies.

The Essays” of about 107 of essays by Michel Montaigne are published as of 1580 and was censured by the Church Inquisition.  The Church didn’t like the offhandedness of mixing sacred topics with profane subjects and the manuscript was judged morally too permissive.

“The new Stories” succeeds the famous fables of Jean de la Fontaine and are published as of 1674 and mocks the clerics and was indexed for “corrupting the moral and inspiring libertine behaviors”.  Before he dies, his confessor forced him to recant, and he did so that he may die in peace of that pest of cleric.

“The Spirit of Laws” by Charles-Louis of Montesquieu was published in Switzerland in 1748 to avoid censuring.  The author demanded that the three branches of executive, legislative, and justice enjoy independent powers for check and balance in governance.

“Therese the Philosopher” by Jean-Baptiste Boyer was published in 1748, in the same year that “Fanny Hill” of John Cleland was published.  This manuscript described in details the bacchant sacrilegious ceremonies that a Pope relished. The Marquis of Sade would imitate that genre of pornography.  It is rumored that these kinds of books influenced the French Revolution more than any other manuscripts.  The French National Library cataloged this book under “Hell” section.

“Emile” by Jean-Jacques Rousseau was published in 1762.  Rousseau offered a new educational system for kids so that the natural kindness of humankind is preserved; that kids enjoy their lives as kids and refrain from reading before the age of 12; that they wear loose garments to play leisurely.  The manuscript was indexed and publicly burned in Paris for inciting man to follow his instincts.  Rousseau will publish “The Social Contract” in 1766 and Geneva Council banished it.  In reaction, Rousseau abandoned his Switzerland nationality.


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