The Waldenses


The Way of the Poor Men of Lyons

Again, I beg that you indulge me as I bring a few other components into the “mix.” The things that must be kept constantly in mind are the (apparent) predominance of the Papacy, the security of the Noble Houses/Thrones, and the economic control and stability of post-Roman Empire European society.

Preceding and during the attempt by the Knights to set up the first true world banking system in the 12-14th century (which, despite historical record appears to have succeeded), there came into play the part of a man who is mostly left out of the history books of today. Don’t laugh, but his name was Waldo, Valdois in the French vernacular of the day. He was shortly after his appearance to take on the new name of Peter. What did this man do that he should be brought into this study? What he did was to upset the entire apple cart of Papal and European policy. Yet, most have never heard of him. Why is that? It could be said that his role was obscured, or at least minimalized, by the historians who have always mostly been under influence, willingly or not, of the Rulers.

Was Waldo a part of some scheme to take over thrones or economic forces? If so, he went about it in a very strange way. Was he seeking glory? Some thing. What was his intent? Let’s take a brief look at what we know of him:

Valdois de’ Lyons was by most accounts a prosperous merchant who, upon reading a true rendering of Scripture in the forbidden local language, turned from a life of wealth to one of poverty for the purpose of proclaiming the hidden Gospel. He had been provided a copy of the Scriptures in translated form by two priests whom he had befriended. After studying the Scriptures he immediately made arrangements for his wife and two daughters, gave away the remainder of his wealth, and began preaching the Gospel throughout the area. This, of course, was prohibited by Rome, for lay ministry had been proclaimed illegal by the papacy. Keep in mind that it was very shortly after his ministry began that the first Order of the Knights Templar was initiated. Rome apparently did not delay in countering this most horrendous of enemies.

Lay ministry was forbidden by the Catholic church of the time, yet certain priests found themselves sympathetic to Waldo’s message. Two in particular, Bernard Ydros and Stephen of Ansa, agreed to the bold layman’s request for a translation of the Gospels and certain epistles into the vernacular for his own study and use. The time Peter spent poring over his new treasure served only to strengthen and clarify his conviction that Christ had called His followers to a life of self-denial, not to the gross materialism and indulgence manifested by the Catholic church. His preaching gained new zeal and depth as he expounded the Scriptures to all who would listen. Impressed by Peter’s example and his evident sincerity, others soon joined him, and thus the movement began.

         At first, Waldo had no intention of leaving the Catholic church. His desire was to inspire reform, not foment rebellion. Thus he approached Pope Alexander III in 1179 to approve his vow of poverty, and signed a confession of faith which may still be viewed today. However, the papal support of Waldo soon waned when he and his fellow pauperes, or “poor men,” refused to stop their presumptuous preaching though they had been directly ordered to do so. The Archbishop of Lyons condemned Peter and his followers, and the papal bull of Lucius III in 1184 excommunicated them. Nevertheless, the Waldensians continued to grow in numbers and in commitment to the Word of God.[1]        


The movement spread like wildfire. The masses were quite aware that the state of the church was not as it should be, and their hunger fed the flames. The fact that the Knights Templar was formed immediately after Waldo’s trip to Rome must be inspected carefully because of its coincidental nature, especially considering the fact that many of the “Knights” went about hunting down and killing whole villages of these “heretics” in the ensuing years.

        Once the teaching of Peter started taking root, no amount of debunking could prevent the effects upon society. Rome could excommunicate Waldo, but  killing him, (I propose) it knew from the previous example of the martyrs of Rome, could do more harm than good. Discreditation and subversion, they had learned, were its only viable tactics. An effective narcotic would need to be developed and administered and Balaam’s error employed. It would take a strategy of centuries to change the course of this exposure, as Rome knew quite well (which is why “lay teaching” was illegal, though the Word says that all True believers are called to the ministry of Jesus).

        The best way to control a thing is to render it ineffective for its original purposes. It was not long before monks, priests, bishops, and nobles “joined” the movement (see “The Poor Catholics” below). But the public conscience was now aware and informed, and though they could be controlled, an antibiotic must be devised to kill the disease and kept on hand should it break out again. Rome now knew that merely keeping the source of the disease out of public consumption was no longer effective. Time had not rendered the Gospel any less deadly to the purposes of the Archons:




Even this short list demonstrates that there were questions being asked at this time, many of which are strikingly similar to those issues raised by the Poor of Lyons:


  • the question of poverty and asceticism as a means of growth and/or salvation,
  • questions about the role of ritual,
  • activism of various sorts among the laity,
  • questions about the integrity of the clergy.
  • questions about interpretation and application of the Bible


It is likely that Waldo and his followers were influenced by some of these movements, or were the influence, although it is not clear how much. It would be too coincidental to see such common themes arising apart from any influence whatever. The fact is that there was a cultural and religious milieu shaping the thinking of this movement.

For example, we can place Lyonese poor nuclei in the same area of France as the Cathari, at a time when the Catharite revolution was at its height. Also, both southern France and northern Italy were hot-beds of dissident zeal during the very period of the rise of the Waldensians.

On the other hand, the Neo-Platonic and dualistic aspects of so many of these groups is not as evident in the teachings of the Waldensians during the earliest period. There is undoubtedly (*see italics below) some platonic asceticism involved in Waldo’ renunciation of wealth. Many of the new groups, including the mendicant orders of monks were renouncing all wealth at this time, and traveling around as beggars and preachers. The material world was viewed with suspicion, and anything that served to separate one from it would bring him/her closer to the Spiritual world, that is, closer to God.

Significantly, shortly after the time of Waldo, Boanaventure would argue that poverty had been Christ’s pattern, carried on for some time by monks such as the Egyptian anchorites, “but poverty declined after the Donation of Constantine and was not revived until the thirteenth century with the foundation of religious mendicancy by Francis and Dominic.” This view of history was identical to that held by the Waldensians.


*Tourn and others argue that this ascetic ideological base was not the case with the Waldensians. Their basis for renunciation of wealth was a literalistic application of Lk. 9:3-6, and Mk. 10:23-27, which are not ascetic. In other words, “. . .one might say that Waldensian piety was eschatological rather than dualist or ascetic.”  [This author agrees with this view after much investigation.]


This may be partially true for another reason. We find no reference to the monastic literature anywhere in the early Waldensian literature. The Cistercian order, which had been organized around 1119 believed that,


. . .the rule (of St. Benedict) was not merely a guideline or a set of positive laws which can be dispensed, but rather a species of Divine Law, which like the Commandments of the Gospel, has to be interpreted, but cannot be changed or dispensed.39


This point of view, so typical of all of the orders at this time, is absent from early Waldensian thinking. They based their movement on the authority of the scriptures.

Another distinction between the Waldensians and the monastic idealists at this time was the outward focus of the Poor of Lyons. They were not seeking primarily inner piety, but aggressive outreach to others.


“. . .Waldo’s case was different [than most poverty enthusiasts]. His vow did not lead him to a monastery and to a life of contemplation and obedience. He was an ordinary citizen among the poor and was determined to remain so. . .”

“For the Poor the bond of unity lay not in the sacraments but in their apostolic mission. Christian virtue, then, was in demonstrating love, and care for the brethren.

“Everyone of them, old and young, men and women, by day and by night, do not stop their learning and teaching of others.”


An inquisitor quotes, in the same vein, one of the Poor who had been brought before him: “In our home, women teach as well as men, and one who has been a student for a week teaches another.” 42

Thus the Waldensians were more activistic and outreaching than sacramental or reflective.


Waldensians Compared to Fransciscans


Perhaps if there had been more dependence on monastic ideology the later history of the Waldensians would have been very different. Not long after the time of Waldo, another new order arose not far from the region of Lombardy under the leadership of Francis of Assisi. The similarities between these groups is quite striking:


1)Both were operating in the same area at about the same time.

2)Francis was also untrained in theology.

3)His followers, like the Waldensians, were unlearned.

4)They lived in voluntary poverty, dressing in course cloth and sandals—exactly like the Waldensians.

5)They traveled around sometimes and preached, as the Waldensians did, although the emphasis with the Franciscans was more on service while that of the Waldensians was more on preaching.

6)Both were critical of the Roman Church’s failure to fully live up to the ideals of Scripture.

7)Both went to Rome to obtain papal approval for their orders. And this is where the similarity stops.


Francis did obtain approval from the Pope, while Waldo did not. Thus the Franciscans were taken into the embrace of the Church. This exempted them from persecution for the time being, and in fact, Franciscans were often leaders of the persecution of the Waldensians.

The question of the relationship of the Waldensians to the other doctrinal currents of that time is hard to determine exactly. There is no evidence of any influence from other groups on Waldo himself, until after his condemnation. Earlier, for instance, he directly denounced the Albigensians’ doctrine. The most important point in this is that there was no ideological or theological breakthrough that occasioned the Waldensian movement. Their existence was not the result of any change in theology, but rather a change in theopraxy—the Poor of Lyons translated the Bible, and preached it in their own words. Thus, the Waldensians are an early test case in the area of lay ministry. Their main sin was to take too literally the Biblical command to, “. . .teach them to observe all that I commanded you.”


Not only did they refuse to deny the right of the laity to preach and teach, they also allowed and encouraged women to teach. This had tremendous shock effect on their culture, at the same time that it probably tapped an hitherto unknown source of power. It would be easy to underestimate the impact that this feature had on the Europe of 1170.

It was after their excommunication that the Poor of Lyons’ doctrine became objectionable to the Roman Catholic Church. More than a hundred years later, it was said,


“Among all the sects, there is none more pernicious to the Church than that of the leonists (Lyonists), and for three reasons:


  • In the first place, because it is one of the most ancient; for some say that it dates back to the time of Sylvester; others to the time of the Apostles.
  • In the second place, because it is the most widespread. There is hardly a country where it does not exist.
  • In the third place, because, if other sects strike with horror those who listen to them, the Leonists, on the contrary, possess a great outward appearance of piety. As a matter of fact they lead irreproachable lives before men, and as regards their faith and the articles of their creed, they are orthodox.

Their one conspicuous fault is, that they blaspheme against the Church and the clergy, points on which laymen in general are known to be too easily led away.



(This Author: It was, and still is, considered blasphemy and heresy to speak against Papal policy. Calvin continued in the same vein.)



Now, examine the following information and add it to what you have just read above:



Another tactic that was employed briefly with success by Pope Innocent III was to take advantage of the differences between Waldo and the Lombards in 1208 to win the Poor Men back to the Church. Beginning in 1208 he encouraged the formation and spread of Pauperes Catholici (“Poor Catholics”) who under ecclesiastical direction would follow such of the practices of the Waldenses as the Church could approve. By this means many who had been attracted by the Poor Men were held or won back.


From Xenos website article : The Waldensian Movement from Waldo to the Reformation, Part V.




There had been, previous to this time, a precedent already established by the Roman Catholic authorities, namely, to subvert true Christianity by mimickry. Constantine’s administration is the primary example. Simply “copy” the practices of the authentic Church, and then supplant it with other ideals, and let the watering-down process and the cares of the world, the deceitfulness of riches, and the pride of life do the rest. In addition, accuse the True followers of heresy and witchcraft, and kill any who will not be assimilated. Here is record of the various inquisitions against the Waldensians:



It is important to remember that this period (1150-1300) were the years of the zenith of papal temporal power. Innocent III described himself as “set between God and man, lower than God but higher than man, who judges all and is judged by no one. . .” He declared that, “the priesthood was as superior to the kingship as the soul to the body,” and he informed the nobles of Tuscany that, “just as the moon derives its light from the sun . . .so too the royal power derives the splendor of its dignity from the pontifical authority” (Luciferian theology). As has been the case so often in history, greater political power for the institutional church has been bad news for Christian minorities.




(As you’ll see later, this was exactly the case in the events surrounding Calvin’s reformation, and has been the case ever since, up to and including modern society.)



This was also the pattern that would characterize Roman Catholic reaction to the Waldensians for the next 450 years. The history of the Waldensians during this period is an incredible litany of genocidal disaster. This was the period of the inquisition in Europe, and it is through the well kept records of the inquisition that we follow the spread of the Waldensians movement throughout Europe. Tourn lists some of the major persecutions after the crusade of 1208:



  1. We know that at the beginning of the 14th century there were enough Poor remaining in France that the inquisitor Jacques Fournier, who later became Pope Benedict XII, undertook court trials against them.
  2. The transference of the papacy to Avignon in the middle of the 14th century was apparently the signal for a brutal repression against Waldensians in the Dauphine, for the beleaguered Pope was evidently not disposed to tolerate any expression of dissidence so near to his exiled see.
  3. In the year 1380. . . [a severe] round-up was begun under the inquisitors Martin of Prague and Peter Zwicker. These two were commissioned to bring to trial or to force the conversion of Waldensians through much of Europe.
    Their systematic effort began in Bavaria, continuing in the following year in the region of Erfurt, and in 1392 in the province of Brandenberg. The inquisitors then proceeded to Stettin, where they held a trial of 400 Waldensians.

    Their reports speak of activities in various cities of what are now Germany, Czechoslovakia and Hungary, and of their success in the city of Bern, Switzerland, in getting 130 suspects to abjure heresy and return to the Church’s fold. They reported a similar success in Fribourg with some 50 Waldensians.

  4. . . .in the latter part of the century the inquisition was resumed in full intensity under the direction of a Franciscan, Francesco Borelli. So obsessed was this monk with his pursuit of heretics that it was said that every prison from Embrun to Avignon was full to overflowing. As a result, Pope Gregory IX himself had to appeal for alms for the hapless prisoners.
  5. . . . in 1450, the inquisitors were sent in to deal with Alpine (Swiss) dissidents. In that year the whole valley of Luserna was placed under interdiction on the charge of having resisted the authorities.
  6. Another inquisitorial sweep took place in 1475, including interminable court trials against anyone who failed to cooperate fully in the drive. . . .the counts of Luserna themselves were. . . charged with being too lenient toward the Waldensians—for which they were duly warned and subjected to heavy fines.
  7. . . .Charles I at last called for full scale military action against the dissidents, and was joined, from the French side, by the declaration of a crusade against the Waldensians which lasted from 1487-89. The latter was directed by the infamous papal legate, Alberta Cattane
    . . . There the governor of Savoy, with the full consent of Charles VIII of France, undertook a veritable and thorough going crusade against the hapless population. As in other places and times in the Middle Ages, it was under the patronage of the Pope and organized by his legate



(Remember John Calvin’s attachments to the throne of France and to the Berns and the Savoys not long after this period.)

. . .[the village of] Pragelato found itself squarely in the path of the crusaders, so that it was invaded and sacked in the winter of 1487. A fate similar to that of Pragelato was in store for the Waldensians in the valleys of Argentieres and Vallouise. These folk had been consistently pacifist by tradition, so that they did not resist when the invaders came. The crusaders then proceeded to level their villages, destroying every trace of the Waldensians heritage.



  1. Francis I. . .in 1545 (Calvin was in his court) named the president of Aix’s parliament personally to lead a papal army from Avignon to clear the area entirely of Waldensian presence. The Luberon folk were suddenly caught in a vise.
    . . .The mercenary soldiers engaged for the sweep did not stop until they had devastated the whole region and obliterated every trace of the Waldensian villages. A few survivors did manage to escape to Switzerland, but the lot of all the rest was either death by the sword or life sentences as galley-slaves on French ships.
  2. . . .On June 5, 1561, the town of San Sisto, with its 6,000 inhabitants, was burned to the ground.
    . . .Guardia Piemontese, its neighbor, was likewise destroyed. Prisoners were burned like torches, sold as slaves to the Moors or condemned to die of starvation in the dungeons of Cosenza. The massacre reached its height at Montalto Uffugo on June 11th. On the steps in front of the parish church, 88 Waldensians were slaughtered one by one, like animals brought to market.
  3. If the military operation lasted only a few weeks, the work of Catholic indoctrination, Jesuit style, continued for years. The Jesuits were determined to obliterate every evidence that Waldensians had been present in Calabria. They almost succeeded, except in one small respect: there is still a hint of the Provencal language in the daily speech of the inhabitants.



The list of atrocities goes on and on, in fact far too long for detailed consideration here. The point that becomes clear is that every effort was made on numerous occasions to eliminate the Poor of Lyons in the customary way. At various points this policy was close to final success. Yet, the Waldensian movement was never eliminated.


(Author’s note: Not true – the Waldensian doctrine was “eliminated” by absorbtion by John Calvin and his “henchman,” Farel)



Following is a list of false allegations made against the Waldensian heretics by Rome:

Medieval Sourcebook: Reinarius Saccho, Of the Sects of the Modern Heretics 1254


First They (the Waldensians) say that the Romish Church, is not the Church of Jesus Christ, but a church of malignants and that it apostatized under Sylvester, when the poison of temporalities was infused into the h. And they say, that they are the church of Christ, because they observe both in word, and deed, the doctrine of Christ, of the Gospel, and of the Apostles.


  1. Their second error is that all vices and sins are in the church, and that they alone live righteously.
  2. That scarcely anyone in the church, but themselves, preserves the evangelical doctrine.
  3. That they are the true poor in spirit, and suffer persecution for righteousness and faith.
  4. That they are the Church of Jesus Christ.
  5. That the Church of Rome is the Harlot in the Apocalypse, on account of its superfluous decoration which the Eastern Church does not regard.
  6. That they despise all the statutes of the Church, because they are heavy and numerous.
  7. That the Pope is the head of all errors.
  8. That the Prelates are Scribes; and the Monks, Pharisees.
  9. That the Pope and all Bishops, are homicides on account of wars.
  10. That we are not to obey Prelates; but only God.
  11. That no one is greater than another in the church. Matt. 23. “All of you are brethren.”
  12. That no one ought to bow the knee before a priest. Rev. ii. where the Angel says to John “See thou do it not.”
  13. That tithes are not to be given, because first fruits were not given to the church.
  14. That the clergy ought not to have possessions; Dent. xviii. “The Priests and all the tribe of Levi, shall not have part and inheritance with the people of Israel, because they eat the sacrifices, and they shall receive nothing else.”
  15. That the clergy, and monks, ought not to have Prebends.
  16. That the Bishops and Abbots ought not to have royal rights.
  17. That the land, and the people, are not to be divided into parts.
  18. That it is a bad thing to found and endow churches and monasteries.
  19. That wills are not to be made in favor of Churches-also, that no one ought to be a tenant of the church – also, they condemn all the clergy for idleness, saying that they ought to work with their hands as the Apostles did – also, they reprobate titles of dignity such as Pope, Bishops, etc. – also, that no one is to be forced into belief – also, that they make no account of all ecclesiastical offices – also, that they care nothing for ecclesiastical privileges – also, they despise the immunity of the Church and of ecclesiastical persons and things – also, they condemn Councils, Synods, and Assemblies – also, they say that all parochial rights are invention – also, they say that monastic rules are the traditions of the Pharisees.


Secondly, they condemn all the Sacraments of the Church; in the first place, as to baptism, they say that the Catechism is nothing – also, that the ablution which is given to infants profits nothing….


(This would later be used extensively by both Roman Catholics and Reformation Protestants as the basis for accusations of heresy, for which both parties tortured and killed by burning, drowning, and imprisonment thousands of non-calvin, non-luther believers.)



Also, they condemn the sacrament of Marriage (*untrue, see below), saying that married persons sin mortally if they come together without the hope of offspring-also, they disregard compaternity – also, they despise the degrees of affinity, carnal and spiritual, and the impediments of Orders, and of public decency, and of ecclesiastical prohibitions-also, they say that a woman after child-bearing does not require benediction, or introduction – also, they say that the church has erred in prohibiting the marriage of the Clergy, while even those of the East marry – also, they say that the continent do not sin in kisses and embraces.

The sacrament of Unction, they reprobate, because it is only given to the rich; and because several priests are required for it – also, they say that the sacrament of Orders is nothing – also, they say that every good layman is a priest, as the Apostles were laymen – also, that the prayer of an evil priest does not profit – also, they deride the clerical tonsure – also, that Latin prayer does not profit the vulgar – also, they make it a matter of ridicule that illegitimate persons and wicked sinners are raised to eminence in the church – also, they say that every layman, and even woman ought to preach, 1. Cor. xiv. “I would that ye spake in tongues, that the church might receive edification” – also, whatever is preached which cannot be proved by the text of Scripture they consider as fabulous….

… also, they say that the doctrine of Christ and the Apostles is sufficient for salvation without the statutes of the church – that the tradition of the church is the tradition of the Pharisees; and that there is more made of the transgression of a human tradition than of a divine law. Matt. xv. “Why do ye transgress the commands of God by reason of your traditions?” Also, they reject the mystical sense in the holy Scriptures, principally as it regards the sayings and doings delivered in the Church by tradition; as that the cock upon the steeple signifies a doctor.[2]


I don’t know about you, but to me the Waldensians were, at the least, close to right on! And they were called heretics for adhering to the literal Scriptures, and condemned and tortured for it. However, here is the Waldensian Doctrine of record for your own perusal:



Waldensian Confession of Faith


  1. We believe and firmly maintain all that is contained in the twelve articles of the symbol, commonly called the apostles’ creed, and we regard as heretical whatever is inconsistent with the said twelve articles.
  2. We believe that there is one God – the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
  3. We acknowledge for sacred canonical scriptures the books of the Holy Bible. (Here follows the title of each, exactly conformable to our received canon, but which it is deemed, on that account, quite unnecessary to particularize.)
  4. The books above-mentioned teach us: That there is one GOD, almighty, unbounded in wisdom, and infinite in goodness, and who, in His goodness, has made all things. For He created Adam after His own image and likeness. But through the enmity of the Devil, and his own disobedience, Adam fell, sin entered into the world, and we became transgressors in and by Adam.
  5. That Christ had been promised to the fathers who received the law, to the end that, knowing their sin by the law, and their unrighteousness and insufficiency, they might desire the coming of Christ to make satisfaction for their sins, and to accomplish the law by Himself.
  6. That at the time appointed of the Father, Christ was born – a time when iniquity everywhere abounded, to make it manifest that it was not for the sake of any good in ourselves, for all were sinners, but that He, who is true, might display His grace and mercy towards us.
  7. That Christ is our life, and truth, and peace, and righteousness – our shepherd and advocate, our sacrifice and priest, who died for the salvation of all who should believe, and rose again for their justification.
  8. And we also firmly believe, that there is no other mediator, or advocate with God the Father, but Jesus Christ. And as to the Virgin Mary, she was holy, humble, and full of grace; and this we also believe concerning all other saints, namely, that they are waiting in heaven for the resurrection of their bodies at the day of judgment.
  9. We also believe, that, after this life, there are but two places – one for those that are saved, the other for the damned, which [two] we call paradise and hell, wholly denying that imaginary purgatory of Antichrist, invented in opposition to the truth.
  10. Moreover, we have ever regarded all the inventions of men [in the affairs of religion] as an unspeakable abomination before God; such as the festival days and vigils of saints, and what is called holy-water, the abstaining from flesh on certain days, and such like things, but above all, the masses.
  11. We hold in abhorrence all human inventions, as proceeding from Antichrist, which produce distress (Alluding probably to the voluntary penances and mortification imposed by the Catholics on themselves), and are prejudicial to the liberty of the mind.

12 We consider the Sacraments as signs of holy things, or as the visible emblems of invisible blessings. We regard it as proper and even necessary that believers use these symbols or visible forms when it can be done. Notwithstanding which, we maintain that believers may be saved without these signs, when they have neither place nor opportunity of observing them.

  1. We acknowledge no sacraments [as of divine appointment] but baptism and the Lord’s supper.
  2. We honour the secular powers, with subjection, obedience, promptitude, and payment. [3]



Over the next two-and-a-half centuries, from about 1250-1450A.D., for those who care to look and see (God willing, more detail will be included later), we can see the eventual development of the original Waldensian movement being assimilated, by persecution and deceit and the weaknesses of man, into what is known today as the Hussite movement (through no apparent fault of Jonathan Huss). By the time that many of the tares had grown and overcome the wheat, the movement had been supplanted with the organizations of men and the lusts of the flesh. False doctrines were brought in by wolves in sheeps’ clothing, and a hierarchical structure which depended on the truth and loyalty of the self-serving leadership had been established, just as had happened in the early Church and for which we were pre-warned by Jesus and the writing Apostles. Along the way the true sheep had been “removed” by claims of witchcraft and by stacks of wood, stakes, and flames. In fact, the “Protestant reformers” often joined with the Roman church to scourge the “heretics.”

Consider for a moment, if you will, our modern judicial system. As flawed as it is, it often follows “loose” guidelines of sentencing, that is, for the first offense the offender is often given a “lighter” sentence, for the second offense a heavier sentence, for the third offense an even heavier one, and so on. In fact, many judicial systems have a “three strikes and you’re out” policy wherein the offender is permanently removed from society after a conviction for their third offense. My question is, how is it that the Roman authorities have gone on and on in the same crimes since even before the days of Constantine, of murdering innocents in order to maintain control of money and power (in the world, one in the same), provably using the same methods over and again right up to and including modern times?

It was a much different movement than that of the Waldensians at which Luther took the helm in the early 1500s with the philosophy of the Chymical Wedding and the power of the Teutonic Knighthood.



The social emphases and communist experiments at Tábor have long been a cause célèbre in modern Czech historiography.* According to Vavinec of Bezová, the conservative Hussite chronicler, the priests of Tábor began preaching a unique advent of Christ among the elect. Those within the safety of the five designated cities of refuge—Plze, Klatovy, Atec, Louny, and Slany—would survive the wrath of God. From all over Bohemia and Moravia multitudes of people thronged to the Táborite priests. Having sold their possessions they brought the money and placed it at the feet of the priests.* In 1419 several mass gatherings occurred in which elementary communist principles were invoked; everyone was called “brother” or “sister” and social distinctions were ignored.* Food was shared in common, the richer supplying the poor. No difference was made between “mine” and “thine,” though the communal sexual use of women was not practiced at this point. But later, as noted proleptically by Cosmas of Prague, this did occur on the fringes of Táborite society. By the term communism I mean a community of goods. James Stayer has defined that idea as the attempt to practice the principles outlined in the Acts of the Apostles, chapters 2 and 4.* His definition is appropriate for fifteenth-century Bohemia.

The phenomenon of selling possessions and donating the proceeds to the priests at Tábor was not an isolated occurrence. The conservative Hussite, Jan Píbram corroborated Vavinec’s account and noted that a similar event occurred at Písek, a centre with a history of radical sectarian devotion, where community chests were established.* Where did this particular communism originate? The motif can be traced to two sources. First, it developed out of the Hussites intense desire to establish the primitive church in Bohemia. Priest Jan elivský, preaching in the New Town of Prague at the Church of St. Mary of the Snows, articulated this desire forcefully: “O that the city of Prague would now be the example for all believers, not only in Moravia, but in Hungary, Poland, Austria . . . !”* Jan Píbram wrote in disgust that the radical Táborites considered themselves the sole holy, universal, church and community in all Christendom.* Píbram’s charge must not be dismissed for this is precisely how the radicals viewed themselves. Nor were they alone in this assumption. A century later the Hutterites claimed that the practice of common goods marked out the true believers and in 1529 Clemens Adler, the Anabaptist leader in Silesia, underscored this idea.* Not long thereafter, radicals in Poland expressed similar convictions, insisting that private property was wickedness.* Given the Táborites’ biblicist enthusiasm, the communist practices of the early apostolic community was enough to warrant its imitation in Hussite Bohemia.

However, a simple “thus saith the Lord” would hardly have been sufficient to attract so many adherents to Tábor. The second source provides a solution. Without doubt the chiliast enthusiasm which swept the radical sectors of Hussitism had strong appeal. The promise of a world utopia, coupled with the combined pooling of resources for the betterment of society, attracted its followers.* After a lifetime of giving one’s productivity over to the lord of the land, and in the face of mounting political and economic difficulties, there were those willing to risk what little they had on the prophecies and visions of the radical priests.* Understandably, the majority of those attracted to this particular communistic lifestyle were the socially disinherited and disadvantaged. No one could expect “the lame devil,” Oldich Romberk, to ride into Tábor and surrender the nine towns, twenty-six small villages and almost seven hundred whole and partial villages he controlled,* or to grant freedom to the eleven thousand peasants under the control of the Romberk empire.* Nonetheless, we know that in addition to peasants, there were village magistrates, grooms, potters, priests, servants, barbers, carpenters, town councillors, cobblers, blacksmiths, burghers, and cooks involved in Táborite activities.* How many were advocates of communist ideals is impossible to determine. But those wishing to escape the hegemonic strictures of medieval society could place their hopes in the vision of a chiliast, apostolic, communist Bohemian society.

It was not incidental that these early Hussites forsook the cities and towns and fled to the hills. Clearly such gatherings in the towns would have come under the scrutiny and censure of the authorities. Moreover, if we are to believe the figures of chroniclers, the sheer numbers present at these gatherings dictated the wide open spaces. Beyond this, was the conviction that towns were symbolic of all that had gone awry in society. The town milieu not only exacerbated social divisions but also conflicted with notions of apostolic poverty. Many leading intellectuals in pre-Hussite Bohemia expressed grave reservations about the cities, towns and the prevailing ethos within. Jan Huss made clear that in great cities, evil people gathered and succeeded in turning towns into seats of the devil.* Hussites later conceived the town even less favourably. Jan Rokycana and Petr Chelický both spoke critically and bitterly about urban centres. The latter insisted that the city embodied Antichrist.* Considering the physical demarcation of towns and cities and the type of popular beliefs which grew up around them, it is not surprising to find these urban centres demonized. The boundaries of cities were marked clearly. The walls or ramparts identified the social autonomy of the town. Troops kept watch by day and night. When night fell the walls glimmered with the light of torches. Gates were shut from dusk until dawn. No one could enter or leave during those hours without permission. Climbing the walls was punished severely. Even approaching the walls during the night constituted a criminal act. The walls of towns symbolized security and formed a boundary between the community and the rest of the world.* Walls kept the city in and the rest of the world out. The city of God and the city of Antichrist could not, and should not, be mixed.* So the radicals fled from the urban darkness to the light of the hills, where the Hussites anticipated the end of time and the climax of human history, in an artificially constructed apocalyptic utopia.

The experiment at Tábor not only sprang from a desire to witness the primitive church in Bohemia redivivus, but also from impulses for a more just social order.* The proposed renovation would conceivably set the stage for the arrival of the eschaton. The apocalyptic mood in Bohemia found a context for establishing this idea among the Táborites. An experiment developed wherein social divisions and structures of hierarchy were swept away: payment for rent and service forbidden, all goods to be held in common, material wealth collected before newcomers could be admitted to the community, certain former laws disregarded, all debtors released from their obligations, lord-peasant relationships dissolved, all persons henceforth became brothers and sisters, and private property was outlawed in the quest for a new social order. A popular song combined the social critique of the aforementioned “Priest Jan, the apostate monk of evil,” and the sentiment being expressed at Tábor.*

“According to the wisdom of the masters, they would have told God to arrange matters in this way: the poor should neither eat nor drink, should sleep neither at night nor day, but always work and pay their lords. The lords, after listening to the priests, would require more and more dues. Then, when using up the peasant, they could turn his body into that of a beast of burden and subject him to forced labour. This is how the wretched have come to be in anguish in every land, especially the Czechs, on account of the conceited priesthood.”*

How could the problem be rectified? Tábor provided an answer. The overarching rubric of Hussitism contended that the establishment of the primitive church ethos was the ultimate ideal. This notion was advanced by the Prague university master and Hussite lawyer, Jan of Jesenice, according to whom the land should return to apostolic simplicity where all things are held in common.* Thus the Táborite leaders instructed the people to cease paying rents and being subject to their lords. “Now you will freely take possession of their towns, fish-ponds, pastures, forests and everything they own.”* Jan Píbram noted further that Táborites advocated the violent abolition of the nobility: “All lords and knights should have their throats cut and their goods ravaged. This has happened with many of them [nobles] being murdered.”* The idea of communal goods posed a serious threat to the stability of hierarchical society and called into question the nature of medieval social structure. This was not lost on the detractors of the radical Hussites. A century later, drastic measures were enacted to discourage both religious dissent and social innovation as they related to a community of goods. On 20 August 1527 the Habsburg ruler, Ferdinand I issued a decree against the Anabaptists calling for those who taught the sharing of property to be executed by beheading.*[4]


It was clear that what had been “started” by Valdois of Lyons had by this time, in large part, spun out of control across the whole of Europe. False doctrines and the insurgence of “the multitudes” into a true work of God had resulted in the chaos desired by the rulers. We know from the repetition of history that chaos is indeed desired by the politicians, because it gives them the needed “cause” to impose “order” – their order. But a binding force was needed before the wedding could take place. Enter John Calvin.

John Calvin proved to be the perfect “new Constantine.” He wedded the laws of humanism and Socialism with the Scriptures in the same way that Constantine blended paganism with belief. What emerged in each case was a State system and an army to defend it, as well as a center of economic, political, and religious power. And the seemingly rebellious child was under the unswaying dominance of its matriarchy thanks to the benefits of the monetary control of the thrones. The Templars and the Medicis of their day had formulated an uncompromising system with Rome (apparently) securely at the helm, but Rome was in reality just a “control factor” for the bankers, and more control was needed.


My friend, before we continue, allow me to digress and pose a question: Do you have a proper fear of The Truth? Please think carefully, and prayerfully, before you answer.

Most people do not have a proper fear of The Truth, and it is only when we can admit that we do not that we can move toward the Truth. Think about it. Have you ever proclaimed, “Stop! I’ve heard enough, and I want to hear no more”?

The Word tells us that we should “become fools so that we can be made wise.” There is a reason this is necessary. Until we can admit that we fear the Truth, we cannot fear it properly. And until the time that we can fear it properly, we cannot know it. And if we cannot know it, we cannot Love it. It is only when one learns to properly fear the Truth and the consequences of knowing it that we can Love it and pursue it. Once we Love it properly, then it is perfect and all fear is cast out. It is then that we can truly learn and overcome the Lie.

One must carefully scrutinize the religious movements, the intermarriages of noble houses, the development of banking systems, the ascendancy of popes, and the writings of the Aristotles and the Augustines and the Calvins and the Machiavellis and the Bacons before they can see the tapestry of history as it truly transpired. Our system of education has managed to keep a discreet distance between these areas of study so that the most any individual may hold in his hands is but a few colored threads – save for a select Few individuals. All has been done in order to arrange the ultimate Chymical Wedding – that of Religious forces, Political forces, Economic forces and Elemental forces. We have both been “dumbed down” and made to fear certain truths in order to keep us from looking too closely and acting upon them. Waldo, above, looked closely and acted. And it is his fate which most of us fear. Much easier to follow Calvin, we think. Much more “practical” and “sensible.”

You say you’re no scholar? My friend, neither am I, and neither was Stephen, nor were most of the Apostles, but I wish to be obedient, and Jesus told us to be “wise as a serpent.” In other words, “know your enemy.” Our enemies, friends, are Satan, the World, and the Flesh.   Those who are friends with the world are friends with their enemy. The truth is, most of us don’t want to know because of what we will be required to do upon knowing. This is why we were instructed, even commanded, to die to self, which is to put on Christ, which is the “power thereof.” In the process of seeking the truth, as we are instructed to do time and again in the Word, we eventually will come to the point where we are faced with choices. At this point, the point of revelation where we see that we have been missing something essential, we can either die to what we think we know (make ourselves fools…) or we can say, “Show me no more; it is too much for me. I will remain content with what I believed before.” Therefore, most of us have been purposefully and successfully conditioned to say, “I won’t believe that…” instead of seeing that not believing “that” has held us captive to the Lie. We improperly fear the Truth because the Truth requires absolute change, or, true repentance, or, simply, death to self. This is the core of the teachings of Jesus: “If you had said, “I am blind,” you would have no sin. But since you say, “I see,” your sin remains.” “Anyone who does not forsake all that he has, cannot be My disciple.”

The very thing that is often forgotten is that Satan is the god, the archon, the ruler, the spirit, of this world, and that his throne is on it, and that his is the spirit of it. It is in his power to use the full extent of politics, economics, and religion for one three-fold  purpose: to hide, if he can, the good and right way, to dislodge those who have seen it from The Path, and by all means in his power to prevent any from entering in through the One Narrow Gate. This is all demonstrated quite clearly in his temptation of Jesus in the wilderness. And yet we do not heed the Words of the Lord to not be deceived; we believe our historians and politicians, we trust in our worldly comforts, and we live the philosophies of the religious leaders. All of this, friend, is out of our fear of the Truth. What will we lose, what will threaten us and ours, if we seek the Truth, believe it, and serve it? And serve The Truth alone?

What price will a man give for his soul? We are encouraged by The Truth to say, “As for me and my house, no price is too high. And if it is too high for my house, should I not separate myself from my house?” But we of the world have always been easily duped into believing this viewpoint to be ludicrous, “…foolishness to those who perish.”

Now, getting back to the subject matter of this hypothesis, what point is it that I seem to be making?

For one, concerning everything we have ever learned about history, politics, economics, and religion, it becomes necessary for us to discard everything we have ever learned so that we can see the Truth. Yes, keep the names, dates, and (verifiable) facts, and discard the rest because it has been engineered for your consumption by tools of the enemy. Then, having “made ourselves fools,” we start over at square one, the Word of God, we ignore any unscriptural teachings of our pastors and “modern-day prophets,” and we concentrate on The Truth. If we are to believe the Word of God, and I state unequivocally that we should, then we must believe that the majority of our pastors, teachers, and prophets of today are leading us astray. How can I say that? Because the Word of God says it, foretold it, and I will believe no other source. But likewise a caution: even the “authorized” Word of God has been manipulated since before the canonization (especially by the writers of the Vulgate Bible and the Geneva Bible, and then with the “Westminister Confession”), and one must truly seek and dig for the hidden treasure in it. And pray. A lot. All of the translations are rife with corruption. Oh, the words used in the translations are “right,” but the original meanings in context have been subtly altered, here a little, there a little, to distort the Truth. The words “belief,” and “faith,” and “righteousness,” and “grace,” and even “love” (agape’), along with many others, no longer convey the original textual meanings. This is the answer both to how many are so misled as well as to the divisions over interpretation and doctrine that exist today. The original texts had meaningful language and the modern texts have definitive language. Basically, the “spirit” is hidden. But with prayer, and with seeking and knocking and “digging as for silver and gold,” we can see the meanings through the subterfuge. The “trick” lies in seeking out the whole council of God, and not just those parts that “seem right” with what we already believe (…there is a way that seems right to a man but). This will prove most difficult for the theologians, the pastor/teachers, and those with material comfort, for they feel both that they have been “blessed” and that they have the “most to lose.”

Basically, the tenets of Calvin and Luther and the Chymical Wedding contain the seeds of pre-emergent Marxism, the ideology that the “feelings of the general consensus” outweigh the basic facts and truths of the Word of God. Of course, once the feelings of the general consensus have been manipulated, the Truth is no longer relevant. How I feel or we feel becomes more important than the Truth, the “thou shalts” and the “thou shalt nots.” If a person feels they are right or righteous that is all that really matters. Materialism and divorce then become subject to our feelings about them instead of what the Word of God has to say about them. Thus we can feel as if we are saved even though we in fact violate the Word of God, because “how dare you judge me!” Thus we can “feel led” of God though our action or inaction violates His very instructions. Thus we are turned from the “narrow path” to the “wide road.” After all, we have predestination and “grace” and manifest destiny on our side. And if we “feel” we do not have such things? Why then, “Eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow we die.” Two wide roads.

Despite all of the efforts of Rome to annihilate the Waldensians, the group managed to maintain remnants up until the time of the Reformers of Geneva. It would be John Calvin’s “right hand man,” the zealous enforcer of Calvin’s inquisition, who would deliver what seems to be the fatal blow to what remained of the purity of the Waldensian doctrine. The enforcer’s name was Guillaume Farel. While Luther assimilated the Hussite child of Waldo, it would be Farel who took an axe to the root of the tree:


His arrival in Neuchâtel (December, 1529) marks an epoch in its history. In spite of violent opposition, he succeeded in introducing the Reformation in the city and neighboring villages. He afterwards returned to Neuchâtel, where he finished his course.347 Robert Olivetan, Calvin’s cousin, published the first edition of his French translation of the Bible at Neuchâtel in 1535. Farel had urged him to do this work. It is the basis of the numerous French translations made since that time.

In 1532 Farel with his friend Saunier visited the Waldenses in Piedmont at the request of Georg Morel and Peter Masson, two Waldensian preachers, who were returning from a visit to Strassburg and the Reformed Churches of Switzerland. He attended the Synod which met at Chanforans in the valley of Angrogne, Sept. 12, 1532, and resolved to adopt the doctrines of the Reformation. He advised them to establish schools. He afterwards collected money for them and sent them four teachers, one of whom was Robert Olivetan, who was at that time private tutor at Geneva. This is the beginning of the fraternal relations between the Waldenses and the Reformed Churches which continue to this day.[5]


I know that all may seem innocent enough, but let’s examine in what way the Waldensians were affected by their contact with Farel and the other “scholars” of the Swiss reformation:


No official ties were forged between the Waldensians and the other Protestant Churches until 1532. In that year, the Synod of Chanforan was held, in which the Waldensians became a part of the reformed Church based in Geneva. For the Reformed, Farel led the negotiations, which were troubled, because of the Waldensian insistence on the separation of church and state, as well as other doctrinal differences.76 The Swiss reformers also called on the Waldensians to put an end to confessions, fasts and “meritorious Sundays,” and to introduce an emphasis on the doctrine of predestination.[6]




Please note the points of contention listed above, and keep in mind the habit of Calvin and Farel to execute anyone who didn’t see things their way. We see the union/separation of church and state as one point, and the emphasis of the doctrine of predestination as another point. These are two poisons which the Waldensians had always adamantly rejected, but now, over four centuries after their “founding,” they were coerced into re-adopting. It comes as no surprise that the Waldensians of today are a member of the World Council of Churches (actually originated in Geneva), and are thus tied to the very Rome that had killed them during that entire period of time. In fact, we will see that the World Council of Churches, a humanist organization, came about as a direct result of the works of Augustine, Calvin, Farel, Erasmus, Zwingli, Luther, and “Christian Rosencreutz,” if indeed we haven’t already begun to see it.


[1] © Rebecca J. Anderson 1994

[2] From Reinerius Saccho, “Of the Sects of Modern Heretics” (1254), in S. R. Maitland,trans.,History of the Albigenses and Waldenses (London: C. J. G. and F. Rivington, 1832), pp. 407-413.


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[3] Reproduced from Jone’s Church History