Ashgabat, 10 August 2016 (nCa) — Is Gulen a delusional messiah, a CIA mole, a kingmaker, or a pious man intoxicated with his piety? Is he any of this or all of this?
A brief mention of another personality cult will possibly offer some clues. Specifically, we are speaking of Hassan bin Sabah (circa 1034-1124).
Once we look at the similarities between the personality cults of Hassan bin Sabah and Fethullah Gulen, the mind starts spinning in dizzying circles.
The underlying message of Sabah to his followers was: Nothing is true; everything is permissible.
Sabah was born to a mainstream Shiite family in Qom city of present-day Iran. At a young age he traveled to Egypt for further studies. Egypt at that time was ruled by the Fatimids (Ismaili Shias).
During that time Sabah, whose personal ambition was neck and neck with his religious zealotry, got into a fray on the question of the succession of Caliph Al-Mustansir Billah. The Caliph wanted to nominate his youngest son as his heir but Sabah was in favour of the eldest son, Nizar.
Sabah was imprisoned but managed to escape when the prison wall collapsed. He fled to Persia and found a secluded fortress high up in the mountain of Qazwin. The castle was called Alamut (the eagle’s nest).
He started meditating and praying near the gates of the castle until the ruler noticed him and asked him for his intentions. Sabah said that he wants just a place to continue his prayers but the place should be his own because prayers are not acceptable to God on a land that is not a person’s own. This was absolute poppycock but coming from the mouth of Sabah it sounded somehow convincing to the ruler of the castle. Meanwhile, Sabah had managed to build a small group of followers who were ready to defend him with their sharp daggers.
Sabah said that just give me a piece of land that can be covered with the hide of an ox. The ruler thought it quite reasonable and allowed Sabah to put the ox hide wherever he liked.
Sabah cut the ox hide into thin, long strips, joined them together and encircled the entire castle. – This was technically correct but it was highest possible treachery, and deception.
The ruler was expelled at the force of the daggers of Sabah’s followers.
Sabah started building a cult that came to be known as Hashishins (Assassins). The cult created by him lately came to be called Nizari Ismaili and they thrive in many countries with large pockets in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Tajikistan. Their spiritual head is Aga Khan.
The use of Hashish (Cannabis) was a part of the cult practices. So was targeted assassination with poisoned daggers by his especially trained followers called Fidais (Fedayeen). They assassinated some of the most prominent personalities of that time including Nizam ul Mulk Tusi, the legendary grand vizier of Seljuk emperors. They also killed the cousin of the Sharif of Mecca.
The assassins were not just ordinary murderers. They were intelligent and educated people, trained to merge with the local culture and traditions. They were trained to infiltrate the court or inner circle of their intended victims. They were masters of disguise and they had the patience to wait for the right time to strike.
Sabah created a paradise complete with fountains of wine and honey, gardens adorned with a wide variety of flowers and fruit trees, luxurious accommodations and beautiful girls. This was part of his paraphernalia to charm the young men and cement their loyalty to him. The permission to use narcotics also helped strengthen the circle of his fiercely loyal followers.
In personal life, Sabah was absolutely pious, to the extent that he got both of his sons executed because of some minor infringements. He was also a great scholar, author, orator and proficient in the use of arms.
Sabah, also known as Old Man of the Mountain (Sheikh al Jebel), devised a strict system of hierarchy. His organizational order was divided into seven positions. At the very top was Sabah; his word was binding law because to his followers he was the authorized representative of God and his word was beyond any questions.
Below Sabah, there were the various ranks of grand priories (enlightened mystics), propagandists (Dai), and Fidais (Fedayeen). When not on a clandestine mission, their dress was white robe with a red sash around the waist, depicting purity and blood as the essence of the cult.
For spreading the influence of Sabah’s cult, they used various means including the attempts to gain the support of powerfully positioned women and their children by gifting fantastic dresses, jewelry, and exotic toys.
The Fidais (Fedayeen) had secret codes and signs to recognize each other when operating in hostile environment.
For over 100 years after Sabah’s death, his cult remained strong, wreaking havoc in the Muslim world and beyond.
During the Crusades they fought both for and against the Crusaders. Their close interaction with the Crusaders possibly influenced the creation of Assassins’ system in various secret societies such as the Society of Jesus, Priory de Sion, the Freemasons, The Templars, the Fosicrucians etc.
Many of the techniques devised by Sabah and his Hashishin (Assassin) cult have been incorporated into the methodologies of FBI and CIA. A CIA training manual titled “A Study of Assassination” mentions Sabah and his cult.
The Alamut fort, the epicenter of Assassins, was ransacked by the invading Mongols and they dispersed. They still remained active until Salahuddin Ayubi (Saladin) finally eliminated their militant wing, reducing them to a sulking but generally peaceful group.
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The motto of Assassins, given by Sabah was: Nothing is true; everything is permissible.
It meant that every religious commentary and explanation that existed before Sabah was declared null and void. His word was the only true interpretation of God’s message.
The undivided loyalty to Sabah rather than the framework of Islam was the base of his cult, as is the case with the Gulen movement. This is the very straightforward and basic similarity we find between Sabah and Gulen.
Further, just like the hierarchical structure of Assassins, the Gulenists have a rigidly defined system of authority.
Gulen, at the top of the pyramid, is Imam of the Universe.
Under him, in descending order, are Imam of the Geographical Zone, Imam of the Country, Imam of the Region, Imam of the Province, Imam of the District, Imam of the Sub-district, Imam of the Neighbourhood and ultimately the Imam of the House (for each household in Gulen movement).
There are also the Appointment Committee, Advisory Council, Mullah Group and the Council, as well as a Board of Trustees for financial matters.
Like Assassins, the Gulenists are trained to merge with the surroundings and wait for the order to strike. They can profess loyalty to any person, institution or ideology to gain the trust and reach the position that will allow them to tinker with the system from within.
Like Assassins, the Gulenists have no qualms in using violence to further their objectives.
Like Assassins, the undiluted loyalty to Gulen turns the Gulenists into zombies. It is understood that a few months before the botched coup, about 300 of top loyalists of Gulen, mostly the army officers, were ordered to divorce their wives. This was meant to safeguard the families and protect their properties in case the coup attempt failed and the perpetrators were brought to trial. This was actually the first major clue that something foul was cooking and Erdogan administration started looking closely at the Gulenists.
Like Assassins, the Gulenists had a secret system of recognizing each other during the coup chaos. The authorities found one dollar currency notes in possession of many of the coup participants. These were currency notes of some particular series – the numbers starting with F were with the senior military officers, where perhaps F is supposed to denote Fethullah (Gulen). The people of lesser ranks had notes starting with C and J numbers, though the meaning and significance of it is still not clear.
Like Assassins, the Gulenists partner with or against the west depending on what phase of their objectives they are going through. Currently they are clearly aligned with the CIA-Pentagon, where the CIA thinks that they are using Gulen for their own goals but Gulen is content in the knowledge that he is using CIA for his own ambitions.
The similarities between Hassan bin Sabah and Fethullah Gulen, and Assassins and Gulenists are absolutely mind boggling.
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The question still remains as to how do such people rise – what is the anatomy of a personality cult?
To be continued . . .