The Rise of the Order of the Assassins

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posted on Oct, 11 2013 @ 06:33 PM
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The Assassins





They held the medieval Islamic world in thrall for more than 125 years before being crushed by the Mongols, yet even then, scattered across Syria, the remnants of the mystical order of the Hashashin, or Assassins, waited patiently, biding their time until their Imam called them once more to battle. In their time they held their opponents and enemies in a constant state of fear by threat of assassination. They would destabilize whole communities by declaring the end of the world, known as Yawm al-Qiyāmah, roughly, "Resurrection Day", and then stand by to offer spiritual guidance and support once chaos ensued. They would assassinate their victims in broad daylight in very public places, to increase the political impact of their actions.

I had an interest in the Assassins from the time I was a young man. I had first read about them in Arkon Daraul's ( Idries Shah
) A History of Secret Societies and was much taken by their exotic mystery and history. I lost interest. Regained it again much later; and recently wanted to revisit them to see what might have developed now that we have access to so much information on the WWW. Hoo! Was I surprised. I expected to discover that a lot of the more fantastical stuff that was ascribed to the Hashashin was fantasy. Not really, I found out, in fact, they were even more sophisticated and scary than I thought they were as a kid. They were a relatively small group of fanatical believers that managed to, if not control, then cut out and control a very comfortably-sized chunk of the Islamic world for themselves. They did this against competitors that were much larger than they were, and better armed and they did it because their original leaders were masters of psychological warfare.

Forward To Alamut





When the Fatimid empire fell at the end of the first millennium A.D., the Islamic sect known as the Ismailis had a schism. One group became the Mustali Ismailis and the other became the Nizari Ismailis, a certain sub group of which eventually became known as the Hashashin, and in Europe via Marco Polo, The Assassins.



Their first leader was called Hassan-i Sabbah and unlike in the 1980s and 90s, we can now more easily access information about his life and compare it a little to what we know of the history of the Assassins. Fact is, Hassan was so fanatical that the other fanatics found him to be heretical. His fervor was noted, and at the age of 17 he was sent to Egypt to be 'trained'. He was kicked out of the entire city of Cairo for his heated, heretical arguments with his instructors. Over time he developed a following and he eventually gathered up his people and moved to the mountains where he immediately got down to the business of setting up shop.



The first mention of the Assassins, as we have come to know them, is in a document from 1603 that repeats the stories told by Marco Polo. It was from Polo that Europe first heard of The Old man of The Mountain who commanded his shadow army from his mountain stronghold at Alamut, which was also known as "The Eagle's Blessing" or alternatively, "Death Mountain".

*
We should clear up a small point here that took me by surprise, and may some of you as well. The Old man of The Mountain reported by Polo was not Hassan. Hassan was dead by the time that Polo got to Alamut, and after Hassan died there was a Hassan II in charge. The leader of the Assassins that Polo mentions was named Sinan, and he was the Old man of The Mountain that terrorized Saladdin, but we'll get to that.
*

The story of how Hassan came to be in possession of Alamut says quite a bit about the way that the Assassins went about doing business. Hassan-i Sabbah was a master ofasymmetric warfare, he made his weaknesses his strengths and his primary method of assault was to go straight for the minds of his opponents. Here is how he gained Alamut as his base of operations 'round about 1088...




Hassan’s takeover of the fort was one of silent surrender in the face of defeated odds. To effect this takeover Hassan employed an ingenious strategy, one which took the better part of two years to effect.

First Hassan sent his Daiyyīn and Rafīks (Ed. Greater and Lesser Propagandists. We'll get to it
) to win over the villages in the valley, and their inhabitants. Next, key people amongst this populace were converted, and finally, in 1090, Hassan took over the fort. It is said that Hassan offered 3000 gold dinars to the fort's owner for the amount of land that would fit a buffalo’s hide. The terms having been agreed upon,

Hassan cut the hide into strips and linked them into a large ring around the perimeter of the fort, whose owner was thus undone by his own greed. (This story bears a striking resemblance to Virgil's account of Dido's founding of Carthage). Hassan gave the owner a draft drawn on the name of a wealthy landlord and told him to obtain the promised money from this man; legend has it further that when the landlord saw the draft with Hassan’s signature, he immediately paid the amount to the fort's owner, astonishing him.

en.wikipedia.org...


Once Hassan had finished establishing Alamut, he would never again leave its confines in his lifetime. From there, isolated deep within "Death Mountain" he directed his covert war through the networks of his operatives.

continued...
edit on 11-10-2013 by Bybyots because: .



+3 more 
posted on Oct, 11 2013 @ 06:34 PM
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Order in The Fort!



The Assassins were secret order devouted to a certain form of Islamic Mysticism. They, like the neo-Platonists, did not see God as the first cause, but the emanation of The Word of God. Hassan's mission was to spread that Word, and The Word was telling him that the world was ending and that humanity was set to be judged. They also had a great deal in common with the Sufis, which we shall get to soon.

There has been quite a lot of speculation on how exactly their order was organized, but it is commonly believed that Hassan's order was one of graded initiations, a degree-system like that of modern Freemasonry. In other words, there was a graded system of mystical and operational attainment within the organization. Scholar Edward Burman attributed 7 degrees to Hassan's order and broke them up in to 4 groups....




Group A: Descended from Ali and Nizar

1: Imam

Group B: Fully initiated. Also known as "Propagandists"

2: Da'i 'd-Du'at (Chief Da'i)
3: Du'i 'l-Kabir (Superior Da'i)
4: Du'i (Ordinary Da'i)

Group C: Partly initiated

5: Rafiq (Comrade)

Group D: Uninitiated

6: Lasiq (Adherent)
7: Fida'i (Self-Sacrificer, the Destroying Angels)

www.alamut.com...


The reason we have any idea at all what the structure of their order may have been like is due to the fact that the Druze people had religious practices almost identical to the Hashashin and that is what Burman uses as a source.

James Wasserman, like Arkon Darual (Hereafter Idries Shah. Darual was yet another nom de plume of the person known as Idries Shah), also attributed 9 degrees of initiation to the Hashashin. I have gone ahead and provided the link there so that you can go and check out the degree breakdowns and synopsis provided by Burman and then Shah; I hope that you do. For the sake of this short thread we are just going to look at them as the three main elements, Imam, The Propagandists, and The Fida'i, the last of which were the young initiates in the front lines of Hassan's long war of attrition.

Group A

Imam is the name for spiritual leaders in the Islamic faith. The short of it is the Hassa-i Sabbah was the Imam of the Hashashin, and he was followed by Hassan II and then Sinan. The Nizari Ismaili are Shia Muslims, and their take on what an Imam is differs slightly, I am told, so I will post a quote to that effect from WikiPedia...




In the Shi'a context, imams have a meaning more central to belief, referring to leaders of the community. Twelver and Ismaili Shi'a believe that these imams are chosen by God to be perfect examples for the faithful and to lead all humanity in all aspects of life. They also believe that all the imams chosen are free from committing any sin, impeccability which is called ismah. These leaders must be followed since they are appointed by God.

en.wikipedia.org...


It is important to note that when Alamut was established Hassan was in charge of the entire Nizari Isamili state, so Alamut became the central stroghold for the entire Ismaili state as well. The Assassins were only one sub-group of the Nizari, and under the Hassans their 'fighting wing', so to speak.

Group B and C

The Daiyyīn and Rafiq are the ones that I find to be most interesting. These guys made up the body of the initated within Hassan's order. They were collectively known as Propagandists. Unfortunately all of the documents that the Assassins kept about their order were lost when the Mongols fianlly crushed Alamut in 1256. So the best we are able to do is guess at what their secret initiation rites and mystical spiritual doctrines may have been like, exactly. Much like the Templars, in fact, and we will get to a little bit of that here at the end. I think that it is easy to assume that these guys were Hassan's front lines when it came to the communities and lands that he controlled. Likely they were his primary eyes and ears, but most especially his voice.

He who controls the story wins. Hassan knew this and his Propagandists were likely his primary tool of control. In a graded order of descending degrees, one can imagine that the Propagandists likely controlled the actions of and disseminated information to the lower grades, the actual Assassins doing the killing, the Fida'i (we'll get to them next).

The 3rd leader of the Assassins must have had a very rapid rise through the degrees to Propagandist. He wrote an autobiography of which only fragments remain but we have this...



Rashid came to Alamut, the centre of the Hashshashins, as a youth and received the typical Hashshashin training. In 1162, the sect's leader Hassan II sent him to Syria, where he proclaimed Qiyamah (Ed. The Day of Judgment), which in Nizari terminology meant the time of the Qa'im (Ed. The Mahdi, a messianic figue) and the removal of Islamic law.

en.wikipedia.org...


Which is what I was mentioning earlier, Hassan developed the technique of going in and destabilizing entire regions of the Islamic world with this sort of psychological warfare. He was expert at applying what we would call the Hegalian Dialectic. His "Propagandists" would waltz in to some area and declare the end of the world, the arrival of the Mahdi (messiah), and the Final Judgement. Then, once everyone was running around with their hair on fire, he would step in and offer spiritual leadership and would likely "restore municipal service", think Tammany Hall, only with turbans and daggers.

Group D

The reason that you see this group, the Fida-i are listed as "Un-initiated" is because they were in the process of being psychologically broken down by Hassan's induction program so that their minds could be prepared for initiation. We have this from Edward Burman...




"In the first, the teachers threw their pupils into a state of doubt about all conventional ideas, religious and political. They used false analogy and every other device of argument to make the aspirant believe that what he had been taught by his previous mentors was prejudiced and capable of being challenged.

The effect of this, according to the Arab historian, Makrizi, was to cause him to lean upon the personality of the teachers, as the only possible source of the proper interpretation of facts. At the same time, the teachers hinted continually that formal knowledge was merely the cloak for hidden, inner and powerful truth, whose secret would be imparted when the youth was ready to receive it.

This 'confusion technique' was carried out until the student reached the stage where he was prepared to swear a vow of blind allegiance to one or other of his teachers."


Edward Burman The Assassins - Holy Killers of Islam


continued...



posted on Oct, 11 2013 @ 06:36 PM
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...

This is where we come to the age old tale of how Hassan would induct new Fida'i. legend tells that he would feed them a meal loaded with hashish, which would knock the aspirant unconscious. Hassan would then have the sleeping aspirant transported to a "magical garden". When the aspirant would wake up there, he would find wine, women and song. He would indulge, and pass out again. When he would awaken, there would be The Old man of The Mountain, to promise him a return to that paradise in return for unfailing service.

Considering the other ways in which we know Hassan operated, I kind of half believe that.

*
So,let's get the hashish thing out of the way. You are going to find on the wikiPedia page how the name of Hashashin in it's original form was given to the Nizari Ismaili because the other half of the Ismaili schism essentially wanted to call them low-life. I want to be sensitive here, because the Nizari are still alive and well and living in the world and have come a long way since The Old Man of The Mountain. At least, I am sure that is how they would like us to have it.

But you know what? The Sufis, who's mystical order and beliefs are very closely related to those of the mystical Nizari, yes, the Sufis, who the Assassins sometimes dressed as when executing targets; they were big time hashish takers. So, yes, I do think that they used hashish, and I think that the name is likely very appropriate. The Sufis, in fact, "discovered" the stuff. Here is Edward Burman once more...




"Much of the well-known mystical symbolism of Sufism, often best known through the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam, was taken over by the Isma'ilis. They joined Sufism and Shiism in a peculiar and unique blend, often appearing as a particular group of Sufis with their own Shaykh....It would not..be surprising if the use of hashish and other drugs for achieving mystical ecstasy was also carried over from the Sufis."

- Edward Burman, The Assassins - Holy Killers of Islam

*

Okay, back to the Fida-i

These young un-initiates were Hassan's front line troops. Don't be fooled by the term "Un-Initiated", these young men were physically trained for combat and it is quite possible that some were "born in the order" and so would have started from a very early age. They had language training so that they could be embedded in foreign communities and lie in wait, gathering information. They had philosophical and religious training; remember, the favorite targets of the Assassins were religious leaders and political heads of state, the Fida-i had to fit in. They were seriously like Middle Eastern Ninja, only gnarlier. And obviously way gnarlier than pirates, but I digress.
edit on 11-10-2013 by Bybyots because: .



posted on Oct, 11 2013 @ 06:38 PM
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He Knows When You Are Sleeping. And Where. And how long, and in what position.








"Under the direction of Hassan and his successors, the Assassins killed Sultans, Viziers, Caliphs, Patriarchs, and Counts, barely giving their victims enough time to yell, "Holy Shi'ite!" before getting a #ing shiv in the ribcage.

Ben Thompson. badasshistory.com



It seems plain that Hassan had the entire Middle East terrified. Just read this short Wki account of how Saladdin learned to chill the # out, and have a cup of tea with The Old Man



He had his guards supplied with link lights and had chalk and cinders strewed around his tent outside Masyaf—which he was besieging—to detect any footsteps by the Assassins.[50] According to this version, one night, Saladin's guards noticed a spark glowing down the hill of Masyaf and then vanishing among the Ayyubid tents.

Presently, Saladin awoke from his sleep to find a figure leaving the tent. He then saw that the lamps were displaced and beside his bed laid hot scones of the shape peculiar to the Assassins with a note at the top pinned by a poisoned dagger. The note threatened that he would be killed if he didn't withdraw from his assault. Saladin gave a loud cry, exclaiming that Sinan himself was the figure that left the tent.[50]

en.wikipedia.org...


That is Sinan or Hassan III, who was rightly known as The Old Man of The Mountain. Sounds like he handled the big jobs himself. That was the power of the Assassins, no one was safe from their reach, and if anyone doubted it, they would prove it. The old dagger-in-the-pillow was by far their favorite way of sending a message and that seems to be the common treatment given to high ranking government officials and royalty; their religious opponents they slaughtered in the streets.



"They call him Shaykh-al-Hashishim. He is their Elder, and upon his command all of the men of the mountain come out or go in ... they are believers of the word of their elder and everyone everywhere fears them, because they even kill kings."

—Benjamin of Tudela


The Hashashin Fida-i also performed their assassinations in broad daylight, in places that were full of people. They never targeted civilians, and all of their strikes were surgical and well planned; sometimes for years. Islamic historian Bernard Lewis has cited that at Alamut there was an 'honor roll' of more than 50 names of prominent religious and political figures that the Assassins had taken out in the first 35 years from the time that Hassan took his mountain fortress.

Both Crusader and Saracen had to go about armed 24/7 as the Assassins were on neither side. They on occasion fought with and for either, but were beholden to neither; they were feared equally by both. Here is the tale made recently famous by the Assassin's Creed video game. The assassination of the de-facto King of Jerusalem, Sir Conrad of Montferrat.




Sir Conrad of Montferrat is one of the well known victims of the Hashashin. While strolling in the courtyard of the fortress city of Tyre with an entourage of mailed knights, two Hashashins dressed as Christian monks walked towards the center of the courtyard, and with daggers raised, stabbed Conrad twice, killing him. Although the mystery of who were the Hashahsin's employers, it is much attributed to King Richard the Lionheart and Henry of Champagne.

www.artandpopularculture.com...


There is also the tale of how Sinan was visited by Count Henry of Champagne, a crusader that made the claim to Sinan that he had an army that could crush the Assassins. Legend tells that Sinan disagreed and when the count scoffed, Sinan turned to a watch tower and directed the Count's gaze to the Fida-i atop it. Sinan motioned at the Fida-i and the man instantly leapt from the tower. The Count left quietly.

Often, the Assassins wouldn't kill their target at all, but merely scare the living day-lights out of them and only nearly kill them. That was likely useful when the person was more useful to Hassan alive and doing the bidding of his order, rather than dead. The goal of the Assassins seems to me to have been one of being able to apply the lightest touch in order to get the greatest effect. They did go openly to war, at times, but apparently could seldom afford to do so. When they had to, they were often effective, but when it came down to brass-tacks they were no match for an invading horde.

Alamut is now a protected historical site


My random thoughts on all this

I have to say, that as I try to find a way to wrap this up I am thinking to myself how like trying to learn about the Templars it is to try and learn learn about the Assassins. The tendency is to find one's self going in loops trying to be consistent, it mostly doesn't work out. In the final analysis, just as with the Templars, we will probably never know exactly what happened, and the Assassins are even further removed from us culturally than the Templars are. It's a powerful mystery

As you might be able to tell because I spent the most time on it, the organizational "Order" of the Assassins and the way that it may possibly relate to Freemasonic "Order", and also possibly the Templars is really fascinating to me. What intrigues me the most is that despite the powerfully mystery of what we do not know about either the Assassins or the Templars, the organizational template that they seem to share is still with us today as military order and as a model for business management organization. The extent to which they cross-pollinated one another might be something that would be interesting to discuss on this thread.

Another thing about the organizational order of the Assassins that intrigues me is how it seems to me to reflect the structure of modern Gangstalking; the Propagandists, Comrades and Fida-i remind me of the Handlers, Middlemen, and Perps of Gangstalking. It makes me wonder very much at the ways that people order themselves naturally, and it makes me wonder if there is some neurological basis for it and how it crosses cultures.

Thanks for reading, ATS, I hope that you have enjoyed this short trip to Alamut. I know that like most westerners, I have pulled out the more fantastic aspects of the Assassins, I apologize for any grave errors of understanding that I may have committed.

Have a great weekend.


edit on 11-10-2013 by Bybyots because: .



posted on Oct, 11 2013 @ 06:45 PM
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reply to post by Bybyots
 


Damnnn that was severely cool, we need folk like these today, putting knives under a Rothschild's pillow



posted on Oct, 11 2013 @ 06:58 PM
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Where i get my name from. Great story



posted on Oct, 11 2013 @ 07:00 PM
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Ass snake abhorent



posted on Oct, 11 2013 @ 07:02 PM
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I don't think the Assassins hold a candle to the Ninja.

First the Assassins were suicidal, most if all didn't survive their mission. So there was little finess it was all fanaticism.

The Ninja were more flexible and adaptive and sought to survive their missions and were highly strategic and pragmatic. I think I'll pull up some old sources and write about them soon
But for now the Gym...!



posted on Oct, 11 2013 @ 07:05 PM
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reply to post by FreeMason
 


Still abhorent,



posted on Oct, 11 2013 @ 07:17 PM
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symptomoftheuniverse
reply to post by FreeMason
 


Still abhorent,


What do you mean by that?



posted on Oct, 11 2013 @ 07:22 PM
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Very well written and presented !! Propaganda has a long fruitful history; why fight when it is the minds of your enemy you want to control.
Many stories you presented I have heard as well.. The garden scene and the drugged youth has been told and retold...

hhaha I doubt they would survive a week in some parts of Detroit or Chicago though!! Ok OK joke!



posted on Oct, 11 2013 @ 07:39 PM
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FreeMason

symptomoftheuniverse
reply to post by FreeMason
 


Still abhorent,


What do you mean by that?
what kind of low life could murder for the right price? Oh lord take me now.
What kind of evi idiot can glorify these fools.



posted on Oct, 11 2013 @ 08:11 PM
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reply to post by symptomoftheuniverse
 


Considering the fact they existed and have morphed into present day government or terrorist sponsored entities the world over you got allot of evil to pray for and about. Does not matter if it is for a shekel or some fanatic/patriotic belief there have always been those who will fight for their beliefs. Those who have been unwilling to fight have been conquered or exterminated.. It is what it is.

There was a guy by the name of Moses; not the one in the bible but a self proclaimed messiah who was leading approximately 50,000 (?) to Jerusalem during the crusades. They were only armed by their Bibles and faith. The group was intercepted by some of Saladin's warriors and asked where they thought they were going... After Moses called God's wraith down upon the heretics of Saladin the warriors put to sword every last one of them. There have always been those on their knees praying while the blade falls.. Others wish to be more proactive even if history judges them misguided.



posted on Oct, 11 2013 @ 08:16 PM
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reply to post by Bybyots
 


Marco Polo is a fictional character, the book is a aggregation of tales, fantasy and derivation something between a fantasy and a travel guidebook in the third person. The presumed author wrote most of it in prison. Look it up.



posted on Oct, 11 2013 @ 08:29 PM
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reply to post by Bybyots
 





The Assassins were secret order devouted to a certain form of Islamic Mysticism. They, like the neo-Platonists, did not see God as the first cause, but the emanation of The Word of God. Hassan's mission was to spread that Word, and The Word was telling him that the world was ending and that humanity was set to be judged. They also had a great deal in common with the Sufis, which we shall get to soon.



Though I greatly admire your historical versimillitude, Bybyots, make no mistake about it....I have stopped reading your thread, just to reply at the point I quote. For....if we accept that this is but a rehash of history, as much history truly is, for the purpose of reverse engineering (though this is only my humble and not proveable assertion), then, this is but another way of simply making killing mysterious and perhaps, justifiable, by belief, and action.....as so very much of what current "history" appears to be, really. But that's just my simple opinion.

Still, think about it: if we can give these belief systems all this history and reason, then we can equate that to a total serial killer mentality today, and make it seem, well....somehow, right and justified.
Tetra50



posted on Oct, 11 2013 @ 08:40 PM
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reply to post by Panic2k11
 


Marco Polo's famous Description of the World was written around 1298. It was Polo's account of the many years he had spent in China.

According to the book's prologue, Marco Polo first travelled to China in 1271 with his father and uncle who were both merchants. While in China, he met the great ruler, Qubilai Khan, and so impressed him that the Khan made Marco his special emissary, sending him on missions throughout the various far-flung provinces of China. Marco Polo finally returned to Venice with his family in 1295. He wrote the account of his travels in 1298 while imprisoned in Genoa (or rather, he described his travels to a French writer named Rustichello who wrote the actual book for him).


The basic argument against Marco Polo involves a set of telling omissions. First of all, no reference has ever been found in Chinese archives to an Italian visitor like Marco Polo, despite the fact that China's bureaucrats kept numerous forms of documentation and recorded the presence of many other westerners. If Marco Polo really did serve as a special emissary to the Great Khan, it seems unusual that his presence would never have been noted.

Marco Polo does not mention seeing woodblock printing, which was then unknown in Europe. He never mentions the Chinese custom of drinking tea (also unknown in Europe at that time), despite the fact that he discusses varieties of Chinese wine. He never mentions the practice of foot-binding, even though this custom fascinated all other Europeans who travelled to China. He never mentions the use of chopsticks; and finally, he fails to mention the Great Wall of China.

Marco Polo did, however, identify some important features of Chinese society. For instance, he described porcelain, the use of coal, and the use of paper money—all unknown to Europeans in the thirteenth century. Nevertheless, it is still hard to imagine that someone could actually go to China and manage to miss all the details that he missed in the telling for the book. Nevertheless a great yarn!
www.museumofhoaxes.com...



posted on Oct, 11 2013 @ 08:41 PM
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Thanks for the thread and thanks for the link to badasshistory.com.....epic.



posted on Oct, 11 2013 @ 09:38 PM
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reply to post by 727Sky
 


Hey, thanks for the vote of confidence, 727sky, I enjoy your threads as well.




hhaha I doubt they would survive a week in some parts of Detroit or Chicago though!!





Yeah, that would have been a great episode of Deadliest Warrior, "Hashashin Vs Detroit Street Gang".




posted on Oct, 11 2013 @ 09:41 PM
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Such a great thread, it boggles my brain that it has been overlooked by primadonas and their rant threads.

There is a video game called Assassin's Creed which follows loosely to the history of the ancient order. They are also utilized in Dan Brown's Angels & Demons.

I would not be surprised if they are still here, battling behind the scenes.
Hell, we could very well know them as the CIA by now.



posted on Oct, 11 2013 @ 09:48 PM
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727Sky
reply to post by symptomoftheuniverse
 


Considering the fact they existed and have morphed into present day government or terrorist sponsored entities the world over you got allot of evil to pray for and about. Does not matter if it is for a shekel or some fanatic/patriotic belief there have always been those who will fight for their beliefs. Those who have been unwilling to fight have been conquered or exterminated.. It is what it is.

There was a guy by the name of Moses; not the one in the bible but a self proclaimed messiah who was leading approximately 50,000 (?) to Jerusalem during the crusades. They were only armed by their Bibles and faith. The group was intercepted by some of Saladin's warriors and asked where they thought they were going... After Moses called God's wraith down upon the heretics of Saladin the warriors put to sword every last one of them. There have always been those on their knees praying while the blade falls.. Others wish to be more proactive even if history judges them misguided.

the difference between war and a smack head back door thievy parasite is vast.
War did not exist once, there has never been your always.
edit on 11-10-2013 by symptomoftheuniverse because: a





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