In his two books, "The Occult Underground: The Dawn of the New Age" and "The Occult Establishment," historian James Webb chronicles the rise of an occult 'elite' intelligentsia as it emerged out of the Renaissance. Webb sees the Renaissance as a spiritually traumatic time in which the spiritual roots of many people were shaken free of supernatural Christianity. As a result, apostates eagerly embraced the pantheist/materialist occult traditions — Hermeticism, Theosophy, Buddhism, esoteric Kabbalism, alchemy, neo-Platonism, and Gnosticism — sweeping into Christendom at that time. Webb's book, "The Occult Underground" was originally called "The Flight from Reason" because Western 'elite' apostates had turned back to occultism — the science of magic. Webb's main point is that since the Renaissance, a powerfully influential occult community existing at the highest levels of Western society has been both the intelligentsia and the real powers behind what has been variously called the Progressive Underground, the Anti-Establishment, and the Counter Culture, the aim of which is twofold: first, the total destruction of the Old Order based on orthodox Christianity, free-markets, private property, the traditional family and individual rights, and second, the creation of a utopian New World Order which is to rise out of the smoldering ashes of the Old Order.
C.S. Lewis also tracked the rise of the Anti-Establishment elite. In his masterpiece, The Abolition of Man (1947) Lewis described them as adhering to either of two schools of neo-pagan thought: Cosmic (transcendentalist/pantheist) Humanism or Secular Humanism (materialist). These two schools appeared in Western history in the heart of Christendom during the Renaissance which had reawakened a magic view of the world closely connected with pagan Gnostic sectarianism, Eastern pantheism, Hermetic magic, Greek Atomism (materialism) as well as alchemical-scientism. Along with all of this came spiritual evolution, reincarnation, karma and occultism, which means that evolutionary conceptions existed long before Darwin.
Early on Lewis understood that Cosmic and Secular Humanism were merely two sides of the same revival of pagan monism. Thus he argued, Cosmic and Secular Humanism are not enemies in principle but rather cooperating philosophies united against the transcendent Creator, Christianity and Christian-based civilization.
Catholic philosopher and historian Thomas Molnar (1910-2010) reveals the common metaphysical themes uniting both schools of thought in his book "Utopia: The Perennial Heresy." The two recurring themes of modern revolutionary utopianism are monism (only matter or a World Soul exists) and evolutionary conceptions. At the root of these two themes there is:
"...defiance of God, pride unlimited, a yearning for enormous power and the assumption of divine attributes with a view to manipulating and shaping mankind's fate." (p. 227)
In other words, in order for self-divinized revolutionary apostates to create a perfected new world order populated by a perfected New Man, two actions must occur first: the speculative murder of the living, supernatural God Who created all human beings in His spiritual image followed by the re-engineering of the souls of all Westerners and Americans.
John Taylor Gatto, former New York State and New York City Teacher of the Year, also tracked the rise of this destructive neo-pagan 'elite' intelligentsia together with the potent interconnected shadow-government they created to radically reshape the Western and American consciousness. In his book, "The Underground History of of American Education" Gatto points to the Fabian socialist utopians as one of the most powerfully effective revolutionary 'change-making' organizations and notes that,
"...it would not be too far out of line to call the twentieth century the Fabian century." (Gatto, p. 178)
What 'scientific' materialists (i.e., Marxist Communists) aspired to be in completely reordering Christian-based Western society according to scientific evolutionary principles, 20th century Fabians actually were. Much if not most of what has gone wrong here in America is attributable to the Fabians.
The first Fabians had almost all been lapsed Anglicans from Evangelical homes who became dignitaries in the Church of England:
"There was a Christian fringe to the London socialism of the eighties, but this too was Anglican. The Christian Socialists came together in Stewart Headlam's Guild of St. Matthew and the Land Reform Union; and the more respectable Christian Social Union, formed in 1889 -- seeking in Fabian style to permeate the Anglican Church -- soon attracted more than two thousand clerical members. Dissenting clergymen too began to find a place in the Fabian Society and the London Progressives, while Unitarian churches and centres like Stanton Coit's Ethical Church provided a meeting place for believers and idealist agnostics . . . Socialism was for all of them, the new Evangelism." (Norman and Jeanne MacKenzie, The Fabians, Simon & Schuster, 1977, p. 18)
The progenitor of the Fabian Society was the Cambridge University spiritist group, the Ghost Society founded in 1851. The Ghost Society also spawned the Society for Psychical Research (SPR) founded in 1887:
"Council Members and Honorary Members of the SPR included a past Prime Minister (William Gladstone)...and a future Prime Minister (Arthur Balfour)...2 bishops; and Tennyson and Ruskin, two of the outstanding literary figures of the day (as well as) Lewis Carroll (and) a surprising number of titled persons." (Alan Gauld, The Founders of Psychical Research, p. 140)
The over-riding interest of the S.P.R. was the spirit realm, hence they conducted scientific research into phenomena such as mesmeric trance, telepathy, clairvoyance, apparitions, haunted houses, seances, and all aspects of mediumism, or contact with spirits, to determine the scientific laws of physical spiritualistic phenomena.
In 1885, the famous psychologist William James became president of the American S.P.R. James notes that its' driving force came largely from younger Trinity men of the 1870's who had turned towards agnosticism.
By the early 20th century, the materialist Sigmund Freud and Gnostic Carl Jung were SPR Corresponding Members. Both men contributed to the S.P.R. Journal of Proceedings.
In an expose of Jung's occult tendencies Richard Noll writes:
"With the founding of the Society for Psychical Research in England in 1882, and the copious publications of its investigators, new models of the unconscious mind emerged. The most respected model was that of the 'subliminal self' by Frederick Myers (1843-1901), the 'mytho-poetic' (myth-making) function of which resembles Jung's later conception of a collective unconscious. Jung read widely in the literature of psychical research in medical school and his 1902 dissertation cites the work of Myers and others in this school." (Noll, The Jung Cult, 1994, pp. 31-2)
Above all else, revolutionary socialist organizations such as the Fabians consisted of committed Darwinian elitists who were intolerant of free market systems, individual liberties, and cumbersome processes of democracy and wanted to see a new order ruled by a superior caste.
Fabianism took its name from Roman general Fabius Cunctator who finally defeated Hannibal by methodically chipping away at his patience and will to win, an idea adopted by Marxist theoretician Antonio Gramsci who called for a long, slow, stealthy march through Western and American mind and culture-shaping institutions. In this way, Christian foundations would be destroyed and minds captured.
Gatto writes that for Fabianists, Darwin was the 'weird holy man' they adored,
"...the man who gave them a theory inspirationally equal to god-theory, around which a new organization of society could be justified." (p. 180)
To realize the tremendous task Fabian super-men assigned themselves, Gatto writes that we,
"...need to reflect...on Darwin's shattering books, 'The Origin of Species' (1859) and 'The Descent of Man' (1871), each arguing in its own way that....children are (the evolved product of) their race of origin, some 'favored'...some not" (Gatto, p. 179)
Together, Darwin's books issued a license to America's ruling caste to justify forced schooling and much else, all destructive of America's traditional Christian-based Republic. Gatto writes that from an evolutionary standpoint, our government controlled schools,
"...are the indoctrination phase of a gigantic breeding experiment...Many (children are genetically) a racial menace (while) the rest...thought of as soldiers in genetic combat, the moral equivalent of war....For governments, children could no longer be considered individuals but were regarded as categories, rungs on a biological ladder. Evolutionary science pronounced the majority useless mouths waiting for nature to dispense with entirely." (Gatto, p. 179)
Whereas supernatural Christian salvation was formerly held to be a matter between the Holy God and the individual and the aim of Christian-based Europe and America had for centuries been fixed on the work of winning liberties for the individual against the oppressive State, the Age of Darwin brought an end to all of this. By the turn of the century the Fabian program based in Darwinism was spreading quickly through the best colleges and universities capturing the minds of America's best and brightest issuing in the view that rights and privileges are the preserve of the superior caste in control of an omniscient mystical god-State together with salvation as a pantheist conception based in ideas of collectivity.
Secular historians of the nineteenth century anti-establishment progressive liberal underground (i.e., James Webb, Alan Gauld) agree that the dominant figures in the occult spiritist/socialist movements were mainly lapsed Evangelicals and Anglican clergymen preceded by pantheist Protestant liberals. The onslaught of skepticism, higher Biblical criticism and dehistorization of the Genesis account united with moral relativism, Darwinism and occult New Age spirituality assaulting the tattered foundations of our Republic in tandem with an increasing epidemic of narcissism among Americans themselves were inspired by Protestant/Evangelical heresy together with an unhealthy interest in spiritism. Norman and Jeanne MacKenzie explain this strange anomaly:
"The lesson instilled by Evangelical parents had been given a secular form. Evolution or what (Sidney) Webb called Zeitgeist, had taken the place of Providence, yet what Webb described as 'blind social forces...which went on inexorably working out social salvation' did not relieve men of their moral responsibility. Victorian religion had taught that a belief in God's purposes must be accompanied by an effort to discern and advance them. Socialists who substituted a secular religion for the faith of their youth felt the same compulsion." (Norman and Jeanne MacKenzie, The Fabians, 1977, p. 115-116)
Though the organized effort to overthrow and destroy the Old Order began with apostate Protestant liberal immanentists and lapsed Evangelicals, by the mid 1880's the spirit of change--of heresy and evolutionary thinking---was already creeping into the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Church. Today it infects the whole body of the Church in one way or another.