Wuhan Journal of Cultic Studies
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Volume 1, Issue 1: 2021
Canada’s “Freemen-on-the-land”: The Timeless Quest for
Susan J. Palmer83
“There is no such thing as ‘kinda free’.” – Robert Arthur Menard
This study will explore the Gnostic elements in the thought world of a contemporary Canadian anarchist movement known as the “Freemen-on-the-Land” (FOL), sometimes explained as the Canadian version of the U.S.'s Sovereign Citizens. I will attempt to demonstrate that these two philosophical schools, the Gnostics of early Christianity and the 21st century Freemen, despite a separation of centuries and geographical distance – espouse myths and doctrines that convey essentially the same message, which is the gospel of “gnosis”. Lewis notes that Gnosicism “as a term, only developed in the eighteenth century as a way of talking about a philosophical movement that had its birth in the second century” (Lewis 2013:13).While scholars (Williams 1966; Brakke 2010; King 2005; Lewis 2013) still wrangle over definitions of “Gnosticism” and debate the issue of whether the early Gnostics in the second to fourth centuries might be considered as proto or parallel “Christians”, the leading historians and theologians in the field (Jonas 1958; Rudolph 1977; Harris 1999; Kripal 2007; Lewis 2013; DeConick 2016) do agree on the “classic” characteristics of Gnosticism and the basic components of the Gnostic worldview.
Gnosticism, Hans Jonas, Freedmen, Canada, Pseudo-Law, Strawman, Robert A. Menard, Archons, Intoxication, Cultic Milieu