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My name is Andrew Phillip Smith and I am the author of several books and articles on Gnosticism, early Christianity and esoterica. My books include John the Baptist and the Last Gnostics, Lost Teachings of the Cathars, Secret history of the gnostics,  A Dictionary of Gnosticism, The Gnostics: History • Tradition • Scriptures • Influence, The Lost Sayings of Jesus: Annotated & Explained, Gnostic Writings on the Soul: Annotated & Explained, and The Gospel of Philip: Annotated & Explained. I’m also editor of The Gnostic: A Journal of Gnosticism, Western Esotericism and Spirituality.

Now out: John the Baptist and the Last Gnostics: the Secret history of the Mandaeans.

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Among the casualties of the western intervention in Iraq and the recent activities of ISIS are the Mandeans of Southern Iraq. These peace-loving people are now fleeing to the west . They are the last Gnostics, the only surviving remnant of the ancient sects who taught the direct knowledge of God, created their own gospels and myths and were persecuted as heretical by the church in the second and third centuries. The Mandeans place weekly river baptisms at the centre of their religious life and the primary exemplar of their religion is none other than John the Baptist. What is the real history of this mysterious and long lived sect? Can the Mandean peoples really be traced back to the first century? And who was John the Baptist? This book follows the history of the Mandeans from their present plight back through their earliest encounters with the West, their place in Islamic counties, their possible influence on the Templars, back to their origins as a first century baptismal sect connected to John the Baptist and beyond.

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