The following is reproduced from the pamphlet:
Origins of Avestathal
Avestathal’s date of birth cannot be confirmed. He is known to have lived in an area called Legolam, in what is modern day Watfor, by the river Stentep. It was said that he was born out of a tree trunk. The tree had a knot or node, and this node separated and formed a vagina-like opening. A huge seed-like object about the size of a small melon came out. About this time, a man came walking through the woods and heard the sound of an infant crying. This man was called Klemenzet, and he was mute. He followed his ears, and came upon the hard shell cocoon, and detected that there was something moving inside. He squatted there for a long time, trying to decide what to do. In the end, he took a fletching tool that he carried and carefully opened the cocoon, revealing a very small baby boy. Upon seeing the child, Klemenzet’s heart was so moved with compassion that he picked up the boy, wrapped him in the cloth of his tunic and took him to the nearby village where he lived and worked. Now, Klemenzet was a laborer employed by an arrowsmith called Wordeckl, and, not knowing what should be done with the child, He delivered him to Wordeckl.
Klemenzet was able to communicate simple work related ideas to his employer through the use of gestures. Now, he gesticulated frantically in an attempt to describe the strange birth he had witnessed, and even tried to draw pictograms in the earth, but all to no avail. Wordeckl simply assumed that his assistant was overly excited about finding a lost or abandoned infant, and completely missed the outlandish idea he attempted to convey. Few bothered to pay attention to Klemenzet in this village, for although he was considered trustworthy and dependable, he was assumed by the majority of the villagers to be touched with madness.
Wordeckl and his mate, Helvetica, cared for the child as best they could while for several days they made inquiries by messenger to the surrounding villages. No information whatsoever came back to them about the possible origins of the child. They assumed that it had simply been abandoned in the woods. By this time, Helvetica had grown quite attached to the child, and pressed Wordeckl to adopt him. He gave his consent, for he had grown fond of the child as well. In addition, Helvetica was barren, and could not be counted upon to bear him any children.
Legolam was a system of villages that were all governed by a rector. There was an idolatrous religion entrenched in that land, and each village had a priest assigned to it. The rectorate and beyond was heavily influenced if not controlled outright by the priesthood. There was a pecking order among the priesthood, but it was known only to them and hidden from ordinary folk. In fact, almost all of the activities of the priesthood were kept secret. Their religion had been all there was for as long as anyone could remember, and they proffered a pantheon of hybrid deities. Each village was represented by a particular deity to whom its inhabitants were expected to pledge allegiance.
The priests wore black robes and vestments, and usually kept their faces covered. Occasionally, a villager would have occasion to hold intimate audience with a priest, for the settlement of dispute, admonishment, etc. All who had looked into a priest’s eyes said the same thing, that their eyes were different from ordinary people, that there was a light in them that defied explanation, and that their skin was abnormally pale.
One of the messengers that were sent out to neighboring villages in the days immediately following the mysterious appearance of the child was none other than Klemenzet himself, whose story no one believed, until he encountered a priest who began to interrogate him. The “interrogation” was done wordlessly, through the establishment of a telepathic link or “mind meld.” With fingertips lightly touching Klemenzet’s skull, the priest was able to retrieve the memory of the unnatural birth. He appeared to be taken aback, and gripped the messenger tightly and in a manner uncharacteristic of the priestly caste.
The following day, a contingent of three priests appeared at the arrowsmith’s humble dwelling and requested to view the child. The couple readily assented. This was quite unprecedented. The priests never traveled together, and thus the problem of distinguishing one from another never arose because they were never seen together in the same place, and thus remained as nameless as they were faceless. Although this was unusual, Wordeckl and Helvetica had no reason to mistrust the priests.
The priests came with blessings and benedictions, and one of them asked if he could hold the child. He and the others began handling the child in a particularly rough way, not exactly abusing it, but showing no concern for the gentleness that is appropriate when handling an infant. For instance, they held it hanging by a single limb, and then pulled strange metallic instruments from their vestments and began prodding the child. Wordeckl, of course, endeavored to curb this behavior. The priests ignored him. He then moved to forcefully take the child back, and was rebuked. One priest, with a wave of his hand put them all to sleep. They had their way with the child and when they were done with their crude probing, they returned the child to his adoptive parents, who emerged from the state they were in just a moment ago, completely unaware that anything at all had happened. The priests departed as they had arrived, with no one remembering anything at all of the odd event. No one, that is, except Klemenzet, who was hiding behind a barrel, and had witnessed and retained a memory of the incident in its entirety.
Whatever their interest in the child may have been, they did not follow up with further action, and the child was left unmolested to thrive. The proud guardians named their new ward Moder, and at an early age he was apprenticed into the family business of making bows and archery equipment. The village system in Legolam was an agrarian collective, and was periodically under attack by nomadic bands of Neanderthals. To defend against them the villagers needed sophisticated long range weaponry, and Wordeckl had a reputation for making the best bow and arrow in that region. As Moder grew into a young man, his imagination became irrepressible, and he designed several new weapons. Among these were the catapult and the slingshot, both of which were unknown at that time and in that region.
These innovations in defense technology contributed much to the security of the rectorate, and Wordeckl’s wealth and reputation greatly increased. Wordeckl and Helvetica could often be found at the temple, kneeling in prayer, thanking their patron deity, Anunaki (which was a man with a boar’s head) for blessing them with such an intelligent and industrious son.
Part and parcel of Moder’s inquisitive nature was a natural curiosity about the world outside the village gate, and he would often wander about on exploratory excursions, despite the warnings of his elders. On one such foray, He found himself at the village reservoir. On the banks, he was assailed by three Neanderthals, who tried to drown him. If not for the intervention of a small band of hunters that happened by with slingshots, Moder surely would have perished. This event was deeply shocking to the impressionable young man, and he found himself asking repeatedly: “Why would they do such a thing without provocation?”
It was not long after this that Moder was in the village square with some other boys playing “thrown objects” when a dispute arose between them regarding some technicality or other. The argument escalated, and Moder was thrown headlong into a fire pit. He managed to escape but was badly burned. As the burns were healing, he repeatedly and compulsively asked himself “Why Me?”
At this point, his guardians began to worry, and pleaded with him to learn from his mistakes and to stay within range of home and not to play with rough boys; in short, to refrain from doing anything which might conceivably result in injury. But, unfortunately for his long suffering guardians, Moder’s destiny lay in a different direction entirely.
As soon as he had regained his health, he went exploring among the rocks. A poisonous serpent struck out at him, and he immediately began to feel the deleterious effects of its venom. Mustering all the strength at his command, he was able to crawl into an aperture in the rock beyond which was a cavern.
It is said that Moder then became feverish and went into a fit that continued for the duration of a full moon cycle. We will never be able to accurately determine what physical trials he endured or how long he stayed inside the cave. Scripture tells us that his guardians and the village at large had given him up for dead, and that eventually he emerged from the cave and began writing verse.
He was charged with the responsibility of finding a stylus and tablet, and writing down what had been entrusted to him in the cave as quickly and completely as possible. However, he was sidetracked from this task several times.
He came across villagers who wanted to know where he had been and what had happened to him, etc. He brushed their concerns aside and told them he had to write. His ever-faithful and protective guardians were brought to his bare encampment on the village outskirts. He responded to their entreaties with compassionate attention, but refused to answer any of their trifling questions regarding his health and safety. Gently but firmly he sent them away. No one could prevail upon him to move until he had finished the task at hand.
Failing to persuade him to do anything other than write, and faced with a steadfast refusal to answer any questions, the villagers resigned themselves to keeping watch over Moder and attending to his needs. Food and drink was brought to him, which he accepted gratefully. He was also provided with tablets and a stylus. It is written that he recorded the transmissions he had received for nine days and nights, working in fits and starts, stopping to attend to necessities, and napping only occasionally. Every so often during this transcription period, the village priest could be seen watching from the temple tower.
When at last he had exhausted the information that had been revealed to him, he collapsed into a deep slumber. A total of eighty one verses composed of nine lines each had been etched into the tablets. They were loaded into a cart and taken with Moder back to the dwelling of Wordeckl and Helvetica. Upon arriving there, He told those who had been his guardians that he would address the village at the square the next day.
The morning, we are told, found Moder completely reinvigorated, and possessed with a passion that shone forth and exceeded that of the priests. When he arrived at the village square, he found the assembled inhabitants awaiting him, and a crate that had contained personal hygiene products was overturned and set out for him in the center. He ascended to his makeshift platform and began to address the assembled crowd.
The first thing he told them is that he would no longer respond to his given name, Moder. Hereafter, he explained, he would be addressed as “Avestathal”, because he had come to fulfill the truth. And what was this truth?
The gods of the priests are false gods, and should be utterly destroyed and stricken from memory, he said. This claim was so forcefully antagonistic toward established convention, that the villagers were shocked and taken aback, and many gasps and utterances were heard among them. Then a stone was launched by slingshot and found its mark on Avestathal’s temple, drawing blood and causing him to cry out.
He recovered quickly, and while a nurse tended his wound, he continued the delivery of his message. This wound was, he said, the final of his four trials. There was the trial by drowning, the trial by fire, the trial by snakebite, and now, finally, the trial by stone. How Ironic that the very slingshot that he had designed with his own hands had been used against him, so that he could feel the full effect of its capacity to cause harm. This and every other trial that had beset him had been the direct result of his vocation as a manufacturer of weaponry. During his time in the cave he had seen clearly that whatever violence is done to others, either directly or indirectly, is sure to rebound upon the offender in due course. This is the law of God, and there is only one god, who taught that we should all love and respect one another. This was the first exposition of the simple Avestathalen doctrine of personal conduct: Good thoughts, good words, good deeds. This simple prescription, with especial emphasis on non-violence or non-harming, would ensure alignment with god’s will, with peace and prosperity in one’s life the result.
At this point, Wordeckl is said to have inquired as to whether or not the prophet would be returning to work in the shop. “I think not,” was the curt reply he received. Avestathal’s words were powerful, and carried with them the spirit of truth, as fresh water brought up from a deep well quenches the thirst of the dehydrated. He repeated his assertion that the gods of the priests were false, and that there was but one true god. How did he know this? Because god himself told him so while he was in the cave. The snake that bit him had been sent by god to get his attention, and once in the cave he had been infused with the spirit of divine madness. His conversations with god were many, and little by little, his conditioned resistance to the truth was worn down, and he became a willing and clear channel for the transcription of the truth of universal law, which mankind was now ready to hear.
The priesthood were leading the people astray and diverting their attention from the truth. Theirs was an elaborate and precisely coordinated plan to retain the power of truth for themselves, while indoctrinating others to believe in lies.
“Who are the priests? Are they like you and I? Where do they come from? Have you ever known anyone who has become a priest? Look at how they conduct their affairs, hidden away in secrecy. Their countenances are concealed by their hoods, masks, and robes. And what reason have they given for this? Has there ever been an explanation that has truly satisfied your hunger for truth? They merely claim divine authority, and set themselves apart, as though they are somehow more worthy of communion with god than you are. Well, I am come to declare that it is not true. Every one of you born into this realm has a right to know god directly, just as I have.
“Where are the priests? Have you ever felt that they truly cared about your welfare? Do they walk among you, responding to your heart’s yearning for truth? They do not. They are almost always locked away in their temples, and only appear on the day of reverence to lead you in rites and rituals, the primary function of which is to consolidate and maintain power over your lives while keeping you from your birthright.”
Avestathal raised his hand and pointed to the village temple. This temple, like all others within the rectorate, was comprised of a worship hall and priest’s quarters on the ground floor. Underground were the “tombs.” There was a tower in the middle from which the priest could look out upon the village, and on special observance days, address the people and perform seasonal rites. Crowning this tower was an iconic representation of the neighborhood deity, Anunaki, a human figure with a boar’s head.
“What the fuck?” He exclaimed. “Do any of you even know why you prostrate yourself to this ridiculous figure?” Avestathal was standing on the makeshift platform which had been covered with a carpet to comfort his feet. Now he drew upon the power of the light within him, and the carpet was lifted off of the crate, with Avestathal still standing upon it. It rose up, and began to move above the heads of those assembled. He appeared to be looking around for something. “You there! Lend me your club!”
The awestruck bystander hesitated momentarily, then tossed his club up. Catching it, Avestathal flew over to the temple tower and faced the sculpted image of anunaki. He called to the stunned crowd below:
“Having just given you the greatest doctrine on earth, that of nonviolence, let me further refine it by stating emphatically that this refers only to interpersonal conduct. There is nothing at all precious about ideas. In fact, there comes a time when the only valid response to an untruthful idea that has taken root in human consciousness is ruthless brutality.”
Having said this, Avestathal raised the club and began demolishing the clay statue. This was too much for the assembled villagers, who responded in a variety of ways, from weeping openly, to shouting in indignation, to rending their clothes and rolling around in the dirt.
We may never know the entire truth about the prophet Avestathal, founder of the religion that bears his name. The magical phenomena that have been attributed to his power, such as flying on carpets, shape-shifting, and starting fires remotely through force of will are central in Avestathalen mythology and symbolism. In the modern age, what had once been taken on faith is now simply ignored or taken with furtive skepticism. Those that choose to interpret nonordinary events in scripture literally are few, and when outspoken, they are often held up for ridicule.
There seems to be little relation, at the exoteric level, between the legend of Avestathal the magician, and the message of Avestathal the prophet. Indeed, the scriptural exposition of truth as recorded in the collection of eighty one verses that has come to us as The Ochon Dostlar is an extremely practical guide to living ethically, in accordance with natural and universal law. The main tenets of Avestathalen are as follows:
- There is one universal and transcendental God.
- This God is the source of all that exists
- All that exists is contained within God.
- God is contained within all that exists.
- God manifests in the world as Order, Truth, and Beauty
- Chaos and falsehood are manifestations of the human mind in ignorance of God.
- Alignment with God’s natural law (laws governing orderly manifestation) can only result in peace and prosperity for the individual
- One may align oneself with this law and with God through the practice of good Thoughts, good words, and good deeds.
- One must remind oneself to practice in this way until it becomes a natural way of being
- Remembrance is accomplished through prayer and symbolism
- God and the attributes of god, truth and order, can be understood as light. Light comes from the sun, and is thus symbolized by fire. It also symbolizes the purification process by which man aligns his thoughts, words and actions with God’s natural law
- The primary injunction is against violence in any form, even at the level of thought.
There are three categories of ethical conduct implicit in these basic beliefs. They are:
- Environmentalism: Respect and kindness to all living things. Man is a part of the natural order, and should carefully consider his use of natural resources.
- Equality: All people should be respected, regardless of gender, color, speech, habits or beliefs.
- Generosity: sacrifices should not be made to gods at temples; rather, people should be generous to one another, sacrificing a part of what would otherwise be their own.
The village was now in a state of tension. Long held beliefs and opinions had been disturbed at their core. There was an attempt to ostracize Avestathal. After his demonstration of magic and iconoclasm at the temple, he was henceforth forbidden to enter it. This set the people at odds with each other, with the temple, and with Avestathal. These people had been taught to believe in the supremacy of the priesthood and lulled into complacency with facile rites and observances. Avestathal practically took up residence in the village commons. The villagers could not forget the power that he had demonstrated, nor could they ignore his impassioned daily speeches from the improvised lectern. Village life went on as it always had regarding outward appearances. But even as the scaffold was erected around the temple tower in preparation for the replacement of the demolished statue of Anunaki, Avestathal was nurturing the growth of doubt in long established custom.
It was probably no accident that the mute Klemenzet should have been the one to discover the prophet as an infant and declare (or attempt to declare) his vegetable birth in the wilderness. He seems to have been the only true disciple of Avestathal during his lifetime, although there were a number who generously lent their support to ensure that God’s new message to mankind would live on in the world.
For while Avestathal, starting where he found himself, attempted to elucidate his revelations and make them known to the public, Klemenzet, evincing extraordinary foresight, secretly began transcribing the original tablets that the prophet had produced. This was painstaking labor, and could not have been accomplished without the aid of Wordeckl and Helvetica, who continued to operate their weapon manufacturing business.
Dedicating himself fully to this task, Klemenzet abandoned his duties as an assistant to Wordeckl, and worked by night in the basement by the light of an oil-lamp. He resolved to make as many copies of the tablets as time would allow. After a discussion with Wordeckl, a decision was made to transcribe the scripture onto a durable canvas-like cloth that was specially treated with avancithus resin. This cloth was first cut to shape and then rolled onto handled spools. The resultant scrolls, of course, were much easier to transport than the stone tablets. When Avestathal first recorded his verses, the tablets were readily available, and there was no time to devise an alternate method.
Avestathal posed a serious problem for the priesthood. He seemed to be impervious to their methods of psychological manipulation. Every day he was out in the public square, within sight of the temple, telling the crowds that gathered around him that they could communicate directly with their creator, that the creator, in fact, could be found within themselves and in every living thing.
To engage in open debate or to deliberately attack Avestathal was beneath the priesthood, and would show the public that they considered him a threat to their continued supremacy. Instead, they chose the indirect method of pitting the citizenry against Avestathal. There was a circle of what were called temple scholars. These were laymen that were dedicated to the study of temple doctrine. This consisted of an in depth understanding of the pantheon of deities and the specific attributes or manifestations of each one. Again, the priesthood itself had little personal contact with the people; their activities were considered to be vitally important in maintaining the delicate relationship between this manifested world and the unseen realm of the deities. The subtle mechanics of their power were beyond the understanding of the ordinary person. The circle of scholars was entrusted with more information than anyone else, and they served as liaisons between the public and the priesthood. They could get access to the priests much more easily, and they generally maintained a much higher standard of living. Questions and concerns were first brought to the scholars; they served as the primary advisors to the people. For instance, if a relative was sick or dying, one would consult a temple scholar, who would then prescribe the method of supplication to the appropriate deity, suggest specific gifts to lay upon the altar, and demonstrate how to pray most effectively.
There were 13 temple scholars, and one after another they approached Avestathal as he was giving discourse in the square. At this point the word was spreading about the prophet, and people were making the journey from neighboring villages to hear him speak. So the crowds were considerably larger than they had been at the very beginning. Such was the situation when the scholars cleared a space beside the prophet, and upturned a second crate facing him. The first scholar to mount the crate took a position relative to a philosophical question and challenged Avestathal to refute his assertion. So skillful and direct was Avestathal’s refutation that the challenger suffered an extreme physical reaction, losing his balance and falling off of his makeshift platform. He convulsed wildly upon the ground, and was in danger of swallowing his tongue.
The following day, the next challenger faced the prophet with his doctrinal assertion, and after hearing the rebuttal, lost complete control of his bodily functions, let loose his bowel and bladder, and began slamming his head upon the hard earth until he was physically restrained from doing further damage to himself.
Each successive encounter unfolded more or less along the same lines, until, the thirteenth scholar simply found himself unable to speak, and turned away from Avestathal, running for safety as the assembly roared with laughter. These apocryphal discourses have survived in a scriptural text known as the Aqat Baten, which holds a unique place in the Avestathalen canon owing to its unabashed hilarity. It is often argued by modern scholars that its intended purpose is to provide comic relief as well as edification.
One of Avestathal’s main criticisms of the priesthood was their total lack of transparency and accountability to the people. They hid behind black robes and masks, he said. He was constantly questioning their need for secrecy, and empowering the people to investigate the nature of reality for themselves, to pray to god without temple mediation. “Let them show themselves,” was his constant refrain.
In later times, a theory was advanced in the popular imagination that the priesthood was in fact a race of alien beings, and that they hid their faces because their appearances must have been too shocking for the people to look upon. This is the explanation for their telepathic and extrasensory powers, their apparent ability to fly, and the strange energy beams which were said to emanate out of their outstretched palms. It is said that they operated in hive-like fashion; with each priest being not an individual, but merely a separate agent of a single consciousness, and that often the priests would gather at a secret location to tune in to this collective mind, receiving information and renewal of energy simultaneously. It is also mentioned in scripture that these priests were never known to consume food or beverage. None of this can be verified through scientific means, of course; however there is no information to contradict such a theory within scripture. In fact what little we can learn of the priesthood by studying the ancient texts only lends support to these ideas, however absurd they may seem to the rational skeptic.
At this point in the story, things quickly begin to heat up as Avestathal steadfastly refuses to compromise, and hastens his inevitable martyrdom.
Every 13th day was the day of reverence, when the entire community would convene within the temple, and engage in a ceremony led by the village priest that combined worship, ritual sacrifice, admonishment and atonement for infractions. On this particular day of reverence, Avestathal chose to ignore the order of exclusion that had been imposed upon him in order to further expose the priesthood for what it was.
Now, although Avestathal had gained many enthusiastic adherents among the villagers, all of them, nearly to a man, were afraid to renounce the temple altogether. The priests still held a strong psychological influence over them and they did not dare abstain from ceremonies. Avestathal was able to bypass the temple guardians by disguising himself as a shepherd. At a certain point in the proceedings, as the priest was addressing the congregation, Avestathal disrupted his discourse with a challenge to “show us your true face.” Before the temple guardians could lay hands on him, he quickly rushed the lectern and pulled off the priest’s black hood and mask. The face revealed to the gasping congregation was anything but human, with huge, luminous orbs for eyes, and hardly any nose or mouth to speak of. Even more disturbing, the head was crowned by a glass dome through which the creature’s brain was clearly visible. Exclamations, expletives and expressions of panic were heard as chaos erupted within the temple. The guardians and scholars closed in upon Avestathal with swords drawn; He is said to have transformed himself into a serpent and eluded his attackers by slithering away down into the tombs.
The temple was quickly evacuated as the citizens scattered in every direction, afraid for their lives. Soon the central section of the village was completely deserted. Klemenzet heard the commotion, and realized that this must be the beginning of the end. He conferred with Helvetica and Wordeckl, and quickly made ready for his journey. He packed nine scrolls in all, representing three complete transcriptions of the Ochon Dostlar. He was given as much food and water as would fit in his pack and a small shovel was secured to the back of it. There was a hasty and tearful goodbye, then Klemenzet set off to a prearranged hideout on the outskirts of the village, leaving the courageous couple behind to face certain death.
Meanwhile, at the temple, the priest who had been exposed was joined by two others who flew into the village square by some unknown means of propulsion. The three priests hovered in the air outside of the temple, and shooting forth strange beams of purple energy from their hands, engulfed the temple in flames. This was their way of calling Avestathal out for the final showdown.
He then appeared rising out of the inferno on his flying carpet, completely unscathed. For a moment the three priests slowly encircled him, and then the first “shot” was fired. Since Avestathal was committed to nonviolence, he could only attempt to defend himself from the onslaught. Not once did he go on the offensive. The ensuing battle was essentially an aerial dogfight, with Avestathal employing evasive maneuvering, and surrounding himself with an electromagnetic force field for protection. In the end, Avestathal was worn out, shot down, and completely pulverized. He had maintained his integrity to the very end, refusing either to attack or to lie down.
It was now dusk, and Klemenzet set off on the most important journey of his life. After he had put some distance between himself and his birthplace, he turned around and saw it being destroyed by strange flying ships that “threw purple flame in all directions.” He wept bitterly at the sight of this holocaust, and vowed that he would somehow bring the scrolls he carried to safety, for he now realized that if he failed in this mission, then the deaths of his kinfolk would have been in vain. So he traveled by night, and by day he dug himself in and covered himself over with the desert sand of that region, which hid him from view and protected him from the fierce and unforgiving sun.
The trials, temptations, and deprivations he suffered on this most arduous of journeys are recorded in the Klemenbokiz, a fantastic tale of total dedication to the truth and determination in the face of tremendous odds. This is a separate story, and cannot be given its due within the scope of this article.
Eventually, Klemenzet reached a friendly society sequestered in the mountainous region of Pasashenk. It was in this isolated land high up in the clouds that the practice of Avestathalen was given the chance to take root and flourish. The pasashenkos have now been practicing nonviolence longer than anyone else in the world. Eventually, emissaries from pasashenk came down to the lowlands, bringing their translations of the scrolls, which were then disseminated, copied, and translated again into other languages, until eventually the message of nonviolence and the practice of Avestathalen (with cultural variations) has spread to almost every region in this world.