Gnostic Order of Christ
Gnostic Order of Christ
The Gnostic Order of Christ is the largest of several organizations, that was formally founded in 1988, visibly emerged in the mid-1990s from the remnants of the Holy Order of MANS. The Holy Order of MANS was founded in the 1960s by Fr. Paul Blighton, a former engineer who spent much of his life considering the problem of the relationship between science and religion. The end result was a new ordered community modeled on a Roman Catholic religious order but following an esoteric Christian theology. The Holy Order was effectively dissolved in 1986 when it merged into a small Eastern Orthodox jurisdiction, the Greek Orthodox Missionary Archdiocese of Vasiloupolis.
Many of the scattered members of the former Holy Order began to communicate with each other and one group who felt called upon to continue its work organized the Gnostic Order of Christ in 1988. Instrumental in the creation of the Gnostic Order was Timothy D. Harris. Harris was an original member of the Holy Order, having joined the Science of Man Church that had preceded it. He was initiated by Blighton as a master teacher and in 1970 was given the rites of ordination. In 1972, Fr. Timothy left the Holy Order and became a private teacher of metaphysics. In 1984 he received consecration as a bishop from an independent Old Catholic bishop. Also instrumental in the founding of the new Gnostic Order was Jessica Catherine Burkhouse. She took her life vows with the Holy Order in 1978. As Sister Jessica, she worked with the Immaculate Heart Sisters of Mary, a female suborder within the Holy Order. She was ordained as a master teacher in the Holy Order. Within the new Gnostic Order, she has worked to reestablish the sisterhood as the Immaculate Heart Servants of Mary.
The Gnostic Order is an esoteric order community that follows the teachings and practice of the former Holy Order. It has a theology built on Hermetic principles and follows a life of ordered service. Members of the order accept the Master Jesus as a universal teacher, but also accept the validity of all spiritual paths and the sacred writings of all the great religions as sacred literature. Bishop Timothy facilitated Burkhouse and the other former master teacher who joined in the formation of the Gnostic Order receiving similar episcopal consecration to his own.
The teachers of the Gnostic Order are now scattered across the United States. Headquarters have been established at P.O. Box 8660, San Jose, CA 95155-8660. The order has a website at http://www.gnostic.net/.
Gnostic Order of Christ. http://www.gnostic.net/. May 13, 2000.