eBOOK: The Trial of the Serpent

“The Trail of the Serpent,” by Christina Stoddard (1936)

Writing under the bizarre pseudonym of “Inquire Within,” this book is a fascinating account of the occult forces working through the secret societies to achieve world domination as traced through the meanderings of the serpent.

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Christina Stoddard was for some years a ruling chief of the Mother Temple of the Stella Matutina and the R.R. et A.C.  At one point she became convinced that these societies were evil and subsequently wrote two books (this one and its predecessor “Light-bearers of Darkness” (1930)) unveiling their secret plans for world domination.  As she explains in the Foreword to this book, “Light-bearers of Darkness” was compiled largely from articles appearing in the British paper “The Patriot” from 1925 to 1930 while this work “The Trail of the Serpent: was largely compiled from articles appearing in :The Patriot” from 1930 to 1935.  Stoddard was a staunch patriot and opponent of Soviet Communism; however some have argued that her writings are “anti-Semitic”.  Nevertheless, she offers a useful source for understanding the occult forces which are at work through the secret societies seeking to attain control of the world.

eBook: Trail of the Serpent

In this book, as noted in the Foreword, she traces the worship of the ancient Serpent from patriarchal times to the modern day going through the early Cabiri, through Paganism to the pseudo-Christianity of the Gnostics and Cabalists, to the Hellenized Jews.  She sees this serpent worship as the “God of all initiates” and as the “sex-force” underlying the “Universal Creative Principle”.  Further, she reveals how the Messianic movement amongst the Jews seeks to create a New Heaven and a New Earth.

Following a brief Foreword which lays out the central notions underlying this book, the author begins with a chapter entitled “Sabeism. Eleusis and Mithras”.  The author begins by quoting the famous masonic authority General Albert Pike to show the influence of the creative force.  The author quotes also from Le Chevalier Gougenot des Mousseaux arguing that Sabeism thrust its way into the early Patriarchal traditions and thus perverted the early religions.  The author then traces this development through the religions of the Jews, mentioning the ancient mysteries, and the role of the pagans and the Jews. Subsequently the author examines “Dactyles, Corybantes, and Telchines”, “Mysteries of Eleusis”, “Mysteries of Egypt”, and “Mithraism” tracing the role of influence through the ancient mystery cults.

The second chapter of this book is entitled “Cabalists, Gnostics, and Secret Syrian Sects”.  The author begins by quoting from G.G. (Dargon) in his work “The Anatomy of Revolution” noting the role of subversive movements.  Following this the author turns to discussions of the “Cabala” (mentioning the role of the “Sephir Yetzirah” and the “Zohar”), “Cabalists and Gnostics”, the “Jewish School of Alexandria”, “Manichaeans” (mentioning their pantheism and dualism), “Ismailis” (mentioning the works of von Hammer), “House of Wisdom” (mentioning the Magi), “Assassins and Templars” (referencing such things as the Khlysty and the Teutonic Knights as well as the works of von Hammer),  “Druses”, “Sufees and Dervishes”, and “Yezidis”.

The third chapter of this book is entitled “Rosicrucians and Illumines”.  Here, the author mentions such things as the R.R. et A.C., the Brothers of the Rosy Cross (referring to themselves as “Invisibles”) and Christian Rosenkreutz, and quotes from the work of Disraeli and several masonic writers.  The author includes discussion of “Martines de Pasqually”, “Pernety”, “Saint-Martin”, “Swedenborg”, and “Templars”.

The fourth chapter of this book is entitled “Weishaupt’s Illuminati and the French Revolution”.  Here, the author discusses the role of the Bavarian Illuminati of Adam Weishaupt and its influence on the French Revolution.  The author also discusses “French Freemasonry”, “Blue Masonry”, “Rose-Croix”, “Kadosch”, “Women in Masonry”, and the “Misraim Rite”, mentioning such works as those by Fulop-Miller concerning the Jesuits and those of Eliphas Levi.

The fifth chapter of this book is entitled “Carbonari, Mazzini, L’Alliance-Israelite-Universelle, and Karl Marx”.  Here, the author mentions various things including the role of Carbonarism, “L’Alliance-Israelite-Universelle” (mentioning the works of Edouard Drumont and de Poncins as well as the role of the B’nai B’rith), the “Holy Vehm”, “Karl Marx” (mentioning the role of Leninism and Bolshevism as well as the Nihilists like Kropotkin, including reference to such sources as Disraeli and Rene Guenon).

The sixth chapter of this book is entitled “The Jewish Question”.  Here, the author explains the role of socialism for the Jews and the role of the Jews behind the Russian revolution as well as the relationship between the Jews and the Arabs.

The seventh chapter of this book is entitled “Continental Freemasonry”.  Here, the author explains the dubious role of freemasonry on the European continent, mentioning its role in such places as “Russia” (noting the role of Prince Metternich), “Poland”, “Hungary” (noting the role of Bela Kuhn), “Germany” (noting the role of Prussian masonry), “Spain”, “Portugal”, and including sections on the “A.M.I.” (the Association maconnique internationale), as well as “Turkey”, “Belgium”, and mentioning the pernicious influence of “The League of Nations” (the author’s discussion of the League of Nations as a masonic dream is particularly worthwhile), and the role of “Stavisky” (mentioning the Stavisky scandal).

The eighth chapter of this book is entitled “Theosophy and India. Co-Masonry”. The author notes the role of the Theosophical Society of Madame Blavatsky as well as that of her successor Annie Besant and the problematic of India.  The author quotes extensively from the works of Fulop-Miller (mentioning Rasputin) and Rene Guenon.  The author shows the role of this society in its plans for world domination and the role of India.

The ninth chapter of this book is entitled “Rudolf Steiner and Anthroposophy”.  This chapter includes a discussion of the role of Steiner in world affairs as well as mentioning “Max Heindel” (an individual who seceded from Steiner to form his own society), and the “Panacea Society” (a bizarre organization which promised to save the world by opening a box belonging to Joanna Southcott), and “Steiner’s Community Church”.

The tenth chapter of this book is entitled “Fraternity of Inner Light and Yoga”. This chapter mentions such things as the role of Dion Fortune, “Kundalini-Yoga”, the role of the Russian occultist “Ouspensky”, “Vivekananda” (mentioning the role of Hinduism and the Parliament of Religions), “Yogananda”, and “Meher Baba”.

The eleventh chapter of this book is entitled “Aleister Crowley and the Golden Dawn”. The author mentions the sinister individual Aleister Crowley including his aliases, the role of the black mass and black magic, and his troubles with the law.

The twelfth chapter of this book is entitled “American Groups” which mentions such things as the role of America in the “Inner Government of the World”.  The author mentions the role of Alice Bailey, the World Teacher, and the “Silver Shirts” of William Dudley Pelley (maintaining that this group seeks to train men as psychics to achieve a “Christ Democracy”).

The thirteenth chapter of this book is entitled “Secret Societies in America, Tibet, and China”. The author mentions the role of such organizations as A.M.O.R.C. in America, a “Confederation of Initiates”, “Julia Seton”, “Roerich” (and his ideas concerning Shambhala and the Himalayas), “Tibetan Initiation” (mentioning the role of Blavatsky), and “Secret Societies in China” (mentioning the Triad).

The final chapter of this book is entitled “The Synarchy of Agarttha”. Here, the author mentions the role of Agarttha in the works of Saint-Yves d’Alveydre. The author relates this to Atlantis and the League of Nations and the goal of achieving a Supreme Pontiff.

This book offers a fascinating glimpse into the occult world of secret societies plotting against the established order. While certain claims within must be taken with some caution, the author nevertheless offers a unique glimpse of the occult underground. As such, this work remains a fascinating examination.


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