“Have you noticed that most people who describe themselves as modern Gnostics have no university education, lack STEM competency, and think that Gnosticism is a form of alternative Christianity where ideas like flat earth, hostility to science, homophobia, reactionary politics, anti-egalitarianism, and neo-nazi dark enlightenment are welcomed?”, one of the members of Gnosophia.org noted in an email (he sent to me). “Gnosophy is not Gnosticism, but it is influenced by it just as it is influenced by Hellenistic Rationalism, Hermeticism, Christianity, Judaism, Science, Philosophy, Psychology, Mathematics, Cognitive Linguistics, and Symbolic Logic among other domains of knowledge”, I answered back as a way to distance Gnosophy from neo-Gnosticism, while paying deference to science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). “Gnosticism has always appealed to intellectuals” noted Paul Johnson in Modern Times: The World from Twenties to the Eighties (1983, page 7). Gnosticism was well-regarded as the religion of philosophers and scientists before the rise of post-structuralism.
In fact, Freudian structuralism as expressed in psychoanalysis is based on Gnosticism. Gnosticism as understood in 1890 allowed Sigmund Freud to engage in an antinomian study of sex and sexual deviancy. Freud’s structuralism introduced terms such as Oedipus complex, the unconscious, guilt complex, infantile sexuality, sublimation, death instinct, and depth psychology. Also, Freudianism predated Foucaldian sexology, though Michel Foucault used post-structuralism (which can be traced to deconstructionist Gnosticism). These great men changed society. Now, let us consider a form of modern Gnosticism that can best be described as Alternative Christianity. Why has this form of Gnosticism attracted the anti-intellectuals? The framing of this question reveals that there exist different forms of Neo-Gnosticism, and some of them can be qualified as well-adapted for the current society and vogue episteme. So, why do some forms of neo-Gnosticism appeal to unreason and anti-intellectualism?