“Baptism is one of the oldest rites and was practiced by all the nations in their Mysteries, as sacred ablutions. Dunlap seems to derive the name of the nazars from nazah, sprinkling; Bahak-Zivo is the genius who called the world into existence out of the “dark water”, say the Nazarenes; and Richardson’s Persian, Arabic, and English Lexicon asserts that the word Bahak means “raining”. But the Bahak-Zivo of the Nazarenes cannot be traced so easily to Bacchus, who “was the rain-god”, for the nazars were the greatest opponents of Bacchus-worship.
“Bacchus is brought up by the Hyades, the rain-nymphs”, says Preller, who shows furthermore, that at the conclusion of the religious Mysteries, the priests baptized, (washed), their monuments and anointed them with oil.
All this is but a very indirect proof. The Jordan baptism need not be shown a substitution for the exoteric Bacchic rites and the libations in honor of Adonis or Adoni – whom the Nazarenes abhorred – in order to prove it to have been a sect sprung from the “Mysteries” of the “Secret Doctrine”; and their rites can by no means be confounded with those of the Pagan populace, who had simply fallen into the idolatrous and unreasoning faith of all plebian multitudes. John was the prophet of these Nazarenes, and in Galilee he was termed “the Saviour”, but he was not the founder of that sect which derived its tradition from the remotest Chaldeo-Akkadian theurgy.
“The early plebeian Israelites were Canaanites and Phoenicians, with the same worship of the Phallic gods – Bacchus, Baal or Adon, Iacchos – or Iao or Jehovah”; but even among them there has always been a class of initiated adepts. Later, the character of this plebe was modified by Assyrian conquests; and finally the Persian colonizations superimposed the Pharisean and Eastern ideas and usages, from which the Old Testament and the Mosaic institutes were derived.
The Asmonean priest-kings promulgated the canon of the Old Testament in contradistinction to the Apocrypha of Secret Books of the Alexandrian Jews – kabalists. Till John Hyrcanus they were Asideans, (Chasidim), and Pharisees, (Parsees), but then they became Sadducees or Zadokites – asserters of sacerdotal rule as contradistinguished from rabbinical. The Pharisees were lenient and intellectual, the Sadducees, bigoted and cruel.”
H. P. Blavatsky