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The revolt quickly degenerated into aimless killing and anarchical civil war. Isolated in this atmosphere of panic and insanity, the Christians quietly slipped out of Jerusalem to a village east of the Jordan.

Josephus, the Roman intelligence agent who was active at this time among the Zealot bands, was among the chief provocateurs of the crisis. He described the beginning of the Rebellion in the following terms:

Now a quarrel arose between the High Priests and the leaders of the people of Jerusalem. Each of them made for himself a band of the boldest revolutionaries, of which he was the leader.... This was done with license as though in a city without a government. The violence of the factions conquered all justice.

The Christian historian Eusebius then describes the emergence of political terrorism:

A certain kind of bandits arose in Jerusalem who murdered daily those whom they met, even in the midst of the city. In particular, at the feasts they used-to mingle with the crowd and, concealing short daggers in their clothes, used to stab distinguished people with them; then, when they had fallen, the murderers themselves shared in the indignation.... Jonathan the High Priest was the first to be slain by them, but after him many were murdered daily, and fear was worse than the disasters, for as if in war every man was hourly expecting death.

Such terrorism, like today's Red Brigades of Italy, is a highly sophisticated political intelligence deployment. By this method, Jerusalem was completely destabilized. The murderers were from the assassin cult called the Sicarii, named after the daggers they used. With, no political leadership, the cult unleashed a new weapon, the Jewish death cult itself, which began to gain momentum among the Palestinian Jews. According to the account of Eusebius, there is little doubt that the cult originated in Egypt Iftnong the Isis worshippers that Philo, during his lifetime, fought so bitterly:

The Egyptian false prophet afflicted the Jews with a worse scourge than this, for this man appeared in the country as a sorcerer and secured for himself the faith due to a prophet. He assembled about
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Page last modified on October 11, 2007, at 09:27 PM