The mystery religion of Babylon, before that, dates back to "the flood" "according the the Hebrew Bible and Babylonians" some of the sons of Noah, whom the Bible (perhaps erroneously) attributes to starting the pagan pantheon in order to usurp the power from their supposed one true god. (so the Bible says) Is this not just another facet of the mysteries? Another means to enslave people with religion.
First they created a new language so that the masses could no longer commune with this God in the original tongue. In one generation the old language was forgotten and lost.
Babylon was a city--it was not a culture
Babylon was a city with a culture, with their own language and religion that was created with specific purposes in mind.
The mystery religion was perfected in Babylon by the kings through the magi for the purpose of creating writing, then religion, war and empire building. For the ultimate goal of human worship versus God worship.
"The druids were not a country" how silly. The druids had rulers and they also created a culture with the mystery religion that was utterly destroyed by the Romans. A religion does not need a country to survive, it only needs tribal adherents. Contrary to popular belief, pagan religions do war among themselves.
Sure, I would assume you have a good knowledge of history but do you have a good knowledge of the religion that arose in Babylon as a result of their kings and the magi of the kings?
I am ordained clergy and Babylonian "religion"was and is my major field of study since I was a child.
You mention the Sumerians as if I am going to be shocked to learn they existed.
Long ago I also started studying Babylon but I decide early on, it was an epiphany moment, I did not want to know of the everyday life of the Babylonians... what they had to eat, their war conquests, how they sold their sheep and if the had toilets.
I decide I wanted to focus on their religion and how it related to the rest of the religions of the world.
At that time I believed that all religions were autonomous and sprung up all on their own as if in a vacuum; like you do now and like some have said the religions of Mesoamerica, China etc... did.
In studying and focusing like a laser on only the Babylonian religion (of the area pre and post Babylon). I came to understand the mystery system of Babylon.
That within their religious system there were the enlightened and the unenlightened. Two faces that were privy to different learning. Just like the divide here in this thread.
There were those privy to the inner mysteries and those who lived and worshiped the deities on the "outside"
From the way you talk about it you seem to be oblivious to this mechanism within the mystery religion system.
It is this inner enlightenment that is the vehicle with which the Babylonian Mystery system replicated and grew and covered the entire earth (like a global flood).
It moved out of Babylon and was able to transcend languages, cultures, peoples and geography and root itself in the fledgling empires of the world.
It did indeed move to China, India, Greece, Rome, Africa and the Americas north and south including tiny island nations even in the farthest most remote regions. i.e. Easter Isle...
On the surface these seemed like different religions but in reality they were all part of the very same mystery system.
When I learned this many years ago it literally changed my life.
I have spent the remainder of my life observing and affirming this to be true through "evidence and proof". One needs to first know what they are looking for.
Before I learned this I was adrift in a sea of confusion and each "pagan" religion I weighed over another as if they were unique. All calling for worship in their own right.
I now see them all as telling one big story.
Each iteration religion fills in new parts of the whole picture.
That is not because they each are making new stuff up; that is because that each sibling religion holds pearls of wisdom that was given to them from Babylon and when Babylon fell these pearls of wisdom were lost, yet, retained by their predecessors.
It is all one large picture.
There is nothing you can say that can change my understanding of this. You can belittle me and shout expletives until you are blue in the face. I have seen "the writing on the wall".
I have compared the religions of the world, I have seen the patterns of them replicating the system through fertility goddesses and fire, earth and sun worship etc. just enough to maintain the exact same frame of the mysteries and then they have their unique differences that make them seem alluring and "new" when "there is nothing new under the sun".
It is all one mystery system and you are the one who has been played by it Setanta, not me.
This is why I can see words like "east" and see the language and religion right through the word as if it is speaking directly to me and one of the initiated and aware...
I do not call Babylon "the mother of harlots" but I do call it the mother of religion.
Monotheism seems to imply that it is somehow different from Babylon mystery religion but, the very same hierarchy of power and self worship exists within it also as with Christianity and Islam.
They all borrow from the mysteries and simply are puzzle pieces that make up the whole picture.
Are there any religions that exist outside of Babylon?
Even Science names planets after Gods like Pluto and Mars...
But science and reason are the closest we have ever come to a system that does not have two faces, one hidden and one open.
Excerpt: (online writer)
In fact, the Sumerians were also aware that Gaga/Pluto ended up in the odd orbit next to Neptune. In the Sumerian pantheon, the planet we call Neptune was the celestial counterpart of the Aquarius god Enki. His ‘chancellor’ or ‘visier’ was nicknamed Ushmu, meaning “He ‘of two faces” - and so was he depicted, with one face looking at Enki and a second face looking away from him (Fig. 1) - exactly the way Pluto looks at Neptune.
"He of two faces"
One seen and one unseen... mystery.