Rome’s Own Version of an ‘Eyes Wide Shut’ Cult: Bacchanalia Runs Amok

Fact or Fiction: A GIF from the late Stanley Kubrick’s last film ‘Eyes Wide Shut’ (1999)

Modern scholarship, under the control of the usual suspects, takes a skeptical approach to what is pejoratively called “moral panic.” Despite historical evidence that mysterious “Eyes Wide Shut”-type cults, Sabbatean Frankist and Hellfire Club-like activities have gone on in various forms for millennia, pajama people are fed a B.S. line that threats such as Pedogate and human sacrifices are largely a product of religious fanatics, conspiracy theorists and overly paranoid conservatives. The Lugenpresse, in typical fashion, simply declares such forces as “debunked.”

The narrative is that such cult-worshiping people don’t really exist. We would call this a “moral relativism panic”, not a moral panic. As you read through our series of sinister types going to the dark side throughout history, you will notice that they invoke spirits and strange gods through rituals again and again.

In Defense of Carl Raschke’s ‘True Story of How Satanism is Terrorizing Our Communities’

Winter Watch is setting forth to examine several of these social phenomenon over the ages, including witchcraft, Rome and Carthage. One such mindset is called bacchanalia. This generally means any uninhibited, drunken or orgiastic revelry. In art, the subject was popular from the Renaissance onward and usually included a large degree of nudity among depicted figures.

For example, Nicolas Poussin‘s “Bacchanal before a Statue of Pan” (1631) illustrates the statue of the horned Pan worship. By sheer coinkydink, small children are present. In the second image below, we see a Roman Bacchanal sarcophagus.

There is little to suggest that the Romans were strict prudes, and they probably did look the other way for a period. So what drove them to crack down on bacchanalia, or Bacchic cults?

Titus Livius Patavinus, often rendered as Titus Livy, or simply Livy (59 B.C. – 17 A.D.)

Roman historian Livy gives an extended account of the bacchanalia. He had a deep mistrust of mystery religions and saw it as extreme Roman degeneracy and a threat to social order. It was also a secret society. Indeed, during its several years of utmost depravity, from 188 to 186 B.C., complete privacy was maintained and no magistrate intervened.

The usual suspects think Livy exaggerates, but there are numerous plays and comedies from that era that confirm his fundamental accounts. Livy on other topics of Roman history was quite sober and honest in his portrayals, warts and all. Few scholars question his other accounts, so why not this inconvenient truth?

Bacchanalia involved Roman festivals of Bacchus, the Greco-Roman god of wine, freedom, intoxication, fornication and ecstasy. They were based on the Greek Dionysia and  Dionysian mysteries, and probably arrived in Rome c. 200 B.C. via the Greek colonies in southern Italy and Etruria, Rome’s northern neighbor. Like all mystery cults, bacchanalia was held in strict privacy and initiates were bound to secrecy.

Livy states that a “Greek of humble origin, versed in sacrifices and soothsaying” had established a nocturnal version, added wine and feasting to the mix, and thus acquired an enthusiastic following of women and men. Women outnumbered men and ran the show. Women dressed as Bacchanites ran through the streets at night carrying torches.

Livy says that Campanian priestess Paculla Annia corrupted Rome’s unofficial but morally acceptable Bacchus cult by introducing the Etruscan version, with five, always-nocturnal cult meetings a month, open to all social classes, ages and sexes — starting with her own sons.

The new celebrations and initiations featured wine-fueled violence and violent sexual promiscuity, in which the screams of the abused were drowned out by the din of drums and cymbals. The initiation involved the brutal rape and sodomizing of both young men and women. According to the accounts, there was more abuse of boys than of girls. Per Livy,

There were more lustful practices among men with one another than among women.
If any of them were disinclined to endure abuse or reluctant to commit crime, they
were sacrificed as victims.

Those who resisted or betrayed the cult were frequently thrown into dark caverns and dispatched, while the perpetrators declared that they had been carried off by the gods.

Image result for Bacchus Etruscan sodomites RAPE

Under cover of religion, priests and acolytes broke civil, moral and religious laws with impunity. Livy also claims that while the cult held particular appeal to those of uneducated and fickle mind (levitas animi) — such as the young, plebeians, women and “men most like women” — much of the city’s population was involved, and even Rome’s highest class was not immune. Commentators felt that the men who participated were behaving “like women” and were therefore unfit to serve in the army or government.

Young girls and youths were seduced, and all modesty was set aside. Every kind of vice found its full satisfaction. But crimes did not remain confined to these meetings. False witnesses, forgeries, false wills and denunciations proceeded from this focus of crime. Poisoning and assassination were carried on under the cover of the society.

Crackdown: Just a ‘Witch Hunt’?

In the year B.C. 186, the consuls Spurius Postumius Albinus and Q. Marcius Philippus conducted an investigation of the cult and reported to the Senate. One concern was that its own members were compromised in its frenzy. The report suggested the Bacchics would soon be in a position to seize control of the government. We have shown on these pages that such sinister people can and do come into power and exercise control. 

Image result for Paculla Annia Bacchus Etruscan sodomites

The shocked Roman Senate called a dire national emergency. Once investigations were complete, the Senate rewarded and protected informants and suppressed the cult “throughout Italy” — or rather, forced its reformation. In the course of the crackdown, about half the participants in the cult,  were arrested — and 7,000 persons were executed.

Some Things Never Change: What Caused the Moral Decline?

The annalist Lucius Piso attributed the new attitudes to the influences of depraved mystery religions from Manilus Volso’s army campaigning in Asia Minor. Livy himself attributed it to new foreign, luxurious, cultural materialism, including female lutists and harpists brought back from the east. Among the hierarchy, Livy points to the use of “boy slaves” (pederasty) as a serious moral problem. The now-ended Punic wars and campaigns throughout Italy had also increased the population of migrant newcomers with less of a stake in the blood and soil of Rome itself. This was referred to as the Etrurian influence.

Additionally, Carthaginian prisoners and slaves captured during the Punic wars introduced the Dionysus, or Bacchus cult, to Rome. As we reveal in tomorrow’s post, depraved Carthage had more influence than is generally recognized.

Image result for Paculla Annia Bacchus Etruscan sodomites

14 Comments on Rome’s Own Version of an ‘Eyes Wide Shut’ Cult: Bacchanalia Runs Amok

  1. Interesting find, Russ. This site is unparalleled when it comes to these hidden historical nuggets. On a related note, wasn’t that Eyes Wide Shut scene filmed at Mentmore Towers, a Rothschild property? Kubrick’s entire filmography reads like a revelation of the method, from 2001 to A Clockwork Orange to the Shining, etc. The same could be said about Cronenberg and even bigger names like Spielberg.

    On an unrelated note, have you ever seen the youtube channel called “Schism206”? The guy who runs it, Michael Joseph, does in depth analysis of occult/esoteric doctrines and history and recently put out a series on the history of the Catholic Church. He did an interview with Tim Kelly a while back about JFK that was pretty mind blowing. Might pique your interest.

    • Thanks for mentioning that channel, I have bookmarked it. One reason I do Christ, not religion, is the seeming tendency of most religions including some Christian sects to have occultist leanings. Have no problem with Roman Catholics (I used to be one, our daughter-in-law is one as well), but it’s the hierarchy esp. Vatican I have a problem with, esp. after they oversaw the murder of Pope John Paul I (read David Yallop’s book “In God’s Name: An Investigation into the Murder of Pope John Paul I”)

  2. I’m very confused about the Dionysius issue, because there seems to be some major conflictions within it. Specifically, one of the symbols associated with Dionysius is the pine cone, itself a representation of the pineal gland. This is associated with the crown chakra and higher consciousness. Then on the other hand, drunkenness and debauchery, particularly sodomy, is heavily associated with the base chakra and the lowest possible vibration. The cult seems to extol two opposites. So is it aiming high or aiming low?

    To further the mystery, the Vatican was built on the site of the major Bacchus temple in Rome (heaven knows what’s down in those catacombs!) and the modern day Vatican has the pine cone garden replete with large sculpture of a pine cone. Furthermore, the pontiff has a pine cone carved into the his crook, one of his symbols of office. So what do we make of that? That Roman Catholicism is in fact a Dionysian cult? Truly a mystery to those of us outside the circle.

    • Hi Ross,

      This is speculation on my part, but if there is significance with the pine cone symbolism and the chakras, etc. that you mentioned, perhaps it could be tied into the concept of the union of opposites that is found throughout the occult. Whether its kabbalah, where the Sabbatean Frankists promoted the idea of “redemption through sin,” the idea of androgyny symbolized by Baphomet and trans- (genderism, humanism, etc.), the masonic doctrine of “As above, so below,” the belief that Lucifer & Satan are the same as God and Jesus found in Gnosticism (If I’m remembering correctly) and groups like the Process Church, and so on, this concept of the union of opposites is all over these belief systems.

      As for Roman Catholicism, I couldn’t tell you for sure if there is a connection, although personally I doubt it is in the same vein because its teachings do not promote that idea. If you are a Catholic, you are supposed to abide by the teachings of Christ and there isn’t some degree or point where you are allowed to do the opposite. The fact that there are deviants and corrupt individuals in the Church is something that gets highlighted but that’s precisely because its a problem and not the norm, whereas these occultists do everything they can to hide their crimes and only get called out by people paying close attention rather than the media industrial complex.

      • Interesting discussion here. I think of old Tantric cults that used ritual taboo-violation as part of a left-hand path to non-dual (oneness) consciousness. I also think of how many cases of incest abuse come from committedly-Christian homes. Often these are generational traumas passed down the ancestral line. Normal-seeming people can develop these Savile-like Jekyll-and-Hyde personas because they have no idea how to deal with their dark side. Trauma splits the mind. Prayer helps. Christ helps. This might ruffle some feathers, but my sense is that occult and shamanic practices can be highly useful in breaking these cycles. Ritual abuse is soul murder, and sometimes soul retrieval is necessary to bring healing to it. Ayahuasca and iboga are occult technologies, and they break taboos, and they have helped save the lives of countless trauma survivors and connect them with what’s sacred. I understand the civilization-defending impulse to simply throw out everything occult and enforce a common narrative, but true Christian compassion comes from seeing that everyone is doing the best they can. Even those that appear to relish in evildoing are simply doing what is required for their ego-survival. It’s easy to judge them, but we have no idea what they are carrying, what is influencing them, what enslaves them. Humans only have free will to the extent that they are in the driver’s seat of their own consciousness. Most people are far from in the driver’s seat, which is why so many adults act like 2 year olds when they are emotionally triggered. The disgusting abuses we see in the world, the spiritual wickedness in high places, cannot truly change until we collectively manage to develop compassion even for that level of depravity. It is our judgment that keeps the shadow-actors in the shadows. The moment we can open our arms to them, not excusing what they’ve done, but allowing them to be seen in their pain and shame… that is the moment that this world heals. Christ is within us, and perhaps that is the most dangerous aspect of the occult, far more so than black magic. Nothing is more powerful than unconditional love.

  3. Excellent posts. All of this degeneracy is depicted well in the only Rated X movie I’ve ever seen–Fellini’s Satyricon…crucifixions, vomitoriums, satanic sacrifices, patrician debauchery I never would have imagined otherwise.


    by Debbie Hadley
    Updated December 30, 2018
    The male honeybee, called a drone, exists for one reason and one reason only: to mate with a virgin queen. He is entirely expendable after he provides this service to the colony. The drone takes his mission seriously, however, and gives his life for the cause.

    How Honeybees Do the Deed
    Honeybee sex occurs in mid-air when the queen flies out in search of mates, her one and only “nuptial flight.” Drones compete for the chance to mate with their queen, swarming around her as she flies. Eventually, a brave drone will make his move.

    As the drone grasps the queen, he everts his endophallus using a contraction of his abdominal muscles and hemostatic pressure and inserts it tightly into the queen’s reproductive tract. He immediately ejaculates with such explosive force that the tip of his endophallus is left behind inside the queen and his abdomen ruptures. The drone falls to the ground, where he dies soon after. The next drone removes the previous drone’s endophallus and inserts his, mates, and then dies as well.

    And as the dying male drone bee falls to the ground he cries out,
    “I’d have been better off having a wank”!]

    Queen Bees Really Get Around
    During her one nuptial flight, the queen will mate with a dozen or more partners, leaving a trail of dead drones in her wake. Any drones that remain around the hive in the fall will be unceremoniously driven from the colony before cold weather sets in. Honey stores are simply too precious to waste on a sperm donor. The queen, on the other hand, will store the sperm for use throughout her life. The queen can store 6 million sperm and keep them viable for up to seven years, with the potential of producing 1.7 million offspring during her lifetime, as she uses a few at a time to fertilize her eggs.

    Bee Egg Development
    In late winter, the queen then lays eggs in the cells of the hive, up to 1,000 in one day at the height of the season. The hive needs mature bees to be ready to go when flowers with pollen are emerging, but she will continue to lay eggs until fall. Worker bee eggs mature in about 21 days, drones in about 24 days (from unfertilized eggs), and other queens in about 16 days. The hive needs backup queens in case the queen dies, becomes incapable of laying eggs or is lost because a hive doesn’t survive without one.

    What Workers Do
    In contrast to the drones, female worker bees take on many jobs. They clean cells for eggs to be laid; feed larvae; construct the comb; guard the hive; and forage. They can lay an egg to become a drone if needed, but their eggs can’t become workers or queens.

    Insects and Sexual Suicide
    Though honeybee mating is one of the most dramatic examples of sexual suicide in the insect world, it’s not the only one. And in the grand scheme of things, it’s not as gruesome as it gets. How would you like your head to be eaten by your mate during sex like is the fate for some male praying mantis?


    It would seem from a study of Nature, that the male is disposable.

    • “It would seem from a study of Nature, that the male is disposable.”

      Only if you are studying nature through the lens of the insect world. What about through the lens of the mammalian world? Quite a different picture, yes?

    • I’ve read all of Livy. I don’t find him reliable in most cases. He was a patrician shill, shilling for his party, libelling the plebes. But in this case he is far from alone. We have multiple witnesses.

  5. Has Winter Watch ever done an interview with author Michael Hoffman? He connects many dots into a pretty spooky narrative of hidden history and current events.

  6. A lot of these ‘texts by ancient Roman writers’ may be wholesale fabrications

    A brilliant 3-part series on Unz, by ‘First Millennium Revisionist’, points out that a huge chunk of alleged Latin literature – including in particular some of the more salacious texts such as Petronius, and works such as some of Livy cited above – seem to be forgeries from the Renaissance period in Italy

    After the Crusaders stole the gold from Constantinople in their sack of that city in 1204, newly rich Italians and the Vatican went on a binge of trying to glorify ancient Rome. They offered huge rewards for anyone ‘finding’ ancient Latin texts … and Italians, with many talented forgers who knew Latin, ‘found’ many. You could buy a luxury villa with one ‘discovered’ Latin text.

    This includes a lot of the mainstream ‘Latin literature’ long given credence, alleged ‘histories’ and so on, the big names

    Some exciting smut attributed to ancient Romans and thus not angering the Christian censors, would have been tempting to create for the forgers … a bit like how recent ‘anthropology’ on ‘native sexual practices’ turned out to be tall tales as well, tribals enjoying the attention of the note-taking westerners so gleeful to hear about such things

    The series is a real eye-opener. In the final article, the author goes into how there is a lot of serious scholarship suggesting even our whole timeline is fake – the ‘Dark Ages’ and so on being dark, because maybe they never happened.

    There are fascinating arguments and significant evidence, that ancient Roman ‘glory years’ 100s BCE – 100s CE, Byzantium’s peak 300s to 500s, and Charlemagne were all contemporary: Similar building styles, similar coinage, similar Latin.

    As there were really no ‘calendars’ before the Renaissance, the idea is that when calendars were developed, the First Millenium got ‘inflated’ by about 700 years. Again in part as a Vatican-Italian plot to make Rome seem more glorious.

    Series is over 27,000 words, lots of detail, but fascinating stuff.

  7. Eye opening video… on Trump tower, 666. Doesn’t leave much room for doubt as with whom Trump is in league with

  8. Romans didn’t exteminate the Cannanites like Joshua of Israel had did, they got themselves contaminated by their enemies. So God is right about the genocide of the Cannanite in the Old Testament.

    • The remnant Cannanite became so called Jews today, they always disguise as something else. Venecians and black noble are all Cannanite. Sodomy, human sacrifice, incest, that’s their mark.

Post a Comment

Winter Watch

Discover more from Winter Watch

Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

Continue reading