"There is the Son of Man and there is the son of the Son of Man. The Lord is the Son of Man, and the son of the Son of Man is he who creates through the Son of Man. The Son of Man received from God the capacity to create. He also has the ability to beget. He who has received the ability to create is a creature." -The Gospel of Phillip ___________ Gnosticism was dead as a doornail. While it had flourished in the twilight of the Roman Empire, and even occasionally reappeared in groups such as the Cathars in the middle ages, by the time 1950 rolled around, Gnosticism was seen as simply a forgotten heresy, something that theologians and boring history people would be passingly interested in to make themselves seem superior. Enter a certain Ronald Powell, or, as he is better known, Richard Jean Chretien Duc de Palatine. A minor pastor of a schismatic movement in Catholicism, Duc de Palatine quickly became well known for his rather esoteric views. In 1953, Duc de Palatine created his own denomination, "the Pre-Nicene Gnostic Catholic Church," after his teacher (Hugh George de Willmott Newman) alienated most of the pastors under his jurisdiction. The PNGCC, later renamed (and further referred to as) the Ecclesia Gnostica, developed a small but devout following. Duc de Palatine, in 1955, officially (at least within the Ecclesia Gnostica) merged all lines of apostolic succession into himself, along with the lines of succession of several various secret organizations such as the Knights Templar and the Illuminati. The movement would spread to America in 1959 by the work of Stephan A. Hoeller, who even today works to spread his Gnostic faith across the Southern California region. In real life, the Ecclesia Gnostica would fail to achieve much significance besides being a treasured repository for sacred Gnostic texts, with a lack of internal unity and overall universalism would drain away most of its converts. However, in a world very similar to our own, the actions that would take place in the late 1900's and early 2000's would propel it to a place of power among Protestant churches. And it would all start when a relatively unassuming man walked through the doors of the small Gnostic church in Los Angeles, California.