Tau Jean II Jean Bricaud
Born 11.February 1881 at Neuville sur Ain (Ain).
Jean Bricaud was and remained an employee of the Bank Crèdit Lyonnais from the time he was 16 years old,after being indentured for seminary studies for the Roman Catholic Priesthood by
his pious parents.
While still attending his seminarian studies in Lyon, he frequented the circles of Elia Alta,
a bookseller who is also a spiritualist – and the therapeutist Bouvier,
who were a pupil of Eliphas Jacques Charrot. Bouvier shared his passion for the
traditions of the Kabbalah and occult philosophy with the young man.
In 1899 he became acquianted with Papus who at that time held lineages from many esoteric
colleges and orders and where, as of 4 years earlier, installed as Gnostic Bishop for his own district.
Like his friend he was early in his life fascinated with the growing attention to the science interior and universal
represented in the Occult literate circle and sought like him access to the secrets of
God,the universe,life and everything else in books, in initiations, in personal pupilship
to more or less dependable modern teachers. While Papus trailed behind him a mass
of pamphlets and treatises addressed to a larger audience, Jean Bricaud focused on those circles in which they both moved, drawing a select audience for his insights and discoveries.
Tau Synesius (Léonce-Eugène Fabre des Essarts), the elected successor of
Tau Valentin II(Jules Doinel) to the Patriarchate of L`Eglise
Gnostique nominated him Bishop for the diocese of Lyons, after
first becoming associated with the Ordre Martiniste of Papus (Gerard Encausse) and arranged for his consecration and installment for
this office with the assistance of Tau Vincent(Papus) in 1901 with the ecclesiastical name Tau Johannes, when Bricaud was 20 years old!
In 1907 he along with several of his Bishop colleagues, among them Papus split from Synesius` church, and founded the Eglise Gnostique Universelle.
This would become the Church which received mandate and assent from four specific currents of contemporary neo-gnostic traditions:
The Primitive Johannite Church, the Vintrasian Interior Sanctuary of the Carmel Elie, the Eglise Gnostique of Doinel and a fourth unknown and
apparently secret Neo-Valentinian “school”.
You can get an impression of where Jean Bricaud thought this new Gnostic Church was heading by reading the
Patriarchal Homily of Tau Jean II on his installment 25.February 1908, Lyon, at
Most Revd. Archbishop Tau Vincent II, Philip Andrew Garver`s www.gnostique.net
It concludes with this supplication:
My very dear Brothers, raise your eyes toward the heights, turn your sights toward the true Light side, intoxicate yourselves with the ineffable delights of the spiritual Pleroma, and you will acquire strength to complete the holy work, the real work, the divine work. Ah, my Brothers, through all the tempests and storms that are unleashed upon our hylic world, when false doctrines try to lose souls, do not lose sight of the high summits, and if you touch the earth, may it be as the dove of the ark that remains only an instant to clasp the peaceful branch of the olive tree!
To you, my very dear Sisters, I make a more particular call. I know very precious is your course in this apostolate and I know how much our feminine world hides in her salons and her mystical retreats the noble and courageous emulators of Maximilla and Ésclarmonde de Foix. Better than we, you know how to find the soul’s path! We are but the Word that conquers; you are the Heart that persuades. Unite with our brothers to re-establish the community on a strong and profound foundation, the visible church of the Pneumatics that the manifestations from on High announce and promise to us.
Jean Bricaud moved in many circles – from the most conventional and devout of Catholic intellectuals, to eccentric and mysterious sages,
tricksters and phantasts. With his introduction to the Western Gnosis, be it the masonic illuminism of the Ancient and Primitive Rite of Memphis-Misraim, the internal therapeutic theurgy of Elie Alta, Bouvier and Maistre Anthelme Nizier Phillipe, the enthusiastic messianism of the followers of Pierre-Michel Eugene Vintras who had a French headquarters in the city of Lyons – the path of the heart of Martinism as administrated by his friend Papus or the charismatic ritualism of Tau Synesius Gnostic Church,
he discovered a richness and diversity he prior to this thought he could only encounter in the Far East. Among his friends and associates later in life where Bishop Louis-Marie-François Giraud (d. 1951) who after having lived for many years as a Trappist Monk had joined the fray with the Gallican Catholic Church under the Apostolic protection of Archbishop Joseph Renè Villatte, from whom he could trace his Apostolic succession as a Bishop. Bishop Giraud`s consecrator was also a famous “Mage” the Abbe Julio(Jules Ernest Houssay,1844-1912), who through the introduction of Giraud, Jean Bricaud befriended. Louis-Marie-Francois Giraud consecrated Jean Bricaud, already a Gnostic Bishop with three verified lineages from heterodox and esoteric lines of succession on the 21st of July 1913, as Apostolic Bishop, with a fraternal affiliation with the Gallicanne communion.
Thus in the history of the visible modern manifestation of the Gnosis, a Communion of Gnostics where again reunited with the Communion of Christians of the Apostolic and Catholic Church; a situation which Saint Valentine invested so much into preserving, but which were destroyed by countless schisms and resulting persecutions of outsiders and esoterics in the Church of Rome as well as the Church of Constantinople.
On February 21st 1934, 70 years hence in a few days time – Tau Jean II were received in the higher Assembly in the Pleroma, to, within the Heart of God,
watch over us in the company of victors,saints,holy men and women – and the entire cosmos of angels, archangels, principalities, thrones, cherubim, seraphim
and the entirety of entirities. Having ensured a continuation of the Psykikos-Pneumatikos oikumene initiated in secrecy by the Valentinians, as a continuation of the Mandate from the Holy Spirit through the disciples +John,+Thomas,+Andrew,+Mark as well as the hierophantic mysteries dispensed by +Mathias and the wisdom traditions donated to the Church by our dear Apostle +Paul – within the vehicle of the Universal Gnostic Church.
Jean Bricaud, in ecclesia named Tau Jean II was succeeded, of his own wish and election, as Patriarch by Constant Martin Chevillon,
a man of the same fervour,solemnitude and rectitude as himself, who was sadly martyred on the 22nd of March 1944 by partisans to the Nazi occupant
powers and mock goverment, in Lyon.