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The Lord’s Mother-In-Law

Benson C Saili

She was called Helena-Salome, the mistress to Simon Zelotes

Over the ages, the name Mary Magdalene has been loved and loathed in equal measure. Apostles such as Simon Peter and Paul hated her like the plague. For a long time, the Catholic Church had her designated a whore. Then in 1969, the Church reversed full cycle when it declared her a saint. Yet over the centuries, she has been one of the most positively depicted of all classical figures. There are numerous portrayals of her at the tomb and at the crucifixion.

She was a most special woman but both the early Church and Catholic Church vilified her. Why? Because she represented a major threat to their theological dogma. Having declared  Jesus as God, they didn’t want it to be openly known that actually he was a mere mortal who even had a wife and children. Religion, as the great Karl Marx said, is the opium of the masses.

Be that as it may, the assertion that Mary Magdalene  was a whore was not exactly far-fetched. It did have a near-credulous  foundation only this foundation was somewhat askew. The ascription of harlotry to Mary Magdalene had to do more with her mother than she  herself. For her mother was Helena-Salome, the consort of Simon Zelotes, Jesus’s foremost disciple. This fact we learn directly from extra-biblical sources and indirectly from the gospels themselves.

The fact that Helena-Salome was Mary Magadalene’s mother makes Simon Zelotes a father-in-law to  Jesus. It is small wonder then that Simon Zelotes was the closest of Jesus’s so-called disciples – or rather his closest associate – whereas Mary Magdalene was his closest female associate. All these three – Simon Zelotes, Helena-Salome, and Mary Magdalene feature prominently in the New Testament, the first two under various guises most Christians and most pastors are not aware of.

Simon Zelotes is the same person as   Simon the Zealot;  Simon the Canaanite; Simon the leper;  Simon the tanner;  Simon of Cyrene; Zebedee;  Lazarus; Ananias; “the great power of God”; Demetrius the silversmith; Beelzebub; and Beast 666. He also has symbolic names such as “Lightning” and the titular name at some stage of “Father” or “Pope”. Outside the Bible, he was best known as Simon Magus, that is, Simon the Magician.

In the Bible, Helena-Salome appears under the names "daughter" of Herodias; Syrophoenician woman;   woman of Samaria;  mother of the sons of Zebedee;  sister of Mother Mary; Martha; Joanna;  Salome; Sapphira; and Jezebel. She was also characterised as “Wisdom of God”. Outside the Bible, she also features under the names Justa; Luna; and Paulina.

Helena-Salome is an enigmatic figure. Her real name is not known for certain. The name Helena was  given to her by Simon Zelotes, who believed she was the reincarnation of  Helen of Troy – Inana, the most famous daughter of  the god Zeus, who was actually the Anunnaki god Nannar-Sin. Simon Zelotes thought she was the divine “Thought of God” because of her surpassing wisdom.  She could also have been called Helena because she was the spiritual advisor of Queen Helena of Adiabene (located in parts of modern-day Iraq, Kurdistan, and Armenia), when she converted to Judaism in about 30 AD.

The name Salome has two possible explanations. The first one has to do with her status in the Essene community. She was the female head of the order of Asher, whose members were gentile converts to Judaism. The order of Asher was founded by Queen Salome Alexandra, the last woman to rule over Judea and one of only two females to have ever done so, in the first century BC. “Salome” thus became the title of every woman head of the order of Asher. The second explanation derives from her being the chaperone of Herodias, the wife of Herod Antipas, and godmother to Herodias’s daughter Salome.    

Helena-Salome was a Canaanite from Phoenicia, a narrow coastal territory corresponding to much of today’s Lebanon.  Phoenicia meant “land of purple” in Greek as the territory was famed for its purple dyes, which were made from shell fish. Phoenicia was organised into city states, the most eminent of which were Tyre and Sidon. In 64 BC, Phoenicia was annexed to the Roman province of Syria and henceforth became known as Syro-Phoenicia. It therefore makes sense that the Syro-Phoenician woman we encounter in MARK 7:25-30 and the Canaanite woman we encounter in MATTHEW 15:21-28 was Helena-Salome and not simply a chance woman.

Whilst a Temple Virgin at the Temple of Artemis (Innana-Ishtar) at Ephesus, the voluptuously beautiful Helena-Salome was tricked into having sex with a man who disguised himself as a “god” (He may as well have been the Anunnaki god Utu-Shamash – known to Greeks as Apollo – who was a twin brother to Innana). The result was a pregnancy leading to the birth of a daughter.

The daughter would in future come to be known as Mary Magdalene. Helena-Salome, however, strongly believed that she indeed had slept with a god and therefore vowed that she would never desecrate herself by ever sleeping with an ordinary mortal. She was to abstain from sexual activity for the rest of her life.

Since Helena-Salome had decided to live a chaste life forever, she bought two boys to adopt as sons. According to the Clementine literature (that is, the Clementine Homilies and Clementine Recognitions),   the two boys were illegitimate sons of  Julia the Elder, the only natural child of Augustus Caesar. Julia had sold them to slave traders but had at the same time asked Helena to buy them off and promised to help her with the finances needed for their upkeep. In the process, Helena became a very affluent   lady.  The two boys were given the Jewish names Niceta and Aquila but they were to be best known as James and John respectively, the gospels’ sons of Zebedee who  were among Jesus’s inner circle of 12  associates.  

Because of her ethereal beauty and glittering intelligence, Helena easily caught the eye of men. One of these was  Syro the Jairus, a chief priest of some synagogues in Syria and Galilee and a descendent of Ira the Jairite, who was an ancillary priest to King David of Judea. Jairus  proposed and soon the two had tied the knot. Of course Helena was not his first wife.

The marriage did not last as Helena was adamant that she was not going to be intimate with anybody ever again. Resultantly, Syro sent her packing but her daughter had already gained a reputation  as Jairus’s daughter, perhaps because of her staggering beauty (more so if she had Anunnaki blood in her). Helena moved to Tyre where she set up  her own temple that was dubbed a brothel. This, of course,  was a vilification.

Helena’s temple was far from a brothel.  Helena had been a Temple Virgin at the temple of Artemis in Ephesus. Temple virgins were known as Sacred Priestesses. They were also referred to as Scarlet Women.  The reason they were so-called was because they  were a specially designated source of menstruum, from which a number of  medicinal products were made.

This practice was called ritu, meaning “redness” because of the blood element  of  the ceremony. Ritu is the origin of the term “ritual”.  Most  people are not aware that menstruum has a whole host of medicinal uses which Illuminati doctors are aware of but which they do not share to the wider world.  In ancient times, the Earth-based Anunnaki  used menstrual extracts to lengthen their lives! This “elixir of life” was called Star Fire and was taken only from Temple Virgins.

In Greek, Temple Virgins were known as hierodulai, that is, Sacred Woman. In medieval French and English, hierodulai became “harlot”. In the early Germanic tongue, Temple Virgins were known as “hores” (meaning “beloved ones”  because of their highly venerated role), a term which was to transform to the now despicable  “whores”.  The temple that Helena founded in Tyre was meant to groom Temple Virgins for  purposes of ritu but her detractors deliberately twisted this to a brothel temple.

It was at her Tyre temple that Simon Zelotes met Helena and decided to hitch her up. However, Helena was to be only his consort and not his wife as she was unflinching in her volition to abstain from sexual relations. Simon Zelotes, who was smitten by her resounding wisdom and her resoluteness of purpose, raised no objections. Indeed,  throughout all extra-biblical literature, Helena is always referred to as the consort (partner)  of Simon and never his wife. 

Among the Essene community, she was often referred to as a “rich widow”, widow in this context meaning  divorcee. Remember, Essenes had their own lexicon, such that words which on surface had familiar meanings actually had special underlying meanings. This  coded language was called Pesher.  

Simon Zelotes adopted Mary Magdalene and the boys James and John. Since Simon’s other name was Zebedee, meaning “My Gift”, the two boys were typically  referred to as the sons of Zebedee.  Later in their adulthood, they would switch their political loyalties in the Jesus party from the “Lightning” faction headed by Simon Zelotes, to  the “Thunder” faction headed by  Simon’s main rival, Nathaniel. They were therefore now addressed as the “Sons of Thunder”.

While Nathaniel was Pope/Father (successor to John the Baptist), Helena spiritedly promoted her two boys to Jesus so that they would be his deputies in his capacity as Priest-King in  an independent Israel (MARK 10:35-45/MATTHEW 20:20-28).  A politically correct Jesus stoutly refused to commit to that  and instead referred her to Nathaniel. This was because as things presently stood, Nathaniel was the future High Priest of an independent Israel and it was up to him to choose his two deputies.  

In the Essene community in the 20s AD and onward, Helena-Salome was the most highly regarded woman alongside Mary the mother of Jesus. She actually fancied herself as the Essene priestess and called herself Justa, meaning “crown princess” or “future queen”. This was at the time when Simon Zelotes was Pope and therefore the highest ranking Essene – a king to her own mind. Because of her high social standing, she was entrusted headship of the Essene’s female  order of Asher, which alongside with the order of Dan, had strictly Gentile membership. 

The order of Asher was headquartered in Tyre, the capital of Phoenicia, because Phoenicia had been the territory of the Israel tribe of Asher.  The title of the female head of the order of Asher was Sarah-Salome. She would in due course assume another title, that of  Martha. Her daughter Mary Magdalene, however, belonged to the order of Dan.

Whereas members of the order of Dan were not allowed to own private property, those of Asher could. This allowed Helena to be a very “rich widow” as she had plenty of property courtesy  of the lavish material support she had been receiving from the wealthy Julia the Elder, the real mother of John and James.  Mary Magdalene would have been in line to inherit this wealth but when she became a Mary at her engagement to Jesus, she had to join the order of Dan, whose female members were not allowed to own property whatsoever: whatever personal assets they had was forfeited to the Essene community as a collective.  

Since she was so strikingly intellectual, Helena was the only woman disciple of John the Baptist. John had a total of 30 disciples to correspond with  the number of days in the month and Helena was designated as the 29th, to accord with a lunar month in a leap year. Her other name therefore was Luna.  For the most part though, Helena, just like her consort Simon Zelotes, was regarded as too ambitious and a schemer who knew no limits. Her male contemporaries therefore went out of their way to tarnish her name, often unjustifiably. Her putative involvement in the death of John the Baptist may just have been one such smear.

The church father Eusebius  also joined in the chorus of slurs. In his Church History, he wrote thus of Helena:  “And there went around with him (Simon Magus) at that time a certain Helena who had formerly been a prostitute in Tyre of Phoenicia.”

Clearly, Eusebius too misunderstood the purpose of the Virgin Temple she opened up in Tyre (she later shut it down anyway). Her own adopted son James and John never once impugned her. This is what James reported according to the Clementine literature: “They (the slave traders) sold us to a certain widow, a very honourable woman named Justa. She having bought us treated us as sons, so that she carefully educated us in Greek literature and liberal arts.”

John the Baptist was a puritan who never compromised his principles. There simply was no way a prostitute would have been part of his apostolic band and taken pride of place. The commonplace claims therefore that Helena-Salome was a harlot belong to the dustbin. Sadly, this character assassination stuck and unduly rubbed off on her only natural child – Mary Magdalene.  


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The Daring Dozen at Bari

8th December 2020

Seventy-seven years ago, on the evening of December 2, 1943, the Germans launched a surprise air raid on allied shipping in the Italian port of Bari, which was then the key supply centre for the British 8th army’s advance in Italy.

The attack was spearheaded by 105 Junkers JU88 bombers under the overall command of the infamous Air Marshal Wolfram von Richthofen (who had initially achieved international notoriety during the Spanish Civil War for his aerial bombardment of Guernica). In a little over an hour the German aircraft succeeded in sinking 28 transport and cargo ships, while further inflicting massive damage to the harbour’s facilities, resulting in the port being effectively put out of action for two months.

Over two thousand ground personnel were killed during the raid, with the release of a secret supply of mustard gas aboard one of the destroyed ships contributing to the death toll, as well as subsequent military and civilian casualties. The extent of the later is a controversy due to the fact that the American and British governments subsequently covered up the presence of the gas for decades.

At least five Batswana were killed and seven critically wounded during the raid, with one of the wounded being miraculously rescued floating unconscious out to sea with a head wound. He had been given up for dead when he returned to his unit fourteen days later. The fatalities and casualties all occurred when the enemy hit an ammunition ship adjacent to where 24 Batswana members of the African Pioneer Corps (APC) 1979 Smoke Company where posted.

Thereafter, the dozen surviving members of the unit distinguished themselves for their efficiency in putting up and maintaining smokescreens in their sector, which was credited with saving additional shipping. For his personal heroism in rallying his men following the initial explosions Company Corporal Chitu Bakombi was awarded the British Empire Medal, while his superior officer, Lieutenant N.F. Moor was later given an M.B.E.

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A Strong Marriage Bond Needs Two

8th December 2020

Remember: bricks and cement are used to build a house, but mutual love, respect and companionship are used to build a HOME. And amongst His signs is this: He creates for you mates out of your own kind, so that you may find contentment (Sukoon) with them, and He engenders love and tenderness between you; in this behold, there are signs (messages) indeed for people who reflect and think (Quran 30:21).

This verse talks about contentment; this implies companionship, of their being together, sharing together, supporting one another and creating a home of peace. This verse also talks about love between them; this love is both physical and emotional. For love to exist it must be built on the foundation of a mutually supportive relationship guided by respect and tenderness. As the Quran says; ‘they are like garments for you, and you are garments for them (Quran 2:187)’. That means spouses should provide each other with comfort, intimacy and protection just as clothing protects, warms and dignifies the body.

In Islam marriage is considered an ‘ibaadah’, (an act of pleasing Allah) because it is about a commitment made to each other, that is built on mutual love, interdependence, integrity, trust, respect, companionship and harmony towards each other. It is about building of a home on an Islamic foundation in which peace and tranquillity reigns wherein your offspring are raised in an atmosphere conducive to a moral and upright upbringing so that when we all stand before Him (Allah) on that Promised Day, He will be pleased with them all.

Most marriages start out with great hopes and rosy dreams; spouses are truly committed to making their marriages work. However, as the pressures of life mount, many marriages change over time and it is quite common for some of them to run into problems and start to flounder as the reality of living with a spouse that does not meet with one’s pre-conceived ‘expectations’. However, with hard work and dedication, couples can keep their marriages strong and enjoyable. How is it done? What does it take to create a long-lasting, satisfying marriage?

Below are some of the points that have been taken from a marriage guidance article I read recently and adapted for this purposes.

Spouses should have far more positive than negative interactions. If there is too much negativity — criticizing, demanding, name-calling, holding grudges, etc. — the relationship will suffer. However, if there is never any negativity, it probably means that frustrations and grievances are not getting ‘air time’ and unresolved tension is accumulating inside one or both partners waiting to ‘explode’ one day.

“Let not some men among you laugh at others: it may be that the (latter) are better than the (former): nor let some women laugh at others: it may be that the (latter) are better than the (former): nor defame nor be sarcastic to each other, nor call each other by (offensive) nicknames.” (49:11)

We all have our individual faults though we may not see them nor want to admit to them but we will easily identify them in others. The key is balance between the two extremes and being supportive of one another. To foster positivity in a marriage that help make them stable and happy, being affectionate, truly listening to each other, taking joy in each other’s achievements and being playful are just a few examples of positive interactions.
Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said: “The believers who show the most perfect faith are those who have the best character and the best of you are those who are best to their wives”


Another characteristic of happy marriages is empathy; understanding your spouses’ perspective by putting oneself in his or her shoes. By showing that understanding and identifying with your spouse is important for relationship satisfaction. Spouses are more likely to feel good about their marriage and if their partner expresses empathy towards them. Husbands and wives are more content in their relationships when they feel that their partners understand their thoughts and feelings.

Successful married couples grow with each other; it simply isn’t wise to put any person in charge of your happiness. You must be happy with yourself before anyone else can be.  You are responsible for your actions, your attitudes and your happiness. Your spouse just enhances those things in your life. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said: “Treat your women well and be kind to them for they are your partners and committed helpers.”


Successful marriages involve both spouses’ commitment to the relationship. The married couple should learn the art of compromise and this usually takes years. The largest parts of compromise are openness to the other’s point of view and good communication when differences arise.

When two people are truly dedicated to making their marriage work, despite the unavoidable challenges and obstacles that come, they are much more likely to have a relationship that lasts. Husbands and wives who only focus on themselves and their own desires are not as likely to find joy and satisfaction in their relationships.


Another basic need in a relationship is each partner wants to feel valued and respected. When people feel that their spouses truly accept them for who they are, they are usually more secure and confident in their relationships. Often, there is conflict in marriage because partners cannot accept the individual preferences of their spouses and try to demand change from one another. When one person tries to force change from another, he or she is usually met with resistance.

However, change is much more likely to occur when spouses respect differences and accept each other unconditionally. Basic acceptance is vital to a happy marriage. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said: “It is the generous (in character) who is good to women, and it is the wicked who insults them.”
“Overlook (any human faults) with gracious forgiveness.” (Quran 15:85)


Other important components of successful marriages are love, compassion and respect for each other. The fact is, as time passes and life becomes increasingly complicated, the marriage is often stressed and suffers as a result. A happy and successful marriage is based on equality. When one or the other dominates strongly, intimacy is replaced by fear of displeasing.

It is all too easy for spouses to lose touch with each other and neglect the love and romance that once came so easily. It is vital that husbands and wives continue to cultivate love and respect for each other throughout their lives. If they do, it is highly likely that their relationships will remain happy and satisfying. Move beyond the fantasy and unrealistic expectations and realize that marriage is about making a conscious choice to love and care for your spouse-even when you do not feel like it.

Seldom can one love someone for whom we have no respect. This also means that we have to learn to overlook and forgive the mistakes of one’s partner. In other words write the good about your partner in stone and the bad in dust, so that when the wind comes it blows away the bad and only the good remains.

Paramount of all, marriage must be based on the teachings of the Noble Qur’an and the teachings and guidance of our Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). To grow spiritually in your marriage requires that you learn to be less selfish and more loving, even during times of conflict. A marriage needs love, support, tolerance, honesty, respect, humility, realistic expectations and a sense of humour to be successful.

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Chronic Joblessness: How to Help Curtail it

30th November 2020
Motswana woman

The past week or two has been a mixed grill of briefs in so far as the national employment picture is concerned. BDC just injected a further P64 million in Kromberg & Schubert, the automotive cable manufacturer and exporter, to help keep it afloat in the face of the COVID-19-engendered global economic apocalypse. The financial lifeline, which follows an earlier P36 million way back in 2017, hopefully guarantees the jobs of 2500, maybe for another year or two.

It was also reported that a bulb manufacturing company, which is two years old and is youth-led, is making waves in Selibe Phikwe. Called Bulb Word, it is the only bulb manufacturing operation in Botswana and employs 60 people. The figure is not insignificant in a town that had 5000 jobs offloaded in one fell swoop when BCL closed shop in 2016 under seemingly contrived circumstances, so that as I write, two or three buyers have submitted bids to acquire and exhume it from its stage-managed grave.

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