Abstract: The nine highly secretive denominations of Alawism, Alevism, Alianism, Bektashism, Druzism, Khaksarism, Shabakism, Yarsanism and Yezidism clearly have a single common Median origin. They are subdivided into Israelites (commoners), Levites (the priestly tribe) and Kohanim (the priestly caste). Both the Medes and the ancient Israelites had this trisected caste structure. The Judaic nature of Alevism and Yezidism is well-documented while the customs of the other denominations largely remain undocumented. There are numerous commonalities between the various denominations in evidencing a common origin, particularly the trisected caste structure. Core Median Judaism generally believes in avatars and reincarnation although it remains somewhat unclear what the poorly documented Alianism believes in these regards. The deported Israelites apparently converted the Medes to their religion. Indeed, this is the only possible explanation. Is there further evidence for Alevis/Bektashis, Yezidis and the other denominations being descended from the ten tribes? The Jewish status of Alevis is beyond reasonable doubt and so how to explain that Alevis/Bektashis are divided into Israelites, Levites and Kohanim? There are only two explanations: Either they are descended from the ancestors of rabbinic Jews, something which is clearly not the case or they are descended from the ten tribes. What about the other denominations? There is quite considerable evidence regarding the Jewish status of Yezidis although far from as strong as for Alevis. Regarding the other denominations have their customs not been mapped and so we don’t know whether they have Judaic customs. However it would be entirely implausible to argue that the other secretive denominations in the region have the same trisected caste structure without having a common origin while indeed sharing other similarities. It is necessary to connect the historical dots to restore the place of Median Judaism and Median Jewry in recorded world history:
When the Jewish population of the Northern Kingdom of Israel was deported by the Assyrians 27 centuries ago did Judaism as we know it today hardly exist. What existed was Canaanite polytheism as combined with Atenist monotheism. Biblical scientists say that the Torah (Pentateuch) was only written after the return from the Babylonian exile in 6th century BCE, therefore did it not even exist at the time of the Assyrian deportations in the 8th century BCE.
Atenism is clearly preserved in core Median Median Judaism as the Alevis, Yarsanis and Yezidis pray towards the sun and Alevis, Bektashis and Yezidis maintain the sun as their religious symbol. Pharaoh Akhenaten is openly revered in Druzism. Some of the Jewish customs in Median Judaism (i.e. the Northern Jurisdiction of Israel) such as Alevi Kohanim dressing in the style of Haredi (Ultra-Orthodox) men are later influences from the Southern Jurisdiction of Judah.
After the Israelites arrived in what is now Kurdistan did they go under the radar of recorded history into religious dissimulation, apparently to protect themselves from their Assyrian rulers. Later with the emergence of the Median Empire did the Israelite Kohanim gain prominence as the new priestly caste of the Medes whom they apparently converted to Israelite (Canaanite-Atenist) religion. The Levites integrated into the Priestly tribe of the Medes and the people married with the Medes. Alawites and Druze live outside the former borders of the Median Empire, something which suggests southwards migrations of Medes, possibly during the period of the Persian Empire. The Median Kohanim, the Maggids (Hebrew: Maggid, meaning preacher, plural Maggidim) known as the “Magis” travelled the world in trade in subsequent centuries and syncretically converted many peoples to Median Judaism in Africa, Asia, Oceania and possibly even in the Americas. Median Judaism continued to gain converts during the era of Zoroastrian domination in the Middle East but contracted during the Christian and Muslim eras due to religious persecution. During the Hellenistic era did Median Judaism likely take the form of so called “mystery religion”. During the early Christian era prior to the emergence of Islam did Median Judaism survive in the form of Gnosticism as there are still Gnostic traits in Yezidi and Yarsani cosmology.
Core Median Judaism underwent six eras of imperial religion: 1) Assyrians, 2) Medes, 3) Zoroastrians, 4) Hellenists, 5) Christians and 6) Muslims. Core Median Judaism underwent tactical syncretism with the imperial religion of the era in order to survive and in later eras to avoid forced conversion. This does not mean that they adopted religious imperialism, on the contrary, they survived in the shadow of religious imperialism. Contemporary core Median Judaism consists of the nine denominations of Alawism, Alevism, Alianism (the Alians in Bulgaria), Bektashism, Druzism, Khaksarism (the Khaksaris in Iran), Shabakism (the Shabaks in Iraq), Yarsanism and Yezidism. They are all highly secretive religious denominations. Like the Southern Jurisdiction of Judah are they are trisected into Kohanim, Levites and Israelites (commoners) and it is clear that the nine denominations have a common origin. Nevertheless, the nine denominations have also had quite distinctive developments during 27 centuries of life in the Diaspora away from Israel and have therefore diverged quite significantly from each other. Alawism, Bektashism, Druzism, Yarsanism and Yezidism all claim Islamic medieval “founders” despite being very archaic. Zoroastrianism is also a form of Median Judaism although not being part of core Median Judaism. Zoroastrianism has Kohanim but no Levites.
During the Islamic era did many of the denominations of core Median Judaism become Ghulat, so-called “Shia extremists” which exoterically claim Ali as a divine incarnation. However, core Median Judaism is neither Shia nor Muslim and claiming to believe that Ali was a divine incarnation certainly does not qualify as Muslim, in fact that is completely contrary to everything Islam stands for. Becoming Ghulat was rather an elaborate exoteric strategy for avoiding forcible conversion to Islam at the hands of religious imperialism by deliberately staying at the very margins of the civilization of Islam. While maintaining a superficial pseudo-Islamic veneer without practicing Islam, core Median Jewry remain halakhically Jewish. There is no evidence that core Median Jewry ever converted to Islam, in fact, the very purpose of the pseudo-Islamic veneer is to protect against coerced conversion to Islam.
Most Median Jews outside of the Middle East such as the Pashtuns, the Mizo and the Japanese were lost to religious imperialism (Islamic, Christian and Buddhist) but some remain unconverted and thus remain fully halakhically Jewish such as most Qiang in Sichuan, China, most Masaai in Kenya and Tanzania and a minority of the Igbos, Nigeria.