"Living Water" in the sole surviving gnostic sect, the Mandaen religion, refers to water flowing in a stream. However, the verdict isn't in yet as to whether the Mandaens are actually JB'S original sect. Some anthropologists now feel that the original form of baptism was a near-drowning to produce an altered state. It was then subjected to a selection process: if it fit the orthodox theory it came from God; if not, from Satan. (Violett McDermott has developed this idea explaining the religion of the Desert Fathers in _The Cult of the Seer_.) If Thomas is a Baptist sect could "the bubbling spring which leads to intoxication" be the results of such baptisms?
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