"Both the Cathars and the Bogomils rejected the Church and all its sacraments completely, regarding it as the Church of Satan....Cathars alike rejected most of the Old Testament--and it's belligerent deity-- as satanic. Both movements (Cathars & Bogomils) regarded the entity of the Church -- Catholic in the west, Orthodoxy in the east--as the Church of Satan, and rejected it utterly.....the Cross was seen as the instrument of Christ's torture, and Bogomils and Cathars alike refused to venerate it." ~ Sean Martin (The Cathars p. 53)
"Cathar priests and priestesses were both called parfaits, meaning
'perfects,' rising to their office through good works, austerities, spiritual
initiations, and the practice of meditation. They believed in reincarnation, the
immortality of the soul, asceticism, and nonviolence. Like Jesus, they practiced
the healing arts in rites known as 'the laying on of hands.' They rejected the
notion of the Eucharist and were opposed to the normal institution of marriage.
Cathars, American Perfectionists, and transcendentalists shared many common beliefs. Most were dualists, believing that the forces of good and evil have existed since the beginning of the universe and will continue to exist until the end. They did not follow the orthodox Christian view that evil was created by original sin, which supposedly entered the soul of humankind following Adam and Eve's expulsion from the Garden of Eden. Because Christian dualists did not subscribe to the doctrine of original sin, they viewed sex as a spiritual act.
Cathars practiced spiritual sex in the esoteric early Christian and Tantric tradition, using breath control, visualization, and other Yogic techniques. They practiced a form of coitus reservus, sometimes referred to as karezza ("little caress"), concerning which more detail shall follow shortly. Cathars became rich and powerful, building their own churches and castles. They were eventually perceived as a threat to the orthodox Catholic church. The Pope ordered all Christian heretics 'cleansed' and, beginning in 1209, organized massacres of Cathars followed, together with the confiscation of their property. By the fourteenth century, Catharism had been virtually exterminated. However, esoteric Cathar spiritual sex teachings survived among the Knights Templars, the Troubadours, and in the teachings of some secret societies and occult organizations that emerged in Europe between the late thirteenth and mid-seventeenth centuries." ~ Nik Douglas (Spiritual Sex p. 170, 171)