Montague Summers traces the modern (post-biblical times) origin of witchcraft and demonology to a Gnostic sect which went “one step beyond” the original teachings. Two paths converge toward the witch cult in western Europe. One path is via Cosimo de’Medici and his importation into Italy of subversive texts, which eventually helped dethrone Euclidean geometry. (Background: Beltane Celebrations in Baltimore, Other Cities, Ersjdamoo’s Blog, April 30, 2015.)
The other path picks up where the Bible ends. Jesus had told us the devil is “the prince of this world” (John 12: 31). Father John A. Hardon, a Jesuit, expounding upon the subject of demonology, notes that “It is the evangelist St. John who concentrates on this title of evil spirit as prince of this world. To be exact there are three passages in the fourth Gospel where Jesus identifies the devil as the prince of this world.” 
- “Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out.” (John 12: 31)
- “Hereafter I will not talk much with you: for the prince of this world cometh, and hath nothing in me.” (John 14: 30)
- “Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged.” (John 16: 11)
St. Paul, in 2 Corinthians 4: 4, writes of “the god of this world” who “hath blinded the minds of them which believe not…”
“The Cainites carried out the Ophite doctrines to their fullest logical conclusion,” wrote Montague Summers.  Who were these “Cainites” and “Ophites”?
The Ophites worshipped the Serpent because he had revolted against Jehovah, “to whom they referred under the Cabalistic term of the ‘demiurgus’…” The Cainites were “so-called from their cult of Cain…” 
The “demiurgus” of the Ophites is, in other words, the “demiurge”, (a) in Platonism, a deity or creative force that shaped the material world; (b) in Gnosticism, a deity subordinate to the supreme deity, sometimes considered the creator of evil. 
Some (not all) Gnostics went “one step beyond.” The true god was different from “the prince of this world” who “hath nothing in me.” (John 14: 30) Some (not all) Gnostics chose to worship the demiurge, “the prince of this world”. Among these were the Bogomils, who had migrated from Northern Syria and Mesopotamia to the Balkan peninsula. The Bogomils believed the true god had had two sons: Satanael, the eldest, and Jesus, the youngest. (Cain also had been the eldest and Abel had been the youngest.) Satanael rebelled against his father and fell from Heaven. Satanael and his companions created the material world. Later Jesus came to earth to show the way to heaven, but according to the Bogomils, Jesus had failed. “This belief in the impotence of Christ and the necessity therefore for placating Satan, not only ‘the Prince of this world,’ but its creator, led to the further doctrine that Satan, being all-powerful, should be adored.” 
“The greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn’t exist,” says a character in the 1995 movie, The Usual Suspects. By now we have been brainwashed into believing the witch hunts were all a bunch of hysteria. This is especially so in a good play but bad history: The Crucible, by Arthur Miller. I wrote an entire book on this subject, In Praise of Cotton Mather (epub book available from Lulu.com). My book argues for the reality of supernatural events in connection with the infamous Salem witch trials of 1692. Yes, the trials themselves were an outrage. But do not confuse that with the fact (as my book proves) of actual witchcraft, sorcery, poltergeists, and the supernatural confounding the Massachusetts pioneers. There were strange things happening in Massachusetts, circa 1692!
Which brings us to Beltane (“May Day”) celebrations which culminate today and tomorrow in Baltimore and other cities. Again, “strange things are happening.” Up is down and down is up, is the general theme. The ceremonials of the Sabbat are characterized by mere “clowning and japery” mixed up with “circumstances of extremest horror.” The Sabbats vary in attendance. The larger congregations are “presided over by incarnate evil intelligences, a mob outvying the very demons in malice, blasphemy, and revolt, the true face of pandemonium on earth.” 
——- Sources ——-
 “The Devil as the Prince of this World”, by Fr. John A. Hardon, S.J. http://www.therealpresence.org/archives/Demonology/Demonology_003.htm
 The History of Witchcraft and Demonology, by Montague Summers. New York: Bristol Park Books, 2010.
 Secret Societies, by Nesta H. Webster. New York: A&B Books, 1994.
 Webster’s New World College Dictionary (Fourth Edition).