What happened to the past in the past? 
This is a mini-series of blogs embedded in a greater series of blogs that concern the self-sacrificial religion known as arch-Christianity (as opposed to present-day neo-Christianity. This blog first appeared as a letter to Truthdig.com
Up to the time of the Romanovs, the Turkic and Slavic people had pretty much been practicing the same religion. Russian arch-Orthox Christians attended the mosques of Islam and Muslims attended Christian churches. It was the Romanovs who by imposing a Western chronology and exclusivist interpretation of what happened to Johns (they were turned into Jesus) that started the wars between Slav and Turk and divided the Eastern Empire even further.
What does it mean when I write “the Johns were turned into Jesus”?
Those who have been to India will no doubt have run across the sadhus, the holy men walking the dusty roads of India, bathing in the Ganges River, sitting cross legged in marketplaces, wherever. Once such men were ubiquitous not only in India, but throughout the world, Europe including. While Europe has forgotten these traveling teachers—for that is what they ultimately were—they were known in Europe by the name of John. The Irish knew their Johns as Ian, the French as Jean, Juan, Gean, the Spaniards as Huan, the Italians as Giovanni, the Germans as Johann or Hans, the Balts as Yan, the Russians as Ivan, etc. While all of these names remain popular as given names, they are also still be found in derivative names such as gendarme, genealogy, gentlemen, and so on and on. To be a sadhu or john, one did not have to be called John, one could as well be known as Bob, or Jesus, or Johammed.
But then Johns were prescribed a death sentence: you either bake in the fires of auto-da-fe, convert to Jesus—the only John who will save you—or run for your life to the swamp. Why was it desirable to eliminate the Johns? Answer: all holy men are down to the bones of their souls egalitarians. The Johns preached a message hateful to the ears of the secular princes then coming to the fore: economic equality, economic fairness if not down to the last detail, then at least commonsensical.
The first John whose death is marked in a history book was called Basil and he was thrown into a raging fire pit at Constantinople by the Byzantine king Alexius I (12th century?). The Byzantine king insisted that he knew more about divine matters than John-Basil. In the West we know this king better by the name of Herod.
The news of Alexius I outrageous act reached the ears of most European Johns and their charges. It was relatively easy task for the secular princes to take advantage of the wrath of the populace and lead a march on Constantinople-Jerusalem. Of course, the princes of the West did not have the slightest interest in Basil, except that his death gave them a pretext to attack a king of the Eastern Empire.