Already before the Turks extinguish the last remnant, it becomes clear that the liquidation of paganism and heresy did nothing to arrest the decomposition of the Empire, and also that the heresy-hunts failed to extinguish resistance.
Either through contact with Turks who remembered Mani, or through contact with Persians who remembered the great uprising of the Persian peasantry against the Sassanid nobility and Zarathustrian aristocracy, Byzantium’s Bulgar converts rediscover the Manichean heresy. They call themselves Bogomili, “God-lovers,” and they consider Byzantium’s Christian priests agents of Ahriman, whom they call Satan. They are convinced that it is the oppression of peasants that is sinful, not the peasants. They say the evil ones are not the poor and miserable, but the landlords and tax collectors who make people poor and miserable. They urge peasants to brighten their lives and the world by withholding their crops and their services from Satan’s agents.
The Bulgars carry the message to Serbs and Bosnians who share it with Italian residents and visitors of Dubrovnik. The Italians carry ancient Mani’s vision, couched in the Pope’s language, to their Lombard, Norman and Frankish neighbors.
Fredy Perlman, Against His-Story, Against Leviathan