We can not be absolutely certain about the origins of the ancient heresy of Gnosticism but it may have been birthed as a pseudo-Christian heresy in the first century by the man named Simon Magus, a Samaritan sorcerer (magus actually means magician) who is named in the Book of Acts. Some church fathers, in a type of prophetic way, referred to him as the progenitor of all heresies. He had a consort named Helen and had about thirty disciples who traveled with him. He attracted significant crowds with special revelations, esoteric insights and various kinds of "signs and wonders." So impressive was his reputation as a miracle worker that the Romans made a statue in his honor which said: "To Simon, the Holy God." Arland Hultgren, in his scholarly book The Earliest Christian Heretics (Fortress Press, 1996) says that many of his fellow countrymen in Samaria regarded him as their deity. Simon even prophesied that he would rise on the third day thus prompting church fathers to see him as the "false messiah" warned about in Matthew's Gospel.
Here the link is unclear. Some think Simon's followers became the first Christian Gnostics. The book of Acts records his conversion experience and baptism by Philip (around AD 40). Simon, in other words, had a great conversion experience and then filled his mind and ministry with his own unique revelations. The church, unlike so many such figures today, soundly condemned Simon Magus. Giovanni Filoramo, in A History of Gnosticism (Blackwell, 1992), says, "The ancient defenders of the Christian faith regarded