The class was taught at a world class university supported by a graduate seminary that was nondenominational. It was a Rockefeller family production to improve the social status of Baptists. It gave me enough background to know that many, but not all, who post about Gnosticism are incorporating their own beliefs. This thread is a prime example. Jews are bad. etc. There were Jewish gnostics.
The Witness view on paradise earth would appear to contradict a gnosis belief. Gnostics view creation and material things as evil. Also, the quest with Gnosticism was to become like Jesus, not to worship Jesus. Not that the Witnesses worship Jesus. The CB would be anathema of Gnostics. I don't see Gnostics as having deferential personalities.
Before I took the course, I saw the Bible as magic handed down from JAH. All the magic is gone. A few personalities and economic/politican trends and it may have been something else. If the Witnesses would acknowledge critical history of the NT, I might feel warmer towards them. Foolish me believed the Witnesses knew their Bible. I've studied somewhat this makes me more qualified than the Witnesses. They always assume their victims have zero knowledge. I don't believe it was ever true. Does anyone wonder why we could not witness to Babylon the Great?
Some idiot with a slick presentation lied about Pagels work to my church in PA. He wanted to show that he knew so much so he asked the parish if we ever heard of Church Fathers and named the Fathers. Most parishoners had even read the Fathers themselves.