Thanks to the People at FPG!
I’d like to cordially thank all the people at the Florida Pagan Gathering, especially the people who put it on for making it such an incredible event. I had a great time, shared information both in workshops and in individual meetings, and had a lot of fun with the Grimassis, Orion Foxwood, and got to see my new wife (that still sounds weird), Holly, shine. The people who put this on, The Temple of Earth Gatherings, did a remarkable job. I know all the presenters hope to return soon!
And now, on with the show!
A Story of Aleister Crowley
There is a story of a young man, sitting in a cafĂ© (I’ve heard of different locations where this story occurred), when all of a sudden, a strange man, dressed in yellow, comes darting through the cafĂ©, babbling in a strange, foreign language. To his surprise, nobody was paying any attention to this obviously crazy man. The shocked cafĂ©-goer asks the head waiter if something should be done. The head waiter replies, “Oh no, sir. That’s just Mr. Crowley being invisible again.”
My point in sharing this story, whether it is true or apocryphal, is that the people of the cafĂ© paid no attention to Crowley’s supposed antics. Crowley did what he did. Everyone else there went on about their own business. To my mind, that seems to be rather adult and positive. Don’t worry about others; do the work.
In the early 1900s, the modern AncienteÂ And Mystical Order Rosae Crucis, AMORC, was founded, eventually moving to a beautiful headquarters in San Jose, California. It’s still there and is an amazing place to visit. Although the original goal had been to have lodges in every city, this was abandoned and replaced with a vision of distributing teachings via mail order. AMORC grew massively, and wanted to stake out the “we’re the only real Rosicrucians” territory. In the 1930s, they got into a battle with another Rosicrucian group, headed byÂ Reuben Swinburne Clymer. These two great mystical groups took each other to court, called the leaders of the other group disparaging names, and both claimed that the other one was a black sex magick cult.
Does this sound like the behavior of advanced spiritual groups? To me, it sounds like spoiled little children scrambling to get mommy’s attention.
Although neither of those two groups were ever practitioners of black magick, they both do have links to sex magick. Clymer’s group, theÂ Fraternitas RosĂ¦ Crucis, looks to a group founded byÂ Pascal Beverly Randolph as its source. The sex magick teachings of Randolph may have influenced the O.T.O. which does teach sex magick in its highest degrees. Meanwhile, it appears as if the founding document of AMORC may have been a modified O.T.O. document. I mean, it just erased some O.T.O. items and replaced it with AMORC terms.
Of course, that may have just been a convenience. There certainly was, however, a “writ of amity” between AMORC and the OTO, so much so that Crowley sent letters to AMORC claiming that he was the actual head of AMORC and they should turn everything over to him. This was ignored.
In his will, the O.T.O. was granted the rights to Crowley’s writings. After a period of decreasing focus on the Order by its leadership, a man named Grady McMurtry had documents that seemed to give him the rights to control the Order. He assumed that responsibility. Another person,Â Marcelo RamosÂ Motta, also seemed to have such rights and started his own O.T.O. With membership dues and book royalties at stake, it was inevitable that this would go to court. Motta lost.
Since that time, the legal O.T.O., Mr. McMurtry’s group, has acted like a professional and powerful group. I had some dealings with the head of the Order, known as “Hymenaeus Beta,” over the writings of Kenneth Grant. Hymenaeus Beta told me that they liked some of the writings of Grant and had nothing against him. The only issue was that he wanted Grant to stop calling himself the head of the O.T.O. Whether you agree that the current legal O.T.O. is mystically the O.T.O., I’d say that the attitude expressed by the head of the O.T.O. to me was very concise, direct, and adult. There was no name calling, no insults, no attacks. Just a presentation of what was legal and a desire to let Grant (who has since died) and his followers do their stuff and let the official O.T.O. do their stuff.Â Don’t worry about others; do the work.
What a difference between the adults of the O.T.O. and the childish pretensions of the earlier AMORC and Clymer’s FRC! So I have to ask, which type of group do you think exhibits real power, the one that does name calling like little children, or the O.T.O. which calmly goes about its business and basically says, “do what you want without interfering with us?” I think it is the O.T.O. that exhibited real power and an adult attitude.
The Golden Dawn
Currently, there are several groups claiming to be the Golden Dawn. One has the legal right to use that name (and grant that right to others) in the U.S. A different group has the legal right to do that outside of the U.S. There are many others that claim to be Golden Dawn groups, even though in some cases their teachings stray quite far from the Golden Dawn traditions as have been published over the past century.
If you are interested in the Golden Dawn, as I am, you will have seen a running blog war over the past few years, a war that has intensified over the past few months. One person says “I’m trying to make peace” and constantly attacks others. One person says the Secret Chiefs are a metaphor and is attacked by those who think they are real. There is fighting over whether a new ritual is complete or partial. There is name calling back and forth, falling so far as to reach the level of “I’m the good cowboy wearing the white hat and you’re the bad Injuns!”
There is a classic episode of Mad TV where Bob Newhart, once again, plays the role of a therapist. You can see it on You Tube. A patient comes in looking for help and Newhart’s answer is “Stop it!” At one point he says, “You’re behaving like a child.”
And to me, that’s what all of these silly web wars are. Recently, there have been attacks on people over the meaning of the number “4” on the front of a document! Really! That’s it. There are insults and name calling over a number.
Oh. Â Â Em. Â Â Gee.
This is making you all look silly. It’s making you all look petty and childish. If the Secret Chiefs of the Golden Dawn are real, they have the power to defend the Order. What all of your childish attacks on each other are doing are to turn intelligent, reasonable people away from the childishness and clownishness on all sides.
To slightly alter Shakespeare’s statement inÂ Romeo and Juliet, “A plague on all your houses.”
And to quote Bob Newheart: “Stop it! Just stop it!”
[On the other hand, perhaps the silly and infantile name calling and and personal attacks are really just a means of the Secret Chiefs to turn sane and legitimate occultists away from the arguing groups.]
All right, little children. Playtime is over. You all can continue to humiliate yourselves and those who want to follow the G.D. tradition or you can grow up and act like adults. The ancient saying wasn’t “Attack anyone who dares disagree with you,” it was “Know Thyself.” When you point an accusatory finger at others, you’ve got three fingers pointing back at yourself.
If you want to get others to join your group, focus on what you’re doing, not on how evil you think the others are. If you’re legitimate, people will find you. The Golden Dawn current has done just fine for over a century. It doesn’t need people behaving like little children crying to mommy that they want to be the Golden Dawn and Tommy or Bobby or some other child won’t let them. Your very public arguments are not making you stronger, they’re making you look foolish. If anything, they’re driving people aways.
Real power isn’t revealed when you attack others, especially when the attacks are so incredibly juvenile. Real power is exposed when things you want occur before you do anything. If you and your groups have power, why not demonstrate it by acting like it? You can be above the fray and exhibit that wonderful and great power: maturity.
Again, as Newhart said, and if you really do love the Golden Dawn, when it comes to this silliness, “Stop it!”
Don’t worry about others; do the work.
P.S. By the way, by not taking sides in this silliness and telling everyone to just “Stop it,” I have no doubt that some of the feuding children will attack me in their blogs. Although my intent was to suggest that strengthening their orders requires them to act like adults, it’s quite likely that, as Shakespeare writes in Julius Caesar, what I have done is “Cry ‘Havoc!’ and let slip the dogs of war.” But I have no war with any of you. If you wish to continue with the childish behavior of your juvenile battles it is up to you. And if you want to drive intelligent and rational people away with your rantings it is up to you, too.
Don’t worry about others; do the work.