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A Call to Leaders of the Golden Dawn

This post was written by Donald Michael Kraig
on September 27, 2013 | Comments (21)

In Modern Magick I described why I thought the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn was important. Imagine a simple hourglass:388px-Hourglass_(PSF)

The sand in the top half represents the  forms of occultism known in the West during the middle to late 19th century, ranging from ceremonial magick to Paganism. They were filled with differences and yet some occultists conceived that there was a hidden, underlying, unitary basis. At the central point, all of those systems merged into a complex but coherent system. That system spread out, as represented by the sand in the bottom half of the hourglass, influencing directly and indirectly virtually all forms of occultism and spirituality in the West as they exist today. That central point, that uniting and combining factor, was the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn.

Whether or not you are a dues-paying member, whether or not you are involved with silly name calling concerning other groups, there is still one thing all people, members or not, should be aware of: the concepts believed in and practiced by the Golden Dawn mean something and stand for something. The question is, what? To often, even members don’t seem to ask themselves this question: What do you stand for? But first…

Don the Magic Man

Lots of young boys (curiously, though, few girls) become interested in sleight-of-hand magic. I was not immune to the magic bug myself and still consider myself a performer of magic as well as a performer of magick (that “k” comes in handy). For many years I was a professional member of Hollywood’s famed Magic Castle.

One of the things that intrigues young boys interested in magic are the stories about Harry Houdini. Over time, these stories have been mythologized and fantasies have replaced fact. In the movie, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valence, newspaper reporters are given the advice, “When the legend becomes fact, print the legend.” This is because nobody will believe the actual fact. Still, I’m going to give some legend vs. fact information about Harry.

The legend is that after his mother died he tried to contact her through seances and spiritualist mediums. Unfortunately, due to his knowledge of magic, he quickly saw through their fraud. Although he was eagerly looking for a real way to contact his late mother, he went around exposing fraudulent mediums.

The facts, however, are a bit different. There’s no evidence that Houdini scoured the country looking to contact his mother. Houdini had been the highest paid performer in Vaudeville, the major entertainment form of the early 20th century. He had written books, starred in movies (including a movie serial), and was the first person to fly an airplane in Australia. The truth is that while Houdini was a good performer, there were many magicians who were better than Harry. However none were better at publicizing themselves. Houdini was a true master of advertising and publicity.

But he was beginning to suffer the same fate of many entertainers: he was aging, and people even then liked their heroes to be eternally young. Houdini’s career was declining, and he needed something to spice it up and bring him to the forefront of the public’s imagination. This was the purpose and cause of his debunking of spiritualists. In 1950, Joseph Rinn—a magician, friend of Houdini, and active debunker of mediums—published a book entitled Sixty Years of Psychic Research: Houdini and I among the Spiritualists where he plainly reveals this. He also points out that Houdini left really challenging cases of debunking to others such as himself (Rinn), and that Houdini’s most famous exposĂ©, that of Margery the Medium, was, uh, enhanced by planting false evidence in the seance room (she was later exposed in another way).

However, young boys then (and now) who were interested in magic idolized Houdini and would often study anything they could find about him. Expanding upon this would be the study of anything debunking fake mediums.

One really fake medium was a woman born in 1849. In the 1870s she claimed to be Editha Gilbert Montez, the daughter of famed adventuress Lola Montez. Using this front, she defrauded people of money and spent six months in jail. In 1898 she married Frank Dutton Jackson and they went into the fake medium business. Within a year they were both in jail and there were rumors of some sort of sex cult. With problems like this, and looking to make money without putting their efforts into legal work, they traveled to Europe.

I’ve Heard of Them!

By the time I was in high school and college, I was drinking in as much occult information as possible. And one of the stories about the Golden Dawn concerned Theodore and Laura Horos. Something in my brain kept saying, “I’ve heard of them!” I realized that was the name used by the Jacksons.

Somehow, Theo and Laura were able to show Macgregor Mathers, one of the leaders of the Golden Dawn, that they were U.S. members. At the Golden Dawn temple in Paris, he introduced “Madame Horos” as Anna Sprengle. This indicates that Mathers believed she was the woman who had given three Britons, including Mathers, the right to found the modern Golden Dawn. Mathers gave them copies of the Order’s rituals. Back in London, the deceitful duo set up a school of supposed spiritual studies. They also had an inner secret occult group that used Golden Dawn rituals. Their purpose, however was a fraudulent way of getting money. Allegedly young women were raped by Theo during the rituals. The result spilled into a court case that filled the newspapers of the time like the trials of O.J. Simpson did in the 1990s. Convicted, Theo was sentenced to fifteen years in prison; Laura was sentenced to seven years.

As a result of the increasing rancor between Mathers in Paris and the Order in England, as well as the embarrassing impact of the the Horos trial, the Order split and changed its name. It was called the Hermetic Society of the Morgen Rothe in England and the Alpha et Omega in France.

Why didn’t they keep their original name? ONe of the main reasons was because of the furor over the Horus trial. They didn’t want any further association with the trial or with two people who were sex abusers and frauds.

And that brings us up to today.

The Embarrassment that is the Golden Dawn

No, not any of the versions of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn. Rather, in Greece, there is a political party called the Golden Dawn. Unfortunately, calling them a political party is like calling Hitler’s Nazi Party a political party. Yes, I’m aware of Godwin’s Law, but the Nazi party began as a political party. The same is true of Greece’s Golden Dawn. I invite you to read up on them through this LINK to Wikipedia’s entry about them. They appear to be using the same tactics as the Nazis and have many of the same beliefs. They even have a small amount of political representation in the Greek government. I would say they are accurately called neo-Nazis, although they claim this is not true.

As I say in my workshops: Don’t take my word for it. Check them out yourself. This is not merely a case of liberals and conservatives. This appears to be an extremist organization. It’s founder has been arrested several times for politically motivated offences, including beatings and illegal possession of explosives.

Greece’s Golden Dawn does not represent the ideals of any group claiming to be associated with the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn. And that’s why I’m making this call to the leaders of the various Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn groups who have gone public:

Stand up and let people know whether you support the goals and ideals of Greece’s Golden Dawn.
If you do, members and outsiders deserve to know this.

If you do not support the goals and ideals of Greece’s Golden Dawn, stand up and let people know this.
Members and outsiders deserve to know.

If you are unwilling to stand up either way, at least have the decency to change your name as was done by the original Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn so you will not be confused with the Greek political group.

Even if you disagree with other Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn groups, I would propose that you consider standing in solidarity with them on this one, single issue.

Members and admirers of the Order deserve the defense of their name.

 * * *

THIS Sunday, September 29, 2013
Worldwide Webinar
12:00 p.m.–2:00 p.m. Eastern——9:00 a.m.–11:00 a.m. Pacific
Topic: How to Make and Use Talismans and Amulets

Summer is rapidly drawing to an end. Just as many people have started or are beginning to go to school, it’s time for you to add to what you know. That’s why I’m so happy to have a relationship with Thelesis Aura and their Online Academy. They’ve already held some live webinars for me (and for others teachers) and the attendance has been wonderful, including people from North and South America, Asia, Europe, and the Middle East.

My next webinar will cover talismans and amulets. Throughout history, humans have used objects to bring health, safety, good luck, and to fulfill desires. Today, these objects are known as talismans and amulets. In this live, worldwide webinar, you’ll learn how to create them, how to turn them into powerful magickal tools, and how to use them effectively and safely. Topics include the three necessities of magick, differences between talismans and amulets, timing, designing effective magickal goals, types of talismans, how to prepare a talisman, what to do after you create a talisman, and more. When completed, you will have the information you need to create powerful talismans that will help you achieve your goals.

This webinar is not some recording. It is a live, online training event. You will hear me live, just as I am talking. You’ll see my presentation slides, live, right on your computer. You’ll be able to download handouts. You’ll be able to ask questions during the webinar. You’ll see everything and hear me giving the webinar live. It’s as if you were in a room with me, only you can participate from your location anywhere in the world.

In this online workshop-webinar, I’ll be sharing practical techniques you will be able to use to make positive changes in your life. You’ll be able to create and use talismans for any purpose, including healing and improving your luck. This is invaluable information with techniques that can be used by individuals and groups.

Please note that this is not a recording. It is a live event you can attend. You will be able to interact with me, live, from anywhere in the world. Therefore, please make sure to check the time. It’s 12:00 p.m.–2:00 p.m. Eastern U.S.; 9:00 a.m.–11:00 a.m. Pacific U.S. time.

Registration is now open. Here is the LINK. Due to software limitations, attendance is limited to only 200 people, so I would urge you to register as soon as possible.

Reader Comments

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#1 
Written By Anonymous
on September 27th, 2013 @ 12:59 pm

Hey DMK,
I really enjoyed the article. I was speaking with some folks recently about my disdain for the Greek party’s choice of that name as it has led to confusion. In light of the recommendation of changing a group’s name, what other options are there?

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#2 
Written By Nick Farrell
on September 27th, 2013 @ 3:55 pm

This is a personal issue for me, because my group, The Magical Order of the Aurora Aurea, is a traditional “golden dawn group” yet we decided not to go near that name. There were several reasons for this:
1. The Golden Dawn stopped calling itself by name after the Horos scandal in 1901. This publically linked the name to a sex scandal. Our own tradition was taken from the Whare Ra temple with material added from UK sources. As such the name had not been used within our tradition of the “Golden Dawn” for nearly 100 years (Ironically this is the same tradition as Regardie. The Bristol Temple in which he was initiated did not use the Golden Dawn name either).
2. The Golden Dawn name itself has been contaminated in modern times by more than one source. You mentioned the Nazi Greek Golden Dawn, which is a huge problem. If I type in Golden Dawn to Google I get the Nazi links. It does not help that some idiot in the GD Internet wars put up a page with all the occult Golden Dawn leaders listed as Nazis (talk about cutting off your nose to spite your face). It is these Internet wars at the turn of the Millennium and personalities which made the Golden Dawn a public laughing stock within the magical community. The Golden Dawn name is incorrectly associated with egos, and infighting between different groups.
3. The name has been trademarked in the EU and I have no wish to distract from the order’s more important magical work to have to face a lengthy and expensive court battle for a name which is meaningless.
4. Identification with a name obliges a group to remain closely focused to a perceived Golden Dawn tradition. At the moment MOAA is focused on that tradition, but it is equally possible that because we are a living and experimental Order things could change to a point where people could say “I joined you because you said you were Golden Dawn and you weren’t.”

Losing the Golden Dawn name gave us some “identification” problems. People believed we were not a Golden Dawn order, because we did not use the name. However, this was essentially a marketing problem, and we are not trolling the internet desperately looking for members. The “Auroa Aurea” name is Golden Dawn in Latin, but it does bring with it new associations that we wished to capture.
This goes against your central idea about Golden Dawn groups should be fighting to protect the name of the Order. However, the reality is that provided you are working within the Golden Dawn tradition, the name is not and has never been important, in my opinion. Magic is magic and serious magical training is more than a name.

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#3 
Written By Donald Michael Kraig
on September 27th, 2013 @ 4:18 pm

Thanks for your comment, Nick. There are several groups who call themselves “Golden Dawn” and who have vastly deviated from the basic tenets of the Golden Dawn tradition. In the past, I have suggested that they change their name to more honestly reflect what they are doing. So I don’t disagree with any group using a different name even if they do follow in a Golden Dawn tradition. At the same time, even if your group does not use the name, since your group is in the tradition, I would respectfully request you consider making a statement on your group’s relationship to the Greek Golden Dawn, which was the point of my post. I would make the same request of any group claiming any sort of association with the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn. Thanks!

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#4 
Written By Aaron Leitch
on September 27th, 2013 @ 4:44 pm

“Why should I change? He’s the one who sucks.” – Office Space

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#5 
Written By Donald Michael Kraig
on September 27th, 2013 @ 6:22 pm

Fair enough, Aaron.
So how do you propose that you get the “one who sucks” to change?

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#6 
Written By Guy
on September 27th, 2013 @ 7:26 pm

Hey Donald, first of all thank you for making me a Magickan. This course has come at the right time as I’ve ordered some tin from Ebay to cast the Solomanic Talisman on Jupiter ( I have a Lead/Puter version) That I found in a new age store that I’d attempted to charge years ago. After reading Dion Fortune, she says you need the pure planetary metals for it to work and any substitute is just junk. As I’m in Sydney There is no way I can get to Monday, September 30, 2013 2:00 AM – 5:00 AM EST
Can we spend say $10-$15 for a Video Download Post event?

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#7 
Written By Donald Michael Kraig
on September 27th, 2013 @ 10:29 pm

Thank you, Guy. Right now, the time was chosen by the people putting on the webinar to meet the needs of people in certain parts of the world where webinars are popular. We may be doing it again at a different time.

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#8 
Written By Aaron Leitch
on September 28th, 2013 @ 12:31 am

Hey Don,

Well, we could start a letter-writing campaign to the Greek party, asking them if they can teach us that nice Jewish mysticism they – by virtue of their name – are laying claim to. We could even start referring to them as “that Jewish mystical group.” Then let THEM publicly (and likely angrily) proclaim they have no relation to us. LOL ;) Hell maybe they would change their name.

Outside of that, though, I don’t think we can force them to change their name – any more than we can get certain modern GD groups who spend all of their time spreaing hate and lies to either stop doing so or change their name. It’s just the hand we are dealt and we are stuck with it.

That being said, it doesn’t mean there aren’t things we can do. As you suggested (and some have done), we can make clear statements to the public that we are NOT associated with the Greek whack-jobs. *IF* you feel that is really necessary (see below).

Nick Farrell recently shared a great idea of his own – that on Facebook we should all begin tagging our GD posts with #goldendawn. If enough of us do that often enough, anyone looking up that tag will find us rather than all the nazi crap that is currently associated with that tag. (In other words – we can reclaim it brother!) I’ve adopted this one myself.

But, really, is any of it ultimately necessary? I’ve known plenty of GD people who are worried that the public might confuse us with the Greek party. But outside of that I haven’t seen much evidence that such confusion exists – at least not so far. I suspect we should be more focused on *preventing* the confusion from taking root rather than reacting as if the association has already been made.

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#9 
Written By Morgan Eckstein
on September 28th, 2013 @ 2:30 am

I am not sure that we can say anything about whether we support their ideas and methods or not if we go by the rule that politics play no part in the tradition (which is one way to view part of the Neophyte oath)–at best, I think that all we can say is that our group has no organizational connection to the Greek political party. (For the record, with Jewish ancestors, I tend to be against these types of ideas and methods–but that is me speaking for myself.)

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#10 
Written By Nick Farrell
on September 28th, 2013 @ 5:20 am

I have blogged on this here http://nick-farrell.blogspot.com/2013/09/the-golden-dawn-is-not-bunch-of-nazis.html

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#11 
Written By Jake Stratton-Kent
on September 28th, 2013 @ 9:27 am

re Greek fascists:

‘Even if you disagree with other Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn groups, I would propose that you consider standing in solidarity with them on this one, single issue’. DMK

I disagree with *all* of them on something or other but equally on this matter I’m in solidarity with the GD movement.

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#12 
Written By Donald Michael Kraig
on September 28th, 2013 @ 2:56 pm

Aaron, I don’t think anyone can get the Greek Golden Dawn to change their name, nor do I think any current Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn group is, or should, change their name. I do, however, think that leaders of Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn groups who are public should announce whether they support or denounce the beliefs and actions of the Greek Golden Dawn.

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#13 
Written By Donald Michael Kraig
on September 28th, 2013 @ 3:00 pm

I understand your position, Morgan. Stating publicly (and perhaps repeatedly) that a Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn group has no connection to the Greek political party is fine by me. After all, if a particular Hermetic Order agreed with the Greek party’s positions and beliefs there would be no reason to say there is no association.

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#14 
Written By Donald Michael Kraig
on September 28th, 2013 @ 3:14 pm

UPDATE:
The following was reported on the day after I made this post:
“In dawn raids, Greek anti-terror police arrested Nikos Michaloliakos, who founded the party in 1980, along with party spokesman and MP Ilias Kassidiairis and three other lawmakers, police said.

“The charges against them included belonging to a “criminal organisation”, and for some of the suspects also assault and murder, according to a source in the justice ministry.”

The complete story can be found here: http://www.rawstory.com/rs/?p=564003

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#16 
Written By Tabatha
on October 5th, 2013 @ 10:09 am

Hi Don,

Our general policy is not to respond to things on the internet, but you are right. I think it is important to address this particular issue. I will post something on the HOGD blog soon.

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