Thursday, March 17, 2011

More Thoughts On A Tale of Three Perspectives

Reconstructing a Golden Dawn Tradition?

My previous article on traditionalism, reconstructionalism and revisionism got a lot of mileage in the blogosphere lately, and seemed to answer some important questions about legitimacy and authenticity as well. I would like to use this article to briefly discuss some of the recent and relevant issues that my article seemed to encapsulate.

First off, there seems to be yet another dust up between Nick Farrell and his Golden Dawn tradition, and David Griffin and his Golden Dawn tradition. Noting the distinctions between the traditionalist and reconstructionist perspectives, it would seem that both Nick and David are talking at cross purposes with each other, and neither will ever find themselves in agreement. It has to do with whether the Golden Dawn is a fully revived living tradition, or whether it is a dead tradition that has been reconstructed from various sources to become a kind of living tradition. We will ignore some of Nick’s claims about the history of the order that have been shown to be quite erroneous, and instead focus on these two perspectives. You can see Nick’s article here, and David’s response, there.

If we are to accept what Nick Farrell is saying, then the Golden Dawn is truly a dead order, whose demise occurred when the mother temple collapsed and the Stella Matutina became moribund. Since Israel Regardie was supposedly only 5th degree, and never designated as a chief of that body (as far as I can tell), then the current branches of the Golden Dawn are based on what documents and materials that either Regardie published, or other sources of information that have subsequently come to light. Nick appears to say that all branches and factions of the Golden Dawn, since they no longer have any connection to the living tradition or the secret chiefs, are reconstructions of what that tradition might have been like if it have survived intact into the 21st century. Nick is clearly pushing a reconstructionist line, since he has stated that the Golden Dawn is discontinuous and headless, because it is bereft of its higher leadership (secret chiefs) and the third order lore.

Nick goes on to declare that the third order is a myth (one of many that he is seeking to completely debunk), and that secret chiefs and their ilk are completely irrelevant to the work. All lineages are suspect or false in the Golden Dawn, and that the warrants for the founding of the order were forged - it is, in this sense, a fake order. According to Nick, all we have left is the body of reconstructed lore, so the only relevant practice is the magickal rites and initiations encapsulated within that material. Of course, Nick will argue and negate anything that anyone might say that would contradict his belief that the current Golden Dawn is nothing more than a reconstruction. However, Nick is forgetting one very important feature about how one gives life to a reconstructed tradition.

In order to give life to a reconstructed tradition, you must believe in it as a thing unto itself, thus generating a kind of egregore. In many ways, a reconstructionist and a traditionalist meet at the point where the reconstructionist has assembled a spiritual system, then dubs it a viable and living tradition, and treats it with the same respect that one would accord a real tradition. A reconstructionist never says that his or her tradition is fake, but that it exists in a kind of metaphysical sense, “as if” it had never disappeared. There is a kind of passion in taking this perspective, but if reconstructionists don’t believe in the tradition that they have built, then it is still a dead tradition consisting of various assembled parts (with some missing), like some half finished Frankenstein monster laying on the operating table. Nick may have made the mistake of retaining the mind-set of the overly skeptical researcher who has rejected all of the myths of his adopted tradition, but others are probably not as foolish. I have no doubt that there are some Golden Dawn reconstructionists who have made the passage from critical researcher to true believer, where the myths have become real, the egregore has stirred to life, and the assembled system begins to function as a living one - although still headless. As Ben Whitmore has so eloquently said in his book “Trials of the Moon” about traditions (such as modern witchcraft and paganism) that they must “have not just myths, but history as well.” (Whitmore, p. 4) In other words, they must consist of both.

Nick’s role of nay-sayer and myth-busting iconoclast doesn’t help his cause of reconstructing a Golden Dawn tradition, since in order to give life to a reconstruction, one must emphatically believe in it. There is quite a lot of disagreement about what really happened during the founding of the Golden Dawn and about the source of its rituals and lore. Certainly, there isn’t an authentic history of the order that hasn’t been declared overly biased or poorly researched. Some would doubtlessly agree with what Nick is saying, and would believe that his claims of forgery, deceit and human folly are true. Yet suppose for a moment that the Golden Dawn rediscovered its roots and re-established the third order through the intercession of the secret chiefs. Would that not cause the Golden Dawn vehicle to be fully resuscitated into a viable and complete tradition?

This is precisely what David Griffin is claiming. Since I have met him and some of his associates, and privately talked with them about these subjects, I am inclined to believe that his claims are true. I may not agree with everything that David says or does, but in this matter, I believe that he is being completely honest and truthful. In the last twelve years, David Griffin has inexplicably found the source root of the Golden Dawn tradition and re-attached the “head” to the order so that it could fully function as a living and dynamic tradition. He has offered substantive proof and has declared that the entire second order of his faction has been modified so as to be in alignment with that current living tradition. What has been published by other branches of the Golden Dawn are mostly just a rehashing of the old documents and materials associated with the “dead” tradition, and supposedly, these documents and materials are not the same as what is used in the HOGD. Unfortunately, David can’t give any definitive proof, since that would violate his oaths, but enough has been shown to satisfy a reasonable inquiry - there’s obviously something there.

If we step back for a moment and admit to ourselves that even if what David is claiming is half true, than what he has presented to the Golden Dawn community is nothing less than a profoundly living, breathing tradition. That claim should have been embraced by the whole GD community, and the proof carefully examined and shared by all. It could have united the factions into a single organization, although retaining the various faction heads, but alas, individual egos prevailed and the flame-war of words and vicious litigation ensued. The opportunity for a Golden Dawn resurgence passed into oblivion, and now there are two perspectives amongst the Golden Dawn factions, one that’s a poor reconstruction (that only some believe in), and the other is a completely living tradition.

According to what Nick has declared in his recent blog, and what other leaders and members of the other reconstructionist factions have said, it would appear that what they are offering to the occult community is a sad testimonial to the Golden Dawn tradition - a headless corpse being passed off as a living thing.

Even a body must have a head or it’s just a decapitated corpse. To remedy that problem, some of the various faction chiefs have attempted to pass themselves off as the heads of their order, but they’re a poor substitute for the real thing. Three of those chiefs (I won’t name any names) never received any kind of third order initiation, and in fact, may have not received any kind of valid initiation in their respective traditions. So now we have a corpse, which has been barely resuscitated, modeling a kind of diminutive head, sort of like the comic characters Zippy the Pinhead or Popeye’s nemesis, Bluto.

Still, I have a problem with someone who is the supposed head of his order and who claims that the tradition he represents is fake and based on lies and deceit. It would be like the Pope declaring that he was really an agnostic, or the European Counsel of Religious Leaders announcing that organized religion was a farce. Unfortunately, pretending to have a living tradition that you don’t really believe in is the true farce. It boils down to the fact that you can’t occupy both sides of that argument - either you believe in your tradition (reconstructed or not) despite historical irregularities, or you don’t. Thus, I find Nick Farrell’s campaign self destructive and highly disingenuous. 

I think that we can easily see that choosing a living tradition over one that is a headless corpse is a wise decision. One thing that is equally clear is that if there is no third order and no secret chiefs, then the leaders of each reconstructed faction of the Golden Dawn are accountable to nobody, and oaths are easily set aside for the sake of self promotion and expediency. Conversely, if one is promoting an order that has a direct line to the secret chiefs and a body of third order adepts, then the outer head of that order is accountable for his actions and how he governs that organization. It also means that oaths are to be taken very seriously. I think that I would rather trust someone who is accountable to higher authorities than someone who is answerable to none. There’s a lot less chance of corruption and tyranny if the leaders are accountable for their actions.

What we have here is an never ending argument between traditionalists and reconstructionists in the Golden Dawn. It also centers on whether legitimacy or authenticity is important - but a living tradition has both. None of what I have said here about the different factions of the Golden Dawn indicates that any of the various parties in the squabble are somehow incapable of doing the work or acting like competent magicians. Still, it does allow those of us who are outsiders to judge the organizations that they are promoting, whether they realize it or not. 

The next point that I would like to discuss has to do with the article recently written by Ananael in his blog “Augoeides” about my article - you can find it here. I consider him to be a good friend, so I can comment on what he wrote and add my own two cents with a certain impunity. Ananael and I are both blatant revisionists, and we both consider that to be an optimal position in which to operate. Still, I wonder if he has ever met any bonafide reconstructionists, since I have found their work to be as sound and satisfying as my own. I must also give a certain high degree of respect to traditionalists, since like them, I also honor and respect a system of practice and belief that was given to me through initiation years ago.

Two points where I find that I differ with what Ananael said has to do with some minor adjustments to my declarations about traditionalists and reconstructionalists. Ananael has said that traditionalists are blinded by dogma because they are unable to change or amend their tradition. Also, he has said that reconstructionalists are required to carry archaic practices in their derived tradition, even if they would be considered illegal or socially reprehensible. I think that both of his opinions about the inherent flaws in the role of traditionalists and reconstructionists are over simplifications and need some further clarification.

Most traditions are reformed over time, and that is a fact of human existence; either they are reformed or they eventually fail. Nothing ever remains the same, so there are situations where a practice or belief is modified in a tradition. However, the process of modification is done in a careful and completely acceptable manner, with precedents cited and other evidential information given as a compelling reason for the change. The change doesn’t just happen, but it evolves and is given the stamp of orthodoxy by the elders of that tradition. A clear case of this kind of change is the reforms proposed and implemented by the Catholic Church in accordance with Vatican II. This kind of authorized ecumenical change has occurred in other traditions as well, including witchcraft and paganism. Change does happen in a tradition, although it isn’t immediate or arbitrary, as it might be in a revisionist methodology. Revisionists make changes to things that can be changed, which are those things that have been added to a tradition, but they rely on the authorities of their own tradition to modify or change anything in that tradition.

A case in point is that I am certain that Ananael would never deem to change any of the wording of the sacred writings of Liber Al in accordance with his opinions or sentiments, or because he found something there that he thought was revealed in error. If he really believed that something was amiss with Liber Al, he would present it to the authorities of the O.T.O. for their consideration. A revisionist and a traditionalist are closely related, except that a revisionist will add and accumulate other lore, while a traditionalist will work with what they have until that tradition has been properly amended or changed.

Reconstructionism, as I defined it in my previous article, builds a modern tradition using properly vetted historical information. The basic premise is to build an antique system as if it had survived into the modern times. Obviously, a Celtic reconstruction wouldn’t include human sacrifice, nor would it likely include animal sacrifice or any of the other culturally archaic and inappropriate practices and beliefs. It would represent what that Celtic pagan religion would have been like if it had survived to the present time, not as it existed in the early Iron age.

There are certain built-in limitations associated with reconstructionism, such as being able to gather together a complete set of data to reconstruct an antique system or being able to reconstruct the mind-set and culture of that period. Gaps and holes in the data are typical, particularly if that targeted system of belief is old and far in the past. Often, reconstructionists have to use their imagination to fill in the blanks. However, this is not a form of revisionism, since even the creative endeavors of a reconstructionist must be feasible and defensible based on current historical evidence. A revisionist will use whatever works, but a reconstructionist can’t behave in such a cavalier manner, since he or she is attempting to build something that has the aesthetic quality of being historically feasible and legitimate.

Curiously enough, a reconstructionist must also fashion a “head” for his or her tradition, and this is aptly done by working intimately with the chosen principal Godhead or pantheon of that tradition. A personal cult for that Godhead is created and it is imbued with power and authority through constant offerings, devotions and selfless spiritual love, often making use of a shrine with an altar and statues. After a time, the Godhead becomes a potent spiritual embodiment that the adherents of the reconstructed faith can easily relate to, having become a living and breathing Deity within the core of their tradition. It is far better for the “head” of a resuscitated and reconstructed faith to be a Godhead than some self appointed and flawed human being. Even the masters have a powerful spiritual alignment to a Deity that is beyond them.

I also wanted to remark on the issue of the importance of historical precedence to a pagan or a witch. As a traditionalist witch in the Alexandrian Tradition, I am not at all concerned about the accuracy or relevancy of the historical claims made by my past teachers. I don’t buy that witchcraft is the Old Religion, and it has no bearing on what I do as a witch. However, if an academic claims that there are no verifiable vestiges of pagan beliefs or practices in the modern world, then any amount of research into the historical precedents for pagan beliefs and practices would be groundless, particularly since pre-Christian European pagan folk beliefs were not adequately documented. Since the witchcraft tradition consists of a certain amount of reconstruction and creative invention, it is important for many who honor and guard those traditions to know that there were some precedents in the past upon which to base their beliefs. It signifies to them that their beliefs and practices weren’t recently made up out of nothing. What Hutton and some other academics have done is to judge modern paganism and witchcraft as being completely invented modern traditions without any historical precedence, which I feel is incorrect.

While this may not be important to a Thelemite, whose principal founder lived during the late 19th and early 20th century and whose life was well documented, it is important and not at all foolish for modern pagans to gather together some historical practices and beliefs to bolster their tradition. Otherwise, why even bother to call it a tradition, or for that matter, to passionately believe in it? Paganism and witchcraft may be magickal religions, but they are still religious, and such sentiment requires a history, as well as myths, mysticism and magick.

Finally, I think that a fourth perspective can be added to my list of philosophical perspectives in the occult arena. That fourth perspective is where people just cobble together all the various parts that work for them, and then from that collection generate for themselves a kind of ad hoc tradition. I would call this fourth perspective “eclectic pragmatism.” An eclectic pragmatist is someone who never acquires a tradition or assiduously avoids taking any vows, but who doesn’t have the discipline or sense of aesthetics to be a reconstructionist. Often, such people are dilettantes, but their desire to perform magick or engage in mystical practices causes them to adopt whatever is at hand. Potential sources are found in books, on the internet, copying what others do or by word of mouth. Some chaos magicians have used this approach to great effect, and the plethora of book reading solitaire pagan and wiccan practitioners could also be included in this category.  

So these are my thoughts and opinions about the recent controversies, but I am certain that there will be more opinions and discussions on this matter in the future. If some other interesting factors come out of the discussion, you can bet that I will present them here for you to read.

Frater Barrabbas


  1. Two great sentences (and the rest is pretty darned good, too!):

    "Still, I have a problem with someone who is the supposed head of his order and who claims that the tradition he represents is fake and based on lies and deceit."

    "I think that we can easily see that choosing a living tradition over one that is a headless corpse is a wise decision."

  2. It has to do with whether the Golden Dawn is a fully revived living tradition, or whether it is a dead tradition that has been reconstructed from various sources to become a kind of living tradition.

    As I noted in my response to your first article, who cares? The Golden Dawn system is either an effective system of magick or it isn't, and all we need to do is test it out. When you have the method of science on your side you don't need Secret Chiefs. I've found that the magical system works in most cases, so I use it.

    One thing that is equally clear is that if there is no third order and no secret chiefs, then the leaders of each reconstructed faction of the Golden Dawn are accountable to nobody, and oaths are easily set aside for the sake of self promotion and expediency.

    I'm not sure if this is how you meant it, but what this sounds like to me is the silly argument that atheists can't be ethical because they don't believe in a God. Magical oaths are sustained by personal honor whether or not paranormal forces are involved, and anyone who finds their oaths "easily set aside" has none. People do eventually realize this and take action, as happened recently with Robert Zink's expulsion from EOGD.

    Still, I wonder if he has ever met any bonafide reconstructionists, since I have found their work to be as sound and satisfying as my own.

    I encountered a number of them in the Norse Heathen community years ago. I had plenty of respect for their academic work but their obsession with trying to recreate the social environment in which their beliefs arose led to endless problems in the groups they were involved with. We don't have sacred kings and we don't live in a feudal society. We live in a city and don't raise livestock so animal sacrifice is more difficult to perform and less meaningful than it would have been to our ancestors. And the list goes on.

    Reconstructionism is an important strand in occultism and esotericism, since our practices were hidden from view (that is, occult) for most of history. The research they perform is vital to understanding magical discoveries made by the practitioners who came before us. My point is not that Reconstructionism is useless, but rather that research along those lines is a starting point for further testing of techniques and methods, not the destination. Once we understand how the practices worked in a historical context we then need to unite them with modern sensibilities rather than trying to re-create every aspect of the past.

    I think that both of his opinions about the inherent flaws in the role of traditionalists and reconstructionists are over simplifications and need some further clarification.

    I'm in agreement with you there, actually. What I was discussing was the pure form of each perspective, which I think you're unlikely to find in any one person. Just about every effective magician is Traditionalist regarding certain practices, Reconstructionist regarding others, and Revisionist regarding their own personal work if nothing else. It's more a question of how the mix is put together. The thing is that with the way you define the terms, Traditionalism and Reconstructionism are completely at odds with each other and it is only Revisionism that accomodates a mixture of perspectives. So does that mean we're all Revisionists?

  3. "Most traditions are reformed over time, and that is a fact of human existence; either they are reformed or they eventually fail. Nothing ever remains the same, so there are situations where a practice or belief is modified in a tradition. However, the process of modification is done in a careful and completely acceptable manner, with precedents cited and other evidential information given as a compelling reason for the change. The change doesn’t just happen, but it evolves and is given the stamp of orthodoxy by the elders of that tradition."

    In the Rosicrucian tradition (of which the Golden Dawn is part) this is expressed through the interval of 111 years. In 1777 the Fraternitiy was reformed into the Golden Rosicrucians of the Older System, in 1888 into the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, and in 1999 into the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, the Outer Order of Rosicrucian Order of Alpha et Omega. In each of these reformations the Secret Chiefs have either aided in the preparation or else come to the rescue somewhat or shortly after; the latter example were seen in the last two reformations.

    BTW I really enjoyed the Frankenstein methaphore. Another one that is good is the legend of the Golem. In both cases we see a monster that is headless, i.e. soul-less, and made out of parts of "dead" matter.

    In Licht, Leben und Liebe,

  4. Care Fr Barrabbas,

    Thank you for this interesting post. A few thoughts.

    Firstly, I personally do not consider the recent blog posts by Nick and David a dust up. Compared to other GD posts they are positively walking in the park together, holding hands. Sure there is disagreement, but little personal rancour.

    Disproving or reviewing the literal time-space myth of secret chiefs, the third Order or the foundation of the Order does not remove the power, beauty and mystery of those myths. Liberal or progressive Christians all over the world know this; Jesus may not have literally been resurrected but the myth of the Risen Christ is true, real and has potency to transform people.

    Over the years, Frater every (and I mean every) person/occult group I have met that claims ancient lineage turned out to be bogus. Now Australia may simply have more charlatans than elsewhere, but I read the same stuff in the US and the UK. Therefore I hold in abeyance any acceptance of the history and stories of David. This is a very sensible thing to do, I feel. You having met him have more information to work on, and I am bound obviously to take your report seriously. However, unless I have missed something, I would not declare what I have read regarding the Third Order as “substantive proof” – at least not in the academic or legal sense.

    As I have suggested elsewhere, I suggest the various Orders pool resources and hire an objective historian and open their archives (as much as possible) to her/him in order to produce a definitive study. The resultant report will say something like “If lineage means blah-blah, then GD Order XXX has a lineage from YYY; The documents ZZZ support this lineage. If lineage means muck-muck, then GD Order AAA has a lineage from BBB; the documents and reports GGG partially support this lineage as some key elements cannot be verified.” Until such a thing is done we simply cannot know.

    I cannot know what literally happened back in 1887 – but something did and its beauty, strength and blessings still reach me today. It matters not if the original order ‘died’ when the last AO temple closed (which most historians would agree is the case) or if it continued through four authorised temples (as the Sydney Order attests). It is a still living, vital presence and has been for me ever since I first encountered it. I do not think it is a headless corpse at all; if a single person unfolds and serves deeper, even through the Regardie books, then the Order to me is still alive and vial.

    I do not need to be connected to an Order that has been re-connected to the particular third Order David refers to. Nor, would I suggest do most Golden Dawn magicians. David has been very clear that the heart of the mysteries of the Third Order of his AO are held by other occult bodies in the west, and from personal experience I would agree with him. I trust (and have personally found) that sincere unfoldment and service in the Order will provide avenues for connection and further training from sources not immediately apparent. Thanks again for the post :)

  5. I find it interesting in posts that have looked at what I have said and they have placed an interpretation on it and then debated the interpretation.

    Firstly the current debate is focused on a post in which is headed "List of things that are unimportant to the Golden Dawn Tradition". Side-issues of lineage, Secret Chiefs all that are simply not important to the development of a magical individual. If you look at the first couple of sentences:

    "... below is a list of things that huge chunks of Internet bandwidth are wasted on.
    These give outsiders and insiders the impression that they are important. Yet the Golden Dawn Tradition can safely do without them."

    It is not saying that they do not exist, which is what people have striven to make my article say, just simply that in the scale of an esoteric life they are not important.

    It is more important what an order has to say and to teach. As I said in the blog:

    "If your teacher was a barking mad person who knew nothing about magic and insisted you wear a kettle on your head, then your spiritual lineage is less important than if you were taught by Jesus."

    I have *never* said that the Golden Dawn was a dead order. As you point out, why would I have dedicated my magical and spiritual life to something which is dead?
    In fact in my various books I have pointed out that I found it interesting that when Whare Ra closed, Chic Cicero's order opened. This points to it being a living Order which finds expression in every generation. Connection to this is a spiritual lineage which can be contacted.

    However I don't buy into the fact that having a signed piece of paper gets you entry into that. I think that is obtained by work and dedication. A spiritual lineage can be mailed to another person in the post.
    The Blog said that *if* historical lineage had any magical use the Golden Dawn would be dead in the water (it seems that many of the readers missed that important word).
    As far as paperwork is concerned I still do not believe that there is a group in existence that has lineal permission which can be traced to the the original GD chiefs to exist.
    You should be able to see a line of Mathers or Westcott gives a charter to some one to form a temple, that temple chief gives a charter to a new temple chief, and you should see this line through to the current temple. You do not have that with any SM temple (because it was formed after the rebels) and it is a moot point if even Mathers had it (they were chartered by Sprengel to form the Golden Dawn temple and not anything else).. however even *if* Mathers lacked lineage to his own group (you can see how silly this paper trail thing gets) then it broke down after the closure of the Isis temple in London. I have not seen any warrant from any GD chief to form any temple after that point.
    But it is completely unimportant if a modern GD group has that paper lineage or not. The test of a group is if it creates adepts, individuals and provides a spiritual connection for its members. Then if it provides that using the system of the Golden Dawn. This is the spiritual lineage of the Golden Dawn and it infinitely more important. The GD is very very much alive.
    I am not sure where all that disagrees with what you are saying.

  6. I would like to add that there is also the "militant reconstructionalist" to consider, the one who immediately upon finding a living tradtion kills it and reconstructs it according to his own desires and personal needs. I suppose this may apply to some schismatic groups as well.

    In Licht, Leben und Liebe,

  7. Care Frater Nick,

    You never said that the GD was dead? Well, you certainly have said that you believe that the Golden Dawn was founded based on a forgery. You have also said that the Secret Chiefs do not exist and that anyone who believes otherwise is either crazy or trying to manipulate others. You also have also published oath bound information and have stated that you do not believe that traditional oaths apply any longer or to your actions. All of this together quite conclusively indicates that you believe that the Golden Dawn is a dead object that you are free to reconstruct according to your own vision. In fact, you have even used the latter phrase directly.

    You now state that you passionately believe in the Golden Dawn. On the other hand, you also assasinate the character of SL MacGregor Mathers. Excuse, me but your revising history in an attempt to make Mathers look like a complete and incompetent fraud, is to me a very good measure of just how passionately you TRULY believe in the Golden Dawn. Sorry, Nick, but actions speak louder than words.

    I think the analogy that Frater Barrabbas is using is actually quite apt. Actually, I wish I would have thought of it myself. He is quite correct in his analysis.

    You are taking what you believe is the cadaver of the Golden Dawn and using bits and pieces to create a Frankenstein's monster that you call the Magical Order of AA.

    David Griffin

  8. @Nick - Thanks for your comments.

    I am an outsider of the GD, so all my comments are based on things that members of the various factions have publicly said at various times.

    However, if the secret chiefs exist, then they would be the holders of the continuous GD line, and re-establishing a connection with them would make that particular GD faction part of that continuous living occult tradition. That does makes sense to me, so it just hinges on whether one accepts that the secret chiefs exist or not.

    David Griffin has shown enough evidence to make an outsider like me believe that they do exist. So if an outsider sees this as a highly possible fact, then why would the rest of the GD factions disbelieve it or dismiss it out of hand? Sounds like a power play to me, or a turf battle instead of being open minded and receptive to some obviously amazing possibilities.

    Also, Felkin's SM was never a certified order, and he supposedly didn't have the authority to make himself 7th degree, either. The fact that Whare Re died and Chic Cicero's groups started up is only a coincidence - neither group ever had a vouch from the secret chiefs, so they must be considered reconstructions.

    Also, detailed proof of these accusations can't be given out because that information would have to be protected by oaths of secrecy. So expecting David Griffin to present definitive proof is fruitless - there are others ways of determining the truth of his statements. As far as I am aware, he has already done this.

    Nuff said about this topic -


  9. Care Frater Peregrin,

    You and I have remained at an impasse regarding the Golden Dawn because we have diametrically opposed approaches to the tradition.

    I am a traditionalist. Consequently, I respect the sanctity of oath bound information. For example, I would never have published the Aura Papers of the Cromlech temple the way you did for this reason.

    You, however, are a reconstuctionist who believes that the Golden Dawn and all of its offshoots are dead objects. You therefore attempt to reconstruct the Golden Dawn according to your world view using the best academic information possible. You believe that all remaining secret documents of all Golden Dawn derivative orders ought to be published and scrutinized according to academic standards. You have made public statements to this effect previously.

    As a traditionalist, I strenuously disagree with this. I respect the sanctity of all yet unpublished information and would never have published either the Aura Papers the way you did, and certainly not AO material the way that Nick did. There is no need to rehash why you each did this. We have been down that road before. I bring this up merely to make clear the fundamental difference between our approaches to the Golden Dawn.

    Now, when it comes to the thorny issue of the Secret Chiefs, we also disagree completely. You and Nick believe that the Golden Dawn just fell out of the sky, or was invented by three guys in England, one of whom is Mathers who Nick tries to make look as ridiculous as possible.

    I, on the other hand, know for a fact that the Golden Dawn was, since the beginning, designed as a recruitment vehicle in England for higher Hermetic and Rosicrucian lineages, and that the so-called Secret Chiefs are actually representatives of these lineages. I know this because they initiated me in 2002 into the 8=3 grade of Magister Templi and gave me the entire esoteric transmission of the AO's Third Order, that had originally been intended for the original Golden Dawn before the whole thing erupted in schism in 1903.

    All along, you and the other reconstructionists have demanded academic and historical proof, as good reconstructionists do and should do, regarding the veracity of these statements. I, on the other hand, have told you over and over that such proof does exist, but that it is oath bound information and can not be made available for independent academic scrutiny as you demand.

    Since, as a reconstructionist, you see the Golden Dawn as a dead object to be subjected to such academic scrutiny, you refuse to accept this answer, which is, however, in fact, the only correct answer according to the standards of the LIVING Golden Dawn TRADITION.

    (continued below)

  10. (continued)

    Let us get to the heart of the real problem. Nick Farrell, Pat Zakewski, and you are quite comfortable in your beliefs that the Golden Dawn is a dead object of historical curiosity for you to do with the pieces of it whatever you like. Nick and Pat have even built their own Frankenstein orders out of those bits. In other words, you each have an extremely vested interested in the Golden Dawn as a dead object of historical curiosity.

    In fact, the absolute worst nightmare possible for reconstructionists like the three of you, is that it turns out that the Golden Dawn is still a living tradition, that the Secret Chiefs do exist, and that as an organization is still around. In fact, this completely negates everything that you have believed about the order - and several of you have even built entire careers on.

    In other words, you each have an extremely vested interest in the Secret Chiefs not existing and the Golden Dawn being a mere dead object of historical curiosity. As a consequence, you have absolutely no interest in any sort of real proof surfacing that negates your world view about the Golden Dawn.

    This is why you have all along ignored or unreflectively the actual proof that I have actually supplied. Over the years, I have revealed information about the higher Hermetic and Rosicrucian teachings that you have each merely dismissed or pretended did not happen. You are even trying to do the same thing now. Well, that will not work any longer.

    "The Great Rite" is brand new initiatic vehicle for the 21st Century. Like the Golden Dawn, it is not a religious organization, but rather focuses purely on spiritual technology. Moreover, like the Golden Dawn, The Great Rite did not just fall out of the sky, but is a recruitment vehicle for yet higher Hermetic and Rosicrucian lineages, spiritual techniques, and esoteric transmissions.

    The proof you have been demanding is today readily available, but as INTIATIC proof, rather than HISTORICAL proof. Initiatic proof is, in fact, the only valid standard to apply to living initiatic traditions. Otherwise, you, Nick, and Pat, mights as well hang up your robes and go get a job in academia, finally admitting that you are but researchers instead of initiates.

    So, if you want proof, come get it in The Great Rite the way that certain others have already done form our community.

    I must warn you, however. In The Great Rite, we do not use oaths of secrecy that you and Nick can go on breaking merely to suit your own egoic interests. We use legally binding confidentially agreements. So, whereas, I am not excluding either you or Nick from The Great Rite, given your track records, I would certainly draft a particularly draconian contract with the direst of consequences were you to break it, with no loopholes whatsoever, for either of you to try to worm slippery hides through.

    David Griffin