Friday, March 30, 2012

Public Interpretation is a Writer’s Responsibility

There is quite a dust-up going on in the Golden Dawn community, and I am not particularly interested in getting too deep into it. However, the source of the controversy is the latest book that Nick Farrell has writen about one of the founders of the Golden Dawn, S. L. MacGregor Mathers. I will admit that Mathers was quite a controversial figure in his time, and like all human beings, he had great virtues and terrible failings. Like most founders of occult organizations, he was a complex man who is now both honored and maligned by modern posterity. 

Ever since Ellic Howe’s book “Magicians of the Golden Dawn” and Francis King’s book “Ritual Magic in England,” it has been fashionable to paint Mathers as a sociopath and to declare that the Golden Dawn was based on deception and ruled by tyranny. Of course, my favorite book about the Golden Dawn’s history is still the one penned by Ithell Colquhoun, entitled “Sword of Wisdom: MacGregor Mathers and the Golden Dawn.” I truly wish that this book was republished in a paper back, since it is one of the few books that deals with the various personalities of the Golden Dawn and its various offshoot orders in a fair and compassionate manner. I am lucky that I own a copy of this book, and it’s one of my treasures.

Ms. Colquhoun wrote her book in manner that she did because she was an occultist and a one time member of the order. Ellic Howe and Francis King were never members of the Golden Dawn, and in fact, Mr. Howe was a historian with little compassion or actual sympathy for the order or its various members. Francis King’s relationship with occultism was very complex. While he managed to write and publish some excellent occult books, he also delighted in reporting on the most salacious and scandalous aspects of the modern occult movement. To this day, I don’t really know if Mr. King ever belonged to any occult organization, so if he wasn’t very sympathetic to the various founders of western occultism, it shouldn’t be too surprising.

Therefore, if someone is a member of an occult organization, you would think that they would be sympathetic to their subject matter if they happened to write a history of their order. However, the latest writer attempting to write the history of the Golden Dawn, and to make a name for himself as both the cutting edge historian and insightful occultist, is Nick Farrell. In his latest book, “King Over the Water,” he has sought to enlighten the public about Mathers and his various failings while attempting to exonerate the order and its teachings. This is quite a balancing act, to be sure. To quote the advertising on this book as it is marketed in Amazon dot com:

“In King Over the Water, Golden Dawn magician Nick Farrell paints a picture of the founders of the Golden Dawn becoming out of their depth as the Order began to create magicians. Rather than painting Mathers as an eccentric genius, Farrell sees him as an autocratic fantasist. He sees Mathers struggling to keep up as his students rapidly became better than him at the system he created, and shows how he was unable to raise his game to help the Order develop further. ”

You can read over this advertisement and it becomes pretty obvious that the book seeks to show Mathers in a particularly bad light. Instead of giving him credit for having founded the order and written most of its lore, he instead seeks to show that the lore stands above and beyond Mathers, who wasn’t apparently up to the job of building a comprehensive system of magickal occultism. I had judged this book to be just another a “hatchet job” on Mathers, so I haven’t bothered to purchase this book yet, but maybe I will so I can at least do a modest job of critiquing it. I am not an expert when it comes to the history of the Golden Dawn and its various affiliates, but I know the basic history. 

The Golden Dawn was founded around 116 years ago, so attempting to investigate the intentions and motives of its founder ends up being nothing more than a guessing game. There are historical records to be certain, but the individuals are now long dead, and their life stories are fragmentary at best, or in the case of Mathers, there are still a lot of mysteries. I believe that it would be better to honor the founders of the Golden Dawn for their unwitting contribution to western occultism and the practice of magick rather than attempting to reveal them as failed human beings. After all, we all have virtues and flaws, and we all accomplish some things and fail to accomplish others in our all too brief of a lifespan.

However, one thing that Nick Farrell did write up in his book that has particularly offended the active organization and honored initiates of the Alpha et Omega is an ambiguous line that he wrote in his book. David Griffin has quoted that part of the book which he found quite offensive, taking some sentences that were actually in two paragraphs and putting them together. However, after examining the actual two paragraphs, I still believe that David presented the basic idea of what was being said. The wording is very ambiguous, and of course, no names are named, so it’s up to the reader to determine the actual meaning implied. 

Whenever an author uses such phrases it’s because he or she doesn’t want to get sued for libel, or at least create a greater controversy. David and his colleagues at the one and only Alpha et Omega operating in the world (as far as I know) have taken this to mean that Nick is calling their organization a “cult.” Here is a paraphrase of the what was said in Nick’s book, and what has gotten the A+O crowd royally pissed off. 

“By the end of the 20th Century this availability of [Golden Dawn] information enabled various reenactment groups to be established. Some of these groups are sound... Unfortunately, other groups border on religious or political cults, typically centered on a single leader.... Typically such groups claim a link to that section of the Golden Dawn Order known as the Alpha et Omega or AO.”
I don’t know about you, but if someone wrote something like that about my organization, even if it was couched in ambiguity, I would be quite upset. Nick has denied that he was singling out David’s organization, and has said that he was referring to the recently fallen GD patriarch, Bob Zink and his group. Whatever Nick Farrell’s intention when he wrote these two paragraphs, the interpretation is wholly in the provenance of the reader, since he elected to use innuendo instead of clearly stating his meaning. If the A+O organization is upset at what Nick wrote, then they are fully justified, in my opinion.

As a writer, I am responsible for how people interpret my words, regardless of my intentions. I might say something that I consider innocuous in one of my blog articles or in one of my books, but if a group of people find it offensive, then I am responsible for their umbrage. I can ignore it, or attempt to explain my meaning, or just wade into the conflict and call my detractors names and start a flame-war. The sensible thing to do is to apologize and to write a retraction. I had to do that act of humble contrition on more than one occasion when I wrote something which was erroneous or managed to anger some of my readers. This can happen to any writer, and whether one’s intention was pure and the offending writing was an honest mistake, it doesn’t really matter. You wrote it and so therefore, you own it. It’s just a fact of life that anyone who seeks to be a writer has to deal with this kind of public backlash at some point in their career. The best advice is to be compassionate and seek to amend the wrong if possible.

However, instead of attempting to mitigate the anger that some in the Golden Dawn community felt about what Nick Farrell had written, he has steadfastly refused to take any responsibility, and in fact has resorted to calling his detractors “Brown Shirts,” as if to say that they represent some kind of fascist wing of the Golden Dawn community. That was like throwing gasoline on a brush fire, and it only made things a lot worse. Not only did Mr. Farrell write a hatchet job book on Mathers, but he also insulted some of the members of an operating second order faction. Why anyone would do this is beyond my comprehension. The notoriety will undoubtedly sell more books than what might have happened without the controversy, but the legacy that Nick Farrell is leaving to the rest of us is anything but positive and constructive.

Of course, to deal with this issue, David Griffin has decided to engage in some melodrama and a bit of tongue in cheek, talking about a Godfather-like conspiracy operating behind the scenes. (The only real conspiracy is hubris, personal vanity and egotism.) Some months ago David was comparing Farrell and Zelewski to the Star Trek Borg, which I might add was a humorous way of dealing with individuals who had caused him no small outrage. I guess making fun of your adversaries is better than trying to somehow silence them. If the propaganda against David was correct, then we could expect a mafia style assassination of his detractors, but of course, that won’t really happen. (We won’t get a blog article telling us that Nick Farrell sleeps with the fishes.) What has really happened is a number of adepts in the A+O are quite upset at their treatment by Farrell and company. They are outraged by the slander and the constant attacks against their organization. They aren’t guilty of starting any of these altercations, but they are quite zealous in defending themselves. Who can blame them for that?

As for myself, I am watching this all happen on the internet through the venue of various Yahoo groups and blog articles. There are those who are defending Mr. Farrell and showing their disdain and disklike for David Griffin and his associates, while others are defending their right to practice their lore in peace and goodwill.

All of this is very simple to sort out. The A+O has declared that it is in contact with the same group of secret chiefs that Mathers was originally in contact with. Having met the gate-keepers of this clandestine organization, I can say for a fact that I believe that their claim is legitimate. That really shouldn’t matter to any other faction of the Golden Dawn. They can seek out a connection to this group, or find their own connections, or use the various available inner plane contacts to develop their own lore. There isn’t any need to defame the A+O for making this claim, and there is plenty of room in the world for more than one faction of the Golden Dawn to peacefully coexist.

Still, in order for there to be peace in the Golden Dawn community, various individuals need to refrain from writing and publishing negative broadsides about other factions in the overall organization - or for that matter, writing hatchet jobs on the founders. Until that happens, then it seems obvious that there will be a lot of friction and occasional flame-war flare-ups.

I find this overall state of the Golden Dawn community very sad and disheartening. Instead of engaging in a war of words, I think that it would be better to teach the public (and other magicians, such as myself) about the benefits and social obligations of being an initiate and adept of the Golden Dawn. In time, even this latest flame-war will die down, but I hope it does end soon. Maybe if Mr. Farrell would apologize for what he wrote about the A+O (regardless of his intentions), that would be a good place to start, in my opinion.

Frater Barrabbas 


  1. What is most disturbing is that it appears that Nick Farrell lifted all of the arguments in his book attacking the Golden Dawn from a Fundamentalist Christian website called "Uncommon Sense Ministries" at:

    When Golden Dawn "leaders" attack their own tradition by lifting arguments from the sworn enemies of the tradition, an absurd situation is created.

    A situation that affects not only the entire Golden Dawn community in a negative way, but even the Pagan community as well.

    Hopefully, my reconstructionist colleagues will soon come to their senses and will stop doing the work of the Fundies for them in destroying the Golden Dawn, which I personally consider to be a fine tradition that deserves to develop unfettered by all of the flame attacks, etc., from both inside and out.

  2. Maybe Mr Farrell will sell more books because of this, but there will also be more people joining the A+O. Most people, no matter how outsiders, can sense what's really going on.

  3. @David - it's probably a coincidence that Farrell's talking points are analogous to Uncommon Sense Ministries. However, it is disturbing, and it shows that they are, at least, in agreement. As I have said previously, I don't understand someone who seeks to write books defaming the founder of his whole organization. It seems counter productive to me.

    @Nik64 - This issue also has the unfortunate effect of turning a lot of neutral people off. Hopefully it will die down soon, and would die down immediately if Mr. Farrell put out a correction and apologetic retraction to what he wrote about the A+O.

  4. Frater Barrabbas,

    Thank you so much for your wonderful treatment of this dispute. I have been saying many of the same salient points in relatively short posts as responses on various fora.

    I believe you are quite correct, that a writer is responsible for a reader's reasonable inferences that are drawn from the writer's work. The more that Farrell denies his intent to malign the HOGD/A+O and continues to attack those who make such a claim, the more evident it is that Farrell's imprecise writing which caused this dispute was done purposefully and with the intent to create a stir over his book for marketing purposes, as well as to promote his own magical order and those like it by attempting to discredit "traditionalists."

    As an aside, I may have to buy Farrell's book to see how it is he treated the forensic psychological analysis of Maters et al. I have quite a bit of experience working with forensic psychologists and psychiatrists. It seems rather suspect to me that a fornesic psychologist would be able to make much out of a few documents written so long ago. This smacks of paid expert pseudo-science passed off as legitimate in order to lend false validity to the research and conclusions of Farrell's book. But to be fair, I would have to study Farrell's book to make this assessment, which I have not.

  5. I am not at all certain that it is a coincidence that Farrell's arguments attacking the AO paralel those of Fundamentalist Christians attacking Pagans and the Golden Dawn, considering Nick Farrell's statement on his blog this morning that "I started out at aged ten falling into a born again cult which lasted for nearly seven years." Mr. Farrell says he has since left Christianity, but his behavior nonetheless remains indicative of an enduring Fundamentalist mind set.

    What concerns me is that Fundamentalism seems to have reared its ugnly head in the Golden Dawn community. And no, one must not be Christian to ascribe to a Fundamentalist mind set. In fact, it appears that a uniquely Golden Dawn Fundamentalism has developed, I examine this thoroughly in a new blog, entitled:

    "Fundamentalism and the Golden Dawn Witch Hunt" at

  6. So you admit that you are pontificating without reading the book Barrabbas?
    I would have thought that the real responsibly of a writer would be to check out what is being said before writing a comment on it. In otherwords get some facts before shooting your mouth off.
    If someone mistakenly thinks that they are referred to in one of your books, would you rush to censor it and write an apology?
    Those who actually read King over the Water will be very disappointed as it does not mention the modern A+O at all. It is all about Mathers, the Golden Dawn and the AO.
    So what happens if you read King over the Water and find that David lied to you and the book is what I said it is? Would you go through it and look for a few obscure sentences that prove David right, or would you be man enough to say that you can't understand what the fuss is all about?
    King over the Water has become the Life of Brian of esoteric books. There are a lot of people who claim to know what is in it and say "it should be burnt" but those who read it, like it and are not offended.

  7. Wow, Mr. Farrell, I am rapidly learning that you are quite the artist in the area of deflection, conflation of issues, and distraction.

    The issue is with your unclear Introduction and its implications, not with the contents of your book. You see, these are two separate things that you tend to conflate into one. You posted the Introduction to your book on your blog. I HAVE read it. In your Introduction you make comments about modern day organizations and "mythicians." In your book, you may not discuss any modern day organizations or "mythicians." If you say you don't, I believe you (well I will extend that belief to you for the sake of this argument). BUT THAT IS NOT THE ISSUE.

    The issue is your Introduction, which has been publicly posted and its entirety. When read in full, the Introduction more clearly implicates Griffin's order than Griffin's excerpted quotation of your work.

    Now, I have absolutely no problem with you saying "Ya, I am talking about Griffin's order in my Introduction." None at all. That would be an honest stance. My problem is that you pretend to believe that Griffin's quotation of your Introduction was deceptive, and then allude that the Introduction, when read in full shows this, WHEN IT DOES NOT.

    I, for my part, am not arguing about the contents of your book. Please, stop deflecting to that. Turning this into a "book burning" argument is just plain wrong. This issue is whether, IN THE INTRODUCTION, you were discussing Griffin's group, OR that it could be reasonably deemed that you were. You deny both of these, that 1. you intended that your reader make that association; and 2. That it is reasonable a reader could draw this inference. It is self-evident that a reader could draw this inference, so the only way that you could be believed that you did not intend this, is to acknowledge that. Something like "oh, wow, I didn't see that before. Sorry about that, I will rewrite that to be more clear. Thanks for pointing that out to me." But no, you expect us to believe that you actually believe that when read in its full context, a reasonable person COULD NOT make the inference that you intended to include Griffin's group by implication in your Introduction (not the main body of your book).

    It is your dishonesty about your stance that I protest Mr. Farrell. When I first began discussing this issue across various fora, I thought that perhaps a little reason could shed some light on a potential misunderstanding. I now believe I was wrong. Given your method of avoiding the issue, conflating issues, and apparently "keywording" the title to your book in all of this, I now believe this flap is exactly what you intended.

  8. @Nick Farrell - Thank you for responding. Of course, if you had carefully read my article, you would have understood my reticence at reading your book, since the advertising (which you may have even written yourself) states that Mathers was an “autocratic fantasist.” Why would I want to read yet another book that builds a highly negative perspective on a man who has been dead nearly 100 years? I generally hated Ellic Howe’s book “Magicians of the Golden Dawn,” and I am not a masochist, so that should explain why I don’t want to read any of your books.

    If you are a Golden Dawn initiate (and one must assume that you are), then why not honor Mathers as the brilliant, creative and insightful man that he was? Here it is, 116 years after the Golden Dawn order was founded and we are still using the initiations and magickal rituals that Mathers wrote. I hope that my work will still be relevant in the early 22nd century, but I don’t have a lot of hope for that to happen. Such a contrast between Mather’s accomplishments and our own makes most of us seem rather small and petty in comparison. That was the whole point of what I wrote; so don’t talk to me about pontificating! I am not trying to make myself great at the expense of a truly great man, which is how I perceive you and your current writing career. You can’t even begin to fill Mather’s shoes, let alone stand as one of the great leaders of the Golden Dawn. All I can think of in regards to this is to somehow manage to shame you into acknowledging your own failings.

    The other issue, which is the cause of the current controversy, is about as plain as it could possibly be. You have said in your introduction that some groups who call themselves the A+O are “cults.” Whether you personally think that or not, why say such a thing, and then post it on your blog? Then you have the unmitigated gall to infer that others who have seen the obvious truth presented by your own words are mistaken, and can’t be permitted to judge this work unless they read the whole book. Mr. Griffin may have posted a truncated version of your two paragraphs, but the parts that he omitted are even worse when read in full. All this leads me to conclude that it was your intention to smear another Golden Dawn group just to sell a few books. If I find myself unwilling to spend 25 bucks for your tedious tome, I think that I can be forgiven that lapse. And if Mr. Griffin suggests that the members of his second order group write bad reviews in Amazon about your book, then they are entitled to their opinion. I don’t consider that fascism or “book burning,” I would call it democracy in action.


  9. Barabas, you're getting sucked into an argument that's been going on for over a hundred years, you don't have all the facts, and you're siding with someone who gives all former cult-inductees the heebie jeebies on sight.

    Farrel's no saint, no lie, but remember, this is the Golden Dawn you're dealing with. They say they're the outer face of the Inner Ascended Masters who are guiding the spiritual development of the entire western civilization.

    Remember that fact, remember Griffin is supposed to be the best and brightest and in touch with the Secret Chiefs because he's the Rosicrucian Ideal.

    Then go back and take an objective look at his posts for the last year or so. Seriously.

    Then look at yourself defending him.

  10. That is OK Barrabbas, so you agree it is perfectly acceptable for me or anyone to post one star reviews on your books without having read them, call for them to be "burnt to ashes" and then write long rambling posts about how it is your fault because you were responsible for the public response.
    That is *exactly what you have done and if I really was the Fundie puppet master who wanted a flame war it is exactly what I would do in response. Fortunately for you I don't believe that sort of behavior is moral, or in keeping of a magician or a magical order. I believe in your right to write your books about what you want without being censored by a third party. I think it is fine for you to be able to research a book on any subject and print it, without the head of an order being threatened and ordering a 21st century book burning.

  11. @Nick Farrell -

    When you write something like this, how I am to interpret it other than you seem to be referring to David Griffin and his A+O organization, thereby calling them a “cult” and deriding their claim that they have re-established a connection to the same secret chiefs that Mathers had communicated with over a century ago?

    “Unfortunately, other groups border on religious or political cults, typically centered upon a single leader. These latter groups often evoke the turbulent history of the original order to justify the structures and cult of personality they wish build. These ‘mythicians’ often claim that the original Golden Dawn floundered because the majority of its members discarded the rule of its founder and chief Samuel ‘MacGregor’ Mathers. Typically, such groups claim a link to this section of the Golden Dawn Order which continued to acknowledge Mathers as its Chief and was later known as the Alpha et Omega, or AO. Occasionally, such leaders claim to be the living incarnation of MacGregor Mathers himself. Lately, there have even been those who claim to be in communication with the same Secret Chiefs that inspired Mathers. Mather’s ghost and his mythically perfect AO enables them to claim that somehow their product is superior.”

    You are correct when you say that you have the freedom to write whatever you want to write about. However, there are consequences when you put your words out in public. Writers have been successfully sued in the past, and some have been martyred for their right to write whatever they wanted. Salman Rushdie wrote a chapter of his "Satanic Verses" specifically identifying and demonizing the Ayatollah Khomeini. This resulted in a death fatwa and nearly twenty years of seclusion for the author, but he had the courage of his convictions to go after Khomeini, and he also had to pay the consequences for that action. What I am hearing you say is that you want the freedom to write whatever you want, but not the responsibility and the consequences that go with it. You seem to want your cake and eat it too, hardly the heroic pose that you are attempting to make as the author martyr at the hands of David Griffin. Maybe you should grow a pair and take the responsibility for your published words instead of blaming others for your troubles.

    As for me, I have made mistakes and written articles that have offended groups, and then had to fix what I had done with retractions and apologies. Writing a book about the Golden Dawn’s history and then maligning a significant part of that organization with malicious comments in the introduction won’t earn you a shred of sympathy from me, or I imagine, from other occultists. However, I believe that you actually meant the above quote to be just as harsh a criticism of David Griffin and his A+O group as it has been interpreted by them and others. Instead of pretending to be wounded by their outrage, you should just admit it and then take the consequences. If David and his group are posting bad reviews of your book as a way of expressing their outrage, then that is just one of many consequences for singling him out with such harsh and damning criticism.

    Anyway, I am not going to comment any further on this issue, and I will also delete any additional comments that you might want to post to this article. The damage is done, and it is highly regretful. Hope you are happy with the results of your work.


  12. @Frater RO - Thanks for responding. However, I personally know David Griffin and understand pretty much where he's coming from. He has never pretended to be a "perfect being," and actually he has been a real person; kind, compassionate, generous to a fault and a truly good friend to me. He has never been condescending, manipulative or arrogant to me.

    What Nick Farrell has done is take a really cheap shot at David and his group, and then he tried to talk his way out of it by blaming others or conflating the issue. I just don't buy it, but I find the whole situation to be regrettable and very sad.


  13. I, for one, do not think Nick Farrell's book should be burned. That is not at all what this is about. I do, however, think Farrell should grow up and take personal responsibility for his actions, including for the words he writes, which is what Barrabbas meant when he told Farrell to "Grow a pair."

    As a matter of fact, "personal responsibility",is an absolute cornerstone of the Golden Dawn's Third Order, although Mr. Farrell apparently does not know nor even understand this.

    Contrary to assertions by RO, I do not consider myself as any sort of "Rosicrucian Ideal", but at least I do understand that a hallmark of a good leader is taking responsibility for one's decisions and one's actions.

    Nick claims that his introduction was not meant as an attack on the HOGD or the AO, yet this week he published the exact same slander on his blog again. Farrell has also made the absurd claim that I "forged" his introduction, when in reality, the extraneous sentences I left out only serve to underscore Mr. Farrell's implied slander even further.

    Nick Farrell has been slandering both me personally and the AO now for 20+ years. He has even admitted to this in the past after the legal statute of limitations ran out. Farrell's actions in this book and on his blog this week are by no means isolated incidents, and are properly understood in the context of Farrell's 20 year Witch Hunt against the AO.

    And then, when members of the AO do not simply cow tow to Mr. Farrell. but draw a line in the sand for him instead on Amazon, showing Farrell they will no longer tolerate his bullying ...

    Farrell unleashes his Witch Hunt of defamation against the AO on his blog again, this time with an army of anonymous trolls and newly created blogger profiles

    As I have shown on the Golden Dawn blog, Farrell's attacks on the AO, its members, and its leaders in his book and on his blog, precisely mirror the attacks of Fundamentalist Christians on the entire Golden Dawn.

    Mr. Farrell now admits that he was raised a Fundamentalist Christian, yet claims he left the Curuch. Well, Farrell might have left Chistianity, but he clearly has imported wholesale a Fundamentalist mind set into the Golden Dawn.

    It is absurd for Mr. Farrell to believe that he can wage a Witch Hunt against the AO for two decades without consequences.

    The time has come for Nick Farrell to end his Fundamentalist Witch Hunt against the AO.

    The Adepts of the AO and the Initiates of the HOGD have on Amazon drawn a line in the sand for Mr. Farrell ...

    A like that he should not cross.

    Mr. Farrell is today crying like a baby - like the schoolyard bully whose ear has been pulled by his third grads teacher.

    Well, Farrell, remember the old addage:

    "They who sow the wind, shall reap the whirlwind."

  14. @ Nick Farrell,

    Since you are here Mr. Farrell, would you mind telling us how you feel about Pagans and Thelemites? How many Pagans are there in your Inner Order?

    I ask this since there are Golden Dawn orders that don't advance Pagans or Thelemites to the Inner Order, one of which I believe you were once a member of. (Apparently Frater Barrabbas once had a run in with their Fundamentalistic narrow mindedness as well.)

    Considering your aggressive behavior towards idological diversity in the Golden Dawn community, typical of a Fundamentalist mind set, I suppose this is a fair question.

  15. David, are the Secret Chiefs the all-powerful, all-wise shepherds of the spiritual development of Western Civilization or not?

    Did they select the HOGD to reveal the NEW MAGICK(TM) to because they're the best and brightest Rosicrucians or not?

    If your Order's really all that and a bag of chips, how did Nick get his shit published in the first place?

  16. @Frater RO - So, is that a serious question or just sarcasm? Obviously, the answer is no. No human being is all-powerful and all-wise. I don't believe that David has ever presented the Secret Chiefs of the Third Order as such. However, I have met the gate keepers, and I have been shown and told things that I believe to prove that they exist. That doesn't change anything for me, since I have (at the present time) my own path and direction to follow. I suspect that the same would be true for you.

  17. The GD for the Third Order was a failed project the minute that Mathers handed the 5=6 materials to Crowley. In 2002, they decided to give the GD a second chance though. This does not mean that they are going to dirty their hands, however, with every antic of every Golden Dawn Fundamentalist like Farell. They have better things to do.

    Barrabbas is right. I never portrayed the Third Order the way you suggest. You are misrepresenting for the sake of sarcasm. The Third Order is, in reality, but the source of origin of the Golden Dawn and certain other traditions, as they are the custodians of the complete Hermetic and Rosicruican mysteries, as well as much of the ancient Egyptian mysteries.

    This is the simple reality, demystified and liberated of your dripping sarcasm.

    RO, have you ever though of joining the GD Fundamentalist alliance? I hear Nick Farrell is accepting applications and your behavior indicates you might be accepted!

  18. David, go back over my comments on your various blog posts for the last couple of weeks. You'll note the trend: I want to understand the role of the Secret Chiefs in the GD. Based on that, you should know I'm sincere in this, I'm not being sarcastic at all.

    I was expressing *my* understanding of the Secret Chiefs, not saying you've portrayed them in a certain way. You're entrenched in the GD mythos, you know it better than I do, and you understand things about it I don't. I'm holding up an image of what the "Secret Chiefs" are to the modern occult world, based on their appearance in The Secret Doctrine, and their representation to the Western Occult community for the last century or so.

    From your entrenched position, you may not know what the rest of the world thinks you're talking about when you mention the Secret Chiefs. The simple reality makes a lot more sense than the myth-athumptions I was working under.

    You'll also note I have said at least once that you don't lie about anything. Misconceptions arise from not knowing the truth about your Secret Chiefs, and the role you see them in vs. the role they're portrayed in the magical community at large.

    I still think, however, that you and Nick ought to just pull wands at high noon, old west style, blast each other to smithereens, and the last magician standing wins.

  19. And I'd be proud to stand shoulder to shoulder with the magician left standing.

  20. Hi, Rufus,

    Apology accepted. I have been trying to dispell nonsensical notions about the Secret Chiefs for over a decade. The Third Order is merely an Internal Hermetic and Rosicruian College who have preserved the mysteries of ancient Egypt for many Cenuries in Continental Europe. They have used many extrenal vehicles to continue to preserve and transmit the mysteries. The Golden Dawn is only one among a multitude.

    As for the Harry Potter crescendo with wands a 'blazin at the O.K. corral, I personally would rather sit down and have a beer with Nick and figure out together how we can achieve true harmony in the Golden Dawn community, so tat the Golden Dawn can unfold its true potential in the 21st Century, transmitting the higher mysteries from the Secret Chiefs.

    The Golden Dawn today has the potential to become even more glorious than it was in the 19th Century, if everyone would just get our big egos out of the way and the Fundies would end their silly Witch Hunt against the AO.

    Heck, I would have liked nothing more than to have given Nick a great review for his book. He made that impossible, however, by turning it into a political polemic instead of a real history. I think he did that intentionally, as a cheap publicity stunt that blew up in his face.

    Peregrin, on the other hand, just published a good book on the Golden Dawn, at least from the bits I have read on Google books. I will see to it that it gets the positive attention it deserves even in the AO.

    Contrary to the nonsense the Fundies have been spreading, I have nothing against good Golden Dawn books. I merely an not going to accept our order being trashed by the Fundies any longer, nor is anyone in the AO.


  21. I didn't fucking apologize, I'm not sorry at all, and I didn't even do anything that I need to apologize for. I asked sincere questions, and you said it was sarcasm. You should be apologizing to me.

    I don't even like you. Your antics are beneath the tradition you represent, and you should apologize for being such a douche for so long, and go back to feeding people the truth about the SCs without all the posturing against Zalewski and Farrell, calling them out all the time over real or imagined challenges to your validity. Who gives a flying fuck what they say if you've got the goods? Demonstrate your system makes a good man better, as someone put it earlier today.

    You already apologized to me once this decade, so I'm not holding my breath waiting for another one.

    But like I said, I don't like you personally much, but your presentation of the Chiefs makes a lot more sense out of your actions and your claims than I thought before. (Not apologizing here either.) I respect your work, not your methods. You wouldn't get called "flimflam" if you didn't act like such a carnie.

  22. @RO - Texting is not a replacement for a real dialogue. Even I thought that you were being sarcastic, so sometimes it's hard to tell what a person's intentions are just by their writing. As for not liking David, well, have you ever personally met him? If not, how would know if liked him or not. Having not met him personally, you can't honestly say that you really know anything about him. You are seeing him through your own bias of dislike based on impressions that might even be wrong. Anyway, nuff said about that. Let's all move forward.

  23. @ Rufus Opus.

    I am not buying your F.F.F. (Fundamentalist Flim Flam) any more than I am buying Nick Farrell's.