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Intro:

Welcome to the new, light and streamlined face of my blog. You will find that it’s not updated often, but rather in topical bursts. I have grown tired of using WordPress, and since I’ve always wanted my websites to be light and fast I just went with the one-page HTML file.

This page is generated by the org-export function in emacs, and written in pure org-mode, with a hook to the ReadTheOrg theme.

A statement and summary of the O.S.O.A∴A∴ (2022.09.23)

It’s been a while. So to summarize, since I’ve been asked this question several times now. The O.S.O.A∴A∴ is dead.

This happened over the span of months. As I was going through some personal changes, and noticing a different light. We had moved closer to Quietism and Buddhism over time, as S. found ground in his practice.

In the book club, which was weekly, we had gone through the foundational books of the Western Mystery Tradition, and regularly found them rife with evil. Full disclosure, I accept evil exists, and that demons are involved in a lot of magic.

The problem is that these are foundational books given to study, and even those which call on God… end up with ’here command the demons.’

This is a fundamental problem, and as much as S. tried to push against it, toward a more kind and accepting direction, We were not able to move past it.

Then there was a disagreement of some kind (I’m not clear on the details) between S. and D. D. was one of the most active and engaged members of the O.S.O.A∴A∴.

I felt it was time to pull out and move to greener pastures, there was nothing good that I could see in staying. Nothing against those that did - I’m sure they had a good time.

While leaving, I did message D. and told him that he just needs to contact me, and I’ll hand over the domain, forum and hosting to him, in addition to the Discord server (which I did wipe entirely just for privacy and safety - we did have a lot of personal info there.

And then that was it. I have not have contact with D. from that point on. I’ve gone more into Zen, sitting and processing reality as it comes.

This entire process lifted a huge weight off my back. As much as I wished for O.S.O.A∴A∴ to be something special, it died. But the friendships, teachings and insights I’ve gained are invaluable.

This is the way it should be.

One lesson, for me, is to focus on the people. Not imaginary goals, not ’let’s make something real’, just people. Kindness prevails, and patience is an impermeable shield. Everything changes, and after a few years, the light went away, possibly to greener pastures.

The second, and more important lesson is: let go. Clinging on to a corpse is of no use, and I would rather not smell like death.

Liber ΠΑΝ vel Rubinus Lapis: An Analysis of the Star Ruby

Originally published 2013.02.08

UPDATED 19.01.2021: Foreword has been re-written, as well as some formatting errors have been corrected.

This is the first publication under the O.S.O.A∴A∴ banner that ever came out.

It has taken a lot of time, and a lot of effort to get it to an acceptable shape. Going from 2 pages on January 4th 2013, to 60+ pages in January 2021, this analysis has gone through a good number of revisions.

There is still a lot of work to do on it, such as elaborating on the astrology, the alchemical relations, how it relates to the winds, and perhaps even Enochian?

Still, this is about as complete as I could have made it, to this point. The reward for further effort doesn’t appear to be good enough to justify it, to me.

Licensing: you’re welcome to print, copy, distribute (share) this article freely, subject to the following:

  • If you find errors, typographical or formatting issues, send me an email (it’s in the file), so that I may add corrections to it.
  • I strongly disagree with charging for copies of this work (including “at cost” distribution). Don’t do that. It’s free for you, make it free for your peers, as well.
  • Do NOT upload this to paywalled file-sharing websites. Scribd in particular is an incredibly damaging business, as they thrive on copyright infringement. Don’t let them charge for what’s given out of good will.

Click here to download

Thanks!

Pure will, unassuaged of purpose

Originally published 2021.12.29

For pure will, unassuaged of purpose, delivered from the lust of result, is every way perfect.

–Liber AL vel Legis, I:44

Let’s have some fun and look at this often misrepresented verse.

The common understanding (if you look anywhere online) is that pure will has no purpose, and is lacking (delivered = saved from) lust of result.

Yet if we take a closer look, and actually use a dictionary the opposite meaning arises.

Merriam-Webster says unassuaged means:

not quenched, eased, or satisfied : not assuaged

Meaning, the verse translates into:

“For pure will, not having satisfied its purpose, given (delivered) by the lust of result, is every way perfect.”

Meaning the exact opposite of what is suggested by most people. Conversely, pure will is perfect when it’s lusting for a result and has yet to achieve its purpose.

Which is precisely accurate, considering that the ultimate goal (insofar as the A.’.A.’. is concerned) is to remove all the crap we accumulate over each lifetime, and express our nature (wants, desires, natural biases and preferences) fully and completely.

The Ipsissimus is “selfest” (from Latin, see Ipseity), and thus everything they do from the three positions (Ipsissimus, Magus, Magister) is automatically perfect, because that’s completely in line with how nature made us – as opposed to people who hold on to crap (traumas, attachments, prejudices, fear, identity, social standing, and so on), rather than getting rid of it.

It’s very Zen in that way. Core problem is, Thelema also brings a lot of baggage with its teachings, so it’s very difficult to recommend Crowley over Huineng, Laozi, Siddhartha or Linji.

Hope this clears up some misunderstandings.

Some thoughts on Liber AL vel Legis

Originally published 2021.04.26

This is a loose collection of thoughts on Liber AL, in no particular order. There are addressing a number of popular misconceptions about this religion.

  • The Tunis comment doesn’t say we can’t interpret the book for other people. In fact, it says much the reverse – that we’re meant to rely on Crowley’s interpretation exclusively. And only his interpretation.
  • It is worth asking from what perspective would discussing Liber AL constitute one a center of pestilence. We know that Crowley wrote the Tunis comment because of Mudd, however that doesn’t change the fact that serious discussion of the contents of the BotL does show just how flawed a religion this is.
  • There is this notion that the Scarlet Woman appears in the BotL for the first time. That’s not true – we see her first as Babylon in the Apocalypse of St. John.
  • More importantly, the prophet himself makes it clear that the Scarlet Woman doesn’t have much agency of her own – it’s only by virtue of the Beast (or his God, Ra-Hoor-Khuit) that the Scarlet Woman can attain. We see this echoed in Liber 333, cap. ΝΓ – comment, and in Liber Aleph, cap. De Via Propria Feminis.
  • What’s in OS23? There’s some suspicions in Liber AL vel Bogus. It’s worth reading.
  • Aeonics are bunk. Yugas are bunk. They contribute nothing, and only serve to increase confusion.
  • Having to qualify Liber AL as “mystical writing” in an attempt to avoid what’s actually written in it is foolish, and disingenuous.
  • Each of these thoughts could easily be expanded into a lengthier bit of their own.

Ultimately, there is a problem with Thelema nowadays. The problem is that this closed practice is being appropriated by people who have no clue, and keep on regurgitating shallow, badly researched ideas as if they’re true.

Real Thelema, real magick, is legitimately dangerous. There are those who would rather declaw, defang it, in an effort to sell it for pennies – with no regard for truth in any way, shape, or form.

After all, most people don’t want to actually open the gates of Hell. It is a dangerous thing to do.

A “Post-Thelemic” Manifesto

Originally published 2021.02.02

Yesterday, the Ecclesia Gnostica Universalis in Anglia posted on Twitter about their new effort: a “Post-Thelemic Manifesto” that purports that it’s time to let go of Crowley.

While a move in the right direction, there are a number of issues with it, which are worth talking about. Note, this isn’t an in-depth analysis, but merely the most obvious and jarring bits.

You can see the original document here: https://issuu.com/azrael2393/docs/the_post-thelemic_manifesto

(…) magick exists outside the boundaries of time and space, in the liminal space between consensus reality and mythical poiesis. And thus is it largely irrelevant whether the Cairo Account is “true” or “false”: what matters is what it inspired.

The first part is debatable (if your magick isn’t yielding results here, constrained by time and space, you’re not doing magick). The second part is a weak attempt at distancing from Crowley, which is strongly undermined by what follows.

The core issue here is that it’s not at all irrelevant whether Crowley lied, since everything that follows is de facto reliant on it being true.

And there is very little doubt that the 20th Century and the first two decades of the 21st Century bore witness to the epochal changes prophesied in AL.

Why yes, there is a lot of doubt. There are no accurate predictions in the Book of the Law. What is there instead, is vague. To claim that any of what Crowley predicted came to pass is, at the very least, a reach.

(…) we must finally integrate the lessons of Force & Fire of the Aeon of Horus, and move towards the full opening and establishment of the Aeon of Maat, the Age of Adjustment and of Justice, the Aquarian dream.

Here we see the first instance of contradiction. From the claim that the events in Cairo are irrelevant, it follows that the Aeon of Horus is irrelevant. The logical conclusion is that the Aeon of Ma’at has no basis, and therefore there’s no justification for claiming that it’s arrived.

However, it’s actually worse. Not only is it irrelevant whether Crowley was truthful, or lied, but the E.G.U. is making a concerted effort to justify the lie by reducing magick to “the liminal space between consensus reality and mythical poiesis.”

That is tantamount to admitting that they’re not interested in Truth (we’ll see more of this theme later on), but also that untruths are justified by the ends.

Whether this idea [Aeonics -N.] has ontological validity or not, one cannot deny that it is instrumental to the mythical thinking behind magick.

Yes, one can deny it very easily. Time moves on, everything changes. There is no reason to pretend that a fiction used explicitly to justify one’s new religion is real.

Magick is not reliant on fiction, either. If what you’re doing brings results, that’s magick. Causing change in conformity with will, as it were. It has nothing to do with deluding oneself.

(…) by elevating Thelema as an Aeonic Formula, the Master Therion gave it a completely new meaning, along the alchemical power of transmutation.

Yeah. Two issues: the Beast was in fact the Beast, and thus “elevated” doesn’t appear accurate. This is particularly obvious given that aeonics have no basis in reality – but they were convenient for promoting his “synthetic religion.”

Secondly, the new meaning is contained within Liber Legis, and it’s very much anti-humanitarian.

(…) the Formulae of Thelema have forced the soul of humanity through the Force & Fire of the athanor of Horus.

That’s a straight up lie. Barely anyone, in the grand scheme of things, is aware of Thelema, no less touched by it.

The largest Thelemic organization (the O.T.O.) has less than 5,000 members worldwide. even if we 10x that number, that’s still merely 50,000 people.

On the other hand, we have other new religions, such as Mormonism, which boasts over 16 million followers.

Thelema is a flop. Always was. To claim anything else is to admit blindness to how weak this Force & Fire really is. Rastafarianism started in the 1930’s. It is estimated to have upwards of 650,000 followers, with some estimates crossing a million.

But the E.G.U. continues:

It is now time to move beyond. Failure to do so will only bring back the process to a stage of putrefaction and dissolution, and we are already seeing the glimpses of this.

From slavish servitude towards the man Crowley, who wasn’t without his flaws, to a desperation to belong to crumbling organisations, Thelemites are scattered to the four winds, drifting aimlessly as they lose themselves in the grips of Choronzon.

I’m glad to say, I don’t know anyone who fits any of these criteria. If anything, so far we’ve seen that the E.G.U. itself is clinging very strongly to Crowley, and in fact chooses to build their organization on top of Crowley’s legacy.

This may or may not indicate that they don’t have anything truly original to offer. If that is the case, then undermining Crowley’s position while placing stock into the ideas he professed is a baffling choice.

The E.G.U. continues on with some explanation for their timing, followed by:

(…) we will concentrate on the lessons and teachings of Nuit, Hadit, Ra-Hoor-Kuit, Hoor-Paar-Kraat, Therion, Chaos, Pan, Baphomet, and most of all on the words of Our Lady of the Abyss, Babalon.

In doing so, we will free ourselves from the shackles and the unacceptable legacy of the man Aleister Crowley.

Fully denouncing his faults, his misogyny, his racism, and leaving behind all constricting rules and limitations that he laid out.

There’s so many things to pick from here. To that end, here’s a list.

  • Nuit, Hadit, and Ra-Hoor-Khuit are the three deities responsible for the Book of the Law. This means that the E.G.U. actively endorses that text, and everything it implies.
  • Aleister Crowley is the prophet to whom Nuit, Hadit, and Ra-Hoor-Khuit communicated the Book of the Law. To keep the teachings of these deities while throwing out the prophet undermines the message.
  • Therion is Crowley, the Beast. If the E.G.U. is doing away with Crowley… why list him as something you’re keeping?
  • Babalon is not the Lady of the Abyss. This has me ambivalent, because while it’s good to see that someone’s trying to innovate, this effort has been misplaced. Babalon resides in the City of Pyramids, in Binah. Not the Abyss. That’s the domain of Choronzon. This makes me quite certain that the E.G.U. is mistaking a Lilith-like entity for Babalon.
  • The above ignores that Crowley de facto called the Book of the Law an “excellent example of automatic writing.” To claim that Nuit, Hadit, or Ra-Hoor-Khuit’s message can be treated as separate from Crowley’s subconscious acting up is naïve at best.
  • It also ignores the issue of Hadit being a mistranslation of Behdety. That’s a significant point, as for all the talk about rejecting Crowley, the E.G.U. is clearly ignoring that Thelema relies on Crowley entirely. It is mighty convenient for them to denounce a man, yet cling to his mistakes as if he was correct.

We will deny the authority of any Order whatsoever to establish a canon and an orthodoxy: the Law is for All, and the time for hierarchical organisation is over.

Except… Nuit explicitly says that Thelemites consist of three grades – the Hermit, the Lover, and the Man of Earth.

Then there’s the Kings and Slaves talk of Hadit. And then there’s the encouragement of genocide that Ra-Hoor-Khuit talks about.

In short: this manifesto has issues. It is exceedingly clear that the E.G.U. is not a serious organization that would rather joke around, instead of doing their due diligence.

It’s a worthwhile initiative, but it’s marginal. Ditching Crowley only works if taken to the full extent possible. Otherwise, it gives the impression of a PR stunt, rather than a serious and well-thought-out endeavor.

N∴

PS. If the E.G.U. rejects Crowley, how can they possibly trust what’s written in the Book of the Law? Isn’t that cherry-picking?

PPS. There is no record of Crowley ever being chastised, or cautioned by the spirits, no less his deities, about being a shitty person. It follows from this that Nuit, Hadit, and Ra-Hoor-Khuit de facto endorse, or are at best indifferent to racism, misogyny, exploitation, and lies.

It’s worth considering whether these deoforms are anything more than Crowley creating “divine excuses” for his behavior, as a way of justifying it to himself. That would be consistent with his admission that it was merely automatic writing.

Literacy is Important

Originally published 2021.01.14

Men should not be taught to read and write unless they exhibit capacity or inclination. Compulsory education has aided nobody. It has imposed an unwarrantable constraint on the people it was intended to benefit; it has been asinine presumption on the part of the intellectuals to consider a smattering of mental acquirements of universal benefit.

–New Comment on Liber Legis, II:58

I was doing some thinking with regards to recent events in the United States. Conspiracy theories run rampant, and Trump gave them credence by his authority as POTUS.

Of course, people who are able to evaluate statements on the basis of evidence, could see through it. But many couldn’t. (With this I should clarify that I choose to believe they were incapable of it, to avoid thinking about those people being malicious in their actions.)

This comes down to literacy, the ability to read and understand textual sources, as well as evaluate what they actually mean.

Crowley, as we see in the quote above, was against literacy for the masses. He wasn’t stupid, but he was motivated to establish a class of “masters” (Thelemites) who would herd the masses. You can read more about this in my other article, Is Thelema Fascist?

Basic literacy is necessary. We write, we read, we do mathematics, we file invoices, we sign contracts. All of that is based on the ability to read what’s on the paper, or screen.

In this day and age, being illiterate is a strong drawback. From Crowley’s position, it is clear that he wasn’t interested in helping humanity, but rather enslaving it under the banner of Thelema.

The word of Sin is Restriction.

–Liber Legis I:41

And what’s more restrictive than the limits we don’t see?

What’s more restrictive to one’s freedom than the inability to understand one’s environment?

What’s more pernicious than being played, and not comprehending the rules?

It’s worth considering. Another issue to take with Aleister’s take is that he supposedly promoted the discovery of one’s True Will. One method to doing so is by performing ritual – either the Sacred Magic Of Abramelin the Mage, or Liber Samekh (800).

How should one prosecute those mystical attainments, if one’s illiterate?

How should one understand the subtleties, if one hasn’t read the books?

Naturally, it is impossible without help.

Illiteracy is a global problem, that needs to be addressed. Not made worse.

In 2016, PIAAC 2012 and 2014 data were released.[35] Participating adults in Singapore and the United States had the largest number of adults scoring “at or below Level 1 in literacy proficiency” compared to other participating countries in their performance in “all three reading components”. According to the authors of the OECD report, “These results may be related to the language background of the immigrant population in the United States.”[34]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Literacy_in_the_United_States

In 2019, with respect to the reading skills of the nation’s grade-four public school students, 34% performed at or above the Proficient level (solid academic performance) and 65% performed at or above the Basic level (partial mastery of the proficient level skills).

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Literacy_in_the_United_States

You can read that report by clicking here.

This means that 35% of American children in fourth grade were below Basic reading level. That is a big, big problem.

How can we expect the next generation to solve the world’s problems in an intelligent and humane way, if they’re unable to understand these problems in the first place?

It’s a big issue, and should be addressed with utmost priority.

Is Thelema Fascist?

Originally published 2021.01.08

Important: This article is incomplete, and will be expanded upon over time, if circumstances allow. For the time being, this is a quick read-through of Liber 220 and 101, demonstrating that Thelema is, in fact, fascist.

Update 2022.07.12: I have not found time to update this article. In retrospect, it can stand as it is.


For the purposes of this article, let’s start with some definitions.

Fascism here will stand for “might makes right,” and adjacent ideas. Notably including the ideas that not all human beings are “people,” classism, and exploitation. One of the principles this exploitation relies on is a disregard for the truth. Who needs truth when you can bully folks into submission?

Thelema is Aleister Crowley’s religion. It is also the word he claimed as a Magus 9=2 in the A∴A∴, and which he went to lengths to establish as superior to everyone else’s work in that regard.

Liber Legis

It is difficult to begin an examination of Thelema from anywhere else, but the central work which Aleister Crowley promoted and pushed as the “Law of the New Æon.”

Among excuses for fascism, we’ll also see a good number of justifications for Crowley claiming special dispensation, and positioning himself as the leader of that religion.

Note that I’m reading what’s written, as-is. It’s a well-established fact that fascists and bad actors tend to pretend that they’re acting in the best interests of those they exploit.

We see this most clearly in the recent events on capitol hill, and Donald Trump’s presidency as a whole. This is something we’ll come back to, as there is a real connection between Thelema and the alt-right in the USA.

You can find Liber Legis on hermetic.com.

Let my servants be few & secret: they shall rule the many & the known.

I:10

This is not the first indication of a feudal/ fascist tendency in the book (that is in I:5), however it is a prominent one. It is an example of the classism intrinsic in the religion – there are those who are fit to rule, and those who aren’t.

The key of the rituals is in the secret word which I have given unto him.

I:20

Here we see Crowley justifying his position as leader. The idea of secrets and mysteries has always been intrinsic to religious authority. “I know something you don’t.”

For these fools of men and their woes care not thou at all! They feel little; what is, is balanced by weak joys; but ye are my chosen ones.

I:31

As we move on deeper into Liber Legis, we will find these two sentiments repeated ad nauseam.

Obey my prophet! follow out the ordeals of my knowledge! seek me only! Then the joys of my love will redeem ye from all pain.

I:32

Rather self-explanatory.

Abrogate are all rituals, all ordeals, all words and signs. Ra-Hoor-Khuit hath taken his seat in the East at the Equinox of the Gods; and let Asar be with Isa, who also are one. But they are not of me. Let Asar be the adorant, Isa the sufferer; Hoor in his secret name and splendour is the Lord initiating.

I:49

This is Crowley justifying his æonics. You can read about why that’s significant in my other article: Æonics And The Magus. In short: it’s a lie justifying his position as the leader of this new religion.

These are dead, these fellows; they feel not. We are not for the poor and sad: the lords of the earth are our kinsfolk.

II:18

A justification for Crowley’s idea of an elite class, ruling over the masses. This is expanded upon further down the line.

We have nothing with the outcast and the unfit: let them die in their misery. For they feel not. Compassion is the vice of kings: stamp down the wretched & the weak: this is the law of the strong: this is our law and the joy of the world.

II:21

Here we have Crowley embracing fascism. Very directly.

Beware lest any force another, King against King! Love one another with burning hearts; on the low men trample in the fierce lust of your pride, in the day of your wrath.

II:24

More fascism. It should be already obvious that Thelema is intrinsically elitist, classist, and not at all interested in the aid of those who need it most.

Ye are against the people, O my chosen!

II:25

Self-evident. The meaning of this should be apparent; those “chosen” are against the average person. It’s a value judgment, which justifies exploitation. Clearly those chosen are “better” in Crowley’s eyes, yet we’re never given good support for that being the case. History and experience demonstrate that isn’t the case. Another lie in defense of fascism.

Pity not the fallen! I never knew them. I am not for them. I console not: I hate the consoled & the consoler.

II:48

I am unique & conqueror. I am not of the slaves that perish. Be they damned & dead! Amen.

II:49

Doesn’t this just perfectly echo the same self-aggrandizing spirit we see in Donald Trump? There is absolutely no excuse, if we are to live in a civilized society.

He that is righteous shall be righteous still; he that is filthy shall be filthy still.

II:57

An excuse of upholding the status quo. There is no self-reflection to the end of “is this really true?” This thought continues:

Yea! deem not of change: ye shall be as ye are, & not other. Therefore the kings of the earth shall be Kings for ever: the slaves shall serve. There is none that shall be cast down or lifted up: all is ever as it was. Yet there are masked ones my servants: it may be that yonder beggar is a King. A King may choose his garment as he will: there is no certain test: but a beggar cannot hide his poverty.

II:58

Beware therefore! Love all, lest perchance is a King concealed! Say you so? Fool! If he be a King, thou canst not hurt him.

II:59

Therefore strike hard & low, and to hell with them, master!

II:60

As we can clearly see, the Book of the Law, the central book on which Aleister Crowley founded Thelema, is outright endorsing “might makes right.”

It stops short of saying that initiation and “lifting oneself up” is impossible, but it is nonetheless implied that everyone is bound to their fate forever. That change is impossible.

The injunction that one can only discover other’s status, or class, by trying to take them down is very revealing of the warped mind that spawned this book. It absolutely makes sense in the context of Crowley’s life, however it is hardly universal at all.

And if we merely take a look at Crowley’s New Comment on II:58, it becomes obvious that he was fully in support of these fascist/ feudalist ideas. Let’s take a look at some of what this warped mind had to say in defense of this:

Men should not be taught to read and write unless they exhibit capacity or inclination. Compulsory education has aided nobody. It has imposed an unwarrantable constraint on the people it was intended to benefit; it has been asinine presumption on the part of the intellectuals to consider a smattering of mental acquirements of universal benefit. It is a form of sectarian bigotry.

New Comment to II:58

Learning to read and write is bad… unless kids want to learn that. It is mighty presumptuous that Crowley believed kids capable of recognizing the value of literacy.

OR… he was making a bad faith argument against it, knowing that if Thelema did indeed pick up, illiterate masses would be easier to control, not having the opportunity to see past his lies.

The irony of Crowley defending illiteracy while also writing a hell of a lot of books is not lost on me, for the record.

Further he continues:

We should recognize the fact that the vast majority of human beings have no ambition in life beyond mere ease and animal happiness. We should allow these people to fulfill their destinies without interference. We should give every opportunity to the ambitious, and thereby establish a class of morally and intellectually superior men and women.

New Comment to II:58

Here Crowley equates the ambitions of the majority of humans with those of animals. It is, however, demonstrably false. Everyone, universally, wants to go beyond their everyday life; explore some form of art; travel. Expand their horizons. Learn. Build something new.

Crowley misrepresents the lack of opportunity, and the problems plaguing our civilization, with a lack of ambition. Either he never realized that most people aren’t born into wealth, or he was making another bad faith argument.

We should have no compunction in utilizing the natural qualities of the bulk of mankind. We do not insist on trying to train sheep to hunt foxes or lecture on history; we look after their physical well being, and enjoy their wool and mutton. In this way we shall have a contented class of slaves who will accept the conditions of existence as they really are, and enjoy life with the quiet wisdom of cattle. It is our duty to see to it that this class of people lack for nothing.

New Comment to II:58

So, feudalism. Might makes right, so use those who bend the knee, and destroy your enemies.

Hardly surprising given what Crowley wrote in Liber L so far. This goes hand in hand with the animal parallel from the previous quote. Crowley really, really didn’t see his fellow human beings as people, and that consistently shows in his work.

He’d rather provide everything for this “class of slaves,” rather than free them, and let them fend for themselves. It should therefore come as no surprise that he then excuses systemic failure as the “human element.”

The patriarchal system is better for all classes than any other; the objections to it come from the abuses of it. But bad masters have been artificially created by exactly the same blunder as was responsible for the bad servants.

New Comment to II:58

It’s not an uncommon argument to see among Thelemites. “If only I was in charge, things would be better.” It is a fallacy of the highest order, and betrays a particular blindness to the reality of systemic – not personal – issues.

Crowley claims bad masters are artificially created, yet fails to explain that. What was the blunder? Who committed it?

The claim has absolutely no support, and is therefore a lie. There is nothing artificial about humans exploiting each-other, as history shows. And the implication that there is one specific mistake that leads to “bad masters” is preposterous.

Another bad faith argument, stated to convince the reader that this one magical thing is going to solve humanity’s issues. Because he’s the prophet of a new æon. And it’s totally not fascism, because “we take care of our slaves.”

Disgraceful.

Now let it be first understood that I am a god of War and of Vengeance. I shall deal hardly with them.

III:3

This is the Lord of the Aeon. Does it get any more fascist? If we look at Stalin, Mao, and Hitler… no, it really doesn’t.

“Look how strong I am!” cries Crowley.

I forbid argument. Conquer! That is enough. I will make easy to you the abstruction from the ill-ordered house in the Victorious City. Thou shalt thyself convey it with worship, o prophet, though thou likest it not. Thou shalt have danger & trouble. Ra-Hoor-Khu is with thee. Worship me with fire & blood; worship me with swords & with spears. Let the woman be girt with a sword before me: let blood flow to my name. Trample down the Heathen; be upon them, o warrior, I will give you of their flesh to eat!

III:11

More fascism, and this time mixed with religious fanaticism. Of course, Crowley gives himself an out – “I’m really not liking this… but God says I should do it so…”

It is also very telling that Crowley fancies himself a warrior in this context; the fascist spirit is intrinsically drawn to imagery of strength. It’s a fascination with the untroubled übermensch, the ideal of power and authority… which is in reality unattainable given the constraints of human existence.

Mercy let be off: damn them who pity! Kill and torture; spare not; be upon them!

III:18

This burn: of this make cakes & eat unto me. This hath also another use; let it be laid before me, and kept thick with perfumes of your orison: it shall become full of beetles as it were and creeping things sacred unto me.

These slay, naming your enemies; & they shall fall before you.

Also these shall breed lust & power of lust in you at the eating thereof.

Also ye shall be strong in war.

III:25-28

It should be very telling that Crowley’s religion is centered around a book which explicitly promotes harm to others.

Them that seek to entrap thee, to overthrow thee, them attack without pity or quarter; & destroy them utterly. Swift as a trodden serpent turn and strike! Be thou yet deadlier than he! Drag down their souls to awful torment: laugh at their fear: spit upon them!

III:42

Approval of cruelty, even if unjustified. We see this aplenty in Thelemic circles, where the slightest criticism, or perceived slight leads to absurd outbursts.

Of course, it is later justified using Liber Legis, because that’s what such personalities are naturally attracted to. It gives them an excuse for their lack of self control.

I am the warrior Lord of the Forties: the Eighties cower before me, & are abased. I will bring you to victory & joy: I will be at your arms in battle & ye shall delight to slay. Success is your proof; courage is your armour; go on, go on, in my strength; & ye shall turn not back for any!

III:46

More fascism, a defense of militarism. Notably so far in the book, there is no mention of converting anyone – that is clearly not Crowley’s plan in the slightest. It’s merely “destroy everyone who is in your way.”

Which is in line with how this current operates in the real world.

I am in a secret fourfold word, the blasphemy against all gods of men.

III:49

“My god is stronger than your god.” Petty take from a petty mind. It’s very telling that Crowley never managed to escape his Protestant upbringing.

Despise also all cowards; professional soldiers who dare not fight, but play; all fools despise! But the keen and the proud, the royal and the lofty; ye are brothers! As brothers fight ye!

III:57-59

More unjustified elitism, in support of a military-like class of “kings.”

Yet to all it shall seem beautiful. Its enemies who say not so, are mere liars.

III:68

An excuse for the followers. Crowley doesn’t want his book criticized, and so he denigrates those who can see it for what it is; an interesting example of automatic writing, that he took and turned into the foundation of his new religion.

Those who discuss the contents of this Book are to be shunned by all, as centres of pestilence.

The Comment

One has to wonder why. There is a great deal written about other scriptures, yet Crowley doesn’t desire that his work is discussed.

Perhaps it’s because discussion readily reveals the inhumane nature of his religion and philosophy?

Perhaps because he knew he’s be called out for being in support of fascism/ feudalism?

Alas, he says so himself, in The Book of Lies, chapter 81.

It is worth thinking about. An uneasy intellect might think that the mystical context of its presentation means we can step beyond the surface meaning of what’s written.

That is not so. Few people succeed, or even strive for mystical attainment, and so the surface meaning should be our first stop if we’re trying to determine a works impact on society.

And that impact just isn’t very good. A good number of examples can be brought up, however this isn’t the place. This is about Thelema, and how Crowley designed it.

Liber 101

For a more thorough look at Crowley and Thelema, let’s look at the O.T.O. If Crowley weren’t a feudalist, we would expect to see his political organization to not follow feudal lines.

However, that doesn’t quite work out. In An Open Letter to Those Who May Wish to Join the Order, we read:

There is no law beyond Do what thou wilt. Yet it is well for Brethren to study daily in the Volume of the Sacred Law, Liber Legis, for therein is much counsel concerning this, how best they may carry out this will.

Liber 101, Duty the 1st.

As we’ve seen so far, Liber Legis is chock-full of fascist ideas, and encouragement towards turning these into practice. After all, what good is a religious community which doesn’t abide by the laws of its religion?

The private purse of every Brother should always be at the disposal of any Brother who may be in need.

Liber 101, Duty the 2nd.

This sounds truly good, and very much like mutual support. We shall see later that this is not truly the case, as money is meant to be funneled up the ranks within this organization.

All Brethren shall be exceedingly punctual in the payment of Lodge Dues. This is to take precedence of all other calls upon the purse.

Liber 101, Duty the 3rd.

It should begin to dawn on some that the O.T.O. was, first and foremost, a money-making operation for Crowley.

Every Brother who may possess mines, land, or houses more than he can himself constantly occupy, should donate part of such mines or land, or one or more of such houses to the Order.

Liber 101, Duty the 9th.

(Yet in view of the great objects of the Order, endowment is welcome.)

Liber 101, Duty the 11th.

And… here we are. Land ownership. Of course, not long after, Crowley goes on to speak of children:

There is an especially sacred duty, which every Brother should fulfil, with regard to all children, those born without the Order included. This duty is to instruct them in the Law of Thelema, to teach them independence and freedom of thought and character, and to warn them that servility and cowardice are the most deadly diseases of the human soul.

Liber 101, Duty the 15th.

Knowing the contents of the Book of the Law, can we excuse this in any way, shape, or form? Can we condone children being taught to see themselves as “few and secret,” or to “stamp down on the wretched and the weak?”

I think not. But such was Crowley’s mentality, and you can see this in the following four duties:

Personal or domestic attendants should be chosen from among the members of the Order when possible, and great tact and courtesy are to be employed in dealing with them.

They, on their part, will render willing and intelligent service.

While in Lodge, and on special occasions, they are to be treated as Brothers, with perfect equality; such behaviour is undesirable during the hours of service, and familiarity, subversive as it is of all discipline and order, is to be avoided by adopting a complete and marked change of manner and address.

This applies to all persons in subordinate positions, but not to the Brethren Servient in the Profess-Houses of the Order, who, giving service without recompense, are to be honoured as hosts.

Liber 101, Duties 16 to 19.

Isn’t it just so, when Crowley so strongly makes the point that maids/ servants/ butlers, or whatnot should not be treated like people?

For a religion so thought to be sexually liberated, and transgressive of the time’s morality and norms, this appears in conflict.

However, it’s not. The Brethren of the O.T.O. are to be treated as hosts. That’s good!

But everyone else is profane, or as Liber AL tells us: the wretched & the weak. It is no surprise that L. Ron Hubbard modeled Scientology along the same lines.

Members of the Order are to regard those without its pale as possessing no rights of any kind, since they have not accepted the Law, and are therefore, as it were, troglodytes, survivals of a past civilisation, and to be treated accordingly. Kindness should be shown towards them, as towards any other animal, and every effort should be made to bring them into Freedom.

Any injury done by any person without the Order to any person within it may be brought before the Grand Tribunal, which will, if it deem right and fit, use all its power to redress or to avenge it.

Liber 101, Duty the 28th, and 29th.

Along with Liber AL, II:58-60, and Crowley’s commentary on these verses… does it get any clearer?

Every Brother is expected to bear witness in his last will and testament to the great benefit that he hath received from the Order by bestowing upon it part or the whole of his goods, as he may deem fit.

Liber 101, duty the 33rd.

Again, the O.T.O. hungers. Another parallel to Scientology, and the way that it extracts wealth from its membership.

Every Brother is expected to use all his influence with persons in a superior station of life (so called) to induce them to joint the Order. Royal personages, ministers of State, high officials in the Diplomatic, Naval, Military, and Civil Services are particularly to be sought after, for it is intended ultimately that the temporal power of the State be brought into the Law, and led into freedom and prosperity by the application of its principles.

Liber 101, Duty the 40th.

Another instance of Crowley trying to turn the O.T.O. into a collective of high-class Thelemites who will spread the word, and influence politics, trade, etc.

Every Brother is expected to do all in his power to induce his personal friends to accept the Law and join the Order. He should therefore endeavor to make new friends outside the Order, for the purpose of widening its scope.

Liber 101, Duty the 42nd.

Worth noting. How many cults do precisely this? It’s the same approach we see in network marketing; calling everyone possible to see if you can get them to buy what you’re selling.

Alas, we see that what Crowley is selling isn’t very good. Rotten to the core, even.

Concluding

As we see, the idea that Thelema is somehow incompatible with fascism or feudalism rapidly falls flat. Crowley himself is exceedingly open about it being very compatible, between Liber Legis, The New Comment, and his plan for the O.T.O.

In fact, it encourages that conduct to the degree that no informed person could deny that Thelema is fascist.

But what does that mean as we move forward? With the premiere of the show Strange Angel, we have seen a great number of ignorant people pick up Thelema, and publicly claim they’re Thelemites.

Perhaps they’re uninformed, and don’t realize that they put themselves in the glorious company of Aleister Crowley and other fascist thinkers.

Currently the popular position is that Thelemites have to “reclaim” Thelema from the fascists and bigots. Nothing could be further from the truth. Thelema belongs by design to fascists and bigots.

To claim anything else, is to reveal oneself as ignorant of both the contents of Liber Legis, as well as the mind which wrote it. That’s not a good look.

So if you’ve bought into Thelema, made it part of your identity, and promote it (actively or passively)… you’re pushing fascism.

Then the question becomes, what can you do?

The answer is very simple: stop promoting Thelema, and ideally distance yourself from this fascist current. Unless, of course, you don’t mind people recognizing that you belong there.

Crowley profiting from A∴A∴?

Originally published 2021.01.07

If you’ve been following this blog, you know that I have strong opinions on the idea on the sale of services related to the A∴A∴, including instruction.

There is a pamphlet recently posted on reddit which claims that A∴A∴ instruction was sold. I thought I would do my due diligence, and look into the matter.

The information given is that this series of classes took place in New York, and someone added it was in 1914. Further, we see that it was an O.T.O. event, not A∴A∴.

That isn’t cause for relief (for me) just yet, however, since the lectures might indeed cover instruction unique to the A∴A∴, that is – pertaining to either Knowledge and Conversation, or Crossing the Abyss.

It is difficult to take issue with Crowley expounding on material he de facto didn’t produce. So let’s go over the pamphlet, and see if there’s anything we can take issue with:

Series A is harmless. It’s simply Crowley expanding on Buddhism, Hinduism, Paganism, and Christianity. He does add a bit on the Synthetic Religion, which pertains to Thelema. We’ll examine that in a moment.

What is important is the lack of practical instruction, as it is written:

Private lessons by special arrangement. Only a few of these will be given, and only to approved students. They will consist of practical instruction.

This undermines the claim of instruction strongly, however it’s still not 100% clear that the lectures didn’t include any practical instruction on A∴A∴ topics.

We can ignore Buddhism, Hinduism, Paganism and Christianity; while they’re part of our reading curriculum, they’re de facto not part of A∴A∴ instruction – not our rituals, not our insights, not our worry.

Let’s talk about the Synthetic Religion. Here Crowley gives a general outline, and speaks of how he came to write the Book of the Law. We do not know what the ΘΕΛΗΜΑ lecture contains.

It is highly unlikely it included any practical instruction, given that Thelema, and all of its concepts and ideas could easily stand as a university degree in itself. And that’s just on the theoretical side.

It is also unlikely that Crowley asked any of the attendees to memorize a chapter of 65, 7 or 220. I personally don’t believe for a second that he spoke of anything aside from Liber L, however I am open to being proven wrong.

Astrology doesn’t concern us, as Crowley never published anything on it under the A∴A∴. He did write Liber 536 around 1917, which was three years after this event – it wasn’t published.

Crowley learned geomancy and the tarot from the Golden Dawn, and so we can ignore that, too. He did eventually publish the Book of Thoth in the Equinox, making it an A∴A∴ publication, however that was much, much later in his life.

What we see under the Qabalah heading is also entirely instructions he got from the Golden Dawn.

Moving on, we find Meditation, which does include practical instruction – however it is still not original A∴A∴ material. The Theory of Magick we can ignore, as it doesn’t include any instruction.

The Practice of Magick heading is somewhat interesting, as it is a mish-mash of material Crowley learned from the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, as well as his own study; Eliphas Levi is very prominent in this list.

However still, we see no indication that any of this is actually A∴A∴.

The Special section appears to be little more than Crowley speaking of the O.T.O. IX°. Crowley was X° by 1912, and so he had full authority to do with the secret as he wished.

There is nothing in this pamphlet that indicates Crowley charged for A∴A∴ instructions.

The closest he gets is as the very end, where it says:

A selected group of pupils will be permitted to witness the “Mass of the Phoenix.”

That is as close as he gets to instructing on anything pertaining to the A∴A∴. Demonstrating the Mass of the Phoenix, and even that, to folks he carefully selects, and permits to see it. The special series of classes doesn’t actually have a price-tag.

So, his name is clear. However for historical reasons, I thought it would be interesting to take a look at what Crowley speaks of the events of 1914. And so we read, in Confessions, chapter 76:

I went to America by the Lusitania, on October 24th, 1914, expecting to stay a fortnight and return with the sinews of war. It did not take me forty-eight hours to discover that my egg was addled.

I had taken with me the equivalent of about fifty pounds in American coinage. As luck would have it, one of the first people I met in New York, Mr D, whom I knew as a collector of rare books, paintings and sculptures, including some of my own introuvable publications, showed an interest in the purchase of some of my unique editions and manuscripts. I arranged to stay in New York until these could be sent over for his approval. (As a matter of fact, I had understood him as offering to purchase them all outright. Money was at this time of considerable moment to me. In the upshot, he purchased between seven and eight hundred dollars’ worth of my goods, instead of between three and four thousand dollars’ worth, as I had expected; and this disappointment left me in great straits financially, as I had at that time no immediately available resources in England.)

It is rather clear that the master was in quite some some distress. And he stayed busy; in his diaries we read:

7 Nov. [1914] 11.15 a.m. to 10.30 p,m. Babalon per mentis imagizem manu sinistra.

Object: success. Things in New York have moved slowly and badly so far. The lapse of time between this entry and the next is due to lack of leisure and opportunity.

Result: Many Magi might rejoice seeing that I sold £5oo ot so of books on 12 Nov. and that today, 14 Nov. all my difficulties on other lines seem to have cleared away. But this Magus (not used as 9=2 but as a ‘magician’) wants definite, complete success all round. “Call no man happy till he is dead” or at least has left New york!

I had rather a cold following this operation. I had a ‘feeling’ or ‘intuition’ that this method is not altogether right. Divination says (I judge) that it is right, VII 4-49.


In summary: it is clear that Crowley did not, in fact, profit from any services connected to the A∴A∴, whether that be instruction, initiation, or mentorship.

To claim anything else is to display one’s ignorance. On the other hand, if he were instructing people in any of our rituals (Resh, Ruby, Reguli, Phoenix, Sapphire, Pyramidos, etc.) and were charging for it, that would indeed be a big problem.

But he doesn’t. Neither does he speak of either Knowledge and Conversation (which is only, to my knowledge – correct me if I’m wrong) taught by the A∴A∴, nor of the Crossing of the Abyss, which is entirely unique to our system.

Thank you for reading and best of luck, N∴

PS. Doing the research took me 30 minutes at most. Writing this up took another that. One has to wonder how much time was spent actually reading the pamphlet before deciding to misrepresent what it says.

PS2. For additional context, One Star In Sight says:

Members of the A∴A∴ of whatever grade are not bound or expected or even encouraged to work on any stated lines, or with any special object, save as has been above set forth. There is however an absolute prohibition to accept money or other material reward, directly or indirectly, in respect of any service connected with the Order, for personal profit or advantage. The penalty is immediate expulsion, with no possibility of reinstatement on any terms soever.

Æonics And The Magus

Originally published 2021.01.06

Note: this was originally supposed to be a Twitter thread, however it grew long enough that I thought it better to post it here, because Twitter still doesn’t let me edit posts, in case I have something to add, or correct.


It is strange seeing Thelemites stand against Christianity, given that the current they followed is little more than a weird offshoot of Protestantism.

Simply look at Crowley’s upbringing, and the contents of the Vision and the Voice, as well as his profuse use of Christian ideas and morality throughout his work.

His deep understanding of scripture is the very foundation of Thelema. This is particularly evident in his adoption of Biblical language and expressions for his most profound works.

And while he did struggle against his upbringing throughout his life, the popular claim that Thelema can be separated from Christianity is indefensible.

There’s simply too much evidence that traces back to Protestantism, æonics included.

The idea of æonics comes to us from John Nelson Darby, one of the main figures in the Plymouth Brethren, the movement which Alick’s family was a part of. He de facto established dispensationalism, which is the idea that God occasionally changes the rules humanity is meant to live by.

We see Darby not just echoed, but directly xeroxed, in Crowley’s æonics. That is his justification for the æon of Horus.

Now, if we reject dispensationalism, as we should (human nature demonstrably hasn’t changed in known history – we’re still confused mammals), the charade falls apart.

This makes it difficult to pretend that Thelema is little more than an interesting take on what are – fundamentally – Christian principles.

Which might be uncomfortable, if one has bought into that wholesale. There have been displays of immense cognitive dissonance associated with this realization.

On the other hand, rejecting æonics means not having to constrain oneself to what Crowley tells us are the rules of the age. That allows for significantly more extensive exploration of what it means to be here, alive and breathing.

For all this talk to Freedom and Liberty, Crowley really wasn’t that good of a person. He consistently lied about the reception of the Book of the Law, and used the Equinox of the Gods to establish his New Religion.

This included, among others, swearing O.T.O. members and A∴A∴ students to accepting Liber AL as the sole rule of life, and such.

But all members must of necessity work in accordance with the facts of Nature, just as an architect must allow of the Law of Gravitation, or a sailor reckon with currents.

So must all Members of the A∴A∴ work by the Magical Formula of the Aeon.

They must accept the Book of the Law as the Word and the Letter of Truth, and the sole Rule of Life.

They must acknowledge the Authority of the Beast 666 and of the Scarlet Woman as in the book it is defined, and accept Their Will5) as concentrating the Will of our Whole Order. They must accept the Crowned and Conquering Child as the Lord of the Aeon, and exert themselves to establish His reign upon Earth. They must acknowledge that “The word of the Law is [in Greek] Thelema” and that “Love is the law, love under will.”

One Star In Sight, Appendix 2 to Liber ABA, Aleister Crowley

It is obvious that this places extreme restriction on everyone involved with the A∴A∴, as it prescribes morals and ethics which are not necessarily best suited for every individual student.

Not cool, Alick. Not cool.

We see the same thing in One Star in Sight, where his egotistical drive to establish Thelema in the world made him say some really, really inexcusable things. On the grade of Magus, he writes:

The essential characteristic of the Grade is that its possessor utters a Creative Magical Word, which transforms the planet on which he lives by the installation of new officers to preside over its initiation. This can take place only at an “Equinox of the Gods” at the end of an “Aeon”; that is, when the secret formula which expresses the Law of its action becomes outworn and useless to its further development.

(Thus “Suckling” is the formula of an infant: when teeth appear it marks a new “Aeon”, whose “Word” is “Eating”).

A Magus can therefore only appear as such to the world at intervals of some centuries; accounts of historical Magi, and their Words, are given in Liber Aleph.

This does not mean that only one man can attain this Grade in any one Aeon, so far as the Order is concerned. A man can make personal progress equivalent to that of a “Word of an Aeon”; but he will identify himself with the current word, and exert his will to establish it, lest he conflict with the work of the Magus who uttered the Word of the Aeon in which He is living.

One Star In Sight, Appendix 2 to Liber ABA, Aleister Crowley

How does Crowley know that he’s “the one”?

The truth is, he doesn’t. He can’t possibly know that, and if we simply look around, we find plenty of examples of people who exerted significantly more impact than Crowley ever did on the world.

Presiding over the initiation of the planet? Gimme a break.

Æonics is an artifact of Crowley’s childhood, deep-rooted Christianity, and consistent tendency to self-aggrandize.

To follow that, is to fall for the Magus’s trick.

What are we left with, then, is a lot of golden, brilliant ideas and insights, mixed together with some inexcusable claims.

I cannot make up my mind whether he said that because:

  • he wanted to promote his own status, and Thelema as an ideology,
  • or he misunderstood the nature of the experience, and truly believed what he said.

Knowing that he bound his students to accepting Liber AL, it is likely that he really did know what he was doing.

My theory is that in his mind, it wouldn’t be harmful in the slightest, since anyone reaching these experiences would easily see past his bluff.

And if they didn’t, they’d be bound to what he wanted to create in the world anyway, so they wouldn’t stir trouble.

Aleister Crowley, if nothing else, was an exceedingly complicated and cunning man.

It’s worth thinking about.

Cataclysm

Originally published 2021.01.05

I last wrote about my personal work in November 2019 (“Hell Ride”). That was two months after I had completed my Hell Ride, which is scrying one Enochian Aethyr a day, for 30 days.

Since then, things have changed. I’ve found my footing, and moving forward has become nearly effortless. Wu-wei, one might say.

When I wrote about the Hell Ride before, I said that the leap forward would be cataclysmic. That came to pass.

I originally took the Oath of the Magister Templi on January 8th, 2015. In many ways, I was throttled and dragged into the abyss. For one reason or another, I had entirely forgotten about taking it until late 2019, which is what prompted me to complete the work and move on.

The experience of the abyss isn’t terrifying in and of itself. It is, however, rife with confusion. A lack of agency springs forth, and doing anything at all requires immense effort.

In many ways, it was as if I had lost traction in life, like an invisible veil separated me from reality. Eventually I got fed up, and having nothing more to lose, I spent a month to resolve this issue once and for all.

After having completed LIL, I continued regularly opening ARN, the second aethyr. That felt like home.

I did not notice much of a change in my thinking, or behavior. A few months later, in March 2020, I got a warm welcome into the City of Pyramids, by someone I deeply respect and know as an M.T.

The story doesn’t end there, however. It might come as no surprise, but crossing is only a new beginning. The change in perspective was radical, as if reality took an entirely different quality.

But with progress, old problems go away, and new ones come along. The role of M.T. is a passive one; to see the world as it is, and be the witness.

Getting there solved the disconnect between me and reality, however it didn’t address the difficulty in taking action. It wasn’t challenging when I was prompted by the environment to do something… yet initiating action on my own was nearly impossible.

Such is the curse of the Ape of Thoth, to dance to someone else’s tune.

Yet I persisted in my journeys to ARN, and eventually on April 9th, 2020, I got my word. I didn’t yet know that was it, and I was very doubtful of what I got.

I had posted it on Twitter, as I had my phone at hand and not my journals. Eventually, after some careful thought, I dismissed it entirely, and deleted it. There was no reason for me to believe that I got anything significant.

Not too long after, I found myself taking regular dips into certain mystical experiences. These were supremely helpful in dealing with certain issues I had at the time, and revealing their true nature. However, it didn’t feel like I was making progress out of Binah.

And not too long ago, on New Year’s eve, thinks clicked. I had a profound experience that was beyond words, which made me realize IT.

I have tried to explain what I experienced in private, and know very well that this cannot be even approximated with language. Suffice to say, that experience and the lucidity it granted me were real beyond comprehension.

It reassured me that what I am doing is, in fact, the right thing. This blog, the O.S.O.A∴A∴, and what some might call a “purist” stance on helping others toward that same experience.

On that purist stance: everything I know about magic and mysticism, I received freely and in good will from, or through, the A∴A∴.

I strongly believe that trading for it (in any way) not only contaminates the student-teacher relationship, but also warps the student’s focus from pursuing the highest, to less lofty materialist ends.

This also connects with the demon Choronzon. As I had said to a certain HIMOG, my takeaway from ZAX was such:

Choronzon is the process by which means to ends become ends in themself.

If we stop looking at the target, we’ll inevitably miss every shot. Let’s therefore aim at the highest, so that even if we miss, we still move up.

Onward and upward! N∴, 9°=2□ A∴A∴

PS. Originally this article was meant to be titled Apocalypse, however upon re-reading Hell Ride, I thought it was best to continue with the present wording.

The Naughty Viscount

Originally published 2021.01.03

Update 2022.07.16: Given the effort it would take to include the comment threads under this post as it originally existed on my WordPress blog, I have decided that it would be better to link to archives:

Deriving Magic from Mysticism

Originally published 2021.01.03

There are many things that can be said about magic. That it’s supernatural. That it’s acausal. That it’s beyond comprehension.

I have little time, or desire, to speculate. I have grown to appreciate simplicity.

I spent a good amount of time contemplating ways to explain magic in as simple way as possible, with as few assumptions as I could get away with. This is the result.

To this end, we must begin with consciousness. One can argue incessantly about its nature, but suffice to say, it exists. We are conscious of things.

What we are conscious of is called the sensorium – a field of sensation. This encompasses both the senses (smell, touch, taste, sight, hearing, sense of balance, proprioception, etc.) as well as our emotions, and thoughts.

This last bit is critical. How can consciousness be part of the mind, if it observes the mind?

Certainly it is functionally distinct. An eye cannot see itself. An ear cannot hear itself. A nose cannot smell itself.

Why should consciousness be… conscious of itself?

Instead, it is conscious of its environment. And that environment is the sensorium, the sum total of all the feelings, thoughts, and sensations that it observes and experiences.

In everyday life, we interact with distinct parts of the environment, using other parts of the environment. This, again, is self-evident.

My hands aren’t conscious; the nerves in my arms transmit a signal, that is then interpreted by the mind, and fed into consciousness as a sensation.

So when I lift a glass of water, using my hand, it is parts of the environment interacting with each-other.

This is one way to observe the environment. It is habituated in us through our upbringing; a glass is a glass, a distinct part of that environment. A pen is a pen. A tree is a tree.

Yet there is another way to perceive; and that is the magical way. We can, with proper training and experience, cease perceiving the individual objects in our environment as what they’d commonly be.

This allows us to cease treating objects in the environment as distinct, and perceive the entire environment as one thing.

Whatever we call this thing, it is evidently alive. We can observe that by simply noticing how parts of the environment interact with each-other across time.

Therefore, it stands to reason that one might be able to communicate with it. There are many ways to do that, stemming from following ancient ritual conventions, mantras, chaos magic, or any number of methods.

The core part that makes it work, is that we’re ditching conventional ways of sub-dividing the sensorium (i.e. the environment that consciousness exists in), and deriving meaningful and accurate sub-divisions that serve our purposes.

There are a large variety of ways to accomplish any goal using magic, however this is step one; the ability to take a step back, divorce one’s consciousness from its environment, ditch the habituated perceptions, and use new ones, that are better suited towards one’s particular goals.

This change in how we perceive is necessary, and absolutely critical. It turns what might appear as symbolic, into a real thing.

The funny pattern of light on the wall can become meaningful, if we only allow it to. The scent of tea in the kitchen becomes a sign. The noise neighbors make starts seemingly responding to your actions. The kids playing outside say the right thing at the right time, as if the spirit you wanted to talk to is speaking through them. You get a random email that weirdly connects to what you desire. You look at the time and it’s that number. A glass of water becomes a source of wisdom and courage. A pen becomes an extension of your creativity. The lines drawn pull together, bind and ensnare.

The environment comes alive, in a very literal way, and begins communicating with us. All this, simply from breaking (or suspending) the habituated way we look at things.

And that’s just the surface. All of this relies on the understanding that the way we perceive and subdivide the environment into useful parts.

There are many, many different conventions for doing so, from astrological traditions, through ceremonial magic, the tarot, and so on. These – largely – have developed as a response to the necessity for passing down knowledge and insights.

However, it is very possible to perform magic without any of that; ultimately the meanings and intentions we use are deeply personal.

Once you make this leap, from habituated ways of perceiving into these more magical approaches, the methods spring forth themselves, naturally.

There is no doubt, there is no fear, because that is simply how things are. A spontaneous, sparkling joy of doing magic… and observing the results.

Yet to make that leap, a certain degree of exploration is necessary, to find consciousness first, and later understand its nature.

To that end, there is no better start than thoroughly reading Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras.

A∴A∴ in the Outer: An Open Letter

Originally published 2021.01.01

To those in service of the A∴A∴

Over the past few years, it has become obvious that the A∴A∴ has issues. Issues of lineage, issues of questionable membership, issues of dogma, issues of instruction, or even what it means to have succeeded.

This letter is not about any of them.

This is about the relationship we cultivate with the outer. The way that our tradition is perceived. The way that we stick to the Good Work that we do, and the values and principles guiding it.

From the get-go, even as Probationers, we took an Oath to “proclaim openly our connection with the A∴ A∴ and speak of It and Its principles (even so little as we understand) for that mystery is the enemy of Truth.”

One of the core principles guiding this entire endeavor is that we do not, under any circumstances personally profit from passing down the instructions and teachings of the A∴A∴.

There is however an absolute prohibition to accept money or other material reward, directly or indirectly, in respect of any service connected with the Order, for personal profit or advantage. The penalty is immediate expulsion, with no possibility of reinstatement on any terms soever.

One Star In Sight, A. Crowley

The A∴A∴ has been a teaching tradition (or order if you will) from the get-go, by design. For those aspiring, this means personal instruction by someone who has, indeed, done the work.

For those who have attained, this means an obligation to instruct and serve towards the betterment of humanity. This can take many forms; some might choose to only ever instruct their students, while others may take a more generalized approach.

As Crowley says:

He is furthermore trained to the one habit essential to Membership of the A∴A∴; he must regard all his attainments as primarily the property of those less advanced aspirants who are confided to his charge.

One Star In Sight, A. Crowley

Ultimately, however, the spirit of Truth flows through our ranks. And that has implications which have gone so far (at least to the awareness of this author) unaddressed.

The Brothers of the A ∴ A ∴ have set their faces against all charlatanism, whether of miracle-mongering or obscurantism; and all those persons who have sought reputation or wealth by such means may expect ruthless exposure, whether of their vanity or their dishonesty; for by no gentler means can they be taught.

Editorial to Equinox Vol. 1, no. 1.

It doesn’t take much looking to notice an ever-increasing number of charlatans, as Ol’ Bullethead put it, who profit by the good reputation of our school.

There are people who are entirely ignorant of our teachings or obligations are making claims that they don’t understand.

There are people who claim to be members of the A∴A∴, while profiting off the sale of instruction within our curriculum.

There are people who turn our instruction, rituals and teachings into commodities; fashion statements.

Some use our initials and seals to market their wares.

Of note here is that there is no other school aside from the A∴A∴ which instructs in either attaining to the Knowledge and Conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel, or Crossing the Abyss.

There exist parallel experiences in other traditions, however they come with different teachings, prescriptions, and understandings. Given this, they cannot be identified 1:1 with what we teach.

These are problems…

…for a number of reasons. We’re left in the unpleasant position where the reputation of our tradition is being tarnished. The very principles at its core are being eroded.

We now have to contend with disinformation. Any rank amateur can pretend to be an expert online. That leads to a lot of bad information spreading, faster than ever before. This means that many aspirants are going to be coming in with certain expectations or misunderstandings, which will take additional work to address.

We now have to contend for visibility. Those who benefit from exploiting our work are motivated to grow their business as much as possible. This flood of noise effectively obscures our presence.

We now have to contend to correct bad information. Given the nature of online business, any notion of criticism gets quickly silenced, even when completely correct. Fundamentally, it’s bad for business to admit ignorance or fault. This removes the few ways in which we can address misinformation at its source.

Since profiting from the A∴A∴ in any way leads to immediate removal, we must also contend with the possibility of students we take being compromised from the get-go. After all, a lot of these people claim to represent us – it’s easy to get the wrong impression and think that selling instruction is okay. To be clear: it isn’t.

And because they claim to represent us, it reflects badly upon the A∴A∴.

They create the impression that over time, our standards have degenerated. That we’ve let go of the very core values driving the order.

That couldn’t be further from the truth.

The way forward:

Fundamentally, this is an internal problem of the A∴A∴. However, over the years our school has splintered and grown into a number of branches. There is no clarity on who’s a member, or even who to address this letter to.

Regardless, for this tree we call A∴A∴ to be healthy, we must ensure its roots neither dry, nor rotting.

To this end, I propose that we all, collectively try our best to:

  • dispense correct and accurate instruction where it might be lacking,
  • kindly ask those who do not abide by these founding values to get out,
  • uphold our oaths to publicly represent the A∴A∴ to the best of our ability,
  • and encourage meaningful, insightful discussion wherever possible.

Just these four things will instantly improve the situation we’re in and morale. And if we are sufficiently careful not to speculate, they will also dispel most misunderstandings about the work we do outright.

Yet, it is easy to get discouraged, so allow me to reassure you: the work we do is meaningful. The clarity and lucidity success brings are unparalleled. It’s imperative that it be shared, and that is the very reason why the A∴A∴ exists.

We owe it to our students, and their students, and our friends’ students, to do our best to keep up a high standard of teaching and integrity.

Thank you and best wishes, N∴

Hell Ride

Originally published 2019.11.24

It’s been a long time. Haven’t updated this blog in ages. Haven’t had much to say. Time moves forward.

I did a Hell Ride through September. Opened one Aethyr a day, through the whole 30 days. Got all the way through.

You can find all but two of the records on my notes-and-stuff wiki. I couldn’t get myself to transcribe them from audio recordings.

Note: my personal wiki may or may not be up as you’re reading this. I apologize if it’s not.

It was quite something. It made me think a lot. About who I am, time, space, and how magic appears to work.

And at the end of the day, all I can say is, it doesn’t matter. A shift took place, a re-alignment, which calmed me down, in a fashion.

I can’t seem to find the right words to describe the change that took place. It’s the strangest thing. It’s serene, yet not-serene. Loving, yet not-loving. Hateful, yet not-hateful.

As if everything is immediately negated and brought to the opposite extreme than the one I am attempting to pursue.

And over the past few days, I’ve been attempting to center myself, to reduce my existence to the most fundamental thing I can control: breathing.

It’s… not going great. Paradoxically, every time I try, I find myself roused by interference. Either my phone rings and I’m needed, or someone knocks on the door, or my wonderful wife will want to tell me something.

It’s quite baffling. I wrote about it on the OSOA∴A∴ forum. I’m not sure what it means, or where it’s going.

On a different thread, I’ve been finding more and more that the Western Traditions are only capable of bringing one, at most, up to K&C-ish. Maybe 6=5. 7=4 seems reserved for philosophers and intellectuals, yet even those aren’t very well served by what little the West offers as far as attaining any higher.

It’s quite baffling, but it seems to uncannily go hand-in-hand with the very prominent and destructive rise of corporatism globally. Jupiter, after all, is the planet of capital, as well as government. Is it any surprise that corporations have become their own small governments?

The leap forward will be cataclysmic.

Resh, Ruby, Reguli

Originally published 2018.07.26

Note: This is all my own conjecture based on my own experience. Tread cautiously.

Note 2020.12.29: Having been there and done that, this line of inquiry is a dead end. And if I don’t buy the ideas I came up with in the first place… I’m not sure you should, either.

Note 2022.07.16: Upon review for moving my blog over to org-mode… I find this idea completely dead. It is a little bit embarrassing that I had thought about it seriously at all, but in retrospect it’s just bunk. Leaving it here for historical reasons.

Resh -> Ruby -> Reguli

Liber Resh vel Helios (200) consists of four adorations given to solar deities at the four stations of the Sun.

These are to be followed by the appropriate adoration from Liber Θεσαυρού Είδολων vel The Treasure House of Images (963).

So there’s two elements here.

  • The daily cycle of the Sun, which grants Tipharethic authority within one’s domain, recharges our batteries, and builds the “bow” to fling the aspirant forth towards Tiphareth. Notice also that it coincides with the path of Samekh on the Tree of Life, if we consider the Aspirant to be placed at either Malkuth or Iesod (depending on grade).
  • The astrological significance of the Ascending sign, giving some credence to the idea that the nature of one’s Angel is in line with one’s Ascendant, given the idea of invoking Solar forces whilst adoring one’s Ascending sign.

This might be significant, considering some traditions attribute the zodiac to Chokmah. That’s for a longer conversation to have, however.

It could be argued that Resh can well stand in for the LBRP, as a day-long ritual, constantly invoking and consecrating the aspirant in his daily life.

Anyhow. We’ve established the daily rotation. Now let’s speed it up.

Liber XXV vel The Star Ruby consists of a similar structure to the LBRP, and as far as it is known to me, Crowley intended it to substitute the LBRP for Thelemites. However, there aren’t any records of Crowley actually performing the Ruby. So we’re left to our own devices.

It is my assertion that the Ruby builds on top of Resh in a more direct manner.

It establishes the Tree of Life with the Qabalistic Cross, evokes the names of the Archons (standing in for the Angels of the LBRP), etc. etc.

The ritual is linked above, have a look.

Here’s the second rotation (which continues along with Resh). While the Sun’s orbiting the aspirant, the aspirant starts rotating around their own axis.

Then… we have something amazing.

The paean. IO PAN!

And the NOX signs.

It’s commonly thought that these elements should push the aspirant upwards on the Tree, towards the Abyss.

But… it’s my conjecture that they do the reverse.

Pan is the force of nature. The spirit that embraces Malka and gives life to matter. Thus, the NOX signs and Pan coincide to further DESCEND into matter, rather than move the aspirant’s cognition from it.

The NOX signs, in fact, very well describe the relationship between Pan and Malka, if performed in the proper order.

The NOX signs, of course, create yet another recursive cycle to keep track of, which comes to fruition in the next ritual – Reguli.

The conclusion for Ruby isn’t propping oneself up on the Tree, but rather, “drawing the bow” of Samekh.

It is creating internal, spiritual tension for the next ritual in the series…

Liber V vel Reguli – The Ritual of the Mark of the Beast

So we have come full circle from Resh to Reguli.

The Sun orbiting the aspirant, we have the aspirant rotating…

And then we have this.

Reguli begins (I am skipping steps a bit for the sake of brevity) by establishing the Tree of Life and chakras for the purposes of ritual.

Then the aspirant is required to himself go onto the circumference of the circle, and pace about it widdershins.

Now the Sun’s orbiting the aspirant, and the aspirant is orbiting the center of his circle.

This is done several times, invoking the elemental powers of the Aeon (Nuit, Hadit, Therion, Babalon).

THEN the aspirant is to continue orbiting, ever closer to the center of the circle… but with a key addition.

Every time he passes one of the quarters, he’s required to revolve around his own axis.

In this way, the Sun revolves around the aspirant, the aspirant revolves around the Center, and the aspirant revolves around his own axis.

Then he comes to a stop in the center. He traces the Mark of the Beast, and the Unicursal Hexagram.

He strikes the earth, implying an assertion of authority, or impregnation thereof.

The sign of M.T. and “Θέλημα”, indicating pregnancy with one’s will, and thus residing in the sphere of Tiphareth.

And then the spiraling begins anew, this time moving clockwise while whirling widdershins at each quarter, and invoking the powers of AL.

This is because when we come to the center, we have flung ourselves from the Bow of Samekh, and reached the target. We “penetrate” the egg, in a manner of speaking.

What’s left from there is to take the Will we find, and manifest it under Divine Providence in the world, thus moving deosil (in tune with the world, expressing the energies, by some accounts), while whirling widdershins (keeping one’s focus towards the inside).

It is my assertion that regular practice and understanding of these rituals as a set, rather than as individual workings, might be of value, and potentially sufficient for the process of Knowledge and Conversation to occur.

PS. Another understanding that might be worth exploring is this. Resh is the cycles of the Sun, Ruby is the cycles of the Temple, NOX signs are the cycles of Time, while Reguli is the cycle of Self/ Incarnation.

PPS. Attached is an old analysis of the Star Ruby I wrote. I am uncertain as to whether this is the latest version, as I lost the original files in a hard drive crash. I ought to update it eventually, which I plan to do in the uncertain future.

IO-PAN-An-Analysis-of-the-Star-Ruby

PPPS. This is a repost from one of my writings for the OSOAA. If you’re interested in discussing, exploring or practicing the A∴A∴ system, come join us at www.OSOAA.org.

Note 2022.07.16: Ignore all that. The OSOAA is dead, and there is a much better analysis available in one of the newer posts (closer to the top of the page).

My ’adventure’ with the Ordo Templ Orientis

Originally published 2016.04.16 - though I am pretty sure it was earlier, as I did have to migrate my blog around that time. I think 2014ish?

My first interest in the Ordo Templi Orientis sprang from my unquenchable thirst for knowledge – in March 2011, I had acquired the Thoth Tarot deck (having gone through several different ‘paths’ previously), and having blazed through all the literature that I could find on it, I sought more.

Certainly, I may have not understood much at the time, but I had an insatiable curiosity within me as to where the cards could lead me. I read about the O.T.O., saw that it was in possession of all of Crowley’s texts and publications, and I made contact.

My first meeting was with two members of the local camp. They seemed rather knowledgeable, although declined to reveal much about the inner workings of the order, alluding to some ‘greater’ mystery, as I recall it. They also refused to speak of numbers, as they probably knew that nobody would be interested in joining a 2-man group (as they then were). Not knowing better, I bought this story, and sought initiation.

It has to be said that in Poland, where I live, the O.T.O. is a rather small (by comparison) outfit. Still, even though my expectations weren’t much, I did expect at least some sort of temple, adequate knowledge and studies being made, as well as work being done (in the form of rituals, publications, you know, magic — after all, that’s what the O.T.O. is about, the IX°). It is important to note this, since my attitude towards those issues is key in understanding why I took the path I did, and what pushed me to inquire further.

I was initiated as Minerval on the 19th of November 2011 e.v., in a house rented specifically for this function, far out of any decently populated areas. Without exception, everything was set up very nicely, however I do have to admit that I expected much more from an outfit which proclaims war on the status quo and revolution. Here’s a quote from the back of the Centennial Liber AL edition:

Life and Liberty are threatened everywhere. We need a Watchword and a Banner for the battle. We need a Principle on which to reconstruct. And so: Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.

If you want Freedom you must fight for it. If you want to Fight you must organize. If you want to Organize, write to: [OTO USA address]

I’ll be damned if that isn’t a call for revolution, especially considering the Third Chapter of Liber AL.

Still, I took the initiation, digested it as well as I could at the time, and in its spirit decided to read further into the O.T.O., its history, current leadership and what I have gotten myself into. After all, it’s only reasonable for a newcomer, a guest (and “honored” at that), to want to know more about the group he is about to join with a life-long commitment.

As it turned out, the O.T.O. proper, which was the one Crowley had lead in his time, had died alongside it’s last leader, Karl Germer. Then in 1969, Grady McMurtry re-established the Ordo Templi Orientis as Caliph. Without going into the complex politics which followed, namely the lawsuits between McMurtry and Motta as to the legitimacy of their O.T.O. and copyright claims, I found that the O.T.O. I was told I joined simply wasn’t it. In fact, it was so much not it that I began questioning how I even got there.

Here’s Thelemapedia (which is maintained by O.T.O. folks, by the way):

Germer died in 1962 without himself naming a successor. In 1969, Grady McMurtry invoked his emergency authorization from Crowley and assumed the title of Caliph, which Crowley had granted him. He began performing intiations in 1970.

In short, the OTO didn’t exist at all for 7 years.

As you can see, the O.T.O. as such didn’t exist outside of the minds of a few people once Germer was gone. Lineage was broken, and McMurtry wasn’t even a proper O.H.O., but only a “Caliph”. Therefore it is folly to treat the Caliphate as identical to the “original” Crowley O.T.O. in any but the most loose terms.

Asking around in my camp got me nowhere, as nobody was willing to talk about these issues (and as I found out later, I was being reported to the national executive (meaning, FSR) for asking these questions). But I reached further, and made contact with two initiates from the states. One of them proved to also be a dear friend and brother within the A∴A∴ who has helped me immensely with my understanding of kaula cults, and later authored the “Fair and Just Inquisition” post on this blog.

The other person wasn’t quite as helpful for me personally, however provided valuable information about the spiritual foundations on which the Caliphate was built, and introduced me to it’s history by means of the “Black Lodge of Santa Cruz”.

[Note 2022.07.16: In retrospect, my understanding of those relationships was flawed. One went full fascist, the other proved a dear friend and brother, introducing me to Zen and showing me inhumane degrees of patience.]

There also exists a Thelemic Discussion Group on Facebook which I frequented over this time, finding more and more proof that the Caliphate Ordo Templi Orientis was in fact inept and impotent, both magically and politically.

Some examples of this are found in the lack of property, the dissonance in the philosophy of high-grade members, the extremely weak publishing program, and the very loose approach to the founding documents of the Order (Liber 194 in particular).

Sure, the initiation I got was amazing, and it had a profound impact on me. However what it also did was, it awoke a certain feeling of duty, zeal, towards the Order, which later took the form of resentment and bitterness with time, as nothing was done with these crucial issues. After all, I got involved because I wanted to learn, not because I wanted to pretend to learn.

But I pressed on. I took my time with my own projects. I studied the Tarot in as much depth as I could, and I kept on asking about the A∴A∴, as I by then knew that the O.T.O. didn’t have anything to offer me in terms of actual, tangible knowledge or understanding. All I got was a P.O. box address from the back of a publication. That didn’t really work for me, as I wanted real people, not some P.O. box with no information about who operates it, and no way to see if the person on the other side is in any way legitimate.

So I kept on searching, and I joined the Ray Eales’ A∴A∴ Lineage in April 2012. Without much fuss, I was accepted as a Probationer, and began work.

[Note 2022.07.16: that was a really bad idea. Avoid any Motta-derived branches of the A∴A∴ like the plague.]

In the meantime, the O.T.O. was (in my eyes) at the verge of breaking down, as information about a Donald Ray Wallace and David Taylor began surfacing. Apparently these fine gentlemen were involved with the Ordo Templi Orientis (I am not certain as to their membership status). I won’t go into the details, however it is important to note that they were both convicted of inhumane crimes, while the Leadership of the O.T.O. simply ignored them.

Here’s a few sources on those two gents:

This brought hurt on the part of several persons within the order. And yet, the leadership didn’t even acknowledge it’s failure in filtering out the bad apples until it was really, really pushed by media attention. This really got me started on the way of analyzing the O.T.O. on a deeper level. What I found was rather unpleasant to behold.

First of all, the O.T.O. has a membership of less than ten thousand [Note 2022.07.16: Likely less than 3,000 globally as of this note.], which, for an organization which is revolutionary in it’s nature, and is supposed to be all about political power, is rather disappointing. Especially when you consider that it’s been around for over what, 40 years now?

Secondly, it later turned out that the “Caliph”, who goes by the motto Hymenaeus Beta, decided to change Liber AL vel Legis sf 220. Yes, that’s right. The guy who swore not to change the book, is in the process of changing it, essentially on a whim. You can find his (rather weak in my opinion) justification on the O.T.O. IHQ website.

Personally, I have huge doubts about his decision, especially since there is no reason given beyond “the secret chiefs said so”. Which, given the weak financial state of the Order, forces me to assume that it’s just a cop-out in order to make a precedent to re-write the Book, and make money from its sales.

Anyway, the months went by, and I focused more on my own work, as there was nothing else I actually could do without my conscience saying “hey dude you’re being a doormat”.

Now, to give you an example of how certain members of my local body were, just so you know how dedicated most of them are to the goals of the O.T.O.. I won’t even go into the issue of no temple space, as that’s just incidental to what I perceive as a lack of investment.

First, there were the guys who were initiated alongside me. One broke off almost instantly, stopped showing up at meetings just after a few months, and the other got instantly hooked on the ideas of the O.T.O., and I’m pretty sure he’d do anything for the Order regardless of it’s ethical connotations.

Regardless, the latter often proved to be rather inept and immature in terms of daily devotion to his practices, and all I ever heard from him was how the idea of “fraternity” was so “awesome” &c. And then he’d hit me up on Facebook drunkenly and whine about how he had a row with his girl, how he got drunk blind and his buddy was possessed by demons, and all sorts of otherwise irrelevant stuff. Not to mention all the times we’d arrange to meet and do some evocations, and he would either forget or be unavailable. And those were not few at all.

Secondly, there was the Local Body Master. To give you an idea of how disappointing my experience with my local O.T.O. camp was, here’s some more on that guy; although fun to be around, the actual work being done in regards to growth and progress was at most minimal.

For one, he always somehow relied on the very bare-bones basics of everything, which was always troubling to me. I’d say something obvious, as a support for my further thoughts, then move on, and when I asked the important questions, I’d just get to hear the obvious part which I had already said, as if that was the conclusion. Mirroring only goes so far when one pursues new knowledge.

I’ve no doubt that leading a body of the O.T.O. is hard work (provided it grows; ours didn’t), however I do have doubts about the efficiency of the LBM. Each and every time I asked about making the camp grow, I would get some crappy cop-out like “now is not the time” or “the camp doesn’t grow because a certain persons’ attention is elsewhere” – this in reference to the Frater Superior Representative. As if the officers making the camp prosper isn’t the idea at all.

There is one thing however, that struck me as odd. When he was preparing his lecture on the Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram, he basically gleamed over it in 20 minutes, and that was it (he went to a party the prior evening and “worked” over the LBRP lecture overnight — not a good way to do a good job). However later, while we were loosely talking, it came up that “banishing” is in fact just invoking the opposite force (which, although might sound nutty, holds water in most cases – I’ll write an article about this later on). This struck me very hard, and I am grateful for this idea to him, but wouldn’t it be easier to just, you know, make it part of his talk? After all, that’s what this is about, no?

Thirdly, there was the yogi. The most hard-working guy of us all, at least as far as I am aware. He was the guy who researched astrology, and with whom I finally got to do some actual magic. We worked the Goetia for several months, and got to discuss the fundamental issues in the politics of the O.T.O. as we actually saw it. I am very glad to be able to still call him my friend. As far as I am currently aware, he has retired from the O.T.O. in recent months for one reason or another.

And then there’s the FSR appointed for Poland. From what I gather (he was my initiator), he’s a rather busy man, with a lot of work on his hands – translating Crowley, publishing Crowley, giving lectures on the O.T.O., preparing conferences, and all that other stuff he does. Which is wonderful, no doubt about it.

The main problem I see with this set-up that he has is, that it makes him rather unreliable when it comes to dealing with low-level, Man of Earth level stuff. It’s like the King forgetting his robes one day, without even realizing it.

One of those compromising situations was, that the lamen of our local body was transliterated to Greek for some reason (a Latin anagram in Greek lettering? Nope, doesn’t work). I remember talking to the LBM about this twice, and I was assured that it’d be fixed. However this never happened. Two weeks later, lo and behold, the messed up lamen on Facebook.

Anyway, time passed, and in early June I was going through a phase of deep disappointment in the state of the O.T.O. Suffice to say that a discussion on some rather touchy and uncomfortable (to OTO people) topics began on the Polish Thelema Group on Facebook, with me and few others asking rather simple questions, and getting insulted in return.

The discussion took place here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/147671338606766/permalink/588903874483508/

The topics discussed were really, really basic and fundamental to the philosophy of Thelema – among them was the issue of authority, the import of the A∴A∴ within the context of changing the Book of the Law, and other such important issues which have been well covered by Crowley in his time.

Then, astoundingly quickly I was contacted by the aforementioned FSR, who essentially asked me to explain my stance on these issues, which I did, in what I hold to be a reasonable and rational manner. I was notified of a report on my case being filed immediately, as well as being put on bad report and expelled from the O.T.O. globally.

Holding the FSR to be competent in at least this extent (I mean, come on, he’s a high-grade member, for Christs sake), I assumed the report was filed, and awaited my copy of the report, as well as a request for more information from the IHQ. After two months of hearing nothing from the Order, I sent a request for a status update to the Secretary General. To my surprise, nothing was filed against me, which means that I was still on good report. This, as it turns out, isn’t all that uncommon a way of getting rid of ‘inconvenient’ persons.

I confronted the FSR and LBM with this issue. What’s funny is, Here in Poland, there is no such thing as a “Man of Earth Triad Representative”, because of the insignificant membership. And the LBM apparently had no idea what to do, as he himself admitted that he’s waiting for the FSR’s directions. Which means, that the average Man of Earth member of the O.T.O. (in Poland) has no actual way of legally (by O.T.O. rules and regulations) defending himself in such a position.

On the 22nd of August I filed a charge of slander against the FSR in question, given that I was excluded from Order activities without being given any actual reason for it. As the FSR was attending NOTOCON, he replied to me on the 24th, saying that he just finished a 14 hour long trip, and would reply once he rested. Finally, on the 18th (that’s one hell of a rest) of September I was notified that I am being “properly” expelled, “on grounds of [my] unfraternal behavior and open hostility regarding the Order, as exhibited in his blog and email exchanges with [the FSR]”.

Pretty interesting, don’t you think? But let’s re-view this: over the whole course of this exchange, not one time did anyone bring up a proper definition of “unfraternal behavior”. If bringing up facts about the O.T.O. (which have been published for years now, and should be common knowledge among the membership in order to avoid similar screw-ups), and asking questions about the direction it has taken is considered “unfraternal”, how can one take this organization seriously at all?

It’s not like the O.T.O. addresses the issues that are brought up in any official capacity, ever, either. I wonder whether this isn’t because that would force them to acknowledge that these are in fact problems to take care of. But apparently saving face and churning through members by the dozen is the better option, at least from their perspective.

Some thoughts on the tasks of the Grades of the A∴A∴

As we all (or should) know, the four grades of the Outer College are set about by the attainment of control over ones inner, elemental faculties. I have, under the influence of Kali, come to the preposterous conclusion that each grade requires for one not to “surrender” ones Task to the spirit of the HGA, but instead to force ones way with the given element, in order to establish ones unquestionable authority over ones qualities.

Edit 2020.12.29: I have since taken the position that if one is committed enough to take the Oath of Probation, truly and in earnest, the inevitable result is that of success. Magic can be useful on this path, however there are a very wide number of events and experiences which lead to that same result, most of which have nothing to do with magic at all.

Edit 2015.10.24: I wouldn’t say “force” is the right word, any more. “Manage the element” sounds much better, and is more appropriate, now that I read this again. As for authority, it’s less that. It’s more like “integrating” the element into how one functions — so that it’s helpful, rather than a hindrance or obstacle.

As such, the Neophyte is not so much required to allow the HGA to communicate the symbols of the Pentacle, as much as to commit with confidence and authority his sigil as proof of his attainment in Malkuth.

As the Probationer learns about Malkuth, due to her introspective and receptive influence (the pentacle), the Neophyte carves the pentacle with Iesod’s dagger, the Zelator purifies the Waters of Iesod in the Black Chalice of Hod, the Practicus directs his intellect with the powers of Will, and the Philosophus Places his Will under the command of his Holy Guardian Angel, that is, the Silent Self.

These processes are chained. One cannot initiate one without starting all the others; for to reach the Probationer, the Light of Tiphareth has to descend through Netzach, Hod, Iesod, and Malkuth. Sadly, the Probationer unknowingly (most of the time) focuses on just one part of the tasks that he has oathed himself to (as the Oath of Probation implies the Oath of Adeptus Minor).

As the authority of the Angel is conferred on the Probationer, so does his responsibility for his life reach 100%.

Again; the one Oath, that of Probationer, puts the whole machine into work at once. Necessarily, one is forced to work on all planes that this concerns; that is, from Malkuth to Tiphareth, in order to “force” oneself into a desirable shape, so that the Angel might inhabit ones body.

I do realize this is slightly out there, and probably not a very interesting concept to many, however I do believe that there is merit in alternative views on the grade structure, and how they interact between each-other. Also keep in mind that this are just my thoughts; I might be right, I might be wrong.

Crowley on O.T.O. succession

Originally published 2015.10.28

The following quote is from this blog post. Quite interesting in a historical context.

Crowley, in a letter to Germer dated March 14, 1942 e.v., wrote:

I shall appoint you as my successor as O.H.O. [i.e. Outer Head of the Order of O.T.O.], but on special terms. It is quite clear to me that a complete change in the structure of the Order, and in its methods, is necessary.

Such a change was never implemented. Germer later wrote of Crowley:

He suggested to me that I may either drop this form or system of working, or devise my entirely independent method”. He apparently chose the former option, as he ceased all initiations and dropped the work entirely, choosing to focus on publishing Crowley’s works alone. Germer is often criticized for this; but it was his prerogative.

And in a letter dated Nov. 24, 1941, Aleister Crowley expatiated on these points as follows:

Note that the O.T.O. will probably have to be completely reconstructed. The temp [sic] of the New Aeon seems unfavourable for Lodges, and the “Secrets” are unintelligible to anyone who has not made a long study of the system. At present there are really two sections: the rituals – up to Rose Croix; and the essays of instruction dealing with the one real secret. The ritual corresponding with these were never written, except the Templar. So I rather expect that it will be up to you to devise some totally new method of communicating the real secret. … you, not I, are the axle of the wheel.

A Recursive Model of Reality

Originally published 2015.08.21

Definition of RECURSIVE 1: of, relating to, or involving recursion 2: of, relating to, or constituting a procedure that can repeat itself indefinitely

Definition of RECURSION 1: return 1 2: the determination of a succession of elements (as numbers or functions) by operation on one or more preceding elements according to a rule or formula involving a finite number of steps 3: a computer programming technique involving the use of a procedure, subroutine, function, or algorithm that calls itself one or more times until a specified condition is met at which time the rest of each repetition is processed from the last one called to the first

Having these definitions in mind, I am about to propose something rarely heard of these days: that the universe is a self-sustaining physical system with no need for a beginning or an end, in terms of time.

The basis of this is the laws that rule the universe, as well as a simple idea: that time is not a real dimension, but rather an abstraction created by our brains from the course of events and neurological impact (memories) they create.

An example of recursion can be found in the acronym “GNU”, which stands for “GNU ‘s not Unix”, which can be indefinitely expanded into “GNU ‘s not Unix ‘s not Unix ‘s not Unix ‘s not Unix ‘s not Unix…”.

In functional terms, the universe works such: nextMoment = lawsOfPhysics (previousMoment)

I would believe that each iteration for the sum of the universe is equal to one length of Planck time. Incidentally, this length isn’t constant, which can have very interesting implications.

Now, since this length of time is so short, it means we can do very, very interesting things, even within our own neurology. However the most interesting thing is this:

http://www.digitaljournal.com/science/experiment-shows-future-events-decide-what-happens-in-the-past/article/434829

This means that the Universe is re-calculated each time something changes. The present moment is the only reality extant. Everything else is fluid and adapts to it.

For example, if you have a traumatized person, and you wipe their memory of that event, they’re no longer traumatized. In fact, as far as they are concerned, they never were. Just like the slit experiment in the article above, reality adapts to the current state of being.

In this way, we have a quite deterministic model of reality. However the two things I want to address are: telepathy, and “magic”, i.e. things which can reach to different states of being (also called “trance”).

Working with ceremonial magic and hypnosis, I have gained a strong belief that by going into trance, a person can easily become significantly more efficient at processing information within their own neurology.

The important part is this: reality calculates itself based on previous states. That means that by calculating things in your own neurology and space, you can influence future iterations towards a certain result.

Now, if, and this is a big if, I am correct, then we can “program” reality by performing certain actions, regardless of how causally disconnected they might seem from the end result.

The main idea is this: decide on an outcome you want, and work towards it by treating the outcome as the obvious result of your actions, regardless of what they are. Since only the present moment exists, being confident in your success gives that success a reason to take place.

As an example, reframing the above: consider wanting to make more money. What you want to do is focus on the end result, and develop it as much as you want, and only on that; naturally, an opportunity for you to reach that outcome will arise, as reality assimilates your calculations (desires).

It is important to note why this is happening: it’s because you’re providing a ready result that you want, which means that it’s easier to incorporate that into future states of reality than to calculate another set, and then reconcile the two.

Now, since we can by ritual or trance simulate future outcomes and assimilate them into reality, what else can we do?

We can simulate past states of reality within our neurology. Obviously not all of them, however within a quite useful extent nonetheless. For example, by synching with a person’s current state, one would be able to gain knowledge of their previous states rather readily — this might explain the phenomenon of telepathy discussed in Ulman and Kripper’s “Dream Telepathy” as well as Puharich’s “Beyond Telepathy”. Or it might not.

Anyway, these are my weird abstract thoughts for the while — if they make sense, great. If not, too bad. I will probably return to this someday again.

Hopefully this is useful.

Some philosophical considerations

Originally published 2014.09.23

Note: this was written a LONG, LONG time ago. Haven’t updated it. Probably never will.

Update: In retrospect (this note being written at the end of 2020), I can’t in good faith stand by what I had said, and the implications that carries. I’m leaving this post up solely as a bit of history.

Over the last two months, I have been studying hypnosis in as much detail as I can, since I am working towards attending a course on hypnotherapy. Doing that, I have read almost everything there is to know about hypnosis from a neurological standpoint, as well as I have developed a simple model of the mind which I use when hypnotizing people.

Now, please bear with me, as this is something I want to explain in as precise a manner as possible, and it’s rather significant to what I mean.

The mind consists (at least functionally) from the Maintenance unit (basically breathing, heartbeat, everything that happens automatically that keeps us alive), the Memory, Perception, and the Decision-making faculty. The last of which also, in its process, causes us to be conscious; there can’t be a decision made if there is no-one to make it, and us being conscious, having an identity (regardless of what it is), allows us to make decisions and have some degree of autogenic control.

To make any decision, we need to connect two things: our memory (which holds our identity, experiences, skills, and everything else we know), and our perception. Then on their basis the brain automatically (in the ACC and DLPFC) generates consciousness (because someone has to make a decision), in order to justify itself in making a decision. The brain operates on logic.

Here’s where it all comes together (sparing you the dozens of studies and declassified mind-control documents):

http://www.whatsonmybrain.com/head-hacking-part-2/

http://www.whatsonmybrain.com/head-hacking-part-3/

https://mega.co.nz/#F!oYJ0kLgZ!YwzuXTG01thC1fUxujFuUw

I have experimented with eliciting various visions in myself, and two other people, and we have so far to see any difference whatsoever between them and ritually reached ones. The way we induced these was through Autogenic Training methods, combined with the Automatic Imagination model.

Here’s an interesting chain of logic if we apply this to the A.’.A.’., however. In that context, the outer college is all about straightening out ones psyche (ritual, yoga and memorization as passive psychotherapy) and getting a grasp of abstract concepts (being that the A.’.A.’. is rooted in a symbolical model of the mind, rather than a functional one). Then, for the first time at Tiphareth, one achieves direct contact with the “other”, as Levinas called it. Essentially perceiving the automatic mind. Since the brain is insanely powerful, it isn’t beyond it’s power to maintain and induce growth in itself (the “Will”).

Then at Chesed, we straighten out our philosophy entirely. This is crucial, as it implies that we simplify the consciousness, and our decision-making process into nothing, intellectually. It is what allows ones mind (personality) not to be distorted in the automatic process. There isn’t any space left to do anything about anything after this at all.

What follows is, we cross the Abyss (the Amnesic barrier, so called), becoming without consciousness (as there are no more decisions to make, we have oriented ourselves, and everything else follows), and allowing the automatic brain to simply take over and act.

What really connected this idea to the A.’.A.’. for me was chapter 32 of the Book of Lies, which clearly shows that consciousness is not something to “expand” or “awaken”, but rather a symptom of internal conflict (only a person completely without doubt or internal conflict can just act without having to make conscious decisions). Not to mention that conscious decisions are comparatively slow, as the conscious sensation of making a decision has to be elicited in the brain.

See: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N6S9OidmNZM

Another connection is the fact that Crowley clearly states that the trance “Nirodha-samapatti” is the key to the attainment of the grade of Ipsissimus. This would mean that Kether doesn’t represent the “first spark” at all, but rather the constant neuronal activity which keeps us alive by keeping our heart beating, our gastric tract working, and our diaphragm moving, the “spirit of life”, so to speak.

Which makes me wonder whether the system of the A.’.A.’. is, indeed, the most efficient. Especially given the seeming lack of attainment, and madness which surrounds most lineages.

At this point, I don’t know. It does seem to me that it’s all the brain. The only thing this doesn’t account for is astrology and divination. I have, multiple times, divined things for people. The chances of doing that are astronomically small, and yet somehow that worked well.

Furthermore, I am quite fond of this bit, as it does imply that it’s mostly a neurological process (as he does in the introduction to the Lemegeton):

In this book it is spoken of the Sephiroth and the Paths; of Spirits and Conjurations; of Gods, Spheres, Planes, and many other things which may or may not exist. It is immaterial whether these exist or not. By doing certain things certain results will follow; students are most earnestly warned against attributing objective reality or philosophic validity to any of them.

–Liber 6 Cap I;2.

I hope this gives you something to think about and consider. It’s been an interesting journey for me through the years. Post your comments, thoughts, and critiques, if you have any. I’m always open to have my ideas challenged, and this is as good an opportunity as any.

A Fair and Just Inquisition

Originally published 2012.11.23

Note: I am keeping this here as a bit of history, and reference. I did not write this post, nor am I the author, who I’ll identify as a “Frater K.” Messages to the author will not be forwarded, not do I know how to reach him since we’ve taken separate paths.

Note 2: There have been a few comments on the post on my wordpress instance, and I honestly don’t feel like the effort is warranted to reproduce them here. You can find them on archived versions of the page:

Do What Thou Wilt Shall be the Whole of the Law,

As of about a decade ago, something has gone very, very, wrong in the world of Thelema. Somehow, somewhere, many bodies entrusted with the promulgation of the Law of Thelema have dropped the ball.

The evidence abounds; T. Allen Greenfield, Graeb, Cornelius, and many others of far less importance to the organizational administration of the Ordo Templi Orientis of William Breeze have either been pushed out or outright quit for a number of reasons, ranging from dissent to non-compliance to even more troubling reasons. This pales in comparison to the incidents surrounding the Ordo Templi Orientis Prison Outreach Program.

It takes a lot of digging to find this information. Some of it has been aggregated by people like Pete Koenig, who has been deemed as an “Enemy of the Order” by William Breeze. It is policy that those who visit his website (and make that knowledge public) face reprisals simply for viewing that information. While folks like Koenig do actually have a philosophical axe to grind against the Order, legitimate or not, we need not rely on his biased interpretations to find out what’s going on. For those who don’t know about the stories of these people, I can offer a brief synopsis and links:

T Allen Greenfield was at one point a wandering Bishop of the EGC, later formally recognized by Breeze, and lawyer who received many documents of appreciation from the Order…he was later pushed out for questioning Breeze’s ability to lead, under some strange circumstances…more information can be found here http://tausirhasirim.livejournal.com/48851.html?thread=749523, a link to his livejournal (which contains a quote that lead to the title of this essay) and http://b-oto.org/greenfield/ which is a link to his book in .pdf format, Inquisition in 21st Century America. The book chronicles the events surrounding his expulsion from the Order. The most striking detail about this whole affair is the “Statement of Solidarity”, a document in which Breeze, acting as Outer Head of the Order, demanded that the Sovereign Grand Inspectors General, as well as higher level members of the 9th degree, sign a statement saying that those who sign would not question Breeze’s ability to lead or his decisions. Among the signatures are Lon Milo Duquette, who was one of the individuals considered along with Breeze to replace McMurtry after his death. Greenfield stepped down/was expelled in 2006…one of the more recent rumblings from inside of the Order. It seems that his falling out with the Order very much so followed the cliché “You can’t quit, we’re kicking you out!” scenario.

Graeb is a more interesting story. He was one of the associates of Patrick King, contributing to the new interpretation of the rite of the 11th Degree, as well as a co-founder of the current incarnation of the Ordo Templi Orientis, along with Grady McMurtry. It has come to my attention while writing this that he has passed away as of July 26th of this year, with no comment from the OTO with respect to his integral role in establishing the Order as we know it today. Graeb considered himself to be the acting 11th degree for many years, and after a series of disputes, he was finally expelled -after he had withdrawn a lawsuit against Breeze in order to secure his continued association with the Order – in 2004…an omen of things to come. Information about this seems to have been removed from the internet. Thank goodness I managed to snag the files before they were lost. As such, you can read the response of Graeb to his expulsion in the .zip file attached at the bottom of this post.

The final case of the expulsion of a well known member that I will cover is that of Jerry Cornelius, another of the ‘old guard’ who was around well before he installation of Breeze as OHO. He was pushed out in 2000. This expulsion was based around the publication of an issue of The Red Flame in which he made the assertion that there were multiple lineages of the A.’.A.’….to quote his open epistle:

It has been wisely said that he who hasn’t accumulate enemies, hasn’t truly lived or accomplished much in their lifetime. I wish this wasn’t true but it does seem to be the case. Red Flame No.7, The Magickal Essence of Aleister Crowley, was met with phenomenal reviews worldwide and sold out within a month. The majority of the letters I received said that although they couldn’t agree with some of the material it was refreshing to see new thought in a stagnating Thelemic world. However, there was a tiny bit of negativity thrown my way. You could count all the complaints on one hand with four fingers remaining. It’s easy to tell where the foot stomping, crying and petty whining came from or rather who was the disgruntled. He belonged to one particular lineage of the AA, Marcelo Motta’s and his name is Frater Hymenaeus Beta or rather William Breeze. It seems that I perturbed his reasoning by daring to discuss a certain sensitive issue in an open forum which he wanted concealed or kept secret from everyone. I let the world know that there are other branches of the AA besides his own. Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxmis culpa, may the Gods forgive me for this ultimate sin of honesty and Truth. Yes, I made it very clear that just because he can put an ad in the back of an Aleister Crowley book it doesn’t mean that his is the only AA. However, for the record, I never once attacked his or anyone else’s right to exist, as he has repeatedly done in regards to myself and many others. I simply expressed that, contrary to what he would like the world to believe, he is not the only AA.”

The second part of the whole document (which is quite large) can be read at the following link; I send you directly to the second page for a reason which will become clear as this essay unfolds in it’s entirety. http://www.cornelius93.com/EpistleExpulsion-2.html

This is very troubling. While all three of the aforementioned expulsions were predicated on gripes (legitimate or not) about the way that the Order is ran by it’s current upper management, the two earlier expulsions have a more sinister implication. This can be read about in the Epistle of Achad Osher on his expulsion, but in the interest of painting a full picture of what seems to be going on, I’ll say that the removal of Graeb and Cornelius seems to be based upon the idea of associating with “certain other bodies”. To new initiates, this is explained as not being a member of any other group that uses or claims to use name or structure of the Ordo Templi Orientis, and this is honestly a fair enough request, for it could breed a conflict of interest especially if it came down to brass tax and the question of legal ownership of the Order ever made it to court yet again. What makes this a problematic policy is when it’s coupled with a statement even more vague, that Breeze has now announced that any A.’.A.’. lineage or initiate can be considered legitimate “until proven otherwise”. On the surface, for those that understand the A.’.A.’., this is another fairly reasonable statement – that one who claims A.’.A.’. can be outed as a fraud in word, deed, and quality of instruction. There’s another side to this coin that is not so obvious; that if someone possesses a passphrase (such as the Word of the Equinox) that is not the same as the one that Breeze possesses, that person is not viewed as ‘legitimate’.

Rumors have been abounding for a number of years that it is the intention of Breeze to consolidate and corporatize the system of the A.’.A.’. – a system that Crowley said, in his last will and testament, should be “Free, as in Freedom” to all who gain access to the teachings and writings. This also brings up the problem of lineage as a whole.

To ascertain the scope problem here, it must be understood that when Karl Germer, Crowley’s original successor, died there was no system in place to select the new heads of both the A.’.A.’. and the OTO. In America around this time, Wolfe started to accept students and promulgate the establishment of Thelema through the A.’.A.’. while McMurtry was trying to establish the OTO as a functioning body once again, to which effect both performed quite well. That said, Wolfe’s attainment may well be questionable, in that she never officially passed out of the Probationer grade until near Crowley’s death, at which point Therion claimed that she’d attained higher than Probationer long ago and he simply “forgot to tell” her.

In Brazil, Marcello Ramos Motta was doing the same, only he was trying to assert the presence of both the A.’.A.’. and the OTO. Motta lost the court battle that established McMurtry’s outfit as a legitimate corporate entity. While his claims to the OTO were nullified, to this day it is insisted that his lineage of the A.’.A.’. is completely legitimate within the McMurtry incarnation of the OTO.The problem here is the insistence of “legitimacy” in that when Motta died, those that he appointed as successors stepped down from a role in Thelema or simply did not act (these being Claudia Canuto de Mezes, Ben Stone, and Will Barden). Before all of this, before the court case that established the Caliphate, a young man by the name of James Daniel Gunther applied to the A.’.A.’. and progressed until he was expelled at 4=7. The public reason for this expulsion was a murder plot against Claudia, though to give Gunther the benefit of the doubt (skepticism does not equal dismissal) it could be argued that Gunther surpassed Motta and was pushed out of that branch of the A.’.A.’. because he was asking questions no one could answer with respect to attainment of Knowledge and Conversation of the HGA. Indeed, as far as I’m aware, that’s the opinion of Gunther’s lineage (and thereby Gunther himself).

It would seem, then, that no one lineage can make a direct and unquestionable claim to legitimacy…though that in no way, shape, or form implies that they are not VALID. “Success shall be thy proof.” It is my opinion, and that of many others, that the value of a lineage lies only in it’s instruction, and that it’s not about who gives you the knowledge of A.’.A.’. teachings both public and oral, but what one does with that knowledge that matters.So lineages abound, some more tolerant than others. What does all of this mean with respect to the OTO today and William Breeze? Someone summarizes it quite succinctly elsewhere:

“Breeze was not able to join either the Wolfe or the McMurtry lineage (eventually pretending that Phyllis Seckler was not very well-trained) and having no links to the many other A.A. lineages all over the world, e.g. Arnoldo Krumm-Heller’s (8=3) or Charles W.’s (5=6), Friedrich Mellinger’s, etc. he still had to find another tie, although Liber Causae says that the A.A. knocks but once at one’s door.Harry Smith, born 1923, a friend of Karl Germer (8=3), began A.A. work with Charles Stansfeld Jones (1885-1950, Magister Templi, some say Magus) and Albert Handel around 1950. But as this survivorship of Jones came after Crowley had expelled Jones, some people consider this lineage as invalid. Nevertheless, from 1978 on, William Breeze living partime together with the ‘American Magus’ Smith, admired him as “my guru, friend and guide” (similarly did James Wasserman who never went above Probationer in Motta’s A.A.). After Breeze became head of his ‘Caliphate’ he immediately began bringing people into his A.A.. This was 1985.After Grady McMurtry’s death in 1985, the pertinent A.A. had splintered into ‘at least’ three lineages, run by J. Edward Cornelius, William Heidrick and James T. Gr?eb. Therefore, the ‘Caliphate’ under Breeze became a battleground for Breeze’s new A.A. (sometimes mistaken for Motta’s A.A.) vs. McMurtry’s A.A..Harry Smith died in 1991. Maybe around this time, James Daniel Gunther came forward because he had a Charter by Marcelo Motta (although he had resigned by letter when he was 4=7): On 18 July 1976, Gunther, Wasserman and Richard Gernon had left Motta: Wasserman and Gernon in order to join McMurtry’s ‘Caliphate’. In the back of those books which Breeze published, such as ‘Magick (Liber ABA)’ in late 1994 Breeze’s A.A. officially moved out into the public’s eye. In ‘The Commentaries on The Holy Books’ (1996) one got a first official mention of Martin Starr’s involvement. In a piece entitled ‘Liber Vesta’ (not written by Crowley) they listed on the inside, Frater V as 7=4 which is Gunther. Then Frater VV as 6=5 which is Breeze and Frater SUA as 5=6 or Starr (with his address as Cancellarius).”

Now that all of this is clear we can go back to statements made by Seckler herself while Cornelius was in the process of being expelled (after she was threatened with a lawsuit to prevent her from using the name or lamen of the A.’.A.’.) in a letter to William Breeze:

“Dear Bill,

Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.

There is now quite a crisis in the O.T.O. and in my 61 years of membership this seems to be the worst one yet.What has happened to you? You used to believe in religious freedom and now you are acting with religious intolerance and suppression.Crowley wrote that the A*A* and the O.T.O. were two separate Orders. I enclose copies of this letters [These are not included in this epistle. – JEC] and remarks written to clarify matters.These were printed in I.T.C. Vol I, No. 2. You seem to believe that you should be the head of the A*A* as well as the head of the O.T.O. Why? I am inclined to ask where are your credentials? The A*A* is guide by V.V.V.V.V. He wrote the tasks for each grade with George Cecil Jones. This is clear in LIBER 61.V.V.V.V.V. is ever the head of the A*A* and there can be no other. He is still at work to guide his Order. He does not necessarily need a physical body to do this. Intelligences on the inner planes can make use of all sorts of persons. One of their easiest vehicles is a person of unbalanced or insane mind. Why do you think you were the victim of a stalker? Would it not be good policy to heed what ill fortune besets you?You have been showing that you can’t allow any divergence of view from you own. Why can’t you take criticism? Thelemites should be able to express a diversity of opinion without fear of reprisal. Perhaps if you had two revolutionaries to oppose your every decision and move you would not now be in so precarious a position.The two revolutionaries were specified in Crowley’s original constitution and their function was to strengthen a Supreme and Holy King, causing him to review his character and behaviour so that he could remain well balanced and so that he did not become an ego-maniac. You have not benefited from this provision and it makes one wonder if you have been afraid of criticism and opposition all along.According to all accounts, you behaved in an unfair manner when Jerry Cornelius criticized your behaviour in claiming head of the A*A*. Your actions seem to point to the fact that you wish to bring every A*A* person under your leadership and jurisdiction.Actually he was correct in his views on this matter. Crowley’s instructions are clear enough for each grade of A*A* and presumably any person could accomplish a great deal in the work and studies on their own. The only catch is that when a person claims a grade in the Order, and there is no person in a higher grade to monitor his work and issue a paper upon completion, that his claims are hard to believe.But you expelled Jerry for his opinion and also with some ferocity, for you gave him no chance to defend himself. This was unfair and also goes against O.T.O. procedures. Do what thou wilt means that one gives every other person a right to do what he/she wills without interference. Jerry was not hurting you in any way. He merely had an opinion. Is no opinion valid but your own? Have you forgotten LIBER OZ?”3. Man has the right to think as he will: to speak what he willto write what he will —-” You owe Jerry and apology and full reinstatement in the O.T.O.You even threatened me with a lawsuit because I use the name of A*A* in my work. Do you think you should be the only one to use this name? That is, you and those of whom you approve?I have been a part of V.V.V.V.V.’s A*A* since 1940 when Jane Wolfe inducted me into this Order and gave me a paper for Probationer. In her turn, she was inducted into this Order by Crowley while residing in Cefalu and studying under him.Also, as everyone knows, Karl Germer was an 8°=3* in this Order due to Crowley’s knowledge and word of his true grade.Before that, Karl achieved the Knowledge and Conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel while in a prison camp in Nazi Germany.When Crowley knew of this attainment, he recognised Karl as 5°=6* of A*A* Germer later recognised my own experience with the H.G.A. and wrote to me and to Jane that I was 5°=6* A*A* At the present with H.G.A. guidance I have founded a College of Thelema and one of my successors has founded the Temple of Thelema under the College. We have classes and college work which aids a student to enter the more difficult work laid out in LIBER 185 (to be found in the last section of GEMS FROM THE EQUINOX.)

When a student enters the A*A*, we work with strict compliance to the guidelines set out in LIBER 185. No one gets a paper from us for each grade unless they have completed the tasks set forth. If any one of our students is ever challenged, the papers show good, solid work which is overseen and checked by those of higher grades and by adepts if need be. According to Crowley’s instructions, only Neophytes or those of higher grades may take on a student but if anything goes wrong, there is always help from our adepts. The work is private and secret and should remain thus as that is the way the A*A* is supposed to operate. With us there are no imaginary or false claims as to grades, no lies, no pretense and no frauds in all of this work, whether of C.O.T. or of the A*A* In our studies at all levels we give a background in Psychology and Astrology so that each person can know the self and can guide his work and choices according to his true nature.Agreed, this is a difficult time, but as a IX* O.T.O. I would like to ask; does the O.T.O. intend to sue any publisher in the world who publishes Crowley writings, either in English or in translations?The present suit seems also to very nearly impoverish the O.T.O.Are all such lawsuits in the best interests of the spread of Thelema?The O.T.O. is supposed to aid in the spread of Thelema world wide, but copyright restrictions could work thoroughly against this aim.I am also concerned about this policy of lawsuits, as I think Crowley’s work will not get a wide enough distribution due to publishers being afraid to publish. There is a good deal of merit in Jim Graeb’s work on this matter. I do not see his exploration of other options as a threat to the final settlement of the Naylor, et al lawsuit.A vast majority of lawsuits are settled out of court. By mutual agreement neither Naylor nor O.T.O. is to be affected by this preliminary exploration.But you can’t seem to view this effort in a balanced way and you want Graeb expelled immediately. How do you know how the lawsuit will turn out? What if O.T.O. should lose? Would not Graeb’s suggestions then have been a better course to follow? You don’t even wait to find out if he was right after all.Jim Graeb is also fighting for religious and personal freedom and tolerance supposed to be taught in the higher grades of O.T.O.But you are exhibiting intolerance and suppression of the freedom of religion of an A*A* person. Graeb is doing the work of a revolutionary and you react with haste and fear. Of what are you afraid? Your behaviour makes many others in O.T.O. wonder who will be expelled next. This leads to a lack of independent action on the part of others who hold high positions. Are you intent on making them rubber stamps of yourself?Yes, you really do need the ideas, the votes and the independent thoughts and work of the IX* O.T.O. and also of the VIII*. They must act so that the O.T.O. does not become a petty dictatorship.In our telephone conversation of May 21, I told you that what you and others did with the A*A* was none of my business and that I hoped for the same courtesy from you. But when you offered to sue me instead because I work with the name of A*A*, I replied that if you interfered with me, I would have to fight. This is part of my fight.

  1. As a IX* of O.T.O., I request you to reinstate Jerry in the O.T.O. with his full degree restored.
  2. As a IX* of O.T.O., I request that you allow Jim Graeb to act as the present revolutionary without fear of retribution.
  3. As an A*A* I request that you do not sue either me or my successors over the use of the name of the AA

If you intend to remedy your present actions with suggestions 1 and 2, please let me know by July 15. As for request No. 3, I request a written statement that you will not sue us over the name of A*A* This signed paper should be in my hands by July 15.Of course you may ignore these requests and say nothing. But in that case, copies of this letter shall have a wider distribution.It is my policy to give a copy of any letter which I write of a serious nature in which I have mentioned a person’s name. Therefore both Jerry and Jim Graeb shall have a copy and I ask that they exert extreme discretion in not showing it or reading from it to anyone else. Since your actions also included the Secretary and Treasurer, a copy goes to Marcus Jungkurth and Bill Heidrick. Finally, a copy of this letter shall go to David Scriven because he is head of the U.S.A. O.T.O. and should know of anything that goes on.Finally, I have always praised you for your fine work with the publications. Also you have done a great deal of good work with the O.T.O. When you were elected to the headship of O.T.O., we believed in you and we would again like to believe in your intelligence, you spirit of fair play and your tolerance. Dear brother, please reconsider some of you present actions.

Love is the law, love under will

Fraternally with much love, Phyllis Seckler (Soror Meral)”

This is the state of affairs in the order as it stands. It would seem that a war of sorts is brewing between the lineages and the systemic push to get rid of those who associate with non-Gunther lineages of the A.’.A.’. out of the OTO is simply a symptom of a larger problem. Breeze seems to think that he can own something that his predecessor said, very plainly, is devoid of ownership. It is worth noting that the third demand was met; a letter of promise to never sue Seckler or anyone else for using the name A.’.A.’. was delivered to her in the timeframe specified.

This attempt by Breeze is the paragon of “unthelemic” behavior: an attempt to dictate to others which methods of attainment are and are not acceptable in an Order that claims to be mankind’s last universal hope for freedom. This is egotism at it’s highest and borders (if not crosses) the line into the actions of a Black Brother.

These are not the only problems. OTO Prison Ministries have dropped the ball with respect to David Ray Taylor, who was allowed to associate with (and rape) members of the Order, despite being an obvious danger. More can be read about the case here on David Scriven’s blog, http://invisiblebasilica.blogspot.com/2012/08/drw-postscript.html

Yet again, another person has tackled the problem in a more articulate manner than I can; though I will post some of the comments made in this very recent and very lucid analysis of the problems that we’re dealing with as a whole in the OTO:

“Keith418: Thelema usually awakens anxieties that push people to extremes. This is one of the most important reasons why developing self-discipline – through the physical and mental work Crowley prescribes, as well as the note-taking and diary work – is so important. The scandals surrounding the OTO’s “prison ministry” are – I suspect – the result of people feeling an overwhelming need to prove that Thelema is “good” and a force for “goodness.” The problem is that this “goodness” is the “goodness” defined and determined by the liberal left and today’s liberal-left “managerial elites.” It’s not the “goodness” that Crowley taught, which is another kind of “goodness” entirely. People in the Order seem impelled to prove that Thelema isn’t “Satanic” – that it can heal the halt, the weak, and the dumb – and turn hardened sociopaths and murderers around. They have realized that they can’t do this and are reaping the karmic rewards of a very stupid self-protective kind of pseudo-naivete.

You don’t know how wrong you are about the “exclusive” part of the today’s Order. This is a group that has thrown away all of Crowley’s arguments on quantity vs. quality. They want as many people as they can get and they view the kind of “exclusive” point of view you are describing with nothing but utter abhorrence. We can see where this vehemence has landed them.

Is there a cultural contradiction here? The highest values devalue themselves. Egalitarianism – for some the highest value – opens the door to rapists. Democracy – for some the highest value – ushers in the tyrant. Compassion – for some the highest value – entails the embraces of the murderer. The Order’s fundamental contradiction is that it has rejected Crowley for mainstream values; but it will not admit this or come to terms with what this decision really means. Rather than seeking to make society conform to Thelema, it attempts to make Thelema conform to society.”

This seems to be exactly the case; my peers and I have discussed at great length that Thelema is not Catholicism, and that it is NOT, in any way, shape, or form, especially considering the content of our Holy Book, Liber AL vel Legis, obligated to ‘forgive and forget’ or embrace those who do not meet the high standard of Thelema – indeed it is one of the reasons the OTO seems to be barely functioning (though to be fair, it IS functioning); we are being strong-armed into a broad public appeal when in reality Thelema is, for the most part, a transgressive and antinomian answer to mainstream religious systems and mystical methods of attainment. Attempting to remove these elements from Thelema only serves to delude the current leadership of the OTO into a feeling that their system as packaged has a broad based appeal, which it INHERENTLY does not possess. Keith418 continues:

“I think you’re missing a basic problem. Quakers cannot be expected to run a government system designed for administrating a Roman Catholic diocese effectively. The managerial rules and tools won’t “work” for them because the hierarchy involved clashes with their values. Likewise OTO members who are, at best, ambivalent, and who, at worst, bitterly opposed to Crowley’s political ideals (and the metaphysics that determine those values) can’t run a managerial system he designed either. The basic conflict here is that people who are not fully committed to his model are seeking to run it. How could this possibly work?

The turnover in the Order is tremendous. It may not “purge” regularly, but people “purge” themselves regularly by quitting or drifting away. This also serves to provide the leaders with convenient scapegoats (“That person is no longer with us”) and it destroys any far-reaching institutional memory that might serve as a needed corrective.

My working theory is that the slow diffusion of Crowley’s actual writings played a part in this and still does. Without a wide understanding of his work, many people believe they can make it all up themselves as they go along. By the time they realize they can’t… it’s too late. Either they get trapped in a state of denial or they quit. A number of former “big names” in the Order came to the conclusion that they really did not, and could not ever truly accept Thelema – so they left. The OTO doesn’t want to talk about this, no matter how prominent these people once were.

People in the OTO came from a ’60s-’70s counter culture background – or from a broader culture influenced by that culture and its shared values. If “do what thou wilt” equals “do your own thing” and “your thing” happens to be an unquestioning belief in egalitarianism and democracy, then doesn’t Thelema endorse your values just as they are? The tougher option – to recognize, interrogate, and trace the origins of your highest moral values – requires a lot more work.

We still see many versions of this. People feel free to talk about what Thelema means without even paying the slightest attention to what Crowley actually thought, wrote, or taught. The leadership is stuck, however, because not only do they know – at least on some level – that they are not in synch with his ideas, but that their own values and ideas aren’t enough to carry them forward. The irony is that the best leaders the OTO has, as a friend noted, are the ones with the courage to do what they think is right. The problems is that what they think is right is determined solely by left-liberal middle class morality and anxieties.”

The full interview can be read at http://skepoet.wordpress.com/2012/11/14/interview-with-keith418-on-thelema-and-still-birth-of-contradiction/

I couldn’t have said it better myself. There is a current of both ethical and academic laziness in the OTO; case in point being the statement that they are not a “teaching Order” (another implication pointing to the attempted consolidation of the A.’.A.’. lineages). The above sentiment illustrates a twofold problem in the OTO and Thelema as a whole – those who are frightened by the true intentions and teachings of Thelema drift away while those who hold these precepts dear also drift away when it becomes readily apparent that those who are stewards of these codes (the OTO) have no intention of keeping them.

So, then, we Thelemites are at a crossroads. How to discern the correct path, at the moment, is beyond me. This problem is too large and systemic for a single initiate to tackle unsupported, inside or outside of any Order. Bringing complaints to higher ups does nothing – they’re the problem. Who polices those who police the Order? Who watches the watchmen? No one, apparently. Of course, the various Thelemite Orders are not Democracies, but those installed in offices of power must meet the standard otherwise they’re doing more than profaning themselves and their Orders; they’re profaning their offices which they’ve sworn to uphold.

What happens if these systemic problems erode the OTO until it collapses? Certainly something will rise in it’s wake, but how much faith can those who go through this hypothetical collapse have in what comes after the OTO? Worse yet, will the OTO simply fade away? Given the actions and personality of Breeze, it is highly unlikely that the OTO will go gently into that good night.

These are not the only problems facing the OTO and the A.’.A.’. – but these are the most public and apparent. If when speaking to an initiate of either, he has no story of some kind of problem similar to or as equally egregious as the above, then they’re either willfully ignorant or have not been associated long enough for these problems to become manifest. While the Order carries on an unjust and unfair inquisition, it is up to those members who cannot ethically allow those abuses to carry out an inquisition of a just and fair nature, outing those “leaders” of the OTO who are actively contributing to the problems facing the Thelemic community instead of fixing them in a pragmatic and sensible manner.No matter how one chooses to view these problems, or upon who to lay the blame for all of this, two things remain undeniably true – that drastic change needs to occur if the OTO (and the A.’.A.’. for that matter) are to survive this period of turmoil, and that

Love is the Law, Love Under Will

~Frater Kynokephalos