For those who want the background of what I am commenting on have a look at the watchers of the dawn site.
As I started to work with underworld deities I started to warm to some of Crowley’s material and was starting to care less about some of the doubts I had about Thelema. But recently the antics of three “high profile” Thelemites have led me to question where that religion is going.
I know that the behaviour of three does not define a religion, but these three have managed to come up with something which is nothing short of an atrocity based on their no doubt deep conviction that is what Thelema says.
My main focus is really the point which was posted on the LVX/Nox blog that contains this quote:
“Liber AL clearly instructs Thelemites to display strength and not care for the weak. To try and add a humanistic tint to the second and third chapter of the book is folly, as they are as clear as day to the true meaning.”
In other words, the three people who attacked Don Kraig while on his death bed were doing so because their religion was instructing them not to care for the weak. Somehow caring for the weak means that strength is being shown.
However, such a creed is anti-evolutionary. It is the philosophy of the wolf-pack where the weak are left to die because they will slow the rest down. Humanity has moved past the point where strength is defined as the primary reason to rule. As a result, we have inventions and technology which have been created by people who would have been left for dead by societies that are more primitive. If this really is Thelema then it is clearly not a modern religion, in fact is on a par with those other Bronze Age religions that it claims to replace. It calls on people not to “waste money” on the Stephen Hawkings of this world when we should be giving it to more healthy football players.
The idea that “might is right” has been discounted as anti-evolutionary by most civilisations – its last paragons were the Germans, Russians and Italians in world war two and the colonial powers before that. Just because someone is strong does not make them right, nor does it mean the weak should have been euthanized.
On that point, if these three Thelemites had a “right” to say what they did about Kraig because “he was weak and they were strong” surely they should have had said the same thing to the founder of their religion Alistair Crowley. While Crowley was fit at one stage of his life, his health declined rapidly in middle age. He was a drug addict and suffering from severe asthma. He was weak, and so, by the book of the Law as interpreted by these three he should have simply died.
This idea of being strong while others are weak, of forcing your ideas onto others at the expense of common decency is the hallmark of the fundamentalist Christian. Westboro Baptist Church considers itself presenting its truth even when common decency suggests they should shut up. What is the difference between picketing a funeral because dead soldiers “are faggots” and defaming someone while they are on their deathbed. Both acts are ennobled in the minds of their perpetrators based on their own interpretation of scripture.
In the case of Christianity there is a reason for its evolutionary backwardness – at its fundamental level it was drawn up 2000 years ago and re-interpreted several times to make it fit into the politics of the time. Thelema lacks that excuse -- it is a new religion; free from politics, a pope, or anything external to itself which can cause anti-evolutionary behaviour. So why then has it generated followers whose attitude would be welcome in the ranks of Westboro Baptist Church? That something Thelemites need to worry about.
Humanity does not need another religion which calls for another people to dominate or be unpleasant to another. We had those and they always lead to genocide and intolerance. Therefore if that doctrine is not what Thelemites consider as being part of their faith, then they have to do their best to distance themselves from them. Just like Westboro is a problem for Christians, these three should be a problem for Thelema.
What was telling in the Kraig incident was that the Thelemites were surprisingly quiet – the antics of these three were upsetting only to people outside their religion. The three became convinced they were right and went on the attack. Posting more of their hatred publically and attacking those who disagreed with them.
Where were the Thelemites who disagreed? If these three are wrong in their interpretation of the Book of the Law then why aren’t people pointing out their error? Why is it left to outsiders to be horrified that a modern religion can go this way? If they continue to permit this sort of anti-evolutionary thinking, they will end up in same position that Christianity is.
When Westboro stands up with its hate placards it re-enforces what many people believe about Christianity anyway – that it is a bunch of right-wing conservative nutjobs who have nothing to say about real life. Too many like Paul Joseph Rovelli, Leilah Publications and surgo at Lux Nox and your religion will die out as outsiders like me realise that they really do not believe in such horrible things in the 21st century.,