Comments on this site are welcome but generally I will delete those made anonymously or any posts if they are seen to attack anyone.

Thursday 18 July 2013

The democratic secret chief: Dion Fortune's view

Since I still have not met any secret chiefs in the flesh, I am continuing my series on how the idea of secret chiefs evolved.

Dion Fortune

The ideas of secret chiefs evolved under the British mistress of magic Dion Fortune into something which was more elaborate than had been seen even under Theosophy.
Fortune regarded masters or contacts as the most important part of magic but rather than keeping them as the preserve of the chiefs of an order, made them a key part of any student’s training.
Her system of three degrees emphasized the importance of contacts.  In the first grade, a student would learn the theory of magic and start to develop the psychic skills necessary to start making contact with their astral master.  In the second degree they would start on basic practical magic with the aim of making a deeper spiritual contact with the master.  They would then make an “unreserved dedication” to that master who would agree to continue their teaching.  At the third degree they would be working with the master to assist in its work.
Each magical school had one basic contact and many who over saw the different aspect of the students work.  As you can see a master would direct students to carry out their own work.  But lesser masters would oversee the work of developing students until they were ready to meet their real master.  The work of the “real master” was to get the student to finally meet their higher self.
Fortune had several different types of contact too.  The first were mortals who had died and agreed to work as communicators to the greater masters.  These were similar to spiritualist “guides.”  Then there were masters who had lived lots of different lives who would take up the shell off one of their historical personalities and animate it.  It is for this reason that Dion Fortune could have masters like “Socrates”, or “the Chancellor” who were historical personalities.
Dion Fortunes "Chancellor" contact 
Finally there were contacts which were Gods or angels.  These were exactly what they said.  To make matters more complicated  some of these gods were said to have human incarnations.   These were favoured because they understood human nature better than gods who had never walked amongst men.
In the theory it was possible to talk to such beings through one of their human personalities.
Communication was always either by meetings in pathworkings on in the astral realm.  A contact was tested using grade signs, in a similar way to the Golden Dawn.  But since some were more psychic than others, mediums with a special gift to talking to contacts channelled information.  
There were some requirements for Dion Fortune’s secret chief system to work.  Firstly you had to believe in re-incarnation.  For a person to reach the status of a Secret Chief they had to have had many lives of spiritual experience.    Messages from contacts were often coloured by the medium, channeller or the wish fulfilment of the student.  Some students were drawn to particular Gods and offer to serve them for years only to discover that their true contact was something else.  This was explained as the contact changing and handing them on to a higher being. 
Students also tended to wish that they had the same contact as the head of the school or one of their friends within the order.
Glastonbury is always used for Fortune illustrations
Channelled teaching was of various levels of quality too.  Some material, such as Fortune’s cosmic doctrine was so obtuse that its profundity was impenetrable.  Other material was so completely inane as to be comical.  Once Dion Fortune asked her contact about the future of her Soya Bean shares, which she depended upon for her independent income.  She was cryptically told “the Soya Bean will look after itself.”
Fortune’s contact system was similar to one used by the Hope Sisters of the Bristol Temple of the Golden Dawn.  Fortune was very close to this temple and finished her Golden Dawn training there.  Israel Regardie said that after his 5=6 initiation he was summoned to hear one of the orders Secret Chiefs provide him with a personal message.  He thought it was rubbish pouring from the unconscious minds of the channellers.  He also had similar feelings about Crowley’s Books of the Law, which were obtained using a similar approach.  That prejudice affected several strains of the Golden Dawn which reject channelled messages completely.
Israel Regardie was forced to channel Harry Potter
Having seen some of these “secret chiefs” in action, I cannot help but feel that we have missed the point about what they are supposed to be doing.  Experiences were strange and sometimes interesting, sometimes producing information which was unavailable to the channeller.  However the system was wide open to abuse, it also favoured a hierarchical, bureaucratic view of the universe.  Regardie, and his ilk, might have been throwing out the baby with the bathwater. The method could have been right, but the philosophy behind it might have been way off.  Had he seen the channelling work of Mathers or Yeats he might have been a little more tolerant (although knowing Regardie probably not). 
By philosophy I mean the concept that invisible friends control lesser beings on earth through psychic means.  I do not like the concept which places beings between you and your higher self who require absolute dedication.  Anything that gets between you and your higher self is probably an obstacle rather than anything useful.
One thing that Fortune did however was make Secret Chiefs available to all working students  of magic, and not just a chief.  This was a form of democracy which meant that her system could become the most widely spread.  A student could, following the orders of their master, go and form another school, or order to carry out a different type of work.
What Fortune appears to have ruled out completely was the idea of physical secret chiefs.  Anything on earth that was special was an initiate and she did not appear to mention any physical secret chiefs meeting her in parks.

Wednesday 17 July 2013

Nick Farrell is not a member of SRIA

This morning I received a a specimen of  what you get when you are a chief of an order which claims to be run by a secret chief.  The rant was signed by a sock-puppet of the Imperator of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn/AO called Nemesis.  For those who read David Griffin's blog, Nemesisis David's shadow character and can be found replying to David's posts to give the illusion that people actually read them.  Sometimes you can see Nemesis replying to his own posts (up to 70 times)   or abusing Golden Dawn leaders on other people's blogs. Normally I blank David Griffin completely because he rarely talks about magic.  But I think it would be handy at this point if I clear the air.  David's post is below mine

Dear David: 
I will say this once and very clearly,  

I am not and have never been a member of SRIA.

That connection of yours always was a figment of your imagination.
If there is going to be a smoking gun you need evidence that it is true.  There is none because I am not.  So your entire fabrication which you have been running for the last few years falls flat on its face. All those hundreds of posts you made on the subject were a deluded fantasy and make you look an idiot.   If you have any proof that I am a member of this organisation, you can now trump this statement by posting it.  You can't because there is none.

I am not a member of O+RC. 

 But what about a piece of paper with my name on it?  Well I publically made that very clear my involvement with O+RC was very short... I never took an oath or attended a meeting (ask anyone in that organization).  So that is the truth.  It is up to you to prove otherwise and you can't because that is the truth.  You can not simply keep repeating that "nick farrell is a member of the SRIA and ORC" hoping that one day it might become true... because it isn't and it will never be true. My dislike of the masonic approach is well documented.  You cannot say otherwise and tell people "trust me."  
Thing is, how is it possible for me to be a spy for two orders that I am not a member of taking orders from someone I last saw at the GD conference in 1996 (Nick Tereshenko was there too... are you saying he was taking orders from John Paternoster too?)

None of my books falsify the AO history.

 It is simply that they tell the history of the *real AO*, not the one that you set up in the 1990s.  In your head you might think they are the same thing, but they are not.  My histories stop in the 1940s before you were born, just like the real AO.  When you went around vandalising references to my books on Wikipedia you were supressing facts to try and keep the truth from your members.  Just like you ordered that one star campaign of virtual book burning against King over the Water.

I am not a Christian or a Satanist

Lastly I have been open about my religious beliefs, something that is evolving and personal. They are certainly not Christian or Satanist.  (Did you ever think it was odd that for your fantasy to work I had to be both a Christian AND a Satanist?  I don't think you thought that lie particularly well through). 

I do not make any money from my books or MOAA

I am flat broke.  I have never had a lot of cash and anything spare has gone into MOAA.  I do not charge any money for MOAA initiations or meetings.  Any cash which is made for the correspondence course (6 euro a lesson) goes directly into keeping it going. MOAA is a non-profit.  I have been mulling if I should charge for separate teaching courses, but I have so far not done so.  If I do it will not be part of MOAA.  Books make me very little cash.  I would make more money and spend less time if I wrote a couple of IT features for some magazines than I ever earnt writing a book.

King over the Water was not self published

Kerubim was formed by Dean Wilson and I just roped in a few friends to write for it and did some layouts.   I was more of an employee.  I know that your only book has been self published and therefore you think no one else can write anything which has not been.  In fact I have been published by several different publishers over the last few years.

Your lies have been outted. 

 If you want acceptance in the wider Golden Dawn Community you are going to have to stop calling people names and making up fake conspiracies and false stories.  If you are going to be accepted as a chief then you are going to have to  do something basic like teaching people rather than running around like the alcoholic on the street who thinks they are being chased by aliens.  The question is David... why do you need to lie and attack members of other orders?  When people look at the Golden Dawn they talk about the Golden Dawn wars... yet is is just you now.  Most of the time, you are ignored and left by fellow occultists screaming at your personal darkness that you really are important.

This is costing you members.  Sure you will find fruitcakes who believe you, but they are hardly adepts.  Did you ever wonder, if you claim are the head of such a big order, why so few of your own people showed up at your desert shin digs when you do have working groups?  Sure you can complain that other orders did not show up, because they were stopped (they weren't by the way)  but what about your own people. Why were they not there?  I do know you have a few small groups.  Some of them get in touch with me to ask me questions about the Golden Dawn, which I am happy to provide.  They tell me  that while they like the Golden Dawn they are completely embarrassed by your antics.  They only have loyalty to their local groups and not to you.

I have let you rant without comment on this matter for over a year now watching you get deeper and deeper into your delusion. I will not comment again.

Nemesis has left a new comment on your post "Secret Chiefs physical or not?":

I notice that, despite all of the bluster about Secret Chiefs this and Secret Chiefs that, the SRIA spies have still been unable to explain the Satanism of current SRIA leaders including in the Golden Dawn community. Curious that! Why are SRIA Christian segrationists obsessed with Magick and the Golden Dawn deemed Satanism by Christian churches everywhere?

The reason they are blowing up ink like an octopus trying to change the subject is that there is no good answer to this question and they SRIA leaders, both within and whthout the Golden Dawn have been exposed as Magic obsessed Satanists!

That includes the leader of the Christian segregationist Order of the Rose and Cross, Nick Farrell, too, of course. Why do you keep trying to change the subject instead of explain your Satanism, Magus007?

You still have not explained why you were listed as 3rd Grand Ancient of the Order of the Rose and Cross, Mr. "I'm not Christian" Why is the 3rd Grand Ancient of the "Trinitarian Christians only" ORC, so obsessed with Magic, the Secret Chiefs, and the Golden Dawn?

And why do you, Nick Farrell, pretend to be Pagan instead of Christian online?

In fact, why should we believe even a word you say, Magus007, now that you have been caught lying about falsifying AO history, now proven on Wikipedia?

Not to forget the other Grand Officers of the "Christians only" Order of the Rose and Cross active in GD leadership besides you, Farrell.

Why are they still hiding like cowards instead of answering legitimate questions about Satanism? That is what your Trinitarian Christian churches call Magick after all, Magus007 and Supreme Maga!

And also not to forget the SRIA Satanist-in-Chief, Supreme Magus John R. Paternoster.

Go ahead, blow more smoke. Change the subject again. You constantly falsify history anyway, even your own, Mr. "I swear I'm Christian, no I'm not."

Here is a challenge for you Farrell. Why are you to much a coward to publish this?

Hope you are enjoying the monuments in Rome

- Nemesis

Monday 15 July 2013

Secret Chiefs physical or not?

While I still wait for a secret chief to knock at my door, the idea of Mathers’s secret chiefs is getting a fair bit of attention on Pat Zalewski’s yahoo group with some heavy weights weighing in.

Pat Zalewski himself thinks the Secret Chiefs can be a subject that academic analysis and it is ridiculous to assume that physical Secret Chiefs, who are considered physical entities by some cannot leave a footprint behind them.
“There is no proof that any logical person would accept, and for asking about that, I am told that I do not understand how esoteric orders work,” Zalewski said.

Pat Zalewski
Zalewski is right on this particular point.  The people who are the strongest advocates of Secret Chiefs are jolly keen to point out that it is only them who talk to them, and no one else is worthy. 
He makes the point that he, and indeed a number of other magic groups have been on the scene for years and none of them have been approached by a physical secret chief and they do not appear to have turned up in the archives of other orders either.
“It's a funny thing that when people bang on about academic debate and what degrees they have, that when that rigor is applied and their pet subject is found wanting then a belief structure in them is exercised,” Zalewski wrote.
With people making claims about secret chiefs, they have to put their money where their mouth, prove it or get caught with their pants down.
He said all of this comes from the fountain of belief that Mathers told the truth about the Secret Chiefs.
“The reality is that his mental state is under a cloud, and he needed a carrot to shore up his interests. Other than Mathers saying so, there is no proof that they ever existed outside of his imaginative construct, “ Zalewski said.
He said that Mathers was talking about people whose names he did not know, or whom they represented and met fleetingly; yet at the same time was instructed by them.
Most of the work that he did while under the guidance of these secret chiefs was the worst.

Paul Case
Tony Fuller, another Whare Ra alumni said that it was clear that Mathers did believe in Secret Chiefs, and the idea of GD secret guides, were  themselves merely part of a much wider spiritual/religious belief system which entails the notion that a person is receiving some sort of guidance and direction from a more advanced spiritual and/or supernatural being or beings.
“The Secret Chief notion achieved particular popularity from the mid-19th century onwards when there was a veritable explosion in heterodox (and occult) religious belief. Mathers' Secret Chiefs were merely part of a rather crowded group of hidden spiritual advisors all clamouring to advance humanity through a multitude of groups, cults and religions, Fuller wrote.
He said that to the rational outsider these claims appear entirely absurd. At best they involve delusion and at worst fraud. In the many instances where one can examine specific claims (e.g. Blavatsky) there is a pattern of suspicious circumstances indicating at least a level of deliberate deception.
Fuller said that where the evidence is weak, such as in the case of Mathers, it is not unreasonable to take such claims regarding Secret Chiefs with many pinches of salt.
But he cautioned against the idea of dismissing all such claims as being irrational and unworthy of serious consideration.
“Where does this leave the belief systems (including the Golden Dawn) where one purportedly communicates with angels, elementals, spirits, Jesus Christ, the Lord of the Universe, God,” he asked.
He said that he  is very skeptical when it comes to claims regarding the physical secret chiefs.
Mathers was unclear regarding any physical contact with a secret chief, except for Madam Horus, and we know how disastrous that proved. Much of the 2nd Order material was supposed to have come via Moina acting as a sort of channel or amuensis (like Mrs Brodie Innes) and there is little available documentary evidence relating to what Mathers actually received, if anything, from a physical secret chief, he pointed out.
“One thing seems fairly clear is that Mathers sincerely believed what he claimed, irrespective of his mental or psychological state of mind, he said.
Anne Davies
Fuller points out that Felkin's alleged meetings with physical secret chiefs, like those of Paul Foster Case with the Master R, bear a close similarity with the meeting claimed by Jacob Boehme with a master in Germany.
He also implies that Case’s Master R experience was embellished by his successor Ann Davies.
One of the issues that Zalewski brings up is that there is an element of “by their fruits you shall know them” about Secret Chiefs.  He said that Mathers wrote his worst stuff when he was under their physical or spiritual control.
One of the issues that has come up from the above quotes is that there is a lack of public information which comes from physical secret chiefs.  One of the methods, used by BOTA for years, was to claim that the teachings from Master R were so high level that they could not be given to normal students. When this material is actually revealed it is often proven to be light-weight or needing much polishing.
If the material is given to the student, it is usually given under the understanding that it is high level stuff.  The student, is usually inexperienced and would not know high quality magical material if it bit them and so places an undue value on material which is poor.
For example one Secret Chief communication handing out “secret Egyptian Wisdom” described the Ancient Egyptian one of the highest spiritual bodies, the Akh, was brilliant red and attributed to fire. While this information took students no-where, and did not fit into the existing tradition of that group, it did look good. 
But it is a minor, but telling, point that the Ancient Egyptians attributed the colour “red” to the Satan of the Ancient Egyptians Seth.  It would mean that it is impossible that something as pure and holy as the Akh would be associated with the that colour.  In fact the Egyptian colours can be found here  and it is clear that the Egyptians had a different colour scheme from the one that the this physical secret chief claimed.
This means that the teaching was not Ancient Egyptian, but was based on a more modern perception.  There is nothing wrong with this but it means that physical Secret Chiefs are as fallible and as likely to know something intellectually as the chiefs of the orders they are supposed to control.
If Secret Chiefs do exist then they will have to demonstrate that they can come up with material which is useable by students of groups which is verifiable by actual facts.
 They either have to be occult supermen who exist in the body and can provide top quality information, or they are redundant.
At least if secret chiefs are only astral beings, their role can be seen as giving advice rather than having a direct physical input.

Sunday 14 July 2013

Great new review on Magical Imagination by Peregrin Wildoak

The reviews for Magical Imagination are coming in and it is getting good write-ups.  Here is one written by Peregrin Wildoak.