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Caliphate Christainity??

From: iopan@IX.NETCOM.COM (A.P.S. )
Subject: Re: Caliphate Christainity?? (VERY Long, and tedious)
Date: Thu, 1 Aug 1996 20:01:57 -0700


Note: this post was edited rather extensively, and I may have butchered the 
sequence and coherence in the process. If so, I beg all of you pardons. Feel 
free to let me know if I seem to have skirted issues in the process.

>"A.Pe.S." :

>#...OTO membership has proven valuable to me, as long as it has facilitated 
>#my personal development. It has yet to hinder it, 
>this says something, especially as you are sufficiently involved.

Yes, I think it does, unfortunately. Any large organization will have the 
tendency to shadow the individual in favor of the perceived needs/wants of the 
larger group, just as A.C. called the family "Public enemy #1" in M.W.T. I 
realized this early on and made myself vigilant against the tendency. I avoided 
membership in _any_ org., esp. magick ones, for this very reason. When I joined 
OTO, I knew that I would have to keep my guard up.

As mentioned by others before, "Thelemic Organization" may be a contradiction 
in terms. It is, however, an educational experiment in social dynamics. 
Although I am an individual with my own True Will, I am a part of a larger 
social unit, and I must/want to interact with it. Doing so with others who 
profess to same philosophy has been, well, educational, as I said.

Part of the success depends on knowing when to walk away. Others have not been 
so fortunate.

>#although certain individuals that I have associated with within the
>#order could use to take some of their own medicine.
>if you'd care to comment on this perhaps we could expand that to a general
>Thelemic discussion without merely slapping the Caliphate around. :>

It would be difficult to go into detail. It is a long, twisted tale. In short, 
I have seen several initiates acting as anything but Men and Brothers, people 
who claim to be Thelemites trying to thwart the will of others through sexual 
manipulation, B&D/S&M-style mind control, you know, the typical wannabe 
occultist stuff!
Of course this is not the fault or policy of the OTO or the Caliph. It was just 
disappointing to see. I don't fault OTO for the actions of individual members. 
They can do their wills, and I can stay far enough away so that they cannot 
thwart mine. Through this process, I have found the members that are worthy of 
my siblinghood, and have determined those who are not. It has been suggested to 
me that I continue to associate with those who I feel have wronged me so that I 
might be "Part of the solution, not the problem". I feel that the only Thelemic 
solution is to disassociate from those who do not respect my boundaries. I will 
still defend them as brothers, as I will live by my own standard as an 
initiate, but I see no need to party with them.

>#>		* Patriarch - attached to a Church, 'gnostic catholic',
>#>			      whose 'Mass' must remain intacta, inclusive
>#>			      of 'deacon', 'priest' and 'priestess'
>#I must admit that affiliating myself with a "Catholic Church" of any variety
>#bothered me at first. The credo in the EGC Mass threw me for even more of a
>#loop. Now that I have had some time to examine the EGC a little and the Mass
>#a lot, it is clear to me that they have next to nil to do with Christianity.
>but are they Thelemic?  i.e. Christians have 'Creeds' (apostolic, etc.). 
>isn't this something best left behind in *just the manner* pointed out
>recently by our brother in Italy from _Liber LXI vel Causae_?  what is
>the real value of some sort of religious filling to this Thelemic sandwich?

When I joined, OTO and EGC were considered to be parallel orgs., or at least 
that was how it was explained to me. EGC was the religious body, OTO was the 
initiatory school of hermetic knowledge. It seemed that EGC was for those who 
needed/wanted religious experiences ala Thelema, and OTO was those who wanted 
magical schooling and initiation. It is now my understanding that EGC has been 
"absorbed" by OTO. I don't know if it makes a difference to anything but the 
bureaucracy of said orgs.

Gnosticism is centered around personal experience of the divine, and I feel 
that is quite Thelemic.

Re: credo, the problematic phrases were "And I believe in one Gnostic and 
Catholic Church..." and "And I believe in the communion of the Saints". These 
phrases, at first, seemed to me to be rather Christian in tone. This is 
probably because my only familiarity with the terms "Gnostic" and "Catholic" 
were from a Christian context. Knowing that Gnosis means "knowledge" and 
Catholic means "universal", I feel that it is not inappropriate to use these 
terms in a Thelemic ritual. They may have carried distasteful connotations for 
some, but so did "magick". it is a question of context and intent.
Concerning the "Communion of the Saints", I recommend that all who participate 
in the EGC Mass do some research into the list of Saints in the Collects, and 
determine for themselves if these are energies that they would choose to 
receive the Light of Gnosis from.

> would be valuable to create new forms of both Thelemic religious 
>#bodies and fraternal orgs. 
>*are* there really such things?  or are all religious orgs naturally
>contrary to Thelema?

Not necessarily. It depends on what you do with them. If they can be structured 
so as to facilitate individual members to do their wills, then Bravo!

> don't they usually inspire fundamentalism, the
>adherence to words and names that are warned against by the masters?

Often, but again, this is not a necessary function of religion. I am not an 
overly religious individual, nor am I a Thelemic Evangelist (converteth not, 
talk not overmuch, etc.). I prefer to view Thelema as a philosophy rather than 
a religion. However, I find the EGC Mass to be such a beautiful rite that I 
seek participation in it whenever possible. It is emotionally evocative for me, 
and is therefor useful as fuel for my magick. 

>#The EGC and OTO did not start out as Thelemic organizations. It is my
>#understanding that Crowley "Thelematized" them as he rose up through their
>is that really possible?

In Word, if not in other senses.

> what did he change in order to effect this?

Certain aspects of the initiatory rites were changed to reflect the paradigm of 
Liber AL.

>how did he or does anyone know that what he did constitutes establishing
>some sort of 'Thelematization'?  can organizations really be affected 
>in this way?  are there principles which we may review which would
>guide us in this process (described somewhere?)?

Think over your own experiences in your OTO initiations in the light of Liber 
AL, or in the light of you own conception of Thelema, whatever that might be. 
See if it works for you.

>#>		* Horus	    - solar being categorized with Jesus (Tiphareth)
>#Tipareth is Tipareth. The Ruach is still the Ruach. In the old Aeon it was
>#associated with Jesus. 
>by some, yes, or Osiris or perhaps Krisna.
>#In the New Aeon we associate it with Horus to reflect the new formula. 
>some do, yes.  but is this an error?  look at the huge difference betwixt
>Isis and Osiris.  why should we presume that Horus be the follower or even
>that this (pseudo?) Egyptian motif has any relevance?  

A very good point. As I stated before, Thelema should be (and is) realizable 
outside the context of the Egyptian mythos as presented in Liber AL.

>if you were addicted to it,
An addict is not a free man.

> why not choose Nephthys, since she is a more blatant and tantric
>patterning (in the IHVH modality)?  why not Set?  Anubis?  Ma'at?

All of these aforementioned deities are worthy of study in a Thelemic context, 
esp. Set and Ma'at. I think that Anubis is more closely related  (conceptually) 
to Osiris.

>why someone so close to Osiris (Son/Father) rather than rival, judge or guide?

Thelema is often described as the next formula in line after the Osirian one. 
In this context, Horus is appropriate, being the next in the family line.

>could it be that Crowley was intentionally identifying his own 'aeonics' 
>with the label: "not quite out of the old aeon yet"?

I believe this to be so. The New Aeon is still being built, on the bones of the 
Old Aeon. I seem to recall even A.C. asserting that this will be a turbulent 
time, and we will all feel the birth pains of the New Aeon, and the death 
throws of the Old. The New Aeon is not fully born, and the Old Aeon is "not 
quite dead yet!"

>#Both formula work. Choose (or not) as you will.
>do they really? work for whom?  those stuck between?

The Osirian/Christian formula can work for those who choose it in relation to 
issues dealing with death, rebirth and sacrifice. The R.H.K. formula can work 
for those who choose it regarding issues of immortality and sovereignty.

>    did this fabulous
>new time really start in 1904?

I don't think so. The roots of Thelema are much older. Conversely, I do not 
think that "this fabulous new time" has been realized on a global scale.

>  is this like the 1914 of the Jehovah's 

I am unfamiliar with the history of J.W. However, there is a striking 
resemblance between Crowley's formation of modern Thelema and J. Smith's 
realization of Mormonism.

>  why aren't all of these clever number-dates just symbols 
>which enslave the unwary?  

All things may enslave the unwary. Don't be unwary.

>look at the calender system we have now.  all based upon the old
>aeon (1-1996 Anno Domini/era vulgara).  sure, Crowley reoriented around
>his own illumination (Anno VII^3 or whatever -- hey Bill you stopped
>putting the Crowley Aeonix year on the TLNews!), but what is the real
>purpose of this other than to co-opt the establishment's way of thinking
>or suffice to our own space-time orientation?  why instill a cosmology 
>surrounding our time-system?  why not find some way to originate more 
>reasonable (scientific) constructs?

Above all, a calendar system should be practical and useful. I don't use the 
"Thelemic dating system" because it is more confusing to me than useful. I am 
open to suggestions.

>#I've tried to devise new formations of a Tree, but haven't come up with
>#anything as useful as the standard QTL. I'm open to suggestions. 
>hm, I guess you mean QBL.

Q.T.L. = Qabalistic Tree of Life as a structure, as contrasted with the text of 
the Zohar, etc.

>  aren't there countless Tree-formations?

Not that I am aware of, but there are certainly several modern ones.

>  how
>do you go about determining 'usefulness' of such systems, especially
>in relationship to aeons?

Only by practical experimentation and application by the individual.

>  does everything stick to Tiphareth from now
>on?  or did Isis come from the Cow-Moon-Yesod and Osiris/Jesus from the
>Bull-Sun-Tiphareth such that we need a Vulture-Pluto-Da'ath in Ma'at
>or something?

Good points, and all of these points can be embodied by the standard Q.T.L. 
Choose as ye will. My local Brethren seem to have a Kali fixation.

>  isn't this rather limited?

Only by the imagination and tenacity of the individual.

>  why not use something which
>is more flexible (jams and jellies?  various tree species?)?

Cool, let's use those too, and see what results we get. If they facilitate the 
doing of our wills, great. If not, throw them on the dung heap. I don't expect 
to see them incorporated into official ciriculum until someone demonstrates 
their usefulness.

>#>		* Book of the Law - a meaning of "Torah", Hebrew scripture
>#Or any volume of sacred Law. It is a rather generic phrase.
>why not be done with these silly law-systems and fabricate more meaningful

"There is no Law beyond do what thou wilt" works for me. The rest is either a 
poetic way of saying the same, or it is superfluous (or both).
Re: Mysteries - I don't believe that it is possible to "fabricate" a real 
Mystery. We can fabricate various means of revealing them. In this context, my 
experiences with the Eluesinian Mysteries (not A.C.'s planetary rites) have 
been just as valuable (and sometimes more so) as my OTO initiations. I imagine 
Masonry to have similar potential. Again, I would like to see new initiatory 
systems devised to reveal the Mysteries in relation to our modern conceptions 
of reality. I don't know that TOPY, Chaos Pact, etc., has done this, but in 
some respects they are admirable attempts.

>  where did that old aeon leave off?

I don't think it has yet.

>  can't we shake the rules
>and regulations about mixing milk with meet (cow/bull) yet?

I'm all for making bloody milkshakes!

>#>		* Hebrew    - obsession with Hebrew gematria and magick
>#Obsession? Perhaps with gematria in general, but I don't see Hebrew being
>#used or claimed as a "Thelemic language" of sorts.
>given the predominance of GD emphasis, the preservation and extreme 
>importance placed upon "qabalah" and "gematria" by Crowley, along
>with the learning of Hebrew, etc., all of which have been reflected to 
>me by my Order and several others as 'important to learning of 
>ceremonial magick' (and I don't think I agree with this at all btw, 
>aside from entering into conformity and the engagement of social trads), 
>I'm not sure how I could *avoid* calling it obssession.  perhaps this 
>varies based on geographic region.

Greater or lesser emphasis seems to placed on this from region to region, 
although it has been hinted to me that learning Hebrew at least in relation to 
Gematria will eventual be required for advancement. Obsession may be an overly 
strong word. I do think there is value in understanding the old systems, so 
that we may glean that which is useful from them, and not make the mistake of 
failing to lean the lessons of our magical history - and thus be doomed to 
repeat them.

>the thing is that Jewish magical/Qblsistic tradition contains within
>its measure memes which give the language the status of 'Language of
>God', by which 'He created everything'.  neato, unless we like other
>things like Sanskrit (which I'm sure has Indian similarities) 

I agree, Sanskrit would be a valuable language to understand, although I don't 
see that it would be any more "Thelemic" than Hebrew. Personally, I intend to 
study Greek among others, although Greek is also arguably similar to Hebrew.
Anyone know the Hebrew word for "will"? How about Sanskrit? Is there a Sanskrit 
equivalent of Gematria?

>or something 
>more ideographic (neither of which are mentioned in many popular 'Thelemic' 
>texts I've seen, and rarely even hinting at these ideas -- undoubtedly 
>because they would strike the rebellious as 'just more Judeochristian 
>pandering' (which arguably it is!).

I'm not sure what you mean by this.

>#"Thou shalt obtain the order & value of the English Alphabet; thou shalt
>#find new symbols to attribute them unto."
>#We're workin' on it! I'd like to see more.
>done a long time ago.  but in public conversations when 'magical language
>or alphabetics' are discussed the first thing out of the keyboard is

Someone mentioned that it should be "qwerty".  I like that! "The word of the 
Law is QWERTY" Hmmm.... ;)

>#So, as asked above, does OTO seek to undermine Christian religious
>#establishment? Not as such, but if that is necessary in the process of
>#living by the Law of Thelema, then so be it.....
>how can we ever tell when that might be 'necessary in the process of
>living by the Law of Thelema' in regards organized efforts (Orders, etc.)?

Well, when people like Pat Robertson say things like we need to re-establish 
Christianity as the standard in American government, I believe it is time to 
directly oppose such efforts. If that is Satanic, then so be it.
Since OTO does proclaim that they are a temporal organization that seeks to 
promote Thelema in the affairs of Men, then perhaps some level of lobbying 
against such actions of the Christian extreme right might be appropriate.

>#I will be happy to leave _all_ religious establishments alone as long 
>#as they stay out of my way.
>while that is nice and good for you, for 'Thelemic organizations' there
>appears to be a problem.  if the Christian establishment hinders the
>establishment of the Law of Thelema within the land of our residence, when
>is it appropriate to identify oureslves as 'Satanist' in this manner of
>meaning and begin a sincere opposition to these (puritanical) laws?

As mentioned above, I have little problem with the moniker on a personal basis. 
I believe that OTO should take an active stand on this issue (restrictive 
religious paradigms in politics), but for the OTO to proclaim itself to be a 
Satanic organization would be an unnecessary limitation, because Thelema is 
much more (and less) than that. I do feel that too much effort is spent in 
attempts to not offend the sensibilities of the masses. Crowley didn't seem to 
care who was offended. There is also the question of diplomacy which might be 
necessary to affect change.

>#Did you have a specific example of the OTO actively undermining Christian
>#religious establishment? 
>I was intending to give a few in my original post.  such as 'hymenaeus', 
>which is the co-opting of a Biblical name, the adherence to a gnostic
>(heretical) catholic religious body, the co-opting of Hewbrew mystical 
>and Christian (masonic) mystical structures, etc., etc.  how can you 
>*not* call this such an undermining?

All of our modern structures are built on the foundation of our history. We may 
be relying on that history a little too much, but I don't see that as 
undermining structures that embrace that history. If OTO was to try to get a 
Thelemite proclaimed as Pope of the Roman Catholic Church, you might have a 
stronger case.

>#>                             as Mr. Crowley by he 
>#>			      and other members, whose (AC's) texts quite 
>#>			      obviously reek of Satanism and have helped 
>#>			      inspire the modern formalized (org) versions 
>#>			      to great extent (LaVey/Aquino/others); 
>what I meant here was that members of the OTO sometimes eshew the association 
>between Mr. Crowley and Satanism even to the point of frothing, while his 
>are obviously of this character by some/many of the criteria you gave above.  

I agree that too much effort is spent disassociating from Satanism, and I think 
that this is because a lot of OTO'ers don't want to be tagged with a word that 
has such negative associations. Crowley had no problem 'rehabilitating' the 
word "Magick". Words like 'pagan' (as you mentioned) and 'witch' have also come 
a long way. It might do us some good to allow the same to happen with Satanism. 
But as I mentioned above, calling OTO a Satanic org. is unnecessarily limiting, 
and as such, if taken in an exclusive sense, inaccurate.

>usually the Order response appears *without asking what is meant by the
>term 'Satanist'*, which is a traditionally Christian fundamentalist attitude, 
>not Thelemic as I understand it.

This is indeed a common problem, not just for Thelemites/OTO. There is value 
for all in questioning our definitions. Having done so, regularly, I still feel 
that "Thelemic" is more accurate and inclusive than "Satanic".

>#>		* Authority - various private complaints I have heard 
>#>			      from Order members regarding the centraliza-
>#>			      tion of the Order's authority, handling matters
>#>			      via appeal to the Grand Lodge rather than 
>#>			      effecting resolution at the local bodies; 
>#I agree with this whole-heartedly. Let local bodies make local decisions.
>#They should have power to act, and be accountable for their actions. 
>but you forget I'm not here arguing that this *should* be done, but that
>that it is NOT done (which you appear to accept) is evidence of its old-
>aeon character.  is this true, to your assessment?

I have not had enough direct experience with these sorts of organizational 
problems to know how extensive the situation has become. What little I have 
seen a least implies that we are due for _some_ reform. OTO has made many 
changes in its structure since its inception, and I suspect that this will 

>#[Note: glancing back at Equinox III, X, it appears as though local bodies do
>#have the authority to make their own rules and enforce them to a large
>#degree. It may be that this clause is not being upheld, or that there have
>#been changes in the by-laws. I have heard that there has been a lot of
>#change in OTO lately and that some by-laws have been changed. I do hope they
>#intend to update us all on the matter, say, in the next issue of _The
>#Magickal Link_.]
>BHeidrick indicates in another post that items relating to the *religious*
>aspect of the Order are dictatorial, called by the Patriarch. 

As you can probably tell, I'm not a big fan of religion. I'm not even sure that 
it is a positive thing that Thelema has a religious body in the first place. 
For those who like religion, and consider Thelema to be a religion, then that 
is fine. I don't see it that way, and am confused as to why OTO absorbed EGC. 
Comments, Bill?

> if this 
>is in fact how it is run, can we actually associate 'dictatorship' with

This is one reason that I conceive Thelema as a philosophy rather than a 

>or are there circumstances/structures wherein this type of
>political system are 'necessary and important'?  when do they become obselete?

Liber CXCIV (Book 194, An Intimation with Reference to the Constitution of the 
Order) goes into some detail about this,  but there is far too much material to 
quote. The end note to it says, " It combines monarchy with democracy; it 
includes aristocracy, and conceals even the seeds of revolution, by which alone 
progress can be effected." Since revolution is the factor "by which alone 
progress can be effected," it would seem to imply (as I agree) that 
aristocracy, monarchy, etc. are bars to progress, since they rely on the grace 
of benevolent dictators, in which I put zero faith. So, yes, I feel that 
dictatorship is an obsolete artifact of the Old Aeon nature of the original OTO 
as founded by Kellner.
>#>			      maintaining traditional Christian hierarchies 
>#(quick note: Christians neither originated nor patented "hierarchy".)
>'pyramidal', Osirian if you like.  not that this was th origin, but that
>this is prevalent and was used in a strong way by what many Thelemites call
>'old-aeon patriarchies'.

And this is the answer to your question about why I think the OTO is structured 
the way it is for a reason: the pyramidal structure is a symbolic parallel to 
the way in which our consciousness tends to be structured (or so it appears to 
me), and resonates with the pattern of learning, growth and initiation of the 

>#>			      rather than supporting arguably Thelemic 
>#>			      ideals of anarchism or other political 
>#>			      alternatives ('anarchy' tends to be misconstrued
>#>			      and rendered popularly as 'chaos', by Order
>#>		              members in public
>#Agreed. Self rule is arguably more Thelemic than hierarchy. 
>if you accept this, then you've bitten off most of my argument and supported
>it, as I see it.  given linguistic *and* structural support of the OTO being 
>'of the old aeon', yet continually associating itself with 'the new aeon', 
>how can we but suppose its objective is to undermine the establishment or 
>else that it is doomedly confused?

Yes, some of this is Old Aeon artifact. Although most call OTO a New Aeon org., 
I believe the official literature calls it "The first of the Old Aeon orders to 
accept the Law of Thelema," or some such similar words. So in a sense, it is 
'confused', or at least in transition, but I hope not 'doomedly' so.

>#...without specific examples, it would be difficult to discuss such 
>#options/changes, etc. 

>I provided one in another post to this elist ("addendum").

I will re-read your addendum, and respond if I have something meaningful to add 
that has not already been said.

>#Nor have I been an OTO officer, so not really knowing from experience, 
>#I don't know if I could do better.
>structures which relies upon its Officers to 'do well' strike me as dangerous.
>this is why the US benefits from a Bill of Rights which protects its
>citizens from the government.

If we have Officers at all, then must do well by us, or the system will indeed 
fall apart. If we feel that they have not done us due service, then perhaps if 
enough voice their opinions they will know if our discontent (if we have such 
feeling). If not, as Bill H. wrote, we can vote with our feet. If enough do so, 
there will be no OTO, and its _failure_ shall be its proof!

>#I do think that the OTO is structured the way it is for a reason. 
>and that reason is?
see above comments on pyramidal structure.

>#...I would be very pleased to see Thelema alive and
>#well outside of the OTO/EGC, and freed from the mythos of Liber AL.
>what would it look like, do you think? 

It should be entirely original, or at least as much so as possible, and would 
likely not even use the word "Thelema". I (and some of my brethren) have 
struggled with this question, and have not yet come up with a satisfactory
answer. The farthest we have gotten is that the structure might be based on a 
circular or even spherical paradigm, rather than pyramidal. I may post the 
results of our efforts if I can make them coherent enough, perhaps as a 
'manifesto' of sorts. It will probably take some time. All input is welcome.

> what provides impetus for this
>LiberAl enslavement?

"There's a seeker born every minute."

>#...Much of the "Masonic" structure has been changed to reflect Liber AL. 
>in what way does it reflect it?  in a thematic paradigm?  as some sort
>of an essential and qualitative change?  how?
>#Perhaps someone who is both an OTO initiate and a Mason could comment,
>I'd enjoy that.
>#but anything useful would likely be inappropriate for a semi-public 
>#forum such as this.
>'inappropriateness' is what strikes me most as 'nonThelemic'.  that there
>is a separation of the kings and slaves seems to me indicative of the
>limitations of the applicability of the structure and politic.  secrecy is,
>in the end, an increasingly out-moded technic (giving way to mere privacy).

Oh yeah, I forgot to mention that in our theoretical new, original "Thelemic" 
body, no initiatory rites would be secret, and possibly even performed in 
public. This is experimental, as many have seen that knowing what will happen 
before the rite can color one's experience. Some would say that if you knew 
what was going to happen first, it would not be an initiation in the strict 
sense of starting something new. Another approach would be to have each 
candidate write their own initiatory rites, tailored to their individual needs 
and orientations.

>if you knew you'd be asked to hold things secret, not having been told what 
>they were beforehand, perhaps given oaths of loyalty to individuals within 
>the Order for all we know, can we truly say that this is any sort of 
>'Thelemic' way of going about things?   

This was precisely my dilemma before joining. I don't know that I have a good 
answer, save that it parallels the life process (as the Man of Earth triad 
does). In finding our True Wills, sometimes we dive into uncharted waters, not 
knowing what we will face, if we will survive, or if we can ever turn back.

>does the OTO's policy of 'viewing the oaths prior to the rite' somehow 
>mitigate this?

It is my understanding that this policy has been repealed and only existed 
briefly. So it may have done so before, but not anymore.

>especially when it isn't done as a matter of course or 
>offered up to the initiate but that must themselves know about and 
>exercise this right of viewings? 

When I found out that this was at one time possible, although not when I came 
into the order, I had to kick myself for at least not _asking_ if I could see 
just the oath before taking it. Paradoxically, this is precisely the 
information that was breached to me before my Minerval that I bitch so much 
about as coloring my experience. There are no easy answers to this question.

> if provided no necessary instruction
>on the Law of Thelema ahead of time, along with how to protect ourselves 
>from organized con-games masquerading as 'Thelemic Orders', how could 
>we help but become its victims??

I feel that it is the responsibility of the candidate to research the order as 
much as possible before joining, to assure to satisfaction that they understand 
the structure of the order that they seek to join. From a Thelemic perspective, 
it is always the responsibility of the individual.

>#>		* Conformity - residing firmly within the law of the land of
>#>			      a Christian-dominated culture, ....
>#Generally, I agree with this (I'm more of a "strange drugs" kind of guy than
>#a "sweet wine" type).....
>then you appear to support many if not all of my assertions.

Yes, many, not all. Most of what I disagree with is extreme tone in some cases. 
Many of you points I feel are valid.

>  does this mean
>that you have become involved with an old-aeon structure masquerading as one
>which is 'fundamentally sound'?

I have become involved with an order founded in a transitory period where some 
Old Aeon structures have survived the process of growth into New Aeon 
sensibilities. The situation is far from perfect, but not as hopeless as
some would make it out to be.

>#I do think they/we should petition for their/our
>#religious rights, as some Native Americans should for peyote. However, civil
>#disobedience as an order policy in this area at this time in history would
>#likely be an invitation for disaster. 
>what 'disaster'?  

Arrest, seizure of property, lengthy prison sentences (possibly for life if it 
is one's "third strike" in California), etc. It is not like picketing a nuke 
plant, where the charge will be misdemeanor trespassing and you will be 
released the next day. In light of  the rather Draconian anti-drug laws, I 
would not expect the OTO to publicly and actively defy such laws. But I do 
think we should all lobby for repealing drug prohibition and all victimless 
"crimes" as Thelemic issues, whether we participate in such practices or not.

So ya' hear that, everybody? Vote Libertarian, damn it!   :)

>why need it invite this?

Ask your legislators that.

>  isn't the Order's c/Constitution
>strong enough to take such stands and support its membership in doing like-

Moral support, yes, but they cannot stop the DEA, BATF, etc.

> what is likely to occur because of it?  rescinsion of 401(3)(C)???
>if so, is this more important than the integrity and health of Thelema?

I don't see how being convicted felons and being incarcerated preserves the 
integrity of Thelema. It's hard to be a free man behind bars (although Manson 
disagrees ;> ).

>#>		* Cultishness - a 'dissent = disloyalty' mentality evinced 
>#>			      by some membership 
>#Unfortunately, the "sheep factor" is present in most organizations.
>#Sometimes it is larger than one would hope.
>I think that any org which doesn't contain active preservatives *against*
>the formation of these sheep are of questionable value and strike me as
>contrary to the interests of all Thelemites.

The issue is whether this is a tendency of individuals or order policy. How 
could the order create such safeguards, and is it really their place do so? I 
would hope that at some point in the initiatory process, people would get a 
clue, but that is their business. Some people don't want a clue, and that is 
their right.

>#I was a Thelemite before joining the OTO. I knew that if I did join, I 
>#would be sworn to secrecy. It was a serious dilemma for me, not knowing 
>#what I was going to be sworn to keep secret about! I decided that it was 
>#my will to be initiated and that meant keeping silent. 
>is it possible you are mistaken about your will, have been conditioned to
>accept old-aeon masonic restrictions, and are involved with a cult which
>does not in fact support what it maintains is its current?

Sure. It was ultimately a crapshoot. So far, I think that I am winning. Just 
like that other oasis in the desert (Las Vegas), one must exercise judgment as 
to when it is time to leave. I decided not to put all my chips on the first 
throw by affirming to myself that I would study the hell out of the order 
first, and even then still be ready to walk away, even if I have to do so in 
the middle of an initiation.

[re: disassociation from "false OTO's"]

>no, but I have seen and heard about feuding attitudes, cliquish lines of 
>demarcation and slanderous extremity directed at 'the opposition'.  
>the legal thing you mention is a very large symbol ('$'), to me.

On one level I agree. On the other hand, if a group of people decide that they 
don't like the Caliphate OTO and decide to create another order, why take name 
of an org., they claim to dislike so much? Is then significance of having an 
Omega and a Tau in the initials that important to them? Make a new order, take 
a new name, I say. Sounds like they were looking to cash in, and the Caliph 
said "The hell you say!"

> have raised legitimate and important issues about how an Order is 
>#to evolve over time, and how does one interpret principles derived from a 
>#text wherein one is forbidden to interpret principles for another, 
>where is anyone forbidden from interpreting principles for another?  I 
>honestly don't remember this.

My 'interpretation' of the "Comment". ;)

>#all while attempting to apply the Law of Thelema unflinchingly in all 

[re: personal example of violence-in-orbit]

You don't even have to be a Satanist. Here's an example.
I, a Thelemite, am with friends, minding my own business. Someone comes up to 
me with pictures of aborted fetuses and tells me that I am an evil person who 
would get a girl pregnant _just_ so I could force her to get an abortion. I 
inform this individual that not only is he mistaken, but he is being intrusive, 
we don't care, and that he should now leave, as he is physically blocking my 
path and I wish to go. He refuses. I inform him that if he does not do so, I 
will kick the living shit out of him. He refuses. I proceed to kick the living 
shit out of him, and go about my  way.

[Note: the above example is based on a true event, except that four of my 
friends jumped in and physically restrained me so I did not actually get the 
chance to beat some sense into this individual. He later attacked me in a 
Denny's parking lot.]


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Southern Spirits: 19th and 20th century accounts of hoodoo, including slave narratives & interviews
Hoodoo in Theory and Practice by cat yronwode: an introduction to African-American rootwork
Lucky W Amulet Archive by cat yronwode: an online museum of worldwide talismans and charms
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Association of Independent Readers and Rootworkers: ethical diviners and hoodoo spell-casters
Freemasonry for Women by cat yronwode: a history of mixed-gender Freemasonic lodges
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Yronwode Institution for the Preservation and Popularization of Indigenous Ethnomagicology
Yronwode Home: personal pages of catherine yronwode and nagasiva yronwode, magical archivists
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