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Balanone's Temple of Set FAQ

To: alt.satanism,alt.pagan,alt.magick,alt.magick.order,alt.answers,news.answers
Subject: Balanone's Temple of Set FAQ
Date: 26 Aug 1997 09:18:59 GMT

Archive-name:      religions/temple-of-set
~Title:             Balanone's Temple of Set FAQ
Posting-Frequency: monthly, quarterly to soc.religion.paganism
Last-modified:     1997/07/29
Version:           1.01
Copyright:         (c) 1997 Temple of Set
Maintainer:        Balanone 

This is one man's FAQ document concerning the Temple of Set. Its
information is drawn from a number of resources, including electronic
discussions, hard copy correspondence, internal Temple of Set documents,

This FAQ is posted monthly to news.answers and alt.answers, and also to
alt.satanism, alt.pagan, alt.magick, and alt.magick.order. It's posted less
frequently to soc.religion.paganism, the Xepera-l mailing list, the Setian
Discussions echo, and other appropriate forums. It can also be obtained
from IMO the
HTML version of this FAQ is much more readable; it can be found at (a backup copy can be
found at

This FAQ's answers are intentionally brief and concise, sometimes
excessively so, to keep this document's size down. More detailed
information is available in the companion document, "Balanone's Temple of
Set REF." That REF can be obtained from It also has a
(more readable) HTML version, found at (a backup copy can be
found at

Qualifications: Balanone has been an active member of the Temple of Set
since early 1976, and so is intimately familiar with Setian philosophy and
practice. While this document is just one person's statement, and not an
official statement from/by the organization, this person has the depth of
experience to be reasonably confident in his accuracy. Corrections,
additions, and differences of opinion from other members of the Temple of
Set are more than welcome, and within reason all such will be included in
this document.


1.0     Introduction

2.0     Philosophy
2.1     Xeper
2.2     Initiation
2.3     Satanism
2.4     Left Hand Path
2.5     Metaphysics
2.6     Dogma vs Doctrine

3.0     Religion
3.1     The Temple of Set as a Religion
3.2     Set
3.3     The Gift of Set

4.0     Magic
4.1     Black Magic
4.2     Ritual Practices
4.3     Occult Studies

5.0     The Organization
5.1     Membership in the Temple
5.2     Relations with Other Organizations
5.3     Why the Temple of Set?
5.4     Our Reputation(s)
5.5     Pylons and Orders
5.6     The High Priest

6.0     Setians and Setianism
6.1     Activities
6.2     Setians
6.3     Why are we here?
6.4     Miscellaneous

7.0     Contact and Information
7.1     Formal and Official Contact
7.2     Informal Contact
7.3     Friendly and Neutral Others
7.4     Unfriendly Others
7.5     Getting More Information
7.6     Those Stories About Us

8.0     Miscellaneous
8.1     Miscellaneous Links
8.2     FAQ/REF Sources

>> 1.0  Introduction

The Temple of Set is probably best described as an initiatory magical order
of the Left Hand Path, a description which probably doesn't mean much to
those without occult backgrounds.

"Initiatory" means the ToS advocates self-advancement through a series of
levels of self-knowledge and similar attributes.

"Magical" means that the ToS openly works with magic (non-scientific cause
and effect), not stage magic.

"Left Hand Path" indicates that the path followed by Setians is one of
concentration and refinement of the self, leading toward more and more
individuality and more and more individualism, as opposed to the Right Hand
Path goals of growing toward some outwardly determined standard.

A slightly more detailed introduction can be found in the REF.

>> 2.0  Philosophy

2.1     Xeper

-  Perhaps the best discussion of Xeper available online is Magus Don
found at:

-  Balanone: Setian Philosophy centers around the Egyptian concept of Xeper
   (often spelled Khepher), personified by the Egyptian Neter (god?) Xepera
   (Khephra), a concept that can be translated to "self improvement," or
   perhaps "Be all you can be."

   Though that statement above seems simple enough, the study and pursuit
   of Xeper has proven complex and long, intriguing and challenging enough
   to keep Setians occupied for a life time.

-  Apr 28, 1996, Priest Roger Whitaker, Xepera-l: 

   Xeper describes a methodology for manifestation. You cannot separate
   yourself from the force which motivates one to Xeper. It is ingrained
   within the many and varied paths which lead to it. Xeper such as it is
   results in a deeper recognition of Self consciousness, i.e., the
   uniquely human ability to sense its separateness within the body even
   while it resides within it. This heightened sense of Self Being, itself
   the result of polaric constituents - its me, in this other thing called
   a body - becomes a building block of a personal methodology based upon
   knowledge, intuition, learning and change as a result of the preceding.

   The results of Xeper are manifestations into the world of ideas, art,
   science and culture. For the individual the results of Xeper become a
   metaphysical departure point for developing a bond with the Prince of
   Darkness by creating a matrix of linked ideas whose path leads towards
   the Genesis of Self Being.

You'll find another comment or two concerning Xeper in the REF document.

2.2     Initiation

-  What do those necklaces and medallions mean?

   The Temple of Set is an initiatory organization, dedicated to the
   initiation and growth of its members.

   That dedication to initiation, to the philosophy of Xeper, and to Set,
   is represented by our primary symbol, the Pentagram of Set (a point-down
   pentagram within a circle). To help our members identify each other so
   we can work together, and to help them identify which level of
   initiation has been achieved by each other, we wear this symbol on
   different colored medallions, normally worn on necklaces of some kind,
   at formal gatherings.

   There are six levels of initiation recognized within the Temple of Set,
   each with its specific color medallion.

   -  The first degree member wears a white medallion. This is a period of
      trial membership, in which the member begins to explore our
      philosophies, our practices, and our society. The member can decide
      whether our organization is one which will help the member's
      personal growth, and if not he is welcome to leave at any time, with
      our good wishes. Likewise, during this period we determine whether
      the member will function well within our society, will benefit from
      our activity, and will eventually be able to help others in the
      organization with their personal growth. If not, then their
      membership is terminated, hopefully with no hard feelings. We title
      this degree "Setian," which is also the generic name for all of our
      members. The term stands for all who pursue their self deification
      while in contact with the philosophical and magical stream of the

   -  The second degree wears a red medallion. This is a member who has
      completed the trial membership and has been found to be compatible
      with and a valued contributor to the Temple of Set, just as we have
      been found to be useful to the member's own growth. More, through
      hard work the individual has opened him- or herself to the forces of
      Becoming within the body-soul complex. This is a place of great
      excitement and achievement. We Recognize our Adepts by the quality
      of their adventures and projects. This is where we differ form most
      occult schools that would award degrees based on knowledge and
      memory feats. These members are free to work with our philosophies
      and to participate in our activities to the fullest. More members
      are in the second degree than any other level of initiation. We
      title this degree "Adept," declaring them able to pursue any and all
      goals applicable to their personal growth.

   -  The third degree wears a black medallion. This is a member who not
      only has shown all of the qualities of an advanced second degree
      member, but who has also been chosen by Set to serve in his
      priesthood. This member has demonstrated abilities in working with
      and representing Set and the Temple of Set. We title this degree
      "Priest." Another way of putting this: the Third Degree Setian has
      become Resonate with the Work of Set. He or she is directly
      empowered by Set and charged him to expand the Setian experience --
      this includes everything form running the Temple, which belongs to
      its Priesthood, to a variety of scholarly, artistic, or (obviously)
      magical endeavors to increase the Setian mindscape. Third Degrees
      can represent the Temple in most matters. If you have any questions
      concerning the Temple of Set (the organization, our activities,
      beliefs, or members), these members are the best qualified to answer
      your questions.

   -  The fourth degree wears a blue medallion. The Fourth Degree Setian
      is the founder of a school of thought in the Temple, which may
      effect the general philosophical and magical actions of mankind as
      well. These schools of thought are called Orders. Some such as the
      Order of the Vampyre or the Order of the Trapezoid are well known
      beyond the boundaries of the Temple walls, while others have lower
      profiles. The job of the Fourth Degree is the discovery and
      articulation of communicable methods of Initiation. The Orders bear
      the same relationship to the Temple as departments do to a
      University. They are places for the Adept to specialize in pursuit
      of the specialized tools for their personal achievement.

   -  The fifth wears a purple medallion. The sixth wears a gold
      medallion. The distinctions between these grades of initiation are
      very meaningful within the Temple of Set, but for most purposes you
      can consider them as variations upon the fourth degree.

There is additional discussion of initiation and the Temple's degree system
in the REF document.

2.3     Satanism

Is the Temple of Set a Satanic organization?

The Temple of Set as an organization was founded in 1975 by Dr. Michael
Aquino, in San Francisco. Its initial membership came from the Church of
Satan (that infamous "Satanic" organization of the carny Anton LaVey),
composed of CoS members who felt there was something real and important
about the magic they were exploring, and felt that Anton LaVey's antics of
that year were in contradiction to their own experiences. The Temple of Set
has grown a lot in scope and maturity in those twenty years.

Because of this history, and because of the many antinomian pursuits
followed by Setians, many people will call the Temple of Set "Satanic."
Many Setians do, too, but not all.

"Satan" is a name given to the Prince of Darkness, just like "Set" is a
name given to the Prince of Darkness. However, "Set" is a name given by a
religion which found Setian principles attractive and noble, and which
honored the Prince of Darkness. "Satan" is a name given to the Prince of
Darkness by Christianity out of fear and revulsion. The Christian Satan is
a twisted bastardization of the true Prince of Darkness.

"Satanism" is a term used by many to describe the Left Hand Path in the
West. We are a proud part of the tradition of spiritual dissent, differing
philosophically from the Church of Satan. Their take on the Left Hand Path
is the Immanent Path wherein godhood is achieved by the worship of the
carnal ego with no possibility of personal immortality save in some vague
connection to the organic stream. We are followers of the Transcendental
path, wherein person immortality is achievable by a strengthening of the
idealized Self. In an increasingly post-Christian world, the term
"Satanism" will become irrelevant.

More discussion concerning the Temple of Set and Satanism can be found in
the REF document.

2.4     Left Hand Path

The Left Hand Path is the tradition of spiritual dissent. It is a process
of using the ideas and actions of the Seeker to create or realize an
immortal, individual, potent, and powerful essence that will survive death.
The Left Hand Path is the quest for personal immortality, won by hard
effort without grace of gods, even of our role model, Set.

2.5     Metaphysics

This section is found only in the REF document.

2.6     Dogma vs Doctrine

The Temple of Set has no dogma, but it does have teachings. We're sometimes
accused of having dogma because of these teachings.

The REF document includes some discussion detailing the distinction I see
between doctrine and dogma. 

There is some disagreement on this issue, primarily I believe because
people use different definitions for dogma.  For example, in reviewing a
draft of this FAQ, Magus Don Webb, the High Priest, suggested I erred in my
statement above:

   DW> Actually the Temple of Set does have dogma:
   DW> 1. Being and Becoming are Good.
   DW> 2. Being and Becoming can be enhanced by consciously chosen
   activities including Magic.
   DW> 3. The Temple of Set, if properly maintained and used as a tool can
   be used to obtain Being and Becoming.
   DW> That's about it.

>>  3.0 Religion

3.1     The Temple of Set as a Religion

Is the Temple of Set a religion?

Yes, although belief in the religion is not required of I* or II* members.
See the REF document for some discussion why I consider the Temple of Set
to be a religion.

3.2     Set

Set is the most ancient name for the Prince of Darkness, given to the
Prince of Darkness in ancient (pre-dynastic) Egypt. Whether Set exists as
an independent metaphysical being, or whether he's a symbol for man's most
individualistic attributes, is a topic always under discussion somewhere in
the Temple of Set.

3.3     The Gift of Set

The Gift of Set means so many different things depending upon whom you
speak to. To some it's the gift of Intelligence, to some it's
Consciousness, to some it's the ability to step back from the current
moment/place to see/think about what's happening. To some it's the ability
to work (or at least conceive of) magic. etc. The Gift of Set is whatever
happens to separate us (those with potential) from animals (those without
quite as much potential), which is one of the grey areas that haven't been
clarified very well (some of us not seeing very much difference between
humans and "higher" animals).

There is more discussion of the Gift of Set in the REF document.

>> 4.0  Magic

4.1     Black Magic

What is Black Magic? How does the Temple of Set teach it?

Black Magic is consciously-directed alteration of one's environment through
obscure natural (Lesser Black Magic) or non-natural (Medial Black Magic)
means, or apprehension of the Forms/Principles of the natural/non-natural
universe (Greater Black Magic). Black Magic inverts the formula of religion
form "Thy will be done!" to "My will be done!"

The Temple of Set teaches both theory and practice of LBM/MBM/GBM, along
with individual and social ethical considerations to which the Initiate
must be sensitive in order to use such magical knowledge creatively,
constructively, and responsibly. [Descriptions of "Black Magic" as
involving human or animal sacrifice, rape, or other illegal or
reprehensible practices are merely Judaeo/Christian propaganda, and have no
basis in truth whatever.]

4.2     Ritual Practices

Setian ritual practice is generally not discussed in public forums.
However, some specific questions seem to require answers.

-  Do you sacrifice animals (or children)?

   No. See the REF document for a more detailed discussion of this, and for
   other questions/answers concerning our ritual practices.

4.3     Occult Studies

Discussion of other occult studies (such as Astrology, Thelema and
Crowley), are found in the REF document.

>> 5.0  The Organization

5.1     Membership in the Temple

Note: Most of these sections are explored in more depth in the REF

-  Exploration

   Joining the Temple of Set is a serious decision. Anyone who is attracted
   to the Temple of Set through the things you see and hear should
   investigate thoroughly before applying for membership.

-  Affiliation

   Application to the Temple of Set may be made to the Executive Director
   or to any Priest of Set. Information about this procedure is provided in
   the introductory letter.

   -  Assuming you're approved for membership (the Executive Director has
      indicated that the majority of applicants are denied), you as a I*
      Setian you will receive 1) the current edition of the _Crystal
      Tablet of Set_, which includes all of the basic philosophical,
      magical, and initiatory material any Setian would need to begin and
      accomplish his initiation to the II*, 2) a I* Pentagram of Set
      medallion, and 3) a year's subscription to the _Scroll of Set_

   -  You will have two years in which to achieve the II*, using the
      information and inspiration provided by the _Crystal Tablet_, by
      correspondence and other contact with Setians, and through your own
      work towards Initiation.

   -  Following from our choice to avoid all practices that would create a
      barrier between us and our self-created divinity, the Setian can not
      in good faith hold membership in any other religious organization
      after he has become an Adept. Membership in organizations that
      advocate illegal action are likewise incompatible with Setian
      affiliation. One cannot be for one's own Xeper, and be working to
      restrict the Xeper of another.

   -  The application and its approval.

      Though some applications are approved and acted upon quickly, other
      applications for membership in the Temple of Set seem to take a very
      long time. Our "staff" are all volunteers, and their administrative
      activities within the Temple of Set are given appropriate
      priorities, *behind* personal initiation, family, and career.
      Therefore, be prepared for some delay in the processing of your
      application. If the delay seems overly long, it's always helpful to
      send a friendly query to the Executive Director asking about its

-  Departure

   You may choose to resign from the Temple of Set at any time for any
   reason. The great majority of people who leave the Temple of Set do so
   simply by not paying their annual dues, and letting their memberships
   expire. Many others send a simple and courteous resignation letter to
   the Executive Director or any Priest.

   A few members are automatically expelled upon the completion of two
   years of membership during which they did not achieve the II*. There are
   surprisingly few of these to my mind, probably because the Executive
   Director and Priesthood do such a good job of screening applicants.

   Fewer members resign because they encounter something within the Temple
   of Set which they don't like, and fewer still are expelled because they
   prove to be incompatible with Setian philosophy or life.

-  Rejoining

   Despite the claims of a few who state otherwise, the Temple of Set does
   not pursue those who leave the Temple of Set. Whether that separation
   was friendly, unfriendly, or automatic and impersonal, we feel anyone
   and everyone should be allowed to go their own way, as long as they
   don't interfere with our Xeper or the organization.

   A few people who leave the Temple of Set do apply to rejoin the Temple.
   Setians who have left the Temple of their own accord may be allowed to
   rejoin on a case-by-case basis. The Temple is not designed as a
   revolving door, but we do realize that may not have entered the Temple
   at a time conducive to their development. Those that left impersonally
   or on an amicable basis are usually welcomed back without hesitation.
   Those who caused problems during their earlier membership or after their
   departure are carefully examined before they are welcomed back into the
   Temple of Set.

5.2     Relations with Other Organizations

By its bylaws, the Temple of Set as an organization can have no formal
relationships or ties with any other organization. Individual Setians,
however, can work with or have dealings with other organizations and its
members. There are two limitations: 1) an Adept II* of the Temple of Set
cannot also be a member of another religious organization, and 2) no Setian
may be a member of an organization which condones or takes part in the
violation of society's laws to the detriment of society.

That first limitation has often been a subject for discussion by people who
don't understand it or who want clarification. One clarification I posted
to alt.pagan in 1996 was,

"The Temple of Set wouldn't care if a Setian chooses to participate in a
Buddhist retreat, an Indian sweat lodge, a Thelemic Gnostic Mass, a
Passover Seder, a Pagan circle, or whatever. Part of being an Adept
Magician is being able to see and mesh with whatever magic is taking place,
understanding the causes of the ceremony and participating in those causes
as appropriate to our own Will.

"However, if someone claimed to seriously believe in the wheel of karma,
and that Xeper is valueless because until we can learn to avoid all
participation in this world we're doomed to ride that wheel cycle after
cycle, then yes, that religious belief would be opposed to the Setian
principles of Xeper, and that person would not be able to remain a member
of the Temple of Set. The two philosophies are simply incompatible."

The REF document includes sections which examine our history regarding
specific other organizations.

5.3     Why the Temple of Set?

The REF document examines the question "What does the Temple of Set have to

5.4     Our Reputation(s)

Lupo the Butcher, in his "alt.satanism FAQ file", states/stated: "The most
vocal of groups which border upon Satanism, is the Temple of Set of Michael
Aquino and friends, which splintered away from the Church of Satan in a
disagreement over monetary policy. They have a number of nasty habits,
including the public publishing of names, addresses and workplaces of
former members as a harassment tactic, disinformation regarding Satanic and
occult groups, including their own, and a good deal of "we are the one true
way" posturing."

See the section on Satanism for a summary of the schism with the Church of

We do not normally publish the name, addresses, or any other information
concerning former members. We do not harass former members. Thousands of
exmembers have left the Temple of Set for many different reasons, without
any activity such as Lupo complains about.

See the REF document for more information.

5.5     Pylons and Orders

5.5.1   Pylons of the Temple of Set

Setians who live in the same area sometimes organize a local pylon in which
they can meet together regularly for discussions, study, ritual work, and
other activities. See for a good
discussion of local pylons within the Temple of Set.

In addition to local pylons, there are correspondence pylons which support
the Xeper of Setians who wish to participate in group discussions and
activities by correspondence.

5.5.2   Orders of the Temple of Set

IV* Setians, Masters of the Temple, may found Orders within the Temple of
Set. If you were to think of the Temple of Set as a college of higher
learning, the Orders could be seen as departments within the school, each
concentrating on specific flavors of exploration. They are places for the
Adept to specialize in pursuit of the specialized tools for their personal
achievement. Some Orders, like the Order of the Vampyre or the Order of the
Trapezoid, are well known beyond the boundaries of the Temple walls, while
others have lower profiles. 

The REF document includes more information, specifically concerning the
Order of the Trapezoid.

5.6     The High Priest

-  The High Priest of the Temple of Set at this time is Magus Don Webb.

-  The High Priest is chosen by the Chairman of the Council of Nine, and
   serves indefinitely until he vacates the position or is removed from
   office by the Chairman.

-  The High Priest serves as the President of the corporation.

See the REF document for more information concerning the High Priest of

>> 6.0  Setians and Setianism

"Setian" is the generic term which applies to each member of the Temple of
Set. "Setians" is the term which applies to two or more members, and to the
entire membership together.

"Setianism" is a term which can be applied to the Setian philosophy, the
Setian religion, and/or the Setian way of life. Some (many?) Setians prefer
the terms "Setian philosophy," "Setian religion," and "Setian way of life"
over the term "Setianism." I find "Setianism" a convenient term to use when
I am referring specifically to the Setian way of life, or to any
combination of these ideas.

6.1     Activities

What do Setians do?  This topic is covered in the REF document.

6.2     Setians

6.2.1   Specific Setians

-  Executive Director -- can be contacted through the Temple's postal
   address, or through email

-  High Priest -- Magus Don Webb can be contacted through the Temple's
   postal address, or through email (

-  Dr. Michael Aquino -- the founder of the Temple of Set can be contacted
   through the Temple's postal address or through email

-  Balanone -- this long-time member (and author of this document) can be
   contacted through the Temple's postal address or through email
   (; FIDO: Balanone at  1:203/2019; PODS:
   Balanone @ 93:9902/2019). 

   One frequently asked question is why Balanone signs his email and posts
   with "PP" below his name. As stated in April, 1993 on the Base of Set
   echo and many other times, "That's as close as I can get with this
   keyboard to the Egyptian hieroglyph for Shuti (the double Maat feather),
   symbolizing my personal dedication to Balance."

-  A few others are mentioned in the REF document.

6.2.2   Questions about Setians

Are Setians Pagans?  That's a question which depends heavily upon your
definition of "pagan." See the REF document for this discussion.

6.3     Why are we here?

Here" may be any digital forum -- you may be reading this on a web site, a
newsgroup, or FTP archive. I've tried to generalize the answer to apply to
most situations. For that matter, "here" may also apply to Pagan
gatherings, meetings in hotels, new age fairs, etc. These questions are
examined in the REF document.

6.4     Miscellaneous

There isn't much in this section, and it all resides in the REF document at
this time.

>> 7.0  Contact and Information

7.1     Formal and Official Contact

-  Postal Address: Temple of Set, P. O. Box 470307, San Francisco, CA 94147

-  Electronic Mail: At this time, you may send email to the Executive
   Director c/o; this address will probably
   be discontinued at the end of the year, but an updated FAQ should
   contain a current address at that time.

-  The Priesthood of Set: To contact a member of the Priesthood, send your
   request by postal mail to the Executive Director, who will forward it to
   an appropriate member of the Priesthood. (That member of the Priesthood
   may not indulge in electronic mail capabilities, so postal mail is
   usually a requirement here.)

-  Copyrighted material

   Almost all of the Temple of Set's internal documents are copyrighted and
   intended for internal distribution only. We do release some material for
   public consumption from time to time, but other material is not
   released. We have problems from time to time with people copying or
   publishing our copyrighted material. We'd appreciate anyone and everyone
   who helps us maintain our intellectual property rights.

   ee the REF document for comments concerning the _Book of Coming Forth by
   Night_, _Crystal Tablet of Set_, and other publications.

7.2     Informal Contact

-  Electronic Mail mailing list(s) is the only public mailing list hosted by Setians.
   Moderation is minimal, topics can be anything of interest to Setians,
   and participation is open to all who are not openly hostile to the
   Temple or to Setians. To subscribe: send email to with the line "Subscribe Xepera-l" (no
   quotes) in the body of the message. The subject line of the E-Mail is
   ignored. This is a robot subscription E-Mail, so do not append messages
   for the mail list administrator.

-  Internet newsgroups

   -  alt.satanism

      alt.satanism is a newsgroup for discussions of satanic philosophy,
      religion, organizations, activities, etc. Most Setians avoid the
      newsgroup because of the high level of juvenile behavior that we run
      into there. However, there are a few Setians who can be contacted
      through that newsgroup.

   -  alt.pagan

      alt.pagan attracts several Setians who belong to that community. We
      prefer to avoid discussing simply Setian philosophy and religion or
      Satanism in alt.pagan, since those are more appropriate to
      alt.satanism, but the relationships between Setian philosophy and
      religion and other Pagan philosophies and religions are on-topic and
      suitable for that newsgroup.

   -  soc.religion.paganism

      soc.religion.paganism is a well-moderated newsgroup in which the
      same topics can readily be discussed. There are probably fewer
      Setians on this newsgroup than on the other two, but there should be
      enough visiting soc.religion.paganism to hold a meaningful
      discussion when necessary.

-  FIDO/PODS echoes

The Setian Discussions echo (tagname: SET) is the only FTN (Fido Technology
Network) echo hosted by Setians concerning Setian philosophy or the Temple
of Set. Moderation is minimal, topics can be anything of interest to
Setians, and participation is open to all who are not openly hostile to the
Temple or to Setians. This echo is carried on the FIDO North America
backbone, and by most major hubs within PODS. It is carried in Australia by
both FIDO and PODS, and in Germany (and perhaps other areas of Europe) by
PODS. In prior years, the echo was called "Base of Set" (its original name,
as established by Sinistar on the BBS known as Purgatory) and sometimes
simply "SET". If your local BBS or other network doesn't carry the echo,
the echo's moderator (Balanone) will usually work with the Sysop and/or
network to arrange access. Balanone can be contacted through the email
addresses listed in this doc.

-  World Wide Web sites and pages

   -  The Temple of Set's "official" World Wide Web site is; most sites dealing with the
      Temple of Set can be found through links from this site.

   -  The Order of the Trapezoid maintains its own web site at

   - is maintained by a Master of the
      Temple and contains many pages and links related to the Temple of
      Set, Setian philosophy, Setian religion, and related topics. It
      includes copies of the general information letter and other public
      documents in languages other than English.

-  FIDO/PODS bulletin board systems: There used to be quite a few bulletin
   board systems owned and run by Setians, but many of them have disbanded
   or gone to mail-only operations. If anyone needs to find a Setian-run or
   Setian-oriented bulletin board system, contact Balanone who will do what
   he can to help you.

   Rather than Setian-run bulletin board systems, it's much easier to find
   a BBS which has access to the Setian Discussions echo, either as part of
   the FIDO network or as part of the PODS network. (PODS is dedicated to
   Pagan activities and discussions.) Again, Balanone is willing to help
   anyone who needs to find a local bulletin board system connected to
   either of these two networks.

7.3     Friendly and Neutral Others

Though I've often quoted from others' responses to frequently asked
questions, still this document is just one person's compilation concerning
the Temple of Set. Anyone who needs a more comprehensive view should
contact one or more of the other Setians (above, or better through
Xepera-l), and perhaps one or more people who aren't Setian. A few people
who are active online, whose independent views concerning the Temple of Set
at this time appear to be informed and reasonable, are listed in the REF
document. Please note that neither I nor the Temple of Set have much
influence over nor agree with everything these people say.

7.4     Unfriendly Others

   The REF document identifies a few people whose messages, documents, or
   web pages you're likely to run into on the Internet, and who are biased
   against the Temple of Set for a variety of reasons.

7.5     Getting More Information

-  General Information Letter

   The current General Information letter (including membership information
   and policies) is available upon request. Write to: Executive Director,
   Temple of Set, Post Office Box 470307, San Francisco, CA 94147, USA. Or
   provide a *postal* - not E-mail - mailing address

   There are copies of that letter floating around cyberspace, available on
   various FTP sites and on BBSs. Unfortunately, most of them are out of
   date, since the introductory letter is updated semi-regularly, and the
   files on these unrelated sites aren't. The primary site known and
   guaranteed to maintain a current copy is the WWW site maintained by
   Sutekh Reshef, Priest of Set, Versions in
   other languages can be found at

-  Computerized archives

   Over the years, a number of other files pertaining to the Temple of Set
   were made available. These were generally intended for limited
   distribution, but over time were archived on various Internet and FTN
   sites along with material /about/ the Temple of Set which did not
   originate /from/ the Temple of Set. Many of these files contain dated
   information; the accuracy and authenticity of these is doubtful. In
   future revisions of this document, comments about these files may be
   added (if you bring the need for same to our attention).

   -  However, be warned that a lot of files of questionable value are
      floating around the 'net. Check the source for each document, and if
      you have questions about its value, ask about it on the Xepera-l
      mailing list. The REF document discusses at least one such example
      of this.

   -  Archives hosted by Setians

    Reference: mailto:// (Sutekh Reshef)
    Note: This is the only FTP site both managed by a Priest of the
    Temple of Set and dedicated to the Temple of Set at this time to
    our knowledge. The reliability of other FTP sites will be lower
    -- they will not be as accurate nor current. As other Setian
    sites are identified they will be listed at

   -  Other FTP sites
      -  FTP://
      -  FTP://
    Reference: mailto:// (Paul Southworth)
      -  FTP://
    (this is the original slopoke tree moved to funet)

7.6     Those Stories About Us

Despite our general policy of keeping a low profile, sometimes rumors about
us do get spread, generally by people who dislike or fear us for some
reason (perhaps because so little is known about us, or simply because of
our non-Christian belief system, or for other reasons). If anyone (perhaps
someone else at a location of one of our formal meetings, or someone you
meet on the 'net, or some other acquaintance) should ask you any of the
following questions, it's good to be able to give them the correct answers.

7.6.1   A Cult?

"Is this a cult?" No. Some people may define "cult" to mean any
non-Christian religion, and then yes, we don't believe in the Christian
religion. But most people reserve the word "cult" to you mean something
dangerous to society or its members, and no, we're not a cult since we are
beneficial to our members, and we're not anti-social by any means.

The REF document contains more discussion on this topic.

7.6.2   Satanists?

"Are you Satanists?" A lot of people say yes, and a lot of people say no. A
lot of Setians say yes, and a lot of Setians say no. See the REF document
for this discussion.

7.6.3   Naziism and Fascism

Are you fascists? Nazis? No. See or for one member's
discussion of this question.

7.6.4   Presidio

What about the Presidio stories?

On August 14, 1987 CE the San Francisco home of Lilith and Dr. Aquino was
raided by San Francisco Police officer Glen Pamfiloff on a search warrant
obtained as a consequence of the accusations of Army chaplain Lawrence
Adams-Thompson that the Aquinos had kidnapped and sexually abused his
stepdaughter as part of the Presidio of San Francisco day-care witch-hunt. 

These claims were investigated in depth by the SFPD, the FBI, and the US
Army CID. No charges were ever made in any jurisdiction, and the evidence
has shown Dr. Aquino and Lilith Aquino to be innocent of any such activity.
Full details can be read in the alt.pagan post, dated Sun Jun 02, 22:14,
From :, Subj : Re: Curio courts the CAW.

7.6.5   Other Occultists

-  Why should Wiccans, Druids, and other types of Pagans defend those who
   call themselves "Satanists" against the Christian majority?

   I've never understood why Wiccans, Druids, and others might think we
   want their defending. There are ethical and social reasons to do it, and

   that's why Setians generally defend other Pagans against discrimination
   and other forms of attack, but Satanists don't need others to defend
   them -- Satanists would be happy if other Pagans would simply stop
   buying Christianity's lies and attacking the Satanists as if allied with
   Christianity's blind bigots.

   There's a little more discussion of this in the REF document.

-  "Are you witches?" That depends upon your definition of a "witch." We do
   explore activities which many people would call "magic," such as
   telepathy, divination, and methods of strengthening our souls and
   spirits through mental and spiritual discipline. However, modern witches
   usually believe that their magical powers come from one or more gods or
   goddesses, and many Christians believe these powers come from the devil.
   We don't believe in any such gods or goddesses or devils. Most modern
   witches claim we are not witches.

-  Perhaps the most important point to know and remember about us is that
   we believe a primary requirement of self-improvement and individual
   Xeper is to be honorable and ethical. We do not tolerate any illegal
   activity. We do not tolerate any illegal drugs, and we frown upon
   excessive use of legal substances like tobacco and alcohol. We believe
   in individual freedoms, and respect everyone else's desire to live life
   the way they want to, asking in exchange only the freedom to be able to
   live life the way we want to.

   We do enjoy companionship and camaraderie. At our various conclaves,
   many of us will gather in private rooms, local restaurants, and the
   hotel lobby, and we'll just talk for hours, about almost anything. Some
   of our people will even sometimes forget to go to sleep, being so
   wrapped up in talking to people they see only once or twice a year.

   We enjoy life, we enjoy growth, and we enjoy each other. If you spend
   time with Setians, you'll find that most of us smile a lot, honest
   smiles, reflecting the enjoyment we find in life.

-  What about Magda Graham?  This is discussed in the REF document.

7.6.6   The Setian Illuminati

These topics are explored in the REF document.

>> 8.0  Miscellaneous

8.1     Miscellaneous Links

-  FBI Special Agent Kenneth Lanning's /Investigator's Guide to Allegations
   of "Ritual" Child Abuse/:

-  The Temple of Set's Reading List from the Crystal Tablet of Set (an old
   version, but better than nothing):

8.2     FAQ/REF Sources
-  Setian Discussions echo FAQ. author: Balanone, version: Dec 30, 1996
-  "More About the Temple of Set" web page. author: Balanone, version: Nov
   25, 1996
-  The alt.satanism FAQ file. author/editor: Lupo the Butcher, Version 2.3,
   January 7, 1996
-  Temple of Set alt.satanism FAQ. author: Dr. Michael Aquino, version: Oct
   10, 1995
-  Misc email from Xepera-l mailing list
-  Misc email from newsgroups and echos

/* end of file */

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