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Kevin Filan in ToS FAQ

To: alt.satanism,soc.culture.haiti
From: Kevin Filan 
Subject: Re: Kevin Filan in ToS FAQ
Date: Mon, 22 Jan 2001 09:39:14 GMT

In article ,
  "Mr. Scratch"  wrote:
>  wrote:
> > (from the respected occult org Temple of Set's
> > enemylist: more on childish and malicious
> > character of Kevin Filan.
> As a former longstanding member and Priest of the Temple of Set, let
> assure you that your evaluation of the Temple of Set as being
> is misplaced on alt.satanism.

From the atrocious grammar, I suspect Mr. No User may be Chris
"Satanickeys" Garrett, who was posting here a while back.  Like "Mr. No
User," he had a tendency to drop the article in sentences i.e. "on
childish and malicious character of Kevin Filan."  At first I thought he
be a native speaker of some Slavic language, as I've seen Russians and
Czechs drop the "the" in their sentences ala "Quick! Is moose and
squirrel!"  It turns out, however, that Mr. Garrett was not in fact
Slavic, merely exceedingly stupid.  This may be Garrett, or it may be
someone who rode the short bus to school alongside him.  The poster,
like his postings, is ultimately unimportant.

In any event, I'm flattered by the attention... and amused that Mr. No
User was able to put the words "respected occult org" and "enemylist"
together in a sentence whilst keeping a straight face.

> In any case, the paragraph you quoted from the ToS enemies list (a
> rather similar to some of the Scientologists' "dead agenting"
> I've seen) made me feel very uncomfortable while I was a member, due
> its inaccuracy and distorted perspective.  Now, of course, I have a
> hand to comment.

I think keeping an "enemies list" is generally a bad idea.  Instead of
attacking the people, why not attack their inaccurate ideas?  If they
are REALLY ranting, evil loons, that fact will become clear soon enough.

> > Kevin Filan
> >
> > Kevin Filan first encountered the Temple of Set through the presence
> > of several Setians discussing Setian philosophy and the Temple on
> > bulletin board systems. During a period when he lived in Oklahoma
> > (near several other Setians), he joined the Temple of Set, and
> > achieved the II=B0 (Adept). Setian philosophy apparently didn't suit
> > him, so sometime later he left the organization to rejoin the Roman
> > Catholic church. That also didn't suit him, and eventually he
> > reappeared in Pagan cyberspace, this time on alt.satanism,
> > and similar areas.
> Correct.

So far Balanone's statements are accurate.

> > For a while he was courteous and openly honest. He spoke his mind
> > concerning the things he liked about the Temple of Set, about Setian
> > philosohy, and about Setians, and he spoke his mind concerning the
> > things and people he disliked.
> Mr. Filan arrived some time after I made my debut on alt.satanism, and
> quickly identified him as an intelligent voice, with a perspective on
> Temple of Set that I then considered "balanced" (which is to say, he
> the Temple of Set, thought Setians were worthwhile people, and found
> Setian philosophy to be productive and correct in a spiritual sense).

Again, this is all true.  I think that affiliation with the Temple of
Set can be beneficial to some people.  ToS membership gives you a chance
to network with some creative, funny, intelligent and interesting
people... alas, it also gives you a chance to get entangled in some
really stupid, petty personality conflicts and general bullshite.  While
I disagree with some key elements of the philosophy and think that some
Setian takes on history are a bit *ahem* creative, I honestly do not see
the Temple of Set as a dangerous criminal cult.  I had a problem with
the behavior exhibited by Michael and Lilith Aquino... not with the
Temple of Set.

>  As
> I had come to be one of the few Setian voices on alt.satanism that was
> considered credible, and thus found myself in a unique position to
> and inform others about the Temple of Set in this forum, I made an
> to keep Mr. Filan on our side.

Again, this is accurate.  While Scratch and I have disagreed on a few
occasions, we've always had respect for the other's intellectual
abilities.  And, at that time, much of the ToS/CoS criticism was of the
all-too-familiar "Oook!! LaVey bankrupt!" "Ugh! Mikey molest children!"
level we've come to know and love on alt.satanism.

(Hey, Scratch! Remember how stupid things were on this newsgroup back in
94/95? Well, guess what... they've gone downhill since then! The
current crop makes Anthony "ArthRA" Licalzzi look like a rocket

> I recognized him as an asset to the ToS,
> and often called upon him to speak to the ToS's detractors on other
> newsgroups as a "neutral outsider."  I found him to be very helpful,
> on a personal note, enjoyed his sense of humor and writing style.  At
> time when nearly everyone on this newsgroup vocally hated the Temple
> Set with a passion, I found him to be quite refreshing and valuable.
> Such was not to last, of course, but it was not the fault of Mr. Filan
> that things went sour.

Looking back, I think I would have handled things a bit differently than
I did.  I was a lot closer to the Temple of Set at that point, and
exploded in a red-hot emotional ball of rage.  Today, I'd keep my cool
and needle Mike & Lil until THEY exploded.  I'd also target my anger a
bit more carefully.  I aimed a lot of abuse at Balanone, for example,
which I regret now.  While I still think he mishandled the situation,
and wish he would for once step up and say "Ummm, Mike/Lil... you're
behaving like fuckheads and I really wish you'd cut it out..." he didn't
deserve the namecalling I shot at him.

If I had it to do over again, I would try harder not to alienate
everyone connected with the Temple of Set.  On the other hand, I doubt
that it would work ... as you've pointed out, the ToS has a great love
of "enemies" and tends to see even honest criticism as proof of some
"hidden agenda."

> > Shortly after Lupo left the Temple of Set, Mr. Filan began horribly
> > bad- mouthing the Temple of Set in general, and the Aquino's
> > specifically, not only complaining about the things he didn't like,
> > but indulging in all sorts of name-calling, filth-slinging, gutter
> > language, etc. It was during this period that I killfiled him, since
> > he had stopped being a voice of reason.

As Scratch points out: here Balanone overlooks the fact that this
"gutter language" and "filth-slinging" was provoked by the Michael
Aquino's posting of information about Lupo's workplace, and by Lilith
Aquino's continual stream of abusive, ill-spelled stupidity aimed at
every non-Setian on the group.  (My first post to alt.satanism was met
by a jeering response from Lil posting as "Dark Star,"  which sparked a
rather lengthy argument on Holocaust revisionism; Lil also at one point
referred to a 15-year old female poster as a "cum bucket").

I was definitely guilty of intemperate and heated language in that
particular flamewar... but, as Scratch points out, it was not as if I
just woke up one morning and said "Gee... I think I'm going to begin
attacking the Temple of Set for no reason."

> Mr. Filan, while generally pro-Setian, could not turn a blind eye to
> wrong that had been committed; he tactfully suggested that while it
> clear Dr. Aquino and Lupo had their conflicts, that revealing this
> information to a hostile public was not an acceptable strategy, that
> made the Temple of Set in general look bad, and recommended that it
> be best for Dr. Aquino to apologize.  Filan's statement to this effect
> fair, and stated in such a way as to not cause further provocation.

That was my exact sentiment, actually quite close to my exact words.  I
felt it was a bad tactical move.  As soon as I posted this, Lil and Mike
decided that they would start attacking me: I responded accordingly.
The rest is history...

> In return, Mr. Filan was treated to a series of dismissive insults at
> hands of Dr. Aquino, who accused him of being a Temple groupie, a
> and a vulture circling the Temple of Set.  From this time forward, the
> who had been the Temple's friend rapidly became one of its founder's
> tenacious critics.  The Temple of Set shouldn't blame him; if they
> an enemy in Kevin Filan, it is only because they created that enemy.

And, again, I have nothing against the Temple of Set.  My criticism was
aimed at the behavior of Michael and Lilith Aquino.  Under HP Webb,
the Temple has moved away from the constant sniping about LaVey, the
Church of Satan, etc. (at least publicly), and has been leaning more
toward Thelemic and Runic stuff.  While I might not be particularly
interested in rejoining (and doubt they'd be particularly interested in
having me rejoin), I don't see them as any more dangerous or evil than
an OTO lodge or a Wiccan circle.

If Scratch has any evidence that the ToS is still playing at ham-handed
"dirty tricks" like contacting employers, releasing addresses, etc. I'd
definitely be interested in seeing it.  But in all honesty I think at
present they're guilty of being a bit deluded and silly, not criminal.
(I suspect Scratch shares my sentiments here).

> respectful, and it is part of their doctrine that they do not consider
> non-members their peers.  It doesn't matter if the non-Setian feels
> positive or negative feelings toward the Temple, they are considered
> untrustworthy, and treated accordingly.  It is an idiotic and
> attitude, one which may someday destroy them.

I think members of any organization can get into that
"ToS/CoS/ONA/FCoS/ETC Good! Everyone else bad!" mode of thought. It's
not particularly productive, but probably unavoidable.

As an interesting aside: I note that not long after the ToS under
Webb basically lost interest in the Church of Satan, the FCoS under Egan
came riding into the vacuum to provide flames and drama.  Frankly, the
ToS has more class...

> She was quite popular with Setians of the I* and II* degrees, but
> strangely seemed to inspire a strange hostility from the politicized,
> ass-kissing elements of the Temple, especially those associated with
> Lilith Aquino's Arkte Element.  At one point, an honorary member
> associated with that Element, Eve (a.k.a. Morgan) Kochel, even lit

I suspect the hostility came when Kerry rightly called out one
"" of "Eugene, Oregon."  Anna Fazen, like Hans Riker,
Rennet, "David Mitchell," "Don Barstow," etc., was an obvious
sockpuppet, another example of that Ever-Popular ToS Defense. ("Gee, if
we create a couple of anonymous accounts, and then post claiming we're
'neither ToS nor CoS,' nobody will EVER think it's us...")

Kerry pointed out that "Anna" was not fooling anyone, and was just
making herself, the Aquinos, and the Temple of Set look bad.  She was
actually quite polite about it... and was met, as I recall, with a
stream of profanity and accusations of being a "Curio supporter."  This
is amusing, as Lilith and Pals have done more to injure the Temple of
Set's online reputation than anything ever posted by Curio.

> > I understand from others, however, that he has continued his
> > and gutter-level attacks on Dr. Aquino and Lilith Aquino,

This one always slays me.  Any time anyone has to point out repeatedly
how they "don't read" your stuff, it's a sure sign they're flagging your
posts and poring over every line you type.

> > and on the
> > Temple of Set, going so far as to publish Dr. Aquino's home address
> > and phone number on the 'net, not only in Pagan areas (which would
> > bad enough), but also in Christian and other areas where he has
> > encouraged society's bigots and idiots to personally and physically
> > harass the Aquinos.
> With all due respect, this is a game the Aquinos introduced to this
> newsgroup, with the revelation of Lupo's workplace.  While I do not
> with Mr. Filan's methods, I also believe that those in glass houses
> not throw stones, nor should pots call kettles black.

At this point, *I* don't agree with my methods.  That being said: they
appear to have had the desired effect.  The Aquinos wouldn't stop
posting personal information because it was the right thing to do... but
they appear to have stopped when it became clear that this behavior
would be met with retaliation.  Sometimes a soft word and a few sharp
blows with a baseball bat get your point across better than just a soft

Kevin Filan

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