Sunday, June 5, 2011

MOTO: Peregrin Launches Flame War Against the Golden Dawn Community

Calvin Attacks: Blames It On Hobbes
On his Magic of the Ordinary blog, Peregrin Wildeoak just published an article attacking the HOGD/AO and its leaders and trying to blame our order for Peregrin's attack (how original - yawn). In the article, Peregrin for example falsely accuses our order of "ad hominum" attacks on Nick Farrell. Peregrin also objects to our having published an image of Mr. Farrell as a Borg from Star Trek.

Why must GD reconstrucionists behave like Borg...
... instead of just leaving GD traditionalists alone?
How Reconstructionists Refuse Traditionalists' Right to Exist in Peace

To support his peculiar argument, Peregrin abandons traditional anthropological definitions of the "traditionalist" and "reconstructionist" perspectives regarding spiritual traditions, instead invoking Guenon and conflating Tradition with tradition. In doing this, Peregrin is making up the rules as he goes along, much as Calvin does in the Calvin and Hobbes comic strip. In other words, Peregrin is playing "Calvin ball."

In a further instance of "Calvin ball," Peregrin next suggests that the term "reconstructionist" itself is actually insulting and divisive. To support this argument, Peregrin invents a fanciful new “traditionalist = good, reconstructionist = "bad” definition. 

This is Peregrin's definition. It is certainly not mine. It is also not the one given by Frater Barrabbas as applied to the Neo-Pagan community and likewise directly relevant to the Neo-Golden Dawn community as well. It is also completely different from the standard anthropological definition of these terms.

As I already said in an article previous to Peregrin's new sack of accusations: “If they would quit trying to assimilate everyone, there is room in the Federation even for the Borg” (By the way, the Kingons already set a precedent for this. Once implacable enemies, the Klingons cleaned up their act and became upstanding members of the Federation community).

If they would just stop trying to assimilate others,
there is room in the Federation even for the Borg!

What we traditionalists object to is certainly not the reconstructionist approach to the Golden Dawn in itself. On the contrary. We fully embrace the diversity that the reconstuctionists bring to our Golden Dawn community. This diversity is a very good thing. What we DO object to is the nearly two full decades of Borg-like treatment of traditionalists by certain reconstrucionists in our Golden Dawn community.

For example, if we say something is secret, that means it is sacred to us. What we object to most of all is how reconstructionists in our community have over and over taken what is still sacred in the Golden Dawn tradition and profaned it. Of course, when you take a sacred object out of a box and display it to the world, and say “look here”, “this is not so special.” “It is only a historical curiosity”, the mere act of doing this has taken the sacredness out of it, much like Schrödinger’s cat.

It is in the MOTO comment section following his new article that Peregrin's hidden agenda becomes fully transparent. Considering the content of the comments Peregrin has so far let through, including from numerous anonymous trolls, it becomes clear to objective readers that Peregrin is single handedly attempting to resurrect the decades old, Golden Dawn flame war.

Let us therefore shine a light of truth - and cut through the flame war rhetoric presently infesting comments on Peregrin's MOTO blog. Let us instead consider - in chronological order - the ACTUAL events that led up to this shameful spectacle:

1. Nick Farrell wrote a book publishing the rituals of the Alpha et Omega, fully aware that many people in the Alpha et Omega would take this as a provocation and as an attack on our order. He also attacked Mathers and the AO itself, calling Mathers a lunatic and arguing that the AO has never really even been a magical order to begin with.

2. GH Frater Sincerus Renatus wrote a thorough, scholarly review of Mr. Farrell's book, refuting Farrell's sensationalistic arguments point by point.

3. Instead of engaging in scholarly debate, and responding to SR's arguments, Mr. Farrell instead wrote:
"One so called scholarly critique was packed full of so much magical ignorance, and logical holes, I could not even begin to reply to it. However, when it is about something I saw, I have decided that you can stick your theories up your arse." - Nick Farrell
4. In response to this "ad hominum" attack from Mr. Farrell on GH Frater SR, I humorously and graphically pointed out THAT MR. FARRELL IS BEHAVING LIKE A BORG rather than the scholar he pretends to be.

5. If GH Frater SR's critique of Mr. Farrell's theses is "full of logical holes" as Farrell alleges, Mr. Farrell should refute arguments line by line like the scholar he pretends to be, instead of Peregrin turning an already sad incident into a shameful flame fest, complete with anonymous trolls and "ad hominum" attacks on our order's leaders.

Diplomacy "a la Peregrin"
Once the scholarly objections originally raised by GH Frater SR have finally been addressed by Farrell with scholarly arguments rather than with "ad hominum" attacks, we can perhaps get back to discussing other matters in a scholarly manner as well. Let us, however, not allow the noise level of the flame war on Peregrin's blog to drown out what TRULY is happening here and the actual chronology of events that have led to this present shameful situation.

Unsurprisingly, in the flame war being waged against the HOGD/AO and its leaders presently on Peregrin's MOTO blog:

1. Peregrin has begun to cherry pick which posts he lets through. Of course, those that cast aspersion our order are given preference.

2. There are a number of commenters presently attacking our order with impunity on Peregrin's blog that no one has ever heard of before, with no identity verification at all. In other words, Peregrin is single handedly resurrecting the Golden Dawn flame war, complete with anonymous defamation trolls.

Such behavior has nothing at all to do with fraternal discussion or scholarly debate. It is, however, standard operating procedure in a flame war. We have all seen this sort of shameful spectacle before in the Golden Dawn community ...

And we all know where this leads!

The time has come for a return to scholarly debate. A good place to start would be for Mr. Farrell to respond to scholarly objections to his work in a scholarly manner instead of with "ad hominum" attacks. Public apologies from both Mr. Farrell and from Peregrin would also be in order.

David J. Griffin (the REAL one)
Sometimes Calvin can be such a little shit ...
but he just needs to be put back in place.


  1. On Peregrins blog Sam Scarborough wrote:
    "Please correct me if i am wrong or misunderstand your most recent post here in regards to “Reconstructionists” and “Traditionists”. You state that the “Reconstructionists” demand academic proof in their arguments. Is that correct? And that the “Traditionists”, such as yourself and Mr. Stacewicz find that an “inappropriate yardstick”.
    If then this is the case, Mr. Griffin, then praytell, how Mr. Stacewicz and yourself are going to conduct a “scholarly debate” with Mr. Zalewski and Mr. Farrell, which you have been banging on about here and other places? Does not “scholarly” imply the use of a certain “academic yardstick” wherein source are cited, primary data given, etc., etc.? If this primary material is “oathboung” to the “traditionists” how is it possible to carry on a debate with them?
    For that matter, why would a so-called “Traditionist” wish to debate with a “Reconstructionist”, obviously neither is going to accept the other’s “proof”, citations, etc.?
    Additionally, you recent post here goes on about what a “Reconstructionist” is, but I seem to be missing just what is your definition of what a “Traditionist” is?
    Looking forward to your most elucidating answer to this and other burning questions.
    In LVX,

    @ Samuel Scarborough:

    To begin with, as I have said over and over, we do not want to debate anything with Mr. Farrell, Zalewksi, or even with you.

    What we DO want is to be LEFT ALONE by all of you GD reconstructionists – and for you to at least TRY for ONCE to respect the sanctity of oath bound material.

    Since I have already said this to you OVER and OVER – and you keep PRETENDING to be too DENSE to get it – let me say it ONE LAST TIME in an even more intellectual manner:


    As for the standard anthropological definitions of traditionalism, reconstructionism, and revisionism – as you are well aware – you already have these definitions in any standard Anthropology 101 text book.

    You also have them – together with interesting Pagan commentary – in the following excellent articles by Frater Barrabas Tireseus:

    If you would still like to better understand these concepts, please take an anthropology class.

    If you would like to debate these concepts, please do so directly with Frater Barrabas on his blog.

    If you would like to further discuss anything at all with me, please stop acting like a BORG.

    David Griffin

  2. Oops. Almost forgot. That last link was to a new article Frater Barrabas just published in clarification about the three approaches to esoteric tradition with further commentary on the present kerfuffle.

  3. I just posted the following message on Peregrin's blog, where I stayed on discussing despite the flames in order to set forth the position of our order for objective readers in a clear and unmistakable manner:

    Gentle reader,

    I have remained here and have attempted to give forthright and fraternal answers despite flame attacks on our order here on this blog because moderation was turned on.

    I have at this juncture set forth the position of our order clearly enough to make it understood to any objective reader. The nature of the responses continue to be hostile again and again, even far too frequently repeating “talking points” over and over.

    I am therefore leaving the discussion.

    If any of you have additional actual questions, you may still ask them on the Golden Dawn blog.

    I will, however, not allow “talking points” to be used in the discussion, as these belong to the realm of propaganda rather than of legitimate fraternal discourse.

    I have no doubt that the hostile comments towards the HOGD/AO and its leaders will continue here in our absence.

    Have fun without us guys and don’t forget the marshmallows!

    David Griffin (the real one)