Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Secret Chiefs Replace Second Order Magick: A New Home for the Golden Dawn



The Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, the outer order of the Rosicrucian Order of Alpha et Omega® has over the years grown into the largest international Golden Dawn order across the world. This has not been without growing pains, however. The greatest obstacle we have faced has been the lack of a permanent home for the order due to my gypsy lifestyle as a tour director.

Well, that has just changed. I am pleased to announce that yesterday I bought Isis Temple and Retreat Center just outside of Las Vegas, Nevada. Isis Temple at this time features a recently built 2,650 square foot temple area and parsonage, with plenty of space for a permanent home for the Vault of the Adepti.

Portal to Hecate Temple

Moreover, Isis Retreat Center is located on 2.5 acres of prime land, which gives us plenty of room to grow as our order continues to grow, as well a plenty of room to become self-sustaining with our own organic food. We also have our own well water and sceptic system, so with the eventual addition of a solar array, we will eventually become completely self-sustaining, off the grid.

Isis Temple and Retreat Center
In addition to the Golden Dawn, Isis Temple and Retreat Center will also become world headquarters for The Great Rite, l'Arte Eccelsa, and the Del Bosco Sacro di Nemi Italian Pagan Shamanic Tradition. 

But wait. There's more!

Most of you are aware that we reformed the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn in 1999, in order to heal the order from the injury caused by the profanation of Golden Dawn material by Aleister Crowley and Israel Regardie. (At least in the Alpha et Omega, we still understand the value of secrecy.)

I am pleased to announce that the Reformation of 1999 still continues today. In addition to recently reforming our AO rituals due to their senseless profanation by Nick Farrell, I just received word that in response to the recent magical attack on our order by Farrell, who profaned certain Alpha et Omega Second Order materials, the Secret Chiefs of the Third Order have decided to infuse the Second Order of the Alpha et Omega with major new replacement esoteric transmissions from Third Order archives.

There is not a lot that I can say about this due to oaths of secrecy, but I can reveal that these new transmissions include a replacement for the R.R. et A.C. system of elemental and astrological magick that was profaned by Crowley that we moved to our outer order in 1999. This completely traditional, yet hitherto unknown replacement system of astrological magic has never before been released to any Hermetic or Rosicrucian order. It includes completely unprofaned hierarchies of entities, methods of invocation and banishing, etc. 

I am also permitted to say that the new Second Order material also includes a most ingenious and traditional means of generating the sigils of entities to replace the profaned method of drawing them from the Rose-Cross.

These are good days for members of the HOGD and the Rosicrucian Order of the Alpha et Omega!

David Griffin

Sunday, June 26, 2011

MASSIVE DECEPTION: Societas Rosicruciana in America (SRIA) & the Golden Dawn

by David Griffin

Regular readers of the Golden Dawn blog will recall recent articles here and here and here protesting interference in the Golden Dawn community by Masonic Rosicrucian Societies. For example, the article citing the ridiculous remarks made by SRICF Supreme Magus, William Koon, implying that the SRICF has authority to designate an "official" Golden Dawn order.

It turns out that it is not only the regular Freemasonic Rosicrucian Societies that would like to get their paws on the Golden Dawn. Even the clandestine, irregular ones have been eying up the Golden Dawn like a hungry dog sizes up a juicy bone for some time now.

Logo of the Irregular "SRIA"
The Societas Rosicruciana in America (improperly called S.R.I.A. to cause confusion with the real, British S.R.I.A.) is an irregular Freemasonic-style Occult society founded by George Plummer. The S.R.I.A. today improperly operates in America, directly infringing on the territory of the regular Freemasonic Rosicrucian Society in America, the S.R.I.C.F.
George Plummer, Cladestine "SRIA" Founder
Plummer submitted an application to gain recognition and regularity for the Soc. Ros. in America from the Societas Rosicruciana in Anglia, and corresponded briefly in this regard with W. Wynn Wescott. The application was immediately rejected by the High Council of the Soc. Ros. In Anglia. The American's organization's persistence in calling itself "S.R.I.A." (sic) is therefore obviously indicative of an intent to mislead the public.

Due to Plummer's brief correspondence with Wescott, false but persistent rumors have been circulated for years that the Soc. Ros. In America received either a Golden Dawn charter or a regular ritual transmission from Wescott. That this deception has been intentional is evidenced on the orders website where they write: 
"it was during this time that the Societas Rosicruciana in America received the status from Dr. Wm. W. Westcott to work with the Golden Dawn system."
In reality, there exists no evidence at all that the Soc. Ros. In America ever received either a charter or even a regular ritual transmission from either the Golden Dawn or any if its derivative orders.

The Soc. Ros. In America did eventually begin to work and odd version of Golden Dawn ritual, which was derived not from Wescott, but rather cobbled together from Aleister Crowley's published account of Golden Dawn rituals in "The Equinox." In a desperate move to achieve at least a veneer of legitimacy, the Soc. Ros. In America next appointed Aleister Crowley to its board of directors, before finally managing to get a Rosicrucian charter from the Quakertown Rosicrucians, descending from Pascal Beverly Randolph.

In the 1980s and 1990s, the group was presided over by "Sister Lucia" Grosch. Whatever tenuous lineal affiliation Soc. Ros. In America might ever have ever enjoyed, with certainty ended when Grosch dissolved its high council in the 1980s. Grosch was later sued by Frank Modica in the 1990's in a real property suit that nearly bankrupted Grosch. Substantally destitute, Grosch accepted financial assistance from Maria Babwahsingh apparently in exchange for handing over leadership of the Soc. Ros. In America to Babwahsingh.

Under present leadership, the Soc. Ros. in America today makes a host of false and misleading lineage claims on its sria.org website including claims of charters from the Golden Dawn, the R.R. et A.C., and the Alpha et Omega. These claims have been debunked with specificity by Golden Dawn historian, Anthony Fleming (aka Tony Fuller), who wrote: 
"If I am correct in thinking that you dispute any direct and official ritual transmission from the Golden Dawn, Stella Matutina or Alpha et Omega to the Soc. Ros. in America, then I agree with you. Their rituals are sui generis and while, as noted by R.A. Gilbert there is Golden Dawn material included in some of them, I am not aware of any evidence that this occurred through any authorized Charter, Warrant, etc. from the Golden Dawn, Stella Matutina, or Alpha et Omega."
Indeed, closer examination of the host of alleged charters published on the Soc. Ros. In America website reveals them, in actually, to be nothing but a collection of completely unrelated documents and certainly not charters.
But we Klingons are FRIENDS of the Federation,
especially house Duras
!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

The Pomegranate & The Pagan Knight (Reply to Ronald Hutton)

by David Griffin

Ronald Hutton
Regular readers of the Golden Dawn blog are aware of my mistrust of the Pagan scholarship of Prof. Ronald Hutton of Bristol university. This article will come as a surprise, as for once I actually have words of praise for Dr. Hutton.


Ronald Hutton recently published an article in the Pomegranate on-line Pagan journal that attempts to address concerns raised by Pagan scholars around the world regarding Hutton's treatment of the origins of Wicca and the subject of Pagan survival from antiquity in his monumental tome, Triumph of the Moon. The new article, entitled "Writing the History of Witchcraft: A Personal View." has received accolades from numerous bloggers, including Barrabbas Tiresius on the Talking About Ritual Magick blog. I personally do not share Frater Barrabbas' effusive belief in Hutton's vindication, although the article does answer at least some of the objections raised by independent Pagan researcher, Wiccan HP Ben Whitmore.

Max Dashu
Perhaps the most noteworthy thing about Hutton's article is that Hutton actually engages some the arguments raised in Whitmore's recent book, Trials of the Moon. This stands in stark contrast to Hutton's past dismissive attitude vis a vis independent Pagan researchers like Don Frew and Max Dashu.

Don Frew
If there is anything negative about Dr. Hutton's Pomegranate article, it would be his immodest self-portrayal as a Pagan knight jousting against an implacable Academy. Judging by Triumph, Hutton's newly self-appointed role as champion of the Pagan faith is not really merited.

Hutton does deserve kudos for attempting to rescue Wicca from an abyss left by the collapse of Wicca's foundational story. Triumph, however, attempts to bootstrap credibility for  a baseless attack on Continental Pagan origins by Hutton, using an otherwise well-researched study.

Based on the new article, it appears Hutton may have finally learned his lesson. Gone are the sweeping generalizations that pepper parts of Triumph of the Moon. Gone are the unsubstantiated judgements as well. Instead, Hutton appears to finally confine his remarks to his stated study area of Wicca in Southern England.

Even in regard to anthropology, Hutton has now become more cautious in his presentation as well. Gone is every trace of personal anecdote masquerading as ethnographic data. Nonetheless, in the new article, Hutton does claim:
"Between 1999 and 2002 I therefore read 130 studies of the subject by anthropologists working outside Europe, which included the great majority of those made and all of the most important."
This is all well and good. Reading 130 anthropological articles, however, still does not make Hutton a trained anthropologist. In discussions I had with various professionals at the annual conference of the Society for the Anthropology of Consciousness last March in Portland, I found nearly unanimous professional consensus that the greatest weakness of Triumph is Hutton's tendency to play anthropologist, although he is completely untrained in the rigors of the ethnographic method.


Judging from the Pomegranate article, it would appear that, eleven long years after Triumph first appeared, Dr. Hutton may finally have learned his lesson. In the wake of severe criticism of Triumph by scholars, it finally seems Dr. Hutton will henceforth confine his pronouncements to his actual field of expertise and that his judgements might even remain in his stated study area.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Reply to Raven Grimassi's Strega Defamation

by David Griffin

Diana del Bosco Sacro di Nemi
Lady of the Game of Benevento
On a new blog, Lewellyn author, Raven Grimassi, recently accused me of misrepresenting the facts about Grimassi and his Italian witchcraft tradition. In reality, the exact opposite is true: Raven Grimassi, his students, and his associates have for months now been misrepresenting the facts about the Del Bosco Sacro Pagan family tradition, its elders, and myself. This assertion is easily verifiable in two highly defamatory threads on Yahoo groups.

One example of libelous misrepresentation by Mr. Grimassi concerned his writing on Yahoo that the: "majority of the reviews were not complimentary" regarding the recent appearance of Diana and Dianus del Bosco Sacro at Pantheacon 2011. This libelous misrepresentation stands in stark contrast to actual reviews from those who were there, including respected bloggers and Pagan authors, for example, here and here.

Italian Witch - Raven Grimassi

Raven Grimassi has apparently not yet realized how damaging one Pagan tradition libeling another in this manner is to the entire Pagan community, as Grimassi continues to spread libelous misrepresentations other Italian Pagan traditions until today. In his recent article, Grimassi adds the libelous inference that the Del Bosco Sacro family tradition claims to be the "one and only, true Italian witchcraft tradition."

Mr. Grimassi suggests that we are somehow questioning the authenticity of his Italian witchcraft tradition. This is certainly not the case. Perhaps Mr. Grimassi has confused us with someone else. It was not the Del Bosco Sacro family tradition, but rather anthropologist, Sabina Magliocco, who wrote that Grimassi's "family" tradition more closely resembles those of hedge witches and conjurers than it does any ancient Pagan tradition.

The Del Bosco Sacro family tradition certainly does not claim to be any sort of "one and only, true Italian witchcraft tradition." On the contrary, it was Del Bosco Sacro that first revealed the survival until today of numerous Italian Pagan family traditions including the Animulari, Clan Nemorensino, Janare, Benandanti, Cogas (or Surbile) , Strie, Magare, Anguane, Majiare, Maiare, Masche, Bazure, and Clan Umbro.

Unlike Neo-Pagan Italian witchcraft traditions in America, these surviving family traditions in Italy today remain practitioners of l'Arte Eccelsa (The Sublime Art), which bears more resemblance to shamanic traditions around the world than it does to any Neo-Pagan tradition, including that of Mr. Grimassi.

It is therefore unsurprising that Raven Grimassi had no idea of the existence of l'Arte Eccelsa in Italy and that he remains ignorant of the deeper mysteries of The Great Rite. As a Neo-Pagan tradition, it is also unsurprising that that Grimassi's Stregheria bears closer resemblance to Wicca in America than it does to the l'Arte Eccelsa in Italy.

This certainly does not mean, however, that Mr. Grimassi's Italian witchcraft tradition is somehow fake or inauthentic. On the contrary, all of this is becomes quite understandable when one considers that Raven Grimassi's Stregheria derives from the folk magic of the peasant class. 

L'Arte Eccelsa, on the contrary, is a high Pagan tradition which has been preserved and transmitted exclusively along family lines of Italian nobility. In fact, this completely explains the prodigious differences between Raven Grimassi's Stregheria and the del Bosco Sacro di Nemi family tradition of l'Arte Eccelsa.

Mr. Grimassi's libelous intent becomes clear in his article when Grimassi resurrects a misrepresentation that he and his associates directed against our tradition several months ago - and that we refuted at that time as well. This proves Mr. Grimassi's defamatory agenda beyond the shadow of any doubt.

On May 21, Raven Grimassi wrote:

"I also have a problem with the idea of initiating people on first meeting. I asked them about it and they replied that this is their structure and how the system functions. They inform me that after initiation the training begins, but that initiation and oath-taking is required before anything else. They have no "outer court" phase. It's alien to what I was taught by my native Italian teachers. But, to be fair, witchcraft differs in each region of Italy. There is no "one size fits all" - but even so.....further questions are begged."

Here Grimassi adroitly attempts to raise questions about our authenticity due to our liberal policy regarding probationers. We already have dispelled this libel previously, on January 29, when we wrote:

"Compared to other Stregheria Traditions, our Tradition is admittedly rather liberal about admitting probationers. We are, however, extremely elitist regarding who will ever be admitted to our Thrid Degree or adopted into the del Bosco Sacro family tradition."

To this I now add that Raven Grimassi's continuing misrepresentation is as preposterous as it is libelous. It should be obvious to anyone that an Italian Pagan tradition deriving from high Italian nobility, as does l'Arte Eccelsa, is inherently far more exclusive than any "Italian witchcraft tradition" deriving from the folk magic of peasantry.

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.

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

Friday, June 3, 2011

Assimilation or Federation?

Golden Dawn Reconstructionists, Nick Farrell and Pat Zalewski

When Nick Farrell's recent book came out, Mathers Last Secret, many people in the Golden Dawn community took the entire book as a thinly veiled attack on the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, the outer Order of the Rosicrucian Order of Alpha et Omega. It is common magical knowledge that the one very effective way to destroy an order is to publish its rituals.

If this was indeed Mr. Farrell's purpose, it certainly fell flat on its face. Since Farrell had been bragging about the forthcoming book for years, he gave the Alpha et Omega plenty of time to revise our rituals. (Good try, Nick, but not good enough!)

The prevalent perception that Farrell's book was an attack on the Alpha et Omega was reinforced by the way Farrell unfairly attacked S.L. MacGregor Mathers in the book, as well as the A.O. Farrell's central thesis that the Alpha et Omega is a masonic order rather than a magical one is of course absurd.

The most convincing evidence that Mr. Farrell's publishing project was all along a continuation of the decades old, Golden Dawn flame war, came with Farrell's reaction on his blog to negative, scholarly reviews of the book. You can find the reviews here, here, and here.

Nick Farrell wrote:

"Neither am I going to argue with habitual drug users who think they can turn lead into Gold, have a fantasy about Arabs paying for Hebrew wands, or with single men who are so desperate for a shag they make it a mystery in the said hope that one day they will get laid.
Sure you can attack the theories in my books, (although 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, and I will ignore you."
In our diverse Golden Dawn community, there is plenty of room for a wide plethora of divergent Golden Dawn orders. Our order, the traditionalist HOGD/AO, recognizes the value of this diversity and actively encourages it. We also encourage GD orders to provide quality initiation and training for candidates and to avoid exploiting them.

Sadly, there are certain orders who do not likewise respect the right of a traditionalist order like ours (with actual Hermetic, Rosicrucian, and Golden Dawn lineages) to exist as well. We have been defamed on the net for decades. We have seen our rituals published and entire books written only to attack us. We have even been sued to try to stop us from using the Golden Dawn name.

The reason certain Golden Dawn leaders hate us so much - is that our order proves the Golden Dawn is not a dead tradition - to be reconstructed according to the personal visions of historical reconstructionists like, for example, Nick Farrell or Pat Zalewksi

Let us be clear about this. Our order has no problem with reconstructionists like Mr. Farrell and Mr. Zalewkski creating their own Golden Dawn orders according to their individual or collective vision.

It is only when they try to kill and assimilate traditionalist orders like ours - that continue the original Hermetic and Rosicrucian lineages of the original Golden Dawn - that our order defends itself.

No. Resistance is NOT futile, and we will NOT be assimilated.

If they would quit trying to assimilate everyone,
there is room in the Federation even for the Borg.




Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Golden Dawn Blog Fleet

Readers of Golden Dawn blogs will have noticed  over the past week that the Golden Dawn blog fleet has been rapidly expanding. First, we observed Captain Jean-Luc Picard and the Enterprise D engaging Borg reconstructionists over on the Gyllene Gryningen blog.

USS Enterprise NCC-1701D

For a while, it even looked like GH Frater SR may have been assimilated! by the collective.

Traditional GD or Reconstructionist Collective?
Shortly thereafter, Captain "AIT" Sisko, from the Heaven's Within Earth blog brought the Defiant to Kirk's aid, foiling Grand Nagus Zink's latest scheme.

USS Defiant NX -74205

It seems that Star Trek subtext is rapidly spreading throughout the Golden Dawn blogosphere. Yesterday, on Morgan Drake Eckstein's Gleamings From the Golden Dawn blog, I was called to account by Dirk, one of Morgan's readers, for mistakenly suggesting that the USS Enterprise (NCC-1701A) was a Galaxy class starship.

Here was my reply to Dirk:
"My favorite starship, despite its lack of shields, inferior weaponry, and top speed of only Warp 5.2, will always be the Enterprise NX-01, commanded by Johnathon Archer. 
I even like the armor hull plating. But then again, I am also a big fan of classic cars. The NX-01 reminds me of another personal favorite, the 57 Chevy Bel Air. 
Here is what I mean:"
 

This in turn led me to notice Morgan Drake Eckstein bears an uncanny resemblance to Jonathan Archer, the first Captain of the very first Enterprise. 

Here, see for yourself:


From where I sit, it looks like Enterprise NX-01 just came out of mothballs, and the GD Blog Fleet just got another new Captain. After all, why should there not be Blog Fleet Captains who are not members of the HOGD/AO?

USS Enterprise NX-01
Come to think of it, I think we might still have one more Blog Fleet Captain somewhere out there in Cyberspace ...


USS Voyager NC-74656

So there you have it! The Golden Dawn blog fleet as it stands in the Blogosphere today:

Golden Dawn Blog Fleet Command

So Captain Morgan ...
When can I take the NX-01 out for a spin
?