Monday, February 4, 2013

The Llewellyn-Donald Michael Kraig-Concurrence Kerfuffle

by Golden Dawn Imperator
David Griffin

My recent article  about Astral-only initiation showing the positions of leaders across the spectrum of the Golden Dawn community, seems to have stirred up a bit of a kerfuffel with Donald Michael Kraig. You can read parts one and two of this apparently controversial article here and here.

In the article, I merely pulled together the written positions of leaders across the Golden Dawn community, showing how there is wide consensus about many aspects of claims made by proponents of Astral-only Initiation.

It seems that to some, however, being seen as holding written positions corresponding closely with mine, feels like the moral equivalent of catching cooties in the first grade.

At the heart of the hubbub lies a divergent interpretation of the word  "cooties."  Oops! Sorry. I mean the word "concur."

Trying to keep a scholarly tone, and considering that each of these G.D. leaders' positions is based on many years of independent research, I pointed out in the article how frequently our written positions concur with one another when it comes to Astral-only Initiation.

Donald Michael Kraig, clearly unhappy about this, then wrote here:
"I wish to make it known that unless I specifically say so in writing, I neither concur nor do not concur with any policy in Mr. Griffin's group or any other group. If some individual or group agrees with what I have written, they are concurring with me, and not vice versa. 
In this particular instance, I do not have access to any of Mr. Griffin's documents, beliefs, or policies. I have not requested them. I am not interested in them. Therefore, it is incorrect to say that I concur with Mr. Griffin or his group. Is it possible that I might? It's impossible to say. However at this time it is false to claim that I do."

All I did was to point out that there exist concurrences between our written positions, not that Don and I are having some sort of secret bromance, or even (heaven forbid) that we as persons might occasionally agree about something.

I admit that, at this point, my frustration was such that I was tempted to post a picture of Mit Romney, saying: "I neither concur nor do not concur." 

Instead, I swallowed my pride, extended the olive branch even further, and clarified here my use of the word "concur," even suggesting an alternative nomenclature that Don might find less contentious:

Care Frater Don, 
It sounds like word "concur" may somehow be a bit too strong for you or perhaps has a connotation for you that remains unknown to me.
According to the Oxford dictionary, the definition of the word concur is:
verb (concurs, concurring, concurred)
[no object]
• 1 be of the same opinion; agree:
the authors concurred with the majority
[with direct speech]:
‘That’s right,’ the chairman concurred
• (concur with) agree with (a decision or opinion):
we strongly concur with this recommendation
• 2 happen or occur at the same time; coincide:
in tests, cytogenetic determination has been found to concur with enzymatic determination 
It is in this sense and no other that I use the word "concur" in the article. 
Is there another word you would prefer when discussing areas where our writings indicate we have independently reached similar conclusions in our research or we hold similar opinions or beliefs in specific areas? 
Would you prefer the use of “similar opinion” or "similar conclusion" rather than “concur? ”
David Griffin
I was optimistic that the above clarification would put the entire matter to rest. I had never said to begin with that Don agrees with or endorses me personally. I only pointed out how our written positions demonstrate concurrence about several of the specific claims made by proponents of Astral-only Initiation.

I certainly never wrote that Kraig endorses the Alpha Omega, which no one in the Golden Dawn community would believe anyway, considering that Frater Kraig's Golden Dawn order and the A.O. have a long history of litigation - and even a non-disparagement agreement (paragraph 4 here) prohibiting our even mentioning one another's groups on-line!

I was therefore somewhat surprised when Don instead escalated the hullabaloo, dragging even Llewellyn Publishing into the foofaraw, by writing on the Llewellyn blog here:
"If you read something and agree with what I wrote, it means that you concur or agree with me. It does not mean that I agree with you. I might. I might not. I would have to see everything that you believe and have written before I give my endorsement. Saying that I agree with you just from what I’ve written would require you to read my mind and determine my thoughts. You have no evidence that I in any way agree with you, concur with you, or endorse you. The only accurate thing you can say is that you agree with me."
"Unless you see, in writing that is published under my name, that I agree with, support or concur with an individual or group, I neither support nor do not support them."


"Donald Michael Kraig said that?!?
... And on the Llewellyn Blog?!?"
Cooties ... Really ...

At least one thing is certain. It is clear Donald Michael Kraig feels passionate about the word    "cooties."  "concur."

But seriously ...

I sincerely regret Don Kraig is unhappy that he and I fully agree in some areas. However, arguing against those points only divides the Golden Dawn Community rather than brings it together. 

I also regret putting Kraig on the spot for finding common ground between our written positions, but my goal to make Magicians requires finding common ground that unites the Golden Dawn community wherever it is found.

I understand Frater Kraig's political allegiance and respect that he is trying to remain dutiful, but sooner or later, all Golden Dawn leaders must learn to work together or destroy the community.

The Golden Dawn community wants harmony. The time has come for Golden Dawn leaders to focus on what we share in common rather than the differences that divide us.

To do otherwise is to abdicate the great responsibility our students have placed in us.

"All we are saying, is give peace a chance."


  1. Ok, I will ask--why does your goal of "making magicians" require you to find common ground with the rest of the GD community.

    1. Care Frater Morgan,

      Thank you for providing me with an opportunity to discuss my vision for the Golden Dawn and my mission to make Magicians.

      First off, let's be clear about a couple of things. To begin with, I am not trying to set myself up as some sort of Pope of the Golden Dawn. As a Pagan like yourself, the last thing I would like to be is some sort of Pope.

      I am also completely uninterested in any sort of Empire building, despite what others may say about me. At times I think the old grade school adage: "The one who smelled it dealt it" applies pretty well to what G.D. leaders say about one another in our community.

      What I AM interested in is helping Western individuals to discover their esoteric spiritual heritage by making Golden Dawn Initiation and Magick more widely available. I am also interested in seeing the Golden Dawn develop into its full potential as a spiritual Force for good in the 21st Century.

      How can we as a community best go about this?

      I think this is easier to consider if we asked how the Pope could enhance his mission of making Christians. Would it be by sitting by and allowing factions to develop with one denomination attacking another or by finding common ground between denominations so they can avoid the squabbling?

      If the Pope was really interested in helping people become Christians, and not just Empire building, he would certainly want to make sure that regardless of which denomination one chooses to align themselves with they feel the leadership of all those factions can agree on certain key factors and can demonstrate the ability to work together. If he only focused on how the Catholic Church is the best and all the others are going to hell because they are evil, he would not be demonstrating a desire to make Christians but to build the Catholic Empire.

      Any GD Order or GD Leader that will not seek to find common ground is clearly not interested in building a spiritual community, spiritual people, or magicians. They can only be interested in building an Empire by denigrating others to exalt themselves. I am not accusing anyone here, but merely trying to show how we as a community can help further the mission of the Golden Dawn in the 21st Century.

      David Griffin

  2. I really don't understand why using the word 'concur' when two people have written in their own words on a subject that they both have similar conclusions, should be a problem. I mean, it is almost like someone is picking a fight with another person over something they agree with. If something is written and it is in the public domain than anyone has the right to quote it in an article, blog, paper, etc. as long as it is referenced properly. I see no reason why anyone, if being quoted correctly, should have an issue with it.

  3. It seems to me he has a little ego-inflation issue and further wants to take no stand on any matter...even though he has taken a stand. I am beyond confused. I never saw LeS say anything about being endorsed or anything by Don.

    If someone says "after many years of research, the sky is blue!" and someone else validates their OWN research and says "my own research concludes the sky is in fact blue. Both mine and their research are in agreement.", this isn't saying "everything I am, say, believe, and stand for is automatically supported and agreed upon by said person."

    Sounds like he is afraid of being attached to LeS in any manner, unless it is LeS agreeing with him and thus inflating his ego.

    1. It is simpler than that. DMK is playing Cooties.

  4. The use of the word "concur" here simply meant two publicly stated opinions were in agreement. This happens all the time to support a position.

    The word does not conote that DMK as a brand is aligned with the AO, or that DMK himself was asked to weigh in. The article was not written to convey that message.

    I would have prefered a straight discussion on the merits rather than an apparent hypersensitive overreaction.

  5. If apparently hypersensitive overreactions are what we have to work with right now, then it is at least communication of a sorts. So long as we can continue to put the future of our community first and avoid the slippery descent into mud-slinging and noise, we can only benefit by the willingness to communicate.

    Morgan raised a very interesting question off the back of this and I can only concur with David in basing his response on "common ground" as the route to building strength in a community now putting negativity firmly behind it.

    Our differences are vital, but it is our common goals and praxis that makes us a community in the first place!

    It is not any one Golden Dawn that can lay claim to ownership of this community, and none should attempt to do so. This is about the needs of ALL the aspirants out there, not just now, but moving forwards.

    Leaders and advanced practitioners of today share an enormous responsibility and indebtedness to the Order, and that is the biggest common ground of all.

  6. Actually I applaud DMK for making it clear that he is not directly endorsing ANY one group or individual. The immediate context may cause him to appear "hypersensitive" but let us remember that he was embroiled in GD disputations towards the end of the War-of-Words and accused then of unfairly hosting the viewpoints of one side against the other. This also brought the political positioning of Llewellyn into the argument.

    There is no need to go back and argue the merits of the case, that would be counterproductive, but it is all there in the record. The main thing is that DMK has now stated:

    "I neither concur nor do not concur with any policy in Mr. Griffin's group or any other group. If some individual or group agrees with what I have written, they are concurring with me, and not vice versa. "

    This includes the words "... or any other group" and establishes a balanced neutrality.

    DMK (and hopefully Llewellyn for that matter) may finally be openly encouraging exactly the non-sectarian community we all yearn to establish...

    The execution may have appeared a tad contentious, but the sentiment behind it seems sound enough.

    We must wait and see.

  7. Aletheia and Caput Mortuum,

    You both frame this in a much better light. After reading your posts, I concur.

    Thank you for broadening my perspective. I withdraw the personalization of DMK that I made earlier in my posts. Further, if it came of harsh in any manner, I apologize.

  8. S.V., I believe that we are speaking from the middle ground of the GD community when we say that we are eager to see more strait discussions of the merits of argument, and less knee-jerk contention. I think you are 100% right to call for that.

    I wish it could come sooner, but old habits do not change overnight and we may perhaps best serve in hastening that needful evolution by continuing with the theme of Common Ground... in reality, when all parties sit down together, it will soon become obvious how much of value we have to share, and how beneficial the differences that once served to divided us...

    I am sorry to hear that DMK currently has no interest in our Work. Personally, I consider ALL the many aspirants to Golden Dawn, of any persuasion, inside or outside of Hermetic Orders, in informal groups or purely solitary - as kindred spirits in the Western Way. I am interested in all of them. It seems to me that our World needs more initiates, more illumination, more light... however and by whomever that is brought about.

    1. @ Caput Mortuum

      What you need to understand is that there exist two fundamentally different factions in the Golden Dawn community. The Alpha Omega is non-sectarian and ecumenical. The other faction is sectarian and thus interested only in themselves. In fact, they consider the non-sectarianism of the A.O. abhorrent.

      This polarity is not necessarily a bad thing. It gives our community great diversity. Fundamentalists will be more attracted to the sectarian faction in the Golden Dawn community.

      Pagans, Jews, Muslims, and Thelemites will, of course, feel far more at home in the ecumenical Alpha Omega.

      This is a good thing because it gives people choices.

  9. Choices are always a good thing. I believe that the Golden Dawn has yet to even begin to develop its potential as a force for good - it has SO much to offer, and historically has been very poorly served by sectarian strife.

    As long as the different strands of the GD web are clear in their messaging, then aspirants will know which one resonates best for them - and there will be even less reason for disharmony, since there will be less point competing to attract members when the offerings are sufficiently differentiated.

    There is a fun little experiment, where the question is how to place two ice-cream stands on a beach. Do you each occupy your own corner, far from the competition? It turns out that the best result for both is to set up next to the other, and just offer a sufficiently different range of products.

    It is like that with all the GD offerings. Chasing off to the other end of the beach and claiming that the other guy has worse products is simply not effective. The basic common ground here is that we are all Golden Dawn. Our diversity makes for a much stronger presence "on the beach" if we just accept our common ground - and offer our unique approaches while standing together at the end of the beach where Astral Initiation is not accepted, spiritual abuse is not accepted, etc.

    This isn't an ideological answer, it is simply a rational one. It is good for business. An outbreak of mass rationality in our community was long overdue! ;-)

  10. I can accept that there may be reasons why... but it was still pretentious in my opinion. "DMK is playing cooties" is spot on - if it bursts DMK's bubble then that will do him no harm.

    What kind of bizarre message is he sending out with the statements he made? At the end of the day, he is a very visible community figure and the standard he sets is of wider importance than his personal concerns.

  11. Reply to Orff: So as a community leader, he automatically has to support whatever makes this group look like the best GD group?

    1. With the exception of the sectarianism in our community perpetuated by the divisive, so-called "Legal Defense Fund," I think Kraig's Book of Rituals idea is a wonderful one.

      What really shows the difference between one Golden Dawn and another though, is that Kraig and his order have made it clear they are mainly interested in making writers.

      In the Alpha Omega, we don't have anything against writers, but we are not out to make writers though either...

      In the Alpha Omega ...
      We make Magicians!

  12. @Jasper - If you have anything of substance to add to the debate then please do. So far you have not actually said anything at all.

    @Jerome - I agree that bubbles of pretentiousness demand a friend bearing a sharp pin, but Cappy is making good points about that "wider importance" you are bringing up. It is useful to broaden out the perspective and think of the longer term risks or benefits of what has been developing.

    One might also detect in DMK's outburst almost a tone of discomfort and alarm. The guy can't just speak his mind as we can, since he is enmeshed in a political and business web of alliances and expectations.

    The GD order he is a involved with has one set of demands, and Llewellyn has another set of expectations in play. On the one hand the potential for sectarian strife, and on the other a business wisely attempting to show impartiality.

    So he came over sounding unreasonable... he is speaking from an unreasonable place. The crazy bind that our collective history has generated is very unreasonable. It has prevented humans who aspire to rise above ordinary human constraints to attain to higher levels of awareness from simply behaving well towards each other.

    So we are acting to cut the crap and get on with the Work. For the most part this has been true of the entire community now for months.

    If more and more people refuse to invest energy in "taking sides" and generating divisiveness then that will be very beneficial. DMK at least seems to be preaching neutrality...

  13. Reply to Griffin: So I presume that anyone that contributes to a Defense Fund Project is an instant traitor to the GD.

    1. Care Frater Morgan,

      Why so melodramatic? Can you really not just let it go? The lawsuit was settled FIVE YEARS AGO and the other party posted 5 years ago that it was all in the past. Why not take their advice and put it there. No one is falling for the old "demonize the Alpha Omega" game any longer anyway.

      I remain, as always, willing to break bread with anyone in the Golden Dawn community. Unlike those heavily invested in perpetuating sectarian strife in our community, the Alpha Omega is non-sectarian and ecumenical.

      You guys probably will not come, but you are welcome at the Conclave in any case. And not because we need any sort of acceptance or recognition by you, but because we are truly non-sectarian and ecumenical.

      The more time that passes, the entire Golden Dawn community is clearly seeing through those who refuse to let it go and move on. Smoke and mirrors can no longer hide those who continue to perpetuate sectarian strife in our community from being seen clearly for their sectarianism.

      David Griffin

  14. Griffin: Given how you treat writers of my ilk, I think that I would pass even if I wasn't dealing with bill collectors. As for the rest of my group, they are adults; they can make up their own minds on whether to attend or not.

    1. Care Frater Morgan,

      One of the best things I like about you is your sense of humor. At times your blog is really funny.

      It is not funny though when you keep repeating the same things over and over, like above where you wrote that the Alpha Omega claims we are the "best" order.

      I have written over and over that we are NOT the best order, although we DO things different. Repeating the contrary without listening merely demonstrates sectarianism.

      Sectarian behavior in the Golden Dawn I can understand, but in contemporary Paganism I find it rather curious. This certainly was not the case in antiquity.

      David Griffin

    2. Care Frater Morgan,

      Creeping sectarianism is also indicated in repeated remarks about how the Alpha Omega allegedly treats "authors."

      TRUTH: ALL authors are welcome to publish in the Journal of the Golden Dawn Research Center. We also do not backhandedly exclude authors by advertising that we use proceeds of the Journal to legally attack other Golden Dawn orders either.

      Or are you referring to the Alpha Omega defending its reputation on Amazon in response to defamation by Nick Farrell in his latest book spreading malicious and false rumors of the alleged existence of a "contemporary Alpha Omega political and religious personality CULT?"

      TRUTH: You conveniently overlook the way that you and other Golden Dawn orders and authors attacked the Ritual Magic Manual on-line. In your case, you falsely claimed that the book is riddled with errors, and posted this defamation all across the internet. When challenged to substantiate this, the only example you could come up with was that the Eucharist rite says "East" in all four cardinal directions.

      Riddled? Hardly.

      I remind you of this not to wag a finger, but only to point our how sectarian sniping must end on ALL sides.

      The time has come as a community to put sectarian sniping behind us and to build true and lasting harmony instead.

      Breaking bread together at the Conclave is a step in the right direction.

      This is why members of ALL Golden Dawn orders are welcome at the Conclave.

      By the way, it is quite OK simply to say "no thanks," without sectarian excuses.

      David Griffin

  15. I lost my list of all the mistakes in your book, so I merely told you the error I spotted wrong a couple of nights before (I was researching something). If you want me to find all the errors, you need to pay me to be an editor. I do not do editing work for free. (As for your other complaints...well, you and I are never going to see eye to eye--it is probably a good thing that my group is slowly becoming non-GD.)

  16. Care Frater Morgan,

    The old saying goes "put your money where your mouth is." Thank you. I will. Morgan, I am calling your bluff and hiring you as a paid editor of the Ritual Magic Manual so you no longer have that weak excuse.

    Let's see what other excuse you will dream up now for the "review" claim of the book being "riddled" with errors you posted all over the net.

    It is now up to you to prove that your review was not just more sectarian sniping by providing a complete list of the errors you can actually find!

    At the same time, this also takes away the excuse of "bill collectors" for not coming to the Conclave.

    In every poker game, once in a while a bluff gets called. I am calling your bluff now.

    Let's see what cards you really have.

    David Griffin

  17. Care Frater Morgan,

    All kidding aside, I am serious about offering you a job editing the Ritual Magic Manual. Please contact me via private email and lets seriously discuss terms.

    It is a win win proposition. You get the bill collectors off your back and even have the money to come to the conclave.

    The sectarians in our community who have been moving heaven and earth unsuccessfully trying the isolate the Alpha Omega over the past two decades will not like this...
    But then again, are they paying your bills?

    David Griffin

  18. Proofreading and editing are two entirely different animals.

    But this does sound right up your alley, Morgan. You have the skills and the practical insight to do the job, from what I have observed.

    Do it!

  19. Morgan, when you respond with: "...So as a community leader, he automatically has to support whatever makes this group look like the best GD group?" - for me it arrives as pure cognitive dissonance.

    I implied nothing of the kind. I doubt that anyone here thinks that way in fact. What I DO think however, is that GD involved "community leaders" should be acting like real leaders, and thinking of the longer term good for the WHOLE community, and not just for their piece of it.

    DMK can't disentangle himself from his GD connections, however much he pleads disinterest. Beyond that, the wider esoteric community is also impacted by behavior in this community. Sticking our collective heads in the sand will not alter that fact.

  20. Actually I DO think that HOGD/AO is the BEST Golden Dawn Order... for ME! I hope that everyone feels the same way about their own choice of Order.

    It is a waste of time and effort for all concerned when someone joins a group that is wrong for them. If this Order claimed to be the best for everyone... it would be inviting such problems for little real gain. Those who want what we offer, will be best served here. HOGD/AO is where serious Magicians are to be found.

    Nobody in the West has been in the business of successfully making Magicians for as long as this Order has.

  21. Reply to Orff: You and I do not see eye to eye about what is good for the whole community...fortunately, within ten years, my group will not be GD.

    1. Really? I am against sectarian strife and for GD Peace and "co-opetition" as a way of remaining strong, relevant and engaged for the next 100+ years.

      What on EARTH do you find objectionable in that position?

      Furthermore, I consider this approach the best way forward throughout the esoteric community, GD or non-GD, so your sad movement away from the Order is not really an effective disengagement.

      We can do without repeating the history of Confucianism vs. Daoism, Sunni vs. Shia, etc. etc. etc. down the ages.

      I really don't get where you are coming from at all.

  22. Griffin: When you talk to your lawyer, he will inform you that there is a legal reason why I can't accept this job. Thanks for the offer.

    1. Assuming this is not just avoiding the issue because you are no different to any of those who have historically claimed the RMM is riddled with errors and yet have collectively failed to substantiate this in spite of finding time to write acres of text promoting sectarianism... (all of them out to promote their own sect)...

      What ever have you signed??? Is it some variety of contractual clause opening you to being sued if you associate in any way with "the competition"? Wouldn't that pretty much indicate that you are being paid under contract by your GD employers?

      Sheeesh. You have opened a monstrous can of worms with this statement - I urge you to clarify this matter post haste!

    2. I am shocked and alarmed by the notion that ANYONE might be inhibited in working freely in their profession merely because of their involvement in the Golden Dawn.

      This is certainly NOT the case in the Alpha Omega and I hope it is not really the case in Morgan's Golden Dawn order or in ANY other Golden Dawn order either. Such a notion runs completely contrary to the spirit and teachings of the traditional Golden Dawn.

      There is NO justification for ANY Golden Dawn order to interfere in the private lives of their members in such a deeply disturbing manner, and I find it difficult to believe that this is truly the case with Morgan either.

      As Morgan requested, I have discussed this matter with our order's legal department.

      We can not imagine any concievable legal impediment that would:

      1. permit Morgan to write a book review attacking an author and his work with unsubstantiated accusations that the manual is "riddled with errors," yet would

      2. prohibit the same reviewer from substantiating such an apparently sectarian attack and inflammatory accusation, whether he is paid for it or not.

      Let us recall that Morgan previously used the excuse that "he does not do editing work without payment," which is why I offered even to pay him to provide solid evidence documenting how the RMM is allegedly "riddled with errors."

      Once I even offered payment for Morgan to substantiate what now appears to have been a purely sectarian attack "review," Morgan now claims he is prevented from substantiating such an attack on a G.D. author and his work for "legal reasons." This is all the more curious considering that it is Morgan himself who has repeatedly accused the Alpha Omega of "attacking authors!"

      The entire Golden Dawn community, both inside and outside of Morgan's group deserves some straight answers instead of endless excuses and diversionary tactics.

      Morgan's claim that there are "legal reasons" why he can no longer freely work in his profession because of his involvement in the Golden Dawn raises an entire host of red flags.

      Morgan, please clearly explain what "legal reasons" arising from your G.D. involvement prevents you from freely working in your profession as a writer to substantiate what presently appears to have been a purely sectarian attack on a Golden Dawn author and their work, merely because they are a member of the Alpha Omega.

      The greater Golden Dawn community is watching and has a right to know.

  23. SV: In publishing houses, proofreaders are part of the editing department. There are actually a dozen plus terms to describe what type of edit is being done. I keep meaning to write about this for my writing blog.

  24. Agreed Morgan. I guess what I was saying is that proofing is generally done subsequent to editing, and in that sense they are two different functions. I just did not know if editing or proofing was being discussed with regard to the RMM and any correction of errors.

  25. Morgan writes: "Griffin: When you talk to your lawyer, he will inform you that there is a legal reason why I can't accept this job. Thanks for the offer."

    Respectfully, this is a most interesting comment.

    I am curious both professionally and personally as to what unseen influence is perturbing your orbit, Morgan. Admittedly ignorant of all of the facts and attendant circumstances, I still can't fathom what law or prior contractual agreement would prevent you from accepting an editing job.

  26. After careful consideration there is one imaginable legal contract Morgan could be referring to.

    Morgan, did you sign a 10 year contract promising to attack the Alpha Omega, its authors, and their books on-line and not to show any fraternal respect or to assist the A.O. in any way? Did you likewise agree to keep the contract secret?

    You realise, of course, that such contracts would be the true source of all the conflict that has plagued the GD community.

    I certainly hope you were not duped into anything so sinister, but I can see no other logical legal explanation for your behavior.

    David Griffin

  27. No, I have no contracts binding me. What stopped me in my tracks was a law that you accused me of violating on numerous occasions--a law that you claim to know better than I do.

    1. Do I understand you correctly that there is no legal obstacle? Fine, I once again offer you the job of finding ritual errors that need correcting in the new edition of the RMM. In this way:

      1. You can pay the bill collectors you have been complaining about not being able to pay.
      2. You will be able to substantiate your negative review so it will no longer appear to be merely misusing book reviews as a Golden Dawn flame war tactic.
      3. You will have money to come to the Conclave.

      I still can see no logical reason why you should turn this down. Sure looks like a win-win-win situation to me. Feel free to contact me privately to discuss compensation.

      David Griffin

  28. In case any readers are wondering what all of the fuss is about, this discussion began when Morgan accused the AO of treating authors badly. Despite repeated requests for Morgan to justify this statement, he has failed to do so.

    I therefore reminded him of his own treatment of my book, the Ritual Magic Manual, in his "review" he spammed the internet with and you can read here, among various other places:

    The points that Morgan has been challenged to justify are the following statements he made in his "impartial and objective" review:

    "Unfortunately, during my first perusal of the book, I noticed several rituals that had flaws in their instructions (hexagrams and pentagrams with their lines of direction drawn wrong, etc.); if the book is judged on this standard, it must be given a failing grade." - Morgan Drake Eckstein


    "As it stands, the student needs to double check all the ritual instructions; one must treat the book like it is "blinded." - Morgan Drake Eckstein

    When challenged to justify the above statemnets with concrete examples of these alleged errors, Morgan replied that he does not do editing work for free. I therefore offered to even to pay him to finally get some straight answers.

    Morgan then claimed there were legal reasons that he could not list the errors he alleged when attacking the book on-line. When challenged to produce these legal reasons, they proved as elusive as a straight answer about the alleged errors he claims fatally flaw the Ritual Magic Manual.

    So the question remains, are the above fair comments of make or mere political sniping?

    Why has Morgan been so evasive about substantiating his attack review?

    Personally, I believe that the Golden Dawn community deserves some straight answers and that the misuse of both books and book reviews for political sniping against other GD orders, ought to end once and for all.

    If you feel the Ritual Magic Manual has been unfairly attacked, you might want to rate it yourself on Goodreads and on Amazon, and review it yourself on the dozen or so internet venues where Morgan posted his "review."

    David Griffin

  29. I think, Mr Griffin, that you should have stopped taking Morgan seriously a couple of posts earlier (or maybe even before). It seems to me, from an objective point of view, that Morgan is just trying very hard to provoke and stir things up.

    Your posts are very clearly written and I can't find a lot of content nor value in Mr Eckstein's questions and comments. They don't seem very relevant.

    It is very sad that people write bad reviews about such a beautiful and helpful book as the Ritual Magic Manual, especially if they can't substantiate their critique. But I'm very confident that the RMM stands on its own and will still be a helpful tool for people long after we're all passed away. I don't think that badly written reviews are going to change a lot about this. Remember that a lot of great writers and Artists suffered unfair criticism during their lifetimes, while their work is highly praised in modern times. Maybe some people are just a little ahead of others.


    Frater V.e.R.

    1. I find it sad that even today there remain people who would misuse books, book reviews, and even the Llewellyn blog for sectarian sniping at other Golden Dawn orders. Those who do so, do it at their peril.

      The greater Golden Dawn community has spoken and we at the Alpha Omega have listened. We have put the terrible flame wars of the past behind us and are focused like a laser beam on our mission of making Magicians.

      I invite all leaders of Golden Dawn temples to search their hearts to see what their mission truly is.

      I believe that the true reason why there still remain a few bad apples in our community who continue to try to stir strife misusing book reviews and the Llewellyn blog is because they do not yet clearly understand their mission.

      What is the mission of the other Golden Dawn orders in our community? I have invited other leaders in our community over and over to share their vision of THEIR mission with the rest of the community.

      This would be of benefit to everyone and would show true leadership. Sniping in books, reviews, and on blogs shows no leadership at all.

      Here in the Alpha Omega, we make Magicians.

      For example, we just announced yesterday the return of S.L. MacGregor Mathers' "The Rites of Isis" as well as "The Rites of Nephthys," ancient Egyptian magical rituals for the Full Moon and the New Moon just given to the AO by the Secret Chiefs. These are the things that further the Golden Dawn tradition, not sectarian sniping.

  30. Considering the fact that, during the past ten years, i have used the RMM as extensive like nobody else i know so far, i only ONCE saw an insignificant small error. Its long ago and i have to look it up.
    VH Frater P

  31. I haven't located any serious mistakes since I found my copy in Amsterdam a decade ago. There are things I can imagine someone disagreeing with in the sense that they may have another way of doing or not doing a given thing, but that is not due to any error in the book, it is due to differences of OPINION! [As an example, the use of Enochian Calls as accelerators is an option made available in the book, and I don't use them as given - I have another method... but that is not me being right and the book being wrong!]

    I consider this one of the most important books ever written in the field of Golden Dawn and Rosicrucian Magic, and those who take issue with it are actually saying rather more about who THEY are than they are about the book. Note that after years of sniping hardly any evidence of actual errors has ever been provided.

    This book is like the pill in the Matrix Movie... and those who don't want to take it, don't have to. ;-)

    No bad thing actually. Real Magic is not for those with a weak constitution.

  32. When the sectarian era in GD history is long forgotten, this book will still shine. Those who have been knee-jerkingly anti-HOGD/AO authors, would attack ANY publication coming from a member of this Order, without even reading it. That's how sectarianism manifests. Those are the sad facts of recent history.

    Let's hope that a more mature community is now growing out of the stage of schoolyard bickering; a community where authors are reviewed for their contributions on the basis of merit, not of Order affiliation.

    Alpha Omega has shown leadership in giving positive reviews of works by some of its own most vituperous critics. That is how community leaders act.