Sunday, October 6, 2013

Donald Michael Kraig's Appeal: Will the Golden Dawn Stand Together For Tolerance?

by Alpha Omega Imperator
David Griffin

The past week has experienced an unexpected and extremely welcome show of unity from across the entire spectrum of the Golden Dawn community. Given the fractious history of our modern Golden Dawn community, this is particularly heartening.

The matter began with an article written by Donald Michael Kraig over on the Llewellyn blog (here) entitled "A Call to Leaders of the Golden Dawn," wherein Frater Kraig pointed out the danger posed to the Golden Dawn spiritual community caused by growing confusion with the Greek ultra-nationalist political party, Chrysi Avgi, whose name has repeatedly been given in the media as "Golden Dawn."

Donald Michael Kraig issued the following appeal:
"If you do not support the goals and ideals of Greece’s Golden Dawn, stand up and let people know this ... Even if you disagree with other Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn groups, I would propose that you consider standing in solidarity with them on this one, single issue."
Due to the threat posed to the Golden Dawn spiritual tradition by confusion with Chrysi Avgi, Kraig's appeal aroused an astonishing show of unity across the entire Golden Dawn community, coming from such diverse Golden Dawn leaders and areas as Donald Michael Kraig, Nick Farrell, Aaron Leitch, and even from solitary G.D. practitioner and independent blogger, Frater ATLV.

Given the fractious history of the modern Golden Dawn community, it is wonderful to witness such unity surrounding at least one issue. Despite our differences, when there is a significant outside threat to the reputation of the entire Golden Dawn tradition, our entire community has proven we can put our differences behind us and stand together when needed!

In this regard, Frater ATLV wrote here:
"This problem has brought about something rarely seen in the Golden Dawn Community ... solidarity. It is indeed rare to see the various leaders and authors in the Golden Dawn Community stand together, united, on any issue."
About the threat posed to the Golden Dawn tradition, Aaron Leitch wrote:
"Frankly, I don’t think anyone who has ever heard of the Golden Dawn is going to confuse us with the Greek neo-fascists Chrysi Avgi (which translates into English as “Golden Dawn”).  But, those folks aren’t the problem. 
The real problem is for those who have never heard of us before, and whose first introduction to the term “Golden Dawn” is through the popular media talking about the Greek party.  (Do a Google search on the term now, see what comes up and in what order!)  Then, if those people encounter an actual Hermetic Order of the G.D. book, website, or member they will jump to the immediate conclusion that they are seeing something fascist. 
And that can bring real problems.  Previously, if your boss or landlord or (in some cases) extended family discovered that you are into some kind of mysticism called “Golden Dawn”, they would likely think you were way too into Harry Potter and move on.  Now, if those same people were to hear that you practice “Golden Dawn” they might think you’re a closet nazi – which could lead to serious problems for you."
The Alpha Omega stands shoulder to shoulder with the rest of the Golden Dawn community in denouncing the confusion caused by political extremism in Greece being called "Golden Dawn" by the media. The Alpha Omega advocates racial and religious tolerance.

Morgan Eckstein wrote:

"Let it be known that the Ba Iset Order of the Rosy Cross (Evolving Order of Eclectic Ways/Ba Iset Order of the Golden Dawn) is in no way connected to the organization of the Greek political party known as  Chrysi Augi (which Greek name translated in English means "Golden Dawn")." 
The Alpha Omega has already been leading the way for years in openly advocating racial and religious tolerance, which are fundamental guiding principles of our order, as is evidenced on the Alpha Omega Manifesto that you can read on our website here:
"Hermetic doctrine teaches that the entire Universe is ONE - and that we are all but cells in the body of this enormous cosmic entity. As such, the Alpha Omega believes in the brotherhood and sisterhood not only of all women and all men - but of all created things. We therefore hold all religions in reverence, as individual manifestations of a single underlying perennial truth.... 
The Alpha Omega is based on principles of personal responsibility, personal liberty, and self-determination. Each member of our order is accepted for initiation - and advanced in grade - exclusively according to individual merit. We do not discriminate due to race, religion, gender, sexual or political orientation."
- Alpha Omega Manifesto  
Let me be clear and repeat this yet once again. The Alpha Omega has always been - and still today remains - ecumenical in our approach to the Golden Dawn and nonsectarian in our membership. Thus the AO stands for tolerance in ALL senses.

Nick Farrell writes:
"The Golden Dawn system of magic is never about extremes, it is always to do with balance ... One race cannot be superior to another, one religion cannot be better than another."
Mr. Farrell raises a very important point. Indeed, extremism in ALL its forms poses a very real threat to the Golden Dawn spiritual community. Sadly, there are not only political extremist groups causing confusion today, but there are religiously intolerant groups as well, for example those who promote a religious segregationist vision of the Rosicrucian tradition, against which I have spoken out already on many previous occasions on this blog.

In this regard, let us recall that the Golden Dawn is not a religion. The traditional G.D. advocates a philosophy that is non-sectarian and ecumenical, encouraging respect for all religions, as is evidenced in this passage from the Neophyte ritual:
 "Remember to hold all true religions in reverence, for there is none but contains a ray from the Ineffable Light that you are seeking."  
- Golden Dawn Neophyte Ritual
Sadly, this has not prevented sectarianism from gaining a foothold in the Golden Dawn community, especially at the Second Order level. Today, one Golden Dawn order excludes Thelemites from its Inner Order. Another order excludes not only Thelemites, but also Jews, Pagans, and Muslims from entering their Second Order level.

One Golden Dawn order recently published a document claiming that excluding all but Christians from the R.R. et A.C., is the cornerstone of the traditional Golden Dawn! This is historically inaccurate, overlooking that one of the very first Golden Dawn Second Order initiates, Moina Mathers, was of Jewish origin. She was born Moina Bergson, sister of French philosopher Henri Bergson. Their family name, descending from Poland, was originally Bereksohn.

Moina Bereksohn Mathers

Thus, although the Alpha Omega stands firmly with our Golden Dawn brothers and sisters in taking a stand against confusion caused by Chrysi Agvi in Greece, let us recall that religious extremism poses an equally dangerous threat to the Golden Dawn spiritual tradition.

Thus, the Alpha Omega roundly applauds today's show of unity across the Golden Dawn community as an essential and powerful beginning. We respectfully submit, however, that what Frater Kraig has urged does not yet go far enough.

The Alpha Omega today issues another appeal to leaders from across the Golden Dawn community. Let us also stand together in denouncing religious extremism and in fully embracing religious tolerance, nonsectarianism, and ecumenicalism.

Let us together create a world in which all brothers and sisters of all religious faiths - Jews, Muslims, Christians, Thelemites, Buddhists, and Hindus - are All welcome in in ALL grades of ALL Golden Dawn orders - not only without regard for the color of their skin, but also without regard for their religion.

May the Golden Dawn spiritual tradition yet fulfill its destiny as a spiritual light of TOLERANCE in the world!
Alpha Omega
Because we make Magicians!

Click HERE to explore our Outer Order, undergraduate level Magical training program, the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn!"

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  1. ...what 2 orders do not allow Thelemites in?

  2. Thanks to Imperator Griffin for writing this post. While we are all aware of the problems of "fascism," when it takes a political and nationalist form, perhaps we are not as aware that "fascism" can take many forms, including among and within non-political organizations, no matter what their purpose. Tolerance and respect for difference are key, as Imperator Griffin has written on many occasions.

  3. @ anymonous

    Frater GATV