Sunday, January 2, 2011

"Astral" Initiation & the New Age vs. Golden Dawn Debate

"Sideshow" Bob  -  Robert Zink
New Age marketer, Robert Zink, today published yet another article touting the virtues of the New Age "Astral" initiations he sells on his Golden Dawn website. In a nutshell, Bob Zink claims that, for a mere $200, he can wave his magic wand and, "Poof!," make you a "full Golden Dawn initiate" from the comfort of your living room arm chair.

The title of this new article, "Invoke Logic to Understand the Truth about Astral Initiation," is rather humorous considering the lack of logic in the article itself. Instead of engaging in any sort of scholarly discourse in defense of his odd claims, Mr. Zink merely repeats, yet once again, his laundry list of "talking points" in favor of so-called "astral initiation." In reality, each and every one of these tallking points have already been refuted - over and over - by scholars from every corner of the Golden Dawn community.

Logic would dictate that Mr. Zink would finally engage in at least some semblance of logical discourse in response to such massive and damning refutation. Instead, he merely repeats his talking points over and over, "slick ad" style, like a late night "Million Dollar Bob" infomercial.
Miracle Mentoring with Sideshow Bob
Since Bob Zink ignores all logical argument and refuses any meaningful debate of such outlandish claims, he clearly believes his Golden Dawn blog is the only one people read. Such arrogance is insulting to the Blogosphere. Obviously, Bob has yet to learn a lesson marketing departments of myriad corporations have learned the hard way. The Blogosphere is not a place for cheap ad campaigns.

Let us examine yet again some of Mr. Zink's more outrageous claims, and review their refutation by  a plethora of scholars from all across the Golden Dawn community. Robert Zink writes:
"There is no record of [MacGregor Mathers] traveling to Germany to receive initiation from the continental adepts!  He was either self-initiated because there were no continental adepts of the Rose Cross, or He was Astral Initiated ...
... MacGregor Mathers and Monia Mathers ... initiated ASTRAL INITIATION in the United States shortly before MacGregor death and Monia Mathers carried it out for many years."
Robert Zink has been challenged, over and over, to provide even a single shred of historical evidence to support these bizarre assertions. Bob has failed to produce any proof because none exists. This is just flim-flam Bob made up. He believes people will swallow it whole if he just repeats it often enough. Golden Dawn scholar, Samuel Scarborough, however writes:
"I think of myself as something of a scholar on the GD as well as a serious student of the GD system. The same can be said for Nick Farrell or Imhotep, or several others that say that these astral initiations are not verifiable, nor were they done in the original Golden Dawn or Alpha Omega or Stella Matutina after the 1903 Schism in the regular sense. There is no evidence for “astral” or long-distance initiation from those orginal bodies. 
I disagree with certain groups that claim that these astral (long-distance) initiations were commonplace within the original Golden Dawn. I have never seen any evidence to support such a claim. Nor can I think that Westcott, Woodman, and Mathers received some astral initiation as founders of the GD in the first place either."
Noted magical author, Nick Farrell (Chief Adept of the Magical Order of Aurora Aurorae), writes:
"If astral initiation was used within the Golden Dawn there would be some evidence of it... If an astral initiation was taking place then where and when and why did it not leave a trace of paperwork? There are no records of astral initiations being performed, nor any members who are identified as being part of the Golden Dawn who had their initiations astrally recorded. Nor is there any mention of the procedure being used in the various editions of by-laws, nor any diary notes from anyone saying that they had taken part in an astral initiation. While we have access to many different GD rituals, there are no recorded instructions for how to perform one."
Next, Robert Zink writes:
"If Long Distant Healing works then the same logic applies to long distant initiation.  Our early brethren of the Rose and Cross-often did healing and there is nothing written that it was only in person.  There astral abilities were often directed at the whole world, or areas of conflict or sickness.  If Healing can be done long distant, then so can initiation ...
... it would be ridiculous to believe that the same Order that teaches magic that can affect time and space in astonishing ways, teaches that initiation must be done within a small confined space or a rented Masonic lodge? This is not very logical."
The above proves that Mr. Zink does not understand how Golden Dawn initiation truly works. This is not surprising, since Robert Zink has never been initiated into any Golden Dawn grade, as was recently revealed by his ex-wife, EOGD co-founder, Sonya Neiman Zink.

Contrary to Mr. Zink's straw man argument, no one has ever disputed that Golden Dawn initiation has an astral component. What all true initiates understand and that Mr. Zink fails to grasp, however, is that the astral body is rooted in the physical body. In true Golden Dawn initiation, the astral body is affected by a transfer of energies from the physical body of the Hierophant to the physical body initiate physically present in the same room. To suggest that this can be accomplished "from the comfort of your arm chair, watching television on the other end of the world" is a scam pure and simple. Let us review what other Golden Dawn scholars have said about this matter. On Nick Farell's blog, Polimetis wrote:
"Nick. You know how EOGD always argues that and Initiation is not Theatre and is all about the astral (forgetting, as you say, the importance of basic psycological and emotional impact!)? Well, actually, ancient Drama copmes directly from the Dyonisian and Eleusinian Mysteries, and Tragic Festivals continued to a sacred ceremony and a sacred experience for the Athenians, which is, actually comparable to intiation ceremonies (especially masonic high degrees where only a few of the candidates participate, and most are just onlookers!). 
I bet no one in ancient Greece could say that if the director mentions the name of an Athenian citizen that was out of town, before the perfomance of a Tragedy, would ‘astrally” experience the awe and pity that the tragedy inspired, and the psycologically healthy Catharthic effect of actually seeing the sacred perfomance!"
Next, Robert Zink writes:
"Not everyone is near a physical Temple nor can afford the cost of attending a physical Temple.  Should these people be excluded from the Light of Initiation into the Sacred Miseries?"
Regarding Robert Zink's claim that "Astral" Initiation helps those who would otherwise not be able to contact the spirit of the order, Nick Farrell responds:
"So finally we come to (the) point ... that (Astral initiation allegedly) provides a person with a connection to a working group that they would not otherwise had. This is clearly true, but in my opinion any link would appear to be administrative rather than spiritual. A real initiation takes place when the person is ready."
Next Robert Zink continues:
"The cost of 5 initiations before one can be invited into the Inner Order is outrageous for someone on a budget.  The average round trip air fare is about $500.00 the cost of Hotels will bring this up to about $800.00 and then there may be the cost of a rental car, add another $200.00 Plus food.  So each trip to a temple will cost about $1000.00 or more."
This is grossly inflated and deliberately misleading. In the HOGD/AO, we allow initiates to complete their grade work one grade at a time, and if necessary for financial reasons, to make only one trip to a physical temple location to receive all of their grade initiations at once prior to admission into the Second Order. Robert Zink knows this. Robert Zink is desperately trying to convince you that his New Age "Astral" initiation is as good as the real McCoy, merely because he wants to line his pockets with your money. Clearly, he shares the belief that P.T. Barnum proclaimed: 
"There's a sucker born every minute!"
"Sideshow" Bob
Finally, Bob Zink recently wrote:
"Calling Astral Initiation A Scam Is The Greatest Scam of All"
Let us examine, therefore, what others have said in this matter. In recent years, Robert Zink has been increasingly criticized as an internet scam artist. For example, on Nick Farrell's aforementioned blog, "KM" wrote:
"I joined the Esoteric Order of the Golden Dawn on August 2nd, 2005. Thing is, a month went by and I received nothing from them in the mail and no further emails with a password or the rest. I called the Temple numerous times, leaving messages for someone to get back to me ... with no response whatsoever. It seems to me that this order is guilty of internet fraud, if nothing else, so I cannot recommend them to anyone interested in studying with a mystery school."
Sadly, KM is not alone in feeling they were "scammed" by Robert Zink, as becomes clear in the below video, published on YouTube by user, "baphomet257":


  1. Word up! I hear that Robert Zink's own adepts finally got fed up enough to expel him from his own order. Of course, the Robert I know will just declare them all expelled and remain the true guardian of the G:.D:. all by himself. Well, he has left San Francisco (got kicked out of his digs over there) and had a tearful reunion with Mary Kresky. Guess they can run it all by themselves from Lacrosse, Wi. If anyone needs to serve them warrants or papers, I think the address is 301 Pearl Street.

  2. I remember a time when "pious" Robert Zink sent two of his members, one a male philosophus and a female practicus out to do "sex magic" in the Fontana Temple (really a two car garage) while he made her boyfriend (an adept) look on from behind a curtain. I hear the Mystic Eye did a lot of business the next day...