Thursday, February 10, 2011

Are Golden Dawn Pagans Trying to Start a New WITCH WAR?

On the Heavens Within Earth blog and on HP Morgan Drake Eckstein's Gleamings from the Dawn blog, bizarre recent comments give the appearance that Golden Dawn members Eckstein and Peregrin (a Buddhist convert caught posing as Pagan while trashing the faith) are attempting to ignite a full blown WITCH WAR dragging the Pagan community into a decade old Golden Dawn conflict.

The incident began when Peregrin alleged on the Heavens Within Earth blog that Stregheria del Bosco Sacro of Benevento claims something or other about an alleged initiatic connection between Gerald Gardner and Italian occultism. The Stregheria del Bosco Sacro of Benevento Tradition immediately put rumors to rest with the publication of the following official clarification:
"Neither Stregheria del Bosco Sacro of Benevento nor The Great Rite make any claim whatsoever regarding any initiation of Gerald Gardner. Any statement made by any initiate contrary to this was clearly made in error."
In a fashion that has typified the Golden Dawn flame war throughout the last decade, for maximum strife stirring value, Peregrin repeated the original allegation on different venue, in this case on HP Morgan Drake Eckstein's Gleamings From The Dawn blog, to which Eckstein then replied:
"Hmmm, this reminds of how many times errorous information has been removed from [their] other claims. Sometimes I think it would be easier if they quit making claims, rather than correcting the ones that they make in error." [Note how Eckstein here deliberately conflates Stregheria del Bosco Sacro of Benevento Tradition with the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn (AO) although they are completely separate entities, the first being a Pagan religious Tradition and the second a secular, magical order outside the Pagan faith].
The additional Witch War tactics underlying this incident can be best understood in light of the decade old Golden Dawn flame war. Several of the rhetorical tactics that have been routinely used against the HOGD/AO and its leaders have been:
  1. HP Eckstein's present allegation, repeated over and over across multiple fora, blogs, websites, etc, that the HOGD/AO has somehow "shifted its story" over time, when in fact our order has been quite consistent all along.
  2. The frequent repetition of deliberate misrepresentations across various fora, websites, and blogs, ignoring all refutation, but instead merely repeating the same talking points, over and over, propaganda style. This has resulted in HOGD/AO having to refute the same unfounded allegations, over and over, ad nauseam. 
  3. Depriving through moderation HOGD/AO all right of rebuttal on the various fora, blogs, etc., where tactics 1 and 2 were being waged against our order as part of the ongoing flame war.
It is sad to witness Peregrin and HP Morgan Drake Eckstein suddenly reviving these failed Golden Dawn flame war tactics across the Blogoshpere. The time is long overdue for the Golden Dawn community to put all divisive flame war behind it once and for all - and to begin instead to heal the wounds left by over a decade of strife in our community.

The above exposition reveals the attempt of two Golden Dawn Adepts not merely to rekindle the Golden Dawn flame war, but also to drag the greater Pagan community into the conflict, escalating it into a full blown WITCH WAR. 

Admittedly, Frater Peregrin indeed reposted the official clarification as well, although he is at least guilty of reposting allegations across venues in a manner typical of the Golden Dawn flame war. Peregrin, therefore, may only be guilty of bashing Pagans yet again, although this time at least not posing as Pagan as he has done in the past. HP Morgan Eckstein, however, deliberately attempts to conflate the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn (AO) with Stregheria del Bosco Sacro of Benevento Tradition.

Perhaps Peregrin and Morgan do not yet realize how the greater Pagan community is far less tolerant towards War-mongering Witches than the Golden Dawn community has been over the last decade. In the Pagan community, it is considered in extremely bad taste for one Pagan Tradition to wage Witch War against another, and War-mongering Witches may quickly find themselves shunned by the entire community.

Clearly, any attempt to drag the greater Pagan community into an old Golden Dawn conflict will not be well looked upon by the greater Pagan community. Attacking the Stregheria del Bosco Sacro of Benevento Pagan Tradition by attempting to conflate it with the purely secular, Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn (AO) clearly constitutes nothing other than WITCH WAR.


  1. In my book, trying to draw a Pagan Tradition into a purely Golden Dawn feud amounts to nothing less than Witch Bashing, which is why I just blogged about this outrage at:
    End it NOW.

  2. Peregrin just wrote a long comment beginning:

    "Care GH Fr LES,
    Once, again I must apologise for any upset I have caused. I am unsure whether any reply to your post will help, but I hope it does. Please let me go through the facts..."

    Peregrin then went into a long digression about Gerald Gardner and what he actually said and meant to say. What Peregrin said about Gardner is not at all relevant to this discussion, however. Interested readers can read Peregrin's comments about Gardner on the blogs I mentioned above.

    Where Peregrin crossed a line is when he republished on another venue in a manner reminiscent of the Golden Dawn flame war, which resulted in Morgan's remarks conflating the HOGD/AO with Stregheria del Bosco Sacro of Benevento and inappropriately disparaging an entire Pagan tradition in the process.

    Let us recall, however, that Peregrin began his comment by saying:

    "Once, again I must apologise for any upset I have caused. I am unsure whether any reply to your post will help, but I hope it does."

    To which I must respond:

    "Apology accepted, but don't let it happen again. Perhaps it was not your fault. After all, it was Morgan who caused the conflation, not you. But in any case, let this be a lesson to you about where simple snarking back and forth can lead.

    The Golden Dawn community stands at a crossroads. We have before us the possibility of unprecedented harmony and growth as a result of recent events. However, there is no longer any room at all, period, in our community for any further flame war, and certainly not that which disparages entire Pagan traditions in the process.

    Sub Umbra Alarum Tuarum, Yeheshua
    David Griffin
    G.H. Frater Lux Ex Septentrionis
    Imperator Ordinis, Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn
    outer order of the Rosicrucian Order of Alpha et Omega

    "Ex Deo Nascimur.
    In Yeheshua Morimur.
    Per Sanctum Spiritum Reviviscimus"

  3. This is exactly why I am hesitant to have anything to do with any order. The blinders are on. An accusation of another initiate politicking disguised as something other than politicking.

    Reminds me of the media complaining about the media, caught all unawares that they *are the media.

  4. @S.L. Aeris

    I could not agree with you more. There is another old saying that "Everyone loses in a war."

    This is indeed what has happened in the Golden Dawn community over the last decade. Everybody lost. It does not matter who was to blame - the ENTIRE Golden Dawn tradition has taken a terrible credibility hit because of the senseless flame war that has ravaged the reputation of the Entire Golden Dawn tradition.

    This is why, nearly three years ago, the HOGD/AO unilaterally launched a Golden Dawn Harmony initiative. Meanwhile, we have seen great strides on all sides in cleaning up our community.

    In fact, recent events give us as a community the best chance we have ever known to begin a real process of healing and to end all flame war nonsense once and for all.

    We stand at a crossroads as a community. I, for one, would like to see old animosities set aside and true peace and harmony being cultivated. In fact, I wrote about this just last week on my personal blog.

    This is why it was all the more disappointing to witness old flame war tactics being wheeled out unthinkingly yet once again this week, in a way that threatens not only to rekindle the flame war that has ravaged our GD community, but even disparages organizations that have nothing to do with the Golden Dawn!

    What this incident proves is that old ways die hard. What needs to happen is that our Golden Dawn community needs to take a lesson from the Pagan community and make it clear to EVERYONE that there will be zero tolerance in our community from now on for any sort of flame war nonsense whatsoever.

    What else needs to happen is for all of us to let go of cynicism and bitterness and to put the collective interests of our community ahead of gossiping and snark.

    David Griffin

  5. Amen. I would be very interested in pursuing my studies in community again if I saw real evidence that what you suggest with your Harmony initiative takes place. That said, what do you have in Portland, OR?

  6. @ SL Aeris

    HOGD/AO does not have a temple in Portland yet. If it is ritual magic you are interested in, you could still train with us at a distance and travel to our Las Vegas temple for initiation.

    I will personally be in Portland the week of March 24-28 on business unrelated to the Golden Dawn. My wife, Aegeria, is presenting a paper to the Society for the Anthropology of Consciousness on "The Underground Survival of ancient Paganism in Italy along Strega Family Lines."

    Over that weekend, I will be serving in Portland again as interpreter for Arch Priestess Diana of Stregheria del Bosco Sacro of Benevento, who will be teaching The Great Rite, Shamanic Sexuality, and Egyptian Sexual Alhcmey.

    The best way to get more information, if you are interested in alchemy, will be on the calendar on The Great Rite Meetup at:

    Information about The Great Rite in Portland should be added to the calendar the last week of February. We are just waiting for the SAC to confirm the time when Aegeria presents her paper, so we can plan around SAC's schedule.

    David Griffin

  7. Excellent. I am very interested. I will be following up on this information.

  8. Hi, how can i find out more about your location in las Vegas?

  9. Write to us via the contact us link on the website please.