Saturday, April 23, 2011

The Golden Dawn Debates II: Nick Farrell & Sam Scarborough vs. Robert Zink on Astral Initiation

New Age marketer, Robert Zink today wrote on his EOGD blog:
"The mystical community was shocked when a recent attempt to prove that astral initiation is not valid failed on another blog...I think a more productive path of the HOGD/AO would simply be to offer astral initiation. They are already providing the grade materials in a vending machine style format. This is significantly different from The Esoteric Order of the Golden Dawn, which provides complete astral initiation to people who cannot travel to a local temple."
Despite Bob Zink's misrepresentation, the Rosicrucian Order of Alpha et Omega, and our outer order the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, obviously have never been handing out grades like a vending machine. In fact, our curriculum is the most demanding of any Golden Dawn order, since, unlike other Golden Dawn orders, our members learn and practice the entire original R.R. et A. C. magick already our outer order, the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn. I personally believe that the HOGD/AO is the best and most thorough school of ritual magic that exists in the world today.

The HOGD/AO remains firmly committed to peace and harmony in the Golden Dawn community. Therefore, regardless how many old misrepresentations and attacks on our order Bob republishes, he is going to have wage his "one man flame war" all by himself. This does not mean, however, that our order will not at least refute Bob's attacks. As Bob continues to recycle old misrepresentations, we will simply recycle old refutations as well.

Let us, therefore, examine what Golden Dawn scholars have said about the New Age initiation Bob Zink invented to replace traditional Golden Dawn initiation, that Bob calls "astral" or "long distance" initiation. Scholars have repeatedly challenged Rob Zink to engage in meaningful debate and to back up his wild claims about New Age "astral" initiation. Instead, he merely repeats his talking points over and over, "slick ad" style, like a late night "Million Dollar Bob" infomercial.
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.

In an old article"Invoke Logic to Understand the Truth about Astral Initiation," Bob Zink again set forth his whole gamut of talking points and wierd claims about "astral" initiation. Let us review how Bob's claims have been refuted by respected scholars from across the entire spectrum the Golden Dawn community.

Bob Zink wrote:
"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 weird assertions. 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."
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."
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.

Then why is Robert Zink is desperately trying to convince you that his New Age "Astral" initiation is as good as the real McCoy? Because he wants to line his pockets with your money!
Clearly, Bob Zink shares the belief that P.T. Barnum once proclaimed: "There's a sucker born every minute!"

Sure "Astral Initiation" works - And this is my new Star Fleet uniform!


  1. excellent analysis Mr. Griffin. What is your stance on self-initiation. As a follower of my blog I know you know my stance on the issue but I was wondering where you lie on the concept.

  2. @ Jason on Self-Initiation

    There is no perfect substitute for traditional Golden Dawn initiation. The transfer of energies from the energetic body of the Hierophant to the energetic body of the candidate represents and absolutely unique and unsurpassed opportunity for energetic development.

    With that said, however, there is doubtlessly a great deal of spiritual and energetic growth that can be accomplished by the systematic invocation and banishing of the elemental, planetary, and zodiacal forces. This is why I wrote the Ritual Magic Manual.

    Are you referring, however, to the New Age style guided visualizations that have become popularized as "path working" or "self-initiation"?

    I consider this sort of New Age practice to be great for training the imagination, yet spiritually and energetically worthless.

  3. Over on his EOGD blog, Bob Zink just wrote an interesting informational article on Enochian magick. However, true to form, Bob could not resist adding:

    "This process depends on a trained and empowered Hierophant, and can, in fact, be performed in full Temple “astrally” to allow the elemental link to exist for members who live hundreds or even thousands of miles from a Temple.

    Only the Esoteric Order of the Golden Dawn provides legitimate astral initiation around the world. The use of the angelic forces is applied and guarantees the initiation is effective and safe and always in the LIGHT. "

    I have to hand it to Robert Zink.

    Despite all the magical talent we have in the Golden Dawn community, there is no one other than Frater Zink who can turn even Enochian Magick into a:"Million Dollar Bob Infomercial".

  4. @ Robert Zink

    This has been a busy day for blog article recycling for Robert Zink. Bob just published yet ANOTHER article on Astral Initiation in response to this one that Bob calls:

    "Don’t let them steal your Light. Your RIGHT to be astrally Initiated."

    And guess what? Bob merely repeats his same "talking points" yet AGAIN and does not even address one single issue that Golden Dawn scholars Nick Farrell, Sam Scarborough, etc. have raised rebutting his talking points already.

    For example, instead of finally providing even one shred of evidence, Bob merely repeats yet AGAIN his oft-debunked claim that S.L. MacGregor Mathers allegedly created and practiced Bob's New Age "astral initiation."

    Where's the proof, Bob?

    I wonder if Robert Zink will EVER seriously debate his philosophical positions with the rest of the Golden Dawn community in a fraternal and factual manner.

    Has this Sideshow not gone far enough already, Bob?

    Intelligent readers begin to wonder if you even understand what legitimate debate really is all about.

    Repeating the same "talking points" over and over like a broken record is beginning to make one wonder if you should not instead be leading a "Short Bus Golden Dawn."

    David Griffin