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Poke Runyon, Cult Frame, Hypotheses

To: alt.magick
From: Re OšStat 
Subject: Re: Poke Runyon, Cult Frame, Hypotheses (was Evoking and Invoking)
Date: Wed, 18 Oct 2000 16:53:37 GMT

In article <8sjnlr$>, wrote:

> 50001018 Vom
> Gnome d Plume:
> >...but what this
> >> argument is really all about is umbral's answering of the question,
> >> using his own particular, somewhat archaic, interpretation in an
> >> authoritative way, 
> fairly well-done, in my opinion.
> >> while making  a depreciating comment on my interpretation 
> with good reason, given your bias.
> >> (which seems to be ---even in the opinion of
> >> Bad-Boy-Bobby---the most widely held and current definition). 
> false.
> Re O'Stat :
> >...there is no definitive agreement as to the meaning of these terms 
> agreed.
> >and that dictionaries are not primary sources of magical information.
> generally true, correct.
> >You, on the other hand (and again, as usual) are trying to set yourself 
> >up as the one and only authority on what is and what is not in the 
> >magickal world.
> this is how Mr. Runyon comes across.
> >Why? Because you are trying to turn this newsgroup into a recruiting 
> >ground for your personality cult.
> I think that this is a valuable hypothesis to consider.
> >I would urge everyone to look at Bonewitz's cult danger evaluation frame 
> >for determining when an organization is a cult (in his Real Magic). 
> >1 is low, 10 is high.
> >1) Internal control by poke over the group? Unknown
> >2) Infallible wisdom claimed by leader? 10
> false, he merely defends his theses fervently. at times he admits
> that he was in error and apologies for his corrosive defense methods.
> I'd rate this as 3 at most.

On this we disagree. I do not mind a strong defense and think of that as 
a positive, actually. But he does more than present a strong defence. 
IMO he tries to muffle someone who differs with him so that opposing 
viewpoints cannot even be heard.

Still, each person needs to fill in the frame on their own. Your 
interpretation (and everyonešs interpretation) will be different from 

> >3) Wisdom credited to leaders? 10
> too high. probably 7.

The impression he gives here is that he is the sole voice of authority. 
Thus, it would seem that he WANTS to be seen as having total wisdom. So 
you may be right.

> >4) Dogma? 10
> >5) Recruiting? 5
> possibly.
> >6) Front Groups? (Loosely calling all of his AKAs "fronts") 10
> that's unfair. 2 at most.

Perhaps. But having one of his sock puppets defend him makes it look 
like others agree with him. Again, we differ.

> >7) Wealth? Unknown
> >8) Political Power? 1
> reasonable.
> >9) Sexual Manipulation (His partner in forming his cult claimed the 
> >original purpose of the group was to get them laid)? 10
> consider the massage element also. purpose is not control, however.
> at most 4.

Perhaps. I would agree that the purpose is not control. But I do not 
think that the frame implied that control needed to be the purpose. 
Rather, it is the intimidation/manipulation factor. And here I think, 
from what has been published, that my assessment is accurate.

> >10) Censorship? His attempt to not allow contrary voices on this 
> >newsgroup rates him a 10
> his typical lack of response to queries unless they support his
> ideology supports at least an 8 here.
> >11) Dropout control? Unknown
> >12) Endorsement of Violence? (According to his partner he uses the 
> >threat of violence). 5
> where did you get this information?
> to which partner do you refer?

Nelson White. Page 39: ŗIn late 1971, I had a falling out with this 
person [Poke] with whom I was supposed to be an equal partner (he pulled 
a gun on me) so I moved out of the Lake Ave. house [O.T.A. HQ] and into 
an apartment across the street. ŗ

> >13) Paranoia? At least 5
> explain.

His refusal to allow opposing points of view to be aired without his 
denouncing the messenger sounds to me like he is terrified that if he is 
not correct, and that other ideas are possible, he will lose influence/ 
importance/ ego, etc. These are, IMO, irrational fears pointing to 
paranoia on his part.

> >14) Grimness ("disapproval concerning jokes about the group, its 
> >doctrines or leader")? My guess is that this is somewhat low within the 
> >group but high outside. 8
> reasonable.
> >15) Surrender of Will? Unknown.
> >Potential number of points: 150
> >Potential number of points for Poke's cult that can be counted: 110
> >Number of Poke's cult: 84
> all I could support was 48, 33%. not a high cult rating, and based on
> NO personal interaction other than the internet (extreme unreliability
> of information).
> >I welcome Poke's participation here.
> >I do not welcome his attitude that he is the only voice that matters and 
> >if you disagree with him he either attacks you or attempts to make fun 
> >of you while NEVER responding to what you say directly.
> I also don't appreciate his attitude, but I would like to note that he
> isn't the only one that does this. I'd prefer that all of this personal
> discussion were to take place privately, but Mr. Runyon continues to
> make the issues personal, so he gets to be evaluated publically. 

Poke, following the Crowleyan edict that any publicity is good 
publicity, consistently wants anything about him to be posted so he can 
put up yet another advertisement for his products or cult. Of course he 
wants his ego to be made public.

> >I contend that, as his partner said, the reason they formed his OTA was 
> >because they wanted to get laid. And this was during the height of the 
> >sexual revolution! They still couldn't get laid without setting up a 
> >front. They also chose the name OTA ONLY because it sounded like the OTO 
> >but not enough to get them in trouble with people who had been members 
> >of the OTO.
> interesting hypothesis.

The Book described was published in 1986 by the Technology Group. ISBN 
0-939856-56-5. They were at P.O. B. 93124, Pasadena, CA 91109. However, 
since The Technology Group is actually Nelson White, and since Mr. White 
has moved from Pasadena, I donšt know if this address is still valid.

> >I contend that after 30 years, his personality cult is still small so he 
> >is using this newsgroup in a recruting effort.
> possible. do you have any evidence?

It was previously noted on this newsgroup (and Poke did not refute it) 
that he currently has two small temples operating with a total of 
something like 30 people. 

Heck! If you walk down Hollywood Blvd. with a towel around your head you 
can get more followers that that within a couple of blocks!

Pokešs comment about this, of course has been to change the subject, 
talking about how he had an open ritual (i.e., anyone could attend) 
where over 100 people attended.

Well, you could go to Nevada for an open ritual (Burning Man), pay $100 
to get in and still attract 20,000 people.

The fact that he constantly advertises his cult, he uses sock puppets to 
exclaim how wonderful he is and tries to intimidate any who dare 
disagree with him indicates to me that he is trying to use this NG for 

> >If someone reading this wants to be a part of his personality cult, more 
> >power to you! But IMO you have the right to know what you are getting 
> >into BEFORE getting sucked in.
> perhaps we should create a reference file for him?
> I did something similar for Josh Geller (whom I now refer to as Sir If!)
> at the height of his influence in alt.magick. it was at times effective
> in preventing the discussion once AGAIN turning around the ego of the
> individual the person causing the disturbance.
> tyaginator

Frankly, I would honestly welcome Pokešs input. As I wrote above, I do 
think he has a great deal of information. It is his attempt to muzzle 
the opinon/experience/knowledge of others for the purpose of peddling 
his wares and getting members for his cult which I dislike.


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