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Cult vs Thelema

From: (nigris (333))
Subject: Cult vs Thelema (was Copyright and AC Texts...)
Date: Thu, 25 Nov 1999 08:56:38 -0800 (PST)

49991125 IVom Kennethmas

a correspondent wrote:
# The first thing people ask me when the WORD [Thelema] slips from 
# my tongue is "Is it a cult?" (Implying that if "yes it is a cult" 
# it ought to be stopped smashed destroyed and otherwise killed 
# immediately.)....

Crowleyanity is a cult, Thelema transcends linguistic, behavioral,
and socio-economic forms. you can tell Crowleyanity by the fact
that it shrouds itself in a particular dogma (e.g. "Do what thou
wilt shall be the whole of the Law" and many others), considers 
items associated with the man as holy relics or scriptures (e.g.
'The Holy Books'), regards certain ceremonies as essential to the
practice of the Thelemite (e.g. Resh, Will, the Gnostic Mass,
among others), and succumbs to the adulation of an immature fool
and bigot as a saint and more (e.g. "prophet of the New Aeon").

Thelema, like Satanism which it inspires, cannot be contained by 
cultural contexts, is demonstrated through personal and specific
acts and attitudes undefinable and unrestricted, and manifests more
prominently OUTSIDE the cults which may lay claim to its presence.

Crowleyanity is opposed by all Thelemites as an enslaving and
maniacal travesty. as the Beast is taken more and more as an idol
he is rejected by the sincerely virtuous and willful. as a cult,
it is prudent to repudiate and oppose its prevalence except as a
choice of extremes available to the free, along with so many
other fundamentalist and fanatic religious groups. the problem
with "smashing cults" is that there is absolutely no way to
firmly and resolutely separate levels of organic cultural
movements into 'bad' and 'good' by label, rather than reacting
to their behaviors and the dogmas they instruct and require.

the (C)OTO does not require belief in any particular idea or
principle. if one can with integrity undergo its initiatory
membership admission, then obedience to civil law and adherence
to rational interpretations of its oaths combined with moderate
annual dues are typically all that is required for a continued
amiable relationship. those who tell you much differently (I
may be missing some minor point) may be a part of the cult of
Crowleyanity which intersects with this order, and should be
questioned thoroughly and made known to the rest of membership
so its constitution is clear where their authority is 

# I cannot see how the current actions of the various OTO's do 
# anything but further this trend. 

to what actions of each OTO do you refer? surely the (C)OTO
has taken many actions which set the trend in motion and
perpetuate it. this can be explained as a transitional
attempt to ground the Current into human consciousness for
all time as a rabid fascination which may have the capacity
to inspire the true will. whether the dangers of inspiring
cultism are worth potential attendant liberation many 
religions can and will answer decidedly in the affirmative.
but what of the others of which you speak? I know little of
their cult-inspiring activities beyond the writings of some
of the contestants (e.g. Grant, Motta). are they inspiring
some cult or another? what are the characteristics of these?

# ...there are more Thelemites than OTO. 

(C)OTO (and the rest of them for that matter) is merely an
organization. it may no more be identified with Thelema as
I understand it than the Roman Catholic Church ought be
identified with Christianity or the Church of Satan with
Satanism. the most which can be said is that an overt and
modern religious movement has been inspired by and
continues to be overlapping with these organizations, each
having their own virtues and problems. to identify the orgs
with the movements or the ideals is to aggrandize them in
a biased and unworthy manner, since their sociological and
idealistic aspects transcend the orgs which contributed to 
their fruition.

to presume that "OTO member" equates to "Thelemite" is to
disregard clear evidence that, except for the most crude
and least valuable interpretation of the latter ('Thelemite'
equals 'member of the religious cult of "Thelema"'), this
is in many cases completely untrue.

# If the actions of the OTO are placing restrictions upon the 
# rights of [wo]man, then the outcome is inevitable: And if 
# the high and mighty among the various orders are truly as 
# magickally high and mighty as their titles give claim to, 
# then they well know the outcome!

taking titles seriously, we judge the book by the cover.
far better to peer behind the title to look at the person
and hir actions. failing this, we are prone to rumour-
mongering, backbiting, and the host of follies rampant
amidst the immature Herd. cleave to the tried and true,
reflect direct experience, and we'll all benefit.

# Perhaps the copyright issue could be wholely cleared up 
# by summoning up Aiwass... HE is afterall the ACTUAL author, 
# Crowley merely transcribed the Law.. or do we not believe 
# that? [At least for Liber AL] 

I don't think that any other person than Aleister Crowley
is being discussed as the author of any of these works,
since he was the physical body originating the text. the
text in question has varied from the Evul Book to essays
considered "secret" and in some cases "sacred". many of
us, and I dare say MOST Thelemites, do not consider any
of Crowley's works to be of value or to be representative
of any kind of 'Law', and the belief rampant within the
cult of Crowleyanity that it somehow constitutes the
host of examples of the "New Aeon" is woeful evidence to
the contrary (belief being but another example of its
slavery to the conceptual utterances of a favoured author).
# Anyone up for the job, personally I'll take "praeter-human", 
# human or animal.. as long as its "intelligent" and can shed 
# some light on the darkness I see before me....

any shackle is restrictive. accepting the raiments of the
cult does not demonstrate liberation, it just confirms
the paucity of the source which inspires it. every new
Crowleyan cult generated confirms the folly and potent
error of the man's expression. every individual standing
free of the Herd in strength and ability who has in some
way been provided means in reflection of the man's
product is a testimony to his Thelemic inspiration.

arguing whether some prophet is of a particular species
is like disputing with theologians regarding the 
combined spatial requirements of dancing spirits. it is
of little or no relevance to the activity of and 
reflection on interaction with them and the 
repercussions of this interaction.

blessed beast!


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