a cache of usenet and other text files pertaining
to occult, mystical, and spiritual subjects.


Gullible Religious and Egyptology

To: alt.magick.tyagi,alt.thelema,alt.pagan,talk.religion.misc,alt.skeptic,alt.magick
From: 333 
Subject: Gullible Religious and Egyptology (was 'The Winged Disk and Hadit')
Date: Wed, 16 Jul 2003 03:22:12 GMT

50030715 viii

frater virgo (remember that bit about defending the weak? ;>):
# ...what jk's 'proof' or full syloogism is that Thelema 
# rises or falls with a simple mistranslation. 

the writing on the wall for Crowleyites:

contending that the contacts were Egyptian gods, rather than
Thelemic gods, Crowley maintained the reception of the Book 
of the Law was legitimate and therefore the religion of 
Thelema is undermined by demonstration that his contact was
either mistaken or a fraudulence perpetrated upon the world.
that his ethics were questionable and his tendencies toward
the deceptive, there is good reason to presume the worst.

I thought it was a very clear and concise argument. of course
I also thought that Fr. AoC's response was lovely. :>

# ...*real* thelemite's concerns. 

real Thelemite concerns may not constitute a body of knowledge
or set of topics. it may be more easily characterized as some
kind of relevance to the individual or their kindred, or even
something that transcends them both.

# ...who said my status as a thelemite rested mainly on my 
# veneration for this fetish (i.e. the stele 666)? i *could* 
# throw mine away, and the oto is *not* gonna put me on 
# their non-thelemite list.

OTO doesn't decide who are Thelemites except in a trite and
unconvincing fashion. it may be easier to discern a Thelemite
by the *lack* rather than the placement or disposal of any
cultic fetishes (i.e. the Thelemite probably distances hirself
from cults except possibly those who engage them as a kind of
'fly-by' or learning experience from which she may need to
be weened by disappointment and dissillusionment).

# ...even if i do venerate this object as part of my ritual 
# practice (i do), who is to say i do not do so *on my own 
# terms* in a highly personal way *independent* of what 
# crowley may or may not have said about this fetish?

most of those identifying themselves as 'Thelemites' and
venerating stele #666s are the way they are because of the
Beast's expressions on the matter, however much volition
they may have enjoined in following the Master's instructs.
one's will is not demonstrated by adherence and conformity,
though this may be very valuable to one's path. demonstration
of free will comes through originality and uniqueness.

# not only have you *not* properly addressed crowley's writings 
# on the topic, 

as a prophet, it is sufficient to demonstrate his error.

# you also have *not* addressed real thelemite's use and care of 
# the fetish. two different things.

is it possible to address what you're talking about? 
how can you be sure who the "real thelemites" are, for example?
once determining that, perhaps their relation to the fetish
might be established and addressed. arguably, Thelemites do
not have fetishes or follow Masters, because this would begin
to interfere with their adherence to their true will.

frater aoc (I was sorry to have missed you at Mass last Sun):
#> The value of code is not in it who wrote it or how it was 
#> created but in what it does.

who wrote it: valuable to those who seek after adherence to the
              dictates of those of authority

how created: valuable to those given a story about reception
             of the revered object (e.g. relics: Shroud of Turin).

# functionality and practicality are keys to the american utilitarian

they may be, but the typical Crowleyan believes his writing 
quite literally. that they do not thereafter follow his
instructions and bring to bear a level of scrutiny and
critical thought so as to make their liberation possible is 
arguably evidence of their corruption or his writing skill.

one would expect them to rally round some set of alternative
explanations for why the religious essentials were valuable
(i.e. the scripture was really scripture even though it 
wasn't Egyptian; the prophet was really a prophet even
though his prophetic connection was demonstrated false, 
etc.). this is in fact what is happening here.

#> even without the active efforts of its initiates. As Toynbee said, while
#> coining the term "Industrial Revolution": steam engines come when comes
#> steam engine time. 

making the connections, emphasizing what *does* work, separating
this from what is merely *claimed* to, and explaining what "work"
means, seems imperative to associating the following things with
'Thelema' at all:
#> Now is Thelema time. Witness: the ever-growing "New Age" and Neo-Pagan
#> revival; the liberation of sexuality, free from government control of
#> "morals"; the equality of man and woman, socially and sexually; the
#> questioning of all authority, even it's own. And include the Internet as
#> well -- now anyone with a computer can write as voluminously as Crowley
#> and reach many times the audience Crowley reached while he was alive.
#> Every man and woman a 'virtual' Sovereign, able "to speak what he will;
#> to write what he will; to draw, paint, carve, etch, mould, build as he
#> will; to dress as he will... to drink what he will; to dwell where he
#> will; to move as he will on the face of the earth." -- Liber OZ

only moderated by SOCIETAL LAWS: "pornography laws", "art standards",
copyright laws (and the organizations that pursue them including one
that claims to be Thelemic!), zoning laws, nudity laws, substance laws,
property laws, and trespassing laws). that is hardly the liberation
half-described in that brief document. what good is it to 'do as you
like' if everything one likes is illegal and brings restrictive
#> It's Thelema time -- even if most of the world doesn't know 
#> it has a name.

does every new movement want to claim credit and character for the
boons of the new present? this was the method of Satanism's Anton
LaVey also (portraying his Satanism as a kind of secular humanism,
and then populating (at least) the (local) world with 'de facto 
#> In terms of the 'historicity'  of Thelema:
#> 1) scholars have long concluded that there is no longer any historical
#> evidence for the gospel story, especially the crucifixion and
#> resurrection. Who cares? Certainly not Christians, who still stubbornly
#> celebrate Easter. There is no evidence for, and considerable evidence
#> against, the story of the Jewish Exodus. Who cares? Certainly not Jews,
#> who still stubbornly celebrate Passover.

yes, but even frater virgo here was talking about the writing of 
the Beast. is Thelema just another batch of the deluded, clinging to 
fake stories by charlatans? that doesn't paint a pretty picture.
why not explain how listening to mistaken prophets who dish out
mistaken scripture are valuable religious centers of focus?

#> 2) the historical bits that did feed into Thelema were jumping off
#> points or inspiration for a new formulation to be generated from. ...
#> Crowley, inadvertently or not, via 'Aiwass' or not, spoke to the
#> "Egyptomaniacal" Victorian Brits -- his peer group -- the same way as
#> did St. Paul to the Athenians. Egypt and it's gods were only a
#> springboard. 

the character given unto Egypt and the gods portrayed as such gods
were not provided as a springboard to a novel significance. this
transition of plaque-to-convey-an-idea doesn't come through very
clearly in Crowley's writings as regards what you are here calling
'the Thelemic gods' (a class I would dispute as non-extant 
by virtue of Thelema's dropping of the method of religion).

#> He used the Stele of Revealing the same way St. Paul used
#> that plaque in Athens. 

no, else Paul would have told them to put that plaque and others
like it in the East and set up their altars there. this is not a
very convincing analogy.

#> But you don't hear a philosophical debate raging
#> between Christian and non-Christian theologians on whether or not Paul's
#> interpretation of that plaque and what it said was "correct" in terms of
#> Greek Theology, and if not, all of Christianity is therefore invalid. 

there are very clear debates waged over time about whether 
'Paulian Christianity' is valid and Christ-reflective.

#> Hadit is not an Egyptian god. Hadit is a Thelemic god.

Hadit is portrayed by Crowley as an Egyptian god, no? as such, it can
be held to Egyptian-god standards (consistency of name, composition
of name being the issues under scrutiny here) because if an Aiwass was
ACTUALLY communicating with Egyptian gods they would have corrected
Crowley's error. this level of disproof should be brought to bear on
ALL religions, and I presume that Fr. AoC agrees with this based on
other comments made in his post.

# ...its a naked act of (mis)appropriation. ac is not asking for 
# the egyptian's approval: 'can i please borrow your pantheon, 
# long abandoned?'

"ac" was at least mistaken, demonstrated by this Egyptology.
what he "was asking for" is clearly irrelevant, and only the
foolish and slavish will wish to follow in his footsteps
except to delude others by similar means. coming to a better
understanding of the mistaken impressions put forward by the 
man may make more plain how much a contrast he is to many of l
the ideals he may have put forward (confusingly, inconsistently).

#> Argument settled.

not if one pays attention to the writing by the Beast himself.
abandoning the Beast *and* the Stele #666 *and* his scripture,
what kind of religion is really left to such "thelemites"?

#> Anyone who 'mistakenly' adopted Thelema as a religious belief solely
#> based on this misspelt misinterpretation of Stele #666 is welcome to
#> depart and spread the word that "Hadit" was unknown to the Egyptians.
#> See who cares.

that's not a rational response to a logical deconstruction of
the method of Thelemic religion (as most others: deception and
fictionalizing). usually the rational response is dropping it 
because it had previously billed itself as accurately 
reflecting history. only the sheep follow thereafter.

# good way to put it. i embrace(d) thelema because of what i thought/ 
# think to be its social relavence according to my ideals...not on my 
# belief that crowley 'always told the truth' especially on matters of 
# praeterhuman authorship or on transliterations of appropriated cultural 
# artefacts. 

a complete undermining of the prophet and his scripture is of no
consequence to your religion of Thelema? then it would seem a
rather unconventional sort of Thelema religion you have made.

# anyone (thelemite or no) who thinks the cairo 'revelation' 
# and its spiritual minutiae is the sole reason to embrace the cultural/ 
# intellectual movement known as 'thelema' has definately lost the forest 
# for the trees and will be sorely surprised to learn that *most* (i don't 
# know *any* and i've been involved in matters thelemic for 15 years or 
# so- though i can assume some such fool exists) practicing thelemites 
# today do not 'worship' aiwass, the beast (certainly not in any *literal* 
# or mundane sense), or take everything the beast 666 said as the gospel 
# truth.

you're constructing a host of straw men for JK to set aflame. :>
I'll attempt to dismantle them for him:

	* we're talking about religion

you side-step this by talking about Thelema as a 
"cultural/intellectual movement". clubs are easy to form.  

	* we're talking not about "sole reasons", 
	  but about levels of importance to religious persuasion

regardless of what you and I may think of his scripture, most of
those who refer to themselves as 'Thelemites' or their religion
as 'Thelema' think of the Book of the Law (c'mon, look at the
thing's *name*!) as some kind of religious scripture revealed
through an ancient Priest to a modern herald. clear evidence to
the contrary doesn't require that one was the worshipping of 
the addled or his fabricated 'angel' in order to put the book 
down as a fabrication and move on. what impedes it is gullibility 
or a willingness to exhalt anything to have revenge on Christians.
	* we're talking about deception and levels of trustworthiness,
	  what Crowley represented and what is the actuality.

taking "everything he said as the gospel truth" sounds like just
so much Christian apologizing. the point isn't the totality, 
it is the reliability on THINGS THAT MATTER TO THE RELIGION,
like its connections to gods and ancient mysteries.

# i revere the beast's example in a variety of ways, and take much of his 
# writing to be instructive or inspired. i can also see clearly enough 
# where aleister led a life i do not want to emulate. and i do not 
# recommend that everyone needs to believe what i believe, nor do i think 
# that Liber AL is 'the word of God' in any literal sense. 

how is it "the word of God" in some nonliteral sense? 
why isn't it "the word of Crowley", ignorantly presented?

# it may well have been for crowley. 

this is what Jess Karlin has adequately if roughly demolished
without having been refuted by either you or frater aoc: the
issue isn't what it was for Crowley. it was very obviously an
error at best and a deception at worst, because if he *had* 
communicated with Egyptian gods, he would have been given
the correction to his errors. he was not, therefore, he was not
a prophet of any novel Egypto-religious priesthood. the fact
that he misrepresented himself as of sufficient authority 
of several lineages of mysticism to instruct on it rather 
firmly supports the latter view of events. 

# meet me (a typical thelemite) on *my* ground and debate with 
# me there. 

why? what are you worshipping? why bother to call a cultural/
intellectual movement a "religion"? we might as well class all 
of those you represent as Thelemic Philosophers. Magdelene
Meretrix calls it "eupraxophy" and doesn't seem to think of it
as religion either. having its moors sucked out from underneath
it by virtue of their palpable falsity, perhaps philosophies
and eupraxophies are the best that can be mustered in the modern
era amongst the semi-intelligent to concoct shells of religions?

# ...if my values aren't properly apprehended....

I suggest that yours are not in fact shared by the majority 
of the Thelema religious. be that as it may, I think that
what was being assaulted was a more credulous blunder than 
you are here exhibiting (gullibleness about Crowley's claims).
you aren't defending that blunder, just saying that you are
not making it. you've abandoned the Crowleyan hordes to the
criticism of the wider world by saying "I'm not doing that,
so it doesn't matter".

# person has been maligned, by misrepresenting what i 
# actually believe and/or care about. if my cherished concepts, 
# practices, etc. are further misrepresented, what is it to 
# me if [another] doesn't embrace them? i am not asking ...
# anyone else to care or participate in thelemic culture.

the issue was the *religion* of Thelema, not some culture.

#> Certainly not Thelemites.

there we can of course agree, whatever the differences we
may have in interpreting this term.
#> It is amusing that Crowley was very caught up on trying to
#> demonstrate/prove the preternatural origins of the texts but frankly
#> that was an obsession of that era, not ours. Today scholars understand
#> that most scriptures are pious forgeries by today's standards (i.e.
#> Moses wrote the Torah).

what scholars believe has always been different than religious.
the religious are the more gullible, and trusting in the source
of their writ. without means to demonstrate in *their* eyes the
falsity of is origin, they continue their beliefs. people who
proclaim their Thelemitude enjoy reciting just such crapulous
creeds in Gnostic Masses to this day. they happily ignore the
counter-evidence and argument undermining their religion.

#> Here we know who, where and when, if not exactly how. 

that is the dispute, the issue is not well-known due to the
specialization of Egyptology, the volume and momentum of
the Beast's religion, and those willing to wave hands over
it and say it doesn't constitute a problem for the cult.

#> That makes it more of an easy target. But it doesn't change 
#> the nature of the debate -- it's still meaningless.

it's not meaningless at all, it is the nature of the scientific
enterprise which Crowley lauded. one applies logic to the
premises propounded by those who should know better and, 
whoosh, succinctly demonstrates the fabulizing of con-men.

this doesn't mean that the religious will listen, no. it also
doesn't mean that all those who were harking after To Mega
Therion were interested in enshrining his writ and body, but
their continued respect given the preponderance of evidence
that demonstrates him a cad, bigot, and charlatan is conclusive
confirmation of the willingness to believe in the absurd 
put forward by those interested in capitalizing on it.

# jk would do better to take *actual quotes* from EotG and 
# piece by piece, word by word question these points. he may 
# have done this in his book. 

not necessary. Crowley is already demonstrated in error. 
why pour good attention after bad? isn't this somewhat
like asking the one of the Jehovah's Witnesses when the
*next* End of the World will be?

# ...thelemites of today rely less on crowley than perhaps 
# thelemites of 1941 (for example).

how could they help but?? with the sheer volume of matter
that the man *himself* generated which contradicts his own
claims, one would think Thelema religion would disintegrate
in his wake upon understanding his writings. aggrandizement
of the dead is such a popular pastime in the construction
of religions that even someone who *severely* undermines
his own cults by uttering profound untruths at the crux 
of the religion, perhaps knowingly and intentionally, 
is excused and continues to be lionized by the gullible.

I far more prefer to separate Thelema from any man, use
the term 'Thelemite' as a generic descriptor for someone
who has a handle on their true will and is following it
or adhering to it (acting in conformity to it, etc.),
logically *destroy* the basis for any 'Thelema religion',
and *demolish* the potential for people to be led by the 
nose by clearly identifying the weaknesses of religion.

the best view of Crowley is that he made this possible by
putting on the masquerade of religion and leaving clear
indicators that it was sham and charlatanry, effectively
making a side-show out of religion itself through 
the enshrinement of hoaxes and absurdities.


The Arcane Archive is copyright by the authors cited.
Send comments to the Arcane Archivist:

Did you like what you read here? Find it useful?
Then please click on the Paypal Secure Server logo and make a small
donation to the site maintainer for the creation and upkeep of this site.

The ARCANE ARCHIVE is a large domain,
organized into a number of sub-directories,
each dealing with a different branch of
religion, mysticism, occultism, or esoteric knowledge.
Here are the major ARCANE ARCHIVE directories you can visit:
interdisciplinary: geometry, natural proportion, ratio, archaeoastronomy
mysticism: enlightenment, self-realization, trance, meditation, consciousness
occultism: divination, hermeticism, amulets, sigils, magick, witchcraft, spells
religion: buddhism, christianity, hinduism, islam, judaism, taoism, wicca, voodoo
societies and fraternal orders: freemasonry, golden dawn, rosicrucians, etc.


There are thousands of web pages at the ARCANE ARCHIVE. You can use ATOMZ.COM
to search for a single word (like witchcraft, hoodoo, pagan, or magic) or an
exact phrase (like Kwan Yin, golden ratio, or book of shadows):

Search For:
Match:  Any word All words Exact phrase


Southern Spirits: 19th and 20th century accounts of hoodoo, including slave narratives & interviews
Hoodoo in Theory and Practice by cat yronwode: an introduction to African-American rootwork
Lucky W Amulet Archive by cat yronwode: an online museum of worldwide talismans and charms
Sacred Sex: essays and articles on tantra yoga, neo-tantra, karezza, sex magic, and sex worship
Sacred Landscape: essays and articles on archaeoastronomy, sacred architecture, and sacred geometry
Lucky Mojo Forum: practitioners answer queries on conjure; sponsored by the Lucky Mojo Curio Co.
Herb Magic: illustrated descriptions of magic herbs with free spells, recipes, and an ordering option
Association of Independent Readers and Rootworkers: ethical diviners and hoodoo spell-casters
Freemasonry for Women by cat yronwode: a history of mixed-gender Freemasonic lodges
Missionary Independent Spiritual Church: spirit-led, inter-faith, the Smallest Church in the World
Satan Service Org: an archive presenting the theory, practice, and history of Satanism and Satanists
Gospel of Satan: the story of Jesus and the angels, from the perspective of the God of this World
Lucky Mojo Usenet FAQ Archive: FAQs and REFs for occult and magical usenet newsgroups
Candles and Curios: essays and articles on traditional African American conjure and folk magic
Aleister Crowley Text Archive: a multitude of texts by an early 20th century ceremonial occultist
Spiritual Spells: lessons in folk magic and spell casting from an eclectic Wiccan perspective
The Mystic Tea Room: divination by reading tea-leaves, with a museum of antique fortune telling cups
Yronwode Institution for the Preservation and Popularization of Indigenous Ethnomagicology
Yronwode Home: personal pages of catherine yronwode and nagasiva yronwode, magical archivists
Lucky Mojo Magic Spells Archives: love spells, money spells, luck spells, protection spells, etc.
      Free Love Spell Archive: love spells, attraction spells, sex magick, romance spells, and lust spells
      Free Money Spell Archive: money spells, prosperity spells, and wealth spells for job and business
      Free Protection Spell Archive: protection spells against witchcraft, jinxes, hexes, and the evil eye
      Free Gambling Luck Spell Archive: lucky gambling spells for the lottery, casinos, and races