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EGC, ToS and OTO

To: alt.satanism
From: tyagI@houseofkaos.Abyss.coM (Hsi Wang Mu)
Subject: Re: EGC, ToS and OTO (
Date: Kali Yuga 49940923 

Quoting: |> Hsi Wang Mu
	 | (Michael Aquino) 

|> Why doesn't ToS consider OTO to be religious, if indeed this is the
|> case, when it is recognized by US govt as such under law?

|The Temple of Set, like Crowley, considers the O.T.O. to be a magical
|fraternity, not a church or religion in the precise sense of these terms. 
|Cf. _Magick Without Tears_, Letter #31 "Is Thelema a 'New Religion'?" 

To quote this:

"*Religion*, [Skeat] says, Latin: *religio*, piety.  Collecting or paying
attention to: *religens* as opposed to *negligens*, neglecting; the 
attitude of Gallio.  But it also implies a binding together, i.e. of ideas;
in fact, a 'body of doctrine.'  Not a bad expression.  A religion then, is
a more or less coherent and consistent set of beliefs, with precepts and
prohibitions therefrom deducible.  But then there is the sense in which
Frazer (and I) often use the word: as in opposition to 'science' or
'Magic.'  Here the point is that religious people attribute phenomena to
the will of some postulated Being or Beings, placable and moveable by
virtue of sacrifice, devotion, or appeal.  Against such, the scientific
or magical mind beleives in the Laws of Nature, asserts 'If A, then B' --
if you do so-and-so, the result will be so-and-so, aloof from arbitrary
interference.  Joshua, it is alleded, made the sun stand still by suppli-
cation, and Hezekiah in the same way caused it o 'go back upon the dial
of Ahaz'; Willett did it by putting the clock back, and getting an Act of
Parliament to confirm his lunacy.  Petruchio, too "It shall be what o'clock
I say it is!"  The last two came close to the magical method; at least, to
that branch of it which [consists] of 'fooling all the people all the time.'
But such an operation, if true magick were employed, would be beyond the
power of any magician of my acquaintance; for it would mess up the solar
system completely.  (You remember how this happened, and what came of it,
in a rather clever short story by H.G. Wells.)  For true Magick means
'to employ one set of natural forces at a mechanical advantage as against
another set' - I quote, as closely as memory serves, Thomas Henry Huxley,
when he explains that when he lifts his water-jug -- or his elbow -- he
does not 'defy the Law of Gravitation.'  On the contrary, he uses that
Law; its equations form part of hte system by which he lifts the jug
without spilling the water.

"To sum up, our system is a religion just so far as a religion means
an enthusiastic putting-together of a series of of doctrines, no one
of which must in any way clash with Science or Magick.

"Call it a new religion, then, if it so please your Gracious Majesty;
but I confess that I fail to see what you will have gained by so doing,
and I feel bound to add that you might easily cause a great deal of
misunderstanding, and work a rather stupid kind of mischief.

"The word does not occur in _The Book of the Law_."

_Magick Without Tears_, by Aleister Crowley, Ed. Regardie,
	Letter 31: Religion; Is Thelema a 'New Religion'?, pp. 218-9.

Here Crowley is speaking of *Thelema* rather than the AA or OTO, and so
the point is somewhat obscure, yet he does give his preferred definitions
of religion as compared to science and magick.  I don't see that this
supports your claims about his attitude toward OTO/EGC/AA, however.

|At most, Crowley might have considered the A.'.A.'. a religion (dedicated 
|to worship of the _neter_ Horus the Younger), but certainly not the O.T.O., 
|which is clearly a variation on the Freemasonic theme.

I don't notice that (at least in this cited letter) he mentions worship at
all.  Why do you consider this worthy of mention in regards his ideas?

|...where Temple of Set membership is concerned, we consider the O.T.O. to 
|be an occult fraternity rather than a religion or church. Our By-Laws 
|permit membership in such fraternities by Setians.

Well, perhaps Crowley would indeed consider the OTO a religion since the 
Order does maintain doctrines (teachings) exemplified by _Liber Al vel 
Legis_ (perhaps a dogma) and its supposed instructions on sexual magick.  

Crowley seems to utilize the doctrinal element primarily, even given to 
considering *Thelema*, which would not seem to necessitate specific 
doctrinal absolutes, a religion.

What do you think of this?

|I think the O.T.O.'s decision to redefine itself under the law as a church 
|came about for societal reasons, i.e. to place itself as firmly under the 
|First Amendment's protections as possible in this age of hysteria and 
|persecution of anything "occult" (or just perceived as a threat to the 
|monopoly of the J/C establishment). 

Not only this but to obtain secure control of *copyrights* on Crowley's works.

|...If an OTOer came to the Temple of Set and insisted that he personally 
|considered the O.T.O. *his* religion, then we would tell him to make a 
|choice at the time of TS II* qualification, and to either resign from the 
|Temple of Set or [sincerely] redefine the O.T.O. for himself as *not* his 
|religion. We would consider this a simple matter of anti-hypocrisy.

Yes, please accept my apologies for forgetting that you'd said this 
previously in email.  It seems that this is not well known regarding 
OTO/ToS and I wanted to be sure that Bill was aware of it at least.

I also think that the comparison of views (BH/MA) on Crowley and his 
attitude toward both Thelema and religion are of value to bring out here 
and in alt.magick.  There are some important differences in theoretic
between the two Orders that don't often get underscored.

Hsi Wang Mu

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