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Defense of Adept Crowley Vacant

From: catherine yronwode 
Subject: Re: Defense of Adept Crowley Vacant (was OTO confederacy...)
Date: Thu, 30 Sep 1999 06:01:00 -0700 wrote:
> do as you please.

Feel free...

> 333:
> # > one of the first racists I ever met was
> # > in a van going to an OTO Mass. those present who were members
> # > of the Order (and were providing him a ride) enjoyed wearing
> # > Confederate flags and thought his rude and disgusting comments
> # > were 'humorous'.
> A S :
> # the attempts at classifying 'spirituality' as some objective measure 
> # of 'goodness'was to be expected
> no, you completely misunderstand me. the *capacity* for compassion,
> tenderness, agape in short, is to what I am referring. I am hard-
> pressed to identify that Aleister Crowley had such a capacity, and
> in that thelema and agape are in some sense identical according
> to the man's *own* teachings (due to their enumeration at 93), he
> appears to lack signs of mastery. perhaps contrary to what Cavalorn
> may have been claiming about egos, I think the consistent petulance
> and blatant disaffectation evidenced in the man's "Confessions" is
> sufficient to display his spiritual vacuum.
> # but you know I find this(the above) a rather curious criticism
> # especially from a self reported 'freemason'.
> I have never reported myself as a "freemason" or a "mason". you
> are mistaken. my fiance, sri catyananda, is a co-mason, but we
> are in no way connected in this regard aside from an interest in
> ritual symbolism and sociology -- she was initiated before I ever
> met her, and also I was initiated in the (c)OTO before we ever met.

Yeah, tyagi is a member of (c) OTO and i am a member of the AFHR, a
Co-Freemasonic group. From what follows, it seems that you identify
Freemasonry with racism, and although it is a bit off-topic for
discussion here, i feel that such a slur cannot go unanswered. To put it
bluntly, i have never seen eveidence of racism either officially or
unofficially sanctioned (as tyagi saw on the way to a (c) OTO meeting)
during my association with Co-Freemasonry. 
> # among the numerous racist accomplishments of certain american
> # freemasonic members in the past has been the very founding of
> # the KKK.  *gasp* Dont buy this? Have you ever witnessed one
> # of their 'initiation' rituals?
> no, I understand that Pike was a founding member of the KKK and
> that his Scottish Rite has had a great deal of influence on
> Crowley and the OTO rituals and degrees. I would never 'witness
> a KKK ritual' because racial supremists are repugnant to me. I
> do have a copy of an initiation rite in "Secret Societies"
> edited by MacKenzie, Appendix 3, but I haven't studied its
> details. are you claiming that it is "masonic" or something?

Whoa. Stop. Back up, both of you. 

1) Albert Pike was a Freemason.
2) Albert Pike was a Confederate soldier.
3) Albert Pike was reportedly a co-founder of the original 
   KKK (no primary documentation exists, because the act was 
   done in secret, but i personally believe he was involved, 
   based on secondary sources).
    a) The original KKK was an armed group of Confederates 
       organized to resist "Yankee" take-over of Southern 
       economics and culture in the wake of the American 
       Civil War.
    b) Many people confuse this group with the revived, 20th 
       century KKK, but although both were racist in dogma, the 
       great misdeeds of racial *hatred* (lynchings and cross-
       burnings and hate-crimes against African-Americns) that 
       are rightfully laid at the door of the post-WWI  KKK 
       cannot be directly linked to the short-lived KKK of the 
       immediate post-Civil War era in which Pike participated. 
4) Albert Pike imported to America a FRENCH system of degrees 
   called "The Scottish Rite" which is NOT MASONIC.
    a) Unlike Masonry, which traces itself back to the mid-1600s 
       (for speculative Masonry) and to the 1200-1400s (for 
       Operative [craft guild] Masonry) in England, the Scottish 
       Rite is a 19th century creation and came from France. 
    b) Pike did not create the Scottish rite; it was created in 
       France, home of the original Knights Templar and hotbed of 
       much Templar mythification in the 19th century; the term 
       "Scottish" refers to the myth that some Templars escaped 
       the Pope's disbandment of the group and survived intact in 
    c) To this day, any Mason can tell you that the Scottish 
       Rite -- like the similarly 19th centruy Templar-mythic 
       York Rite -- is not "Masonry." You must be a Freemason 
       to be initiated into either rite, but they contain NOTHING 
       essential to the study of Freemasonry, its rites, or its 

> if you think that Pike, the Scottish Rite, and whatever else
> Pike may have been instrumental in fomenting are the essence
> of Freemasonry, or that the KKK started out as a racist cult,
> then perhaps your sources of information are very different
> than mine, since I had the impression that all of these were
> falsities.  

The sad legacies Pike inadvertently left Freemasonry are three-fold
    1) His imported and revised French "Scottish" Rite proved incredibly
popular (especially in the South, where its myth of noble but ultimately
doomed Templar Knights played well against the sentiments of Confederate
soldiers who had just lost a Civil War) and this fact, coupled with his
presumed involvement in the KKK allows ignorant people to link
Freemasonry with his politics. 
    2) His misguided and rather arrogant attempt to "fold" Freemasonry
INTO his own version of the French Scottish Rite (by unilaterally
decreeing that the first three degrees of the Scottish Rite were the
three degrees of Freemasonry) did NOT meet with success -- and in fact
were HUGELY opposed by Freemasonic authories of his time and to the
present -- but his published book, "Morals and Dogma of the Scottish
Rite" includes this bald-faced assertion, so that to the ignorant who
read that book, and do not inquire of Freemasons, it looks as if there
are "33 degrees of Freemasonry" -- namely The Scottish Rite. 
    3) His attempts to add "scholarship" to his explanation of the
symbolism of the Templar myth, via the ponderous tome "Morals and Dogma
of the Scottish Rite," included typically 19th century references to
Chaldean and Egyptian deities and contained the word "Lucifer," which
led mid-20th century Christian fundamentalists to accuse Freemasons of
being "Satanist," a charge with is both irrelevant (since the Scottish
Rite is not Freemasonry) and false (since Pike was not a Satanist and
did not advocate the worship of infernal, Hadean, chthonic, or wild

I am not an apologist for Albert Pike -- in fact, i quite despise him --
but if you want to accuse Freemasonry itself of racism, you'll have to
use a better tool than Albert Pike.

> are you attempting to derail the conversation by
> resorting to ad hominem slurs which prove baseless, or do you
> really have something to add to your defense of the
> spiritually handicapped (Crowley) as some fantastic authority?

Thelemites don't do THAT, do they? I thought they were all incredibly
intelligent, thoughtful people whose scholarship is impeccable due to
their understanding of the need for respectful speech in a culture in
which every member not only follows his or her will, but is also a STAR! 
> love is the law, blessed beast!

Love is something, but i'm an anarchist, and woof woof to you too. 
catherine yronwode 
Freemasonry for Women -------
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