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Black Lodge of Santa Cruz

To: alt.magick
From: catherine yronwode 
Subject: "Black Lodge of Santa Cruz" (was: Re: Soror TQ Interviews Keith
Date: Sun, 08 Sep 2002 08:43:05 GMT

[Y] a.k.a Vinctor wrote:
"David R. Jones"  wrote:
> > Posted at K's [Keith Schurholz's] request (I rarely read usenet 
> > so if you  want to reply to me you better do it via email and even 
> > then I will probably ignore it;-)
> >
> >
> >
> > Soror TQ Interviews Keith [Schurholz]
> >
> > Due to the recent release of the Bay Area OTO "expose," "The Black 
> > Lodge of Santa Cruz," I consented to be interviewed...
> >
> > So what was your reaction to the book detailing some of your 
> > exploits in the late 80's, early 90's?
> >
> > I was amused. The irony is pretty obvious. I have spent years 
> > studying and tracking down exposes of Mormonism, Scientology, the 
> > Jehovah's Witnesses, The I AM Cult, The Church of Satan, The 
> > Masons, The Temple of Set, the Golden Dawn, etc. only to wind up 
> > being in an expose myself!
> >
> > Was the book accurate?
> >
> > I'm sure this is very much how the author saw it. I have a few 
> > quibbles about the details. For example, the name for the house we 
> > worked in was never "Oz House" - we called it, and still call it, 
> > "The Catacombs." It was up the street from what was then Thelema 
> > Lodge, not next door. 

Quibble #2: Orinda is not "a small village east of San Francisco" any
more than Phladelphia is a large city east of San Francisco. That is,
the direction is correct, but the placement is not. The Bay (a body of
water connected to the Pacific Ocean) is east of San Francisco. Orinda
is a lage, extremely affluent suburb (not a "small village") east of

> > I also felt some of the characterizations 
> > were unfair.
> >
> > In what way?
> >
> > John Golding was and is a brilliant, caring, wonderful person. He 
> > never had any sympathy for anything like a "Golden Dawn" approach 
> > to Enochian, and to assert that is a direct contradiction to the 
> > facts. I thought the portrait of him in the book was simple 
> > character assassination. It was driven by jealousy. We got that 
> > all the time. John also, frankly, worked harder at ceremonial 
> > magick and made a deeper commitment to it than the author did. We 
> > went off and did our own thing (alluded to in the book) while Mike 
> > (the author of "The Black Lodge of Santa Cruz") was stuck in
> > a very dependent way on David Jones.
> >
> > Was there anything left out of the book?
> >
> > Of course! Most of the people reading it have commented on the 
> > fact that our voracious consumption of chemical substances was 
> > left out. I have no idea why this was done. 

I don't understand the deletion of all references to drugs, either, and
i, for one, would have though that information would have been of value
to those interested in the effects that psychotropic substances have
upon magical workings. 

As some may recall, i have written in the past about the possibility
that some of the inconsistencies in Aleister Crowley's magical writings
may have stemmed from the varied effects of ingesting different drugs at
different times in his life. 

I feel the same way about Satyr's memoir -- it leaves me wondering which
drugs were associated with the paranoia he so diligently describes --
and which drugs were associated with workings in which he felt powerful
and strong -- or if both effects were asscooiated with the same drugs at
different times.    

> > In addition, there are a few more subtle details that were not 
> > included. For example, Mike never mentions the fact that
> > during this whole series of episodes he never had a job.

This fact certainly comes across between the lines, though.

> > Why is that important?
> >
> > Well, despite how wacky things got, I also had to go to work every 
> > day. This meant that I was sort of forced to stabilize. When 
> > events got too wild outside of work, I had work as a solace. When 
> > work stressed me out, I had the magical work to balance that. Mike 
> > never had that balance. He told me a little while ago that during 
> > that period of time he considered his magical work his job. That 
> > doesn't wash with me, since the people who actually had to work 
> > got much further than he did.

As Michael describes events, he was not only not working at a paying
job, he was on a free-floating circadian cycle, placing him occasionally
out of phase with colleages and his wife. This probably came to pass in
part because he had no routinized employment and thus no commitments to
be any place at any time. That alone can be socially destabilizing,
without respect to drug use and magical workings.  

> > What do you think was his main problem?
> >
> > I think Mike could never make full commitments. He never really 
> > fully committed to any of the things he picked up. If he had, that 
> > commitment would have seen him through the rough spots. The sort 
> > of "inner peace" he talks about at the end of the book would have 
> > come to him much faster. 

This is the kind of moralizing that is often made by those who believe
that their innate biological resilience signifies a *moral* superiority
to those who succumb to ill side-effects of drug use. As such, it is

> > In addition, there is the problem of "answered prayers."
> >
> > What's that?
> >
> > "There are more tears shed over answered prayers than over 
> > unanswered prayers," said Saint Theresa. In magick it's the idea 
> > that you have to be careful about what you want and work for, 
> > because the chances are good that you will get it. Mike had a much 
> > harder time with his successful operations than he did with his 
> > failures. He asked for things, got them, and couldn't handle the 
> > results.

Oh boy, the typical Anglo-Germanic babble on about backfired payers and
blow-back spell-craft. I chose to ignore such moralizing. 

> > Why does this happen?
> >
> > I think people don't know their own wills. John Golding and I were
> > always very clear on what it was we wanted and were never 
> > disappointed by our successful operations. Mike never had that 
> > clarity. It's not something you can give to people. In his recent 
> > "paper presentation" DRJ went over this exact issue. I wonder if 
> > anyone got it.

I read this as simply a way to dismiss someone who suffered, naming the
victim as the architect of his own downfall. It's typical New Age crap,
working from Christian principles, in my opinion. 

I hold no brief for Satyr (a chronically disagreeable and foul-mouthed
entity with respect to me) but he deserves -- we all deserve -- better
than being parlor-psychoanalyzed by Thelemic Dogmatists. 

> > Do you think the damage described in the book was due to the use 
> > of Enochian magick?
> >
> > No. Despite his comments about Golding, John was far more skilled 
> > at Enochian work than Mike ever was. We didn't have these problems 
> > and we were doing stuff that was just as intense as what Mike was 
> > watching David do. Despite his comments now about "magical 
> > tourism" this book proves that at the time, David was the "Capt. 
> > Steubing" of the magical tourism "Love Boat." I think our (John's 
> > and mine) results were better. We weren't dependent on David, and 
> > Mike was.
> >
> > Was it the drugs?
> >
> > There will be many to pass this all off to the drugs, but I think 
> > this over-states their ultimate importance. They certainly didn't 
> > slow down the descent into the spiral, but there was more to than 
> > just the drugs. Much of it was propelled by profound confusion and 
> > unhappiness.

As a drug-user myself, who has done jail time on drug charges, i again
would like to know which drugs are being alluded to here. Hashish was
mentioned in the early pages of the manuscript -- but after that the
record remains blank. 

All of us old enough to have gone through these things know that certain
drugs, including LSD, amphetamines, ectasy, pcp, and even marijuana,
when used too frequently, can lead to ongoing states of paranoia that
obviate any attempt to perform acts of magick. Such drug-induced
overlays of paranoia may cloud daily life and, worse, they may turn a
simple magical ceremony into a parade of delusional terror. 

If the Enochian operations described by Satyr were performed in a
relatively drug-free environment, i would be more likely to attribute
the horrors he encountered to the magickal workings alone -- but with an
unknown quantity of unnamed drugs thrown into the mix, i am left
wondering what the heck was going on. 

But, mind you, i also have been known to ask on more than one occasion,
"What the heck was Violet Firth smoking when that cat jumped out at

> > So what else was left out?
> >
> > You need to see that this book is only one person's account. Each 
> > of us sees things through our own perspective. I think a lot was 
> > left out, but that's because it's not my book. Some of it mirrors 
> > my own experiences very closely. Much of it doesn't, but I 
> > wouldn't expect it to. Mike didn't experience and know everything 
> > I did, and the same is true for me. It is very well written as 
> > these things go.

I found it odd that, while naming everyong else and exposing them to
public scrutiny, Michael did not name himself or Susan (his then-wife)
by surname, only by first name, and he gave neither a first name nor a
surname to "Belial," the young man with whom Susan became lovers. 

I still don't know Michael's last name, and would like to know it, if
only for the sake of fairness. 

> > Where you surprised someone would write a book like this?
> >
> > No. Even at the time I knew something like this had great 
> > cinematic and literary potential. It was part of the fun! It was 
> > like being in a great "beat" novel or a terrific film. David Jones 
> > will always be, for me anyway, the "Dean Moriarty" of the American 
> > occult community.
> >
> > Any last thoughts?
> >
> > I wish Mike all the best.

> I learned in correspondence with Keith last fall that he is now on 
> the Electoral College of the Caliphate, with the implication that he 
> is now V*, and KRE. As such, he has sworn to assist the Grand Master 
> of the Order in his efforts to govern the Caliphate. To my mind, 
> this accounts for the obvious discrepancies between what he wishes 
> here to be said officially, in public, and what he confided to me in 
> private.

This is a real problem in the OTO, isn't it? There is a certain
institutionalized deviousness in it -- at least to this outsider's eyes. 
> In addition to his honest opinion on why things went wrong, he wrote 
> to me in glowing terms of his triumph over the addictions that 
> gripped him back then, 

Okay, so are we talking amphetamines, then?

> of his new wife, his government job, his house, his driver's
> license, his car, and his return to the middle class under the 
> guidance of Jerry Cornelius. Keith gave full credit to Jerry, for 
> having helped him to realize that being normal, in the eyes of one's 
> neighbors, was of the utmost value for anyone practicing magick.

Jerry really said that???

> After reading his words, and pondering their implication, I found 
> myself curiously resolved to publish my tale in "The Black Lodge of 
> Santa Cruz".

I can see why the disconnection between Keith's pubic and private
personae inspired you to write the memoir. Although, as i said above, i
wish you had been as forthright with yours, Susan's and Beliaal's names
as you were with the names of others, and that, for the sake of other
magical experimentors, you had been explicit with respect to when drugs
were used in your operations and when not, and which drugs those were. 

> I am deeply indebted to Keith for his friendship in the past, for 
> the motivation his letters provided, for reading my work, and for 
> reacting so strongly to its message that he found himself compelled 
> to have his official opinion made public in this forum.

Yes, there is a whiff of Stalinist show-trial in the public presentation
of the "official opinion"; i can smell it, faintly, faintly...
> My only wish is that he continues in his current happiness.

No doubt. And i notice that despite the schism and the passage of time,
both you and Keith Schurholz still retain the same numeric signature, he
being Keith418 and you Satyr418. 

Some marks are branded in the spirit, not in the flesh.

cat (108) yronwode 
Freemasonry for Women -------

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