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Secrecy and Thelema

To: alt.magick.tyagi,alt.thelema,alt.magick.order,alt.magick,talk.religion.misc,talk.religion.newage
From: (nigris (333))
Subject: Secrecy and Thelema (2)
Date: 24 Jul 1999 00:03:15 -0700

49990711 IVom

	caution, this post may contain reference to initiatory rites. 
	do not read further if you would prefer to remain virgin, 
	pure without conceptual spot where they are concerned.

a correspondent wrote:
# Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.
# >these media events are public spectacles, not private membership
# >initiatory rites. therein lies the difference. 
# I would agree, if there was not an "indefeasable" right to the 
# Man of Earth initiations.  This creates a special case of 
# "private yet open to all", which I am uncertain if there is a 
# reasonable analogy of comparison available.

in the case of membership admittance, it is reasonable that this
indefeasable right be exercised in a coordinated manner with
respect to those who administer the initiation. thus any fees,
sponsors needed to guarantee sincerety (which I have heard few
complain about having difficulty receiving), and the societal
requirements (age, good report, etc.). none turned aside on
account of perspective, for example, political affiliation,

I would also support the overlooking of simultaneous membership
in "competing" 'OTOs'. esoteric affiliation should not impede
the initiation of MoE degrees. if the rites were carried out
and the officers of (c)OTO then inform the individual that they
expect that competing memberships will be terminated, this is
sensible to me. the initiate then has an option to accede to
their desires or tell them to fuck off and they'll get their
MoE from another source.

this is something that you have not addressed either: that it
is not just the (c)OTO who could be said to administrate this
MoE in an expanded context where either multiple dramatic ritual 
orgs confer its conscious condition or that it extends to
a normal lifestyle involvement in human social adulthood (i.e.
going through the classic maturative stages of 'coming of age',
'entering into power' and 'dissolution from (at least the
social if not the personal) body'.

in this latter sense the 'indefeasable right' cannot ever be
controlled by (c)OTO or an organization like it as an entirety,
though they can control how *they* will assist others in coming
into these degrees (or attempt to).

# >more than this I have a vested interest in seeing to the HEALTH
# >of the (c)OTO as it represents to me a bastard of A Crowley and
# >has the capacity to change the world in ways I find valuable.
# What sort of changes do you believe it can manifest that you 
# would find valuable?

Crowley had some vision of it, as did Rabelais. systems of
social interaction which do not involve violation, but instead
allow the individual to dive to their desired level of
authority. the Law of Thelema transcends paltry human artifice
and, when abided by those who set the standards for civilization,
can make possible a kind of self-liberation-through-works which
is not provided interference by oligarchies, bureaucracies, and
gurus. I feel that an organization is truly 'Thelemic' as it
supports the will of an individual even as it may struggle with
it and/or against it. optimum solution is to have an environment
where all individuals are provided avenues to attempt to obtain
what they view as their desires or true will without condemnation.
instructed in the manner of obtaining their will, they can also
be instructed as to the actual oppositions to their objectives
(social law, personal rivalries, parasitic organizations and
leaders, etc.).

the ideals of anarchism as I am just recently coming to know it,
combined with an appreciation of aesthetics and romance in the
life of the Lover; these are some of the aspects of the life of
those who live in the aftermath of a truly Thelemic revolution. 

much of the change would attitudinal. difference and genius
would be equally revered with tribal loyalty. revolution from 
within would be seen as a positive development. oddness and 
uniqueness would be seen as assets. some business movers 
(e.g. previous Apple execs) have had this type of intention 
-- to change the environment of their employees, some 
organizations even changing the ownership specs to flatten 
out the playing field, interchangeability of roles, etc.

# >...I have never taken an oath of secrecy.
# how do you reconcile the "guarded border" of secrecy with 
# this statement?

revealing mysteries is impossible. learning of them difficult,
and the attempted restatement of them a travesty. to put them
into words and pretend that these words are the mysteries
themselves is the true crime. if we could come to learn that
what we are presented is but a reflection, characterize what
we have seen in a conservative and sincere manner, and testify
honestly that the only way to fully comprehend the mysteries
is to encounter them at every level (an argument for involve-
ment in esoteric organizations to their upper echelons ;>),
we would have less misuse of them as a whole as goads and
carrots for the gullible. I can truthfully say that I will
not reveal (reveil? :>) the mysteries to others because I do
not think that this is ever *possible*, my simplistic attempt
to foist my fragmented understanding of them upon others 
becomes a heinous crime against their spirit and mind.

# ># (4) Threats of physical violence, social ostracism, legal 
# ># action, and the like, to any individual who seeks to 
# ># acquire or discuss an idea.
# >
# >I haven't seen this occur. there is restriction on the public
# >expression of certain documents, but we are free to discuss
# >these documents here and in public all we want.
# What if an initiate takes the threats of physical violence 
# inherent in the oaths of the degrees literally, and acts 
# out of fear?.... 

initiation may require oaths. I encourage the (c)OTO to make
any oaths contained within their rites known to those who
ask about them beforehand so as to refrain from overdue
pressure on initiates within the ritual context. because it
does not presently do so (but once did as I understand it),
I have shifted to an aggressive compilation of occult 'secrets'
rather than to keep myself ignorant and avoid 'spoiling' the
rite. I am put on my guard by a kind of antagonism on the part
of this organization which I engage as discipline and would
prefer to protect myself and others from travesty in the name
of 'Thelema'.

I recommend against becoming initiated into any organization
which uses oaths that it does not make known to you unless
you feel that you can trust its membership with the integrity
of your mind and soul. having placed this trust, I suggest
that you prepare thoroughly in the skill of quick-thinking
and spot-reconceptualization, exploring beyond the boundaries
perhaps intended by those providing the initiation, so that
any oaths so offered may be accepted with a clear will in
the context that YOU accept them.

having chosen to accept an oath with fearful repercussions,
it is the consequence of being malleable or innocent that an
initiate suffers at the hands of callous administrators who
fail to provide a more mature focus and interpretation than
that the mythological and dramatic aspects of the initiation
are literal, actual, and will "come and get me if I tell".

personally, knowing that I could not make the offense to
which I was swearing oath, I have never been concerned
about any horrid monsters coming to vent their wrath upon
me for breaking an agreement I never made. if they ever DID
show up I would fight them to the end and hope to live to
tell about it. ;>

# What if an individual fears leaving the Order will mean 
# that many of their friends will never speak to them again,
# an item which is on many cult-watching lists as something 
# to watch for?

I responded from the perspective of "seeking to acquire or
discuss an idea". it is not the idea that I have seen squelched
so much as the word. that is, the elements of the rites are
what are interpreted as being oath-bound, not the IDEAS which
these rites may contain. many times I have seen (c)OTO members
(even officers) discuss ideas which were contained in ritual
dramas from initiation. they did not so identify it, of course,
but the ideas did not originate in the rites either. 

I agree with you that an organization borders on extortion or
coercion when it, by request mind you, supplies a dramatic 
situation in which one is placed in stressful conditions and
asked to swear to oaths to which she had not theretofore been
exposed and not considered carefully. this is the reason that
I oppose the kind of secrecy inherent to the (c)OTO at present:
it lends too much weight to the abuse of the initiate and the
corruption of an individual against their true will. this will
only lead to initiation of bad membership who will break these
supposed oaths after they struggle against them a bit. perhaps
this is an ordeal for these individuals as WELL as the order, 
who can say?

given this, there is a certain amount of value to the kind of
statement of trust rendered to an organization and its members
that an initiate would thrust hirself into their company and
subject themselves to these types of ordeals. it can be quite
transformative to the initiate and, given the culmination of
the rite includes an admission of membership or greater depth
of involvement, can cement hir relationship with them more
firmly. perhaps this is the reason that most initiations take
place between 0 and III and most who resign do so before the
IVth degree (the relationship isn't completely resolved for
them and they haven't been able to completely accept the oaths
they have taken in a manner which they could abide).

# >in fact I have begun to think few are serious about studying
# >these secret documents because when I have brought up their
# >contents and IDEAS very few have responded in meaningful ways.
# I've noted that as well; perhaps there is an additional factor 
# involved: there are too many souls afraid that they will be 
# kicked out of the Order, never get that elusive camp or 
# initiator's charter, or not get "passed beyond."  In essence, 
# fear of status in a cult may prohibit people from sharing 
# their insights with the rest of us uninitiated wankers.

and provided that they were unsure with their tongues (or in
the case of computers, fingers) in public, this may have 
assisted them in staying on good report with their order. :>
the principle of belonging does not make for genius or good
revolutionaries against whom to keep our reflexes and battle-
gear tested and true. it does, however, add to the integrity
of the tribe or herd which the revolutionary genius may use
as a stable foundation from which to assist that same herd.
# Please see my post which I have already made on "Magica"....

I have seen them and intend to respond to them. I have already
offered my review of at least this first document in the elist
a while back and will consider posting it again or sending it
to the interested if not merely providing an URL once I find
it if it is long. when I review Brother Paul Smith's documents
then I will consider offering commentary on them also.

# >the master does not need to refer to these texts or their
# >specifics in order to convey the proper information, and does so
# >in ways which are consistent and which yield no opposition (on
# >account of hir perfect assimilation of the power of Agape and
# >its unitive qualities).
# So then, is it not within the right of the student to discover 
# these truths from alternative sources, whatever they may be?

I do not know the 'rights of student', but I have found that the
spread of controversial information and documents is usually not
welcome or commonplace in *public forums*. this is one of the
reasons that I suggested these exchanges take place in PRIVATE
email. it is less likely that the activity will be prevented
given that manner of transference. it is very much like dealing
in illegal psychoactive substances: doing it in plain view of
authorities who have a vested interest in preventing it will draw
inhibitory response. being more covert will likely obtain the
result one desires.

many of us agree that the situation sucks, but there it is. we
can speak out against it. intrepid terrorists like Brother Paul
Smith can spew secret documents (preferrably with a spoiler
warning indicating that the posts contain initiatory information)
and disappear, and perhaps over the course of years things will

# >by virtue of the sphere's ineffable inapprehensibility, so
# >can the utterances of all manner of mage be praised as having
# >authority and, if constructively suppressed, inspire a kind
# >of heated desire to obtain them. 
# A rather sick and convoluted method of attaining converts and 
# students....

let me be clear. I have never heard an official in an upper position
in any esoteric order betray these types of motivations. I do in
fact think that this is the result, and in many cases I think that
the administrators of these secret orgs relish the attention paid
to the tripe they pass off as valuable, but there are also many who 
are in earnest when they make proclamations about keeping the texts
from 'those who are not yet ready for them' and 'unappreciative
audiences who may blaspheme'.

blessed beast!
emailed replies may be posted; cc replies if response desired

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