One of the things that disturbs some people is that I have the habit of looking at Golden Dawn as if it was a business. I tend to blame this on having managed a business for several years; though to be honest, my father also had something to do with this habit (small family business). But let's be honest, my past experiences just bring to the surface my own infernal triad.
There is something deeply twisted about me that causes me to look at most Order-level decisions and statements and wonder how much of the decisions were actually being driven by business and politics, instead of magic and spirituality. Even when someone says that decision XYZ was made because of ABC magical reason and DEF spiritual reason, I tend to believe that there is a GHI business reason and JKL political reason that is the real cause that XYZ was decided upon.
I may no longer being running a business, but there is a part of me that is permanently corrupted because I have done so. This fact has been pointed out by several people. They also like to point out that I should not even remotely be allowed near the top of any lodge or Order because of my nasty thought processes.
Bottom line, I am not spiritual or magically-inclined enourgh to accurately judge the behavior of those making the BIG decisions in the Golden Dawn tradition. After all, Golden Dawn is not actually a business.
I don't let the opinions of these people stop me from dissecting decisions and statements, poking around the inwards and guts looking for that point that screams that money and political power was its root cause. I am a happy little cynic, ain't I?
But here is an uncomfortable truth---some decisions and statements were driven by business and politics.
I have been thinking about this a lot lately.
For instance, the other day someone asked a former member of the EOGD if they ever asked for a refund. In the back of my mind, I found myself thinking about how issuing refunds is not in the best interests of any Order (my reasoning was primarily business-related). I almost blogged about it (I may still do so in the future).
And yesterday, when reading a post about a rumor that says Robert Zink is going to be paid all the monies from all future EOGD members in exchange for giving up the ownership of the EOGD websites (gee, I wonder whose bright idea it was to have them owned by Zink), I immediately looked at the rumor and thought that it would be a really bad idea to do that. I have since learned that it is just a rumor. Nevertheless, I might still use it as an example the next time I blog about the evil and neccessarity of collecting dues and fees from esoteric members.
In fact, the whole EOGD business/Order model needs to be looked at. We all know that certain decisions were made because they were in the best interest of Robert Zink's wallet. The trick is to figure out which ones they were, and if the EOGD can live without them (or wants to live without them).
One of the problems with business models, and with Order administrative structures, is that human beings tend to treat the first one that we encounter as the only possible model. Your Mother Order and Mother Lodge really warps the way that you view the administrative system.
For instance, look at my view of the traditional hierarchical administrative structure of the Golden Dawn. I tend to look at it with great reservations. Why? Because in the first lodge structure I was exposed to, all the full members had voting rights. And the right to vote was much lower than the typical model. When Bast Temple started, I was one of the people who pushed for Outer Order members to have voting rights; it was what I knew.
(For the record, I have experience with groups that are modeled on the traditional administrative structure of Golden Dawn, and I have never seen anything good come from it in the long run.)
At the moment, the EOGD knows a system that was heavily influenced by Robert Zink, and I think that worries all of us (at least, those of us who are concerned with the health of the overall Golden Dawn tradition). Hopefully, they can figure out the worst decisions and policies that Zink imposed upon the Order and get rid of them.
Remember to keep your wand lit, your cup full, your dagger sharp, and your pentacle flowered---we are all in this together.