Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Did Mathers have contact with the Third Order?

I will admit that I am a happy little cynic, with a touch of skepticism tossed in on the side. I realized this today (yet again) when I was reading someone's blog post about Mathers and his contact with the Third Order.

And I found myself talking back to the computer, saying "I don't believe that Mathers ever had contact with the Third Order."

Cue the boos. I know. It is not something that one should actually admit out loud.

Because of the secret nature of the system, this is one of those things that you tend to have to take on faith. Or not. This is assuming that you don't have access to the stuff that the ultra-secret-minded groups have access to.

Then again, you could have access to non-published stuff and still have this opinion. Nothing that I have been given access to indicates that Mathers or Westcott had access to anything beyond the stuff that could be found in any large research library of their day and age.

Of course, I know that I am not a properly trained scholar (whatever that is in this particular case), and not a properly-vetted Magus, and all that jazz. Therefore, my belief and opinion should be ignored.

Nevertheless, I wonder how many other people in the Golden Dawn tradition feel the same way as I do.

Part of the reason for kicking this skepticism around is that I feel that a large part of a current claim is being laid upon this fact (or myth if you are a skeptic like me). And I wonder how much this disbelief affects my feelings about the revolutionary claims being made currently.

This is one of those times, you can tell that I have spent too much time in management and freelance wirting. It is also one of those times, one can tell that I have dealt with more than my fair share of liars and frauds who just happened to head up their own occult groups, complete with false lineages.

For all I know, the current claims being made could be real. But honestly, I personally have been burned too many times to trust anyone's word that the reason for secrecy is not just for their own personal gain. Yes, it is a sad world that I live in.

Feel free to call me an idiot in the comment section. Everyone else is going to.


Soror A.I.D. said...

Faith should not be part of Ritual Magic. If there is a secret third order they will have to find some way to let me know of their existence and the X is their contact before I could believe. And their existence needs to be accompanied with some demonstration of their knowledge level. Faith is what gets cults in trouble.

Peregrin said...

Great post, Morgan :) Thanks.

The most amusing thing about this whole issue is that some Orders insist on Mathers’ contact as fact for their own legitimacy - go figure that one!

Anyway, as I have said elsewhere, people arguing for anyone’s, Mathers or even current Imperators, contact with a secret third order is pointless. The paradigm is this:

1. The Third Order IS real but are really, really secret (they could be next door!)

2. People who have contact with the Third Order have proof of their existence, which is very nice for them, I am sure.

3. But they cannot share this proof with others - even if they wanted to, as the Secret Chiefs would be sore pissed and frown mightily in their direction.

4. So we regular unwashed folk must simply accept the existence of the Third Order based on the assertion, honesty(!) and integrity(!) of those claiming contact.

Such a paradigm is hardly conducive to fraternal and logical debate or discussion.

So, really there is NO point in discussing the Third Order in relation to Mathers or others in the same way we can discuss evidence for Mathers’ love of military uniforms and attitude to sex.

Of course, once upon a time the mythos of a Third Order, secret and powerful, was an inspiring presence and moved people towards greater transformation and magic. I doubt it does for many today as we have seen that it can also lead people to dysfunction and trolling round Europe looking for CRC’s tomb.

I would suggest those who claim to know Mathers was in contact with the Third Order (or their current leader is etc), simply stop talking about it. Unless they want to enter a rational and provable discourse by providing proof, there is no point.

‘Those who know, are silent’ seems a good motto here. Thanks :)

J.C. said...

Well said party has contact with the "third order," because it is something they invented in modern time. They'll state they founded it with one breath, and then in the next breath state that the third order just gave them some new teachings.

At least some from said group have the respectable approach of honesty and state very clearly that they are researching such things as hermetic alchemy to add into their tradition, which I think is great, while others will say they are learning the same things, in this context "secrets," from mysterious nobodies.

Nick Farrell's Blog said...

I don't doubt that Mathers thought that he was in contact with the third order. Certainly he was trying to contact something with the ring and disk. However, people always assume that he was talking to them about the Golden Dawn teachings and not some bizarre Jacobian plan to get Edinburgh back for the Stuarts. There is a lack of papers from Mathers from all his inner plane communications (after all he had years). One thing that came from Mathers when he was productive was the Z documents which I see as a brilliant connection between modern magic and masonic techniques. But because you have contact with secret chiefs in one phase of your life does not mean you have them later, or even that you keep the same ones. As I showed in Mathers' Last Word these were dropped in the AO during Mathers life time (perhaps picked up later after his death). If Mathers was talking to secret chiefs then they must have been ordering him to water down the GD instruction, and not pursue any 6=5 and 7=4 teachings and structure. They were also advising him to use postal initiation systems and the higher grades to make cash. More positively they could have equally been telling him to throw his weight behind public facing events like the Isis workings (again cash seems to be the motivating force)
The point about secret chiefs is that they require faith. Not in the secret chiefs, but in those who say they have contact with the secret chiefs. Contact with secret chiefs or inner plane contacts cannot be proven other than by the quality of teaching. If that teaching remains secret or placed in a grade that many would never obtain then it becomes less likely. When people claim they have such contacts, or a cosmic mediators, or what ever, then they are breaking the first rule of secret chiefs... you never say if you have that contact. So if they are breaking that rule, and seem to be using their Secret Chiefs contact as a sales gimmick to lure people to their group, you have to then evaluate what exactly is being taught here. If there is nothing new, then there nothing to see here and it is all just Zinkish con-trick. However if their public face demonstrates real wisdom, a desire to help one's fellow man, then they might be on to something. However I know of one chief of a small non-golden dawn order who tells his students that he is off to see his secret chiefs for special training and boards a plane to South America and goes on a two week drugs bender (apparently they are cheaper there). He does not tell his students about taking drugs, but one of his students said that his lectures are always so much better after he has been in touch with his secret chiefs energy.

Imperator John D. Griffin, HOGD/AO said...

I have responded to this article as well as each of these comments on the Golden Dawn blog at:


I am enjoying this dialogue immensely. Thank you each for the wonderful feedback.

Morgan Drake Eckstein said...

I considered not letting either of the last two comments though---but heck, I am already in trouble, so I just as well approve them.

Imperator John D. Griffin, HOGD/AO said...

Nick Farrell's remarks above clearly deserve a thorough reply. I therefore cancelled my earlier blog and replaced it with this one that answers Frater Farrell as well>


MvdV said...

I'll probably get spamvertised for this, but I don't care, seriously David and Nick, I just don't care. After at least 3 years of reading blogs and observing the bs and castle building, I just don't care. people like Morgan are honest about their affiliations etc, but seriously, get your hand off it and just get on with being a spiritually advanced individual. Be the leader you should be of your own tradition, David in particular, stop building up yourself by criticism of other, you look like a whiny little 5 year old biach...

Imperator John D. Griffin, HOGD/AO said...


Well ... You certainly are right about at least one thing ...

We all have better things to do than endlessly debating our divergent viewpoints about the Golden Dawn tradition on the Blogoshpere.

This is all the more so in my case.

As if I did not have enough to do already between my personal magical and alchemical practice, leading the AO, and introducing to America The Great Rite of l'Arte Eccelsa Pagan Shamanic tradition ...

Now I have to additionally digest and translate into English this entire substantial corpus of additional magical material for the R.R. et A.C.

Otherwise, it will be of no use to any of you at all in our Golden Dawn community.

Talk about a full plate!

- David