Saturday, August 6, 2011

How big is the Golden Dawn market part 1

One of the problems with being a businessman and a writer is that occasionally one asks a business related question about something that you are not supposed to ask a business question about. I am guilty of doing such nonsense, despite knowing that I shouldn't. It is one of the reasons that I am barred from ever being a true Golden Dawn leader.

So one of my ongoing questions is "How big is the market for Golden Dawn?" In other words, how many potential buyers are there for Golden Dawn articles and books? Perhaps membership in the Orders also? (That last question is really not a concern of mine because...well, can you picture yourself joining an Order that I might have significant voice in?)

One of the yardsticks that I am using to try to gauge this potential market are the membership numbers of the various Yahoo groups. Now note that I am just posting the numbers today; I am not going to talk about how fuzzy the numbers are (I was, but my wife just changed the schedule---I am also kicking the second part of my Ouija ponderings to another day---sorry).

I have put the following list in order from highest membership number to the lowest---this is for convenience only; it is not a statement about the relative merits of the yahoo forum in question or the amount of activity that the forum generates (trust me, at least one person does not want to hear my rant about numbers and churn not being a true indication of a group's worth).

Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn: International Golden Dawn Forum "operated ny the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, the Outer Order of the Rosicrucian Order of Alpha at Omega" [David Griffin]---membership, as of this afternoon, 9527.

Golden Dawn Forum World Wide: Golden Dawn Mystical and Magical Study "provided as a service of the Esoteric Order of the Golden Dawn" [Robert Zink]---membership 8655.

Magical Working Group: Golden Dawn Magick and Self Initiation "a forum for the teaching and dissemination of the concepts of the Golden Dawn Tradition and Self-Initiation of Magic as revealed by Israel Regardie and the Ciceros" [base textbook is Self-Initiation into the Golden Dawn Tradition by Chic and Tabitha Cicero]---membership 2097.

Golden Dawn Group: O.G.D. "public forum of Pat Zalewski and the Horus Temple of the Order of the Golden Dawn" [Martin Thibeault]---membership 1357.

Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn [underscores between words] "a free magazine dedicated to the Western Esoteric Tradition" [discussions are strictly limited; it is mainly an announcement list for upcoming books, articles and events]---membership 955.

Golden Dawn Fr [French]: l'Ordre Hermetique de l'Aube Doree [a Golden Dawn forum for those people who speak French]---membership 339.

Secret Sanctuary of Golden Dawn---membership 297.

Inner Order Group "extension of the [public forum] of Pat Zalewwski, yet is restricted to the members of various Inner Orders worldwide"---membership 27.

For those who want my quick ballpark estimate, I am guessing based on these membership figures that the potential Golden Dawn market is only a thousand people. As I said, I will go into my reasoning and distrust of the higher numbers later. And if you only want to sell to verified Inner Order members, the market is only about 25 people worldwide.


Frater A.M. said...

Hi Morgan,

A very interesting post actually. I believe you are quite accurate in the Inner Order estimate, but if you are considering the Market to include books, many Thelemites and other Eclectic practitioners are to some extent interested in the overall picture of the GD, and some of its sub-systems; and I feel the market would be larger for "some books". I believe the estimates for membership are probably very close. Okay, now I'm waiting for 2 separate part 2's! I am quite interested in the Ouija board theme as well, particularly after noting the older post on "cleaning up" after someone had a Ouija board gone awry incident.


Rufus Opus said...

I think that's a fair, or even generous estimate.

If you publish inner order stuff though, you'll sell a lot more than 25 copies, I bet.

Naila Moon of the Grey Wolf said...

I cannot believe I even read this whole post. I suppose my question to you is, are you really surprised?

Nick Farrell's Blog said...

I dont think it is enough to base it on webgroups as some leaders inflate these to make themselves look more popular. I will give you a clue though... the biggest GD group is probably Chic Cicero's with the average temple membership being about 20. He has about 20 temples. However the Second Order is a different matter. Quite rightly the numbers of those members who get into the second order over the last 30 years has amounted to about 60. Remember most of the GD books assume that people are in the Second Order.
As far as books go... my Mathers Last Word book has sold about 400. My talisman book has sold 30 000 worldwide. A lot of these were under translation rights deals. For example 10,000 of them were in Russia and I got the grand sum of $500 in a translation rights. I think there was 5000 in South America which would have netted me about $250. If you write anything about the Golden Dawn you have to face that it is going to be an incredibly small market with a tiny amount of interest. Someone once said everything Nick Farrell did was for money.... however I could earn more writing technology stuff with a lot less effort and hassle than I do writing GD stuff. All I would have to worry about is the occasional Fatwah from Apple fanboys/

Dean Wilson said...

The problem with using the Yahoo groups as a method to estimate those interested in the GD is that they provide a very inaccurate view of membership.

For example, I a member of most of those Yahoo groups, but I am not a member of any of those particular GD orders. Yet my membership is being counted several times for them.

There are also many people I know who are members of the GD or are interested in GD material, but whom are not members of those Yahoo groups. Some don't even use the internet that much at all.

So, not everyone who is in a GD order, or who is interested in the GD, is online or in those Yahoo groups.

However, to counter that, many of those on those Yahoo groups are not actually members of any GD order. Some are not even practising magicians at all, and some are duplicate accounts, no doubt.

Now, if the question is: how many members of GD orders are there, the guess at around 1,000 might be accurate (but really we cannot tell for sure, since those numbers are usually secret and members of Yahoo groups really don't provide any true reflection of that, since membership of them is not required by initiates of those orders).

If, however, the question is, as you suggest, how many 'customers' of GD books, etc. are out there, the number is substantially higher than that, as evidenced by the sales of books like Regardie's The Golden Dawn.

I'm not sure what you mean by 'verified Inner Order members'. I don't think all those who were initiated into 5=6 are members of Zalewski's Inner Order course.

Now, how do you verify an Adept? Who decides they are or aren't? There's the potential for that to go down a dangerous road, as we are all likely to disagree about what qualifies as an Adept. There are many people who hold a 5=6 who, in my eyes, are not really Adepts at all.

From my knowledge, there are more than 25 people who hold a 5=6 or higher. Of those who are really qualified, I believe the number to be less, but that's a different topic entirely.

As Rufus Opus points out, Inner Order stuff will sell far beyond those actually in the Inner Order. If Zalewski's various Inner Order GD books only sold 25 copies he'd never have been able to publish another one.


Soror A.I.D. said...

It is also interesting to note that one of the forums with a factor of 10 less members than the top one, has on average many more posts of substantial topics. Does that say that the active GDers are in the lesser membership forums, or just that yahoo is not a great place for forums. There are other private forums out there on dedicated websites, there is also facebook and google+ that can have discussions. I know I have a magical circle in google+ and google is planning on implementing a shared circle that can have a membership much like a forum.
The posted numbers in the OP are interesting, but I don't think they speak much to the greater picture.

Hermetic Order of the Temple of Starlight said...

I am surprised by the numbers. I thought that there were much more Golden Dawn members worldwide based on memberships of the Hermetic Order of the Temple of Starlight.

However,I think that what I experience in the Netherlands will probably be similar to what happens in other groups: and that is that is the question how to define a 'member'. Here people come from 'somewhere'. That can be Boeddhism, Reiki, Wicca ... you name it. They join for a couple of years and then continue their own spiritual path.

There is a lot of difference in the intensity of commitment, varying from the interested reader to the commitment of the second order.

I think that the potential interest could increase when the publications would connect more to the interest of the non-initiates.

The initiates can learn better within the orders. The non-initiates are the ones to decide what they are going to do spiritually and where they are going to spend their time. At this moment they are still choosing Eastern Traditions over Western Traditions. They are choosing masonary,rosicrucianism over the GD Tradition.

It think that it is really interesting why this is so.

Ina C├╝sters-van Bergen