Saturday, March 24, 2012

And the internet boils over (Flaming Book Review edition)

Satan Kitty is annoyed that we must talk about things other than him.
I was not going to blog about this...but the members of the HOGD/AO want an answer, so here I am blogging about the internet boiling over.

(For those who do not know about today's meltdown, David Griffin has allegedly ordered his members to quit buying Nick Farrell's books, and to give Farrell's books extreme negative reviews on Amazon; and Farrell has allegedly bad-mouthed the only people who have ever called themselves Alpha and Omega.)

The question that is forcing me to address today's meltdown is: Why did I not address Nick Farrell alleged bad-mouthing Griffin's HOGD/AO Order in my antacid review?

Now, this question should have came up before this point. But the only comment I got about the review before today was a remark from one of my friends that I could not spell (antiacid, antacid--what's the difference?!). I might have gotten a comment or two on Facebook, but I do not remember them...because they did not question why I said the things that I said about King Over the Water: Samuel Mathers and the Golden Dawn in my review of the book.

In fact, I was expecting the internet to boil over the first week of March...it didn't. It made me suspect that the only people reading my review were crickets. It made me suspect that the only people to read Farrell's book were the reviewers.

Now, my unpleasant answer to the question---I did address it. Maybe, just maybe, I was too subtle about it.

Here is where I addressed the alleged bad-mouthing of the current AO.

The biggest problem with this book quite honestly is that those people who need to read it the most will ignore it because their superiors will tell them that it is just a pack of lies and a political ax job meant to destroy Mathers and their superiors' reputations. And they will believe their superiors. Farrell tries to address this issue by pointing out some of the things that dishonest Orders have done in the past. I would love to say that the offenses he lists are isolated events, but they remind me of the laundry list of crap that I have seen in the various esoteric groups that I have been involved in.

Wow. It looks like I am really good at predicting the future...I am not.

Get your Golden Dawn brand antacids here! Just $9.99 a bottle.
It is now time to take an antacid and step into the Way-Back Machine---mind the flaming dog poop.
The year is 1989. And I am trying to locate anyone working the Golden Dawn system of magic here in Denver Colorado. There are three lodges operating here. (Actually four, but I am unaware of the fourth lodge at this point.) All three lodges claim to be Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn. And one is really loud about the fact that they are descended from the original Alpha and Omega.

It turns out that the loud-mouth is the worst behaved of the lot. I am fortunate that the leader (the sole person who really has power in the group) takes one look at me and decides that I am too poor to be worth his time. Yes, too poor. Years later, I had the opportunity to talk to some former members of the group in question after the group exploded into flames, and they had horror stories worse than mine. (For the record, I have been in a lot of bad groups and had lots of horror stories already about bad leaders.)

I also got to see their rituals, thanks to the fact that for some reason I was declared someone responsible. (How that happened I still don't know.) And honestly, the rituals looked like they came out of Regardie's book. It is safe to presume that the loud-mouth lodge had no actual lineage to the original GD/AO.

Interestingly enourgh, the lodge that might have had the best lineage, and which rituals actually looked like the AOs, chose to bury the fact that they ever had a lineage...occasionally, one would hear a horror story about the group that they sprung from. (Technically, they were a schism group...and we all know that schism are never correct in leaving their Mother Order.)

So here we have a bunch of AO problems of the type that Farrell is referring to and Griffin is not even in the community yet (or at least not as a visible member from where I was standing). This misbehavior was well BEFORE Griffin took out the trademark for the HOGD/AO name.

Therefore, I was not completely convinced that Farrell was talking the current AO. Honestly, if you wait long enourgh, the players will change, but the misbehavior will still be the same. In my experience, the worst leaders mimic Mathers and claim descent from him and his branch of the tradition. There was a thrity year period that a whole bunch of misbehavior was carried out under the banner of being from Mathers' spiritual lineage. And Farrell could have been talking about any of them...he did not mention Griffin's modern AO by name.

(One hopes that Griffin is different...but seriously, threats of lawyers, bad book reviews, and piracy?! One should not have to resort to such threats---one's actions and service to their community should be the only proof one needs.)

And honestly, someday Griffin is going to die and a whole bunch of Orders are going to spring up claiming to descend from his AO, and I am betting that some of them are going to be bad apples. Because of that, I would rather see the warning than ignore the past crimes of groups that spent thirty years claiming descent from Mathers before Griffin even showed up on the scene. Because the warning was needed thirty years ago, twenty years ago, and someday will again be needed.

So there is your answer: I am not completely sure that Farrell was talking about Griffin's Order because there were others claiming descent from the AO long before him, and they were bad evil leaders, and someday others (after Griffin is dead and buried) will claim descent from the AO to justify their misbehavior. Better a warning misread today than none at all.

10 comments:

David Griffin said...

Care Frater Morgan,

There is a indeed a legal difference between "libel per se" (where you mention someone by name) and "libel per quod" where you do not mention them directly but nonetheless make a reference that will be associated by reason to a particular person or group.

Just to be clear, I am not making a legal threat here. I am merely explaining that "libel per quod" (what Farrell just did) is just as illegal and just as unethical as mentioning a particular group or person by name.

This is what the membership of the HOGD/AO is up in arms about today. Farrell writes specifically:

"By the end of the 20th Century this availability of information enabled various reenactment groups to be established [including Mr. Farrell's MOAA]. Some of these groups are sound... Unfortunately, other groups border on religious or political cults, typically centered on a single leader.... Typically such groups claim a link to that section of the Golden Dawn Order known as the Alpha et Omega or AO."

Today there is only one Golden Dawn order that calls itself Alpha et Omega or AO. Thus any reasonable person will associate Farrell's libelous remarks with the Rosicrucian Order of Alpha et Omega. It is clear that Nick Farrell did this on purpose.

Like any good slimy tabloid journalist worth his salt, Farrell tried to cover his ass by being as duplicitous as possible about it as he could. Today we heard a whole variety of slimy excuses including the ridiculous claim that he was talking about the 1940's when he made clear reference in the above quote to the end of the 20th Century.

The Golden Dawn community has seen far too much of this kind of filfth. No one wants a return to the terrible Golden Dawn Flame War that has ravaged the Golden Dawn community.

However, the Alpha et Omega is not about to stand by idly while Farrell libels our order in this manner in the introduction to a self-published book. Not mentioning the Rosicrucian Order of Alpha et Omega by name is not enough. Farrell is specific enough to make sure that his libel sticks.

Members of the Rosicrucian Order of Alpha et Omega are free to do whatever they wish.

I am very pleased to see how many of our members today stood up to Farrell's yellow journalistic bullying and came to the defanse our order.

Again, everyone can do what they want, but I urge the entire Golden Dawn community to take a stand against one order defamaing another in printed works like this once and for all boycotting the purchase of any product whatsoever from Nick Farrell util the offensive paragraph is removed from the book once and for all.

Libel and defamation of the Golden Dawn is not a game and the Golden Dawn is not Nick Farrell's private playground.

Nick Farrell owes every member of the Alpha et Omega a public apology and a formal retraction.

Neo Gnostica said...

Nice. This was a well needed review of the overall flame descending on the golden dawn community.

It seems, it is power hungry individuals, thinking for some reason that the GD is an aspect of their personal egos; and they alone can dole-out the metta.

What is funny to me, is that what they are arguing over (initiation rituals from Regardie's books), is basically open-sourced at this point, has been for a long time; and should be considered the least important aspect of initiation.(At least from my perspective).

Especially, in the light of Griffin's release of the Ritual Magic Manual !!! . . .

In a side VS side comparison: FARREL'S super secret initiation Documents..VS..GRIFFIN'S Ritual Magic Manual....

I'd say that Farrell's released documents would never initiate me no matter how long I stared at them; whereas the information in the Ritual Magic Manual can literally transform you. .....

My own successes in Theurgy would help me predict confidently, that all those future orders with lineage to the infamous AO will be shunned, whilst the rouge, even "neo" or "Drake-Morgan" (LOL sic) type GD players will lead future initiates by example, love, and mutual support. We will always remember and be embarrassed of this time. We will learn from their efforts on the mouse wheel; instead focusing on outer-order cosmic Theurgy. ...

My opinion: Mr. Griffin and Mr. Farrell have both made unwitting and unsuccessful attempts to destroy the Golden Dawn. One by publicizing super secret documents that really step on the toes of our GD community. The other by attempting to bury his baby: The publication of Griffin's Ritual Magic Manual {$900US DOLLARS USED}.

I would bet that he didn't even write it. IMO it is the result of Regardie's loyal students, simply following his instructions. (admitting this Dave, would hurt, but it would probably add value to your book) G probably swooped-up on grade materials from the students, and simply compiled it for us to use.

Thanks G, I don't need your initiation now, and neither does anyone else. Anyone who wants to avoid the BS can find a blog or two that has the entire Theurgic keys published. And their completed much more to Regardie's instructions than the Ritual Magic Manual.

For example when the information in the Ritual Magic Manual is placed in its proper order (numbering 33 coincidently), and in its flashing colors, with the proper Tarot key, cabbala, and utterance; you end up with a much more complete and FREE system to self initiate with.

So we don't need the megalomaniacs or their fees anymore.

I think the invisible masters have manipulated the greedy into open sourcing the whole thing. This way it is truly available to those that are worthy; not those that the megalomaniacs think are worthy.

neognostica

Alucinare Concordia Veritate et LVX Ophion

Peregrin said...

Hi Morgan,

Thanks for this. Well, in my review of King Over the Water I too did not read Nick talking about David's specific AO. I thought he was talking generally, as there are many groups that fit his description. If the newsletter quoted by Nick is accurate, then I am wondering why David assumed it was his AO specifically?

As for predicting the future. I think you sell yourself short. When the descriptions of King Over the Water came out, on Facebook I said the reactions were much more muted than I expected. You wisely said, "wait til they read the book". It appears now they have read the book :)

Thanks.

Morgan Eckstein said...

I am going to bed now, so comments are going have to wait to be approved for a few hours. It is nothing personal; I just need some sleep.

Sincerus Renatus... said...

In his introduction Mr. Farrell writes:

"By the end of the 20th Century this availability of information enabled various reenactment groups to be established. Some of these groups are sound... Unfortunately, other groups border on religious or political cults, typically centered on a single leader.... Typically such groups claim a link to that section of the Golden Dawn Order known as the Alpha et Omega or AO."

Notice that Mr. Farrell is referring to groups in present tense. Would he talk about Zink’s EOGD, as you assert Morgan, he would have talked about it in past tense.

But what really is distrubing for personally is that Mr. Farrell is likening me and my fellow brethren and sisters to Hitlers "brown shirts". It becomes personal for me as my anscestors fought Hitler's army in the Second World War defending Polish soil. A written apology is in place.

In Licht, Leben und Liebe,
S:.R:.

Susanne Williams said...

What I don't get is what the problem with just answering the questions?

Question 1: Mr Farrell wrote about late 20c groups in the intro but you say you are talking about 1940s history. Which is it?
Question 2: What was the purpose of that statement?

Rufus Opus said...

@David:

"By the end of the 20th Century this availability of information enabled various reenactment groups to be established [including Mr. Farrell's MOAA]. Some of these groups are sound... Unfortunately, other groups border on religious or political cults, typically centered on a single leader.... Typically such groups claim a link to that section of the Golden Dawn Order known as the Alpha et Omega or AO."

Today there is only one Golden Dawn order that calls itself Alpha et Omega or AO. Thus any reasonable person will associate Farrell's libelous remarks with the Rosicrucian Order of Alpha et Omega. It is clear that Nick Farrell did this on purpose.


You might be the only order today calling itself Alpha et Omega or AO. But Nick didn't say, "Typically such groups claim a link to.."

Didn't the EOGD also claim a link to the AO?

Harold Roth said...

Morgan, I read your review, and I am not a cricket.:) I even linked to it, although I remarked that I only read your blog for the kute kat pics. I bought the book because of your review and am partway through it now. I will make a point of posting a review on Amazon when I am finished with it. I have to say this whole issue has been very enlightening to me, although regarding Mathers least of all.

neo gnostica said...

THE PART ABOVE, WHERE I WROTE THIS:
"I would bet that he didn't even write it. IMO it is the result of Regardie's loyal students, simply following his instructions. (admitting this Dave, would hurt, but it would probably add value to your book) G probably swooped-up on grade materials from the students, and simply compiled it for us to use". . . . .

WAS A PRIME EXAMPLE: of me lowering myself to the same level as those that I criticize. I have no proof behind my statement, and no reason other than getting caught up in the moment. So I would like to rescind that statement and offer an apology to Mr. Griffin for this nonsense.

As I have declared in the past, I will do so again: I'm out. I will keep my opinion to myself, and stick to GD theurgy.

The last I would say, is that I would love the baby baby flaming BS to end. Also that there is a proud magickal heritage that will defend itself. By lime-lighting the situation constantly is paints a sour image to anyone seeking initiation. It should do the opposite. (and many of you as individuals do, you are GD icons to me)

neo

Morgan Eckstein said...

Comments by Neo inspired this post:

http://gleamingsfromthedawn.blogspot.com/2012/04/beware-of-work-for-hire-in-esoteric.html