I am not a member of a legitimate branch of Golden Dawn. My proof? I am a scholar.
I was a scholar before I entered the system. I did not hid this fact. The branch that I encountered let me in anyways.
Ok, I was not truly a scholar...at least, not then. I was a high school dropout...with a large collection of books. And I would study a single book for weeks on end.
My sponsor knew that someday I would be a scholar, and still he sponsored me for membership. The interview committee probably saw the tendency towards indulging in scholarly research and they still let me in. During Portal, I proved to be someone crippled with scholarly attitude problems and they still let me advance.
But let's be honest...they were not really Golden Dawn; they were as far away as you could get from being legit. They came out of a schism. They did not believe in absolute obedience no matter how much someone claimed to be in contact with the Secret Chiefs. In other words, anyone who wants absolute obedience thanks solely to the word of their secret and undisclosable Third Order contacts would label them "rebels."
And being a child of rebels and an orphan begging on the doorstep makes me unconcerned about whether or not, Mathers, or Crowley, or GH Frater KL, or Griffin, or anyone else has truly made contact with the Third Order and is recieving information from the Secret Chiefs. Because I come from a corrupted branch of the system and therefore am ineligible to be privvy to such secrets.
The child of rebels is a rebel, and is doomed to be hunted down like a diseased dog. No exceptions.
And in my case, I suffer from the disease of scholarism. I am studying to be both a historian and literature critic. Now, in the branch I was inducted in, this was not a problem.
Being a scholar is only a problem if you must have absolute belief in the mythical history of the system, both in circle and outside of it. Unfortunately, while I can use the recitation of my lineage inside circle as a magical chain, the fact that I become a skeptic outside of circle means that I am unfit for the society of upright people.
And that is why it is wrong to be a Scholar Adept.
To be a True Adept, you must believe in the absolute truth of your superiors at all times. You are not allowed to doubt. You are not allowed to question. The True Adept obeys without question, willingly doing whatever their superiors in the tradition tells them to do.
If you can do that---then there are Orders and leaders out there who will welcome you with open arms.
But it will not be the branch of the tradition that I belong to, for we only accept people who have the potential to be Scholar Adepts. After all, we are diseased dogs, begging orphans, and the grandchildren of rebels and outcasts.