|Satan Kitty is annoyed that we must talk about things other than him.|
(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.|
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.