Saturday, March 10, 2012

Concord and Peace of the Three

S.R. just posted an appeal for peace in the Golden Dawn community. Having experienced the Denver Witch War of the 80s and having been an "active bystander" in the flaming Golden Dawn feud of the last decade (only half of its length), I doubt peace will actually occur. I honestly do not see any chance for peace in the Golden Dawn community until one of the camps steps completely away from the Golden Dawn label, especially considering how wide the gap is between the perception of the two parties of what Golden Dawn is about.

As proof that such a peace is possible, S.R. notes that he was taught that Samuel Liddell MacGregor Mathers (Head of the Rosicrucian Order of the Alpha et Omega), Dr. Robert William Felkin (Head of the Stella Matutina), and Arthur Edward Waite (Head of the Holy Order of the Golden Dawn) met and agreed to mutually recognize each other's Orders.

This is only partially true. A "working truce" occurred, but there is no evidence that it ever was a formal meeting and recognition between the three. And it fall apart quickly.

Initially, there was a concord between the Stella Matutina and the Independent and Rectified Rite (Waite). This concord broke because Waite discovered that Felkin was communicating with J.W. Brodie-Innes, Mathers, and Westcott. Waite could not tolerate peace with Mathers or any of his supporters.

And officially, there is a lack of peace between the three Orders.

When the Fellowship of the Rosy Cross formed in 1915, after the Independent Rite suffered a series of schisms, its constitution said "The Independent and Rectified Rite, with its dependencies, if any, in so far as now in activity, and the Stella Matutina Temple, together with its dependencies, are not in communion with the Fellowship of the Rosy Cross, and cannot be Visited or Joined."

Likewise, the 1916 New Constitution of the Stella Matutina says, "Members of any other Temples applying for admission, must be clearly warned that they will be required to give a definite pledge not to work in future with or under D.D.C.F. [Deo Duce Comite Ferro--Mathers], S.R. [Sacramentum Regis---Waite], Sub Spe, or Dr B. [Brodie-Innes]." Furthermore, in the section about the conditions where expulsion of memebrs is talked about, besides mentioning that six members were expelled when the Order broke with D.D.C.F., it says, "I have had to ask one Member to resign, because she told me she intended to join S.R.'s new Society."

And people outside the Concord of the Three did not foresee lasting peace between them. For instance, Westcott presumed that after his death that the Three, along with "Crowley and Co." would "make claims on my G.D. properties and may each make public claims derogatory to my historical interests in the G.D. and Isis [Urania] Temple."

Based on all this, if there was ever a meeting between Mathers, Felkin and Waite, the resulting peace did not last very long (and I really doubt that the meeting actually happened). And can you really picture Mathers agreeing that anyone else was legit?!

As for a possible peace between the two current Golden Dawn camps, I will not hold my breath; for the one side will only allow peace when the other side acknowledges their absolute right to rule the entire tradition, and the other side refuses to allow themselves to be repeatedly trashed as being less than fully Golden Dawn. That is how I see it. If you disagree, you know where to comment.


Samuel said...

Pretty much a spot on analysis of the situation, as well as a good summary of historical fact as opposed to supposition.

I think that the dichotomy between the camps within the GD Tradition and those who are not a part of the GD but make claims to such is a gulf too wide to bridge with any common ground.

As you point out one camp views itself as GD, the ONLY GD and all others not so, while this group is actually outside the GD Community throwing stones at those within the Community who are actually doing the Work of the Tradition.

This is a sad state of affairs actually, and while the outsiders continue in their long held beliefs, creative histories, and wishful thinking while continually attacking, defaming, misrepresenting the GD and its current (and past) members, and maligning those that do not agree with them, I see no way for there to be peace for the GD either.

By their Fruits, their Words, and their Actions will Adepti be known within the GD Tradition. The evidence is rather clear as to whom within the GD are adepti.

Unknown said...

I think it is important to look at those who are calling for peace. It reminds me of my trip to Israel a few years ago where both sides said they were only interested in peace. Clearly neither side were.
The GD community is actually pretty unified and at peace. We accept each other's differences. I would say there is a peace in the GD community in a way that was not possible in Mathers, Felkin's and Waite's day. While it is not the Star Trek federation, it is not bad.
I also agree with you. Mathers would never have accepted Waite or Felkin. Felkin was unable to accept Mathers in any form (his secret chiefs refused to let him have anything to do with him) and any concordat between Felkin's order and Mathers' only happened long after his death with Carnegie Dickson.

Joseph Max said...

The insurmountable issue, as I see it, is:

If one faction posits that the "Secret Chiefs" are the ultimate source and final arbiter of the Golden Dawn tradition and egregore, and if only one Order has any connection to them, all other Orders must be, then by obvious implication, inferior copies. Fr. SR and Fr. LeS seem incapable of appreciating the effect these claims have on others outside their Order. They cannot claim being tapped into the ultimate source of all things Golden Dawn AND also claim to regard other groups as "equals". It's hypocritical on the face of it. It's clearly meant only as lip service and no one is naive enough to think otherwise.

There cannot be "peace" if the only criticism they can accept is to say, "Well, we don't agree with the way you do things, but we believe your claims that your Secret Chiefs are real, and you must an impressive magician indeed if they chose you to be their avatar. We will just stand back in respect, no matter how 'wrong' we privately think you are, and never say or write anything that might challenge anything you claim. It takes a lot of moral strength for you to bear up under such great responsibility. Well done!"

This is not going to happen, and they are utter fools if they think it ever will.

J.C. said...

The primary of primary importance that you are using, Joseph, is "claim" (in respect to supposed European Continental third order contacts of a "European-Headquartered" order that is actually centered in the Southwestern United States.)

Time and time again they offer no proof, other than the statement that it has already been proven. The only anecdote they have even hinted at is the customized magic squares beyond that which Agrippa published now available for the Adeptus Exeptus. Now, while I can't directly comment on what has only been alluded to, I suffice it to say that I teach techniques for creating custom magic squares even in the outer order on occasion.

That being said, nobody is really looking for actual proof, as most of us know such a thing does not exist.

Joseph Max said...

J.C.: I'm only describing the effect of the "publicity" being put forth by SR and LeS, not the quality or "authenticity" of what they teach, which I have no way of evaluating independently.

Any group can take a "we do it our way, you do it your way and that's OK with us" position - in fact, most GD Orders with any public presence do exactly that. Live and let live. But if you say that on the one hand, and with the other hand mount a public promotion campaign that says, "we are the GD system that is inherently superior due to it's impeccable sources, which only we have" and publicly promote it as such, this implicitly labels all others as "inferior". Whether they realize it or not, whether they intend it or not, that's the effect it has on others, who will understandably react with resentment. How can they not see this? How do they expect the rest of the community to respond to being told that everything they do is inhernetly inferior?

They can claim that they don't think other groups are inferior all the want, but that just comes off as lip service and reinforces the perception of their being condescending.

Robert Anton Wilson once said that "real communication is only possible between equals," which is to say, only between parties that consider each other equals. Offering to "share" their system, which in this case means joining and taking Oaths to their Order, doesn't alter this dynamic in the slightest. In fact, it comes off as even more haughty and condescending. It's saying, "sure, we'll consider you no longer inferior, if you join our Order. Then you can be a superior person too, just like us!"

What baffles me is that these obviously intelligent persons don't appear to understand this, and express shock and dismay at the reactions they get.