Thursday, April 5, 2012

Why no name change for this RC reformation?

One of the questions that I often kick around is: How much change has to happen before a Order becomes a new Order?

Is changing the Grade Signs enourgh?

The Passwords?

The Rituals?

The Oath of Obligation?


The ultimate secret?

The focus of the system?

At what point in time, do the changes add up to a new Order? When does an Order have to adapt a new name because it is no longer the old Order?

Looking over the history of the Rosicrucian periodic reformations, we see the rituals change, the focus change, and we ALWAYS see a name change. Except for this time. This time, we saw the group claiming the reformation trademark the name and change everything else. Why?

The entire system has been changed (to keep the Current and Tradition pure from traitors to the system), but they are still using the same old name. And when one starts to kick around the possible reasons, well, I can't think of a good reason for the old name to be used with what is essentially a brand-new system.

Could it be that the Rosicrucian reformation is actually happening in another group? Could it be that the Golden Dawn is not where the reformation is happening?

It is something to think about.


Andrew B. Watt said...

It's been my experience and my training that signs, passwords, rituals, oaths and even secrets can change if the egregore is primed to accept those changes, and consents. What really matters is how members of a given lodge treat each other, and their constitution and bylaws, however that's explained. I've been through enough changes in Boy Scouts to know that the egregore can handle a lot, from uniform changes to grade and degree changes, and so on, because the egregore understands there's a process. What really matters, then is that the people in the group have to genuinely believe that the changes are duly and truly authorized, and that the changers are worthy and well-qualified.

That said, though, if one group or person changes the rituals, passwords, signs, oaths and secrets of an order, and some people in the group don't think those changes or the changers are authorized, qualified or worthy — then you've founded a new order.

Imperator David Griffin said...

And this interests you - why?

Deanna Bonds said...

It isn't good business to change your brand name. You always need new secrets to sell, but how will your customers find you if you change your name without a long ad campaign.
To change the business name takes years. First you would need to link your name to a logo and make all the customers associate the logo with the brand. Then start using both names, the original followed by the new along with the logo. Then you flip the names with the new name first next to the logo. Finally you drop the old name. This all takes years of marketing and lots of money for the constant exposure. Then they have to get a new trademark and you know what a battle it was last time. Plus your new name has to be catchy. You need to set up focus groups to see which name resonates best with your potential new customers, do some pilot projects with the prospective names, then finally go through the above process.
It is just simpler to say you have new secrets to sell.
And yes, the real RC reformation will not be publicized. Just like one doesn't get up on a soap box to defend secrets they can't talk about - they just let them slide.

zirdo said...

... they changed everything and branded themselves "traditionalist" Maybe I'll trademark T.O.G.D.

Morgan Drake Eckstein said...

@ David--Did you really think that my interest in GD would end simply because you managed to label my actions in a way that required my resignation?! You appointed yourself judge and jury of all things Golden Dawn, therefore you are an interest of the news. Sorry--but there are a lot of questions that I had over the years that I am finally going to get to ask.

Samuel said...

I think that Deanna hit the nail on the head. It is simply too much trouble to go through all the brand name changes to adequately compensate what "NEW MAGIC(tm)" that an organization wishes to sell to someone.

Far easier to keep or appropriate a name that has some form of public or even esoteric recognition, thus keeping what appears to be a "traditional" lable while stuffing the package with filler borrowed or created elsewhere.


Peregrin said...

Hi Morgan,

good post, thanks. These are of course interesting questions, which I have wondered myself.

Another one is how can a whole new set of deities, rituals, names etc be introduced into the Second Order, and still somehow be 'traditional'?

These Gods etc may be 'traditional' to some unknown and secret Order, but by definition they are not to the RR et AC.

Unless of course (A) 'traditional' is what someone says it is. or (B) all the other RR et AC colleges for the last century have actually not been practising their own tradition.

It fairly boogles me mind... and, alas I have no Secret Chief to help.

In reality of course, anyone can call themselves what they want - whoops, no sorry, there are legal problems these days. Trademarks and all... What a lovely world.:)

Anonymous said...

I thought "traditional" meant maintaining the tradition and not making any changes to the initiatory rites? At least thats what the Wiccans led me to believe in their debates of Traditional Wicca versus Neo-Wicca.

-Aghor Pir

Joseph Max said...

It seems that David is basing the definition of "traditional" on "traditional oaths of secrecy" and not much else. He has elevated the fact of secrecy to be more important than the actual content itself.

The thing is, most GD groups and members practice secrecy that same way as Masons do. If you asked a Mason to reveal anything about the Lodge rites, he would decline to talk about it. Even if you told him, "Hey, I read all the Mason's rituals online, anyone can do that," he would reply, "that may be so, but I can't TALK ABOUT IT." That is fulfilling his traditional Oath. He's not going to pitch a hissy fit about the Masons' "secrets" not being secret anymore. What the Oath means is HE can't talk to cowans (non-Masons) about Masonic secrets. If the cowans can read them on line, well, so it goes. As long an an Oath-bound Mason doesn't talk about them, the Oath is still in secure. This has been the Masons' attitude since their rituals were made public many years ago. They didn't change their rituals, because the names, images and ritual texts are the way they are because those are *traditional*, meaning that IS the tradition, and if you change them, it's not the tradition anymore. It's common knowledge now that the Master Mason's ritual is based on the Death of Hiram Aziff. You can't change that, even if the cowans know about it, because it is absolutely necessary to the Masonic tradition. The names, images and rites themselves, and what they mean, are more important than the mere fact of secrecy.

Unknown said...

I agree on many levels with your comments Joseph, but it's not Aziff, it's with a B.... ; )