While I still wait for a secret chief to knock at my door, the idea of Mathers’s secret chiefs is getting a fair bit of attention on Pat Zalewski’s yahoo group with some heavy weights weighing in.
Pat Zalewski himself thinks the Secret Chiefs can be a subject that academic analysis and it is ridiculous to assume that physical Secret Chiefs, who are considered physical entities by some cannot leave a footprint behind them.
“There is no proof that any logical person would accept, and for asking about that, I am told that I do not understand how esoteric orders work,” Zalewski said.
Zalewski is right on this particular point. The people who are the strongest advocates of Secret Chiefs are jolly keen to point out that it is only them who talk to them, and no one else is worthy.
He makes the point that he, and indeed a number of other magic groups have been on the scene for years and none of them have been approached by a physical secret chief and they do not appear to have turned up in the archives of other orders either.
“It’s a funny thing that when people bang on about academic debate and what degrees they have, that when that rigor is applied and their pet subject is found wanting then a belief structure in them is exercised,” Zalewski wrote.
With people making claims about secret chiefs, they have to put their money where their mouth, prove it or get caught with their pants down.
He said all of this comes from the fountain of belief that Mathers told the truth about the Secret Chiefs.
“The reality is that his mental state is under a cloud, and he needed a carrot to shore up his interests. Other than Mathers saying so, there is no proof that they ever existed outside of his imaginative construct, “ Zalewski said.
He said that Mathers was talking about people whose names he did not know, or whom they represented and met fleetingly; yet at the same time was instructed by them.
Most of the work that he did while under the guidance of these secret chiefs was the worst.
Tony Fuller, another Whare Ra alumni said that it was clear that Mathers did believe in Secret Chiefs, and the idea of GD secret guides, were themselves merely part of a much wider spiritual/religious belief system which entails the notion that a person is receiving some sort of guidance and direction from a more advanced spiritual and/or supernatural being or beings.
“The Secret Chief notion achieved particular popularity from the mid-19th century onwards when there was a veritable explosion in heterodox (and occult) religious belief. Mathers’ Secret Chiefs were merely part of a rather crowded group of hidden spiritual advisors all clamouring to advance humanity through a multitude of groups, cults and religions, Fuller wrote.
He said that to the rational outsider these claims appear entirely absurd. At best they involve delusion and at worst fraud. In the many instances where one can examine specific claims (e.g. Blavatsky) there is a pattern of suspicious circumstances indicating at least a level of deliberate deception.
Fuller said that where the evidence is weak, such as in the case of Mathers, it is not unreasonable to take such claims regarding Secret Chiefs with many pinches of salt.
But he cautioned against the idea of dismissing all such claims as being irrational and unworthy of serious consideration.
“Where does this leave the belief systems (including the Golden Dawn) where one purportedly communicates with angels, elementals, spirits, Jesus Christ, the Lord of the Universe, God,” he asked.
He said that he is very skeptical when it comes to claims regarding the physical secret chiefs.
Mathers was unclear regarding any physical contact with a secret chief, except for Madam Horus, and we know how disastrous that proved. Much of the 2nd Order material was supposed to have come via Moina acting as a sort of channel or amuensis (like Mrs Brodie Innes) and there is little available documentary evidence relating to what Mathers actually received, if anything, from a physical secret chief, he pointed out.
“One thing seems fairly clear is that Mathers sincerely believed what he claimed, irrespective of his mental or psychological state of mind, he said.
Fuller points out that Felkin’s alleged meetings with physical secret chiefs, like those of Paul Foster Case with the Master R, bear a close similarity with the meeting claimed by Jacob Boehme with a master in Germany.
He also implies that Case’s Master R experience was embellished by his successor Ann Davies.
One of the issues that Zalewski brings up is that there is an element of “by their fruits you shall know them” about Secret Chiefs. He said that Mathers wrote his worst stuff when he was under their physical or spiritual control.
One of the issues that has come up from the above quotes is that there is a lack of public information which comes from physical secret chiefs. One of the methods, used by BOTA for years, was to claim that the teachings from Master R were so high level that they could not be given to normal students. When this material is actually revealed it is often proven to be light-weight or needing much polishing.
If the material is given to the student, it is usually given under the understanding that it is high level stuff. The student, is usually inexperienced and would not know high quality magical material if it bit them and so places an undue value on material which is poor.
For example one Secret Chief communication handing out “secret Egyptian Wisdom” described the Ancient Egyptian one of the highest spiritual bodies, the Akh, was brilliant red and attributed to fire. While this information took students no-where, and did not fit into the existing tradition of that group, it did look good.
But it is a minor, but telling, point that the Ancient Egyptians attributed the colour “red” to the Satan of the Ancient Egyptians Seth. It would mean that it is impossible that something as pure and holy as the Akh would be associated with the that colour. In fact the Egyptian colours can be found here and it is clear that the Egyptians had a different colour scheme from the one that the this physical secret chief claimed.
This means that the teaching was not Ancient Egyptian, but was based on a more modern perception. There is nothing wrong with this but it means that physical Secret Chiefs are as fallible and as likely to know something intellectually as the chiefs of the orders they are supposed to control.
If Secret Chiefs do exist then they will have to demonstrate that they can come up with material which is useable by students of groups which is verifiable by actual facts.
They either have to be occult supermen who exist in the body and can provide top quality information, or they are redundant.
At least if secret chiefs are only astral beings, their role can be seen as giving advice rather than having a direct physical input.