One of the reasons I have insisted on my secret chiefs test is because it is very important that there is some form of scientific testing of the concept. One of the reasons I have kept banging on about it is to knock a particular problem on the head.
If you are running a group you can tell the world that you have a Secret Chief which gave you extraordinary information. You can say that out of all the other magical orders, this superman gave you the best occult information which is available which “he” refuses to let other magic groups have. What you are telling the world is that you are better than others because there is a system of Secret Chiefs out there, and they are only talking to you. You can tell them that this secret chief gave you grade material for the 8=3, 9=1 and 10=1 grades which means that you have a system which carries on well into the future.
If any outside group calls you out on this, you can imply that they are jealous that they do not have your secret chief and are still relying on a system which was more or less stalled at 5=6.
But the secret chiefs are strangely selective about who they picked and what information they gave them. For example Paul Case was famously contacted by Master R and yet he insisted that his order only go as far as 5=6. Felkin’s Whare Ra went to 9=2 although these were mostly administrative more than magical grades.
One of the good parts of about having information put into higher grades is that few people will ever see them. If the outer order of a Golden Dawn temple is working, then less that 10 per cent of people will get to the 5=6 level. There is a big exodus after people reach the 5=6 too and the number of 6=5s is absolutely tiny. So it means that by the time people reach a level when they can get your secret chiefs teaching there are going to be very few in number, if any. If they get to that level, there is no guarantee that the material is any good. They might open the secret box and discover it is empty, which if your secret chief never existed might be the case.
So what you have is effectively Jam tomorrow scam which is protected by the fact that you claim these teachings are so special that they have to be kept secret from the great unwashed.
That would be all very well but that means that the only way anyone has of testing your secret chief’s abilities, is to look at those people who they gave the teaching too.
Have they shown signs that those teachings have transformed them into intensely spiritual beings or even competent magicians. Have these secret chiefs made the mistake of imparting their secrets to paranoid megalomaniacs. What magic do they do? What is the quality of their particular teaching. When I write something I am forced to acknowledge the influence of my teachers, so what is the standard of the work of these particular “secret chief influenced” orders?
The only other choice, as Pat Zalewski has said is to prove that your secret chiefs exist. Pat believes it should be done with academic rigor looking at the documents that these Secret Chiefs wrote and judging them by those.
However the answer from those who believe in Secret Chiefs is that no documentation was given out due to the secret nature of the instruction.
But as Pat pointed out even Felkin brought back rituals and instructions he got from Steiner, such as the Etheric Link ritual and the Process documents, which makes the no documentation claims a nonsense.
“Even a cursory examination of charters and letters between various high level hermetic orders that existed from the 19th century would render that claim toothless,” wrote Pat.
He finds it odd that people are expected to believe is that an SC gave detailed instruction to Mathers for his Second Order (including rituals) and the SC nor Mathers wrote any of this down.
If a Secret Chief told Mathers the Convoluted Forces information and he had to remember and pass it on verbally it would have been a task that defies any common sense analysis.
Yet there are those who continue to insist that they have met secret chiefs. Pat said that he had a conversation with one Chief who claimed that he had met a secret chief.
“I asked him how he knew he was and the answer I got was “I just knew”. Well that sums it up! No proof, just talk,” Pat wrote.
This is why I am being silly about the grade signs. This is a perfectly legitimate way of testing if someone is a secret chief which can be useful to a working order. If they do not know the password of the aion, then they will know less about MOAA than a neophyte which need to use it every day. If they do not know the grade signs of the 7=4 then they do not know as much as the physical chief of the order who they are supposed to be guiding.
“Just knowing” that someone is a secret chief is not enough. If physical chiefs exist then they have to provide physical proof of their existence.
It is worthwhile noting that Mathers only ever met one person he thought was a physical secret chief. He failed to test this person with the grade signs which would have indicated that they were a fraud. Had he done so the history of the end of the Golden Dawn might have been a little different. That Secret Chief was the con-woman Madam Horos.