When did Thelema become the Westboro Baptist Church?

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by — Posted in christian, Crowley, Don Kraig, golden dawn, Leilah Publications, Liber AL, Paul Joseph Rovelli, Thelema

For those who want the background of what I am commenting on have a look at the watchers of the dawnsite.
Thanks Wikicommons
As I started to work with underworld deities I started to warm to some of Crowley’s material and was starting to care less about some of the doubts I had about Thelema.  But recently the antics of three “high profile” Thelemites have led me to question where that religion is going.

I know that the behaviour of three does not define a religion, but these three have managed to come up with something which is nothing short of an atrocity based on their no doubt deep conviction that is what Thelema says.
My main focus is really the point which was posted on the LVX/Nox blog that contains this quote:

“Liber AL clearly instructs Thelemites to display strength and not care for the weak. To try and add a humanistic tint to the second and third chapter of the book is folly, as they are as clear as day to the true meaning.”

In other words, the three people who attacked Don Kraig while on his death bed were doing so because their religion was instructing them not to care for the weak. Somehow caring for the weak means that strength is being shown.
However, such a creed is anti-evolutionary. It is the philosophy of the wolf-pack where the weak are left to die because they will slow the rest down. Humanity has moved past the point where strength is defined as the primary reason to rule. As a result, we have inventions and technology which have been created by people who would have been left for dead by societies that are more primitive. If this really is Thelema then it is clearly not a modern religion, in fact is on a par with those other Bronze Age religions that it claims to replace. It calls on people not to “waste money” on the Stephen Hawkings of this world when we should be giving it to more healthy football players.
The idea that “might is right” has been discounted as anti-evolutionary by most civilisations – its last paragons were the Germans, Russians and Italians in world war two and the colonial powers before that.  Just because someone is strong does not make them right, nor does it mean the weak should have been euthanized.
On that point, if these three Thelemites had a “right” to say what they did about Kraig because “he was weak and they were strong” surely they should have had said the same thing to the founder of their religion Alistair Crowley. While Crowley was fit at one stage of his life, his health declined rapidly in middle age. He was a drug addict and suffering from severe asthma. He was weak, and so, by the book of the Law as interpreted by these three he should have simply died.
This idea of being strong while others are weak, of forcing your ideas onto others at the expense of common decency is the hallmark of the fundamentalist Christian. Westboro Baptist Church considers itself presenting its truth even when common decency suggests they should shut up. What is the difference between picketing a funeral because dead soldiers “are faggots” and defaming someone while they are on their deathbed. Both acts are ennobled in the minds of their perpetrators based on their own interpretation of scripture.
In the case of Christianity there is a reason for its evolutionary backwardness – at its fundamental level it was drawn up 2000 years ago and re-interpreted several times to make it fit into the politics of the time.  Thelema lacks that excuse — it is a new religion; free from politics, a pope, or anything external to itself which can cause anti-evolutionary behaviour. So why then has it generated followers whose attitude would be welcome in the ranks of Westboro Baptist Church? That something Thelemites need to worry about.
Humanity does not need another religion which calls for another people to dominate or be unpleasant to another.  We had those and they always lead to genocide and intolerance.  Therefore if that doctrine is not what Thelemites consider as being part of their faith, then they have to do their best to distance themselves from them.  Just like Westboro  is a problem for Christians, these three should be a problem for Thelema.
What was telling in the Kraig incident was that the Thelemites were surprisingly quiet – the antics of these three were upsetting only to people outside their religion. The three became convinced they were right and went on the attack. Posting more of their hatred publically and attacking those who disagreed with them.
Where were the Thelemites who disagreed? If these three are wrong in their interpretation of the Book of the Law then why aren’t people pointing out their error?  Why is it left to outsiders to be horrified that a modern religion can go this way?  If they continue to permit this sort of anti-evolutionary thinking, they will end up in same position that Christianity is.  
When Westboro stands up with its hate placards it re-enforces what many people believe about Christianity anyway – that it is a bunch of right-wing conservative nutjobs who have nothing to say about real life.  Too many like Paul Joseph Rovelli, Leilah Publications and surgo at Lux Nox and your religion will die out as outsiders like me realise that they really do not believe in such horrible things in the 21st century.,

22 thoughts on “When did Thelema become the Westboro Baptist Church?

  1. In the 1980s, all that had been achieved by 3 decades of independent and progressive Thelema was sidelined by the corporate model. Thelema now is about pedaling faux-Nietzschean attitudes posing as ‘the Charter of Liberty’; a truly toxic brand of snake oil. I can no longer identify myself with modern Thelema in the slightest. Nevertheless, some of the Crowleyan ritual corpus (the neo-Egyptian elements particularly) are of value, and the misanthropic ravings of so called ‘Libertarians’ do not diminish this.

  2. More foolishness here. If you had any semblance of understanding about Thelema you would know that each star or aspirant acts in accordance with their interperetation of AL, and if you were even close to being a Thelemite you wouldnt even b worried about how anyone else acts on what they read and youd stick to your gnosis and follow Thelema based on your will. Nobody does anything because of AL, one must already be attuned to it and it must resonate in the dynamo of their soul. Many Thelemites refuse the weakness within themselves understanding it is often rooted in ignorance and say do what thou wilt to anyone else, our teachings concern one person only and that is the student, nobody else. You run around like children in need of an adukt to cry to cuz a guy shared a different opinion than u about a man who was meeting and resisting his own death, why are you so upset? Because your magic was superstition and rooted in a denial of nature and naturally left you with an end result you cant accept? Let DMK accomplish his death with bravery and nobility. Its crazy how you “occultists” live in such an old paradigm where you fear death and moan about the tough nature of existence rather than rejoicing in it. Now you slander others and manipulate information because theres nothing left to do and you still cant accept it.

  3. I don’t see disease as weakness; but as opportunity…and one that was squandered by both DMK and the GD, which is very sad for them. And I didn’t call for the death of DMK; only stated that I had no respect for his work and found it rude that his people put his money raising campaign on my money raising campaign page. I had kept quiet about his situation and tended to my own, when the GD felt their cause was so important that I should interrupt my cause. This was wrong of them…and then they compounded that by taking my statements out of context…nobody checking the facts, but just taking the word of an irate man who was on my page and decided that he hated my guts, so that this would be his revenge. So he lied to you and you accepted it without question.
    Why would this be…why would initiates who should be intellectually superior to the herd act like a herd? Well, because obviously DMK and the GD have failed to initiate. This goes back to my criticism of the work of DMK. I saw first hand how DMK never really practiced anything…he was a good writer who knew how to re-write material already extant and put it into smooth, easy to understand language. His craftsmanship was first class. But he made no contribution to the growth of knowledge and mislead a community…to the point that the community would believe they can defy nature (the art of the Black Lodge) and deny him his destiny, which he and they accepted in cowardice. An initiate is prepared for death and ready to accept it; knowing that this is the cycle of life and that he or she is already immortal. This is what AL teaches.
    And I don’t accept that ‘stamp down the wretched and the weak’ has anything to do with humiliating a dying coward…DMK did that for himself with the help of the GD. What I believe that line in AL really refers to is the weakness of ignorance, blindness and superstition…practices very consistent with GD teachings.
    93

  4. Hmmm the verse in Liber Al is pretty specific:

    “We have nothing with the outcast and the unfit: let them die in their misery. For they feel not. Compassion is the vice of kings: stamp down the wretched & the weak: this is the law of the strong: this is our law and the joy of the world.”

    In short have no compassion kill anyone who is weak. This is exactly the mentality suggested by your friends. Thank you for proving my point.

    1. It indicates a serious imbalance on the Etz Chaim. Saturated with the Sephira of Gevurah (power, might, strength, fear) and it’s Angel of the Poison of G-d, SAMAEL, Crowley’s material inverts the TREE.
      His and Victor Neuburgs’ foolish working with the “demon of the Abyss” in the desert and his meddling with the Goetia, besides his black magical practises, as shown in his “magickal Diaries”, show only too well that MAGIA should never be taught to merely anyone.

  5. Funny how everyone in this debate thinks that those who disagree with them are “frightened of death” it sort of smacks of protesting too much. It is like that if you scream that others fear death you will forget that you are secretly scared of it yourself. I know a lot of fundamentalist Christians who are like that… they think they are so certain that they can judge other people’s fears…. when in fact they are completely insecure about them.
    .

  6. My condolences to your loss, & the world’s loss — as many traditions this week remember & celebrate the life of Mr. Kraig. Many online this week remember fondly just how importantly Mr. Kraig’s & his works touched their own personal devotions & journeys in their individual lives.

    Respectfully, it is not productive when your facebook post states ” discuss” and points to such a brief blog post, because it is not useful to make the false leap of logical that you committed, from opining about ONE particularly offensive blog/post/individual, to rashly concluding that an entire group of texts, celebrations, traditions, and IMPORTANTLY “individuals”
    (perhaps an error made in haste?).

    Thelemic texts, and individuals are not deserving of your blanket judgment & disrespect (or simply hastey misunderstanding and summary disapproval).

    Certainly you are free to disagree (lacking compassion if you will?). Opinions, evidence, and reasoning often provide constructive critique — but your blog post does not.

    (If you disagree with some weird AA fella — then just say THAT. If you see Social Darwinism being “read into” the text of Liber AL, then say THAT — an argument can prove fruitful for discussion. However, disapproving of one “ass” who espoused rude statements & quoted a Thelemic text does not provide a credible definition of Thelema for your derision — it pokes a finger into other people’s chests than the one who blogged rude statements.)

    Yes — I write now because YOUR blog (willfully or not) dished out an offensive diatribe with a hasty leap to YOUR OWN conclusions. But here in a public forum you wear a certain “hat” of authority, thus, I want you and your readers to know that your own “interpretation” of Thelema (from what you have cited) is unwarranted, hurtful, misinformed, and dubious. Perhaps your post’s brevity has this side-effect — but what you’ve stated is not an argument, it’s simply a short rude post. Respectfully, it makes the entire slew of traditions surrounding Western Estoeric teachings look insecure, petty and immature.

    This weekend I will be celebrating Nawruz with family members of the Baha’i Faith, a minority religion. I disagree with some of it’s doctrines, authorities, and sacred texts. Yet, I have consistently stopped myself from passing a judgment upon all INDIVDUAL Baha’i in a dismissive manner (and pause when publicly critiquing actions taken by that faith’s beauacracy or members). From doing so I’ve now seen new viewpoints & have met Baha’i who respectfully disagree with one another. I’ve learned that portions of their doctrines aren’t what I had assumed them to be. Thus, I have greater respect for this minority religion, with its texts, doctrines, and traditions that are expressed in multiple & diverse ways by free individuals.

    Donald Michael Kraig’s works trailblazed a path for a great VARIETY of free and strong individuals. Many online “thelemites” and diverse individuals & organizations posted memorials, photos, and memories that Greater Feast of a very free and strong indivudal. Thank you for your time in reading this post. Do what thou wilt.

    1. Too many words. Crowleys’ book of his law that his obcessed followers believe in is quite specific. Crowley himself displayed ALL his life those characteristics, where many of his sex-slaves became insane, drug-addicts like himself, committed suicide, or alcoholics. Crowleys’ life was hardly that of an illuminated adept, as he took the Etz Chaim in an inverted direction. The fruit doesn’t fall far from the “tree”, does it.

  7. I am a Golden Dawner and a Thelemite. I would like to say that I believe we should, ideally, not fear death – it is not an end, merely a transition, BUT it is an easy philosophy to espouse when it is someone else on the deathbed and also… physical death is still leaving behind loved ones without your presence. Consequently, I feel it is very bad taste to start name-calling on someone who is on their deathbed, suffering from cancer. It seems to me somewhat ignoble, kind of like kicking someone when they are down. You got a problem with Don Kraig? – why did you wait until he was on his last legs before making verbal criticism? Why not make your criticism while he was in good health and able to defend himself ? Just saying…

    As regards the Book of the Law, and its violent passages which speak out against compassion and pity. First of all treating the Book of the Law as a new Bible is in my estimation a dreadful mistake – one that many Thelemites are embarrassingly doing.
    The same people criticize Christianity for being dogmatic and based on a Book/Bible. Some of you are doing the exact same thing with the Liber AL ! Look folks – this book contains many profound and prophetic passages but Crowley received it while entering the Grade of Adeptus Major – the Geburic Grade – any wonder many of its passages are violent and anti-mercy in nature? Geburah is the polar opposite of Chesed/Mercy. Geburah means literally “Strength” – i.e. the opposite of weakness – guess what the Book of the Law emphasizes: Strength opposed to weakness, Severity and War opposed to Mercy and Peace. It’s a Geburic Text (well at least the second half of it is, first part more Tipharethic)- hence incomplete as a guide to living! If you look at Crowley’s HIGHER Class A writings, written between Adeptus Exemptus and Master of the Temple…such as the Holy Books of Thelema and Vision and the Voice – you see NO mention of stamping down the weak or casting out mercy. On the contrary, they actually advocate mercy and compassion it in places.
    Some examples will suffice –

    – “Thou shalt be lovely and PITIFUL toward them; thou shalt heal them of the unutterable evil.” – Liber LXV, Crowley [V, 12]

    – “Live thou and thy children as I and my fathers have lived, even unto an hundred millions of generations, and it may be that the MERCY of the Mighty Ones may bestow upon thy children a drop of the poison of eld.”

    “This wine is such that its virtue radiateth through the cup, and I reel under the intoxication of it. And every thought is destroyed by it. It abideth alone, and its name is COMPASSION. I understand by “Compassion,” the sacrament of suffering, partaken by the true worshippers of the Highest.” – The Vision and the Voice, 12th Aethyr.

    Thelema is a body of essentially prophetic material, of which Crowley is a prophet, of the coming Zeitgeist, we have to look at all his exalted writings, not just the Liber AL. Look at the Holy Books collectively and get the full picture. And yes, I know many will say – Aiwass wrote the Book of the Law not Crowley, nevertheless, even if this is true and Aiwass wasn’t merely some part of Crowley’s deep unconscious appearing outside him as Fate – his own trance writings are in support of Thelema as a system of Initiation and must be viewed as part of the overall Thelemic canon.

    1. Crowley took Liber AL as the crowning success of his life, not just merely an aspect of the grade you referred to. If you’ve read his “Magickal Diaries”. I wonder what you’d conclude. ALL of Crowleys’ voluminous writings were immersed with the totality of the doctrine of Liber AL, even the last book he authored, The Book of Thoth, was submerged in its’ doctrines.

      Crowley led his life as “the prophet of the Aeon”, and manifested all the traits referred to in Liber AL towards all his sodomites and sex-slave scarlet women, many of who became insane, drug addicts, suicides, or alcoholics. This was NOT by any accident, nor by any Grade attainment.

      Crowley took the Etz Chaim down, intentionally. He took the names of To Mega Therion, etc very intentionally regarding Samael and his “bride”, the two conjoined. Read the KEY OF THE ABYSS on scribd.com, and MATHERS regarding Samael and his wife conjioned, the GREAT SERPENT LEVIATHAN, the Whore of BABALON and the Enochian Watchtowers, what their purpose is.

      also:
      http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/articles/13055-samael regarding some Jewish views of Samael
      and:
      http://www.themystica.org/mystica/articles/r/rape_of_eve_the.html regarding Samael and his Cosort, Lilit.
      Also:
      http://www.bibliotecapleyades.net/merovingians/merovingios_10.htm regarding the NAME of BAPHOMET, and how he signifies the conjunction of SAMAEL and LILIT conjoined.

    2. I meant to write “all of his writings AFTER he received Liber AL were immersed with the totality of the doctrine it professed”.

  8. Hi Nick,

    Thanks, Nick. Great post. 🙂

    This and your recent post on healing the sick highlight some very important issues for the modern occult community. That they are receiving little attention and intelligent discussion shows some serious problems.

    You are dead right when you raise concerns regarding the practice, often within Thelemite groups but elsewhere in the occult community too, of valorising strength over weaknesses etc. The focus on the individual is, as you say, a Bronze Age characteristic. The coming of the Axial Age religions moved the focus to the group, the collective, all humanity. This, despite what is often seen, is the core value of religions like Christianity, a value the churches seldom live up to.

    One of the most silly themes in much of modern Paganism is the idea ‘we have to look after our own’, valorising a tribal mentality where the group/coven is somehow a ‘tribe’ while every member exists as part of a vast, globally-connected and interdependent urban society. I was once pilloried when I refused to assist in a ritual to get a Wiccan charged with drug dealing in Asia off her charges. We all knew she did it, but because she was a Wiccan it was expected the Pagan community would ‘look after their own’, while I thought the law should take its course.

    This, and the stupid, stupid ideas these so called Thelemites have promulgated recently are exactly what some (equally stupid) Christian priests seize on to criticize the Pagan community as backward and dangerous. Indeed, they are what prompted Greek Orthodox Priest Father Efstathios Kollas’ memorable dismissal of neo-pagans as –

    “ a handful of miserable resuscitators of a degenerate dead religion who wish to return to the monstrous dark delusions of the past“.

    ‘Nuff said?

  9. Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.

    More curiously whilst I knew about the death of Mr Kraig, the rest of the comments and posts had not come across my radar. And as Thelemite I general found them distasteful now I have seen them.

    However, my theory is that the whole reason no one has spoken up about it is that they might be off doing their own Great Work rather than scouring all message boards all the time.

    Three, hardly important, individuals spouting off their own brand of crazy online does not make it any more important than any other crackpot.

    Love is the law, love under will.

  10. This is exactly why I left the OTO/Thelema.
    I kept running into folks who were either psychopaths and justifying their actions via Liber Al, or people trying to live like Crowley, drugs and all. I got sick of it and left. You’ll know them by their fruits, I say.

    1. No doubt. Yet, there are some (in the OTO) who seek serious development, and also some who are there to assist others in that development. That someone as great as M P Hall divested himelf of any books by or related to Crowley, that Ithell Colquehoun, in her work THE SWORD OF WISDOM, writes concerning Crowley and his “offspring” being “bend-sinister”, and that the “Magickal Diaries” of AC testify to activity that an esotericist of illumination to higher worlds would avoid like the plague………leads me to think that it would be better to seek initiation in other orders.

  11. Occultists should support each other. When I see a “Spiritual Leader” attack a dying mans credentials, I see someone who needs opposition in order to make himself more important. Also, Bitch-Face, can you explain why you didn’t bring up these facts about Mr Kraig before he was on his deathbed? On other forums you claimed you saw him use a cheat sheet while doing a reading for you. You never explained how you were somehow on such intimate terms with him that you just knew he didnt practice. You can claim to know all you want, but Modern Magic has changed many peoples lives… the fruits of your labor, bitchface, what are they?

  12. Removing empathy and compassion from humanity, the vice of kings, would reduce humanity to mere animals. How one could accept this book as true, and claim to be working with QBL to obtain true balance and equilibrium is beyond me.

  13. Paul and Fr. Surgo are just ordinary folks and not like high profile Thelemites, the high profile Thelemites are like Lon Milo DuQuette and David Shoemaker. Paul and Fr. Surgo are just trying to make their way in the world like everyone else.

    They might say things that are pretty horrible sometimes, but it’s the same with any of us. It’s like that Avenue Q song, ‘everyone’s a little bit racist’. Although their attitudes are not always positive, Paul and Surgo are doing many positive things, like Paul is running a Thelemic temple for the community, and Surgo helps a lot of people through translating texts.

    If you wanted to get a gauge of what Thelemites are thinking, check out what Lon is saying. Nothing but respect for the late DM Kraig.

    – Soror Harmony from Book of Shadows and Light

  14. 93

    Sorry to hear about the passing of D Kraig, A great writer for explaining the fundamentals of magick at a level a lay person can understand.

    I am also more than sorry to hear the reactions of others who call themselves Thelemites, I’ll be honest the lack of compassion and human feeling makes my skin crawl. While it is unfortunately true that there is a social-dawinism fetish in certain areas of the Thelemic community I would like to think that most right thinking people could recognise that dying of a painful illness is not something to mock, I’m sure we’d all like to meet death well but the fact is it just isn’t possible for most of us and the most we can hope for is a Philosophical temperament and decent pain-killers.

    Go well DM Kraig, your services to Occultism outlives you, and that is enough, more than most of us in fact.

    93 93/93

    P.

  15. I agree with the original argument you are making, namely that an awful lot of Thelemites subscribe to this “might is right” view. And it was disgusting to add that verse from Liber AL as if people shouldn’t have empathy. It is precisely something I have brought up before, but nobody cared because I am a woman. However, DMK was no Stephen Hawking, some people would even contest that he did a lot of plagiarism.
    I’m also at a loss for comprehending how this topic really only gets brought up along with the news of some semi-famous person in Thelema. It seems “celebrity gossip” rules the day, even in the occult. I do not think I need to be altruistic towards a community of Thelemites that prefers to align themselves with the famous and politically powerful so they can stroke each others’ egos and lap up some feel-good rhetoric.

  16. To answer your question as to why Thelema is attracting such followers, I have observed that there is an awful lot of lip service about examining how one is conditioned by society, but not follow-through (i.e. gender roles and other norms, “might is right” philosophy, etc.) Becoming a Thelemite does not result in sudden transformation; it can take years to undo the conditioning; as a collective, people in a particular culture can take hundreds of years to do so.

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