Testing a secret chief
Testing a secret chief

Testing a secret chief

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.


  1. Anonymous

    Your points are well taken and I agree with much of the implication of Secret Chiefs as some would have them be. Still, there is a problem with your approach, one that doesn’t seem to have been brought up and that you have not broached.

    Specifically, by virtually demanding an appearance by an SC, you are saying you are so important an SC must come to you under your terms. This is like what happened at the end of WWII where the victors in the Pacific demanded that representatives of the losers come to them on the winner’s ship and sign the peace treaty.

    So effectively, you’re saying that the SCs are inferior losers who have to obey your rules.

    I’m not saying that is your intent, but that’s the reality of it. If there are physical SCs, I have a feeling they’re sitting off at a little bistro, drinking absinthe and smoking Gauloises, laughing at your challenge and saying, “Who the hell is this Nick Farrell guy? He’s demanding we come to him and he isn’t even supplying airfare and a nice hotel? What a schmuck!”

    So if the approach is doomed to failure, is there another approach that might be more successful?

  2. I have worked with a large number of people I consider adepts over the years. Some are known, others keep secret and are only known to a few people. NONE of them has ever met a secret chief in the flesh. So we are not just talking about me, we are talking about all these people too. Now if they exist, then they have a choice. If they exist then currently they are ignoring the heads and individuals in every significant magical order in 21st century. Yet they are apparently favoring groups which are less likely to be doing the work and individuals who are frankly unbalanced. I do not believe in in a world were people who do not do the work and are running their orders as businesses and New Age cults are supposed to receive special treatment from spiritual forces. If that is the case then the system is either wrong or misunderstood. So far we only have the “trust me” evidence from the people who claim they are being taught by the secret chiefs. The only real option, if physical secret chiefs cannot be proved, is for one of them to show up and prove they exist. I am not putting myself up as an exemplar who the secret chiefs should notice… simply someone who can get the message out as to what we must do if this cabal of secret chiefs exists. If they don’t then it will be business as usual only I will not attempt to factor in physical secret chiefs in my thinking and neither will any of the groups I am in contact with. Of course if those groups who claim they have physical secret chiefs provide the rest of the world with proof then that might also count and I would consider myself unworthy of their attentions. So far they have not done so.

    1. How about the idea that the further up the Tree one goes (the better one knows oneSelf) the less help one would need from others (in terms of outside input on spiritual development). If this were the case, the Chiefs would focus their attention on those that need it most, not those that are well on their way.

      When learning to ride a bike, your parent/teacher spends a lot of time with you and training wheels are most helpful. Once you ‘get it’, your teacher doesn’t have to run alongside anymore, and you can venture off on your own. It is at this point that people design new bikes based on their experience and encountering new environments/terrains.

    2. Anonymous

      Nick, the difficulty I see in your response is that you didn’t give a list of names and politely ask that the SCs pick one and come over for tea. Rather, you insisted they have to come to you. If they are SC, they can visit or not visit whomever they damn well choose. They’re Secrets Chiefs, damn it! 😉

      I don’t see them favoring any unbalanced groups. I see unbalance—I’m sorry, strike that—I see angry, sociopathic individuals CLAIMING they’re in contact with SC, but they have not only shown nothing to prove it, they’ve only provided some wild and sometimes factually incorrect meanderings (apparently, some of these SCs are scientifically ignorant) while leaders of those groups use their claims of connection to the SCs for ego inflation, feeding their power hunger, getting money from gullible fools, and hooking up with exhibitionists. If they’re in contact with the SCs, I don’t want ANYTHING to do with those SCs.

      You seem to be changing your challenge to say, “Hey, SCs, come forward and talk to one of my buds.” You even say this is their “only real option.” Respectfully, it’s not. They still have the option of totally ignoring you. They still have the option of saying, “We don’t care whether or not you accept our reality. You may think we don’t matter. Well, guess what, Nicky, you and your friends don’t mean squat to us. We’ll just go on supporting the real GD.”

      All the egomaniacs running GDs with meaningless secret teaching, asshat…er…astral initiations, bowing down to worship at the phallus of St. Crowley, perverting the teaching with channeled Ara Ben Shemesh garbage, setting up personality cults and get rich sorta quick schemes, fronts for child abuse, right-wing politics in Greece, and basically do anything you want and call it Golden Dawn, will eventually fade away. The leaders will be forgotten. People will return to the sources and make their own inner planes contacts. The Secret Chiefs, if they exist, can watch over this all and just laugh at the utter egomania and stupidity of some of the “leaders.” It may take another 120 years, but Post CXX An nos Patebo, and the real Golden Dawn will rise like a phoenix from its own ashes.

  3. When we argue secret chiefs exist or that secret chiefs do not exist, we are making a claim. The logic of arguments have been well researched. Anyone interested can refer to Weston’s (2009) A Rulebook for Arguments. Many common fallacies are used while arguing for or against something. Some of these fallacies are so well known, they are considered classic errors in logic. One of these errors is called ad ignorantiam. This is a latin term that means “appeal to ignorance.” This error involves arguing that a claim is true just because it has not been shown to be false. Here is an example of how this error of logic might be used when discussing the existence of secret chiefs.

    1. Secret chiefs exist because it has not been proven that they don’t exist.
    2. Secret chiefs don’t exist because it has not been proven that they do exist.

    Either of the above claims is based on this classic fallacy of logic. When reading the various posts about this topic it can be helpful to keep this classic error in mind.

    1. I agree with you. But Occam’s razor suggests that proof has to be provided because, as my blogs have suggested, Secret Chiefs are the most complex working theory.
      Occam says that you have to move to simpler theories until simplicity can be traded for greater explanatory power.
      There are two theories one is physical secret chiefs exist and the other is that they don’t.
      A simpler one is that they don’t exist, which the razor says we must select unless information makes the more complex answer acceptable.
      The process we have been taking is that they do exist and to look for proof. While we attempted to find proof we have discovered that the secret chief question is more complex than first thought.
      I have to admit the only way that they can be proved is for me, or someone I trust encountered one and performed appropriate grade signs.

  4. I can well believe that there are occultists on the continent of Europe whose teachings are so overwhelming they must seem like Third Order material to those that are inexperienced in such matters. In fact I probably know (generally) who these occultists are.

    However, I do not believe that these people are literally the Secret Chiefs of the GD, in the sense that Mathers would have understood the term. For one thing the dates don’t match up.

    This is not meant as a criticism of the said Occultists: I think their teachings are quite intriguing, if a little bizarre.

  5. I’ve only recently started following your blogs, but I must say that I am enjoying them the more I read. I’d like to share a story that to me illustrates one of the ways that SC can and do communicate. It doesn’t address their physical appearance to a seeker, but it does show how they may choose to interact with us, and how an etheric test might work. To tap into the Grand Sextile energy in the sky last night, I made, as part of my ritual working, a request to my spirit guides and teachers for contact from higher vibrational beings to help me on the next step of my spiritual growth. I specified a secret chief due to certain projects I’m working on, but wasn’t locked onto only one showing up. I promptly put my mind elsewhere after the ritual, and only remembered this part of the ritual when your post in a Facebook Group we are in together had the title of this blog in it! You didn’t know I did that ritual, and I didn’t know you were going to write on this subject. Oh, and btw, I don’t believe in coincidence. I’ve had too many experiences that have taught me otherwise.

    I just thought I’d share.

  6. Occam’s suggestion that (in the absence of evidence to the contrary) the simple theory should be preferred to the complex theory seems applicable. I agree that the theory that postulates secret chiefs do not exist is more simple then the theory that secret chiefs do exist. At least as secret chiefs are portrayed in the classic literature. This is part of the complexity you reference and points to the problem of definitions. It could be that secret chiefs exist but in a manner other than commonly presented. Of course once that position is considered then the door is wide open for the generation of countless theories and we are right back to square one–the problem of definitions. For me, I would never be convinced that someone was a secret chief because they performed grade signs. The logic that someone is a secret chief because they offer a grade sign is fraught with assumptions. For me, you raise a series of interesting questions, “What world view am I holding that allows for the existence of secret chiefs?” “What does this world view assume?” “What function would a secret chief have in this world view and what does this function assume?” “If secret chiefs exist, do they exist in any recognizable form?” “What would prove someone is a secret chief?” For me, there are no words or signs that would prove someone is a so-called secret chief. For me, this is clearly one of those arenas where the guideline of “you shall know the tree by the fruit it bears” would apply. This is my bias. What if I believed that someone who could turn water into wine, make the blind see, make the lame walk, and raise the dead, was probably a secret chief? If that was my operating definition, than I’d personally believe that this person may in fact be a secret chief. No talking philosophy would convince me. No stories. No dramas. No polls. No consensus by numbers. Using this definition, I’d look for physical evidence that he or she could do something to me, for me, to the world, for the world that most would agree could not be normally done. I would believe that a contender for secret chief would be able to do what is commonly referred to as a miracle, superhuman. In addition, I might believe that a secret chief would embody what most would agree is the best and highest of humanity in terms of ethics and character. So, if I believed all that, them if I met a person who could do these things, who embodied these qualities, I’d probably think “okay, clearly this person can do extraordinary things. Obviously this is a person of incredible character. He or she has a heart big enough to embrace humanity and the skills to do what most would label supernatural.” Even so, would any of this prove such a person is a secret chief? Only if we define a secret chief as someone who can do these things and embody these qualities. And here we go again, right back on the merry-go-round of definitions.

  7. I find it amusing that one of the claims is that the Secret Chiefs expelled Mathers in 1906 when Crowley published the Golden Dawn material for the mess that Mathers made of the system…in other words, the Secret Chiefs did not even know what their own hand-picked person was doing and had no hand in a lot of what we consider Golden Dawn. The parts that Mathers supposedly got wrong are the very parts that I find most useful in the system–go figure.

  8. Pat Zalewski


    Dealing with an Sc can be tricky. I will give one hypothetical example.

    One adept made contact with a Rosicrucian Order which heavily into alchemy. He introduced these people to a second head of another order base in another country. When the promises made by the second head did not eventuate and many of the orders rituals were passed on to him. The dissatifaction with the second order head grew and the alchemical order decided to cut him off. The loyal adept who introduced this order to the second adept then went public with part of the problem with the second adept. When the second adept saw the public telling off by his former friend he then threatened to publish all the ritual he had received from SC. The result of this shut up the once loyal friend from saying anything publicly otherwise all the secret teachings would be revealed. No that is how an SC would be treated toady in some circles, but that is what happens when you claim to be a member of an old order that taught another in the 19th century (that the second adept teaches) and you get drawn into that paradigm.


  9. Anonymous

    It seems to me that if you truly wish to contact the Inner School, you ought to make yourself useful to their Work. I am reminded of Key 1: The Magician. Become a transparent vehicle for the expression of the Life-power and you will automatically be put in contact with the Masters of Life.

    At the same time, we are given a wonderful opportunity to exercise our power of Discrimination whenever we encounter someone who makes claims to adeptship. We must simply remember the words of the Fama: “That none of them should profess any other thing than to cure the sick, and that gratis.”

    The occult world is literally flooded with “secret teachings.” Do we really need more “secrets” to muddy the waters further? All of the ancient wisdom agrees that the Great Secret is there in plain sight if we but have eyes to see.

    Just do the work, man.

    Fra. R.C.

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