I've been watching this discussion with great interest, as it first
seemed that many on this list were primarily concerned with 'bad
publicity' regarding Liber AL that might arise from this incident. I
found that reaction somewhat odd, given that Crowley never seemed too
concerned with making peace with the dominant public morality, to put it
lightly. I'm guess I'm curious as to what extent academics and other
writers on occultism, NRM etc. feel the need to act as defenders of the
'normalcy' or 'good morality' of the people involved in these movements,
and to go about distinguishing the 'real' practitioners from the 'nutters'.
This strikes close to home for me as I work and teach in Islamic
studies, where we're often accused of being apologists for Islam at
points where it comes into conflict with Western liberalism, or in
debates surrounding the presence of some kind of intrinsic relationship
between Islam and terrorism. From my own point of view, such accusations
typically come from people who either have little in-depth knowledge of
the subject and/or are pushing other political agendas that rely on fear
of Muslims, but there certainly are people in my field who prefer to
entirely gloss over these issues ( I certainly don't claim to be perfect
in regard to any of this).
So my question is, how do academics and writers on occultism etc.
balance defending their subjects from outright slander and tabloid
sensationalism while still accounting for beliefs and practices that may
run drastically counter to prevailing norms?
On 2/6/2011 5:56 AM, Caroline Tully wrote:
> Hi Mogg,
>>> The core issue for me is the criminality& child abuse,<<
> Dare I call it "sex with those of an inappropriate age"? as they weren't
> exactly children were they? Weren't they 15 and 16? I always think of people
> 12 and under as "children" - however that doesn't mean that legal terms will
> agree with me (in Australia you're a "youth" until 25, but the word "youth"
> seems much younger than that).
> I have just noticed that over the years some occultists have gotten in awful
> trouble and been called "child molesters" for having sex with what are
> essentially teenagers. Yes, some teenagers are more mature than others. I'd
> imagine that I'd have found it very weird to have had sex with someone who
> was even over 20 when I was a teenager, but some don't.
> Yes, it does seem manipulative for a much older person to have sex with a
> teenager - some/manytimes. I've already been lectured on another list in
> regards to Gavin and Yvonne Frost and the "let adult members of the coven
> break the virgins in" philosophy. Someone on another list, in regards to the
> Frosts, told me that in the 60s it was considered ideal for "older wiser"
> adults to give virgins their first taste of sex.
> So... all I'm saying is that it might be a bit more complicated in regards
> to the teenagers in this case, but then again it might not.
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Society for The Academic Study of Magic
> [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of mandrake
> Sent: Sunday, 6 February 2011 9:42 PM
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: Re: [ACADEMIC-STUDY-MAGIC] Book of the Law in News 4 wrong reason
> The core issue for me is the criminality& child abuse,
> the other contextual stuff we maybe all tend to think of as less important,
> perhaps underestimating the role external things play in influencing
> There may well be some quite antisocial beliefs in Liber Al, Liber Oz
> and other Thelemic writing -
> I suspect most religious/inspired texts have them - so for example the
> Bhagavad Gita appears to advocate
> total war but it was the non violent Gandhi's favourite text.
> Difference is that Bhagavad Gita is sanctified by time -
> so the glosses and interpretations now are as well known as the literal
> Even so the moral messages of Liber Al ought to make sense to modern
> society -
> and maybe they don't. If anything Thelemites often talk of being amoral -
> or of the triumph of the will?
> We are maybe stuck with a scripture that just isn't subtle enough for
> the modern world?
> "Love and do what you will"
> Mogg Morgan
> On 05/02/2011 22:42, Caroline Tully wrote:
>> Although it could all be true(ish). It's not the first time nutters have
>> gone even nuttier with the help of a religious text.
>> And that brings up the question, to me anyway: How do we interpret The
>> of the Law? It's tricksy and poetic, people think they know what it means,
>> but do they? Does it mean anything at all?