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A possible endgame - the Wicca Model

Discussion in 'Education, Research and Inside Reports' started by BorisAnyonymous, Jun 1, 2008.

  1. A possible endgame - the Wicca Model

    Here are some thoughts I've been putting together this afternoon. This will be subject to revision and editing, as it's a first draft. I'd be grateful of people's thoughts on this, and related topics:


    The Wicca Model


    This is how Scientology ends. Not with a bang or a whimper. But with a gradual move towards entropy, hastened by Anonymous.

    The model I think it’ll follow is that laid out by Wicca – another 20th century new religious movement. The same factors that have made Wicca strong and popular, however, will be the ones that lead to the downfall of the Church of Scientology.

    Wicca and Scientology both came from the same set of circumstances and fairly similar origins, but in many ways, couldn’t be more different.

    Bear with me whilst I ramble a bit about this. First, a history lesson and to dispel some myths about Wicca. I am not a Wiccan – just to get that clear. I have, however, studied it in depth and do know a fair bit about its history.

    The tin-foil hat nutters have long tried to over emphasise the links between Aleister Crowley and the Church of Scientology, and Crowley was a massive figure in the 20th century occult scene and a hugely influential one, not just because of his much larger than life persona, but because of the writings he left.

    What people don’t realise, is that when he wrote ‘Magick in Theory and Practice’ what Crowley had done, that tends to be forgotten, was to publish the first book that had been written on ‘real’ magic (as opposed to conjuring) for a couple of hundred years. Even if he’d done nothing else, that would have secured his legacy.

    As such, and because of the lifestyle he lived, that was extremely free with the drugs and sex, people who did want to see something new and to break out of the oppression of the dominant and fairly restrictive rules that the society of the time imposed, all found him highly influential.

    This was a guy who wasn’t just praying to God to change things. As he told it, he was making things happen and could tell you how to as well.

    He was really doing magic.

    Now, that was a big deal. Whether you believe in what he claimed to be doing, or not, there’s no doubt that a lot of people followed his lead, and wanted to do this stuff too.

    So, Wicca? There are some people who claim that Wicca is the ancient religion of Western Europe. This is bollocks. However, there was a tradition of folk magic, which was largely Christian in basis,that was practiced by a set of professionals known as ‘Cunning Folk’. Wicca didn’t just come out of nowhere, and it wasn’t the religion of these people either, but it did have some roots in British folk magic.

    However, in the 1920s a historian, Margaret Murray on examining Witch Trial literature and a few other sources, claimed that the Witches who were executed in the Middle Ages, and those who practiced folk magic were the remnants of an ancient pagan religion. Again, this was bollocks, and her research has pretty much been trashed academically, but it was an influential ideal all the same.

    Some of the people who were practicing folk magic decided that they were, of course, descended from these people, that were called ‘the Witch Cult’ (no messing about here, they liked the word ‘Cult’.)

    Now, some time around the 1920s, comes Gerald Gardner. Now, Gardner is the anti-L Ron Hubbard. He didn’t care about making money, or even really having any kind of huge personal legacy. He fell in love with the idea of a rural magical cult of witches, and although his contact with actual ‘witches’ is debatable and not something there’s time to go into here, he did set about restarting this ‘Witch Cult’, and called it ‘Wicca’.

    Now, what’s this got to do with Crowley? Well, again historians debate this stuff, but what is certain is that Gardner and Crowley knew each other, corresponded and met on several occasions.

    Gardner had the basis for his Witch Cult, but wanted poetic material for rituals, and also magic that worked.

    So – he asked Crowley to write it for him. Well, paid Crowley to write it for him, more likely.

    So, you’ve got Crowley, on the one hand influencing Jack Parsons and the Babalon workings in the USA, which Hubbard was involved with, and in the UK you have Gerald Gardner starting up Wicca.

    This point where Aleister Crowley was involved with the birth of two groups that each claimed to be religions, and were certainly two of the main new religious movements of the 20th century.

    Then, you have Hubbard going off to sea and nicking stuff left, right and centre, and making up the rest of the material that went to become the Church of Scientology. And concurrently, you’ve got the British Witches starting to form covens and meeting in secret.

    Again, the difference was that the CoS started to actively recruit. Whilst people who wanted to become part of Wicca had to find it in the first place, then prove their worth to join.

    Oh yeah, another big difference was that Wicca was the sort of thing where, if you brought along some homemade cakes and a bottle of wine to meetings, the coven would be utterly delighted. The CoS were already charging high ‘donations’. Wicca didn’t really even ask for anything except perhaps a contribution towards the ritual candles (but if you had some spare candles lying around and wanted to bring them along, that would be fine too).

    Until 1951, Wicca was also hidden as Witchcraft was still technically illegal. The Witchcraft act was repealed in 1951 and it became slightly more open. Just after this, you also had a woman called Doreen Valiente come into Wicca and she pretty much rewrote the rituals and material, removing a lot of the stuff that Crowley wrote. It was replaced with her poetry, whilst the essential structure remained. She did this with Gardner’s blessing so it wasn’t any kid of heresy.

    The way that Wiccan rituals and structure were passed down to members was through a series of initiations, which were again, not paid for, but came when the initiate was ready. The initiate copied the material from their coven leader’s own hand-written book to make their ‘Book of Shadows’. But they were also free to add their own experiences, rituals or spells to this, to pass on to their own students, should they become coven leaders.

    Each Wiccan’s Book of Shadows was a fluid, organic work, but there were several core texts, which Wiccan historians have identified, some of which can be traced directly to Crowley, some which have Valiente’s changes. It’s possible to see a Book of Shadows and identify, to a large extent, where it came from.

    These were (and are) supposed to be private and secret though, much like the Scientology materials. And for a long time they were. Wiccans took oaths not to reveal material or rituals, and to keep what they did secret.

    This is the point where I get back to the point of entropy, which will be the downfall of the Church of Scientology.

    Now, until the 70s, Wicca did mostly keep its secrets. They were available to anyone who approached a coven in the right way, and not completely hidden away, but were fairly closely guarded. It was exciting and fun to ‘be a witch’, but it was still frowned upon and enough to lose someone their job, for example.

    Like Crowley’s other teachings, Wicca did spread throughout the world and reached America. And, of course, someone thought they could make money out of it and get a reputation for themselves.

    There were a whole slew of cheap, titillating paperbacks published in the 70s, which portrayed Wicca as a sex cult, with full on orgies, bondage and other naughtiness. Some of which was true, but most of these books didn’t actually contain any actual Wiccan rituals or workings at all.


    But then you get an American woman, calling herself ‘Lady Sheba’ who also decided she was ‘Queen of the Witches’ and claimed to have a system of magic passed down from her grandmother. She published ‘The Grimoire of Lady Sheba’, which was, in truth, the core text of the Wiccan Book of Shadows. This was the first time that the general public had access to this material, and had the chance to practice Wiccan rituals outside of Wicca itself. It’s uncertain how she got this material, but she was trying to pass it off as something it wasn’t. However, it was pretty much the first time it had been put on sale.

    Other material followed – and perhaps you see where I’m going here…

    There was also a book published which detailed a lot of Wicca, which was written by a Wiccan who didn’t want to breath his oaths of secrecy, so he changed and omitted a fair bit of the Book of Shadows and the rituals and spells.

    The effect that this had was that people could buy a book about Wicca, which purported to teach them Wicca and practice it on their own, outside of the original structures and initiatory systems of Wicca itself.

    In some ways, this is equivalent to the Freezoners who are practicing Scientology outside the CoS. But the Wiccan material was never copyrighted, and no one claimed ownership of it. Similar stuff was also written and published, and you also had several people making up their own versions and claiming it to be genuine.

    Wicca escaped from the secrecy and privacy that it had originated in, and became something that almost anyone could practice for themselves. Some of the versions that people got hold of were authentic, most weren’t – or were adapted and changed.

    Now, there are some people who very strongly feel that Wicca can only properly be described as such if it passed on within the coven structure and initiation rituals. And traditional Wicca does still exist in a very strong form throughout the world. It certainly has more adherents than Scientology (if citation is needed for this, see the UK census numbers, for a start).

    But – there’s a whole load of bullshit out there that claims to be Wicca. There are thousands of Pop Wicca books, and Teen Witch books, and some serious ones, all of which are far removed from the original source. Some decent, some utter crap, but a majority of them having the distinction that no one authorised them. Even if they are written by properly initiated Wiccans, they aren’t claiming to be the One True Way and the only authentic path to the truth about Wicca. Or, if they are, they’re not really providing it.

    And, I think that this is what’s going to happen to Scientology.

    However, whilst Wicca has survived it, and Scientology will also do so, it’ll be the downfall of the organisation that is the Church of Scientology.

    Wicca had no central body that held incorporated companies, no revenue streams, no attempts to become tax-free, no legal protections or copyrights (nb some Wiccan groups have taken these routes, but they don’t claim to speak for the religion as a whole and are localised) and importantly – no leaders.

    Wicca does have people who get stuff done, and organise and teach, but they usually don’t shout about it, and don’t usually make claims to be in charge of, or have ownership of anything outside their own coven or group. People who claim to be leaders are usually mocked. Lady Sheba, who leaked the original Book of Shadows, wasn’t claiming to be a Wiccan – she lied about what she had and what it was. It was a straight case of plagiarism.

    Now, the pieces to replicate this are all in place. Scientology materials are in the public domain. The Freezoners are practicing Scientology outside of the main organisation.

    Dianetics and Auditing will make some sense to people who are into self-help and new age nonsense. And the space opera stuff will appeal to the kinds of nutters that have kept other UFO cults going.

    What it’ll take for the Church of Scientology to fall is for it to lose its grip on Scientology. And they know this, which is why they defend the copyright so vigorously.

    However, Hubbard ripped off so much stuff from other sources, that there probably isn’t anything to stop someone writing a pop-psychology book from these same sources. And also to claim that they’ve received the space opera material by channelling it from alien thetans, or something like that. If they claim copyright over it, they’re confirming it’s made up. All that’s needed are a few changes and it can be published.

    The end of the Church of Scientology won’t be a bang or a whimper. No. It’ll be a brightly covered book that claims to teach the secrets of Scientology to everyone. It’ll probably make some claims to celebrity secrets, or have something like ‘discover why so many famous actors and stars are attracted to Scientology’ on the cover. It certainly won’t be the huge doorstop of a snoozefest that ‘Dianetics’ is. It’ll be cheap and it’ll be on supermarket shelves and in remainder bins and in new age bookshops.

    It’ll appeal to people who are into the latest self-help fads and pop-psychology in general. And it’ll utterly kill the Church of Scientology. Oh, it’ll still exist, but it’ll become elitist and perhaps even more litigious, and claim authenticity, but the kinds of people it might have snared before will have the chance to get bored with Scientology before they get sucked into the Church’s bureaucracy and systems of entrapment. They’ll have ‘tried that’ and moved onto the next thing without the need to pay for courses and books. It’ll remove a great deal of the ‘raw meat’ that the CoS relies on for income.

    And also – it’ll have the effect of revealing that the Church of Scientology isn’t really a religion, and will put this into plain language, that most people will be able to understand.

    Decentralising Scientology, making it accessible – that’s our greatest weapon and their biggest fear. Like I said, Wicca survived it, because Wicca is an idea, not a business. And Scientology will survive it too.

    But the Church of Scientology?

    History beckons.
  2. Legione Member

    Re: A possible endgame - the Wicca Model

    They have pretty much nothing to do with each other, besides Hubbard coming to port one day and pretty much finding a house of orgies, and going "Fuck yeah, teenaged pussy and tons of it" and hanging about for a while.
  3. Re: A possible endgame - the Wicca Model

    Interesting read - tl;but I did read

    I wouldnt be surprised if that is the sort of scenario than ends them. In some ways I prefer the idea of a political witch hunt, where they are basically driven out the country but I think this is a more feasible scenario.

    I was aware of the wiccans. Living in Somerset, very close to Glastonbury means its hard to not have encountered them. Odd people, unusually recluse for the usual Glastonbury sorts but its an interesting comparison to draw. Thinking about it, I am amazed scientology hasnt set up shop in Glasto yet... Im glad though, if I were to go picket them there I would be attacked by the hippies whining about freedom etc etc... Liberal fags... Anyway, I digress. A+ for Boris
  4. Re: A possible endgame - the Wicca Model

    Some of the Glastonbuty Wiccans - people who claim to be 'Priestesses of Avalon' and bullshit like that are exactly the kind of thing I'm talking about.

    They're widely mocked in the general pagan community and utterly slated for the price of their courses, but these courses are still in the order of hundreds of pounds rather than tens of thousands.
  5. Re: A possible endgame - the Wicca Model

    Except for being probably the two major new religious movements of the 20th century. And having their origins in the occult scene. And Crowley.

    Yeah, the piece is a bit TL;DR, but it needed to be for context. However, I did explain that stuff somewhere in there.
  6. Anne Ominous Member

    Re: A possible endgame - the Wicca Model

    I had never really imagined this kind of end occurring. It seems rather plausible though. I think you're right in that the commercial aspect is needed. All the doctrine is out there - on Wikileaks etc - but it does need to be packaged and sold. Were someone to dilute it into a Paul McKenna-style self-help package, or a wildly popular expose, it would knock out pretty much all possibility of new recruits, since it'd all be old hat, and the organisation would stagnate further.

    I'm not entirely sure if there'd be a Waco Endgame for Co$, since there isn't any eschatological or milenarian edge to the doctrine (AFAIK). The Japanese cult called Aum Shinrikyo, which gassed the Tokyo subway in the mid-90s, used to be largely about yoga and some weird branch of Buddhism. After a large-scale rejection of the cult (they ran for an election and lost spectacularly) they became very insular and took on a far more dangerous and fanatical streak that fermented over the years until they went nuts.

    I think this is a possibility for the Co$, although it would require some major rejection, such as a major defeat in UK (legal) or Australia (loss of charity status), or a large number of European bannings.

    I agree with Tipster - I'd rather see a more dramatic victory for Anonymous then a low key one - although we swore to defeat them and any means is acceptable. Personally I'd like to see the leaders brought to justice - DM, Rinder (no atonement forthcoming, it would seem), and the UK and Australian leaders.
  7. indeedindeed Member

    Re: A possible endgame - the Wicca Model

    if nothing else, succesful expansion will bring the downfall.
    the more expansion there is, the more enemies and the more visibility, also the more frustration by those that have been "beaten". In the long run, it can't work. I'd be very surprised if CoS still existed 20 years from now, even without Anonymous.
    OP was an interesting read, maybe it will end that way, hadn't thought of this before.
  8. Re: A possible endgame - the Wicca Model

    Now I'm actually tempted to do this.
  9. Re: A possible endgame - the Wicca Model

    Ah but you cant do that Boris - They own the copyright dont they, so you wouldnt be able to. And if you just emit specific stuff they will come out publicly and accuse it of being bullshit. They need to do it themselves
  10. MarcabEmpress Member

    Re: A possible endgame - the Wicca Model

    Boris, have I told you lately how much I appreciate you? Thank you.
  11. Re: A possible endgame - the Wicca Model

    Tipster - nah, stuff like the original Scientology material that Hubbard nicked it from is probably out of copyright by now anyway. And it can be lifted from that. They can accuse it of being bullshit, but then 'they would, wouldn't they' is the response.

    MCE - umm... no. But feel free to do so anytime.
  12. Anonymeep Member

    Re: A possible endgame - the Wicca Model

    Thanks for writing this up, it was an interesting trail of thoughts. Scientology needs to become open source for this scenario to happen though, and the doctrine has a lot of built-in stuff going against that happening...
  13. Re: A possible endgame - the Wicca Model

    No way. The RTC are power hungry mentalists, there is no way in fuck they would allow it to not be copyrighted. They would renew it.

    And yes that response works to some degree, providing your more credible than they are - something we are working on. I mean, you see the usual mentals saying "government did 9/11!!!", the government deny it (actually they dont even dignify it, but roll with me here) and then the crazies get all smug and go "aaah, but they would deny it wouldnt they?"
  14. Re: A possible endgame - the Wicca Model

    Have any freezoners written books yet? Unless someone were to write a book like this with a quite cynical agenda (*cough* yeah, I'm thinking about it...), that's perhaps where it'll come from.
  15. Re: A possible endgame - the Wicca Model

    Can't. As Disney is finding out, with Mickey Mouse about to go out of copyright, there's fuck all they can do about it. It's also why anyone can write a Tarzan, Sherlock Holmes or Dracula story.
  16. Re: A possible endgame - the Wicca Model

    Really... interesting... So how long before we can start peddling those information packs for 50p or so without them suing us?
  17. Re: A possible endgame - the Wicca Model

    That's a slightly complicated one. It's usually after fifty years, but it can be extended for, I think, another twenty years, but the extension has to be done in the last year of copyright and can't be done after that.

    What I think would be public domain isn't necessarily the Hubbard material, but the German stuff he lifted Scientology from.
  18. Re: A possible endgame - the Wicca Model

    Hmm, so nothing fantastically useful from a protest standpoint but could prove interesting, if nothing else, as a way of annoying them
  19. DarthBrooks Member

    Re: A possible endgame - the Wicca Model

    Wow Boris, as an experienced occultist I can honestly tell you that your OP is absolutely accurate. You have all the facts about Wicca's history down completely. Kudos for doing such excellent research!

    You are 100% on the money. The biggest threat to the Church of Scientology is the possibility that it might break into schisms. At one time, the Catholic Church was the most powerful political force in Europe - but all it took was for Martin Luther to nail his 95 theses to a church door one night, and BOOM! You have the Protestant Reformation, and suddenly, Christianity is no longer owned or controlled by a single regime.

    The best way to fight the CoS* is by engineering a "Protestant Scientologist Reformation," if you will. Sure, the Church might own a copyright on the label for now, but nobody can own an idea. Once Scientology becomes public property, and people can become Scientologists simply by pronouncing themselves Scientologists (as with Christians, Muslims, Wiccans, Thelemites, Satanists, etc.), the CoS will fall. Hard.

    And whether anybody here actively works to make this happen or not, it will eventually happen. No matter how hard the Church tries to hold on to its product, it will eventually lose its grip. Every order always disintegrates into chaos and gives birth to a new order (and those new orders eventually disintegrate and give birth to even newer orders). The process of coming into being inevitably occurs through the destruction of forms. (In my coven this is expressed through the mythological language of "Set slaying Osiris" and "Osiris rising from the underworld.") Just as every summer must be followed by winter, the Church of Scientology will eventually break into multiple Churches of Scientology. And as the religion goes through more and more schisms, it will become less controllable and less dangerous.

    (Of course there may always be some danger to it, as there is some danger to be found in all religions, including the conventional ones. But tracking down the dangerous Scientologists and bringing them to justice will be much easier when they don't have an international bureaucracy coordinating things to protect them.)

    Again, good work Boris. You're a smart cookie.

    _______________________

    *Don't know if anybody else realizes this or not, but in other forums, "CoS" is often used as an anagram for Anton LaVey's Church of Satan. Thought the rest of you might get a kick out of that!
  20. musketeerwang Member

    Re: A possible endgame - the Wicca Model

    Excellent, excellent stuff Boris - this is exactly how I've seen the endgame pan out, mostly because a) I've learned more about the Freezoners and how they pick and choose bits of Tech, just as every other proper religion has and b) my OH is Wiccan.

    One very minor correction;

    Witchcraft hadn't been illegal since 1735, and there was certainly no longer a death penalty attached to the Witchcraft Act that picked up the same name that year. This was actually very much an Enlightenment piece of legislation - it was designed to stop people pretending to use witchcraft in order to either gain money or cause distress. The 1951 Fraudulent Mediums Act nonetheless probably did make things easier for Wiccans, since goods and services still needed to be sold to the public, and there would be less fear of prosecution even if they would (should?) only have been prosecuted/convicted if they'd taken large sums of money/committed abuses Co$ style.
  21. Re: A possible endgame - the Wicca Model

    Okay, fair point.

    I've also been wondering whether the recent revisions to the legaslation regarding offering services for money in this area might apply to the Co$'s courses.

    OT8 does *not*, for example give superpowers. I may look into which govt dept is going to be administering this.
  22. musketeerwang Member

    Re: A possible endgame - the Wicca Model

    You need to write or email your local Trading Standards office. I've had poor results so far, but if we can provide a) evidence that they claim these things (you'd think books would do it) and b) ex-scilons to come forward, we may yet have win.
  23. Re: A possible endgame - the Wicca Model

    I suspect this legislation is going to be one of those ambiguous pieces where it leaves us exactly where we were before. In order for us to say "they claim to give you superpowers, they cant" we would have to prove that they cant. We cannot do that to be honest, no matter how ridiculous their claim, its impossible to prove to the contrary. Whilst obviously any self respecting trading standards officer will agree its absurd, the scilons can just argue "prove we dont give superpowers"

    Of course, the same applied to all the groups this aimed against. You would have to prove the psychic is a fake, you would have to prove that the witchcraft medicine didnt work etc etc.

    If this legislation actually works, then Glastonbury is fucked
  24. theclut Member

    Re: A possible endgame - the Wicca Model

    Nice read thanks, I think you got one answer here:
    People are fed up paying lots of money for this OT and Xenu stuff thats why a lot of them leave (or try), and if they can get it for free or a small charge they will and so the cult weakens.
  25. musketeerwang Member

    Re: A possible endgame - the Wicca Model

    But that's exactly what the new legislation is supposed and intended to do - you no longer have to prove that they can't - THEY have to prove that they CAN.

    The problem is one of resources, not of wording. Most psychics are using "entertainment only" as a shield, but that remains untested in court.

    What's needed is a victim of Scientology (or even just of being flogged a copy of Dianetics) to go to Trading Standards and get a case going. I'm trying, and aside from that, the biggest problem is getting TS to get their heads around what's actually being claimed. Psychics are actually easier - they directly claim that they contact the dead, and can't prove it, ergo they're able to be prosecuted if someone doesn't like the answers they get. Scientology - you'd have to note specific claims, cite lines from books etc. Do-able, but don't expect TS to jump on it with their lack of staff, time, and money.
  26. DrAdlaiAtkins Member

    Re: A possible endgame - the Wicca Model

    I definitely like the idea of loss-leading the cult out of existence: if they want to run like a business they can die like a business. I was thinking to run mass printings of "annotated" dianetics and give them out for cheap/free, while impractical, would be pretty lulzy.
  27. Dice Member

    Re: A possible endgame - the Wicca Model

    So does that mean in due time I can begin making Xenu bumper stickers?

    It's all a good point. I look forward to the day we can get rid of the church as an organization
  28. Kaminonymous Member

    Re: A possible endgame - the Wicca Model

    as much as i would like this to occur, i must take a turn from the general consensus of this thread in terms of likelihood of this.
    in short? i think that this, admittedly ideal, view very much underestimates the sheer brainwashing mindfuckery of the cult. what with the 'LRH = Sauce = GAWD' and the anti-wog indoctrination, i don't see that a "dianetics lite" would draw any of the existing members out. worse, it might get civvies pulled INTO the twisted lines of thinking that lead back to Co$ proper.

    the second thing i think here is about the wicca comparison. i would be quite all shocked if one wiccan addressed their coven one day and said "if you ever leave, i'll give you all cancer.", my point being that scientology has many psychologically powerful means of coersion that stop people from leaving.

    i agree that Wicca survived dissemination because it is an idea. sadly, i also believe that Scientology is an idea, and will survive total dissemination the same the same way (even if they do have to burn LRH tech into their brains with a cult-prod to get it to stick). it's the loss of money and public face of respectability that i believe will, to borrow, dismantle them in their present form.

    tl;dr: less dianetics lite, moar lawsuits. to help those trapped, we must break open the prison, not the individual cells.
  29. ZeLyt Member

    Re: A possible endgame - the Wicca Model

    Nice read, you seem very intelligent and knowledgeable on the subject.

    However, I have to humbly disagree on one point. I don't see it coming down to people making a bunch of "religion" books about Scientology though. My reasoning is thus: Wicca, in it's current, form has many beliefs and practices, that are defiantly not mainstream, and in fact may seem down right silly to a lot of people. However, it is at least at some very long shot, based on the belief systems of some pre-Christian forms of worship. So I suppose you could say that Wiccan beliefs are at least on some deep biological level, part of us. Or as I once heard it put: "Nothing can exist in this world with some small grain of truth to it." However, I don't think she knew about Scientology, lol. but I digress.

    The difference here is that Scientology's beliefs are so outlandish it hurts. While I'm sure someone attempting to continue the "religion" part of scientology would meet with relative success(look at the freezoners) I don't think it would EVER get as big as Wicca.
  30. mudkipstoat23 Member

    Re: A possible endgame - the Wicca Model

    Nice one, Boris- I really hadn't thought of it like that before. Not entirely sure I think that's what'll happen, but your model maps pretty closely on to reality so far, so it's certainly a strong possibility.
  31. golden apple Member

    Re: A possible endgame - the Wicca Model

    This is a good and fairly accurate article. Kudos for mentioning Lady Sheba! I only have a couple of criticisms. Many people seem to think that Crowley wrote the Wiccan book of shadows. He didn't. By the time Gardner met Crowley, Crowley was dying and spent most of his time drugged up. There are definitely writings of Crowley's in the BOS (the text of the Great Rite comes to mind "here where lance and grail unite ...") but more than likely Gardner borrowed from the writings of Crowley, like he did everything else that makes up the Wiccan BOS. Gardner's business with Crowley was to get his blessing to start an OTO camp which failed, THEN he started developing Wicca.

    Wiccans and tax exempt status. Quite a few Wiccan organizations do have 501c3 status with the IRS. Covenant of the Goddess and Circle are just two. There was a big push to incorporate and get 501c3 status with the feds that started in the 90's as part of the unfortunate effort to push Wicca into the mainstream. This has continued with struggling to get the same recognition as other ecclesiastical organizations with the government such as the white house faith-based initiative program and most recently military grave markers with pentacles for Wiccan military personnel who die in service. Then of course you have public spectacles like Pagan Pride Day that happen world wide to educate "Joe Six Pack" about Wicca.
  32. Re: A possible endgame - the Wicca Model

    Okay, 'Ye bok of magical arte' was the forerunner of the Book of Shadows, and I've not seen a complete copy of it, but I don't think that had the Crowley material in it. But it was incorporated into later examples of the BoS, prior to Valiente taking it out again.

    The OTO charter certainly existed, and didn't really fail, it didn't sit in with the nudity that Gardner wanted to incorporate. When he found the witches in the New Forest (...let's not argue that one for now and just go with it, 'mkay?) their material was very fragmentary, which is when he went back again to Crowley for more stuff. Crowley was then simply paid to write it, and whilst this is solidly accepted by some people, the letters which would confirm or deny it are currently owned by Ripley's Believe It Or Not and are sitting in a warehouse in Florida, where no one can examine them.

    It's a bit of a myth that Crowley met a miserable end. Far from the squalid seaside town boarding house, that some accounts mention he lived in, it was actually more like a stately home by the sea, where he was kept in relative luxury, and provided with drugs of excellent quality that arguably prolonged his life.

    As for the tax exempt status - I don't know much about what's been done in the US. I'm surprised that CoG has got it, but I suppose it does go hand in hand with the other campaigning they're doing about stuff like the war memorials etc.

    Yeah... but they're just bloody embarassing...
  33. Re: A possible endgame - the Wicca Model

    snip
  34. ThetanCluster Member

    Re: A possible endgame - the Wicca Model

    I like this theory, but I think the biggest hurdle to overcome would be finding a publisher with enough money and backbone to face down the Co$ in court. Even if the book claims to work from Hubbard's primary sources, the cult would still sue the publisher with the intent to harrass raher than win. They could keep the book from being released for years, and rack up court costs far exceeding the pojected sales of the book. I doubt there are many publishers willing to face that on behalf of what would essentially be yet another cheap self-help book, even with the celebrity angle attached.
  35. Brolly-Anon Member

    Re: A possible endgame - the Wicca Model

    I suspect that the first ones would have to be vanity press and PoD jobs.

    "Scientology for Dummies: A guide for the rest of us" Anyone?
  36. Anonifus Member

    Re: A possible endgame - the Wicca Model

    Just a thing, but with the rule of "Innocent until proven guilty" if the case could be shaped in such a way as "No Superpowers until proven fact" (as any good legal professional should be able to do, those fuckers are twisty) wouldn't that provide cause for concern in the scilon camp.

    They'd have to fucking show the super powers off.
  37. anon5712 Member

    Re: A possible endgame - the Wicca Model

    Scientology is kept together by intimidation, fear and lies. It does not have a genuine spiritual core - like Wicca does - around which people wish to gather voluntarily. I would go as far as contending that no such spiritual core can be reasonably produced from Hubbard's teachings, which were designed - poorly - with the sole purpose of making money, taking their basis in space alien soap opera and primitive attitudes of the fifties.

    Scientology is adept in convincing people it works, and thus the incentive for them to leave Scientology and stop giving it their money must be stronger than the indoctrination the cult already gave them. Part of this indoctrination is the prevention of accessing the "tech" without authorization of the church. Scientologist's don't want to read OT3. Putting the whole of Scientology online for free or making it otherwise accessible would not work - it's huge and doesn't make any sense. Therefore, when a milestone of this war is achieved at which people would be able to leave the cult, I doubt it would make a slightest iota of difference whether Scientology is available to them on the outside or not.

    Personally I wish no part in propagating more of Hubbard's memes or replenishing the Freezone ranks. I can not therefore conceive a scenario with the end game the OP described which wouldn't require significant ethical concessions on my part.
  38. Re: A possible endgame - the Wicca Model

    This ^^^

    TRUE, but....

    But I think even though huge, the insanity of it is immediately apparent when some of the more restricted ideology is revealed. So you don't need to listen to every tape to come to a sane conclusion, especially if you listen to the ones they don't want you to hear.

    I think early exposure might work since there is a period prior to indoctrination when natural curiosity would lead many new scilons to the more insane stuff if it were accesible.

    Once again, the crazy stuff need to be available. Even my dad liked dianetics, that's the tame stuff. It needs to be counterbalanced by the really gut wrenchingly miserable content. It is less ethical to restrict exposure to only the mainstream edited white-washed memes. Then the nature of the beast isn't as clear.
  39. golden apple Member

    Re: A possible endgame - the Wicca Model

    very much so, but they generate money, and no matter how much Wiccans insist that it's not about the money they want to make money with Wicca just as much as everyone else. The rub is no one has really figured out a way to make a lot of money off Wicca because of the way it's set up. Writing books is the usual method, which doesn't make you rich when Llewellyn is publishing your work.

    True story about Silver Ravenwolf, the Wiccan author everyone loves to hate. She was a guest author at a psychic fair in Lansing Michigan years ago and a friend of mine stepped outside the hotel to grab a smoke and discovered Silver Ravenwolf out there ranting at some one about how this venue is too small for me I can never make enough money here to make it worth my while. So much for following the Rede and being balanced with the universe.

    New Forest Witches...? Oh not that old wives tale, but okay. Large portions of Ye Bok of Ye Arte Magickal are published in the Farrar's two volume set Eight Sabbats for Witches and What Witches Do, which is usually published together as The Witches Bible Compleat. I guess we don't have to mention the word for word plagiarising of Masonic ritual in the Wiccan BOS either.
  40. Re: A possible endgame - the Wicca Model

    Silver Ravenwolf is reeeeaally not respected, but the entire point of my OP is that it would be great for us is Scientology had someone like her.

    And of course there are people that want to make money from Wicca. The Children of Artemis tried to set up a system that in many ways is similar to the Co$ (...and they're just as litigious!) so I'm by no means saying that Wicca is pure and great and exempt from this. Although, because of the watered down nonsense that came out in the 90s and early 00s, a lot of 'proper' Wiccans have reverted to keeping their practices very much private once again.

    As an aside - there is actually some good evidence for *something* having existed in the New Forest prior to Gardner which was also linked with the Crotona fellowship stuff, but it was more along the lines of a naked boy scout group than witches. There's also a possible cunning folk link (and I mean aside from the Pickingill stuff, which is blatantly nonsense).

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