Contemporary Esotericism, 4-5


I. Tradition

4. Secret Lineages

Per Faxneld


{I.4 is vitiated throughout by ignoramus-style omission of essential diacritical marks from transliteration of the name /S`AT.AN/. Without the proper diacritical mark in each of /S`/ and /T./, an incorrect consonant is indicated for each (such as, incorrect /Taw/ instead correct /, resultant in wrong pronunciation, wrong spelling, wrong meaning (also wrong implication, wrong symbolism, etc. etc.).}

p. 72 legitimization of innovative traditions

"In an esoteric context, tradition will typically be invoked to provide legitimacy, and there are, as Olav Hammer has shown [2001], several ingrained esoteric strategies for doing this."

Hammer 2001 = Olav Hammer : Claiming Knowledge : Strategies of Epistemologies from Theosophy to the New Age. Leiden : Brill.

p. 74 devotees of the Diabolos

p. 74

"there were people who nourished {nurtured} an intense sympathy for the Devil long before LaVey ..., but their sympathy for the Devil seldom extended beyond occasional outbursts of lauding Lucifer in a text or two. One exception is the Polish Decadent author Stanislaw Przybyszewski (1868-1927)".

p. 74, fn. 11

"On Przybyszewski ..., see Faxneld, "Witches, Nihilist Anarchism and Social Darwinism" ... . The standard biography is Klim, Stanislaw Przybyszewski."

Per Faxneld : "Witches, Nihilist Anarchism and Social Darwinism". In :- Per Faxneld & Jesper A. Petersen (edd.) : The Devil's Party ... in Modernity. Oxford Univ Pr, 2012. pp. 53-77.

George Klim : Stanislaw Przybyszewski : Leben, Werk und Weltanschauung ... . Paderborn : Igel Verlag, 1992.

p. 78 humorists

"To a great extent, it would seem that LaVey has suffered a fate similar to that of another great humorist and ironic, Aleister Crowley, who is also often read too literally."

p. 79 lineage of transmission of esoteric tradition

"Theosophist Henry Olcott, for instance, held up his society as the inheritors of a tradition encompassing Albertus Magnus, Cagliostro, Pico della Mirandola, Paracelsus, Cornelius Agrippa, ... and many others. ...

The more or less tangible initiatory chain Antoine Faivre has written [1994, pp. 14-15; Hammer 2001, pp. 86-7] of is no longer quite as essential to all practitioners."

Faivre 1994 = Antoine Faivre : Access to Western Esotericism. Albany : State Univ of NY Pr.

pp. 81-2 the Hell-Fire Club & its congeners

p. 81

"predecessors fare better, notably Sir Francis Dashwood and his eighteenth-century Hell-Fire Club. ... Barton quotes ... concerning Benjamin Franklin's involvement with this clique of influential men : "If {enough} people knew of the role the Hell Fire Club played in Benjamin Franklin's structuring of America, it could suggest changes ... ." Setting the club in such a historical frame ... celebrates the machinations of the secret cabal ... ."

p. 82

"In Barton's discussion of predecessors, she also mentions [The Secret Life, p. 82; The Church, pp. 10-11] ... : Rabelais's Abbey of Thelema, a circle of 1930s Hollywood actors and Charles Fort's Fortean Society."

Blanche Barton : The Secret Life ... . Los Angeles : Feral House, 1990.

Blanche Barton : The Church ... . NY : Hell's Kitchen Productions, 1990.

pp. 83-5 other anti-Christian traditions

p. 83

"perennialism : there is a worldview which has always existed, in all cultures and times, but has not been known under a single name. ... Already Stanislaw Przybyszewski ... had practically the same view. ...

p. 84

The fact that LaVey's previously hidden "tradition" is described as transcultural -- he writes that it "transcends ethnic, racial and economic differences and temporal ideology" -- brings to mind the analogues between Eastern and Western traditions that are typical of esoteric perennialism ... . ...

In his appropriation of various exotic elements, LaVey utilizes the esotericist strategy described by Olav Hammer ... .

p. 85

For example, Russian symbols and deities are equalled with items of Yezidi and Greco-Roman origin." (Hammer 2001, pp. 160-1)

pp. 86-7 Baudelaire, Huysmans, & the Illuminists

p. 86

"Regarding the Black Mass ..., LaVey mentions that the text draws on ... Baudelaire and Huysmans. Indeed, the latter's description in his novel La`-Bas ("Down There", 1891; published in English as The Damned) seems to be the main source of inspiration". "His Black Mass is, he admits, inspired by Huysman[s]'s La`-Bas, and his "Tierdrama" ritual is, he states, based on an Illuminati ritual that influenced writers (who, according to

p. 87

LaVey, were members of Illuminati-derived orders) like W. B. Yeats and Robert W. Chambers."

p. 87, fn. 80

"That Yeats was involved in esotericism is well known, but that the orders he was a member of were derived from the Illuminati is, to say the least, doubtful."

{"in Paris in the spring of 1898, Yeats took ... with a group of Martinists, occultists who ... adhered to a system of mystical ... Illuminist philosophy" (CH, p. 154). [Yeats was definitely an Illuminist, though not an adhaerent of the rather insignificant specific Illuminati group at Ingolstadt in Bavaria.]}

Joris-Karl Huysmans : The Damned (La`-Bas). London : Penguin Bks, 2001.

CH = Martin Booth : Cannabis : a History. London : Doubleday (Transworld Publ), 2003.

p. 88 Star Trek & Lovecraft

"Harvey also mentions [2007, p. 289] neopagans who construct rituals based on Star Trek, something that can be considered analogous to LaVey's Lovecraft rituals."

Harvey 2007 = Graham Harvey : "Inventing Paganisms". In :- James R. Lewis & Olav Hammer (edd.) : The Invention of Sacred Tradition. Cambridge Univ Pr. pp. 277-90.

p. 89 opinions for & against strictly adhaering to official antique-government-sponsored religious cults formerly existent in antiquity

"prominent Left-Hand Path adherents Zeena (estranged daughter of Anton LaVey) and Nicholas Schreck ... were very clear that they would happily modify their beliefs and practices in accordance with any new convincing scholarly findings pertaining to the Egyptian god Set {SWTH}, the main focus of their spirituality."

"Since Rudolph Steiner was able gain mystical insights about the Guardian of the Threshold, research demonstrating that this {insight} was derived from the

fiction of

{or, perhaps instead, divine revelation to}

Edward Bulwer-Lytton would to an Anthroposophist simply be a reflection of

the scholar's lacking mystical abilities that hinder a higher understanding of esoteric tradition."

{More actually, the occultists' objection is not so much to the historical accuracy of findings by praesent-day academics (archaiologists, etc.), as it is to the validity of government-sponsored religions in general (in that the antient governments may have already falsified information obtained by visionaries from divine worlds).}

{Mainline Christianity is generally repudiated and combatted on account of : its fanatic Mammo^n-worship, its cringing submission to capitalism-stooge war-mongering (including frequent large-scale genocides), its vicious intolerance-and-persecution of all genuine religions and philosophies, and its persecution of all actual saints (persons who see and hear God : such persons are involuntarily committed for life to capitalist-political-state-controlled "insane-asyla", and are commonly murdered therein by blasphemous-infidel psychiatrists).}


I. Tradition

5. Chaos Magick

Colin Duggan


p. 91 Chaos Magick

"Chaos Magick ... began in the late 1970s with the publication of Peter Carroll's Liber Null and Ray Sherwin's The Book of Results in 1978. ... Of the scholars who have commented on Chaos Magick, Dale Evans has proved to be the most thorough with the historical analysis he offers in The History of British Magick After Crowley".

Dale Evans : The History of British Magick After Crowley : Kenneth Grant, Amado Crowley, ... Lovecraft ... and Magical Morality. London : Hidden Publishing, 2007.

p. 92 contemporary occultism

"Wouter Hanegraaff's analysis describes [1996, p. 422] occultism as : A category ... which comprises all attempts to come to terms with a disenchanted world or ... to make sense of ... a disenchanted secular world."

{"Occult" signifieth, literally, 'hidden'. In an epoch of "disenchantment" (i.e., of rampant materialism, promoted by greed-maddened anti-social capitalist fiends), our principled opposition to materialist madness must concealed from the class-enemy, lest we fall victim to their addicted ferocity.}

Hanegraaff 1996 = Wouter J. Hanegraaff : New Age Religion and Western Culture. Leiden : Brill.

p. 92, fn. 7 varieties of spirits with whom communicated (cited from P:"O", p. 1367)

"those engaged in spiritualism are communicating with the souls of the dead and trying to present their practice as scientific while

{Traditional methods of communicating with the dead via mediumship are often Taoist.}

those whon proclaim themselves to be occultists ... are communicating with non-human discarnate entities and claim ... initiatic wisdom".

{Traditional methods of communicating with deities via mediumship are often West African.}

P:"O" = Marco Pasi : "Occultism". In :- von Stuckrad (ed.) : The Brill Dictionary of Religion.

{Somewhat distinct from the foregoing are traditional methods of communicating with dead royalty (especially Vietnamese), or with ghosts of cadaver-worms which have devoured the corpses of dead royalty (especially Malagasy); and there are also methods of becoming spirit-possessed by wild beasts (especially Omoto, in Nippon).}

pp. 94-5 fellowship-lodges of Chaos Magick

p. 94

In "chaos magical tradition ... there is an order of "Magical Pact of the Illuminates of Thanateros"." (Versluis 2007, p. 142)

p. 94, fn, 15

"Founded by Peter Carroll, the Illuminates of Thanateros (IOT) is the most prominent Chaos Magick organization."

p. 95

"Thee Temple ov Psychick Youth (TOPY), was formed in 1981 ... with Genesis P-orridge. ... TOPY was a loose (but highly effective) network of artists and magicians who were ... influenced by occultists Aleister Crowley and Austin Osman Spare, and used sigil magic ... . This is most evident in the two main texts : Thee Grey Book and Thee Sigil Book. However, TOPY was also strongly influenced by the writer William S. Burroughs and the artist Brion Gysin."

Versluis 2007 = Arthur Versluis : Magic and Mysticism. Lanham (MD) : Rowman & Littlefield.

p. 96 Discordianism

"Kerry Thornley and Gregory Hill claim to have founded Discordianism in 1958 or 1959 after a revelatory experience at a bowling alley in a Los Angeles suburb. ...

Discordianism places ... emphasis on humour;

{So doth much AmerIndian religion, and even some early Taoist texts.}

the Principia Discordia [p. 61] states that "occultists have been blinded to ... important ... earth-plane opposites : ... SERIOUS/HUMOROUS"."

Gregory Hill ("Malaclypse the Younger") & Kerry Thornley ("Omar Khayyam Ravenhurst") : Principia Discordia. 1957.

p. 96 books of Chaos Magick

"1981 saw the publication of Carroll's second book, Psychonaut, while Sherwin's second publication, The Theatre of Magick, followed in 1982.

Other texts ... are Phil Hine's three-volume work Techniques of Modern Shamanism (published in 1989-90 and sometimes called the Urban Shaman Trilogy) and Condensed Chaos, first published in 1992 ... .

Julian Wilde's Grimoire of Chaos Magick represents a slightly different take on Chaos Magick, particularly in terms of the tradition".

p. 97 journals of Chaos Magick

"Chaos International contains some descriptions of rituals".

p. 97, fn. 25 : "Kaos ... is not to be confused with Kaos Magick Journal."

p. 99 Perennialism

"Rene' ... Gue'non's usage of the terms "perennial philosophy" and "perennialism" is derived from the preceding Renaissance usage, and is described by Mark Sedgwick [2004, p. 24] as follows :

[quoted :] For a century and a half after Ficino, the idea that there was a Perennial Philosophy became increasingly widely accepted. ... Then, in the nineteenth century, Perennialism was revived in ... a modified form, with the newly discovered Vedas being taken as its surviving textual expression.

There is also a more general ... perennialism arising out of twentieth-century sources such as Aldous Huxley's The Perennial Philosophy."

Sedgwick 2004 = Mark Sedgwick : Against the Modern World : Traditionalism and the Secret Intellectual History ... . Oxford Univ Pr.

p. 101 cyberspirituality

p. 101 "Kennet Granholm [2009, p. 791] argues that : [quoted] A distinctive trait of esotericism is that of imagined community."

p. 101, fn. 40 "the "imagined community of esotericists" is not now {nor in 2009!} so imaginary ... considering ... networking ... contemporary occultists. ... see Partridge [2004-2005], vol. 2, chapter 4, entitled "CyberSpirituality", 135-64." {Our comment :- Sociologists usually have all their "facts" wrong, and are not worth bothering to refute.}

Granholm 2009 = Kennet Granholm : "Sociology of Esotericism". In :- Peter B. Clarke (ed.) : The Oxford Handbook of the Sociology of Religion. Oxford Univ Pr. pp. 783-800.

Partridge 2004-2005 = Christopher Partridge : The Re-enchantment of the West : Alternative Spiritualities ... and Occulture. 2 voll. London : T. & T. Clark Internat.

p. 102 delegitimization of potential rivals by Chaos-Magick organizations

"Wilde seeks to delegitimize ... that which is seen to be the predecessor of Chaos Magick (i.e. early twentieth-century occultism) ...

by referring to shamanism.

{Actually, early-20th-century occultism is at least as alike to traditional shamanism as the latter is to so-called "Chaos Magick".}

Biroco seeks to delegitimize the Chaos Magick of others ... and to re-emphasize the place of his own version of Chaos Magick as the natural successor to Crowley's occultism."

p. 103 alignment of Carroll's Chaos-Magick with Spare and with Crowley

"Carroll states that "The Illuminates of Thanateros are the magical heirs to the Zos Kia Cultus [founded (fn. 43) by Austin Osman Spare] ... . Sherwin confirms this claim". "Sherwin [Book of Results, 24] claims that

It is absurd that sophisticated magicians spend so much of their energy in keeping out impressions from the chaos or weird side of consciousness when shamans the world over go to extreme lengths to open themselves up to those impressions and energies."

{Actually, the "shaman sickness" which every shaman is constantly endeavouring to evade might possibly be identifiable as caused by those "impressions from the chaos or weird side of consciousness".}

{Exorcism of troublesome effects (i.e., liberating of accidentally detained spirit-entities) is necessary for anyone actually in close and constant contact with praeternatural forces. If "Chaos Magick" practitioners do not ever find this needed, such may be a strong indication that they are humbugs.}

p. 106 [quoted from Hine : Oven-Ready Chaos, p. 20] Otherworlds & supernatural energies

"the Otherworlds are real, and inhabited by various pantheons of discrete entities -- elementals, demons, angels, goddesses, gods, etc.

... Along came Bulwer Lytton and his ... "Vril" energy, Eliphas Levi and the Astral Light ... ."

{Such detectible supernatural energies proceed out of the usually-invisible Deities, and are a means wherethrough They act upon the physical world.}

Oven-Ready Chaos

pp. 109-10 [quoted from Grimoire of Chaos Magick, 10] alignment of Wilde's Chaos-Magick with Moorcock, Brady, and Tolkien

p. 109

"those who have recognised/wished to actualise more pertinence in the writings of

Moorcock, Brady, Tolkien ...

{mere fakes}

than in Regardie, Fortune or even Crowley ...

{the real thing}

p. 110

-- this is for you ... sweetly".

{for sweet fakers}

pp. 110-1 Biroco's KAOS-BABALON

p. 110

[quoted from Biroco, KAOS 14:11] "I regard ... an essentially underground current of frontline occultism and the true successor to what was ... Thelema ... and also [to] the {rival varieties of} Chaos current, both outmoded by

KAOS-BABALON yet foreshadowed in both."

p. 111

[quoted from Biroco, KAOS 14:10] "I instigated KAOS-BABALON ... as a truly "occult" (hidden) current ... . It turned the Chaos current into a hard-edged and dark sex magick current."


Egil Asprem & Kennet Granholm (edd.): Contemporary Esotericism. Equinox Publ Ltd, Sheffield, 2013.