SCP-Spiritual Authority

Recorded September 24 & October 8, 2011ev
Parts 1 & 2

Spiritual_Authority_Part 1

Spirutal_Authority_Part 2

Hosted by David E.; Sweden

Camille Perkins; Georgia, U.S.
Ryan Higgins; Israel
Paul Joseph Rovelli; New York, U.S.

What was MacGregor Mathers spiritual authority
as originally recognized by

Why did Crowley withdraw his recognition
of Mathers’ authority?

What was it that convinced Crowley that
he was the one with this authority now?

Some time in the 'seventies or 'eighties, a cipher manuscript was found on a
bookstall by a Dr. Woodman, a colleague in magical study of Dr. W. Wynn
Westcott. It was beyond their powers to decipher it, though Mrs. Emery
(Miss. Florence Farr) told me that a child could have done so. They called
in a man named Samuel Liddell Mathers, a scholar and Magician of
considerable eminence. The manuscript yielded to his scrutiny. It contained,
among minor matters, the rubric of certain rituals of initiation and the
true attribution of the Tarot Trumps. This attribution had been sought
vainly for centuries. It cleared up a host of Qabbalistic difficulties, in
the same was as Einstein's admirers claim that his equations have done in
mathematics and physics. The manuscript gave the name and address of an
adept Sapiens Dominabitur Astris, a Frääulein Sprengel, living in Germany,
with an invitation to write to her if further knowledge was required. Dr.
Westcott wrote; and S.D.A. gave him and his two colleagues a charter
authorizing them to establish an Order in England. This was done. Soon
after, S.D.A. died. In reply to a letter addressed to her, came an
intimation from one of her colleagues that they had never approved her
policy in permitting open-temple work in England, but had refrained from
active opposition from personal respect for her. The writer ended by saying
that England must expect no more assistance from Germany; enough knowledge had been granted to enable any English adept to form a Magical Link with the Secret Chiefs. Such competence would evidently establish a right to renewed relations.

Dr. Woodman had died and Mathers forced Dr. Westcott to retire from active
leadership of the Order. Mathers, however, was not trusted. He, therefore,
announced to the most advanced adepts that he had himself made the Magical Link with the Secret Chiefs; and, at an interview with three of them in the Bois de Boulogne, had been confirmed in the supreme and sole authority as the Visible Head of the Order. The adepts entrusted with this information
were required to sign a pledge of personal obedience to Mathers as a
condition of advancement in the Order. Nevertheless, dissatisfaction
continued. The advancement did not arrive. They suspected that Mathers had
no more knowledge to give; and he retorted that, however that might be, he
wasn't going to waste it on such hopeless differs. Both positions have much
to recommend them to discriminating sympathy.


Early in 1900 I applied to the Second Order in London for the documents to
which my initiation in Paris entitled me. They were refused in terms which
made it clear that the London body was in open revolt against the Chief,
though afraid to declare its intentions. I went to London and discussed the
matter with Jones, Baker and Mrs. Emery. Jones saw clearly enough that if
Mathers were not the head of the Order and the trusted representative of the
Secret Chiefs, there was no Order at all. Baker's position was that Mathers
was behaving badly; he was sick of the whole business. Mrs. Emery, the
nominal representative of the Chief, was trying to find a diplomatic
solution. Her attitude was most serious and earnest and she was greatly
distressed by her dilemma. She had thought it best to resign quietly, but
received a reply of the most staggering character. The letter is dated
February 16th, 1900, and I quote the last two paragraphs in full.

Now, with regard to the Second Order, it would be with the very greatest
regret both from my personal regard for you, as well as from the Occult
standpoint, that I should receive your Resignation as my Representative in
the Second Order in London; but I cannot let you form a combination to make
a schism therein with the idea of working secretly or avowedly under Sapere
Aude under the mistaken impression that he received an Epitome of the School of the Second Order work from G. H. Soror, Sapiens Dominabitur Astros. For this forces me to tell you plainly (and, understand me well, I can prove to the hilt every word which I here say and more, and were I confronted with S. A., I should say the same) though for the sake of the Order, and for the circumstance that it would mean so deadly a blow to S. A.'s reputation, I
entreat you to keep this secret from the "Order," for the present, at least,
though you are at perfect liberty to show him this if you think fit, after
mature consideration.

He has NEVER been at any time either in personal or written communication
with the Secret Chiefs of the order, he having either himself forged or
procured to be forged the professed correspondence between him and them, and my tongue having been tied all these years by a Previous Oath of Secrecy to him, demanded by him, from me, before showing me what he had either done or caused to be done or both. You must comprehend from what little I say here the extreme gravity of such a matter, and again I ask you, both for his sake, and that of the Order, not to force me to go further into the subject.

This letter struck at the very heart of the moral basis of her conduct. It
put her in the position of having initiated people, for years, on false
pretences. She could not drop out and say no more about it. The matter had
to be thrashed out.

My own attitude was unhampered by any ethical considerations. I had seen a
good deal of Mathers personally. He was unquestionably a Magician of
extraordinary attainment. He was a scholar and a gentleman. He had that
habit of authority which inspires confidence because it never doubts itself.
A man who makes such claims as he did cannot be judged by conventional codes and canons. Ordinary morality is only for ordinary people. For example,
assume a Prime Minister who has private information that somebody has
discovered, and is cultivating, a new germ by means of which he intends to
destroy the nation. To pass a "Short Act" would be to give the alarm and
precipitate the disaster. It would be his duty to override the law and put
his foot upon the mischief. Then again, the whole of Mathers' conduct might
have been in the nature of a test. It might have been his way of asking the
adepts whether they had the power of concentrating on the spiritual
situation, of giving up for ever all their prejudices.

Anyhow, as far as I was concerned, Mathers was my only link with the Secret
Chiefs to whom I was pledged. I wrote to him offering to place myself and my
fortune unreservedly at his disposal; if that meant giving up the Abra-Melin
Operation for the present, all right.

The result of this offer was recorded as follows:

D.D.C.F. accepts my services, therefore do I rejoice that my sacrifice is
accepted. Therefore do I again postpone the Operation of Abra-Melin the
Mage, having by God's Grace formulated even in this a new link with the
Higher and gained a new weapon against the Great Princes of the Evil of the
World. Amen.

I went to Paris, discussed the situation with Mathers and formulated the
following proposal for dealing with the refractory "temple".

I. The Second Order to be summoned at various times during two or three
days. They to find, on being admitted one by one, a masked man in authority
and a scribe. These questions, etc. pass, after pledge of secrecy concerning

A. Are you convinced of the truth of the doctrines and knowledge received in
the grade of 5 = 6? Yes or No?

If yes (1) Then their origin can spring from a pure source only?
If no (2) I degrade you to be a Lord of the Paths in the Portal in the Vault
of the Adepts.

B. If he reply "yes", the masked man continues: Are you satisfied with the
logic of this statement? Do you solemnly promise to cease these unseemly
disputes as to the headship of this Order! I for my part can assure you from
my own knowledge that D.D.C.F. is really a 7 = 4.

If yes (3) Then you will sing this paper; it contains a solemn reaffirmation
of your obligation as a 5 = 6 slightly expanded, and a pledge to support
heartily the new regulations.
If no (4) I expel you from this Order.

II. The practice of masks is to be introduced. Each member will know only
the member who introduced him.

Severe tests of the candidate's moral excellence, courage, earnestness,
humility, refusal to do wrong, to be inserted in the Portal or 5 = 6 ritual.
III. Outer Order to be summoned. Similar regulations to be announced to
them. New pledges required that they will not communicate the identity of
anybody they happen to have known to any new member.
IV. Vault to be reconsecrated.

This was accepted, and I crossed to London to carry it out. I find an entry
in my little book of Magical Rituals which reveals my state of mind.

April 12th, 1900.
I, Perdurabo, as the Temporary Envoy Plenipotentiary of Deo Duce Comite
Ferro & thus the Third from the Secret Chiefs of the Order of the Rose of
Ruby and the Cross of Gold, do deliberately invoke all laws, all powers
Divine, demanding that I, even I, be chosen to do such a work as he has
done, at all costs to myself. And I record this holy aspiration in the
presence of the Divine Light, that it may stand as my witness.
In Saecula Saeculorum. Amen!

A further complication had suddenly arisen. In Mathers' fatal letter to Mrs.
Emery, he wrote that Sapiens Dominabitur Astris was not dead after all; but
in Paris, working with him at that very moment. But when I arrived in Paris,
Mathers had been rudely undeceived. The woman who claimed to be Sapiens had bolted, with such property of his as she could lay hands on. That such a man could have been so imposed upon seems incredible. But he told me that she certainly possessed knowledge which only Sapiens had, and also that she had told him every detail of a very private conversation which he had once had with Mme. Blavatsky at Denmark Hill. In the upshot, she proved to be one Mmme. Horos. In the following year she was sentenced to seven years' penal servitude for outrages on young girls. She had in some way used the rituals of the Order which she had stolen from Mathers to entice them to their doom.

My arrival in London as the envoy extraordinary and plenipotentiary of
Mathers put the cat among the chickens. My identity was very soon discovered
and a typhoon began to rage in the teacup. The rebels resorted to all sorts
of lawless and violent acts, and spread the most stupidly scandalous
stories, not only about me, but about the few others who remained loyal to
Mathers. They did not even scruple to slander a young girl of perfect
purity, by imputing to her an improper intimacy with me. It was especially
dastardly, as she was engaged to be married. To this day I cannot understand
how people like W. B. Yeats should not have repressed such methods in the
sternest way and insisted that the fight be fought with fir weapons. They
had seized the furniture of the temple and the vault. I applied to a police
magistrate for tit to be handed over. On the hearing of the summons we were
amazed to find Mr. Gill, K.C., one of the most famous men at the bar,
briefed to appear in a police court to squabble over a few pounds' worth of
paraphernalia! The money was furnished by Miss. Horniman, daughter of the
Mazawattee tea man, and later of Manchester Theatre fame. She had been
expelled by Mathers some time previously.

I knew enough of campaigning to decline joining battle against such heavy
artillery as Mr. Gill. Luckily, the value of the property had been sworn at
a sum beyond the limit with which a police magistrate can deal. The summons
was therefore withdrawn and Mr. Gill kept his eloquence and his fee to
himself. There was in reality nothing worth fighting for. The rebel camp
broke up in anarchy. They issued various hysterical manifestos,
distinguished by confusion of thought, inaccuracy of statement, personal
malice, empty bombast and ignorance of English. One error is worth rescuing
from oblivion. "Nothing in the above resolutions shall effect our connection
with the Rosicrucian order." The poor darlings meant affect.

They went on squabbling amongst themselves for a few months and then had the sense to give up playing at Magick. Their only survivor is Arthur Edward
Waite, who still pretends to carry on the business, though he has
substituted a pompous, turgid rigmarole of bombastic platitudes for the
neophyte ritual, so that the last spark of interest is extinct for ever.
Mathers, of course, carried on; but he had fallen. The Secret Chiefs cast
him off; he fell into deplorable abjection; even his scholarship deserted
him. He published nothing new and lived in sodden intoxication till death
put and end to his long misery. He was a great man in his way. May he have
expiated his errors and resumed his labours, with the advantage of

Summer was now at hand and the wanderlust reasserted itself in me. There was no point in my going back to Boleskine till the following Easter. As it
happened, Mathers — to whom I returned to report progress — had two guests, members of the Order. They had just comeback from Mexico. The fancy took me to go there. I wanted in particular to climb the great volcanoes. So, late in June 1900, I sailed for New York.

Without some centralized source of authority,
can Thelema stand on its own?

What about individualized authority?…
is this some form or religious anarchy?

What ‘proves’ a spiritual system (as truth) outside of authority?

Does Thelema need its “Holy See.”

Why would this be important to the Caliphate…and to H.O.O.R.?

What is the Pope to the Romans?

If we are gods, how can it be that there’s any
spiritual authority outside our own persons?

Is there something narcissistic or solipsistic in this?

Who could possibly rule over a human soul in a state of liberty?

If not for ‘spiritual authority,’ what is the purpose of lineage?

What is the difference between Eastern and Western lineages?

What of the three schools of Magick?

How do the Secret Chiefs fit into this cosmogony?

Are the Secret Chiefs real?…and are they
also Blavatsky’s Hidden Mahatmas?

Do they grant authority?…or does Truth grant authority?

Does a prophet automatically have spiritual authority?

What is the difference between a prophet and an avatar?…
and for either, does the ‘office’ carry the weight of authority?

What if there is more than one prophet?…and can
there be more than one avatar?

Is spiritual authority commensurate with personal responsibility?

Is there a corollary between personal responsibility and self-reliance?

Can one be self-reliant when the social structure
of humanity is interdependent?

What of the authority of the Holy Books of Thelema?

From Dialogue w/Cammy:

No, Thelema doesn't need a centralized authority. It's better, IMO, for
people to deliberately seek out others and create intentional communities
than 'ready-made' ones. This way it's focused on quality and doesn't
sacrifice any individuality in order to conform to social norms.

Investigating for oneself proves spiritual truth. The same for someone
else's authority on Thelema. Don't take someone's word that they're a

Mathers (with two others) founded the Golden Dawn from which Crowley would emerge to formulate the A.’.A.’.

Not only did he generate so much new Gnosis that today, most of what is
called Magick owes a debt to him, but he made up the Frauline Sprengel
story…his contact with the Secret Chiefs is how he obtained the formulae for

Eventually, Mathers creativity ran dry and shortly thereafter, Crowley
received Liber AL and his creativity began.  He would be fourth in a line of
important mages; starting with Eliphas Levi (of whom Crowley claimed to be a
reincarnation), continuing next to Francis Barrett; then to Mathers.

This is what the post-O.T.O. world has forgotten or never learned; and
perhaps, one of the reasons why Crowley wanted the O.T.O. shut down before
those pigs came along that defied Germer and Motta (and ultimately,
Crowley…though they do all they do in the dead master’s name).

Having founded a school of Magick, Mathers proved himself to have attained
the Grade of Magus (9=2).  Though I don’t know where Mathers received his
training…did he know Barrett?  Or was he taught in the Aethyr.  It is
interesting to note how ardently the Caliphate is striving to be the central
authority on Thelema; they’ve controlled the publishing industry since the
trial ended in 1984ev that disgraced Motta.

Was it prophetic?

Different from mere fortune-telling, prophecy is a divine message containing
new knowledge, and has a pattern of synchronicities with the past, current,
and even future events. The Rabbinic scholar Maimonides said that "prophecy
is, in truth and reality, an emanation sent forth by Divine Being through
the medium of the Active Intellect, in the first instance to man's rational
faculty and then to his imaginative faculty." So, it is relevant on several
levels. It is towards this end that every Thelemite should interpret the
Book of the Law as they see fit, using scientific inquiry and finding
personal and universal meaning via Hermetic Qabala and gematria wherever
applicable, before considering it prophetic or a truly inspired work.

It is not always the case that "once convinced, always convinced." (No True
Scotsman fallacy) I came back to investigate Crowley's prophecy for myself,
personally. It is at this point one must ask,"What is divine? What is
synchronicity?" as an aid.

lol…you might say the same thing that politicians say about porn…you may not be able to describe it…but you know it when you see it…or feel it.
Certainly, a part of the brain recognizes such feelings…rock stars have
become ‘divine’ by fans…as have athletes…certainly Maimonides is simply
keying into a higher plane.  Per synchronicity…well…there’s no such thing as

Lots of people are into smear campaigns and yellow press where if someone is scandalous, then they can't have any talents or merits whatsoever. Using
this logic, we should spend time to read up on the background of everyone
before we decide if we like their work or not. Gibran was an alcoholic and
Crowley was a hardcore hedonist – I don't see that reflected in their works
– and Plato was something of a fascist in support of philosopher-kings
(benevolent dictators), which can be seen in his political writings.

One of the logical fallacies is to judge a man’s work by a man’s behavior…Is
there anything more overtly stupid?!

I also read in Tyson's Sexual Alchemy that Crowley got asthma after doing so
much invocation work – it caused him breathing difficulties – and
consequently he needed heroin to treat it. Invocation really starts in the
Zelator grade, so prophecy comes with the grade of Adept.  

Crowley was asthmatic from childhood…a weak and sickly child.  I believe the
heroin was prescribed for his malaria, which he got on safari in Africa…I
may be wrong about that.  And I think also that his doctor prescribed
cocaine for his asthma.

These were common prescriptions in those days…what a deceptively ugly force
the Yellow Press is…those asshole Christians have turned everything holy
into absolute evil and everything evil into absolute holiness.

And to show you how far they’ve gone…there’s no such thing as absolutes in
terms of good and evil…an undergrad philosophy student learns that pretty

But idiot masters and Ph.D’s in divinity can’t work this one out.

What a blind force!…are these desert religions.