Msg#18457 alt/magick 12-07-93 184329 To ALL Subj EMAIL WITHOUT TEARS 9312 (LONG OTO EP Sub

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Msg#:18457 *alt/magick* 12-07-93 18:43:29 From: NEWS To: ALL Subj: EMAIL WITHOUT TEARS 9312 (LONG OTO EP From: (Tyagi Mordred Nagasiva) Newsgroups: alt.magick,alt.pagan,alt.mythology,talk.religion.misc Subject: Email Without Tears 9312 (LONG OTO EPUB) Date: Mon, 6 Dec 93 22:12:56 PST Organization: The Portal System (TM) _______________________________________________________________________ EMAIL WITHOUT TEARS _______________________________________________________________________ Volume 2 Issue 12 9312.06 e.v. _______________________________________________________________________ Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law. La ilaha illa 'Llah. Assalam alaikum, my kin. --------------- Moderator's Note: This month (our last?) I have contributed a couple more things. As this is becoming a trend I'm immediately putting a stop to it. 'Email Without Tears' will now enter a 'Volume of Silence', during the entirety of next year unless someone does something to keep it from happening (Moderate it, for example, and perhaps even contribute to it). Beyond the silent volume who can say? I do not see that this is functioning as a means of networking and unifying OTO members (which was the original intent), but instead seems to be becoming a soap box from which I may publish my works. This is not what I intended and so I wish to be sure that it stops. On the burner this month: 'The Way of Cross and Dragon', by George R.R. Martin (recommended), and 'Aleister Crowley and the Haitian Gnostics', by Frater Joseph (I'm not sure if this is serious or intends to poke fun at the 'Consecration Process', but it is amusing and confusing!). Enjoy. _________________________________________________________ BEGIN ONE____ Subject: The Way of Cross and Dragon (by George R.R. Martin) From: Haramullah The Way of Cross and Dragon By George R.R. Martin [This is taken without permission from 'The Best of OMNI Science Fiction' No. 2.] Across the stars he fought against heresy. _______________________________________________________________________ "Heresy," he told me. The brakish waters of his pool sloshed gently. "Another one?" I said wearily. "There are so many these days." My Lord Commander was displeased by that comment. He shifted position heavily, sending ripples up and down the pool. One broke over the side, and a sheet of water slid across the tiles of the receiving chamber. My boots were soaked yet again. I accepted that philosophically. I had worn my worst boots, well aware that wet feet are among the inescapable consequences of paying call on Torgathon Nine-Klariis Tun, elder of the ka-Thane people, and also Archbishop of Vess, Most Holy Father of the Four Vows, Grand Inquisitor of the Order Militant of the Knights of Jesus Christ, and counselor to His Holiness Pope Daryn XXI of New Rome. "Be there as many heresies as stars in the sky, each single one is no less dangerous, Father," the archbishop said solemnly. "As Knights of Christ, it is our ordained task to fight them one and all. And I must add that this new heresy is particularly foul." "Yes, my Lord Commander," I replied. "I did not intend to make light of it. You have my apologies. The mission to Finnegan was most taxing. I had hoped to ask you for a leave of absence from my duties. I need rest, a time for thought and restoration." "Rest?" The archbishop moved again in his pool, only a slight shift of his immense bulk, but it was enough to send a fresh sheet of water across the floor. His black pupilless eyes blinked at me. "No, Father, I am afraid that is out of the question. Your skills and your experience are vital for this new mission." His bass tones seemed to soften somewhat then. "I have not had time to go over your reports on Finnegan," he said. "How did your work go?" "Badly," I told him, "though ultimately I think we will prevail. The Church is strong on Finnegan. When our attempts at reconciliation were rebuffed, I put some standards in the right hands, and we were able to shut down the heretics' newspaper and broadcasting facilities. Our friends also made certain that their legal actions came to nothing." "That is not *badly*," the archbishop said. "You won a considerable victory for the Lord and the Church." "There were riots, my Lord Commander," I said. "More than a hundred heretics were killed, and a dozen of our own people. I fear there will be more violence before the matter is finished. Our priests are attacked if they so much as enter the city where the heresy has taken root. Their leaders risk their lives if they leave that city. I had hoped to avoid such hatreds, such bloodshed." "Commendable, but not realistic," said Archbishop Torgathon. He blinked at me again, and I remembered that among people of his race blinking is a sign of impatience. "The blood of martyrs must sometimes be spilled, and the blood of heretics as well. What matters it if a being surrenders his life, so long as his soul is saved?" "Indeed," I agreed. Despite his impatience, Torgathon would lecture me for another hour if given the chance. That prospect dismayed me. The receiving chamber was not designed for human comfort, and I did not wish to remain any longer than necessary. The walls were damp and moldy, the air hot and humid and thick with the rancid-butter smell characteristic of the ka-Thane. My collar was chafing my neck raw, I was sweating beneath my cassock, my feet were thoroughly soaked, and my stomach was beginning to churn. "I pushed ahead to the business at hand. "You say this new heresy is unusually foul my Lord Commander?" "It is," he said. "Where has it started?" "On Arion, a world some three weeks distance from Vess. A human world entirely. I cannot understand why you humans are so easily corrupted. Once a ka-Thane has found the faith, he would scarcely abandon it." "That is well known," I replied politely. I did not mention that the number of ka-Thane to have found the faith was vanishingly small. They were a slow, ponderous people, and most of their vast millions showed no interest in learning any ways other than their own, or following any creed but their own ancient religion. Torgathon Nine- Klariis Tun was an anomaly. He had been among the first converts almost two centuries ago, when Pope Vidas L had ruled that nonhumans might serve as clergy. Given his great life span and the iron certainty of his belief it is no wonder that Torgathon had risen as far as he had, despite the fact that fewer than a thousand of his race had followed him into the Church. He had at least a century of life remaining to him. No doubt he would someday be Torgathon Cardinal Tun, should he squelch enough heresies. The times are like that. "We have little influence on Arion," the archbishop was saying. His arms moved as he spoke, four ponderous clubs of mottled green-gray flesh churning the water, and the dirty white cilia around his breathing hole trembled with each word. "A few priests, a few churches, some believers, but no power to speak of. The heretics already outnumber us on this world. I rely on your intellect, your shrewdness. Turn this calamity into an opportunity. This heresy is so palpable that you can easily disprove it. Perhaps some of the deluded will turn to the true way." "Certainly," I said. "And the nature of this heresy? What must I disprove?" It is a sad indication of my own troubled faith to add that I did not really care. I have dealt with too many heresies. Their beliefs and their questionings echo in my head and trouble my dreams at night. How can I be sure of my own faith? The very edict that had admitted Torgathon into the clergy had caused a half-dozen worlds to repudiate the Bishop of New Rome, and those who had followed that path would find a particularly ugly heresy in the massive naked (save for a damp Roman collar) alien who floated before me and wielded the authority of the Church in four great webbed hands. Christianity is the greatest single human religion, but that means little. The non-Christians outnumber us five to one, and there are well over seven-hundred Christian sects, some almost as large as the One True Interstellar Catholic Church of Earth and the Thousand Worlds. Even Daryn XXI, powerful as he is, is only one of seven to claim the title of Pope. My own belief was strong once, but I have moved too long among heretics and nonbelievers and even my prayers do not make the doubts go away now. So it was that I felt no horror - only a sudden intellectual interest - when the arch- bishop told me the nature of the heresy on Arion. "They have made a saint," he said, "out of Judas Iscariot." *** As a senior in the Knights Inquisitor, I command my own sta Msg#:18460 *alt/magick* 12-07-93 18:43:33 From: NEWS To: ALL Subj: EMAIL WITHOUT TEARS 9312 (LONG OTO EP rship, which it pleases me to call *Truth of Christ*. Before the craft was assigned to me, it was named the *St. Thomas*, after the apostle, but I did not feel a saint notorious for doubting was an appropriate patron for a ship enlisted in the fight against heresy. I have no duties aboard the *Truth*, which is crewed by six brothers and sisters of the Order of St. Christopher the Far-Traveling and captained by a young woman I hired away from a merchant trader. I was therefore able to devote the entire three-week voyage from Vess to Arion to a study of the heretical Bible, a copy of which had been given to me by the archbishop's administrative assistant. It was a thick, heavy, handsome book, bound in dark leather, its pages edged with gold leaf, with many splendid interior illustrations in full color with holographic enhancement. Remarkable work, clearly done by someone who loved the all-but-forgotten art of bookmaking. The paintings reproduced inside - the originals were to be found on Arion, I gathered - were masterful, if blasphemous, as much high art as the Tammerwens and RoHallidays that adorn the Great Cathedral of St. John on New Rome. Inside, the book bore an imprimatur indicating that it had been approved by Lukyan Judasson, First Scholar of the order of St. Judas Iscariot. It was called _The Way of Cross and Dragon_. I read it as the *Truth in Christ* slid between the stars, at first taking copious notes to better understand the heresy that I must fight, but later simply absorbed by the strange, convoluted, grotesque story it told. The words of the text had passion and power and poetry. Thus it was that I first encountered the striking figure of St. Judas Iscariot, a complex, ambitious, contradictory, and altogether extraordinary human being. He was born of a whore in the fabled ancient city-state of Babylon on the same day that the Savior was born in Bethlehem, and he spent his childhood in the alleys and gutters, selling his own body when he had to, pimping when he became older. As a youth he began to experiment with the dark arts, and before the age of twenty he was a skilled necromancer. That was when he became Judas the Dragon- Tamer, the first and only man to bend to his will the most fearsome of God's creatures, the great winged fire lizards of Old Earth. The book held a marvelous painting of Judas in some great dank cavern, his eyes aflame as he wielded a glowing lash to keep at bay a mountainous green-gold dragon. Beneath his arm is a woven basket, its lid slightly ajar, and the tiny scaled heads of three dragon chicks are peering up his sleeve. That was the first chapter of his life. In the second, he was Judas the Conqueror, Judas the Dragon-King, Judas of Babylon, the Great Usurper. Astride the greatest of his dragons, with an iron crown on his head and a sword in his hand, he made Babylon the capital of the greatest empire Old Earth had ever known, a realm that stretched from Spain to India. He reigned from a dragon throne amid the Hanging Gardens he had caused to be constructed, and it was there he sat when he tried Jesus of Nazareth, the trouble-making prophet who had been dragged before him bound and bleeding. Judas was not a patient man, and he made Christ bleed still more before he was through with Him. And when Jesus would not answer his questions, Judas - contemptuous - had Him cast back into the streets. But first Judas ordered his guards to cut off Christ's legs. "Healer," he said, "heal thyself." Then came the Repentance, the vision in the night, and Judas Iscariot gave up his crown and his dark arts and his riches, to follow the man he had crippled. Despised and taunted by those he had tyrannized, Judas became the Legs of the Lord, and for a year he carried Jesus on his back to the far corners of the realm he had once ruled. When Jesus did finally heal Himself, then Judas walked by His side, and from that time forth he was Judas' trusted friend and counselor, the first and foremost of the Twelve. Finally, Jesus gave Judas the gift of tongues, recalled and sanctified the dragons that Judas had sent away, and sent his disciple forth on a solitary ministry across the oceans, "to spread My Word where I cannot go." There came a day when the sun went dark at noon and the ground trembled, and Judas swung his dragon around on ponderous wings and flew back across the raging seas. But when he reached the city of Jerusalem, he found Christ dead on the cross. In that moment his faith faltered, and for the next three days the Great Wrath of Judas was like a storm across the ancient world. His dragons razed the Temple in Jerusalem and drove the people from the city and struck as well at the great seats of power in Rome and Babylon. And when he found the others of the Twelve and questioned them and learned of how the one named Simon-called-Peter had three times betrayed the Lord, he strangled Peter with his own hands and fed the corpse to his dragons. Then he sent those dragons forth to start fires throughout the world, funeral pyres for Jesus of Nazareth. So Jesus called back the dragons, and they came, and everywhere the fires went out. And from their bellies He called forth Peter and made him whole again, and gave him dominion over the Church. Then the dragons died, and so, too, did all dragons everywhere, for they were the living sigil of the power and the wisdom of Judas Iscariot, who had sinned greatly. And He took from Judas the gift of tongues and the power of healing He had given, and even his eyesight, for Judas had acted as a man blind (there was a fine painting of the blinded Judas weeping over the bodies of his dragons). And He told Judas that for long ages he would be remembered only as Betrayer, and people would curse his name, and all that he had been and done would be forgotten. But then, because Judas had loved Him so, Christ gave him a boon, an extended life, during which he might travel and think on his sins and finally come to forgiveness and only then die. And that was the beginning of the last chapter in the life of Judas Iscariot, but it was a very long chapter indeed. Once Dragon-King, once the friend of Christ, now he became only a blind traveler, outcast and friendless, wandering all the cold roads of the earth, living even when all the cities and the people and things he had known were dead. And Peter, the first Pope and ever his enemy, spread far and wide the tale of how Judas had sold Christ for thirty pieces of silver, until Judas dared not even use his true name. For a time he called himself just Wandering Ju', and afterward many other names. He lived more than a thousand years, and became a preacher, and a healer, and a lover of animals, and was hunted and persecuted when the Church that Peter had founded became bloated and corrupt. But he had a great deal of time, and at last he found wisdom and a sense of peace, and finally Jesus came to hm on a long-postponed deathbed, and they were reconciled, and Judas wept once again. And before he died, Christ promised that He would permit a few to remember who and what Judas had been, and that with the passage of centuries the news would spread, until finally Peter's Lie was displaced and forgotten. Such ws the life of St. Judas Iscariot, as related in _The Way of the Cross and Dragon_. His teachings were there as well, and the apocryphal books that he had allegedly written. When I had finished the volume, I lent it to Arla-k-Bau, the captain of the *Truth of Christ*. Arla was a gaunt, pragmatic woman of no particular faith, but I valued her opinion. The others of my crew, the good sisters and brothers of St. Christopher, would only have echoed the archbishop's religious horror. "Interesting," Arla said when she returned the book to me. I chuckled. "Is that all?" She shrugged. "It makes a nice story. An easier read than your Bible, Damien, and more dramatic as well." "True," I admitted. "But it's absurd. An unbelievable tangle of doctrine, apocrypha, mythology and superstition. Entertaining, yes, certainly. Imaginative, even daring. But ridiculous, don't you think? How can you credit dragons? A legless Christ? Peter being pieced together after being devoured by four monsters?" Arla's grin was taunting. "Is that any sillier than water changing into wine, or Christ walking on the waves, or a man living in the belly of a fish?" Arla-k-Bau liked to jab at me. It had been a scandal when I selected a nonbeliever as my captain, but she was very good at her job, and I liked her around to keep me sharp. She had a good mind, Arla did, and I valued that more than blind obedience. Perhaps that was a sin in me. "There is a difference, " I said. "Is there?" she snapped back. Her eyes saw through my masks. "Ah, Damien, admit it. You rather liked this book." I cleared my throat. "It piqued my interest," I acknowledged. I had to justify myself. "You know the kind of matte Msg#:18463 *alt/magick* 12-07-93 18:43:38 From: NEWS To: ALL Subj: EMAIL WITHOUT TEARS 9312 (LONG OTO EP r I deal with ordinarily. Dreary little doctrinal deviations, obscure quibblings on theology somehow blown all out of purportion, bald-faced political maneuverings designed to set some ambitious planetary bishop up as a new pope, or to wring some concession or other from New Rome or Vess. The war is endless, but the battles are dull and dirty. They exhaust me, spiritually, emotionally, physically. Afterward I feel drained and guilty." I tapped the book's leather cover. "This is different. The heresy must be crushed, of course, but I admit that I am anxious to meet his Lukyan Judasson." "The artwork is lovely as well," Arla said, flipping through the pages of _The Way of Cross and Dragon_ and stopping to study one especially striking plate, Judas weeping over his dragons, I think. I smiled to see that it had affected her as much as me. Then I frowned. That was the first inkling I had of the difficulties ahead. *** So it was that the *Truth of Christ* came to the porcelain city Ammadon on the world of Arion, where the Order of St. Judas Iscariot kept its House. Arion was a pleasant, gentle world, inhabited for these past three centuries. Its population was under nine million; Ammadon, the only real city, was home to two of those millions. The technological level was medium high, but chiefly imported. Arion had little industry and was not an innovative world, except perhaps artistically. The arts were quite important here, flourishing and vital. Religious freedom was a basic tenet of the society, but Arion was not a religious world either, and the majority of the populace lived devoutly secular lives. The most popular religion was Aestheticism, which hardly counts as a religion at all. There were also Taoists, Erikaners, Old True Christers, and Children of the Dreamer, along with a dozen lesser sects. And finally there were nine churches of the One True Interstellar Catholic faith. There had been twelve. The three others were now houses of Arion's fastest-growing faith, the Order of St. Judas Iscariot, which also had a dozen newly built churches of its own. The bishop of Arion was a dark, severe man with close-cropped black hair who was not at all happy to see me. "Damien Har Veris!" he exclaimed in some wonder when I called on him at his residence. "We have heard of you, of course, but I never thought to meet or host you. Our numbers are small here -" "And growing smaller," I said. "A matter of some concern to my Lord Commander, Archbishop Torgathon. Apparently you are less troubled, Excellency, since you did not see fit to report the activities of this sect of Judas worshipers." He looked briefly angry at the rebuke, but quickly he swallowed his temper. Even a bishop can fear a Knight Inquisitor. "We are concerned, of course," he said. "We do all we can to combat the heresy. If you have advice that will help us, I will be more than glad to listen." "I am an Inquisitor of the Order Militant of the Knights of Jesus Christ," I said bluntly. "I do not give advice, Excellency. I take action. To that end I was sent to Arion, and that is what I shall do. Now, tell me what you know about this heresy and this First Scholar, this Lukyan Judasson." "Of course, Father Damien," the bishop began. He signalled for a servant to bring us a tray of wine and cheese, and began to summarize a short, but explosive, history of the Judas cult. I listened, polishing my nails on the crimson lapel of my jacket, until the black paint gleamed brilliantly, interrupting from time to time with a question. Before he had half-finished, I was determined to visit this Lukyan personally. It seemed the best course of action. And I had wanted to do it all along. *** Appearances were important on Arion I gathered, and I deemed it necessary to impress Lukyan with my self and my station. I wore my best boots, sleek dark handmade boots of Roman leather that had never seen the inside of Torgathon's receiving chamber, and a severe black suit with deep burgundy lapels and stiff collar. From around my neck hung a splendid crucifix of pure gold, my collar pin was the matching golden sword, the sigil of the Knights Inquisitor. Brother Denis painted my nails carefully, all black as ebony, and darkened my eyes as well, and used a fine white powder on my face. When I glanced in the mirror, I frightened even myself. I smiled, but only briefly. It ruined the effect. I walked to the House of St. Judas Iscariot. The trees of Ammadon were wide and spacious and golden, lined by scarlet trees called whisperwinds, whose long, drooping tendrils did indeed seem to whisper secrets to the gentle breeze. Sister Judith came with me. She is a small woman, slight of build even in the cowled coveralls of the Order of St. Christopher. Her face is meek and kind, her eyes wide and youthful and innocent. I find her useful. Four times now she has killed those who attempted to assault me. The House itself was newly built. Rambling and stately, it rose from amid gardens of small bright flowers and seas of golden grass, and the gardens were surrounded by a high wall. Murals covered both the outer wall around the property and the exterior of the building itself. I recognized a few of them from _The Way of Cross and Dragon_ and stopped briefly to admire them before walking on through the main gate. No one tried to stop us. There were no guards, not even a receptionist. Within the walls, men and women strolled languidly through the flowers, or sat on benches beneath silverwoods and whisperwinds. Sister Judith and I paused, then made our way directly to the House itself. We had just started up the steps when a man appeared from within; he stood waiting in the doorway. He was blond and fat, with a great wiry beard that framed a slow smile, and he wore a flimsy robe that fell to his sandaled feet, and on the robe were dragons bearing the silhouette of a man holding a cross. When I reached the top of the steps, the man bowed to me. "Father Damien Har Veris of the Knights Inquisitor," he said. His smile widened. "I greet you in the name of Jesus, and St. Judas. I am Lukyan." I made a note to myself to find out which of the bishop's staff was feeding information to the Judas cult, but my composure did not break. I have been a Knight Inquisitor for a long, long time. "Father Lukyan Mo," I said, taking his hand, "I have questions to ask of you." I did not smile. He did. "I thought you might," he said. *** Lukyan's office was large but spartan. Heretics often have a simplicity that officers of the true Church seem to have lost. He did have one indulgence, however. Dominating the wall behind his desk/console was the painting I had already fallen in love with, the blinded Judas weeping over his dragons. Lukyan sat down heavily and motioned me to a second chair. We had left Sister Judith outside, in the waiting chamber. "I prefer to stand, Father Lukyan," I said, knowing it gave me an advantage. "Just Lukyan," he said. "Or Luke, if you prefer. We have little use for titles here." "You are Father Lukyan Mo, born here on Arion, educated in the seminary on Cathaday, a former priest of the One True Interstellar Catholic Church of Earth and the Thousand Worlds," I said. "I will address you as befits your station, Father. I expect you to reciprocate. Is that understood?" "Oh, yes," he said amiably. "I am empowered to strip you of your right to administer the sacraments, to order you shunned and excommunicated for this heresy you have formulated. On certain worlds I could even order your death." "But not on Arion," Lukyan said quickly. "We're very tolerant here. Besides, we outnumber you." He smiled. "As for the rest, well, I don't perform those sacraments much anyway you know. Not for years. I'm First Scholar now. A teacher, a thinker. I show others the way, help them find the faith. Excommunicate me if it will make you happy, Father Damien. Happiness is what all of us seek." "You have given up the faith then, Father Lukyan?" I said. I deposited my copy of _The Way of Cross and Dragon_ on his desk. "But I see you have found a new one." Now I did smile, but it was all ice, all menace, all mockery. "A more ridiculous creed I have yet to encounter. I suppose you will tell me that you have spoken to God, that He trusted you with this new revelation, so that you might clear the good name, such that it is, of Holy Judas?" Now Lukyan's smile was very broad indeed. He picked up the book and beamed at me. "Oh, no," he said. "No, I made it all up." That stopped me. "What?" "I made it all up," he repeated. He hefted the book fondly. "I drew on many sources, of course, especially the Bible, but I do think of 'Cross and Dragon' mostly as my own work. It's rather good, don't you agree? Of course, I could hardly put my name on it, proud as I am of it, but I did include my imprimatur. Did you notice that? It was the closest Msg#:18466 *alt/magick* 12-07-93 18:43:43 From: NEWS To: ALL Subj: EMAIL WITHOUT TEARS 9312 (LONG OTO EP I dared come to a by-line." I was speechless only for a moment. Then I grimaced. "You startle me," I admitted. "I expected to find an inventive madman, some poor self-deluded fool firm in his belief that he had spoken to God. I've dealt with such fanatics before. Instead I find a cheerful cynic who has invented a religion for his own profit. I think I prefer the fanatics. You are beneath contempt, Father Lukyan. You will burn in hell for eternity." "I doubt it," Lukyan said, "but you do mistake me, Father Damien. I am no cynic, nor do I profit from my dear St. Judas. Truthfully, I lived more comfortably as a priest of your own Church. I do this because it is my vocation." I sat down. "You confuse me," I said. "Explain." "Now I am going to tell you the truth," he said. He said it in an odd way, almost as a cant. "I am a liar," he added. "You want to confuse me with child's paradoxes," I snapped. "No, no," he smiled. "A *Liar*. With a capital. It is an organization, Father Damien. A religion, you might call it. A great and powerful faith. And I am the smallest part of it." "I know of no such church," I said. "Oh, no, you wouldn't. It's secret. It has to be. You can understand that, can't you? People don't like being lied to." "I do not like being lied to," I said. Lukyan looked wounded. "I told you this would be the truth, didn't I? When a Liar says that, you can believe him. How else could we trust each other?" "There are many of you," I said. I was starting to think that Lukyan was a madman after all, as fanatic as any heretic, but in a more complex way. Here was a heresy within a heresy, but I recognized my duty - to find the truth of things and set them right. "Many of us," Lukyan said, smiling. "You would be surprised, Father Damien, really you would. But there are some things I dare not tell you." "Tell me what you dare, then." "Happily," said Lukyan Judasson. "We Liars, like all other religions, have several truths we take on faith. Faith is always required. There are some things that cannot be proved. We believe that life is worth living. That is an article of faith. The purpose of life is to live, to resist death, perhaps to defy entropy." "Go on," I said, growing even more interested despite myself. "We also believe that happiness is a good, something to be sought after." "The Church does not oppose happiness," I said dryly. "I wonder," Lukyan said. "But let us not quibble. Whatever the Church's position on happiness, it does preach belief in an afterlife, in a supreme being, and a complex moral code." "True." "The Liars believe in no afterlife, no God. We see the universe as it *is*, Father Damien, and these naked truths are cruel ones. We who believe in life, and treasure it, will die. Afterward there will be nothing, eternal emptiness, blackness, nonexistence. In our living there has been no purpose, no poetry, no meaning. Nor do our deaths possess these qualities. When we are gone, the universe will not long remember us, and shortly it will be as if we had never lived at all. Our worlds and our universe will not long outlive us. Ultimately entropy will consume all, and our puny efforts cannot stay that awful end. It will be gone. It has never been. It has never mattered. The universe itself is doomed, transitory, and certainly it is uncaring." I slid back in my chair, and a shiver went through me as I listened to poor Lukyan's dark words. I found myself fingering my crucifix. "A bleak philosophy," I said, "as well as a false one. I have had that fearful vision myself. I think all of us do, at some point. But it is not so, Father. My faith sustains me against such nihilism. Faith is a shield against despair." "Oh, I know that, my friend, Knight Inquisitor," Lukyan said. "I'm glad to see you understand so well. You are almost one of us already." I frowned. "You've touched the heart of it," Lukyan continued. "The truths, the great truths - and most of the lesser ones as well - they are unbearable for most men. We find our shield in faith. Your faith, my faith, any faith. It doesn't matter, so long as we *believe*, really and truly believe, in whatever lie we cling to." He fingered the ragged edges of his great blond beard. "Our psychs have always told us that believers are the happy ones, you know. They may believe in Christ or Buddha or Erika Stormjones, in reincarnation or immortality or nature, in the power of love or the platform of a political faction, but it all comes to the same thing. They believe. They are happy. It is the ones who have seen truth who despair, and kill themselves. The truths are so vast, the faiths so little, so poorly made, so riddled with errors and contradictions. We see around them and through them, and then we feel the weight of the darkness on us, and we can no longer be happy." I am not a slow man. I knew, by then, where Lukyan Judasson was going. "Your Liars invent faiths." He smiled. "Of all sorts. Not only religious. Think of it. We know truth for the cruel instrument it is. Beauty is infinitely preferrable to truth. We invent beauty. Faiths, political movements, high ideals, belief in love and fellowship. All of them are lies. We tell those lies, and others, endless others. We improve on history and myth and religion, make each more beautiful, better, easier to believe in. Our lies are not perfect, of course. The truths are too big. But perhaps someday we will find one great lie that all humanity can use. Until then, a thousand small lies will do." "I think I do not care for you Liars very much," I said with a cold, even fervor. "My whole life has been a quest for truth." Lukyan was indulgent. "Father Damien Har Veris, Knight Inquisitor, you know better than that. You are a Liar yourself. You do good work. You ship from world to world and on each you destroy the foolish, the rebels, the questioners who would bring down the edifice of the vast lie that you serve." "If my lie is so admirable," I said, "then why have you abandoned it?" "A religion must fit its culture and society, work with them, not against them. If there is conflict, contradiction, then the lie breaks down, and the faith falters. Your Church is good for many worlds, Father, but not for Arion. Life is too kind here, and your faith is stern. Here we love beauty, and your faith offers too little. So we have improved it. We studied this world for a long time. We know its psychological profile. St. Judas will thrive here. He offers drama, and color, and much beauty - the aesthetics are admirable. His is a tragedy with a happy ending, and Arion dotes on such stories. And the dragons are a nice touch. I think your own Church ought to find a way to work in dragons. They are marvelous creatures." "Mythical," I said. "Hardly," he replied. "Look it up." He grinned at me. "You see, really, it all comes back to faith. Can you really know what happened three thousand years ago? You have one Judas. I have another. Both of us have books. Is yours true? Can you really believe that? I have been admitted only to the first circle of the order of Liars. So I do not know all of our secrets, but I know that we are very old. It would not surprise me to learn that the gospels were written by men very much like me. Perhaps there never was a Judas at all. Or a Jesus." "I have faith that that is not so," I said. "There are a hundred people in this building who have a deep and very real faith in St. Judas and the Way of Cross and Dragon," Lukyan said. "Faith is a very good thing. Do you know that the suicide rate on Arion has decreased by almost a third since the Order of St. Judas was founded?" I remember rising slowly from my chair. "You are as fanatical as any heretic I have ever met, Lukyan Judasson," I told him. "I pity you the loss of your faith." Lukyan rose with me. "Pity yourself, Damien Har Veris," he said. I have found a new faith and a new cause, and I am a happy man. You, my dear friend, are tortured and miserable." "*That is a lie!*" I am afraid I screamed. "Come with me," Lukyan said. He touched a panel on his wall, and the great painting of Judas weeping over his dragons slid up out of sight, and there was a stairway leading down into the ground. "Follow me," he said. In the cellar was a great glass vat full of pale green fluid, and in it a *thing* was floating - a thing very like an ancient embryo, aged and infantile at the same time, naked with a huge head and a tiny atrophied body. Tubes ran from its arms and legs and genitals, connecting it to the machinery which kept it alive. When Lukyan turned on the lights, it opened its eyes. They were large and dark and they looked into my soul. "This is my colleague," Lukyan said, patting the side of the vat. "Jon Azure Cross, a Liar of the fourth circle." "And a telepath," I said with sick certainty. I had led pogroms Msg#:18469 *alt/magick* 12-07-93 18:43:47 From: NEWS To: ALL Subj: EMAIL WITHOUT TEARS 9312 (LONG OTO EP against telepaths, children mostly, on other worlds. The Church teaches that the psionic powers are a trap of Satan's. They are not mentioned in the Bible. I have never felt good about those killings. "Jon read you the moment you entered the compound," Lukyan said, "and notified me. Only a few of us know that he is here. He helps us lie most efficiently. He knows when faith is true and when it is feigned. I have an implant in my skull. Jon can talk to me at all times. It was he who initially recruited me into the Liars. He knew my faith was hollow. He felt the depth of my despair." Then the thing in the tank spoke, its metallic voice coming from a speaker-grill in the base of the machine that nurtured it. "*And I feel yours, Damien Har Veris, empty priest. Inquisitor, you have asked too many questions. You are sick at heart, and tired, and you do not believe. Join us, Damien. You have been a Liar for a long, long time!*" For a moment I hesitated, looking deep into myself, wondering what it was I did believe. I searched for my faith, the fire that had once sustained me, the certainty in the teachings of the Church, the presence of Christ within me. I found none of it, none. I was empty inside, burned out, full of questions and pain. But as I was about to answer Jon Azure Cross and the smiling Lukyan Judasson, I found something else, something I *did* believe in, something I had always believed in. Truth. I believed in truth, even when it hurt. "He is lost to us," said the telepath with the mocking name of Cross. Lukyan's smile faded. "Oh really? I had hoped you would be one of us, Damien. You seemed ready." I was suddenly afraid, and I considered sprinting up the stairs to Sister Judith. Lukyan had told me so very much, and now I had rejected them. The telepath felt my fear. "*You cannot hurt us, Damien,*" it said. "*Go in peace. Lukyan told you nothing.*" Lukyan was frowning. "I hold him a good deal, Jon," he said. "*Yes. But can he trust the words of such a Liar as you?*" The small misshapen mouth of the thing in the vat twitched in a smile, and its great eyes closed, and Lukyan Judasson sighed and led me up the stairs. *** It was not until some years later that I realized it was Jon Azure Cross who was lying, and the victim of his lie was Lukyan. I *could* hurt them. I did. It was almost simple. The bishop had friends in government and the media. With some money in the right places, I made some friends of my own. Then I exposed Cross in his cellar, charging that he had used his psionic powers to tamper with the minds of Lukyan's followers. My friends were receptive to the charges. The guardians conducted a raid, took the telepath Cross into custody, and later tried him. He was innocent, of course. My charge was nonsense; human telepaths can read minds in close proximity, but seldom anything more. But they are rare, and much feared, and Cross was hideous enough to make him a victim of superstition. In the end, he was acquitted, and he left the city of Ammadon and perhaps Arion itself, bound for regions unknown. But it had never been my intention to convict him. The charge was enough. The cracks had begun to show in the lie that he and Lukyan had built together. Faith is hard to come by, and easy to lose, and the merest doubt can begin to erode even the strongest foundation of belief. The bishop and I labored together to sow further doubts. It was not as easy as I might have thought. The Liars had done their work well. Ammadon, like most civilized cities, had a great pool of knowledge, a computer system that linked the schools and universities and libraries together, and made their combined wisdom available to any who needed it. But, when I checked, I soon discovered that the histories of Rome and Babylon had been subtly reshaped, and there were three listings for Judas Iscariot - one for the betrayer, one for the saint, and one for the conqueror-king of Babylon. His name was also mentioned in connection with the Hanging Gardens, and there is an entry for a so-called Codex Judas. And according to the Ammadon library, dragons became extinct on Old Earth around the time of Christ. We purged all of those lies finally, wiped them from the memories of the computers, though we had to cite authorities on a half-dozen non- Christian worlds before the librarians and academics would credit that the differences were anything more than a question of religious preference. By then the Order of St. Judas had withered in the glare of exposure. Lukyan Judasson had grown gaunt and angry, and at least half of his churches had closed. The heresy never died completely, of course. There are always those who beleive, no matter what. And so to this day _The Way of Cross and Dragon_ is read on Arion, in the porcelain city Ammadon, amid murmuring whisperwinds. Arla-k-Bau and the *Truth of Christ* carried me back to Vess a year after my departure, and Archbishop Torgathon finally gave me the leave of absence I had asked for, before sending me out to fight still other heresies. So I had my victory, and the Church continued on much as before, and the Order of St. Judas Iscariot was thoroughly crushed. The telepath Jon Azure Cross had been wrong, I thought then. He had sadly underestimated the power of a Knight Inquisitor. Later, though, I remembered his words. *You cannot hurt us, Damien.* Us? The Order of St. Judas? Or the Liars? He lied, I think, deliberately knowing I would go forth and destroy the Way of Cross and Dragon, knowing, too, that I could not touch the Liars, would not even dare mention them. How could I? Who would credit it? A grand star-spanning conspiracy as old as history? It reeks of paranoia, and I had no proof at all. The telepath lied for Lukyan's benefit so he would let me go. I am certain of that now. Cross risked much to ensnare me. Failing, he was willing to sacrifice Lukyan Judasson and his lie, pawns in some greater game. So I left, and I carried within me the knowledge that I was empty of faith, but for a blind faith in truth - truth I could no longer find in my Church. *** I grew certain of that in my year of rest, which I spent reading and studying on Vess and Cathaday and Celia's World. Finally I returned to the archbishop's receiving room, and stood again before Torgathon Nine-Klariis Tun in my very worst pair of boots. "My Lord Commander," I said to him. "I can accept no further assignments. I ask that I be retired from active service." "For what cause?" Torgathon rumbled, splashing feebly. "I have lost the faith," I said to him, simply. He regarded me for a long time, his pupilless eyes blinking. At last he said, "Your faith is a matter between you and your confessor. I care only about your results. You have done good work, Damien. You may not retire, and we will not allow you to resign." The truth with set us free. But freedom is cold, and empty, and frightening, and lies can often be warm and beautiful. Last year the Church granted me a new ship. I named this one *Dragon*. _____________________________________________________________ END ONE __ ____________________________________________________________ BEGIN TWO__ Subject: Aleister Crowley and the Haitian Gnostics, by Frater Joseph From: Harmullah Aleister Crowley and the Haitian Gnostics By Frater Joseph Reproduced without permission. Apparently it first appeared in 'The Occult Digest' and was CC'd to folks through Black Moon Publishing. Slight editing by Haramullah for readability only. I got sick of it after a bit and around the middle left much of the redundancy. Deal. ______________________________________ The publication of Kenneth Grant's very excellent book (_The Magical Revival_, London: Frederick Muller, Ltd., 1972) serves to show for the first time in public print various connections between the O.T.O. magical work of Aleister Crowley and the Haitian Voudoo and gnostic magic. In fact, it is Mr. Grant's contention that Crowley's magick, and especially his sex magick, are identical with the magie and especially the magie sexuelle of the French and Haitian gnostic adepts. In view of this connection, it might be useful to give some information on the Franco-Haitian O.T.O.A. (Ordo Templi Orientis Antique) and its origins and derivatives. It is now fairly well known that Crowley received the initiatic succession of the Ecclesia Gnostica Catholica from Theodore Reuss in 1912, at the time of his consecration to the order of the biship for the O.T.O. Reuss had received this succession in 1909 from Gerard Encausse, Grand Master of the Martinist Order and bishop of the Ecclesia Gnostica. Reuss and Encausse had exchanged initiations, Encausse having received the initiatic succession of the highest degrees of the O.T.O. from Reuss for France and the French-speaking countries. Gerard Encausse, born July 13, 1865 at La Corogne, Spain, and known as 'Papus', h Msg#:18472 *alt/magick* 12-07-93 18:43:52 From: NEWS To: ALL Subj: EMAIL WITHOUT TEARS 9312 (LONG OTO EP ad re-established the Martinist Order in Paris. In 1890, he had been consecrated along with the mystical writer Paul Sedir (Yvon Le Loup) and the occult book publisher Lucien Mauchel, to the episcopate of the Ecclesia Gnostica, by Jules Doinel (tau Valentin II). Those who have read Crowley's autobiographies know that Encausse inherited John Yarker's Rite of Memphis-Misraim (which was originally French, but had been transferred to England via the U.S.A. between 1860 and 1875, and was the basis for the German O.T.O., since Sept. 1902) with the event of Yarker's death in 1913. Encausse was thus known to be connected with Egyptian and mystic masonry; Gnosticism; Martinism and the Rose-Croix (through Stanislas de Guaita); the Elus Cohens; and P.B. Randolph's Fraternitas Lucis Hermetica, which operated in France along sex magical lines. It must be understood, however, that the O.T.O. which Encausse received from Reuss did not contain the secret degrees and work which Crowley was to develop within his own branch of that order. We are here discussing the earlier period, 1909 to 1912, which is prior to Crowley's entry into the work. One of the adepts known to Encausse, at the time in Paris, was a young Haitian gnostic bishop, Lucien-Francois Jean-Maine. He had been consecrated to the episcopate by Tau Synesius (who had been consecrated by Papus, Sedir, and Mauchel) and at the age of 30, in 1899, by a mysterious Tau Orfeo VI, a Spanish gnostic bishop of the older line which drew upon Albigensian and Memphis-Misraim currents. Jean-Maine took 'Tau Ogoade-Orfeo I' as his episcopal name in Ecclesia Gnostica. Jean-Maine was born on January 11, 1869 in Leogane, Haiti, and died in Madrid in 1960. As a result of his position in the occult history of the times, and due to his connections with French and Spanish occultism specifically, Jean-Maine was able to receive all of the most important initiatic successions and currents. He was able to transmit them to other members of his race and also to that one line of gnostic bishops which is derived from him, that which has absorbed the successions and currents of the American neo-Crowleyan derivatives. When considering Haitian Voudoo esoterically, we must make two important distinctions. First of all there was already an order comparable to the O.T.O. of Karl Kellner and Theodore Reuss. I refer to the order and rite created by Toussaint-Louverture, which drew upon French Cabalism, Illuminism, and Dahomey African currents. All students of Haitian Masonry are familiar with this rite, which is entirely too little known, but which cannot be elaborated in this essay for reasons of space. Secondly, there is a very important distinction to be made between these mysteries of Voudoo which are close to the VIII and IX degree-work of the O.T.O. -- the 'mysteries de la solitude' and 'mariage mystique' -- and those mysteries of the very esoteric Voudoo, which are close to the XI, and even higher work of Crowley's O.T.O. Here I mean the 'mystery Luage'. Thus it is important to note that both Crowley and this line of esoteric Voudoo admitted to development of sexual magic and to the existence of secret degrees of attainment. In this sense both the Haitian gnostics and Crowley were to go beyond the O.T.O. of Reuss and Encausse. Prior to his consecration to the episcopate, Lucian-Francois Jean-Maine was ordained to the subdiaconate, diaconate, and priesthood by Tau Orfeo VI, orders of the sacred ministry of the Gnostic Church which fully matched in magical current his first three degrees in esoteric Voudoo, given to him by his father. Between 1899 and 1910 Tau Ogoade-Orfeo I worked with the scattered followers of the American Negro adept P.B. Randolph (born October 8, 1825), forming the loosely-structured 'Fraternitas Lucis Hermetica', which worked the sex magical techniques of their teacher and the three mysterious degrees of his inner order. It has been well- established by historians that the Germanic O.T.O. of Kellner and of Reuss most of its sex magic teachings from P.B. Randolph's _Magie Sexuelle_.... It might be added that the manuscripts of Randolph's work was also used by a group of Polish female bishops, the Mariavite Church, who assisted their male counterparts, until suppressed by the Roman Catholics. At the present time, Randolph's Fraternitas Lucis Hermetica in France is headed by a Mariavite gnostic bishop - Msr. Robert Bonnet. Also, it might be important to note that Randolph's sexual magic manuscripts were translated into French and published by none other than that Polish high-priestess Maria de Naglowska before 1931. Maria de Naglowska studied Voudoo with the pupils of Lucien-Francois Jean-Maine between 1921 and 1930. About 1910, Encausse gave the X degrees of O.T.O. to Tau Ogoade-Orfeo I "for Haiti and the French West Indies". A branch of the Fraternitas Lucis Hermetica was also planned. Jean-Maine's consecration took place in Paris. Encausse... received more of the Memphis-Misraim rites from Tau Ogoade-Orfeo I, who had received them from Tau Orfeo VI. Always the gracious Frenchman and never to outdone, Encausse exchanged what he had received from Yarker and Reuss. However, it must be understood that the succession of Yarker was sacramental in character and based on the magic of the Ecclesia Gnostica. Business difficulties and the war kept Tau Ogoade-Orfeo I from returning to Haiti until 1921. In order to build up the Spanish Gnostic Church, Tau Ogoade-Orfeo I moved to Spain in 1919, and in 1921 consecrated his successor in Europe for the Spanish Gnostic Church/Rite of Memphis-Misraim Occult System. His successor took the name of Tau Ogoade-Orfeo II, and with his headquarters in Madrid, directed the work of the Ecclesia Gnostica and the magical and gnostico-esoteric orders of Memphis and Misraim. Under the combined influences of the O.T.O., Martinism, Gnosticism, and Voudoo - not to mention the Fraternitas Lucis Hermetica - the Spanish and Haitian branches of the Rite of Memphis- Misraim gave up entirely their quasi-masonic character and became completely esoteric and gnostic orders of magic. I.e. _The Gnostic and Esoteric Order of Misraim, or of Egypt and the Gnostic and Esoteric Order of Memphis_, within the larger, totally occult and much more ecclesiastical 'Ancient and Primitive Rite of Memphis-Misraim'. It is only interested in continuing the gnostic and apostolic succession and the magical currents of initiation. This point must be emphasized because there are other branches of the Rite of Memphis-Misraim which claim to continue a masonic character. Tau Ogoade-Orfeo I returned to Haiti in late 1921 and married. A son was born January 18, 1925, who was named Hector-Francois. While in Haiti, Tau Ogoade-Orfeo I created the Haitian Ordo Templi Orientis Antiqua -- the O.T.O.A. -- officially organized in 1921. It was structured to work in 16 degrees rather than the 10 of the Encausse-Reuss order, or even the 11 of Crowley's rite. Elements of Voudoo, magic and gnosticism were worked were worked into a system which 'went up the Tree of Life and then down the back'. It would be considered a very dangerous system by Golden Dawn standards, but then the Haitians had been excluded from Martinist-derived Golden Dawn by reason of their race, so don't judge them too harshly. I am certain that they never regretted anything they did! In 1922, Tau Ogoade-Orfeo I created the magical order, La Couleuvre Noire ('The Black Serpent' - L.C.N.), which worked four degrees plus probationer and administrative degrees for a total of six. The relationship of the O.T.O.A. to L.C.N. can be best described with the analogy of the relationship of the O.T.O. of Crowley to the G.B.G. and the Choronzon Club of the American Neo-Crowleyan derivatives, except without the loss of any magical vitality on the part of L.C.N., as it was founded by the chief of the O.T.O.A. and not by a pupil. In 1930, L.C.N. and the O.T.O.A. were made departments of the Rite of Memphis-Misraim, together with the Gnostic Church and the Fraternitas Lucis Hermetica in Spain and Haiti. This was extended, in 1968, to the U.S.A. and the French West Indies. Tau Ogoade-Orfeo I died in 1960 in Madrid, Spain while on a tour of the gnostic groups in France, Spain and Belgium, which were under his jurisdiction. His authority was passed on to Tau Ogoade-Orfeo II, the Spanish occultist and gnostic, with the provision that the son of Tau Ogoade-Orfeo I was to be consecrated to the episcopate and inherit the order and its rites. This was accomplished in Madrid, on November 2, 1963, when the son of Tau Ogoade-Orfeo I, Docteur H.-F. Jean-Maine was consecrated bishop and elevated to the patriarchate of the Ecclesia Gnostica Spiritualis by Tau Ogoade- Orfeo II. The new bishop-primate and patriarch took the name of Tau Ogoade-Orfeo III and thus continued the gnostic succession o Msg#:18475 *alt/magick* 12-07-93 18:43:57 From: NEWS To: ALL Subj: EMAIL WITHOUT TEARS 9312 (LONG OTO EP f Haitian bishops and Grand Masters of the O.T.O.A. On January 18, 1966, an American Martinist, Tau Ogoade-Orfeo IV, born January 18, 1935, was consecrated to the episcopate for the Rite of Memphis-Misraim. The consecration too place in Chicago, with Tau Ogoade-Orfeo II and Docteur Jean-Maine acting as the co-conscrators. Later, Tau Ogoade-Orfeo IV received the complete magical consecrations and currents of the Ecclesia Gnostica Hermetica on August 10, 1967. The E.G.H. carried the magical currents of the secret work of the O.T.O. and the Choronzon Club, and thus united the Crowleyan (Germerian) and Neo-Crowleyan (Choronzon Club and G.B.G.) successions with the gnostic and hermetic traditions inherited from the Vilatte succession of bishops. The Patriarch of the E.G.H., Tau IX (33=36) was the consecrator of Tau Ogoade-Orfeo IV. Then, Tau Ogoade-Orfeo IV exchanged the episcopate and patriarchate in the Ecclesia Gnostica Spiritualis with Tau IX (33=36) by making him XVI = 336 of the Ordo Templi Orientis Antiqua. Again, on December 25, 1967, another gnostic succession from Msr. Vilatte was received from Tau IV (13=16), the missionary bishop of the QBL Alchemist Church of Illinois (Egyptian Apostolic Succession) by Tau Ogoade-Orfeo IV. This is the same apostolic succession which the French Martinist and gnostic bishop, Msr. C. Chevillon, passed on to the Swiss O.T.O. bishop, who inherited the Crowleyan order from Karl Germer. Astrologers should take note that Tau IV (13=16), born January 5, was consecrated to the QBL Alchemist episcopate of the Vilatte succession on November 4, 1967. Tau IV (13=16) previously consecrated in E.G.S. to the episcopate on January 18, 1967. Thus, the American O.T.O. and gnostic successions were united with the Franco-Haitian and Spanish successions. It should be understood by the readers that the O.T.O. and the Martinist lines of initiations were continually being linked by means of the gnostic episcopate. Also, the succession of the esoteric Voudoists and the O.T.O. successions were united by gnosticism, in the magical Rite of Memphis- Misraim. On August 31, 1968, Tau Ogoade-Orfeo IV consecrated the Haitian occultist Docteur Pierre-Antoine Saint-Charles, born July 21, 1931, to the episcopate of the E.G.Cabalistica, the newly consecrated and elevated bishop taking as his patriarchal name Tau Eon III, Tau VIII (29=32). Thus, in another Haitian adept and gnostic Voudooist were united the following lines of succession which parallel those of Tau Ogoade-Orfeo I in 1910: 1) the Encausse succession of the S.I.I. of Martinism 2) the O.T.O. E.G.H. and Choronzon Club successions from Tau IX 3) the Vilatte succession of the gnostic episcopate, now possessed by all of the heirs of Crowley's order 4) the Memphis-Misraim, E.G.S., and O.T.O.A. successions from Tau Ogoade Orfeo I 5) the Voudoo succession of the four degrees (mentioned earlier in this essay), which Docteur Saint-Charles received from his traditions. Tau Eon III then exchanged his Voudoo consecrations in their esoteric and magical, rather than religious, currents with Tau Ogoade-Orfeo IV, for the successions of the Ecclesia Gnostica. These Voudoo currents were further developed when Tau Ogoade-Orfeo III added the magical current of the esoteric Voudoo high-priesthood to the succession of the E.G.S. Thus, the lines of esoteric Voudoo and Aleister Crowley did meet in a definite succession of gnostic bishops. In order to add more Haitian magical elements to the current, on July 27, 1970, Tau Ogoade-Orfeo IV consecrated to the episcopate in E.G.S. Tau Ogoade-Orfeo V (Tau XV, 57=60), the well-known Haitian scientist, born July 27, 1930. The newly consecrated bishop is the great-grandson of Haitian presidents Michel-Cincinnatus Leconte and Nord Alexis, and the author of several important studies in the consecration, and thus brought another Crowley current again into the gnostic stream. And so the magical currents flow on and on and on. About the E.G.S., yes it is still in existence. In fact, in the words of John Yarker, when describing the Rite of Mizraim, "in a quiet way it is still conferred in this country under its own Supreme Council", composed of Tau Ogoade- Orfeo III, Tau Eon III, Tau Ogoade-Orfeo IV, Tau IX, Tau Ogoade-Orfeo V, and the Franco-Haitian ghost of 'Le Maitre Therion'. Love is the law, love under will. __________________________________________________________ END TWO__ Moderator's Note: I found it very wonderful to end my Moderatorship on the half-year celebration of my last initiation. The first piece in this issue even mentions 'Damien', who is the subject of Evil after which I patterned my initiation date/time (6/6/6). That both of these articles mention succession and offices and titles says alot about how I feel regarding all of it, though I do care for the people. Consider this publication silent until otherwise notified. Thank you for your time. Haramullah rasulu 'Llah. Alaikum assalam, my kin. Love is the law, love under will. Msg#:22597 *alt/magick* 12-08-93 01:09:21 From: NEWS To: ALL Subj: RE: EMAIL WITHOUT TEARS 9312 (LONG OT From: markk@cypress.West.Sun.COM (Mark Kampe) Newsgroups: alt.magick Subject: Re: Email Without Tears 9312 (LONG OTO EPUB) Date: 7 Dec 1993 18:21:05 GMT Organization: SunSoft South Reply-To: markk@cypress.West.Sun.COM A most provocative story. Truth occupies a strange place in our minds. Everything else in life is subject to compromise, or to equivocations as to its meaning ... but Truth stands out as the only uneclipsable light. Truth does not require meaning or justification. The pursuit of Truth is generally recognized as a high calling, and our greatest minds have dedicated their lives to the pursuit of Truth (in various forms). Yet Truth is a cold lover, who passively accepts our devotion, and gives us in return nothing more than our own satisfaction for having served in the temple. All who aspire to serve Truth come to recognize that the the pursuit of Truth will eventually demand that we renounce all of the things that have given us comfort. Dedication to Truth requires that we follow it, wherever it may lead us ... and we cannot turn away from the path, merely because we do not like the direction in which it leads. In some perverse sense, we have elevated to divinity a pursuit that threatens to strip of us our humanity. Faith might tell us that the place to which we are lead will be a place of higher humanity. The obvious falsehoods that underly faith suggest however that such an optimistic ideal is itself a falsehood. It may not be unjustified to fear that the pure pursuit of Truth will leave us as complex, chaotic and powerful creatures, condemned to a God-like awareness of their own mortality, and whose lives have no intrinsic meaning or purpose. We cannot blaspheme against the divine Truth, but must we acceed to such a path? There may be no Truth in beauty, yet beauty enriches our lives. There may be no Truth in love, yet love brings us to enrich the lives of others. There may be no Truth in a 'meaning of life', yet life can serve and achieve purposes. All of these things are delusion, yet their effects are real (although the meaning of those effects are again entirely subjective :-). We find ourselves to be almost innately bound to the pursuit of "Truth", and simultaneously locked into an existance where all value derives from delusion. What a fine line we must walk! If we stray too far into delusion, our lives may serve the wrong purpose. If we stray too far from delusion our lives may lose all value and purpose. In our ancient past, when few people had the training to recognize and pursue Truth, the solution was found in giving them a well contrived and well managed delusion. It naturally had many problems, but it sort of worked. Now, as more and more people gain the ability to recognize delusion, the old solution begins to unravel ... but where is its replacement? How can people acquire calibrated and valuable delusions when they recognize them as such? As individuals, we may consciously choose the delusions we accept, recognizing them as such, but also understanding why we have accepted them. This is a delicate process of dynamic equilibrium, and probably "the right answer" for many people. This leaves us free to pursue Truth, gives us (most of) the benefits of a good delusion, and also gives us room to adjust our delusions if they do not seem to be serving us adequately. The danger, of course, is that we know that we have turned away from Truth, and having done so may find we have suffered a spiritually mortal wound. What about people who are not prepared to accept "a useful delusion"? Well, we can always tell them that they are "not delusions at all, but a higher Truth". Of course, this leaves us with the problem of dealing with inconsitancies in the delusion ... but we can (very rightly) claim that "faith is the key", and that will probably be sufficient to dismiss most objections. The danger, of course, is that these people must either blind themselves to many aspects of external reality (generally a poor choice) or risk the complete collapse of the useful delusions (sometimes a worse choice). We do indeed walk along a high and narrow precipice ... and the value of an inspired "Liar" is not a thing to be underestimated. A well crafted "Lie" may indeed convey more (and greater) truth and an accurate recounting.


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