I have not seen any of the 1990 correspondence between Tim Maroney and Dr. Aquino, nor do
I have not seen any of the 1990 correspondence between Tim Maroney and Dr.
Aquino, nor do I have any interest in seeing it. I will try to avoid
commenting on the alleged abuses or failings of language, protocol, or
courtesy from either side within that correspondence.
(For those who may need help identifying this message
thread, Diane has asked some specific questions concerning Tim Maroney's
11/90 "The Nazi Trapezoid" [which purports to identify leanings toward Nazi
sympathy within the Temple of Set] and Dr. Aquino's response to same. This
is my response, hoping to answer those questions. Both original documents
have been re-posted in this echo in the past month, and both are available in
the "TOS" file section of Northern Lights
BBS and in file sections of various other BBS nodes.)
I'm also going to try to avoid commenting on the personal
comments made by anyone concerning anyone else anywhere in this thread -- I
find only two justifications for my spending so much time this week examining
the documents and comments concerning same, material which is at best
peripheral to my own personal Xeper:
a) You have indicated that you want to be able to present a clear argument
that Satanism is not inherently fascist, and you want my assistance in
proving that the Temple of Set is not fascist, so you can use it to support
your argument. I
think this is a worthy project.
b) If the Temple presents me with another opportunity to
exercise my Toastmasters training on their behalf, and if
the same sorts of questions are asked of me (as they likely will be if your
activities garner publicity), I had better be prepared.
So I'm going to concentrate strictly on the question of
fascism, the supposed appearance of same, and the actuality of non-fascism.
Before I start, a reminder: The following statements are my personal
descriptions of the positions and points of view of Setians, each of them an
individual. The Temple of Set as an organization has no opinion or point of
view of its own
concerning fascism -- that topic is simply outside the
Temple's realm of concern. To my knowledge there has never been a formal
policy made nor formal discussion concerning
the issues you ask about. Any opinion, position, or point of view is that of
individuals, not of the organization.
In your 1/25 post to me, you suggest that the question, "What does Aquino
agree with and disagree with about Nazi ideology (repeat: Nazi *ideology*,
not just Nazi practices)?" is a
reasonable question. I would agree. You go on to wonder why Dr. Aquino "felt
he had to duck this question."
I find he answered several elements of the question.
However, those answers may have been too general to answer the questions you
In Dr. Aquino's 11/14/90 response, as quoted in part 2 of
your 1/25 post to me, Dr. Aquino says, "I have always
deplored its [Naziism's] premises, policies, and activities which resulted in
savagery and misery to a great many
people." He deplores its premises (ideology) and its
policies (practices) which result in savagery and misery.
What are the specifics not covered in that statement that you need
clarification on? What are the elements of Nazi
ideology that concern you which did not "result in savagery and misery to a
great many people"?
For those who may not know the precise definitions, my
dictionary defines ideology as: "1: visionary theorizing.
2a: a systematic body of concepts, esp. about human life or culture. 2b: a
manner or the content of thinking
characteristic of an individual, group, or culture. 2c: the integrated
assertions, theories, and aims that constitute a sociopolitical program."
Each of the variations of definition 2 apply to this
My dictionary defines Naziism as, "the body of political and economic
doctrines held and put into effect by the National Socialist German Workers'
party in the Third German Reich
including the totalitarian principle of government, state
control of all industry, predominance of groups assumed to be racially
superior, and supremacy of the fuhrer."
I'm not Dr. Aquino, but I've been reading his works for well over a decade
now, and I've heard some of his discussions on these and related topics, and
I believe I can accurately
state the following:
1) Dr. Aquino disagrees with the Nazi ideology of the
totalitarian principle of government. While he recognizes
that there are problems in every form of democracy used to date, democracy in
general results in better governments and better organizations than does
In evidence of this, I point to the organization of the
Temple of Set (his design), where a) there are multiple
checks and balances designed to ensure that no single person wields
totalitarian power, b) all members of the Priesthood have an equal vote
concerning the bylaws of the
organization, and c) a democratic vote of the Council of Nine is powerful
enough to remove any officer from power and to
expel any member from the organization, including the High Priest.
2) Dr. Aquino disagrees with the Nazi ideology of the state control of all
industry. While Dr. Aquino is certainly no
captain of industry (he prefers to earn his livelihood
within academia), I've never heard him express any
dissatisfaction with capitalism or the free market system, other than the
generally recognized fact that people can be financially hurt in a
Instead of arguing for a socialist state, which would be the case if he
supported this Nazi ideology, Dr. Aquino instead argues that Black Magicians
should be able to successfully
make their own way in a capitalist society.
3) Dr. Aquino disagrees with the Nazi ideology of the
predominance of groups assumed to be racially superior. I
have always seen Dr. Aquino treat people of various races as comparative
equals, judging people not by race, but by
personal qualities under the control of the individual
(their education, their application of their native
intelligence, their sociability, their honor, their
4) Dr. Aquino disagrees with the Nazi ideology of the
supremacy of the fuhrer. There were some things that Hitler said or wrote
which are worth studying, but there were also many, many things said,
written, and done by Hitler which are reprehensible. Setians are fond of
saying they worship none but their own higher Selves. Dr. Aquino lives that
Those are the four ideologies of Naziism listed in my
dictionary. If there are other ideologies you wonder about, you'll need to
ask about them specifically.
Since Naziism and fascism are so closely related, and since Dr. Aquino and
the Temple of Set have been accused of being fascist, let me explore that
Fascism -- 1: a political philosophy, movement, or regime
that exalts nation and race above the individual, and that stands for a
centralized autocratic government headed by a
dictatorial leader, severe economic and social
regimentation, and forcible suppression of opposition. 2: a tendency toward
or actual exercise of strong autocratic or
1) Dr. Aquino believes in and exalts the individual over the nation and race.
This is central to the concept of Xeper and the Left Hand Path. This
concept is even more important than the Temple of Set -- as High Priest he as
individual initiates pleasantly leave the Temple of Set for reasons of their
own, and has later welcomed back several of those with open arms. Such is
not the behavior of a fascist.
2) Dr. Aquino does not believe in a centralized autocratic government headed
by a dictatorial leader. He believes in
the American form of democracy (while admitting that it has its problems),
and he has designed the Temple's organization and bylaws to prevent any
dictatorial leader from gaining
3) Dr. Aquino does not believe in social regimentation nor forcible
suppression of opposition. Instead he welcomes
diversity within the Temple of Set, and has not only
tolerated but welcomed intelligent forms of opposition
within the Temple of Set.
You quote Dr. Aquino's 11/14/90 statement, "To the extent
the Order is interested in Nazi Germany, it is essentially with regard to the
very extensive research into occultism
conducted by the Ahnenerbe and other groups & individuals
during that period." You then go on to claim, "As the Order of the Trapezoid
statement makes clear, there is much more to its interest in Nazism than
this. Aquino does not address any of the specific issues raised in Tim's
article, which I will highlight in a later message to you." (I haven't
same, as far as I know.)
Reading through the Order of the Trapezoid statement, I find that the
introduction concentrates on German Romanticism,
and the Order's statement doesn't even mention the Third
Reich until the eighth paragraph. The Third Reich and the
Nazi influence is then discussed and dismissed in six
paragraphs. The Third Reich and Nazi influence occupies less than one page in
the five-page document.
Reading those six paragraphs, I find myself unable to
support your claim that "there is much more to its interest in Nazism than
I do find the 1939 quote from Herman Rauschning, which said, "This irrational
element in National Socialism is the actual source of its strength. It is the
reliance on it that
accounts for its 'sleepwalker's immunity' in the face of one practical
problem after another. It explains why it was
possible for National Socialism to attain power almost
without the slightest tangible idea of what it was going to do. ..."
Yes, the study of the social dynamics which are mentioned are of interest,
but I fail to see the connection between those social dynamics and Naziism
... those social dynamics apply to all fanatical movements which quickly rise
to power (or at least struggle for it). Do you disagree?
If you can point out to me where you find this interest in Naziism rather
than German Romanticism, perhaps I'll be
better able to answer your question. Until then, I just don't see the source
of your concern.
In your 1/18 reply to Triple Six's 1/13 message to you, you quote his
statement, "Dr. Aquino states that the 'third
Reich's dynamism got out of hand, leading it to embark on
irrational and destructive foreign invasions...'" and Triple Six's
commentary, and you respond, "Yes, but can't you see
that Aquino's statement *is* rather puzzling? Aquino tries to distinguish
between the Third Reich's "dynamism and
life-worship" on the one hand, and its racism and "crude
xenophobia" on the other hand. But what else was Nazism's
"dynamism and life-worship" based on, besides racism?"
As indicated in the Order of the Trapezoid's statement, that dynamism and
life worship was founded in a historical
philosophy of German Romanticism, which significantly
predates Naziism. I believe you'll find that verified in the books listed in
that reading list section (though since I
haven't read them, I can't verify that from my own research - - like you I'm
not interested in the topic myself). It's my impression that racism is not a
significant part of the more historical German traditions, at least not any
you'll find /anywhere/ in the ancient world up through the 1800's.
Moving on to Tim's 11/11/90 "The Nazi Trapezoid" itself, Tim Maroney opens
his discussion of the supposed Nazi sympathy within the Temple of Set with,
"But unsettling questions
remain concerning this organization. It harbors a subgroup, the Order of the
Trapezoid, which is dedicated to Nazi
occultism. Aquino is known to have participated in black
magical rituals at Wewelsburg Castle, set up as a place of occult working for
the SS by Heinrich Himmler. Aquino counts Nazi occultism as one of his chief
interests, and the
heraldry and symbolism of the SS is one of his favorite
topics of discussion. These facts would seem to indicate, at least on the
face of them, that Aquino is sympathetic to
1) The Temple of Set also "harbors" a subgroup, the Order of the Vampyre. No,
this group doesn't wander the streets at
night and suck the blood out of homeless victims, but rather (quoting from
its statement), "Members of this Order will
strive to bring to Life those qualities and aspects of our potential which
have long been considered to be dead,
undead, or just plain latent."
It also "harbors" a subgroup, the Order of Shuti, which
examines (among other things) Opposites and Extremes. In its statement (which
I just uploaded to Northern Lights) I find, "One obsolete philosophy of magic
was that to achieve
balance, the magician has to experience and participate in the extremes
(often the extremes of good and evil)." No, this group doesn't advocate the
pursuit of evil and the execution of horrors, "but the Initiate of Shuti will
work with any and all opposites / extremes, and with the
ranges and balances between them, whenever and however
It also "harbors" a subgroup, the Order of the Scarab.
Quoting from its statement, "This Order directly addresses the question of
*responsible* Setian magic. ... Major
emphasis is placed on personal aims, wakefulness, Becoming, and the use of
Lesser and Greater Black Magic with
There is a wide diversity of activity within the Temple of Set (these are but
four of the eleven Orders found within the Temple of Set as of today). Many
of the activities pursued
within the Temple of Set are in direct opposition to Nazi
ideas and policies. To indicate that there is Nazi sympathy because one group
looks at the Nazi use of occultism seems to be jumping to a conclusion on
2) The Order of the Trapezoid is *not* "dedicated" to Nazi occultism. That is
just one of the areas which they explore, and my impression (from reading
their newsletter and talking to their members, since I myself am not a member
Order) is that Nazi occultism is a fairly minor aspect of the Order. If the
Order of the Trapezoid is "dedicated" to
anything, that dedication is found in the statement,
"The O.Tr. is an Order of knighthood characterized by strict personal honor
and faithfulness to the quest for the Grail. The Order is a *knighthood* in
that its members are pledged to the traditional chivalric virtues as
appropriate to each situation encountered. By *honor* is meant a sense of
justice, ethics, and responsibility prior to personal
comfort, convenience, or advantage. This honor is known by one's
*faithfulness* to the Quest of the Grail, which is the self, soul, or psyche
made perfect through conscious
refinement and exercise of the Will."
Let me repeat that sentence which expands on the Order's
concept of honor: "By *honor* is meant a sense of justice, ethics, and
responsibility prior to personal comfort,
convenience, or advantage."
In my opinion that statement directly and absolutely
disproves Tim's expectation of fascism.
3) Aquino is known to have participated in black magical
rituals at Wewelsburg Castle, set up as a place of occult
working for the SS by Heinrich Himmler. As I've pointed out in other posts on
this topic, simply using a site does not
imply the condoning of any activity which may have occurred previously at
that site. Oz Tech suggested some very good
reasons for the use of that site in her 1990 post (attached to Dr. Aquino's
response), as I did in my 1/20 message to
From recent posts I gather that Bobby Meizer and Tim Maroney disagree with me
on this point. I can understand why they
disagree, but on reviewing my opinions on this matter I stand by my comments.
4) "Aquino counts Nazi occultism as one of his chief
interests, and the heraldry and symbolism of the SS is one of his favorite
topics of discussion."
How does one determine someone's "chief interests" and
"favorite topics of discussion"? Yes, Dr. Aquino knows quite a bit about
these topics, as he does about many, many, many topics (is my jealousy
showing, or is it camouflaged by your green terminal screen?). He writes and
talks about these
topics as well as he does about many other topics.
But, in over a decade of reading his writings, I have not
seen any special concentration in this area. In several
years of attending social and other gatherings with Dr.
Aquino, I have not found him to launch into discussions about these topics in
preference to other topics. I therefore
offer that Tim's claims here seem to be a projection of Tim's expectations,
and an exaggeration, rather than fact.
5) "These facts would seem to indicate, at least on the face of them, that
Aquino is sympathetic to Nazism." I can see how someone who is overly
sensitive to the possibilities of
covert racism (as you suggest might be Tim's case) can make such an
interpretation. But I suggest that an open minded
inquirer, with a little bit of actual information (as I
present above), will see that there is not sufficient
information to reach that conclusion.
Indeed, I stand by my own personal knowledge of Dr. Aquino, and the
definition of Naziism quoted from the dictionary
above, to state simply that Dr. Aquino is *not* sympathetic to Naziism as an
ideology, as a political party, as a
governmental force, etc. He is interested in their occult
studies, and he is interested in studying just how they
obtained so much power so rapidly. That is not an indication of sympathy.
Let me add one more "fact" here. You mention in another post of yours how
the presence of one (or I suppose even a few)
black Priests would not disprove Tim's claims of apparent
racism. However, I believe there is a similar example which does provide a
strong proof against Tim's claim of fascism, or at least the implied claim of
Dr. Aquino, as High Priest, I believe in 1989, appointed a IV* Magister
Templi of Jewish descent as Chairman of the
Council of Nine. The Chairman of the Council of Nine is a post with a
one-year term of office, and Dr. Aquino has twice reappointed this "Jew" to
this highest of offices. In each case, the Council of Nine overwhelmingly
The Chairman of the Council of Nine holds the mundane office of the Chairman
of the Board of Directors of the Temple of
Set, Inc. That individual is the one person who can start the process of
deposing the High Priest from office, and the Chairman of the Council of Nine
is the one person who
appoints a new High Priest in the event of any vacancy in
that office. The Chairman of the Council of Nine is also
responsible for appointing the Treasurer, Executive
Director, and all members of the Council of Nine whenever
there are any vacancies.
I think you'll agree that this is not an example of
"tokenism". Instead, this action proves that Dr. Aquino and the highest
Initiates of the Temple of Set do not
discriminate against Setians of Jewish background. (Let me point out that
the initial appointment to that office
predates Tim's accusations and his "The Nazi Trapezoid".)
Tim goes on to quote the Order of Trapezoid statement:
"Crucial also to German Romanticism were the concepts of
_dynamism_ and _life-worship_. The former term represents an urge towards
constant movement and evolution, whether
intellectual, artistic, or social. [...] The uncanny
attraction of the Third Reich - Nazi Germany - lies in the fact that it
endorsed and practiced both dynamism and
life-worship without restraint and to a world-shaking degree of success."
Normally I wouldn't argue too much with the text someone
feels is unimportant and therefore condenses into "[...]" -- but I feel that
here Tim left out a very important paragraph. The statement actually reads,
"Crucial also to German Romanticism were the concepts of
/dynamism/ and /life-worship/. The former term represents an urge towards
constant movement and evolution, whether
intellectual, artistic, or social. [...]
"German Romantic life-worship was not love and respect for the phenomenon of
life per se, but rather a compulsion to
exercise one's own life -- to 'really live' rather than to simply exist.
Again this is commendable, but as with
dynamism it can be dangerous in excess -- when one's 'rage to live'
interrupts and consumes the lives of others.
"The uncanny attraction of the Third Reich - Nazi Germany - lies in the fact
that it endorsed and practiced both dynamism and life-worship without
restraint and to a world-shaking
degree of success."
In my opinion, the three paragraphs in succession point to Dr. Aquino's
opinion that the Third Reich took the
traditional German philosophies too far. That middle
paragraph (which Tim chose not to quote) points to Dr.
Aquino's disagreement with the excesses of German
Romanticism, even without the influence of Naziism. Taking that into account,
his statements disagreeing with the
"excesses" of Naziism can be seen to be disagreements, not apologies as Tim
seems to suggest.
Tim then goes into a rather lengthy examination of section 14 of the Temple's
reading list, attempting to demonstrate Nazi sympathies through Dr. Aquino's
comments concerning the
books listed there. In my opinion the case is not made, and I value my time
too much to go through and dispute those
statements. But then I cheated -- I know the man and
understand what he feels and thinks a bit better than Tim
You asked me to give you some feedback concerning your 1/25
3-part message to Triple Six.
You state to Triple Six, "My interest is not "feigned", as you seemed to
imply on January 19, but my interest *is*
indirect. That is, what you perceive as my "laziness" is the fact that I
don't (at the present time, at least) have any
deep interest in the topic of Nazi occultism itself, but only in the question
of how non-Nazi sympathizers relate to it."
The problem you face in getting Setians on the echoes to
discuss this topic in the detail you so obviously desire is that we don't
have any deep interest in the topic either, not in Nazi occultism, nor even
in how non-Nazi sympathizers
relate to it. I haven't seen any members of the Order of the Trapezoid
participating in any on-going discussion in any of these echoes. The brevity
and shallowness of the responses
you've gotten is indicative of our general lack of interest.
(I've been a member of the Temple of Set since well before the founding of
the Order of the Trapezoid, and I'm
interested in some of the things they do, but not enough to belong to that
Order. They, apparently, are either not
watching the echoes or are too busy doing whatever they're doing to respond
"It greatly helps my defense of Satanism to be able to point to ToS as an
example of a prominent Satanic organization
which is *not* fascistic (despite my philosophical
disagreements with ToS on other matters).
"Unfortunately, it's a common perception among occultists
that ToS too is a bunch of neo-fascists and/or Nazi
Yes, I've found that perception to be fairly common.
However, it's a perception which I've also found fairly easy to disperse once
I start talking to or corresponding with
people. Of course, I have the benefit of actually being a
member of the Temple, and being able to talk from personal experience. You
don't have that benefit, and so I can see
where you would need some more impersonal evidence. I hope this response
"This idea isn't just 'Tim's paranoia'; it is a view shared by *many*
occultists, including even some ex-ToS members.
(See, for example, the brief description of the Temple of
Nepthys in SATAN WANTS YOU by Arthur Lyons, Chapter IX.)"
You've just pushed a button of mine with reference to that specific ex-ToS
member. At one time I considered Lynn
Johnson to be a friend, and a very promising Adept of the
Temple of Set. I liked her, and I was close friends with her Setian fiance,
and I was looking forward to being present at their wedding.
But almost without warning, she then became a very
disruptive element, very antagonistic to the Temple and to all who believe in
it, apparently because no one would
Recognize her to the III*. (This is my interpretation of her motivation,
based on what I know of her activities,
including several hours of listening to her on the telephone during that
period in time while she tried to "enlist" me to her side of the "struggle".)
She worked as hard as she could to harm the Temple of Set, and then founded
her own "Temple of Nepthys". She declared
herself Maga, and distributed (sold) copies of our _Crystal Tablet_,
substituting her own name for Dr. Aquino's,
substituting "Red Magic" for "Black Magic", "Nepthys" for
"Set", etc., but otherwise it was a word for word copy (down to entries in
her inter-member communication roster -- my
own entry in that roster was copied verbatim, with only the names changed).
She's continued to do what she can to harm the Temple of Set, apparently up
to and including obtaining a false membership (or having someone else do it
for her), apparently so she
could obtain updated copies of the _Crystal Tablet_ which
she can then sell to others as her own again. (I have not
seen a recently plagiarized copy, but I've heard that others have.)
I strongly suggest that anything she says about anything be disregarded.
I think I've covered all of the substantive points in this discussion. I hope
I have, since other work is calling to me.
E-Mail Fredric L. Rice / The Skeptic Tank