Area: Mundane From : Ammond Shadowcraft 25-Nov-90 19:03:00 Date: Wed Nov 14, 1990 7:47 am

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Area: Mundane From : Ammond Shadowcraft 25-Nov-90 19:03:00 ------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Wed Nov 14, 1990 7:47 am MST From: Dr. Michael A. Aquino / MCI ID: 278-4041 TO: * Michael Morgan / MCI ID: 421-3086 RESPONSE TO TIM MARONEY'S "THE NAZI TRAPEZOID" by- Michael A. Aquino, Ph.D. High Priest Temple of Set Post Office Box 470307 San Francisco, CA 94147 MCI-Mail: 278-4041 A correspondent has recently provided me with a copy of a BBS essay by Tim Maroney entitled "The Nazi Trapezoid" - essentially an accusation that the Temple of Set's Order of the Trapezoid and myself are Nazi-sympathetic. [Maroney did not show me the courtesy of providing me with a copy directly.] Maroney first appeared as a conversationalist on the Weirdbase BBS, via which I occasionally offered some comments about magical & philosophical subjects. In Maroney's case it soon became apparent, however, that he was simply interested in picking a fight about Nazism - evidently a personal fetish of his. After being patient with Maroney's abuse and insults for longer than I felt courtesy required, I finally declined to gratify his emotional need for confrontation any further and simply ignored his electronic vitriol. Thus frustrated, he appears to have channeled his ardent Naziphobia into this BBS tract of his, to which at least a brief response is in order: Within the Temple of Set are several specialized Orders (somewhat analogous to the departments of a university). One of these is the Order of the Trapezoid. In actuality this particular Order is concerned with a great many areas of research, of which north European [including Nazi German] occultism is only one. Others include time/space sciences, proxemics, art & architecture (particularly Expressionism, Art Nouveau/Deco/Moderne), electronics (Tesla et al.), _film noir_, Lovecraftian literature, music & the electromagnetic spectrum, mental sciences, etc. 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. To study and evaluate such material is not to endorse Nazi Germany generally, any more than a political scientist who studies Nazi political culture is thereby an apologist for it. In his selective and out-of-context quoting from the Order's informational paper, Maroney somehow neglects to mention the following very central passage: "The Order of the Trapezoid extracts the positive, the constructive, the exalted, and the Romantic from the Germanic magical tradition - and just as carefully avoids and rejects those excesses, distortions, and cruelties which have made this tradition an object of the most extraordinary fear, condemnation, and suppression in the postwar period. The Germanic tradition is also part of the legacy of the Prince of Darkness, hence is appropriate to an Order within the Temple of Set, which embraces all manifestations of the Powers of Darkness in the world. "Nevertheless the care required in any investigation into this tradition cannot be overemphasized. Magical and research ability are not enough; ethical sensitivity and social discretion are just as important. The prospects for new and wondrous perspectives on the Black Art are exhilarating, but success will come only if the Order conducts its affairs with the same dedication and nobility that have made the Temple of Set a legend in its time." Maroney's accusation that I refuse to make my opinions on Nazi Germany explicit is absurd. I have always deplored its premises, policies, and activities which resulted in savagery and misery to a great many people. Equally emphatically I have deplored premises, policies, and activities by other countries which resulted in savagery and misery at the same time in history [and in other eras as well]. This, apparently, is not enough for Maroney, who froths with fury at the notion that there could be anything at all about the Third Reich not deserving of instant and unqualified condemnation - or at the heresy that its antagonists were not all lily-white angels of racial equality, religious tolerance, and all-round political purity. As Maroney spends a great deal of time ranting about the supposed fascist-sympathy of the Temple of Set's reading list, I suppose a word or two about that is called for. That reading list consists of well over a hundred books in 24 specialized categories of magical and philosophical research. Some of these are well-known books accepted without a blink in current secular society. Others are books that cause or have caused a good deal of controversy because of their statement of facts or expression of opinions distasteful to current secular society. The Temple of Set agrees with Plato that the search for truth should not be "democratized": Whether an idea is palatable or not, popular or not, should not justify its promotion or suppression. All data must be looked at carefully and dispassionately if a true picture of the topic in question is to emerge. This is, at least theoretically, the aim of reputable modern universities - but even they, in light of popular sentiment, must not dare to question certain sacred cows. Times change. When my mother attended Stanford University in the 1920s, women students could not be too intellectual or accomplished without being ostracized. It was taken for granted that women were genetically inferior to men, just as in this same country it was taken for granted that Blacks, Native Americans, and Orientals were genetically inferior to Caucasians. American Jews were routinely discriminated against in all sectors of society. Maroney evidently imagines that racism and anti-semitism appeared by magic in Nazi Germany exclusively in the early 20th century. What the Temple of Set understands, and what a _comprehensive_ tour of its reading list demonstrates, is that the impulses behind prejudice of any sort - religious, racial, sexual, etc. - are present in _all_ cultures. Show me a person - perhaps Maroney would care to volunteer? - who believes himself beyond all bias, and I'll show you a victim of tragic - and dangerous - self-deceit. Ultimately the proof of the pudding is in the eating. If the Order of the Trapezoid is so dangerously fascist, where are the stormtroopers it has spawned? The riots? The revolutions? But wait: If we are to believe Maroney, it is the very _absence_ of conspicuous neo-Nazism in the Order's actual accomplishments that makes it all the more frightful. As for Michael Aquino, Maroney's baleful portrait reminds me charmingly of an H.P. Lovecraft passage in his _Strange Case of Charles Dexter Ward_: "By 1760 Joseph Curwen was virtually an outcast, suspected of vague horrors and demonic alliances which seemed all the more sinister because they could not be named, understood, or even proved to exist." Sorry about that. But I am not about to cease my quest for the Grail of Truth simply to appease the private neuroses of the Maroneys of the World. Indeed I might respond with a quote from Abraham Lincoln, who during the Civil War was also vilified for being insufficiently supportive of various popular passions of that troubled time: "If I were to try to read, much less answer all the attacks made on me, this shop might as well be closed for any other business. I do the very best I know how - the very best I can, and I mean to keep doing so until the end. If the end brings me out all right, what is said against me won't amount to anything. If the end brings me out wrong, ten angels swearing I was right would make no difference." ******************************************************************** Note: Here from Oz Tech is a response to Tim Maroney's article on the Nazi Trapezoid. I know from personal experience that Oz Tech is a member of the Temple of Set and that this electronic mail bore her mundane network address header. ------------------------ Thank you for forwarding Maroney's "Trapezoid" article and for asking about it. As you well know, I am a member of the Priesthood of Set. Upon meeting with Dr. Stephen Edred Flowers a few years ago and discussing my interests I was extended an invitation to join the Order of the Trapezoid. I have participated in the mysteries of that Order. I have examined past and present publications, corresponded with many Setians and traveled to several parts of the continent to meet Setians in person. I am black. I have also been a member of the ACLU for over ten years. Nazism is a totalitarian ideology based on bogus notions of racial supremacy, blood & land. If the Temple of Set were actually a neo-Nazi front I think would have *noticed*. The doctrines and practices of the Temple of Set, and those of the Order of the Trapezoid, are neither totalitarian nor racist. Questing after "Nazi occultism", and having no real knowledge of the Order of the Trapezoid's work, Tim Maroney fails to mention the 36 other books outside "Fascism, Totalitarianism and Magic" that are marked in the reading list as titles of importance to the Order of the Trapezoid. So eager is he to identify Order interest in Germanic magic with "Nazi occultism" he =ignores= "Runic Arts and Sciences", the section devoted to pre-Christian occult practices in Europe. As for the many other OT-recommended books--the texts on Pythagorean philosophy, sacred geometry, archeology and archetypes in fiction--he ignores them, having made up his mind: this is surely a front for a Hitler admiration society His references to "evasion" and "plausible deniability" seem to derive from his fury at being brushed off by Dr. Aquino on the net some months ago. Dr. Aquino has dealt with so many fruitcake conspiracy buffs that to him Maroney is probably just another dragonslayer a la Geraldo. What of the re-formulation of the Order of the Trapezoid at Wewelburg Castle? Here again the intent is magically precise. Any occultist or neo-Pagan familiar with the pre-Christian history of Europe knows that the continent is crossed by "ley lines" of telluric current. Pennick's book, HITLER'S SECRET SCIENCES, describes how the geomancer Himmler sought out key points on ley lines for his SS buildings: "Deeply conscious of the magical aspect of earth mysteries, by a seemingly innocent interest in the preservation of ancient monuments he managed to gain personal control of those places he considered magically powerful." (What is more, that book describes a similar study of geomancy used by the Jesuits in their spiritual conquest of Europe and the southwestern territories of the New World!) The Wewelburg is one such site. In the eyes of a materialist, the use of a "power spot" formerly held by Nazis is support of Nazism. In the eyes of a trained occultist it is no such thing. The elemental forces in such a place are not "Nazi" any more than the water arising from a spring is "Native American" or "French" or "Republican". Tim Maroney infers that the use of this site implies Nazism within the Order of the Trapezoid. It would be as logical to infer that the cathedrals of Europe are host to the pagan worship formerly carried on at those sites: logical, but dead wrong. Lest there be any doubt: the SS catechism explains that the Nazi ethos is squarely based on belief in God. The candidate swore to serve Hitler as an agent of God! There is Hitler's own brazen oath, "By resisting the Jews, I strive for the work of the Lord". We have nothing to do with this religious insanity. In the Order of the Trapezoid the candidate swears an oath to one master only: to his or her immortal fylga, the numinous Self. Indeed, this is true of all Temple practices. We swear no oaths to mystic masters, high priests, books or even to Set. Selfhood alone binds the individual to his or her destiny. For all Tim Maroney's claims about human dignity, he cannot clearly distinguish friend from foe. What? Tim says this reading list lacks books on the Holocaust? Well, if we thought genocide was a magical technique we'd surely have included a few--but we don't! What's magically important about the Nazi is not that they butchered millions--rather, it's that they bewitched seemingly "rational" people into helping them. THAT is magic, a magic that must be understood instead of drugging ourselves with the opium of righteousness. Between Aquino's offer of knowledge and Maroney's dire warnings against moral contamination, I feel it is a simple choice, though not a comfortable one. Oz Tech Note: I received more comments from Oz Tech from her normal net mail address. ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Thanks for posting my response. I don't know if it will do much good, actually, since for most folks, fantasies about wicked conspiracy elsewhere are far more delicious than self-recognition. (Dr. Aquino scored a true hit when he took the measure of Maroney's obsession and jokingly asked if he had a wish to be flogged by an SS she-devil. I know Tim will *never* forgive him. Would-be dragonslayers never have a sense of humor.) Some of our best applicants to the Temple have come from those who saw Aquino speak of his philosophy on the Geraldo show while being attacked by folks who were not playing with a full deck. I doubt the Usenet readership will come running to the Temple gates but I am sure a few can comprehend & respect the Setian way, whether it is their way or not. Oz Tech ----------------------------------------------------------------- So while Tim has gone out of his way to question the motives of the Temple of Set's Order of the Trapezoid, one among ten orders, no one has seen fit to question Tim's motives. Why? Because Tim is cantankerous. He's hard to work with. Confronting him requires time and effort. And that's as it should be. He does his part and we do ours. If either side drops the ball the outcome of the game is diminished. So let's avoid the issue of confronting Tim. He's a lost cause, but he does some really wonderful things for the magikal communities. Let's thank him instead. In the last year or so Tim has been on a nice little campaign to expose neo-Pagan and Wiccan prejudice. The Nazi Trapezoid article has nicely brought to surface some neo-Pagan prejudice. The Trickster manifests in Tim quite well. Where the Trickster is involved, the left hand need not know what the right hand is doing. In fact it works better if all parties are unaware of the Trickster's capricious devices. We owe Tim many thanks for exposing these prejudices. Thanx Tim. This has been a very good thing for the Temple of Set. Neo-Pagan prejudice has been exposed, the Temple's ethics and Orders have been fully advertised--complete with snail and MCI mail addresses--and Dr. Aquino has had a chance to address these problems here and on Usenet. Why am I doing all this work to defend the Temple of Set? I believe in intellectual freedom. Furthermore, I despise prejudice, hidden or overt. I think it is a damn shame that many neo-Pagans suffer from the same problems they ardently struggle against. These are the ones who enjoyed Tim's article and who suddenly found themselves at the bottom of his slippery slope. OOOOPPPSS... * Origin: THE CRYSTAL CAVE "DAS MAGICK TREFFPUNKT"(719-391-1092) (1:128/50)

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