To: Diane Vera Subject: Non-Fascist Temple of Set Area: Base of Set Diane, I have not seen
To: Diane Vera
Subject: Non-Fascist Temple of Set
Area: Base of Set
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
Nor am I going to comment 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
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.
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 one.
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 have.
"I have always deplored its [Naziism's] premises, policies, and
activities which resulted in savagery and misery to a great many
people." (Dr. Aquino's 11/14 response, as quoted in part 2 of your
1/25 post to me.) 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
For those who may not know the precise definition, 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 discussion.
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
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 non-socialist state.
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 dedication,
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 ideal.
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.
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 received 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
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 his 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 more than 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 Nazism."
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
recognize and 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 accountability."
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 of that 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
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 you.
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
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
with 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
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 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.
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 ratified these appointments.
(The Chairman of the Council of Nine 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.)
I think you'll agree that this is not an example of "tokenism".
Instead, this action prooves 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
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
"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
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 Maroney does.
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 to you.)
"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 sympathizers."
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 helps.
"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 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
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