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TEMPLE OF SET STATEMENT FOR THE U.S. ARMED FORCES - as of February 17, XXVI/1991CE The U.S. Army publishes a book entitled _DA Pamphlet 165-13: Religious Requirements and Practices of Certain Selected Groups - A Handbook for Chaplains_. This book was contracted to/prepared by the Institute for the Study of American Religion (ISAR), publishers of the _Encyclopaedia of American Religion_. The first edition of 165- 13 was published in 1978, and it is presently being revised and updated by ISAR. Following is the Temple of Set's information as provided to ISAR for the new edition: 1. NAME OF GROUP: Temple of Set 2. OTHER NAMES OR DESIGNATIONS BY WHICH THE GROUP IS KNOWN: Within this religion its principles are termed "Setian", and individual affiliates are termed "Setians". As the original god Set was later caricatured as the "Satan" of Judaeo-Christianity, Christians often interpret this religion as "Satanism" and its affiliates as "Satanists". Setians accept such labels only to the extent that the Christian Satan represents certain qualities of individualism and independence. Setians reject any interpretation of Satanism that glorifies or promotes evil or destructiveness. 3. ADDRESS: International & United States Office: Temple of Set Post Office Box 470307 San Francisco, CA 94147 Telephone: (415) 771-9155 Electronic Mail: MCI-Mail 314-3953 Telex: 6503143953 Temple offices & officials in other countries may be contacted in care of the International Office. 4. NAME/TITLE OF CURRENT INTERNATIONAL LEADER: Michael A. Aquino High Priest of Set 5. NAME/TITLE OF CURRENT UNITED STATES LEADER: [Same] 6. MEMBERSHIP: Not published. 7. HISTORICAL ORIGINS: Together with the Priesthood of Horus, the original Priesthood of Set was the most ancient of the Egyptian religious orders, dating (by surviving predynastic images of Set) to at least 3200 BCE and by the Egyptians' own astronomically-based records to approximately 5000 BCE. The Setian religion played a prominent role in Egyptian society throughout its development, to include being the state religion of the XIX-XX dynasties of the New Empire. It appears to have been eclipsed approximately 1000 BCE. Thereafter what may be termed the "Satanic tradition" survived in successive Western civilizations in the form of philosophies and/or god-figures focusing on "awareness and activity beyond the natural order". Such range from the Prometheus of the Hellenes and the Lucifer of Christianity to the individualistic philosophies of Pythagoras, Plato, and Nietzsche. The Romantic movement of the 1800s dramatized the Christian Devil as a heroic, Miltonian symbol, thus setting the stage for the eventual formation of the Church of Satan in 1966. The Temple of Set was founded in 1975 by the international Priesthood of the Church of Satan to supersede that institution (whose founder, Anton LaVey, had announced intentions to commercialize it). Simultaneously the anti-Christian mythology and orientation of the Church of Satan were discarded in favor of the completely distinct character of the original Egyptian Priesthood of Set. The Temple of Set was incorporated as a non-profit church in California in 1975, and qualified for U.S. federal and state tax- exempt status that same year. 8. BASIC BELIEFS: The Temple considers itself to be consecrated by and dedicated to Set, originally an ancient Egyptian deity. One rival cult, that of Osiris - whose myths were erroneously assumed to be "pan-Egyptian" by later civilizations - portrayed Set as the god of evil. Setians themselves, however, did not then and do not now consider Set an evil figure, nor consider the Setian religion merely a refutation of conventional religion. Setians perceive the universe as a non-conscious but ordered environment within which Set has, over a period of millennia, altered the genetic development of at least one form of life to create a species - humanity - possessing an enhanced, self-conscious intelligence. The techniques and teachings of the Temple are designed to identify and develop this higher evolutionary potential in appropriate individuals. 9. COMMON PRACTICES AND BEHAVIORAL STANDARDS: While Setians focus on their own individual capabilities, they are also expected to have an appreciation of and respect for ethical behavior, to include the ideals of whatever social group - or political state - they have chosen to identify themselves with. In addition to conventional means of influencing the environment about them, Setians also employ "magic", by which they mean universal forces and psychological influences generally unknown to or unrecognized by society. Setian magic is referred to as "Black Magic" to distinguish it from "White Magic" (invocation of non- existent forces/influences for purposes of self-delusion). The term "Black Magic" carries no connotation of evil or destructive intentions or ends. 10. ORGANIZATIONAL STRUCTURE: The individual initiate is the conceptual focus of the Temple, as it is a device for the interaction of individuals as such. It is not a "mass" organization. Such structures as it incorporates are merely to enhance personal opportunities. The Temple as a California corporation is the property of the international Priesthood of Set, which delegates governing authority to the Council of Nine (board of directors). The Council in turn appoints the High Priest of Set, the Executive Director, and other officers of the Temple. The Temple includes a number of Orders, each supervised by a Grand Master. These Orders may be somewhat likened to the academic departments of a university, being vehicles for concentration and cooperation in specialized fields of philosophy and magic. Setians may also interact in Pylons, which are normally under the guidance of a Priest or Priestess of Set. Pylons are normally geographically localized, but also may extend over international distances. 11. NATURE AND ROLE OF THE MINISTERIAL LEADERSHIP: The Priesthood of Set is not understood to be a "leadership" or "pastoral" function in a structural or organizational sense. It is rather the direct, specific, and willful consecration of a particular individual by Set himself, formally recognized as such by the Temple of Set. Each Priest or Priestess of Set thus exercises the full religious authority of the entire Temple, subject only to the guidance of the Masters of the Temple. One member of the Priesthood is determined by the Council of Nine to serve as High Priest or High Priestess of Set. The Priesthood of Set is responsible to Set for the care of his Temple, and for reasonable guidance of and assistance to individuals who enter the Temple. The Priesthood is also responsible for dismissing from the Temple any person who cannot or will not uphold its initiatory or ethical standards. 12. WORSHIP: There are no regularly-scheduled, group "services" in the Temple. Nor would individual Setians be comfortable with the term "worship" - conveying as it does admiration of or devotion to a god or gods based on fear and faith. What the Setian performs instead are Workings of "Greater Black Magic" (as distinct from LBM discussed above), in which the personal consciousness is raised to direct association with that of Set. Collective GBM Workings involving any number of Setians may take place over great distances, or at gatherings called Conclaves. 13. DIETARY STANDARDS: It is the individual consciousness that is sacred within each Setian. Therefore any substance which impairs or distorts the consciousness, such as hallucinogenic drugs or excessive alcohol, is disapproved of by the Temple. Other than this there are no dietary guidelines. 14. FUNERAL OR BURIAL PRACTICES: The center of self-consciousness of each initiated Setian - the _ba_ of the ancient Egyptians - is perceived to separate from the physical body when that body ceases to be serviceable to it. The bodily remains themselves are then not considered to be sacred in any sense, though they may be cared for in any memorial way desired by the individual and his or her relatives. The _ba_ itself does not separate from the consciousness of Set, nor from those of other Setians via GBM Workings. Therefore no ritualized mourning is necessary. Nor are non-initiates of the Temple, whether officials of conventional religions or not, able or expected to perform any ceremony affecting the _ba_. 15. MEDICAL PRACTICES: The Temple has no prohibitions concerning medical practices save those that would be offensive to the ethics of the individual Setian. 16. OTHER CONSIDERATIONS: --- a. BELIEFS OR PRACTICES WHICH MIGHT CONFLICT WITH A MEMBER OF THE GROUP SERVING IN THE MILITARY OR OBEYING AN ORDER OF A DULY- APPOINTED SUPERIOR: As an institution the Temple of Set has no policies which in themselves prohibit or inhibit an individual Setian's national military service. Mention should again be made, however, of the Temple's strong emphasis upon individual and social ethics. If a Setian in the military of any country were given an order which he or she determined to be unacceptably unethical (not merely unpleasant or dangerous), the Temple would endorse that Setian's decision not to comply. The Setian would, of course, be expected to explain precisely upon what ethical grounds such a refusal appeared necessary. This expectation that any ethical refusal be explained is essential. Merely citing affiliation with the Temple of Set would not suffice. On the other hand, the mere fact that the Temple of Set did not have a written prohibition against some specific act would not prevent the Temple from endorsing a Setian's refusal to perform it if that refusal were precisely and conscientiously articulated. --- b. ATTITUDE TOWARDS PACIFISM: The Temple of Set deplores violence or harm to any living being unless necessary for personal self-protection or preservation. Where an individual Setian's service in a national armed force is concerned, the Temple accepts this as a device for the security of political states which humanity has not yet outgrown. If a Setian accepts citizenship in a particular state, then along with that social contract come certain obligations of citizenship, military service perhaps among them. --- c. RECRUITMENT OF NEW MEMBERS: The Temple of Set considers a metaphysical philosophy to be an intensely personal decision, and that the Setian state of awareness and being cannot be "advertised" or "merchandised" in any way. An individual either inclines to this state or does not. Therefore the Temple does not "recruit"; rather it simply makes the fact of its existence known and explains enough about itself when approached to interest persons with Setian potential and disinterest those without it. 17. AUTHORIZED CONTACT PERSON: The Temple of Set does not participate in, or accept representation by the Corps of Chaplains in any branch of the armed forces of any nation. Inquiries may be addressed to the Executive Director at the Temple's office, and will be forwarded as appropriate. 18. BOOK-LENGTH WORKS CONTAINING AN ACCEPTABLE DESCRIPTION OF THE GROUP: Annotated reading lists of published works in many categories relevant to the Temple of Set may be obtained through the Temple office.


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