An enjoyable bit of speculation from Tim Boucher this morning: Eckankar & Scientology.
It got me back to thinking of one of my primary functions for this journal, which is to go a ways towards untangling the threads of the various ‘occult’ organisations out there, particularly the ones which can be described as either counter-intitiatic, or psuedo-initiatic. My concern is to identify the adversary, as a step towards overcoming him, if you will. Gotta know the enemy before you open up a can of whup-ass right?
In kabbalah ( and yes, I know K is rather trendy these days. thanks Madonna. ) there is a concept known as the qlippoth. It basicly means ‘peel’ or ‘husk’ or even ‘shell’. In the context of the tree of life schematic it represents a ‘false’ or empty counterfeit of one of the true ’emanations’ of the godhead.
Simply put, it looks like a duck, quacks like a duck, but it aint no duck. A qlippoth by it’s nature lacks the animating spirit, the force of the godhead, which gives it truth. Essentially a qlippoth is what’s left behind when you take the truth out.
So let’s play a little shell game shall we, you tell me when the truth meter starts beeping for you or not. We’ll start with the eck.
The Eckists I’ve met seem neutered but harmless. That’s the only way I know how to put it. Eck seems effective at making you nice and placid, probably by surrounding you with other people who have a vested interest in having nice placid lives, but they probably wouldn’t know the force of real gnosis if it hit them with a rubber chicken. Paul Twitchell by all sounds was a decent enough bloke, but even his own followers admit he was a bit of a liar, and his association with old L RON makes me nervous. The core ideas of Eck seem to be watered down hinduism/buddhism with some new age special effects to keep it interesting.
For the sake of continuity, let?s say Twitchell got his inspration for a prepacked cult from L. Ron Hubbard, and filled out the details with some off-the-shelf eastern flim flam. Sounds about right to me. File him under psuedo initiation. A wrong turn but not the tar pit of despair.
Scientology on the other hand, is purely dark side of the force. L Ron by all accounts was a thief, a liar, an epic bullshitter, and had no qualms about doing serious damage to people, inside and out. His methods were apparently partly pinched from Freud, and partly from Jack Parsons, who got them from Aleister Crowley . I suspect there’s something else there too. The wedges scientologists drive into people seems particularly pernicious and clever. Makes me wonder about links to military intelligence. I’ve heard some members get so full of contradictory stories from the various levels of ‘auditing’ and ‘clearing’ that eventually they’re utterly helpless to use critical thinking for anything.
Some confidential materials on Hubbard lead one to think he was very conflicted at times, and who wouldn’t be? He was wracked by various illnesses, and couldn’t understand why his teachings didn’t free him from his own personal baggage. It didn’t stop him from fucking people over something fierce though did it? He was a pawn of the bad bad stuff, and his death hasn’t changed the way the church is blowing one bit, so obviously the pathology has outgrown it’s originator. File under Counter-Initiation with a captial C, and steer clear at all costs. I once filled out one of their personality tests as a joke and they tried to track me down for about two months. NOT GOOD.
John Whiteside ‘Jack’ Parsons was wealthy, good looking, popular, a world class chemist, and a pillar of the american rocket program. He had no interest in manipulating people, except to score a hot girlfriend. He seems overly idealistic, and a bit gullible, to let L Ron play him the way he did. Parsons was all about freedom, and wanted to summon the goddess BABALON to overturn the aeon of false hypocritical christianity. He was all about the sex magick, bay-bee, and he did it the way I would do it, if I weren’t a nice monogamous buddhist lad. He died in a rocket fuel explosion in his garage. Rock on! On the other hand, when informed of the doings of Parsons and Hubbard, Crowley was ‘fairly frantic’, and not in a good way. File under gifted party boy.
The Process church of the final judgement was a splinter sect of scientology, which is two and a half strikes right there. Seems like they were trying to recapture something resembling spiritual experience after being screwed by L Ron, or it might be that the founders Robert DeGrimston Moore and Mary Ann McClean , were looking to make some bank for themselves. Typical 60’s hippie folderol. Tried to score counterculture points by reconciling jesus and satan. Hung around rock stars and movie sets in capes with german shepards acting scary. Lot of drugs and sex. Nebulous links to Manson and the Son of Sam. Reminds me of Marlyn Manson, but without the music and a worse fashion sense. Eventually imploded, forming alternately a fundamentalist chrisitian sect, a secular study group, a shelter for homeless animals, and a ritual animal sacrifice cult. Shows ya what can happen if you aint got a rudder, son. File under psuedo-initiation, with the scales tipping very strongly towards COUNTER-INITIATION. Leave the fucking dogs alone.
Now, a place of honor for the Great Beast, Uncle Al. For all his genius, Uncle Al tried too hard to be a not-christian. He was brilliant synthesiser, and reinvigorated dusty old rituals with sex magick methods that definitely work, even if they do leave you open to some serious wrong turns. He borrowed everything but his strong hand comes from hermeticism, and tantric buddhism. Tried to use coke to kick heroin and heroin to kick coke. Climbed mountains and took no shit. Talked a good game but treated people pretty carelessly. Didn’t live up to his own standards, which implies that maybe nobody ever can. Tried to reestablish the traditional solar religion in a syncretic guise. Left a lot of ammunition around for sadistic fucks who lack the imagination to justify their own sick delights. A counter culture hero and a forerunner for human liberty. File under INITIATORY, with some strong advice to include some extra moral training.
Uncle Al got his start with the hermetic order of the golden dawn, under Samuel Liddell MacGregor Mathers who apparently was making it all up as he went along. A fairly benign bs artist, who at least pillaged from the best he could find at the time. Hard to say much about him because Crowley swiftly stole his show. The strands appear to be esoteric masonry, theosophy and medieval sorcery. Cashing in on a fad to start a boy’s club. File under do-it-yourself initiation, which gets a pass because that’s what most of us are doing these days, if we’re doing it at all.
We have the Theosophical Society to thank for much of this mess. Helena Petrovna Blavatsky came out of nowhere claiming to be in touch with tibetan ‘secret masters’. Backed it up with psychic tricks, which sets off alarm bells for me right there, as does her host of deathbed malidies, keeping in mind what I said in my last post. Seemed to have the right information, but the wrong approach, which unfortunately makes all the difference. Jiddu Krishnamurti took a walk from them at the earliest opportunity, which gets them an automatic round-file into the psuedo-initiation category. Note also some disturbing descendants such as the Lucifer Trust
Well, I’ts been a hoot, but I gotta be getting on with my day. Thanks for tuning into the Shell Game, and be back next week for our new contestants: Neopaganism, the Landmark Forum, and our returning champion, Speculative Masonry!