Care Frater Morgan,
Congratulations on a humorous and insightful article, which I by and large enjoyed. You have eloquently delineated several of the challenges presently facing our common Golden Dawn community. For example, you wrote:"WHAT ONE DOES NOT NEED TO IMAGINE IS THE LACK OF COMMUNICATION BETWEEN THE TWO SCHOOLS."I THINK YOU HAVE HIT AN ESSENTIAL NAIL ON THE HEAD HERE. I APPLAUD YOU FOR ENCOURAGING GREATER DIRECT, FRATERNAL COMMUNICATION BETWEEN TRADITIONALIST AND RECONSTRUCTIONIST GOLDEN DAWN ORDERS. CERTAINLY THE FRATRES ET SORORES IN THE HOGD/AO ARE OPEN TO THIS. EVERYONE from the Golden Dawn community is welcome to post on the HOGD/AO Yahoo forum for example, here.
Sadly, most of the leaders of the Golden Dawn reconstructionist camp, on the other hand, stubbornly refuse any direct, fraternal dialogue. Despite the HOGD/AO trying to promote harmony in the GD community for years, they refuse any and all direct, fraternal dialogue. On the one hand, they refuse to post on our forum. On the other hand, they also refuse to allow anyone from our order to post any reply directly on their forum either. It is this intransigent stubbornness from the reconstructionist camp that unnecessarily perpetuates tension in our Golden Dawn community, with the respective camps reduced to talking past one another from their respective soapboxes across the internet.
Next you wrote:The primary issue is whether or not to accept the existence of an European Third Order acceptance of such implies that you are willing to follow their public Head and spokesperson, are willing to increase your level of secrecy to the point where all published material are no longer considered valid (including the Mathers material) and all the rituals and lessons have been rewritten to re-install absolute secrecy, and are willing to be expelled if one of your fellow lodge members breaks their secrecy oath. Acceptance also implies that all modern developments of the Golden Dawn system (aka any that developed after the Cipher Manuscript) will someday be abandoned.Here I can not at all agree with you. No one has ever said that all modern developments need to be abandoned. No one has said that anyone needs to follow anyone else either. Have you really so completely misunderstood, or are you simply making this up and falsely attributing it to Golden Dawn traditionalists?
In reality, the HOGD/AO has said over and over for years that there is plenty of room for diversity in the Golden Dawn community. This is what makes the GD community grow and thrive.
Diversity is a good thing. Our order, at least, is willing to live and let live. It is the GD reconstructionist camp that constantly has been attacking the traditionalist Golden Dawn orders, and certainly not the other way around. we at the HOGD/AO fully embrace diversity in the Golden Dawn community, even if we do not always agree with you and others on everything.
Again, I find your honesty and insight demonstrated about direct communication in our community to be highly commendable. Sadly, however, it appears that you are not always willing to fully embody such a lofty and admirable level of integrity, as in when you wrote today:
"As far as I have been able to determine from the outcries of the internet police is that if someone does not agree absolutely with your opinion, your lesson plan, your Grade system, and your version of Golden Dawn history, then it is flame war."Aw come on, Morgan. Please quit pretending to be stupid as it is obvious that you are not. You know full well the difference between flame war and honest, fraternal discussion and debate. You also know full well that the HOGD/AO encourages and fosters fraternal discussion and debate, and does not pretend to be any sort of internet police.
It is also true, however, that after nearly two decades of recurrent and repeated attacks on our order not only on the internet but even in court as well, that I personally have precious little tolerance left for such destructive behavior in our community.
"So what is flame war?", you ask. Do I really need to spell it out to you even yet once again? Well, OK, let's give you the benefit of every doubt.
Fraternal discussion becomes flame war, in my opinion, when fraternal discussion is hijacked by cheap rhetorical tactics. These include but are not limited to the use of "talking points", repeated over and over, propaganda style. You can tell that a discussion has degenerated into flame war, when the person you are engaging ignores every counter argument, and merely repeats their talking points over and over. Do you really need concrete examples of this? OK, go over to Pat Zalewksi's Yahoo forum and search for the search terms "secret chiefs, SC, third order," or "Desmond Bourke."
What do you find with such a simple search? - Hundreds upon hundreds of attack posts repeating the same "talking points" over and over like a broken record. Our order's leaders and members have wasted literally thousands of hours rebutting the "talking points" that have been written over and over on these subjects on that forum, propaganda style for well over a decade.
And guess what?
Every single rebuttal, every single refutation, has simply been ignored.
And guess what else?
The same talking points have simply been repeated over and over, propaganda style for over a decade.