The incident began when Peregrin alleged on the Heavens Within Earth blog that Stregheria del Bosco Sacro of Benevento claims something or other about an alleged initiatic connection between Gerald Gardner and Italian occultism. The Stregheria del Bosco Sacro of Benevento Tradition immediately put rumors to rest with the publication of the following official clarification:"NEITHER STREGHERIA DEL BOSCO SACRO OF BENEVENTO NOR THE GREAT RITE MAKE ANY CLAIM WHATSOEVER REGARDING ANY INITIATION OF GERALD GARDNER. ANY STATEMENT MADE BY ANY INITIATE CONTRARY TO THIS WAS CLEARLY MADE IN ERROR."In a fashion that has typified the Golden Dawn flame war throughout the last decade, for maximum strife stirring value, Peregrin repeated the original allegation on different venue, in this case on HP Morgan Drake Eckstein's Gleamings From The Dawn blog, to which Eckstein then replied:"Hmmm, this reminds of how many times errorous information has been removed from [their] other claims. Sometimes I think it would be easier if they quit making claims, rather than correcting the ones that they make in error." [Note how Eckstein here deliberately conflates Stregheria del Bosco Sacro of Benevento Tradition with the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn (AO) although they are completely separate entities, the first being a Pagan religious Tradition and the second a secular, magical order outside the Pagan faith].The additional Witch War tactics underlying this incident can be best understood in light of the decade old Golden Dawn flame war. Several of the rhetorical tactics that have been routinely used against the HOGD/AO and its leaders have been:
* HP Eckstein's present allegation, repeated over and over across multiple fora, blogs, websites, etc, that the HOGD/AO has somehow "shifted its story" over time, when in fact our order has been quite consistent all along.
* The frequent repetition of deliberate misrepresentations across various fora, websites, and blogs, ignoring all refutation, but instead merely repeating the same talking points, over and over, propaganda style. This has resulted in HOGD/AO having to refute the same unfounded allegations, over and over, ad nauseam.
* Depriving through moderation HOGD/AO all right of rebuttal on the various fora, blogs, etc., where tactics 1 and 2 were being waged against our order as part of the ongoing flame war.
It is sad to witness Peregrin and HP Morgan Drake Eckstein suddenly reviving these failed Golden Dawn flame war tactics across the Blogoshpere. The time is long overdue for the Golden Dawn community to put all divisive flame war behind it once and for all - and to begin instead to heal the wounds left by over a decade of strife in our community.
The above exposition reveals the attempt of two Golden Dawn Adepts not merely to rekindle the Golden Dawn flame war, but also to drag the greater Pagan community into the conflict, escalating it into a full blown WITCH WAR.
Admittedly, Frater Peregrin indeed reposted the official clarification as well, although he is at least guilty of reposting allegations across venues in a manner typical of the Golden Dawn flame war. Peregrin, therefore, may only be guilty of bashing Pagans yet again, although this time at least not posing as Pagan as he has done in the past. HP Morgan Eckstein, however, deliberately attempts to conflate the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn (AO) with Stregheria del Bosco Sacro of Benevento Tradition.
Perhaps Peregrin and Morgan do not yet realize how the greater Pagan community is far less tolerant towards War-mongering Witches than the Golden Dawn community has been over the last decade. In the Pagan community, it is considered in extremely bad taste for one Pagan Tradition to wage Witch War against another, and War-mongering Witches may quickly find themselves shunned by the entire community.
Clearly, any attempt to drag the greater Pagan community into an old Golden Dawn conflict will not be well looked upon by the greater Pagan community. Attacking the Stregheria del Bosco Sacro of Benevento Pagan Tradition by attempting to conflate it with the purely secular, Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn (AO) clearly constitutes nothing other than WITCH WAR.