Most importantly, By Names and Images highlights the importance of the inner workings that actually make the Golden Dawn rituals and ceremonies operate effectively. This book actually adds something valuable to the existing Golden Dawn literature. I would therefore recommend this book to all aspiring Golden Dawn students.I wish I could say the same about many of Peregrin's recent blog articles.
On his Magic of the Ordinary blog, Peregrin has written one fine article after the other. Sadly, however, Peregrin far too frequently permits his well researched and well written articles to be poisoned as tools for the sectarianism that unfortunately has infected so many parts of the Golden Dawn community.
On numerous occasions recently on MOTO, you find extremely interesting and well written articles poisoned near their conclusion by the inclusion of thinly disguised sectarian sniping.It is quite sad when otherwise fine authors permit their ethos to be hijacked in the service of political or religious extremist sectarian agendas. This is sadly the case with Peregrin's latest article on MOTO, entitled "Casting obloquy and irrational religion."
Do we say and do nothing in the face of religions that preach oppression and hate? As Edmund Burke said, "All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing." Personally, I say, bugger that for a lark and have no problems laying into religions of hate and oppression, obloquy notwithstanding. - Peregrin WildoakI could not agree with Peregrin more on this. I have for months been tirelessly exposing the bizarre takeover attempts of Golden Dawn temples and orders by the segregationist SRIA and the anti-Semitic and anti-Pagan "Order of the Rose and Cross.
KKK Grand Wizard - SRIA Supreme MagusThe problem is, however, that altough Peregrin is going to careful lengths to disguise what he is about to do, he nonetheless embarks on pursuing precisely such a extremist religious and political agenda for the entire rest of the article, where Peregrin uses all of the propaganda tactics of Holocaust denial to deny that there was ever any Pagan Holocaust. To make crystal clear what Peregrin is actually doing, we must merely substitute the word "Jewish" for the word "Pagan" and examine what Peregrin says in light of the replies by major Jewish organisations to the propaganda of Holocaust denial.
Peregrin writes:"At the less extreme end of things, I started thinking more about this issue a week or so back after posting on Facebook that I was surprised that some magical folk still referred to 'the Burning Times' as a factual series of events, where Pagans were persecuted by 'the church'. Nick Farrell, in his normal wise manner, responded by saying, "It is an article of religious faith a bit like the virgin birth." If this is so, and I think Nick is technically correct, then have all my previous articles and postings back to 1989, where I critique the Burning Times as myth not history, been casting a little bit of obloquy? I certainly have been firm in my opinions. Does the fact that people are consciously or unconsciously holding something as a 'religious truth' bar us from saying how stupid it actually is?" - Peregrin WildoakCalling the Holocaust a "myth" or an article of "faith" rather than historical fact is a typical strategem of Holocaust Denial. The Anti Defmation League (ADL) writes in its introduction to "Holocaust Denial: An Online Guide to Exposing and Combating Anti-Semitic Propaganda:"Holocaust denial, which its propagandists misrepresent as "historical revisionism," has become one of the most important vehicles for contemporary anti-Semitism. It is the invention of a collection of long-time anti-Semites and apologists for Hitler." - ADLLet us modify the above ADL statement as it applies to the present instance to make clear what Peregrin is actually doing in this article:
"Holocaust denial, which its propagandists misrepresent as "historical revisionism," has become one of the most important vehicles for contemporary anti-Paganism. It is the invention of a collection of long-time anti-Pagans and apologists for the Inquisition."Is what Peregrin wrote above racist? Let's answer this question by substituting the word "Jewish" for "Pagan," and look at Peregrin's words as though he were referring the the Jewish rather than the Pagan Holocaust.
Peregrin's words would then read:
"I was surprised that some magical folk still referred to 'the Holocaust' as a factual series of events, where Jews were persecuted by 'the Nazis'." - Peregrin rephrasedThis makes Peregrin's true agenda not so hidden, doesn't it?
The Pagan and Jewish Holocausts In response to Peregrin's above cited anti-Pagan defamation, Alexandrian Wiccan elder and famous Pagan author, Frater Barrabbas, replied:
"To call religious persecution (whoever the target) from that time as just a myth is quite ridiculous by itself. Tell that to Giordano Bruno (and many others), who was burned at the stake in Rome. Tell that to many gifted and intelligent men who were forced to suppress or recant their theories or discoveries, such as Galileo." - Frater BarrabbasAlexandrian Wiccan Elder, Frater BarrabbasPeregrin continues:"The Burning Times myth tells us 'nine million' people were burnt during the Witch persecutions of early modern Europe which were directed at existing and remnant 'pagan' religions. To maintain this as 'true' we have to ignore or claim conspiracy on the vast amount of evidence that places the number of executions as between forty and a hundred thousand" - Peregrin WildoakNow, let us evaluate whether or not this is anti-Pagan propaganda by rewriting the salient part as though Peregrin were writing about Jews rather than Pagans.
"The Holocaust myth tells us 'six million' people were killed during the Holocaust of Nazi Germany which was directed at Jews. To maintain this as 'true' we have to ignore or claim conspiracy on the vast amount of evidence that places the number of executions as between forty and a hundred thousand." - Peregrin rephrasedTo make clearer what Peregrin is actually up to here, one need merely consider the following words from the website of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum:
Holocaust denial is an attempt to negate the established facts of the Nazi genocide of European Jewry. Key denial assertions are: that the murder of approximately six million Jews during World War II never occurred; that the Nazis had no official policy or intention to exterminate the Jews; and that the poison gas chambers in Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp never existed. A newer trend is the distortion of the facts of the Holocaust. Common distortions include, for example, assertions that: the figure of six million Jewish deaths is an exaggeration." - USHMMFrater Barrabbas responded to Peregrin:
The number of deaths associated with the witch burning times (which occurred during the reformation period, starting around the 1530's) has been estimated at around 180K throughout Europe, for a period of around 200 years. Peregrin is correct that the 6 - 9 million number is pure fantasy, and in fact, might be an attempt by modern witches to copy the Jewish holocaust numbers, or even best them.
However, religious persecution, whatever its guise, did manage to kill quite a number of people over a long brutal period of time. If you consider the 30 years war of the first half of the 17th century, where a combination of war, persecution, famine, crop depredation, and disease severely diminished the population of the German states during that period, then it was no small event in the history of Europe. To call religious persecution (whoever the target) from that time as just a myth is quite ridiculous by itself. Tell that to Giordano Bruno (and many others), who was burned at the stake in Rome. Tell that to many gifted and intelligent men who were forced to suppress or recant their theories or discoveries, such as Galileo. I wouldn't call Bruno a Christian either, since he was much more a Hermetic Neo-Egyptian pagan. - Frater BarrabbasPeregrin is clearly attempting to dismiss the Pagan Holocaust by disputing the actual number of dead as is typical of anti-Semitic Holocaust denial sites today. Peregrin's anti-Pagan agenda becomes readily apparent when imagined he were talking about Jews rather than Pagans. It does not matter whether 100,000 or 6 million Jews died in the Holocaust. It should never have happened and should not be forgotten despite the attempts of Holocaust deniers to cast doubt on the reality of the Holocaust by disputing the actual number of dead. The same holds true for the Pagan holocaust. It does not matter if there were only 50,000 or 9 million dead. It should never have happened and it should not be forgotten, despite the efforts of Holocaust denial propagandists like Peregrin to whitewash the truth or dismiss it as mere "myth."
To maintain [the Pagan Holocaust] as 'true' we have to ignore [that the] vast majority of them of Christian folk, and the executions often organised by secular and local authorities, not state imposed Christianity. - Peregrin WildoakPeregrin's argument that most of the victims were Christian depends entirely on the dubious argument as Peregrin has argued elsewhere that all Pagan's had been "Christianized" by the time of the Inquisition and that there were no real Pagans left. To attempt to whitewash the Inquisition in this manner is Holocaust denial on par with the worst anti-Semites today.
According to the Jewish Virtual Library, one of the most frequent propaganda strategies of Holocaust deniers is the following argument:
"The Holocaust Did Not Occur Because There Is No Single "Master Plan" for Jewish Annihilation"In light of the above, let us now reexamine what Peregrin is really doing by imagining he were talking about Jews rather than Pagans. His above statement would then read:
To maintain [the Holocaust] as 'true' we have to ignore [that the] vast majority of them of normal folk, and the executions often organised by secular and local authorities, not state imposed Nazism. - Peregrin WildoakFrater Barrabas responded to Peregrin:
To call religious persecution (whoever the target) from that time as just a myth is quite ridiculous by itself. Tell that to Giordano Bruno (and many others), who was burned at the stake in Rome. Tell that to many gifted and intelligent men who were forced to suppress or recant their theories or discoveries, such as Galileo. I wouldn't call Bruno a Christian either, since he was much more a Hermetic Neo-Egyptian pagan. However, the argument of whether there were cunning folk caught up in the persecution, or that there were vestiges of pagan religion wiped out by this onslaught is mere rhetoric. Both Catholic and Protestant Christian authorities acted in a heartless and brutal fashion towards individuals who were merely perceived as different. We have no idea what that situation was like, but we can at least understand why future governments (such as the US) insisted on becoming secular organizations. It allowed the world to continue without the possibility of state sponsored religious wars.
While the Roman Inquisition didn't actually either torture or kill individuals who were judged as heretics of some kind or another, they did have the assistance of civil authorities and hired torturers to do their dirty work for them. From the stand-point of the individual being questioned and tortured, and then burned at the stake, I doubt if it made all that much difference. While Peregrin desires to maintain a certain degree of accuracy, by dismissing the suffering of many thousands of individuals as a mere myth, all he does is give affirmation and fuel to present and future religious persecution. This, of course, is my opinion, but I think that Peregrin is being smug in his post-modern presumptuousness.
To highlight just how serious and brutal it was to get caught up in an accusation of witchcraft, I point out to you the handy link from Patheos here. It's a decision flow chart showing the different vectors that occurred when one was accused of witchcraft. I found this to be quite a good reminder that the witchcraft persecution was a terrible and bloody time for many people, victims and their kith and kin.
In light of the above, I asked an ethnohistorical expert in the Great Witch Hunt, Professor Paolo Portone of the Insubric Center for Ethnohistorical Research (based in Cuomo, Italy) to comment on the glaring inaccuracies and propaganda spin in Peregrin's article. Here is my translation the rebuttal published by Prof. Portone on Peregrin's blog:ETHNOHISTORIAN AND WITCH HUNT EXPERT,PROF. PAOLO PORTONE"Who is still afraid of witches - the awkward legacy of the witch hunt in contemporary historical debate. More than five Centuries have passed since the Papal bull "Summis desiderantes affecti-bus" (1484) which officially began the epoch of the Great Witch Hunt. A persecution that by geographical extension, in its systematic radicality may well be considered as the archetype of twentieth century genocide. Despite the recent downsizing of the numbers of the massacre which was committed in the heart of Europe, civilized and Christianized fully in modern form, no one today doubts the seriousness of a phenomenon that caused according to the most acredited academic theses today, around 300,000 trials and the death of at least 145,000 persons (Levack), mostly women, accused of an exceptional crime, impossible to prove unless under torture: the infamous pact with Satan, and the apostatic and heretical consequences of adherence to the cult dedicated to spreading the maleficium in the heart of the Cristian citadel. Despite revisionism and negationism, the debate on the number of victims at least had the merit, to bring to light a phenomenon still marginalised in official historiography, in which scientifically oriented research still shows no small difficulty, if not actual and deliberate resistance, to settle accounts with the identity of "witches", the perfect scapegoats for troubled society in between medieval and modern times. The legacy of the victims, real and mystified, continues to permeate our memory, conditioning retroactively, the judgment on the motives that pushed secular and religious authorities to drag the Devil into court along with his supposed followers. From the distance of centuries since the Witch Hunt, the world of witches continues to be ignored, misunderstood and perhaps even feared." - Paolo Portone
In light of all of the above, it is clear that Peregrin has allowed his author's ethos to be hijacked by anti-Pagan and anti-Semitic extremists of the segregationist SRIA and the anti-Semitic and anti-Pagan "Order of the Rose and Cross." It is tragic when otherwise fine authors allow themselves to become mere pawns of sectarian extremists who continue to attempt to seize control of the Golden Dawn.
BY DAVID GRIFFIN
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