Atheists and scientists do not kill each other over their beliefs. The adherents of superstring theory have never killed opposing theorists. They may disagree but refrain from violently attacking each other’s followers. Like them Arius and Athanasius disagreed over a theory in the 4th century, although in their case it wasn’t physics, but about the nature of the Christ. The Arians and the Nicene Christians, however, soon ended up damning each other to hell because of the other’s ‘wrong’ beliefs, and then resorted to murder, aggression and burning until one of them were wiped out. Well, that is one way to settle a theoretical dispute. But why is it the religious way and what has it got to do with British Traditional Wicca?
Wicca is shuffling itself closer and closer to its ambition of becoming another mainstream religion and there is something about religious beliefs that leads to violent intolerance.
I think it is this: the beliefs that you cherish, but which you think are maybe silly or untrue, are the beliefs that you will defend most irrationally and most aggressively. For example, everyone knows Alex Sanders was a pathological liar and no less than a fraudulent charlatan. We all know he obtained his 1* initiation and the BOS by dishonest methods – just read one of his biographies – much to the unforgiving wrath of Patricia Crowther (the visceral dislike that Gardner and Madeline Montalban had of him), and yet here we are making a big deal of lineage validation and mocking Mario Martinez with Facebook pages such Alexandrinots and Fraudnerians. Anyone with a minimum average IQ can see through the inelegant hypocrisy. It doesn’t matter who initiated you, if you’re Alexandrian, your lineage invariably stops short at the fraud who plagiarised Gardner. But it’s a defence mechanism. Rather than subject dodgy beliefs and fraudulent hereditary witches, prophets and kings to the rigors of questioning and debate, it is easier to claim outrage and act aggressively when these are challenged. This is why Initiates, like scientists, who want to learn which theories best describe the truth, actively engage in debate without ever, in history, cursing, threatening and killing each other over their differences.
When it comes to disputes between groups, differences can be dealt through argument and debate where both sides try to convince others that they’re right. It continues because each side thinks it is possible to conclude the dispute through discussion. That’s what made Gardner and Crowley collaboration possible and it was the general rule of the ladies and gentlemen who gathered in Atlantis in the early 20th century.
But religionists, those with stern beliefs and sense of 3* self-entitlement often believe various issues have an universal, absolute and cosmic significance. It is of course a dangerous imbalance of spirit and mind, being at the very root of the fundamentalism of many sects based on the cult of the personality. It obstructs any intelligent conversation among members and possibility of advancement. People short-change and stunt the development of their Self with the paradoxical idea that accepting a 3* HP/S telling you how and what to think constitutes the Truth qualifies as teaching and the passing of the tradition. When someone with acumen exposes some 3* show-oaf as not exactly the sharpest tools in the box by challenging their often unoriginal and clichéd rhetoric, the response is often aggressive, dogmatic, personal and quickly escalates in them and us, as it has been customary since the Alexandrian upstart from the US descended upon Britain, Ireland and Portugal.
The fact that a handful of Alexandrian Elders openly act as subordinates and humour one asinine self-appointed sage into making claims of absolute truth and link his perception of morality, authority and tradition all into one whole, makes complacent seekers and 1* more likely to fight for them without anyone ever questioning their own integrity and their underlying dislike for this individual, with a free mind.
Of course, many newcomers haven’t got the faintest clue about what has brewed in the cauldron they’re drinking from in these past 10 years alone. Of course, shame of all shames, it remains in the Elders’ tradition best kept secret (what basically gets discussed in invitation-only groups; in case you thought it was some closely guarded magical ritual). God forbid, seekers should realise they’re probably already outranking these elevated High Priest/esses on more than moral ground alone!
By several years of direct experience and all 3 degrees later, I remain of the opinion that religion as British Traditional Wicca is the Alzehemir disease of witchcraft which regresses intelligent people into abject muppets, as Frater Barabbas concurs here.
What is it so weak about the religious Truths – and especially those of a diseased tradition – that require defending to the extent of sending death threats by email?
It is this: People would rather cling to wishful thinking and false hopes, rather than face the complex realities of life, including that, they too one day will die.
Simple answers, like fixing every little challenge and offense with hexes and curses appeal to people more than complicated rational ones.
Because religious people secretly doubt the very beliefs which form the scaffold that keeps their façade of power standing, they do not permit them to be calmly questioned. They fear that their beliefs will unravel. They know, the illusions will come crashing down in a heap. Instead, they declare than faith is greater than intellectualism. In other words: they want to continue believing even though the evidence is against them. They declare that it is offensive to question their beliefs.
They declare that questions are wrong!
They just cannot handle it.
And on this point, I rest my case.