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Re: Tantra-Induced Delusional Syndrome ("TIDS")

PostPosted: Sat Mar 10, 2018 8:45 pm
by American Dream
I mostly heard that Chogyam Trungpa was a substance abuser and sometimes psychologically abusive. I still think that the Crazy Wisdom tradition is legit.

liminalOyster » Sat Mar 10, 2018 5:16 pm wrote:
American Dream » Sat Mar 10, 2018 4:18 pm wrote:Better late than never, I guess...

Not sure its as simple as that. I know people in said community who have long been vocal about such abuse but also defend CTR's crazy wisdom teachings as a legitimate form of Tantra in the West. Meaning that I see this more as an appropriate indictment of sex and power abuse that did take place , and as small and belated vindication for its survivors, but not as a confirmation of certain lurid and inaccurate potrayals of CTR as a sexually abusive guru.

Re: Tantra-Induced Delusional Syndrome ("TIDS")

PostPosted: Wed Mar 14, 2018 4:37 pm
by American Dream
A remnant of the Stark network? Linked to Karen Horning's pal Dealer McDope? Maybe to Pickard's pal "the E.T. Man"?

Image ... wsjournal/

Re: Tantra-Induced Delusional Syndrome ("TIDS")

PostPosted: Sat Mar 17, 2018 2:34 pm
by liminalOyster
Not worth it's own post probably but Netflix released it's Osho doc mini-series yesterday, Wild Wild Country.

This event already happened but is relevant here.

Male Supremacy & The Psychedelic Patriarchy
Join this timely and pressing discussion on oppression, repression and abuse in ritual and research.
with Katherine MacLean, PhD, Sitaramaya Sita, Lily Kay Ross, Britta Love and Dimitri Mugianis

Wednesday, February 7th
Ticket Sales Are Closed

What’s the one thing you need to have a great experience with psychedelics or succeed in psychedelic research? MEN. Nearly all of the world’s psychedelic research groups and funding organizations are led by men, even though women make up more than half of the clinicians, research staff, volunteers, and visionaries fueling and guiding these institutions. Most psychedelic conferences, community groups, and venues are likewise headlined, organized, and led by men, even though women make up a large segment of the attendees, public speakers, and social activists. And while there is more diversity within the leadership of shamanic and religious circles, these settings are not always safe for women. Bullying, manipulation, coercion, sexual assault, and abuse are common in both ritual and research spaces that are dominated and led by men.

We want to change this, so we have brought together powerful women from the psychedelic community who are not afraid to speak out on this important issue. Join host Katherine MacLean, PhD and panelists Sitaramaya Sita, Dimitri Mugianis, Britta Love, and Lily Ross on a wild journey from academia to the Amazon, as they share from their personal and professional experiences to illuminate and critique the current atmosphere of (cis) male domination within psychedelics. They will also explore how the patriarchal perspective and structure impacts all members of the psychedelic community, including cis male allies and gender-queer and gender non-binary individuals. After the panel, we will have time for audience members to share their own stories and find support in community. We need your passion and your voice; because the psychedelic patriarchy isn’t going to smash itself.

$20 advance
$25 at the door

tickets are non-refundable
February 7th at 8:00pm

The Alchemist's Kitchen 21 East 1 Street , New York, NY 10003

Re: Tantra-Induced Delusional Syndrome ("TIDS")

PostPosted: Sat Mar 17, 2018 2:46 pm
by American Dream
R.U. Sirius always had a strong consciousness about the ways in which psychedelic culture exceeded the white men who have tended to take the limelight. I remember an event in the SF Bay Area where he started with a strong shot out to other generations/races/genders than this one dominant demographic. I respected him for that- and still do.

Re: Tantra-Induced Delusional Syndrome ("TIDS")

PostPosted: Sat Mar 17, 2018 3:17 pm
by liminalOyster
It's a huge problem for sure. I came across a link to a POC psychedelic working group a few years back that I've not been able to locate again. I hope it took off. Think it was in PDX.

Re: Tantra-Induced Delusional Syndrome ("TIDS")

PostPosted: Tue Mar 20, 2018 8:34 am
by American Dream
Portland might not be quite as whita as Vermont- so that's hopeful- but anyway:

The spirit molecule

The theory that the brain produces its own psychedelic compound provokes pop-culture enthusiasm and scientific controversy

Speculation on the psychedelic efficacy of the pineal has reawakened interest in the organ. People have championed the capacity of the pineal to arouse previously dormant powers of perception, especially those associated with vision: clairvoyance, seeing auras, and being awakened to information from other dimensions. Appealing to spiritual practitioners, parapsychologists and filmmakers alike, the readouts from Strassman’s study impressed those eager for neurochemical explanations of extrasensory abilities and extraordinary states of consciousness.

The appeal is unsurprising, given how ideas presented in Strassman’s book were easily interpreted as assertions of truth. And these truths were broadly consistent with modern theosophy, especially the ideas of the Theosophical Society, a clearinghouse for new spirituality that, from the late-19th century, had its agendas shaped by Eastern spirituality. The condensed reports from Strassman’s volunteers could be seen as validating spiritual claims: ostensible transit into higher-dimensional ‘hyperspace’, after all, resembles theosophical methods for tripping on the ‘astral plane’, where travellers leave their bodies to access ‘higher consciousness’ and awaken their inner divinity. Contact with purported ‘entities’ transmitting visual information parallels the notion of channelling wisdom from the ‘hidden masters’ recorded by the founder of the Theosophical Society, Helena Blavatsky. Reports from some of Strassman’s subjects even held a strange resemblance to the ‘intelligent cosmic evolution’ found in Blavatsky’s magnum opus, The Secret Doctrine (1888).

These are no small asides, given Blavatsky’s belief that a decalcified pineal gland – the ‘eye of Shiva’ that had atrophied through the course of evolution – is integral to the evolution of consciousness. This appropriation of Hindu philosophy gave New Age followers cause to celebrate. Like an opened Third Eye, a reawakened pineal gland could enable out-of-body experiences, hypnagogic imagery, near-death experiences, astral travel and, ultimately, consciousness evolution, they held. Now armed with knowledge of the ‘spirit molecule’, they could fashion practices or update techniques presumed to enable DMT synthesis in, and release from, the pineal. ... c-compound

Re: Tantra-Induced Delusional Syndrome ("TIDS")

PostPosted: Tue Mar 20, 2018 10:05 am
by American Dream
SIEGE: The Nazis Who Want to Blow Up the World

What do Charles Manson, a three decades old Nazi newsletter and an apocalyptic, paramilitary white supremacist cult have to do with the Stoneman Douglas High School shooting?

Maybe nothing and maybe everything, according to Reid Beatty, a Tennessee-based researcher who maps and studies fascist movements and organizations.

Within minutes of the Republic of Florida’s Jordan Jereb claiming the shooter, 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz, as one of the organization’s own and then backing away from that claim, Beatty was drawing parallels between the Valentine’s Day shootings, one of the world’s most deadly school massacres in history, and the SIEGE philosophy that has been embraced by groups such as the Republic of Florida and Atomwaffen.

While the debate about how to end such acts of violence are capturing mainstream news headlines with talk of gun control, toxic masculinity, bullying and mental health care, few seem to be talking about SIEGE. This is despite the Southern Poverty Law Center linking young adherents of this philosophy, including Dylann Roof, to more than 13 violent acts over the last four years. Roof, who was recently sentenced to death, murdered nine African-American churchgoers in a mass shooting at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, S.C. in 2015.

The philosophy of SIEGE promotes just such acts of “lone wolf” violence.

Perhaps most troubling to Beatty is that while the FBI and other law enforcement agencies tighten their focus on black identity, antifa and anarchist groups, there seems to be little concern about or investigation into how SIEGE may have influenced white supremacists to commit some of the most horrific domestic terrorism acts of recent years.

One of the SIEGE-influenced groups Beatty tracks is Vanguard America. James Alex Fields, the 20-year-old man who drove his vehicle into a crowd of protesters in Charlottesville, Va. on Aug. 12, 2017, murdering Heather Heyer and injuring scores of others, had marched with Vanguard America just a few hours before during the Unite the Right Rally.

Among the individual members of Vanguard America that Beatty follows, he says many are high school students, and no one is doing anything to stop white supremacists from preying on these impressionable teenagers, bringing them into these dangerous organizations, and preparing them to commit acts of mass violence.

Beatty tells of one young man who had been influenced by Nazi ideology and white supremacist groups. The researcher tried to find an organization or agency that could help the young man find his way out. There was nothing out there.


A neo-Nazi named James Mason, now aged 65, began publishing SIEGE as a newsletter of the National Socialist Liberation Front (which dissolved in the mid-1980s) in 1980. Once a member of the National Socialist White People’s Party (which became the American Nazi Party), Mason had become frustrated with both organizations’ lack of relevance in national and international politics.

When he reached out to Charles Manson, imprisoned in Vacaville, Calif. in 1980, Mason found a new way, an apocalyptic way, forward for his white supremacist ideology. With Manson’s influence, Mason left the National Socialist Liberation Front in 1981, forging a new organization. The name Universal Order was suggested by, and the logo — a swastika over the scales of justice — was designed by, none other than Charles Manson himself.


Continues: ... the-world/

Re: Tantra-Induced Delusional Syndrome ("TIDS")

PostPosted: Thu Mar 22, 2018 8:15 pm
by American Dream
Bad Trip

Tripping is fun—until you experience a bad trip and ride a bike down a hill and mistake your friend for an alien and nearly DIE.


Re: Tantra-Induced Delusional Syndrome ("TIDS")

PostPosted: Fri Mar 23, 2018 7:25 am
by American Dream
Opening the Seals

“Death is not the enemy of life, but godlessness. The despair of humanity today is the product of centuries worth of both the denial of the spiritual life of the world and the suppression of the natural urge to reintegrate with that world.”

From Ramon Elani

Image ... the-seals/

Re: Tantra-Induced Delusional Syndrome ("TIDS")

PostPosted: Fri Mar 23, 2018 5:43 pm
by American Dream
Chronology of events leading up to the lawsuit filed by the Ordo Templi Orientis on Sept.12th 1990 against Alameda County & the City of Berkeley.

by J. Edward Cornelius

(Trina Churchill's DEPOSITION Sept.11,1991 pg.29)

"Churchill came to the H(all) of J(ustice), to report being victim of petty theft of wood possible suspect Grob, occurrence: Churchill said on 08-20-89, she had a disagreement with her neighbor Grob, who was looking into her backyard, then few hrs later, the wood disappear. Churchill said that she had had several problems with Grob, over the pass few months with Grob, Churchill believes Grob is a possible suspect on this case. Churchill would like to document this incident. Nothing further". (Index Sec.9 No.5 pgs.6-7 Robles/Handwritten note No.89- 48571). [Ofc.Robles was the Berkeley Police Officer in charge of the OTO raid.]

"I, (Sgt.Robles) Report talking to Churchill & Trull, about the existence of a occult group, known as O.T.O. (Ordo Templi Orientis) at 2832 8th st Berkeley. Scene: Two story family dwelling, white, wooden second floor. Occurrence: on 8-22-89, Churchill came to the H of J to report being victim of theft, listing Grob as possible suspect. She then began to talk about Grob also being a member of O.T.O., Churchill also ID herself as a former member of this cult. Churchill told me that O.T.O. has a meeting place at 2832 8th st., where they met on a regular basis, according to Churchill they publish a monthly news letter where they list their activities." (BPB Files Robles/ Handwritten note No.89-52800 pg.48).

"On August 22, 1989, your affiant was contacted by Trina L. Churchill, WFA, 10-6-65. Churchill, at the time, informed me of the existence of a group that are identifying themselves as O.T.O., which means that Ordo Templi Orientis. Churchill told me that for several years she was a member of this organization which is involved in the worship of Satan. She told me that she left this organization due to the fact that it has developed into a place where people congregate to use drugs and one of the main providers of this narcotics is a person by the name of Gorton. Together with the female that resides at 2832 1/2 8th Street, Diane Grob, according to Churchill, they have different types of ceremonies that sometimes originate at 588 and 590 63rd Street, Oakland, CA, which is the largest and main Temple in this area. From there, they move to the City of Berkeley at 2832 8th Street, where, according to Churchill, they believe they are above the law since it is an industrial area and not too many people complain of foot traffic going in and our of the residence and also of noise. According to Churchill, during these ceremonies, there is a large trafficking of mainly methamphetamines to individuals that visit this location. Also, during some of the ceremonies, they have potluck parties in which they take and share psychedelics and narcotics. One of the ways they distribute the narcotics is in a 'T' form of mushrooms which they call Mushroom T.

Churchill then provided me with literature that talks about procedures, reasons why this Church exists and in these documents, the address of 2832 8th Street is printed and also the names of the individuals that Churchill provided me as the main organizers and distributors of narcotics, such as Sanborn, Gorton, and Heidrick. According to Churchill, there are a lot of minors attending these meetings, mainly groups known as the Skinheads or punk rockers and this is one of the reasons why she decided to quit this organization, because it was now set to attract juveniles and get them involved in illicit sex and drugs.

Churchill also told me that Bill Heidrick is the one in charge of the Temple located at 588 and 590 63rd Street. She described the house as having a Temple and an altar on the second floor of this residence. Also in the backyard, westside of the house is a well built by Bill Heidrick where he performs what he calls Black Baptisms." (Index Sec.1 No.1 Affiant Papers pg.1-2).

[editor's note: 'T' = tea. The mention of Sanborn, Gorton and Heidrick distributing drugs is not true.]

The following is excepts from Trina Churchill's comment to Belinda Stradley of the PRC ...[editor's note: PRC = Police Review Commission.]

Belinda Stradley, "Did you mention to Officer Robles minors or juveniles attending these meetings?"
Trina Churchill, "Yes, I did. Michael and Marlene also belong to an organization called Temple of Psychic Youth. And these are essentially skinhead punks and they are usually under 18." (Berkeley Police Review Commission Witness Interview, Index Sec.6 No.4 Statement of Trina Churchill, undated, pg.3)

[editor's note: Michael and Marlene did not belong to TOPY]

Belinda Stradley, "Ms.Churchill, would you tell me how you first became involved in the events that led up to the service of the search warrant on September 29, 1989, at 2832 Eighth Street?"
Trina Churchill, "On August 22 I went in to report a theft of wood by a Ms.Diane Grobb, an OTO member ... I told Officer Robles she was a member of the drug cult. He was very interested in this and he said this was his current working assignment. I informed him of the OTO and of blood sacrifices on the property, and he said he would like to investigate. I gave him internal paperwork of the organization. I gave him tremendous amount of information in a short amount of time. I am sure that that allowed for a natural state of confusion." (Police Review Commission Witness Interview, Index Sec.6 No. 4 'Statement of Trina Churchill, undated, pg.1)

[editor's note: the only blood sacrifice done at Thelema Lodge was a chicken and a frog, both killed at 63rd street.]

Trina Churchill, "... I gave them their current newsletter. I gave them internal working papers. I gave them information showing they are a pseudo religious cult, that they are basically statements-oriented, though they deny this, and that they accuse religious persecution. I gave him detailed accounts of the ritual performed there with sex and blood sacrifices for the amusement of maybe 30 to 40 people. I gave him my personal accounts of being a member for over seven years." (Police Review Commission Witness Interview, Index Sec.6 No.4 'Statement of Trina Churchill, undated, pgs.2-3)

Wed.August 23rd 1989 Trina Churchill returns to the Berkeley Police Department (BPD) to give Officer Robles more info and paperwork on the O.T.O.

"Churchill provided me on 08-23-89 with newsletters, pamphlets, and newspaper cuttings about O.T.O. Churchill also told me that this group indulges on L.S.D. & methamphetamines during their rituals." (BPD Files Robles/Handwritten note No.89- 52800 pg.49).

Thursday August 31st 1989 Sam Trull is served with a Housing Complaint by the Housing Inspector of Berkeley regarding violations on his property, the "cottage" at 2832 1/2 8th Street, original complaint was made by Diane Grob (Index Sec.9 No.38 pg.54).

Sunday September 10th 1989 Trina Churchill sends Officer Robles a handwritten note claiming that her landlord wants to see him.
The note briefly states, "This is the landlords telephone number ......... He would like to speak to you about the O.T.O. on his property. Thank you. Trina Churchill" (BPD Churchill/ Handwritten note, ND pg.61).

"On 09-08-89 (?) Churchill mails me more literature and a cassette tape about the O.T.O., also a note saying that Trull, who is the owner of the premises, would like to talk to me." (BPD Files Robles/Handwritten note No.89-52800 pg.49).

"Churchill then gave me on 9-10-89, a handwritten note that the owner of the property was interested in talking with me about the group residing in his property. She provided me with a telephone number of ........ ,and at that time I called and got in touch with the person/owner of this property by the name of Sam Trull. Trull explained to me that he was concerned about a group that he knew worshipped Satan and had a church on his property using and selling narcotics in the property and creating a disturbance. His main concern was the fact, as he put it, someday there's going to be a lot of trouble here and I don't want to be involved." (Index Sec.1 No.1 Affiant Papers pg.2)

"I called Trull, who told me that one of the tenants is Sanborn who has told him about O.T.O. ... Trull told me that other tenants told him that inside the living room they kill & strap frogs to a cross, and cut up chickens to get their blood. Trull said that he will assist the BPD in any investigation. ... I have made appointments to continue to talk to Churchill & Trull to obtain more info on O.T.O., at 2832 8th st. Nothing further." (BPD Files Robles/Handwritten note No. 89-52800 pg.49).

[Editor: This is not true, the killing of animals did not take place at 8th Street, but 63rd Street. The frog strapped to a cross has nothing to do with the sacrifice of a real frog at 63rd Street. The above mentioned frog was a cardboard cutout on a paper cross. Since Michael & Marlene were from New Orleans it was actually from the Mardi Gras rites of the Great Green Frog and it had nothing to do with Satanic rituals.]

Another scrap of paper with handwritten notes briefly states, "Front room boarded up. Ritual, strap a frog to a cross. Cut up chickens to get the blood. Drug Culture" (PBD Robles/ Handwritten note pg.59)

Tuesday September 12th 1989 There is a brief note, "9-12-89 I (Robles) talked to Sam Troll." (BPD Files Robles/Handwritten note ND pg.2) and also on the same paper is, "09-12-89 Diane Grob WFA10-02-59 89-56535 2832 8th st".

Officer Robles writes down the following story told to him on this date by Sam Trull. "Trull went to Grob's unit to collect rent. When Grob said she couldn't pay, Trull served Grob a "3-Day" Rental Notice. As Trull began to leave, Grob came up behind Trull and shoved the notice down the back of Trull's shirt. Grob yelled profanities and insults at Trull & threatened to phone the police. Trull told her to call the police, that he would wait for their arrival. Trull followed Grob back into her apartment. Grob yelled at Trull to get out of her house. In the process Grob picked up a hammer, held it above her head in the right hand and approached Trull threatening him verbally and ordering him to leave. Trull said Grob came within "two and a half feet" of him, brandishing the hammer all the way. Trull "deflected (Grob's) left hand" as it raised toward him. Trull left the apartment and stood on the sidewalk i.f.o. 2832 8th st to wait for the police." (BPD Files Robles/Handwritten notes pg.54-55).

Officer Robles then goes over to Diane Grob's house to get her version of the story and writes, "After hearing Trull's account, I spoke to Grob. Grob said Trull came to collect the rent and assaulted her when payment couldn't be made. Grob said Trull slapped her "about five times in the face and arm." Grob stated that she brandished the hammer "in self defense" (BPD Files Robles/Handwritten note pg.55).
Further, "Neither Trull or Grob advised of any independent witnesses ... neither party wished to pursue prosecution at this time." (BPD Files Robles/Handwritten Note pg.56).

Thursday September 14, 1989 Trina Churchill goes down to the Berkeley Police Department and meets with Officer Robles to talk more about the OTO and others.

There is a brief note "Trina Churchill meeting on 09-14-89 1630 hrs" (BPD Files Robles/Handwritten note ND pg.2).

"On 09-14-89, Trina Churchill came to the Hall of Justice and provided me with more information about the O.T.O. group located at 2832 8th St." (BPD File Robles/handwritten note No.89-5280 pg.44).

"Gorton, Richard wma 12-04-52 ... is an active member at the O.T.O. house, is a "drug dealer" and main provider of drugs during O.T.O. meetings at 2832 8th St and the "Thelema Lodge O.T.O." located at 590 63rd st. Oakland. Churchill told me that the "Thelema Lodge O.T.O." in Oakland is the main and larger temple. The O.T.O. temple at 2832 8th st. is a smaller temple, but second in this area. This temple has been in Berkeley for at least 20 years and is known as "Merkabah" House Ph #655- 4942, 549-0952 also the Lodge of Perfection." (BPD Files Robles/Handwritten note No.89-52800 pg.44).

[editor's note:: The Merkabah House was not an official OTO body, nor was it ever Chartered. It was where Michael Sanborn and Marlene Smith lived for only 1 year prior to the raid. It was also the house where Don Correll V° ran Ank Af Na Khonsu Lodge. Which also fought bitterly with Thelema Lodge.]

"Bill Heidrick ... according to Churchill Bill Heidrick is the main person on this temple. Title of Grand Treasurer General of the O.T.O., Churchill said that Heidrick is involved mainly into "child sex & animals", according to her." (BPD Files Robles/Handwritten note No.89-52800 pg.45).

[editor's note: the allegations against Bill Heidrick have never been verified, although he later admitted under Oath that he did get rid of all his videos.]

During an interview with the PRC Trina Churchill made the following statement ...

Belinda Stradley, "Does Rick Gorton or Bill Heidrick reside at 588 or 590 63rd?"
Trina Churchill, "No. I told Officer Robles, I gave him, I gave him so much information he became confused. But Bill Heidrick teaches a class at 63rd street two days a month. He holds a class there. Rick Gordon I gave him Officer ... in San Francisco address which he immediately vacated. He was frequenting 2832 1/2 8th street as Diane Grob's boyfriend. He was giving drugs for sex. We witness Rick Gordon going into the 2832 rear residence stating to Diane that "Let's go get buzzed," and he was in possession of methamphetamines at the time." (Police Review Commission Witness Interview, Index Sec.6 No.4 Statement of Trina Churchill, undated pg.2)

[editor's note: the term 'buzz' is a joke reference to 'Buzz Balls' or chocolate covered coffee beans of which Rich Gorton sold and often brought over to Diane.]

Robles notes continue ...

"John 'The Road Mage' ... Priest at the "Merkabah House" (BPD Files Robles/Handwritten note No.89-52800 pg.44).
"Sanborn is in charge of recruiting "young" people for the temple, recruiting is done in Berkeley, and initiations in Oakland, where Heidrick is the main priest, Churchill also said that Heidrick has built a "well" at the Oakland property where he performs "satanic baptisms". (BPD Files Robles/ Handwritten note No.89-52800 pg.45).

Trina also told Officer Robles about "Jerry Cornelius WMA 35- 40 member of Thelema Lodge Resident at 2832 8th st. Lower level rear" whom she had never meet before and who had only recently arrived in California on the 20th of August." (BPD File Robles/Handwritten note No.89-52800 pg.45).

"Churchill brought me a News letter from the O.T.O. for the month of August and advance dates for September, a calendar of events for the temple, on the month of August, underlining the dates, that meetings happen in Berkeley. A Notice of "Minerval Initiations of Diane Grob" and several pages of literature on O.T.O., Churchill told me that the house in Berkeley is known as "Above the Law", and "Safe", most ceremonies are performed in Berkeley, because the house in Oakland has been attacked by "street drug dealers". Ceremonies in Berkeley last all night and there is always drugs meth, marijuana, LSD and mushrooms. In some ceremonies members bring "pot luck" such as "mushroom tea" Churchill said that most of the ceremonies end in an ORGY." (BPD Robles/Handwritten note No.89-52800 pg.46-47).

"The temple concentrates in recruiting "young people" mainly "skin heads" and members are "heavily involved in S and M with young people." (PBD Files Robles/Handwritten note No.89- 52800 pg.47).

Re: Tantra-Induced Delusional Syndrome ("TIDS")

PostPosted: Sat Mar 24, 2018 3:02 pm
by American Dream

Re: Tantra-Induced Delusional Syndrome ("TIDS")

PostPosted: Sun Mar 25, 2018 11:02 am
by American Dream

Re: Tantra-Induced Delusional Syndrome ("TIDS")

PostPosted: Sun Mar 25, 2018 10:29 pm
by American Dream
Sadly, esoteric sexual traditions from Tibet or Taoist lineages do not necessarily treat women much better. There are some neo-Tantric orders I am aware of from North America that did set a better example. ... -orientis/

Why I left the OTO

By Psyche | On 18 June 2014 | In Magick


The golden spiral staircase at the AGO, photo by Ian MuttooBy 2010 I’d been a practicing magician for some 15 years. I’d explored Paganism, Satanism, chaos magick, ceremonial magick, various forms of divination, and so on. I underwent the Abramelin ritual and was underwhelmed by the results. I felt I’d gotten as far as I could on my own, and I wanted to meet with people who were dealing with the same challenges I was. People I could talk to face-to-face, and share coffee with. I wanted to really feel like part of a community — an offline community. Much as I loved the online communities I’d found (the zee-list, chaoskaos, alt.magick.*, Irreality, etc.), I need to find people I could see. People I could learn from.

Whatever else I think of Aleister Crowley, I believe he was an exceptional magician, and many of his books remain the best ever written on practical magick. The Ordo Templi Orientis, the order he entrusted his legacy to, seemed a likely choice. I got in contact with my local lodge, and, after some months, finally met with representatives from that lodge at a pub. They seemed like good folk, and, after a few more months, I was in.1

I attended lectures on tarot,2 kabbalah, the so-called Western Esoteric Tradition, and Thelemic theory. The instructors were knowledgeable, funny and kind. Great people, really. I was happy to pay dues, and glad to feel like I was joining a community of people with similar, if not perfectly aligned, interests.

Months later I underwent my Minerval initiation. I diligently avoided reading up on it prior to, and the experience was appropriately spooky. We had a feast, some wine, and a chat about the wonderful things in store for the new initiates.

Our classes became more focused on Thelemic magical theory as the OTO sees it. The Gnostic Mass was presented as the OTO’s central rite — understand its symbolism was key to unlocking the secrets of magick itself. And this is where I began to run into problems.

Ok, I know Crowley often went on misogynist rants, and was unapologetically sexist, but we’re in the 21st century now — long out of the backward Edwardian ideals that informed these perspectives, surely? Well, maybe not, it turns out. Ok, so the OTO hasn’t inducted a new female saint in a while. And sure, most of the literature remains written by men. But there’s been some progression. At least female initiates are no longer called “Man and Brother,” right?3

It’s no secret4 that in the Gnostic Mass, this central rite, involves a (fully dressed) priest, a (usually naked) woman on the altar, a simulation of hetero sex initiated by the priest, and a simulation of fellatio performed by the priestess. There’s a lot more involved — more people, more symbolism, magick words, all that great stuff — but these two roles are fixed. A woman may never serve as the priest, and a man may never lay upon the altar. When I asked about that, the instructor burst out laughing, “What, with some dude’s dong on the altar?” He was amused and horrified in equal parts.

I should stress that I don’t hold this lodge at fault, nor, necessarily, its members. They’re passing along the tradition as it’s given to them. Ok, they weren’t challenging it — true — but they didn’t invent it. They made it clear that any deviations in the performance of the Gnostic Mass meant it was no longer an OTO rite. This was it. I could learn to accept it, or leave.

Over the next few months, further explorations of these mysteries revealed equally rigid views on the (few) roles permitted to women, and they were almost always passive. If you didn’t identify as a Scarlet Woman, a Whore of Babalon, there wasn’t much room for you in the temple. I found this incredibly frustrating. It made no sense biologically, and even less sense magically. Questions about gender fluidity, intersex, trans* and other non-cis-, non-binary, non-hetero identified people were met with incomprehension. Try as I might, I couldn’t reconcile the official OTO stance on gender essentialism and the restrictive boundaries it policed with reality. So, I left.

I sent a formal email outlining why I felt the OTO wasn’t the right place for me, which wasn’t met with a response. About a year later I received a letter from HQ welcoming me as a Minerval, which I disregarded.

I guess I shouldn’t haven been surprised. Crowley repeatedly describes Thelema as a solar-phallic cult, and The Book of the Law doesn’t have much going on for its goddess — the primary figures are all designated as male, but, still, I expected more. I had hoped with the progress that’s been made over the past 40 years with LGBTQ* rights that there’d be some reflection of that in the order. With the progress feminism has made, and still struggles with, I though there’d be more consideration for diversity. I expected the religion (or philosophy or whatever you want to call it) would have evolved over the past hundred years. But it hasn’t. Magick might be about change, but Thelema’s imagery and understanding of its central mysteries remain in stasis.

That was four years ago. From what I can see, nothing has changed. The OTO remains uncompromising on the roles permitted to women, and all but silent on other (non-dude) designations.

Meanwhile, I’m still looking for community.

Re: Tantra-Induced Delusional Syndrome ("TIDS")

PostPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2018 1:43 pm
by American Dream
David Bowie's Life at the Extremes

A brief look at Bowie, the occult, and cocaine addiction.

Bowie’s interest in Buddhism and Tibet dates back to the 1960s as evidenced by songs such as ‘Silly Boy Blue’ (first demoed in 1965). In an interview by Bowie with the Melody Maker (24 February, 1966) notes:

I want to go to Tibet. It’s a fascinating place, y’know. I’d like to take a holiday and have a look inside the monasteries. The Tibetan monks, Lamas, bury themselves inside mountains for weeks, and only eat every three days. They’re ridiculous—and it’s said they live for centuries…As far as I’m concerned the whole idea of Western life – that’s the life we live now – is wrong. These are hard convictions to put into songs, though”.

Chris O’Leary also noted that:

“Bowie’s interest in Tibetan Buddhism wasn’t a sudden trendy affectation—he had begun exploring the religion when he was in his mid-teens, first inspired by reading Heinrich Harrer (link is external)’s 1952 book Seven Years in Tibet, and he eventually met and befriended the Tibetan lama Chimi Youngdong Rimpoche, who was exiled in London. Bowie even fantasized about becoming a Buddhist monk – cropping his hair and dyeing it black, wearing saffron robes and even changing his skin color (he’d have to settle for becoming Ziggy). Buddhism was an early influence in his songs: he had meant for the backing chorus of his single ‘Baby Loves That Way’ to sound like chanting monks.”

Bowie didn’t appear to have strong religious beliefs. In an interview in 1997 he noted that there was an “abiding need in me to vacillate between atheism or a kind of Gnosticism...what I need is to find a balance, spiritually, with 
the way I live and my demise” but in relation to thoughts on his own mortality he said “I believe in a continuation, kind of a dream-state without the dreams. Oh, I don’t know. I’ll come back and tell you”. In addition to his spiritual leanings, Dr. Ballinger in his 2016 Fortean Times article goes as far to say that occult and paranormal themes constituted an “integral dimension” of Bowie’s career. Bowie clearly had an interest in aliens, science fiction, and the paranormal as reflected in many of his singles dating back to ‘Space Oddity’ (1969) through to ‘Loving The Alien’ (1984) and ‘Hallo Spaceboy’ (1994) (as well as many album tracks and his acting breakthrough as an alien in Nic Roeg's film The Man Who Fell To Earth (link is external)). Dr. Ballinger also argued that:

“Bowie was also reading upon esoteric subjects and alternative ideas in a relatively in-depth way beyond fashionable name dropping is made clear by the songs 
on his fourth album, Hunky Dory (1971).
 The jaunty pop of ‘Oh You Pretty Things!’ is belied by lyrics that evoke a rather sinister picture of spiritual evolution, in which the listener is asked to ‘make way’ for ‘the coming race’ of ‘homo superior’ Nietszchean super children…The ‘coming race’ is also a probable nod to the Bulwer-Lytton novel of the same name that became a staple of the ‘Vril’ mythos associated with occult-minded Nazis, a subject that would have a rather negative influence on Bowie in the near future. More overt is the ballad ‘Quicksand ’, in which Bowie expounds a New Age manifesto – ‘I’m not a prophet or a Stone Age man/Just a mortal with potential of a superman’ – with reference to the Western magical tradition (‘I’m closer to the Golden Dawn/Immersed in Crowley’s uniform/of imagery), [and] The Tibetan Book of the Dead (‘You can tell me all about it on the next Bardo’)”.

More: ... e-extremes

Re: Tantra-Induced Delusional Syndrome ("TIDS")

PostPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2018 2:55 pm
by American Dream

From an early interest in UFOs and Aleister Crowley to flirtations with Kabbalah and Nazi mysticism, David Bowie cultivated a number of esoteric interests over the years and embraced alien and occult imagery in his costumes, songs and videos. Dean Ballinger explores the Fortean aspects and influences of the late musician's career.


Bowie's early creative life, as struggling musician and actor in late-1960s London, incorporated many of the mystical activities and interests that were de rigeur for any self-respecting counterculturist. These included group meditation sessions at a friend's flat near Hampstead Heath directed at contacting any space brothers who might be passing overhead alongside more considered investigations of Eastern spirituality, with Bowie studying the tenets of Tibetan Buddhism from expatriated lamas. That Bowie was also reading up on esoteric subjects and alternative ideas in a relatively in-depth way beyond fashionable namedropping is made clear by the songs on his fourth album, Hunky Dory (1971). The jaunty pop of Oh! You Pretty Things is belied by lyrics that evoke a rather sinister picture of spiritual evolution, in which the listener is asked to "make way" for "the coming race" of "homo superior" Nietszchean superchildren (these references came across as humorously incongruous when sung by ex-Hermans Hermits frontman Peter Noone, for whom a cover of the song was a Top 20 hit that same year). The "coming race" is also a probable nod to the Bulwer-Lytton novel of the same name that became a staple of the 'Vril' mythos associated with occult-minded Nazis, a subject that would have a rather negative influence on Bowie in the near future. More overt is the ballad Quicksand, in which Bowie expounds a New Age manifesto - "I'm not a prophet or a Stone Age man / Just a mortal with potential of a superman" - with reference to the Western magical tradition ("I'm closer to the Golden Dawn / Immersed in Crowley's uniform / of imagery"), The Tibetan Book Of The Dead ("You can tell me all about it on the next Bardo"), and Nazi mysticism ("Portraying Himmler's sacred realm of dream reality"). These references also suggest that Bowie was quite familiar with contemporary Fortean literature, such as Pauwels and Bergier's seminal The Morning Of The Magicians, one of the first popular expositions of subjects such as Nazi occultism and the psychic evolution of humankind. Another Fortean classic, Colin Wilson's The Occult, was also published in 1971, but given that Bowie recorded Hunky Dory in June of that year using songs he had composed earlier it seems highly unlikely it was a source of inspiration for this album).

With Bowie's star rising rapidly at this time - his next album, The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars (1972), would prove his ticket to megastardom - it's a good point to consider some of the evident resonances between occultism and his musical career. Bowie's autodidactic and æsthetic tendencies were a crucial part of his creative modus operandi, enabling him to keep his music fresh (through the 1970s, anyway) by drawing inspiration from a wide range of cultural influences. The realms of the esoteric, rich in drama and symbolism, would undoubtedly have been sussed by Bowie as a source of stimulating ideas and imagery to explore in lyrics, costumes and videos. The theory and practice of magic can also be seen to possess a more integral relationship with Bowie's work.

Parsing Crowley's legacy, one of the key aspects of magic is the transformation of the self (and, possibly, the wider social reality) through acts that focus the imagination/will towards such change, such acts including sex, drug consumption, meditation, and creative performance (i.e., rituals). In this vein Bowie can be considered a distinctly magical musician whose whole career revolved around the transformation of the self and the wider culture through the 'ritual performances' of rock music, such as concerts, recordings, and videos. In his most influential period of the 1970s, Bowie created personae (such as Ziggy, Aladdin Sane, and the Thin White Duke) and undertook musical experiments (the 'plastic soul' of Young Americans and the avant-garde/krautrock/funk synthesis of the 'Berlin trilogy') that in turn transformed rock culture by inspiring scores of other artists. The gender-bending that was a notable aspect of Bowie's personae in this period (for example, the androgynous cover photo for The Man Who Sold The World (1970) or the 1979 video for Boys Keep Swinging), and the cultivation of bisexual overtones in his lyrics and performance (John, I'm Only Dancing as an account of bisexual angst), are also interesting to consider in relation to Crowley's emphasis on sexuality as a core component of magical transformation. The richness of meaning to be had from interpreting Bowie's oeuvre in relation to magical perspectives has led to him becoming a cult figure for contemporary esotericists.


While occultism may have constituted an important subtext for most of Bowie's career, the mid-1970s was his 'dark' period, when these interests manifested in more overt and sinister forms. Beset by fiscal, managerial, and marital problems - and probably suffering the psychological and emotional effects incurred from several years of nonstop writing, recording, and touring - Bowie spent most of 1975 living in LA in a state of drug-addled manic depression. Subsisting on an 'all white' diet of cocaine and milk, he studied occultism in a more serious fashion. In his comprehensive biography, Starman, Paul Trynka asserts that this enthusiasm derived from a February 1975 meeting with Jimmy Page (who, interestingly, shares his birthday with Bowie), in which the artistically competitive and status-conscious Bowie, intimidated by Page's Crowleyan hauteur, was inspired to develop his own magickal will accordingly. Bowie's subsequent coked-out immersion in books such as Dion Fortune's Psychic Self-Defence, Trevor Ravenscroft's The Spear Of Destiny, and the works of Golden Dawn acolytes Israel Regardie and AE Waite, had a number of significant consequences.

One was an interest in Arthurian mythology and Grail mysticism. Unfortunately, as Bowie himself later admitted, this interest led on to a contemplation of Nazi occultism (a subject introduced in The Morning Of The Magicians and subsequently exploited in the early '70s by sensationalist tomes such as The Spear Of Destiny and Occult Reich by J. H. Brennan). This unsavoury fascination in turn manifested in quasi-fascist statements made in interviews around this time and an enduring controversy about whether or not Bowie greeted UK fans at Victoria Station in 1976 with a Nazi salute. Another was a bout of full-blown occult paranoia, in which Bowie, among other things, solicited the advice of friends regarding a Rosemary's Baby scenario in which a coven of witches was out to steal his semen for the purposes of making a 'devil child'. Sadly, the yarns that he carefully collected his bodily residues such as nail clippings and urine, and stored them in his fridge so that they couldn't be used in black magic acts against him, appear to be apocryphal. This paranoia reached its apotheosis in the story of 'the demon in the swimming pool', related by Bowie's then-wife Angie in her salacious 1993 autobiography Backstage Passes: Life On The Wild Side With David Bowie. Having procured an LA manse with an indoor swimming pool, Angie found her husband disturbed one night by a vision of the Devil rising out of the water. NY music journalist and white witch Walli Elmlark was consulted for instruction on exorcising the house of evil spirits, with a ceremony being undertaken by Mr and Mrs Bowie shortly thereafter. Angie describes how, as the ritual progressed, the water in the pool "bubbled and thrashed", culminating in the appearance of a demonic shadow on the bottom of the pool. While the freaked-out and coked-up couple departed the residence shortly thereafter, Angie adds the coda that the 'Mark of Satan' remained visible to subsequent tenants despite extensive repainting of the pool. While a great story, the most plausible explanation for this largely uncorroborated yarn is (if not pure invention) that the couple experienced a folie a deux related to Bowie's advanced state of cocaine-induced psychosis. In a much-cited Rolling Stone interview from 1976, journalist Cameron Crowe (now a leading Hollywood director) describes a June 1975 encounter with Bowie in which the musician breaks off his megalomaniacal ramblings ("I think I might have been a bloody good Hitler. I'd be an excellent dictator. Very eccentric and quite mad") to look through the blinds, decorated with protective pentagrams, after hallucinating a body falling past a window.

Bowie initiated his recovery from this slough of despond in late 1975, by undertaking work on the Station To Station album. The abstruse lyrics to the epic title track can be interpreted as an autobiographical account of Bowie's mystical/narcotic gnosis, in which his "searching and searching" results in him being able to overcome "the side effects of the cocaine" and find redemption in some (presumably spiritual) love. Explicit reference is made to an ascent of the Sephiroth, the Kabbalistic Tree of Life ("Here are we / One magical movement from Kether to Malkuth"), along with a nod to a well-known volume of Crowley's mystic-erotic poetry ("The return of the thin white duke making sure white stains"). Despite the lyrical references to Crowley here and in Quicksand, it is interesting to note that Bowie was markedly ambivalent about his influence. For example, in a 1993 NME interview, Bowie states that "I didn't get into Crowley, by the way, because he uses too much Greek. I'm always very suspicious of anybody who says they're into Crowley because they'd better have a pretty fair handle on Greek and Latin otherwise they're talking bullshit". Bowie's occult 'dark night of the soul' proved an ultimately fruitful experience, as he thereafter moved to Europe and hit what many critics and fans consider his creative peak with the 'Berlin trilogy' of Low, "Heroes", and Lodger (1977-1979). ... mar16.html