3/9/07 06:27 am - nebet_het - It is time. . .
I don't even know where to begin. . .
Pouring out my thoughts on the OTO. . . I was going to cut this but I want people to read this so no, I'm not going to hide it behind a cut!
I was a solitary pagan/wiccan for many years when I was finally introduced to Liber Al, and subsequently Thelema. I picked up Gerald's New Aeon Magick and found it refreshing and when I actually met him and the other local OTO members I was happily surprised to find a group that actually supported independent thinking and practice as opposed to the neo-feminazi wiccan groups I had previously encountered where only "womyn and children" were welcome. Just NOT MY SCENE. I spent close to 6 months just hanging out and attending groups/forums/rituals with these folks before I decided to take initation. My experiences back then were awesome. I had found a like-minded group of magickians who were more than happy to let me contribute my knowledge and experience in many areas as well as allowing me to gain experience in other areas. All of this would be enthusiastically supported and welcomed and in some form be rewarded. I helped to prepare large events, cooked food for feasts, wrote poetry for invocations, priestessed in the Gnostic Mass numerous times, stage managed and designed lighting, rented said lighting and set it up and worked the shows numerous times and never got around to turning in labor invoices (lesson learned!) to be reimbursed because I was doing what I loved for people and an organization I loved.
Within the next couple of years things changed. I got a job that impeded me from attending a lot of events and I got bogged down and fell behind on some of my duties for the local lodge. I kept doing the one thing I could do that didn't require my actual attendance. Then I was passive-aggressively asked to "step down" from the position I had because I wasn't around as much. I responded that I wanted to keep doing my position because it was a way for me to keep connected to the lodge even if I could not actually be present. I was then finally given the real reason; I was not paying local monthly dues and as a "lodge officer" I needed to set an "EXAMPLE"; which I basically looked at as money that could go to SML or cover 4 packs of smokes. I was desperately broke all the time then and I HAD to put things in that perspective. I was really upset that all the past work and effort I had put into the lodge would be so easily put aside. However instead of pushing my case I just said ok, let someone who IS paying local dues go ahead and take over. It was shortly after that I decided not to attend events much at all unless I got in for free or for labor. Then they changed the policies and labor no longer would count for the events, you could accrue labor vouchers at an event but you couldn't apply them to that same event. I was actuallly ASKED to help out with one event but still expected to pay for a ticket and any drinks after spending 5 hours setting up and decorating for it.
Yeah, that's all bitchy little stuff.
I also have a problem with changes that have been made to initiations. And since I am only 3rd degreee, who knows what else has been bastardized and "changed for safety and liability reasons"? I apparently was one of the last to experience 2nd degree as it was intended. I've taken officer training and have seen/been taught the "new safer method" which was then subsequently changed again to make it even safer. I've seen the implementation of the "liability forms" that are now required for EACH and EVERY initiation. At first I thought, you know the OTO is being smart and proactive. Yeah, um. . . sure.
I'm actually getting teared up right now thinking about some of the amazing OTO experiences I have had but more and more I find myself wondering what happened to that OTO?
Yeah, Gerald threated on and off again to quit so it wasn't a surprise, but the actions against TAG and now John and who knows who is next. The support statement last summer for Sabazius made me feel ill. It just reiterated something I'd been throwing out for awhile.
I DID NOT JOIN "THELEMA INCORPARATED", I JOINED A MYSTICAL OCCULT FRATERNITY DAMMIT!
I know dues are important to any fraternal society and yes, the Masons have very expensive dues, but you get what you pay for and I feel like I put a helluva lot of my money time and effort into something only to be dismissed because I couldn't pony up a monthly fee on top of everything. Hate me if you will, call me whatever, I really don't know what to think of the current direction or the leadership.
HOWEVER, I will continue to do PM work until someone decides otherwise because I believe in it. I have seen the results of that work and having actually done a Gnostic Mass in a prison I know it is needed. I've talked to these guys who have very little outlet for their beliefs and what we do IS IMPORTANT! These people are only given a few chances to turn themselves around and if Thelema does it then why are there so many states (including my own I think) where our holy book is forbidden? Fear, ignorance, intolerance. . .
I swore an oath on Dec. 29th, 2000 to fight superstition and tyranny. For a while I thought I was doing just that. Now I wonder if instead I was actually funding the very things I swore to oppose.
This hurts. It hurts to think about and write these things. But the time has come. And yes, I'm leaving this public because people need to know.
I love my brothers and sisters in the order and yes, they are my "chosen family" but the current OTO disgusts me. I have not paid dues for about 3 years now. I could have paid my past dues and probably paid to take my IV/PI too at one point but I didn't. I kept thinking about it but I didn't. Something held me back and I'm only just beginning the process of understanding what my subconcious obviously knew long before I did.
Oddly enough, the one thing I really miss is priestessing the Gnostic Mass. Once you get it in your blood it never goes away! It is addictive and I really miss it. Sometimes I find myself reciting parts in the shower because I don't want to forget the beauty of it. Too bad the EGC has basically become the the frakkin' Catholic church! But that is a whole other rant and journal entry that would be better written by someone with more experience with it than me.
If you have read through this, thank you. Regardless of your agreement it is appreciated.