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Allen Greenfield - The Secret History Of Modern Witchcraft (148.0 Kb)

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This monograph has a long history. The earliest published draft appeared in a small, independent radical journal during my sojourn in Florida in the middle 1980s. I was at that time closely associated with the OTO, but was not then an initiate member. I had been in close contact with Wiccan and other Neopagan groups at that time for over a decade.I had been a welcome guest in many Neopagan circles, from Northern California to Southern Florida, and was widely, although inaccurately, described as a "Neopagan writer" (as in Mar... More >>>
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Category 1:  Wicca and Witchcraft
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Author:      Allen Greenfield
Format:      eBook
This monograph has a long history. The earliest published draft appeared in a small, independent radical journal during my sojourn in Florida in the middle 1980s. I was at that time closely associated with the OTO, but was not then an initiate member. I had been in close contact with Wiccan and other Neopagan groups at that time for over a decade.

I had been a welcome guest in many Neopagan circles, from Northern California to Southern Florida, and was widely, although inaccurately, described as a "Neopagan writer" (as in Margot Adler's Drawing Down the Moon). I was frequently published in the journal of the Church of All Worlds, Green Egg. Several years later, a revised and updated version appeared in the first issue of LAShTAL, the journal of Eulis Lodge OTO, which by then I had joined.

Since that time, the essay has been repeatedly updated and revised. After I lost my bid for it, the copy of Ye Book of Ye Arte Magical in the Ripley Collection was sold to a private collector with pro Wiccan sympathies (or so I have heard) and has disappeared from view, though I understand each page has been photographed and will likely appear soon in facsimile, for all to judge for themselves. I got a VERY good look at it, and expect no serious surprises.

A bootleg edition of this essay appeared in Canada in 2003. This version has never before been published before, and was prepared especially for this anthology. It was one of the editor's selections--I claim no connection to, or responsibility for any of the other selections published here, any more than I do for the choice of titles of the volume itself. But this essay is a product of some nearly twenty years of research and revision on my part. There are conjectures that might be wrong, and certainly satirical points not intended to be taken at face value, but it is a carefully measured, honest appraisal of the origins of "the old religion" as it has called itself, or Wicca. It is not an attack on a system of beliefs.

My bottom line is that Wicca is not related historically in any way other than literary inspiration to any aboriginal pagan religion. It is, in fact, a product of the 1930s and '40s, hugely influenced by the rituals of Freemasonry, the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, and the Ordo Templi Orientis (OTO). It, in fact, is a errant direct descendent of an OTO encampment in London chartered by Aleister Crowley, then the OTO Grand Master General, and under direction of Crowley's student and would-be successor, Gerald Gardner. It is interesting to observe that Crowley's Acting Master of Agape Lodge OTO in America in the same period also wrote extensively a few years later on a "revival of witchcraft".

The present revision includes newer insights into the early claims concerning Gerald Gardner relative to his status in the OTO. Several letters published by Bill Heidrick, International Grand Treasurer General of the OTO, exchanged between Lady Frieda Harris and both Karl Germer and Frederic Mellinger, immediately after Aleister Crowley's death, add new insight. Br. Heidrick was kind enough to provide me with copies of these letters in my preparations for the previous revision of this essay. There is also an important letter by Gerald Gardner to Vernon Symmonds, written during the same period. A copy of the latter was kindly provided by Sabazius X?, the present U.S. Grand Master General of the OTO. I have also carefully examined the correspondence between Crowley and the Gnostic Bishop W.B. Crow, in which Crowley explicitly refers to Gardner's encampment, indicating it had a future as an OTO Lodge and urging Crow to work with it.

I have additionally had occasion to closely examine the aforementioned writings of John Whiteside Parsons on the subject of modern witchcraft, written during at the end of the same period. It is of more than passing interest that Ye Book of Ye Arte Magical, the OTO Charter granted to Gerald Gardner by Aleister Crowley, the writings by Parsons on witchcraft, the publication of High Magic's Aid and the public emergence of Wicca all date from the same period, circa 1945-1950.

About Author:

Allen H. Greenfield (born 1946), also known by his ecclesiastical name Tau Sir Hasirim, is an American occultist and writer, and bishop of the Gnostic Catholic Church[1] who lives in Atlanta, Georgia.

Greenfield was elected and consecrated a Bishop by the Holy Synod of the Neopythagorean Gnostic Church in 1986. In 1987 he was ordained bishop within the Gnostic Catholic Church and was consecrated in New York in November 1988. His episcopal title "Tau" is sometimes abbreviated as "T" and prefixed to his legal name, and thus he may also be referred to as T Allen Greenfield. A former member of Ordo Templi Orientis and editor of the Eulis Lodge journal LAShTAL, Greenfield has more recently become a critic of the Order's upper management. In February 2006, he called for their resignation and stepped down from all managerial duties in protest, issuing a strong criticism of the current Outer Head of the Order, William Breeze.

A past (elected) member of the Society for Psychical Research and the National Investigations Committee on Aerial Phenomena (from 1960), he has twice been the recipient of the "UFOlogist of the Year Award" of the National UFO Conference (1972 and 1992).

His book Secret Cipher of the UFOnauts ("a very strange book, even for the field of UFOlogy") discusses UFOs in terms derived from Carl Jung, according to Robert Anton Wilson. His The Story of the Hermetic Brotherhood of Light includes discussion of the Hermetic Brotherhood of Light vs. Helena Blavatsky's Brotherhood of Luxor but is, according to a reviewer in Aries, to be used "with care". His book The Compleat Rite of Memphis is a comprehensive history of an Egyptian Rite of Freemasonry, and he edited an authorized, annotated edition of the work Liber Thirty-One by Charles Stansfeld Jones.

Greenfield has devoted the last eight years to the worldwide Free Illuminist or Congregational Illuminist Movement which currently has more than three hundred members.

Allen H. Greenfield Bibliography:

- Silver Bridge, by Gray Barker, introduction by Allen Greenfield. Saucerian Books, 1970. Library of Congress Catalogue Number 70-119512.
- Saucers and Saucerers. PANP Press, 1975.
- Secret Cipher of the UFOnauts. Illuminet Press, 1994; Revised Edition Manutius Press, 2005. ISBN 1-4116-6759-X
- The Story of the Hermetic Brotherhood of Light. Looking Glass Press, 1997. ISBN 91-88708-03-9
- The Compleat Rite of Memphis. Luxor Press, 1998. ISBN 1-891948-01-6
- Liber Thirty-One (The Authorized Edition by C.S. Jones (Frater Achad); edited and annotated by T Allen Greenfield. Luxor Press, 1998. ISBN 1-891948-00-8
- The Book of Lies: The Disinformation Guide to Magick and the Occult. Edited by Richard Metzger; Allen Greenfield, contributor. - Disinformation Books, 2003. ISBN 0-9713942-7-X
- Secret Rituals of the Men in Black. Manutius Press, 2005. ISBN 1-4116-6764-6
- The Roots of Modern Magick: Glimpses of the Authentic Tradition from 1700-2000, An Anthology. Revised edition, Manutius Press, 2006. ISBN 978-1-4116-8978-7
- The Compleat Rite of Memphis. Revised edition, Createspace, 2014. ISBN 978-1502371867
- Christ and the Master Therion. Revised edition, by T Allen Greenfield (Author), Charles Stansfeld Jones (Author). Createspace, 2012. ISBN 978-1478292722
- Angel Spells: The Enochian Occult Workbook Of Charms, Seals, Talismans And Ciphers. by Maria D' Andrea (Author), Sean Casteel (Author), William Alexander Oribello (Author), Bishop Allen Greenfield (Author), Timothy Green Beckley (Introduction). Inner Light - Global Communications, 2014. ISBN 978-1606111642