Actaeon: Aleister Crowley Never Branded or Blackmailed Women

By Actaeon

“Do what you want” seems an excellent rule for responsible adults.

Far better than its alternative, which is “Do what you’re told”. In fact, if the fools who joined Nxivm/DOS had followed the former rule, they never would’ve gotten in the mess they did.

Weak-willed fools like Allison Mack were eager to be told what to do, told how to live their lives, told which books to read and which ones not to. Told what is ethical and what is not. Told not to be “prideful”. Ah, pride, one of the seven deadly sins. Pride is self-respect, pride is self-confidence. Neither of these qualities is what a cult leader looks for in his slave-minions.

The craven self-abasement of cult followers frankly disgusts me.

That long YouTube video of Mack “interviewing” her lord and master Keith Raniere is one revolting spectacle. She gazes at him adoringly as he corrects her, lectures her, and chastises her. She positively laps it up. And then she went out doing his bidding, recruiting fresh meat for his maw. Lying for him, cajoling, sneakily gathering up her victims’ so-called collateral. Submissively doing what she was told.


The idea that doing what you want to do is wrong is one of the reasons I left Catholicism. Penance and self-denial are akin to masochism, as far as I’m concerned. Life should be joyful; the world is beautiful and our time here is limited, so take pleasure in life. The Christian notion that life is a vale of tears, that man is inherently sinful, does not appeal to me in the least, and the idea of depriving oneself of joy in exchange for the promise of reward in some supposed afterlife is frankly risible.

Nietzsche was right, Christianity is a slave’s religion.

As for the Church of Satan, they aren’t what you might think. They do not believe in the Devil any more than in God. I have no affiliation with the CoS but they have a very entertaining online presence and are, despite the scary name, utterly harmless.

Aleister Crowley was a nut, and so was Anton LaVey. But neither of them gathered blackmail material on their female followers and had them branded, and neither one ran a criminal racket. And that to me is what separates them from Keith Raniere.

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News and art, national and local. Began as alternative weekly in 1990 in Buffalo, NY. Publishing content online since 1996.

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  • Pride and self-respect are not necessarily the same thing… Also, “do whatever you want” is actually quite terrible – because what if what you want hurts someone else? You may add “as long as it harm none”, yes, I do know of that phrase – but what if you disagree about whether it harms someone else or not? Human beings are notoriously unable to agree on what harm is actually caused by this or that – even today, there are still debates on how much divorce harms or does not harm children (despite many scientific studies showing lasting negative effects), and last I remember, there aren’t ANY solid studies of reasonable size that evaluate the effects upon children of being raised in a home with two mothers or two fathers, despite loud proclamations in either direction. But then, I’d say that exploring one’s own interests and pursuing education and job opportunities that will benefit oneself does not mean that one adheres to that moral philosophy – my own life reveals that.

    I see why you hate Christianity so much – because your only experience was Catholicism. Which, admittedly, was designed in many ways to turn people against God (I believe the devil had a great hand in shaping that institution). It is neither faithful to the Bible (they admit this outright – the church is given higher priority over the Bible when it comes to doctrines) or to what Jesus actually preached and lived, and while there are many, many honest, sincere Christians who are currently in that church, the religion as an institution is not at all what true Christianity is supposed to be. The story of how Catholicism corrupted early Christianity and persecuted those who disagreed with it is well-documented by history. I count myself fortunate to have grown up in a faith tradition that stems from the Protestant Reformation – and the heritage of the churches of the Wilderness (the Waldensians and other similar ones, who did not bow to Rome until after the Reformation had taken up the torch of the truth). In this tradition, one’s mind and thinking skills are respected – there is no blind faith, but critical reasoning, and we never accept another human being’s words as divine truth over Scripture (which is not only in agreement with oneself, an amazing thing considering how many people wrote it over how much time, but also maintains historical integrity–the NT documents are the best-preserved of any ancient manuscript, with copies found from within 200 years of its writing, far better than any other records of literature such as the Iliad).

    While Protestantism is not perfect either – as anyone can call oneself a believer of a particular faith and yet completely misrepresent the core principles of said faith because they do not “practice what they preach”, as the saying goes – my church does not fit many of the criteria that you attribute to all Christianity due to your experience with Catholicism. For instance, we believe life should be joyful and beautiful, and self-denial by one’s own self is pointless (it’s a little different when we give something to God because He created us and knows that we will ultimately be happier without it – but that’s in the context of a *relationship* with Him – without that relationship, there’s no point in trying to give anything up). Mind you, man’s inherent sinfulness is visible from looking at any young child – even children who have always been treated with love and respect will show urges towards selfishness, deceptiveness, and disobedience, and it’s obvious from the amount of suffering in the world which was caused by other humans, that humans have a serious problem with wrong tendencies in the heart – and any amount of trying to perfect oneself will ultimately fail. (Benjamin Franklin tried it once, lol – figured he could make himself perfect by focusing on one virtue a week. He gave up pretty quickly when he realized it was impossible.) The only solution to that requires something outside of our own selves – which is where God comes in. But He won’t force anyone to accept it – God is love, which means free will. He has granted all of us the free will to believe in Him or not, to accept Him or not. It’s obvious what your response to that is – which is your right to choose as you have desired.

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