Area: Mundane From : Ammond Shadowcraft 25-Nov-90 19:03:00 Date: Wed Nov 14, 1990 7:47 am
From : Ammond Shadowcraft 25-Nov-90 19:03:00
Date: Wed Nov 14, 1990 7:47 am MST
From: Dr. Michael A. Aquino / MCI ID: 278-4041
TO: * Michael Morgan / MCI ID: 421-3086
RESPONSE TO TIM MARONEY'S "THE NAZI TRAPEZOID"
Michael A. Aquino, Ph.D.
Temple of Set
Post Office Box 470307
San Francisco, CA 94147
A correspondent has recently provided me with a copy of a BBS essay
by Tim Maroney entitled "The Nazi Trapezoid" - essentially an
accusation that the Temple of Set's Order of the Trapezoid and myself
are Nazi-sympathetic. [Maroney did not show me the courtesy of
providing me with a copy directly.]
Maroney first appeared as a conversationalist on the Weirdbase BBS,
via which I occasionally offered some comments about magical &
philosophical subjects. In Maroney's case it soon became apparent,
however, that he was simply interested in picking a fight about Nazism
- evidently a personal fetish of his.
After being patient with Maroney's abuse and insults for longer than
I felt courtesy required, I finally declined to gratify his emotional
need for confrontation any further and simply ignored his electronic
vitriol. Thus frustrated, he appears to have channeled his ardent
Naziphobia into this BBS tract of his, to which at least a brief
response is in order:
Within the Temple of Set are several specialized Orders (somewhat
analogous to the departments of a university). One of these is the
Order of the Trapezoid.
In actuality this particular Order is concerned with a great many
areas of research, of which north European [including Nazi German]
occultism is only one. Others include time/space sciences, proxemics,
art & architecture (particularly Expressionism, Art
Nouveau/Deco/Moderne), electronics (Tesla et al.), _film noir_,
Lovecraftian literature, music & the electromagnetic spectrum, mental
To the extent the Order is interested in Nazi Germany, it is
essentially with regard to the very extensive research into occultism
conducted by the Ahnenerbe and other groups & individuals during that
period. To study and evaluate such material is not to endorse Nazi
Germany generally, any more than a political scientist who studies Nazi
political culture is thereby an apologist for it. In his selective and
out-of-context quoting from the Order's informational paper, Maroney
somehow neglects to mention the following very central passage:
"The Order of the Trapezoid extracts the positive, the
constructive, the exalted, and the Romantic from the Germanic magical
tradition - and just as carefully avoids and rejects those excesses,
distortions, and cruelties which have made this tradition an object
of the most extraordinary fear, condemnation, and suppression in the
postwar period. The Germanic tradition is also part of the legacy of
the Prince of Darkness, hence is appropriate to an Order within the
Temple of Set, which embraces all manifestations of the Powers of
Darkness in the world.
"Nevertheless the care required in any investigation into this
tradition cannot be overemphasized. Magical and research ability are
not enough; ethical sensitivity and social discretion are just as
important. The prospects for new and wondrous perspectives on the
Black Art are exhilarating, but success will come only if the Order
conducts its affairs with the same dedication and nobility that have
made the Temple of Set a legend in its time."
Maroney's accusation that I refuse to make my opinions on Nazi
Germany explicit is absurd. I have always deplored its premises,
policies, and activities which resulted in savagery and misery to a
great many people. Equally emphatically I have deplored premises,
policies, and activities by other countries which resulted in savagery
and misery at the same time in history [and in other eras as well].
This, apparently, is not enough for Maroney, who froths with fury at
the notion that there could be anything at all about the Third Reich
not deserving of instant and unqualified condemnation - or at the
heresy that its antagonists were not all lily-white angels of racial
equality, religious tolerance, and all-round political purity.
As Maroney spends a great deal of time ranting about the supposed
fascist-sympathy of the Temple of Set's reading list, I suppose a word
or two about that is called for.
That reading list consists of well over a hundred books in 24
specialized categories of magical and philosophical research. Some of
these are well-known books accepted without a blink in current secular
society. Others are books that cause or have caused a good deal of
controversy because of their statement of facts or expression of
opinions distasteful to current secular society.
The Temple of Set agrees with Plato that the search for truth should
not be "democratized": Whether an idea is palatable or not, popular or
not, should not justify its promotion or suppression. All data must be
looked at carefully and dispassionately if a true picture of the topic
in question is to emerge. This is, at least theoretically, the aim of
reputable modern universities - but even they, in light of popular
sentiment, must not dare to question certain sacred cows.
Times change. When my mother attended Stanford University in the
1920s, women students could not be too intellectual or accomplished
without being ostracized. It was taken for granted that women were
genetically inferior to men, just as in this same country it was taken
for granted that Blacks, Native Americans, and Orientals were
genetically inferior to Caucasians. American Jews were routinely
discriminated against in all sectors of society.
Maroney evidently imagines that racism and anti-semitism appeared by
magic in Nazi Germany exclusively in the early 20th century. What the
Temple of Set understands, and what a _comprehensive_ tour of its
reading list demonstrates, is that the impulses behind prejudice of any
sort - religious, racial, sexual, etc. - are present in _all_ cultures.
Show me a person - perhaps Maroney would care to volunteer? - who
believes himself beyond all bias, and I'll show you a victim of tragic
- and dangerous - self-deceit.
Ultimately the proof of the pudding is in the eating. If the Order
of the Trapezoid is so dangerously fascist, where are the stormtroopers
it has spawned? The riots? The revolutions? But wait: If we are to
believe Maroney, it is the very _absence_ of conspicuous neo-Nazism in
the Order's actual accomplishments that makes it all the more
frightful. As for Michael Aquino, Maroney's baleful portrait reminds me
charmingly of an H.P. Lovecraft passage in his _Strange Case of Charles
"By 1760 Joseph Curwen was virtually an outcast, suspected of
vague horrors and demonic alliances which seemed all the more
sinister because they could not be named, understood, or even proved
Sorry about that. But I am not about to cease my quest for the Grail
of Truth simply to appease the private neuroses of the Maroneys of the
World. Indeed I might respond with a quote from Abraham Lincoln, who
during the Civil War was also vilified for being insufficiently
supportive of various popular passions of that troubled time:
"If I were to try to read, much less answer all the attacks made
on me, this shop might as well be closed for any other business. I do
the very best I know how - the very best I can, and I mean to keep
doing so until the end. If the end brings me out all right, what is
said against me won't amount to anything. If the end brings me out
wrong, ten angels swearing I was right would make no difference."
Note: Here from Oz Tech is a response to Tim Maroney's article on
the Nazi Trapezoid. I know from personal experience that Oz Tech is a
member of the Temple of Set and that this electronic mail bore her
mundane network address header.
Thank you for forwarding Maroney's "Trapezoid" article and for
asking about it.
As you well know, I am a member of the Priesthood of Set. Upon
meeting with Dr. Stephen Edred Flowers a few years ago and discussing
my interests I was extended an invitation to join the Order of the
Trapezoid. I have participated in the mysteries of that Order. I have
examined past and present publications, corresponded with many Setians
and traveled to several parts of the continent to meet Setians in
person. I am black. I have also been a member of the ACLU for over ten
Nazism is a totalitarian ideology based on bogus notions of racial
supremacy, blood & land. If the Temple of Set were actually a neo-Nazi
front I think would have *noticed*.
The doctrines and practices of the Temple of Set, and those of the
Order of the Trapezoid, are neither totalitarian nor racist.
Questing after "Nazi occultism", and having no real knowledge of the
Order of the Trapezoid's work, Tim Maroney fails to mention the 36
other books outside "Fascism, Totalitarianism and Magic" that are
marked in the reading list as titles of importance to the Order of the
So eager is he to identify Order interest in Germanic magic with
"Nazi occultism" he =ignores= "Runic Arts and Sciences", the section
devoted to pre-Christian occult practices in Europe.
As for the many other OT-recommended books--the texts on Pythagorean
philosophy, sacred geometry, archeology and archetypes in fiction--he
ignores them, having made up his mind: this is surely a front for a
Hitler admiration society
His references to "evasion" and "plausible deniability" seem to
derive from his fury at being brushed off by Dr. Aquino on the net some
months ago. Dr. Aquino has dealt with so many fruitcake conspiracy
buffs that to him Maroney is probably just another dragonslayer a la
What of the re-formulation of the Order of the Trapezoid at
Wewelburg Castle? Here again the intent is magically precise.
Any occultist or neo-Pagan familiar with the pre-Christian history
of Europe knows that the continent is crossed by "ley lines" of
telluric current. Pennick's book, HITLER'S SECRET SCIENCES, describes
how the geomancer Himmler sought out key points on ley lines for his SS
buildings: "Deeply conscious of the magical aspect of earth mysteries,
by a seemingly innocent interest in the preservation of ancient
monuments he managed to gain personal control of those places he
considered magically powerful." (What is more, that book describes a
similar study of geomancy used by the Jesuits in their spiritual
conquest of Europe and the southwestern territories of the New World!)
The Wewelburg is one such site. In the eyes of a materialist, the
use of a "power spot" formerly held by Nazis is support of Nazism. In
the eyes of a trained occultist it is no such thing. The elemental
forces in such a place are not "Nazi" any more than the water arising
from a spring is "Native American" or "French" or "Republican". Tim
Maroney infers that the use of this site implies Nazism within the
Order of the Trapezoid. It would be as logical to infer that the
cathedrals of Europe are host to the pagan worship formerly carried on
at those sites: logical, but dead wrong.
Lest there be any doubt: the SS catechism explains that the Nazi
ethos is squarely based on belief in God. The candidate swore to serve
Hitler as an agent of God! There is Hitler's own brazen oath, "By
resisting the Jews, I strive for the work of the Lord". We have
nothing to do with this religious insanity. In the Order of the
Trapezoid the candidate swears an oath to one master only: to his or
her immortal fylga, the numinous Self.
Indeed, this is true of all Temple practices. We swear no oaths to
mystic masters, high priests, books or even to Set. Selfhood alone
binds the individual to his or her destiny.
For all Tim Maroney's claims about human dignity, he cannot clearly
distinguish friend from foe.
What? Tim says this reading list lacks books on the Holocaust? Well,
if we thought genocide was a magical technique we'd surely have
included a few--but we don't!
What's magically important about the Nazi is not that they butchered
millions--rather, it's that they bewitched seemingly "rational" people
into helping them.
THAT is magic, a magic that must be understood instead of drugging
ourselves with the opium of righteousness. Between Aquino's offer of
knowledge and Maroney's dire warnings against moral contamination, I
feel it is a simple choice, though not a comfortable one.
Note: I received more comments from Oz Tech from her normal net
Thanks for posting my response.
I don't know if it will do much good, actually, since for most
folks, fantasies about wicked conspiracy elsewhere are far more
delicious than self-recognition. (Dr. Aquino scored a true hit when he
took the measure of Maroney's obsession and jokingly asked if he had a
wish to be flogged by an SS she-devil. I know Tim will *never* forgive
him. Would-be dragonslayers never have a sense of humor.)
Some of our best applicants to the Temple have come from those who
saw Aquino speak of his philosophy on the Geraldo show while being
attacked by folks who were not playing with a full deck. I doubt the
Usenet readership will come running to the Temple gates but I am sure a
few can comprehend & respect the Setian way, whether it is their way or
So while Tim has gone out of his way to question the motives of the
Temple of Set's Order of the Trapezoid, one among ten orders, no one
has seen fit to question Tim's motives. Why? Because Tim is
cantankerous. He's hard to work with. Confronting him requires time
and effort. And that's as it should be. He does his part and we do
ours. If either side drops the ball the outcome of the game is
diminished. So let's avoid the issue of confronting Tim. He's a lost
cause, but he does some really wonderful things for the magikal
Let's thank him instead. In the last year or so Tim has been on a
nice little campaign to expose neo-Pagan and Wiccan prejudice. The
Nazi Trapezoid article has nicely brought to surface some neo-Pagan
prejudice. The Trickster manifests in Tim quite well. Where the
Trickster is involved, the left hand need not know what the right
hand is doing. In fact it works better if all parties are unaware
of the Trickster's capricious devices. We owe Tim many thanks for
exposing these prejudices. Thanx Tim.
This has been a very good thing for the Temple of Set. Neo-Pagan
prejudice has been exposed, the Temple's ethics and Orders have been
fully advertised--complete with snail and MCI mail addresses--and Dr.
Aquino has had a chance to address these problems here and on Usenet.
Why am I doing all this work to defend the Temple of Set? I believe
in intellectual freedom. Furthermore, I despise prejudice, hidden or
overt. I think it is a damn shame that many neo-Pagans suffer from
the same problems they ardently struggle against. These are the ones
who enjoyed Tim's article and who suddenly found themselves at the
bottom of his slippery slope. OOOOPPPSS...
* Origin: THE CRYSTAL CAVE "DAS MAGICK TREFFPUNKT"(719-391-1092) (1:128/50)
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