Evaluating our teachers, & We are our own authorities

“The moral of these stories is that it is very important to look into the person behind the writings, teachings, and belief system you are following or want to follow. How balanced and grounded is this person in reality and every day life? What is the state of this person’s personal and home life?  Is it chaos, broken relationships, and a home that’s taken hoarding to an unhealthy level?  Have they lost friends and family due to unacceptable social behaviour? Do you actually like this person and agree with them, the things they’ve done, and how they live(d) their life? Are you okay following someone with an unchecked mental illness, someone who’s killed or raped, someone who is a pathological liar, a racist, or who stole all their lore? No? Then you should be aware that many of the founders and teachers of magical traditions, both well-known and obscure, had skeletons in their closets that we aren’t dealing with today. Some of their transgressions are forgivable, but many are not.[…]

Aleister Crowley was most definitely a sociopath as demonstrated by his lack of empathy for the people he performed magical and mind control experiments on combined with his egotistical and irrational behaviour which resulted in several deaths, including his fellow K2 climbers whom he let die in an avalanche because they had disagreed with him earlier, not wanting him as their expedition leader. Crowley left quite the trail of angry, broken, mentally ill, and suicidal people in his wake. Accounts of his life and personality, including his Wikipedia entry, have been incredibly white-washed for a modern audience to better stomach. Oh, and besides having a sexual scat fetish and a heroin (cocaine, hash, opium/laudanum) addiction, he also made one of his female followers have sex with a goat.Lovely poetry he wrote though… *coughs uncomfortably and looks for a brain eraser*.  None of this has stopped countless people from following his teachings or popular musicians from using him to sell t-shirts and albums or me from attending my Thelemic friends’ annual feast of Liber Al vel Legis. I don’t even want to get into Gavin and Yvonne Frost condoning pedophilia and incest to initiate children into the craft at puberty in their book The Witch’s Bible. I could go on, but it only goes downhill from here folks.”

— Evaluating our teachers 

“Elisabeth Schussler Fiorenza articulated a widely held tenet of feminist theology when she stated that feminism places a question mark over all inherited texts and traditions. This means that feminists cannot and must not accept any teaching or traditional way of performing religious acts simply because “the Bible [or the Koran or the minister or the priest or the rabbi or the imam or the guru] tells me so.”

Instead, feminists must question every text and tradition and the words of every religious leader to see whether or not they promote the full humanity of women. The implication of this is that we must acknowledge and take responsibility for becoming our own authorities—as individuals and in communities.[…]

The fact that allegedly inspired individuals have abused and continue to abuse the trust that is placed in them suggests to me that no one should ever place her trust in inspired or allegedly inspired individuals. Far too many of them have denied the full humanity of women. Far too many of them have sexually abused their followers. Does this mean we can never learn from religious teachers or leaders? Of course we can. But we should never give up our own powers of discernment. And we should immediately place a question mark over anyone who asks us to do so.”

— A radical conclusion: We are our own authorities


About Cammy

Self-employed freelance writer
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One Response to Evaluating our teachers, & We are our own authorities

  1. Pingback: Abuse from A.’.A.’. teachers | Fools that men adore

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